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September 7, 2020  

Curcumin suppresses aldosterone-induced CRP generation in 

Hebei University of Chinese Medicine (China), September 2, 2020

 

According to news reporting from Shijiazhuang, People’s Republic of China, research stated, “Aldosterone regulates the initiation and development of atherosclerosis which is identified as a chronic inflammatory disease by promoting the generation of C-reactive protein in vascular smooth muscle cells.”

Our news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Hebei University of Chinese Medicine: “Curcumin is the most active ingredient of turmeric with anti-inflammation and antioxidation effects. Here, the effect of curcumin on aldosterone-induced C-reactive protein generation in vascular smooth muscle and the molecular mechanisms involved were explored. Primary rat vascular smooth muscle cells and hyperaldosteronism model rats were used in this study. The amount of C-reactive protein, reactive oxygen species, and the signaling pathway-related molecules generated were estimated. We found that curcumin inhibited aldosterone-induced C-reactive protein generation in vascular smooth muscle cells by interfering with the reactive oxygen species-ERK1/2 signal pathway.”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “The results provide new evidence for the potential anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular protective effects of curcumin.”

 

 

Meta-analysis finds DHA and EPA have similar anti-inflammatory effects

Laval University (Quebec), August 26, 2020

 

According to news originating from Quebec City, Canada, research stated, “Recent data from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) suggest that DHA may have stronger anti-inflammatory effects than EPA. This body of evidence has not yet been quantitatively reviewed.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Laval University, “The aim of this study was to compare the effect of DHA and EPA on several markers of systemic inflammation by pairwise and network meta-analyses of RCTs. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and The Cochrane Library were searched through to September 2019. We included RCTs of 7 d on adults regardless of health status that directly compared the effects of DHA with EPA and RCTs of indirect comparisons, in which the effects of DHA or EPA were compared individually to a control fatty acid. Differences in circulating concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and adiponectin were the primary outcome measures. Data were pooled by pairwise and network meta-analysis and expressed as mean differences (MDs) with 95% CIs. Heterogeneity was assessed (Cochran Q statistic) and quantified (I2 statistic) in the pairwise meta-analysis. Inconsistency and transitivity were evaluated in the network meta-analysis. The certainty of evidence was assessed using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) approach. Eligibility criteria were met by 5 RCTs (N=411) for the pairwise meta-analysis and 20 RCTs (N=1231) for the network meta-analysis. In the pairwise meta-analysis, DHA and EPA had similar effects on plasma CRP [MDDHA versus EPA=0.14 mg/L (95% CI: -0.57, 0.85); I2=61%], IL-6 [MDDHA versus EPA=0.10 pg/mL (-0.15, 0.34); I2=40%], and TNF-a [MDDHA versus EPA=-0.10 pg/mL (-0.37, 0.18); I2=40%]. In the network meta-analysis, the effects of DHA and EPA on plasma CRP [MDDHA versus EPA=-0.33 mg/L (-0.75, 0.10)], IL-6 [MDDHA versus EPA=0.09 pg/mL (-0.12, 0.30)], and TNF-a [MDDHA versus EPA=-0.02 pg/mL (-0.25, 0.20)] were also similar. DHA and EPA had similar effects on plasma adiponectin in the network meta-analysis.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Results from pairwise and network meta-analyses suggest that supplementation with either DHA or EPA does not differentially modify systemic markers of subclinical inflammation.”

 

 

 

Common cold combats influenza

Yale University, September 4, 2020

 

As the flu season approaches, a strained public health system may have a surprising ally—the common cold virus.

Rhinovirus, the most frequent cause of common colds, can prevent the flu virus from infecting airways by jumpstarting the body's antiviral defenses, Yale researchers report Sept. 4 in the journal The Lancet Microbe.

The findings help answer a mystery surrounding the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic: An expected surge in swine flu cases never materialized in Europe during the fall, a period when the common cold becomes widespread.

A Yale team led by Dr. Ellen Foxman studied three years of clinical data from more than 13,000 patients seen at Yale New Haven Hospital with symptoms of respiratory infection. The researchers found that even during months when both viruses were active, if the common cold virus was present, the flu virus was not.

"When we looked at the data, it became clear that very few people had both viruses at the same time," said Foxman, assistant professor of laboratory medicine and immunobiology and senior author of the study.

Foxman stressed that scientists do not know whether the annual seasonal spread of the common cold virus will have a similar impact on infection rates of those exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

"It is impossible to predict how two viruses will interact without doing the research," she said.

To test how the rhinovirus and the influenza virus interact, Foxman's lab created human airway tissue from stem cells that give rise to epithelial cells, which line the airways of the lung and are a chief target of respiratory viruses. They found that after the tissue had been exposed to rhinovirus, the influenza virus was unable to infect the tissue.

"The antiviral defenses were already turned on before the flu virus arrived," she said.

The presence of rhinovirus triggered production of the antiviral agent interferon, which is part of the early immune system response to invasion of pathogens, Foxman said.

"The effect lasted for at least five days," she said.

Foxman said her lab has begun to study whether introduction of the cold virus before infection by the COVID-19 virus offers a similar type of protection.

 

 

Highly fluorinated chemicals can increase risk for diabetes and coeliac disease in children

Orebro University (Sweden),  September 4, 2020

 

Tuulia Hyötyläinen and Matej Orešič, both researchers in biomedicine, have published two studies on the connection between highly fluorinated chemicals—per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) – and two diseases in children: type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease (US spelling celiac, or gluten intolerance). Both are autoimmune diseases, which arise from an abnormal immune response to the body's healthy cells or tissues.

The studies are based on a combination of comprehensive metabolomics (analysis of small molecules, i.e. metabolites, in a body), analysis of PFAS, and the system's biology approach to integrate complex data acquired in the study. The data comes from a group of expectant mothers and children.

Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases among children and younger people in the Nordic countries. Over the past decades, the number of cases has markedly increased. However, the incidence curve has flattened in recent years.

Some children are genetically predisposed for type 1 diabetes, but only a fraction of them, around one-tenth, develop the disease. It is clear that some environmental trigger is needed to initiate the progression to this autoimmune disease. For example, viral infections and diet are suspected to have an influence.

Tuulia Hyötyläinen and Matej Orešič show in this study, published in Environment International, how PFAS impacts lipid metabolism and risk of type 1 diabetes in new-born children. The study includes expectant mothers exposed to these harmful substances at various levels, which are then transferred from the expectant mother to the fetus.

Within the same study, these findings were further confirmed in another prospective clinical study involving children at-risk for type1 diabetes, as well as in two studies in mice (experimental models of type 1 diabetes).

"We show that children exposed to the high levels of PFAS during the prenatal stage have a certain lipid profile. We have previously identified this profile to be associated with an increased risk for type 1 diabetes and the development of the disease in children," explains Matej Orešič.

In another study published in Environment Research, Tuulia Hyötyläinen and Matej Orešič show a connection between PFAS and coeliac disease.

"These results show that high exposure to PFAS in the womb and in first years of life can accelerate the development of coeliac disease in children," says Tuulia Hyötyläinen.

PFAS consists of some 5,000 man-made chemical substances in extensive use in society. They are used in a wide range of products, such as coatings in clothing, furniture, adhesives and food packaging as well as in fire-fighting foam.

"Exposure to harmful chemicals in early life, including prenatally, may offer an explanation for the changing incidence of these autoimmune diseases in developed countries and can be connected to other health risks," says Matej Orešič.

The increase of type 1 diabetes has flattened in many industrial countries, especially in the Nordic countries. A possible explanation is the stricter PFAS regulation.

 

T cells need methionine 

University of Michigan School of Medicine, September 2 2020. 

 

Research reported on September 2, 2020 in Nature revealed a mechanism used by cancer cells to evade the immune system.

“Abnormal epigenetic patterns correlate with effector T cell malfunction in tumors, but the cause of this link is unknown,” Yingjie Bian of the University of Michigan School of Medicine and colleagues wrote. “Here we show that tumor cells disrupt methionine metabolism in CD8+ T cells, thereby lowering intracellular levels of methionine and the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and resulting in loss of dimethylation.”

Dr Bian and colleagues sought to determine why immune cells known as T cells stop combatting tumors and other related questions. They found that low methionine levels were associated with T cell impairment. 

Other research has investigated the effects of starving tumor cells of methionine. However, this also starves T cells of the amino acid, thereby diminishing their function. "You have competition between tumor cells and T cells for methionine,” explained senior author Weiping Zou, MD, PhD, who is a Professor of Surgery, Pathology, Immunology and Biology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “The T cells also need it. If you starve the tumor cells of methionine, the T cells don't get it either. You want to selectively delete the methionine for the tumor cells and not for the T cells."

Supplementing with methionine restored T cell immunity in tumor-bearing mice and colon cancer patients. "There are still a lot of mechanistic details we have not worked out, particularly the detailed metabolic pathways of methionine metabolism,” Dr Zou remarked. “We also need to understand how metabolism pathways may be different from tumor cells and T cells. We hope to find a target that is relatively specific to tumor cells so that we do not harm the T cells but impact the tumor."

 
 
 

Green tea could hold the key to reducing antibiotic resistance

University of Surrey (UK), September23, 2020
 

Scientists at the University of Surrey have discovered that a natural antioxidant commonly found in green tea can help eliminate antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The study, published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, found that epigallocatechin (EGCG) can restore the activity of aztreonam, an antibiotic commonly used to treat infections caused by the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

P. aeruginosa is associated with serious respiratory tract and bloodstream infections and in recent years has become resistant to many major classes of antibiotics. Currently a combination of antibiotics is used to fight P. aeruginosa.

However, these infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat, as resistance to last line antibiotics is being observed.

To assess the synergy of EGCG and aztreonam, researchers conducted in vitro tests to analyse how they interacted with the P. aeruginosa, individually and in combination. The Surrey team found that the combination of aztreonam and EGCG was significantly more effective at reducing P. aeruginosa numbers than either agent alone.

This synergistic activity was also confirmed in vivo using Galleria mellonella (Greater Wax Moth larvae), with survival rates being significantly higher in those treated with the combination than those treated with EGCG or aztreonam alone. Furthermore, minimal to no toxicity was observed in human skin cells and in Galleria mellonella larvae.

Researchers believe that in P. aeruginosa, EGCG may facilitate increased uptake of aztreonam by increasing permeability in the bacteria. Another potential mechanism is EGCG's interference with a biochemical pathway linked to antibiotic susceptibility.

Lead author Dr Jonathan Betts, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey, said:

"Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious threat to global public health. Without effective antibiotics, the success of medical treatments will be compromised. We urgently need to develop novel antibiotics in the fight against AMR. Natural products such as EGCG, used in combination with currently licenced antibiotics, may be a way of improving their effectiveness and clinically useful lifespan."

Professor Roberto La Ragione, Head of the Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey, said:

"The World Health Organisation has listed antibiotic resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a critical threat to human health. We have shown that we can successfully eliminate such threats with the use of natural products, in combination with antibiotics already in use. Further development of these alternatives to antibiotics may allow them to be used in clinical settings in the future."

 

 

Research discovers links among poor sleep, high blood pressure, gut microbiome

University of Illinois, September 3, 2020

 

In the first study of its kind, University of Illinois Chicago researchers have found associations among disrupted sleep, elevated blood pressure and changes in the gut microbiome. 

The research aimed to determine whether a 28-day period of disrupted sleep changed the microbiota in rats. The gut microbiota refers to the collection of microorganisms living in the intestines. The researchers also sought to identify biological features associated with undesirable arterial blood pressure changes. 

The results were published in Physiological Genomics

Using rats, the researcher disrupted their sleep periods. Rats are nocturnal, so the experiments were designed to interfere with their daytime sleep periods. 

Telemetry transmitters measured the rats' brain activity, blood pressure and heart rate. Fecal matter also was analyzed to examine changes in the microbial content. 

The research idea was generated by several of the paper's authors who are or have been health care providers with night-shift schedules. 

"When rats had an abnormal sleep schedule, an increase in blood pressure developed -- the blood pressure remained elevated even when they could return to normal sleep. This suggests that dysfunctional sleep impairs the body for a sustained period," Maki said. 

Undesirable changes also were found in the gut microbiome -- the genetic material of all bacteria living in the colon. 

Contrary to her initial hypothesis, Maki found that the gut microbiome changes did not happen immediately, but instead took a week to show unfavorable responses such as an imbalance among different types of bacteria including an increase in microbes associated with inflammation. 

"When the sleep disruption stopped, everything did not come back to normal immediately," Maki said. "This research shows a very complex system with the presence of multiple pathological factors." 

This was initial research, and studies will continue to examine pathways involving the gut microbiome and metabolites produced by gut bacteria. The researchers will see exactly how sleep characteristics are changed and how long blood pressure and gut microbiome alterations persist. Researchers will then determine how this information translates to humans. 

"We hope to find an intervention that can help people who are at risk for cardiovascular disease because of their work and sleep schedules. People will always have responsibilities that interrupt their sleep. We want to be able to reduce their risk by targeting the microbiome with new therapies or dietary changes," Fink said.

September 4, 2020  

Our 5G Dystopian Future

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

September 4, 2020

 

 

During the past two years, a large number of scientists, medical doctors and consumer activists have presented evidence, including testimony before Congress and state and city councils, that highlight the thousands of peer-reviewed studies showing the dangers of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation on human health and the environment. This is not only true for the new 5G technologies being rolled out by the Trump administration and earlier by Obama, but also for earlier generations of the technology.  From brain cancers, to adversely affecting our immune systems, fertility, and neurological disorders, there is no safe use for any of these EMF devices nor Wifi.  The science behind 5G and its 4G predecessor is overwhelmingly negative. Nevertheless the media and its advertisers are 100 percent behind 5G and portray it as a wonderful technological advance that will improve our lives by enabling us to electronically connect with everything.  The New York Times is in a partnership with Verizon to be one of 5G’s leading sounding boards.  We are told we will be able to download videos, movies and internet content in a fraction of the time compared to 4G’s capabilities. Yet why would $6 trillion be spent to simply increase the speed of our computers and mobile phones?  Surely something else is afoot. 

Anyone who challenges 5G’s benefit-risk ratio is labeled irresponsible, ignorant and a conspiracy theorist.  Disparaging remarks against 5G are immediately cancelled on Google, Youtube and Facebook.  Due to the Clinton administration’s original telecommunications act, our local towns and communities are unable to prevent its installation despite the medical and scientific warnings. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk have been given the green light to place tens of thousands of satellites into orbit – exponentially more than, all previous launches since Explorer 1 in 1958. 

On Saturday August 29th, Robert Kennedy Jr stood before approximately 38,000 people in Berlin’s main square and briefly spoke about the dangers of 5G and the real agenda behind its rollout as the world remains in panic over Covid-19.  The crisis before us is clear. Governments are taking advantage of this pandemic, which Kennedy called “a pandemic crisis of convenience” to impose authoritarian control over their populations. This is certainly ALEC’s agenda and it found the perfect village idiot in Trump to do its bidding.  The 5g rollout, Kennedy said, has one purpose. It is for “surveillance 5G data harvesting” of all our personal information and the movements in our lives in order to inaugurate authoritarian regimes. The orchestrators of the destruction of our democratic institutions are the psychopathic billionaire elites such as Gates, Zuckerberg, Bezos and Musk. 

The upcoming presidential election offers us no choice. Both Trump and Biden are fully onboard the 5G train. The only fundamental difference is that Biden claims to favor net neutrality; however, how this can be accomplished under a 5G surveillance regime is anyone’s guess.  More likely it is more Democrat promises lacking critical thought and spineless to boot. 

For many it remains a mystery where Trump receives his guidance.  Is it simply the clanging of noises in his head, imaginary friends, or from individuals and groups who actually know something about what they are speaking and have a private and self-serving agenda contrary the public’s interest?  For the external guidance he receives about 5G, the source is clear.

Our current Regulation Demolition Chief in the White House has been perfectly in sync with the Koch Brothers-funded American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) playbook to overturn state and city regulations that may hinder the rapid deployment of 5G throughout the nation. 

ALEC’s corporate membership includes the commercial interests of major telecommunication associations such as CTIA (The Wireless Association), Charter Communications, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), and the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association. CTIA and NCTA are two of the largest associations promoting the Internet of Things that are publicly lobbying for ALEC’s telecommunication "model legislation." The largest behemoths for the 5G antennae and installation rollout -- AT&T, Cellpoint, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon – all hold membership in these associations. Back in early 2016, ALEC was already drafting legislation to “streamline” 5G’s necessary infrastructure to avoid violating city zoning laws.

No other administration since ALEC’s founding has been so packed with its representatives. Our early investigation, “Like it or Not, ALEC is Determined You Will Have 5G,” noted that the Trump administration is and has been stacked with ALEC operatives since day one.  Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Rick Perry, Betsy DeVos, agriculture secretary Sonny Purdue, Ben Carson, Kellyanne Conway, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and the head of Health and Human Services Alex Azar are all ALEC alumni or insiders.  This is an ALEC White House.  For example, ALEC's 45th year celebration was held at Trump's International Hotel in DC, a mile from the White House. ALEC's CEO Lisa Nelson expressed her elation that the administration "does have the potential to be an ALEC administration. It is full of the people and ideas we've advanced since 1973. Now is our time. And ALEC is ready."

During a White House Infrastructure and Technology briefing in April 2019, alongside his ALEC insider, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, Trump stated,

“Secure 5G networks will absolutely be a vital link to America’s prosperity and national security in the 21st century.
5G will be as much as 100 times faster than the current 4G cellular networks.  It will transform the way our citizens work, learn, communicate, and travel… Basically, it covers almost everything, when you get right down to it.  Pretty amazing.”

He touted the traditional ALEC agenda to assure 5G rollout, without proper health and environmental risk reviews, will be highly profitable for private industry by removing public oversight

 

“To accelerate and incentivize these investments, my administration is focused on freeing up as much wireless spectrum as needed — we’re going to free it up so they’ll be able to get out there and get it done — and removing regulatory barriers to the build out of networks…By next year, the United States is on pace to have more 5G spectrum than any other country in the world.”

The ALEC-controlled FCC has already “adopted new rules that will reduce federal regulatory impediments to deploying infrastructure needed for 5G and help to expand the reach of 5G for faster, more reliable wireless service.”  More egregious is that Trump is committed to preventng any nationalization of the 5G network and to keep it in the control of private industry. 

Ajit Pai is a former Verizon attorney and a long time ALEC associate. Back in 2013, Pai spokebefore ALEC's Communications and Technology Task Force to commend state efforts to roll back regulations in order to permit the Internet Protocol (IP) Transition -- Washington's term for the 5G technological revolution -- to unfold freely without obstacles from state and city governments. A wolf in sheep's wool, Pai is a committed free market globalist who favors solutions coming from market competition in the absence of government regulations and polices to protect the public. Therefore it came as no surprise that Pai appointed ALEC's director of the Telecommunication's Task Force, Jonathan Hausenschild, to the FCC's new Broadband Development Advisory Council in 2019. Reporting for TechDirt, Karl Bode notedthat ALEC has already helped "the broadband industry pass blatantly protectionist bills in more than 21 states that hamstrung or simply banned towns or cities from building their own networks, even in areas when private industry refuses to."

In the shadow of the pandemic panic, and a severe economic depression that is turning the public’s attention elsewhere, 5G’s installation pace is accelerating.  According to Android Central, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint have already deployed 5G in hundreds of cities and counties across the nation. In addition there are efforts to transition to a digital currency that will hand over greater control over every person’s finances.  These efforts, aided by the advent of 5G are giving the government further control to monitor and punish behavior. Its long-term goal, Kennedy observed, is to indoctrinate the public into obedience. We are essentially surrendering our human rights for the sake of faster electronic devices. The payoff will be the demolition of democracy as we know it. 

As the average person views 5G has a marvelous enhancement to their lives, and the younger generation embrace it without any discernable forethought, we are about to enter an authoritative and dystopian era.  Echoes of Aldous Huxley’s soma and Orwell’s ministry of truth are already here.  And our mainstream media seems perfectly fine with that. 

September 3, 2020  

The Flu Shot Will Protect Us From Covid?  But Where is the Science?

 

Richard Gale and Gary Null

Progressive Radio Network, September 3, 2020

 

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, states are making efforts through their legislatures to mandate the influenza vaccine for everyone. Several days ago, Massachusetts became the first state to mandate the shot for students, and other states such as New Jersey, New York and Vermont are in session to consider following suit.

Although there is absolutely no confirmatory evidence to even suggest that the flu vaccine can prevent or protect someone from Covid-19, health officials nevertheless are eager to push forward with this ridiculous strategy. Where is the actual science that is sufficiently rigorous to reach a consensual conclusion for this belief?  It doesn’t exist.  We might be reminded of historian Daniel Boorstin’s insightful realization in his book The Discoverers: “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”  This is the dilemma of delusional thinking that pervades the biological, medical and cognitive sciences rather than the hard sciences of physics, chemistry and mathematics. Whenever we are faced with proclamations from the medical establishment, and especially Bill Gates and the World Health Organization, when they advertise propaganda about safety and efficacy of many vaccines on the market, we must learn to take a step back and question their certainty.

Rather than charging forward with bogus assumptions, it would seem wiser to consider several studies that indicate that rather than protecting us from potential Covid-19 infection, the flu vaccine actually increases our susceptibility to other infectious respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus strains.

Sometimes our world has an unusual way of providing warnings that we have an opportunity to either heed or disregard to our benefit or detriment. The great physicist and Nobel laureate Niels Bohr called this synchronicity. 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." However this is not the first time that viral interference from the flu vaccine has been associated with an increase in non-influenza respiratory infections.

To date there is only one gold standard clinical trial with the flu vaccine that compares vaccinated vs. unvaccinated, and it is not good news for considering any possible legitimacy for even recommending a flu shot during this pandemic. This University of Hong Kong double-blind placebo controlled study followed the health conditions of vaccinated and unvaccinated children between the ages of 6-15 years for 272 days. The trial concluded the flu vaccine holds no health benefits. In fact, those vaccinated with the flu virus were observed to have a 550% higher risk of contracting non-flu virus respiratory infections. It was the dramatic number of incidences of non-influenza infections found in the flu-vaccinated group (105 cass, which included rhinovirus, coxsackie, echovirus AND coronavirus, as opposed to 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 such as Covid-19.

For some odd and strange reason, underlying the efforts to mandate the flu vaccine for all students is a false belief that Covid-19 poses a far greater lethal threat than influenza.  So where is the proof?  It doesn’t exist. In fact, childhood mortality from seasonal flu infections significantly outnumbers child and teen deaths from Covid-19, and the latter’s infection rate has lasted months longer than even a severe flu season.

As of the CDC’s latest Covid-19 statistics published on August 27, there have been 101 reported deaths among children and teens.  Oddly, back in March, Business Insider was reporting that the CDC was confirming 136 pediatric deaths which clearly contradicts the CDC’s own current statistics on its website. This is another indication of systemic incompetence and confusion that has gone viral throughout the federal agency.

So far in the year of corona the CDC has reported 174 childhood flu deaths. For the past 15 years, childhood flu deaths were higher in 9 of those years than Covid-19. During the 2018-2019 season, which was regarded as especially virulent, there were 179 deaths and 110 the year before. The H1N1 swine flu panic in 2009-2010 was the worse in several decades with 282 deaths. Yet there was no lockdown, school closures, or mandatory masks and social distancing in response to the swine flu. Consequently where is the sound scientific evidence to warrant the draconian measures being taken to presumably protect students from cross-infections?  It doesn’t exist. We have looked for firm and convincing medical evidence to even suggest that flu vaccines are a viable means to ward off Covid-19, and we can’t find it.

Earlier we reported how the CDC has re-categorizing influenza and pneumonia cases as Covid-19. In the same vein, how many deaths assigned to corornavirus may actually be caused by a flu strain? German public health expert Dr. Wolfgang 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." We still do not know COVID-19's pathogenetic role and impact compared to the common seasonal flu.

Instead of blindly mandating flu vaccination, our legislators and media need to be performing their due diligence to validate the CDC’s and Bill Gates’ rhetoric and spin about flu vaccines as a prophylactic to curb the spread of Covid-19. But even more important, they need to look at the volumes of studies indicating the flu vaccine’s lack of inefficacy to protect us from influenza and the vaccine’s terrible safety record and adverse effects.

Sitting on millions of flu shots to be administered and handicapped with a past history of flu vaccines' feeble viral protection, and more Americans realizing the vaccine is either a sham or something not to be bothered with, the CDC and FDA are desperately pulling all of their stops to motivate people and their families to rush to their local WalMart, Costco or pharmacy to get inoculated.

At their best, flu vaccines remain around 50-60% effective according to official health statements. However, the World Health Organization’s predictions for 2014-2015 flu strains were a bust. The match was such a failure that the CDC was forced to warn the American public that the vaccine was only 23% effective.  The 2017-2018 seasonal vaccine was another bomb. Although the CDC claimed the vaccine was 40 percent effective, an independent study at Rice University in Houston determined only a 19 percent efficacy, and they estimated a 20 percent efficacy for the prior season. Given the frequent ineffectiveness of seasonal flu vaccines, especially for the 65 years-plus age group, predictive methodologies to determine which flu strains emerge during any given influenza season have more in common with medieval divination than sound science.

Another less discussed finding about dismal flu vaccine efficacy was determined at Kaiser Permanente Northern California last year. Reviewing 45,000 medical records of patients tested positive for influenza, researchers charted a trend that indicates that the "risk of contracting the flu climbs about 16 percent for every 28 days after vaccination. Therefore, if the particular season's vaccine is a dud to begin with, immune protection could potentially wane within a month in some patients.

In a study by Dr. Danuta Skowronski in Canada, individuals with a history of receiving consecutive seasonal flu shots over several years had an increased risk of becoming infected with H1N1 swine flu.  Skowronski commented on his findings that “policy makers have not yet had a chance to fully digest them [the study’s conclusions] or understand the implications.”  He continued, “Who knows, frankly? The wise man knows he knows nothing when it comes to influenza, so you always have to be cautious in speculating.”

According to Dr. Tom Jefferson formerly at the Cochrane Collaboration, it makes little sense to keep vaccinating against seasonal influenza based on the evidence. Jefferson has also endorsed more cost-effective and scientifically-proven means of minimizing the transmission of flu, including regular hand washing and wearing masks. There is also substantial peer-reviewed literature supporting the supplementation of Vitamin D.

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny reviewed the Cochrane Database reviews on the flu vaccine’s efficacy. In a review of 51 studies involving over 294,000 children, there was “no evidence that injecting children 6-24 months of age with a flu shot was any more effective than a placebo. In children over 2 years of age, flu vaccine effectiveness was 33 percent of the time preventing flu. In children with asthma, inactivated flu vaccine did not prevent influenza related hospitalizations in children. The database shows that children who received the flu vaccine were at a higher risk of hospitalization than children who did not receive the vaccine.[1]

In a separate study involving 400 children with asthma receiving a flu vaccine and 400 who were not immunized, there was no difference in the number of clinic and emergency room visits and hospitalizations between the two groups.[2]

During every annual quarter, the CDC’s Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines meets, and the Department of Justice releases its report on settlements made for vaccine injuries and deaths. In recent years, the flu vaccine has topped the charts. It bears noting that the CDC itself admits that only 10% of vaccine adverse effects go reported. However, independent analysis from Harvard University indicates it may be as small as 1-2% at best.

For almost a decade, the CDC has known influenza vaccines are ineffective and life-threatening for the elderly but continues to market them without hesitation. The good news is that Americans are rapidly losing confidence in the CDC. The panic being orchestrated by the CDC’s inept response to Covid-19 should convince everyone that the agency is no longer serving public interests.

Imagine the tens of thousands of children and families who would have been saved from life-long neurological damage and immeasurable suffering if the CDC was not indebted to protecting the toxic products of the pharmaceutical industry and was serving the health and well-being of American children? And we can begin to further dismantle this citadel of despotic medical fascism by simply refusing the flu vaccine and protecting ourselves by adopting a healthier lifestyle during the flu season.

 

NOTES

 

[1] 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Sociey, May 15-20, 2009 (quoted in , Sherri.  “The Truth about Flu Shots”.  Idaho Observer, June 1, 2009)

 

September 2, 2020  
September 1, 2020  

Wikipedia: Dumb and Dumber About Fluoridation

 

Richard Gale & Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, September 1, 2020

In the satirical black comedy film Dr. Strangelove there is the iconic scene when the rogue general Jack D Ripper, played by Sterling Hayden, tells Peter Sellers character, “Ever hear of the fluoridation of water? Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we ever had to face?”

From that day until now, the entire pharmaceutical industry, public health officials and the mainstream media have assumed that fluoride is absolutely safe, and anyone who dares to criticize water fluoridation and its dental use is a loon or conspiracy theorist who threatens national health.   Yet, as with so many medical and health challenges we face, the dominant consensus is wrong. The large body of evidence to support anti-fluoridation advocacy is substantial and continues to grow. In fact, throughout the US and other nations, concerned citizens, consumer activists and whistleblowers are putting pressure on state and local governments and public utilities to cease and desist in spiking our drinking water with fluoride.

Recently, the pushback against decades of lies, misinformation and media propaganda to seduce into accepting corporate and government sponsored junk research supporting fluoridation is reaching a tipping point towards public safety.  Earlier this year, an alliance of public health organizations and watch groups filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency in a federal court trial to bring an end to fluoridation once and for all. In a more recent ruling the judge has permitted the suit, represented by two distinguished attorneys – Robert F Kennedy Jr and Michel Connett -- to continue given “the merits in light of the substantial scientific evidence proffered at trial.”  And earlier this past August, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine announced their findings that low-level chronic exposure to fluoride in drinking water induces adverse changes in kidney and liver function in young people. The evidence against fluoride continues to pile up.

The CDC’s and EPA’s farce has earned a powerful voice. Wikipedia is a staunch defender of water fluoridation and promoter of this toxic propaganda. Parroting the statements of arch-Skeptic Stephen Barrett, Wikipedia’s editors sacrifice reams of scientific data to push the scientifically-debunked theories of those who would put this proven neurotoxin into every reservoir and public water utility thereby exposing generation after generation to a drug whose harms are well established yet still vehemently suppressed.

Wikipedia’s quick summary description of sodium fluoride merely states that it is “used to prevent cavities” and that it is the 215th most prescribed medication in the US. This benevolent description is posted without any context and stated as a matter-of-fact commandment that orally-consumed fluoride has no proven effect on dental health aside from causing dental fluorosis, an unsightly mottling of the teeth. Studies that suggest this can be a sign of fluoride-induced brain damage are ignored. Also missing are the scientific warnings about fluoride’s detrimental effects on nearly every system of the human body, which have been repeatedly studied and confirmed.

Under the heading “Dental Caries,” Wikipedia repeats the faulty wisdom about how fluoride is supposed to work to enhance the formation of fluorapatite, a component of tooth enamel. It does not mention that studies have shown that this fluorapatite layer is just six nanometers thick, less than 1/10000th the width of a strand of hair and therefore unlikely to have much of an impact strengthening or re-mineralizing teeth.

To its credit, Wikipedia does admit – without explaining the implications – that sodium fluoride is rarely used in the US for fluoridating water. Instead, hexafluorosilicic acid and sodium hexafluorosilicate, toxic byproducts of phosphate fertilizer and aluminum manufacturing, are used. Wikipedia does not discuss the industrial origins of these compounds (called silicofluorides or SiFs) nor their toxicity – both are deemed industrial pollutants if released into the air via factory smokestacks or into the environment via drainpipes. Yet when deliberately added to drinking water they are classified as benevolent. Nor does Wikipedia mention that these fluoride compounds have never been approved or even tested by the FDA for safety. Nor are we informed that studies have shown that SiFs can double or even triple the rate of lead uptake into children’s bloodstreams by only citing a single study to discredit this “hypothesis.”

Adding SiFs to drinking water lowers its pH, rendering it more corrosive and thus more likely to leach lead and other contaminants as it flows through pipes. But even when a neutralizing agent is added, SiFs’ “unique affinity for lead” leach even tiny amounts of the metal from any lead-containing pipe or fixture through which treated water flows. Used in combination with chlorine and chloramine, common disinfectants added to drinking water, the rate of lead uptake from SiF-treated water is off the charts. SiFs and lead have a synergistic effect, meaning consuming both is significantly more damaging to brain tissue than consuming either alone, wreaking particular havoc in the hippocampus, the area responsible for learning and memory, and causing a marked decline in IQ.

Even Wikipedia can’t deny that lead exposure causes brain damage, although its entry for lead poisoning fails to mention the correlation between lead exposure in children and criminal behavior, lumping it under the vague rubric of “behavioral problems” instead. So how is it that Wikipedia gives SiFs a certificate of safety? Nowhere in the article on hexafluorosilicic acid are the safety risks even mentioned, aside from a single sentence about the dangers of inhaling its vapors. In fact, the article has more to say about hexafluorosilicic acid's effects on “glass and stoneware” than on the human body!

Wikipedia briefly notes the negative effects of fluoride overexposure, though it is careful not to suggest that such overexposure can occur merely by drinking tap water. It references “the higher doses used to treat osteoporosis” after acknowledging earlier in the article that fluoride is utterly ineffective at treating osteoporosis, mentioning “pain in the legs” and “incomplete stress fractures when the doses are too high” (no comment on why a substance that causes stress fractures would be used to treat a bone-weakening disease like osteoporosis), as well as stomach irritation.

According to Wikipedia, the only “clear adverse effect” of water fluoridation is dental fluorosis! Hundreds of scientific studies would beg to differ. In 2018 alone over a dozen studies pointing to this toxic substance’s detrimental effects have been published, only to be ignored by the mainstream media and barred from addition to Wikipedia. A Mexican study published in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology concluded “Fluoride could be considered an environmental kidney toxicant” after studying populations exposed to both fluoride and arsenic in drinking water. At least Wikipedia admits arsenic is poisonous! But it is ironic that arsenic was found to have a less nephrotoxic effect than fluoride. A Kenyan study published in the American Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences reported that auditory working memory significantly declined as fluoride concentration in drinking water increased, confirming the results of an earlier systematic review showing lower IQ in children in high-fluoride areas. These effects were observed at concentrations as low as 0.5 mg/L – the low end of the scale recommended by the World Health Organization, which recommends fluoridation at concentrations as high as 1.5 mg/L. Another Mexican study found prenatal fluoride exposure positively correlated to ADHD symptoms in children as much as 12 years later, “consistent with the growing body of evidence suggesting neurotoxicity of early-life exposure to fluoride.” A pair of Polish studies published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health observed strong evidence for fluoride's role in triggering and progressing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, given the substance’s role in oxidative stress and inflammation.

Fluoride’s toxicity extends from the skeletal system, through the endocrine system, reproductive system, and neurological system, but none of these myriad effects are discussed in Wikipedia. Decades of solid scientific research are memory-holed with the blanket statement that there is “no clear evidence”. Wikipedia even claims there have been only three reported cases of fluoride toxicity associated with toothpaste ingestion, when in fact there are over 23,000 reports of toothpaste-related fluoride poisoning annually. This represents hundreds of emergency rooms visits for fluoride poisoning at substantial and unnecessary medical cost.

There’s a sound reason why so few of these kinds of studies are conducted in the heavily-fluoridated US and find their way into Wikipedia.  One study published in Medical Hypotheses touched on this discrepancy, finding organizational bias “can and does compromise the integrity of fluoride research.” The only logical explanation for how so many studies have found evidence of neurotoxicity and toxicity in other tissues – even sky-high rates of dental fluorosis, despite the prevailing wisdom that fluoridation is that it is “good for teeth.” Nevertheless this practice persists and the American Dental Association fully endorses this charade. The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service reported that the CDC’s public relations make the dubious claim that for every dollar invested in fluoridation, $38 are saved in dental costs. In fact, the actual analysis indicates that the best case scenario is a $3 savings, which is rapidly “eliminated by the estimated cost of treating dental fluorosis.”

Ever since Harvard University researcher Philippe Grandjean first added fluoride to a list of developmental neurotoxicants considered especially harmful to the developing brain in a 2014 paper published in The Lancet, our health officials have suffered from institutionalized cognitive dissonance by categorically denying fluoride-induced illness. As more papers identifying the adverse risks of environmental toxins, including fluoride, are added to the list of chemicals most damaging to human development, Dr. Grandjean and his colleagues have called for the formation of an international clearinghouse to coordinate research into the neurotoxicants and their role in the rising global prevalence of neurodevelopmental disabilities. Sadly, such an urgent endeavor would likely be completely ignored by the US's federal health and environmental authorities.

In the meantime, Wikipedia is firmly lodged in this carry-over of scientific-naivety that was the public rage in the 1950s, when fluoride was the magic ingredient for whiter teeth, DDT would keep the bugs away, and humanity would be saved by our friend the atomic bomb.

August 31, 2020  

Nicotinamide riboside increases aerobic performance

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

Long naps may be bad for health

Guangzhou Medical University (China), August 26, 2020

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

How vitamin C could help over 50s retain muscle mass

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Vitamin E supplementation shows promise as treatment option for NAFLD

Aristotle University (Greece), August 26 2020. 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

University of Milan (Italy), August 11, 2020

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Columbia University, August 28, 2020

 

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

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

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

August 28, 2020  

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

 

August 27, 2020  

Desperate Times for Pandemic Lead to... Ozone?

Case study in three patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia

MedPage Today August 24, 2020

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

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

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

Patient 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

On day 4, the patient was discharged home.

 

 

Patient 2 

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

Laboratory tests showed high levels of:

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

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

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

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

 

Eat local foods to regulate blood pressure and reduce diabetes risk

University of Turin (Italy), August 26, 2020

 

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

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

Neither fat nor sugar

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

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

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

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

Local producers are safer sources of food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Zinc therapy in early Alzheimer disease: safety and potential efficacy

Molecular Markers Laboratory (Italy), August 20, 2020

 

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

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

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

 

 

Magnetic stimulation dramatically improves fecal incontinence

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

University of Siena (Italy), August 22, 2020

 

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

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

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

 

 

Seven Reasons Why Skipping Rope Is So Good For You

 

University of Hertfordshire (UK), August 25, 2020

 

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

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

1. It improves cardiovascular fitness

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

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

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

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

2. It’s a full body workout

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

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

3. It improves coordination and motor skills

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

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

4. It increases bone mineral density

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

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

5. It increases speed

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

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

6. Time efficient

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

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

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

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

7. Enjoyable

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

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

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

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

 

Depressed or anxious teens risk heart attacks in middle age

Orebro University (Sweden), August 26, 2020

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Frequent soft drink consumption may make adolescents more aggressive

University of Alabama, August 26, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 26, 2020  

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

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

University of Orebro (Sweden), August 24, 2020

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

University of North Carolina, August 25, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Children raised in greener areas have higher IQ, study finds

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

Hasselt University (Belgium), August 25, 2020

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five more ways to boost brainpower

1. Exercise

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

2. Foods

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

3. Power naps

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

4. Meditation

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

5. Positive thinking

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

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

Beijing Sport University (China), August 24, 2020

 

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

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

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

 

Desperate Times for Pandemic Lead to... Ozone?

Case study in three patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia

MedPage Today August 24, 2020

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

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

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

Patient 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

On day 4, the patient was discharged home.

 

 

Patient 2 

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

Laboratory tests showed high levels of:

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

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

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

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

 

 

Nicotinamide riboside increases aerobic performance in mice

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

 

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

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

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

 

 
 

The warning signs of a magnesium deficiency

NaturalHealth360, August 22, 2020

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

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

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

What are the warning signs of magnesium deficiency?

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

Many health experts warn that if you experience:

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

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

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

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

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

Energize yourself by increasing your magnesium levels

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 25, 2020  

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

 

Extract Reishi mushroom exerts suppressive effect on cervical cancer cell malignancy

Shandong University (China), August 21 2020

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

Amsterdam University (Netherlands), August 24 2020. 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

Melatonin linked to improved brain function in child concussion

University of Queensland (Australia), August 19, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This paper was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

University of California at San Diego, August 24, 2020

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

What are the health risks of low glutathione levels

Natural Health 365,  August 18, 2020

 

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

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

Warning: Glutathione shortfalls linked with virtually all chronic health issues

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

Unsurprisingly, having low glutathione can have serious health consequences.

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

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

Warning: Glutathione deficiency is a massive threat to cellular health

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

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

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

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

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

Natural ways to build up your glutathione levels

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

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

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

What can we do to restore levels?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Reykjavik University (Iceland), August 24, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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