The Gary Null Show
The Gary Null Show - 10.30.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.30.20

October 30, 2020

COVID-19 Outpatient Management

The Gary Null Show - 10.29.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.29.20

October 29, 2020
A study has demonstrated that omega-3 rich foods improve post-heart attack prognosis

Regularly consuming omega-3, from both animal and vegetable origins, strengthens the heart's membranes thereby helping to reduce the risk of hospital readmission and mortality after a heart attack

Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (Spain), October 27 ,2020

A team of researchers from the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital and Research Institute (IGTP) and the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) has shown that regularly consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, from both animal and vegetable origins, strengthens the heart's membranes and helps improve the prognosis in the event of a myocardial infarction.

To arrive at these conclusions, they used data from 950 patients. The omega-3 levels in the blood of these individuals were determined when they were admitted to hospital to be treated for the heart attack. This measurement indicates, very accurately, how much of these fats the patients had eaten in the weeks prior to the sampling, in other words, before the heart attack. The patients were monitored for three years after being discharged, and the researchers observed that having high levels of omega-3 in the blood at the time of the infarction, which had been consumed in the weeks leading up to the heart attack, was associated with a lower risk of complications. The results of the study have just been published in the prestigious Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in oily fish. When we eat oily fish on a regular basis, EPA is incorporated into the phospholipids in the membranes of the cardiomyocytes, protecting them from a wide variety of heart stressors. This enrichment of the myocardial membranes limits the damage caused in the event of a heart attack. 

The major novelty of this study is that it also focused on another omega-3 fatty acid, of vegetable origin, known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This fat, which is found in walnuts as well as soybeans and their derivatives, is far less well studied than marine omega-3s. The researchers observed that EPA and ALA do not compete, but are complementary to one another. While high levels of EPA are associated with a lower risk of hospital readmission from cardiovascular causes, higher levels of ALA are associated with a reduced risk of death. 

Antoni Bayés, clinical director of Cardiology at Germans Trias, concludes: "Incorporating marine and vegetable omega-3s into the diet of patients at risk of cardiovascular disease is an integrative strategy for improving both their quality of life and prognosis if they suffer a heart attack." 

Aleix Sala, a researcher at IMIM-Hospital del Mar and responsible for the blood testing, states: "The article is important because it highlights the complementary (and non-competitive) effects of the two types of omega-3."

 

 

Study finds grape seed extract supplementation along with a restricted calorie diet improves cardiovascular risk factors in obese or overweight adults

Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (Iran). October 23, 2020

 

 According to news reporting from Tehran, Iran, research stated, “Grape seed extract (GSE) is a flavonoid-rich supplement, recently discussed as a potential moderator of inflammation and obesity. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of GSE supplementation along with a restricted-calorie diet (RCD), on changes in blood lipid profile, visceral adiposity index (VAI), and atherogenic index of plasma (AIP).”

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, “We designed a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Forty obese or overweight individuals (25 body mass index <40 kg/m ) were randomly assigned to receive GSE (300 mg/day) or placebo, plus RCD, for 12 weeks. We studied the anthropometric measures, biochemical biomarkers and dietary intake within the study timelines. Levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and HDL-C/low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) significantly increased in the GSE group as compared with the placebo group at week 12 (p=.03 and .008, respectively, adjusted for age, sex, energy and saturated fatty acid intake). We also observed a significant reduction in LDL-C following GSE supplementation in comparison to placebo (adjusted for age, sex and energy intake, p=.04). VAI, AIP, total cholesterol and triglyceride significantly decreased in the GSE group compared with the baseline (p=.04, .02, .01, and .02, respectively).”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “GSE supplementation may have a modulatory role in improving blood lipid profile in obese or overweight individuals, when accompanied by RCD.”

This research has been peer-reviewed.

 

 

Extra virgin olive oil contains more polyphenols than other varieties

Published in Tulsa World, October 27, 2020

 

Let's look at how the various types of olive oil are alike. Calorie content is similar in all olive oils. The composition of an olive's fatty acids is approximately 77% monounsaturated, 9% polyunsaturated and 14% saturated. Extra-virgin olive oil will contain a higher concentration of phytochemicals than oils described as "light."

Oils tend to be present as triglycerides: three fatty acids bound to glycerol. Fatty acids can begin to split off as olives age; measurements of their free-acidity are used as a gauge of olive quality. Premium olive oils often declare a maximum level of free-acidity on their labels.

The various grades of olive oil are distinguished by the order in which they emerge from specialized presses. The first pressing of the fruit provides the extra-virgin olive oil: the darkest, most flavorful and highest in quality. It also has the lowest free-acid level.

Next out is the virgin olive oil. It has less color but still contains some of the olive's fruitiness. The remaining oil is the standard, or "pure" olive oil, which has even less olive flavor. Some companies make a "light" (or "lite") olive oil, which has little, if any, olive flavor but is still quite functional. Many companies blend their oils to achieve a more standardized flavor. In Europe, you can even find pomace oil: a solvent extraction of the olive mash leftovers.

Understanding the idea of health benefits between the extra-virgin and the lighter types becomes apparent when you consider that the olive is the olive tree's fruit. The oil is there to nurture the developing seed until it can begin to grow on its own. Rancid oil is less able to help the seed grow, and the olive has evolved to produce protective components. In the olive, we find some vitamin E and other antioxidant compounds known as polyphenols. These compounds help maintain the olive's vitality while providing the distinct flavor characteristics detectable in premium oils.

Oil producers from around the Mediterranean, in addition to those in California, speak with understandable pride about the healthful attributes of their olive oil. They often tout that only the extra-virgin olive oil has the right stuff. Once you understand that it is the extra-virgin oil that contains the bulk of the beneficial phytochemicals, you can better appreciate the logic of their message.

Expect differences between, and within, brands of oils. Quality varies with the olive variety, the age of the tree, the geographical area, the method of cultivation, the weather and the length of the growing season. Some producers date the vintage of their oils, while others blend to achieve a consistent taste for their brand.

We find the same types of differences with fruits and vegetables, as well as with products such as wine.

While tasting olive oils around the world, I noticed differences in pungency, buttery mouthfeel and peppery aftertaste - each, no doubt, due to specific chemical compounds. Olives picked earlier in the harvest might have higher levels of certain constituents than those left until the end of the season.

Suffice it to say that sticking with extra-virgin will ensure that you are getting the best that an olive variety has to offer. When possible, taste several to find the type that meets your particular needs. For more, see b.link/bw-olive.

 

 

Strawberry nutrient helps protect elderly from neurodegenerative disease

Salk Institute, October 17, 2020

 

An increasing amount of evidence is showing that a natural plant compound from strawberries can boost brain health while reducing the risks of neurodegenerative disease associated with aging. Salk Institute scientists have studied the strawberry antioxidant fisetin and found it to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in aging mice.

The results of the Salk Institute scientists’ research is published in the Journals of Gerontology. The work was funded by the Burns Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institutes of Health.

Strawberry compound effective against both genetic and age-related Alzheimer’s disease

The recent study builds on the Salk group’s recent work researching the antioxidant fisetin and confirms the strawberry compound fisetin can assist with preventing age-related mental decline, stroke and (specifically) Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The strawberry compound seems to reduce the inflammation associated with cognitive defects, boost brain health and reduce incidents of neurodegenerative disease.

David Schubert, head of the Salk Institute Cellular Neurobiology Lab, has been studying fisetin for well over 10 years.

Previous research conducted by the lab found the strawberry compound fisetin was highly effective in reducing memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s in mice that had been modified genetically to have the neurodegenerative disease. However, this preliminary research was focused on the genetic form of Alzheimer’s, which only accounts for a tiny percentage of all cases.

Fisetin in strawberries reduces the markers for inflammation and stress associated with neurodegenerative disease

Some of the mice studied were fed a fisetin dose (daily) along with their normal food portion for seven months. The others served as a control group and were not given fisetin. Throughout the seven months, the mice were given various memory/activity tests and specific proteins related to brain functioning, inflammation and stress responses.

After the study period, the differences between these two groups of mice were striking. The mice that did not receive the strawberry compound struggled on all of the cognitive tests. They also showed elevated amounts of inflammation and the markers for stress.

By contrast, the mice treated with fisetin did not show age-related signs of cognitive decline. None of the markers for stress and inflammation were markedly different from when the study began. In addition, the group treated with fisetin showed no signs of toxicity or side effects from the compound – even when it was administered at high doses.

As if we needed another “excuse” to eat more strawberries!

While the researchers concede that mice are not people, there are enough genetic similarities to cause great excitement about the potential of this strawberry compound. A natural means of boosting brain health and reducing the risk of age related neurodegenerative disease is something that most everyone would be interested in.

The Salk group now hopes to partner with another research organization interested in conducting human trials on fisetin. Until then? Eat more strawberries!

 
 
 

Researchers find strong evidence linking artificial sweeteners to asthma

University of Massachusetts, October 25, 2020

 

Even moderate consumption of fructose and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from soda, fruit drinks and apple juice corresponds to a higher risk of asthma in adults.

This is the finding of a recent study by independent researcher Luanne DeChristopher and Katherine Tucker from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell), published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Their study found that those who consumed even moderate amounts of HFCS-sweetened fruit drinks had a 58 percent higher risk of asthma compared who seldom did so. Meanwhile, moderate consumers of apple juice, a high-fructose 100 percent juice, had a 61 percent higher risk of asthma.

Higher intake of HFCS linked to higher asthma risk

For their study, the duo analyzed longitudinal data from the Offspring Cohort of the Framingham Heart Study. In all, their study included some 2,600 adult participants with a mean age of 47.9 years.

They also used food frequency questionnaires to measure the participants’ intake of non-diet soda, fruit drinks, apple juice and any combination of these beverages that contained HFCS. In addition, they analyzed asthma incidence based on the participants’ self-reports as recorded in the Offspring Cohort.

Their analysis revealed that an increased intake of any combination of HFCS-sweetened drinks was associated with higher asthma risk. They speculated that the association between the two variables could be because of the high fructose to glucose ratios of the drinks, as well as fructose malabsorption in the participants.

In light of these findings, reducing the intake of HFCS-sweetened drinks appears to be an important first step to minimizing asthma risk. 

However, the researchers noted that just reducing the consumption of these drinks might be inadequate since even those who consumed only moderate amounts of the HFCS-sweetened drinks also had a higher risk of asthma.

 

 

Study suggests that deficiency of vitamin D or selenium may decrease immune defenses against respiratory viral illness

Seoul Clinical Laboratories (South Korea), October 26, 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 great attention. However, the nutritional status of COVID-19 patients is unknown.”

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Seoul Clinical Laboratories, “Vitamin B1, B6, B12, vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D), folate, selenium, and zinc levels were measured in 50 hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Overall, 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, matched by age/sex). Severe vitamin D deficiency (based on a cut-off of 10 ng/dl) was found in 24.0% of the patients in the COVID-19 group and 7.3% in 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 a deficiency in 30/38 cases (78.9%; p=0.425). 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.”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “However, more precise and large-scale studies are needed.”

 

 

Wrinkled ‘Super Pea’ Could Be Added To Foods To Reduce Diabetes Risk

Imperial College London, October 26, 2020

 

A type of wrinkled ‘super pea’ may help control blood sugar levels and could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, suggests a new study.

The research, from scientists at Imperial College London, the John Innes Centre, Quadram Institute Bioscience and University of Glasgow, suggests incorporating the peas into foods, in the form of whole pea seeds or flour, may help tackle the global type 2 diabetes epidemic.

The work, published in the journal Nature Food and funded by the BBSRC, focused on a naturally occurring type of pea. Unlike regular (smooth) peas, they contain higher amounts of ‘resistant starch’, which takes longer for the body to break down.

The study reveals that compared to eating smooth peas, wrinkled peas prevented ‘sugar spikes’ – where blood sugar levels rise sharply after a meal. The same effect was seen when consuming flour made from wrinkled peas incorporated in a mixed meal.

According to the researchers, this could be important as frequent, large sugar spikes are thought to increase the risk of diabetes. They add that flour from their ‘super peas’ could potentially be used in commonly consumed processed foods which, if eaten over the long term, could prevent these sugar spikes.

Dr Katerina Petropoulou, first author of the research from the Centre for Translational and Nutrition Food Research at Imperial College London, said: “Despite national campaigns to promote healthy eating, type 2 diabetes diagnosis rates continue to rise. An alternative dietary strategy to maintain normal blood glucose rates among the population is to improve the composition of commonly consumed foods. There is much evidence that diets rich in a type of carbohydrate called resistant starch have a positive impact on controlling blood glucose levels, and hence reduce susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.”

The peas used in the research are similar to the frozen peas you can buy in the supermarket. They are also the same as those used by the famous scientist Gregor Mendel in the 1800s, to show how dominant and recessive genetic traits can be passed on through selective breeding.

However, in these latest experiments, researchers used larger, mature versions of those typically found in the freezer aisle. This is because larger, mature peas contain more so-called ‘resistant starch’. The high amount of resistant starch is due to the way the starch is made in the cell, and the fact that the cells themselves are more resistant to digestion.

Starch is a compound that the body breaks down to release sugar, but resistant starch is broken down more slowly, so that sugar is released more slowly into the blood stream, resulting in a more stable increase rather than in a spike.

In the latest study, the researchers used a type of ‘super pea’ – wrinkled peas with a naturally occurring genetic mutation, or variant, that produces a greater amount of resistant starch, but a lower overall carbohydrate content.

Over a series of experiments, the team gave healthy volunteers a mixed meal including 50 grams of wrinkled peas, and in a series of control experiments gave them regular ‘smooth’ peas. Working with the University of Glasgow, researchers also added a tracer molecule to the peas, so that they could trace how they were absorbed and digested by the human gastrointestinal tract.

They repeated the experiments using flour made from wrinkled peas or control peas. To further investigate the impact of long-term consumption they recruited 25 volunteers and asked them to consume pea hummus and mushy peas (made from wrinkled or control peas) for a period of 4 weeks.

Professor Gary Frost, lead author of the study and head of Imperial’s Centre for Translational and Nutrition Food Research, said: “The ‘super pea’ contains a naturally-occurring variant gene that means they are high in resistant starches. These starches are not completely digested in the upper parts of the digestive tract and are available for fermentation by bacteria in the colon.”

Previous research from the same group has suggested that, as these bacteria ferment the starch, they produce compounds called short chain fatty acids. These compounds in turn help boost the function of cells that produce insulin, which helps control blood sugar.

Further tests using a mimic of the human gut, carried out by researchers at Quadram Institute Bioscience, showed that the way that the peas were prepared and cooked affected how quickly they were digested. Researchers also showed that there were significant benefits to our gut microbiota because of the fermentation process taking place there.

Professor Pete Wilde of the Quadram Institute said: “This study has shown us that by preparing these peas in certain ways we can further reduce blood sugar spikes, opening up new possibilities for making healthier foods using controlled food processing techniques.”

The researchers are now planning further trials involving volunteers with early stage type 2 diabetes. This will also involve a major pea breeding programme with help from industry partners to develop more ‘super peas’ with the resistant starch. They will also explore the genetic background of commonly consumed pulses (beans) to see if similar genetic variation in other crops shows the same positive effects on health.

Professor Claire Domoney of the John Innes Centre in Norfolk said: “This research has emphasized the value of developing the pea lines used in this study, which could be compared meaningfully and involved many years of breeding. It also demonstrates how plant genetics can be used effectively across many disciplines to study the impact of food on human health.”

The study authors point out that it is not only peas which have the resistant starch mutation. Other research is focusing on breeding the mutation into staple crops, such as rice and wheat. With modern genomic tools there is the potential for discovery or generation of the mutation across a range of seed and grain crops – which make up many of the carbohydrate-rich foods we consume.

Professor Domoney added: “Longer term it could become policy to include resistant starch in food. We have precedents for this kind of intervention, such as iron being added to bread to tackle anemia. It could potentially be policy that food should contain a certain amount of resistant starch to tackle type 2 diabetes and other metabolic illnesses.”

Professor Melanie Welham, BBSRC’s Executive Chair, said “By investing in plant research, such as this collaboration between Imperial College, the Quadram Institute and the John Innes Centre, new solutions that help address the health problems affecting many people across the country are being developed. Long term benefits come from long term investments that equip our research base to tackle new and emerging challenges.”

 

 
 
The Gary Null Show -  10.28.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.28.20

October 28, 2020

The Flawed Blind Spots in Calculating Covid-19 Deaths 

 

Gary Null PhD and Richard Gale

 

In our new coronavirus world, there still remain signs for hope. Although infection rates are rising in rural America and in some European nations, deaths have declined substantially, especially in the US.  This is the good news.

However, the international emphasis is now single-minded towards developing a vaccine as soon as possible under the assumption that it will protect its recipients from acquiring symptoms of illness. There remain many controversies over whether or not such a vaccine will be effective. Dr. Peter Doshi, Associate Editor for the British Medical Journal, recently published an article stating an observation that will surely upset vaccine advocates.  “None of the trials currently underway,” Doshi writes, “are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospitalizations, intensive care use, deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus.”  Please allow his statement to sink in for a moment. In other words, based upon the trials underway, whether these vaccines will protect you or others is completely unknown.

In the meantime, the New York TimesWashington Post and major networks continue to fuel our national panic by reminding us that a second wave is forthcoming and we must constantly be aware of Covd-19’s lethality.  Thus we must constantly be diligent to protect ourselves by wearing masks, respect social distancing, hygiene and other measures.

But something remains very puzzling.  Does the average person truly understand or know how to decipher the statistics that health officials and the media feed us daily?

For example, we hear repeatedly that more and more people are being diagnosed with Covid. However, actual deaths have leveled off substantially despite rising case numbers. Deaths are in no way similar to the large March and April spikes when far fewer people were being tested. There is also a growing number of scientists and physicians challenging these statistics and questioning the methods by which they are being tabulated. The standard PCR test, the most relied upon diagnostic tool, is non-specific for detecting the Covid-19 strain. Other tests are terribly inaccurate. You may have had a small cold from any one of many coronavirus strains months ago and still test PCR-positive and be ruled as having contracted Covid-19. Of course the more tests performed will result in an increase in positive outcomes, especially among those who are asymptomatic, mildly so, or may have contracted it in the past but are no longer infected. If everyone were tested for the herpes virus, for example, we would have a herpes pandemic that would dwarf Covid-19 by the mere policy of widespread testing. But PCR was never intended for clinical use or diagnostics. The figures being broadcasted, therefore, do not represent reliable data to conclude there is a real present danger. But for people, if they test positive, even with a grossly inaccurate test, they will believe they are infected and could develop full-blown symptoms and die. Indeed, for a much smaller segment of people this is true, just as it is for the flu and other infectious respiratory illnesses.

We decided to investigate the disparate and contradictory figures being touted and try to determine what people are actually dying from. Is it Covid, other respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, or pre-existing comorbidities along with the virus?

During the first six months of the pandemic, overall deaths were being almost exclusively attributed to Covid-19 and did not indicate other possible or even more likely causes.  Now that death certificates are being reexamined and reevaluated, it raises an alarming question. The CDC has stated that, “For 6% of the deaths, Covid-19 was the only cause mentioned.” If a person, therefore, has end-stage congested heart disease and/or diabetes, for example, but tested Covid-positive, does that mean the virus is the primary cause? Or is it secondary or even tertiary?

Now that the CDC, as well as other nations such as Italy, have officially stated that Covid-19 alone is responsible for far less deaths than previously reported, the entire pandemic scenario and wisdom behind lockdowns needs to be reevaluated. Stanford University’s Dr. Johann Ioannidis recent study in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization reviewed the available scientific studies and concluded that there was no huge spike in deaths that can be attributed exclusively to Covid-19.  One project estimated that about a half a billion people have been infected, which is far greater than the 29 million documented by laboratory testing. Using these figures, the actual fatality rate is less than 0.2 percent and, Ioannidis adds, “may be brought even lower.” Ioannidis’ analysis debunks recent headlines that 300,000 Americans have died from Covid. Consequently, the pandemic is only based upon numerical calculations that have little relevancy to real biological cause.

There is a rising concern among federal health officials about the soaring rates in drug overdoses and suicides, which can be largely credited to the pandemic response and its socio-economic fallout:  loss of jobs, foreclosures, family strife, depression, loss of health insurance and welfare benefits, and being confined indoors.  Although there are no national statistics for drug overdose and suicide deaths this year, 40 states have reported opioid and other drug fatalities higher than 2019 rates. In July, the CDC roughly estimated a 13 percent increase. Based on official 2019 rates, this would account for 9,000 to 12,000 additional deaths this year. Fresno is reporting a 70 percent overdose increase since the start of the pandemic. Suicides among teens is skyrocketing. For every single teen suicide there are now 200 attempts. In 2018, the rate was one successful suicide for every 30 attempts. We have never faced such a crisis in our history. But nobody is speaking about this scourge in the context of the draconian government efforts in the war against corona.

Other protective measures to counter the virus, noticeably quarantines and isolation, are contributing to an increase in the severity of pre-existing illness and preventable deaths. Under normal circumstances, patients with cancer and other autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory illness, etc, would be visiting their physicians or going to the hospital when needed for proper standard care treatment. Those avenues have largely been shut down for millions of sick Americans. Instead those with compromised immune systems are terrified to leave their homes in fear of contracting the virus. This is a very real and underreported crisis. In June, the New York Times published an article “There Has Been an Increase in Other Causes of Deaths, Not Just Coronavirus.” The story reported a 10 percent increase in all causes of death, including a 15 percent rise in heart disease and diabetes; 5 percent increase in influenza and respiratory deaths, and a 1 percent increase in Alzheimer’s deaths. Therefore, unlike previous years, more patients now are dying from the lack of medical attention. And we might add a Kaiser report states that 45 percent of all Covid-19 deaths are patients in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and hospice. Yet, this demographic makes up only 8 percent of total Covid cases. Why is there this glaring discrepancy? Clearly, we are miscalculating the causes of the death horribly.

Aside from pre-existing diseases that make these individuals more vulnerable to symptomatic infection, we must also acknowledge that efforts to halt the virus’ spread and the Trump administration’s dreadful economic response, has tossed millions of Americans into even worse health conditions.  More Americans are malnourished or under nourished due to the lack of food security than at any other time in modern history. Mental depression and anxiety is rising, stress is endemic, and these are all contributing factors for lower immunity and higher death rates, with or without Covid-19.  A first of its kind global study conducted by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge found that the lockdowns “dramatically altered our personal habits, largely for the worse.” The study noted an increase in greatly reduced exercise and physical movement, a decline in mental health, and poor sleep quality. How much of these are contributing to higher susceptibility to infections and worsening of symptoms? The federal response, by both parties, to curb these adverse effects from lockdowns and to protect those that are most vulnerable is abysmal.

It is now widely acknowledged that between last February and June, many of the actual deaths were not caused by Covid-19 but from pre-existing comorbidities or inappropriate medical interventions and therapies, such as the inappropriate use of ventilators and drugs, and a lack of preparedness in general primary care.  Consequently many errors in judgment were made.  But in our opinion, the most egregious blunder was to base official health policy to tackle the pandemic on flawed mathematical modeling to determine the virus’ virulence, circulation and lethality. Sadly, seemingly no lessons have been learned from these far-reaching errors.

As of October 22nd, the CDC website tracking Covid-19 statistics was reporting 208,600 deaths that in “some way” involved the virus. But the number of pneumonia deaths, with or without Covid-19, stands at around 213,800. And 94,800 deaths are being reported due to Covid but with pneumonia. Seventy-nine % of deaths assigned to Covid-19 are individuals aged 65 and older. If we compare the total number of deaths from all causes during the past six years with the present trend today, since two more months remain before the year’s end, we are on pace to be only very slightly higher.  But this is no more than a very bad flu season.

So after we take a bird’s eye view of our corona landscape, reflect on the official numbers and statistics, we must question the justification for the draconian efforts being undertaken to isolate the nation until a vaccine arrives. And, as we have reported earlier, there is no certainty that a vaccine will have much effect in reducing infection rates.

An equally large problem is that the mainstream media, with all its talent and fact checking capabilities, should be able to recognize this terrain of statistical inconsistencies and report on it. Yet it has failed to do so. It raises the question whether any of our news outlets are there to educate the public or are simply a wing of the CDC’s and NIAID’s public relations.

In the meantime, more and more medical professionals are stepping forward and making efforts to challenge and refute the decisions being implemented by official policy makers. And this trend will only increase during the coming months, especially if there is no second wave and lockdowns and threats against citizens to comply with their rules become stricter and crueler. In our estimation, yes, Covid-19 can be deadly for some, but this is by no means a pandemic. If Dr. Ioannidis’ analysis of available studies is accurate, and half a billion people have now been exposed or contracted the virus, and the actual number of deaths is 0.2 percent, then this not a pandemic and none of the government’s oppressive policies warrant the complete disruption of human life that threatens all of our future well-being.

The Gary Null Show - 10.27.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.27.20

October 27, 2020
Use of Vitamin C and other nutraceuticals for treatment of sepsis and covid-19
 
Dr. Paul Marik is a Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. He received his medical degree at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. Dr. Marik holds fellowships in the Canadian Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, the American College of Physicians and the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists. He has authored over 400 peer reviewed journal papers, 50 book chapters and four books on critical care. Based upon his expertise in nutritional medicine, Dr. Marik developed a cure for the life threatening infection associated with sepsis, which is responsible for approximately 250,000 deaths annually in the US alone.  The treatment is based upon Vitamin C therapy combined with select steroids. More recently his Covid-19 treatment protocol also requires natraceutical basis of Vitamin C and D, B-complex, magnesium and quercetin. 

 

The Gary Null Show -  10.26.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.26.20

October 26, 2020

 

 

The Flawed Blind Spots in Calculating Covid-19 Deaths 

 

Gary Null PhD and Richard Gale

Progressive Radio Network, October 26, 2020

  

 

In our new coronavirus world, there still remain signs for hope. Although infection rates are rising in rural America and in some European nations, deaths have declined substantially, especially in the US.  This is the good news. 

 

However, the international emphasis is now single-minded towards developing a vaccine as soon as possible under the assumption that it will protect its recipients from acquiring symptoms of illness. There remain many controversies over whether or not such a vaccine will be effective. Dr. Peter Doshi, Associate Editor for the British Medical Journal, recently published an article stating an observation that will surely upset vaccine advocates.  “None of the trials currently underway,” Doshi writes, “are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospitalizations, intensive care use, deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus.”  Please allow his statement to sink in for a moment. In other words, based upon the trials underway, whether these vaccines will protect you or others is completely unknown. 

 

In the meantime, the New York TimesWashington Post and major networks continue to fuel our national panic by reminding us that a second wave is forthcoming and we must constantly be aware of Covd-19’s lethality.  Thus we must constantly be diligent to protect ourselves by wearing masks, respect social distancing, hygiene and other measures. 

 

But something remains very puzzling.  Does the average person truly understand or know how to decipher the statistics that health officials and the media feed us daily?

 

For example, we hear repeatedly that more and more people are being diagnosed with Covid. However, actual deaths have leveled off substantially despite rising case numbers. Deaths are in no way similar to the large March and April spikes when far fewer people were being tested. There is also a growing number of scientists and physicians challenging these statistics and questioning the methods by which they are being tabulated. The standard PCR test, the most relied upon diagnostic tool, is non-specific for detecting the Covid-19 strain. Other tests are terribly inaccurate. You may have had a small cold from any one of many coronavirus strains months ago and still test PCR-positive and be ruled as having contracted Covid-19. Of course the more tests performed will result in an increase in positive outcomes, especially among those who are asymptomatic, mildly so, or may have contracted it in the past but are no longer infected. If everyone were tested for the herpes virus, for example, we would have a herpes pandemic that would dwarf Covid-19 by the mere policy of widespread testing. But PCR was never intended for clinical use or diagnostics. The figures being broadcasted, therefore, do not represent reliable data to conclude there is a real present danger. But for people, if they test positive, even with a grossly inaccurate test, they will believe they are infected and could develop full-blown symptoms and die. Indeed, for a much smaller segment of people this is true, just as it is for the flu and other infectious respiratory illnesses. 

 

We decided to investigate the disparate and contradictory figures being touted and try to determine what people are actually dying from. Is it Covid, other respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, or pre-existing comorbidities along with the virus?

 

During the first six months of the pandemic, overall deaths were being almost exclusively attributed to Covid-19 and did not indicate other possible or even more likely causes.  Now that death certificates are being reexamined and reevaluated, it raises an alarming question. The CDC has stated that, “For 6% of the deaths, Covid-19 was the only cause mentioned.” If a person, therefore, has end-stage congested heart disease and/or diabetes, for example, but tested Covid-positive, does that mean the virus is the primary cause? Or is it secondary or even tertiary? 

 

Now that the CDC, as well as other nations such as Italy, have officially stated that Covid-19 alone is responsible for far less deaths than previously reported, the entire pandemic scenario and wisdom behind lockdowns needs to be reevaluated. Stanford University’s Dr. Johann Ioannidis recent study in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization reviewed the available scientific studies and concluded that there was no huge spike in deaths that can be attributed exclusively to Covid-19.  One project estimated that about a half a billion people have been infected, which is far greater than the 29 million documented by laboratory testing. Using these figures, the actual fatality rate is less than 0.2 percent and, Ioannidis adds, “may be brought even lower.” Ioannidis’ analysis debunks recent headlines that 300,000 Americans have died from Covid. Consequently, the pandemic is only based upon numerical calculations that have little relevancy to real biological cause. 

 

Indeed the fatality rate may be much lower. Geneticist Dr. James Lyons-Weiler has stated that “Numerous media reports attribute deaths from COVID-19 to “Underlying Conditions”, with one report claiming that 88% of deaths involving COVID-19 deaths were not caused by COVID-19, and another claiming that 99% of COVID-19 deaths are not caused by the virus.”

 

There is a rising concern among federal health officials about the soaring rates in drug overdoses and suicides, which can be largely credited to the pandemic response and its socio-economic fallout:  loss of jobs, foreclosures, family strife, depression, loss of health insurance and welfare benefits, and being confined indoors.  Although there are no national statistics for drug overdose and suicide deaths this year, 40 states have reported opioid and other drug fatalities higher than 2019 rates. In July, the CDC roughly estimated a 13 percent increase. Based on official 2019 rates, this would account for 9,000 to 12,000 additional deaths this year. Fresno is reporting a 70 percent overdose increase since the start of the pandemic. Suicides among teens is skyrocketing. For every single teen suicide there are now 200 attempts. In 2018, the rate was one successful suicide for every 30 attempts. We have never faced such a crisis in our history. But nobody is speaking about this scourge in the context of the draconian government efforts in the war against corona.

 

Other protective measures to counter the virus, noticeably quarantines and isolation, are contributing to an increase in the severity of pre-existing illness and preventable deaths. Under normal circumstances, patients with cancer and other autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory illness, etc, would be visiting their physicians or going to the hospital when needed for proper standard care treatment. Those avenues have largely been shut down for millions of sick Americans. Instead those with compromised immune systems are terrified to leave their homes in fear of contracting the virus. This is a very real and underreported crisis. In June, the New York Times published an article “There Has Been an Increase in Other Causes of Deaths, Not Just Coronavirus.” The story reported a 10 percent increase in all causes of death, including a 15 percent rise in heart disease and diabetes; 5 percent increase in influenza and respiratory deaths, and a 1 percent increase in Alzheimer’s deaths. Therefore, unlike previous years, more patients now are dying from the lack of medical attention. And we might add a Kaiser report states that 45 percent of all Covid-19 deaths are patients in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and hospice. Yet, this demographic makes up only 8 percent of total Covid cases. Why is there this glaring discrepancy? Clearly, we are miscalculating the causes of the death horribly.

 

Aside from pre-existing diseases that make these individuals more vulnerable to symptomatic infection, we must also acknowledge that efforts to halt the virus’ spread and the Trump administration’s dreadful economic response, has tossed millions of Americans into even worse health conditions.  More Americans are malnourished or under nourished due to the lack of food security than at any other time in modern history. Mental depression and anxiety is rising, stress is endemic, and these are all contributing factors for lower immunity and higher death rates, with or without Covid-19.  A first of its kind global study conducted by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge found that the lockdowns “dramatically altered our personal habits, largely for the worse.” The study noted an increase in greatly reduced exercise and physical movement, a decline in mental health, and poor sleep quality. How much of these are contributing to higher susceptibility to infections and worsening of symptoms? The federal response, by both parties, to curb these adverse effects from lockdowns and to protect those that are most vulnerable is abysmal. 

 

It is now widely acknowledged that between last February and June, many of the actual deaths were not caused by Covid-19 but from pre-existing comorbidities or inappropriate medical interventions and therapies, such as the inappropriate use of ventilators and drugs, and a lack of preparedness in general primary care.  Consequently many errors in judgment were made.  But in our opinion, the most egregious blunder was to base official health policy to tackle the pandemic on flawed mathematical modeling to determine the virus’ virulence, circulation and lethality. Sadly, seemingly no lessons have been learned from these far-reaching errors. 

 

As of October 22nd, the CDC website tracking Covid-19 statistics was reporting 208,600 deaths that in “some way” involved the virus. But the number of pneumonia deaths, with or without Covid-19, stands at around 213,800. And 94,800 deaths are being reported due to Covid but with pneumonia. Seventy-nine % of deaths assigned to Covid-19 are individuals aged 65 and older. If we compare the total number of deaths from all causes during the past six years with the present trend today, since two more months remain before the year’s end, we are on pace to be only very slightly higher.  But this is no more than a very bad flu season. 

 

Another anomalous statistic that is worrisome and has yet to be properly addressed is the conflation of actual flu and/or pneumonia associated deaths with those being reported as Covid-19.  Dr. Lyons-Weiler has documented that as both confirmed and assumed cases of COVID-19 climb, influenza cases are falling. To add to the confusion, just as the CDC continues to tally COVID-19 deaths, it again converging influenza and pneumonia deaths with Covid. “…only 8.1% of Flu+Pneumonia cases,” he notes, “were bona fide flu cases.”  This same trend is now being observed with Covid.

 

The CDC claims approximately 34,000 people die from flu infections annually. However, no distinction is made between influenza and pneumonia deaths; they are grouped together. It is an excellent propaganda strategy for keeping people nervous when flu season arrives in order to get rid of and distribute the 160 million-plus vaccine doses our tax dollars purchase every year. 

Now we discover the CDC re-categorizing influenza and pneumonia cases as COVID-19. Dr. Wodarg notes that it is "the well known fact that in every 'flu wave' 7-15% of acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) are coming along with coronaviruses." He further warns that "we are currently not measuring the incidence of coronavirus diseases but the activity of the specialists searching for them." We still do not know COVID-19's pathogenetic role and impact compared to the common seasonal flu.

So after we take a bird’s eye view of our corona landscape, reflect on the official numbers and statistics, we must question the justification for the draconian efforts being undertaken to isolate the nation until a vaccine arrives. And, as we have reported earlier, there is no certainty that a vaccine will have much effect in reducing infection rates. 

 

An equally large problem is that the mainstream media, with all its talent and fact checking capabilities, should be able to recognize this terrain of statistical inconsistencies and report on it. Yet it has failed to do so. It raises the question whether any of our news outlets are there to educate the public or are simply a wing of the CDC’s and NIAID’s public relations. 

 

In the meantime, more and more medical professionals are stepping forward and making efforts to challenge and refute the decisions being implemented by official policy makers. And this trend will only increase during the coming months, especially if there is no second wave and lockdowns and threats against citizens to comply with their rules become stricter and crueler. In our estimation, yes, Covid-19 can be deadly for some, but this is by no means a pandemic. If Dr. Ioannidis’ analysis of available studies is accurate, and half a billion people have now been exposed or contracted the virus, and the actual number of deaths is 0.2 percent, then this not a pandemic and none of the government’s oppressive policies warrant the complete disruption of human life that threatens all of our future well-being. 

The Gary Null Show -  10.23.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.23.20

October 23, 2020

AMERICA'S FRONTLINE DOCTORS SPEAK OUT ON MISINFORMATION SURROUNDING THE CORONAVIRUS

Vitamin A boosts fat burning in cold conditions

The conversion of white into brown adipose tissue is a promising target for obesity treatment

Medical University of Vienna, 21 October 2020

 

 A recent study conducted by a research team led by Florian Kiefer from MedUni Vienna's Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism shows that cold ambient temperatures increase vitamin A levels in humans and mice. This helps convert "bad" white adipose tissue into "good" brown adipose tissue which stimulates fat burning and heat generation. This "fat transformation" is usually accompanied by enhanced energy consumption and is therefore considered a promising approach for the development of novel obesity therapeutics. The study has now been published in the leading journal Molecular Metabolism.

In humans and mammals, at least two types of fatty depots can be discerned, white and brown adipose tissue. During obesity development, excess calories are mainly stored in white fat. In contrast, brown fat burns energy and thereby generates heat. More than 90% of the body fat depots in humans are white which are typically located at the abdomen, bottom, and upper thighs. Converting white into brown fat could be a new therapeutic option to combat weight gain and obesity. 

A research group led by Florian Kiefer from the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine III at MedUni Vienna demonstrated now that moderate application of cold increases the levels of vitamin A and its blood transporter, retinol-binding protein, in humans and mice. Most of the vitamin A reserves are stored in the liver and cold exposure seems to stimulate the redistribution of vitamin A towards the adipose tissue. The cold-induced increase in vitamin A led to a conversion of white fat into brown fat ("browning"), with a higher rate of fat burning. 

When Kiefer and his team blocked the vitamin A transporter "retinol-binding protein" in mice by genetic manipulation, both the cold-mediated rise in vitamin A and the "browning" of the white fat were blunted: "As a consequence, fat oxidation and heat production were perturbed so that the mice were no longer able to protect themselves against the cold," explains Kiefer. In contrast, the addition of vitamin A to human white fat cells led to the expression of brown fat cell characteristics, with increased metabolic activity and energy consumption. 

"Our results show that vitamin A plays an important role in the function of adipose tissue and affects global energy metabolism. However, this is not an argument for consuming large amounts of vitamin A supplements if not prescribed, because it is critical that vitamin A is transported to the right cells at the right time," explains the MedUni Vienna researcher. "We have discovered a new mechanism by which vitamin A regulates lipid combustion and heat generation in cold conditions. This could help us to develop new therapeutic interventions that exploit this specific mechanism."

 

High flavanol diet may lead to lower blood pressure

First study to use objective measure to look at 25,000 people's diet

University of Reading (UK), October 21, 2020

 

People who consume a diet including flavanol-rich foods and drinks, including tea, apples and berries, could lead to lower blood pressure, according to the first study using objective measures of thousands of UK residents' diet. 

The findings, published in Scientific Reports, studied the diet of more than 25,000 people in Norfolk, UK and compared what they ate with their blood pressure. In contrast to most other studies investigating links between nutrition and health, the researchers did not rely on study participants reporting their diet, but instead measured flavanol intake objectively using nutritional biomarkers - indicators of dietary intake, metabolism or nutritional status that are present in our blood.

The difference in blood pressure between those with the lowest 10% of flavanol intake and those with the highest 10% of intake was between 2 and 4 mmHg. This is comparable to meaningful changes in blood pressure observed in those following a Mediterranean diet or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. Notably, the effect was more pronounced in participants with hypertension.

Professor Gunter Kuhnle, a nutritionist at the University of Reading who led the study said: 

"Previous studies of large populations have always relied on self-reported data to draw conclusions, but this is the first epidemiological study of this scale to objectively investigate the association between a specific bioactive compound and health. We are delighted to see that in our study, there was also a meaningful and significant association between flavanol consumption and lower blood pressure. 

"What this study gives us is an objective finding about the association between flavanols - found in tea and some fruits - and blood pressure. This research confirms the results from previous dietary intervention studies and shows that the same results can be achieved with a habitual diet rich in flavanols. In the British diet, the main sources are tea, cocoa, apples and berries. 

"The methodology of the study is of equal importance. This is one of the largest ever studies to use nutritional biomarkers to investigate bioactive compounds. Using nutritional biomarkers to estimate intake of bioactive food compounds has long been seen as the gold standard for research, as it allows intake to be measured objectively. The development, validation and application of the biomarker was only possible because of the long-term commitment of all collaborators. In contrast to self-reported dietary data, nutritional biomarkers can address the huge variability in food composition. We can therefore confidently attribute the associations we observed to flavanol intake."

An international team from the University of Reading, Cambridge University, the University of California Davis, and Mars, Incorporated studied 25,618 participants from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC) Norfolk study and found that the biggest difference was observed in participants with the highest blood pressure. This suggests if the general public increased its flavanol intake, there could be an overall reduction in cardiovascular disease incidence.

Hagen Schroeter, Chief Science Officer at Mars Edge, said: 

"This study adds key insights to a growing body of evidence supporting the benefits of dietary flavanols in health and nutrition. But, perhaps even more exciting was the opportunity to apply objective biomarkers of flavanol intake at a large scale. This enabled the team to avoid the significant limitations that come with past approaches which rely on estimating intake based on self-reported food consumption data and the shortcomings of current food composition databases."

 

Researchers discover molecular link between diet and risk of cancer

Tel Aviv University, October 22, 2020

 

An international team of researchers has identified a direct molecular link between meat and dairy diets and the development of antibodies in the blood that increase the chances of developing cancer. This connection may explain the high incidence of cancer among those who consume large amounts of dairy products and red meat, similar to the link between high cholesterol and an increased risk of heart disease.

The study was led by Dr. Vered Padler-Karavani of the Department of Cell Research and Immunology at the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research at Tel Aviv University's George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences. The results of the research were published on September 23, 2020, in BMC Medicine.

Neu5Gc is a sugar molecule found in the tissues of mammals but not in poultry or fish. Humans develop antibodies to Neu5Gc in infancy, when they are first exposed to dairy and meat products. While it is known that these antibodies increase the risk of cancer, especially colorectal cancer, no direct link had been found between the antibodies and meat and dairy consumption.

For the study, the researchers used samples from NutriNet-Santé, an extensive national nutritional survey conducted in France. Salam Bashir, a PhD student in Dr. Padler-Karavani's lab, together with other team members measured the amount of Neu5Gc sugar in a variety of dairy and meat foods common in the French diet and calculated the daily Neu5Gc intake of 19,621 adults aged 18 and over, who reported all of their food intake online over a period of several days.

The research team then took a representative sample of 120 participants and tested the levels of the anti-Neu5Gc antibodies in their blood.

Based on these findings and the quantification of Neu5Gc sugar in various food products from France, Dr. Padler-Karavani and her team created an index called the Gcemic index. This index ranks foods whose excessive consumption can lead to an increase in the antibodies - and possibly to an increase in the risk of cancer.

"We found a significant correlation between high consumption of Neu5Gc from red meat and cheeses and increased development of those antibodies that heighten the risk of cancer," Dr. Padler-Karavani says. "For years there have been efforts to find such a connection, but no one did. Here, for the first time, we were able to find a molecular link thanks to the accuracy of the methods used to measure the antibodies in the blood and the detailed data from the French diet questionnaires."

Dr. Padler-Karavani adds that this combination of methods allowed the researchers to predict that those who eat a lot of red meat and cheese will develop high levels and a different variety of the antibodies, and therefore may be at higher risk for cancer - especially colorectal cancer, but other cancers as well.

 

 

Study finds association between lignan and stilbene intake and improvements in cognitive function

Navarra Institute for Health Research (Spain), October 20, 2020

 

According to news reporting from Pamplona, Spain, research stated, “The global growing rates of cognitive decline and dementia, together with the absence of curative therapies for these conditions, support the interest in researching potential primary prevention interventions, with particular focus on dietary habits. The aim was to assess the association between the intake of polyphenols, lignans and stilbene (primarily found in grapes and berries) and 6-year change in cognitive function in the ‘Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra’ (SUN) Project, a Spanish prospective cohort study.”

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Navarra Institute for Health Research, “Changes (final -initial) in cognitive function were evaluated in a subsample of 806 participants (mean age 66 years (SD 5), 69.7% male) of the SUN Project using the validated Spanish Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status-modified (STICS-m) score. Polyphenol intake was derived from a validated semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire and matching food composition data from the Phenol Explorer database. Multivariable linear regression models were used to evaluate the association between total polyphenol intake, polyphenol subclasses and cognitive changes. No significant association between total polyphenol intake and changes in cognitive function was found. However, a higher intake of lignans (bQuintile (Q) 5 vs. Q1 0.81; 95% CI 0.12, 1.51; p trend=0.020) and stilbenes (bQ5 vs. Q1 0.82; 95% CI 0.15, 1.49; p trend 0.028) was associated with more favorable changes in cognitive function over time, particularly with respect to immediate memory and language domains. Olive oil and nuts were the major sources of variability in lignan intake; and wine  in stilbene  intake.”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “The results suggest that lignan and stilbene intake was associated with improvements in cognitive function.”

This research has been peer-reviewed.

 

 

Bacterial metabolism of dietary soy may lower risk factor for dementia

University of Pittsburgh, Oct. 22, 2020

 

A metabolite produced following consumption of dietary soy may decrease a key risk factor for dementia--with the help of the right bacteria, according to a new discovery led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Their study, published today in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, reports that elderly Japanese men and women who produce equol--a metabolite of dietary soy created by certain types of gut bacteria--display lower levels of white matter lesions within the brain.

"White matter lesions are significant risk factors for cognitive decline, dementia and all-cause mortality," said lead author Akira Sekikawa, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. "We found 50% more white matter lesions in people who cannot produce equol compared to people who can produce it, which is a surprisingly huge effect."

To obtain this result, Sekikawa's research team measured equol levels within the blood of 91 elderly Japanese participants with normal cognition. Participants were sorted by their equol production status, and then six to nine years later underwent brain imaging to detect levels of white matter lesions and deposits of amyloid-beta, which is the suspected molecular cause of Alzheimer's disease. 

The researchers found that while equol production did not appear to impact levels of amyloid-beta deposited within the brain, it was associated with reduced white matter lesion volumes. Sekikawa's team also discovered that high levels of isoflavones--soy nutrients that are metabolized into equol--had no effect on levels of white matter lesions or amyloid-beta when equol wasn't produced.

According to Sekikawa, the ability to produce equol from soy isoflavones may be the key to unlocking protective health benefits from a soy-rich diet, and his team has previously shown that equol production is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. As heart disease is strongly associated with cognitive decline and dementia, equol production could help protect the aging brain as well as the heart.

Epidemiological studies in Japan, where soy is regularly consumed, have shown that dietary intake of soy isoflavones has been linked to a lower risk for heart disease and dementia. However, most clinical trials in America have failed to show this.

Sekikawa believes that this discrepancy may be due to the microbiome--40-70% of Japanese harbor gut bacteria that can convert dietary isoflavones into equol compared to only 20-30% of Americans.

Sekikawa said that equol supplements could one day be combined with existing diet-based prevention strategies that appear to lower the risk of dementia, particularly the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and Mediterranean diets.

Though Sekikawa hopes to evaluate the neuroprotective effects of equol supplements in a future randomized clinical trial, in the meantime, he urges caution to anyone who might be tempted to purchase equol supplements to stave off dementia.

"This type of study always catches people's attention, but we cannot prove that equol protects against dementia until we get a randomized clinical trial with sufficient evidence," he said.

 

 

Serum creatinine-to-cystatin C ratio predicts mortality

Yonsei University (South Korea), October 21, 2020

In patients initiating continuous renal replacement therapy for acute kidney injury, higher serum creatinine-to-cystatin C ratios were associated with lower mortality.

Identifying risk factors for mortality in patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) receiving intensive care and continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) is useful for improving assessment of prognosis. In this study of 1,588 patients who underwent CRRT in a single tertiary center intensive care unit, the 30- and 90-day mortality risks were significantly lower in patients with higher creatinine:cystatin C ratio at the time CRRT was begun. This association remained after adjustment for confounding factors. These findings suggest that creatinine:cystatin C ratio may be a simple, useful tool for mortality risk assessment in critically ill patients who develop AKI.

 
 

Glutathione precursor GlyNAC reverses premature aging in people with HIV

Baylor College of Medicine, October 16, 2020

Premature aging in people with HIV is now recognized as a new, significant public health challenge. Accumulating evidence shows that people with HIV who are between 45 to 60 years old develop characteristics typically observed in people without HIV that are more than 70 years of age. For instance, declining gait speed, physical function and cognition, mitochondrial aging, elevated inflammation, immune dysfunction, frailty and other health conditions are significantly higher in people with HIV when compared to age- and sex-matched uninfected people.

At Baylor College of Medicine, endocrinologist Dr. Rajagopal Sekhar, associate professor of medicine-endocrinology, and his team have found themselves in the right place at the right time to study premature aging in people with HIV. For the last 20 years, they have been studying natural aging in older humans and aged mice in the Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism of the Department of Medicine. Also, for the last 17 years, Sekhar has been active in HIV research, and has been providing clinical care for patients at the HIV clinic at Thomas Street Health Center, a part of Houston's Harris Health System, where he runs the sole endocrinology and metabolism clinic.

Sekhar's years-long expertise, knowledge and interest in metabolic disorders affecting HIV patients and a parallel track investigating non-HIV people have resulted in the publication of significant discoveries regarding the metabolic complications in aging, HIV and diabetes, and has guided numerous clinical trials that together provide a better understanding of why we age. 

"The work presented here, published in the journal Biomedicines, builds a bridge between laboratory bench and bedside by showing proof-of-concept that supplementing people with HIV specifically with a combination of glycine and N-acetylcysteine, which we call GlyNAC, as precursors of glutathione, a major antioxidant produced by the body, improves multiple deficits associated with premature aging," said Sekhar.

Why we age?

For several decades, experimental evidence has supported two theories for aging. The free radical theory and the mitochondrial theory propose that elevated free radicals (oxidative stress) and mitochondrial dysfunction, respectively, are at the core of geriatric aging. Both, elevated oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, are present in people with HIV.

Free radicals, such as reactive oxygen species, and the mitochondria are physiologically connected. The mitochondria are like the batteries of the cell, they produce the energy needed for conducting cellular functions. The body transforms the food we eat into sugar and fat, which the mitochondria burns as fuel to produce energy.

However, one of the waste products of cellular energy generation is free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that can damage cells, membranes, lipids, proteins and DNA. Cells depend on antioxidants, such as glutathione, to neutralize these toxic free radicals. When cells fail to neutralize free radicals, there is an imbalance between the radicals and the antioxidant responses, leading to harmful and damaging oxidative stress.

"The free radicals produced during fuel burning in the mitochondria can be compared to some of the waste products produced by a car's combustion engine, some of which are removed by the oil filter," Sekhar said. "If we don't change the oil filter periodically, the car's engine will diminish its performance and give less mileage."

Similarly, if the balance between free radical production and antioxidant response in cells consistently favors the former, in time cellular function could be disrupted. Glutathione helps cells keep oxidative stress in balance, it keeps the oil filter clean. GlyNAC helps the cell make glutathione.

Sekhar and his colleagues have been studying mitochondrial function and glutathione for more than 20 years. Their findings, and those of other researchers, have shown that glutathione is the ultimate natural antioxidant. 

Interestingly, compared to those in younger people, glutathione levels in older people are much lower, and the levels of oxidative stress are much higher. Glutathione levels also are lower and oxidative stress is higher in conditions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, including ageing, HIV infection, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular disorders, neurometabolic diseases, cancer, obesity and other conditions. 

"When the mitochondrial batteries are running low on power, as a medical and scientific community, we do not know how to recharge these batteries," Sekhar said. "Which raised the question, if the levels of glutathione were restored in cells, would the mitochondria be recharged and able to provide power to the cell? Would restoring mitochondrial functioning improve conditions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction?"

Restoring glutathione

Restoring glutathione in cells was not straightforward because glutathione cannot work if taken orally for the same reasons that diabetic patients cannot eat insulin. It would be digested before it reached the cells. Also, providing glutathione in the blood cannot correct glutathione deficiency because every cell makes its own.

"Glutathione is a small protein made of three building blocks: amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid. We found that people with glutathione deficiency also were deficient in cysteine and glycine, but not glutamic acid," Sekhar said. "We then tested whether restoring deficient glutathione precursors would help cells replenish their glutathione. But there's another catch, because cysteine cannot be given as such, we had to supplement it in another form called N-acetylcysteine."

In past studies, Sekhar and his colleagues determined that supplementing GlyNAC, a combination of glycine and N-acetylcysteine, corrected glutathione deficiency inside the cells of naturally aged mice to the levels found in younger mice. Interestingly, the levels of glutathione and mitochondrial function, which were lower in older mice before taking GlyNAC, and oxidative stress, which was higher before GlyNAC, also were comparable to those found in younger mice after taking GlyNAC for six weeks. 

The same results were observed in a small study in older humans who had high oxidative stress and glutathione deficiency inside cells. In this case, taking GlyNAC by mouth for 2-weeks corrected the glutathione deficiency and lowered both oxidative stress and insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic risk factor).

In past clinical trials, Sekhar provided GlyNAC to small groups of people to correct a nutritional deficiency, and produced encouraging evidence supporting further studies of the value of this approach to restoring mitochondrial function in clinical trials.

Improving premature aging in people with HIV

In the current study, Sekhar and his colleagues conducted an open-label clinical trial that included six men and two women with HIV, and eight age-, gender- and body mass index-matched uninfected controls, all between 45 and 60 years old. The people with HIV were on stable antiretroviral therapy and had not been hospitalized for six months prior to the study.

Before taking GlyNAC, the group with HIV, compared with the controls, was deficient in glutathione and had multiple conditions associated with premature aging, including higher oxidative stress; mitochondrial dysfunction; higher inflammation, endothelial dysfunction and insulin resistance; more damage to genes; lower muscle strength; increased belly fat and impaired cognition and memory.

The results are encouraging. GlyNAC supplementation for 12 weeks improved all the deficiencies indicated above. Some of the improvements declined eight weeks after stopping GlyNAC.

"It was exciting to see so many new beneficial effects of GlyNAC that have never been described before. Some of the most encouraging findings included reversal of some measures of cognitive decline, a significant condition in people with HIV, and also improved physical strength and other hallmark defects," Sekhar said.

"It was encouraging to see that GlyNAC can reverse many of these hallmark defects in people with HIV as there is no current treatment known to reverse these abnormalities. Our findings could have implications beyond HIV and need further investigation," Sekhar said.

Overall, these findings in HIV patients provide proof-of-concept that dietary supplementation of GlyNAC improves multiple hallmarks of aging and that glutathione deficiency and oxidative stress could contribute to them. 

Encouraged by these results, Sekhar has continued his investigations by testing the value of GlyNAC supplementation for improving the health of the growing older population, and has completed an open label trial, and another NIH-funded, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in older adults. 

"The results from these recently completed trials support the findings of the HIV study," said Sekhar, who is currently the Principal Investigator of two NIH-funded randomized clinical trials studying the effect of GlyNAC in older humans with mild cognitive impairment, and with Alzheimer's disease.

 

 

Greater adherence to aspects of Mediterranean diet associated with lower mortality risk among men during seven-year follow-up

IRCCS Foundation National Cancer Institute (Italy), October 22, 2020

 

According to news originating from Milan, Italy, research stated, “The present study analyzes the relation between diet and all-cause mortality in a cohort of Italian men residing in different regions of Italy. The cohort was established using the members of the Associazione Nazionale Alpini, a voluntary organization that enlists individuals who have served in the Alpine troup; a mountain warfare infantry corps of the Italian Army.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from IRCCS Foundation National Cancer Institute, “For the purpose of these analyses a total of 5049 participants were followed for an average of seven years. At baseline information was collected regarding age, education, life style habits, with special emphasis on diet (with the use of a validated dietary questionnaire), smoking and alcohol use. A total of 190 deaths were ascertained. In multivariate analyses the consumption of a Mediterranean type diet was inversely associated with mortality. Additional findings of relevance include: an inverse association between mortality and intake of vegetable fats and proteins, monounsaturated (MUFA) fats of vegetable origins, starch and folic acid. Positive association were evident between mortality and intake of animal fats, MUFA of animal origins and sugar. This study, focusing on a homogenous cohort characterized by a varied intake and high intake of monounsaturated fats, confirms the inverse association between a Mediterranean type diet and mortality and points out that the nature of the MUFA may be relevant for their effects on health.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “In addition, the study confirms that fats of animal origins and dietary sugar are associated with an overall deleterious effect on mortality.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
The Gary Null Show - 10.22.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.22.20

October 22, 2020

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

 

Black ginseng found to protect against lung injury caused by particulate matter

Korea Institute of Bioscience, October 20, 2020
 

In a recent study, South Korean researchers investigated the effects of an extract derived from black ginseng against the lung damage caused by exposure to particulate matter. Particulate matter (PM) is a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of varying size and composition that can be found suspended in the air. These particles may range from harmless liquid droplets to dangerous smoke, dust, pollen or soot.

The researchers reported their findings in an article published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

Black ginseng can protect the lungs from hazardous air pollution

Particulate matter can be made up of coarse particles and fine particles. Coarse particles refer to the large particles that usually contain earth crust materials and fugitive dust from roads and industries. Fine particles, on the other hand, are usually about 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM 2.5) or smaller and contain combustion particles, secondary aerosols and recondensed organic and metal vapors.

Due to their composition, fine particles pose considerable health risks. They are said to be responsible for most of the acidity and mutagenic activities of particulate matter. The small size of fine particles also allows them to travel deeply into the respiratory tract and reach the lungs, causing throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to high levels of PM 2.5 can also affect lung function and worsen conditions like asthma, lung cancer and heart disease.

Inhalation of PM 2.5 has been linked to lung injury caused by the loss of vascular barrier integrity. The vascular barrier, which is made up of endothelial cells, serves as the wall that separates the blood — along with any harmful substances that may have potentially entered into the bloodstream — from the surrounding tissue of the body. This barrier only becomes permeable to fluids and cells under pathological conditions, such as inflammation.

According to previous studies, black ginseng exhibits a variety of pharmacological properties, which include antibacterial, antihyperglycemic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities. Black ginseng has also been found to have anti-cancer, antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties, which can all be attributed to the transformed ginsenosides it contains. Ginsenosides are the major active compounds present in ginseng. 

To investigate the effects of black ginseng on lung endothelial cell barrier disruption and lung inflammation caused by particulate matter exposure, the researchers exposed endothelial cell cultures and mice to PM 2.5 and treated them with black ginseng extract. They then examined permeability, white blood cell migration, activation of proinflammatory proteins, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and histology in these two setups.

The researchers found that the black ginseng extract significantly scavenged PM2.5-induced ROS and inhibited ROS-induced activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), an enzyme involved in inflammatory responses and cell death, while concurrently activating the pro-survival enzyme Akt, which helped maintain endothelial integrity. The extract also reduced vascular protein leakage, immune cell infiltration and proinflammatory signaling protein release in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid taken from PM-exposed lung tissues.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that black ginseng protects against PM-induced inflammatory lung injury and vascular hyperpermeability.

 

Study shows active older adults have better physical and mental health

American Cancer Society, October 20, 2020

Older adults with higher physical activity and lower sitting time have better overall physical and mental health, according to a new study from the American Cancer Society (ACS). The study, appearing in the journal, CANCER, suggests that higher amounts of regular moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) and lower duration of sedentary time is associated with higher global mental and physical health for older cancer survivors and older adults, in general. 

With a rapidly aging population and nearly 16.9 million cancer survivors in the United States today, there is a need to identify strategies associated with healthy aging and improving quality of life for aging cancer survivors. Being physically active is related to several health benefits, and in this study, ACS investigators led by Dr. Erika Rees-Punia analyzed self-reported aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activities, sitting time, and mental and physical health among nearly 78,000 participants in the ACS's Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. Participants (average age 78 years) included older cancer survivors up to 10 years post-diagnosis, and cancer-free adults. 

The investigators found that regardless of cancer history, the differences in global mental and physical health between the most and least active, and the least and most sedentary, were clinically meaningful. These findings provide evidence for the importance of engaging in regular MVPA and decreasing sitting time as a reasonable non-pharmacologic strategy to improve quality of life in older men and women, with or without a prior cancer diagnosis. In fact, the recently published ACS physical activity guidelines recommend that adults get 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity through the week, and to limit sedentary behaviors such as screen-based entertainment. 

"The findings reinforce the importance of moving more and sitting less for both physical and mental health, no matter your age or history of cancer," said Rees-Punia. "This is especially relevant now as so many of us, particularly cancer survivors, may be staying home to avoid COVID-19 exposure, and may be feeling a little isolated or down. A simple walk or other physical activity that you enjoy may be good for your mind and body."

 

Green Tea, Coffee, and Mortality Risk in T2DM

Japanese study reported effects were strongest in those who drank both

Kyushu University (Japan), October 21, 2020

 

Drinking green tea and coffee was associated with reduced all-cause mortality in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes, especially those who drank both, researchers reported.

In a cohort study that followed nearly 5,000 patients for approximately 5 years, Masanori Iwase, MD, PhD, of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, and colleagues found a dose-response relationship for both beverages. Drinking one cup of green tea every day was associated with a 15% lower mortality risk compared with those who drank no green tea, having two to three cups daily was associated with a 27% reduction, and drinking four or more cups was associated with a 40% drop in risk (P=0.001 for trend).

Similarly, as shown in the study online in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, among coffee drinkers, one cup a day was associated with a 12% lower mortality risk, and two or more cups with a 41% reduction compared with those who drank no coffee (P=0.001 for trend).

Furthermore, risk of death was even lower for those who drank both beverages daily: 51% lower for two to three cups of green tea plus two or more cups of coffee; 58% lower for four or more cups of green tea plus one cup of coffee every day; and 63% lower for a combination of four or more cups of green tea and two or more cups of coffee daily (HR 0.37, 95% CI 0.18-0.77, P for trend not given).

"To date, no study has investigated the combined effect of green tea and coffee consumption on all-cause mortality," the researchers wrote. "The present study determined that combined higher green tea and coffee consumption markedly reduced mortality. Further, this cohort study included potential confounders, such as sleep duration, diabetic complications, lifestyle, physical activity, laboratory data, and medications."

Previous studies in the general population have suggested that both green tea and coffee have health benefits, including preventing chronic diseases and reducing mortality, the team noted, adding that few studies, however, have been conducted in patients with diabetes.

Still not fully understood are the mechanisms involved, the researchers said. Green tea contains substances that may have health benefits, including phenolic compounds, theanine, and caffeine, and epigallocatechin gallate, the most prevalent phenolic compound, has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-mutagenic properties.

Coffee also contains phenolic compounds and caffeine, as well as other bioactive components that may have favorable health effects, Iwase and co-authors explained. Phenolic compounds found in coffee, such as chlorogenic acid, have been reported to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Of course, coffee has also been associated with harmful effects, including increasing blood pressure and heart attack risk.

For the new study, Iwase's group analyzed data on 4,923 patients (2,790 men; 2,133 women) with type 2 diabetes from the Fukuoka Diabetes Registry, a multicenter prospective study designed to investigate the effect of modern treatments and lifestyles on patients with diabetes. The mean age of patients was 66, and they were followed for a median of 5.3 years.

Consumption of green tea and coffee was assessed by a self-administered dietary questionnaire. The main study outcome was all-cause mortality. In the analysis, the researchers adjusted for potential risk or protective factors for mortality including age, sex, body mass index, diabetes duration, smoking, alcohol intake, sleep duration, glycated hemoglobin, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, history of cardiovascular disease, and cancer. In addition, when examining the effects of green tea, the researchers also adjusted for coffee consumption, and vice versa.

During the follow-up period, 309 individuals died. The main causes of death were cancer (114 patients) and cardiovascular disease (76). When the researchers examined the associations of green tea with these cause-specific mortalities, they found no significant association with cancer (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.35-1.19, P=0.11) and a non-significant trend with cardiovascular mortality (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.33-1.29, P=0.08). The results were similar for coffee when the team assessed cancer (HR 0.77, 95% CI 0.45-1.33, P=0.39) and cardiovascular mortality (HR 0.53, 95% CI 0.27-1.04, P=0.06).

One limitation of the study, the researchers noted, was that it did not include information on education level and socioeconomic status, both of which are known to affect mortality. In addition, there was no determination of whether the coffee consumed was caffeinated or decaffeinated (decaf coffee is uncommon in Japan, however, the team pointed out).

"In conclusion, this prospective cohort study demonstrated that greater consumption of green tea and coffee was significantly associated with reduced all-cause mortality: the effects may be additive," the study authors wrote. "Our results suggest that consuming green tea and coffee may have beneficial effects on the longevity of Japanese people with type 2 diabetes."

 
 
 

Compound in honey bee venom found to destroy cancer cells within 60 minutes

University of Western Australia, October 20, 2020
 

n a new study published in npj Precision Oncology, Australian and American researchers reported that honey bees are also a great source of anti-cancer agents.

Honey bee venom is a colorless acidic liquid honey bees excrete through their stingers when they are threatened. It contains numerous compounds with different biological activities. The researchers found that honey bee venom and its major component, melittin, can effectively kill cancer cells, even those that belong to one of the most aggressive types of cancer.

Honey bee venom: a venom that could save lives

Apitherapy is the ancient medicinal practice of using bee products, namely, honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom, for disease prevention and treatment purposes. Its roots can be traced back to the time of the Ancient Egyptians. Apitherapy is also a feature of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Ancient records describe honey as a remedy for various ailments, including cough, stomach pains, dry throat, dry skin and constipation.

Today, apitherapy is a popular complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In particular, bee venom therapy is recognized for its potential in alleviating the symptoms of painful inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Other modern uses for apitherapy include treating multiple sclerosis and infections, and as a natural remedy for burns, wounds and tendonitis. (Related: Dermal injection of purified honey bee venom found to reduce knee osteoarthritis pain.)

According to earlier studies, bee venom is rich in both anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory compounds, as well as peptides with pain-relieving properties. Bee venom also contains an abundance of active enzymes, sugars, minerals and amino acids, some of which have been linked to immunoprotective effects.

Melittin, a small protein made up of 26 amino acids, comprises about 50 percent of the dry weight of bee venom and is considered one of its major components. Previous studies have linked the antimicrobial and anti-cancer effects of bee venom to melittin, although the mechanisms behind these activities are poorly understood.

For their study, the American-Australian team investigated the anti-cancer properties of honey bee venom and melittin by testing both on normal breast cells, as well as different breast cancer cells. They found that honey bee venom and melittin significantly and rapidly reduced the viability of even the most aggressive subtypes, namely, triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer cells.

The researchers also reported that melittin exerted its anti-cancer effects using two mechanisms. First, it suppressed the activation of signaling pathways involved in cancer cell growth and proliferation. Secondly, it induced cell death by poking holes in the plasma membranes of cancer cells. The researchers observed this effect within an hour of exposure to melittin.

Despite the toxic effects of honey bee venom and melittin on breast cancer cells, neither caused any damage to healthy cells. The researchers said that both are promising anti-cancer agents that can be used in combination with chemotherapy. Melittin showed that it could enhance the effect of docetaxel, a chemotherapeutic drug used to suppress the growth of breast tumors, in mice.

“Honeybee venom is available globally and offers cost-effective and easily accessible treatment options in remote or less-developed regions. Further research will be required to assess whether the venom of some genotypes of bees has more potent or specific anticancer activities, which could then be exploited.”

“Overall, our results could be leveraged to aid the development of new therapeutic modalities for many cancer types associated with frequent drug resistance and poor prognosis,” the researchers concluded in their report.

 

Improved mental and physical condition is directly linked to nutrition, study shows

New research demonstrates that the right nutrition is directly linked to physical and cognitive performance in active duty men and women in US Air Force

University of Illinois, Abbott Labs, US Air Force Research Lab, October 19, 2020 

 

Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Abbott and, the U.S. Air Force Research Lab announced today the results of a new study that found a direct link between physical fitness, cognitive performance, and optimal nutrition. The scientists revealed that getting the right nutrition not only fuels our bodies and improves fitness, but gives us an edge mentally, too. 

The double-blind study, published this week in the journal Scientific Reports, examined the effectiveness of optimal nutrition and exercise to enhance fitness and cognitive performance among a population of active-duty men and women in the U.S. Air Force. Researchers divided the 148 study participants into two groups for 12 weeks.  

The double-blind trial included 148 men and women who engaged in a 12-week regimen consisting of aerobics and resistance training five days per week. Seventy participants also received a nutritional drink twice per day that contained protein, carbohydrates and fat, as well as calcium beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), choline, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), folic acid, lutein, magnesium, phospholipids, zinc and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, D and E. The remainder of the participants received a placebo drink that contained protein, carbohydrates and fat. Both groups performed the same training program, which included a balanced exercise program comprised of aerobic and resistance training performed five days per week. In addition to the training program, one group was given a prototype nutritional drink, the other group received a placebo.

 

  • Improved working memory by 11% (i.e., information processing and problem-solving), which predicts multitasking and is often impaired under stress 
  • Improved reaction time by 6% - participants became faster and more accurate 
  • Increased muscle mass by more than two pounds
  • Lowered resting heart rate by 8% - a sign of increased cardiovascular fitness. Resting heart rate improved from 71 beats per minute to 65 beats per minute

 

"The physical and mental health benefits of exercise are well known, but this study demonstrates how optimal nutrition can help boost brain function as well," said lead study author, Chris Zwilling, Ph.D, a postdoctoral researcher working with the study's principal investigator Aron Barbey, Ph.D. at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois. "We are excited by the results because they provide critical insights into how simple dietary changes can make a big difference in helping people be as efficient and productive as possible in today's world. "

FUELING BODY AND BRAIN

"Abbott has been researching the impact of nutrition on brain function for more than a decade," said Matthew Kuchan, Ph.D., a research fellow and brain health scientist at Abbott and co-author of the study. "These results confirm that by combining the right nutrition and exercise, people who are facing high-pressure situations can stay sharp physically and mentally when they need it most."

Abbott Research Fellow, Tapas Das, Ph.D., led the design of the innovative liquid nutritional drink used in the study. It contained DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, lutein, a carotenoid, as well as phospholipids and micronutrients to support mental performance. The nutrition formulation also included protein, vitamin D, and HMB to support muscle health. Abbott will leverage these results and ingredients to design future nutritional products to allow individuals to live their lives to the fullest. 

"It is clear that nutrition is a critical component for developing and maintaining the physical and cognitive performance of the men and women in the U.S. Air Force," said Adam Strang, Ph.D., and lead investigator with the Air Force Research Laboratory. "This research confirms that a nutritional supplement with the right nutrients can support and facilitate those improvements when paired with balanced exercise training. We hope to use this knowledge now and, in the future, to better prepare them for the complex and diverse mission sets they are facing."

 

 

Study of chess player performance over many years suggests brain peaks at age 35

Institut Polytechnique Paris, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat München, and Erasmus University, October 20, 2020

A trio of researchers from Institut Polytechnique Paris, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat München, and Erasmus University has found evidence suggesting that cognitive abilities in humans peak at age 35 and begin to decline after age 45. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Anthony Strittmatter, Uwe Sunde and Dainis Zegners describe their study of chess player skill over a span of 125 years and what they found.

Prior research has shown that cognitive skillsfor most people begin to decline sometime during mid-life and continue to deteriorate for the rest of a person's life. In this new effort, the researchers have found a novel way to show such decline—by measuring the skills of professional chess players.

The work involved analyzing player performance over approximately 24,000 professional chess matches from the years 1890 to 2014. In all, they studied the moves of 4,294 players, 20 of whom were world champions—the other 4,274 were their opponents. The researchers' goal was to follow the skill level of each player over many years of their life to gage their skill level over time. They did this by comparing chess moves made by each player against optimal moves suggested by a computerized chess engine over the course of their career.

They found that performance for most players increased rapidly until they reached the age of 20—after that, their performance improvements slowed until reaching a peak at approximately age 35. Most of the players were able to maintain their peak playing abilities for approximately 10 years—after age 45, skills began to deteriorate. The researchers describe the data for a given individual as representing a "hump-shaped curve."

The researchers also found that player performance across the board has increased over the past 125 years, particularly among young people. They noted that performance rose sharply in the 1990s as chess enthusiasts gained access to computerized chess games, providing them with more accomplished opponents. They found that experience levels for most players rose, as well—in the modern age, professional chess players play a lot more matches than did those a century ago.

 

Significant link found between air pollution and neurological disorders

Harvard University, Emory University, Columbia University, October 19, 2020

Air pollution was significantly associated with an increased risk of hospital admissions for several neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and other dementias, in a long-term study of more than 63 million older U.S. adults, led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study, conducted with colleagues at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, is the first nationwide analysis of the link between fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution and neurodegenerative diseases in the U.S. The researchers leveraged an unparalleled amount of data compared to any previous study of air pollution and neurological disorders.

The study will be published online October 19, 2020 in The Lancet Planetary Health.

"The 2020 report of the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care has added air pollution as one of the modifiable risk factors for these outcomes," said Xiao Wu, doctoral student in biostatistics at Harvard Chan School and co-lead author of the study. "Our study builds on the small but emerging evidence base indicating that long-term PM2.5 exposures are linked to an increased risk of neurological health deterioration, even at PM2.5 concentrations well below the current national standards."

Researchers looked at 17 years' worth (2000-2016) of hospital admissions data from 63,038,019 Medicare recipients in the U.S. and linked these with estimated PM2.5 concentrations by zip code. Taking into account potential confounding factors like socioeconomic status, they found that, for each 5 microgram per cubic meter of air (μg/m3) increase in annual PM2.5 concentrations, there was a 13% increased risk for first-time hospital admissions both for Parkinson's disease and for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. This risk remained elevated even below supposedly safe levels of PM2.5 exposure, which, according to current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, is an annual average of 12 μg/m3 or less.

Women, white people, and urban populations were particularly susceptible, the study found. The highest risk for first-time Parkinson's disease hospital admissions was among older adults in the northeastern U.S. For first-time Alzheimer's disease and related dementias hospital admissions, older adults in the Midwest faced the highest risk.

"Our U.S.-wide study shows that the current standards are not protecting the aging American population enough, highlighting the need for stricter standards and policies that help further reduce PM2.5 concentrations and improve air quality overall," said Antonella Zanobetti, principal research scientist in Harvard Chan School's Department of Environmental Health and co-senior author of the study.

The Gary Null Show - 10.21.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.21.20

October 21, 2020

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

Wagging The Dog Pt 1 The Story Behind The Story Of Covid19

 

EGCG sensitizes chemotherapeutic-induced cytotoxicity  in multiple cancer cell lines

University of California at Davis, October 18, 2020

According to news reporting originating in Davis, California, research stated, “Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major polyphenol component of green tea, presents anticancer efficacy. However, its exact mechanism of action is not known.”

The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from the University of California Davis, “In this study, we evaluated the effect of EGCG alone or in combination with current chemotherapeutics [gemcitabine, 5-flourouracil (5-FU), and doxorubicin] on pancreatic, colon, and lung cancer cell growth, as well as the mechanisms involved in the combined action. EGCG reduced pancreatic, colon, and lung cancer cell growth in a concentration and time-dependent manner. EGCG strongly induced apoptosis and blocked cell cycle progression. Moreover, EGCG enhanced the growth inhibitory effect of 5-FU and doxorubicin. Of note, EGCG enhanced 5-FU’s and doxorubicin’s effect on apoptosis, but not on cell cycle. Mechanistically, EGCG reduced ERK phosphorylation concentration-dependently, and sensitized gemcitabine, 5-FU, and doxorubicin to further suppress ERK phosphorylation in multiple cancer cell lines.”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “EGCG presents a strong anticancer effect in pancreatic, colon, and lung cancer cells and is a robust combination partner for multiple chemotherapeutics as evidenced by reducing cancer cell growth, in part, by inhibiting the ERK pathway.”

 

Exercise and nutrition regimen benefits physical, cognitive health

University of Illinois, October 19, 2020

Researchers studied the effects of a 12-week exercise regimen on 148 active-duty Air Force airmen, half of whom also received a twice-daily nutrient beverage that included protein; the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA; lutein; phospholipids; vitamin D; B vitamins and other micronutrients; along with a muscle-promoting compound known as HMB. Both groups improved in physical and cognitive function, with added gains among those who regularly consumed the nutritional beverage, the team reports. 

The findings appear in the journal Scientific Reports.

Participants were randomly assigned to the two groups. The exercise regimen combined strength training and high-intensity interval aerobic fitness challenges. One group received the nutritional beverage and the other consumed a placebo beverage that lacked the added nutrients. Neither the researchers nor the participants knew who received the nutrient-enriched beverage or placebo.

"The exercise intervention alone improved strength and endurance, mobility and stability, and participants also saw increases in several measures of cognitive function. They had better episodic memory and processed information more efficiently at the end of the 12 weeks. And they did better on tests that required them to solve problems they had never encountered before, an aptitude called fluid intelligence," said Aron Barbey, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who led the study with postdoctoral researcher Christopher Zwilling

"Those who also consumed the nutritional supplement saw all of these improvements and more. For example, they were better able to retain new information in their working memory and had quicker responses on tests of fluid intelligence than those taking the placebo," Barbey said.

Physical power increased in both groups as a result of the physical training, Zwilling said.

"Power is a measure of physical fitness that is based on several factors, such as how fast a participant can pull a heavy sled over a set distance, how far they can toss a weighted ball, and how many pushups, pullups or situps they can perform in a set time period," he said. 

The physical training reduced participants' body fat percentage and increased their oxygen-uptake efficiency, or VO2 max. The airmen also performed better than they had initially on several measures of cognitive function. The most notable of these was an increase in the accuracy of their responses to problems designed to measure fluid intelligence. 

"But we also wanted to know whether taking the supplement conferred an advantage above and beyond the effect of exercise," Zwilling said. "We saw that it did, for example in relationship to resting heart rate, which went down more in those who took the supplement than in those who didn't."

Participants who consumed the nutritional beverage also saw greater improvements in their ability to retain and process information. And their reaction time on tests of fluid intelligence improved more than their peers who took the placebo, the researchers found. 

"Our work motivates the design of novel multimodal interventions that incorporate both aerobic fitness training and nutritional supplementation, and illustrates that their benefits extend beyond improvements in physical fitness to enhance multiple measures of cognitive function," Barbey said.

The U. of I. team conducted the intervention with study co-author Adam Strang, a scientist in the Applied Neuroscience Branch of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, along with his colleagues in the Air Force Research Laboratory. The U. of I. team also worked with research fellow and study co-author Tapas Das and his colleagues at Abbott Nutrition, who led the design of the nutritional beverage, which is a mixture of nutrients targeting both muscle and brain. The specially designed beverage provided ingredients that previous studies have shown are associated with improved physical cognitive function.

 

Cannabis reduces OCD symptoms by half in the short-term

Washington State University, October 20, 2020

 

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, report that the severity of their symptoms was reduced by about half within four hours of smoking cannabis, according to a Washington State University study. 

The researchers analyzed data inputted into the Strainprint app by people who self-identified as having OCD, a condition characterized by intrusive, persistent thoughts and repetitive behaviors such as compulsively checking if a door is locked. After smoking cannabis, users with OCD reported it reduced their compulsions by 60%, intrusions, or unwanted thoughts, by 49% and anxiety by 52%.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, also found that higher doses and cannabis with higher concentrations of CBD, or cannabidiol, were associated with larger reductions in compulsions.

"The results overall indicate that cannabis may have some beneficial short-term but not really long-term effects on obsessive-compulsive disorder," said Carrie Cuttler, the study's corresponding author and WSU assistant professor of psychology. "To me, the CBD findings are really promising because it is not intoxicating. This is an area of research that would really benefit from clinical trials looking at changes in compulsions, intrusions and anxiety with pure CBD."

The WSU study drew from data of more than 1,800 cannabis sessions that 87 individuals logged into the Strainprint app over 31 months. The long time period allowed the researchers to assess whether users developed tolerance to cannabis, but those effects were mixed. As people continued to use cannabis, the associated reductions in intrusions became slightly smaller suggesting they were building tolerance, but the relationship between cannabis and reductions in compulsions and anxiety remained fairly constant.

Traditional treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder include exposure and response prevention therapy where people's irrational thoughts around their behaviors are directly challenged, and prescribing antidepressants called serotonin reuptake inhibitors to reduce symptoms. While these treatments have positive effects for many patients, they do not cure the disorder nor do they work well for every person with OCD. 

"We're trying to build knowledge about the relationship of cannabis use and OCD because it's an area that is really understudied," said Dakota Mauzay, a doctoral student in Cuttler's lab and first author on the paper.

Aside from their own research, the researchers found only one other human study on the topic: a small clinical trial with 12 participants that revealed that there were reductions in OCD symptoms after cannabis use, but these were not much larger than the reductions associated with the placebo. 

The WSU researchers noted that one of the limitations of their study was the inability to use a placebo control and an "expectancy effect" may play a role in the results, meaning when people expect to feel better from something they generally do. The data was also from a self-selected sample of cannabis users, and there was variability in the results which means that not everyone experienced the same reductions in symptoms after using cannabis.

However, Cuttler said this analysis of user-provided information via the Strainprint app was especially valuable because it provides a large data set and the participants were using market cannabis in their home environment, as opposed to federally grown cannabis in a lab which may affect their responses. Strainprint's app is intended to help users determine which types of cannabis work the best for them, but the company provided the WSU researchers free access to users' anonymized data for research purposes. 

Cuttler said this study points out that further research, particularly clinical trials on the cannabis constituent CBD, may reveal a therapeutic potential for people with OCD.

This is the fourth study Cuttler and her colleagues have conducted examining the effects of cannabis on various mental health conditions using the data provided by the app created by the Canadian company Strainprint. Others include studies on how cannabis impacts PTSD symptoms, reduces headache pain, and affects emotional well-being.

 
 

Vitamin K levels lower in stroke patients

University of Maryland, October 16 2020

 

A study of chronic stroke patients reported on October 6, 2020 in the journal Nutrients revealed that the majority consumed an amount of vitamin K that was below recommended intake levels.

The study included 60 men and women between the ages of 54 to 68 years who experienced more than six months of residual deficits after the onset of ischemic stroke. Dietary records were analyzed for the intake of vitamin K and other factors. The subjects were divided into groups according to whether their vitamin K consumption met or was below the recommended intake of 120 micrograms (mcg) per day for adult men and 90 mcg for adult women. 

Eighty-two percent of the study subjects reported an inadequate daily intake of vitamin K. An equal percentage of subjects did not report using a multivitamin supplement, most of whom did not meet the recommendation for vitamin K. Subjects who did not supplement their diets with vitamin D and calcium also failed to attain the recommended adequate intake levels of these nutrients. Those whose diet met the adequate intake of vitamin K were likelier to have a greater intake of vegetables, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin E in comparison with those whose intake was lower. 

Authors Chad Wessinger of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and colleagues remarked that vitamin K has a role in the prevention of vascular calcification and noted that “The potential relationship between vitamin K intake and cardiometabolic disease introduces vitamin K intake as a conceivable additional measure when assessing chronic stroke survivors’ risk of recurrence.” 

“Due to vitamin K’s potential therapeutic interactions with various diseases, controlled supplementation may be indicated for individuals struggling to consume adequate amounts,” they wrote. “Vitamin K supplementation should be considered as a potential adjuvant therapy to address atherosclerosis.”

 

Regular social engagement linked to healthier brain microstructure in older adults

University of Pittsburgh, October 19, 2020

 

Older people who report greater levels of social engagement have more robust gray matter in regions of the brain relevant in dementia, according to new research led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. It is the first to use a particularly sensitive type of brain imaging to conduct such an evaluation.

The findings, reported today in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, suggest that "prescribing" socialization could benefit older adults in warding off dementia, much the way prescribing physical activity can help to prevent diabetes or heart disease. 

"Our data were collected before the COVID-19 pandemic, but I believe our findings are particularly important right now, since a one-size-fits-all social isolation of all older adults may place them at risk for conditions such as dementia," said lead author Cynthia Felix, M.D., M.P.H., a geriatrician and a post-doctoral associate in Pitt Public Health's Department of Epidemiology. "Older adults should know it is important for their brain health that they still seek out social engagement in safe and balanced ways during the pandemic."

Felix and her colleagues used information about social engagement from 293 community-dwelling participants from the Health, Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) study. These participants, who averaged 83 years old, also received a sensitive brain scan called Diffusion Tensor Imaging MRI that measured the cellular integrity of brain cells used for social engagement. 

These participants provided detailed information about their social engagement and were scored using a tool Felix developed. High scores were awarded to people who did things like play board games; go to movies; travel long distance; attend classes, lectures or adult education events; participate in church or other community activities; get together with children, friends, relatives or neighbors at least once a week; volunteer or work; be married and live with others. 

Felix and colleagues found that greater social engagement is related to better microstructural integrity of brain gray matter in these older adults. Maintaining brain health is of critical importance. Once brain cells die, dementia typically follows. 

Social engagement with at least one other relative or friend activates specific brain regions needed to recognize familiar faces and emotions, make decisions and feel rewarded. The good news is that even moderate "doses" seem to be beneficial. 

"We need to do more research on the details, but that's the beauty of this--social engagement costs hardly anything, and we do not have to worry about side-effects," Felix said. "There is no cure for dementia, which has tremendous costs in terms of treatment and caregiving. Preventing dementia, therefore, has to be the focus. It's the 'use it or lose it' philosophy when it comes to the brain."

Felix notes that cause-and-effect still need to be disentangled: Does greater social engagement keep these brain regions healthy? Or is it that having a healthy brain results in better social engagement? 

Similar to how large public health studies assess the best programs to encourage physical activity to prevent chronic disease in older people, Felix believes her team's findings, coupled with previous research, provides justification for randomized control trials to assess the impact of specific types and amounts of social activities on brain health. 

Enriched by her prior public health training at Johns Hopkins University, Felix recognizes the critical role of public health in applying this finding on a large scale. 

"It would be good if we develop programs across the U.S. through which structured social activities can be prescribed for community-dwelling older adults, aimed at reducing rates of dementia and the resulting health care costs," Felix said. "Existing platforms providing group physical activities can be a good starting point."

 

White noise as sleep aid may do more harm than good, say scientists

Review finds quality of evidence is poor and noise may lead to more disrupted sleep

University Pennsylvania School of Medicine, October 18, 2020

Whether it is nature sounds, the whine of a hairdryer or the incessant hum of a ceiling fan, white noise apps have been downloaded by millions of people around the world in the hope of getting a better night’s sleep. However, research suggests there is no good evidence that they work, and may even be making things worse.

True white noise is the hissy fizzing sound of all the frequencies that humans can hear being fired off randomly and at the same intensity. In recent years, numerous apps and devices have been developed that use it – or other “relaxing” sounds such as the hum of a fan or crashing waves – to help people fall asleep.

They have been hugely successful – the Bedtime Fan app, available on Apple devices, has had more than 3m downloads, while the Android White Noise Generator has more than 1m. One theory is that they help to drown out other bothersome sounds such as street noise; another is that listening to the same sound each night may trigger a kind of Pavlovian response, where people learn to associate it with falling asleep. But does it actually work?

Mathias Basner, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues systematically reviewed the scientific literature and identified 38 studies that have investigated noise as a sleep aid. Although there was some evidence that continuous noise reduced the amount of time it took individuals to fall asleep, the quality of the evidence was extremely poor, and at least one study suggested the noise may lead to more disrupted sleep.

“If these apps or devices could only do good things, I wouldn’t really care. But because there may be negative consequences, I would just be careful,” said Basner, whose research has been published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews. “I wouldn’t broadly recommend them, because there is no evidence that they are actually working.”

He is also concerned about the potential ill-effects of not allowing the auditory system to switch off overnight, although this also has not yet been tested. “Whenever we’re exposed to sounds and noise, the inner ear is translating that into nerve signals that are then interpreted by the brain,” he said. “It is an active process, which generates metabolites, some of which have been shown to be harmful to the inner ear. You probably want to have a period where the auditory system can wind down, regenerate and prepare for the next wake period.”

Whether it is nature sounds, the whine of a hairdryer or the incessant hum of a ceiling fan, white noise apps have been downloaded by millions of people around the world in the hope of getting a better night’s sleep. However, research suggests there is no good evidence that they work, and may even be making things worse.

True white noise is the hissy fizzing sound of all the frequencies that humans can hear being fired off randomly and at the same intensity. In recent years, numerous apps and devices have been developed that use it – or other “relaxing” sounds such as the hum of a fan or crashing waves – to help people fall asleep.

They have been hugely successful – the Bedtime Fan app, available on Apple devices, has had more than 3m downloads, while the Android White Noise Generator has more than 1m. One theory is that they help to drown out other bothersome sounds such as street noise; another is that listening to the same sound each night may trigger a kind of Pavlovian response, where people learn to associate it with falling asleep. But does it actually work?

Colin Espie, a professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford, agrees the research quality of studies on continuous noise and sleep is poor. “Even the idea is a very limited one conceptually,” he said. “The main concern to overcome in poor sleep is the busy or racing mind. People can’t switch off mentally. White noise is just like any other monotonous stimulation, which has been tried many times in many ways over decades, and the evidence [for it working] is poor.”

Prof Christian Cajochen, who heads the Centre for Chronobiology at the University of Basel in Switzerland, said: “I think the better [forms of] continuous white noise mask highly intermittent background noise, which is why it is recommended for nightshift workers who often need to sleep during the day in a ‘noisy’ environment. There I can see a benefit, but not when sleeping in a relatively quiet environment. Any acoustic stimulus being continuous or not has the potential to interrupt the sleep process.”

He added: “I would rather recommend mindfulness apps like Sleepio, since they are based on good evidence coming from research in sleep medicine, particularly cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia.”

 

The association between dietary amino acid intake and cognitive decline 8 years later in Japanese older adults

National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology (Japan), October 18, 2020

According to news reporting out of Aichi, Japan, research stated, “Previous studies have reported a relationship between low protein intake and cognitive decline and have suggested that this association may be related to specific amino acid intake. However, the effects of amino acid intake on the maintenance of cognitive function have yet to be clarified.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, “We examined the longitudinal association between dietary amino acid intake (lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, and alanineand cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults. Longitudinal epidemiological study. Community-based setting. This study comprised 427 study participants aged 60-82 years with no cognitive decline, defined as a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of >27 at baseline, who also participated in a follow-up. The average and standard deviation of the follow-up period was 8.2 +/- 0.3 years. Dietary intake was assessed using three-day dietary records at baseline. Participants were classified into quartiles (Q1-Q4) based on the intake of 19 amino acids for males and females. Next, we classified participants into Q1 and Q2-Q4 groups. Cognitive function was assessed using the MMSE both at baseline and at follow-up. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between the Q1 group and cognitive decline (MMSE <=;27), using the Q2-Q4 group as a reference group. Covariates were age, sex, body mass index, years of education, severity of depressive symptoms, history of lifestyle diseases (hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, stroke, and ischemic heart disease), energy intake (kcal/d), protein intake (g/d), and MMSE score at baseline. Cognitive decline was present in 133 (31.1%) participants. After adjustment for covariates, including total protein intake, the ORs (95% CIs) for cognitive decline were 2.40 (1.21-4.75) for lysine, 2.05 (1.02-4.09) for phenylalanine, 2.18 (1.09-4.34) for threonine, and 2.10 (1.06-4.15) for alanine.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “The results suggest that lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, and alanine intake is important for the maintenance of cognitive function in older people, independent of total protein intake.”

The Gary Null Show -  10.20.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.20.20

October 20, 2020

The Barbarians at the Pandemic’s Gates

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, October 20, 2020

 

As we approach the the end of 2020, it is apropos to stop, turn around and carefully and objectively examine how we got fixed into this destructive quagmire of Covid-19 half truths, full lies and manufactured medical science. Historically we are a nation that more often than not has sided with the judgments of our public health officials. We have imbued them with a reverence bordering on sanctimonious adulation. The average person has a difficult time challenging the authorities that run our medical system. Consequently we assume they are more correct than wrong. 

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic and our response has been transformed into a great betrayal. The large majority of the US population has had their lives adversely affected, some to the point of chronic despair leading to suicide. Trump’s “greatest economy ever” is in fact a wasteland of over 122 million Americans closing in on poverty and tens of millions of Americans facing abject poverty. Sixty-six million are food insecure, meaning that they go to bed hungry and are therefore suffering from malnutrition. How much of this economic catastrophe is contributing to the virus’ spread and actual deaths? Stimulus packages are only temporary band aids on what has now become a massive gouging laceration. 

If anyone believes that the US is economically stable and competent enough to tackle these problems without a catastrophic blowback, they are delusional. Fiscal conservatives are angered that the US National Debt has reached $24.5 trillion while at the same time adamantly ignoring that the US Total Debt hovers above $82 trillion, $9 trillion more from a year ago under Trump’s administration. Unfunded government liabilities are at an astronomical $155 trillion.  Neither party shows concern about Americans' increasing personal debt (Mortgage debt: $15.8 trillion; Student loan debt: $1.7 trillion; Credit card debt: $994 billion), nor the rise in corporate debt ($9.9 trillion), state debt ($1.2 trillion) and local debt ($2.1 trillion). When we take into consideration $144.6 trillion in US Unfunded Liabilities, $20.4 trillion in Social Security Liability, and $31.6 trillion in Medicare liability, the nation lingers on the precipice of a total collapse. This is a financial tsunami that can only be curbed by keeping the dollar’s printing machines rolling 24-7 until doomsday. 

But not everyone is suffering equally, especially the nation’s 700 billionaires who average 65 years in age. To the contrary, some are profiting happily during the pandemic. It is in their best economic interests to assure that corporate lobbyists and captive legislators at the federal and state levels act on their behalf. Quite simply, with billions and potentially trillions of dollars being spent on the development and later distribution of drugs and vaccines in the corona war, it would be foolish and naïve to except a higher moral principle to motivate our ship captains’ judgments. Hence, our suffering is their profit. 

To gain a greater appreciation of the dire scenario that we all face, we must pull back and open a curtain to expose something rarely if ever discussed. This is the Pandora box of debt that has become so vast that it will never be repaid.  We have been spending money at the federal, state, local, corporate and personal levels at an astronomical rate while intentionally ignoring to realize we are in no position to repay it. 

For all of the uncertainties the pandemic poses to the world, especially in the US, one thing should now be evident.  Our neoliberal capitalist civilization has proven itself to be unprepared for unexpected crises and catastrophes. For decades, the US has been falling behind other developed nations in healthcare, quality of life, life expectancy, wages, class equality, etc. Not only has the American medical system and our federal health agencies been exposed to be naked, we are also discovering we cannot rely on their epistemological statistics, mathematical computer modeling, the FDA’s latest approved drug and vaccine, and surely not our decrepit healthcare system to account for our flawed health policies. 

Aside from the pandemic's toll on people's lives, there is also its impact upon the national and global economies at large that is rarely discussed. Rather, hopes and wishes are directed towards life returning to past normalcy.  We are expected to believe that our addiction to unconscionable consumerism will be restored, that employment will rise and the American dream can again be mentally photo-shopped into the national psyche. In short, we are persuaded that the comfort of our illusions and the denial of harsh realities will return. These hopes are highly unlikely if not impossible. At the height of the pandemic last spring, former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen warned that the 30% GDP decline is leading us towards Depression. McKinsey predicted 40% of GDP would be necessary to tackle the economic loss. 

In desperation the federal government has already spent $6.5 trillion dollars to frantically keep the economy afloat as a depression far worse than 1932 looms overhead. Some economists believe that this massive bailout is insufficient and upwards to $10-15 trillion may be necessary.  In 2008, with one broad stroke the Obama administration rescued Wall Street. What was believed to be just the TARP bailout of $700 billion was in fact over $4 trillion worth of outlays, including other FED and Treasury expenditures.  The Levy Institute at Bard College calculated the outlays may have been as high as $29 trillion, a number the Sanders' campaign had quoted. 

Before the pandemic, Trump boasted an unemployment level as low as 3.6 percent. But in the US, there are different ways to calculate unemployment. There is the official figure (U-3) that Wall Street and presidential administrations rely upon and then a more realistic statistic or U-6 that includes those underemployed and those only marginally attached to the work force or not at all.  Before the pandemic the "real" or U-6 employment was 8 percent.  Now, unemployment is skyrocketing.  The shadow statistic includes the millions of Americans who have dropped out of the work force because their benefits ceased or because they are homeless or unaccounted for by the Labor Bureau.  When those adjustments are made, the actual unemployment is likely around 27 percent. According to the Commonwealth Fund about 7.7 million works with Employer Sponsored Insurance have lost jobs during the crisis, which totals 14.6 million after including their health insurance to cover dependents. Many of these job losses are permanent. 

The dark side of American employment has been decades of outrageous layoffs, workers being replaced by automation, downsizing, corporate consolidation due to equity partnerships, mergers and off shoring of manufacturing. In addition, tens of thousands of foreign professionals have received work visas and are eager to take the place of middle seniority positions in firms for lower salaries and without full benefits.  The system is so corrupt that the millions of people who work full time for less than a living wage are completely ignored. Hence most Americans are deep in debt and frequently live paycheck to paycheck. The fact of the matter is that there is no security whatsoever for millions of people who may not find work for a very long time if at all.

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

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

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

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

State and local city governments are "staring at budget shortfalls that will substantially exceed what they faced during the great recession." States are reporting significant gaps in their capacity to remain fiscally afloat and are now staring into a deep abyss.

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

  • Downsizing will accelerate along with borrowed money to continue operations while the White House refuses to pass a rent holiday, forgive student loans and other debts, cease payday loans, reduce interest rates on credit nor provide free healthcare for those infected with COVID-19;
  • The average person without a steady paycheck is living off savings and credit cards. Therefore, when the economy reopens, large numbers of people will be unable to return to the marketplace to circulate dollars;
  • As corporate debt mounts, the most insidious truth is that the vultures of capitalism are ready profit. These are the great white sharks in the finance industry that smell blood. For the trillions of dollars Trump is dishing out to the 1 percent, these are the first to get the lion's share of the quarry. 

Nobody in the mainstream media has properly criticized the huge monetary allocations being made for the pandemic. The FED is buying corporate debt in order for companies to off load their mistakes and receive fresh, new money. But the average small business receives the left over pennies.  The virus is teaching us the harsh reality about Washington’s pervasive culture of corruption. Neither party has any empathic regard for average citizens and small business owners.  Even the money from Trump's and Mnuchin's stimulus package given to citizens can be confiscated by debt collectors. 

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

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

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

Now over 40,000 international medical professionals and almost half a million citizens have signed the Great Barrington Declaration to demand the reopening of national economies and to bring lockdowns to an end. Rather than trying to protect society, first we must break down the restrictions and burdens to free movement. This is part of a larger movement to demand that honest science, objective media coverage and collective compassion can begin to rebuild broken lives and forgive debt. The elite and their political ideologues claim it cannot be done. To the contrary Bush and Obama found it within their means to bail out corporate America, and Trump later followed suit. The scandal that should outrage every citizen is that these are the same privileged elite, their mega-firms and banking institutions who brought the Recession upon us by their own irresponsible debt and foolish decisions; ergo, the Federal Reserve and your tax dollars made them whole again. But sadly no small or personal business benefited from the bailout’s payback bribes.  History is about to repeat itself. It is time we declare we have had enough of our kakistocracy – a government run by the worst, least qualified and most incompetent citizens of the nation – and to sincerely mean it. 

 

The Gary Null Show - 10.19.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.19.20

October 19, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. Protective effects of blueberry anthocyanin extracts on hippocampal neuron damage induced by extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field. Looking for new ways to fuel athletic performance? Try a potato! Research finds that blue-light glasses improve sleep and workday productivity. The therapeutic effects of ginseng against Alzheimer’s disease. Meditation can counter mental stress on college campuses, experts say. 

The Gary Null Show -  10.16.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.16.20

October 16, 2020

A Scientific Look at Botanical Plants and Supplements Against Coronavirus

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, March 10, 2020

 

In recent weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has dominated the news at the expense of everything else that is critical and urgent in our lives. As panic increases and more cases are reported daily, health-minded people are eager or even desperate to know whether there are ways to strengthen the body's immune system to offer some protection from this specific upper respiratory infection. 

There are six known strains of coronavirus, four which are associated with the common cold or moderate respiratory infections. Everyone has likely had a coronavirus infection at some time in their lives. However, two strains -- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) -- are more severe. Between the years 2002-2004 and 2014-2018 these strains respectively were observed to be lethal. However, during these periods, total deaths were under one thousand. SARS has the ability to infect the lower respiratory system as well. The current strain being called Covid19 is a new mutation that is being recognized as a novel SARS. As of this writing, the current coronvirus has been attributed to over 4,000 deaths, the large majority among the elderly. In a recent press conference the Surgeon General remarked that the average age of death was 80.

Compared to other viral infections that target the respiratory tract, especially influenza, there has been far less research either to understand the pathway of infection and the drugs or natural substances to battle the virus. It remains uncertain how long immunity lasts, if any, after infection. Seemingly, immunity wanes quickly. Consequently, since coronavirus is most often responsible for a flu-like common cold, recommended prevention and treatment protocols are largely similar to the flu. 

During a recent coronavirus task force meeting, Trump asked whether the flu vaccine would protect against the coronavirus. The flu vaccine is not only influenza-specific, it is also flu strain specific. It offers absolutely no protection to any other viruses. Nevertheless we are going to likely witness a sharp rise in propaganda recommending flu vaccines to fight the coronavirus scare. The belief is that increasing national flu vaccination compliance will not only reduce the risks of flu infection but will also help divert money away from flu infections to better deal with the rising coronavirus cases. 

But there is a caveat. A very serious caveat.

Sometimes the universe has an unusual way of providing warnings that we have an opportunity to either heed or disregard to our benefit or detriment. On December 31, 2019 in order to usher in the New Year, China reported the first case of an "unusual pneumonia" in its port city of Wuhan. A week later on January 7th, the pathogen was identified as a novel strain of coronavirus.  That same month, the prestigious journal Vaccinepublished a study conducted by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Researchers investigated viral interference due to receiving the flu shot; in other words, does the flu vaccine make a recipient more susceptible to other non-influenza respiratory viral infections? The study's conclusions state "Vaccine derived virus interference was significantly associated with coronavirus and human metapneumovirus." 

This is not the first time that viral interference from the flu vaccine has been associated with an increase in non-influenza respiratory infections. A much more thorough study, an actual clinical trial, was conducted by the University of Hong Kong in 2012. The double blind randomized controlled trial followed a group of flu-vaccinated versus placebo-vaccinated children between 6 and 15 years of age over the course of nine months to determine infection rates from 19 other respiratory viruses. The study found "no statistically significant difference in the risk of confirmed seasonal influence influenza infection between recipients of the [influenza vaccine] or placebo." However, it was the dramatic number of incidences of non-influenza infections found in the flu-vaccinated group (105 cases), which included coronavirus, as opposed to 54 cases among those who received a placebo. In other words, the results suggest that receiving the flu shot may increase one's risk of contracting another infectious virus by almost 100 percent.

A recent analysis out of China reviewing rates of infection, targeted populations and mortality reported that the worst hit group is older people, particularly those who have immune-compromised conditions: cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic respiratory illnesses, etc. Taking this statistic into account, we may note that the majority of American adults have some type of chronic condition. It is estimated that 60% of American adults have at least one underlying health condition and 40% have two or more. For example, 33 million have diabetes and an estimated 84 million are pre-diabetic; heart disease affects 121 million and there are approximately 1.7 million new cancer diagnoses annually. All of these people, therefore, have either a mild to severe compromised immune system. 

Swiss study noted that the SARS coronavirus and influenza share two of the same proteases in targeted cells -- TMPRSS2 and HAT. These are responsible for activating the spread of the virus at the point of infection and contribute to their pathogenesis in an infected cell. Therefore it may be partially conjecture on our part to suggest that natural supplements and botanical remedies that have been shown in the scientific literature to be effective against influenza may more or less be effective against coronavirus as well. In fact, last month a study was released by Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University in the Journal of Medical Virology recommending that patients' nutritional status should be evaluated before any conventional treatment.  The hospital recommended a regimen that included Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, Omega-3, Selenium, Zinc, gammaglobulin A administered intravenously and Chinese traditional medicine

Therefore we have scoured the peer-reviewed literature on the National Institutes of Health's Library of Medicine database to identify compelling studies that may warrant vitamin, antioxidant, and botanical supplementation as a means to protect ourselves from coronavirus and other viral infections. These have been shown to either have strong antiviral properties in general or have known biomolecular effects to strengthen the immune system against microbial infection. We are not offering prescriptions. This is just a summary of some important scientific information for you to make better informed decisions for protecting yourself while the coronavirus wends its course. 

 

BOTANICALS

Astragulus

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

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

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

In China, which has a large poultry industry, avian coronaviruses are a serious threat to chicken farmers. Chinese farmers will often include astragulus in feed to protect the birds from infection as well as pig feed to ward off porcine circovirus.

Two weeks ago, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine completed an analysis of previous research looking at the benefits of Chinese herbal formulas against the SARS coronavirus and H1N1 flu (swine flu). In 3 studies, among participants who took formulas against SARS, none contracted the illness. Nor did any contract H1N1 influenza in four additional studies. A primary ingredient in these formulas' was astragulus.

Earlier in February, researchers at Beijing Children's Hospital at the Capital Medical University provided a thorough overview of recommended diagnostic procedures and treatments for specific symptoms witnessed in the current Covid19 infections that included both allopathic and traditional Chinese medicine.  In cases where there are signs of severe weakness and stress observed in the lungs and spleen, a formula called Liu Jun Zi is being prescribed, which includes astragulus and ginseng as two primary botanicals. 

Last week, the prestigious journal Science published a review out of Yun-nan Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China that investigated the great disparities in infection and mortality rates between different provinces - Wuhan being the most severe.  In the provinces with the lowest infection rates, there was between an 84% to 98% use of TCM formulas.  Again, two of the main ingredients were Astragulus and Ginseng.

 

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhizin Acid) 

In traditional medicine licorice root has been used to relieve and treat ulcers, sore throats, bronchitis, coughs, adrenal insufficiencies and allergic diseases. Ancient manuscripts from China, India and Greece all include licorice for treating respiratory tract infections and hepatitis.  Licorice's main antiviral compounds are known as glycyrrhizins (GL). For 20 years Japan has used glycyrrhizins intravenously to treat chronic hepatitis B and C infections with very rare side effects. It has also been shown to induce apoptosis in lymphoma cells and Karposi sarcoma related to herpesvirus. Therefore it was an unexpected surprise to discover that there is notable research on glycyrrihizin's effectiveness against coronavirus and in particular SARS.

Japan's National Institute of Infectious Disease reported GL's effectiveness against coronavirus and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as well as Epstein Barr virus and human cytomegalovirus. After the deadly SARS outbreak in 2012, virologists at Frankfurt University Medical School investigated several antiviral compounds to treat patients admitted with SARS coronavirus infections. Of all the compounds tested, licorice's GL was the most effective. The scientists concluded that "Our findings suggest that glycyrrhizin should be assessed for treatment of SARS."

The above research was later replicated at Sun Yat Sen University in China and published in the Chinese journal Bing Du Xue Bao. The researchers identified several derivatives of glycyrrhizin as primary molecules with antiviral properties. In addition to being effective against the SARS coronavirus, they also found it may be effective against herpes, HIV, hepatitis and influenza. 

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

Extract of licorice root is the most effective and glycyrrhizin is also available as a separate botanical supplement. 

 

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

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

Most research has focused on elderberry's therapeutic value against influenza.

Hadassah University Hospital in Israel found that elderberry was effective in vitro against 10 different influenza strains. Cytokine activity for IL-1, TNF-a, IL-6 and IL-8 all significantly increased thereby confirming its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.

Another Israeli study by Hebrew University in Jerusalem and published in the Journal of Internal Medical Research found that participants enrolled with existing flu like symptoms who took 15 ml of elderberry syrup 4 times a day recovered four days earlier than those on medications or a placebo.

Finally, a more recent 2019 study by the University of Sydney observed that certain compounds in elderberry inhibit the flu virus's entry and replication in human cells. 

However, there is also research showing elderberry's positive impact on coronavirus infections. 

In 2014, researchers at Emory University noted that elderberry extract inhibited coronavirus virility at the point of infection.  The scientists hypothesized that elderberry rendered the virus non infectious. 

One of the better studies came out of National Sun Yat Sen University and the China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan in 2019. The researchers used an ethanol extract of Sambucus stem (not the berry) and observed its potential against coronavirus strain NL63

It is important to remember that deaths being attributed to the coronavirus are more often than not complicated by secondary infections that are usually bacterial such as pneumonia. In addition to its antiviral properties, elderberry is also effective against pathogenic bacteria. Under laboratory conditions at Justus Liebig University in Germany, elderberry was shown to be very effective against several bacteria that are responsible for pneumonia during flu-like infections, and against Influenza A and B viruses in particular

 

Echinacea

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

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

There are different species of Echinacea. The species Echinacea purpurea has been shown to be most effective and targets the most infectious pathogens. When purchasing echinacea, be certain it is the purpurea strain.

Echinicea does present limitations depending upon the severity of an infection. Once a cold caused by any one of the various cold viruses, including coronavirus, more deeply infects the bronchia and the lower lung, echinacea does not appear to be helpful. It is more effective with upper respiratory tract infections.

One of the largest placebo double blind studies on echinacea was conducted by Cardifff University in the UK. The study followed participants for four months and confirmed the safety of long term echinacea supplementation. It also observed a statistically significant decrease in cold episodes in the echinacea group.

There are no strong studies showing echinacea's effectiveness against coronavirus. Up until 2014, only one study looked at its bioactivities against coronavirus and that was a mouse model which required high doses of the plant extract. 

In 2012, Griffith University in Australia undertook one notable double blind study to determine whether echinacea provided protection to air travelers. The study concluded:

"Supplementation with standardized Echinacea tablets, if taken before and during travel, may have preventive effects against the development of respiratory symptoms during travel involving long-haul flights."

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

 

Olive Leaf

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

There are almost 10,000 studies in the National Institutes of Health literature database referring to OLE, olive leaf, and olive oil, most with respect to its strong antioxidant and anticancer properties. According to analysis conducted by the Regina Elena National Cancer Institute in Rome of the oleuropein content in different parts of the olive plant, extracts made from buds and flowers showed the greatest strength and potency.

Olive leaf has not been shown to be particularly effective against viral upper respiratory infections; however there is considerable evidence to support olive leaf's ability to strengthen the immune system against infectious viral diseases in addition to possessing many anti-inflammatory qualities. 

There are only a few studies showing olive leaf's effectiveness against respiratory viruses. One randomized trial performed by the University of Auckland in New Zealand suggests olive leaf can contribute to treating respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus. A 2001 study out of the University of Hong Kong identified 6 separate antiviral agents in olive that were effective against parainfluenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Olive leaf is also effective against bacterial pathogens. Most bacterial pneumonias are gram-positive. According to a joint study by Arab American University and the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, OLE worked best against gram-positive pathogens but gram-negative organisms appeared to be resistant to OLE (eg, E coli, Salmonellas, etc.).

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

New York University biochemists identified olive leaf extract's anti-HIV activity to modulate the host cell gene expression due to HIV infection. In fact, olive leaf extracts reversed HIV-1 infections. This was published in Journal of Biochemical and Biophysical Research. The conclusions state, "Treatment with OLE reverses many of these HIV-1 infection-associated changes."  Another joint study by NYU and Harvard Medical School concluded that OLE from olive leaf is "a unique class of HIV-1 inhibitors" and is "effective against viral fusion and integration."

 

Oregano Oil

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

Soochow University in China and the University of Oklahoma published a study in the BMC Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine focusing on oregano's antiviral properties against influenza viruses. Although oregano did not kill the virus it nevertheless inhibited the virus' ability to translate proteins responsible for the viral binding to cells.

University of Putra Malaysia meta-analysis of existing research of different plant essential oils reported oregano was strongest against the flu-like viruses adenovirus and coxsackie virus.

2010 randomized double blind study study published in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggested oregano was beneficial as a throat spray and showed significant and immediate improvement of upper respiratory infectious ailments.

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

 

Other Botanicals

Saikosaponins is an important family of compounds found in the Bupleurum plant, which has been shown to have possible anti-coronavirus properties. 

Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan examined many of the derivatives of saikosaponins and observed it has very potent anti-coronaviral activity that interferes with the early stage of the virus' replication. Several companies offer Bupleurum online 

University College Dublin and Sichuan Agricultural University conducted a systematic meta-review of the existing medical literature on Chinese herbs that may prevent and treat viral respiratory infections. Among the most promising herbs against SARS coronavirus were panax ginseng, glycyrrhizin from licorice, and Isatis tinctoria, commonly known as woad or Asp of Jerusalem. Isatis is also available online. 

Houttuynia cordata also known as fish mint, rainbow plant, fish wort, bishop's weed is indigenous to Southeast Asia. This botanical directly inhibits coronavirus' protease and blocks the viral RNA polymerase activity. A study out of Tsinghua University in Beijing found it significantly reduces fevers, sore throat and coughs due to the SARS virus. Tinctures of this plant are available online.

 

SUPPLEMENTS

Vitamin C

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

Until recently, Vitamin C has not been tested against coronavirus. There was  one study performed to see whether the vitamin protected chick embryo organs from infection by avian coronavirus -- a very common infection in fowl. That study showed the vitamin positively increased embryo resistance against the virus. Otherwise, Vitamin C has only been well studied against other viral infections, especially influenza.

Seoul National University College of Medicine concluded that Vitamin C is an essential factor for anti-viral immune responses at the early stage of Influenza A infection.

In 2017 the University of Helsinki reviewed 148 studies that indicated Vitamin C may alleviate or prevent infections caused by bacteria and viruses. The most extensive indication studied was the common cold. Among people who are physically active, Vitamin C was most beneficial. However, many studies relied on very low Vitamin C doses, which likely contributed to the minor benefits observed. Some of these were as low as 100 mg daily. In addition, the studies showed that colds' duration was frequently shorter and less severe among people with sufficient Vitamin C levels.

An early randomized double blind trial to investigate Vitamin C's ability to protect elderly hospitalized patients from acute respiratory infections was conducted at Hudderfield University in the UK. The study relied on a very low dose of 200 mg per day. Nevertheless, those who received the vitamin fared significantly better than those taking placebo. 

Finally, there was another controlled placebo study involving 715 students between the ages 18-32 taking 1000 mg four times daily. The test group had an 85% decrease in flu and cold symptoms compared to the control. 

 

Vitamin D

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

It has been shown that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase risk in autoimmunity illnesses and greater susceptibility to infection. It also boosts up the body's mucosal defenses which are critical for protecting ourselves from infectious respiratory viruses

Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital in conjunction with a global collaborative study to follow up on a Cochrane analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials involving 11,000 participants confirmed that vitamin D. taken daily or weekly significantly cut the risk of respiratory infections in half

Jikei University School of Medicine in Japan conducted a randomized double blind placebo trial to measure the rate that Vitamin D reduced seasonal influenza A. Almost twice as many participants in the placebo group came down with the flu compared to the Vitamin D group. The Japanese scientists also observed that people with a history of asthma were best protected. 

For children, a Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia meta review identified 13 of 18 studies confirming that Vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased incidences of acute lower respiratory infection. 

 

N-Acetyl Cysteine

Oxidative stress is a well known pathway for microbial infections such as viruses and bacterial pneumonia, especially in the lungs. 

When the lungs are subject to serious oxidative stress, there is an increase in inflammatory cytokines, especially IL-1, IL-8 and Tumor necrosis factor or TNF. Each of these cytokines have been shown repeatedly in clinical research to play a role in different respiratory infections including influenza, coronavirus, echovirus, adenovirus, coxsackie virus and others. Therefore, certain antioxidants can alleviate lung damage due to oxidative stress. 

N-acetyl cysteine is one of these extremely important antioxidants. It exhibits both direct and indirect antioxidant properties. The indirect benefit is that it increases the concentration of another important antioxidant, glutathione, in the lung cells.

There is no confirmatory evidence that NAC directly targets flu or flu-like viral infections; however it has been shown to significantly reduce the rate of clinical symptoms. 

Johann Goethe University Department of Virology observed that NAC inhibits the replication of seasonal human influenza A viruses by decreasing several these pro-inflammatory molecules. The scientists recommend that NAC should be included as an additional treatment option in the case of an influenza A pandemic.

An Italian randomized placebo study conducted at the University of Genoa found that subjects who were already suspected of having contact with the H1N1 flu virus who were placed under NAC treatment had a 25% rate of experiencing symptoms compared to 79% in the placebo group.

Certain cytokines, especially tumor necrosis factor and IL-6, have been associated with the pathogenesis of influenza and can increase the risk of mortality. In a mouse study, Italian researchers at Zambon Research Center gave NAC to flu-infected mice with a significant decrease in mortality. 

 

Colloidal Silver

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

In a 2005 issue of the Journal of Nanotechnology, the University of Texas and Mexico University observed that silver nanoparticles could kill HIV-1 within 3 hours, and they suspected that this may be true for many other viruses as well. However, this conclusion may be too premature and more research is necessary. 

There are studies showing silver's efficacy against respiratory viruses. One large study by Japan's National Defense Medical College Research Institute, published in the Journal of Molecular Sciences, recommended that Japanese healthcare workers take nanosilver to protect them from viruses including coronavirus.

In 2010, the University of Naples measured silver nanoparticles' capabilities to reduce and prevent infection from the parainfluenza type 3 virus. The scientists hypothesized that the silver may block the virus' interaction with the cell. Then a joint study by Deakin University in Australia and Osaka University in Japan found that colloidal silver significantly protected cells from H3N2 flu infection and prevented viral growth in the lungs

Finally, colliodal or nanoparticle gold has also been shown to inhibit the flu virus' binding capaticity to a cell's plasma membrane. That research was carried out by Freie University in Germany. 

 

Conclusion

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

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

The Gary Null Show - 10.15.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.15.20

October 15, 2020

Playing Russian Roulette with a Covid-19 Vaccine

 

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, October 15, 2020

America, we need to have a conversation. It is a very serious and dire conversation that has been intentionally ignored and swept under the rug for far too long.  It concerns a dialogue that our entire mainstream media, in its conventional blindness, refuses to acknowledge.  Yet its consequences are potentially severe and perhaps deadly. It may not eventually have an impact upon you personally nor your health, but it will surely have a profound adverse effect upon someone you know or perhaps even a loved one.

Read More

The Gary Null Show - 10.14.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.14.20

October 14, 2020

America's corporate welfare system to enrich the elite

Lisa Conyers is an author, economist and consultant who has focused her attention on explaining complex economic issues, such as federal and state spending, for the general public. Her expertise is in welfare, taxes, trade and banking policies, the failures of foreign aid and the perils of regulatory over-reach. Lisa spent eight years traveling around the country to gather stories for two books co-authored with philanthropist Phil Harvey -- who tackles the problems of global hunger -- that address welfare issues. The most recent is "Welfare for the Rich: How Your Tax Dollars End Up in Millionaires Pockets and What You Can Do About It." Both have been the subject of PBS documentaries. She holds a degree in American Studies from George Mason University and a Masters in Business Management from the University of Maryland. Her website is WelfareForTheRIch.com

The Gary Null Show - 10.13.20
The Gary Null Show - 10.12.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.12.20

October 12, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. The truth about vaccines. Please share so the world can wake up. They hide videos like these for a reason, they do not want you to know what vaccines are doing to your health and your children's health.

The Gary Null Show - 10.09.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.09.20

October 9, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. Stomach cancer cells halted with whole tomato extracts. Curcumin ameliorates heat-induced injury through NADPH oxidase-dependent redox signaling and mitochondrial preservation. Fighting intestinal infections with the body's own endocannabinoids. Can vitamin D help protect against respiratory virus? Spinach: good for popeye and the planet. Zinc is cancer’s worst enemy: This mineral is key to preventing cancer, scientists conclude. 

The Gary Null Show - 10.08.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.08.20

October 8, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. In this 29th in a series of live discussions with Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying (both PhDs in Biology), we discuss the state of the world though an evolutionary lens. Find more from on Bret’s website (https://bretweinstein.net) or Heather’s website (http://heatherheying.com).

The Gary Null Show -10.07.20

The Gary Null Show -10.07.20

October 7, 2020

The Clash of Crippled Ideologies is Leading to the Nation’s Demise

 

Richard Gale and Gary Null, PhD

Progressive Radio Network, October 7, 2020

 

 

One does not need to be an oracle to envision the future. All that is necessary is to examine our constraints and foibles. We are now facing a perfect storm of pain, suffering and destruction: financial inequality and poverty, global warming, environmental migration, and disease pandemics.  Yet when any reasonable person questions what can be done, we are told we are fine and the best and brightest are on hand to solve our problems. However, in no small measure, it was the best and brightest during the past 60 years who were the architects for many of the crises we face today.

 

We need to step back to have a purview of the larger picture in order to observe what we as individuals can do to prevent or mediate the catastrophes we will all face. But this begins by reaching agreement that those in power are the structural problem and can never come of up with satisfying solutions.

 

An optimist will say that our socio-political and ecological conditions will improve, especially after the election and the real work demanded can begin again. The pessimist reflects back upon all of the previous administrations since Eisenhower and declares nothing fundamental will change. It will only worsen. The climate optimist says that they are lucky their home has not been swept away in a flood, burnt to the ground from a wildfire or leveled by a hurricane. For the moment their lives are safe so everything will be fine in the future. The pessimist focuses on the reality on what happens when we do not have a national or worldwide Marshall Plan to curb our impending crises. As one example, this year 9000 structures and 4 million acres in California were destroyed in fires as 1,700 towns require emergency assistance. In addition, there were the deadly derecho storms that destroyed approximately 10 million acres in the corn belt of Iowa and surrounding states.

 

Throughout the US, people are waking up to a once in a lifetime experience in our body-politic. Others are waking up unknowing whether they will be evicted from their homes and apartments tomorrow. It is estimated that upwards to 75 percent of restaurants and bars will never reopen again. Yet the sole message fed to us daily by the mainstream media is that the only important issue on hand is to remain fearful of coronavirus, get tested, social distance and quarantine yourself until Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates otherwise give a green light for a vaccine to be distributed across the entire population.

 

Governors, state legislators and mayors are contributing as well, advocating for mandatory mask wearing and testing while imposing strict penalties on those who resist. Google, Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia do their best as well to be sure that no medical experts, advocates or common citizens with data or facts on social platforms contradict the official health policies and narratives.

 

In the meantime, the nightly news, depending upon the political ideology of the network, airs images of either peaceful or violent protests or the latest Covid-19 spin of that day. If the average person asks what are the top ten or so issues that our nation should be focused upon, barely anything found in the mainstream media would be on that list.

 

Why?

 

It is not as complex or as unfathomable as it might appear on the surface. The basis of Ockham’s Razor is that to cut through the fat to get at the meat, the correct answers are usually the simplest.  We might begin by acknowledging that we are a nation divided but we have always been divided to some degree; however it has never been as purulent and hostile as today. The uniqueness of our society has been our diversity, languages, cultures and accents, and its ethnic and racial differences.  America’s dialectic has been one that inspires to become acquainted with these differences, such as southern hospitality, the Pacific Northwest’s relaxed and playful lifestyle, the quiet reserve and rural persona of the Midwest and the frenetic professional energy to succeed in the Northeast and California. Perhaps we appreciate each other in more ways than we consciously realize. Historically, when it was necessary to unite together, we did so as a nation – the world wars and the Great Depression are but two examples.

 

If we were to ask the average person in the 1930s what their priorities were, they would not be much different than today: a living wage, a home, food to feed the family and educational opportunities. Families wanted their children to be educated and succeed in ways the parents were unable.

 

There have always been conflicting attitudes towards social order or how the nation should be governed. But today what we are observing is not concerted efforts to advance improvements for how we govern ourselves, but rather we are retreating backwards into tribalism, identity politics and a new class warfare. No one can predict where this conflict and confusion will ultimately lead.

 

Identity politics, the effort for groups based upon race, social status, gender or religion to create exclusive political alliances founded on groupthink, has found its scripture on the Left in Robin DiAnglo’s best-seller White Fragility. The text argues that if one is born Caucasian then racism is built into your genetic inheritance. There can be no escape from this curse, DiAngelo suggests , no redemption or purification by fire regardless of how much public service one performs for the greater good. On the Right we have the identity politics of white supremacism, anti-Semitism, and a fascist Christian evangelicalism built upon medieval superstitions.

 

Contrary to DiAngelo, Melanie Phillips gives us a clearer understanding for why we should not rely upon those pundits who believe that either conservative or liberal truths will save us from ourselves. Despite disagreeing with Phillips on many of her other socio-political positions, we believe she correctly identifies the fundamental flaws in the contemporary liberalism now being voiced by Black Lives Matter, across our campuses and within the Democrat party. First, it is unable to establish a hierarchy of values and morals. For example, if one refuses to say that any lifestyle or culture is better than another, then it cannot be said that liberalism is better than conservatism or any other ideology.  Consequently, faux liberalism cannot legitimately defend the very principles upon which it defines itself: freedom of speech and religion, tolerance, gender and class equality, etc.  It contradicts its own principles and removes the dignity of the individual, which is at the heart of liberalism and serves as its moral backbone. What we are witnessing therefore in modern liberalism, according to Phillips, is “the strong dominating the weak,” and this is a “libertarian ideology that suppresses the facts” that contradict it. It is therefore an ill-liberal ideology.

 

Sadly we find highly educated people supporting these irrational beliefs as well as elected officials in both parties. On the Left are the college educated young adults who are highly sensitive and were raised in protected bubbles with the beliefs they are exceptional and entitled. These are the ones demanding fealty to Black Lives Matter. On the Right are the less educated, the disgruntled working class and disenfranchised dropouts of society who value a perverted Libertarian ideal built upon gun ownership.   And both have their allies in the mainstream media -- MSNBC on the Left and Fox on the Right – to provide a bullhorn to the larger public.

 

Both true liberalism and true conservatism, which at one time could share a constructive dialogue together, have morphed into their polar opposites: an irrational faux enlightenment of liberalism versus a neo-fascist traditionalism that is petrified of the future and wants to turn back the clock.  The current speed being measured of the melting of the Arctic and Greenland, and the recent breaking up of the Antarctica ice sheets will sooner rather than later be experienced up and down the Atlantic coastal cities and the Gulf. Nobody in government is addressing this far greater threat than a virus that seems no more dangerous than a bad seasonal flu.

 

Amidst all of the noise of protest, identity classes and coronavirus panic a laundry list of more serious issues are either being ignored or completely drowned out by the cacophony of overtly emotional hyena cries. How much attention is being given to the 66 million Americans now food insecure or the 2 million who don’t have clean drinking water. Four in ten Americans, 132 million, are conservatively financially broke. While everyone awaits a Covid vaccine, which real statistics seems to indicate is medically unwarranted, the co-morbid conditions associated with 96 percent of the advertised coronavirus deaths are criminally being neglected. Obesity is the coexisting health risk most associated with Covid deaths; 40 percent of American adults, 20 years and over, are clinically obese and another 72% are overweight. What is being done to free our federal health agencies from the grip of the junk food industry’s lobbying? Nothing. To make matters worse, 44 million Americans are uninsured and an additional 38 million have inadequate health insurance.  Approximately a quarter of the population has health coverage well below the standards of any other developed nation. How much of this gross neglect has contributed to the US having the highest percent of world Covid deaths?

 

And should it not surprise us that the ideological clashes have become so vile and contemptible? But the underlying problem does not reside with the camps facing each other on opposite sides of the street. Rather our educational system is a disgrace. Forty-three million American adults (21%) are illiterate or functionally illiterate according the National Center for Educational Statistics. So how much of our neglected educational system, and legislations’ disdain for teachers, is contributing to the civil war many analysts fear is brewing?

 

We have a president who is in a trance of pathological denial about climate change and then a Democratic contender who thinks he knows something about global warming based upon the corporate capitalists who whisper in his ear and fund his campaign. Daily, new studies are being reported that indicate the climate crisis is far worse than earlier forecasts presumed. Instead of worrying about Central American climate migrants trying to enter the country, rather we should be preparing for the massive migrations that will be happening within our borders. Half a million Oregon residents, about a tenth of the state’s population, were given evacuation warnings due to the increasing pace of wildfires. This is just the beginning

 

And if anyone believes that the US is economically capable of tackling these problems without a catastrophic blowback, they are delusional. The US’ total debt now stands at $82 trillion, $9 trillion more from a year ago under Trump’s administration. Mortgage debt: $15.8 trillion. Student loan debt: $1.7 trillion. Unfunded government liabilities at an astronomical $155 trillion.  This is a financial tsunami that can only be curbed by keeping the dollar printing machines rolling 24-7 until doomsday. In the meantime, other nations will usurp America’s former role as a world leader as we sit back and watch the country mutate into a third world nation.

 

The big question is whether we have the capability, let alone the willingness, to relinquish our personal dogmas and then individually and collectively step outside of the malignant atmosphere of negativity, hatred and virtue-shaming and begin to address real future threats?  Urgently the future needs to be re-envisioned. It might be based upon the Great Reset being orchestrated by Davos and the global elite. However, the very principles upon which a Reset will be created are the very failures of neoliberal capitalism that has brought the US and the international community to the impasse of self-destruction. Nor can we look back at the past. It is history. Neither our modern conservatism or liberalism as they are currently being politically identified would have a constructive role. Both are terribly outdated, decrepit and utterly corrupt.

 

Bertrand Russell remarked that “science is what you know, philosophy is what you don’t know.” Yet science doesn’t, nor can it ever, provide the truth of an entire picture. It can only tell us about distinct parts. In that context, we must begin to investigate what we don’t know in order to arrive at a consensus of truth for saving the planet and ourselves.

The Gary Null Show - The Covid-19 pandemic narrative - what can we believe? - 10.06.20

The Gary Null Show - The Covid-19 pandemic narrative - what can we believe? - 10.06.20

October 6, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic narrative - what can we believe?
 
Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi is an American born physician trained in Germany and has been in the medical field now for five decades. He received his medical degree from the University of Bonn and did his post-doctoral work at the prestigious Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics before becoming an associate professor at the Institute of Medical Microbiology at Gressen University. Later he was appointed as the chair of Medical Microbiology at the University of Mainz. Dr. Bhakdi has published over 300 articles in the fields of immunology, bacteriology and virology adn has received numerous awards including the Order of Merit of Rhineland. His recent book, co-written with his biologist wife Dr. Karina Reiss --  "Corona False Alarm?: Facts and Figures," was just released in the US four days ago. It has already become a national best seller in Germany and is rapidly receiving international attention. 
The Gary Null Show - 10.05.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.05.20

October 5, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. Comparing the effects of piceatannol and resveratrol on factors affecting inflammation, oxidative stress and sirtuins, Nitric oxide a possible treatment for COVID-19, Capsaicin from chili peppers reduces liver and abdominal fat and protects against oxidative damage, Even in people with Parkinson's gene, coffee may be protective, Research: COVID-19 is echoed in dreams, Medical Cannabis Superior to Opioids for Chronic Pain, Study Finds, Girls Benefit From Doing Sports. Denzel Washington's Speech Will Leave You SPEECHLESS - One of the Most Eye Opening Speeches Ever

The Gary Null Show - 10.02.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.02.20

October 2, 2020

The efficacy of Chinese medicine for the treatment of acute and critical medical conditions

University of Chicago and China Medical University (Taiwan), October 1, 2020

Researchers at the China Medical University in Taiwan and the University of Chicago discussed the theory of Chinese medicine and its application in the treatment of acute and critical medical conditions, including epidemics. Their review was published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • In developed nations and Eastern countries, western medicine is routinely used for treatment while traditional medicine is only used by a select few as a complement to modern medicines.
  • But research shows Chinese medicine can also be an effective treatment for chronic diseases, especially in cases when western medicine fails to produce the desired results.
  • Many studies have also demonstrated how Chinese medicine can be useful in the management of acute and critical illnesses.
  • Chinese medicine has a holistic view of the human body and emphasizes individualization based on body balance and mind-body interactions.
  • Some of the most frequently employed therapies in Chinese medicine are herbal medicines and acupuncture.
  • The researchers explored the use of this ancient therapy as a complementary medicine in modern times, particularly for the management of serious medical conditions, such as SARS, acute heart diseases and ischemic cerebral stroke.

The researchers also believe that well-designed controlled clinical trials are urgently needed to prove the safety and effectiveness of Chinese medicine, as well as to promote its application.

 
 

Citrus peel nobiletin ameliorates high-fat diet-induced vascular and renal changes by decreasing inflammation

Mahasarakham University (Thailand), September 25, 2020

According to news reporting from Maha Sarakham, Thailand, research stated, “We investigate the effect of nobiletin, a flavonoid in citrus peels, on vascular and renal alterations and possible mechanisms involved in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a HFD with fructose 15% in drinking water for 16 weeks.”

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Mahasarakham University, “HFD-fed rats were treated with nobiletin (20 or 40 mg/kg/day) or vehicle for the last 4 weeks. HFD-fed rats treated with nobiletin was significantly reduced obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia and hyperinsulinemia. Nobiletin improved vascular endothelial function, restored creatinine clearance, and reduced plasma urea and creatinine levels, as well as urinary protein excretion. Nobiletin markedly alleviated vascular medial cross-sectional area (CSA) and collagen deposition, glomerular extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation, and renal fibrosis. Nobiletin significantly elevated plasma adiponectin levels, together with upregulated adiponectin receptor 1 (AdipoR1) and suppressed transforming growth factor-b1 (TGF-b1) expression in kidney. In addition, an increase of plasma tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) was significantly attenuated after nobiletin treatment.”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “Our results suggest that nobiletin attenuates HFD-induced vascular and renal alterations in rats, which is possibly related to the modulation of AdipoR1 and TGF-b1expression, and suppression of inflammation.”

 

 

From San Diego to Italy, study suggests wisdom can protect against loneliness

Cross-cultural study finds a strong inverse correlation between loneliness and wisdom

University of California San Diego, October 1, 2020

Over the last few decades, there has been growing concern about loneliness across all ages, particularly in middle-aged and older adults. Loneliness, defined as feeling isolated or not having an adequate number of meaningful personal connections, is consistently associated with unhealthy aging and has been identified as a major risk factor for overall adverse health outcomes. 

In a recent cross-cultural study, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of Rome La Sapienza examined middle-aged and older adults in San Diego and Cilento, Italy and found loneliness and wisdom had a strong negative correlation. 

The study, publishing in the October 1, 2020 online edition of Aging and Mental Health, suggests wisdom may be a protective factor against loneliness. 

"An important finding from our study was a significant inverse correlation between loneliness and wisdom. People with higher scores on a measure of wisdom were less lonely and vice versa," said Dilip V. Jeste, MD, lead investigator of the study, senior associate dean for the Center of Healthy Aging and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine. 

"Loneliness was consistently associated with poor general health, worse quality of sleep and less happiness, whereas the reverse was generally true for wisdom."

Using the UCLA Loneliness Scale and San Diego Wisdom Scale, the researchers examined four groups: adults age 50 to 65 and those older than age 90 from Cilento and from San Diego. The researchers found the inverse correlation between loneliness and wisdom in all four groups. 

"We translated the rating scales for loneliness and wisdom from English to Italian. It is remarkable that the findings related to these two traits were largely similar in two markedly different cultures -- a rural region of southern Italy and an urban/suburban county in the United States, both with different native languages and unique historical, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds," said Salvatore Di Somma, MD, PhD, lead Italian investigator and professor of emergency medicine at University of Rome La Sapienza. 

The Cilento region in southwestern Italy is a relatively isolated, rural area believed to have a high concentration of individuals older than age 90. The present study was born out of the Cilento Initiative on Aging Outcomes (CIAO) study launched in 2016. 

"Both loneliness and wisdom are personality traits. Most personality traits are partially inherited and partially determined by environment," said Jeste. 

Wisdom has several components, such as empathy, compassion, self-reflection and emotional regulation. Researchers found that empathy and compassion had the strongest inverse correlation with loneliness. People who were more compassionate were less lonely. 

"If we can increase someone's compassion, wisdom is likely to go up and loneliness is likely to go down," said David Brenner, MD, vice chancellor of UC San Diego Health Sciences. "At UC San Diego, we have considerable interest in enhancing empathy and compassion to reduce levels of stress and improve happiness and well-being." 

Jeste said studies that examine how to decrease loneliness as people age will be critical for effective interventions and the future of health care. 

"Routine assessment of loneliness with evidence-based, compassion-focused interventions for prevention and management of loneliness should become an integral part of clinical practice. So how do you increase compassion? Utilizing approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy or writing in a gratitude diary can help someone become more compassionate," he said. 

Jeste noted that a limitation of this study was that it was cross-sectional. Only longitudinal studies can establish cause-and-effect relationships. Next steps will include testing an intervention to increase compassion for reducing loneliness.

 

Cannabinoids associated with negative respiratory health effects in older adults with COPD

Researchers publish first data on the impact of cannabinoids on the respiratory health of individuals with COPD

St Michaels Hospital (Toronto), September30, 2020

Cannabinoids, a class of prescription pills that contain synthetically-made chemicals found in marijuana, are associated with a 64 per cent increase in death among older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the first published data on the impact of cannabinoids on the respiratory health of individuals with the lung disease. 

The findings, published Wednesday in Thorax, have significant clinical implications as more physicians prescribe cannabinoids to patients with COPD to treat chronic muscle pain, difficulty sleeping and breathlessness. 

The study, led by St. Michael's Hospital of Unity Health Toronto, found that cannabinoids can contribute to negative respiratory health events in people with COPD, including hospitalization and death. COPD is a progressive lung disease that causes difficulty breathing and chronic productive coughing, and can be associated with a variety of non-respiratory issues, like chronic muscle pain and insomnia.

"Cannabinoid drugs are being increasingly used by older adults with COPD, so it is important for patients and physicians to have a clear understanding of the side-effect profile of these drugs," says Dr. Nicholas Vozoris, lead author, a respirologist at St. Michael's and an associate scientist at the hospital's Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.

"Our study results do not mean that cannabinoid drugs should be never used among older adults with COPD. Rather, our findings should be incorporated by patients and physicians into prescribing decision-making. Our results also highlight the importance of favouring lower over higher cannabinoid doses, when these drugs actually do need to be used."

The study analyzed the health data of over 4,000 individuals in Ontario ages 66 years and older with COPD from 2006 to 2016. The data was equally split into two groups: older adults with COPD who were new cannabinoid users and older adults with COPD not using cannabinoids. Older adults in Ontario with COPD who were new cannabinoid users represented 1.1 per cent of the data, which was made available by ICES.

Researchers observed particularly worse health outcomes among patients with COPD who were using higher doses of cannabinoids. Compared to non-users, new higher-dose cannabinoid users had a 178 per cent relative increase in hospitalizations for COPD or pneumonia, and a 231 per cent relative increase in all-cause death.

"Older adults with COPD represent a group that would likely be more susceptible to cannabinoid-related respiratory side-effects, since older adults less efficiently break down drugs and hence, drug effects can linger in the body for longer - and since individuals with COPD have pre-existing respiratory troubles and respiratory compromise," says Dr. Vozoris, who is also a scientist at ICES. 

Researchers conducted a sub-analysis to explore what impact cannabinoid drugs versus opioid drugs had on respiratory outcomes among older adults with COPD, since cannabinoid drugs are often prescribed as an alternative to opioids to treat chronic pain. The research team did not find evidence to support that cannabinoids were a safer choice over opioids for older adults with COPD in so far as respiratory health outcomes.

 

Study identifies exercise as key to halting progress from diabetes to heart disease

 

University of Otago (New Zealand), September 30, 2020

An international study led by the University of Otago has revealed how exercise can reduce the chance of diabetes leading on to heart disease.

The research has identified that exercisetriggers the release of small sequences of genetic code in the heart called microRNA, which increase protein production to improve heart structure and function.

The study, "Exercise regulates microRNAs to preserve coronary and cardiac function in the diabetic heart," has recently been published in the journal Circulation Research.

Associate Professors Daryl Schwenke and Rajesh Katare, of Otago's Department of Physiology, found that specific microRNA are adversely altered in the early stages of diabetes. These altered microRNA can reliably predict the inevitable onset of heart disease. Associate Professor Katare believes this is a pivotal new development as microRNA can serve as a reliable early biomarker for heart disease in diabetes.

"We've proven that by using exercise as a treatment, we can increase good microRNA, and reduce bad microRNA from causing damage. Exercise effectively improves regulation of microRNA to prevent the onset and progression of heart disease," Associate Professor Schwenke says.

Along with highlighting the role of exercise in regulating microRNA, the study also shows that microRNA are a potential novel target for the therapeutic treatment of heart disease in people with chronic diabetes.

"By increasing the good microRNA using pharmacological drugs it is possible to effectively reduce heart disease in diabetic subjects. This approach is not solely reliant on exercise," Associate Professor Schwenke says.

Over 250,000 thousand New Zealanders have diabetes according to the Ministry of Health, which defines diabetes as a serious health challenge to our country.

Associate Professor Schwenke believes this research has clear long-term benefits on both the quality of life for diabetic patients with heart disease, as well as alleviating the economic burden associated with current treatment of diabetes.

"By understanding the physiological role of microRNA we can see without doubt the positive role of exercise in preventing diabetic heart disease," he adds.

 

S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) rescues cognitive deficits in animal research

University of Melbourne (Australia), September 28, 2020

According to news reporting originating in Parkville, Australia, research stated, “Alterations in the methionine cycle and abnormal tau phosphorylation are implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. rTg4510 mice express mutant human P301L tau and are a model of tau hyperphosphorylation. The cognitive deficit seen in these animals correlates with a burden of hyperphosphorylated tau and is a model to test therapies aimed at lowering phosphorylated tau.”

The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from the University of Melbourne, “This study aimed to increase protein phosphatase 2A activity through supplementation of S-adenosylmethionine and analyze the effect on spatial memory and tau in treated animals. 6-month-old rTg4510 mice were treated with 100 mg/kg S adenosylmethionine by oral gavage for 3 weeks. Spatial recognition memory was tested in the Y-maze. Alterations to phosphorylated tau and protein phosphatase 2A were explored using immunohistochemistry, western blot, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Treatment with S-adenosylmethionine increased the Y-maze novel arm exploration time and increased both the expression and activity of protein phosphatase 2A. Furthermore, treatment reduced the number of AT8 positive neurons and reduced the expression of phosphorylated tau (Ser202/Thr205). S-adenosylmethionine contributes to multiple pathways in neuronal homeostasis and neurodegeneration.”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “This study shows that supplementation with S-adenosylmethionine stabilizes the heterotrimeric form of PP2A resulting in an increase the enzymatic activity, a reduced level of pathological tau, and improved cognition.”

 

Teen social networks linked to adult depression

Michigan State University, October 1, 2020

Teens who have a larger number of friends may be less likely to suffer from depression later in life, especially women, a new MSU research study has found.

For female adolescents, popularity can lead to increased depression during the teen years, but can provide lasting benefits of fewer depressive symptoms later in life. Teens who reported fewer friends show higher rates of depression in adulthood, found Molly Copeland (pictured left), assistant professor of sociology, who co- authored the article "The Long Arm of Social Integration: Gender, Adolescent Social Networks, and Adult Depressive Symptom Trajectories" with lead author Christina Kamis, a sociology doctoral candidate at Duke University. It was published Sept. 14 in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

"Adolescence (is) a sensitive period of early life when structural facets of social relationships can have lasting mental health consequences," wrote Copeland.

Overall, the study found for both men and women, naming few friends predicts higher depressive levels through adolescence into adulthood. But these results are not the same for all genders.

"Compared to boys, girls face additional risks from how others view their social position in adolescence," Copeland wrote.

This current study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, specifically social network data asking students to select up to five male friends and five female friends.

They were also asked to indicate how often they felt depressed. Results from both men and women "follow a U-shaped trajectory of depressive symptoms across this period of the life course, where depressive symptoms are highest in adolescence, decline into early adulthood, and then climb into one's early 30s." However, women experience a steeper decline in symptoms around 18-26 followed by a greater increase in symptoms in their early 30s.

When combined, the data show that for women, being named as a friend by peers is associated with increased depression at age 12 but fewer depressive symptoms in adulthood.

"This result suggests that the association between popularity and greater depressive symptoms reverses with age so that women who were more popular in adolescence have fewer depressive symptoms in their mid-20s compared to less popular peers," Copeland wrote.

But men show no association between popularity and depressive symptoms, the study found, only benefits from naming more friends.

Copeland believes this gender difference suggests that gendered expectations and roles that lead to popularity create stress and strain on adolescent girls that does not apply to boys.

"Gender socialization may lead adolescent friendships to become more taxing to girls if the higher emotional intimacy in female friendships means that popularity creates higher emotion or psychological burdens for girls," Copeland wrote. 

But the stress of popularity may give these girls psychosocial skills that are beneficial later in life when dealing with higher education and new jobs.

"Greater sociality may also contribute to a sense of belonging that is psychologically important in adolescent development, setting youth on pathways of lower depressive symptoms."

Copeland joined MSU's Department of Sociology this fall following the completion of her doctoral degree from Duke University. Her research joins social network analysis and medical sociology to examine how social relationships can benefit or introduce risks to health across the life course.

 

 

Study study finds association between screen time use, diet and other health factors

Arizona State University, September 29, 2020

The era of the television brought with it the TV dinner -- a fast, convenient meal that, while nutritionally questionable, meant the whole family could gather together on the sofa to enjoy "The Ed Sullivan Show" and eat their Swanson Salisbury steak, too.

Over the next several decades, advancements in technology and the ubiquity of streaming services has allowed for the proliferation of binge-watching culture, where hours spent sedentary rack up faster than "Jeopardy" points, and greasy fast food is only a few taps on your smartphone away.

Chris Wharton, assistant dean of innovation and strategic initiatives at Arizona State University's College of Health Solutions, whose research interests include lifestylewide behavior change, wanted to know what kind of relationship the time we spend in front of screens has with various health behaviors and factors.

In a study recently published in BMC Public Health, one of the largest open access public health journals in the world, Wharton found that heavy users of screens -- defined as those who use screens an average of 17.5 hours per day -- reported the least healthful dietary patterns and the poorest health-related characteristics compared with moderate and light users, who averaged roughly 11.3 and 7 hours of screen use per day, respectively.

"A lot of screen time-related literature has primarily focused on television," Wharton said. "But with the advancement of all these other types of devices that people use throughout the day, we wanted to see how health behaviors and factors are associated with a variety of screen-based devices."

For the study, more than 900 adults across the U.S. who owned a television and at least one other device with a screen were asked to complete a survey to assess screen time use across multiple devices, dietary habits, sleep duration and quality, perceived stress, self-rated health, physical activity and body mass index.

Among the findings, unique dietary habits were associated with different types of screen use such that heavy users of TV and smartphones displayed the least healthful dietary patterns compared with heavy users of TV-connected devices, laptops and tablets.

Additionally, heavy users of smartphones reported the lowest quality of sleep.

"I find that important and interesting because it does back up what we understand about smartphones," Wharton said. "We love to look at our phones and worry ourselves with the news right before we go to bed. But one of the simplest things people can do for their health when it comes to screens -- which is probably one of the hardest things to do because of the convenience and their addictive nature -- is putting all those devices down, in particular your smartphone, two hours before bedtime."

Wharton also explored the phenomenon of binge-watching, defined as watching multiple episodes of a television program in a single sitting, and found that it was significantly associated with less healthy dietary patterns, including frequency of fast food consumption, eating family meals in front of a television and perceived stress.

"We're engaging with media in lots of different ways, and in mobile ways," Wharton said. "And across a lot of these devices, heavy users were engaging in a lot of fast food consumption. So the convenience of (screen use) seems to be associated with the convenience of fast food."

That is, with the exception of laptops, which Wharton attributes to the likelihood that laptops are more often used for work than entertainment.

Wharton said the results of this study lay the foundation for future research into screen time interventions because they give researchers insight into which negative health effects are associated with which types of devices.

"When we look at interventions to help people eat more healthfully, as it relates to screen time, maybe we can't just focus on television. The smartphone might be another really important factor in that," he said. "Or if we want to improve physical activity, maybe we don't need to think about smartphones but we do need think about TVs."

In another study, currently pending publication, Wharton asked 10 participants to forgo screen use of any kind from the time they got home after work to the time they went to sleep for two weeks straight.

"We have some qualitative data to suggest that when people eliminate screens from their lives at night, magical things happen," he said. "Initial results suggest that people have to figure out what to do with this time, so they're doing things like spending more face-to-face with family and friends, cooking and preparing food, being physically active and engaging in hobbies. Things that are fulfilling in physically healthful ways and mentally healthful ways that you don't get when the majority of your day is engaged with screens."

Wharton himself has been making an effort to be especially conscious of his screen time use during the pandemic (he's even taken up the violin), a time when many of us are hearing the opposite message.

"I worry when people say, 'Now is the time to re-up your Netflix subscription. What else are you going to do?'" Wharton said. "I would flip that on its head and say, 'Oh my gosh, now is the time to think about all the things to do other than sit in front of screens.'

"COVID is really bringing this into crystal-clear focus, that our lives are fully mediated by screens. They were before, they especially are now. I think it's a good time to think about what a healthy but technologically plugged-in life could look like where screens aren't the only way in which we interact and do everything in our life, but instead are just a small side component of everything else that we do. We are nowhere near a conclusion like that, but I think we need to get there because screens have come to dominate us, and they drive real problems in our health."

 
 
 
 
 
The Gary Null Show - 10.01.20

The Gary Null Show - 10.01.20

October 1, 2020

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, October 1, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has tossed our society into a quandary. The public is baffled over who to trust. Should we believe that the only accurate and honest scientific data about the virus and policy measures to lessen its spread is the proprietary information produced by Anthony Fauci, the NIAID and CDC and the institutions these federal agencies fund and cooperate with? Or are we to believe the mob of officials aligned with Trump or wealthy moguls such as Bill Gates who believe they possess all the answers money can buy and are on a destined mission to cure the planet?  Are any of these ministries of truth being sincere and forthright in their pronouncements?

Barely a day passes without a news update about one of the three-hundred plus coronavirus vaccines currently in development. Unfortunately, the vaccine makers share very little of the actual data from their clinical trials that is sufficient for independent review.  So far it has been a completely non-transparent effort and only cherry-picked information trickles to the medical media. Worse, several of these vaccines are being fast tracked through governments’ regulatory agencies based upon an unsound belief that they will curtail the virus’ spread. Yet haven’t we heard this before? It is repeated annually at the start of every flu season. And massive vaccination campaigns, at exorbitant taxpayer costs, have done absolutely nothing to curb influenza rates from one year to the next. But that is fine. There are still enormous profits at stake. It is good for the economy and terrible for health. Therefore, the launch of a coronavirus vaccine will be a golden trophy for the winning drug maker, a bonanza of windfall profits.  And the mainstream media fully supports this scheme without making any effort to seek outside the federal health regime second professional medical opinions.

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