Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Can a Capsule w/Cameras perform Colonoscopy?

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

A new study reported in Science Digest  says “the noninvasive alternative to colonoscopy is as easy as swallowing a pill.”  In the procedure the patient ingests a capsule containing two miniature cameras and takes pictures of as as it travels through the digestive tract, it takes pictures and transmits them to a recorder the patient wears on his belt.  After traveling through the digestive tract the capsule with cameras  is excreted and flushed down the toilet. The camera identify polyps the same as the colonoscopy except the colonoscopy removes the polyps that are precancerous during the procedure.  With the camera a colonoscopy will be necessary if polyps are identified but otherwise the patient in not subjected to the invasive procedure. Preparation for the procedure is the same as for a colonoscopy that includes a bowel cleanse. However, the procedure requires no anesthesia, is painless, the patient does not have to take the day off for the procedure. nor arrange for transportation to and from the procedure. The new procedure has been approved by the FSA for people who are not eligible for colonoscopy for the following reasons: 1) the patients colon makes it difficult to guide a colonoscope through the entir colon, or 2) the patient has lower gastrointestinal bleeding but is not suitable for a colonoscopy because of the risk posed for complications due to age or other reasons.

 

Is Type of Sugar Also A Risk Factor of Diseases?

Friday, March 10th, 2017

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A new study published in The American Journal of Physiology –Heart and Circulatory Physiology concluded that the type of sugar youeat–and not just caloric count–may dtermine your risk of chronic disease. This animal study compared the effects of two types of sugar on metabolic and vascular function.

In the research female rats were given a liquid solution of glucose (form of sugar resulting from carbohydrate breakdown in the body) or fructose(sugar found in fruit and fruit juice) in addition to their normal diet of solid food. Subjects were given the sweetened liquids for eight weeks that is roughly equilavent to humans eating large amounts of sugar for six years. The sugar fed rats were compared with a control group that received plain drinking water with solid food.

Researchers found that although both sugar groups consumed more calories than the control group the total caloric intake of the glucose-fed rats was higher than the fructose group. In addition, “despite the difference, only the fructose group exhibited a significant increase in final body weight.” Besides a higher weight gain, the fructose group showed more markers of vascular disease and liver damage than the glusose group including high triglycerides, increased liver weight, decreased fat burning in the liver (that can contribute to fatty liver) and impaired relaxation of the aorta that can affect blood pressure.

Research suggest that an increase in the amount of calories consumed due to sweeteners is not the only factor involved in long-term health risks. The type of sugar may also have a role in increasing risk factors of heart diusease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

Can Gene Inactivation Prevent Aging and Cancer?

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

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A new study published in the journal Nature concluded that every body cell contains the complete DNA library and the so called methyl groups regulate the DNA library in tissues so that only the genetic information needed in that tissue is expressed. Now for the first time, researchers verified that a lack of methyl groups in the gene body leads to an incorrect gene activation and, subsequently may lead to the emergence of cancer.

Each body cell contains the entire building plan of the whole organism written in the DNA and comprises single genes that determine the specific attributes of the individual.  Gene expression builds tissue cells with tissue-specific attributes. Thus, genes information is activated that forms cells identified as intestinal cells or lung cells etc. In this regulated process methyl groups play an important role. If they are enzymatically bound to a gene’s starting point, known as the promoter, the respective gene is inactivated and the DNA is methylated. As we age and develop age-related diseases such as cancer the activation of genetic information is increasingly defective. However, until now, the detailed processes of these errors and the role of  DNA methylation  in these processes has been poorly understood.

Researchers have known for some time that DNA methylation at the promoter of a gene functions as an on/off switch. However, it was unknown in epigenetics why DNA within the gene body housing the important genetic information is methylated also which was answered in this research. This research showed that genes also aberrant activated if–beyond promoters–DNA methylation is missing within the gene body. Subsequently aberrant proteins are produced that impinge on the cell structure that result in massive disruption of the function and identity of a cell and cell degradation occurs and cancer may emerge.  Researchers concluded “this new knowledge that a lack of DNA methylation at the gene body  may lead to the production of aberrant proteins, might offer a target for cancer therapy. If we succeed to find a way to traffic methyl groups to non-methylated DNA sequences of cancer cells, we could possibly stop proliferation of these cells.”

Testing Edible Marijuana Driver Impairment

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

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Testing edible marijuana for driver impairment is the subject of new research published in AACC’s Clinical Chemistry. Although edible marijuana is becoming increasingly common there is little information on testing drivers following consumption.  This study evaluated the performance of roadside saliva tests  following consumption of edible tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Researchers observed that consumption of marijuana edibles have expanded along with legalized medical and recreational use and about 1/3 of all marijuana is now either eaten or ingested in drinks. Marijuana-associated  traffic accidents and fatalities have also increased in states where they have been legalized increasing in those states from 8.6% in 2007 to 12.6% in 20132014.

In the study researchers gave occasional and frequent marijuana smokers brownies laced with 50.6 mg of THC. Over the next 48 hours the researchers collected saliva and blood samples at several time points. Saliva samples were analyzed using the roadside screening devices , the Draeger Drug Test 5000 (DT5000) and Alere DDS2 (DDS2) that use a cutoff point of 5µg/L and 25µg/L respectively to determine someone who is positive or negative for marijuana use. These tests were then confirmed  using a standard laboratory method for marijuana testing–the liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to analyze both the saliva and blood samples at different .THC cut off points ranging from 0.2µ/L to 25µg/L.

By comparing the roadside and the LC-MS/MS results, researchers determined that confirmation cutoffs for THC of >1 µg/L    and 0.2 µg/L led to the greater number of true positives both through the initial and through confirmation testings. Thus, saliva testing devices can successfully detect THC after ingestion of edible marijuana. Researchers recommended confirming edible marijuana use with saliva tests instead of blood tests due to a lack of correlation between the blood and saliva testing  over time.

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Exercise Not Important in Weight Loss

Friday, February 10th, 2017

 

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Exercise may not be key to controlling weight  according to new research in Peer J.  Young adults from the United States and four other countries were studied by researchers who found that neight physical activity nor sedentary lifestyle were associated with weight gain. Researchers said that although exercis has many health benefits people who are physically active tend to be healthier but although this activity burns calories it also increases appetite, and people may compensate by eating more, or by being less active the rest of the day.

In the study participants in the 5 countries wore tracking devices called accelerometers on their waists for a week to measure their energy expenditure and step count. Researchers also measure their weight, height, and body fat. After the initial exam participants returned one and two years later. Initially only 44 percent of American men and 20 percent of American women met the U.S. Surgeon General physical activity guidelines that recommended at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise such as brisk walking weekly.

Results showed total weight gain was greater among those who met the physical activity guidelines. In America, men who met the guidelines gained a half pound per year, whereas American men who did not meet the guidelines lost 0.6 pounds. Researchers also found no relationship between sedentary lifestyle initially and subsequent weight gain or weight loss. The only significant factors for weight gain were weight at the initial visit, age and gender.

Food/Antibiotics May Cause IBS

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

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A recent review of research published in the American Journal of Physiology–Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, suggested that changes in the microorganisms in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract may be the cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This condition is common in up to 20 percent of the middle aged people in North America who suffer from abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, or constipation or both. In the past it was thought to be caused by emotional stress, environmental factors, and genetics. Based upon their review of research they found: 1)diet can change the makeup of bacteria in the GI tract that may contribute to symptoms of IBS;  2) antibiotic use, which disturbs microbiota in the gut is associated with IBS; 3) changes in the gut microbiota  influences the ability of the GI tract to contract to move waste through the system; and 4) changes in the gut microbes can impair communication networks between the immune, nervous and endocrine systems, predisposing people to IBS.  They also found that emotional stress may change the shape and function of microrganisms in the GI tract. Authors were optimistic that their findings would help facilitate treatments for IBS.

Dr Sunil Pai discusses Inflammation Nation.

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

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Sunil Pai, MD is Board Certified in Holistic Integrative Medicine. After his residency in Family Medicine at the University of New Mexico he became Board Certified in Family Medicine.  He was one of the first physicians 16 years ago in the U.S. to become a Fellow of the Program in Integrative Medicine at University of Arizona (Class 2002) directed by Dr. Andrew Weil. He is certified by Dr. Deepak Chopra as a Primordial Sound Meditation Instructor and a Creating Health (Ayurveda Lifestyle) Instructor. He is also certified in Functional Medicine, Physiological Regulating Medicine, Medical Acupuncture and Neuro-Acupuncture through Stanford University School of Medicine and Dr. Jason Hao. Dr. Pai is the Vice President of the Neuro-Acupuncture Institute, a non-profit organization focusing on teaching physicians neuroacupuncture which is focused for pain conditions and neurological dysfunction such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, parkinsons and traumatic brain injury.  Dr. Pai also specializes in Auriculotherapy focusing on treatment of both food and inhalant allergies. Dr. Pai is also certified in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and teaches each patient about the health benefits of eating whole food plant based diets. Dr. Pai has undergone specialized training in Ayurvedic Medicine at the Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Ayurveda, and Intensive Yoga Therapies at the Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana in India.

Sunil Pai, MD is a Deacon of the House of Sanjevani Integrative Medicine Health & Lifestyle Center located in Albuquerque, an Integrated Auxiliary of the Priory of Santa Fe.  As a nonprofit organization, they provide full service health education and Integrative Medicine services with emphasis in indigenous and natural medicines. Sanjevani is certified by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), as an Educational Alliance Partner for delivering evidence based, clinical plant based nutritional programs.

Dr. Pai specializes in custom formulation of dietary supplements including vitamins, minerals, Ayurvedic herbs, medical foods, and homeopathics using safe, clinically effective ingredients. He has been a consultant to various nutraceutical companies as well as functional medicine testing companies. Over the past 14 years, Dr. Pai has studied the processing of raw materials from farm to manufacturing and from the bench top research to clinical studies. His interest in the benefits of natural therapies led to the development of Sanjevani nutraceutical products. Dr. Pai has become internationally recognized by his Sanjevani’s flagship product, Bosmeric-SR®, the strongest natural supplement for pain and inflammation support available worldwide. The all-natural, patented ingredients in a bi-layered tablet provides an immediate action within 20 minutes and sustained release over an 8 hour period.

Dr. Pai recently released his critically acclaimed book An Inflammation Nation (Forward by Dr. Andrew Weil), The Definitive 10-step Guide to Preventing, Treating and Reversing All Diseases Through Diet, Lifestyle and the Use of Natural Anti-Inflammatories for the prevention and treatment of chronic. More information is available at: https://www.sanjevani.net/

Are Salmonella Bacteria a Possible New Treatment for Cancer?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

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A new study published in PLOS ONE concluded that Salmonella has a unique characteristic allowing it to penetrate through a cell barrier and replicate inside its host. Scientist have now developed a non-toxic strain of Salmonella to penetrate and target cancer cells that may lead to treatments actively targeting and controlling the spread of cancer. The researchers said “Salmonella strains have a natural preference for infiltrating and replicating within the cancer cells of a tumor, making the bacterial an ideal candidate for bacteriotherapy. …..the use of live bacteria as therapy to treat medical conditions, like cancer.”

Researchers developed  CRC2631, a Salmonella strain that was genetically modified to render the bacteria non-toxic and enhance its natural ability to target and kill cancer cells without harming normal, healthy cells. This Salmonella strain was administered directly into the circulatory system of mice with prostate cancer. Results show that the mice tolerated the treatment well and the prostate tumors decreased by about 20% when compared with a control group,  The success of the study was dependent upon the strain of Salmonella, CRC2631, that was collected and stored in a test tube at room temperature for more than 50 years. It differs from that used by other researchers trying to obtain the same results because it is unique and essential to the study.

Can Depression Influence Lung Cancer Survival?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

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A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on October 3 concluded that worsening symptoms depression are associated with shorter survival for lung cancer patients, especially for those in the early stages of the disease. On the other hand, when symptoms lift, survival tends to improve. Researchers said “This study cannot prove causation–but it lends support to the idea that surveillance for depression symptoms and treatment for depression could provide significant impact on patients outcomes, perhaps even a mortality benefit.” They also said “Suprisingly, depression remission was associated with a mortality benefit as they had the same mortality as never-depressed patients.”

In the study more than 1700 newly diagnosed lung cancer patients between 2003 and 2005 who had completed an eight item depression assessment at diagnoses and 12 months later were followed. they found almost 40 percent or 681 people had depressive symptoms at diagnosis and 14 percent or 105 people developed new-onset symptoms during treatment. Those depressed at the beginning of the study were 17 percent more likely to die during follow up than those with out depressive symptoms. Those (105 patients) with newly-diagnosed depression symptoms were 50 percent more likely to die than those (640 patients) who never developed depression. And another 254 patients whose depression lasted throughout the study period were 42 percent more likely to die. However, those whose depression at diagnoses were free of depression one year later had the same risk of death as those without depression.

Researchers concluded “Clinicians have to do a better job of treating the whole person and not focusing on the disease only.” “From the patients’ perspective, hopefully some of them will take a look at this study and realize the feelings they arew experiencing are common and they will feel empowered to advocate for themselves and ask their clinician for help or resources when they need it.”

New Tool Measures Expense Stress of Cancer patients?

Friday, October 14th, 2016

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A recent article in the journal Cancer reported on a new tool that measures a patient’s risk for, and ability to tolerate , the financial stress associated with cancer treatment.  They previously found that many patients experience uncertainty and stress as a result of the cancer treatment compounded by what is called “financial toxicity”  or the anxiety and distress that follows health care and medical expenses, often compounded by reduced ability to pay.

Using data from 233 advanced cancer patients receiving treatment, they found that the COST (Comprehensive Score for financial Toxicity) questionnaire identified patients in financial stress. They said “As expected, we found a strong association between a patient’s use of health care resources and his or her sense of financial toxicity.  For example, more than two admissions to the hospital significantly affected a patient’s financial toxicity. The questionnaire has 11 brief statements about costs, resources and concerns and for each question patients circled one of five possible responses to determine their level of concern. An example of a question included “I feel financially stressed.”

Researchers found several factors associated with financial toxicity. These included employment status, household income, psychological stress, number of hospital admissions, and race in rank order.  Researchers were surprised to find a lack of perceived financial benefit from participating in clinical trials even when there was no cost. Researchers said “It is important to note that the financial distress identified by the COST scale captures a unique set of stressors affecting patients above and beyond the physical and psychological strains of the disease.” Further research is planned.