The Gary Null Show Gary takes on the real issues that the mainstream media is afraid to tackle. Tune in to find out the latest about health news, healing, politics, and the economy.

August 10, 2020  

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

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Brendan O'Neill: The danger of the 'chattering class'

Link confirmed between healthy diet and prostate cancer prevention

University of Calgary, August 6, 2020


The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that more than 23,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020. Among other risk factors, more and more studies point to diet as a major factor in the development of prostate cancer, as it is for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Using data from a study conducted in Montreal between 2005 and 2012, a research team led by Professor Marie-Elise Parent of Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has shown a link between diet and prostate cancer in the article “Dietary Patterns Are Associated with Risk of Prostate Cancer in a Population-Based Case-Control Study in Montreal, Canada”, published in Nutrients in June.

Three main dietary profiles analyzed

INRS PhD student Karine Trudeau, the lead author of the study, based her analysis on three main dietary profiles: healthy diet, salty Western diet including alcohol, and sugar-rich Western diet with beverages. The first profile leans heavily towards fruits, vegetables, and plant proteins like tofu and nuts. The salty Western diet with alcohol includes more meat and beverages such as beer and wine. The third profile is rich in pasta, pizza, desserts, and sugary carbonated drinks. The study took age, ethnicity, education, family history, and date of last prostate cancer screening into account.

Marie-Elise Parent and Karine Trudeau found a link between a healthy diet and a lower risk of prostate cancer. Conversely, a Western diet with sweets and beverages was associated with a higher risk and seemed to be a factor in more aggressive forms of cancer. The study did not show any clear link between a Western diet with salt and alcohol and the risk of developing the disease.

Moving away from the typical approach used in epidemiological studies, which involves looking at one nutrient or food group at a time, the researchers collected data from a broader dietary profile. “It’s not easy to isolate the effect of a single nutrient,” explained Ms. Trudeau. “For example, foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, promote iron absorption. Calcium is often found in dairy products, which also contain vitamin D. Our more targeted approach takes this synergy into account to produce more meaningful results that public health authorities can use to formulate recommendations. Rather than counting on one miracle food, people should look at their overall diet.”

“For a long time we’ve suspected that diet might play a role in the development of prostate cancer, but it was very hard to pinpoint the specific factors at play,” said Professor Parent. “This study is significant because it looks at dietary habits as a whole. We’ve uncovered evidence that, we hope, can be used to develop prevention strategies for prostate cancer, the most common cancer among men in Canadaand many other countries.”


Compounds in 'monster' radish could help tame cardiovascular disease

American Chemical Society, August 9, 2020

Step aside carrots, onions and broccoli. The newest heart-healthy vegetable could be a gigantic, record-setting radish. In a study appearing in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists report that compounds found in the Sakurajima Daikon, or "monster," radish could help protect coronary blood vessels and potentially prevent heart disease and stroke. The finding could lead to the discovery of similar substances in other vegetables and perhaps lead to new drug treatments.

Grown for centuries in Japan, the Sakurajima Daikon is one of the Earth's most massive vegetables. In 2003, the Guinness Book of World Records certified a Sakurajima weighing nearly 69 pounds as the world's heaviest radish. Radishes are good sources of antioxidants and reportedly can reduce high blood pressure and the threat of clots, a pair of risk factors for heart attack and stroke. But to date, no studies have directly compared the heart-health benefits of the Sakurajima Daikon to other radishes. To address this knowledge gap, Katsuko Kajiya and colleagues sought to find out what effects this radish would have on nitric oxide production, a key regulator of coronary blood vessel function, and to determine its underlying mechanisms.

The researchers exposed human and pig vascular endothelial cells to extracts from Sakurajima Daikon and smaller radishes. Using fluorescence microscopy and other analytical techniques, the research team found the Sakurajima Daikon radish induced more nitric oxide production in these vascular cells than a smaller Japanese radish. They also identified trigonelline, a plant hormone, as the active component in Sakurajima Daikon that appears to promote a cascade of changes in coronary blood vessels resulting improved nitric oxide production.


Placebos prove powerful even when people know they're taking one

Michigan State University, August 7, 2020


How much of a treatment is mind over matter? It is well documented that people often feel better after taking a treatment without active ingredients simply because they believe it's real -- known as the placebo effect.

A team of researchers from Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Dartmouth College is the first to demonstrate that placebos reduce brain markers of emotional distress even when people know they are taking one.

Now, evidence shows that even if people are aware that their treatment is not "real" -- known as nondeceptive placebos -- believing that it can heal can lead to changes in how the brain reacts to emotional information.

"Just think: What if someone took a side-effect free sugar pill twice a day after going through a short convincing video on the power of placebos and experienced reduced stress as a result?", said Darwin Guevarra, MSU postdoctoral fellow and the study's lead author. "These results raise that possibility."

The new findings, published in the most recent edition of the journal Nature Communications, tested how effective nondeceptive placebos -- or, when a person knows they are receiving a placebo -- are for reducing emotional brain activity. 

"Placebos are all about 'mind over matter," said Jason Moser, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at MSU. "Nondeceptive placebos were born so that you could possibly use them in routine practice. So rather than prescribing a host of medications to help a patient, you could give them a placebo, tell them it can help them and chances are -- if they believe it can, then it will."

To test nondeceptive placebos, the researchers showed two separate groups of people a series of emotional images across two experiments. The nondeceptive placebo group members read about placebo effects and were asked to inhale a saline solution nasal spray. They were told that the nasal spray was a placebo that contained no active ingredients but would help reduce their negative feelings if they believed it would. The comparison control group members also inhaled the same saline solution spray, but were told that the spray improved the clarity of the physiological readings the researchers were recording.

The first experiment found that the nondeceptive placebos reduced participants' self-reported emotional distress. Importantly, the second study showed that nondeceptive placebos reduced electrical brain activity reflecting how much distress someone feels to emotional events, and the reduction in emotional brain activity occurred within just a couple of seconds.

"These findings provide initial support that nondeceptive placebos are not merely a product of response bias - telling the experimenter what they want to hear -- but represent genuine psychobiological effects," said Ethan Kross, co-author of the study and a professor of psychology and management at the University of Michigan.



Greater coffee intake associated with decreased depressive symptoms among older Japanese women

Nakamura Gakuen University (Japan), August 5, 2020


According to news reporting originating from Fukuoka, Japan, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, “Depression in elderly people is a major global concern around the world. Epidemiological evidence of the association of beverages with depressive symptoms has received research attention; however, epidemiological studies on the association of coffee and green tea consumption with depressive symptoms among the elderly population are limited.”

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from Nakamura Gakuen University, “The objective of this study is to cross-sectionally examine the association of depressive symptoms with the intake of coffee, green tea, and caffeine and to verify the antidepressant effect of caffeine. The subjects were 1,992 women aged 65-94 years. Intakes of coffee, green tea, and caffeine, as well as depressive symptoms, were assessed with a validated brief dietary history questionnaire (BDHQ) and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), respectively. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (as) for depressive symptoms with adjustments for potential confounders. Coffee intake was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms, the ORs of which for the 4th versus the 1st quartiles of intake was 0.64 (95% CI, 0.46-0.88, P for trend = 0.01) in a fully adjusted model. Caffeine intake was marginally associated with depressive symptoms, but the association was not statistically significant (OR 0.75; 95% CL 0,55-1,02. P for trend = 0.058). The result suggests that the inverse association of coffee intake with depressive symptoms might be associated with not only caffeine intake but also some other substances in coffee or factors related to coffee intake.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Because of the cross-sectional design of the present study, longitudinal studies are required to confirm the present finding.”



Sugary drinks and disease: Chugging 2 sodas per day increases your risk of premature death

University College Dublin (Ireland), August 8, 2020

On top of raising blood sugar and contributing to abdominal fat, European researchers found that soda can also lead to an earlier death.

Published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the study demonstrates that daily consumption of two or more sodas – diet or not – and other sweetened drinks corresponds to a 17 percent increase in the risk of premature death from all causes.

The “bitter truth” of soda consumption: premature death

To examine the relationship between soda consumption and the risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality, the researchers studied 451,743 individuals living in 10 European countries, including Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The participants were from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EIPC) study, one of the largest ongoing cohort studies on diet and its relation to cancer and other chronic diseases. None of the participants have any chronic conditions.

The team studied their soda consumption for an average of 16 years. During that period, a total of 41,693 participants died from all causes, eleven percent of whom reported drinking at least two sodas daily, while nine percent reported drinking not more than one per month.

The participants who drank two or more glasses of soda also had a higher risk of death from heart conditions. Meanwhile, those who reported consuming other beverages sweetened with either sugar or artificial sweeteners had a greater risk of death from digestive diseases.

Participants who drank diet soda weren’t off the hook either. The team reported that those who drank diet sodas also had a greater risk of earlier death from cardiovascular disease(CVD).

Taken together, these findings indicate that the consumption of soda, diet soda and other sweetened beverages is linked to premature death from all causes, including CVD and digestive diseases.

The researchers noted that their study supports public health campaigns aimed at limiting the consumption of sodas and other sugar-laden drinks.


Fisetin derivative shows promise against Alzheimer disease in mice

Salk Institute, August 5 2020. 


he September 2020 issue of Redox Biology published the finding of Salk Institute researchers of an ability for a compound derived from fisetin, a flavonoid occurring in many plants, to reverse memory loss in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease. The compound, known as CMS121, which was synthesized by Pamela Maher and colleagues, was recently demonstrated to slow brain cell aging.

"This was a more rigorous test of how well this compound would work in a therapeutic setting than our previous studies on it," commented Dr Maher. "Based on the success of this study, we're now beginning to pursue clinical trials."

In the current research, normal mice and mice that were genetically modified to develop Alzheimer disease were given CMS121 starting at nine months of age. Untreated Alzheimer mice and normal mice served as controls. At 12 months, memory and behavior tests revealed that treated Alzheimer mice performed as well as control mice and that Alzheimer mice that did not receive CMS121 performed worse. 

An increase in lipid peroxidation was observed in brains cells of untreated Alzheimer mice in comparison with Alzheimer mice that received CMS121. "That not only confirmed that lipid peroxidation is altered in Alzheimer's, but that this drug is actually normalizing those changes," remarked first author Gamze Ates. 

It was further determined that CMS121 lowered levels of the lipid-producing molecule fatty acid synthetase (FASN). Brain samples from human Alzheimer patients revealed that greater amounts of FASN were present in comparison with cognitively healthy patients, suggesting that FASN could be a drug target for Alzheimer disease. 

"There has been a big struggle in the field right now to find targets to go after," Dr Maher stated. "So, identifying a new target in an unbiased way like this is really exciting and opens lots of doors."



REM sleep tunes eating behavior

University of Bern (Germany),  August 7, 2020


Despite our broad understanding of the different brain regions activated during rapid-eye-movement sleep, little is known about what this activity serves for. Researchers at the University of Bern and the Inselspital have now discovered that the activation of neurons in the hypothalamus during REM sleep regulates eating behaviour: suppressing this activity in mice decreases appetite.

While we are asleep, we transition between different phases of sleep each of which may contribute differently to us feeling rested. During (rapid eye movement) REM sleep, a peculiar sleep stage also called paradoxical sleep during which most dreaming occurs, specific brain circuits show very high electrical activity, yet the function of this sleep-specific activity remains unclear. 

Among the brain regions that show strong activation during REM sleep are areas that regulate memory functions or emotion, for instance. The lateral hypothalamus, a tiny, evolutionarily well conserved brain structure in all mammals also shows high activity during REM sleep. In the awake animals, neurons from this brain region orchestrate appetite and the consumption of food and they are involved in the regulation of motivated behaviours and addiction.

In a new study, researchers headed by Prof. Dr. Antoine Adamantidis at the University of Bern set out to investigate the function of the activity of hypothalamic neurons in mice during REM sleep. They aimed at better understanding how neural activation during REM sleep influences our day-to-day behaviour. They discovered that suppressing the activity of these neurons decreases the amount of food the mice consume. "This suggests that REM sleep is necessary to stabilize food intake", says Adamantidis. The results of this study have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Long-lasting effect on neuronal activity and feeding behavior

The researcher discovered that specific activity patterns of neurons in the lateral hypothalamus that usually signal eating in the awake mouse are also present when the animals were in the stage of REM sleep. To assess the importance of these activity patterns during REM sleep the research group used a technique called optogenetics, with which they used light pulses to precisely shut down the activity of hypothalamic neurons during REM sleep. As a result, the researchers found that the activity patterns for eating were modified and that the animals consumed less food.

"We were surprised how strongly and persistently our intervention affected the neural activity in the lateral hypothalamus and the behaviour of the mice", says Lukas Oesch, the first author of the study. He adds: "The modification in the activity patterns was still measurable after four days of regular sleep." These findings suggest that electrical activity in hypothalamic circuits during REM sleep are highly plastic and essential to maintain a stable feeding behaviour in mammals. 

It is a question of quality

These findings point out that sleep quantity alone is not solely required for our well-being, but that sleep quality plays a major role in particular to maintain appropriate eating behaviour. "This is of particular relevance in our society where not only sleep quantity decreases but where sleep quality is dramatically affected by shift work, late night screen exposure or social jet-lag in adolescents", explains Adamantidis.

The discovered link between the activity of the neurons during REM sleep and eating behaviour may help developing new therapeutical approaches to treat eating disorders. It might also be relevant for motivation and addiction. "However, this relationship might depend on the precise circuitry, the sleep stage and other factors yet to be uncovered", adds Adamantidis.


The key role of zinc in elderly immunity

Federal University of Juiz de Fora (Brazil), August 7, 2020


According to news reporting originating from Juiz de Fora, Brazil, by NewsRx editors, the research stated, “The COVID-19 infection can lead to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), mainly affecting patients aged 60 and older. Preliminary data suggest that the nutritional status can change the course of the infection, and on the matter, zinc is crucial for growth, development, and the maintenance of immune function.”

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, “In the absence of treatment for this virus, there is an urgent need to find alternative methods that can contribute to control of disease. The aim of this paper is to establish the relation between zinc and COVID-19. From the prior scientific knowledge, we have performed a review of the literature and examine the role of zinc in immune function in the infection by COVID-19. Our findings are that the zinc as an anti-inflammatory agent may help to optimize immune function and reduce the risk of infection.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Zinc supplementation can be a useful strategy to reduce the global burden of infection in the elderly, there is a need the increased reporting to improve our understanding of COVID-19 and the care of affected patients.”



August 7, 2020  

Welcome to the Woke Culture and its Nihilistic Agenda

Gary Null and Richard Gale

Progressive Radio Network, August 7, 2020

As we witness the increasing populist persecution of politically correct language through the emerging cancel culture, we must pause for a moment.  What went wrong that in a blink of an eye so much hatred, disdain and condemnation has unfurled in the streets, the social media and on college campuses. Demanding that tenured professors should be limited in what they say and how it is stated is counterproductive to understanding that our institutions of higher learning have historically been forums to challenge and rebut ideas and preassumptions in order to inspire open dialogue and debate.  This is how critical thinking develops. Epigenetically ingrained beliefs and feelings are thereby examined outside the bubbles of culture, class, race and ethnicity, because the real world frankly doesn’t care about self-centered emotions nor supercilious appeals for focused attention.

Previous generations had their moments in the public arena to exhibit their tantrums and hurl vindictive vitriol at their real or imagined enemies. Again we are witnessing a new generation of youth stamping their feet, beating their chests with self-righteous indignation and screaming for justice.  “We are inclusive,” so they yell, “and you are the racist, bigot, misogynist and deplorable trash.”

But the euphoric high in the current rebellion will be short-lived. Populist rebellions and protests are usually coopted by more powerful entities eventually. And rarely do revolutions bring about the changes that its participants have idolized. Some scholars have observed a similarity between the current demonstrations of Black Lives Matter and Antifa with the French Revolution. But that too quickly splintered after heralding momentary success into the various factions of Robespierre’s Jacobins, Jacques Hebert and George Danton. And where did the revolution’s achievements end after Napoleon arrived?  Indeed successful widespread demonstrations can change the course of history and do trigger systemic change frequently. However there is no Rosetta stone that guarantees the desired outcome will be reached.

The belief that we are a systemically racist nation is fundamentally flawed otherwise there would have been no achievements from earlier mass protests such the civil rights movement, the early abolitionists, suffragettes, and the Vietnam War protests. The very idea that the best selling book White Fragility should be the new  bible is a travesty to critical thinking. Yes, it is proper to condemn slavery; any reasonable person would.  But the premise that being born White is an irreversible and unredeemable trait of racism, coded in our DNA as a biological sin, is not only juvenile and ill-founded but also intrinsically dangerous. How is it that an author can condemn all Whites as racist while denying this in and of itself is a racist argument?

Even if a person can provide the evidence that their family heritage had many abolitionists who fought for freeing slaves, it makes no difference. Any statement, any gesture or word uttered by a 10 year old or an elderly person in their later years can be used to cancel one’s life, including all the goodness that person may have done as a conscious and moral human being.

One criticism often heard against today’s younger generations is that they are historically illiterate. How can anyone say with moral and historical authority that the civil rights movement meant nothing and in a swoop of amnesia wipe away 70 years of accomplishments for liberating people of color.

In no small measure these past populist movements proceeded forward in the spirit of unity where the color of one’s skin did not limit anyone as a human being. Tens of millions of Americans joyfully embraced each other in cooperation at every level of society.  Now today’s protests are negating this legacy as if it never existed. Yet when Clinton, Bush, Obama-Biden, and now Trump, Democrats and Republicans alike, at the behest of the neo-con and military industrial complex decided it was in their financial and ideological interests to invade country after country, most of these populations were of color. Why isn’t the populist rebellion now calling out our nation’s addiction to military adventurism for its systemic racism and the destruction of foreign cultures? When China carries out its persecution and incarceration of its minorities, including Tibetans and Muslim Uygurs, why do our youth blissfully continue to purchase the latest mobile phones and computers manufactured in the Mainland? Instead, China is given a pass as fomenters of human suffering to have the luxury of the newest gadget to show our friends.

And how is it not racist when thousands of small businesses are destroyed in riots when the majority of the proprietors and owners are Black, Latino, Asian and Native American?  Is any effort being made by the demonstrations’ organizers to restore their lives? In the meantime, the media covers these crimes by saying there are no riots. Jerry Nadler tells us that Antifa riots are a myth; however, tell that to the people whose life savings and means of livelihood have disappeared and who don’t have a penny left.

On a more pragmatic level, when a group of liberals and intellectuals principally sign a petition, including Noam Chomsky, to ask that we show respect for freedom of speech, they are attacked and ridiculed with the intent to destroy their reputations and to silence their freedom of speech.  The disturbing question is whether those participating in the woke movement have contributed any understanding to the nation’s crises of income inequality and militarism at the level of a Noam Chomsky? What exactly have any of the most vocal protestors created in their lives that have made society a better place from their efforts?

The best we can do is learn the historical lessons of how racial injustice arises, and it is not based solely on color or biology. Rather it is a question of power, the control of a privileged elite for the sake of greater wealth and socio-political influence. That is the basis for how a society becomes corrupted, and it is a battle essential for transforming the destructive trajectory of our country that is not being addressed. When the central issues of woke culture rely solely upon how you feel or what you believe is right then the society becomes divided between insiders and outsiders because not everyone will share your personal sentiments and illusions. Wokeness avoids being held accountable for the consequences that our words and actions inflict on others of a dissimilar mind.  In the meantime the clock is ticking away the seconds as the planet furls into being unsustainable for supporting its 7.8 billion citizens.

If the woke left believes it has the power to bring Joe Biden and the powers behind him to the White House, it is probably correct. But what happens once they are in power?  Life worsens as it has done for each succeeding president in recent history.  Will the legions of wokeness take credit for that?  Certainly not.

Undoubtedly, the woke culture perceives itself as being wise. But wisdom doesn’t arise from being afflicted with ADHD, being self-righteous, and finding one’s worth in how audaciously confrontational one can be towards an enemy. Our wise women and men today are those who have seen many struggles and have incorporated their knowledge into making society more equitable, to bring jobs back, to erect means of protecting those who are disenfranchised by corporate and political greed and exploitation.  Nevertheless these are the reputations the woke want to destroy, individuals who have the insight to analyze and discern the faulty thinking and self-cherishing delusions behind cancelling the lives of others, such as Noam Chomsky, Gloria Steinem, Chris Hedges, etc.  It is an immoral mindset to believe that one has the right to destroy another’s accomplishments regardless of whether one agrees or not.

The current protests erupting throughout the nation is like Sherman’s March to the Sea, destroy everything and everyone in its wake, then take pride in your carnage. Unfortunately, Black Lives Matter, despite the truth and integrity of its stated mission, is run by the wrong leaders – juveniles acting like belligerent teenagers who stamp their feet before locking themselves in their bedrooms.

During the past decade, and particularly in the last three years, there has been a full throttle acceleration by the major social media firms – Google, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia – to cancel voices and platforms that represent honest journalism. These are the voices of free speech that challenge the political weaponization of education represented in White Fragility, medicine and class struggle. Many sites such as Globalresearch, GreenMedInfo, Truthout, Blacklisted News, and Anti-Media have been censored. Also cancelled, shamed and pillared are people with impeccable integrity for their criticisms against power, including Abby Martin and Chris Hedges. These are the people with the strength of character and wisdom to expose all levels of power engaged in hegemonic control, unmitigated greed and the corruption throughout our two party duopoly. Neither the political Right or Left have done anything to challenge these breaches of public trust.  And Biden will certainly continue this trend.

So now we face a wave of nihilists in the streets and the internet spreading their apathy, frustration, hopelessness and hostility against racism and a system that correctly needs to be criticized and dismantled. But its lack of wisdom is displaying a mob rule that goes far beyond the threshold of honoring free speech, individual rights, and the kind of empathy and compassion that is so much needed at this time in mass populist movement.  Out of the collective ignorance that plagues the current uprising is the vulnerability to become unwilling tools of the powerful who are far smarter and wiser on knowing how to manipulate and direct trends that otherwise are not in their best interests.  We are already witnessing this happening as hundreds of millions of dollars are dumped into Black Lives Matter by donors and organizations that should rather be targets of protest.  This is the cost of nihilism and being deluded by wokeness: those who believe they are in power and control have been puppets all along.

August 6, 2020  

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

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Cancel Culture doxxed me (as an ex-Google tech lead)

Millennials, Generation Zs trying to foster a workplace 'culture of victimhood'


Turmeric could have antiviral properties

Wuhan Institute of Bioengineering, August 5, 2020

Curcumin, a natural compound found in the spice turmeric, could help eliminate certain viruses, research has found. 

A study published in the Journal of General Virology showed that curcumin can prevent Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) - an alpha-group coronavirus that infects pigs - from infecting cells. At higher doses, the compound was also found to kill virus particles. 

Infection with TGEV causes a disease called transmissible gastroenteritis in piglets, which is characterised by diarrhoea, severe dehydration and death. TGEV is highly infectious and is invariably fatal in piglets younger than two weeks, thus posing a major threat to the global swine industry. There are currently no approved treatments for alpha-coronaviruses and although there is a vaccine for TGEV, it is not effective in preventing the spread of the virus. 

To determine the potential antiviral properties of curcumin, the research team treated experimental cells with various concentrations of the compound, before attempting to infect them with TGEV. They found that higher concentrations of curcumin reduced the number of virus particles in the cell culture.

The research suggests that curcumin affects TGEV in a number of ways: by directly killing the virus before it is able to infect the cell, by integrating with the viral envelope to 'inactivate' the virus, and by altering the metabolism of cells to prevent viral entry. "Curcumin has a significant inhibitory effect on TGEV adsorption step and a certain direct inactivation effect, suggesting that curcumin has great potential in the prevention of TGEV infection," said Dr Lilan Xie, lead author of the study and researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Bioengineering.

Curcumin has been shown to inhibit the replication of some types of virus, including dengue virus, hepatitis B and Zika virus. The compound has also been found to have a number of significant biological effects, including antitumor, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities. Curcumin was chosen for this research due to having low side effects according to Dr Xie. They said: "There are great difficulties in the prevention and control of viral diseases, especially when there are no effective vaccines. Traditional Chinese medicine and its active ingredients, are ideal screening libraries for antiviral drugs because of their advantages, such as convenient acquisition and low side effects."

The researchers now hope to continue their research in vivo, using an animal model to assess whether the inhibiting properties of curcumin would be seen in a more complex system. "Further studies will be required, to evaluate the inhibitory effect in vivo and explore the potential mechanisms of curcumin against TGEV, which will lay a foundation for the comprehensive understanding of the antiviral mechanisms and application of curcumin" said Dr Xie.


A quarter of arthritis cases linked to excess weight

Weight loss from young adulthood to midlife was associated with substantially reduced risk of developing arthritis

Boston University, August 4, 2020


A new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study shows that weight loss between early adulthood and midlife lowers arthritis risk, and found no evidence of any persistent risk of arthritis for people who were heavier earlier in life and then lost weight.

The study, published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, also estimates that nearly a quarter of arthritis cases in the U.S., corresponding to 2.7 million people, are attributable to excess weight.

"Policies that address the social and structural factors that promote weight gain are urgently needed. Our findings suggest that such measures could have a significant impact on reducing the incidence of arthritis, a leading cause of disability and chronic pain in the US," says study corresponding author Dr. Andrew Stokes, assistant professor of global health at BUSPH.

"Although weight loss could represent a viable way to reduce arthritis risk at the individual level, we found that the best solution at the population level would be to prevent weight gain," says study lead author and BUSPH alumna Kaitlyn Berry, who was a research fellow at BUSPH while working on the study and is now at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. 

The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) on adults 40-69 years old, to categorize individuals based on the changes in their body mass indices (BMI) from early adulthood to mid-life, and analyzed the association between these BMI trajectories and the risk of developing an arthritis condition within 10 years.

Of the 13,669 people in the study, 3,603 developed an arthritis condition. Compared with those who had a BMI in the "normal" range in both early adulthood and middle age, those who went from the "normal" range to the "overweight" or "obese" ranges, those who went from the "overweight" range to the "obese" range, and those whose BMIs were in the "obese" range at both points were all significantly more likely to develop arthritis conditions. 

On the other hand, those whose BMIs went from the "obese" down to the "overweight" range had a significantly lower risk of developing arthritis compared to those whose BMI remained in the "obese" range. Additionally, those who lost weight had the same likelihood of developing arthritis as those whose BMIs stayed in the "overweight" range. 

"These findings highlight the need for lifelong public health measures to prevent obesity at younger ages as an important step to curb later life musculoskeletal and joint health problems such as osteoarthritis. This is particularly important as musculoskeletal pain is a leading cause of disability globally," says study co-author Dr. Tuhina Neogi, professor of epidemiology at BUSPH, professor of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, and chief of rheumatology at Boston Medical Center.


Consumption of a blueberry enriched diet by women for six weeks alters determinants of human muscle progenitor cell function

Cornell University, August 5, 2020 

A new research study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, investigated how serum from subjects consuming a diet enriched with blueberries would affect the cells responsible for muscle growth and repair. The emerging study, "Consumption of a blueberry enriched diet by women for six weeks alters determinants of human muscle progenitor cell function," was conducted at Cornell University.

The study was conducted over six weeks with 22 women, 12 aged 25-40 and 10 aged 60-75. For the blueberry-enriched diet, participants consumed the equivalent of 1.75 cups of fresh blueberries/day, given as freeze-dried blueberries (19 g in the morning and 19 g in the evening), along with their regular diet. Participants were also asked to avoid other foods rich in polyphenols and anthocyanins. Serum was obtained from the participants 1.5 hours after consuming the morning dose of blueberries. The researchers then investigated how the serum would affect muscle progenitor cell function through proliferation or cell number, capacity to manage oxidative stress and oxygen consumption rate or metabolism.

The results showed the six-week blueberry-enriched serum obtained from the women aged 25-40 increased human muscle progenitor cell numbers in culture. There was also a trend toward a lower percentage of dead human muscle progenitor cells, suggesting a resistance to oxidative stress, as well as increased oxygen consumption of the cells. There were no beneficial effects seen in the muscle progenitor cells treated with serum from participants aged 60-75 who consumed the blueberry enriched diet.

"The consequences associated with the deterioration of skeletal muscle are a loss of mobility, decreased quality of life, and ultimately, loss of independence. Currently, research on dietary interventions to support skeletal muscle regeneration in humans is limited. This preliminary study of muscle progenitor cell function paves the way for future studies to develop clinical interventions," said Anna Thalacker-Mercer, Ph.D., the study's lead investigator. "While the results cannot be generalized to all populations, this study is an important step in translating findings from cell culture and rodent studies to a potential dietary therapy for improving muscle regeneration after injury and during the aging process."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), muscles lose strength, flexibility, and endurance over time. Muscle mass decreases three to five percent every decade after 30 years of age, and that rate increases over age 60. Therefore, strategies to improve muscle progenitor cell proliferation and lower oxidative stress may also benefit muscle regeneration during the aging process.

Research on the role that blueberries may play in promoting good health is ongoing across multiple areas, including cardiovascular health, diabetes management, brain health, exercise and the gut microbiome.



From mitochondria to healthy aging: role of branched-chain amino acid treatment

University of Turin (Italy), August 3, 2020


According to news originating from Turin, Italy, research stated, “Malnutrition often affects elderly patients and significantly contributes to the reduction in healthy life expectancy, causing high morbidity and mortality. In particular, protein malnutrition is one of the determinants of frailty and sarcopenia in elderly people.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Turin, “To investigate the role of amino acid supplementation in senior patients we performed an open-label randomized trial and administered a particular branched-chain amino acid enriched mixture (BCAAem) or provided diet advice in 155 elderly malnourished patients. They were followed for 2 months, assessing cognitive performance by Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), muscle mass measured by anthropometry, strength measure by hand grip and performance measured by the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, the 30 s Chair Sit to Stand (30-s CST) test and the 4 m gait speed test. Moreover we measured oxidative stress in plasma and mitochondrial production of ATP and electron flux in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Both groups improved in nutritional status, general health and muscle mass, strength and performance; treatment with BCAAem supplementation was more effective than simple diet advice in increasing MMSE (1.2 increase versus 0.2, p = 0.0171), ATP production (0.43 increase versus -0.1, p = 0.0001), electron flux (0.50 increase versus 0.01, p< 0.0001) and in maintaining low oxidative stress. The amelioration of clinical parameters as MMSE, balance, four meter walking test were associated to increased mitochondrial function.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Overall, our findings show that sustaining nutritional support might be clinically relevant in increasing physical performance in elderly malnourished patients and that the use of specific BCAAem might ameliorate also cognitive performance thanks to an amelioration of mitochondria bioenergetics.”



20-year sedentary lifestyle linked to twice the risk of premature death: Being physically active is key to a longer life

Norweign University of Science and Technology, August 4, 202

It’s easy to fall into the habit of skipping exercise because you’re busy with work or chores. Yet according to a study, having a sedentary lifestyle for at least 20 years is linked to twice the risk of premature death, especially compared to those who exercise regularly.

Results from the Trøndelag Health Study (the HUNT study) was presented at ESC Congress 2019 and the World Congress of Cardiology.

The HUNT study was conducted to determine how changes in physical activity within two decades were linked to “subsequent death from all causes and from cardiovascular disease.”

Other studies on the association between physical activity and longevity only ask volunteers about their level of physical activity once and followed them for several years. However, physical activity is a behavior that constantly changes, highlighting the importance of looking into how these changes over time are linked to the risk of death later in life.

Physical activity levels linked to premature death risk

Researchers asked residents of Norway aged 20 and older to participate during three points: 1984 to 1986, 1995 to 1997 and 2006 to 2008.

For all three time points, the volunteers reported their frequency and duration of leisure time physical activity. The researchers then examined data from the first and third surveys.

Data for the analysis was obtained from 23,146 male and female volunteers. Physical activity was classified as:

  • Inactive
  • Moderate (Less than two hours a week.)
  • High (Two or more hours per week.)

The volunteers were divided into groups based on their activity levels for each survey. The physical activity data were linked to information on deaths until the end of 2013 via the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry.

The risk of death in the two physical activity groups was compared to the reference group, which included participants who reported a high level of exercise during both surveys.

Analyses were also adjusted for factors that influence prognosis:

  • Age
  • Blood pressure
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Education level
  • Sex
  • Smoking

Unlike volunteers in the reference group, participants who were inactive in both 1984-1986 and 2006-2008 had twice the risk of premature death and a 2.7-fold greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

Compared to the reference group, participants with moderate activity at both time points had a 60 percent and 90 percent greater risk of all-cause and cardiovascular deaths, respectively.

Exercising consistently is key

Dr. Trine Moholdt, a study author from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology at Trondheim, Norway, explained that to reap the maximum health benefits of physical activity and prevent premature all-cause and cardiovascular death, people must be physically active consistently.

Moholdt noted that even if you had a sedentary lifestyle, you can still reduce your risk by exercising later in life. Adults should have at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity a week to effectively boost their overall well-being.

But these numbers aren’t set in stone, said Moholdt. She added that even exercise below the recommended levels will offer some benefits.

Instead of focusing on how much you’re exercising, Moholdt suggests setting goals to be more physically fit. Consult a trusted physician for activities that suit your health condition.

Even smaller amounts of activity can help you be more physically fit, as long as your workout “makes you breathe heavily.” (Related: If you have an 8-hour desk job, exercise for 30 minutes daily to significantly improve your health.)

Set aside some time to go to the gym, or sneak in mini-workouts throughout a regular day. Moholdt recommends any exercise that you might enjoy, such as:

  1. Using the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
  2. Walking instead of driving to your destination.
  3. Getting off the bus one stop early and walking the rest of the way.
  4. Exercise during work breaks. Break out a sweat in the office break room by doing jumping jacks or squats.
  5. Going for a long walk with your dog.
  6. Enjoying a walk around the neighborhood with your family.
  7. Following online workout videos if you can’t leave the house.

Some participants changed categories between surveys and those who went from inactive to highly active had a mortality risk “between those who were continually active or continually sedentary.” On the other hand, volunteers who went from highly active to inactive had a similar risk of dying like those who were inactive at both surveys.

Moholdt said that it’s never too late to start exercising even if you’ve been sedentary for most of your life. Starting exercise sooner ensures that you also see positive results sooner.

Moholdt concluded that you should start and maintain good exercise habits as early as you can. Being physically active doesn’t just help prevent premature death, it also helps improve your mental and physical health. Exercising regularly is key to having a longer and healthier life.


Researchers say where you live could add years to your life

People who live in blue states are living longer, and the gap is widening

Syracuse University, August 4 2020


Could where you live dictate how long you live? New research at Syracuse University's Maxwell School, published today in the Milbank Quarterly, shows Americans who live in so called blue states tend to live longer than those in red states, primarily due to state policies. Among the findings:

U.S. state policies since the 1980s have cut short American lives, particularly for women. U.S. life expectancy gains since 2010 would be 25% greater for women and 13% greater for men if states policies had not changed in the way they did, with many becoming more conservative.

Enacting more liberal state policies could raise U.S. life expectancy by over 2 years, whereas enacting more conservative state policies could reduce it by 2 years.

In the greatest gap between states, residents in Connecticut outlive their counterparts in Oklahoma by as many as seven years.

The study examined how state policy environments contributed to U.S. life expectancy trends from 1970 to 2014. It used information on 18 policy domains such as abortion and guns, each measured on a liberal-to-conservative scale, for every state and calendar year. The analysis then predicted U.S. life expectancy trends from all policy domains, controlling for characteristics of states and their residents.

"Americans die younger than people in other high-income countries," said Jennifer Karas Montez, sociology professor at Syracuse University's Maxwell School and lead author of the study. "This gap in life expectancy between the U.S. and other countries emerged in the 1980s and has grown ever since. Since that time, gaps in life expectancy between U.S. states also expanded. The difference between the highest and lowest life expectancy states has grown to 7.0 years--the largest ever recorded. These two trends are related: the dismal life expectancy trends of some states have been an anchor on overall U.S. life expectancy."' 

For instance, between 1980 and 2017, life expectancy rose by just 2.2 years in Oklahoma (73.6 to 75.8 years) but 5.8 years in Connecticut (74.9 to 80.7 years). Life expectancy in Oklahoma now falls between that of Serbia and Brazil, while Connecticut falls between Denmark and Costa Rica. 

The study found that Oklahoma and Connecticut differ in other ways. While these two states were diverging in life expectancy, they were also diverging in their policy orientation. Oklahoma made one of the largest transitions toward a conservative state policy environment among all 50 states. Conversely, Connecticut made one of the largest transitions toward a liberal state policy environment. This polarization in state policy environments has occurred across the U.S. and helps to explain the growing gap in life expectancy between states and the troubling trends in U.S. life expectancy since the 1980s. 

Among the 18 policy domains studied, 10 strongly predict life expectancy. More liberal versions of those policies generally predict longer lives and more conservative versions generally predict shorter lives. This is especially the case for policies on tobacco, immigration, civil rights, labor (e.g., Right to Work laws, minimum wage), and the environment. For instance, by changing its labor laws from the most conservative to the most liberal orientation, a state could experience a large 1-year increase in life expectancy. State policies have particularly important consequences for women's life expectancy. This finding reflects the reality that state policies such as minimum wage, EITC, abortion laws, and Medicaid are more relevant for women's than men's lives.

According to Montez, "During the 1980s and after 2010, overall changes in state policies had a negative impact on U.S. life expectancy. After 2010, the small gains in U.S. life expectancy would have been 13% steeper among men and 25% steeper among women if state policies had not changed in the way that they did, with many becoming more conservative."

If all 50 states enacted either liberal or conservative policies, what would happen to U.S. life expectancy? "If all states enacted liberal policies across the 18 domains, our study estimated that U.S. life expectancy would increase by 2.8 years for women and 2.1 years for men," said Montez. "However, if all states enacted conservative policies, U.S. life expectancy would decline by 2.0 years for women and 1.9 years for men. If all states followed current national policy trends, there would continue to be little improvement in life expectancy. This is partly due to countervailing forces: gains in U.S. life expectancy associated with some national policy trends (e.g., toward liberal policies on the environment and civil rights) would be offset by losses associated with other trends (e.g., toward conservative policies on abortion and guns)."

Montez said that trends in state policies since the 1980s have cut short many lives. "Improving U.S. health and longevity requires changing many of those policies," said Montez. "In particular, it is essential to enact policies that protect the environment, regulate tobacco and firearms, and ensure labor, reproductive, and civil rights." But Montez believes e nacting these changes in state policies will not be easy. "On the contrary: policymakers in many states have put the interests of corporations and their lobbyists--particularly the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)--and wealthy donors over the interests and health of their constituents."

To drive home her point, Montez points out Oklahoma, for example, is one of the most active states in terms of enacting the corporate-friendly and politically-conservative policies promoted by ALEC, while Connecticut is among the least active states.

"Policymakers and the public must recognize," she said, "that putting profits over people cuts lives short."


Gut microbes shape our antibodies before we are infected by pathogens

University of Bern (Germany), August 5, 2020


B cells are white blood cells that develop to produce antibodies. These antibodies, or immunoglobulins, can bind to harmful foreign particles (such as viruses or disease-causing bacteria) to stop them invading and infecting the body's cells. Each B cell carries an individual B cell receptor (BCR) which determines which particles it can bind, rather like each lock accepts a different key. There are many millions of B cells with different receptors in the body. This immense diversity comes from rearranging the genes that code these receptors, so the receptor is slightly different in every B cell resulting in billions of possibilities of different harmful molecules that could be recognized. Intestinal microbes trigger expansion of these B cell populations and antibody production, but until now it was unknown whether this was a random process, or whether the molecules of the intestinal microbes themselves influence the outcome. 

In a research article published in the journal Nature, Dr. Hai Li, Dr. Julien Limenitakis, Prof. Stephanie Ganal-Vonarburg and Prof. Andrew Macpherson of the Department for BioMedical Research, University of Bern, and Inselspital, University Hospital Bern, have analyzed the billions of genes that code the antibodies in a system that allows the responses to individual benign intestinal microbes to be understood. 

The range of available antibodies depends on where beneficial microbes are in the body

The number of benign microbes living in our intestines is about the same as the number of cells in our body. Mostly these bacteria stay within the intestinal tube rather than penetrate the body tissues. Unfortunately, some penetration is unavoidable, because the intestine only has a single layer of cells that separate the inside of the tube from blood vessels that we need to absorb our food. 

Dr. Limenitakis used specially designed computer programs to process millions of genetic sequences that compare the antibody repertoire from B cells, depending on whether the microbes stay in the intestine, or whether they reach the bloodstream. In both cases the antibody repertoire is altered, but in rather different ways depending on how the exposure occurs. 

"Interestingly, this is rather predictable depending on the microbe concerned and where it is in the body, indicating that the intestinal microbes direct the development of our antibodies before we get a serious infection and this process is certainly not random", explains Ganal-Vonarburg.

There are different sorts of antibodies in the lining of the intestine (IgA) compared with the bloodstream (IgM and IgG). Using the powerful genetic analysis, the researchers showed that the range of different antibodies produced in the intestine was far less that those produced in central body tissues. This means that once microbes get into the body, the immune system has many more possibilities to neutralize and eliminate them, whereas antibodies in the intestine mainly just bind the bacterial molecules that they can see at any one time.

How the antibodies change when the body is exposed to different microbes

Over their life-span mammals face a huge variety of different microbial challenges. It was therefore important to know how once the antibody repertoire could change once had been shaped by a particular microbe when something else came along. The research team answered this question by testing what happened with the same microbe at different sites or with two different microbes on after another. 

Although intestinal microbes do not directly produce an especially wide range of different antibodies, they sensitize the central immune tissues to produce antibodies if the microbe gets into the bloodstream. When a second microbes comes along, the rather limited intestinal antibody response changes to accommodate this microbe (rather like changing the lock in one's door). This is different from what happens when microbes get into the blood stream to reach the central body tissues when a second set of antibodies is made without compromising the first response to the original microbes (like installing another lock, so the door can be opened with different keys). This shows that central body tissues have the capacity to remember a range of different microbial species and to avoid the dangers of sepsis. It also shows that different B cell immune strategies in different body compartments are important for maintenance of our peaceful existence with our microbial passengers. 

Dr. Li comments that "Our data show for the first time that not only the composition of our intestinal microbiota, but also the timing and sequence of exposure to certain members of the commensal microbiota, happening predominantly during the first waves of colonisations during early life, have an outcome on the resulting B cell receptor repertoire and subsequent immunity to pathogens."


Meta-analysis finds higher circulating vitamin D levels associated with lower risk of gestational diabetes

Ahvaz Jundishapur University (Iran), August 5, 2020


According to news reporting out of Ahvaz, Iran, by NewsRx editors, research stated, “Several meta-analyses of observational studies revealed a modest increase in the risk of gestational diabetes (GDM) among pregnant women with low levels of serum vitamin D. However, no study examined a dose-response meta-analysis as well as a high versus low analysis in this regard.”

Financial support for this research came from Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences.

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, “We systematically searched PubMed, Embase, ISI Web of Science, and Scopus up to August 2019 to find prospective observational studies investigating the association of serum 25(OH)D with the risk of developing GDM. Using a random-effects model, the reported risk estimates were pooled. Nine cohort studies and six nested case-control studies were included in the final analysis (40,788 participants and 1848 cases). Considering linear analysis, each 10 nmol/L increase in circulating 25(OH)D was associated with a 2% lower risk of GDM (effect size (ES): 0.98; 95% CI: 0.98, 0.99; I=85.0%, p<0.001). highest compared with the lowest category of circulating 25(OH)D was associated with a 29% lower risk of GDM, with low evidence of heterogeneity (I=45.0%, p=0.079). In conclusion, lower levels of serum 25(OH)D were associated with a higher chance of GDM.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Differential results existed between the overall and subgroup analysis, either based on vitamin D detection methods or based on maternal age, although these subgroups partially lowered the heterogeneity.”


August 5, 2020  

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




Curb your anxiety by drinking a cup of matcha green tea

Kumamoto University (Japan), July 31, 2020 



Matcha can reduce anxiety by activating dopamine and serotonin receptors that are linked to anxious behavior, according to researchers from Kumamoto University in Japan.

Matcha, which literally means “powdered tea,” refers to the powder made from finely ground leaves of shade-grown tea tree (Camellia sinensis). Matcha has been used medicinally since ancient times. In Japan, in particular, it is used to help people relax, prevent obesity and treat certain skin conditions.


In a recent study published in the Journal of Functional Foods, Japanese researchers find evidence of the mental health benefits offered by matcha.


“The results of our study show that matcha, which has been used as a medicinal agent for many years, may be quite beneficial to the human body,” said Yuki Kurauchi, one of the study authors.


For their study, the researchers looked at the effects of matcha tea powder on mice using an anxiety test for rodents called the elevated plus maze test. This test features an elevated, plus-shaped, narrow platform with two walled arms that provide safety for the test animals. The idea behind the test is that animals experiencing high levels of anxiety will spend more time in the safer, walled-off areas.


Aside from matcha powder, the team also evaluated the effects of different matcha extracts and fractions.


The researchers found that the mice that consumed either matcha powder or matcha extract displayed reduced anxious behavior. They also found that the ethanol extract exhibited a stronger anxiolytic effect than the hot water extract. This meant that matcha contains two anxiety-reducing components, and that the water-insoluble component exerts stronger anxiolytic effects than the water-soluble component.


After conducting behavioral pharmacological analysis, the researchers found that matcha reduces anxiety by activating dopamine D1 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors. According to studies, these receptors play a significant role in mediating anxiety.

The team concluded that while more study is needed, their findings emphasize matcha’s beneficial effects on mental health.




The effect of reiki and guided imagery intervention on pain and fatigue in oncology patients

Siirt University (Turkey),  31 July 2020.



This study was conducted to investigate the effects of Reiki and guided imagery on pain and fatigue in oncology patients. This quasi-experimental study with a pretest and posttest design was conducted with 180 oncology patients at the oncology clinic of Dicle University Hospital in Turkey, between July 2017 and February 2018. The patients were divided into three groups: Reiki, guided imagery and control, with 60 patients in each group. The Reiki and guided imagery group patients underwent their respective interventions for three consecutive days separately (25-30 min; mean: 15.53 min). The interventions of Reiki and guided imagery reduced pain and fatigue in the oncology patients. It is recommended that oncology nurses use Reiki and guided imagery in patient care.




Decreased concentrations of vitamin B12 associated with increased risk of high-grade cervical lesions

Federal University Ouro Preto (Brazil), July 31, 2020


According to news reporting originating in Minas Gerais, Brazil, research stated, “Diet and lifestyle play an important role in etiology of various tumors. Serum concentration of folate and vitamin B12may be associated with carcinogenesis since they are involved in DNA methylation and nucleotide synthesis.”


The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from Federal University Ouro Preto, “However, the role of these micronutrients on development of cervical cancer is still controversial. Thus, the aim of this study was to analyze the association of lower status of folate and vitamin B12 with the risk of pre-neoplastic cervical lesions. Our sample group was divided in Control group (n=120) -women with normal cytology, and Case groups (n=57) -women presenting Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance (ASC-US, n=21), Low Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion (LSIL; n=16), and High-Grade lesions (n=20). We obtained cervical samples for cytology analysis and HPV detection, and blood samples for evaluation of serum concentration of folate and vitamin B12. No difference of serum folate was observed among Cases and Control groups. On the other hand, women with High-Grade lesions presented significant lower median concentration of vitamin B12 if compared to another groups. Then, we observed increased risk of High-Grade lesions among participants with low vitamin B12 levels was observed in relation to women that presented high levels of the micronutrient and from Control group [OR (95% CI): 2.09 (0.65-6.76), p=0.216], ASC-US [OR (95% CI): 3.15 (0.82-12.08), p=0.095], and LSIL [OR (95% CI): 3.10 (0.76-12.70), p=0.116]. Low concentration of vitamin B12 was associated with an increased risk of High-Grade cervical lesions.”


According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “Besides, we did not observe any difference of serum folate among women with normal cytology and women with pre-neoplastic cervical lesions.”





Why is cilantro so good for the brain? Science explains

University of California at Irvine, July 30, 2020


A study published in the FASEB Journal found that cilantro activates certain potassium channels in the brain which helps prevent seizures.


Also known as coriander, cilantro is an herb that is commonly used in traditional medicine. It has anticonvulsant, anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it suitable for treating a host of medical conditions, including epileptic seizures.


But while its health benefits have been extensively studied, the precise mechanism behind cilantro’s powerful effects on the body remains obscure. The present study provides a molecular basis for the therapeutic actions of cilantro.


Cilantro activates neuronal potassium channels to alleviate seizures


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 3.4 million Americans are living with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by abnormal brain activity that causes seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and loss of awareness.


In the study, researchers at the University of California, Irvine looked at cilantro leaf metabolites to find the source of its antiepileptic activity. Metabolites are the intermediate products of cellular metabolism.


The researchers found that one particular metabolite, the long-chain fatty aldehyde (E)-2-dodecenal, activates several potassium channels in the brain. These channels are part of the voltage-gated potassium channel subfamily Q (KCNQ), which can be found in neurons. According to previous studies, KCNQ dysfunction can lead to severe, treatment-resistant epileptic seizures.


The researchers also found that (E)-2-dodecenal could delay chemically-induced seizures, suggesting its involvement in cilantro’s anti-convulsant activity. Geoffrey Abbott, one of the study authors, explained that by binding to a specific part of the potassium channels to open them, (E)-2-dodecenal was able to reduce cellular excitability.


Given these findings, the researchers are optimistic that more effective strategies involving cilantro can be developed for the treatment of epilepsy.




Cannabinoids may affect activity of other pharmaceuticals

Penn State University, August 3, 2020


Cannabinoid-containing products may alter the effects of some prescription drugs, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. They published information that could help medical professionals make safe prescribing choices for their patients who use prescription, over-the-counter or illicit cannabinoid products.


Kent Vrana, professor and chair of pharmacology at the College of Medicine, and Paul Kocis, a pharmacist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, compiled a list of 57 medications that may not function as intended when used with medical cannabinoids, CBD oil (hemp oil) and medical or recreational marijuana. The list was published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.


The medications on the list have a narrow therapeutic index, meaning they are prescribed at specific doses - enough to be effective, but not enough to cause harm. Vrana says it's important for medical professionals to consider the list when prescribing medical cannabinoids and how it may affect other medications a patient is taking.


To develop the list, the researchers looked at the prescribing information for four prescription cannabinoid medications. This information included a list of enzymes in the body that process the active ingredients in those medications, which can include delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). They compared this information against prescribing information from common medications using information available from regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to identify where there may be overlap, called a drug-drug interaction.

The list contains a variety of drugs from heart medications to antibiotics and antifungals. As one example, researchers identified warfarin, a common anticoagulant that prevents harmful blood clots from forming, as having a potential drug-drug interaction with cannabinoid products. Often prescribed for patients with atrial fibrillation or following cardiac valve replacement, the drug has a narrow therapeutic index, and Vrana cautions that medical professionals consider this potential drug-drug interaction both when prescribing warfarin to patients on prescription cannabinoids or prescribing cannabinoids to a patient taking warfarin.


The researchers say that medical professionals should also consider patient use of CBD oil products and medical and recreational marijuana when using or prescribing drugs on the identified list. Most of those products lack government regulation and there is little to no prescribing or drug-drug interaction information for those products.


"Unregulated products often contain the same active ingredients as medical cannabinoids, though they may be present in different concentrations," Vrana said. "The drug-drug interaction information from medical cannabinoids may be useful as medical professionals consider the potential impact of over-the-counter or illicit cannabinoid products."


Vrana advises that patients be honest with their health care providers about their use of cannabinoid products - from over-the-counter products to recreational marijuana. He says that doing so can help ensure the safe and effective use of prescribed medications.


In addition to the identified list of 57 prescription medications with a narrow therapeutic index that is potentially impacted by concomitant cannabinoid use, a comprehensive list of 139 medications that could have a potential drug-drug interaction with a cannabinoid is available online. Vrana and Kocis plan to routinely update this drug-drug interaction list as newer medications are approved and real-world evidence accumulates.


Kent Vrana received a sponsored research agreement from PA Options for Wellness, a medical cannabis provider and clinical registrant in Pennsylvania, and this research was supported in part by the agreement. The College of Medicine and PA Options for Wellness have a 10-year research agreement designed to help physicians and patients make better informed clinical decisions related to cannabinoids.




Perinatal DHA supplementation improves cognition and alters brain functional organization in experimental research

University of Georgia, July 31, 2020


According to news reporting out of the University of Georgia, research stated, “Epidemiologic studies associate maternal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)/DHA-containing seafood intake with enhanced cognitive development; although, it should be noted that interventional trials show inconsistent findings.”


The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from University of Georgia: “We examined perinatal DHA supplementation on cognitive performance, brain anatomical and functional organization, and the brain monoamine neurotransmitter status of offspring using a piglet model. Sows were fed a control (CON) or a diet containing DHA (DHA) from late gestation throughout lactation. Piglets underwent an open field test (OFT), an object recognition test (ORT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to acquire anatomical, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) at weaning. Piglets from DHA-fed sows spent 95% more time sniffing the walls than CON in OFT and exhibited an elevated interest in the novel object in ORT, while CON piglets demonstrated no preference. Maternal DHA supplementation increased fiber length and tended to increase fractional anisotropy in the hippocampus of offspring than CON. DHA piglets exhibited increased functional connectivity in the cerebellar, visual, and default mode network and decreased activity in executive control and sensorimotor network compared to CON.”


According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “The brain monoamine neurotransmitter levels did not differ in healthy offspring. Perinatal DHA supplementation may increase exploratory behaviors, improve recognition memory, enhance fiber tract integrity, and alter brain functional organization in offspring at weaning.”




Chlamydia: Greedy for glutamine

University of Wurzburg (Germany), August 3, 2020


Chlamydia are bacteria that cause venereal diseases. In humans, they can only survive if they enter the cells. This is the only place where they find the necessary metabolites for their reproduction. And this happens in a relatively simple way: the bacteria create a small bubble in the cell and divide in it over several generations.


What is the decisive step that initiates the reproduction of the bacteria? It has not been known so far. Researchers from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany, have now discovered it. This is important because the first step in the reproduction of the pathogens is likely to be a good target for drugs.


Glutamine import into the host cell increases


In the case of Chlamydia, the first step is to reprogram the metabolism of their human host cells. The cells then increasingly import the amino acid glutamine from their environment. If this does not work, for example because the glutamine import system is out of order, the bacterial pathogens are no longer able to proliferate. This was reported by a JMU team led by Dr. Karthika Rajeeve, who has meanwhile been awarded a professorship at the Aarhus University in Denmark, and Professor Thomas Rudel in the journal Nature Microbiology.


"Chlamydiae need a lot of glutamine to synthesize the ring-shaped molecule peptidoglycan," explains Professor Rudel, who heads the Chair of Microbiology at the JMU Biocenter. In bacteria, this ring molecule is generally a building material of the cell wall. Chlamydiae use it for the construction of a new wall that is drawn into the bacterial cell during division.


Next, the JMU team hopes to clarify the importance of the glutamine metabolism in chronic chlamydiae infections. This might provide information that might help to better understand the development of severe diseases as a result of the infection.


Chlamydiae cause most venereal diseases in Germany. The bacteria are sexually transmitted and can cause inflammation in the urethra, vagina or anal area. If an infection is detected in time, it can be treated well with antibiotics.


Around 130 million people worldwide are infected with Chlamydia. The biggest problem is that the infection usually proceeds without noticeable symptoms. This makes it easier for the pathogen to spread, this leads to severe or chronic diseases such as cervical and ovarian cancer.




Baby boomers show concerning decline in cognitive functioning

Trend reverses progress over several generations, study finds

Ohio State University, August 3, 2020


In a reversal of trends, American baby boomers scored lower on a test of cognitive functioning than did members of previous generations, according to a new nationwide study.


Findings showed that average cognition scores of adults aged 50 and older increased from generation to generation, beginning with the greatest generation (born 1890-1923) and peaking among war babies (born 1942-1947).


Scores began to decline in the early baby boomers (born 1948-1953) and decreased further in the mid baby boomers (born 1954-1959).


While the prevalence of dementia has declined recently in the United States, these results suggest those trends may reverse in the coming decades, according to study author Hui Zheng, professor of sociology at The Ohio State University.


"It is shocking to see this decline in cognitive functioning among baby boomers after generations of increases in test scores," Zheng said.


"But what was most surprising to me is that this decline is seen in all groups: men and women, across all races and ethnicities and across all education, income and wealth levels."

Results showed lower cognitive functioning in baby boomers was linked to less wealth, along with higher levels of loneliness, depression, inactivity and obesity, and less likelihood of being married.


The study was published online recently in the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences.


Zheng analyzed data on 30,191 Americans who participated in the 1996 to 2014 Health and Retirement Survey, conducted by the University of Michigan. People over 51 years old were surveyed every two years.


As part of the study, participants completed a cognitive test in which they had to recall words they had heard earlier, count down from 100 by 7s, name objects they were shown and perform other tasks.


Other research has shown that overall rates of mortality and illness have increased in baby boomers, but generally found that the highly educated and wealthiest were mostly spared.


"That's why it was so surprising to me to see cognitive declines in all groups in this study," Zheng said. "The declines were only slightly lower among the wealthiest and most highly educated."


Zheng also compared cognition scores within each age group across generations so that scores are not skewed by older people who tend to have poorer cognition. Even in this analysis, the baby boomers came out on bottom.


"Baby boomers already start having lower cognition scores than earlier generations at age 50 to 54," he said.


The question, then, is what has happened to baby boomers? Zheng looked for clues across the lifetimes of those in the study.


Increasing cognition scores in previous generations could be tied to beneficial childhood conditions - conditions that were similar for baby boomers, Zheng said.


Baby boomers' childhood health was as good as or better than previous generations and they came from families that had higher socioeconomic status. They also had higher levels of education and better occupations.


"The decline in cognitive functioning that we're seeing does not come from poorer childhood conditions," Zheng said.


The biggest factors linked to lower cognition scores among baby boomers in the study were lower wealth, higher levels of self-reported loneliness and depression, lack of physical activity and obesity.


Living without a spouse, being married more than once in their lives, having psychiatric problems and cardiovascular risk factors including strokes, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes were also associated with lower cognitive functioning among people in this generation.


"If it weren't for their better childhood health, move favorable family background, more years of education and higher likelihood of having a white-collar occupation, baby boomers would have even worse cognitive functioning," Zheng said.


There were not enough late baby boomers (born in 1960 or later) to include in this study, but Zheng said he believes they will fare no better. The same might be true for following generations unless we find a solution for the problems found here, he said.


While many of the problems linked to lower cognitive functioning are symptoms of modern life, like less connection with friends and family and growing economic inequality, other problems found in this study are unique to the United States, Zheng said. One example would be the lack of universal access and high cost of health care.


"Part of the story here are the problems of modern life, but it is also about life in the U.S.," he said.


One of the biggest concerns is that cognitive functioning when people are in their 50s and 60s is related to their likelihood of having dementia when they are older.

"With the aging population in the United States, we were already likely to see an increase in the number of people with dementia," Zheng said.


"But this study suggests it may be worse than we expected for decades to come."




Study: Experiencing childhood trauma makes body and brain age faster

Findings could help explain why children who suffer trauma often face poor health later in life

Harvard University, August 2, 2020


Children who suffer trauma from abuse or violence early in life show biological signs of aging faster than children who have never experienced adversity, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. The study examined three different signs of biological aging--early puberty, cellular aging and changes in brain structure--and found that trauma exposure was associated with all three.


"Exposure to adversity in childhood is a powerful predictor of health outcomes later in life--not only mental health outcomes like depression and anxiety, but also physical health outcomes like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer," said Katie McLaughlin, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Harvard University and senior author of the study published in the journal Psychological Bulletin. "Our study suggests that experiencing violence can make the body age more quickly at a biological level, which may help to explain that connection."


Previous research found mixed evidence on whether childhood adversity is always linked to accelerated aging. However, those studies looked at many different types of adversity--abuse, neglect, poverty and more--and at several different measures of biological aging. To disentangle the results, McLaughlin and her colleagues decided to look separately at two categories of adversity: threat-related adversity, such as abuse and violence, and deprivation-related adversity, such as physical or emotional neglect or poverty.


The researchers performed a meta-analysis of almost 80 studies, with more than 116,000 total participants. They found that children who suffered threat-related trauma such as violence or abuse were more likely to enter puberty early and also showed signs of accelerated aging on a cellular level-including shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of our strands of DNA that wear down as we age. However, children who experienced poverty or neglect did not show either of those signs of early aging.


In a second analysis, McLaughlin and her colleagues systematically reviewed 25 studies with more than 3,253 participants that examined how early-life adversity affects brain development. They found that adversity was associated with reduced cortical thickness - a sign of aging because the cortex thins as people age. However, different types of adversity were associated with cortical thinning in different parts of the brain. Trauma and violence were associated with thinning in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is involved in social and emotional processing, while deprivation was more often associated with thinning in the frontoparietal, default mode and visual networks, which are involved in sensory and cognitive processing.


These types of accelerated aging might originally have descended from useful evolutionary adaptations, according to McLaughlin. In a violent and threat-filled environment, for example, reaching puberty earlier could make people more likely to be able to reproduce before they die. And faster development of brain regions that play a role in emotion processing could help children identify and respond to threats, keeping them safer in dangerous environments. But these once-useful adaptations may have grave health and mental health consequences in adulthood.


The new research underscores the need for early interventions to help avoid those consequences. All of the studies looked at accelerated aging in children and adolescents under age 18. "The fact that we see such consistent evidence for faster aging at such a young age suggests that the biological mechanisms that contribute to health disparities are set in motion very early in life. This means that efforts to prevent these health disparities must also begin during childhood," McLaughlin said.


There are numerous evidence-based treatments that can improve mental health in children who have experienced trauma, McLaughlin said. "A critical next step is determining whether these psychosocial interventions might also be able to slow down this pattern of accelerated biological aging. If this is possible, we may be able to prevent many of the long-term health consequences of early-life adversity," she says.

August 5, 2020  

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


Our Great Awokening and France’s Great Terror

samuel gregg

As efforts intensify to purge anyone and anything from Western culture that offends the illiberal left’s sensitivities, the fanaticism which drives the Great Awokening has become abundantly evident. To question the 1619 project’s factual veracity, for example, is seen as evidence of implicit racism. Any confidence that the American Founding has something to teach the world is considered an instance of what Marxists call “false consciousness.” References to reason, evidence, rule of law, or the West’s Jewish and Christian heritages are viewed as the language of someone hopelessly in thrall to “Eurocentric” outlooks.

What impresses me, however, is less the historically-illiterate justifications offered for the decapitation of statutes of Christopher Columbus, than the righteous fury visible in the eyes of those shouting slogans like “Rhodes Must Fall!” Prudence, circumspection, and subtly are out. Raw emotion and ideological purity are in. You are either with us or against us. And if you don’t endorse everything that we—the woke—think, say and do, be prepared to face the consequences.

The problem is that once that particular tiger gets out of its cage, putting it back in is extremely difficult. There are always plenty on the left willing to be more radical than thou, and who will interpret any reticence to affirm wholeheartedly their positions as prima facie evidence of backsliding or outright treachery. That’s a dynamic which we’re seen before with people like Che Guevara and Lenin. But the standard-setter for such behavior was the French Revolution’s most violent stage, commonly known as la Terreur.

From Hope and Anticipation, to Fear and Trembling

Few events have been more thoroughly parsed, praised, and castigated as the French Revolution. That owes something to the sense that the Revolution was one of those rare occasions that represented a decisive break with the past. Contemporary witnesses describe the millenarian-like hopes that permeated French society in the immediate aftermath of 1789. But fascination with the French Revolution also has much to do with another factor: the penchant for frenzied violence which raised its head right from the beginning.

Every Revolution has its casualties. Loyalists were among those of the American Revolution. Many of them were subject to anti-Tory laws which ranged from being disenfranchised to large fines. Compared, however, to other revolutions, the Loyalists got off lightly. The Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 was followed by the targeting of anyone officially designated by the new regime as “former people.” Arbitrary imprisonment, confiscation of property, and terror were used ruthlessly against groups like the nobility, but gradually extended to categories who had hardly been friends of the Czarist regime: classical liberals, constitutionalists, businessmen, etc.

It was, however, the French Revolution which established the modern benchmark for systematic violence against anyone insufficiently in sync with the political views of whoever is in charge at any given moment. Many of the Revolution’s early leaders—people like the American Revolutionary hero, the Marquis de Lafayette—quickly became persona non grata as the revolutionary tumult escalated through successive thresholds of rage. Those revolutionaries who managed to transition through each stage were few in number. Many eventually found themselves strapped to a guillotine. Others eked out miserable existences in exile alongside the royalists who preceded them.

Over the past two centuries, many explanations have been offered for the frantic character of the Revolution’s violence. They include pent-up resentment against the old regime, fears of fifth columnists who might help invading foreign armies, concerns about counter-revolutionary plots, and the outbreak of full-scale popular uprisings in 1793 against the Paris government in provinces ranging from the Vendée to Brittany and cities like Marseille and Lyon. Virtually all historians of the Revolution underscore the widespread paranoia that occupied the minds of Revolutionary leaders but also many ordinary citizens, particularly those living in cities and for whom politics had become the be-all and end-all of life.

There was, however, something else at work which became apparent after Louis XVI’s execution on January 21, 1793, and the subsequent acceleration of tensions between the two groups which then dominated Revolutionary politics: the Girondins and the Jacobins. While the former were considered more moderate than the latter, both groups were firmly on the left of the revolutionary scale. That, however, didn’t save the Girondins from being destroyed by the logic that came to direct French political life and which resulted in thousands being executed before the Terror ended with the guillotining of the man most associated with it on July 28, 1794.

One Single Will

Given his public reputation as the Terror’s chief architect, many are surprised to learn that Maximilian Robespierre wasn’t the most extreme Jacobin. As a group, those associated with the Jacobin Club were divided into factions constantly at odds with each other. Some like Jacques Hébert, leader of the Hébertistes and editor of the radical newspaper Le Père Duchesne, were far to Robespierre’s left. Neither the Hébertistes’ inclination to militant atheism nor their desire for direct state control of much of the economy were to Robespierre’s taste. Others, such as Georges Danton, eventually gravitated to Robespierre’s right. Danton had played a major role in the Monarchy’s overthrow in August 1792 and did nothing to stop the September Massacres which followed. By late-1793, however, Danton had become convinced of the folly of persecuting the Church and was calling for an end to extreme revolutionary violence.

In a way, however, the details of these policy differences were unimportant to Robespierre and close allies like Louis Antoine de Saint-Just. What really mattered to Robespierre was that there could be no differences. According to Robespierre, France needed what he famously called une volonté une (one single will). In this ideal, he believed, was to be found the Revolution’s ultimate security and salvation from its enemies, foreign and domestic.

As a scholarship boy at one of France’s most prestigious schools, the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Robespierre had been influenced by two sets of writings which featured significantly during the late-French Enlightenment. The first were classical texts which extolled the virtues of the Roman Republic and its leaders. The second were the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, especially his 1762 book Du contrat social(The Social Contract), and his popularization of what was called la volonté générale.

For Rousseau, the “general will” didn’t necessarily mean what an actual majority of people in a given political society wanted. Rather, it was the basis for the legitimacy of any government that acted for the well-being of all the people rather than sectional interests. Robespierre took this concept of the general will, but conflated the government and the people at the expense of the latter. “The Government,” he once proclaimed, “has to defend itself against all the factions which attack it; the punishment of the people’s enemies is death.” To criticize the government was thus to be against the people. Ergo, the government could claim that any strike which it launched against its opponents was a strike against “the people’s enemies.”

As Robespierre saw it, Revolutionary France was riddled with factions (including those which split the Jacobins) and threatened by those who wished to overthrow the government. Consequently, it was the responsibility of the virtuous to strike ruthlessly, in a manner akin to Marcus Junius Brutus’ slaying of Gaius Julius Caesar, against those who stood in the way of the “one single will.” For Robespierre, such enemies of the Republic included those Girondins who had compromised their revolutionary credentials by working with Louis XVI before August 1792, promotors of faction like Danton and Hébert, and those simply incapable of attaining republican virtue (nobles, old regime officials, clergy loyal to Rome, etc.). Expelling these disparate groups from the body politic was how you ensured the general will prevailed and finally realized a united, indivisible and virtuous Republic—that is, one single will.

Naturally, there was a raw power-play dimension to all this. Robespierre saw people like Hébert and Danton as threating his dominance of the government. But it is impossible to underestimate the effects of the depth of Robespierre’s commitment to his ideology: one which led to the inexorable conclusion that being a virtuous citizen of the Republic (like Brutus) meant being willing to use extreme violence (like Brutus) against its foes. Robespierre spelt this out in a speech in February 1794 when the Terror was at its height:

If virtue be the spring of a popular government in times of peace, the spring of that government during a revolution is virtue combined with terror: virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country.

Such thinking is what resulted in about 17,000 people being officially “kissed by Madame Guillotine,” as the saying went, in the name of virtue.

Beware the Coming of the Reign of Wokedom

Two things eventually brought Robespierre undone. The first was the economic crisis which engulfed France in the form of food-shortages and rampant inflation throughout 1794. Given his preeminence in the revolutionary regime, Robespierre become increasingly unpopular among Paris’s hyper-politicized population.

More importantly, enough Revolutionary leaders recognized that the logical conclusion of Robespierre’s outlook was the destruction of anyone who did not fully adopt his positions, and therefore a series of continuous purges with no apparent endpoint. On July 26, 1794, Robespierre effectively confirmed such trepidations when he gave a speech to the National Convention and then to the Jacobin Club arguing that the time had come to “Punish the traitors, purge the bureau of the Committee of General Security, purge the Committee itself, and subordinate it to the Committee of Public Safety, purge the Committee of Public Safety itself and create a unified government under the supreme authority of the Convention!”

This call for the elimination of anyone not 100 percent behind Robespierre led enough Convention members to summon up the courage to purge the master-purger himself. After a short and violent political struggle, Robespierre and 21 of his supporters were guillotined on July 28 at the Place de la Révolution. The Terror was over. But it seared France’s political culture for decades afterward.

The parallels between the France of 1793-1794 and our present Great Awokening are not exact. The historical circumstances are very different. We are not living in the shadow of an old regime. The woke have not seized the levers of political power in the way that Robespierre and his followers did.

The primary similarity between revolutionaries like Robespierre and twenty-first century wokedom is a yearning for ever-increasing ideological purity, something which lends itself to identifying more and more categories of people and ideas as unacceptable. That generates chronic instability as people can never quite know if they and their ideas remain among the elect. Indeed, cancel culture cannot help but actively seek out opponents whose existence is seen as obstructing the creation of a new world purified of error. For without new enemies, it loses its raison d’être.

In this light, those contemporary Girondins who dominate larger municipal governments throughout America and who rule the universities throughout Western countries, would be foolish to imagine that the illiberal left can somehow be placated by letting them riot, loot small businesses, and destroy public monuments. Words like “compromise,” “tolerance,” and “moderation” do not form part of the lexicon of wokery. After all, once “one single will” has been established, such habits become superfluous.

Perhaps at some point, the woke will turn on themselves as they try to outdo each other in showing whose consciousness has been raised the most. Unless or until that happens, however, anyone who sits on the vast spectrum from the liberal-minded left through to conservative traditionalists should have no illusions that the woke—like Robespierre—will be satisfied with anything less than complete submission. And that would represent the end of liberty in any meaningful sense as well as the civilization which gave rise to it. 

August 3, 2020  

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


IMAGINE THIS! "Forced to FAKE SCIENCE?" (Very few know about this) RFK 

July 31, 2020  

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

July 30, 2020  

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

To improve students' mental health, study finds, teach them to breathe

Yale university.  

When college students learn specific techniques for managing stress and anxiety, their well-being improves across a range of measures and leads to better mental health, a new Yale study finds.

The research team evaluated three classroom-based wellness training programs that incorporate breathing and emotional intelligence strategies, finding that two led to improvements in aspects of well-being. The most effective program led to improvements in six areas, including depression and social connectedness.

The researchers, who reported findings in the July 15 edition of Frontiers in Psychiatry, said such resiliency training programs could be a valuable tool for addressing the mental health crisis on university campuses.

"In addition to academic skills, we need to teach students how to live a balanced life," said Emma Seppälä, lead author and faculty director of the Women's Leadership Program at Yale School of Management. "Student mental health has been on the decline over the last 10 years, and with the pandemic and racial tensions, things have only gotten worse."

Researchers at the Yale Child Study Center and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (YCEI) conducted the study, which tested three skill-building training programs on 135 undergraduate subjects for eight weeks (30 hours total), and measured results against those of a non-intervention control group.

They found that a training program called SKY Campus Happiness, developed by the Art of Living Foundation, which relies on a breathing technique called SKY Breath Meditation, yoga postures, social connection, and service activities, was most beneficial. Following the SKY sessions, students reported improvements in six areas of well-being: depression, stress, mental health, mindfulness, positive affect, and social connectedness.

A second program called Foundations of Emotional Intelligence, developed by the YCEI, resulted in one improvement: greater mindfulness—the ability for students to be present and enjoy the moment.

A third program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, which relies heavily on mindfulness techniques, resulted in no reported improvements.

In all, 135 Yale undergraduate students participated in the study.

Across college campuses, there has been a significant rise in student depression, anxiety, and demand for mental health services. From 2009 to 2014, students seeking treatment from campus counseling centers rose by 30%, though enrollment increased by just 6% on average. Fifty-seven percent of counseling center directors indicated that their resources are insufficient to meet students' needs.

The researchers say resiliency training tools can address the overburdening of campus counseling centers directly. In the sessions. "Students learn tools they can use for the rest of their lives to continue to improve and maintain their mental health," said co-first author Christina Bradley '16 B.S., currently a Ph.D. student at University of Michigan.

Researchers administered the training sessions in person, but the courses can also be taken remotely.

"Continually adding staff to counseling and psychiatric services to meet demand is not financially sustainable—and universities are realizing this," Seppälä said. "Evidence-based resiliency programs can help students help themselves."

Davornne Lindo '22 B.A., a member of the Yale track team who participated in the SKY Campus Happiness program, said practicing breathing techniques helped her to manage stress from both academics and athletics. "Now that I have these techniques to help me, I would say that my mentality is a lot healthier," Lindo said. "I can devote time to studying and not melting down. Races have gone better. Times are dropping."

Another participant in the SKY program, Anna Wilkinson '22 B.A., said she was not familiar with the positive benefits of breathing exercises before the training, but now uses the technique regularly. "I didn't realize how much of it was physiology, how you control the things inside you with breathing," Wilkinson said. "I come out of breathing and meditation as a happier, more balanced person, which is something I did not expect at all."


Meta-analysis concludes efficacy for ginkgo cognitive function support and safety in Alzheimer disease

Hubei university   - China 


According to news originating from Hebei, People’s Republic of China, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, “The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of Ginkgo biloba preparation for the treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD). Both English (PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library databases, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register) and Chinese (WanFang, Chinese Biomedical, CNKI, and VIP databases) databases were systematically and independently searched by 2 authors from their inception until July 3, 2019.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research, “All relevant studies included AD patients who were treated with Ginkgo biloba. The efficacy and safety of the medicine were used as the main measurement index. Seven studies (N=939) were identified and analyzed. When compared with placebo, Ginkgo biloba showed exact validity in cognitive function and global clinical assessment (cognitive function section: risk ratio=1.98, 95% confidence interval=1.52-2.59, Z=5.12, p<0.001; according to Clinical Global Impression Change: odds ratio=3.119, 95% confidence interval=2.206-4.410, Z=6.44, p<0.001). Adverse events were mild.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Ginkgo biloba preparation has reliable efficacy of cognitive function and global clinical assessment and safety in the treatment of AD.”



Higher BPA levels linked to more asthma symptoms in children


Johns Hopkins University 

Children in low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore tended to have more asthma symptoms when levels of the synthetic chemical BPA (Bisphenol A) in their urine were elevated, according to a study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine.

While some products, including baby bottles, no longer contain BPA, exposures to BPA remain almost universal, and there are still concerns that, especially in childhood, those exposures might have a health impact.

Boys with elevated BPA were found to be at higher risk for having more asthma symptoms, the study found. The researchers found no statistically significant link between BPA levels and asthma symptoms among the girls in the study. The researchers also found that higher levels of two common chemicals closely related to BPA--BPS and BPF--were not consistently associated with more asthma symptoms. Like BPA, BPS and BPF are found in many consumer products, including food cans and beverage bottles.

For their analysis, the researchers examined clinical data and urine samples, taken at three-month intervals over a year, from 148 predominantly Black children in Baltimore. They found consistent links between higher BPA levels in urine and measures of recent asthma severity.

The study, published July 28 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, is thought to be the first to examine children's environmental exposures to BPA, BPS, and BPF and their associations with asthma severity.

"Our findings suggest that additional studies are needed to examine this BPA-asthma link, given the high burden of pediatric asthma and widespread exposure to BPA in the United States," says lead author Lesliam Quirós-Alcalá, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Bloomberg School. "This is especially important given that Black Americans have higher asthma rates than whites and also, according to CDC data, have higher exposure to these chemicals than whites."

BPA is a chemical building block used to make polycarbonate plastic as well as some epoxies. Produced at the rate of about 7 million tons per year worldwide, it can leach from polycarbonate bottles into the liquids they contain, and from epoxies that line cans of soup and other food items. A 2011 study published found that eating soup from cans lined with BPA-containing epoxy caused study participants' BPA levels to rise by a factor of almost 20.

BPA can activate estrogen receptors on cells, which suggests that it may have hormone-like effects--disrupting human biology even at very small exposure levels. Animal studies have found evidence that the chemical can have pro-inflammatory effects. Epidemiological studies have found that people with higher BPA levels in their urine are more likely to have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, and some other conditions. Children are in principle more vulnerable, to the extent that they use BPA-containing products more often than adults do. Due to consumer concerns, companies stopped making BPA-containing baby bottles and sippy cups more than a decade ago, and have largely switched to non-BPA can epoxies.

BPS and BPF are close chemical relatives, or analogs, of BPA, and are found, for example, in can-linings and thermal-printer receipts--often as replacements for BPA. They too can interact with estrogen receptors, although very little is known about their health impacts at current exposure levels.

In the new study, Quirós-Alcalá and colleagues examined the link between BPA and asthma. More than 25 million Americans, including about one out of twelve children, have this airway inflammatory disorder.

While prior studies in children have linked higher BPA levels to a greater likelihood of developing asthma, the researchers here looked for a link between BPA exposure and the extent of symptoms in established asthma--or asthma "morbidity," as epidemiologists call it.

To do this, they analyzed clinical data, as well as stored urine samples, from the Mouse Allergen and Asthma Cohort Study (MAACS), which was conducted from 2007 to 2010 in Baltimore and covered 148 asthmatic children between 5 and 17. The study included 85 boys and 63 girls. Most of the children (91 percent) were Black, and most (69 percent) came from households with annual incomes below $35,000. Each child in the study was evaluated by doctors every three months for a year, and at these visits the child's caregiver filled out a questionnaire about the child's recent asthma symptoms and medical care.

Quirós-Alcalá and her colleagues found BPA in every urine sample taken during the study, with a mean concentration of 3.6 nanograms per milliliter--consistent with one study of low-income minority children in the U.S., but several times higher than levels measured in other groups.

The children in the study varied greatly in their urine BPS levels, and the researchers found that a ten-times-greater level of BPS was associated with a 40 percent increased chance of having had "coughing, wheezing, or chest tightness" in the prior two weeks, along with an 84 percent and 112 percent increased chance of reporting an acute care or an emergency-room visit in the prior three months.

When the researchers analyzed the children by sex, they found that these associations remained statistically significant only for the boys.

The analysis also showed that BPS and BPF levels in urine of the 148 children were much lower on average than those for BPA, and in some urine samples were not found at all. Higher BPS or BPF levels were not consistently associated with more asthma morbidity.

This was an associational study and does not prove that BPA exposures caused health effects, but it suggests that more conclusive studies of cause and effect should be done, the researchers say.

"If these findings are confirmed in future studies, then avoiding or limiting contact with BPA sources may be advisable for families who have children with asthma," Quirós-Alcalá says.


Calcium and vitamin D nutrient deficiencies lead to higher risk for osteoporosis

Study finds calcium and vitamin d nutrient deficiencies lead to higher risk for osteoporosis in low income US population



Pharmavite LLC, the makers of Nature Made vitamins, minerals and supplements, announced the publication of a research article in the journal PLoS ONE, which examines inadequate nutrient intake and its relationship to poor bone health, specifically risk of osteoporosis. The research was a cross sectional analysis of the U.S population [from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data], with a specific focus on those below the poverty line with food insecurities.

Poverty can be a barrier to routinely acquiring adequate nutrient intakes, specifically for calcium and vitamin D, to ensure bone health with the ultimate goal of preventing of osteoporosis. Age, gender and dietary intake are major factors that contribute to osteoporosis prevalence. This study examined the relationship between markers of poverty with calcium and vitamin D intake and osteoporosis in Americans, 50 years and older.

"This study continues to demonstrate how prevalent nutrient deficiency is among the U.S. population, and even more so, among lower income individuals and those with food insecurities. Yet, we know that nutrient adequacy is imperative in supporting overall health and wellness, including immune health, at a time when that is heavy on everyone's mind," said Susan Hazels Mitmesser, PhD, Vice President of Science & Technology at Pharmavite.

In the U.S., 25% of older Americans live below the poverty line. Within this population, 68% have inadequate calcium intakes, and 46% have inadequate vitamin D intakes. Gender, ethnic, and socio-economic differences impact overall risk for inadequate calcium and vitamin D intakes and subsequent osteoporosis risk, as seen in some of the study key findings:


  • American women over the age of 50 consistently have inadequate calcium intake regardless of their economic status.
  • Inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D affects poverty-stricken men more than women with respect to osteoporosis risk.
  • Non-Hispanic Black men with a low income have two times greater risk for developing osteoporosis.


    "Improving the consumption of nutrient-rich and fortified foods among individuals that live in poverty can help to decrease their chances of developing osteoporosis. Additionally, dietary supplements can play a critical role in helping any underserved population meet their nutrition needs --including making supplements readily available through programs like SNAP, for example," adds Mitmesser. "Our research demonstrates that participants with SNAP benefits and more access to food, have fewer nutrient inadequacies which helps them meet their nutrition needs."

    It has been estimated in the U.S. population age 50 and older, about 10.2 million suffer from osteoporosis, and 80% of these affected cases are females. In addition, there are potentially 43.4 million people, or 44% of the population with osteopenia, which is a bone condition that often leads to osteoporosis. More than two million osteoporosis-related fractures occur annually, leading to more than 19 billion dollars in health care costs in the US.


Study: Vitamin C plus quercetin a solid remedy for coronavirus

Eastern Virginia Medical School and University of Rome, July 28, 2020 

New research published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology has revealed that vitamin C combined with quercetin represents a powerful natural remedy for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Entitled, “Quercetin and Vitamin C: An Experimental Synergistic Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Related Disease (COVID-19),” the paper takes a detailed look at the antiviral properties of these two nutrients, which together show incredible promise in helping Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) patients recover.

It explains that quercetin has the ability to interfere “at multiple steps of pathogen virulence,” including at “virus entry, virus replication, (and) protein assembly” to inhibit the viral infection and proliferation. And when combined with vitamin C, quercetin is effective “for both the prophylaxis and the early treatment” of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as other respiratory tract infections.

In case you are unfamiliar with it, quercetin is a plant pigment in the flavonoid family that possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and immune-protective properties. It has also been studied extensively for its ability to inhibit polymerases, proteases, and reverse transcriptase, as well as to suppress DNA gyrase and bind viral capsid proteins.

This might sound like complicated language to the average “Joe,” but suffice it to say that quercetin, especially when amplified by the presence of vitamin C, obstructs viral infection, as well as viral replication and proliferation.


Exercise in early life has long-lasting benefits

Exercise in early life counteracts some of the damaging programming effects of a high-fat diet, a new Auckland study shows.

University of Auckland (New Zealand), July 30, 2020

The researchers, from the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland, found that bone retains a "memory" of exercise's effects long after the exercise is ceased, and this bone memory continues to change the way the body metabolises a high-fat diet, and published these results in Frontiers in Physiology.

The research team compared the bone health and metabolism of rats across different diet and exercise conditions, zeroing in on messenger molecules that signal the activity of genes in bone marrow. Rats were either given a high-fat diet and a wheel for extra exercise in their cage, a high-fat diet but no wheel, or a regular diet and no wheel. In the rats given a high-fat diet and an exercise wheel, the early extra physical activity caused inflammation-linked genes to be turned down.

High-fat diets early in life are known to turn up, or increase the activity of other genes that cause inflammation. Inflammation is the body's natural self-protective response to acute infection or injury, but the ongoing, low-grade inflammation linked to high-fat diets can harm cells and tissues and raise the risk of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

Exercise also altered the way the rats' bones metabolised energy from food, changing energy pathways that disrupt the body's response to a high-calorie diet.

"What was remarkable was that these changes lasted long after the rats stopped doing that extra exercise - into their mid-life," says Dr Justin O'Sullivan, a molecular geneticist at the Institute. "The bone marrow carried a 'memory' of the effects of exercise. This is the first demonstration of a long-lasting effect of exercise past puberty. The rats still got fat, but that early extra exercise basically set them up so that even though they put on weight they didn't have the same profile of negative effects that is common with a high fat diet."

Dr O'Sullivan says this may help scientists understand why, even though obesity and diabetes are often linked, some people with obesity do not develop diabetes. "It also strongly emphasises the health benefits of exercise for children."

Dr' O'Sullivan's co-investigators were PhD student Dharani Sontam, Professor Mark Vickers, and Professor Elwyn Firth, all from the Liggins Institute.

With rising rates of overweight and obesity in children, it is important to understand the effects of these conditions on bone health, says Professor Vickers, an obesity specialist. "Obesity is governed by many genes. This work highlights the utility of small animal models in teasing out gene-environment interactions in health and disease."

Professor Firth, who studies bone development, explains that childhood and adolescence are periods of rapid bone growth. "If you reach optimal bone mass early in life, you're less likely to suffer from broken bones or other bone-related problems as an adult. Load-bearing from exercise and higher bodyweight is good for growing bones, but this and other evidence shows that if the extra weight comes from higher body fat mass, bone development may be subnormal," he says. "Bone metabolism strongly influences energy metabolism in the body, and metabolism - what you do with energy from diet - is the central crux of why some children and adults become obese."

The team hopes to repeat the experiment to see if the changes persist into old age, and if varying the exercise - when it begins, how much the rats do, and how long they do it for - could alter other genes, affecting other aspects of fat metabolism beneficially.


Molecular mechanisms: Could omega-3 metabolite offer hope in battle against age-related diseases?

Louisiana State University, 28-Jul-2020

A signalling molecule produced by the the omega-3 fatty acid DHA could be used to target age-related conditions and diseases including stroke and Alzheimer’s, new research suggests.

A greater understanding of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) could lead to effective targets and therapies for a variety of diseases, according to a new review published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The team from LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine reported that DHA has been found to produce signalling molecules (docosanoids) when the body’s state of equilibrium is altered due to disease or injury.

One docosanoid in particular, Neuroprotectin D1 (NDP1), is said to protect neurons in the retina and brain, causing researchers to believe this could be a possible route of therapy.

“It is our hope that this knowledge will contribute to managing early stages of such devastating diseases as Alzheimer’s stroke, traumatic brain injury, age-related macular degeneration, Parkinson’s and others,” said lead researcher Professor Nicolas Bazan.

Omega-3 and health

Omega-3, found in foods such as salmon, tuna, algae and walnuts, is well-researched and has many suggested and established health benefits, including established EFSA claims relating to the the maintenance of normal vision, brain function, function of the heart, maintenance of normal blood triglycerides level normal blood pressure.

Furthermore, research has suggested that omega-3 may play a role in  preventing Alzheimer’s disease reducing cardiovascular disease risk and decreasing mortality rates in postmenopausal women .

According to the omega-3 index, an 8% percentage of omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) + DHA in red blood cells is desirable, while a score of 4% is considered a danger zone. 

DHA and NPD1 

The new review sheds light on the role of DHA and its NDP1 metabolite on homeostasis changes in the body.

According to the team behind the study, the molecule provokes neuroprotection in cases of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and in experimental stroke. Administration of the molecule was also found to reduce stroke damage and also save tissue in the rim surrounding the stroke core, said Bazan and colleagues. 

Furthermore, in case of Alzheimer’s disease, NPD1’s inflammatory properties have been suggested to play a part in preventing the progression of the disease.

Previous research has shown clinical symptoms of early-stage Alzheimer’s include neuro-inflammation, damage to dendritic spines and problems with cell-to-cell communication, all of which coincide with decreased DHA levels in the brain.

Could DHA prevent cell death?

The US-based researchers suggest that NPD1’s inflammatory properties help restore a state of equilibrium in the body, aiding the recovery of cells, and preventing cell death.

“Cell death is considered to be reversible until a first ‘point-of-no-return’ checkpoint is passed,” said Bazan, who noted that although cells can die in multiple ways, by far the most studied forms of cell death are apoptosis and necrosis.

“In degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, age-related macular degeneration and stroke, dysregulation of apoptosis is a central event,” he said.

However, the team believes that NPD1 can prevent cells from reaching this ‘checkpoint’ in cell death activation pathways, including apoptosis, necrosis, necroptosis, pyroptosis, and pyrnecrosis.

“Understanding the molecular mechanisms of action of dietary essential fatty acids will lead to effective treatments of diseases and conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, and other retinal and neurodegenerative diseases,” Bazan said.


July 29, 2020  

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

Green tea ingredient may ameliorate memory impairment, brain insulin resistance, and obesity

Northwest A&F University (China), July 28, 2020

A study published online in The FASEB Journal, involving mice, suggests that EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the most abundant catechin and biologically active component in green tea, could alleviate high-fat and high-fructose (HFFD)-induced insulin resistance and cognitive impairment. Previous research pointed to the potential of EGCG to treat a variety of human diseases, yet until now, EGCG's impact on insulin resistance and cognitive deficits triggered in the brain by a Western diet remained unclear.

"Green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, and is grown in at least 30 countries," said Xuebo Liu, Ph.D., a researcher at the College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A&F University, in Yangling, China. "The ancient habit of drinking green tea may be a more acceptable alternative to medicine when it comes to combatting obesity, insulin resistance, and memory impairment."

Liu and colleagues divided 3-month-old male C57BL/6J mice into three groups based on diet: 1) a control group fed with a standard diet, 2) a group fed with an HFFD diet, and 3) a group fed with an HFFD diet and 2 grams of EGCG per liter of drinking water. For 16 weeks, researchers monitored the mice and found that those fed with HFFD had a higher final body weight than the control mice, and a significantly higher final body weight than the HFFD+EGCG mice. In performing a Morris water maze test, researchers found that mice in the HFFD group took longer to find the platform compared to mice in the control group. The HFFD+EGCG group had a significantly lower escape latency and escape distance than the HFFD group on each test day. When the hidden platform was removed to perform a probe trial, HFFD-treated mice spent less time in the target quadrant when compared with control mice, with fewer platform crossings. The HFFD+EGCG group exhibited a significant increase in the average time spent in the target quadrant and had greater numbers of platform crossings, showing that EGCG could improve HFFD-induced memory impairment.

"Many reports, anecdotal and to some extent research-based, are now greatly strengthened by this more penetrating study," said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal.




Medieval medicine remedy could provide new treatment for modern day infections

University of Warwick UK, July 28, 2020

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing battle for scientists to overcome, as more antimicrobials are urgently needed to treat biofilm-associated infections. However scientists from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick say research into natural antimicrobials could provide candidates to fill the antibiotic discovery gap.

Bacteria can live in two ways, as individual planktonic cells or as a multicellular biofilm. Biofilm helps protect bacteria from antibiotics, making them much harder to treat, one such biofilm that is particularly hard to treat is those that infect diabetic foot ulcers.

Researchers at the University of Warwick, Dr Freya Harrison, Jessica Furner-Pardoe, and Dr Blessing Anonye, have looked at natural remedies for the gap in the antibiotic market, and in the paper, 'Anti-biofilm efficacy of a medieval treatment for bacterial infection requires the combination of multiple ingredients' published in the journal Scientific Reports today the 28 July, researchers say medieval methods using natural antimicrobials from every day ingredients could help find new answers.

The Ancientbiotics research team was established in 2015 and is an interdisciplinary group of researchers including microbiologists, chemists, pharmacists, data analysts and medievalists at Warwick, Nottingham and in the United States.

Building on previous research done by the University of Nottingham on using medieval remedies to treat MRSA, the researchers from the School of Life Sciences at University of Warwick reconstructed a 1,000-year-old medieval remedy containing onion, garlic, wine, and bile salts, which is known as 'Bald's eyesalve', and showed it to have promising antibacterial activity. The team also showed that the mixture caused low levels of damage to human cells.

They found the Bald's eyesalve remedy was effective against a range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive wound pathogens in planktonic culture. This activity is maintained against the following pathogens grown as biofilms:


1. Acinetobacter baumanii- commonly associated with infected wounds in combat troops returning from conflict zones.

2. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia- commonly associated with respiratory infections in humans

3. Staphylococcus aureus- a common cause of skin infections including abscesses, respiratory infections such as sinusitis, and food poisoning.

4. Staphylococcus epidermidis- a common cause of infections involving indwelling foreign devices such as a catheter, surgical wound infections, and bacteremia in immunocompromised patients.

5. Streptococcus pyogenes - causes numerous infections in humans including pharyngitis, tonsillitis, scarlet fever, cellulitis, rheumatic fever and post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis.


All of these bacteria can be found in the biofilms that infect diabetic foot ulcers and which can be resistant to antibiotic treatment. These debilitating infections can lead to amputation to avoid the risk of the bacteria spreading to the blood to cause lethal bacteremia.

The Bald's eyesalve mixtures use of garlic, which contains allicin, can explain activity against planktonic cultures, however garlic alone has no activity against biofilms, and therefore the anti-biofilm activity of Bald's eyesalve cannot be attributed to a single ingredient and requires the combination of all ingredients to achieve full activity.

Dr Freya Harrison, from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick comments:

"We have shown that a medieval remedy made from onion, garlic, wine, and bile can kill a range of problematic bacteria grown both planktonically and as biofilms. Because the mixture did not cause much damage to human cells in the lab, or to mice, we could potentially develop a safe and effective antibacterial treatment from the remedy.

"Most antibiotics that we use today are derived from natural compounds, but our work highlights the need to explore not only single compounds but mixtures of natural products for treating biofilm infections. We think that future discovery of antibiotics from natural products could be enhanced by studying combinations of ingredients, rather than single plants or compounds. In this first instance, we think this combination could suggest new treatments for infected wounds, such as diabetic foot and leg ulcers. "

Jessica Furner-Pardoe, from the Medical School at the University of Warwick comments:

"Our work demonstrates just how important it is to use realistic models in the lab when looking for new antibiotics from plants. Although a single component is enough to kill planktonic cultures, it fails against more realistic infection models, where the full remedy succeeds."

In previous research Christina Lee, from the School of English at the University of Nottingham, had examined the Bald's Leechbook, an Old English leatherbound volume in the British Library, to see if it really works as an antibacterial remedy. The Leechbook is widely thought of as one of the earliest known medical textbooks and contains Anglo-Saxon medical advice and recipes for medicines, salves and treatments. Christina adds: "Bald's eyesalve underlines the significance of medical treatment throughout the ages. It shows that people in Early Medieval England had at least some effective remedies. The collaboration which has informed this project shows the importance of the arts in interdisciplinary research."


First clinical trial of its kind studies whether cannabidiol could help treat cannabis use disorder, compared to placebo

University of Bath (UK), July 28, 2020


Prescription medication of cannabis extract cannabidiol, or CBD, is safe for daily use in treating cannabis use disorder, and could help people to cut down on cannabis use, according to an initial randomised controlled trial published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

The study is the first to report that daily prescribed medical-use CBD use can cause reduction in cannabis use among people with cannabis use disorder, but the four-week study was not designed to provide robust estimates of the magnitude or duration of efficacy and further studies are needed.

Researchers found an optimal daily dose of between 400mg and 800mg of CBD, which is considerably higher than concentrations found in CBD products that are available without prescription (which typically contain around 25mg CBD). They warn that such products should not be used for medicinal purposes.

The authors say that these findings are important in light of major policy changes surrounding the production and sale of cannabis products, increases in the number of people entering treatment for cannabis use disorders worldwide, and the current absence of recommended treatments for cannabis use disorder.

Dr Tom Freeman, the study's lead author and Director of the Addiction and Mental Health Group at the University of Bath, UK, said: "Our study provides the first causal evidence to support cannabidiol, or CBD, as a treatment for cannabis use disorders. This is encouraging, as there are currently no drug treatments for cannabis addiction. CBD products are widely available in many countries but we would not advise people to self-medicate with these products. People with concerns about their cannabis use should always speak to a healthcare professional in the first instance." [1]

Cannabis addiction affects an estimated 22 million people worldwide - similar to the prevalence of opioid use disorders - and the proportion of people seeking help for cannabis use disorders has risen in all world regions apart from Africa. However, there are currently no medications recommended for the treatment of cannabis use disorders.

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of more than 80 chemicals present in cannabis. By itself, CBD has been reported to induce feelings of relaxation and calm, but it does not cause the "high" associated with cannabis use, which is caused by a different chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. As a result, CBD is sold legally in many countries in oils, capsules, creams, tea and other products.

Previous studies have suggested that taking CBD products could help to reduce withdrawal symptoms in people who are actively trying to quit cannabis use. However, it hasn't been possible to determine whether these effects were due to CBD, because the studies either used an open-label design (where the participants knew what medications they were taking and so the results could have been biased), or CBD was given together with THC so it wasn't possible to say to which chemical the effects were attributable.

In this latest study, researchers carried out the first randomised clinical trial of cannabidiol for the treatment of cannabis addiction. All 82 people who took part in the study had been diagnosed with a cannabis use disorder of at least moderate severity, which means they experienced at least four out of 11 possible symptoms of addiction. They had all expressed a desire to quit within the next month, and had tried to quit on at least one occasion before.

Participants were randomly assigned to treatment groups and asked to take two capsules of CBD twice daily for four weeks. The placebo group were given sham capsules containing no CBD, while the others received a daily dose of either 200mg, 400mg or 800mg CBD. All of the participants received six counselling sessions designed to help them quit using cannabis, which took place before and during the study period.

Weekly urine samples were tested for levels of THC to assess how much cannabis had been consumed in the past week. Participants were also asked to report how many days they had abstained from using cannabis that week.

The trial used an adaptive design to identify which doses of CBD were effective or ineffective compared to placebo. In the first stage of the trial, 12 people per group were assigned to either placebo, 200mg, 400mg or 800mg CBD (48 total). After the first phase of the study, the 200mg dose was found to be ineffective and these participants were removed from the trial. A further 34 people were recruited to the second stage of the study and randomly assigned to receive daily doses of either the placebo (11 people), 400mg CBD (12 people) or 800mg CBD (11 people).

Daily CBD doses of 400mg and 800mg were both found to reduce participants' cannabis intake (reducing THC levels in the urine by -94.21ng/mL and -72.02ng/mL, respectively). In addition, abstinence from cannabis use increased by an average of 0.5 days per week in the group who received the 400mg daily dose of CBD and 0.3 days per week in the group who received 800mg CBD daily.

The researchers observed no difference in side effects experienced by the placebo group and those receiving any dose of CBD. 77 of 82 participants completed the treatment and those who dropped out did so because of missing study visits, being lost to follow up, not taking the study medication, or taking additional medications, and not because of the CBD treatment. There were no serious adverse events during the study, suggesting that CBD is safe and well tolerated at the doses tested.

Professor Valerie Curran, senior author and Director of the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit at University College London, UK, said: "Our findings indicate that CBD doses ranging from 400mg to 800mg daily have the potential to reduce cannabis use in clinical settings, but higher doses are unlikely to bring any additional benefit. Larger studies are needed to determine the magnitude of the benefits of daily CBD for reducing cannabis use." [1]

The study was carried out over a four week treatment period with follow up extending to six months. The researchers say additional research is needed to investigate the extent to which their findings translate to different durations of treatment. Studies are also needed to investigate whether CBD directly reduces cannabis use or if it reduces other mental health symptoms which might indirectly affect cannabis use, such as anxiety.


Pessimistic outlook on life linked to life expectancy

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (Australia). July 28, 2020


A new QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute study has found people who are strongly pessimistic about the future are at greater risk of dying earlier than those who are not pessimists.

The researchers also found, however, that being an optimist did not extend life expectancy.

The lead researcher, Dr. John Whitfield from QIMR Berghofer's Genetic Epidemiology group, said study participants who scored higher on pessimism in a questionnaire were likely to die on average two years earlier than those with low scores.

"We found people who were strongly pessimistic about the future were more likely to die earlier from cardiovascular diseases and other causes of death, but not from cancer," Dr. Whitfield said.

"Optimism scores on the other hand did not show a significant relationship with death, either positive or negative.

"Less than nine percent of respondents identified as being strongly pessimistic. There were no significant differences in optimism or pessimism between men and women. On average, an individual's level of either optimism or pessimism increased with age.

"We also found depression did not appear to account for the association between pessimism and mortality."

The researchers used data collected from almost 3,000 participants who completed the Life Orientation Test as part of a broader questionnaire that looked at the health of Australians aged over 50 between 1993 and 1995.

The participants were invited to agree or disagree with a number of statements including positive statements such as, 'I'm always optimistic about my future' or negative statements such as, 'If something can go wrong for me, it will'.

The participants' details were then cross checked with the Australian National Death Index in October 2017 to find out how many people had died and their cause of death. (More than 1,000 participants had died.)

Previous studies have shown a correlation between optimism and pessimism and specific diseases such as cardiovascular disease or stroke, but most previous studies also put optimism and pessimism on one scale.

This resulted in people who received low scores on the pessimism questions being classed as optimists, but Dr. Whitfield said that was not always an accurate reflection of people's outlooks.

"Optimism and pessimism are not direct opposites," Dr. Whitfield said.

"The key feature of our results is that we used two separate scales to measure pessimism and optimism and their association with all causes of death.

"That is how we discovered that while strong pessimism was linked with earlier death, those who scored highly on the optimism scale did not have a greater than average life expectancy.

"We think it's unlikely that the disease caused the pessimism because we did not find that people who died from cancer had registered a strong pessimism score in their tests. If illness was leading to higher pessimism scores, it should have applied to cancers as well as to cardiovascular disease."

Dr. Whitfield said the research findings raised questions about the practical health benefits of training people out of pessimism.

"Understanding that our long term health can be influenced by whether we're a cup-half-full or cup-half-empty kind of person might be the prompt we need to try to change the way we face the world, and try to reduce negativity, even in really difficult circumstances."

The study findings have been published this week in the journal Scientific Reports.


Wealthier men are more likely to develop high blood pressure

Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine (Japan), 26 July 2020: 


Working men with higher incomes are more likely to develop high blood pressure, reports a study presented at the 84th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Circulation Society (JCS 2020).

JCS 2020 takes place online from 27 July to 2 August in conjunction with the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology Congress 2020 (APSC 2020). Joint scientific sessions are being held by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and JCS as part of the ESC Global Activities programme.1

"Men with higher incomes need to improve their lifestyles to prevent high blood pressure," said study author Dr. Shingo Yanagiya of the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan. "Steps include eating healthily, exercising, and controlling weight. Alcohol should be kept to moderate levels and binge drinking avoided."

More than one billion people have high blood pressure worldwide.2 Around 30-45% of adults are affected, rising to more than 60% of people over 60 years of age. High blood pressure is the leading global cause of premature death, accounting for almost 10 million deaths in 2015. Of those, 4.9 million were due to ischaemic heart disease and 3.5 million were due to stroke.

Japan alone has more than 10 million people with high blood pressure, and the number continues to rise. Dr. Yanagiya said: "High blood pressure is a lifestyle-related disease. As a physician seeing these patients I wanted to know if risk varies with socioeconomic class, to help us focus our prevention efforts."

This analysis of the J-HOPE3 study examined the relationship between household income and high blood pressure in Japanese employees. A total of 4,314 staff (3,153 men and 1,161 women) with daytime jobs and normal blood pressure were enrolled in 2012 from 12 workplaces.

Workers were divided into four groups according to annual household income: less than 5 million, 5 to 7.9 million, 8 to 9.9 million, and 10 million or more Japanese yen per year. The researchers investigated the association between income and developing high blood pressure over a two-year period.

Compared to men in the lowest income category, men in the highest income group were nearly twice as likely to develop high blood pressure. Men in the 5 to 7.9 million and 8 to 9.9 million groups had a 50% higher risk of developing high blood pressure compared to men with the lowest incomes, although the positive association did not reach statistical significance in the 8 to 9.9 million group.

The findings were consistent regardless of age, and were independent of baseline blood pressure, worksite, occupation, number of family members, and smoking. The relationships were slightly weakened after accounting for alcohol consumption and body mass index (BMI; kg/m2), both of which were higher for men in the higher income groups.

In women, there was no significant link between income and blood pressure. However, women with higher household income tended to have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

"Some previous Japanese surveys have reported that higher household income is associated with more undesirable lifestyles in men, but not in women," said Dr. Yanagiya. "Our study supports this: men, but not women, with higher household incomes were more likely to be obese and drink alcohol every day. Both behaviours are major risk factors for hypertension."

He concluded: "Men with high-paying daytime jobs are at particular risk of high blood pressure. This applies to men of all ages, who can greatly decrease their chance of a heart attack or stroke by improving their health behaviours."

Dr. Yusuke Yoshikawa, public relations coordinator for JCS 2020, said: "Hypertension is one of the most important risk factors of cardiovascular disease in Japan, because the average daily salt intake in Japan (approx. 10 g/day) is much higher than desired. As the current guidelines2 strongly recommend healthy lifestyle to control high blood pressure, this study suggests a potential key to successful intervention for those who are at risk of heart disease and stroke."

Professor Michel Komajda, a Past President of the ESC and course director of the ESC programme at JCS 2020, said: "The ESC is delighted to be part of JCS 2020 in Kyoto. We value our special partnership with JCS and the high quality of Japanese research. Japan is among the top submitters of abstracts to ESC Congress."


Acute exercise has beneficial effects on the immune system during prostate cancer

Victoria University (Australia), July 28, 2020


New research published this week in Experimental Physiology found that in prostate cancer survivors, a moderate bout of exercise kept the cell count of certain type of immune cells at a normal level, suggesting the exercise is safe for prostate cancer survivors. After 24 hours after a moderate bout of cycling, the immune cell count of natural killer (NK) cells, part of the body's first line of defence, had returned to resting levels.

Prostate cancer treatments, including androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), have numerous adverse effects that reduce physical function and quality of life. Exercise is recommended for cancer survivors to reduce the side effects of treatment and has shown to have many benefits.

However, the effects of prostate cancer treatment and acute exercise on the immune system have only been briefly examined. Exercise oncology guidelines were initially based on the responses seen in healthy, older adults. But individuals with cancer have different physiological responses to exercise, many of which we are only just beginning to understand.

Exercise helps the immune system mobilise by causing NK cells to move into the blood and be transported them to areas of need, such as sites of infection or tumours. At the tissues, these cells move out of circulation and in cancer patients they can the infiltrate the tumour and potentially slow the tumour's rate of growth. This has been shown very elegantly in animal models but the exercise and immune response in cancer survivors is limited, with only a few studies in prostate cancer.

The researchers, based at Victoria University in Australia, had volunteers (11 cancer survivors currently receiving ADT treatment, and 14 men with prostate cancer not on ADT, and 8 healthy controls) completed a cycling task to determine their maximal aerobic fitness.

The researchers chose to use a moderate intensity exercise session that was consistent with current exercise oncology guidelines but was also a bout that would be practical for prostate cancer survivors to perform on their own.

To ensure that the exercise bout used to stimulate the immune system was the same degree of difficulty for everyone, they standardised based on their maximal effort.

To determine immune function, they obtained blood samples before exercise, immediately after and 2h after they finished cycling. The participants then came back the next day (24h) after exercise, and immune function was assessed again after one night of recovery. They also measured several key hormone levels, including adrenaline and noradrenaline, as they play a role in activating and mobilising the NK immune cells.

The researchers found that 24 hours after a moderate bout of cycling, the immune cell count of natural killer (NK) cells, part of the body's first line of defence, had returned to resting levels.

They also showed that the immune cell mobilisation with exercise does not appear to be significantly altered during prostate cancer treatment, which provides direct evidence that acute exercise that falls within current oncology guidelines also appears to be beneficial for the immune system.

A limitation of the study is the modest sample size, and also that they examined cytokines and proteins that are related to NK cell function but did not directly assess the killing capacity of the NK cells.

Erik D Hanson, first author on the study said,

"One of the most enjoyable aspects of working with these men is how willing these men are to help their fellow prostate cancer survivors. Many of them realise that these studies are not likely to benefit them directly. However, they do not hesitate to volunteer and are willing to do just about whatever is asked of them for the collective good."


Study shows mango consumption has positive impact on inflammatory bowel disease

Texas A&M University, July 29, 2020 

Initial results of a study by researchers in the department of nutrition and food science at Texas A&M University in College Station show mango consumption has a positive impact on people with inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr. Susanne Talcott, Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist, and others recently investigated the use of fresh mangoes as an adjuvant to conventional therapy in mild to moderate inflammatory bowel disease.

"Inflammatory bowel disease presents a major risk factor for colon cancer with the most common forms of this disorder being Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis," Talcott said. "Previous studies indicate that IBD affects about 1.5 million individuals in the U.S., about 2.2 million in Europe and many more in other countries."

"Colorectal cancer can develop from precursor lesions that can be caused by inflammatory bowel disease over periods of 10 to 15 years, which provides an extended time for preventive measures," she said.

Talcott said multiple studies have demonstrated the health benefits of secondary plant compounds in fruits and vegetables including pomegranate, citrus and curcuminoids, and polyphenolics have been found to reduce inflammatory processes in chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases.

"However, few human clinical studies using polyphenolics in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease have been conducted," she said.

Mangos are rich in gallotannins, a group of large molecular polyphenols that can be broken down to small, absorbable, bioactive molecules by certain intestinal bacteria.

To investigate the impact of mango polyphenolics on humans, Talcott's team, which included husband Dr. Stephen Alcott, also an AgriLife Research scientist, designed a clinical trial conducted at Texas A&M. Trial subjects were recruited in the College Station area and at the Ertan Digestive Disease Center at the Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston under the direction of Dr. Andrew Dupont, MD.

The study was designed as a controlled clinical pilot trial in subjects with mild-to-moderate active Crohn's disease or mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis. Subjects ate mango as an adjunct to their common drug treatment for mild-to-moderate IBD.

Male and female individuals from 18 to 79 years old with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis were enrolled in the study. Those included were individuals undergoing current or previous IBD drug treatment within the past six months and those on a stable drug regimen for at least three weeks before the start of the treatment phase of the study.

Excluded from the study were those with chronic health conditions or recurrent hospitalizations, as well as those who smoked more than one pack of cigarettes per week, had a current liver or renal dysfunction, were pregnant or lactating or had a known lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Also excluded were those with planned or scheduled IBD-related surgery, current IBD-related intestinal stricture, current infection with C. difficile or a previous bowel resection.

Medical personnel evaluated more than 300 subjects for the study based on medical records or surveys. Twenty subjects participated in some aspect of the study, including the screening, with 14 completing the study.

Subjects were provided with and asked to include 200-400 grams of commercially available frozen mangos of the Keitt variety in their daily diet. They were asked to increase their mango consumption slowly over the first week.

"Since the tolerability of large amounts of fiber-rich fruit varies between subjects and for each patient over time, this study allowed subjects to consume mango within a range rather than a fixed amount," Talcott said. "This range was from 200 grams twice daily to 400 grams three times a day."

She said subjects could skip their mango consumption or reduce it to accommodate any possible digestive issues, but were required to document their daily mango intake. Subjects who underwent an endoscopy before the beginning of this study were asked to wait at least one week before the study treatment could be started. The treatment phase of the study was eight weeks.

"Despite a relatively small subject number, this study yielded significant findings and several biomarkers would have been significantly reduced with a higher number of subjects," Talcott said.

She said symptoms of ulcerative colitis were significantly reduced in the test subjects and several biomarkers associated with inflammation were decreased after eight weeks of mango consumption. Additionally, the presence of GRO, a molecule associated with colon cancer growth, was significantly reduced.

"Intestinal Lactobacilli and other beneficial probiotic bacteria were significantly increased after the consumption of mango as were certain short-chain fatty acids essential for a healthy intact intestinal tract," she said.

Talcott said high endotoxin levels are not only associated with intestinal inflammation but also with other chronic inflammatory diseases, but after eight weeks of mango consumption, high endotoxin levels in blood plasma were significantly decreased.

"Taken together, our results indicate mango intake exerted beneficial effects in the progression and severity of the IBD after eight weeks of nutritional intervention," she said.

She noted mango consumption might also mitigate inflammation in part by improving the composition of the intestinal microbiota and decreasing the serum endotoxin level.

"All subjects who completed the study stated they would continue to consume mangoes regularly and will recommend this to others who suffer from IBD and also tell their physicians," Talcott said.

She said if mango or any other polyphenolic-rich food can be identified as helpful in shortening or reducing severity of episodes of inflammatory bowel disease, the addition of mango polyphenolics to conventional IBD drug treatment could have a significant positive impact on public health.


Meta-analysis supports potential of omega-3s for ADHD

Kings College London, July 28, 2020

Omega-3s fatty acid supplements may improve symptoms and cognitive performance in children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a meta-analysis of gold standard clinical trials.

Data from seven clinical trials involving over 500 children and adolescents indicated that omega-3s were associated with improvements in clinical symptoms of ADHD, while data from three clinical trials involving over 200 children and adolescents indicated a positive impact on cognitive measures associated with attention.

“[W]e provide strong evidence supporting a role for n3-PUFAs deficiency in ADHD, and for advocating n-3 PUFAs supplementation as a clinically relevant intervention in this group, especially if guided by a biomarker-based personalization approach,” wrote the authors, led by Jane Pei-Chen Chang from King’s College London, in Neuropsychopharmacology .

Boosting EPA/DHA intakes

Commenting independently on the meta-analysis, Harry Rice, PhD, VP of regulatory & scientific affairs for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED): “In the past, I've been lukewarm on whether or not increasing EPA/DHA intake benefits children with ADHD. Results from this meta-analysis put me a little closer to believing.

“Minimally, given the low side effect profile of omega-3s versus the drugs of choice to treat ADHD, I would highly recommend first increasing intake of EPA/DHA. This is particularly true if a child doesn't eat at least two servings of fatty fish a week or doesn't take an omega-3 supplement on a regular basis.”

Meta-analysis details

The new meta-analysis was performed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines and used established scientific literature databases to identify appropriate studies for inclusion.

Data from seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with 534 young people indicated that that omega-s3 supplementation significantly improved inattention and hyperactivity symptoms, according to parental reports.

Additional analysis revealed that the improvements in hyperactivity were only observed when doses of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) of 500 mg/day or more were used.

Interesting, the researchers did not find improvements in hyperactivity and inattention when they looked at teacher’s reports, unlike what was reported by parents.

Omega-3 supplements were associated with improvements in select measures of cognitive performance, said the researchers.

“N-3 PUFAs are crucial for optimal neurotransmitter function: for example, incorporating more EPA and DHA in the cell membrane can increase cholesterol efflux, modulate lipid raft clustering and disruption, and affect the function of the dopamine transporter (DAT), which in turn may affect attention and executive function by regulating synaptic dopamine levels,” wrote the researchers.

Omega-3 levels

Data from case-control studies were also collected to assess if omega-3 levels were also associated with ADHD, with results indicating that children and adolescents with ADHD had lower levels of EPA, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid),and total omega-3s.

“In the context of ‘personalised medicine’, it is tempting to speculate that a subpopulation of youth with ADHD and with low levels of n-3 PUFAs may respond better to n-3 PUFAs supplementation, but there are no studies to date attempting this stratification approach,” wrote the researchers. “However, we have [previously] shown that individuals at genetic risk of developing depression in the context of the immune challenge, interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha), have lower levels of RBCs n3-PUFAs, and that n-3 PUFAs supplementation prevents the onset of IFN-alpha-induced depression, arguably by replenishing the endogenously low anti-inflammatory PUFAs in the ‘at risk’ individuals.”

July 28, 2020  

Consuming alliums like onions and garlic found to lower colorectal cancer risk by 79 percent

China Medical University, July 24, 2020


In a recent study published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, Chinese researchers found that eating high amounts of allium vegetables corresponded to a 79 percent reduction in colorectal cancer risk.

According to senior author Zhi Li from The First Hospital of China Medical University, their findings highlight a trend: The greater the amount of alliums consumed, the better the protection against colorectal cancer.

Higher allium consumption linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer

For their research, the team compared the food intake of 833 colorectal cancer patients to that of 833 healthy participants (controls) who matched them in terms of age, sex and area of residence. The researchers used food frequency questionnaires to collect the participants’ dietary information.

The researchers found that those who consumed high amounts of allium vegetables had a 79 percent reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Li said that their findings shed light on the role of lifestyle intervention in the prevention of colorectal cancer.

However, Mary Flynn, an associate professor of medicine at Brown University in Rhode Island, noted that although these findings are interesting, it bears stressing that the colorectal cancer patients had a greater family history of the disease than the controls.

The colorectal cancer patients also smoked more and reported consuming less fruits, more alcohol and almost double the amount of red meat than the controls. Together, Flynn says that these factors may have influenced the significant reductions in colorectal cancer risk observed.

On the other hand, the link between allium consumption and lower colon cancer risk remained even after these differences were factored into the analysis, suggesting that allium vegetables like onions, garlic, leeks and shallots do have strong cancer-fighting potential.

The study is one of many that report the anti-cancer benefits of allium vegetables, which are attributed to their sulfur-containing active components. (Related: Researchers explore the anti-cancer potential of a local onion from Iran.)

Garlic, onion and other alliums: promising candidates for holistic cancer treatment

Alliums like onions and garlic are among the most studied cancer-fighting foods, besides cruciferous vegetables, because of their abundance of phenolic compounds.

In a recent article published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, a team of scientists from the U.S. highlighted the ability of allium vegetables to prevent different types of cancer.

In particular, multiple mechanistic studies agree that the sulfur-containing compounds in alliums are responsible for their anti-carcinogenic properties. Some of these compounds include allicin, alliin and ajoene.

Alliums also contain other potent plant compounds that contribute to their cancer-fighting potential. These compounds include flavonoids, oligosaccharides, arginine and selenium.

According to several epidemiological studies, increased intake of these allium components is linked to a decreased risk of certain cancers, such as stomach, colon, esophageal and prostate cancer.

In another recent article published in the journal Food Research International, researchers from the University of Guelph in Canada found a local variety of red onions to be the most effective at killing both colon and breast cancer cells.

The team attributed the cancer-fighting potential of Ontario-grown red onions to their high quercetin and anthocyanin content. Both flavonoids have been studied in the past as chemopreventive agents in several cancer models.

Taken together, these studies offer ample proof that allium vegetables are excellent natural medicines for various types of cancer.


Link confirmed between a healthy diet and prostate cancer prevention

An INRS team shows an association between eating habits and prostate cancer

National Institute for Scientific Research (Montreal), July 28, 2020


The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that more than 23,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020. Among other risk factors, more and more studies point to diet as a major factor in the development of prostate cancer, as it is for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Using data from a study conducted in Montreal between 2005 and 2012, a research team led by Professor Marie-Élise Parent of Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has shown a link between diet and prostate cancer in the article "Dietary Patterns Are Associated with Risk of Prostate Cancer in a Population-Based Case-Control Study in Montreal, Canada", published in Nutrients in June.

Three main dietary profiles analyzed

INRS PhD student Karine Trudeau, the lead author of the study, based her analysis on three main dietary profiles: healthy diet, salty Western diet including alcohol, and sugar-rich Western diet with beverages. The first profile leans heavily towards fruits, vegetables, and plant proteins like tofu and nuts. The salty Western diet with alcohol includes more meat and beverages such as beer and wine. The third profile is rich in pasta, pizza, desserts, and sugary carbonated drinks. The study took age, ethnicity, education, family history, and date of last prostate cancer screening into account.

Marie-Élise Parent and Karine Trudeau found a link between a healthy diet and a lower risk of prostate cancer. Conversely, a Western diet with sweets and beverages was associated with a higher risk and seemed to be a factor in more aggressive forms of cancer. The study did not show any clear link between a Western diet with salt and alcohol and the risk of developing the disease.

Moving away from the typical approach used in epidemiological studies, which involves looking at one nutrient or food group at a time, the researchers collected data from a broader dietary profile. "It's not easy to isolate the effect of a single nutrient," explained Ms. Trudeau. "For example, foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, promote iron absorption. Calcium is often found in dairy products, which also contain vitamin D. Our more targeted approach takes this synergy into account to produce more meaningful results that public health authorities can use to formulate recommendations. Rather than counting on one miracle food, people should look at their overall diet."

"For a long time we've suspected that diet might play a role in the development of prostate cancer, but it was very hard to pinpoint the specific factors at play," said Professor Parent. "This study is significant because it looks at dietary habits as a whole. We've uncovered evidence that, we hope, can be used to develop prevention strategies for prostate cancer, the most common cancer among men in Canada and many other countries."

In addition to INRS faculty and students Marie-Élise Parent, Karine Trudeau, Christine Barul, and Marie-Claude Rousseau, Ilona Csizmadi (Cumming School of Medicine) participated in the research. The study was funded by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), the Cancer Research Society (CRS), Fonds de la recherche du Québec--Santé (FRQS), and Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation (MEI).


Study reveals humans are impatient, even down to seconds

Ohio University, July 28, 2020

An Ohio University study seeking to understand the psychological mechanisms of waiting for a larger reward in contrast to instant gratification with a smaller reward was recently published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, a flagship journal of the American Psychological Association.

The research team discussed in their paper how their findings show that people are impatient not only when thinking about whether to wait or not for a larger reward in the abstract, but they are even more impatient when they actually must wait to receive a larger reward. In the study, the amounts and delays were small (in cents and seconds), but even in the small-scale participants demonstrated myopic behavior, as in preferring the smaller payoff sooner.

"In this particular paper, we're interested in how people make decisions that entail comparing the time that it takes to get something versus how much one will get," said Dr. Claudia González Vallejo, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology and second author of the paper. "Those types of experiments are under an umbrella of what is called intertemporal choice, which refers to studying how people make tradeoffs between amounts, either to gain or to lose, relative to the timing of those."

The paper's lead author is Dr. Ping Xu, currently of Shenzhen University's School of Psychology, and the third author is Dr. Benjamin Vincent of University of Dundee's School of Social Sciences. 

The paper is based on Xu's dissertation from 2019 as she graduated from OHIO under Dr. González Vallejo's mentoring. "I feel lucky, honored and touched. I am proud of my team," Xu said of having the paper finally published. 

In the study, the researchers made a realistic situation in which participants could actually experience the time of waiting to receive something, with payoffs and units of time adjusted to be smaller altogether, while at a computer. 

This worked by having a participant make decisions between coins that were small and could be received immediately, or larger ones that required a waiting period in seconds before they could be picked up. For each choice, the participant could thus wait and get something larger, or take the smaller reward. Two groups received identical choice options but differed on whether they had to wait to receive the larger payoff after each choice was made or not. In other words, one group experienced the delay after each selection, whereas the other group did not and expected waiting at the end of the experiment instead.

Before the results, González Vallejo thought that the time to wait was so small that it wouldn't matter to participants. If it was only a few seconds, surely they would take the larger reward every time, she thought. However, that was not the result. 

"We found that in both situations, people did make the tradeoff between time and money. It wasn't that they would just go for few more cents every time because the amounts of time were too small to even think about them. So, delays matter—even seconds to people matter," González Vallejo said. "In general, people are just very impatient." 

Xu said, "[The results] overturned our initial plans and predictions, and led us towards something surprising, or to a direction we had never thought of."

Using mathematical modeling, two reasons for the findings include that time feels longer when experiencing it and the amount of the reward is devalued when it is delayed, with the study finding support for both reasonings. Future empirical tests are needed to test these ideas further. 

Although the research project was started a couple years ago, González Vallejo noted that the findings can be applicable to the current pandemic. 

For example, while some countries implemented earlier and longer lockdowns and mask mandates, others showed hesitation to implement such policies or did not wait through the mandates long enough for cases to decrease substantially, with cases continuing to grow. 

"I think a lot of experts right now come together and agree on some studies that have shown that if [the United States] had remained in lockdown, or if lockdowns were done earlier and longer, perhaps things would have unfolded differently," González Vallejo said. "Waiting is not easy, as our study showed, and I think future research in terms of analyzing different countries' policies with that in mind will show how some policies requiring patience ended up giving different outcomes for this pandemic." 

Publishing in a flagship APA journal is extremely competitive and difficult, thus relief exists among the team for the accomplishment to have the work finally published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: General after several months.

"When I saw the final publication, I felt that I have graduated for the second time," Xu said. "I am lucky having [that] kind of experience."


Low plasma 25(OH) vitamin D level associated with increased risk of COVID-19 infection

Bar Ilan University (Israel), July 28, 2020


Vitamin D is recognized as an important co-factor in several physiological processes linked with bone and calcium metabolism, and also in diverse non-skeletal outcomes, including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cognitive decline, and infections. In particular, the pronounced impact of vitamin D metabolites on the immune system response, and on the development of COVID-19 infection by the novel SARS CoV-2 virus, has been previously described in a few studies worldwide.

The collaborative group of scientists from the Leumit Health Services (LHS) and the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University aimed to determine associations of low plasma 25(OH)D with the risk of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization. Using the real-world data and Israeli cohort of 782 COVID-19 positive patients and 7,807 COVID-19 negative patients, the groups identified that low plasma vitamin D level appears to be an independent risk factor for COVID-19 infection and hospitalization. The research was just published in The FEBS Journal.

"The main finding of our study was the significant association of low plasma vitamin D level with the likelihood of COVID-19 infection among patients who were tested for COVID-19, even after adjustment for age, gender, socio-economic status and chronic, mental and physical disorders," said Dr. Eugene Merzon, Head of the Department of Managed Care and leading researcher of the LHS group. "Furthermore, low vitamin D level was associated with the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection, although this association wasn't significant after adjustment for other confounders," he added. "Our finding is in agreement with the results of previous studies in the field. Reduced risk of acute respiratory tract infection following vitamin D supplementation has been reported," said Dr. Ilan Green, Head of the LHS Research Institute.

"According to our analysis, persons that were COVID-19 positive were older than non-infected persons. Interestingly, the two-peak distributions for age groups were demonstrated to confer increased risk for COVID-19: around ages 25 and 50 years old," said Dr. Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, the leader of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine research group. "The first peak may be explained by high social gathering habits at the young age. The peak at age 50 years may be explained by continued social habits, in conjunction with various chronic diseases," Dr. Frenkel-Morgenstern continued.

"Surprisingly, chronic medical conditions, like dementia, cardiovascular disease, and chronic lung disease that were considered to be very risky in previous studies, were not found as increasing the rate of infection in our study," noted Prof. Shlomo Vinker, LHS Chief Medical Officer. "However, this finding is highly biased by the severe social contacts restrictions that were imposed on all the population during the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, we assume that following the Israeli Ministry of Health instructions, patients with chronic medical conditions significantly reduced their social contacts. This might indeed minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection in that group of patients," explained Prof. Vinker.

Dr. Dmitry Tworowski and Dr. Alessandro Gorohovski. from the Frenkel-Morgenstern laboratory at Bar-Ilan University's Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, suggest that the study will have a very significant impact. "The main strength of our study is its being large, real-world, and population-based," they explained. Now researchers are planning to evaluate factors associated with mortality due to COVID-19 in Israel. "We are willing to find associations to the COVID-19 clinical outcomes (for example, pre-infection glycemic control of COVID-19 patients) to make the assessment of mortality risk due to COVID-19 infection in Israel," said Dr. Eugene Merzon.


Oral N-acetylcysteine improved cone function in retinitis pigmentosa patients 

Johns Hopkins University, July 23, 2020


According to news reporting out of Baltimore, Maryland, by NewsRx editors, research stated, “In retinitis pigmentosa (RP), rod photoreceptors degenerate from 1 of many mutations, after which cones are compromised by oxidative stress. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reduces oxidative damage and increases cone function/survival in RP models.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Johns Hopkins University, “We tested the safety, tolerability, and visual function effects of oral NAC in RP patients. Subjects (n = 10 per cohort) received 600 mg (cohort 1), 1200 mg (cohort 2), or 1800 mg (cohort 3) NAC bid for 12 weeks and then tid for 12 weeks. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), macular sensitivity, ellipsoid zone (EZ) width, and aqueous NAC were measured. Linear mixed-effects models were used to estimate the rates of changes during the treatment period. There were 9 drug related gastrointestinal adverse events that resolved spontaneously or with dose reduction (maximum tolerated dose 1800 mg bid). During the 24-week treatment period, mean BCVA significantly improved at 0.4 (95% CI: 0.2-0.6, P< 0.001), 0.5 (95% CI: 0.3-0.7, P< 0.001), and 0.2 (95% CI: 0.02-0.4, P = 0.03) letters/month in cohorts 1, 2, and 3, respectively. There was no significant improvement in mean sensitivity over time in cohorts land 2, but there was in cohort 3 (0.15 dB/month, 95% CI: 0.04-0.26). There was no significant change in mean EZ width in any cohort. Oral NAC is safe and well tolerated in patients with moderately advanced RP and may improve suboptimally functioning macular cones.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial is needed to determine if oral NAC can provide long-term stabilization and/or improvement in visual function in patients with RP.”



Excessive screen time for toddlers linked to less physical activity, stunted development

National University of Singapore, July 21, 2020


As the world continues to advance, technology is becoming a bigger part of every child’s development. Playing on various digital devices for too long, however, can be just as bad for kids as it is for adults. A recent study says excessive screen time may stunt a child’s growth, especially if they start using devices around age two or three.

Researchers in Singapore examined over 500 children. Their findings lead them to recommend parents follow World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, which advise limiting a child’s screen time to one hour per day. This amount should be even less for children younger than five.

Tracking the many forms of screen time

Study authors say screen time tends to replace time children usually spend sleeping or engaging in physical activity. This can lead to a variety of health problems, including high risk of obesity and lower mental development.


Until this report, researchers say most studies focus on school-aged children and adolescents, producing mixed results.

“We sought to determine whether screen viewing habits at age two to three affected how children spent their time at age five. In particular we were interested in whether screen viewing affected sleep patterns and activity levels later in childhood,” researcher Falk Müller-Riemenschneider explains in a media release.

Parents were asked to report on their children’s screen time at age two and again one year later. Activities like playing video games, watching TV, and using a tablet or phone were all included in the results.

When the children turned five, they continuously wore an activity tracker for seven days. That tracker monitors sleep, time spent sitting, and how much light-to-strenuous physical activity the youngsters get.

How do youngsters spend their time?

On average, the average child watches 2.5 hours of television. TV is the most used device. Children spending at least three hours a day in front of a screen are also spending an average of 40 more minutes sitting down compared to more active five year-olds.

The results also reveal children at age five are also less active if they’ve been using devices too much early on. Those youths are getting about 30 minutes less light activity each day and 10 minutes less vigorous exercise as well.

“Our findings support public health efforts to reduce screen viewing time in young children,” Bozhi Chen from the National University of Singapore says.

Sleep habits do not seem to be heavily affected by too much screen usage.

Room for improvement

Researchers note the results also need to take into account biases by the parents. They believe some adults may leave out information on their child’s diet, sleep patterns, and environmental factors such as childcare.

Dr. Dorothea Dumuid of the University of South Australia, who is not a part of the study, argues the findings aren’t enough to definitively link screen time with reduced physical activity.

“In this rapidly evolving digital age, children’s screen use is a key concern for parents and medical bodies. Guidelines to limit screen time have been released by many governments and WHO, however, screens offer digital and social connectedness and educational opportunities,” she says. “Future research is needed to assess the influence of media content, to determine optimum durations of screen time.”

Chen and the team from the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health say more studies are necessary to determine the long-term health effects of the growing digital influence on kids.



Research shows Mexican walnut can protect the kidneys from ischemic injury

Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León School of Medicine (Mexico), July 24, 2020


Some species from the genus Juglans – the largest and most widely distributed of the eight genera in the walnut family – have diverse biological activities, such as anti-hypertensive, antioxidant, lipolytic (fat-metabolizing), anti-hyperglycemic, anti-lipidemic and anti-proliferative properties. Studies suggest that these activities may be useful in the treatment of a wide variety of ailments, ranging from minor complaints like diarrhea and stomach pain to more serious conditions like arthritis, diabetes and cancer.

Juglans mollis, commonly known as Mexican walnut, is traditionally used to make medicine in northeastern Mexico. Parts of this medium-sized tree are said to be effective against microbial infections and ulcers. Although reports about its biological properties vary, the bark extract of the Mexican walnut tree has consistently been found to have antioxidant, hepatoprotective and anti-mycobacterial activities.

In a recent study, Mexican researchers evaluated the biological activity of Mexican walnut bark extract. Specifically, they investigated whether it can protect against damage caused by ischemia-reperfusion (I/R). Also known as reoxygenation injury, I/R damage occurs when blood supply to a section of tissue or an organ returns (reperfusion) after a period of ischemia, or lack of oxygen.

The researchers reported their findings in an article published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Mexican walnut bark exhibits kidney-protective activity

Oxidative stress – an imbalance between the production of free radicals and antioxidants – and inflammation are two events involved in I/R injury. But recent studies suggest that Mexican walnut has antioxidant properties that can help reduce the damage caused by I/R.

To determine if it can protect the kidneys from I/R damage, the researchers tested its bark extract on a rat model of I/R injury. They divided 24 rats into four groups, which were designated as the sham group, the I/R group, the extract group and the extract plus I/R group.

The researchers pretreated two groups with the bark extract (300 mg/kg) for seven?days before inducing I/R. This step involved clamping the renal hilums for 45 minutes then reperfusing the kidneys for 15 hours.

The researchers then took blood samples to evaluate the levels of kidney function markers (i.e., alanine aminotransferase (ALT), blood urea nitrogen and creatinine), oxidative stress markers (i.e., superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA)) and pro-inflammatory molecules (i.e., interleukin-1B (IL-1B), IL-6 and TNF-a).

The researchers found that the extract plus?I/R group had lower creatinine, ALT, MDA, IL-1B, IL-6 and TNF-levels than the I/R group. On the other hand, the extract plus?I/R group had higher levels of SOD, an antioxidant enzyme, than the sham group. These findings suggest that the Mexican walnut bark extract can not only reduce kidney injury but also improve blood antioxidant levels.

In addition, compared with the sham group, the researchers observed no biochemical or histological damage in the rats treated with the extract. The rats in the extract?plus?I/R group also had less histological damage than the rats in the I/R group. (Related: Black cumin prevents kidney damage.)

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the bark of the Mexican walnut tree can protect against I/R-induced kidney damage. This activity may be attributed to the plant’s ability to decrease inflammation and modulate oxidative stress markers (SOD and MDA).


Magnesium-Rich Foods and Why You Need Them

GreenMedInfo, July 23, 2020


You may have a low level of magnesium in your diet that is preventing you from reaping important health benefits

Magnesium (Mg) is considered a healthy mineral essential to your body, but it is estimated that 75% of Americans and people around the world are well below the recommended daily intake of Mg.[i] Luckily, there is an easy fix, since magnesium is bountiful in many foods. 

Bright leafy greens/veggies (magnesium gives them that rich green color) top the magnesium-dense list including spinach, chard, broccoli and kale, followed closely by legumes such as lima beans, black beans, peas and edamame (soybean).[ii] When it comes to snacks, seeds[iii] (pumpkin and flax), nuts[iv] (almonds, cashews, peanut butter) and dark chocolate[v] pack a high magnesium punch.

Healthy omega-3 fats and magnesium are also abundant in salmon, tuna and avocado.[vi] Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, buckwheat and even wild rice (technically a grass) are filled with magnesium.[vii] For a list of the top 25 magnesium-rich foods, see Table 1.

Table 1

25 Foods Rich in Magnesium


Magnesium (100% Daily Value = 420 mg)


1 cup cooked

157 mg (37%)


1 cup

157 mg (37%)

Seeds (Pumpkin and Squash)

1 ounce

156 mg (37%)

Lima Beans

1 cup cooked

126 mg (30%)

Black Beans

1 cup cooked

120 mg (29%)


1 cup

118 mg (28%)


6 oz fillet (high in mercury)

109 mg (26%)


¼ cup

105 mg (25%)


¼ cup

90 mg (21%)

Brown Rice

1 cup

86 mg (20%)


1 cup or 1 ounce dry

65 mg (15%)

Dark Chocolate

1 ounce square (70% cocoa)

64 mg (15%)


1 cup

60 mg (14%)



58 mg (14%)


½ fillet (178 grams)

53 mg (13%)

Wild Rice

1 cup

52 mg (12%)

Edamame (Soybean)

½ cup

50 mg (12%)


½ cup (don't overcook)

50 mg (12%)


½ cup

50 mg (12%)


1 cup cooked

50 mg (12%)

Peanut Butter

2 Tablespoons

49 mg (12%)


1 cup

47 mg (11%)

Flaxseed Oil or Flaxseed

1 Tablespoon or ½ Tablespoon

42 mg (10%)


1 cup sliced

41 mg (10%)


1 cup (raw)

37 mg (8%)

Benefits of Eating Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium in your diet helps to prevent diseases and lessen the harshness of some diseases if you get them. Magnesium has neuroprotective, cardio-protective, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity and hypoglycemic properties.

A magnesium deficiency or low level of magnesium in your food creates an out of balance condition in your body linked to many diseases from diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome to depression and neurological disorders.


Magnesium has many protective properties, such as glucose or blood sugar moderating and insulin regulating, lowering risk for Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and improving outcomes for Type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Magnesium intake significantly improved glucose parameters in people with diabetes and also improved insulin-sensitivity parameters in those at high risk of diabetes in a review of 18 randomized clinical trials, including a total of 670 diabetic and 453 at risk for diabetes patients.[viii]

In another meta-analysis of 637,922 individuals, the risk of T2D was reduced by 17% across all the studies; 19% in women and 16% in men when magnesium was increased in their diet.[ix]

A magnesium deficiency is seen as a contributing factor in insulin resistance for T2D patients.[x] In a 2017 study of 71 children with T1D, magnesium supplementation improved glycemic control and lipid profiles while decreasing complications such as hypomagnesaemia (clinical magnesium deficiency).[xi] For the 52,684 without known diabetes, dietary magnesium was found to lower fasting glucose and insulin, two risk factors for diabetes.[xii]

Heart Disease

Because of chronic diseases, medications, decreases in food crop magnesium contents, and higher availability of refined and processed foods, the vast majority of people in modern societies are at risk for magnesium deficiency (often undiagnosed) and magnesium dietary supplementation is an easy and low cost way to lower the risks for a variety of heart diseases.[xiii]

In a meta-analysis of 532,979 participants from 19 studies, the greatest risk reduction for cardiovascular disease (CVD) occurred when magnesium intake increased from 150 to 400 milligrams (mg) per day.[xiv] In a meta-analysis of 48 genetic studies with a total of 60,801 coronary artery disease (CAD) cases and 123,504 non-cases, researchers found that serum magnesium levels are inversely associated with risk of heart disease.[xv]

Magnesium supplementation is also seen as a successful preventative mechanism (by improving lipid profiles, fasting glucose and blood pressure)[xvi] to heart disease complications (a leading cause of death from T2 diabetes).[xvii],[xviii]

Metabolic Syndrome

Generally, the triad of obesity, high blood pressure and impaired glucose tolerance, as in T2D (insulin resistance), is referred to as metabolic syndrome.[xix] In a meta-analysis of six studies, including a total of 24,473 individuals and 6,311 cases of metabolic syndrome, a higher dietary magnesium level lowered the risk of metabolic syndrome by 17%.[xx]

Magnesium supplementation has also been shown to lower blood pressure measures significantly in those with high blood pressure taking anti-hypertensive medication (135 subjects); systolic blood pressure decreased by 18.7 points and diastolic blood pressure dropped by an average of 10.9 points. 



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