11
May

The New England Journal of Medicine Asks FDA to Reconsider Labeling GMO Foods

If 64 countries including Russia and China have transparency in labeling genetically modified foods, or GMOs, why doesn’t the U.S.?

Two big reasons: Big Food and Big Ag lobbyists. Our policy is to approve first and ask questions later.

Trans fats are a perfect example. Trans fats killed hundreds of thousands of people before they were banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 50 years after they were found to be harmful.

gmo-free-word-cloud

If the conservative The New England Journal of Medicine is calling for better research, clear food labeling and calling out a warning about GMOs, we should be worried! Photo credit: Shutterstock

Do we have to wait that long for GMOs? If the conservative The New England Journal of Medicine is calling for better research, clear food labeling and calling out a warning about GMOs, we should be worried!

Here’s an excerpt from what The New England Journal of Medicine said in its recent post“GMOs, Herbicides and Public Health”:

The application of biotechnology to agriculture has been rapid and aggressive. The vast majority of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States are now genetically engineered. Foods produced from GM crops have become ubiquitous. And unlike regulatory bodies in 64 other countries, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require labeling of GM foods.

Two recent developments are dramatically changing the GMO landscape. First, there have been sharp increases in the amounts and numbers of chemical herbicides applied to GM crops, and still further increases—the largest in a generation—are scheduled to occur in the next few years. Second, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified glyphosate, the herbicide most widely used on GM crops, as a “probable human carcinogen” and classified a second herbicide, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), as a “possible human carcinogen.”

[…]

Finally, we believe the time has come to revisit the United States’ reluctance to label GM foods. Labeling will deliver multiple benefits. It is essential for tracking emergence of novel food allergies and assessing effects of chemical herbicides applied to GM crops. It would respect the wishes of a growing number of consumers who insist they have a right to know what foods they are buying and how they were produced. And the argument that there is nothing new about genetic rearrangement misses the point that GM crops are now the agricultural products most heavily treated with herbicides and that two of these herbicides may pose risks of cancer. We hope, in light of this new information, that the FDA will reconsider labeling of GM foods and couple it with adequately funded, long-term postmarketing surveillance.

Write to your representatives, sign petitions and boycott GMO foods (by buying organic when you can). But don’t be complacent. Your future and your children future is at stake!

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http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1505660#.Vdmv4nQypco.facebook

19
Feb

Research Proves Curcumin to Be as Effective as Pharmaceutical Drugs

 

Curcumin_structure

This herbaceous herb (also known as Curcuma longa) is a member of the ginger family, which has been used throughout India and the Orient for thousands of years. It tastes great when added to all sorts of culinary delights, such as rice, roasted vegetables, soups and teas. I even sprinkle some on my popcorn… yummy!

Historical records note that ancient Polynesians took turmeric with them when they sailed across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, where the spice is still used today and is known as ’olena.

In India, this golden spice has long been called “holy powder,” and is used extensively to treat infections, wounds and a myriad of other health problems. Its healing power was once thought of as only folklore; however, modern research is now confirming what the people of India and many parts of Asia have known for thousands of years — turmeric is a spice you don’t want to pass up.

Scientists are finding an astonishing array of antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, antibiotic, antifungal and antibacterial properties. As an immune system booster, turmeric is five to eight times stronger than vitamin C and E.

Studies show that curcumin, the principal curcuminoid of turmeric, inserts itself into cell membranes where it does a little housecleaning and reorganizing, adding vibrancy to the cell itself. Suddenly a disorganized cell becomes organized, allowing information to flow through it so it can function more effectively. The result of this action increases the cell’s resistance to infection, malignancy and more!

The ultimate inflammation buster

Although acute inflammation is important as it fights foreign invaders and repairs damage, chronic inflammation is nothing short of disastrous because it begins to destroy the body’s own tissues. Research links chronic, low-level inflammation to almost all Western diseases, including cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

FACT: Curcumin actually has a bioactive substance that tackles inflammation at the molecular level.

Most researched plant on the planet

By far, turmeric is one of the most extensively researched plants ever discovered by mankind. Most of its potent therapeutic value is found in its main component, curcumin. In fact, this humble little spice has been the star of well over 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies. These studies reveal over 600 potential preventive and therapeutic applications and an additional 175 or more beneficial physiological effects.

Here are just some of the researched areas where turmeric has proven to be effective:

Natural antiseptic
Natural painkiller
Fat metabolism and weight loss
Remedy for psoriasis and skin conditions
Natural antidepressant
Blood purifier
Liver detoxifier
Slows and reverses heart disease
Slows the progression of multiple sclerosis
Slows the progression of Alzheimer’s
Supports eye health
Supports female reproductive health
Cleanses the skin
Helps with sugar digestion
Reduces the ill effects of chemotherapy
Protects against radiation
Eliminates parasites
Promotes healthy digestion
Thins gut mucus
Protects against heavy metal toxicity
Aids in wound healing
Fights yeast
Reduces the spread of cancer
Promotes healthy circulation
Restores damaged skin
Relieves pain from leech bites
Fights infection
Protects from free radicals
Supports healthy bones, ligaments, joints and skeletal system
Boosts the immune system
Provides protection from food poisoning
Fights aging

 

23
Sep

Benefits of d-ribose for cardiovascular heart disease

d-ribose


Like other major organs, the heart and circulatory system needs specific nutrients for peak efficiency, but it can be weakened by an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, stress, and environmental pollutants. Doctor's Best offers a comprehensive array of supplements to support heart health, chief among them is CoQ10, a critical nutrient that becomes depleted by age or cholesterol-lowering drugs. Other heart-healthy supplements include D-ribose and L-carnitine to increase production of ATP, the fuel that powers heart muscles; antioxidants like resveratrol and alpha lipoic acid (ALA) that scavenge artery-damaging free-radicals; nattokinase, which improves blood pressure; and B complex vitamins and vitamins C and E, which affect cholesterol levels, arterial flexibility, and plaque formation.*

I am researching the of Benefits of d-ribose for cardiovascular heart disease.

I found The following refs for review are under considering:
D-Ribose as a Supplement for Cardiac Energy Metabolism

D-Ribose improves diastolic function and quality of life in congestive
heart failure patients: a prospective feasibility study
D-Ribose improves diastolic function and quality of life in congestive heart failure patients: a prospective feasibility study

The benefits of ribose in cardiovascular disease
The benefits of ribose in cardiovascular disease

Please feel free to comment or provide research on the subject to the discussion.

16
Sep

Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.

Chapter 9  Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi)

A Medicinal Mushroom

Sissi Wachtel-Galor, John Yuen, John A. Buswell, and Iris F. F. Benzie.

9.1. INTRODUCTION

Ganoderma lucidum, an oriental fungus (Figure 9.1), has a long history of use for promoting health and longevity in China, Japan, and other Asian countries. It is a large, dark mushroom with a glossy exterior and a woody texture. The Latin word lucidus means “shiny” or “brilliant” and refers to the varnished appearance of the surface of the mushroom. In China, G. lucidum is called lingzhi, whereas in Japan the name for the Ganodermataceae family is reishi or mannentake.

FIGURE 9.1. (See color insert.

FIGURE 9.1

(See color insert.) The lingzhi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum). (Courtesy of North American Reishi/Nammex.)

In Chinese, the name lingzhi represents a combination of spiritual potency and essence of immortality, and is regarded as the “herb of spiritual potency,” symbolizing success, well-being, divine power, and longevity. Among cultivated mushrooms, G. lucidum is unique in that its pharmaceutical rather than nutritional value is paramount. A variety of commercial G. lucidum products are available in various forms, such as powders, dietary supplements, and tea. These are produced from different parts of the mushroom, including mycelia, spores, and fruit body. The specific applications and attributed health benefits of lingzhi include control of blood glucose levels, modulation of the immune system, hepatoprotection, bacteriostasis, and more. The various beliefs regarding the health benefits of G. lucidum (Figure 9.2) are based largely on anecdotal evidence, traditional use, and cultural mores. However, recent reports provide scientific support to some of the ancient claims of the health benefits of lingzhi.

FIGURE 9.2. Postulated health benefits of lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum).

FIGURE 9.2

Pure Ganoderma

Ref:ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2011. Chapter 9. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/

7
Sep

The Protective Effects of Silymarin against Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity and Hepatotoxicity

heart health

The Protective Effects of Silymarin against Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity and Hepatotoxicity in Rats

1 Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Clinical Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia2 Department of Hematology and Oncology, Institute for Child and Youth Health Care of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 September 2011 / Revised: 5 October 2011 / Accepted: 10 October 2011 / Published: 12 October 2011
Download PDF [515 KB, uploaded 18 June 2014]

Abstract

Silymarin is a complex of five major compounds, and silibinin is the most biologically active component of the complex. The aim of this study was to investigate, evaluate and confirm the potential cardioprotective and hepatoprotective effects of administration of silymarin, rich in silibinin, at a dose of 60 mg/kg orally for a time-span of 12 days on doxorubicin induced toxicity in male Wistar rats. The in vivo model was used to explore whether silymarin could prevent damage of liver and heart tissue induced by doxorubicin administered every other day at dose of 1.66 mg/kg intraperitoneally for twelve days. In the study the change of body weight, ECG changes, biochemical parameters of oxidative stress, serum activity of alanine and aspartate transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase, creatine kinase and histological preparations of heart and liver samples of treated animals were examined. According to physiological, pharmacological, microscopic and biochemical results, we confirmed that at the examined dose, silymarin exhibits a protective influence on the heart and liver tissue against toxicity induced by doxorubicin.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
28
Aug

Nature improves well-being

Nature improves well-being
in older adults
Dr. Micozzi's Insiders' Healthblue-green-spaces-1969

Article by Dr. Micozzi :

My daughter knows firsthand the power of spending time in Nature. She now works as a Maryland State Park Ranger. And under a refreshing new governor, her state now funds a "Youth Park Ranger" program where urban children have an opportunity to get outside in Nature. I can't think of a simpler, healthier program for both mind and body.

My daughter's new Nature program is for children, but new research out of the University of Minnesota shows spending time in green and blue spaces (environments with running or still water) offers many health benefits to older people too.

As I often say, spending time in Nature every day improves your quality of life at any age. It measurably reduces stress. It also promotes physical, mental and spiritual healing. People can attain these health benefits by spending time outside to "get away from it all."

Fortunately, you don't have embark on a Lewis & Clark expedition to gain the powerful benefits...

The new study shows exposure to small natural elements--such as a koi pond or a bench among flowers--benefitted older adults. In fact, these small green and blue spaces promoted feelings of renewal, restoration, and spiritual connection in adults ages 65 to 86. They also provided places for social engagement and interaction, both planned and impromptu, with family and friends.

Researchers found access to blue and green spaces encouraged men and women to simply get out the door. It helped them maintain a structured daily schedule. Also, it helped offset the effects of chronic illness, disability and isolation. As a result, quality of life indicators showed decreases in boredom, isolation and loneliness. And improvements in their sense of accomplishment and purpose.

You can easily seek small connections to Nature. I always recommend spending time in and near water. I suppose it's only natural for me, since I spent a lot of time as a child on the coast of northern New England. And still do today, in New England and Florida.

Research shows movement in water is one of the best, healthiest, safest, and most restorative forms of physical activity. Also, simply spending time on the water or along the waterfront can help you relax and find a spiritual connection. At the end of the fifth paragraph, in the very first chapter, of that great American novel Moby Dick, Herman Melville poetically writes, "Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded forever."

I find many busy people think they don't have time or opportunities to connect with Nature or meditate on a daily basis.

But even in the middle of your busy life, my co-author, Don McCown, and I show how you can find that "waterfront" for contemplation, spiritual connection and relaxation right in your own "mind's eye," anytime, every day.

In our book New World Mindfulness, we give you the practical guidelines for "everyday mindfulness" meditation. As we point out, you don't have to go away to a Buddhist Monastery, or even to the seashore, to get the benefits of practicing meditation--but rather follow the long tradition of mindfulness in America.

Research shows practicing mindfulness as a young and middle-aged adult has many brain benefits. Imaging studies demonstrate that mindfulness meditation helps stave off dementia and can help you achieve health aging.

My advice for healthy aging is pretty simple:

  1. Focus on overall well being--mental and social health, as well as physical fitness.
  2. Get out the door daily, even if it's just around the block or to the corner park.
  3. Make contact with Nature an everyday priority. Sit in a park, listen to a water fountain, or sit among the plants in a garden.

Late summer and early fall is a special time of year, especially here along the New England coast. Now that the children are heading back to school, the beaches are perfect for those contemplative and restorative walks along the water.

Impacts of blue and green spaces for older adults, "Health & Place, 2015; 34: 97

6
Jun

Missing Link

You have to wonder why they have missed this after all these years?

missing link

In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer's disease to multiple sclerosis.

"Instead of asking, 'How do we study the of the brain?' 'Why do patients have the immune attacks?' now we can approach this mechanistically. Because the brain is like every other tissue connected to the peripheral through meningeal lymphatic vessels," said Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, professor in the UVA Department of Neuroscience and director of UVA's Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG). "It changes entirely the way we perceive the neuro-immune interaction. We always perceived it before as something esoteric that can't be studied. But now we can ask mechanistic questions."

"We believe that for every neurological disease that has an immune component to it, these vessels may play a major role," Kipnis said. "Hard to imagine that these vessels would not be involved in a [neurological] disease with an immune component."

New Discovery in Human Body

Kevin Lee, PhD, chairman of the UVA Department of Neuroscience, described his reaction to the discovery by Kipnis' lab: "The first time these guys showed me the basic result, I just said one sentence: 'They'll have to change the textbooks.' There has never been a for the central nervous system, and it was very clear from that first singular observation - and they've done many studies since then to bolster the finding - that it will fundamentally change the way people look at the central nervous system's relationship with the immune system."

Even Kipnis was skeptical initially. "I really did not believe there are structures in the body that we are not aware of. I thought the body was mapped," he said. "I thought that these discoveries ended somewhere around the middle of the last century. But apparently they have not."

8
Apr

Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration

A Reason to take Vitamins to Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-Related Macular Degeneration  macular

  1. Conclusions

    Persons older than 55 years should have dilated eye examinations to determine their risk of developing advanced AMD. Those with extensive intermediate size drusen, at least 1 large druse, non central geographic atrophy in 1 or both eyes, or advanced AMD or vision loss due to AMD in 1 eye, and without contraindications such as smoking, should consider taking a supplement of antioxidants plus zinc such as that used in this study.

  2. https://www.nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts
  3. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss. AREDS Report No. 8. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119:1417-1436.

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