Gary takes on the real issues that the mainstream media is afraid to tackle. Tune in to find out the latest about health news, healing, politics, and the economy.
Samara Polytech scientists proved the anti-cancer properties of a number of plant extracts
Extracts from black chokeberry, raspberry and fireweed have a special anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant effect
Samara Polytech University (Russia), February 9, 2021
Samara Polytech chemists investigated the potential anticarcinogenic effects of extracts obtained from plant materials of lingonberry, raspberry, black chokeberry, grapes, Krasnodar green tea, ginseng, fireweed and coffee, and also evaluated their effect on the growth and viability of colon cancer cells. The research was carried out within the framework of the state assignment for fundamental research No. 0778-2020-0005, its results were published Dec. 29, 2020 in the journal Proceedings of Universities. Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology
Prevention is the most cost-effective and long-term strategy for controlling this disease. It is now well known that almost 50% of all malignant tumors can be prevented with proper nutrition based on natural products with a preventive effect.
"Polyphenols are the largest variety of plant components. It is this class of chemical compounds that have shown powerful antioxidant properties. They actively fight against cellular damage caused by free radicals, slowing down the aging and preventing oxidation. In addition, they protect the body from inflammatory, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases, and some forms of cancer", one of the authors of this study, associate professor of the Department of Technology and Organization of Public Catering of Samara Polytech Natalya Eremeeva explains. "We studied in detail the beneficial properties of lingonberry, raspberry, black chokeberry, grapes, Krasnodar green tea, ginseng, fireweed and coffee.
When conducting the MTT cytotoxicity test, the scientists found that the ginseng extract was the most cytotoxic, and the coffee extract was the least cytotoxic. It has been proven that all the studied extracts are able to reduce the expression of pro-inflammatory genes. The most pronounced inhibitory effect on the expression of these genes is possessed by the extracts of chokeberry and fireweed.
The research team supposes that this study may serve as a basis for conducting in vivo experiments to determine anticarcinogenic activity.
Diet rich in tomatoes cuts skin cancer in half in mice
Ohio State University, February 5, 2021
Daily tomato consumption appeared to cut the development of skin cancer tumors by half in a mouse study at The Ohio State University.
The new study of how nutritional interventions can alter the risk for skin cancers appeared online in the journal Scientific Reports.
It found that male mice fed a diet of 10 percent tomato powder daily for 35 weeks, then exposed to ultraviolet light, experienced, on average, a 50 percent decrease in skin cancer tumors compared to mice that ate no dehydrated tomato.
The theory behind the relationship between tomatoes and cancer is that dietary carotenoids, the pigmenting compounds that give tomatoes their color, may protect skin against UV light damage, said Jessica Cooperstone, co-author of the study and a research scientist in the Department of Food Science and Technology in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State.
There were no significant differences in tumor number for the female mice in the study. Previous research has shown that male mice develop tumors earlier after UV exposure and that their tumors are more numerous, larger and more aggressive.
"This study showed us that we do need to consider sex when exploring different preventive strategies," said the study's senior author, Tatiana Oberyszyn, a professor of pathology and member of Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center.
"What works in men may not always work equally well in women and vice versa."
Previous human clinical trials suggest that eating tomato paste over time can dampen sunburns, perhaps thanks to carotenoids from the plants that are deposited in the skin of humans after eating, and may be able to protect against UV light damage, Cooperstone said.
"Lycopene, the primary carotenoid in tomatoes, has been shown to be the most effective antioxidant of these pigments," she said.
"However, when comparing lycopene administered from a whole food (tomato) or a synthesized supplement, tomatoes appear more effective in preventing redness after UV exposure, suggesting other compounds in tomatoes may also be at play."
In the new study, the Ohio State researchers found that only male mice fed dehydrated red tomatoes had reductions in tumor growth. Those fed diets with tangerine tomatoes, which have been shown to be higher in bioavailable lycopene in previous research, had fewer tumors than the control group, but the difference was not statistically significant.
Cooperstone is currently researching tomato compounds other than lycopene that may impart health benefits.
Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common of all cancers, with more new cases—5.4 million in 2012—each year than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society.
Despite a low mortality rate, these cancers are costly, disfiguring, and their rates are increasing, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"Alternative methods for systemic protection, possibly through nutritional interventions to modulate risk for skin-related diseases, could provide a significant benefit," Cooperstone said.
"Foods are not drugs, but they can possibly, over the lifetime of consumption, alter the development of certain diseases," she said.
Cannabis reduces blood pressure in older adults, according to Ben-Gurion University researchers
Ben Gurion University (Israel), February 8, 2021
A new discovery by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and its affiliated Soroka University Medical Center shows that medical cannabis may reduce blood pressure in older adults.
The study, published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, is the first of its kind to focus on the effect of cannabis on blood pressure, heart rate and metabolic parameters in adults 60 and above with hypertension.
"Older adults are the fastest growing group of medical cannabis users, yet evidence on cardiovascular safety for this population is scarce," says Dr. Ran Abuhasira of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences, one of Israel's leading medical faculties, and the BGU-Soroka Cannabis Clinical Research Institute. "This study is part of our ongoing effort to provide clinical research on the actual physiological effects of cannabis over time."
Patients were evaluated using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, ECG, blood tests, and body measurements -- both before and three months after initiating cannabis therapy.
In the study, researchers found a significant reduction in 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure values, with the lowest point occurring three hours after ingesting cannabis either orally via oil extracts or by smoking. Patients showed reductions in blood pressure in both daytime and nighttime, with more significant changes at night.
The BGU researchers theorize that the relief from pain, the indication for prescription cannabis in most patients, may also have contributed to a reduction in blood pressure.
"Cannabis research is in its early stages and BGU is at the forefront of evaluating clinical use based on scientific studies," says Doug Seserman, chief executive officer of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "This new study is one of several that has been published recently by BGU on the medicinal benefits of cannabis."
Study links exposure to nighttime artificial lights with elevated thyroid cancer risk
University of Texas Health Science Center, February 8, 2021
People living in regions with high levels of outdoor artificial light at night may face a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer. The finding comes from a study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
Over the past century, nightscapes--especially in cities--have drastically changed due to the rapid growth of electric lighting. Also, epidemiological studies have reported an association between higher satellite-measured levels of nighttime light and elevated breast cancer risk. Because some breast cancers may share a common hormone-dependent basis with thyroid cancer, a team led by Qian Xiao, PhD, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, looked for an association between light at night and later development of thyroid cancer among participants in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, which recruited American adults aged 50 to 71 years in 1995-1996. The investigators analyzed satellite imagery data to estimate levels of light at night at participants' residential addresses, and they examined state cancer registry databases to identify thyroid cancer diagnoses through 2011.
Among 464,371 participants who were followed for an average of 12.8 years, 856 cases of thyroid cancer were diagnosed (384 in men and 472 in women). When compared with the lowest quintile of light at night, the highest quintile was associated with a 55 percent higher risk of developing thyroid cancer. The association was primarily driven by the most common form of thyroid cancer, called papillary thyroid cancer, and it was stronger in women than in men. In women, the association was stronger for localized cancer with no sign of spread to other parts of the body, while in men the association was stronger for more advanced stages of cancer. The association appeared to be similar for different tumor sizes and across participants with different sociodemographic characteristics and body mass index.
The researchers noted that additional epidemiologic studies are needed to confirm their findings. If confirmed, it will be important to understand the mechanisms underlying the relationship between light at night and thyroid cancer. The scientists noted that light at night suppresses melatonin, a modulator of estrogen activity that may have important anti-tumor effects. Also, light at night may lead to disruption of the body's internal clock (or circadian rhythms), which is a risk factor for various types of cancer.
"As an observational study, our study is not designed to establish causality. Therefore, we don't know if higher levels of outdoor light at night lead to an elevated risk for thyroid cancer; however, given the well-established evidence supporting a role of light exposure at night and circadian disruption, we hope our study will motivate researchers to further examine the relationship between light at night and cancer, and other diseases," said Dr. Xiao. "Recently, there have been efforts in some cities to reduce light pollution, and we believe future studies should evaluate if and to what degree such efforts impact human health."
Nobiletin in Citrus: targeting the circadian network to promote bioenergetics and healthy aging
University of Texas Health Science Center, February 5, 2021
According to news reporting originating from Houston, Texas, research stated, “The circadian clock is the biological mastermind governing orderly execution of bodily processes throughout the day. In recent years, an emerging topic of broad interest is clock-modulatory agents, including small molecules both of synthetic and natural origins, and their potential applications in disease models.”
Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, “Nobiletin is a naturally occurring flavonoid with the greatest abundance found in citrus peels. Extensive research has shown that Nobiletin is endowed with a wide range of biological activities, yet its mechanism of action remains unclear. We recently found through unbiased chemical screening that Nobiletin impinges on the clock machinery to activate temporal control of downstream processes within the cell and throughout the body. Using animal models of diseases and aging, we and others illustrate potent beneficial effects of Nobiletin on cellular energetics in both periphery and brain to promote healthy aging.”
According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Given its excellent safety profile, Nobiletin may represent a promising candidate molecule for development of nutraceutical and chronotherapeutic agents against chronic and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.”
This research has been peer-reviewed.
Brain changed by caffeine in utero, study finds
University of Rochester Medical Center, February 9, 2021
New research finds caffeine consumed during pregnancy can change important brain pathways that could lead to behavioral problems later in life. Researchers in the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) analyzed thousands of brain scans of nine and ten-year-olds, and revealed changes in the brain structure in children who were exposed to caffeine in utero.
"These are sort of small effects and it's not causing horrendous psychiatric conditions, but it is causing minimal but noticeable behavioral issues that should make us consider long term effects of caffeine intake during pregnancy," said John Foxe, Ph.D., director of the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience, and principal investigator of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development or ABCD Study at the University of Rochester. "I suppose the outcome of this study will be a recommendation that any caffeine during pregnancy is probably not such a good idea."
Elevated behavioral issues, attention difficulties, and hyperactivity are all symptoms that researchers observed in these children. "What makes this unique is that we have a biological pathway that looks different when you consume caffeine through pregnancy," said Zachary Christensen, a M.D/Ph.D. candidate in the Medical Science Training Program and first author on the paper published in the journal Neuropharmacology. "Previous studies have shown that children perform differently on IQ tests, or they have different psychopathology, but that could also be related to demographics, so it's hard to parse that out until you have something like a biomarker. This gives us a place to start future research to try to learn exactly when the change is occurring in the brain."
Investigators analyzed brain scans of more than 9,000 nine and ten-year-old participants in the ABCD study. They found clear changes in how the white matter tracks—which form connections between brain regions—were organized in children whose mothers reported they consumed caffeine during pregnancy.
URMC is one of 21-sites across the country collecting data for the ABCD study, the largest long-term study of brain development and child health. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Ed Freedman, Ph.D., is the principal investigator of the ABCD study in Rochester and a co-author of the study.
"It is important to point out this is a retrospective study," said Foxe. "We are relying on mothers to remember how much caffeine they took in while they were pregnant."
Previous studies have found caffeine can have a negative effect on pregnancy. It is also known that a fetus does not have the enzyme necessary to breakdown caffeine when it crosses the placenta. This new study reveals that caffeine could also leave a lasting impact on neurodevelopment.
The researchers point out that it is unclear if the impact of the caffeine on the fetal brain varies from one trimester to the next, or when during gestation these structural changes occur.
"Current clinical guidelines already suggest limiting caffeine intake during pregnancy—no more than two normal cups of coffee a day," Christensen said. "In the long term, we hope to develop better guidance for mothers, but in the meantime, they should ask their doctor as concerns arise."
Here's how stress, illness and even sunburn trigger herpes cold sore flareups
University of Virginia School of Medicine, February 11, 2021
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have shed light on what causes herpes simplex virus to flare up, explaining how stress, illness and even sunburn can trigger unwanted outbreaks.
The discovery could lead to new ways to prevent cold sores and recurrent herpes-related eye disease from reoccurring, the researchers report.
"Herpes simplex recurrence has long been associated with stress, fever and sunburn," said researcher Anna R. Cliffe, of UVA's Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology. "This study sheds light on how all these triggers can lead to herpes simplex-associated disease."
About Herpes Simplex Recurrence
Once you're infected with herpes simplex virus, or HSV—and more than half of Americans are—the virus never really goes away. Instead, it lurks inside neurons, waiting for the right moment to strike again, a process known as reactivation.
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are one of the most common symptoms of HSV reactivation. Recurrent reactivation in the eye leads to herpes keratitis, which, if left untreated, can result in blindness. HSV infection has also been linked to the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Recurrences of HSV are typically associated with stress, illness or sunburn, but doctors have been uncertain exactly what causes the virus to reactivate.
Cliffe and her collaborators found that when neurons harboring the virus were exposed to stimuli that induce "neuronal hyperexcitation," the virus senses this particular change and seizes its opportunity to reactivate.
Working in a model developed by the Cliffe lab using mouse neurons infected with HSV, the researchers determined that the virus hijacks an important immune response within the body. In response to prolonged periods of inflammation or stress, the immune system releases a particular cytokine, Interleukin 1 beta. This cytokine is also present in epithelial cells in the skin and eye and is released when these cells are damaged by ultraviolet light.
Interleukin 1 beta then increases the excitability in the affected neurons, setting the stage for HSV to flare up, the UVA researchers discovered.
"It is really remarkable that the virus has hijacked this pathway that is part of our body's immune response," Cliffe said. "It highlights how some viruses have evolved to take advantage of what should be part of our infection-fighting machinery."
The scientists say that more research will need to be done to fully understand the potential factors which play into herpes simplex disease. It may vary depending on the virus strain or the type of neuron infected, even. And it is still unknown if the virus alters how neurons respond to cytokines such as Interleukin 1 beta. But the new insights help doctors better understand what is happening in neurons and the immune system, and that could lead to ways to prevent unwanted outbreaks, the researchers hope.
"A better understanding of what causes HSV to reactivate in response to a stimulus is needed to develop novel therapeutics," Cliffe said. "Ultimately, what we hope to do is target the latent virus itself and make it unresponsive to stimuli such as Interleukin 1 beta."
The researchers have published their findings in the scientific journal eLife.
Prebiotics may help to cope with stress
Recent study shows prebiotic fibers can help to protect beneficial gut bacteria and restore healthy sleep patterns after a stressful event
University of Colorado, February 9, 2021
What are some ways you cope with stresses in your life? Do you do yoga? Meditate? Exercise? Perhaps you should add taking prebiotics to that list.
Probiotics are well known to benefit digestive health, but prebiotics are less well understood. Prebiotics are certain types of non-digestible fibers that probiotic bacteria feed on, such as the fibers found in many plant sources like asparagus, oatmeal, and legumes. Certain bacteria also feed on non-fibers such as the protein lactoferrin, which also acts like a prebiotic and is found in breast milk.
According to a new study published in the online journal, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience by Professor Monika Fleshner, PhD, and her team from the University of Colorado, Boulder, regular intake of prebiotics may promote beneficial gut bacteria and recovery of normal sleep patterns after a stressful episode.
"Acute stress can disrupt the gut microbiome," explained Dr. Agnieszka Mika, a postdoctoral fellow and one of the authors of the study, "and we wanted to test if a diet rich in prebiotics would increase beneficial bacteria as well as protect gut microbes from stress-induced disruptions. We also wanted to look at the effects of prebiotics on the recovery of normal sleep patterns, since they tend to be disrupted after stressful events."
In this experiment, test rats received prebiotic diets for several weeks prior to a stressful test condition and compared with control rats that did not receive the prebiotic-enriched diet. Interestingly, rats that ate prebiotics prior to the stressful event did not experience stress-induced disruption in their gut microbiota, and also recovered healthier sleep patterns sooner than controls.
Given that these experiments were done in rats, are these results relevant for humans? "The stressor the rats received was the equivalent of a single intense acute stressful episode for humans, such as a car accident or the death of a loved one," said Dr. Robert S. Thompson, the lead author of the study. "A next set of studies will be looking exactly at that question - can prebiotics help humans to protect and restore their gut microflora and recover normal sleep patterns after a traumatic event?"
In the mean time, should we start including prebiotics in our diets to help cope with stress? "So far no adverse effects from prebiotics have been reported," said Dr. Mika, "and they are found widely in many plants, even present in breast milk, and are already commercially available." Healthy gut bacteria and restful sleep could be your benefits.