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August 31, 2020  

Nicotinamide riboside increases aerobic performance

State University of Campinas (Brazil), August 19, 2020

 

According to news originating from Limeira, Brazil, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, “Nicotinamide riboside (NR) acts as a potent NAD precursor and improves mitochondrial oxidative capacity and mitochondrial biogenesis in several organisms. However, the effects of NR supplementation on aerobic performance remain unclear.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), “Here, we evaluated the effects of NR supplementation on the muscle metabolism and aerobic capacity of sedentary and trained mice. Male C57BL/6 J mice were supplemented with NR (400 mg/Kg/day) over 5 and 10 weeks. The training protocol consisted of 5 weeks of treadmill aerobic exercise, for 60 min a day, 5 days a week. Bioinformatic and physiological assays were combined with biochemical and molecular assays to evaluate the experimental groups. NR supplementation by itself did not change the aerobic performance, even though 5 weeks of NR supplementation increased NAD levels in the skeletal muscle. However, combining NR supplementation and aerobic training increased the aerobic performance compared to the trained group. This was accompanied by an increased protein content of NMNAT3, the rate-limiting enzyme for NAD + biosynthesis and mitochondrial proteins, including MTCO1 and ATP5a. Interestingly, the transcriptomic analysis using a large panel of isogenic strains of BXD mice confirmed that the Nmnat3 gene in the skeletal muscle is correlated with several mitochondrial markers and with different phenotypes related to physical exercise. Finally, NR supplementation during aerobic training markedly increased the amount of type I fibers in the skeletal muscle.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Taken together, our results indicate that NR may be an interesting strategy to improve mitochondrial metabolism and aerobic capacity.”

 

 

Long naps may be bad for health

Guangzhou Medical University (China), August 26, 2020

 

Many believe that lying down for a snooze is a harmless activity. But today, scientists show that drifting off for more than one hour could be risky. The study is presented at ESC Congress 2020.1 

"Daytime napping is common all over the world and is generally considered a healthy habit," said study author Dr. Zhe Pan of Guangzhou Medical University, China. "A common view is that napping improves performance and counteracts the negative consequences of 'sleep debt'. Our study challenges these widely held opinions."

Previous research on the link between daytime naps and death or cardiovascular disease has produced conflicting results. In addition, it did not account for the duration of night-time sleep.

This study summarised the available evidence to assess the relationship between napping and the risks of all-cause death and cardiovascular disease. A total of 313,651 participants from more than 20 studies were included in the analysis. Some 39% of participants took naps.

The analysis found that long naps (more than 60 mins) were associated with a 30% greater risk of all-cause death and 34% higher likelihood of cardiovascular disease compared to no napping. When night-time sleep was taken into account, long naps were linked with an elevated risk of death only in those who slept more than six hours per night.

Overall, naps of any length were linked with a 19% elevated risk of death. The connection was more pronounced in women, who had a 22% greater likelihood of death with napping compared to no napping, and older participants, whose risk rose by 17% with naps.

Short naps (less than 60 minutes) were not risky for developing cardiovascular disease. Dr. Pan said: "The results suggest that shorter naps (especially those less than 30 to 45 minutes) might improve heart health in people who sleep insufficiently at night."

The reasons why napping affects the body are still uncertain, said Dr. Pan, but some studies have suggested that long snoozes are linked with higher levels of inflammation, which is risky for heart health and longevity. Other research has connected napping with high blood pressure, diabetes, and poor overall physical health.

He concluded: "If you want to take a siesta, our study indicates it's safest to keep it under an hour. For those of us not in the habit of a daytime slumber, there is no convincing evidence to start."

 

Study suggests deficiency of vitamin D or selenium may decrease immune defenses against COVID-19

Seoul Clinical Laboratories (South Korea), August 28, 2020

 

According to news reporting from Yongin, South Korea, research stated, “The relationship between immunity and nutrition is well known and its role in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is also being paid greater attention. However, the nutritional status of COVID-19 patients is unknown.”

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Seoul Clinical Laboratories, “Vitamins B1, B6, B12, D (25-hydroxyvitamin D), folate, selenium, and zinc levels were measured in 50 hospitalized patients with COVID-19. A total of 76% of the patients were vitamin D deficient and 42% were selenium deficient. No significant increase in the incidence of deficiency was found for vitamins B1, B6, and B12. folate, and zinc in patients with COVID-19. The COVID-19 group showed significantly lower vitamin D values than the healthy control group (150 people, age/sex matching). Severe vitamin D deficiency (based on 10 ng/dL) was found in 24% of the patients in the COVID-19 group and 7.3% of the control group. Among 12 patients with respiratory distress, 11 (91.7%) were deficient in at least one nutrient. However, patients without respiratory distress showed deficiency in 30/38 people (78.9%, P-value 0.425).”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “These results suggest that a deficiency of vitamin D or selenium may decrease the immune defenses against COVID-19 and cause progression to severe disease; however, more precise and large-scale studies are needed.”

 

 

Alpha-lipoic acid supplementation associated with less inflammation among diabetics with history of heart attack

Bogomolets National Medical University (Ukraine), July 28, 2020

 

The January-March 2020 issue of the Journal of Medicine and Life published the findings of a study that revealed a reduction in markers of inflammation among type 2 diabetics with prior myocardial infarction (heart attack) who received supplements containing alpha-lipoic acid.

The study included 67 men and 45 women with type 2 diabetes and a history of non-Q-myocardial infarction who were being treated with oral antidiabetic therapies and basic cardiovascular medications. The group was matched for age and sex with 40 subjects who were free of chronic diseases. The diabetics were divided into two groups: one with 59 people, who received 600 milligrams orally administered alpha-lipoic acid per day for four months in addition to their prescription drug regimen, while the other 53 received only their prescription drugs. Blood samples were analyzed for serum markers of inflammation that included C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) before and after the treatment period.

Upon enrollment, diabetics who received alpha-lipoic acid had serum CRP levels that averaged 2.7 times higher, IL-6 levels that averaged 4.4 times higher and TNF-a levels that averaged 3.1 times higher than the healthy control group. Similar levels were measured among the diabetic participants who did not receive lipoic acid. At the end of four months, participants who received alpha-lipoic acid experienced a 30.9% decline in CRP, a 29.7% decrease in IL-6 and a 22.7% reduction in TNF-a, while the unsupplemented diabetic group experienced nonsignificant changes in these markers.

Authors Natalia A. Altunina and colleagues observed that alpha-lipoic acid’s anti-inflammatory effect is considered to be independent of its better-known antioxidant activity, and that clinical evaluation of this effect has been limited to a few studies. They explained that alpha-lipoic acid inhibits nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-kB), which is associated with inflammation and other processes.

The authors concluded that alpha-lipoic acid “can be used to reduce the activity of systemic inflammation as a predictor of diabetes and coronary heart disease progression.”

 

 

How vitamin C could help over 50s retain muscle mass

 

University of East Anglia (UK), August 28, 2020

Vitamin C could be the key to better muscles in later life—according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

A study published today shows that older people who eat plenty of vitamin C—commonly found in citrus fruits, berries and vegetables—have the best skeletal musclemass.

This is important because people tend to lose skeletal muscle mass as they get older—leading to sarcopenia (a condition characterised by loss of skeletal muscle mass and function), frailty and reduced quality of life.

Lead researcher Prof Ailsa Welch, from UEA's Norwich Medical School said: "As people age, they lose skeletal muscle mass and strength.

"People over 50 lose up to one percent of their skeletal muscle mass each year, and this loss is thought to affect more than 50 million people worldwide."

"It's a big problem, because it can lead to frailty and other poor outcomes such as sarcopenia, physical disability, type-2 diabetes, reduced quality of life and death."

"We know that Vitamin C consumption is linked with skeletal muscle mass. It helps defend the cells and tissues that make up the body from potentially harmful free radical substances. Unopposed these free radicals can contribute to the destruction of muscle, thus speeding up age-related decline."

"But until now, few studies have investigated the importance of Vitamin C intake for older people. We wanted to find out whether people eating more Vitamin C had more muscle mass than other people."

The research team studied data from more than 13,000 people aged between 42-82 years, who are taking part in the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) Norfolk Study.

They calculated their skeletal muscle mass and analysed their vitamin C intakes from a seven-day food diary. They also examined the amount of vitamin C in their blood.

Dr. Richard Hayhoe, also from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "We studied a large sample of older Norfolk residents and found that people with the highest amounts of vitamin C in their diet or blood had the greatest estimated skeletal muscle mass, compared to those with the lowest amounts.

"We are very excited by our findings as they suggest that dietary vitamin C is important for muscle health in older men and women and may be useful for preventing age-related muscle loss.

"This is particularly significant as Vitamin C is readily available in fruits and vegetables, or supplements, so improving intake of this vitamin is relatively straightforward.

"We found that nearly 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women participants were not consuming as much Vitamin C as they should, according to the European Food Safety Agency recommendations.

"We're not talking about people needing mega-doses. Eating a citrus fruit, such as an orange, each day and having a vegetable side to a meal will be sufficient for most people."

 

 

Vitamin E supplementation shows promise as treatment option for NAFLD

Aristotle University (Greece), August 26 2020. 

 

Results from a systematic review and meta-analysis reported on August 18, 2020 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology indicate a benefit for supplementing with vitamin E for individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease(NAFLD). The disease is defined as an elevated percentage of liver cell fat in the absence of excessive alcohol consumption. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is estimated to affect up to a third of the world’s population.

For their review, Andreas Vadarlis and colleagues at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece selected seven randomized clinical trials that compared the effects of vitamin E to a placebo. Four trials evaluated the effects of the vitamin in a total of 368 participants with NAFLD and three trials included 400 participants with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH, an advanced state of NAFLD). 

Among the studies that examined the effects of vitamin E on the transaminase liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase and (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), which are elevated in patients with liver diseases, ALT was lowered by an average of 7.37 international units per liter (IU/L) and AST by an average of 5.71 IU/L compared to a placebo. 

Fibrosis score, considered to be the most important prognostic factor of NAFLD progression, significantly improved among those who received vitamin E. Histology parameters, including steatosis, lobular inflammation and hepatocellular ballooning, also improved in vitamin E-treated participants compared to a placebo.

Among the subjects evaluated for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a significant reduction occurred in those treated with vitamin E. Additionally, fasting blood glucose levels and leptin were lower in comparison with the placebo group among those who received vitamin E. 

“Vitamin E could be considered as a treatment option in patients with NAFLD/NASH improving both liver enzymes and histological parameters,” the authors concluded.

 

 

Meta-analysis affirms benefit for omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in cardiovascular outcomes

University of Milan (Italy), August 11, 2020

 

Findings from an updated meta-analysis published in the October 2020 issue of Pharmacological Research support a protective effect for supplementing with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) against heart disease mortality, major adverse cardiovascular events and myocardial infarction (heart attack).

For their analysis, researchers selected 16 randomized, controlled trials that examined the effects of omega 3 fatty acid supplementation among a total of 81,073 participants. Trials were limited to those that included subjects at high cardiovascular risk and/or who had previous cardiovascular events. “The objective of our study was to perform a meta-analysis of all the available randomized controlled trials on cardiovascular secondary prevention and patients at high (and very high) cardiovascular risk to investigate the cardiovascular preventive effect of omega 3 fatty acid administration through supplements (no dietary counselling), with a focus on the role of dose and type of omega 3 PUFA administered, as well as its effects in populations with different cardiovascular risk at baseline,” authors Manuela Casula of the University of Milan and colleagues explained.

During the trials’ follow-up periods, which ranged from one to seven years, the intake of more than one gram per day of omega 3 was associated with a 35% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular causes, a 24% lower risk of experiencing major adverse cardiovascular events and a 33% lower risk of myocardial infarction. Further analysis revealed that a reduction in the risk of cardiac death or myocardial infarction occurred only among trials that included participants who had already experienced major adverse cardiovascular events. Interestingly, a combination of the omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was more effective than the use of EPA alone to reduce the risk of dying from cardiac conditions; however, EPA alone, which was evaluated in three trials, appeared to have a greater association with the reduction in the occurrence of major cardiovascular events. 

The authors of the report remark that the intake of one to two meals containing oily fish per week for general health as recommended by world health authorities provides only 250 to 500 milligrams per day of EPA plus DHA, and that an intake of omega 3 fatty acids well above this amount has been associated with a reduction in cardiac mortality among healthy individuals, as well as those with pre-existing cardiovascular disease. 

“Stratified analyses based on levels of omega 3 PUFA above and below one gram per day highlight a relevant clinical benefit of the supplementation of omega 3 on coronary heart disease outcomes only when administered at high doses,” they observed. “Only the administration of more than one gram per day of omega 3 PUFA seems to be effective in reducing the risk of cardiac death, major adverse cardiac events and myocardial infarction.”

 

 

Higher serum magnesium concentration associated with lower risk of incident cognitive impairment

Columbia University, August 28, 2020

 

According to news reporting out of New York City, New York, research stated, “To examine the prospective association between serum Mg level and the incidence of cognitive impairment. A random sub-cohort (n = 2063) from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort was included in this study.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Columbia University, “Baseline serum Mg concentration was measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. According to the current reference interval of serum magnesium (0.75-0.95 mmol/L), we classified participants below the interval as Level 1 and used it as the referent. The rest of the study population were equally divided into three groups, named Level 2 to 4. Incident cognitive impairment was identified using the Six-Item Screener. Multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression models. After adjustment for potential confounders, an inverse threshold association between serum Mg level and incident cognitive impairment was observed. Compared to those with hypomagnesemia (Level 1: < 0.75 mmol/L), the relative odds of incident cognitive impairment was reduced by 41% in the second level [OR (95% CI) = 0.59 (0.37, 0.94)]; higher serum Mg level did not provide further benefits [Level 3 and 4 versus Level 1: OR (95% CI) = 0.54 (0.34, 0.88) and 0.59 (0.36, 0.96), P for linear trend = 0.08].”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Findings from this prospective study suggest that sufficient Mg status within the normal range may be beneficial to cognitive health in the US general population.”

August 28, 2020  

Dr. Meryl Nass is an internal medicine physician in Maine, researcher and activist who specializes Gulf War syndrome, adverse reactions from the anthrax vaccine and vaccine safety and efficacy in general.   She was the first person in the world to study the characteristics of an epidemic and proved it was not a natural occurrence but due to biological warfare -- that was the Zimbabwe anthrax epidemic during its civil war four decades ago.  In the past she has testified on six separate occasions before Congress on behalf of veterans suffering from the causes of Gulf War syndrome. Meryl is also active in opposing vaccine mandates and critiquing the false claims and fear mongering about infectious disease epidemics and corruption within the medical industrial military complex.  She serves on the Board of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, a non profit organization run by Vera Sharav that advances medical ethics that uphold human rights and protect humans from wrongful medical interventions. Her work is cited in many professional articles and publications. She holds degrees from MIT and her medical degree from the Mississippi School of Medicine.  Dr Nass' website where she blogs is AnthraxVaccine.blogspot.com

 

August 27, 2020  

Desperate Times for Pandemic Lead to... Ozone?

Case study in three patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia

MedPage Today August 24, 2020

Three patients present to a hospital emergency department in Ibiza, Spain, with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and respiratory failure and are given an unproven -- and possibly dangerous -- treatment: oxygen-ozone (O2-O3) therapy -- also called ozonated autohemotherapy, which has been used to treat gout and involves intravenous infusion of ozonated autologous whole blood.

The FDA has called ozone "a toxic gas with no known useful medical application."Furthermore, in April 2020a federal court entered a permanent injunction halting a purported "ozone therapy" center in Dallas from offering unproven treatments for COVID-19, after the company claimed that the treatments were able to "eradicate" the virus and were 95% effective in preventing the illness even for individuals who had tested positive.

As described in this case report, published on Aug. 17, 2020, of three patients in Spain, the clinicians drew 200 mL of autologous whole blood from the antecubital vein into a standard plastic disposable blood collection bag (certified SANO3 bag) with 35 mL of anticoagulant citrate dextrose solution. The team enriched the blood with 200 mL of gas mixture O2-Owith an ozone concentration of 40 μg/mL obtained using an ozone generator with CE0120 certificate type IIb. This was followed by reinfusion of the ozonized blood using the same vein over approximately 10 minutes.

Patient 1

Patient 1, a 49-year-old man, body mass index (BMI) of 31, reported having 1 week of ongoing abdominal pain, and that over the course of the previous day he had increasing shortness of breath. Examination finds a soft abdomen with no distension.

Upon auscultation of his chest, clinicians noted bilateral crackles with reduced air entry and ordered a computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest and abdomen, which identified lung infiltrates in both lungs, compatible with COVID-19 pneumonia. Laboratory tests show elevated levels of:

  • Ferritin (1,609 ng/mL)
  • D-dimer (1,900 ng/dL)
  • C-reactive protein (CRP, 17.3 mg/dL)
  • Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, 536 IU/L)

Clinicians took a nasopharyngeal swab; real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis identified the sample as positive for viral RNA, and the man is admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Over the following 24 hours, his condition improves and he is transferred to the general ward.

However, during the following day, the patient's oxygen levels declined, followed by respiratory distress, with a PaO2/FiO2 [partial pressure of arterial oxygen/percentage of inspired oxygen] ratio of 235. Clinicians put the patient on a non-rebreather face mask with oxygen on FiO2 of 0.8, and noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is not required. An x-ray revealed diffuse bilateral infiltrates.

For the next 3 days, the patient received two sessions of ozone autohemotherapy daily q 12 hours. He had a rapid clinical response, as evidenced by a marked improvement in respiratory rate and an increased PaO2/FiO2 ratio, with decreased FiO2 to 0.31% (3 L) after 1 day. After 2 sessions of ozone therapy, the patient's ferritin levels dropped from over 2,000 to 246 ng/mL, and his D-dimer levels dropped from 1,900 to 323 ng/mL.

On day 4, the patient was discharged home.

 

 

Patient 2 

The second patient, a 61-year-old man, BMI of 29, presented a week after developing a persistent fever of over 39°C. He reported having long-standing hypertension and becoming progressively short of breath over the previous 2 days. Chest auscultation showed crackles with reduced air entry over the right hemithorax. CT of the chest–abdomen revealed right upper infiltrates suggestive of COVID-19 pneumonia. Baseline PaO2/FiO2 was 253.

Laboratory tests showed high levels of:

  • Ferritin (2,200 ng/mL)
  • D-dimer (3,660 ng/mL)
  • CRP (10 mg/dL)
  • LDH (816 IU/L)

The patient remained in the general ward, where he received oxygen at an FiO2 of 0.6 via face mask, and he did not require NIV.

For the following 2 days, he received two sessions of ozone autohemotherapy over a period of 24 hours. On day 3, clinicians noted a decline in the FiO2 of 0.31% (3 L) with improved PaO2 to 90 mmHg, and decreased levels of laboratory markers.

The patient was discharged home on day 3 after a total of four sessions of O2-O3therapy. Post-discharge, clinicians reported that the patient's LDH levels dropped from 816 U/L at baseline to 469 U/L by day 6 after the start of ozone therapy. Likewise, his CRP levels began falling progressively after initiation of ozone therapy, from 10 mg/dL at the time of presentation to approximately 4 mg/dL on day 3 and about 0 mg/dL on day 21.

 

Eat local foods to regulate blood pressure and reduce diabetes risk

University of Turin (Italy), August 26, 2020

 

In a recent pilot trial, researchers from the University of Turin in Italy and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva found that the increased consumption of foods purchased from local producers led to reductions in major risk factors linked to non-communicable diseases (NCD) after just six months.

Their findings had been published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolism.

Neither fat nor sugar

In their article, the researchers noted that the consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPFs) has been studied for its influence on the risk of NCDs like diabetes and heart disease.

UPFs include food products like packaged bread, biscuits and pre-prepared pasta dishes. Compared to their fresh or homemade counterparts, these foods tend to contain higher amounts of fat, sugar and sodium.

But as the researchers pointed out, scientists often fail to look into the additives that are added to these food products as part of industrial food production norms. Plus, studies on nutrition and disease risk often focus on the impact of single nutrients like fats or sugars on health, not on additives in UPFs.

The researchers speculated that these additives may be influencing disease risk, not just nutrients like fat and sugar. 

Local producers are safer sources of food

To test their hypothesis, the researchers gathered 159 healthy participants in Italy. Rather than asking them to cut back on processed foods, such as cheese, sausage, pasta, pastries, biscuits and chocolate, the researchers asked half of the participants to source these foods from local producers. The other half were asked to purchase them from supermarkets.

The team brought in a food production expert to ensure that those in the local food group ate foods that had no additives at all and that the production of the foods themselves had been local. The team also asked both groups to adopt a Mediterranean diet and to log their food intake.

Prior to and after the trial, the team collected anthropometric data, including blood pressure and abdominal fat. The team also used a questionnaire to assess for depression, a mood disorder that is often linked to NCDs.

Furthermore, the researchers collected the participants’ blood samples to assess markers of diabetes, like fasting blood glucose, insulin and C-peptide and calculated their homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) scores. Getting a high score on this index indicates that cells are resistant to insulin, the hormone that controls blood glucose.

Six months later, the team found that participants in the local food group had more significant reductions in their HOMA scores and fasting blood glucose than those in the supermarket food group.

Those in the local food group also had greater reductions in their abdominal fat and systolic blood pressure than participants in the supermarket food group. The same could be said for the depression scores of both groups.

On the other hand, those in the supermarket food group exhibited significant increases in their fasting blood glucose, diastolic blood pressure and C-peptide levels. Taken together, these factors indicate insulin resistance and a greater risk of both diabetes and heart disease.

These findings support the idea that artificial ingredients in UPFs influence their impact on health and disease risk. Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the short-term consumption of foods sourced from local producers can lead to significant improvements in major risk factors for NCDs.

The researchers recommend that the trial be conducted again in the future to involve a larger cohort and a double-blind trial to validate the results.

 

 

 

Zinc therapy in early Alzheimer disease: safety and potential efficacy

Molecular Markers Laboratory (Italy), August 20, 2020

 

According to news originating from Brescia, Italy, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, “Zinc therapy is normally utilized for treatment of Wilson disease (WD), an inherited condition that is characterized by increased levels of non-ceruloplasmin bound (‘free’) copper in serum and urine.”

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from Molecular Markers Laboratory: “A subset of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or its prodromal form, known as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), fail to maintain a normal copper metabolic balance and exhibit higher than normal values of non-ceruloplasmin copper. Zinc’s action mechanism involves the induction of intestinal cell metallothionein, which blocks copper absorption from the intestinal tract, thus restoring physiological levels of non-ceruloplasmin copper in the body. On this basis, it is employed in WD. Zinc therapy has shown potential beneficial effects in preliminary AD clinical trials, even though the studies have missed their primary endpoints, since they have study design and other important weaknesses. Nevertheless, in the studied AD patients, zinc effectively decreased non-ceruloplasmin copper levels and showed potential for improved cognitive performances with no major side effects.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “This review discusses zinc therapy safety and the potential therapeutic effects that might be expected on a subset of individuals showing both cognitive complaints and signs of copper imbalance.”

 

 

Magnetic stimulation dramatically improves fecal incontinence

Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, August 26, 2020

 

Painless magnetic stimulation of nerves that regulate muscles in the anus and rectum appears to improve their function and dramatically reduce episodes of fecal incontinence, a debilitating problem affecting about 10% of the population, investigators report. 

They have early evidence that TNT, or translumbosacral neuromodulation therapy, is a promising, novel, safe, low-cost treatment for strengthening key nerves and reducing or even eliminating episodes of stool leakage, Medical College of Georgia investigators report in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

"We have identified that nerve damage is an important mechanism in the pathogenesis of stool leakage, and we have identified a noninvasive and targeted treatment to correct the nerve damage and address this pervasive problem," says Dr. Satish S.C. Rao, director of neurogastroenterology/motility and the Digestive Health Clinical Research Center at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. 

"We found there was significant improvement in fecal incontinence across the board," says Rao, after six sessions of weekly TNT treatment to key nerves, "which told us something is happening with this treatment. There is an effect on nerve function which, in turn, is leading to improvement of symptoms." 

The rectum is the connector between the colon and the anus, where stool exits, and the muscles directly involved in moving feces along then holding it in place until we are ready to go to the bathroom, have been a focal point for treating fecal incontinence. However current strategies are largely unsatisfactory for at least half of patients because they do not directly address the causes, including nerve dysfunction in the anus and rectum, the investigators say. 

Rao and his team decided to take a step back and look at the function of the nerves controlling those muscles. He developed a relatively benign test, called TAMS, or translumbosacral anorectal magnetic stimulation, to look at nerve activity by placing a probe in the rectum and a coil on the back to deliver magnetic stimulation to nerves in the anus and rectum and watch the response. When they found that nerve function was an issue in 80-90% of patients they assessed, they began exploring a similar approach using external, repetitive magnetic stimulation to help heal those nerves.

This first study was in 33 participants, including 23 women, who tend to have more problems with fecal incontinence, and, who were an average of about 60 years old. Age also is a risk factor. They used the same four sites on the upper and lower back they used to test the function of the relevant lumbar and sacral nerves, which are about two inches below the skin, after some surface mapping to find an exact location in each individual. 

Patients lie comfortably face down and the machine makes a steady 'tock, tock' sound. Treatment lasts 15 minutes to an hour depending on the frequency. The 15-minute version meant, for example, 15 stimulations per second, or 15 hertz, clearly the quickest but, surprisingly, not the most effective frequency for this purpose.

Rather, while all participants derived some benefit, it was those receiving the lowest frequency, one hertz, over an hour who benefited most. 

The investigators defined responders as those with at least a 50% reduction in the number of episodes of stool leakage per week. The one-hertz group experienced about a 90% reduction in weekly episodes as well as significantly improved ability to sense a need to defecate and in their ability to hold more stool. Those in the one hertz and midrange five-hertz group also reported the most improvement in quality of life issues.

"We measured several parameters including their leakage events, we measured their nerve and muscle function, quality of life, all of those were measured," Rao says. Participants also kept stool diaries, with some reporting zero incontinence episodes following TNT. 

"It's still in the early stage, but it's quite remarkable what we are seeing," he says. 

Like the patients he sees in his practice, study participants had a variety of issues that likely contributed to their lack of fecal control including diabetes, back injuries, hysterectomies and bladder and hemorrhoid surgeries. Childbirth is a common cause of both fecal and urinary incontinence. One of the females in the study had never had a baby, 18 others had vaginal deliveries and three of those also had a C-section, and four others only had a C-section. Eleven of the women with a vaginal delivery had vaginal tears and six had a forceps-assisted delivery.

While they didn't selectively pick people with nerve damage for the study, the investigators again found that whatever the cause, those with significant stool leakage had problems with delayed and weakened nerve conduction compared to healthy controls. 

TNT dramatically shortened the time it takes those nerves to activate the muscle by several important milliseconds, particularly in the one-hertz group, where the response time consistently returned to normal. 

"We have always tended to blame the anal muscle as the problem," Rao says of key controls needed to keep stool contained until we are in the bathroom. But they also know from women who experience muscle tears during childbirth, which is common, that repairing the muscle does not guarantee the woman will not have problems with leakage, he says. Sometimes muscle repair works temporarily, but when you follow up five years later, about half are incontinent, and nearly 90% are incontinent in 10 years, he says. "Ideally you want to treat all the mechanisms that are not working. We have not really approached it like that," Rao says. 

His team suspected their repeated stimulation of the nerves would induce their innate ability to adapt in response to a variety of stimulations, called neuroplasticity, a skill that exists in nerves throughout the brain and body that enables both learning as well as recovery from injury or disease. They had preliminary evidence of this including studies indicating that magnetic stimulation improves neuropathy and pain in a condition called levator ani syndrome, in which patients experience burning pain in the rectal or perianal region. 

They suspected high frequency stimulation, like 15 hertz, already used in the brain to treat problems like depression and stroke recovery, would work best, which is why they were surprised to find that the relevant nerves in this case were most responsive to longer periods of low frequency 1 hertz. Rao surmises one reason may be that the nerves that help control defecation are not as active as typical brain cells, although laboratory studies are needed to confirm that theory, he says. He also wants to learn more about underlying mechanisms for how the nerve changes occur with magnetic stimulation and, along with colleague Dr. Amol Sharma, MCG gastroenterologist and a study coauthor, look at its potential in other gastrointestinal motility problems caused by conditions like Parkinson's disease and the stomach-paralyzing problem gastroparesis. 

How long benefits of TNT hold, and how often follow-up sessions may be needed are already being pursued in a larger study of 132 participants now underway at MCG and AU Health System and Harvard University's Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, on which Rao is also the project director and principal investigator. 

Participants for the published study were recruited from MCG's adult teaching hospital, AU Medical Center, and from the University of Manchester's Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre in the United Kingdom, under the supervision of Dr. Shaheen Hamdy, professor of neurogastroenterology, although all participants were ultimately enrolled at the Augusta facility. 

They went through extensive screening to ensure there weren't other medical problems, like severe diarrhea or inflammatory bowel disease, that could contribute to their incontinence, as well as a host of other serious medical conditions. To qualify, individuals had to have a history of recurrent fecal incontinence for six months that did not respond to approaches like diet modifications and diarrhea medication, and a two-week diary that reported at least one episode of fecal incontinence per week. As part of the study, investigators performed several tests to assess nerve and muscle function, including Rao's TAMS test, at the start and finish of the trial. They also used TAMS to ensure the participant's nerves were responding to the stimulation. 

The only reported side effect of TNT was some temporary tingling in the treatment area, probably prompted by rejuvenating nerves, Rao says. He notes penetrability of the magnetic stimulations can be problematic with obesity or in patients with significant scarring from problems like back injury and/or surgeries. He also notes poor nerve conduction likely is a factor in some patients with constipation.

 

 

Rosmarinic acid interferes with interaction between amyloid beta and copper, suggesting its use against Alzheimer disease

University of Siena (Italy), August 22, 2020

 

According to news originating from Siena, Italy, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, “Alzheimer’s disease is a severe disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a very debilitating disease with no cure at the moment.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Siena, “The necessity of finding an effective treatment is very demanding, and the entire scientific community is putting in a lot of effort to address this issue. The major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease is the presence of toxic aggregated species in the brain, impaired metal homeostasis, and high levels of oxidative stress. Rosmarinic acid is a well-known potent antioxidant molecule, the efficacy of which has been proved both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we investigated the possible role played by rosmarinic acid as a mediator of the copper(II)-induced neurotoxicity. Several spectroscopic techniques and biological assays were applied to characterize the metal complexes and to evaluate the cytotoxicity and the mutagenicity of rosmarinic acid and its Cu(II) complex.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Our data indicate that rosmarinic acid is able to interfere with the interaction between amyloid beta and Cu(II) by forming an original ternary association.”

 

 

Seven Reasons Why Skipping Rope Is So Good For You

 

University of Hertfordshire (UK), August 25, 2020

 

While many of us may remember skipping as something we did as children, the pastime has regained popularity during the pandemic as a way of keeping fit.

Not only is jumping rope a fun, affordable and portable form of exercise, it also has many benefits for our health and fitness. Here are just a few reasons why jumping rope is such a good form of exercise:

1. It improves cardiovascular fitness

Jumping rope has long been used by boxers as a form of training to help improve their footwork and general conditioning.

Jumping rope will cause an increase in heart rate and breathing similar to if you went jogging. If you were to do ten minutes of jump rope everyday, you would create adaptations to your body that are beneficial to cardiovascular health, such as lowering blood pressure and reducing resting heart rate.

Jumping rope will also increase your cardiorespiratory fitness which essentially means your body becomes more efficient at taking up and using oxygen.

Research has shown that cardiorespiratory fitness is linked to improved health and longevity. Improved cardiorespriatory fitness has been shown to reduce blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation in the body and lower chances of developing diabetes and many other chronic disease.

2. It’s a full body workout

Skipping is a full body workout which uses your abdominal muscles to stabilise the body, your legs for jumping, and your shoulders and arms for turning the rope. It therefore provides an all over workout rather than just isolating one portion of the body.

Full body workouts increase muscle tone, which will help with all daily activities, and increase our resting metabolism, which helps us burn calories even while resting.

3. It improves coordination and motor skills

Skipping involves coordination to time your jump with the rope. Research has shown that it improves coordination, balance and basic movement skills in children. These are important fitness components for later in life as they reduce our chances of trips and falls.

There are so many different exercises you can do with the rope and each one requires different coordination to complete the exercise. This may help exercise your brain as well.

4. It increases bone mineral density

Jumping rope involves making impact with the ground with every jump. These impacts cause our bones to remodel themselves to become stronger, thus increasing bone density. Bone density can be a benefit later on in life, when it naturally begins to decrease.

Research has shown that jumping rope increases bone mineral density. Higher bone mineral density makes you less likely to break a bone or develop osteoporosis as you get older. Hip fractures are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in older people, leading to loss of independence and a huge economic burden. Improving bone density and balance throughout your life reduces the chances of trips and falls later on.

5. It increases speed

Because jumping rope requires fast movement of the feet and arms, it’s considered a plyometric exercise. This is where the muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power.

Plyometric exercise is used in the sporting world to increase an athlete’s speed. A lot of exercises, such as jogging, only improve cardiovascular health – whereas jumping rope has the added benefit of improving speed as well. Daily jump rope practice may help you run quicker than before.

6. Time efficient

Jumping rope offers many health benefits that may be achieved in a short period of time. Because it’s a full body exercise that requires speed and coordination, you could argue that it’s a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT).

HIIT exercise is where you have short bouts of high intensity efforts followed by a short rest intervals. This is repeated several times. HIIT has been shown to produce higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness in comparison to traditional endurance training.

It’s also more time efficient, as you can perform exercise over a shorter period. This is why HIIT training has become the most popular workout worldwide.

Jumping rope is easily adaptable, and can be a high-intensity workout depending on the effort and power a person puts into their training.

7. Enjoyable

One of the most important points we need to consider to help us change our exercise habits is that what we do needs to be enjoyable to us. One of the biggest barriers for people when it comes to sticking with exercise is enjoyment. And research shows enjoying exercise is critical for helping us change our exercise habitsand continue exercising.

The great thing about skipping is that there are so many different ways you can jump, and hop over the rope. You can create a varied workout which helps maintain your enjoyment.

However, it’s worth noting that skipping can put a lot of force on our lower limbs when we land. Though this improves our bone mineral density, it can lead to lower-body injury, especially if we’re not used to this force. But different jumping styles can be used to help ease force and reduce chance of injury. As with all types of exercise, it’s good to build up duration gradually. This will help minimise injury.

Overall, jumping rope could be a very beneficial form of exercise. Not only does it improve many important aspects of our health – including cardiovascular health, and improving bone density – but it’s also affordable, portable and doesn’t require much space.The Conversation

 

Depressed or anxious teens risk heart attacks in middle age

Orebro University (Sweden), August 26, 2020

 

: Depression or anxiety in adolescence is linked with a 20% greater likelihood of having a heart attack mid-life, according to research released today at ESC Congress 2020.1 

In a warning to parents, study author Dr. Cecilia Bergh of Örebro University in Sweden, said: "Be vigilant and look for signs of stress, depression or anxiety that is beyond the normal teenage angst: seek help if there seems to be a persistent problem (telephone helplines may be particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic). If a healthy lifestyle is encouraged as early as possible in childhood and adolescence it is more likely to persist into adulthood and improve long-term health." 

There are indications that mental well-being is declining in young people. This study investigated whether conditions like depression in adolescence (age 18 or 19) are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. The researchers also examined the possible role of stress resilience (ability to cope with stress in everyday life) in helping to explain any associations. 

The study included 238,013 men born between 1952 and 1956 who underwent extensive examinations in late adolescence (as part of their assessment for compulsory military service) and were then followed into middle age (up to the age of 58 years). The assessments at the age of 18 or 19 years included medical, psychiatric, and physical examinations by physicians and psychologists.

Stress resilience was measured by an interview with a psychologist and a questionnaire, and based on familial, medical, social, behavioural and personality characteristics.

A total of 34,503 men were diagnosed with a non-psychotic mental disorder (such as depression or anxiety) at conscription. Follow-up for cardiovascular disease was through hospital medical records.

The study found that a mental disorder in adolescence was associated with the risk of having a myocardial infarction (heart attack) by middle age. Compared to men without a mental illness in adolescence, the risk of myocardial infarction was 20% higher among men with a diagnosis - even after taking into account other characteristics in adolescence such as blood pressure, body mass index, general health, and parental socioeconomic status.

The association between mental illness and heart attack was partly - but not completely - explained by poorer stress resilience and lower physical ?tness in teenagers with a mental illness. "We already knew that men who were physically fit in adolescence seem less likely to maintain fitness in later years if they have low stress resilience," said Dr. Bergh. "Our previous research has also shown that low stress resilience is also coupled with a greater tendency towards addictive behaviour, signalled by higher risks of smoking, alcohol consumption and other drug use." 

Dr. Bergh said: "Better fitness in adolescence is likely to help protect against later heart disease, particularly if people stay fit as they age. Physical activity may also alleviate some of the negative consequences of stress. This is relevant to all adolescents, but those with poorer wellbeing could benefit from additional support to encourage exercise and to develop strategies to deal with stress."

 

 

Frequent soft drink consumption may make adolescents more aggressive

University of Alabama, August 26, 2020

A study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham has shown that frequent soft drink consumption by adolescents may contribute to aggressive behavior over time.

Previous studies have shown associations between soft drink consumption and mental health problems in adolescents. The UAB study, led by Sylvie Mrug, Ph.D., professor and chair of the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Psychology, identified soft drink consumption as a likely predictor of aggressive behavior. It was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

"Despite public health policies designed to reduce children's consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda taxes and school soda bans, the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by youth in the United States remains a significant public health problem," Mrug said. 

Reciprocal relationships were analyzed showing soft drink consumption predicted an increase in aggressive behavior over time.

Soft drink consumption at ages 11 and 13 predicted more aggressive behavior at the next time point, the study showed. Aggressive behavior at age 13 also predicted more soft drink consumption at age 16. Soft drink consumption at age 13 predicted fewer depressive symptoms, but depressive symptoms did not predict soft drink consumption. Findings from this study suggest that reducing adolescents' intake of soft drinks may reduce aggressive behavior, but not depressive symptoms.

Interviews with 5,147 children and their caregivers were conducted from three sites, at child ages 11, 13 and 16. At each time, the children reported on their frequency of consuming soft drinks, aggressive behavior and depressive symptoms.

Soft drinks comprise more than 10 percent of adolescents' total caloric intake and are consumed daily by more than 20 percent of high school students, according to recent reports. High rates of soda consumption among U.S. youth have led to concerns about its impact on pediatric obesity and related health conditions. Besides obesity, concerns have been raised about the potential impact of soft drink consumption on pediatric mental health, particularly for adolescents who consume more soft drinks and experience more emotional and behavioral problems than younger children.

"Paralleling the historical trends of increasing soft drink consumption, emotional problems in adolescents have risen between 1980s and early 2000s," Mrug said. "For example, several studies reported 70 percent to 350 percent increases in emotional problems among adolescent boys and girls in developed countries during this time period."

A number of studies have linked the consumption of soft drinks to adolescents' mental health problems. Specifically, more frequent consumption of soft drinks has been associated with more aggression, other behavior problems such as hyperactivity and oppositional behavior, and depression and suicidal behavior in adolescents from the United States, Norway, Slovakia, Iran and China. Another recent cross-national study found a consistent association between adolescents' high sugar consumption (from soft drinks and sweets) and fighting, bullying and substance use in 24 of the studied 26 countries.

All of these studies have included statistical adjustments for a variety of potential confounders such as child age, gender, BMI, physical activity, diet, substance use and family factors; but the key limitation remains the cross-sectional design. 

Although the results are typically interpreted in terms of soft drinks' contributing to emotional and behavioral problems, it is equally likely that mental health problemsmay be driving the consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, Mrug says. Experimental studies show that some individuals consume more sugary foods in response to stress and negative emotions.

August 26, 2020  

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

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Potential effects of probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids on chronic low-grade inflammation

University of Orebro (Sweden), August 24, 2020

 

According to news reporting originating from Orebro, Sweden, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, “Chronic low-grade inflammation negatively impacts health and is associated with aging and obesity, among other health outcomes.”

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from University of Orebro: “A large number of immune mediators are present in the digestive tract and interact with gut bacteria to impact immune function. The gut microbiota itself is also an important initiator of inflammation, for example by releasing compounds such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS) that may influence cytokine production and immune cell function. Certain nutrients (e.g., probiotics, o-3 fatty acids [FA]) may increase gut microbiota diversity and reduce inflammation. * * Lactobacilli* * and * * Bifidobacteria* * , among others, prevent gut hyperpermeability and lower LPS-dependent chronic low-grade inflammation. Furthermore, o-3 FA generate positive effects on inflammation-related conditions (e.g., hypertriglyceridemia, diabetes) by interacting with immune, metabolic, and inflammatory pathways. O-3 FA also increase LPS-suppressing bacteria (i.e., * * Bifidobacteria* * ) and decrease LPS-producing bacteria (i.e., * * Enterobacteria* * ).”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “Additionally, o-3 FA appear to promote short-chain FA production. Therefore, combining probiotics with o-3 FA presents a promising strategy to promote beneficial immune regulation via the gut microbiota, with potential beneficial effects on conditions of inflammatory origin, as commonly experienced by aged and obese individuals, as well as improvements in gut-brain-axis communication.”

 

 

Researchers argue health care systems should use 'food as medicine' interventions

University of North Carolina, August 25, 2020

An analysis recently published in the British Medical Journal argues for increased implementation of "food is medicine" interventions in the health care system. The article was co-authored by Seth A. Berkowitz, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, who mostly recently argued in the New England Journal of Medicine that food insecurity is known to be a health equity issue that disproportionately affects racial/ethnic minorities and those with lower incomes and rural communities. Thus, food insecurity is now playing a big role in the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health outcomes.

Berkowitz has conducted a number of studies on health-related social needs and their effect on health outcomes, published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Sarah Downer, JD, from the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School is the first author of the BMJ study, along with Timothy Harlan, MD, at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dana Lee Olstad, Ph.D., at the Cumming School of Medicine at University of Calgary, and Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, MPH, DrPH, from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

The world is facing an epidemic of diet-related chronic diseases with one in five deaths attributed to a suboptimal diet, more than any other risk factor including tobacco, according to the authors. An emerging body of research suggests that nutrition interventions delivered in the health care system may be associated with improved outcomes.

"Food is medicine" is an initiative around integrating specific food and nutrition interventions in, or closely coordinated with, the health care system. These interventions include medically tailored meals, medically tailored groceries, and produce prescriptions. According to the authors, clinicians should be knowledgeable enough to recognize a patient's nutritional needs and understand the impact of available services. However, this is not the case in many countries, including the United States.

"Nutrition training delivered across disciplines holds the promise of more effective patient nutrition education and treatment," the authors write. "Clinicians should have familiarity with validated nutrition assessment tools, the range of availability food is medicine interventions, and the systems and incentive structures that enable and encourage their use in clinical practice."

The benefits of the approach include offering patients greater ability to follow dietary recommendations and alleviating budget constraints that might prevent them from affording medications or paying bills. They also suggest that with these interventions, clinicians might see better disease management and fewer hospital admissions.

"As health care systems continue to evolve to tackle the global crisis of nutrition related diseases, food is medicine interventions should be held to rigorous standards when decisions about implementation, coverage, and care are made," the authors write. "Food as medicine can no longer be excluded as outside or ancillary to health care delivery."

 

 

Meta-analysis adds evidence to chromium supplementation’s glucose control benefits in diabetics

Lorestan University of Medical Sciences (Iran), August 25, 2020

 

A systematic review and meta-analysis published on July 27, 2020 in Pharmacological Research found reductions in fasting plasma glucose, insulin, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c, a marker of long term glucose control) and insulin resistance in men and women with type 2 diabetes who supplemented with the mineral chromium. 

For their analysis, Omid Asbaghi of Lorestan University of Medical Sciences and colleagues selected 23 randomized, controlled trials that evaluated the effects of supplementing with chromium on various glycemic control indexes. Doses used in the studies ranged between 50 micrograms (mcg) and 1,000 mcg per day consumed from four to 25 weeks. Eleven of the trials evaluated a chromium dosage within a 400 to 600 mcg range. 

Analysis of 22 trials that reported fasting plasma glucose levels concluded that chromium supplementation was associated with an average reduction of 19.0 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in comparison with the placebo. Trials of at least 12 weeks duration were associated with a far greater average decrease of 58.74 mg/dL in association with chromium. 

Of the 14 trials that reported insulin levels, levels declined by an average of 1.7784 µIU/mL among subjects who received chromium compared to the placebo, with trials that lasted 12 weeks or longer associated with a decrease of 3.47 µIU/mL. 

For the 22 trials that reported HbA1c, supplementation with chromium was associated with an average decrease of 0.71%, which improved to a significant 1.70% reduction when trials of 12 weeks duration or more were examined. Homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) also decreased significantly among participants who received chromium. 

The authors observed that chromium plays a role in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and may enhance insulin sensitivity. Other nutrients that have been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes include vitamins A, C, D and E, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

“Present systematic review and meta-analysis of all available published randomized trials up to 2020 found a significant reduction in all glycemic control indices such as fasting plasma glucose, insulin, HbA1c and HOMA-IR levels after chromium supplementation,” they wrote. “Furthermore, long term intervention contributed to greater reduction of all mentioned indices.”

“The results of the current meta‐analysis study might support the use of chromium supplementation for the improvement of glycemic control indices in T2DM patients,” they concluded.

 

 

Children raised in greener areas have higher IQ, study finds

Research also found lower levels of difficult behavior in rich and poor neighborhoods

Hasselt University (Belgium), August 25, 2020

 

Growing up in a greener urban environment boosts children’s intelligence and lowers levels of difficult behaviour, a study has found.

The analysis of more than 600 children aged 10-15 showed a 3% increase in the greenness of their neighbourhood raised their IQ score by an average of 2.6 points. The effect was seen in both richer and poorer areas.

There is already significant evidence that green spaces improve various aspects of children’s cognitive development but this is the first research to examine IQ. The cause is uncertain but may be linked to lower stress levels, more play and social contact or a quieter environment.

The increase in IQ points was particularly significant for those children at the lower end of the spectrum, where small increases could make a big difference, the researchers said.

“There is more and more evidence that green surroundings are associated with our cognitive function, such as memory skills and attention,” said Tim Nawrot, a professor of environmental epidemiology at Hasselt University in Belgium, where the study was conducted.

“What this study adds with IQ is a harder, well-established clinical measure. I think city builders or urban planners should prioritise investment in green spaces because it is really of value to create an optimal environment for children to develop their full potential.”

he study, published in the journal Plos Medicine, used satellite images to measure the level of greenness in neighbourhoods, including parks, gardens, street trees and all other vegetation.

The average IQ score was 105 but the scientists found 4% of children in areas with low levels of greenery scored below 80, while no children scored below 80 in areas with more greenery.

The benefits of more greenery that were recorded in urban areas were not replicated in suburban or rural areas. Nawrot suggested this may be because those places had enough greenness for all children living there to benefit.

Behavioural difficulties such as poor attention and aggressiveness were also measured in the children using a standard rating scale, and the average score was 46. In this case, a 3% rise in greenery resulted in a two-point reduction in behavioural problems, in line with previous studies.

The researchers took into account the wealth and education levels of the children’s parents, largely ruling out the idea that families who are better placed to support children simply have more access to green space.

Higher levels of air pollution are known to impair intelligence and childhood development but this factor was also ruled out as an explanation.

Instead, the scientists suggested lower noise levels, lower stress – as found in other research on green space benefits – and greater opportunities for physical and social activities may explain the higher IQ scores.

Dr Mathew White, an environmental psychologist at Exeter University in the UK, who was not part of the study team, praised the quality of the research.

“I’m always wary of the term intelligence as it has a problematic history and unfortunate associations,” he said. “But, if anything, this study might help us move away from seeing intelligence as innate – it could be influenced by environment, and I think that is much more healthy.”

White said it was reasonable to suggest more exercise and less stress as reasons for the higher IQ scores. “But I’m not sure why general intelligence should be improved by these things,” he said. “My guess is the intelligence measures are really picking up a child’s ability to concentrate and stick at a task, which has been shown in green space studies before.”

A study of children living in Barcelona, published in 2015, showed more green space was associated with better working memory and attention.

The researchers in the new study were able to account for many of the factors likely to affect IQ but data on the type of green space was not available. Previous work has shown this can be important, with trees giving more benefit to child development than farmland or scrubland, for example.

The team also did not have information on where the pupils attended school but most Belgian children go to nearby schools.

Five more ways to boost brainpower

1. Exercise

The link between physical activity, endorphins, and improved mental healthhas been well documented. But now, exercise has been proven to increase brainpower, with researchers at the University of Texas earlier this year finding that aerobic exercise improves blood flow to regions in the brain associated with memory.

2. Foods

Certain foods, especially oily fish, nuts and even chocolate, have been linked to improved brain performance. Oily fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, while nuts are a great source of vitamin E, and dark chocolate is rich with antioxidants.

3. Power naps

A good excuse for a midday nap can be that it is justified as an effective method of transforming brainpower for the better. Researchers at the University of Bristol found that in a study of 16 participants, those who had taken a 90-minute nap before performing a set of tasks had improved responses and improvement in processing information.

4. Meditation

Yoga, meditation and other types of mindful activity have become increasingly popular over recent years. Regardless of the trend, meditation in particular has been found to have a variety of neurological benefits. For instance, researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles found that long-term meditation can help the brain combat the effects of ageing.

5. Positive thinking

Positive thoughts, affirmations, and even “manifesting” have been hailed as a way to change life for the better, with the latter even gaining the endorsement of both Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah Winfrey. But such activities also have a positive effect on the brain, with research suggesting that positive and happy thoughts can stimulate the growth of nerve connections and even increase attentiveness. 

D-ribose supplementation associated with reduction in delayed onset muscle soreness induced by exercise

Beijing Sport University (China), August 24, 2020

 

According to news reporting out of Beijing, People’s Republic of China, by NewsRx editors, research stated, “Previous investigations suggest that appropriate nutritional interventions may reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This study examined the effect of D-ribose supplementation on DOMS induced by plyometric exercise.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Beijing Sport University, “For the purpose of inducing DOMS, 21 untrained male college students performed a lower-limb plyometric exercise session that involved 7 sets of 20 consecutive frog hops with 90-s of rest between each set. Muscle soreness was measured with a visual analogue scale 1-h before, 24-h after, and 48-h after exercise. Subjects were then randomly placed into the D-ribose group (DRIB, n=11) and the placebo group (PLAC, n=10) to assure equivalent BMI and muscle soreness. After a 14-d washout/recovery period, subjects performed the same exercise session, with DRIB ingesting a 200 ml solution containing 15 g D-ribose 1-h before, 1-h, 12-h, 24-h, and 36-h after exercise, and PLAC ingesting a calorically equivalent placebo of the same volume and taste containing sorbitol and b-cyclodextrin. Muscle soreness and isokinetic muscle strength were measured, and venous blood was assessed for markers of muscle damage and oxidative stress 1-h before, 24-h and 48-h after exercise. In DRIB, muscle soreness after 24-h and 48-h in the second exercise session were significantly lower (p <0.01) than was experienced in the first exercise session. In the second exercise, blood-related markers of muscle soreness, including creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), myoglobin and malondialdehyde (MDA) in DRIB after 24-h were lower in DRIB after 24-h than in PLAC (MDA, p<0.05; rest outcomes, p<0.01). In addition, LDH and MDA in DRIB were significantly lower (p <0.01) after 24-h in DRIB than in PLAC. No difference was found in isokinetic muscle strength and oxidative stress markers, including superoxide dismutase and total antioxidant capacity, between DRIB and PLAC after 24-h and 48-h. D-ribose supplementation reduces muscle soreness, improves recovery of muscle damage, and inhibits the formation of lipid peroxides. Young adult males performing plyometric exercise are likely to realize a DOMS reduction through consumption of D-ribose in 15 g/doses both before (1-h) and after (1-h, 12-h, 24-h, 36-h) exercise.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “These results suggest that appropriately timed consumption of D-ribose may induce a similar alleviation of exercise-induced DOMS in the general public.”

 

Desperate Times for Pandemic Lead to... Ozone?

Case study in three patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia

MedPage Today August 24, 2020

Three patients present to a hospital emergency department in Ibiza, Spain, with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and respiratory failure and are given an unproven -- and possibly dangerous -- treatment: oxygen-ozone (O2-O3) therapy -- also called ozonated autohemotherapy, which has been used to treat gout and involves intravenous infusion of ozonated autologous whole blood.

The FDA has called ozone "a toxic gas with no known useful medical application."Furthermore, in April 2020a federal court entered a permanent injunction halting a purported "ozone therapy" center in Dallas from offering unproven treatments for COVID-19, after the company claimed that the treatments were able to "eradicate" the virus and were 95% effective in preventing the illness even for individuals who had tested positive.

As described in this case report, published on Aug. 17, 2020, of three patients in Spain, the clinicians drew 200 mL of autologous whole blood from the antecubital vein into a standard plastic disposable blood collection bag (certified SANO3 bag) with 35 mL of anticoagulant citrate dextrose solution. The team enriched the blood with 200 mL of gas mixture O2-Owith an ozone concentration of 40 μg/mL obtained using an ozone generator with CE0120 certificate type IIb. This was followed by reinfusion of the ozonized blood using the same vein over approximately 10 minutes.

Patient 1

Patient 1, a 49-year-old man, body mass index (BMI) of 31, reported having 1 week of ongoing abdominal pain, and that over the course of the previous day he had increasing shortness of breath. Examination finds a soft abdomen with no distension.

Upon auscultation of his chest, clinicians noted bilateral crackles with reduced air entry and ordered a computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest and abdomen, which identified lung infiltrates in both lungs, compatible with COVID-19 pneumonia. Laboratory tests show elevated levels of:

  • Ferritin (1,609 ng/mL)
  • D-dimer (1,900 ng/dL)
  • C-reactive protein (CRP, 17.3 mg/dL)
  • Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, 536 IU/L)

Clinicians took a nasopharyngeal swab; real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis identified the sample as positive for viral RNA, and the man is admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Over the following 24 hours, his condition improves and he is transferred to the general ward.

However, during the following day, the patient's oxygen levels declined, followed by respiratory distress, with a PaO2/FiO2 [partial pressure of arterial oxygen/percentage of inspired oxygen] ratio of 235. Clinicians put the patient on a non-rebreather face mask with oxygen on FiO2 of 0.8, and noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is not required. An x-ray revealed diffuse bilateral infiltrates.

For the next 3 days, the patient received two sessions of ozone autohemotherapy daily q 12 hours. He had a rapid clinical response, as evidenced by a marked improvement in respiratory rate and an increased PaO2/FiO2 ratio, with decreased FiO2 to 0.31% (3 L) after 1 day. After 2 sessions of ozone therapy, the patient's ferritin levels dropped from over 2,000 to 246 ng/mL, and his D-dimer levels dropped from 1,900 to 323 ng/mL.

On day 4, the patient was discharged home.

 

 

Patient 2 

The second patient, a 61-year-old man, BMI of 29, presented a week after developing a persistent fever of over 39°C. He reported having long-standing hypertension and becoming progressively short of breath over the previous 2 days. Chest auscultation showed crackles with reduced air entry over the right hemithorax. CT of the chest–abdomen revealed right upper infiltrates suggestive of COVID-19 pneumonia. Baseline PaO2/FiO2 was 253.

Laboratory tests showed high levels of:

  • Ferritin (2,200 ng/mL)
  • D-dimer (3,660 ng/mL)
  • CRP (10 mg/dL)
  • LDH (816 IU/L)

The patient remained in the general ward, where he received oxygen at an FiO2 of 0.6 via face mask, and he did not require NIV.

For the following 2 days, he received two sessions of ozone autohemotherapy over a period of 24 hours. On day 3, clinicians noted a decline in the FiO2 of 0.31% (3 L) with improved PaO2 to 90 mmHg, and decreased levels of laboratory markers.

The patient was discharged home on day 3 after a total of four sessions of O2-O3therapy. Post-discharge, clinicians reported that the patient's LDH levels dropped from 816 U/L at baseline to 469 U/L by day 6 after the start of ozone therapy. Likewise, his CRP levels began falling progressively after initiation of ozone therapy, from 10 mg/dL at the time of presentation to approximately 4 mg/dL on day 3 and about 0 mg/dL on day 21.

 

 

Nicotinamide riboside increases aerobic performance in mice

State University of Campinas (Brazil), August 19, 2020

 

According to news originating from Limeira, Brazil, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, “Nicotinamide riboside (NR) acts as a potent NAD precursor and improves mitochondrial oxidative capacity and mitochondrial biogenesis in several organisms. However, the effects of NR supplementation on aerobic performance remain unclear.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), “Here, we evaluated the effects of NR supplementation on the muscle metabolism and aerobic capacity of sedentary and trained mice. Male C57BL/6 J mice were supplemented with NR (400 mg/Kg/day) over 5 and 10 weeks. The training protocol consisted of 5 weeks of treadmill aerobic exercise, for 60 min a day, 5 days a week. Bioinformatic and physiological assays were combined with biochemical and molecular assays to evaluate the experimental groups. NR supplementation by itself did not change the aerobic performance, even though 5 weeks of NR supplementation increased NAD levels in the skeletal muscle. However, combining NR supplementation and aerobic training increased the aerobic performance compared to the trained group. This was accompanied by an increased protein content of NMNAT3, the rate-limiting enzyme for NAD + biosynthesis and mitochondrial proteins, including MTCO1 and ATP5a. Interestingly, the transcriptomic analysis using a large panel of isogenic strains of BXD mice confirmed that the Nmnat3 gene in the skeletal muscle is correlated with several mitochondrial markers and with different phenotypes related to physical exercise. Finally, NR supplementation during aerobic training markedly increased the amount of type I fibers in the skeletal muscle.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Taken together, our results indicate that NR may be an interesting strategy to improve mitochondrial metabolism and aerobic capacity.”

 

 
 

The warning signs of a magnesium deficiency

NaturalHealth360, August 22, 2020

As a macronutrient crucial to good health, magnesium is no slouch. This powerful mineral takes part in about 300 enzyme activities going on in your body, impacting everything from protein synthesis to blood pressure regulation.

Magnesium is also vital to a number of energy-related functions, earning it the reputation as the body’s ‘energizer’. Surprising, to most people, magnesium is responsible for:

  • Bone development
  • Synthesis of DNA, RNA and the antioxidant glutathione
  • Plus, the active transport of potassium and calcium ions across cellular membranes, which is critical to such bodily functions as muscle contraction, nerve impulse conduction, and proper heart rhythm.

What are the warning signs of magnesium deficiency?

When your body is short of magnesium for an extended period of time, it takes a toll on your health. Signs of a magnesium deficiency include anxiety, irritability, weakness and fatigue, as well as a general feeling of energy depletion.

Many health experts warn that if you experience:

  • Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
  • Unexplained muscle cramps or tremors
  • Depression
  • Abnormal heart function
  • Or, kidney stones

You may be magnesium deficient. While these symptoms may seem vague, they shouldn’t be ignored and when other health concerns are ruled out, magnesium deficiency should be suspect.

While fatigue may be the prevailing symptom, a magnesium deficiency can wreak havoc inside your body. Research has shown that lowered levels of magnesium can cause red blood cells to become fragile, meaning fewer available to deliver much-needed oxygen to the body’s tissues.

In addition to red blood cell issues depleting the body of energy, lowered magnesium levels can decrease your body’s efficiency at using stored energy and optimizing calorie burn.  In addition, those with lower magnesium levels often experience a greater need for oxygen and an increased heart rate when exercising.

Because of its role in maintaining bone structure, magnesium deficiency has also been linked to brittle bones and osteoporosis, while its role in glycolysis can promote further insulin resistance among those suffering from diabetes and related metabolic disorders when insufficient levels are available.

Energize yourself by increasing your magnesium levels

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium in adults over 30 is 420 mg/day for men and 320 mg/day for women. Young adults should get about 400 mg/day for men and 310 mg/day for women.

And, while magnesium is widely available in leafy green vegetables, cereals and fruits, it’s estimated that between 68 and 75 percent of adults in the United States are magnesium deficient.

A diet rich in magnesium is the best way to ensure enough magnesium for optimal health, allowing for vital metabolic function, and promoting healthy bone structure and cardiovascular health.

Try to get five servings daily of magnesium rich foods, such as organic pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, Swiss chard and kale.  Getting adequate magnesium through the foods you eat provides a more steady supply of this vital macronutrient.

This is important since your body is frequently using its stores of magnesium – especially people with an active lifestyle.

Due to modern farming techniques, mineral-deprived soil quality and the consumption of processed foods – most people are getting only around 200 mg. of magnesium per day from their meals.  Dr. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD – an American neurosurgeon and a pioneer in pain medicine – says, “every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency.”

August 25, 2020  

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

 

Extract Reishi mushroom exerts suppressive effect on cervical cancer cell malignancy

Shandong University (China), August 21 2020

 

According to news reporting originating in Shandong, People’s Republic of China, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, “We aimed to explore whether ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide (GLP) from Reishi mushroons exhibits antitumor effect on cervical cancer cells. Different concentration of GLP was used to treat cervical cell.”

The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from the Department of Pharmacy, “The data from cell counting kit-8 assay proved that the optimal working concentration and time of GLP were 200 mu g/mL and treated for 48 h. The transwell assay demonstrated that GLP could attenuate the invasion and migration abilities of cervical cancer cells. Moreover, flow cytometry illustrated that GLP could promote the apoptosis of cervical cancer cells and limit the cycle of cervical cancer cells. Western blot assay discovered that the expression of proapoptosis proteins including Bax, Cleaved Caspases 3 and 9 increased and the antiapoptosis protein Bcl-2 decreased after treated with GLP. Moreover, we found that the expression of E-cadherin was increased, and N-cadherin, Vimentin, and Slug were decreased. Meanwhile, the expression of phosphorylated-JAK and phosphorylated-STAT5 was also decreased in cervical cancer cells treated by GLP, suggesting the inhibitory effect on JAK/STAT5 pathways.”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “All of these data illustrated that GLP could alleviate the activity and aggressiveness, block the cell cycle, and promote the apoptosis of cervical cancer cells, which were possible via inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal and JAK/STAT5 pathways.”

 

 

Low vitamin D and K levels associated with increased risk of mortality during 14.2-year median

Amsterdam University (Netherlands), August 24 2020. 

 

A study published on August 18, 2020 in the European Journal of Nutrition revealed a greater risk of premature mortality among men and women with decreased levels of vitamins D and K. 

“Nutritional deficiencies have been recognized as important contributors to disease and increased mortality,” wrote Adriana J. van Ballegooijen of Amsterdam University and her colleagues. “Previous analyses of our cohort indicated that sufficient vitamin D or K alone are associated with survival benefits and reduced cardiovascular disease.”

The study included 4,742 participants in the Prevention of REnal and Vascular ENd-Stage Disease (PREVEND) Study who provided plasma samples between 2001 and 2003 that were used to determine levels of vitamins D and K. Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as levels lower than 20 nanograms per milliliter and low vitamin K was defined as having a dephosphorylated uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein (dp-ucMGP) level of less than 361 picomoles per liter. Mortality data was collected through the end of 2016.

During a median follow-up period of 14.2 years, there were 620 deaths, among which 142 were caused by cardiovascular disease. Among the 970 participants with low levels of vitamins D and K there was a 46% greater risk of dying during follow-up in comparison with participants who had higher levels of both vitamins. An increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality was also observed for the low vitamin D and K group, although the researchers did not determine the increase to be significant.

“Combined low vitamin D and K status are associated with increased all-cause mortality risk and possibly with cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular events compared with adequate vitamin D and K status,” they concluded. “Future studies should investigate the effect of combined vitamin D and K supplementation on clinical outcomes.”

 

 

Gallic acid improves recognition memory and decreases oxidative-inflammatory damage in hippocampi of rats with metabolic syndrome

Benemerita Autonomous University of Puebla (Mexico), August 24, 2020

 

According to news reporting originating from Puebla, Mexico, correspondents, research stated, “Metabolic syndrome (MS) results from excessive consumption of high-calorie foods and sedentary lifestyles. Clinically, insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and hypertension are observed.”

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from the Benemerita Autonomous University of Puebla, “MS has been considered a risk factor in the development of dementia. In the brain, a metabolically impaired environment generates oxidative stress and excessive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines that deteriorate the morphology and neuronal function in the hippocampus, leading to cognitive impairment. Therapeutic alternatives suggest that phenolic compounds can be part of the treatment for neuropathies and metabolic diseases. In recent years, the use of Gallic Acid (GA) has demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that contribute to neuroprotection and memory improvement in animal models. GA is a type of phenolic acid found in gallnutssumacwitch hazeltea leaves, oak bark, and other plants.  However, the effect of GA on hippocampal neurodegeneration and memory impairment under MS conditions is still unclear. In this work, we administered GA (20mg/kg) for 60 days to rats with MS. The results show that GA treatment improved zoometric and biochemical parameters, as well as the recognition memory, in animals with MS. Additionally, GA administration increased hippocampal dendritic spines and decreased oxidative stress and inflammation. Our results show that GA treatment improves metabolism: reducing the oxidative and inflammatory environment that facilitates the recovery of the neuronal morphology in the hippocampus of rats with MS.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Consequently, the recognition of objects by these animals, suggesting that GA could be used therapeutically in metabolic disorders that cause dementia.”

 

 

Melatonin linked to improved brain function in child concussion

University of Queensland (Australia), August 19, 2020

Melatonin could improve brain functions related to sleep quality in children recovering from concussion, according to a University of Queensland study.

Using the latest brain mapping techniques, researchers examined Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans from 62 children before and after taking melatonin or a placebo in a randomized clinical trial.

Child Health Research Center's Dr. Kartik Iyer said the study revealed that concussed children who received 3mg or 10mg of melatonin over a four-week period experienced significant improvement in whole-brain function and gray matter—brain regions which are essential for sleep control and cognition.

Dr. Iyer said the MRI scans enabled the team to rapidly assess millions of neural connections to help guide treatment response.

"We identified a specific 'network' of brain connections that positively responded to melatonin treatment, compared with placebo," Dr. Iyer said.

"The results suggest melatonin, when taken by children with concussion, compensated for normal brain functions that may have been interrupted due to injury."

One of the most common complaints after childhood concussion is sleep disturbance and fatigue, which can persist for years.

Dr. Iyer said this could have a detrimental effect on brain function and anatomy and potentially hinder progress to normal development.

"A good night's sleep is essential for children as it allows them to consolidate what they've learned throughout the day and restore energy for the day ahead," he said.

"Our study shows that melatonin, when taken orally over several weeks, may reduce sleep disturbances and improve sleep quality."

However the team found solving sleep problems may only be part of the answer in aiding recovery.

"A surprising aspect of the study was that not all children made a full recovery from concussion just by taking melatonin," Dr. Iyer said.

"Even though increases in brain functions and gray matter corresponded with decreases in sleep disturbance and fatigue, the supplement didn't resolve other common concussion symptoms such as memory problems, anxiety and depression."

Parents are advised to consult their doctor or neurologist if their child is having sustained sleeping problems following a concussion to assess their suitability for short-term use of melatonin.

This paper was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

 

Yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation bring specific benefits for veterans

Medical Care supplement presents progress report on efforts to implement complementary and integrative health therapies at the VA

Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital and Brown University, August 24, 2020 

 

 Three popular complementary and integrative health (CIH) therapies - yoga, tai chi, and meditation - lead to significant improvements in key outcomes perceived by Veterans receiving care in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) system, suggests a study in a special September supplement to Medical Care. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

"[O]ur study showed that meditation, tai chi, and yoga appear to improve overall physical and mental health and reduced perceived stress," according to the new research, led by Dr. A. Rani Elwy of the VA Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Mass, and an Associate Professor in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. 

Published today, the special issue of Medical Care documents progress toward implementing CIH therapies throughout the VA system - part of efforts to promote a "Whole Health" approach in VA care. As required by the 2016 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), the VA has expanded research and education on CIH programs, focusing on the impact on pain, mental health, and chronic illness.

Improvements in Patient-Reported Outcomes with CIH Therapies Dr. Elwy and colleagues performed a 12-month survey study to examine the impact on CIH therapies on 119 veteran's self-reported health and well-being. These Veterans completed 401 surveys over five different time point during the study. The surveys focused on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) - an important target for efforts to improve healthcare, focusing on the most important problems and outcomes identified by patients themselves. 

Overall, Veterans in the study reported using 14 different CIH therapies. Yoga was the most popular, with nearly half of Veterans participating. This was followed by meditation, acupuncture, and tai chi. Three CIH therapies were associated with significant improvements in PROs:

  • Yoga was related to decreases in perceived stress.
  • Tai chi was linked to improvements in overall physical and mental health functioning, anxiety levels, and ability to participate in social role activities.
  • Meditation was also associated with improvements in physical functioning.

None of the CIH therapies resulted in improvement in Veterans' pain intensity or level of engagement in their health care. Larger studies with longer follow-up times may be needed to show significant effects on these outcomes, according to Dr. Elwy and coauthors. They conclude: "It is time to focus on health and well-being, as defined by Veterans, and reaching these goals must include participation in CIH treatment approaches."

More Progress in CIH Implementation and Research at the VA Titled The Implementation of Complementary and Integrative Health Therapies in the Veterans Health Administration, the new supplement presents 11 original research papers and commentaries on the VA's progress in implementing and evaluating the impact of CIH therapies on Veterans' health outcomes. Dr. Elwy and Dr. Stephanie L. Taylor of the HSR&D Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, and Policy, Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center are the supplement Guest Editors.

The special issue papers address strategies to build support for and implement CIH programs, to evaluate their effectiveness, and to promote their long-term sustainability. "We already know that CIH therapies are effective for the treatment of Veterans' chronic pain, posttraumatic stress, depression, and other chronic conditions," Drs. Elwy and Taylor write. "Now we need to develop, test, and use effective strategies to increase CIH use and sustainment."

In a commentary, Alison Whitehead and Dr. Benjamin Kligler of the VA Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation state: "As the VA continues to develop new and better ways of making CIH approaches available to all Veterans, and to collect data on the outcomes of this expanded access for Veterans and employees, we hope to demonstrate to the rest of the U.S. healthcare system how an emphasis on whole person care and self-management skills should become the new standard across the industry."

 

Excessive fructose consumption may cause a leaky gut, leading to fatty liver disease

University of California at San Diego, August 24, 2020

 

Excessive consumption of fructose -- a sweetener ubiquitous in the American diet -- can result in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is comparably abundant in the United States. But contrary to previous understanding, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that fructose only adversely affects the liver after it reaches the intestines, where the sugar disrupts the epithelial barrier protecting internal organs from bacterial toxins in the gut.

Developing treatments that prevent intestinal barrier disruption, the authors conclude in a study published August 24, 2020 in Nature Metabolism, could protect the liver from NAFLD, a condition that affects one in three Americans.

"NAFLD is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the world. It can progress to more serious conditions, such as cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure and death," said senior author Michael Karin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. "These findings point to an approach that could prevent liver damage from occurring in the first place."

Fructose consumption in the U.S. has skyrocketed since the 1970s and the introduction of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a cheaper sugar substitute that is broadly used in processed and packaged foods, from cereals and baked goods to soft drinks. Multiple studies in animals and humans have linked increased HFCS consumption with the nation's obesity epidemic and numerous inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, currently regulates it similar to other sweeteners, such as sucrose or honey, and advises only moderation of intake.

The new study, however, defines a specific role and risk for HFCS in the development of fatty liver disease. "The ability of fructose, which is plentiful in dried figs and dates, to induce fatty liver was known to the ancient Egyptians, who fed ducks and geese dried fruit to make their version of foie gras," said Karin.

"With the advent of modern biochemistry and metabolic analysis, it became obvious that fructose is two to three times more potent than glucose in increasing liver fat, a condition that triggers NAFLD. And the increased consumption of soft drinks containing HFCS corresponds with the explosive growth in NAFLD incidence."

Fructose is broken down in the human digestive tract by an enzyme called fructokinase, which is produced both by the liver and the gut. Using mouse models, researchers found that excessive fructose metabolism in intestinal cells reduces production of proteins that maintain the gut barrier -- a layer of tightly packed epithelial cells covered with mucus that prevent bacteria and microbial products, such as endotoxins, from leaking out of the intestines and into the blood.

"Thus, by deteriorating the barrier and increasing its permeability, excessive fructose consumption can result in a chronic inflammatory condition called endotoxemia, which has been documented in both experimental animals and pediatric NAFLD patients," said the study's first author Jelena Todoric, MD, PhD, a visiting scholar in Karin's lab.

In their study, Karin, Todoric and colleagues from universities and institutions around the world, found that leaked endotoxins reaching the liver provoked increased production of inflammatory cytokines and stimulated the conversion of fructose and glucose into fatty acid deposits. 

"It is very clear that fructose does its dirty work in the intestine," said Karin, "and if intestinal barrier deterioration is prevented, the fructose does little harm to the liver."

The scientists noted that feeding mice with high amounts of fructose and fat results in particularly severe adverse health effects. "That's a condition that mimics the 95th percentile of relative fructose intake by American adolescents, who get up to 21.5 percent of their daily calories from fructose, often in combination with calorie-dense foods like hamburgers and French fries," Karin said. 

Interestingly, the research team found that when fructose intake was reduced below a certain threshold, no adverse effects were observed in mice, suggesting only excessive and long-term fructose consumption represents a health risk. Moderate fructose intake through normal consumption of fruits is well-tolerated. 

"Unfortunately, many processed foods contain HFCS and most people cannot estimate how much fructose they actually consume," said Karin. "Although education and increased awareness are the best solutions to this problem, for those individuals who had progressed to the severe form of NAFLD known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, these findings offer some hope of a future therapy based on gut barrier restoration."

 

What are the health risks of low glutathione levels

Natural Health 365,  August 18, 2020

 

Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, chronic disease continues to exert a lethal toll in the United States. Close to 650,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, while the CDC reports that cancer is expected to claim over 600,000 lives in 2020 alone. In addition, 5.7 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, the number one form of dementia among older adults (and the sixth leading cause of death). Now, peer-reviewed research reveals a common thread connecting these illnesses – virtually all people suffering from these health issues exhibit low levels of glutathione.

Clearly, glutathione – famously referred to as, the “master antioxidant” – plays an important role in health and longevity.  Today, we’ll focus on how to renew and replenish stores of this wonderful substance.

Warning: Glutathione shortfalls linked with virtually all chronic health issues

Scientists credit glutathione with the ability to attack viruses and bacteria, neutralize harmful free radicals, boost the immune system, fight inflammation, arrest the growth of cancer cells and combat heart disease.

Unsurprisingly, having low glutathione can have serious health consequences.

In fact, there are many integrative healthcare providers that warn the public about the health dangers associated with low glutathione levels.  Simply put, if you’re dealing with blood sugar imbalances, autoimmune disorders or poor brain function, being low in glutathione could be the reason for your health challenges.

In a study published in The Lancet, researchers reported that elderly people demonstrated lower glutathione levels than younger individuals.  And, levels declined with age and state of health.In people who were both ill and elderly, levels were even lower – and were at the lowest in the hospitalized elderly.

Warning: Glutathione deficiency is a massive threat to cellular health

In a 2013 review published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists concluded that Alzheimer’s disease may be triggered by oxidative stress in the brain resulting from decreased levels of glutathione.

Research has also shown that low levels of glutathione can set the stage for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

A review published in PLOS One reported that diabetic patients had lower levels of glutathione when compared to a control group. And, abnormal glutathione metabolism was more pronounced in patients with microvascular complications from diabetes.

As with the Alzheimer’s disease study, the scientists concluded that glutathione plays a key role in preventing health issues and reducing oxidative stress.

Significantly, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology found that elderly subjects with diagnoses of arthritis, diabetes or heart disease had significantly lower glutathione levels than subjects who were healthy.

Natural ways to build up your glutathione levels

Obviously, deficiencies should be avoided at all costs.  But, a wide variety of factors can drain stores of precious glutathione, leaving us at risk for health problems.

Glutathione-robbing culprits include poor nutrition, exposure to environmental toxins, alcohol use, smoking, infections, sedentary lifestyle and chronic stress.

In addition, common pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs – including acetaminophen and antibiotics – can contribute to low glutathione.

What can we do to restore levels?

The subject of oral glutathione supplementation is somewhat controversial, as some scientists maintain that the compound is broken down too quickly in the digestive tract to be of real benefit. If you do choose to supplement with glutathione, a liposomal formulation is probably your best bet.

Natural health experts typically recommend glutathione dosages of 500 to 1,000 mg a day. As always, check with your integrative doctor before supplementing, especially if you’re not feeling well.

You can boost glutathione levels by consuming foods that are high in cysteine, one of glutathione’s “building blocks.”  These include cruciferous vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, as well as allium vegetables such as garlic, onions and leeks.

Other foods that can raise glutathione include asparagus, avocados and bioactive whey protein made from non-denatured proteins.  In addition, in terms of helping to replish glutathione levels, you may want to consider taking milk thistle, N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid and vitamin C.

Remember: in these challenging times, it’s important to keep antioxidant levels “fully charged.”  There is no better way to accomplish this than by optimizing your glutathione levels.

 

No safe level of caffeine consumption for pregnant women and would-be mothers

Reykjavik University (Iceland), August 24, 2020

Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should be advised to avoid caffeine because the evidence suggests that maternal caffeine consumption is associated with negative pregnancy outcomes and that there is no safe level of consumption, finds an analysis of observational studies published in BMJ Evidence Based Medicine.

Caffeine is probably the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in history, and many people, including pregnant women consume it on a daily basis.

Pregnant women have been advised that consuming a small amount of caffeine daily will not harm their baby. The UK NHS, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) set this level at 200 mg caffeine, which approximates to roughly two cups of moderate-strength coffee per day.

This study undertook a review of current evidence on caffeine-related pregnancy outcomes, to determine whether the recommended safe level of consumption for pregnant women is soundly based.

Through database searches, Professor Jack James, of Reykjavik University, Iceland, identified 1,261 English language peer-reviewed articles linking caffeine and caffeinated beverages to pregnancy outcomes.

These were whittled down to 48 original observational studies and meta-analyses published in the past two decades reporting results for one or more of six major negative pregnancy outcomes: miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight and/or small for gestational age, preterm birth, childhood acute leukaemia, and childhood overweight and obesity.

A total of 42 separate findings were reported in 37 observational studies; of these 32 found that caffeine significantly increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and 10 found no or inconclusive associations. Caffeine-related risk was reported with moderate to high levels of consistency for all pregnancy outcomes except preterm birth.

Eleven studies reported on the findings of 17 meta-analyses, and in 14 of these maternal caffeine consumption was associated with increased risk for four adverse outcomes: miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight and/or small for gestational age, and childhood acute leukaemia. The three remaining meta-analyses did not find an association between maternal caffeine consumption and preterm birth.

No meta-analyses looked at the association between maternal caffeine consumption and childhood overweight and obesity, but four of five observational studies reported significant associations.

This is an observational study, so can't establish causation, and the author points out that the results could be impacted by other confounding factors, such as recall of caffeine consumption, maternal cigarette smoking and most importantly pregnancy symptoms. Pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy are predictive of a healthy pregnancy and women who experience them are likely to reduce their caffeine intake.

But he adds that the dose-responsive nature of the associations between caffeine and adverse pregnancy outcomes, and the fact some studies found no threshold below which negative outcomes were absent, supports likely causation rather than mere association.

Professor James concludes that there is "substantial cumulative evidence" of an association between maternal caffeine consumption and diverse negative pregnancy outcomes, specifically miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight and/or small for gestational age, childhood acute leukaemia and childhood overweight and obesity, but not preterm birth.

As a result, he adds, current health recommendations concerning caffeine consumption during pregnancy are in need of "radical revision."

"Specifically, the cumulative scientific evidence supports pregnant women and women contemplating pregnancy being advised to avoid caffeine," he says.

 

August 24, 2020  

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

Pea protein-derived tripeptide shows bone-building potential

University of Alberta, August 21, 2020

 

According to news originating from Edmonton, Canada, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, “Osteoporosis is a bone disease affecting more than 2 million people comprising 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men in Canada. One possible approach to prevent this disease is to stimulate the activity of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) using food protein-derived bioactive peptides.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Alberta, “In our previous study, an ACE inhibitory tripeptide LRW (Leu-Arg-Trp) was identified from pea protein. This work aims to investigate the effect of tripeptide LRW on promoting osteoblastic activity. The tripeptide LRW treatment (50 mM) in MC3T3-E1 cells increased cell proliferation (4-fold increase) as indicated by BrdU incorporation assay. Moreover, we found that tripeptide LRW stimulated osteoblastic differentiation by increasing the levels of type 1 collagen (COL1A2; 3-fold increase), alkaline phosphatase (ALP; 4-fold increase), and runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2; 2-fold increase) and the activation of the protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathway. Furthermore, tripeptide LRW increased matrix mineralization as evidenced by Alizarin-S red staining and nodule formation, osteoprotegerin levels (OPG; 2-fold increase), and wound healing based on cell migration assay.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Overall, pea protein-derived bioactive peptide LRW can positively modulate the activity of osteoblasts probably via the Akt/Runx2 pathway, indicating its potential use for the prevention of osteoporosis.”

 

Yoga linked with improved symptoms in heart patients

SMS Hospital (India), August 24, 2020

 

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder. One in four middle-aged adults in Europe and the US will develop the condition, which causes 20-30% of all strokes and increases the risk of death by 1.5-fold in men and 2-fold in women. Reduced quality of life is common, and 10-40% of patients are hospitalised each year.2 

Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include palpitations, racing or irregular pulse, shortness of breath, tiredness, chest pain and dizziness.

"The symptoms of atrial fibrillation can be distressing. They come and go, causing many patients to feel anxious and limiting their ability to live a normal life," said study author Dr. Naresh Sen of HG SMS Hospital, Jaipur, India.

This study investigated whether yoga could ease symptoms in patients with atrial fibrillation. The study enrolled 538 patients in 2012 to 2017. Patients served as their own controls. For 12 weeks they did no yoga, then for 16 weeks patients attended 30-minute yoga sessions every other day which included postures and breathing. During the yoga period, patients were also encouraged to practice the movements and breathing at home on a daily basis.

During both study periods, symptoms and episodes of atrial fibrillation were recorded in a diary. Some patients also wore a heart monitor to verify atrial fibrillation episodes. Patients completed an anxiety and depression survey3 and a questionnaire4 assessing their ability to do daily activities and socialise, energy levels and mood. Heart rate and blood pressure were also measured. The researchers then compared outcomes between the yoga and non-yoga periods.

During the 16-week yoga period, patients experienced significant improvements in all areas compared to the 12-week non-yoga period. For example, during the non-yoga period, patients experienced an average of 15 symptomatic episodes of atrial fibrillation compared to eight episodes during the yoga period. Average blood pressure was 11/6 mmHg lower after yoga training.

Dr. Sen said: "Our study suggests that yoga has wide-ranging physical and mental health benefits for patients with atrial fibrillation and could be added on top of usual therapies."

 

 

Supplementing with fish oil can boost the benefits of resistance training for patients with sarcopenia

New Mexico State University, August 21, 2020

 

A study published in the journal Sports found that taking fish oil supplements can enhance the effects of resistance training among people with sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss.

Researchers found that resistance training can help with muscle loss. But when coupled with fish oil supplementation, blood pressure also dropped, boosting the benefits of the exercise.

These findings could help medical professionals develop intervention programs for adults with sarcopenia, as well as those with hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions.

“Overall, our findings would provide meaningful implications for future clinical research to develop effective intervention programs for enhancing functional independence as well as cardiovascular health in older populations,” the researchers wrote.

Fish oil supplements lower blood pressure levels

Muscle loss leads to reduced strength. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 2011–2012 estimated that about five percent of adults aged 60 and over had weak muscle strength. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention links muscle weakness to impaired mobility and mortality in older adults. Thus, it is important to prevent or slow down muscle loss.

In the study, the researchers examined the effects of daily fish oil supplementation during 12 weeks of programmed resistance training on physical function and blood pressure.

They sampled 28 healthy older adults with aged 66 years and above. Eighteen of the participants were female, while the rest were male. They were randomly assigned to either a group that had resistance training and fish oilsupplementation, a group that had resistance training and placebo capsules, or a group that had placebo capsules but no training.

The team conducted tests at baseline and 12 weeks later, which measured hand-grip strength, physical function, timed up and go, six-minute walk and blood pressure.

Results show that the two experimental groups displayed improvements in physical function while the control group performed poorer in time up and go and decreased their hand-grip strength. Meanwhile, only the group that had both resistance training and fish oil supplementation lowered their blood pressure levels, suggesting that the fish oil capsules have positive effects on blood pressure.

Given these findings, the researchers concluded that resistance training and fish oil could be used as a therapeutic intervention for boosting muscular and vascular health, respectively.

Harry Rice, vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s, said that the benefits of exercise on health have been known for years.

But he added, “What’s really exciting about the results from the current research is that they suggest the addition of fish oil can boost those benefits.” Rice was not part of the study.

 

 

A healthy lifestyle for cardiovascular health also promotes good eye health

Texas Tech University Health Sciences, August 20, 2020 

 

In a new study, investigators found that ideal cardiovascular health, which is indicative of a healthy lifestyle, was associated with lower odds for ocular diseases especially diabetic retinopathy. These findings appearing in the American Journal of Medicine, published by Elsevier, suggest that interventions to prevent cardiovascular diseases may also hold promise in preventing ocular diseases. 

Globally, about 2.2 billion people suffer from ocular diseases leading to vision impairment or blindness. Approximately half of these cases could have been prevented. The leading causes of vision impairment or blindness are age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma. 

"Earlier studies have observed associations between eye diseases and individual lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, or hypertension," explained lead investigator Duke Appiah, PhD, MPH, Department of Public Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, USA. "It is known that these metrics of ideal cardiovascular health do not work alone and may interact additively to result in diseases. However, prior to our research, no other studies have comprehensively evaluated the association of all of the metrics of ideal cardiovascular health with ocular diseases."

Most ocular diseases show few symptoms at early stages and many people may not seek medical care despite readily available treatments. A recent online nationwide survey consisting of all racial and ethnic groups in the United States conducted by the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine showed that 88 percent of the 2,044 respondents considered good vision to be vital to overall health with 47 percent of them rating losing their vision as the worst disease that could ever happen to them. Alarmingly, 25 percent did not have any knowledge about ocular diseases and their risk factors.

This research shows that following healthy lifestyle and behavior habits can all contribute to good cardiovascular health as assessed by adherence to the American Heart Association's prescription for health metric known as Life's Simple Seven (LS7). LS7 is based on the status of seven cardiovascular disease risk factors: not smoking, regular physical activity, healthy diet, maintaining normal weight, and controlling cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. 

Practicing these healthy lifestyles together was found to be associated with lower odds for age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma. Individuals with optimal cardiovascular health had 97 percent lower odds for diabetic retinopathy compared to individuals with inadequate cardiovascular health. 

Investigators evaluated data from 6,118 adults aged 40 or more years old who took part in the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The average age of participants was 57 years old, 53 percent of whom were women. A one unit increase in LS7 scores was associated with reduced odds for age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. 

"Overall, we believe that primary prevention and early detection approaches of ocular diseases are important, considering that over half of all deaths from ocular diseases and cardiovascular diseases are known to be preventable," commented co-investigators Noah De La Cruz, MPH, and Obadeh Shabaneh, MPH, both from the Department of Public Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, USA.

Since there is a significant overlap of the risk factors for ocular diseases and cardiovascular disease, the investigators recommended that screening for ocular diseases be incorporated into existing clinical and population-based screenings for cardiovascular diseases.

"We hope that our study findings will encourage adherence to healthy lifestyles in order to prevent these age-related diseases while also leading to increased collaborations between cardiologists, optometrists, and ophthalmologists in order to better prevent cardiovascular and ocular diseases," noted Dr. Appiah.

 

 

 

Influence of vitamin D supplementation on a baby's gut microbiome

Vitamin D supplementation is associated with compositional changes in a baby's microbiome at three months of age

University of Alberta, August 20, 2020

 

New research from the CHILD Cohort Study has shed light on the influence of vitamin D supplementation on a baby's developing gut microbiome. 

The study, published in the journal Gut Microbes, found that vitamin D supplementation is associated with compositional changes in a baby's microbiome--notably a lower abundance of the bacteria Megamonas--at three months of age.

"Vitamin D plays an important role in early life, supporting bone metabolism and the healthy development of a baby's immune system," said senior author Anita Kozyrskyj, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta and a CHILD Cohort Study investigator. "Most infants in North America receive vitamin D, either as a supplement to breastfeeding or as an ingredient in commercial infant formulas, so we wanted to understand the association between vitamin D and the presence or abundance of key bacteria within a baby's intestinal tract."

The researchers examined fecal samples taken during home visits from 1,157 infants who are part of the CHILD Cohort Study--a national study that is following nearly 3,500 Canadian children from before birth to adolescence with the primary goal of discovering the root causes of allergies, asthma, obesity and other chronic diseases.

They found that direct vitamin D supplementation of infants with vitamin D drops was associated with a lower abundance of Megamonas, regardless of how a baby was fed (breastfed or formula fed). "While little is known about Megamonas in infancy, our previous research suggests there may be a link between this bacterium and asthma or respiratory viral infections, so vitamin D may offer additional benefits for childhood health that should be studied further," added Kozyrskyj, also a member of the Women and Children's Health Research Institute. 

The researchers also assessed the association between infant and maternal vitamin D supplementation and the presence of Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) in a baby's gut. "Some infants carry the diarrhea-causing bacterium C. difficile in their guts without any symptoms. However, when the levels of gut bacteria become imbalanced, this particular bacterium can multiply, causing illness and increasing the susceptibility to chronic disease later in childhood," commented first author Kelsea Drall, an MSc graduate from the U of A and an AllerGen trainee.

The study found that nearly 30 per cent of the infants carried C. difficile, but there was a lower incidence of the bacterium among exclusively breastfed infants. However, neither infant supplementation with vitamin D drops nor maternal vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy or after delivery was associated with C. difficile colonization. "Interestingly, maternal consumption of vitamin D-fortified milk was the only factor that reduced the likelihood of C. difficile colonization in infants," added Drall. 

According to Kozyrskyj, an infant's gut microbiota undergoes rapid change in early life. Therefore, it is critical to understand the factors associated with microbial communities populating the infant gut during this key developmental period.

"Low vitamin D levels have been associated with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)--a common lung infection among infants--and more recently, susceptibility to COVID-19 disease," she pointed out. "In the CHILD Cohort Study, we have a unique opportunity to follow our study children as they get older to understand how microbial changes observed as a result of dietary interventions may be associated with later health outcomes such as asthma and viral infections."

 

 

Ashwagandha linked to better quality sleep and less anxiety

Prakruti Hospital (India), August 19, 2020

Ashwagandha, a prominent herb in traditional Indian medicine Ayurveda, continues to gain support from the medical community as studies find how beneficial the herb is for overall wellbeing and health. Previous studies have found the herb helps reduce cortisol levels and boosts testosterone levels in humans, and now researchers have found evidence the herb is linked to better quality sleep and reduced anxiety.

One new trial, published in the journal Cureus, discovered that among aging women and men, taking Ashwagandha improved sleep, mental alertness and overall quality of life. For centuries, the herb has been used to promote longevity, health, and rejuvenation, and this new research backs up its traditional use.

Older adults enjoyed improved sleep, mental alertness, and overall quality of life

The trial involved aging adults between age 65 and 80, and half were give ashwagandha root extract twice a day and the rest were given a placebo. The trial lasted for 12 weeks, and sleep quality, mental alertness, daytime sleepiness, and quality of life were all evaluated before the trial, at four weeks, at eight weeks, and at the end of the 12-week period.

Aging adults that were taking the ashwagandha root extra saw significant improvements in physical, social, quality of life, psychological, and environmental aspects of their lives compared to the placebo group. Mental alertness and sleep quality improved in those taking the supplement, too. Those taking ashwagandha tolerated it well, and it was considered beneficial and safe.

According to researchers, the study showed improved sleep and a significant improvement in quality of life for elderly individuals taking the extract. They believe taking ashwagandha root extract could be an excellent supplement for aging adults to boost general well-being and improve age-related health problems

 

 

Study concludes that treatment of children with asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis should include vitamin D3

Bogomolets National Medical University (Ukraine), August 21, 2020

 

According to news reporting out of Kyiv, Ukraine, research stated, “The aim:Tostudythedynamicsof thelevelof 25(ON)D, IL-4, IL-10, and IgG in the bloodserum of children with allergicdiseasesandtostudytheclinicaleffectof vitamin D3 administration n different dosage in this category of patients. Materials andmethods: 153 children aged 3-16 with such allergicdiseasesasbronchialasthma, atopicdermatitisandallergicrhinitis havebeen examined.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Bogomolets National Medical University, “The level of 25(ON) D was determined using the electrochemiluminescence method, while the levels of IL-4, IL-10 and IgG were assessed using enzyme-linked immunoassay. In the contrasting of the initial level of 25(ON)D in the blood serum of patients after administration of 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 over 2 months, after summer and after treatment with cholecalciferol in higherdoses (4,000-5,000 IU) over 2 months, significant difference wasestablishedbetween the indicators by the Friedman criterion (l2=41.211; p<0.05). In thesimilar contrasting of IL-4 indicators, a significant difference between them was traced (p <0.05) in the period of acute disease as well as the downward tendency in the period of remission. In the similar contrasting of IL-10 indicators, a significant difference between them was traced (p <0.05) in the acute period and in the period of disease remission. In the similar contrasting of IgG indicators, adownward tendency was tracedin theperiodof acutedisease and significantdecrease (p <0.05) -in the period of disease remission. In thecontrasting of 25(ON)D and IL-4, IL-10 figuresastrongreversecorrelation relationship was traced. The therapeutic effect of the administration of vitamin D3 medication in different doses in children with allergic diseases was traced.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “The data obtained shows that in the treatment of children with bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis the complex therapy should include vitamin D3 medications in different doses within a long-term course of treatment.”

 

Cancer and its treatment may accelerate the aging process in young patients

University of North Carolina, August 24, 2020

 

A new study examines the effects of cancer and its treatment on the aging process. Investigators found that expression of a gene associated with aging is higher in young patients with cancer after treatment with chemotherapy and in young cancer survivors who are frail. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society (ACS). 

Previous research has shown that a protein called p16INK4a, which slows cell division, is produced at higher levels by cells as a person ages. Using expression of the gene that codes for p16INK4a as a marker of age, Andrew Smitherman, MD, MSc, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and his colleagues examined immune cells circulating in the blood of young adult survivors of childhood cancers and of children and adolescents newly diagnosed with cancer. 

The team first analyzed cells from 60 survivors and compared them with cells from 29 age-matched individuals without a history of cancer. Expression of the gene that codes for p16INK4a was higher in survivors than in controls, representing a 25-year age acceleration. Nine survivors were frail, and they had a higher level of expression compared with survivors who were not frail, representing a 35-year age acceleration.

The researchers also found that in the nine children and adolescents in the study who had a new diagnosis of cancer, expression was higher after treatment with chemotherapy than before treatment.

"Higher expression of p16INK4a in peripheral blood lymphocytes has been described in older adults following chemotherapy, but prior to this study, not in young adult survivors," said Dr. Smitherman. "This study is important as we try to understand the biological mechanisms underlying the manifestations of early aging in this population."

Dr. Smitherman noted that elevated p16INK4a expression as a marker of aging may help identify cancer survivors at risk for developing frailty and functional disability. "Additionally, expression of p16INK4a may prove useful as a measure to study treatments aimed at mitigating the early aging effects of cancer treatment," he said.

August 21, 2020  

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

WHAT THE DOC PLAYED IN THIS EPISODE BELOW 

 

https://plandemicseries.com/

August 20, 2020  

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

Intense light may boost heart health

A novel use of intense light therapy may help decrease the tissue damage experienced during heart attacks, reveals new research in mice. 

University of Colorado, August 19, 2020

The study, out of the University of Colorado and appearing in the journal Cell Reports, shows that exposing lab mice to intense light for a week improved their outcomes after heart attacks.

The research also suggests that this procedure could benefit humans, and the researchers outline the reason why.

“We already knew that intense light can protect against heart attacks, but now we have found the mechanism behind it,” says the study’s senior author Dr. Tobias Eckle, professor of anesthesiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora.

Boosting specific gene protects heart

In the study, the researchers discovered that intense light influences the functions of the PER2gene, which is expressed by a part of the brain that controls circadian rhythms.

By boosting this gene through intense light therapy, the researchers discovered that the mice’s heart tissue received extra protection when it experienced issues with oxygen, such as during a heart attack.

Additionally, this intense light also heightened cardiac adenosine, which is a specialized chemical that helps with blood flow regulation. In concert, both benefits helped protect heart health.

Also, when they studied the mice, the researchers found that being able to physically perceive light was vital, as blind mice experienced no benefits from the intense light.

Humans had similar benefits

The next step was to see if humans could benefit from light therapy. The researchers worked with healthy human volunteers and exposed them to 30 minutes of intense light.

On five consecutive mornings, the researchers exposed the participants to 10,000 lumens of light and drew blood several times.

The researchers found that PER2 levels increased in response to light therapy in the human participants as it did in the mice. They also reported that the human volunteers saw a decreased level of plasma triglycerides and improved metabolism. 

Dr. Eckle explained that light plays an essential part in human health, not only in regulating the circadian rhythm but in cardiovascular health as well.

He adds that according to prior studies, more people throughout the U.S. experience heart attacks during the darker months of winter, even in states that traditionally get more sunshine, such as Hawaii and Arizona.

 

Study: Supplementation with curcumin offers benefits for patients with metabolic syndrome

Coventry University (UK) and Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Iran), August 19, 2020

 

A study published in the journal Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Review found that curcumin supplementation can help increase adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is said to help reduce the risk of cardiometabolic disease.

According to researchers from the United Kingdom and Iran, people with metabolic syndrome and metabolic disorders can benefit from taking curcumin supplements regularly. Curcumin is the main active component of turmeric, an herb that offers plenty of health benefits.

Increased levels of adiponectin through curcumin supplementation

Adiponectin is a hormone produced exclusively by adipocytes, or fat cells. It plays a role in insulin response and has anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, low blood levels of adiponectin are linked to cardiovascular diseases, insulin resistance, obesity and dyslipidemia — a condition characterized by abnormal levels of lipids in the blood.

In the study, the researchers examined the effect of curcumin on blood adiponectin levels. They reviewed six randomized clinical trials on curcumin, in which 652 participants were included.

Data analysis revealed that, compared with a placebo, curcumin supplementation significantly raised adiponectin levels. In trials that lasted longer, the researchers observed greater effects on adiponectin.

“We were able to confirm the veracity of a number of independent studies, highlighting that curcumin supplementation, particularly when consumed for less than 10 weeks, may significantly increase adiponectin levels, even when controlling for numerous biological and sociological variables,” wrote the researchers.

People with metabolic syndrome, in particular, will find curcumin supplementation useful. Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity. 

 

 

Study finds physical activity is beneficial for health, and more intense activity is better

Cambridge University, August 18, 2020

Physical activity of any intensity is beneficial for health, but more intense activity has greater benefits, according to a new study published today in Nature Medicine. In the largest study to date of accelerometer-measured physical activity, a team led by researchers at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge analyzed data from more than 96,000 UK Biobank participants.

Current physical activity guidelines from the UK Chief Medical Officers recommend that adults should aim to be active every day, and also that adults should undertake 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity (equivalent to a brisk walk) or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity (such as running) every week. Previous research has shown that moderate and vigorous intensity activity confers greater health benefits than light intensity activity, but it has not been clear if this is because it makes a greater contribution to the total amount of physical activity, or if it has additional health benefits beyond this.

A challenge facing researchers has been that the low intensity, incidental movement that accumulates in the course of everyday activities is very hard to recall accurately, and consequently difficult to measure using questionnaires. Wearable devices have enabled better detection of this type of movement that makes up the majority of our daily physical activity, but until now have not been used on a large enough scale to determine if more intense activity makes a contribution to health, distinct from increasing total volume. 

The researchers used data from 96,476 middle-aged adults in Great Britain to investigate whether activity of moderate intensity or above contributed to a lower risk of death over and above its contribution to total volume of activity. These individuals wore a research-grade activity tracker on their dominant wrist for a week as part of their participation in the UK Biobank study. The researchers used the data on the duration and intensity of movement collected to calculate the total volume of activity, expressed as physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE). The researchers also determined the percentage of that volume that was achieved through moderate and vigorous intensity activity.

The UK Biobank participants had an average PAEE of 40 kJ/kg/day, a third of which was from activity of at least moderate intensity, again on average. Owing to the large scale of the study, there was much variation in the underlying intensity contributions to similar volume levels.

The researchers examined if physical activity levels were associated with the risk of death in the follow-up period of on average 3.1 years. During this time 732 of the 96, 476 participants died, though the researchers excluded those who died within the first year from their analysis, and took existing conditions such diabetes, heart disease, and cancer into account as these might reduce physical activity.

Expending more energy of any intensity was strongly associated with a lower risk of death over the following three years. Participants who accumulated 20 kJ/kg/day through physical activity were a third less likely to die compared to those who accumulated 15 kJ/kg/day, when the proportion from at least moderate intensity activity was 10% in both cases. The additional activity is the equivalent to a 35-minute stroll, with an extra two minutes at a brisker pace.

Those who accumulated 30 kJ/kg/day were about half as likely to die in the follow-up period compared to those who accumulated 15 kJ/kg/day, when the proportion from at least moderate intensity activity was 10% in both cases. However, if this volume of 30 kJ/kg/day included 30% from at least moderate intensity activity, then they were only about a quarter as likely to die. The difference between this scenario and the reference of 15 kJ/kg/day and 10% is equivalent to an hour's stroll plus 35 minutes at a brisker pace.

Dr. Tessa Strain of the MRC Epidemiology Unit, and lead author on the paper, said:

"Our results show that doing more activity of any intensity is beneficial, but that expending those calories in more intense activity is better still. By gradually building up the intensity of physical activity we do each day we can improve our future health."

Dr. Søren Brage, also at the MRC Epidemiology Unit and senior author on the paper, added:

"Our research shows how the use of wearable devices capable of measuring physical activity in large cohorts can help disentangle the roles of volume and intensity of activity in influencing future health. The availability of data from nearly 100,000 participants in UK Biobank, backed up by a series of validation studies, allowed us to compare the impact of activity intensity in groups with similar overall volumes of physical activity, and demonstrate that more intense physical activity has health benefits beyond just contributing to total activity volume. Our results also show that activity volumes accumulated almost exclusively through light activity could still halve the mortality risk. Taken together, this means that there are several different pathways to maintain good health and people can choose the path that works best for them."

 

High blood pressure during pregnancy may mean worse hot flashes during menopause

Mayo Clinic, August 19, 2020

 

Women with a history of high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy are more likely to experience bothersome menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, according to a study published Wednesday, Aug. 19, in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.

"We already know that women with high blood pressure during pregnancy or those who experience menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats have a higher risk of developing heart disease. Our research discovered that women who experienced high blood pressure during pregnancy were much more likely to experience bothersome menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats during menopause," says Stephanie Faubion, M.D., the study's lead author. Dr. Faubion is the Penny and Bill George Director for Mayo Clinic's Center for Women's Health.

Researchers analyzed the medical records of 2,684 women ages 40 to 65 who were seen for specialty menopause or sexual health consultations at women's health clinics at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, between May 2015 and September 2019. All study participants completed a questionnaire in which they self-reported their menopause symptoms and effects of these symptoms on their quality of life. Study participants also completed questionnaires that documented whether they experienced high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia or gestational hypertension.

Researchers discovered a significant association between women with a history of high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy who reported more bothersome menopausal symptoms. Women with this high blood pressure history using hormone therapy also reported more menopausal symptoms, compared to women with no history of high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy.

Dr. Faubion says more research is needed to understand why there is a link between high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy and more severe menopausal symptoms. But one thing is clear: Physicians need to do a better job monitoring women who experience high blood pressuring during pregnancy after they give birth.

"We know medical providers have historically done a lousy job identifying and following women with histories of high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy, despite knowing that they have a higher heart disease risk," says Dr. Faubion. "This study is another reminder that these women are different. It is important that they not only receive education with regard to what they may experience during menopause, but also that they undergo routine screenings and counseling on how they can reduce their risk for heart disease."

 

Oxidative stress a significant contributor to COPD and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Justus-Liebig University (Germany), August 17, 2020

 

According to news reporting originating from Giessen, Germany, research stated, “Healthy ageing of the lung involves structural changes but also numerous cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic alterations. Among them are the age-related decline in central cellular quality control mechanisms such as redox and protein homeostasis.”

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, “In this review, we would like to provide a conceptual framework of how impaired stress responses in the ageing lung, as exemplified by dysfunctional redox and protein homeostasis, may contribute to onset and progression of COPD and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). We propose that age-related imbalanced redox and protein homeostasis acts, amongst others (e.g. cellular senescence), as a ‘first hit’ that challenges the adaptive stress-response pathways of the cell, increases the level of oxidative stress and renders the lung susceptible to subsequent injury and disease. In both COPD and IPF, additional environmental insults such as smoking, air pollution and/or infections then serve as ‘second hits’ which contribute to persistently elevated oxidative stress that overwhelms the already weakened adaptive defence and repair pathways in the elderly towards non-adaptive, irremediable stress thereby promoting development and progression of respiratory diseases.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “COPD and IPF are thus distinct horns of the same devil, ‘lung ageing.”

 

 

Citrus fruits could help prevent obesity-related heart disease, liver disease, diabetes

Universidade Estadual Paulista  (Brazil), August 11, 2020 

 

Oranges and other citrus fruits are good for you—they contain plenty of vitamins and substances, such as antioxidants, that can help keep you healthy. Now a group of researchers reports that these fruits also help prevent harmful effects of obesity in mice fed a Western-style, high-fat diet.

 

The researchers are presenting their work today at the 252nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world's largest scientific society, is holding the meeting here through Thursday. It features more than 9,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.

 

"Our results indicate that in the future we can use citrus flavanones, a class of antioxidants, to prevent or delay chronic diseases caused by obesity in humans," says Paula S. Ferreira, a graduate student with the research team.

 

More than one-third of all adults in the U.S. are obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Being obese increases the risk of developing heart disease, liver disease and diabetes, most likely because of oxidative stress and inflammation, Ferreira says. When humans consume a high-fat diet, they accumulate fat in their bodies. Fat cells produce excessive reactive oxygen species, which can damage cells in a process called oxidative stress. The body can usually fight off the molecules with antioxidants. But obese patients have very enlarged fat cells, which can lead to even higher levels of reactive oxygen species that overwhelm the body's ability to counteract them.

 

Citrus fruits contain large amounts of antioxidants, a class of which are called flavanones. Previous studies linked citrus flavanones to lowering oxidative stress in vitro and in animal models. These researchers wanted to observe the effects of citrus flavanones for the first time on mice with no genetic modifications and that were fed a high-fat diet.

 

The team, at Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) in Brazil, conducted an experiment with 50 mice, treating them with flavanones found in oranges, limes and lemons. The flavanones they focused on were hesperidin, eriocitrin and eriodictyol. For one month, researchers gave groups either a standard diet, a high-fat diet, a high-fat diet plus hesperidin, a high-fat diet plus eriocitrin or a high-fat diet plus eriodictyol.

 

The high-fat diet without the flavanones increased the levels of cell-damage markers called thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) by 80 percent in the blood and 57 percent in the liver compared to mice on a standard diet. But hesperidin, eriocitrin and eriodictyol decreased the TBARS levels in the liver by 50 percent, 57 percent and 64 percent, respectively, compared with mice fed a high-fat diet but not given flavanones. Eriocitrin and eriodictyol also reduced TBARS levels in the blood by 48 percent and 47 percent, respectively, in these mice. In addition, mice treated with hesperidin and eriodictyol had reduced fat accumulation and damage in the liver.

 

"Our studies did not show any weight loss due to the citrus flavanones," says Thais B. Cesar, Ph.D., who leads the team. "However, even without helping the mice lose weight, they made them healthier with lower oxidative stress, less liver damage, lower blood lipids and lower blood glucose."

Ferreira adds, "This study also suggests that consuming citrus fruits probably could have beneficial effects for people who are not obese, but have diets rich in fats, putting them at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and abdominal obesity."

 

Next, the team will explore how best to administer these flavanones, whether in citrus juice, by consuming the fruit or developing a pill with these antioxidants. In addition, the team plans to conduct studies involving humans, Cesar says.

 

 

Researchers find link between gut microbiome and cancer treatment outcomes

Study highlights positive impact of microbial diversity on immunotherapy response and suggests that cancer patients should eat a high-fiber diet with fruits, vegetables and grains with resistant starches.

City of Hope Hospital, August 19, 2020

 

Physicians at City of Hope, working in collaboration with scientists at Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), have found that greater gut microbial diversity in patients with metastatic kidney cancer is associated with better treatment outcomes on Food and Drug Administration-approved immunotherapy regimens. Their findings are outlined in a study published today in the journal European Urology.

"We also reported the changes over time in the gut microbiome that occur during the course of therapy -- the cumulative findings from our report open the door to therapies directed at the microbiome," said Sumanta Pal, M.D., one of the study's senior authors and co-director of the Kidney Cancer Program at City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

The gut microbiome is composed of microbes like bacteria and viruses that reside in the gastrointestinal tract. In recent years, an increase in knowledge about the microbiome in relation to general health has led to deeper explorations of its role in disease states, as well as how the organisms may interact with treatments. 

"Previous studies have suggested a relationship between the gut microbiome and response to immunotherapy in solid tumors, including metastatic kidney cancer," said Nicholas Salgia, B.Sc., a clinical research assistant at City of Hope and the paper's lead author. "The results from our study build on earlier findings and reaffirm that the diversity and composition of patients' microbiomes are associated with clinical responses to anti-cancer therapies." 

The study, which collected data from 31 people with metastatic kidney cancer, features the first reports of comparing microbiome sequencing at different time points in cancer patients. Participants were asked to provide up to three stool samples: at baseline, four weeks into therapy and 12 weeks into therapy. 

Using the clinical trial results, the team was able to identify changes in the microbiome over time in kidney cancer patients receiving immunotherapy. The findings found that a greater variety of organisms was associated with a benefit to the patients, and also suggested that modulating the gut microbiome during the course of treatment may impact responses to therapy. 

"The patients with the highest benefit from cancer treatment were those with more microbial diversity, but also those with a higher abundance of a specific bacterium known as Akkermansia muciniphila," said Sarah Highlander, Ph.D., a research professor in TGen's Pathogen and Microbiome Division and one of the study's senior authors. "This organism has been associated with benefit in other immunotherapy studies." 

Highlander says one potential takeaway is that oncologists might encourage patients to pay attention to their gut microbiome by eating a high-fiber diet, including fruits and vegetables high in fructo-oligosaccharides such as bananas, dried fruit, onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus and artichokes, as well as grains with resistant starches such as barley or uncooked potato starch, for example.

Highlander says that next steps should include expanding the relatively small study to a much larger group of patients that are followed over a longer time period. At City of Hope, researchers have already embarked on a clinical trial to further explore the idea that modulating the microbiome during therapy could have an impact on clinical outcomes. 

"We have randomized patients with metastatic kidney cancer to receive a probiotic supplement in addition to an FDA-approved immunotherapy regimen or the immunotherapy alone," explained Salgia. "This work provided a strong framework for such a study." 

The collaborations between clinical experts at City of Hope and basic science colleagues at TGen have contributed to advancements in the understanding of not just the microbiome, but also in cancer biology and clinical outcomes at large. 

"Our strong relationship with the microbiome team at TGen has fruitfully produced novel insights into the clinical implications of the microbiome in kidney cancer, among other cancer types," said Pal, who is an internationally recognized leader in the area of genitourinary cancers. 

Just last month, City of Hope and TGen launched a project to use one of the world's most comprehensive genomic analysis tools to map out personalized treatment plans for metastatic kidney cancer patients.

"This current study is a further testament to the collaborative research structure we've developed between the affiliate institutions," said Pal. "Through these collaborations we can implement both a bench-to-bedside and bedside-to-bench research model that will lead to better patient care at City of Hope through access to clinical trials and precision medicine approaches."

 

 

Antiapoptotic effects of carotenoids in neurodegeneration

University of Alabama, August 17, 2020

According to news reporting out of the University of Alabama research stated, “Apoptosis, programmed cell death type I, is a critical part of neurodegeneration in cerebral ischemia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from University of Alabama: “Apoptosis begins with activation of pro-death proteins Bax and Bak, release of cytochrome c and activation of caspases, loss of membrane integrity of intracellular organelles, and ultimately cell death. Approaches that block apoptotic pathways may prevent or delay neurodegenerative processes. Carotenoids are a group of pigments found in fruits, vegetables, and seaweeds that possess antioxidant properties. Over the last several decades, an increasing number of studies have demonstrated a protective role of carotenoids in neurodegenerative disease. In this review, we describe functions of commonly consumed carotenoids including lycopene, b-carotene, lutein, astaxanthin, and fucoxanthin and their roles in neurodegenerative disease models.”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “We also discuss the underlying cellular mechanisms of carotenoid-mediated neuroprotection, including their antioxidant properties, role as signaling molecules, and as gene regulators that alleviate apoptosis-associated brain cell death.”

August 19, 2020  

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

Multivitamin, mineral supplement linked to less-severe, shorter-lasting illness symptoms

Oregon State University, August 18, 2020

 

Older adults who took a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement with zinc and high amounts of vitamin C in a 12-week study experienced sickness for shorter periods and with less severe symptoms than counterparts in a control group receiving a placebo.

The findings by Oregon State University researchers were published in the journal Nutrients.

The research by scientists at OSU's Linus Pauling Institute involved 42 healthy people ages 55 to 75 and was designed to measure the supplement's effects on certain immune system indicators. It also looked at bloodstream levels of zinc and vitamins C and D while taking the supplement, as these micronutrients are important for proper immune function.

The immune indicators, including white blood cells' ability to kill incoming pathogens, were unaltered in the group receiving the supplement. 

The multivitamin group showedimproved vitamin C and zinc status in the blood. Most intriguingly, illness symptoms reported by this group were less severe and went away faster than those experienced by the placebo group. 

The same percentage of participants in each group reported symptoms, but days of sickness in the supplement group averaged fewer than three compared to more than six for the placebo group. 

"The observed illness differences were striking," said corresponding author Adrian Gombart, professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the OSU College of Science and a principal investigator at the Linus Pauling Institute. "While the study was limited to self-reported illness data and we did not design the study to answer this question, the observed differences suggest that additional larger studies designed for these outcomes are warranted - and, frankly, overdue."

As people get older, the risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies that contribute to age-related immune system deficiencies rises. Across the United States, Canada and Europe, research suggests more than one-third of older adults are deficient in at least one micronutrient, often more than one.

"That likely contributes to a decline in the immune system, most often characterized by increased levels of inflammation, reduced innate immune function and reduced T-cell function," Gombart said. "Since multiple nutrients support immune function, older adults often benefit from multivitamin and mineral supplements. These are readily available, inexpensive and generally regarded as safe."

The multivitamin supplement used in the study focused on vitamins and minerals typically thought to help immunity. It contained 700 micrograms of vitamin A; 400 international units of vitamin D; 45 milligrams of vitamin E; 6.6 milligrams of vitamin B6; 400 micrograms of folate; 9.6 micrograms of vitamin B12; 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C; 5 milligrams of iron; 0.9 milligrams of copper; 10 milligrams of zinc; and 110 micrograms of selenium.

"Supplementation was associated with significantly increased circulating levels of zinc and vitamin C, and with illness symptoms that were less severe and shorter lasting," Gombart said. "This supports findings that stretch back decades, even to the days of Linus Pauling's work with vitamin C. Our results suggest more and better designed research studies are needed to explore the positive role multivitamin and mineral supplementation might play in bolstering the immune system of older adults."

 

 

Honey found to be a better treatment for upper respiratory tract infections than traditional remedies

Oxford University, August 19, 2020

A trio of researchers at Oxford University has found that honey is a better treatment for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) than traditional remedies. In their paper published in BMJ Evidence-based Medicine, Hibatullah Abuelgasim, Charlotte Albury, and Joseph Lee describe their study of the results of multiple clinical trials that involved testing of treatments for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and what they learned from the data.

Over the past several years, the medical community has grown alarmed as bacteria have developed resistance to antibacterial agents. Some studies have found that over-prescription of such remedies is hastening the pace. Of particular concern are antibacterial prescriptions written for maladies that they are not likely to help, simply due to demands from patients. One such case is often URTIs, the vast majority of which are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Because of such cases, scientists have been looking for other remedies for these infections, and one therapy in particular has begun to stand out: honey.

Anecdotal evidence has suggested that honey can be used to treat colds in general and coughs in particular—people have been using it as a therapy for thousands of years. In this new effort, the researchers looked at the results of multiple clinical trials testing the effectiveness of therapies against URTIs. In all, the team looked at data from 14 clinical trials involving 1,761 patients.

In analyzing the data from all of the trials combined, the researchers found that the trials had included studies of virtually all of the traditional remedies such as over-the-counter cold and sinus medicines as well as antibiotics—and honey. They found that honey proved to be the best therapy among all of those tested. In addition to proving more effective in treating coughing (36 percent better at reducing the amount of coughing and 44 percent better at reducing coughing severity), it also led to a reduction in average duration of infection by two days.

The researchers note that the reason honey works as a treatment for URTIs is because it contains hydrogen peroxide—a known bacteria killer—which also makes it useful as a topical treatment for cuts and scrapes. Honey is also of the right consistency—its thickness works to coat the mouth and throat, soothing irritation.

 

High intensity physical activity in early life could lead to stronger bones in adulthood

University of Bristol (UK), August 17 2020

 

The research, which analysed data from 2,569 participants of the Children of the 90s health study, found that more time spent doing moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) from age 12 years was associated with stronger hips at age 25 years, whereas time spent in light intensity activity was less clearly associated with adult hip strength.

Peak bone mass occurs in young adulthood and is considered to be a marker of the risk of fracture and osteoporosis in later life. Hip fractures make up a large proportion of the osteoporosis disease burden. 

Researchers looked at data from healthy individuals who had physical activity measured up to 4 times using accelerometers worn as part of clinical assessments at age 12, 14, 16 and 25 years. This is a device that measures a person's movement for the whole time they wear it.

Researchers also found evidence to suggest that adolescent MVPA was more important than MVPA in adulthood, and that MVPA in early adolescence may be more important than in later adolescence. There was also some evidence that higher impact activity (consistent with jumping; assessed once in a subsample in late adolescence using custom accelerometer) was related to stronger hips at age 25.

Dr Ahmed Elhakeem, lead author and Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology, said: "The unique availability of repeated accelerometer assessments over many years beginning at age 12 within the Children of the 90s cohort, allowed us to describe the trajectory of time spent in different physical activity intensities through early life and to examine how this might relate to adult hip strength. The results highlight adolescence as a potentially important period for bone development through high intensity exercise, which could benefit future bone health and prevent osteoporosis in later life. We have also confirmed other studies showing that levels of MVPA decline through adolescence. Our findings show it is really important to support young people to remain active at this age" 

Francesca Thompson, Clinical and Operations Director at the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS), said: "The ROS is working closely at the moment with Public Health England to review the importance of exercise for bone health in children. The findings from this study are welcome as they provide further evidence that children need to be doing moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity during their early adolescence to maximise bone strength in later life and reduce the risk of painful fractures. Supporting and encouraging young people to be more physically active needs to be a priority for bone as well as general health."

 

Magnesium supplementation associated with improved vitamin D status in postmenopausal women

University of Granada (Spain), August 17, 2020

 

According to news originating from Granada, Spain,  the research stated, “Menopause is a stage of hormonal imbalance in women which, in addition to other physiopathological consequences, poses a risk of deficiency of key micronutrients such as magnesium and vitamin D.”

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from University of Granada: “A study was made of the influence of a magnesium intervention upon vitamin D status in a postmenopausal population from the province of Granada (Spain). Fifty-two healthy postmenopausal women between 44-76 years of age were included. Two randomized groups-placebo and magnesium (500 mg/day)-were treated during eight weeks. Nutrient intake was assessed using questionnaires based on 72-h recall. Vitamin D was analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Baseline vitamin D proved deficient in over 80% of the subjects.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “The administration of magnesium resulted in significantly increased vitamin D levels in the intervention group versus the controls (* * p* * < 0.05). Magnesium supplementation improved vitamin D status in the studied postmenopausal women.”

 

 

High fructose diet in pregnancy impacts metabolism of offspring, study finds

University of Otago (New Zealand), August 18, 2020

 

An increased level of fructose intake during pregnancy can cause significant changes in maternal metabolic function and milk composition and alter the metabolism of their offspring, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.

The research, which was led by Dr Clint Gray, a Research Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, found increasing the fructose in the diets of female guinea pigs led to highly significant and consistent changes in the free fatty acids circulating in the blood of their offspring. This was despite the offspring consuming no fructose themselves. 

The research is published in the international journal Frontiers in Endocrinology

First author, PhD student Erin Smith, says "previous research has shown poor quality nutrition during pregnancy can predispose offspring to long-term consequences, including the development of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life". 

"However, there has been a lack of data examining the impact of increased fructose intake before and during pregnancy and subsequent adverse effects on lactation, foetal development and offspring metabolic function."

The two experimental groups were fed either a control diet or a fructose diet prior to and during pregnancy. The fructose group was given supplementary fructose water to replicate increased sugar-sweetened beverage intake 60 days prior to mating and until the delivery of their offspring. Fructose made up 16.5 per cent of their diets, closely resembling the average human consumption of fructose/sugar in Western countries, which is estimated at about 14 per cent of average daily caloric intake. 

"We found fructose had a significant impact on a pregnant females' metabolic status and the free fatty acid content of their milk. We also provide the first evidence that offspring born from fructose-fed mothers display a very specific pattern of increased free fatty acids and altered lipid metabolism that persists throughout early life."

Ms Smith says it is well known that increased levels of circulating free fatty acids increases the risk of obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease - with increased fatty acid synthesis shown to occur following fructose consumption.

She says the evidence suggests suboptimal maternal diets, such as diets high in fructose and refined sugars, may be contributing to the rise in metabolic diseases in humans observed during the past 40 to 50 years.

"Our study emphasises the importance of limiting added refined fructose, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, and striving for a more nutritionally balanced diet in women prior to and during pregnancy and lactation."

 

 

 

Sleep makes relearning faster and longer-lasting

University of Lyon (France). August 14, 2020

 

Getting some sleep in between study sessions may make it easier to recall what you studied and relearn what you've forgotten, even 6 months later, according to new findings from Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

 

"Our results suggest that interleaving sleep between practice sessions leads to a twofold advantage, reducing the time spent relearning and ensuring a much better long-term retention than practice alone," explains psychological scientist Stephanie Mazza of the University of Lyon. "Previous research suggested that sleeping after learning is definitely a good strategy, but now we show that sleeping between two learning sessions greatly improves such a strategy."

 

While studies have shown that both repeated practice and sleep can help improve memory, there is little research investigating how repetition and sleep influence memory when they are combined. Mazza and colleagues hypothesized that sleeping in between study sessions might make the relearning process more efficient, reducing the effort needed to commit information to memory.

 

A total of 40 French adults were randomly assigned to either a "sleep" group or a "wake" group. At the first session, all participants were presented with 16 French-Swahili word pairs in random order. After studying a pair for 7 seconds, the Swahili word appeared and participants were prompted to type the French translation. The correct word pair was then shown for 4 seconds. Any words that were not correctly translated were presented again, until each word pair had been correctly translated.

 

Twelve hours after the initial session, the participants completed the recall task again, practicing the whole list of words until all 16 words were correctly translated.

 

Importantly, some participants completed the first session in the morning and the second session in the evening of the same day ("wake" group); others completed the first session in the evening, slept, and completed the second session the following morning ("sleep" group).

 

In the first session, the two groups showed no difference in how many words they could initially recall or in the number of trials they needed to be able to remember all 16 word pairs.

 

But after 12 hours, the data told another story: Participants who had slept between sessions recalled about 10 of the 16 words, on average, while those who hadn't slept recalled only about 7.5 words. And when it came to relearning, those who had slept needed only about 3 trials to be able to recall all 16 words, while those who had stayed awake needed about 6 trials.

 

Ultimately, both groups were able to learn all 16 word pairs, but sleeping in between sessions seemed to allow participants to do so in less time and with less effort.

 

"Memories that were not explicitly accessible at the beginning of relearning appeared to have been transformed by sleep in some way," says Mazza. "Such transformation allowed subjects to re-encode information faster and to save time during the relearning session."

 

The memory boost that participants got from sleeping between sessions seemed to last over time. Follow-up data showed that participants in the sleep group outperformed their peers on the recall test 1 week later. The sleep group showed very little forgetting, recalling about 15 word pairs, compared to the wake group, who were able to recall about 11 word pairs. This benefit was still noticeable 6 months later.

 

The benefits of sleep could not be ascribed to participants' sleep quality or sleepiness, or to their short-term or long-term memory capacity, as the two groups showed no differences on these measures.

 

The results suggest that alternating study sessions with sleep might be an easy and effective way to remember information over longer periods of time with less study, Mazza and colleagues conclude.

 

 

 

Meta-analysis adds evidence to chromium supplementation’s glucose control benefits in diabetics

Lorestan University of Medical Sciences (Iran), August 15, 2020

 

A systematic review and meta-analysis published on July 27, 2020 in Pharmacological Research found reductions in fasting plasma glucose, insulin, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c, a marker of long term glucose control) and insulin resistance in men and women with type 2 diabetes who supplemented with the mineral chromium. 

For their analysis, Omid Asbaghi of Lorestan University of Medical Sciences and colleagues selected 23 randomized, controlled trials that evaluated the effects of supplementing with chromium on various glycemic control indexes. Doses used in the studies ranged between 50 micrograms (mcg) and 1,000 mcg per day consumed from four to 25 weeks. Eleven of the trials evaluated a chromium dosage within a 400 to 600 mcg range. 

Analysis of 22 trials that reported fasting plasma glucose levels concluded that chromium supplementation was associated with an average reduction of 19.0 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in comparison with the placebo. Trials of at least 12 weeks duration were associated with a far greater average decrease of 58.74 mg/dL in association with chromium. 

Of the 14 trials that reported insulin levels, levels declined by an average of 1.7784 µIU/mL among subjects who received chromium compared to the placebo, with trials that lasted 12 weeks or longer associated with a decrease of 3.47 µIU/mL. 

For the 22 trials that reported HbA1c, supplementation with chromium was associated with an average decrease of 0.71%, which improved to a significant 1.70% reduction when trials of 12 weeks duration or more were examined. Homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) also decreased significantly among participants who received chromium. 

The authors observed that chromium plays a role in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and may enhance insulin sensitivity. Other nutrients that have been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes include vitamins A, C, D and E, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

“Present systematic review and meta-analysis of all available published randomized trials up to 2020 found a significant reduction in all glycemic control indices such as fasting plasma glucose, insulin, HbA1c and HOMA-IR levels after chromium supplementation,” they wrote. “Furthermore, long term intervention contributed to greater reduction of all mentioned indices.”

“The results of the current meta‐analysis study might support the use of chromium supplementation for the improvement of glycemic control indices in T2DM patients,” they concluded.

 

 

 

Mangiferin: The Health-Boosting Antioxidant in Mangos

GreenMedInfo, August 12th 2020 

 

Mangiferin, a polyphenol found in mango fruit and plant extracts, possesses potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Mangiferin has been shown to have beneficial effects on gastrointestinal health, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular health, and may have anticancer properties

Mango, a type of juicy stone fruit native to eastern Asia and India, is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, micronutrients and minerals, and a unique polyphenol called mangiferin.[i] While mango itself has long been touted for its health benefits, researchers are becoming increasingly interested in mangiferin, which can be found in the leaves, fruit, stone, kernel and stems of the mango plant.[ii]

Studies show that mangiferin extracts may have beneficial effects on lifestyle-related disorders and degenerative diseases, and researchers are eager to understand and utilize this potent polyphenol.

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Potential of Mangiferin

Mangiferin is a powerful antioxidant that modulates glucose metabolism and shows enhanced antioxidant capabilities in both inflammatory and pro-inflammatory conditions.[iii] Mangiferin antioxidants have also been shown to protect against liver damage and lower peroxidation in human peripheral blood lymphocytes, and mangiferin may have radioprotective properties thanks to its ability to suppress free radicals in cells.[iv],[v]

Additionally, mangiferin's anti-inflammatory benefits have been demonstrated in both the liver and heart, and researchers have discovered that mangiferin can protect against lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress by up-regulating the expression of Nrf2, a transcription factor responsible for the regulation of protective antioxidants and detoxification responses.[vi],[vii]

Mangiferin's anti-inflammatory effects have also been demonstrated in the lungs, where it can improve acute lung injury by reducing systemic and pulmonary inflammationresponses.[viii]

Overall, mangiferin's anti-inflammatory properties have been demonstrated to reduce both macro and microscopic damage in various organs and tissues, making it a potential preventative therapy for a variety of disorders.[ix] Many of the benefits of mangiferin come from these strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Researched benefits of mangiferin include:

  • Mangiferin Extract May Protect Against Diabetes

More than 80% of all diabetes cases are Type 2, which is associated with a lowered ability to increase glucose utilization in skeletal muscle tissue and adipose tissue.[x] This decrease in glucose metabolism and increased insulin increases the risk for disorders like cardiovascular diseasefatty liver and renal diseases.[xi]

In one study, researchers demonstrated that mangiferin extract significantly reduced kidney weight while enhancing enzymatic activity and protein expression after just nine weeks.[xii] Other studies have shown that mangiferin extract can also reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and improve oral-glucose tolerance after just 28 days.[xiii]

  • Mangiferin Boosts Gastrointestinal Health

Mangiferin has gastroprotective effects, leading researchers to believe it could be a useful therapeutic measure against gastric complications including diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss and anemia associated with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.[xiv]

These effects are likely due to mangiferin's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which both contribute to the development of gastrointestinal disorders.[xv] In other studies, researchers have found that mangiferin improves postoperative ileus, a short-term disturbance of gastrointestinal motility after surgery.[xvi]

Mangiferin improves intestinal transit by reducing the intestinal inflammatory response and decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in the plasma, improving gastrointestinal transit in both normal and constipated subjects.[xvii],[xviii]

  • Mangiferin Has Anticancer Properties

Researchers believe that one root cause of carcinogenesis is oxidative stress and have long searched for natural, polyphenolic antioxidant compounds that could mediate oxidative damage in the body. One study found that mangiferin's antioxidant capabilities may stall the progression of carcinogenesis and induce apoptosis (cell death) on cancer cells.[xix]

Mangiferin is demonstrated to have protective effects against several cancers, including breast, colon, neural, skin and cervical cancers, by lowering oxidative stress and suppressing DNA damage in cells in various studies.[xx]

  • Mangiferin Has Immunomodulatory Properties

Mangiferin's strong immunomodulatory characteristics come from its ability to both reduce oxidative stress in lymphocytes, neutrophils and macrophages, and also enhance the number and activity of immune cells in your body.[xxi],[xxii]

Additionally, mangiferin inhibits lipid peroxidation, which researchers believe may account for the reduction of radiation-induced DNA damage to immune cells and explain mangiferin's strong immune-stimulating and anticancer effects.[xxiii]

  • Mangiferin Protects Against Cardiovascular Disease

Mangiferin may play a significant cardiovascular-protective role by decreasing fatty acids, cholesterol and triglycerides and decreasing the inflammatory process in heart tissue.[xxiv]

Mangiferin treatment is also shown to increase enzymatic activity and reduce the formation of lipid peroxides, which researchers use as a marker for cardiovascular disease risk and vascular cognitive impairment disorders.[xxv]

Given that mangiferin exhibits little to no toxicity and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, there is strong evidence that mangiferin can be used as an alternative or preventive therapy against a variety of illnesses.[xxvi] However, it has a low water solubility and oral bioavailability and researchers must find an effective dosage and enhance its absorption rate before it can effectively be used in clinical settings.

 

August 18, 2020  

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