“Go Mediterranean avoid plus girth”

Adherence to the healthy Mediterranean dietary patterns are key factors for avoiding the natural long-term yearly weight gain occurring during adulthood and with advancing age.
These are the findings of a research study after following 10,000 Spanish university graduates for six years. The average age of the students were 38 years The study found the average participant gained half a pound (0.24 kilograms) per year.
Those that strictly followed the Mediterranean plan were 10 percent less likely to become overweight or obese by the end of the study, and had 24 percent lower odds of packing on more than 11 pounds (5 kilograms) over the study’s first four years.

The Mediterranean dietary pattern focuses on fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil, non processed grains, lean meat and fish. More weight might have been lost if non-virgin olive oil was used.  This foods combination approach causes less inflammation in the body.

Iris Shai of Ben Gurion University, in Israel, observed that people who follow the Mediterranean diet are likely to be more satiated by the high fiber content of a typical meal and tend to consume fewer “empty calories.”

Resources

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“Rx for success”

If they walk like a duck
If they quack like a duck
They must be ducks.
Once again hasty generalization is not valid.

What turns a dummy pill into a catalyst for relieving pain, anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction, or the tremors of Parkinson’s disease? The brain’s own healing mechanisms, unleashed by the belief that a phony medication is the real thing. The most important ingredient in any placebo is the doctor’s bedside manner, but according to research, the color of a tablet can boost the effectiveness even of genuine meds—or help convince a patient that a placebo is a potent remedy.—Steve Silberman

Researchers at the University of California published in the October issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.a review of a 167 placebo-controlled trials published in peer-reviewed medical journals in 2008 and 2009 and found that 92 percent of those trials never even described the ingredients of their placebo pills.

There are no regulations govern placebo composition. The composition of placebos can in randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Reviewers independently abstracted data from the introduction and methods sections of identified articles, recording treatment type (pill, injection, or other) and whether placebo composition was stated. They found that most studies disclosure was less common for pills than for injections and other treatments (8.2% vs. 26.7%; P = 0.002). Placebos were seldom described in randomized, controlled trials of pills or capsules. Because the nature of the placebo can influence trial outcomes, placebo formulation should be disclosed in reports of placebo-controlled trials.
Why is this important. The fact that “modern medical research” claims that their system of drugs is better and safer for patients then homeopathy, herbs, or acupuncture, because they have run double and triple blind studies using placebos to measure the effectiveness of the trial medicine.
What they have not done is standardize what is in the placebos. Why? It was considered unimportant and the less attention given to individuals getting better on something other than the test drug was baffling and down right bad for Big Pharm business.

A placebo may contain sugar or olive oil or salt or some liquid for all the patients know, but they may outperform the trial drug. Why? The placebo or healing response works best when the patient or tester spends quality time with a health professional before the trial begins.

Yes, consistently placebo + human caring + hope +belief = better results with or without the trial drug even over extended periods of time.

So healing of the body begins in the mind of the patient and is accelerated when the practitioner explains and shares his support and expertise with the patient.  People caring for people is the key to success in life, love and healing.

This is very important for another reason too-the patients put their hopes and faith in the test that they will be helped. The mindset of the person can be giving better results than the test drug. The placebo could also potentially harm the individual as well.
Primary Funding Source: University of California Foundation Fund 3929—Medical Reasoning.
University of California Foundation Fund 3929–Medical Reasoning. The manuscript was revised while Dr. Howick was a recipient of a Medical Research Council/Economic and Social Research Council Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship (G0800055).
Published their findings in the October issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine
Resources

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“One advantage to getting older -weight loss”

For middle age and older adults weight loss is increased by drinking two glasses of water before eating.
Recent research has found that one can lose 30 percent more weight than those who did  not drink before eating. Scientists at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg assigned 48 overweight or obese men and women ages 55 to 75 to one of two groups. Both groups consumed low-fat, low-calorie diets for 12 weeks, but one group was told to drink two 8-ounce glasses of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner.
After 12 weeks, the water drinkers shed about 15.5 pounds, while the other group dropped about 11 pounds. The two groups were followed for one year and those who continued to drink water before meals lost even more weight, on average about 1.5 pounds.
Water fills the stomach with a zero-calorie fluid, so people eat less. However this seems to work only for this age group , because the stomach releases the water much slower from the stomach.
The study was funded by the Institute for Public Health and Water Research, a nonprofit, independent science organization that was launched by an unrestricted grant from the Brita Products Company.

Resources

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“Sitting more now your body enjoying it less -women at risk”

American Cancer Society researchers finds that physical activity can be somewhat nullified by spend sitting too long. It may even raise the risk of an earlier death. Researchers say time spent sitting was independently associated with total mortality, regardless of physical activity level. Continue reading ““Sitting more now your body enjoying it less -women at risk””

"Work as a team? = Progress in Alzheimer’s research"

What was that word you used?

My Mother always taught us to share, care and respectfully work together. She said that there is strength in number.

Seems that this is true in medical research as well.  Yes, in the land where no one shared data unless they were close trusted collegues.  Sometimes necessity and the overwhelming enormity of the project creates the perfect opportunity to do as mother taught us so many years ago. Continue reading “"Work as a team? = Progress in Alzheimer’s research"”

“Ashwagandha helps calm nerves and improve brain funtioning”

Ashwaganda, also known as Indian Ginseng, has been used for centuries for anxiety, cognitive and neurological disorders and inflammation. It is high in antioxidants.Ashwaganda is also used therapeutically for patients with nervous exhaustion, and debility due to stress. It is also used as an immune stimulant as it has been shown to prevent brain cell degeneration from chronic stress.
For centuries, Indian and African medicine have used it an anti-inflammatory, for fever relief, and against infectious disease. Many believe ashwagandha to be effective in stimulating the immune system. It also appears to inhibit swelling and aid memory and can act as a general health tonic.

A study done in 1991 at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center indicated that extracts of ashwagandha had GABA-like activity. This may account for this herb’s anti-anxiety effects.
Ashwagandha is used in India to treat mental deficits in geriatric patients, including amnesia. Researchers from the University of Leipzig in Germany wanted to find out which neurotransmitters were influenced by ashwagandha. After injecting some of the chemicals in ashwagandha into rats, they later examined slices of their brain and found an increase in acetylcholine receptor activity. The researchers say, The drug-induced increase in acetylcholine receptor capacity might partly explain the cognition-enhancing and memory-improving effects of extracts from Withania somnifera [ashwagandha] observed in animals and humans.

A 2002 laboratory study indicated that ashwagandha stimulates the growth of axons and dendrites. A 2001 animal study showed ashwagandha had memory boosting ability. A 2000 study with rodents showed ashwagandha to have anti-anxiety and anti-depression effects. However, no clinical studies have been carried out to support its efficacy in humans.

Part of the Solanaceae or nightshade family as the tomato, Ashwaganda grows as a stout shrub that reaches a height of 170 cm (5.6 ft). Like the tomato which belongs to the same family, it bears yellow flowers and yellow-Orange to red Berry type fruit, though its fruit is berry-like in size and shape. It grows prolifically in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
In Ayurveda, ashwagandha extract is considered an adaptogen or a substance that helps to normalize physiological function of the body and mind. In Ayurveda, the fresh roots are sometimes boiled in milk, prior to drying, in order to leach out undesirable constituents. The berries are used as a substitute for rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making.
It has sedating properties, but it has been also used for sexual vitality and as an adaptogen. Some herbalists refer to ashwagandha as Indian ginseng, since it is used in ayurvedic medicine in a way similar to that ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Seven American and four Japanese firms have filed for grant of patents on formulations containing extracts of the herb Ashwagandha.

Resources

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"Remyelination of the spinal cord after injury may be a step closer"

Brain and spinal cord injuries may soon have a new treatment process that is natural and based on the individual’s own stem cells. Oligodendrocyte, precursor cells (OPCs), are  a type of cell found in the brain and nervous system that forms the coating around the nerve cells. These cells are formed during embryo formation in the ventricular zone of the neural tube (embryonic spinal cord), and the cells migrate outwards along the circumference of the tube, and then along its length. During this migration, OPCs actively seek axons around which they can wrap

their processes once they have differentiated into oligodendrocytes. Myelination, the process by which oligodendrocytes wrap their processes around nerve fibers, begins towards the end of embryonic development, and continues post-natally coating around the nerve cells.

These cells are formed during embryo formation in the ventricular zone of the neural tube (embryonic spinal cord), and the cells migrate outwards along the circumference of the tube, and then along its length. During this migration, OPCs actively seek axons around which they can wrap their processes once they have differentiated into oligodendrocytes. Myelination, the process by which oligodendrocytes wrap their processes around nerve fibers, begins towards the end of embryonic development, and continues postnatally.


Throughout their migration, these cells extend and retract filopodia-like processes to obtain cues from their surroundings. Upon coming into contact with neighboring OPCs. These hair or cilia like projections are withdrawn and then extended in the opposite direction. This seems to be a mutual repulsion mechanism which ensures that OPCs are evenly distributed along the length of the axons they will myelinate (coat). An axon is a long, slender extension of a nerve cell, or neuron, that conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron’s cell body

Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) comprise 5% of the cells in the adult brain, where they are the most proliferative cell present. They can generate both neurons and glial cells, making them an important stem cell population in the adult brain.
The bottom line is that this animal model with the injection of  hESC-OPCs cells has demonstrated that remyelination of the cervical injury site and the restoration of movement to the  limbs of these animals may help restore function in spinal cord injuries victims in the future.
Resources

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"Benedryl and its’ cousins maybe bad mojo for long term users"

“Researchers … conducted a six-year observational study, evaluating 1,652 Indianapolis area African-Americans over the age of 70 who had normal cognitive function when the study began … ‘[Taking one anticholinergic significantly increased an individual’s risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and taking two of these drugs doubled this risk.'” Reported in Physorg.org.

Why were elderly people allowed to take part in this study?  It disappoints and angers me.

Over the counter (OTC) drugs like Benadryl (or Dimedrol in other countries), Dramamine, Excedrin PM, Nytol, Sominex, Tylenol PM, Midol PM and Advil PM and some Unisom products if used regularly can cause decreased brain function in those over 70 years of age.  Other anticholinergic prescription drugs, such as Paxil, Detrol, Demerol and Elavil are are made with the same antihistamine Diphenhydramine like their OTC cousins.

How do these drugs work?

These drugs, called anticholinergics, block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter. The body uses neurotransmitters to speed or slow the transmission of nerve signals throughout the brain and nervous system.

Despite Benedryl being one of the oldest antihistamines on the market it is more effective than even some of the latest prescription drugs. Consequently, it is frequently used when an allergic reaction requires fast, effective reversal of the often dangerous effects of a massive histamine release. Its active ingredient Diphenhydramine works by blocking the effect of histamine at H1 receptor sites. This results in effects such as the increase of vascular smooth muscle contraction, thus reducing the redness, hyperthermia and edema that occurs during an inflammatory reaction. In addition, by blocking the H1 receptor on peripheral nociceptors (pain receptors), diphenhydramine decreases their sensitization and thus reduces itching from an allergic reaction.

The effects of Diphenhydramine the active ingredient in many antihistamine compounds include:

  • Mouth/throat – dryness
  • Endocrine – change in appetite
  • Heart – increased heart rate (tachycardia or hypertension)
  • Liver – toxicity in very large doses
  • Brain/Memory/Nervous System –  profound drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, short-term memory loss, hallucinations, dizziness, irritability, delirium, motor impairment (ataxia), restlessness, restless leg syndrome, clouded thinking, difficult mood changes, twitching may be delayed until the drowsiness begins to cease, confusion
  • Vision-visual disturbances, abnormal sensitivity to bright light (photophobia), pupil dilation,  blurred vision at nearpoint owing to lack of accommodation (cycloplegia),  redness, dryness and yellowing of eyes
  • Respiration– irregular breathing, decreased respiration
  • Skin – itchy skin, decreased body temperature (generally in the hands and/or feet), flushing
  • Bladder/Bowel function – urinary retention, constipation, nausea, vaginal dryness,
  • Sexual -erectile dysfunction, excitability, decreased libido
  • Atypical sensations – sense of heaviness, hearing imbalances

References

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"TM -one way to concentrate and sleep better"

Josh Goulding was diagnosed with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in second grade, after his impulsive and disruptive behavior frequently landed him in the school principal’s office. “Over several years, I was put on a whole gamut of drugs, and nothing worked well,” says Goulding, now 24. By his second year at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Goulding was still struggling to concentrate in classes and complete his work, and his medications were causing mood swings and irritability.

The Conventional Rx: Stimulant drugs, such as Ritalin and Adderall. Almost 4.5 million children between ages 4 and 17 are diagnosed with ADHD, and nearly half of them take prescription medications, often for years. Long term, these drugs may be physically and psychologically harmful, and side effects such as sleep disturbances, poor appetite, weight loss, and mood disorders can require further medication.

The Alternative Rx: Transcendental Meditation (TM). In the first study on ADHD and TM, middle-school-age children who did twice daily nonreligious meditations for 10 minutes reduced their stress levels by over 50 percent–resulting in fewer ADHD symptoms. “TM helps children focus on a special mantra or sound, which helps the child transcend mental busyness and stress,” says Sarina Grosswald, EdD, coauthor of the study. “This allows the child’s body to completely relax and his mind to stay fully awake without effort. The results are improved behavior, grades, creativity, and inner stability.”

Success As a result of Goulding learned TM techniques of relaxing and concentration:

his sleep improved

better ability to focus his attention

ability to communicate with others more effectively inproved

GPA (grades) improved.

blood pressure was lower

no longer needed ADHD medications

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"Testing of US Drugs in third world – Pfizer is the poster child"

Almost 15 years after the fact, Nigerians are officially allowed to sue Pfizer over the company’s illegal use of a test antibiotic drug on their children. Surprisingly, The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to send the Pfizer (PFE) Trovan case to trial

Pfizer is accused of illegally testing a drug, Trovan, in Nigeria that killed 11 children and injured 181 others during a meningitis epidemic in 1996. Trovan banned in the EU in 1999 and in the U.S, but the FDA still allowed its’ use in adult emergency care.

This compensation case has been dragged out for years in the courts, because Pfizer has the money to do it. There is more at stake.

The heart of the problem that may be exposed is not the fact that people have died,

but that the entire procedure of drug testing on foreign soil may be brought into the light of day.

What will be seen?

  • the corporate greed
  • the backwoods mentality that it is okay to test new drugs on uneducated poor ignorant third world peoples,
  • the pay off of corrupt foreign government officials is condoned
  • the fudging the test results is acceptable.
  • Once the “test results” are compiled and possibly reviewed by FDA (Federal Drug Administration) -only 1 percent of trials conducted outside the U.S are reviewed.

The trail of greed and corporate manipulation behind the scenes needs to officially be exposed and all parties need to be held accountable.

Americans assume and wrongly so, that all there drugs have been tested under US standards and proven safe.

Resources

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