Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees | Science
Damage confirmed - Early studies of the impacts of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators indicated considerable harm. However, lingering criticism was that the studies did not represent field-realistic levels of the chemicals or prevailing environmental conditions. Two studies, conducted on different crops and on two continents, now substantiate that neonicotinoids diminish bee health (see the Perspective by Kerr). Tsvetkov et al. find that bees near corn crops are exposed to neonicotinoids for 3 to 4 months via nontarget pollen, resulting in decreased survival and immune responses, especially when coexposed to a commonly used agrochemical fungicide. Woodcock et al., in a multicounty experiment on rapeseed in Europe, find that neonicotinoid exposure from several nontarget sources reduces overwintering success and colony reproduction in both honeybees and wild bees. These field results confirm that neonicotinoids negatively affect pollinator health under realistic agricultural conditions.

Abstract - Neonicotinoid seed dressings have caused concern world-wide. We use large field experiments to assess the effects of neonicotinoid-treated crops on three bee species across three countries (Hungary, Germany, and the United Kingdom). Winter-sown oilseed rape was grown commercially with either seed coatings containing neonicotinoids (clothianidin or thiamethoxam) or no seed treatment (control). For honey bees, we found both negative (Hungary and United Kingdom) and positive (Germany) effects during crop flowering. In Hungary, negative effects on honey bees (associated with clothianidin) persisted over winter and resulted in smaller colonies in the following spring (24% declines). In wild bees (Bombus terrestris and Osmia bicornis), reproduction was negatively correlated with neonicotinoid residues. These findings point to neonicotinoids causing a reduced capacity of bee species to establish new populations in the year following exposure.
bees  neonicotinoid  pesticide 
5 weeks ago
How to hack your biology and be in The Zone every single day - YouTube
Excellent introduction to, and explanation of, the importance of 1) Breathing control, what Dr Alan Watkins calls 'Coherent Breathing', and 2) a Positive attitude - in reducing stress and improving performance. Very very useful for us all. He uses Heart Rate Variability as an objective measure of a stressed system and demonstrates this live on a subject both before and after Coherent Breathing. Obviously it's not the whole story ... or answer - but excellent.
stress  breath-control  Heart-Rate-Variability 
march 2017
Desert people evolve to drink water poisoned with deadly arsenic | New Scientist
The wonders of our and other biological systems ability to adapt! The enzyme AS3MT incorporates arsenic in to two compounds, monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) and people who detoxify arsenic more efficiently convert more of it into the less toxic and more easily excreted DMA.
arsenic  drinking-water  genetic-mutation  SNP 
february 2017
Vitamin D is not just beneficial, it’s a necessity | Letter | Society | The Guardian
This letter by Dr Goodman speaks for itself. Vitamin D is absolutely essential for good health - and everyone in the UK is deficient unless they take a supplement - of D3. Added to which a very significant proportion of people have a mutation (polymorphism) of their vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene - which further increases their vitamin D requirements if they are to enjoy optimal health.
vitamin-D  vitamin-D-receptor  Infection  VDR  immune-system  cancer 
february 2017
Chronic fatigue syndrome and mitochondrial dysfunction - Sarah Myhill, Norman E. Booth and John McLaren-Howard - 2009
This was the first paper published by Dr Sarah Myhill et al, on mitochondrial dysfunction and CFS. It demonstrated that the vast majority of CFS patients in this study had mitochondrial dysfunction (compared to a large normal control group) and that there was a linear correlation between the severity of the CFS and the severity of mitochondrial dysfunction.
mitochondria  mitochondrial-dysfunction  CFS 
january 2017
'Human' - the film - Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Yann Arthus-Bertrand is a French photographer, journalist, reporter and environmentalist. He is especially well known for his stunning photography, especially his book Earth from Above, and film Home.

HUMAN is a collection of stories and images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. Through these stories full of love and happiness, as well as hatred and violence, HUMAN brings us face to face with the Other, making us reflect on our lives. From stories of everyday experiences to accounts of the most unbelievable lives, these poignant encounters share a rare sincerity and underline who we are – our darker side, but also what is most noble in us, and what is universal. Our Earth is shown at its most sublime through never-before-seen aerial images accompanied by soaring music, resulting in an ode to the beauty of the world, providing a moment to draw breath and for introspection.

HUMAN is a politically engaged work which allows us to embrace the human condition and to reflect on the meaning of our existence.
january 2017
Millennials in the Workplace - Simon Sinek
I regard this as a very important issue - it's about Millennials - the generation born in 1984 and thereafter - and the potentially huge negative effect of mobile phone (and computer) usage on their lives - on their confidence, relationships, working life, and life fulfilment in general. Depression and suicide are increasing worryingly in younger and younger people.
depression  confidence  suicide  mobile-phone  millennials 
january 2017
Migraines could be caused by gut bacteria, study suggests
Interesting. And this is a completely separate mechanism to tyramine and other vasoactive amine sensitivity (all of which are nitrogen compounds). See the original paper via the link in the article.
microbiome  migraine  nitrates 
january 2017
The (polluted) air you breathe: How to manage it - CNN.com
Another article on the huge issue of air pollution.

This is what I said in the last article I posted:
"We commonly find that anyone who has had many years of traffic fume exposure, eg. living in urban environments, living next to busy main roads, has been a frequent driving commuter, or has been an occupational driver - is toxic with Nitrosamines, Benzene or/and it's metabolites Benzoquinone and Hydroxyquinone and Cadmium. They are all carcinogenic, can form DNA adducts, bind to mitochondria and have many other adverse health effects. We also find more and more toxicity with Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium - from catalytic converters!"
air-pollution 
january 2017
Differential Metabolomics Reveals Ophthalmic Acid as an Oxidative Stress Biomarker Indicating Hepatic Glutathione Consumption - Journal of Biological Chemistry
"We specifically found that serum ophthalmate is a sensitive indicator of hepatic GSH depletion, and may be a new biomarker for oxidative stress."
Glutathione  oxidative-stress  ophthalmic-acid 
january 2017
The Evolution of Medicine: Join the Movement to Solve Chronic Disease and Fall Back in Love with Medicine - James Maskell
"For all too many dedicated physicians, stuck in a cycle of seven-minute patient visits and production line healing, medicine has become a frustrating vocation. Furthermore, the current epidemic of chronic illness demands a new care standard that can break down the existing structural barriers to full resolution. It requires functional medicine.

The Evolution of Medicine provides step-by-step instruction for building a successful "community micropractice," one that engages both the patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership focused on the body as a whole rather than isolated symptoms. This invaluable handbook will awaken health professionals to exciting new career possibilities. At the same time, it will alleviate the fear of abandoning a conventional medical system that is bad for doctors, patients, and payers, as well as being ineffectual in the treatment of chronic ailments.

Welcome to a new world of modern medical care, delivered in a community setting. It's time to embrace the Evolution of Medicine and reignite your love for the art of healing."
functional-medicine  ecological-medicine 
january 2017
Why Doctors Kill Themselves - TedMed
Founder of the ideal medical care movement Pamela Wible shares why, in order to heal patients, physicians must first heal their profession, and what can happen if they do not.

Pamela Wible is a family physician born into a family of physicians. Despite her parents’ warning not to pursue medicine, Pamela followed her heart only to discover that to heal her patients she had to first heal her profession. Fed up with “assembly-line medicine,” Dr. Wible held town hall meetings where she invited citizens to design their ideal clinic. Open since 2005, Wible’s innovative model has sparked a populist movement that has inspired Americans to create ideal clinics and hospitals nationwide. When not treating patients, Pamela devotes her time to medical student and physician suicide prevention. Named the 2015 Women Leader in Medicine, Pamela’s pioneering work has been featured on several major news outlets, including the Washington Post, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NPR.
doctors-suicide  suicide  doctors 
january 2017
Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide
This is the excellent paper about glyphosate (Roundup) and non-alcoholic liver disease. It brings out a number of very interesting points and emphasises the usefulness of this multiomic studies - this one combines both metabolome and proteome analyses.

From the point of view of the management of those with Roundup poisoning it demonstrates the importance of ensuring optimal glutathione and vitamin C status and optimal methylation cycle function.

"Our observations may have human health implication since NAFLD is predicted to be the next major global epidemic. Approximately 20–30% of the population in the United States carry extra fat in their livers. NAFLD is associated with the recent rapid rise in the incidence of diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Overall, it is acknowledged that NAFLD is mostly caused by excess caloric intake, but also from the consumption of processed foods, which increases simple sugar and saturated fat ingestion as well as sedentary lifestyles. However, many suffer from NAFLD but which do not have any high risk factors and thus other contributors to disease, such as exposure to physiologically active environmental pollutants via contaminated food, cannot be excluded. Recently, some endocrine disrupting chemicals have been implicated in the aetiology of metabolic syndrome. Commonly defined as obesogens, some environmental chemicals have been found to promote adipose cell differentiation and lipid storage in experimental animals and thus presumably also in humans."

"The Roundup-induced liver pathologies confirmed in this report may arise from multiple sources as there is increasing evidence to suggest that GBHs and glyphosate can bring about toxic effects via different mechanisms, depending upon the level of exposure.
- Glyphosate has been suggested to act as an estrogen agonist based on assays in cultures of human breast cancer cells at comparable concentrations to the native hormone.
- Other studies, albeit at much higher doses, have also shown that glyphosate can uncouple liver mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation.
- Glyphosate is also a patented antibiotic (Patent No.: US 7771736) and can inhibit the growth of susceptible bacteria by inhibition of the shikimate pathway and could cause dysbiosis in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Additionally, because glyphosate herbicidal action results from competition for phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) in plants, it is possible that similar effects are being exerted by this compound on other PEP utilizing enzymes including those in mammals. This could explain the effects of glyphosate on the activity of some TCA cycle enzymes observed in this study. In this regard the fact that glyphosate has been shown to interact with mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) is noteworthy. We hypothesize that glyphosate could interfere at multiple points within the TCA cycle by inhibiting enzymes having oxoacids as substrates."
Roundup  pesticide  non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease  glyphosate  Glutathione 
january 2017
Britain's most used pesticide is linked to a deadly liver disease, shocking new study claims
We have been concerned about the safety of glyphosate (Roundup) for years - it is the most commonly used weedkiller on British farms (and globally) and is also a common household garden weedkiller. Now this research demonstrates that long-term consumption of an ultra-low, environmentally relevant dose of Roundup at a glyphosate daily intake level of only 4 nanograms per kilogram of body weight per day, which is 75,000 times below EU and 437,500 below US permitted levels, results in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Roundup  pesticide  non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease  glyphosate 
january 2017
Researchers uncover mechanism for cancer-killing properties of pepper plant - ScienceDaily
"UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have uncovered the chemical process behind anti-cancer properties of a spicy Indian pepper plant called the long pepper, whose suspected medicinal properties date back thousands of years.

The secret lies in a chemical called Piperlongumine (PL), which has shown activity against many cancers including prostate, breast, lung, colon, lymphoma, leukemia, primary brain tumors, and gastric cancer."
cancer  long-pepper  GSTP1 
january 2017
Novel diet therapy helps children with crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis reach remission - ScienceDaily
At last - a good bit of research providing strong indications that dietary interventions can produce very substantial improvements, and in some cases remission, in IBD.

"Goal: To determine the effect of the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) on active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Background: IBD is a chronic idiopathic inflammatory intestinal disorder associated with fecal dysbiosis. Diet is a potential therapeutic option for IBD based on the hypothesis that changing the fecal dysbiosis could decrease intestinal inflammation. Conclusions: SCD therapy in IBD is associated with clinical and laboratory improvements as well as concomitant changes in the fecal microbiome. Further prospective studies are required to fully assess the safety and efficacy of dietary therapy in patients with IBD."
specific-carbohydrate-diet  inflammatory-bowel-disease  Crohn's-disease  ulcerative-colitis  dysbiosis 
january 2017
Genome-Wide Meta-Analysis Identifies Regions on 7p21 (AHR) and 15q24 (CYP1A2) As Determinants of Habitual Caffeine Consumption
This study confirms the important roles of CYP1A2 and AHR (Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor) and their genes, in determining caffeine intake.
coffee  CYP1A2  caffeine  AHR 
december 2016
Vitamin D improves gut flora and metabolic syndrome: Extra vitamin D can restore good bacteria in the gut, according to a study in mice, giving hope in the fight against risk factors for diabetes and heart disease - ScienceDaily
Very interesting - but not surprising - that vitamin D deficiency plays a major role in gut mucosal immunity and inflammation - and the microbiome. See my extract from the actual paper below.
vitamin-D  Diabetes  microbiome  metabolic-syndrome 
december 2016
Vitamin D Signaling through Induction of Paneth Cell Defensins Maintains Gut Microbiota and Improves Metabolic Disorders and Hepatic Steatosis in Animal Models | Gastrointestinal Sciences
"Metabolic syndrome (MetS), characterized as obesity, insulin resistance, and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD), is associated with vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency in epidemiological studies, while the underlying mechanism is poorly addressed. On the other hand, disorder of gut microbiota, namely dysbiosis, is known to cause MetS and NAFLD.

It is also known that systemic inflammation blocks insulin signaling pathways, leading to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, which are the driving force for hepatic steatosis.

Vitamin D receptor (VDR) is highly expressed in the ileum of the small intestine, which prompted us to test a hypothesis that vitamin D signaling may determine the enterotype of gut microbiota through regulating the intestinal interface."

The authors demonstrate that a high-fat-diet feeding (HFD) is necessary but not sufficient, without additional vitamin D deficiency to induce insulin resistance and fatty liver. ... Resulting in mucosal collapse, increased gut permeability, dysbiosis, endotoxemia, systemic inflammation which underlie insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis.
Diabetes  microbiome  vitamin-D  metabolic-syndrome 
december 2016
Sunlight offers surprise benefit: It energizes infection fighting T cells
Well, we all know that sunlight makes us feel just so good! And light and colour can affect our sense of well being so profoundly.

This piece of research demonstrates that blue light stimulates lymphocyte T cell motility - and the mechanism behind this is increasing their synthesis of hydrogen peroxide. White blood cells release hydrogen peroxide when they sense an infection and this signals to T cells and other immune cells to mount an immune response.

This is quite separate from the mechanism by which light stimulates vitamin D production.

I am quite sure that there are other mechanisms waiting to be discovered. But in the meantime plentiful but sensible sunlight exposure is clearly and intuitively good for us!
immune-system  lymphocytes  sunbathing  T-cells  light  blue-light  sunlight 
december 2016
Traffic fumes give asthma to children - The Times & The Sunday Times
"Scientists have found that traffic pollution is responsible for turning healthy children into asthmatics — the first confirmation of such a link. Researchers at Leeds University found that black carbon — oily soot particles emitted by diesel engines — is a key culprit, along with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulates. Doctors know that air pollution surges provoke attacks in people who already have asthma but the role of traffic toxins in causing the illness in healthy children had not been confirmed. The findings may explain Britain’s rising number of cases of childhood asthma. Up to 3,000 schools in England are in areas that breach EU and World Health Organisation air pollution limits."

Sign the Greenpeace petition NOW: "Air pollution is responsible for cutting short 40,000 lives in the UK every year. It’s time for this government to take robust and steadfast action to address this national health emergency. Create a bold action plan that cleans our air, reduces pollution and saves lives now"
https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/air-pollution-national

We commonly find that anyone who has had many years of traffic fume exposure, eg. living in urban environments, living next to busy main roads, has been a frequent driving commuter, or has been an occupational driver - is toxic with Nitrosamines, Benzene or/and it's metabolites Benzoquinone and Hydroxyquinone and Cadmium. They are all carcinogenic, can form DNA adducts, bind to mitochondria and have many other adverse health effects. We also find more and more toxicity with Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium - from catalytic converters!
traffic-fumes  air-pollution  nitrogen-dioxide  particulates  black-carbon  asthma 
november 2016
High-fiber diet keeps gut microbes from eating the colon's lining, protects against infection, animal study shows - ScienceDaily
The message here is: "Eat a lot of fiber from diverse natural sources".
"Your diet directly influences your microbiota, and from there it may influence the status of your gut's mucus layer and tendency toward disease". "Our work reveals intricate pathways linking diet, the gut microbiome, and intestinal barrier dysfunction, which could be exploited to improve health using dietary therapeutics."
• Low-fiber diet promotes expansion and activity of colonic mucus-degrading bacteria.
• Purified prebiotic fibers do not alleviate degradation of the mucus layer.
• Fiber-deprived gut microbiota promotes aggressive colitis by an enteric pathogen.
microbiome  dietary-fiber  intestinal-barrier  mucus-layer 
november 2016
Case Report: High dose thiamine improves fatigue in multiple sclerosis
This pilot study showed that treatment with high doses of thiamine was associated with a remarkable improvement of fatigue-related symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis, with no recorded side effects. The degree of benefit did not correlate with normal tests of B1 status - the mechanism appears to be impaired intracellular B1 transport.
thiamine  B1  MS  Multiple-sclerosis 
november 2016
A Review of Monolaurin and Lauric Acid - Natural Virucidal and Bactericidal Agents - Lieberman et al - Dec 2006
Excellent overview of Monolaurin's antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal activity. Monolaurin is a monoglyceride, the mono-ester formed from glycerol and lauric acid. Lauric acid is found in coconut oil (around 50%) and a certain amount is endogenously metabolised to monolaurin, but the extent to which this happens has not yet been elucidated. Monolaurin is reputedly the main antiviral and antibacterial naturally present in human breast milk. I have found monolaurin to be effective in many viral respiratory tract infections and influenza. It is reported to be especially active against many Herpes viruses, including Herpes simplex (HHV-1
Candida  Antiviral  Antibacterial  lauric-acid  coconut  Herpes  monolaurin  EBV  CMV  Antifungal 
november 2016
Natural compound reduces signs of aging in healthy mice: Safety of NMN being tested in small clinical trial -- ScienceDaily
This paper emphasises: 1) the vital role of mitochondria in health and how mitochondrial dysfunction is a key element in the aging process, 2) that availability of NAD (derived from vitamin B3) is a huge rate limiting step in mitochondrial function, 3) that ability to synthesise NAD (in adipose tissue) declined with age - and that "the increase in inflammation that happens with aging reduces the body's ability to make NMN and, by extension, NAD." Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a key precursor to NAD biosynthesis. The researchers found a variety of beneficial effects of NMN supplementation, including in skeletal muscle, liver function, bone density, eye function, insulin sensitivity, immune function, body weight and physical activity levels.
aging  NMN  mitochondria  nicotinamide-mononucleotide  B3  NAD 
november 2016
Genomic and Clinical Effects Associated with a Relaxation Response Mind-Body Intervention in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
This is the paper referred to in the article previously cited "HARVARD STUDY REVEALS WHAT MEDITATION LITERALLY DOES TO GASTROINTESTINAL (BOWEL) DISORDERS".
IBS  IBD  meditation  gastrointestinal-disease  stress  relaxation 
august 2016
Harvard Study Reveals What Meditation Literally Does To Gastrointestinal (Bowel) Disorders – Collective Evolution
Very interesting - and confirming - and important! From my practice it is evident that gut issues underpin the majority of chronic disease, whether from food intolerance, dysbiosis, leaky gut, malabsorption, etc. And gut is primarily impacted by stress, poor diet and exercise (insufficiency or excessive). I like the article author's statement re meditation "... it’s about the “non-judgmental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind.” Let the thoughts, feelings and emotions that pop up present themselves, don’t judge them, and let them pass. Make peace with whatever you are experiencing."
IBS  IBD  meditation  relaxation  stress  gastrointestinal-disease 
august 2016
"Intestinal flora effects drug response"
Antibiotics altering the microbiome can have a huge potential effect on drug metabolism by dramatically reducing cytochrome P450 enzyme levels. In this study the equivalent human CYP3A4 and CYP2B6 were reduced by 82%
microbiome  CYP3A4  drug-metabolism  cytochrome-P450  CYP2B6  Antibiotic 
august 2016
"Third of pregnant women iron deficient, risk thyroid-related pregnancy complications"
Excellent to see the link between iron deficiency and thyroid disease emphasised! The authors open their introduction: "The importance of trace elements and minerals (copper, zinc, selenium and iron) for the normal functioning of the thyroid has extensively been studied and is well recognized. Iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones and selenium is necessary for the deiodinase enzymes and to protect the thyroid against oxidative stress. Iron also plays an important role in the normal functioning of thyroid peroxidase (TPO), a heme-dependent protein and it also facilitates the actions of iodine in the thyroid. Iron deficiency (ID) remains a worldwide problem, affecting about 20% of the world’s population." The authors conclude this paper: ": Iron deficiency is frequent during the first trimester of pregnancy and associated with a higher prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity, higher TSH and lower FT4 levels". I am delighted to see they defined subclinical hypothyroidism as a TSH >2.5 mIU/L. They define iron deficiency as a Ferritin <15 ug/L, while many of us view the ideal lower limit to be > 60.
pregnancy  thyroid-peroxidase-antibody  TSH  Thyroid  ferritin  iron-deficiency 
july 2016
High Prevalence of Nickel Allergy in an Overweight Female Population: A Pilot Observational Analysis
Ah ha! Very very interesting. What they fail to mention is that nickel is also a recognised metalloestrogen and has strong affinity for insulin receptors - hence many gynaecological problems and reactive hypoglycaemia are also very common in nickel allergic folk - and are highly indicative of nickel toxicity when associated with cutaneous nickel allergy. I had not made the connection / observation / association with post-menopausal obesity. And the IL-17 connection is very interesting. Nickel detoxification is frustratingly slow in many patients and appears to be at least partly due to the persistence of nickel allergy. The big problem is the restrictiveness of a low nickel diet. One key nickel source for many folk is stainless steel cookware. And nickel allergy incidence in my practice is around 33% of my adult female patients!
metalloestrogen  obesity  inflammation  menopause  oestrogen  IL-17  nickel  microbiome 
july 2016
Shocking new role found for the immune system: Controlling social interaction: It's of 'profound' importance to proper social functioning, researchers determine -- ScienceDaily
Fascinating! The immune system directly affects - and even controls - creatures' social behavior, such as their desire to interact with others. So could immune system problems contribute to an inability to have normal social interactions? The answer appears to be yes, and that finding could have great implications for neurological conditions such as autism-spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. The cytokine Interferon gamma is produced by the immune system in response to bacteria, viruses or parasites - and the researchers found that this immune molecule played a "profound role in maintaining proper social function."
autism  brain-function  cytokine  behaviour  schizophrenia  immune-system 
july 2016
Cravings for high-calorie foods may be switched off in the brain by new supplement -- ScienceDaily
Excellent paper demonstrating some of the relationships between our microbiome, diet, prebiotics, food cravings and weight gain.
SCFA  inulin  weight-loss  obesity  prebiotic  proprionate  food-craving  brain  microbiome 
july 2016
"Fetal BPA exposure in mice linked to estrogen-related diseases after adolescence"
Further confirmation of BPAs insidious effects - in this case not appearing until after sexual maturation. "The study demonstrated a direct change in the estrogen responses of almost 1,000 genes after fetal BPA exposure."
xenoestrogen  BPA  endocrine-disruptor 
june 2016
Response to Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia
Another excellent paper, with many useful and potentially important points. Their conclusion is: "Frequent injections of high-concentrated vitamin B12, combined with an individual daily dose of oral folic acid, may provide blood saturations high enough to be a remedy for good and safe relief in a subgroup of patients with ME/FM. Moreover, we suspect a counteracting interference between B12/folic acid and certain opioid analgesics and other drugs which have to be demethylated as part of their metabolism. Furthermore, it is important to be alert on co-existing thyroid dysfunction. These issues should be considered when controlled trials for ME and fibromyalgia are to be designed". They highlight the vital importance of MTHFR polymorphisms on folate requirements but unfortunately do not mention how complex folate metabolism is and that SNPs of other folate enzymes/receptors, etc (MTHFD, DHFR, SHMT, MTHFS, TYMS, FOLR, etc) may also substantially affect folate requirements. They also don't mention that 5MTHF is far more effective for many people with SNPs of their folate metabolism enzymes. However it must be mentioned in relation to the latter, a proportion of people are methyl-donor sensitive and have a degree of intolerance of methyl donors (5MTHF, methyl-B12, TMG, etc), and it's usually those with marked COMT and VDR SNPs.
vitamin-B12  folate  ME  CFS  fibromyalgia 
june 2016
Ready, steady, go for a bigger, better brain
I haven't yet had the time to read the research papers this article is based on - but it looks excellent stuff.
cognition  memory  Alzheimer's  brain  exercise  dementia  fitness 
may 2016
"Lifestyle has a strong impact on intestinal bacteria, which has a strong impact on health"
Good paper looking at a variety of factors that positively and negatively influence microbiome diversity. And ... They found that coffee and wine can increase the diversity (!), while whole milk or a high-calorie diet can decrease it. But remember it is also so individual - one must experiment to discover what really improves ones health and what undermines it.
life-style  microbiome  diet  drugs 
april 2016
Cow's milk has vital prebiotic for a healthy baby's microbiome | New Scientist
Yet another paper emphasising the importance of our microbiome, especially that in our early life.
milk  bifidobacterium  microbiome 
april 2016
Pollutants found in fish we eat can compromise body's defences | New Scientist
This is important stuff. Any factors that negatively influence our body's ability to absorb, transport and excrete toxins are of great importance - especially since our exposure to environmental toxins has increased to an eye-watering extent over the past 50 years or so. This study looked at 37 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) - hazardous, man-made chemicals that endure in the environment and bioaccumulate in animals - including: Organochlorine pesticides (Aldrin, Dieldrin, Endrin, gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (gamma-HCH, lindane), Heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene, Mirex, DDD, DDE, DDT), Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), Perfluorochemicals (PFCs: PFOA, PFOS), Plasticisers (Bisphenol A, Diethylhexyl-phthalate (DEHP)), Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The study found that 16 of these pollutants inhibited the function of P-gp, a vital cell-membrane glycoprotein which actively pumps many molecules out of cells, including many drugs and xenobiotics. Remember the study only looked at some POPs - by no means all (eg. it only looked at two PFCs, of which there are over 800 others!), and it didn't look at the thousands of other non-POP xenobiotics we can be exposed to frequently or continuously. Not surprisingly, P-gp is particularly highly expressed in the intestine, liver and kidneys - and also the blood-brain barrier. P-gp's function is also inhibited by quite a range of prescription drugs.
POP  xenobiotic  persitent-organic-pollutant  P-gp  Blood-brain-barrier 
april 2016
Neural correlates of the LSD experience revealed by multimodal neuroimaging
This is the excellent research paper the other two articles are reporting on.
LSD  hallucinogen  serotonin  psychedelic  consciousness  brain 
april 2016
This is your brain on drugs: Landmark study sidesteps Home Office censorship
At last - well done Dave Nutt!! Hugely needed research into such a powerful hallucinogen. One example, I believe, is that no other intervention in alcoholism has ever been shown in any research to have been anything like as effective as LSD - a meta-analysis of 5 or 6 studies done before LSD was banned in the late 1960s - minimal research has been done since.
hallucinogen  brain  serotonin  LSD  consciousness  psychedelic 
april 2016
Cancer link offers another reason to avoid highly processed carbs -- ScienceDaily
Excellent! At last another paper confirming the link that we have known/suspected for so long.
cancer-risk  prostate-cancer  sugar  breast-cancer  carbohydrate  glycaemic-load  cancer 
april 2016
Higher levels of vitamin D correspond to lower cancer risk -- ScienceDaily
Excellent - "the current study simply clarifies that reduced cancer risk becomes measurable at (a blood level of) 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/l), with additional benefit at higher levels." Note the "additional benefit at higher levels." I like to see a blood level well above 100 nmol/l. And people with genetic polymorphisms of their vitamin D receptor (VDR) appear to need levels approaching 200 nmol/l for optimal health/ well-being. But I always recommend rechecking vitamin D levels to ensure levels are not excessive. Like everything else in medicine - "one size never fits all" - some need more, some need less.
cancer  vitamin-D 
april 2016
"Mechanics of biofilms: Sacrifice of the few for the benefit of the many"
Fascinating - getting a clearer understanding of what switches on biofilm production in this organism. At last the concept of biofilms is really catching on. NAC, systemic enzymes and chelating agents (eg lactoferrin, zeolite, EDTA) appear to be the best biofilm busters so far.
Biofilm  Antibiotic-resistance 
april 2016
Benjamin Wallace: The price of happiness | TED Talk | TED.com
WHAT AN ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT AND VITAL TALK !! Here are some quotes from this talk: Good relationships make us healthier and happier. Social connections are really good for us and loneliness kills. Those who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are happier, they're physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected. The experience of loneliness turns out to be toxic. People who are more isolated than they want to be from others find that they are less happy, their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely. It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it's not whether or not you're in a committed relationship, but it's the quality of your close relationships that matters. Living in the midst of conflict is really bad for our health. High-conflict marriages without much affection, turn out to be very bad for our health, perhaps worse than getting divorced. And living in the midst of good, warm relationships is protective. What most predicted who was going to grow into a happy, healthy octogenarian was how satisfied they were in their relationships. Those who were the happiest in retirement were the people who had actively worked to replace workmates with new playmates. The people who fared the best were the people who leaned in to relationships, with family, with friends, with community.
relationships  happiness  loneliness  isolation  conflict  affection  community 
april 2016
Commensal microbiota affects ischemic stroke outcome by regulating intestinal [gamma][delta] T cells : Nature Medicine : Nature Publishing Group
"Commensal gut bacteria impact the host immune system and can influence disease processes in several organs, including the brain. However, it remains unclear whether the microbiota has an impact on the outcome of acute brain injury. Here we show that antibiotic-induced alterations in the intestinal flora reduce ischemic brain injury in mice, an effect transmissible by fecal transplants. Intestinal dysbiosis alters immune homeostasis in the small intestine, leading to an increase in regulatory T cells ...." But before recourse to antibiotics for bacterial dysbiosis we need to try and address underlying mechanisms by more natural means first!
microbiome  brain 
april 2016
Vitamin B3 derivative cuts risk of new skin cancers - ScienceDaily
This was a study of the occurrence of new non-melanoma skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)) and actinic (solar) keratoses in 386 patients who had had at least two of these in the previous 5 years. Nicotinamide (not niacin) 500mg twice daily reduced the incidence of new non-melanoma skin cancers by 23% relative to placebo controls and cut the incidence of pre-cancerous sun spots by around 15%. I do not recommend this in those who have not had previous non-melanoma skin cancers. Lower doses may be effective - but weren't tested. This dosage of nicotinamide is generally very safe, but in some people it may elevated blood glucose (and worsen diabetes), elevate uric acid (and worsen gout) and elevate homocysteine (may contribute to a range of problems).
skin-cancer  BCC  SCC  actinic-keratosis  vitamin-B3 
april 2016
Campbell's soup cans to drop hormone-mimicking chemical | Environment | The Guardian
BPA - can one believe this?! And Nestle and the European Food and Safety Authority denying any harmful effects form it?!!
food-packaging  BPA 
april 2016
"Change by the bundle: Study shows people are capable of multiple, simultaneous life changes"
People are capable of multiple, simultaneous life changes ... Participants in the study were tested on a variety of factors, including physical fitness, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, working memory capacity, reading comprehension and more. They also underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of their brains to examine areas known to be associated with a range of cognitive functions.
life-changes  adaptability 
march 2016
KEGG PATHWAY: Vitamin B6 metabolism - Reference pathway
Vitamin B6 metabolism is certainly not simple! Pyridoxine is the main form in plant foods and supplements and is much more stable (eg to cooking and processing) than Pyridoxal and Pyridoxamine which are the main forms in animal foods. If you are unfortunate enough not to be able to convert these efficiently to P-5-P (because of dodgy enzymes), you will need to take P-5-P as a supplement.
vitamin-B6 
march 2016
Lead Contamination in Flint — An Abject Failure to Protect Public Health — NEJM
A major public health failure - cost cutting increases household water corrosiveness which dramatically increases its lead content. Provides a very brief overview of lead poisoning.
lead  water 
march 2016
China's cancer rates exploding, more than 4 million people diagnosed in 2015, study says - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
What can one say? Decades of appalling neglect of toxic exposures - and we of course have taken advantage of their cheap labour.
pollution  cancer 
march 2016
"Common plastics chemical BPA linked to preterm birth"
"Women are continuously exposed to BPA because it's used in the construction and coatings of food containers and its release into food is increased by microwave or other heat sources," Menon said. "In fact, BPA is so widely used that nearly all women have some level of exposure." Another common source is drinking water from plastic bottles.
plasticiser  preterm-birth  BPA 
march 2016
"Genetic changes that cause autism are more diverse than previously thought"
Are we surprised? It is more like a syndrome (in a similar way that schizophrenia is). Like so many diseases it's aetiology is complex and multifactorial.
genetics  autism  SNP  polymorphism 
march 2016
"The tougher men think they are, the less likely they are to be honest with doctors"
Well, nice confirmation of what we already knew. Not an easy issue to address - but more awareness and discussion of the issue is a start.
mens-issues 
march 2016
Gut inflammation in chronic fatigue syndrome | Nutrition & Metabolism | Full Text
A great paper looking at altered intestinal microbiota, mucosal barrier dysfunction, and aberrant intestinal immunity contribution to CFS pathogenesis.
CFS  microbiome  gut-dysfunction  leaky-gut 
march 2016
N-Acetyl Cysteine in the Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders: A Systematic Review
Good review of OCD and OCRD in relation to NAC treatment. Trials show variable results but positive indications. "Despite extensive investigations into the neuro-biology of OCD, its precise etiology remains unclear. Genetic polymorphisms, autoimmune processes, infections, inflammatory and oxidative stress and abnormalities of neurotransmission within the brain, have all been suggested as underlying causes and/or contributing factors." The ideal of course is to individualise as much as possible, by identifying, prioritising and addressing as many underlying mechanisms as possible in each patient.
Glutathione  OCRD  NAC  Excitotoxicity  OCD  Glutamate 
march 2016
Metabolic and metagenomic outcomes from early-life pulsed antibiotic treatment : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group
The first 5 paragraphs give a good brief overview of the situation - the scale of antibiotics prescriptions in humans, especially in early childhood, the concern over the huge use in livestock, and the effects on the microbiome.
Antibiotic  microbiome  Childhood  Livestock  Antibiotic-resistance 
march 2016
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