Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Reduced Stem Cell/Vitamin A Deficiency

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Lack of a Vitamin A metabolite causes a loss of important stem cells according to new research published in Cell. This metabolite known as retinoic acid is essential in the process of activating and inactivating stem cells to regenerate cells. Specialized cells in the skin, gut, or blood have a short lifespan and require steady replenishment from adult stem cells that divide continuously. In 2008 it was discovered that a group of special stem cells in the bone marrow remain dormant most of the time and only become active to fight bacteria or viruses, durinmg heavy vlood loss, or as a result of chemotherapy. When their work is done these most potent stem cells return to dormancy. Current researchers found the mechanism that activate or deactive stem cells and that is the retinoic acid , a metabolite of vitamin A, that is crucial to the activation-deactivation process.

In the mice studies they found that stem cells are lost as a reservoir when they lack retinoic acid. Feeding the mice a diet deficient in vitamin A caused a loss of stem cells. This study added to those previously that showed vitamin A deficiencies impaired the immune system.

BPA/Inflammatory Breast Cancer Connection.

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

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The chemical bisphenol A (BPA) seems to aid the survival of inflammatory breast cancer cells that reveals a possible mechanism for how the disease grows according to new research in the journal Carcinogenesis. They found that BPA increases the cell signaling pathways known as mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) in inflammatory breast cancer cells. Researchers said “the study is the first to show that BPA increases signaling thorough receptors that communicate with the MAPK pathway and that the presence of BPA may lead to resistance to cancer drugs targetinmg this pathweay. In our cell model, more signaling led to increased growth of the cancer cells”

Researchers started by treating Inflammatory Breast Cancer cells with six endocrine-disrupting chemicals commonly found in the everyday environment found in food, medicine and agricultural products. The found that BPA, in addition to chemicals trichloroethane (HPTE) and methoxychlor, caused an increase in signaling to epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR), that lie on the cell surface. When cells were treated with low doses of BPA, there was nearly a doubling of EGER and signaling to the MAPK pathway also increased. This weas accompanied with a rise in indicators of cancer cell growth. They also found that BPA exposure inhibited the effectiveness of drugs that work to kill cancer cells by inhibiting EGFR signaling.  Research is ongoing.

Medical Marijuana Expert/Dr David Bearman

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

 

 

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Dr David Bearman, M.D. is one of the most clinically knowledgeable physicians in the U.S. in the field of medical marijuana and will appear on the Holistic Health Show on Saturday.  He has spent 40 years working in substance and drug abuse treatment and prevention programs.  Dr. Bearman was a pioneer in the free and community clinic movement.  His career includes public health, administrative medicine, provision of primary care, pain management and cannabinology.

His almost 40 year professional experience in the drug abuse treatment and prevention field includes being the Co-Director of the Haight-Ashbury Drug Treatment Program, being a member of Governor Reagan’s Inter Agency Task Force on Drug Abuse, a member of both the Santa Barbara and the San Diego County Drug Abuse Technical Advisor Committees, and a consultant to Hoffman-LaRoche, Santa Barbara County Schools and the National PTA. He has been recognized by the Santa Barbara Medical Society with the Humanitarian Recognition Award.

Dr. Bearman is also the author of Drugs Are NOT the Devil’s Tools: How Discrimination and Greed Created a Dysfunctional Drug Policy and How It Can Be Fixed in 2 volumes. More information is available at: http://www.davidbearmanmd.com/

Enjoy the Interview:

 

Is High Dose Vitamin C safe?

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

 

Holistic-Health-Show-with-Dr-Carl-O-HelvieA new study published in Cancer Cell researchers found in clinical studies that it was safe to regularly infuse brain and lung cancer patients with 800 to 1,000 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C as a potential strategy to improve outcomes of standard cancer treatments. In addition, they showed pathways by which altered iron metabolism in cancer cells, and not normal cells, lead to increased sensitivity to cancer cell death caused by high dose vitamin C.

In the study 11 patients enrolled in the brain cancer safety trial and received three infusions of vitamin C a week for 2 months followed by two infusions per week for 7 months while receiving standard care of radiation and chemotherapy. The goal of each infusion was to raise the concentration of vitamin C in a patients blood to 20,000 uM, as compared to a blood level of          70 uM found in most adults. A high dose is necessary because vitamin C has a half life of around two hours in circulating human blood. The treatment was generally well tolerated except for frequent trips to the bathroom and dry mouth. (as an aside, dry mouth was the one symptom mentioned by Dr Francisco Contreras at the Oasis of Hope where they have used high dose vitamin C with cancer patients). Researchers found that occasionally patients had elevated blood pressure that subsided quickly following infusion.

The safety of the high dose vitamin C is due to the fact that it is not toxic to normal cells but when interacting with cancer cells the high levels of redox active iron molecules in the cancer cells reacts with the vitamin C to form hydrogen peroxide and free radicals formed from hydrogen peroxide. The free radicals are believed to cause DNA damage selectively in the cancer cells that lead to cancer cell death and sensitivity to radiation and chemotherapy in cancer cells. (This has been long known by alternative doctors who use the high dose vitamin C without the chemo and radiation).  Researchers said “This is a significant example of how knowing details of potential mechanisms and the basic science of redox active compounds in cancer versus normal cells can be leveraged clinically in cancer therapy.” …Here , we verified convincingly, that increased redox active metal ions in cancer cells were responsible for the differential sensitivity of cancer versus normal cells to very high doses of vitamin C.” Further studies on safety and vitam C are planned.

Cancer Development/Epigenetics/ Metabolism?

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

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A new study published in Briefings in Functional Genomics evaluated how epigenetics modulate human genetic programs and how it emphasizes or silences genes and concluded that if epigenetics is disrupted. it might switch on oncogenes (genes that under certain circumstances transform cells into tumor cells) or shut down tumor suppressors. Both processes will transform cells into tumor cells and cause cancer.

Experiments carried out years ago showed that chemical modification affecting the packaging of DNA can switch genes on or off. Epigenetics evolved to explain the changes caused by modification of gene expression , instead of altering the gene code itself and focuses on factors that regulate how and when certain genes are turned on and off.  In contract, epigenomics relates to the analysis of global epigenetic changes across many genes. Current research shows that complementary forces of on and off switches keep each other is check. If one force overtakes, the system gets out of equibrium. and the cells either experience unlimited growth, cancer, or death. It is believed that a better understanding of these processes will lead to counter factors to prevent cancer.

 

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.