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Friday, 17 April 2015

Researchers Develop New Plant-Based Treatment In A Fight Against Malaria

A new research has revealed about the journey of the antimalarial tea from herbal remedy to licensed phytomedicine.

The herbal remedy derived from the roots of a weed, which was traditionally used to alleviate malarial symptoms, was combined with leaves and aerial portions from two other plants with antimalarial activity, formulated as a tea, and eventually licensed and sold as an antimalarial phytomedicine. The authors have presented the fascinating story and challenges behind the development of this plant-based treatment. 

Merlin Willcox (University of Oxford, U.K.), Zephirin Dakuyo (Phytofla, Banfora, Burkina Faso) and coauthors discuss the antimalarial and pharmacological properties of the herbal medication derived from Cochlospermum planchonii (a shrubby weed known as N'Dribala), Phyllanthus amarus, and Cassia alata. 

The authors provide a unique historical perspective in describing the early evaluation, development, and production of this phytomedicine. They present the ongoing research and challenges in scaling up cultivation and harvesting of the plants and in production of the final product. The article also describes other traditional uses of the medication, such as to treat hepatitis. 

Source:The study appears in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Simple Blood Test may Predict Future Risk of Breast Cancer, Lead to Better Prevention

Simple Blood Test may Predict Future Risk of Breast Cancer, Lead to Better PreventionBreast cancer is the most common cancer in women both in the developed and less developed world, claims the World Health Organization.

Thus, scientists have come up with a simple blood test to predict future risk of breast cancer and in the long term the scientists hope that the new method will lead to better prevention and early treatment of the disease. 

Professor Rasmus Bro at University of Copenhagen said that the method was better than mammography, which could only be used when the disease had already occurred. It was amazing that breast cancer could now be predicted early. He stressed the method has been tested and validated only for a single population (cohort) and needs to be validated more widely before it can be used practically. The method has been developed in cooperation with the Danish Cancer Society. 

The researchers' approach to developing the method was adopted from food science, where it is used for control of complex industrial processes. Basically, it involves handling and analyzing huge amounts of biological data in a holistic and explorative way. The researchers analyzed all compounds a blood sample contains instead of - as is often done in health and medical science - examining what a single biomarker means in relation to a specific disease. 

Professor Rasmus Bro explained that when a huge amount of relevant measurements from many individuals was used to assess health risks, here breast cancer, it created very high quality information. The more measurements the analyses contained, the better the model handled complex problems. 

The model does not reveal anything about the importance of the single biomarkers in relation to breast cancer, but it does reveal the importance of a set of biomarkers and their interactions. 

While a mammography can detect newly developed breast cancer with a sensitivity of 75 per cent, the new metabolic blood profile is able to predict the likelihood of a woman developing breast cancer within the next 2 to 5 years with a sensitivity of 80 per cent. 

Source:The study was recently published in Metabolomics.

Stem Cell Therapy can Slow Down Loss of Vision in Diabetic Patients

Stem Cell Therapy can Slow Down Loss of Vision in Diabetic Patients
For those who have lost their eyesight due to Type 2 Diabetes, stem cell therapy has brought forth some facade of hope. A new research reported that injecting stem cells into the eye might reverse or at least slow the early-stage sight-loss disorder.Shaomei Wang, Lead author of the study and Research scientist at the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, US, said, "This is the first study to show preservation of vision after a single injection of adult-derived human cells into a rat model with age-related macular degeneration." 

In an experiment on mice, stem cells were injected that resulted in 130 days of preserved vision in lab conditions, which means in humans, it would be at least 16 years. 

The researchers converted adult human skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and made into any cell of the human body. These stem cells were then directed toward a neural progenitor cell fate, known as iNPCs or induced neural progenitor stem cells. 

"These induced neural progenitor stem cells are a novel source of adult-derived cells which should have powerful effects on slowing down vision loss associated with macular degeneration," said another contributor to the study, Clive Svendsen. The institute is confident that it is close to offering adult stem cells as a promising source for personalised therapies for this and other human diseases, added Svendsen. 
Source:Source:Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute

Delhi govt to bring major changes in Clinical Establishment Act before adopting it in state

he health minister of the Delhi government has assured the medical community in his jurisdiction that only a doctor-friendly bill would be introduced in the assembly in lieu of the present Clinical Establishment Act Bill.

Satyendra Kumar Jain, the health minister,  assured a group of doctors who visited him on April 15 that his ministry would not in any way hurry up to implement the CE Act in the present form as the minister himself felt it would embarrass the medical community and healthcare establishments in a big way. He promised them that the government would not force the healthcare establishments to implement the Clinical Establishment Act without amending in accordance with their suggestions.

The group of doctors representing various healthcare institutions and single doctor clinics had a detailed discussion with the minister on the CEA. The minister asked the doctor-group to submit their suggestions so as to enable him to think of how to adopt the Act.

Satyendra Jain has categorically said the solo clinics (single doctor establishments) will not be subjected to the unreasonable clauses of the Bill.

Last month, an association of doctors and private hospitals in Delhi in conjunction with private medical practitioners association in Kerala filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court to legally challenge the introduction of the CE Act in its present form. Their argument is that the clinical establishment act is unnecessarily attempting to legislate on medical professional matters and there is inconsistency between the preamble of the Act and its stated objects. Hence, the medical professionals in the country are deeply concerned about certain undesirable features of the Act.

In view of this, the minister informed the medical professionals that his ministry would not in any way disturb the healthcare managers with this Act and the unreasonable clauses will be deleted from the present bill. He said before implementing the Act the government may think of categorizing the healthcare establishments into four groups, such as single-doctor clinics, nursing homes upto a bed strength of 50 numbers, nursing homes from a strength of 50 beds to 100 and corporate hospitals.

Another promise the medical community got from the minister is that the government of Delhi will not fix charges for the clinical or laboratory or scan and X-ray unit services. This can be decided by the medical establishments. However, the health minister wanted the doctors community to follow ethical practices in their working and informed them that he would be liable to take legal action against those who resort to unprincipled ways of practising.

Sources in the doctors’ group who visited the health minister said the government of Punjab has also decided not to implement the CEA Bill in the present form in the assembly by maintaining that a doctor-friendly bill is required in place.


Court Of Appeals Rules HIV Not Likely To Be Spread Through Unprotected Sex

In a landmark legal case that has received little attention outside the United States, the highest military court in the US recently overturned decades of rulings regarding the likelihood of spreading HIV through unprotected sex.
colIn late February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) unanimously threw out a 2011 convictionagainst a US airman, Sergeant David Gutierrez of Kansas, for committing “aggravated assault” when exposing multiple sex partners to HIV at swinger parties in Wichita, reports Press Dispensary UK. According to defence attorney Kevin McDermott, the decision reversed a 25-year precedent that had allowed military personnel to be convicted of aggravated assault solely on the basis of a positive HIV test.
“The key to the decision was that the convicted airman was not accused of actually infecting anyone with HIV, only of having had sex with them after a positive HIV test, and his conviction was overturned because the US government could not prove that any of his acts were likely to transmit HIV to his partners. The second highest court in America has unanimously rubbished the myth that being found HIV positive makes someone an automatic risk to others.”
So said Joan Shenton, London-based author of the recently republished anniversary edition of the book “Positively False – Exposing the Myths around HIV and AIDS.
Shenton continued:
“The US government was unable to prove a likelihood that an HIV person is a risk, even during unprotected sex, because there is no proof. And if the transmission of HIV is now in such doubt, the entire edifice of the infectious hypothesis for AIDS will surely come tumbling down.”
The absence of any definitive medical evidence about HIV transmission was highlighted when defense lawyers argued that the risk ranged from a 1-in-10,000 to 1-in-100,000 chance per sexual encounter, and prosecutors countered that the exposure risk was closer to 1 in 500. The court determined that even if the risk were 1 in 500, transmission of the disease was not “likely” to occur.
Clark Baker, of the Office of Medical Science and Justice (OMSJ), which was the driving force behind Sergeant Gutierrez’s appeal, said this week:
“While gratified that the highest US military court unanimously agrees that HIV does not pose the existential threat claimed by government-funded propagandists, I am sickened by the millions of innocents around the world whose lives have been destroyed by this $400 billion marketing scam to promote unreliable tests to sell deadly HIV drugs.  This ruling is long overdue.”
David Crowe, president of Rethinking AIDS, said this week:
“HIV is the only disease to be highly criminalized in the modern era. If courts truly believed in ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ they would not rely on tests that produce false positives that cannot be eliminated, nor on biased analyses that cannot tell the direction of transmission, but do set juries in the direction of conviction. Society talks about privacy of an HIV diagnosis, but then mandates that all HIV+ people reveal their status, unless they want to remain celibate for life while still facing the likelihood of isolation, prejudice and violence if their status becomes public.”
Dr. Christian Fiala, medical director of the Gynmed clinic in Vienna, added this week:
“This ruling confirms what is evident from all epidemiological and medical studies: there is no heterosexual transmission of HIV or any illness labelled as AIDS. This ruling also takes into consideration the fundamental problems and contradictions of the HIV test and the definition of AIDS, which has been changed several times over the last 30 years and which is very different in different countries. Even the manufacturer of the HIV test states ‘At present there is no recognized standard for establishing the presence of absence of antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 in human blood.’* It is now up to other courts and governments to recognize the clear evidence and to stop terrorizing those who are labelled HIV positive.”
Joan Shenton concluded:
“For everyone who has long argued that those found HIV positive are not automatically guilty of some heinous crime if they have unprotected sex, this is one of the most significant court judgements in years, particularly as it was a unanimous verdict from the highest military court in the US. Potentially it unlocks the shackles for millions of people worldwide who have been declared HIV positive.”
Joan Shenton’s seminal book, “Positively False – Exposing the Myths around HIV and AIDS,” was first published in 1998. The thoroughly updated anniversary edition was launched at London’s Frontline Club in February, together with a new film, Positive Hell. Both are raising the temperature once more on the HIV and AIDS controversy.
What are your thoughts on the CAAF’s ruling? Do you support their decision? Share with us in the comment section below!
Source: Press Dispensary UK

9 Reasons To Eat Cucumber Every Day

Cucumber. Even its name sounds cool, crisp, and refreshing! Not only are cucumbers delicious and nutritious, they are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, such as: vitamin K and C, some B vitamins, copper, potassium, and manganese, all of which can help revitalize your health! This squash is definitely something you want to incorporate into your diet as much as possible. You won’t regret it.
Health-Benefits-of-Cucumber9 (Of Many) Amazing Benefits Of Cucumbers

 1. Brain Protection

Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonal called fistein that has been shown to play a crucial role in promoting brain health. It is known to improve memory and even protect your nerve cells from declining due to aging, and fisetin has also been found to prevent learning and memory impairments in mice with alzheimer’s disease.  

 2. Amazing Antioxidant Properties

Cucumbers are loaded with antioxidants, including vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids like quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol. (2) Quercetin is an antioxidant that has been shown to prevent histamine release, making it a natural antihistamine. Kaempferol can help fight cancer and lower your risk of heart disease.

 3. Reduce Inflammation

Cucumbers can literally help “cool” the inflammatory response system in your body. Some studies conducted on animals found that cucumber extract helps to reduce unwanted inflammation partially by inhibiting activity or pro-inflammatory enzymes.  

 4. Cancer Risk Reduction

Cucumbers contain polyphenols called lignans, which can help lower your risk of various cancers such as breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate.  They also contain phytonutrients called cucurbitacins (great name) which also have anti-cancer properties!  

 5. Digestive Assistant

Cucumbers are loaded with fiber and water, two of the most essential elements that are needed for optimal digestive health. Cucumbers may help to raise the stomach pH, which can assist with symptoms of acid reflux. Also, the skin on cucumbers contains insoluble fiber, which can add bulk to your stool, assisting food to move through your digestive tract quickly and thereby promoting healthy elimination.

 6. Freshen Your Breath

If your breath is a little on the stinky side, you can freshen it up by placing a slice of cucumber on the roof of your mouth. This will help help rid your mouth of odor-causing bacteria. According to Ayurveda, eating cucumbers can also help to release any excess heat in your stomach, which is believed to be a primary cause of bad breath.

 7. Stress Management

Cucumbers contain an assortment of B vitamins including vitamin B1, B5, and B7. B vitamins are known to help ease anxiety and reduce the damaging effects of stress.

 8. Healthy Weight Management

Cucumbers are extremely low in calories, but extremely high in nutrients, so they make a filling and healthy snack. When cucumbers are digesting they dissolve into a gel-like texture which helps to slow down digestion, helping you feel full for longer. This is why fiber rich foods are great for weight management.

 9. Heart Health

Because cucumbers contain potassium, they can assist with lowering blood pressure. Potassium is an electrolyte, and its functions assist with interacting with sodium to help control nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and heart function.
If these are not enough reasons to start eating more cucumbers, then I guess you must really not like them! Be sure to get organic when possible. You can enjoy slices of cucumber in your water, juice it with other veggies, add it to your salad, and just eat it straight up! Its great in the summer, but can definitely be enjoyed all year round. Enjoy!



Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Whole-Plant Marijuana Can Kill Cancer Cells And Even Shrink Brain Tumors

Animal studies conducted by researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) find that extracts from whole-plant marijuana were found to kill cancer cells and shrink brain tumors. Extracts from the plants can help enhance the impact of radiation therapy, the Mirror reported.
 Whole-Plant Marijuana Can Kill Cancer Cells And Even Shrink Brain Tumors

According to the reports, recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others. 

Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
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Eating Blueberries May Help Treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Reveals Study.

Blueberry consumption may be effective for people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), states study. Ebenezer et al. have previously demonstrated that SSRIs increase levels of serotonin (5-HT) and the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) and that the increased NE might reduce the effectiveness of SSRI therapy.
 Eating Blueberries May Help Treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Reveals Study
Researchers at Louisiana State University supplemented some of the rats with a blueberry-enriched (2 percent) diet and others with a control diet. A third control group did not have PTSD and received a standard diet (without blueberries). 

They found that PTSD rats who did not receive blueberries demonstrated a predictable increase in NE and 5-HT when compared with the control group. However, the PTSD rats that received blueberries showed a beneficial increase in 5-HT with no effect on NE levels, suggesting that blueberries could effectively modulate neurotransmitters in PTSD. 

These findings indicated that non-pharmacological approaches might modulate neurotransmitters in PTSD. Further studies to understand the molecular mechanism of neuro-protection by BB could provide a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of PTSD. 
 Source:Louisiana State University 

WHO Warns Against Unnecessary C-sections as It Poses Health Risks for Mother and Baby

A cesarean section involves delivering a baby through an incision in the woman's abdominal wall and uterus. There has been a steep increase in the number of cesarean deliveries over the past decade. To keep a check on this growing epidemic of cesarean deliveries, the World Health Organization has said that caesarean sections should be performed only if medically required, as it carries health risks for both women and their babies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that though the procedure does save lives in case of obstructed labor, two new studies have shown that in countries where they account for more than 10% of births, there is no evidence that mortality rates improve. The National Institute of Healthcare and Clinical Excellence (Nice) also reported that a caesarean procedure was more likely to put a baby in intensive care, women longer in hospital, with the risk of hysterectomy or a cardiac arrest. 

The WHO said, "Across a population, the effects of caesarean section rates on maternal and newborn outcomes such as stillbirths or morbidities like birth asphyxia are still unknown. More research on the impact of caesarean sections on women's psychological and social well-being is still needed."



Combination of Mental Practice and Physical Therapy Accelerates Stroke Recovery

Stroke occurs when poor blood supply to a part of the brain results in cell death. Stroke recovery is difficult and may sometimes be a lifelong process. Researchers have now revealed that a combination of mental practice and physical therapy provides an effective treatment for people recovering from a stroke. Mental practice, also known as motor imagery, involves the mental rehearsal of a motor action without an overt action; and physical therapy consists of repetitive, task-oriented training of the impaired extremity.
 Combination of Mental Practice and Physical Therapy Accelerates Stroke Recovery
Researchers studied 17 young, healthy controls and 13 aged stroke survivors. These study subjects received the treatment within 14 to 51 days of their stroke and participated in 60 total hours of rehabilitation. They were placed in two different groups for rehabilitation- mental practice only or both mental practice and physical therapy. The findings suggested that a combination of mental practice and physical therapy can be an effective means of treatment for stroke survivors to recover or regain the strength of motor behaviors. 

Researchers Andrew Butler from the Georgia State University said, "When people have a stroke, there is damage to brain cells and it takes a long time for neurons to grow back, if at all. You can use certain treatments to make the brain adapt or compensate in order to recruit new neurons and make you move again. One of these treatments is really intense physical therapy, but some people cannot move at all. We found in our data that if they just think about moving, it keeps the neurons active right around the area that died in the brain. We used mental practice as a primer for physical training. As people improve and move along in their rehabilitation, they can progress from mental practice to physical practice and this can result in behavioral change, meaning they could move their arms better." 

Source:The findings are published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.


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