“O2 to the rescue”

Healing should be a simple noninvasive and natural process.

High Dose Of Oxygen Enhances Natural Cancer Treatment


A Petri dish with human cancer cells was placed in this high-pressure oxygen chamber for 48 hours. Source: Reimers Systems

An environment of pure oxygen at three-and-a-half times normal air pressure adds significantly to the effectiveness of a natural compound already shown to kill cancerous cells, researchers at the University of Washington and Washington State University recently reported in the journal Anticancer Research.

The compound artemisinin – isolated from Artemisia annua L, commonly known as wormwood – is a natural remedy widely used to treat malaria. In the mid-1990s UW researchers were the first to explore its ability to treat cancer.

In the new study, using artemisinin or high-pressure oxygen alone on a culture of human leukemia cells reduced the cancer cells’ growth by 15 percent. Using them in combination reduced the cells’ growth by 38 percent, a 50 percent increase in artemisinin’s effectiveness.(“Other natural substances like prickly pear concentrate has upwards of 100% kill in vitro – editor’s note)

“If you combine high-pressure oxygen with artemisinin you can get a much better curing effect,” said author Henry Lai, a UW research professor of bioengineering. “We only measured up to 48 hours. Over longer time periods we expect the synergistic effects to be even more dramatic.”

The history of artemisinin brings to mind an Indiana Jones story. In the early 1970s, Lai says, Chinese leader Mao Zedong issued an order to develop an anti-malarial treatment. At the same time, a farmer in central China discovered a 2,000-year-old tomb that contained three coffins.

One coffin contained a silk scroll describing various prescriptions, including artemisinin to treat malaria. The Chinese followed the directions and thus rediscovered an ancient remedy.

Today, artemisinin is widely used in Asia and Africa for malaria treatment.

In the decades since, scientists have discovered artemisinin reacts with iron within a cell to form a free radical, a highly reactive charged particle that destroys the cell. Because the malaria parasite is high in iron, artemisinin targets malaria-infected cells.

Since rapidly dividing cancer cells also need iron to form new DNA, Lai theorized they would also make targets for artemisinin. Subsequent research showed this to be the case.

Lai and colleagues at the UW developed a variant several thousand times more potent than natural artemisinin, which was licensed in 2004 to a Chinese company.

“Artemisinin is a promising low-cost cancer treatment because it’s specific, it’s cheap and you don’t have to inject it,” Lai said. “It’s 100 times more specific than traditional chemotherapy,” he added. “In breast cancer, it’s even better.”

Lai says he’s long hypothesized that high oxygen levels would enhance artemisinin’s effects, because oxygen promotes the formation of free radicals. In 2010, he put the theory to the test in a hyperbaric chamber that co-author Raymond Quock, WSU professor and chair of pharmaceutical sciences, has been using to study highly pressurized oxygen’s ability to relieve pain.

Hyperbaric chambers, filled with oxygen at high pressure, help scuba divers who surface too quickly gradually readjust to normal oxygen levels. A photo of pop singer Jackson in the mid-80s sleeping in a portable hyperbaric chamber sparked rumors that he was trying to heal scars from plastic surgery, retain his youthful appearance or extend his lifespan.

The photo turned out to be a publicity stunt, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved hyperbaric oxygen therapy for several ailments, including decompression sickness, carbon-monoxide poisoning, severe burns and slow-to-heal wounds.

In clinical practice, the artemisinin-hyperbaric study could lead to people or animals spending time in a hyperbaric chamber to enhance the artemisinin’s effectiveness.

Other co-authors are Yusuke Ohgami, Catherine Elstad and Eunhee Chung of WSU and Donald Shirachi of the Chico Hyperbaric Center. The research was funded by the Washington State University College of Pharmacy and the Chico Hyperbaric Center.

In related artemisinin work, funded through a $1.5 million grant from the state’s Life Sciences Discovery Fund to a team led by UW chemistry professor Tomikazu Sasaki:

UW researchers are developing synthetic artemisinin compounds with enhanced potency and anti-cancer selectivity, and WSU researchers are conducting a clinical trial evaluating these compounds’ ability to treat cancer in dogs. The molecular-engineered artemisinin compounds, which are stronger and more targeted than natural artemisinin but can still be taken by mouth, are licensed to Artemisia Biomedical of Newcastle, Wash.

WSU crop scientists are planting Artemisia annua in eastern Washington to test whether the region could plant artemisinin as a commercial crop.

Researchers are working with Northwest Organic Foods, a Washington chicken-feed company, to try adding artemisinin, instead of small amounts of arsenic, to chicken feed. Artemisinin acts as a natural preventative for avian coccidia infection, one of the poultry industry’s most costly parasitic diseases.

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“Kiss arsenic goodbye in US wells hopefully”

Queens University Scientists Behind Safer Drinking Water In US


Dr. Bhaskar Sen Gupta of Queen’s University Belfast, whose pioneering technology, which is transforming the lives of millions of people in Asia, is now being used to create safer drinking water in the United States. The award-winning system – Subterranean Arsenic Removal – removes arsenic from groundwater without using chemicals. It was developed by a team of European and Indian engineers led by Dr. Sen Gupta. The technology, based on the principle of oxidation and filtration processes, is already in use in six plants in West Bengal. And the technology has now been successfully tested in the United States, in a rural community outside Bellingham, in Northwest Washington State. Credit: Alan Richardson

Pioneering technology by scientists at Queen’s University Belfast is transforming the lives of millions of people in Asia, is now being used to create safer drinking water in the United States.

The award-winning system – Subterranean Arsenic Removal – removes arsenic from groundwater without using chemicals. It was developed by a team of European and Indian engineers led by Dr Bhaskar Sen Gupta in Queen’s University School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering.

The technology, based on the principle of oxidation and filtration processes, is already in use in six plants in West Bengal.

And the technology has now been successfully tested in the United States, in a rural community outside Bellingham, in Northwest Washington State, where high levels of arsenic in the water had previously caused challenges for local residents.

Jeremy Robinson, a member of the Washington State installation team, said: “We first read about the SAR technology on Wikipedia. Initially, it seemed too good to be true. Arsenic is a significant problem for many of the wells in our area. None of the conventional approaches for arsenic treatment have worked well for us. But, once we recognized the advantages and elegance of the SAR approach, we started preparing to test it here.

“With the generous help offered to us by Dr. Sen Gupta and Queen’s University, we are now under way. Our early results have been very promising. We started the trial in January, on an abandoned well with alarmingly high arsenic levels. After three weeks, the arsenic level had dropped substantially. And now, after seven weeks, we are seeing arsenic levels at or below the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limit.”

Dr Sen Gupta, came to Washington State to oversee the installation.

The key aspects of this life-changing technology are its affordability and simplicity of installation and operation. The cost of setting up a plant to produce up to 6,000 liters of water a day averages under Pounds 2,500 ($4000 US).  If used in a developing nation the cost would be much less and the operational cost is Pounds 14 a month ($20 US).

“The estimated life of each plant is about 20 years without any mechanical maintenance, and the system is operated, quite simply, by the pressing of an electrical switch.”

The technology has already attracted interest from other parts of the United States, and plans are now advanced for SAR plants to be set up in Cambodia, Vietnam and Mexico in the next six months.

The work of Dr Sen Gupta’s team has won accolades from around the world. In November Queen’s University was awarded the prestigious Times Higher Education Outstanding Engineering Research Team of the Year title.

The judges said: “Engineering at its core is about solving critical problems. The team from Queen’s has exemplified this, finding an innovative solution to overcome arsenic contamination of groundwater and thus improve the quality of life in rural communities.”

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“LOXL2 enzyme spreads cancer”

Did you know?
90 percent of cancer-related deaths occur because a tumor migrates around the patient’s body.
A key to unlock metatasis

The LOXL2 enzyme activity has been linked to the metastasis of a variety of different cancers, including breast, esophageal, colon, and squamous cell cancers.

Researchers analysis of breast cancer patients, found poor survival rates and the spread of some cancers  was linked to high levels of the LOXL2 enzyme. This enzyme  has been linked to the early stages of metastasis of these cancers into the bloodstream.

Around 47,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year and around 12,000 die from the disease.

Recent studies have shown that the lifetime risk of the disease for women is now one in eight.

Experts blamed lifestyle factors, including obesity and drinking alcohol, for fuelling the rise.

Women are also more likely to have children later in life and fewer offspring, which influences the risk.

In the latest study, published in the journal Cancer Research, experts found that LOXL2 promotes the spread of breast cancer through the way it controls two proteins, TIMP1 and MMP9.

In the mice studies, antibodies and chemicals were used to block LOXL2 activity. This prevented breast cancer from metastasizing to other tissues.
These findings are important are an important role in developing a test to try and predict the possible spread of cancer and possible patient outcomes.
Director of Research and Policy at Breast Cancer Campaign, Arlene Wilkie, said, “by using LOXL2 to predict whose cancer will spread and drugs to block the enzyme to stop this from happening, many more lives could be saved.”

This laboratory research shows great promise and we look forward to seeing how it translates into patients.”

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“Lavender oil destroys fungal infections”

Fungi are increasingly resistant to drugs. It is urgent to explore alternatives to combat fungal infections.  Lavender (Lavendula) is an herbal plant whose essential oil have been used for centuries to heal skin tissue from burns, often used as a mild antidepressant and for its anticeptic qualities and as an exotic edible condiment. Finally modern western medical research is being forced to study how it works for its significant clinical benefits.

Lavender oil derived from pressing the leaves and distilling the essence from the volatile oils could be used to combat the increasing incidence of antifungal-resistant infections, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.

The essential oil shows a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections.

 

Scientists from the University of Coimbra in Portugal distilled lavender oil from the Lavandula viridis L’Her shrub that grows in southern Portugal. The oil was tested against a range of pathogenic fungi and was found to be lethal to a range of skin-pathogenic strains, known as dermatophytes, as well as various species of Candida.
Dermatophytes cause infections of the skin, hair and nails as they use the keratin within these tissues to obtain nutrients. They are responsible for conditions such as Athletes’ foot, ringworm and can also lead to scalp and nail infections.
Candida species coexist with most healthy individuals without causing problems but may cause mucocutaneous candidosis – or thrush – in some people. In immunocompromised patients, Candida species are able to cause serious infection if the fungal cells escape into the blood stream.
Currently, there are relatively few types of antifungal drugs to treat infections and those that are available often have side effects. Professor Ligia Salgueiro and Professor Eugenia Pinto who led this study explained why novel fungicides are urgently needed.
“In the last few years there has been an increase in the incidence of fungal diseases, particularly among immunocompromised patients,” they said.
“Unfortunately there is also increasing resistance to antifungal drugs. Research by our group and others has shown that essential oils may be cheap, efficient alternatives that have minimal side effects.”
Essential oils distilled from the Lavandula genus of lavender plants are already used widely, particularly in the food, perfume and cosmetic industries. Studies of the biological activities of these oils suggest Lavandula oils have sedative and antispasmodic properties as well being potent antimicrobials and antioxidants.

This group has demonstrated that these oils work by destroying fungal cells by damaging the cell membrane. They believe that further research into the mechanisms by which this essential oil works could have significant clinical benefits.

“Lavandula oil shows wide-spectrum antifungal activity and is highly potent. This is a good starting point for developing this oil for clinical use to manage fungal infections. What is now required is clinical trials to evaluate how our in vitro work translates in vivo,” said Professor Salgueiro.

This group has demonstrated that these oils work by destroying fungal cells by damaging the cell membrane. They believe that further research into the mechanisms by

Other uses for lavender include lavender oil used for inhalation therapy to treat headaches, nervous disorders, and exhaustion. Herbalists treat skin ailments, such as fungal infections (like candidiasis), wounds, eczema, and acne, with lavender oil. It is also used in a healing bath for joint and muscle pain. One study evaluating treatments for children with eczema founded it was therapeutic touch from the mother that improved symptoms; in other words, massage with and without essential oils (including lavender) both reduced the dry, scaly skin lesions. Another study found that lavender oil may improve pain control after surgery. Fifty patients undergoing breast biopsy surgery received either oxygen supplemented with lavender oil or oxygen alone. Patients in the lavender group reported better pain control than patients in the control group.

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“Tooth decay, fluoride and dental abuse”

In the United States alone, consumers spend more than $50 billion each year on the treatment of cavities. It is common knowledge that sugar residues on teeth can help cause tooth decay. The “solution” A partial solution in the past  we were told was to drink fluoridated water and by all means use fluoride laced toothpaste. We trusted these “medical professionals” to treat us in the safest least toxic way and at a reasonable cost.

First, let us discuss fluoridation

Fluoride is actually a hazardous waste taken from the scrubbers in smoke stacks of industry and phosphate fertilizer companies. “Fluoride” is too toxic for ocean or river dumping, but mysteriously acceptable for placing in our water for drinking or bathing.

In order to cause dental fluorosis the fluoride must be ingested (swallowed) during that time period when the child’s tooth enamel is forming. The most critical years associated with the formation of dental fluorosis lie between birth and age 6 or 7. Because the fluorosis staining occurs while the teeth are developing, evidence of this stain cannot be visualized until the affected teeth have erupted, which is typically between the years 6 through 12. (See above image)

The vast majority of dental fluorosis that occurs in the United States is a mild form characterized by the appearance of chalky-white lines or opaque-white patches in a tooth’s enamel. More severe forms of fluorosis can occur however. In extreme forms the affected areas have a yellow or brown discoloration. In some cases severe forms of fluorosis will result in a pitted tooth surface.

For the past nine years, the Fluoride Action Network — along with the Environmental Working Group and Beyond Pesticides — have persisted in challenging EPA’s decision to allow DOW AgroSciences to fumigate hundreds of food commodities in the United States with sulfuryl fluoride.

On Monday, January 11, 2011, EPA announced that they have granted all our Objections to the use of sulfuryl fluoride on the grounds that children are being overexposed to fluoride. EPA therefore is withdrawing ALL previously allowed tolerances for sulfuryl fluoride on ALL foodstuffs.

This is the first time in EPA’s history that they have granted an Objection to a pesticide.

Opponents to fluoridation claim that putting a toxic chemical like fluoride in the water or on foods just to make a small difference can be affecting so many body systems adversely at the same time is not ethical and is not safe.

Even the American Dental Association issued a warning in November 2006, urging parents not to prepare infant formula with water containing fluoride. Are dentists announcing the major shift in position from the ADA regarding “fluoride”?

Every tube of toothpaste with fluoride carries a warning: “Keep away from children. If too much is swallowed accidentally, contact your physician or report to a Poison Control Center.”

Talk to your dentist.

Caution:  Toothpaste should always be spit out and never swallowed. In all cases fluoridated toothpaste should be kept out of the reach of children and only dispensed to them by an adult.

Tomorrow let’s discuss quality of dental care or the lack of it.  Please submit experience and comments.

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“Giffords is talking and eating 3x a day”

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords spoke for the first time since she was shot in the forehead, her

recovering

spokesman said Wednesday, yet another significant milestone in her recovery from a traumatic brain injury.  A true testament to her dogged determination to get well and all of the positive energy being sent her from thousands of well wishers and her loving family.

Giffords first spoke within the past few days and is speaking “more and more,” spokesman C.J. Karamargin said Wednesday. He didn’t know what her first words were, but said at breakfast one morning she asked for toast.

“She’s working very hard and it’s paying off,” he told The Associated Press. “We’re elated at this. We always knew Gabby is a fighter and that she’s not going to let this thing win. And you know, every day is proof of that.”

Six people, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge, were killed in the attack outside a grocery store where Giffords was meeting with constituents. Thirteen people, including Giffords, were injured.

Other news organizations, including Politico, earlier reported that Giffords had asked for toast and was able to speak.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly said his wife had her appetite back and was eating three times a day, “even though it’s hospital food.”

“It is hard to believe that only one month has passed since Gabrielle was shot,” he wrote. “The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury but they aren’t kidding when they say this is a marathon process.”

He said “there are encouraging signs every day,” pointing to her renewed appetite.

“Your prayers are being heard, so don’t stop,” he wrote.

Kelly, a NASA astronaut, said last week that he expects his wife to be well enough to be at his space launch in two months.

The space shuttle Endeavour will leave April 19 for a two-week mission to the International Space Station, and Kelly will be on board leading a veteran, all-male crew. The mission will be Endeavour’s final flight and Kelly’s fourth.

Dr. Gerard Francisco, who is treating Giffords at a rehabilitation facility in Houston, said Tuesday that he hopes the congresswoman can make enough progress to attend the space launch, but said it’s too early to say.

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