Category: Medical Discoveries

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Eat More Nuts to Lower Cancer Risks

The medical industry is losing the cancer battle. Arm yourself with cancer-fighting nuts. 

Despite a decades-long, multi-billion dollar war on cancer, the global burden of this deadly disease is expected to rise 50% in just the next five years.[i] A handful of nuts a day could help protect you.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota took note of science finding that nuts are heart healthy.  They asked whether nuts could also protect against cancer.  They conducted a meta-analysis of 36 observational studies including 30,708 patients on the disease-preventive powers of nut consumption. They included 16 cohort studies along with 20 case-control studies.

Their results published in Nutrition Reviews concluded that nut consumption was linked with an overall decrease in cancer risk.  In particular, it was inversely associated with risk of colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, and pancreatic cancer.[ii]

The combined studies which ranged from 4.6 to 30 years of follow-up found that, compared to patients eating the least nuts, those consuming the most nuts had:

In addition, those eating more nuts had a 15% lower risk of cancer in general.


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Fight heart disease and lower cancer risk with a daily dose of nuts

(NaturalNews) Nuts have long been a popular snack food. Inexpensive, readily plentiful and easy to pack for traveling, the large variety of nuts available virtually ensures that almost everyone will find a favorite. As if that were not enough, there are a number of health benefits that can result from eating a handful of nuts on a daily basis.

Recent study affirms the benefits of eating nuts

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study recently that highlighted just how well nuts protect a person’s health. People who ate just one serving of nuts each day had a significantly reduced incidence of heart disease. In fact, adding a daily dose of nuts resulted in a close to 30% lower risk of heart disease. In addition, over the course of the study, those people who ate nuts on a daily basis were 20% less likely to die of any cause compared to those people who did not eat nuts.

A collaboration shows results.

Three esteemed medical institutions — Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital — charted the results of two studies in an effort to correlate a connection between nut consumption and increased health benefits. The Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study followed 42,000 men over the course of 25 years, while the Nurses’ Health Study followed 76,000 women for more than 30 years. Every few years, participants in both studies filled out surveys with questions detailing their lifestyle choices, including their diets.

Other benefits of eating nuts

Not only did researchers find that people who ate a serving of nuts daily had a 29% reduction in the amounts of deaths from heart disease, but there was also a reduction in deaths from cancer. These deaths fell about 11%. A serving size of nuts is about the same amount that is available in a bag of nuts purchased from a vending machine.

Removing other factors

Researchers found that people who often ate a serving of nuts each day also tended to be healthier than those people who did not include nuts in their regular diets. The nut-eaters were more likely to be thinner, be nonsmokers, consume healthy foods regularly and engage in exercise regularly than those people who did not eat nuts. Even though all these factors could influence the death and disease rates of the study participants, researchers used statistical methods to remove the other factors.

The researchers found that the type of nut did not influence the results. Participants benefited from eating nuts whether they consumed peanuts or one of the varieties of tree nuts. Tree nuts are considered to be cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts and pecans. Because nuts can be high in calories, the FDA recommends limiting their consumption to 1.5 ounces each day.


About the author:
Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments,health insurance, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.

More articles from Dr. Sofia:

5 Tips for Choosing a Health Insurance Company

Tips for Buying Affordable Health Insurance Policy

Top 8 Tips To Choose A Health Insurance Plan


About NaturalNews

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Lethal Viruses Contaminating the US Blood Supply?

Retroviruses hide out in the immune system, which means any immune activation could set off this ticking time-bomb and cause diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome among adults, and autism among children.  Are they lurking in the US blood supply?

PLAGUE – The Retrovirus-Gate Lies

As an attorney I learned (often the hard way), that if you wanted to know the truth about a person, you didn’t just listen to their words, but you investigated their actions.  If a client said he wasn’t a gambler, you should probably check out how many trips he’s made to Las Vegas in the past year.  We all understand that, right?

So, why is it that with the XMRV retrovirus (more accurately referred to as the xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, basically a mouse retrovirus that crossed-over into humans) that Dr. Mikovits and I wrote about in our book, PLAGUE: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth About Human Retroviruses, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases, officially declared by Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University and the medical research community not to be a threat, are people spending a lot of money to protect against something just like XMRV?

One of the most important questions Dr. Mikovits investigated was whether the XMRV retrovirus posed a threat to the blood supply, just as the HIV retrovirus posed a threat to the blood supply decades earlier.  The investigation was troubled from the start and Dr. Mikovits was aware of immense pressure that the scientists reach the conclusion that no threat existed.

Shortly after the publication of her article in the journal Science in October of 2009, showing an association between the XMRV retrovirus and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), Dr. Mikovits was contacted by representatives from the Cerus Corporation.   They had developed the Cerus Intercept System, which involved inserting a molecule into the donated blood material, this molecule then attaches to the DNA or RNA of any potential pathogen, and then when exposed to ultraviolet light the molecule binds to the pathogen and prevents it from replicating.  (“The INTERCEPT Blood System Rids Blood Donations of All Pathogens,” Scientific American, June 16, 2015)  Dr. Mikovits worked on two studies with Cerus, including one which showed the Oakland blood supply was contaminated with XMRV, and found that the Cerus system could inactivate all human retroviruses in blood products.


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Explosive: The real reason Holistic Doctors are being killed and vanishing!


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Erin Elizabeth at Health Nut News



15 ambulances and 1 helicopter along with 160 rescue crew were brought in when tragedy struck at the holistic conference.

We wanted to give an update from last week when we broke the story to the health community about the holistic doctors & practitioners being poisoned at the recent holistic conference in Germany.

Holistic doctors & practitioners poisoned at conference

Even though Snopes did yet another piece about us and a few tried to dispute the doctors being  “poisoned” claim: We chose that word in the headline since that’s the exact word the local GERMAN news sources used in their headlines in their article where this horrific scene took place.


The woman who rented the space out to the practitioners also did a video interview where she said (from our translator’s best interpretation) that some were homeopaths and some psychologists. (Other articles have stated some were doctors) Semantics aren’t really important to us so whether they were homeopaths, naturopaths, psychologists or doctors? We know they were holistic and that’s what counts to us in this story.


We were able to obtain a copy of the local German paper with an update.  We had some people saying that those in attendance announced that they took this 2-ce drug (which caused some to be in “life threatening situations” (according to mainstream news) willingly, but actually- this is what the German paper said.

We would still take this with a grain of salt.


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The Mushroom That Regrows Brain Cells

Regrowing brain cells sounds like something straight out of a science fiction novel, not the stuff of scientific research involving mushrooms. After all, when we think of mushrooms we’re far more likely to think of a creamy soup or a side dish of sautéed mushrooms than healing medicines. Yet increasing amounts of research are showcasing the medicinal properties of these fungi.

When it comes to brain health, lion’s mane mushrooms are popping up with increasing frequency in recent medical journals. A large and beautiful-looking white mushroom that derives its name from the long ridges that resemble a lion’s mane, this fungus is showing great promise as a potential treatment for brain and nerve diseases, as well as a memory and mood enhancer.


Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract

Lion’s Mane Mushroom is one of the most interesting medicinal mushrooms: the tea made from Lion’s Mane mushrooms has been used for centuries in traditional Japanese herbalism, primarily as a “tonic.” The modern scientific research now tells us it was the beta glucans in the mushroom tea that were in fact offering immune support, among other health benefits.*

Recent studies also show that hot water/alcohol extracts of Lion’s Mane mushroom may strengthen memory and concentration and enhance cognitive abilities.* This research indicates that the hot water/alcohol extract of Lion’s Mane may stimulate the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and may promote and accelerate the process of myelination.*


Natural News

Lion’s mane: a smart mushroom choice for memory, mood and clarity


(NaturalNews) Easily grown at home, and a relatively inexpensive therapeutic food, lion’s mane is a beautiful mushroom with cascading spines instead of gills that shows potential in slowing the progression of neurological disorders — including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Research has also found the mushroom to be beneficial in treating symptomatic depression and anxiety associated with menopause.

The secret to the success of lion’s mane is due to abundant erinacines. These compounds enhance the production of nerve growth factor — a protein that encourages the regeneration of neurons. Additionally, the mushroom also protects against brain cell death, which is an important factor in both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.


Alzheimer’s Disease—Yes, It’s Preventable!

May 22, 2014


By Dr. Mercola

An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, a severe form of dementia,1 and hundreds of thousands more may suffer from an often misdiagnosed subtype called “hippocampal sparing” Alzheimer’s, according to recent findings.2

The most recent data3, 4 suggests that well over half a million Americans die from Alzheimer’s disease each year, making it the third leading cause of death in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.

As discussed by Dr. Danielle Ofri in a recent New York Times blog,5 losing your mind, and with it, much of your personality and dignity, is a terrifying proposition. Making matters worse, many doctors shy away from addressing dementia—both with colleagues and their patients.

The reasons are many. Dr. Ofri suggests Alzheimer’s strikes at the emotional heart of many clinicians, whose careers depend on the stability and functioning of their own minds and intelligence. In short, it frightens them too much to talk about it.

However, I strongly disagree with her commentary on the lack of strategies to prevent or modify the course of Alzheimer’s.

“I suspect… that our reticence stems from deeper issues,” Dr. Ofri writes. “All the top 10 killers in America are potentially preventable, or at least modifiable — all except dementia… We have tests to screen for many cancers, and treatments that prolong life… But there’s nothing, really, that we can do about dementia.

There aren’t any screening tests that can pick up the disease before symptoms appear. And even if there were, there aren’t any treatments that make a substantial difference.

For doctors, this is profoundly frustrating. No wonder dementia gets pushed onto the back burner. In the dishearteningly limited time of a medical visit, we’re forced to focus on the diseases we can treat.”

On the contrary, while early diagnostic tests are in short supply and successful treatments are virtually nonexistent, the evidence shows there’s plenty of hope when it comes to prevention!

This is exactly why doctors need to get with the program and start directing their patients toward healthier lifestyles rather than fall into the trap of thinking the situation is hopeless and their patients are helpless victims.

Heart Disease May Increase Your Odds of Developing Alzheimer’s

I firmly believe that since there’s no conventional cure, now or in the foreseeable future, the issue of prevention is absolutely critical if you want to avoid becoming an Alzheimer’s statistic.

Ideally, doctors would begin counseling patients who are in their 20s and 30s on lifestyle strategies that promote heart and brain health throughout life. Then we would probably see a major shift in Alzheimer’s statistics for that generation.

As it stands, the evidence points to lifestyle factors, primarily diet, as the driving forces of dementia. There are also many connections between Alzheimer’s and other dietary-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, suggesting that ALL of these diseases are preventable through identical means.

For example, previous research suggests diabetics have a doubled risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease was even tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in 2005, when researchers discovered that your brain produces insulin that is necessary for the survival of your brain cells.

They found that a toxic protein called ADDL removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, thereby rendering those neurons insulin resistant, and as ADDLs accumulate, your memory begins to deteriorate. Recent research also points out that heart disease increases your odds of developing Alzheimer’s. As reported by

“Researchers found that artery stiffness — a condition called atherosclerosis — is associated with the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.”

‘This is more than just another example of how heart health relates to brain health. It is a signal that the process of vascular aging may predispose the brain to increased amyloid plaque buildup,’ said lead researcher Timothy Hughes…

Plaque builds with age and appears to worsen in those with stiffer arteries, he said. ‘Finding and preventing the causes of plaque buildup is going to be an essential factor in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and extending brain health throughout life,’ Hughes added.”

Subtype of Alzheimer’s Disease Is Often Misdiagnosed

In related news, research7, 8 presented at the 2014 American Academy of Neurology’s meeting in Pennsylvania sheds new light on Alzheimer’s cases that are often misdiagnosed. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic believe they have identified a variant of the disease, referred to as “hippocampal sparing” Alzheimer’s, which is thought to affect an estimated 600,000 Americans. As explained by Medical News Today:9

“All subtypes of Alzheimer’s have two specific hallmarks in the brain. Amyloid beta is responsible for the formation of brain plaques, while tau produces tangles in the brain. In order to classify each subtype, the team used tangle counts to create a mathematical algorithm.

They found that while all Alzheimer’s subtypes had the same amount of amyloid beta, the hippocampal sparing variant showed tau tangles in unequal areas of the hippocampus. They discovered that in patients with this subtype, tau specifically damages neurons in areas of the brain associated with behavior, motor recognition and awareness, and use of speech and vision.”

Of the more than 1,800 Alzheimer’s patients included in the study, 11 percent were found to have hippocampal sparing Alzheimer’s, which does not destroy memory to the degree typically associated with Alzheimer’s. Instead, this subtype of the disease tends to alter behavior, causing uncontrollable anger, visual impairments, speech problems, and the feeling that your limbs do not belong to you. Hippocampal sparing appears to affect more men than women, and the disease tends to set in much earlier than traditional Alzheimer’s. Patients with hippocampal sparing also tend to deteriorate at a fast pace.

Misdiagnosis is common, as this subtype spares your memory. Quite often these patients end up being diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia or corticobasal syndrome10 instead. The former is associated with personality changes, while the latter is a progressive neurological disorder that can involve your motor system, cognition, or both, but patients typically present language problems first, followed by motor symptoms.

While the researchers believe that currently available Alzheimer’s medications may be more effective for those with hippocampal sparing Alzheimer’s than those with more traditional dementia, I firmly believe that drugs are not the answer to any of these conditions. Clearly, at the heart of it all is insulin and leptin resistance, fueled by a diet too high in refined sugars, processed fructose, and grains, combined with far too little healthful fats.


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Dr. Mercola and Dr. Perlmutter on Alzheimer’s Prevention (Full Interview)


Published on Sep 26, 2013… Natural health physician and founder Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews Dr. David Perlmutter on how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.





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The active form of vitamin D essentially shuts down cancer cells by several mechanisms which inhibit proteins involved in metastases. Now Chinese researchers have found breast and colorectalcancer patients with higher levels of vitamin D at the time of diagnosis may have better chances of survival and remain in remission longer those who are deficient, according to a scientific review.


For the past several years, there has been considerable interest in the role vitamin D plays in improving health and preventing disease. Previous finding show that low levels of vitamin D have been directly associated with various forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Stephen B. Kritchevsky, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Transitional Science at the Wake Forest School of Medicine found a signficant correlation.”We observed vitamin D insufficiency (defined as blood levels <20 ng/ml), in one third of our study participants. This was associated with nearly a 50 percent increase in the mortality rate in older adults,” said Kritchevsky. “Our findings suggest that low levels of vitamin D may be a substantial public health concern for our nation’s older adults.”

Although vitamin D can be obtained from limited dietary sources and directly from exposure to the sun during the spring and summer months, the combination of poor dietary intake and sun avoidance has created vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency in large proportions of many populations worldwide. It is known that vitamin D has a wide range of physiological effects and that correlations exist between insufficient amounts of vitamin D and an increased incidence of a number of cancers. These correlations are particularly strong for cancers of the digestive tract, including colon cancer, and certain forms of leukemia.

“Almost every disease decreases in frequency and duration as we move towards equatorial populations, and the data shows that there is a minimum of a 1000 percent increase for many diseases in countries furthest from the equator, however we have obtained the same results based on data through populations and vitamin D supplementation,” said Dr. Anthony Petaku who studies the effects of Vitamin D2 and D3 on mutating cells.

“Physicians need to pay close attention to vitamin D levels in people who have been diagnosed with cancer,” say Chinese researchers.

Better Chances of Survival

In a recent study, author Dr Hui Wang, said: “The results suggest vitamin D may influence the prognosis for people with breast cancer, colorectal cancer and lymphoma, in particular.”

The meta-analysis, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, included 25 studies and 17,332 cancer patients. In the majority of the research included the patients were tested for vitamin D levels before undergoing any cancer treatment. The researchers from Shanghai’s Institute for Nutritional Sciences and other Chinese universities and institutions found a ten nanomole/liter (nmol/L) increase in vitamin D levels correlated with an increased survival rate of 4%.

Significant associations

In another study in Anticancer Research, breast cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D in their blood are twice as likely to survive the disease as those with lower levels, new research has suggested.

A study by Dr. William Grant, Ph.D., internationally recognized research scientist and vitamin D expert, found that about 30 percent of cancer deaths — which amounts to 2 million worldwide and 200,000 in the United States — could be prevented each year with higher levels of vitamin D.

Higher vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels were “significantly associated” with reduced cancer-specific mortality for patients with colorectal cancer and lymphoma, while improved disease-free survival for patients with breast cancer or lymphoma was observed.
Meanwhile the researchers found less evidence of a connection in people with lung cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, melanoma or Merkel cell carcinoma, but said the data available was positive.

The paper speculated that cancer patients with higher vitamin D levels had an improved overall survival because of better general health status. “Due to the limited data of randomized controlled trials, it is unclear whether vitamin D status is causally related to diseases or if circulating 25(OH)D merely acts as a biomarker for health status of patients,” the researchers wrote.

No significant difference in levels was found for patients with early or later stages of the diseases.


“Considering that vitamin D deficiency is a widespread issue all over the world, it is important to ensure that everyone has sufficient levels of this important nutrient,” Dr Wang said. “Physicians need to pay close attention to vitamin D levels in people who have been diagnosed with cancer.”

Professional recommendations for supplementation are made for groups at risk of deficiency including pregnant and breastfeeding women, children under the age of five not fed infant formula, people over 65 and those not exposed to much sun. It says supplementation should not exceed 25 micrograms (0.025mg) a day, as it “could be harmful”.

It said taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time could cause more calcium to be absorbed than can be excreted, which could lead to kidney damage and softened and weakened bones.

For this reason it’s very important to take a high quality calcium and magensium supplement with vitamin D such as Life Choice Opti-Cal/Mag Complex which also contains Vitamin K2 which in itself also has been found to prevent cancer and also improve bone, cardiovascular, skin, brain, and now prostate health.


Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.

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Prevent Disease


April 29, 2014 by MARTINO CANDIOSO

High-Protein Breakfasts Help Maintain Glucose and Insulin Control

Eating breakfast is a valuable strategy to control appetite and regulate food intake. Your choice of foods can either increase or decrease your appetite throughout the day. Researchers have found that when women consume high-protein breakfasts, they maintain better glucose and insulin control than they did with lower-protein or no-protein meals.

Compared to breakfast skipping, a protein breakfast leads to increased fullness and reductions in hunger throughout morning. fMRI results have shown that brain activation in regions controlling food motivation and reward was reduced prior to lunch time when breakfast was consumed in the morning. Additionally, the higher protein breakfast led to even greater changes in appetite, satiety and reward-driven eating behavior compared to the normal protein breakfast.

In healthy individuals, the amount of glucose, or sugar, in the blood increases after eating. When glucose increases, levels of insulin increase to carry the glucose to the rest of the body. Previous research has shown that extreme increases in glucose and insulin in the blood can lead to poor glucose control and increase an individual’s risk of developing diabetes over time. The University of Missouri research has found that when women consumed high-protein breakfasts, they maintained better glucose and insulin control than they did with lower-protein or no-protein meals.

Breakfast skipping has been strongly associated with unhealthy snacking, overeating (especially at night), weight gain and obesity. Approximately 60 percent of adolescents skip breakfast on a daily basis.

Health experts at the University of Ulster said memory and attention tests found boys did better when they were a little hungry while girls were best after a satisfying morning meal.

“For women, eating more protein in the morning can beneficially affect their glucose and insulin levels,” said Heather Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology. “If you eat healthy now and consume foods that help you control your glucose levels, you may be protecting yourself from developing diabetes in the future.”

Consuming 30 grams of protein at breakfast can increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis by 50 percent in young and older adults.

Kevin Maki, of Biofortis Clinical Research, completed the study in collaboration with Leidy. They studied women aged 18-55 years old who consumed one of three different meals or only water on four consecutive days. The tested meals were less than 300 calories per serving and had similar fat and fiber contents. However, the meals varied in amount of protein: a pancake meal with three grams of protein; a sausage and egg breakfast skillet with 30 grams of protein; or a sausage and egg breakfast skillet with 39 grams protein. Researchers monitored the amount of glucose and insulin in the participants’ blood for four hours after they ate breakfast. The point was not to assess the health of the meals but rather the protein content.

Although levels of fats and sugars have been shown to influence the desire to eat, protein molecules regulate appetite.

“Both protein-rich breakfasts led to lower spikes in glucose and insulin after meals compared to the low-protein, high-carb breakfast,” Maki said. “Additionally, the higher-protein breakfast containing 39 grams of protein led to lower post-meal spikes compared to the high-protein breakfast with 30 grams of protein.”

These findings suggest that, for healthy women, the consumption of protein-rich breakfasts leads to better glucose control throughout the morning than the consumption of low-protein options, Leidy said.

“Since most American women consume only about 10-15 grams of protein during breakfast, the 30-39 grams might seem like a challenging dietary change,” Leidy said. “However, one potential strategy to assist with this change might include the incorporation of prepared convenience meals, such as those included in this study.”

“Incorporating a healthy breakfast containing protein-rich foods can be a simple strategy for people to stay satisfied longer, and therefore, be less prone to snacking,” Leidy said. “People reach for convenient snack foods to satisfy their hunger between meals, but these foods are almost always high in sugar and fat and add a substantial amount of calories to the diet. These findings suggest that a protein-rich breakfast might be an effective strategy to improve appetite control and prevent overeating in young people.”

Leidy said the study provides a good model to initially examine the effect of higher-protein breakfasts on glucose and insulin responses since only healthy, non-diabetic women with appropriate glucose control were included in the study. Based on the study’s findings, the researchers are hopeful that the consumption of protein-rich breakfasts also would benefit individuals with pre-diabetes, although future research is needed to confirm.

The research, “Acute Effects of Higher Protein, Sausage and Egg-based Convenience Breakfast Meals on Postprandial Glucose Homeostasis in Healthy, Premenopausal Women,” will be presented at the 2014 Experimental Biology meeting this week in San Diego, Calif.

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“Why we are the way we are: the Internet of our brains. These are axonal nerve fibers in the real brain as determined by the measured anisotropy (directionality) of water molecules inside them. 3T 30 channel GRAPPA DTI scan protocol, deterministic tractography performed using TrackVis/FACT algorithm. You might know the subject :-)”

jgmarcelino from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Wikimedia . org



Disaster Survivors: How Stress Changes the Brain

How well a person recovers from traumatic events may depend  in part on their self-esteem, according to researchers who examined the effects of a major earthquake on the survivors’ brains.

The researchers had conducted brain scans of university students for a study before the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in 2011. After the earthquake, they repeated the scans on 37 of the same people, and tracked stress-induced changes in their brains in the following months.

“Most importantly, what these findings show, is that the brain is dynamic — that it’s responding to things that are going on in our environment, or things that are part of our personality,” said Rajita Sinha, professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the study. [Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind]

In the brain scans taken immediately after the incident, the researchers found a decrease in the volume of two brain regions, the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex, compared with the scans taken before the incident.

One year later, the researchers repeated the scans and found that the hippocampus continued to shrink, and people’s levels of depression and anxiety had not improved.


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Japan Quake Shows How Stress Alters the Brain

HealthDay April 29, 2014 SHARE

TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A small study of people who experienced the devastating 2011 earthquake in Japan shows that although traumatic events can shrink parts of the brain, some of those regions can rebound once a person’s self-esteem returns.

“Higher self-esteem is one of the most important traits of resilience in the context of stressful life events,” said study author Atsushi Sekiguchi, who noted that these latest findings also illustrate that brain changes are dynamic and fluid over time.

Sekiguchi’s prior research had already demonstrated that people with lower self-esteem following a traumatic event are likely to experience a quick, short-term drop in the size of their orbitofrontal cortex and hippocampus. The first brain region is involved in decision-making and emotions, while the second area is involved in memory.

But by tracking the same individuals over time, Sekiguchi’s team observed that the “part of the brain volume which had decreased soon after a stressful life event [ultimately] increased, especially in individuals with [renewed] high self-esteem.”

Sekiguchi, from the division of medical neuroimage analysis at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and his team report the findings in the April 29 online edition of Molecular Psychiatry.

To gain insight into how the 2011 earthquake — and ensuing tsunami that heavily damaged several nuclear reactors in northern Japan — affected its victims, the researchers focused on 37 men and women who were about 21 at the time.

All had MRI brain scans right after the earthquake, and then again one year later.

At the same time, the earthquake victims were given psychological assessments to gauge anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and other characteristics of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Investigators concluded that none of the patients ever developed full-blown PTSD.

Yet, the group did experience a big dip in self-esteem immediately following the earthquake. And by comparing their brain scans with those of 11 other people taken before the earthquake, the team determined that the loss of self-esteem was accompanied by a downsizing of the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex.


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Soaking meats in beer makes them safer to eat from the grill

Monday, April 21, 2014 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer


(NaturalNews) While word continues to spread about the carcinogenic effects of eating grilled meat, a new study published in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry may have come up with a simple solution. Researchers from southern Europe found that simply marinating meat in beer prior to grilling it helps block the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, which have been linked to causing cancer.

Isabel Ferreira from the University of Porto in Portugal and her colleagues arrived at this conclusion after testing grilled meat samples marinated in one of three types of beer — Pilsner beer (PB), nonalcoholic Pilsner beer (P0B) and black beer (BB). The anti-free-radical activity of these three marinades was evaluated using charcoal-grilled pork and compared to the typical free radical activity of an unmarinated charcoal-grilled pork control.

In the end, all the meat samples were found to contain some level of eight different PAHs, collectively dubbed PAH8, which the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has previously classified as indicators of carcinogenic potency. But those meats that were marinated in beer prior to being cooked exhibited the lowest levels of these eight carcinogens, presumably due to certain compounds in beer that guard against damaging oxidation.

“BB exhibited the strongest scavenging activity (68.0%), followed by P0B (36.5%) and PB (29.5%),” wrote the authors about the initial assay of the three beer marinades. “BB showed the highest inhibitory effect in the formation of PAH8 (53%), followed by P0B (25%) and PB (13%).”

The full text of the study can be accessed at the following link:


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ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news

Hepatitis C treatment cures over 90 percent of patients who also have cirrhosis

April 12, 2014
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Twelve weeks of an investigational oral therapy cured hepatitis C infection in more than 90 percent of patients with liver cirrhosis and was well tolerated by these patients, according to a new study.

Twelve weeks of an investigational oral therapy cured hepatitis C infection in more than 90 percent of patients with liver cirrhosis and was well tolerated by these patients, according to an international study that included researchers from UT Medicine San Antonio and the Texas Liver Institute. Historically, hepatitis C cure rates in patients with cirrhosis (liver scarring) have been lower than 50 percent and the treatment was not safe for many of these patients.

Hepatitis C virus is the No. 1 driver of cirrhosis, liver transplants and liver cancer in the United States, noted Fred Poordad, M.D., lead author on the study, which was released Saturday by The New England Journal of Medicine in conjunction with Dr. Poordad’s presentation of the data at the International Liver Congress in London. UT Medicine is the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where Dr. Poordad is a professor of medicine. He is vice president of the Texas Liver Institute in San Antonio.

Interferon previously was the only agent to show effectiveness against hepatitis C, but patients often relapsed and the therapy caused multiple side effects. The new regimen is interferon-free and consists of several agents — ABT-450/ritonavir, ombitasvir, dasabuvir and ribavirin. Twelve weeks after the last dose, no hepatitis C virus was detected in the bloodstream of 91.8 percent of patients who took the pills for 12 weeks. Among patients treated for 24 weeks, 95.9 percent were virus-free 12 weeks after the end of therapy.


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