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Friday, 22 November 2013

LSUHSC research finds combo of plant nutrients kills breast cancer cells

A study led by Madhwa Raj, PhD, Research Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and its Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, has found that a super cocktail of six natural compounds in vegetables, fruits, spices and plant roots killed 100% of sample breast cancer cells without toxic side effects on normal cells. The results, which also revealed potential treatment target genes, are published in the November 2013 issue of The Journal of Cancer.
"One of the primary causes of both the recurrence of breast cancer and deaths is a small group of cancer stem cells that evade therapy," notes Dr. Raj. "These often multi-drug-resistant cells have the ability to generate new tumors, so it is critically important to develop new approaches to more effective and safer treatment or prevention of breast cancer."
The research team tested ten known protective chemical nutrients found in foods like broccoli, grapes, apples, tofu, and turmeric root (a spice used in Indian curry) before settling upon six – Curcumin known as tumeric, Isoflavone from soybeans, Indo-3-Carbinol from cruciferous plants, C-phycocyanin from spirulina, Reservatrol from grapes, and Quercetin, a flavonoid present in fruits, vegetables, and tea. The researchers administered these six at bioavailable levels to both breast cancer and control cells. They tested the compounds individually and in combination. They found that the compounds were ineffective individually. When combined, though, the super cocktail suppressed breast cancer cell growth by more than 80%, inhibited migration and invasion, caused cell cycle arrest, and triggered the process leading to cell death resulting in the death of 100% of the breast cancer cells in the sample. The researchers observed no harmful effects on the control cells. Further analysis also identified several key genes, which could serve as markers to follow the progress of therapy.
Although the cocktail was not tested against BRCA1 and BRAC2, previous studies have shown that they are molecular targets of four of the six compounds. The researchers also earlier demonstrated that two of the compounds synergize effectively to kill ovarian cancer cells.
According to the National Cancer Institute's SEER Program, which includes data from LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, breast cancer is the second most common cancer with 232,340 new cases estimated this year and 39,620 deaths. There are an estimated 2,829,041 women currently living with breast cancer in the United States.
Source:Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center 

Health ministry makes audio-visual recording of informed consent mandatory for trials

Apparently browbeaten by the Supreme Court for not maintaining the required level of transparency in clinical trials in the country, the union health ministry has made mandatory the audio-visual recording of informed consent process of each subject who participates in the clinical trials in the country. This is in addition to the requirement of obtaining written informed consent from the participating subjects.
The health ministry's rather belated action in this regard comes after the Supreme Court's recent directive to the government while delivering its order in a writ petition filed by the NGO Swasthya Adhikar Manch, Indore against the ministry of health and family welfare regarding lack of transparency in clinical trials. As per the apex court order dated on 21.10.2013, in respect of five global clinical trials for which approval has been given by the DCGI office from January 1, 2013 to August 31, 2013, before the clinical trials are conducted, appropriate provision should be made or administrative direction should be issued which ensures that audio-visual recording of the informed consent process of the participants is done and the documentation preserved, adhering to the principles of confidentially.
“In view of the above, it has been decided with the approval of the ministry of health and family welfare, that in all clinical trials, in addition to the requirement of obtaining written informed consent, audio-visual recording of the informed consent process of each trial subject, including the procedure of providing information to the subject and his/her understanding on such consent is required to be done while adhering to the principles of confidentially. Such audio-visual recording and related documentation would be preserved. This is applicable to the new subjects to be enrolled in all clinical trials including global clinical trials,” Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr GN Singh in his order said, and added further that “All the sponsors/investigators/institutes/organisations and other stakeholders involved in conduct of clinical trials in the country are hereby directed to adhere to the above requirement of audio-visual recording of informed consent process of trial subjects with immediate effect.”

Source:Pharmabiz

Insomnia Linked to Mortality Risk

In men, insomnia is associated with an increased risk of mortality, says study.The study's lead author Yanping Li from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) said that their research also showed that among men who experience specific symptoms of insomnia, there is a modest increase risk in death from cardiovascular-related issues. 
Specifically, researchers report that difficulty falling sleep and non-restorative sleep were both associated with a higher risk of mortality, particularly mortality related to cardiovascular disease. 
Researchers followed more than 23,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who self-reported insomnia symptoms for a period of six years. 
After adjusting for lifestyle factors, age and other chronic conditions, researchers found that men who reported difficulty initiating sleep and non-restorative sleep had a 55 percent and 32 percent increased risk of CVD-related mortality over the six year follow up, respectively, when compared to men who did not report these insomnia-related symptoms. 
The study will be published in Circulation.
Source:Circulation
 

Cannabis Use Among Teens is on the Rise in Some Developing Countries: Study

 Cannabis Use Among Teens is on the Rise in Some Developing Countries: StudyUse of cannabis is stable or increasing in developing countries and declining in rich countries, finds study published in Addiction.
The study looked at cannabis use among 15-year-old adolescents in thirty European and North American countries in 2002, 2006, and 2010. The overall results showed a significant decline in cannabis use. Affluent countries in Western and Southern Europe and North America (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, USA) showed a decrease in frequent cannabis consumption among 15-year-old boys and/or girls. 
But the emerging market countries that have recently experienced a rapid increase in their GDP showed stable or increasing cannabis use. In three of the twelve former communist countries in Eastern, Central, and Southern Europe, cannabis use increased among boys (FYR Macedonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and in one, it increased among girls (Russia). In the remaining nine countries, cannabis use among 15-year-olds appears to have stabilized over time. Adolescents from less affluent countries seem to have adopted consumption patterns consistent with their peers in richer countries. 
The recent decrease in cannabis use in richer countries and among higher socioeconomic status groups could be explained by the recently increased attention on the harmful effects of substance use for young people and the subsequent implementation of public health prevention measures aimed at reducing substance use. Thus, while wealth in earlier decades fostered adolescent substance use due to increased opportunities for use, nowadays, national health policies in wealthy countries may have contributed to the observed decrease of adolescent cannabis use. 

Source:Addiction 

Spread of Cancer Cells Can Be Stopped By Manipulating Proteins

It is important to understand how and why cancer cells move away from their original location so as to find ways to stop the spread of the disease. New findings, published in the Nature journalOncogene, reveal how a protein, called 'PRH', is normally able to prevent cells from unnecessary migration. It is likely that this protein is less effective in cancer cells allowing the cells to venture away.Researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham, who have been studying breast and prostate cancer cells, show how manipulating PRH's levels in cancer cells can hinder their ability to penetrate into neighbouring environments, potentially preventing them from entering nearby blood vessels. The findings could lead to new ways of combating the spread of the disease in multiple cancers. 
PRH belongs to a group of proteins known as 'transcription factors', meaning its role is to interact with DNA to 'switch' particular genes 'on' or 'off'. Scientists have been aware of PRHs' role in controlling cell growth and specification for some time. For example, it is essential for the healthy development of foetuses but this is the first time PRH has been implicated in the movement of cancer cells. 
After growing normal and cancerous breast and prostate cells in the laboratory the team used genetic techniques to either increase or decrease PRH levels. The team then examined the cells and found that without PRH, the cells migrated much faster, and were able to invade through a porous gel more efficiently. 
The researchers show that PRH is responsible for 'switching on' another protein called Endoglin, which has also been shown to be important in cell migration. The low levels of PRH found in cancer cells leads to low levels of Endoglin, and therefore results in increased cell migration and enhanced invasion. Interestingly, adding additional Endoglin to cancer cells with no PRH was sufficient to reduce their migration and invasion. 
Dr Kevin Gaston, co-author of the study and Reader at Bristol's School of Biochemistry in the Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences, said: "It is not simply the growth of cancers but their ability to move to multiple locations in the body that makes the disease so deadly. PRH transcription factor inhibits the migration of normal and cancerous breast cells and prostate cells and this represents a novel mechanism that could be important in multiple cancers." 
Dr Padma-Sheela Jayaraman, co-author of the study and Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, said: "Here we show for the first time that the PRH transcription factor inhibits the migration of normal and cancerous breast cells and prostate cells. This work reveals exciting new targets for future translational research." 
Importantly, as this mechanism appears to apply to more than one cancer type, PRH regulation of Endoglin may represent a novel method for controlling migration that could potentially be exploited to treat multiple cancers. 
Katherine Woods, Research Information Manager at Breast Cancer Campaign, said: "This interesting work has brought us another step closer to understanding how breast cancer cells move and spread around the body, and closer to knowing how we could stop this spread to help women outlive the disease. This research is all the more valuable because it could have implications for other cancers such as prostate and thyroid cancer, and some leukaemias."
Source:Journal Oncogene 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

How Pharmaceuticals Came To Be The 4th Leading Cause Of Death In America

lisaPrescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in America. (1) People know this to be true, they know it to be appalling, but it’s still seen as incomprehensible and absurd. How could medicine hurt so many people? We all know that side-effects happen, but they are thought to be rare. They must be rare, right? We all know some good, kind, generous, thoughtful doctors who want nothing more for their patients than health and happiness, so they certainly aren’t giving their patients drugs that hurt them, are they? We know that the FDA is a federal bureaucracy, so it must be too restrictive of the pharmaceutical industry, right? And the FDA is supposed to protect consumers, so we’re as safe as we can be, right? And people can sue, so the legal system must be keeping the bad aspects of the medical system in check, right? All of these questions, and many more, bring up some cognitive dissonance for people when they’re faced with the fact that prescription drugs, used as prescribed, kill an inordinate a number of people. It brings up the questions -
How do prescription drugs get to be the 4th leading cause of death in America? How does that happen?
Here is a tale of how prescription drugs, used as prescribed, kill people.
Kerstin (age 30) comes down with a urinary tract infection. It’s a Saturday so her regular doctor’s office is closed. Urinary tract infections are painful so she knows that she can’t wait ‘til Monday to get treatment. She goes to an Emergency Services Clinic close to her house. She tells them that she has a urinary tract infection and they write her a prescription for Cipro (Ciprofloxacin – a fluoroquinolone antibiotic). They do not culture her urine because they don’t have the time or capacity to do so. It doesn’t matter what kind of bacteria is in her urine though, they know that Cipro will kill it because Cipro is a broad-spectrum antibiotic and it will kill all the offending bacteria in her urinary tract, plus some.
Kerstin is relieved. Her painful urinary tract and bladder are about to be healed.
Kerstin takes two 500 mg. pills of Cipro two times a day for a week. On the 5th day of taking Cipro, Kerstin starts to feel a bit off. Her bladder feels full even when it isn’t, she has dark “floaters” interfering with her vision and she feels anxious. She doesn’t think anything of these things. They’re strange, but not too worrisome. She doesn’t think for a second that they could be due to the antibiotic that she is taking. Kerstin finishes the seven day course of Cipro. Her urinary tract infection is gone and she is pleased about that. Her bladder fullness, floaters and anxiety come and go and she doesn’t think much of them.
Ten days pass in which Kerstin feels fine. On the eleventh day after she has finished taking Cipro, she starts taking ibuprofen to treat menstrual cramps. On the thirteenth day after she has finished taking the Cipro, it feels as if a bomb goes off in her body. Her hands and feet swell to twice their normal size. It becomes painful for her to walk or to do anything with her hands. Her knees are burning as if every tendon in them is inflamed. She is weak. She develops hives all over her body. Her anxiety levels are sky-high.
Kerstin goes to the doctor. The doctor says that the hives are a result of an allergic reaction and tells her to take Benadryl. Kerstin asks the doctor why she can barely walk when she was going to the gym daily just a few days earlier. The doctor says that she doesn’t know, but that she will run tests.
Kerstin takes Benadryl but it doesn’t seem to help. She goes back to the doctor for something stronger. She is put on prednisone.
The swelling in her hands and feet goes down, but her other symptoms worsen. She develops insomnia. She sprains her wrist while opening a jar. Intermittent pain throughout her body, but especially in her legs, begins. She loses her memory and has trouble concentrating.
Her test results come back. They are all “normal.”
Her pain worsens. She is diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. She asks the doctor who diagnoses her with Fibromyalgia how she could have gone from being healthy and active to being disabled and in pain, now with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. The doctor mutters something about mysterious diseases and unexplained symptoms. Kerstin asks if her symptoms could be related to any of the medications that she took – Cipro, ibuprofen and prednisone. The doctor says no. More tests are run to see if there are other causes of Kerstin’s symptoms.
Kerstin is put on Lyrica to help her with her Fibromyalgia pain.
The Lyrica seems to help some of her pain but her mental symptoms get worse while she is on it. In addition to her already existing memory and concentration problems, Kerstin develops brain-fog. She feels slow, stupid and like she is living in a dream. She gains 15 pounds in two months. Her hair starts to fall out. She feels suicidal. She is taken off of Lyrica by her doctor.
Kerstin continues to have problems in her joints, especially her wrists, knees and ankles, so she is not surprised when she is diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. She starts seeing a Rheumatologist who puts her on Humira. Humira decreases some of her inflammation symptoms but many of her other symptoms remain. She receives Humira treatments for 2 years.
After two years of Humira treatments, Kerstin is diagnosed with hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma – cancer. She dies on the operating table when her surgeon attempts to remove the lymph nodes on her neck that had been affected by the cancer. She is 34 years old when she passes away.
Kerstin’s story is fictionalized, but it is far from fantasy. Stories like hers happen every day. A large portion of her story is my own and it was both true and horrifying to experience. Stories that are significantly worse, where a doctor’s injection site turn into a staph or MRSA infection to start the whole process, or where anti-psychotic medications that the patient are put on drive her to homicide or suicide. And I didn’t delve into the PAIN that comes with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity (Cipro is a fluoroquinolone and the others are just as bad, if not worse), so it’s a light fictionalized version – with the hope that you’ll find the horror to be believable, because it is very, very real for too many people.
The Explanations, Journal Articles and Facts behind Kerstin’s Story
I don’t expect you to accept the story above as fact without some thorough explanation. Here is the information behind my assertions:
The antibiotic that Kerstin took is Cipro (Ciprofloxacin). Cipro is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, along with Levaquin, Avelox, Floxin and a few other less commonly used drugs in the fluoroquinolone class. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are the “big guns” of antibiotics. They are broad spectrum antibiotics that will kill all bacteria in their path. (2) They are frequently prescribed to treat urinary tract infections (3) because they penetrate kidney tissue well (4).
Cipro, and all the other fluroquinolones, have terrible side-effects. Many of the awful side-effects that can be experienced, often all at once, are listed on the Cipro Warning Label. However, many things are left off of the warning label, they are listed onhttp://www.ciproispoison.com/.
Additionally, here are articles backing up Kerstin’s symptoms:
  • Vision Floaters – The JAMA article entitled “Oral Fluoroquinolones and the Risk of Retinal Detachment” notes that fluoroquinolones increase the incidence of Retinal Detachment (5). If the connective tissue in your eye is damaged, visual disturbances, including floaters, can result.
  • Anxiety – The Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practices’ article entitled “Levofloacin-induced Acute Anxiety and Insomnia” notes that Levofloxacin (another fluoroquinolone – Levaquin) can induce anxiety and insomnia (6) Cipro/Ciprofloxacin can do the same.
  • Bladder fullness – This is a symptom that I experience, along with many other people suffering from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity. I’m not completely sure what it stems from, but here are a couple of possibilities. This article in the Journal of Urology entitled “Role of Mitochondria in Ciprofloxacin Induced Apoptosis in Bladder Cancer Cells” notes that Cipro disturbs the mitochondria in bladder cells and causes apoptosis (cell death) (7). It is also possible that the feeling of bladder fullness is a result of dysglycemia as it is noted in an article in Medscape Medical News that fluoroquinolones increase the risk of severe dysglycemia in diabetics. Additionally, “one fluoroquinolone antibiotic, gatifloxacin (Tequin, Bristol-Myers Squibb), was already withdrawn from the US market in 2006 due to the risk for severe dysglycemia” (8)
  • Pain and swelling in hands and feet – This symptom can be more succinctly described as peripheral neuropathy. The FDA issued an update to the labels for fluoroquinolones noting that PERMANENT Peripheral Neuropathy is a possibility in August, 2013 (9). This neuropathy may stem from destruction of the Myelin caused by the fluoroquinolone.
There are likely other causes and reasons for Peripheral Neuropathy being a result of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, including the production of neurotoxins caused by the drugs (10) and the fracturing of DNA (11).
  • Skin problems like hives/uticaria/rashes are listed on the warning label
  • Tendon pain/tear/strain/rupture – This adverse effect is so well documented that fluoroquinolones carry a black box warning about the danger of rupturing a tendon on the top of the warning label. An article in Musculoskeletal Medicine entitled “Musculoskeltal Complications of Fluoroquinolones: Guidelines and Precautions for Usage in the Athletic Population” notes that young, healthy, athletic people’s muscles and tendons are adversely effected by fluoroquinolones (12)
  • Fibromyalgia – Mysterious, sometimes intermittent, sometimes constant, pain is common among those with fluoroquinolone toxicity. The information above about peripheral neuropathy should ring a lot of bells for those diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  Additionally, Carboxylic Acid is attached to the quinolone molecule (13). It is a known neurotoxin. (14 and15) Also, a quinolone studied in the article “Cytotoxcicity of Quinolones toward Eukaryotic Cells” notes that quinolones “kills cells by converting the (topoisomerase) type II ezyme into a cellular poison.” (16) Cellular poisons can lead to pain.
  • A diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis – Per Toxicologist, Professor Joe King, “when a cell is malfunctioning (due to a mutation caused by a toxin or radiation) the body deems it alien and begins and autoimmune response as a defense mechanism. Thus producing positive autoimmune antibodies in lab tests, but in actuality you don’t really have the disease, it is bad cells. For example I test positive for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but I don’t have RA, I have Fibrillan Connective Tissue destruction upon biopsy. But the doctor reads the lab report for RA and recommends anti-inflammatory steroids.Bad diagnosis, because the problem is not RA but Fibrillan and steroids will dissolve the Fibrillan faster.” Also per Professor King, “the cells in your tissue, organs, etc. are not functioning correctly, there is a mutation in there somewhere and the body is reacting to this weird cells as alien, thus producing an inflammatory process (which is painful).” Additionally, it should be noted that Cipro was found to cause chromosomal abnormalities in immune system cells. (17)
I mentioned NSAIDs and steroids. Both NSAIDs and steroids are contraindicated with fluoroquinolones (18 and 12). Please note that Kerstin didn’t take NSAIDs or steroids at the same time as the Cipro. Both NSAIDs and steroids are contraindicated for any person who has ever experienced an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone, likely because of the production of acyl glucuronides, “which are chemically reactive electrophiles formed by carboxylic acid-containing drugs” (15) and/or because of the depletion of the CPY450 enzymes by quinolones/fluoroquinolones that leave the body unable to metabolize other drugs (19and 20).
How do fluoroquinolone ANTIBIOTICS cause all that harm? The harm that they cause is in the essence of the way they work. They are the “first antibacterial agents that efficiently inhibited DNA replication.” (21) Antibiotics in the penicillin and cephalosporin classes, by comparison, work by disrupting bacterial cell walls, not by doing anything to bacterial, or human, DNA. Fluoroquinolones also form “a poisonous adduct on DNA” (21). Fluoroquinolones cause chromosomal abnormalities in human cells (17) and also have tumor killing qualities (22). While that might sound great on the surface, if you read between the lines you’ll note that if these drugs kill tumor cells, they kill human cells. Fluoroquinolones cause apoptosis, programmed cell death, at a massive rate (23). Patient studies have shown, through a DNA Adduct Mass Spectrogram Analysis, that quinolone molecules have adducted to their DNA. Adducting to and breaking human DNA can cause every single one of the problems that Kerstin experienced, all of the problems listed on the FDA warning label for these drugs, and more. It’s a bad idea to mess with human DNA and chromosomes – a look back at the history of Agent Orange will tell you why this is true.
The consequences of the DNA destruction done by fluoroquinolones is yet to be established. An article was published in Nature in September, 2013 connecting topoisomerase inhibiting drugs (fluoroquinolones inhibit topoisomerases II and IV (24)) with triggering the expression of autism related genes. I wrote about this on CE – http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/09/18/a-horrifying-cause-of-autism-dna-damage-from-synthetic-antibiotics/ Of course, more studies need to be done to determine the implications of this study.
Studies of the DNA make-up of Gulf War Veterans and their children may also be revealing as all 1991 Gulf War Veterans were given Cipro prophylactically because of fear of anthrax (25). Likewise, in 2001 United States Postal Workers who took Cipro prophylactically, also to prevent anthrax, and any ensuing health issues that they have (57% reported side-effects -26) may be related to their exposure to fluoroquinolones.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are dangerous drugs that have been used recklessly since their introduction to the market as a first-choice broad-spectrum antibiotic. They are likely responsible for many of the “mysterious” illnesses that have been on the rise since the early 1980s when Cipro was patented by Bayer and Levaquin was patented by Johnson & Johnson. Everyone who has Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Thyroid Dysfunction, any Autoimmune Disease, Gulf War Syndrome, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Dysautonomia, etc. should look at their medical records to see if they have ever taken a fluoroquinolone. If a fluoroquinolone is in your past, fractured genes may have resulted, and thus your pain and suffering. Please note that adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones are often delayed for weeks or sometimes months or years after administration of the drugs has stopped and there is a tolerance threshold for metabolism of these drugs (20) so most people do not react to their first dose.Lyrica and Humira
Here is the warning label for Lyrica – (link – Source 27) Please note that suicidal ideation is one of the acknowledged adverse effects caused by this drug. Weight gain, difficulty concentrating, etc. are also listed on the warning label. Patient reports (these people aren’t lying) can be found on askapatient.com – Lyrica.
Humira, Enbrel and other TNF inhibiting drugs CAUSE CANCER. This is well documented and known. The warning labels for both Humira and Enbrel state in a big black box warning that various cancers are associated with use of those drugs. In case it needs to be spelled out, cancer can be deadly.
Here is an excellent blog post about how Humira can kill, and how it is marketed – http://davidhealy.org/welcome-to-the-humiraverse/
Conclusions
It is often noted as people are bemoaning the unwillingness of the pharmaceutical industry to create more antibiotics, that there isn’t enough money to be made from antibiotics to encourage their production. (28) While there may not be much money to be made in selling antibiotics directly, there is a whole lot of money to be made in treating autoimmune diseases. Humira reached $7.9 Billion in sales (29) in 2011 despite the undisputed fact that it causes cancer. If a class of antibiotics can cause the body to react as it would if it had an autoimmune disease for an extended period of time (the ill effects of fluorouquinolones can be permanent but they typically last from 6 to 36 months), and therefore a person gets diagnosed and treated for an autoimmune disease, though they don’t actually have the autoimmune disease, they actually have an autoimmune reaction to a poisonous drug, the pharmaceutical industry has effectively taken an acute problem, an infection, and converted it into a chronic problem, an autoimmune disease. Chronic conditions mean repeat customers and the pharmaceutical industry makes billions. (I doubt that this process is a conspiracy or even planned on the parts of the people in the pharmaceutical industry. Rather, I think that it is caused by willful ignorance among those in the medical professions, encouraged by greed and a complete lack of checks and balances on the pharmaceutical companies, those that have the most to gain in creating repeat customers.)
People are being hurt by their medicine and it is unacceptable. If harm is impossible to avoid completely, it should be minimized. There is zero effort on the part of Doctors, Pharmacists, the FDA or anyone else to minimize adverse effects of drugs. If an effort were being made, we would not be in the tragic situation that we’re in, with the pharmaceutical industry being the 4th leading cause of death of Americans.
The mantra of “all drugs have side-effects” has been so ingrained into the collective consciousness that we have come to think of it as acceptable that drugs have side-effects, and for drug side-effects to be devastating. In accepting this “better someone else than me” / “it can’t happen to me” attitude, we have given permission to the FDA to be inept, incompetent and lazy. In their ineptitude, they have ignored 15 years of research noting that commonly prescribed ANTIBIOTICS are damaging our DNA. We can only hope that this oversight caused by laziness and incompetence is not consequential to us all. Because I can accept the possibility that it may be worth it for society for me to be sacrificed so that we can have powerful antibiotics, but no drug of any sort, no matter what good it does, is worth sacrificing our collective DNA.
Post Script:  The author’s web site, with more information about fluoroquinolones, is www.floxiehope.com
Sources:
1.Donald W. Light, “Risky Drugs: Why the FDA Cannot be Trusted,” Harvard University, The Lab @ Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. http://www.ethics.harvard.edu/lab/blog/312-risky-drugs?layout=default#stay-informed
  1. Jane E. Brody, “Popular Antibiotics May Carry Serious Side Effects,” New York Times, September 10, 2012. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/popular-antibiotics-may-carry-serious-side-effects/?_r=1
  2. Web MD, Antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/antibiotics-for-urinary-tract-infections-utis
  3. DANA E. KING, M.D., ROBB MALONE, PHARM.D., and SANDRA H. LILLEY, PHARM.D., East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina, “New Classification and Update on the Quinolone Antibiotics” American Family Physician http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0501/p2741.html
  4. Mahyar Etminan, et. al., “Oral Fluoroquinolones and the Risk of Retinal Detachment” JAMA, April 4, 2012—Vol 307, No. 13 http://211.144.68.84:9998/91keshi/Public/File/40/307-13/pdf/joc25028_1414_1419.pdf
  5. Arun Kandasamy and D Srinath, “Levofloxacin-induced acute anxiety and insomnia” J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2012 May-Aug; 3(2): 212–214. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3410005/
  6. OLIVIA ARANHA, et. al., “ROLE OF MITOCHONDRIA IN CIPROFLOXACIN INDUCED APOPTOSIS IN BLADDER CANCER CELLS” The Journal of Urology
Volume 167, Issue 3, Pages 1288-1294, March 2002 http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347(05)65283-4/abstract
  7. Lisa Nainggolan, “Fluoroquinolones Up Risk for Severe Dysglycemia in Diabetes” Medscape Medical News, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/809442 Based on this article http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/07/23/cid.cit439.abstract
  8. 08/15/2013 FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA requires label changes to warn of risk for possibly permanent nerve damage from antibacterial fluoroquinolone drugs taken by mouth or by injection http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm365050.htm
  9. David A. Jernigan, “Lyme Toxins The Primary Cause of Your Symptoms” Townsend Letter. April, 2007. http://www.benbrew.com/lb/lyme5.pdf
  10. G. Palu, et. al., “Quinolone binding to DNA is mediated by magnesium ions” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 89, pp. 9671-9675, October 1992 Biochemistry http://www.pnas.org/content/89/20/9671.full.pdf
  11. Mederic M. Hall, MD, Jonathan T. Finnoff, DO, Jay Smith, MD, “Musculoskeletal Complications of Fluoroquinolones: Guidelines and Precautions for Usage in the Athletic Population” 2011 by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 3, 132-142, February 2011 http://www.levaquinadversesideeffect.com/wp-content/uploads/Documents/Hall-2011.pdf
  12. NAI-XUN CHIN AND HAROLD C. NEU, “Ciprofloxacin, a Quinolone Carboxylic Acid Compound Active Against Aerobic and Anaerobic Bacteria” ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS AND CHEMOTHERAPY, Mar. 1984, p. 319-326, 1984, American Society for Microbiology http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC185508/pdf/aac00192-0027.pdf
  13. José Antonio Vázquez, et. al. “Evaluation of toxic effects of several carboxylic acids on bacterial growth by toxicodynamic modelling” Microbial Cell Factories2011,10:100 http://www.microbialcellfactories.com/content/10/1/100
  14. Urs A. Boelsterli, “Acyl Glucuronides: Mechanistic Role in Drug Toxicity?” Current Drug Metabolism (v.12, #3) p. 213-214 http://www.chemweb.com/journals/journals?type=issue&jid=13892002&iid=12003
  15. Sarah H. Elsea, et. Al, “Cytotoxicity of Quinolones toward Eukaryotic Cells: IDENTIFICATION OF TOPOISOMERASE I1 AS THE PRIMARY CELLULAR TARGET FOR THE QUINOLONE CP-115,953 IN YEAST,” The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 267, No. 19, Issue of July 5, pp. 13150-13153 http://www.jbc.org/content/267/19/13150.full.pdf+html
  16. PS Ambulkar, et. Al, “Genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of antibacterial drug, ciprofloxacin, on human lymphocytes in vitro” Nepal Med Coll J 2009; 11(3): 147-151 http://www.nmcth.edu/images/gallery/Editorial/xRZVmps_ambulkar.pdf
  17. S. Mannino, et. al., “NSAIDs, Quinolones and Convulsions: An Epidemiologic Approach” Post Marketing Survellance 1992 p. 119-128 http://213.4.18.135:48080/10.pdf
  18. HJ Xie, et. al., “Alteration of pharmacokinetics of cyclophosphamide and suppression of the cytochrome P450 genes by ciprofloxacin” Bone Marrow Transplantation (2003) 31,197–203. http://www.nature.com/bmt/journal/v31/n3/abs/1703815a.html
  19. Dean P. Jones, et. al., “Mechanisms of Pathogenesis in Drug Hepatotoxicity Putting the Stress on Mitochondria” Mol Interv. 2010 April;10(2): 98–111. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2895369/
  20. Arkady B. Khodurskyand Nicholas R. Cozzarelli, “The Mechanism of Inhibition of Topoisomerase IV by Quinolone Antibacterials” October 16, 1998 The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 273, p. 27668-27677.http://www.jbc.org/content/273/42/27668.full
  21. Yi Xia, et. al., “Recent Advances in the Discovery and Development of Quinolones and Analogs As Antitumor Agents” Current Medicinal Chemistry, 1999, p. 179-194 http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=SJoxUN91vK4C&oi=fnd&pg=PA179#v=onepage&q&f=true
  22. V Talla and PR Veerareddy, “Oxidative Stress Induced by Fluoroquinolones on Treatment for Complicated Urinary Tract Infections in Indian Patients” J Young Pharm. 2011 Oct-Dec; 3(4): 304–309. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249743/?report=printable
  23. 2013 FDA Warning Label for Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) – http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2013/019537s082,020780s040lbl.pdf
  24. Patricia Kime, “New FDA warnings on Cipro may tie into Gulf War illness” Air Force Times, November 1, 2013. http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20131101/NEWS/311010018/New-FDA-warnings-Cipro-may-tie-into-Gulf-War-illness
  25. “Postal Workers Sue Bayer Over Cipro” http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/postal-workers-sue-bayer-over-cipro
  26. Lyrica Label http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/021446s013s014lbl.pdf
  27. Garcia Rey-C, “The role of the pharmaceutical industry. Why aren’t new antibiotics being marketed?”  2010 Nov;28 Suppl 4:45-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21458701
  28. Ben Comer, “Brand of the Year: Humira” PharmExec.com February 1, 2012 http://www.pharmexec.com/pharmexec/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=757392
- See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/11/20/how-pharmaceuticals-came-to-be-the-4th-leading-cause-of-death-in-america/#sthash.ITOIcfHV.dpuf

Stress reduction through meditation may aid in slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease

BIDMC pilot study shows promise for age-related cognitive diseases

 It's well known that the brains of meditators change, but it's not entirely clear what those changes mean or how the changes might benefit the meditator. A new pilot study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center suggests that the brain changes associated with meditation and stress reduction may play an important role in slowing the progression of age-related cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
"We know that approximately 50 percent of people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment – the intermediate stage between the expected declines of normal aging and the more serious cognitive deterioration associated with dementia – may develop dementia within five years. And unfortunately, we know there are currently no FDA approved medications that can stop that progression," says first author Rebecca Erwin Wells, MD, MPH, who conducted her research as a fellow in Integrative Medicine at BIDMC and Harvard Medical School. "We also know that as people age, there's a high correlation between perceived stress and Alzheimer's disease, so we wanted to know if stress reduction through meditation might improve cognitive reserve."
The results of the study appeared online October 10 in Neuroscience Letters.
Wells, currently a neurologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. evaluated adults between the ages of 55 and 90 in BIDMC's Cognitive Neurology Unit. 14 adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment were included in the study.
Participants were randomized two to one either to a group who participated in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) using meditation and yoga, or a control group who received normal care. The study group met for two hours each week for eight weeks. They also participated in a day-long mindfulness retreat, and were encouraged to continue their practice at home for 15 to 30 minutes per day.
All participants underwent a functional MRI (fMRI) at baseline and then again after eight weeks to determine if there were any changes in the structures of the brain or in brain activity. The neuroimaging was conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital's Martinos Center.
"We were particularly interested in looking at the default mode network (DMN) – the brain system that is engaged when people remember past events or envision the future, for example – and the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for emotions, learning and memory – because the hippocampus is known to atrophy as people progress toward mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease," says Wells.
Previous studies have shown that the hippocampus is activated during meditation and that mediators have more hippocampal gray matter concentration. "So the big question is, is it possible for MBSR to help attenuate the decline of individuals already experiencing some memory problems?" asks Wells.
The results of fMRI imaging showed that the group engaged in MBSR had significantly improved functional connectivity in the areas of the default mode network. Additionally, as expected, both groups experienced atrophy of the hippocampus, but those who practiced MBSR experienced less atrophy.
Tests of memory were also done, but the study was not powered to see differences between the two groups, though, Wells and colleagues previously reported that, "most data suggest a trend toward improvement for measures of cognition and well-being."
"This is a small study and more research is needed to further investigate these results, but we're very excited about these findings because they suggest that MBSR may reduce hippocampal atrophy and improve functional connectivity in the same areas of the brain most affected by Alzheimer's disease. MBSR is a relatively simple intervention, with very little downside that may provide real promise for these individuals who have very few treatment options," says Wells. She adds that future studies will need to be larger and evaluate cognitive outcomes as well. "If MBSR can help delay the symptoms of cognitive decline even a little bit, it can contribute to improved quality of life for many of these patients."
Source:Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 

ICMR to constitute task force to assess vitamin D deficiency

To review the existing information available on prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the country, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is constituting a task force on vitamin D.
Once constituted, the task force will be mandated to review the existing information available on prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the country and plan for mapping of this micro-nutrient deficiency and other required studies. Besides, the task force has to assess the existing research methodologies for assessment of vitamin D deficiency and make recommendations for appropriate research methodologies for this micro-nutrient.
Moreover, the task force has also to develop innovative approaches for awareness of population with respect to significance of adequate intake of vitamin D. Apart from all these, It will have to develop research facilities in different parts of the country for assessment of problem of vitamin D and developing capacity building of scientists in carrying out this micro-nutrient research.
For constituting the task force, the ICMR has invited expression of interest for participation in task force on vitamin D from eligible scientists in the country.
The members of proposed task force will be selected based on scientific publications or positions in different institutes of the country especially remote areas and unrepresented areas of the country. Few youngsters below the age of 40 years will also be included in each task force.
Source:Pharmabiz

Nowadays, Kids Run Slower Than Their Parents: Study

 Nowadays, Kids Run Slower Than Their Parents: StudyThis week at a major US medical conference, researchers said that kids worldwide run slower than their parents did, and a big reason why is because they are heavier.The research presented at the American Heart Association annual meeting analyzed 50 different studies on running fitness collected from 28 countries. 
The data included 25 million youths and spanned 1964 to 2010. 
Researchers said the findings are the first evidence that "cardiovascular fitness has declined around the globe since about 1975." 
Across the board, endurance fell by about five percent per decade, leaving kids around 15 percent less fit in cardiovascular terms than their parents were. 
Clocking a one-mile (1.6 kilometer) run, today's kids are a minute and a half slower than their counterparts 30 years ago. 
"If a young person is generally unfit now, then they are more likely to develop conditions like heart disease later in life," said lead author Grant Tomkinson, senior lecturer in the University of South Australia?s School of Health Sciences. 
"The most important type of fitness for good health is cardiovascular fitness, which is the ability to exercise vigorously for a long time, like running multiple laps around an oval track." 
The declines in cardiovascular endurance performance went hand in hand with individual countries' measurements of average body fat and obesity. 
"About 30 percent to 60 percent of the declines in endurance running performance can be explained by increases in fat mass," Tomkinson said. 
Kids are urged to do an hour of exercise daily in order to maintain physical fitness. 
Source:
 

Stress, Memories, and Understanding Social of Cues Affected By Sex Hormones

Unexpected roles that sex hormones may play in the cognitive function of females, including memory and interpreting social cues was demonstrated by new research. Additionally, a chemical identified in pregnant mice may provide insight into developmental disorders, such as schizophrenia. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2013, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.Today's new findings show that:
• Maternal stress can reduce levels of a chemical in the placenta that influences many other functions, such as development in mice. Additionally, the chemical could serve as a biomarker for maternal stress, a known risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and schizophrenia (Tracy Bale, PhD, abstract 380.08, see attached summary).
• Estrogen replacement therapy in post-menopausal women may help prevent stress-related memory loss (Alexandra Ycaza, MA, abstract 376.1, see attached summary). 

Other recent findings discussed show that:• Tamoxifen, a drug used to treat breast cancer, may protect against cognitive loss in post-menopausal women (Paul Newhouse, MD, presentation 376.03, see attached speaker summary).
• Estrogens, commonly thought of as a female reproductive hormone, are produced in the brains of males and females. In songbirds, estrogen may help process auditory social cues in both sexes and visual cues in males (Luke Remage-Healey, PhD, presentation 204.06, see attached speaker summary). 
"Researchers are recognizing there are more differences between male and female biologies than originally thought," said press conference moderator Catherine Woolley of Northwestern University, an expert on hormones such as estrogen. "These new studies help to show how sex differences and the actions of hormones in the brain affect how we develop, respond to the environment, and how we age. Through understanding sex differences, we can improve the way biology informs medicine." 
 Source:Neuroscience 2013

 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

ICMR & ICFRE to begin joint research to find novel sources of compounds against cancer, diabetes

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) will cooperate and initiate joint action for the exploration of forest resources for their bioactive principles (natural products), utilisation, promotion and adding value to the industrially valuable non-wood forest produce such as medicinal plants, herbs, shrubs, weeds, trees and medicinal fungi.
The collaborative research programme will help in finding out novel sources of compounds/ products active against cancer, diabetes and other diseases of public health importance.
The cooperation between the two premier research institutions in the country aims for phytochemical and pharmacological screening of Indian medicinal plants and medicinal fungi for two types of biological activities vis anti-cancer and anti-diabetic activity; and pre-clinical development of bioactive natural products and their analogues as chemotherapeutic agents.
Major strategies of this cooperation between the ICMR and ICFRE include bioactivity and mechanism of action directed isolation and characterisation of active known or novel molecules from plants and fungal resources; testing of compounds/ extracts/fractions/ biomass for clinical applications; rational drug-design-modification and analog synthesis; mechanism of action studies; sharing of research findings and technologies; exchange of academic materials and other information; and joint research activities and publications.
For this purpose, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the ICMR and the ICFRE.
Under the MoU, the roles and responsibility of the ICFRE include collection and identification of plants/ fungi/ other therapeutic/ nutritive agents; isolation of extracts/ fractions/ pure compounds/ biomass; characterisation of active known or novel molecules from plants and fungal resources; and exchange of academic materials and other information.
As per the agreement, it will be the responsibility of ICMR for screening and evaluation of extracts/ fractions/ pure compounds/ biomass to cure diseases of public health importance; bioactivity-and-mechanism of action studies of chemical entities; rational drug-design-modification and analog synthesis; and exchange of academic materials and other information.
The collaboration between the ICMR and the ICFRE is significant because despite many important past contributions from the plant kingdom, numerous plant species still remain to be explored for their bioactive principles. Adding value to natural products through identification, isolation, characterisation of novel compounds or agents in treatment of diseases of public health importance is the best way to protest the society and thus efforts need to be focused in this direction to realise the full potential of forest resource.
Source:Pharmabiz

Centre grants Rs. 30 lakh under NRHM to promote Ayush Pushti biscuits to tackle malnutrition in children


The Union government has chipped in a financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 30 lakh to support the Karnataka government’s novel Ayush Pushti biscuits pilot project. The Ayush Pushti biscuits containing 15 Ayurvedic herbal ingredients is seen as a paradigm shift in the herbal medicine space to tackle malnutrition among children.
The orange flavoured Ayush Pushti biscuits contain green gram dhal, groundnut, ragi and wheat. The orange flavoured content constitutes 40 per cent, 30 per cent is sugar, 20 per cent ghee and 10 per cent ayurvedic medicinal ingredients such as brahmi, ashwagandha vacha, guduchi, pippali, ghrita, amalaki and elakki.
Under the pilot project initiative, the state government has chalked out plans to distribute the Ayush Pushti biscuits among 3,000 children in the age-group of three to six years in various Anganwadi areas in north Karnataka covering Jamakhandi, in Bagalkot district and Bijapur on a pilot basis. Initially, the children will be given 10 ml of Ayush syrup of Vidanga Haritaki Pippali to enhance digestion and absorption after which one two Ayush Pushti will be given for the three to four year old children. Four biscuits will be given to those in the four to six age-group for 90 days.
“We have also delegated 200 doctors including pediatricians and 150 Anganwadi teachers to ensure they observe and record the basic health parameters like weight and height of children every fortnight. After a three-month assessment, the scheme will be extended to other parts of the state. The project is targeted to enhance the immunity, digestion, concentration and sleep pattern in children,” Karnataka minister for health and family welfare UT Khader told Pharmabiz.
A team of paediatricians who are part of the Ayush technical committee have given their consensus on the formulation in terms of palatability and medicinal value. The department had an ethics committee which cleared the clinical trials for toxicity and safety. The human studies were conducted on 90 children from Bengaluru and Ramanagarm districts. The documented evidence indicated considerable improvement in the health of children who gained an average weight of 800 grams to one kg in one month.
It is for the first time that the department of ayush has embarked on such an initiative in the country. The biscuits are being manufactured at the Government Central Pharmacy in Bangalore with a shelf-life of six months. The State government was planning to make the biscuits available in the market if the scheme succeeds. While the biscuits are currently made available to children free of cost, the state government was keen to  explore commercialization of the Ayush Pushti biscuits which could be marketed across the state to have a wider reach, stated health minister Khader.
This pilot project would be closely monitored to help the government to assess the feasibility, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of the scheme and its expansion across the 30 districts in the State, pointed out principal secretary to Karnataka Health and Family Welfare department M Madan Gopal.
The state government estimates that 12 lakh children below the age six years are malnourished, out of which 47,000 are suffering from severe malnourishment.
Source:Pharmabiz

Eat Your Apple in the Right Way

A food website has released a new video, which reveals that it is possible to eat a whole apple without worrying about the core.
 
In the video 'How to Eat Apples Like a Boss' by Foodbeast, a person can be seen eating an apple starting at the bottom, proceeding to up to the top, The Atlantic reported. 

However, the seeds are supposed to be spitted out, as they contain a substance called amygdalin, which can release a small amount of hydrogen cyanide when digested. 
Americans are said to waste 30 percent of their apples at 1.30 dollars per pound, which comes to about 13.2 billion dollars wasted annually, thrown in the trash or fed to pigs.
Source:The Atlantic
 

Physical Fitness Helps Prevent Heart Attacks

Increased levels of physical fitness reduce the risk of having heart attacks and boost the survival among those suffering from coronary artery disease, shows study.Lead author Rupert Hung, a medical student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that in their study, the patients who were most fit had a 75 percent lower risk of dying from any cause compared to those who were least fit. 
He said that this was true regardless of whether the patient had previous stenting or bypass surgery to open up any blocked arteries. 
The study included information on more than 9,800 adults who had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease. All of the patients in the study had been referred by a physician to undergo a treadmill stress test and were followed for an average of 11 years to see whether they had a heart attack, had undergone a revascularization procedure to restore blood flow, or had died from any cause. 
Co-investigator John W. McEvoy, M.B., B.Ch., a cardiology fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that they measured exercise capacity, expressed as metabolic equivalents, or METS, from the patients' stress test results. 
He said that they found that each 1-MET increase in a person's exercise capacity was associated with a 13 percent reduction in risk of death, regardless of whether they had previously had a procedure to open a blocked artery. 
Senior author Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a cardiologist with the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, said that their results suggest that increasing physical fitness through cardiac rehabilitation programs and exercise may be an effective supplement to medications for preventing complications associated with coronary artery disease.

Source:Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
 
 

Bitter Melon Extract may Ward Off Head and Neck Cancer

Extract from bitter melon has therapeutic qualities to treat head and neck cancer, say researchers.Preliminary findings of the research were published in the Public Library of Science One Journal by Ratna Ray, Ph.D. associate professor of pathology at Saint Louis University. Ray found that bitter melon extract, a vegetable commonly used in Indian and Chinese diets, reduces the head and neck cancer cell growth in the animal model. 
"We wanted to see the effect of the bitter melon extract treatment on different types of cancer using different model systems," said Ray, who first tested the extract in breast and prostate cancer cells. "In this study, the bitter melon extract treatment suppressed the head and neck cancer cell growth in the mouse model, reducing the growth of the tumor." 
In a controlled lab setting, Ray found that bitter melon extract regulated several pathways that helped reduce the head and neck cancer cell growth in the animal model. After a period of four weeks, Ray found that the growth and volume of the tumor had reduced. 
Bitter melon is a tropical vegetable that is commonly used in Indian and Chinese cooking. Ray, who is originally from India, often uses bitter melon in her meals. People in Asia use this vegetable in stir fries, salads, and also drink its juice as part of a healthy diet. 
Although more research is needed, Ray believes the bitter melon extract may enhance the current treatment option. 
"It's difficult to measure the exact impact of bitter melon extract treatment on the cell growth, but a combination of things - existing drug therapy along with bitter melon - may help the efficacy of the overall cancer treatment," Ray said. 
Head and neck cancers, which account for 6 percent of all cancer cases, start in the mouth, nose, sinuses, voicebox and throat. They frequently are aggressive, and often spread from one part of the head or neck to another. 
Before moving to phase I clinical trial with head and neck cancer patients, Ray said she and her team would need to validate their results with other preclinical models. 
Ray's initial research found that treatment with this natural substance halted the breast and prostate cancer cell growth, eventually stopping them from spreading. 

 

Cranberries Have Health-Promoting Properties

Given their remarkable nutritional and health benefits, cranberries are more than a holiday favorite.
A new research review published in the international journal Advances in Nutrition provides reasons why these tiny berries can be front and center and not just a side dish. The review authors conclude that cranberries provide unique bioactive compounds that may help reduce the incidence of certain infections, improve heart health and temper inflammation. 
 Cranberries Have Health-Promoting PropertiesTen worldwide experts in cranberry and health research contributed to the article, including scientists and medical experts from Tufts University, Pennsylvania State University, Boston University, Rutgers University, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom and Heinrich-Heine-University in Germany. The authors included more than 150 published research studies to create the most thorough and up-to-date review of the cranberry nutrition and human health research. 
"Hundreds of studies show that the bioactive compounds found in cranberries improve health," said lead author Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, FASN, FACN, CNS, Director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory and Professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. "For example, the polyphenols found in cranberries have been shown to promote a healthy urinary tract and exert protective benefits for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions." 
Based on the totality of the published cranberry research, the authors concluded that the cranberry fruit is truly special because of the A-type proanthocyanidins (a polyphenol from the flavanol family), in contrast to the B-type proanthocyanidins present in most other types of berries and fruit. The A-type proanthocyanidins appear to provide the anti-adhesion benefits that help protect against urinary tract infections (UTI), which affect more than 15 million U.S. women each year. They present evidence suggesting that cranberries may also reduce the recurrence of UTIs - an important approach for relying less on antibiotic treatment for the condition. 
Cranberry Health Benefits Extend Beyond Urinary Tract HealthThe authors also cite data that shows the cranberry may improve cardiovascular health by improving blood cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure, inflammation and oxidative stress. Cranberries have been shown to help support endothelial function and reduce arterial stiffness. Together, these benefits may promote overall health and functioning of blood vessels to help slow the progression of atherogenesis and plaque formation, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke. 
Need Fruit? Eat More Cranberries While all fruit contributes necessary vitamins and minerals to the diet, berry fruits offer a particularly rich source of health-promoting polyphenols. Because of their tart taste and very low natural sugar content, sugar is often added to cranberry products for palatability. Even with added sugar, cranberry products typically have a comparable amount of sugar to other unsweetened fruit juices and dried fruit products. 
Additionally, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans asserts that the best use of calories from added sweeteners is for improving the palatability of nutrient-rich foods, as is the case when adding sugar to cranberries. As an additional option, non-nutritive sweeteners are used to produce low calorie versions of cranberry products. Americans can help increase their fruit intake by incorporating cranberries and cranberry products into their diet and there is no need to wait for the holidays - cranberries can be enjoyed year round - fresh, frozen, dried, or in a juice or sauce. 
"While we look forward to more research to better understand how cranberries affect our well-being and longevity, we know that including cranberries and cranberry products in a healthy diet is a great way to increase fruit intake," said Dr. Blumberg.

Source:Univ.of Pennsylvania
 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Turmeric Prevents One of The Most Malignant Cancers In The World

Powdered turmeric has been used for centuries to treat a host of illnesses. Its active ingredient, curcumin, inhibits inflammatory reactions, has anti-diabetic effects, reduces cholesterol among other powerful health effects. A new study led by a research team at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (LMU) in Munich now shows that it can also inhibit formation of metastases.

One of the most comprehensive summaries of a review of 700 turmeric studies to date was published by the respected ethnobotanist James A. Duke, Phd. He showed that turmeric appears to outperform many pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic, debilitating diseases, and does so with virtually no adverse side effects.
Cancer is no exception. Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent malignancies in the Western world, and is often diagnosed only after metastatic tumors have formed in other organs. In three percent of cases, these metastases are lethal. A research team led by PD Dr. Beatrice Bachmeier at LMU Munich has been studying the mode of action of a natural product that inhibits the formation of metastases. The compound is found in turmeric, a plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and is a major ingredient of curry.
Duke noted that in the handbook Phytochemicals: Mechanisms of Action, curcumin and/or turmeric were effective in animal models in prevention and/or treatment of colon cancer, mammary cancer, prostate cancer, murine hepato-carcinogenesis (liver cancer in rats), esophageal cancer, and oral cancer. 

Bachmeier’s research centers on curcumin, the polyphenol responsible for the characteristic color of curry. Curcumin is well tolerated and is therefore, in principle, suitable both for prophylactic use (primary prevention) and also for the suppression of metastases in cases where an established tumor is already present (secondary prevention). In a previous study Bachmeier and her colleagues had demonstrated that the substance reduces statistically significantly the formation of lung metastases in an animal model of advanced breast cancer.
Mitigating metastasis The new study was designed to investigate the efficacy of curcumin in the prevention of prostate cancer metastases, and to determine the agent’s mechanism of action. The researchers first examined the molecular processes that are abnormally regulated in prostate carcinoma cells. Breast and prostate cancers are often associated with latent or chronic inflammatory reactions, and in both cases, the tumor cells were found to produce pro-inflammatory immunomodulators including the cytokines CXCL1 und CXCL2.
The researchers went on to show that curcumin specifically decreases the expression of these two proteins, and in a mouse model, this effect correlated with a decline in the incidence of metastases. “Due to the action of curcumin, the tumor cells synthesize smaller amounts of cytokines that promote metastasis,” says Bachmeier. “As a consequence, the frequency of metastasis formation in the lungs is significantly reduced, in animals with breast cancer, as we showed previously, or carcinoma of the prostate, as demonstrated in our new study.”
Curcumin and chemoprevention Bachmeier therefore believes that curcumin may be useful in the prevention of breast and prostate cancers — which are both linked to inflammation — and in reducing their metastatic potential. “This does not mean that the compound should be seen as a replacement for conventional therapies. However, it could play a positive role in primary prevention — before a full-blown tumor arises — or help to avert formation of metastases. In this context the fact that the substance is well tolerated is very important, because one can safely recommend it to individuals who have an increased tumor risk.”
A daily intake of up to 8g of curcumin is regarded as safe, and its anti-inflammatory properties have long been exploited in traditional oriental medicine. Men with benign hyperplasia of the prostate (BHP) are one possible target group for prophylaxis, as are women who have a family history of breast cancer. The agent might also be valuable as a supplement to certain cancer therapies. At all events, curcumin’s beneficial effects must first be confirmed in controlled clinical tests. Bachmeier is now planning such a trial in patients who suffer from therapy-resistant carcinoma of the prostate.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.
This article first appeared in Prevent Disease.
Courtesy: Marco Torres
Source:My Science Academy

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