Latest information about Gout

Gout May Be Linked to Raised Diabetes Risk: Study

Posted October 6, 2014

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, appears to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in women, a new study finds.

Researchers followed more than 35,000 gout sufferers in the United Kingdom and found that women with gout were 71 percent more likely to develop diabetes compared with people without gout. For men, the increased risk was 22 percent.

“Gout seems to be contributing to the risk of diabetes independently of other diabetes risk factors, such as obesity,” said lead researcher Dr. Hyon Choi, from the division of rheumatology, allergy, and immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Gout causes intense pain and swelling in single joints, most often the feet, especially the joint at the base of the big toe. More than 3 million Americans suffer from the condition, men more often than women, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

People with gout have excess uric acid in the body, which forms needle-like crystals that lodge in the joints.

Diabetes, characterized by high blood sugar levels, can lead to kidney damage, heart disease and limb amputations over time. Clarifying its relationship to gout “is essential,” the study authors said.

However, while the current research suggests gout raises the risk of diabetes, the study can’t prove it. “The association is clearly there, but why that is so isn’t known,” Choi said.

Choi speculates that ongoing, low-level inflammation from gout may increase the risk for diabetes. Other risk factors shared by both diseases — high cholesterol and high blood pressure, for example — might also increase the risk, he said.

The researchers used data from health records on adult patients from January 1995 to May 2010. They zeroed in on about 35,000 people with newly diagnosed gout and compared them with more than 137,000 people without the condition.

To isolate the relationship between gout and diabetes, the investigators took age, sex and especially weight into account, because obesity is a risk factor for both gout and type 2 diabetes.

The study, published online Oct. 2 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, found that almost three-quarters of the new cases of gout were among men with an average age of 61. Among women with new cases of gout, the average age was 68.

The odds of developing diabetes alongside gout was much more likely for women, the researchers found. Choi said the absolute risk of a woman with gout developing diabetes is about 5 percent, and for a man it’s about 3 percent.

People with gout tended to drink more alcohol, saw their doctor more often, had more medical problems, and took steroids and diuretics more often than those who did not have gout, the study authors noted.

Treatments for gout are available and are tailored individually.

Choi said the best way to reduce the risk of developing gout or diabetes is to control risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.

Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said this study may make doctors more aware of the association between gout and diabetes.

“The question for doctors is whether people with gout should be tested for diabetes and people with diabetes tested for gout,” Mezitis said.

“What this study tells us is that if the patient has gout, you have to be thinking that the patient is at increased risk for diabetes,” he said. This may be independent of other factors normally associated with diabetes, such as obesity and high blood pressure, he added.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Why You Should Drink Lemon Water In The Morning** by sharib on May 4, 2013

This information is great and lemons have awesome benefits for health and healthy lifestyles.The more fruits and veggies in our life the better the quality of life!

Lemon is a yellow fruit whose pulp, juice, peel and even its zest can be exclusively used in food further the sour taste of lemon is due to the presence of 5 % to 6% of citric acid in lemon juice. This distinctive taste of lemon juice also makes it one of the important ingredients either when it is used in drinks or even food like cocktails, lemonade and soft drinks.

Lemon juice also can be made into a preservative for certain foods which oxidize and turn brown after they are sliced like apples, bananas and avocados, it is the presence of acids which denatures the enzymes which result in browning and degradation of foods.

This is not the end to the ways in which these lemons can be used, there is also one of the effect methods which is drinking lemon water early in the morning to get flat tummy, here we give you facts which will surely force you to give a try for lemon water in the morning:

• It is not necessary that this will have any effect on the morning coffee cup that has great taste and aroma along with warmth instead taking lemon water will only be suggestible for people who are ready to postpone their cup of coffee for 30 minutes.

• Cancer cells are known to breed in acidic body but even any human body is known to perform better when it has higher alkaline content. Lemon though is famous for being an acidic fruit also is known to be great alkalizing agent when it gets into the human body also lessening the acidic levels. Though there are very few people who know that their body is acidic due to the food being eaten and things to which skin is exposed however this can be beaten by lemon water to lessen pH levels.

Great source of Vitamins and Minerals: It is known that this yellow fruit is richer source of Vitamin C which is known to be anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and also helps in developing immune system, Vitamin B which is for production of energy, Riboflavin helps in growth, repair and development of tissue along with minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorous which help in adding strength to bones and teeth.

Liver purification: Liver is the main organ which detoxifies, produces protein and bio-chemicals which are known to be responsible for proper body digestion. It has been found that lemon water helps liver to carry out all its responsibilities even more effectively since it increases the number of enzymes which detoxify liver, apart from this lemon is known to be diuretic which helps in increasing the rate at which urination happens which ultimately purifies the body.

Halts age: Lemon is known to help in erasing the wrinkles also having a better appearance of skin on regular consumption. If the body has too many toxins then the skin does not look healthy which can be fought with lemon water to get clear and glowing skin. Lemon also has citric acid which helps in fighting against acne making this one of the cheapest and most commonly available remedy to treat wrinkles and get glowing skin at the same time.

Helps in weight loss: Too many toxins and waste products in liver will have effect on the body metabolism which in turn increases body fat. Lemon water is known to help liver in removal of all the waste products also increasing the body fat however lemon has to be supported by proper diet and physical activity.

Resolves respiratory problems: Lemon water is known to treat any chest infections and stop any smaller coughs, also lemon is known to be best treatment for people suffering from asthma and allergies. Lemon is also known to treat bad breath and any tooth ache along with gingivitis due to the higher rate of citric acid which when taken in increased content will cause harm to tooth enamel.

Here is the process in which homemade lemon water can be prepared for consumption in morning:

  1. Take a glass full of water either cool or even at room temperature and those suffering with any digestion problems can use hot water.
  2. Now squeeze juice from half slice of fresh lemon into this glass of water
  3. Stir this and drink without any sugar.

It is advised to not use bottled lemon water due to increased presence of sulphites which results in allergy among several people.

 

 

Drink up Daily!
Drink up Daily!

Have you had your Blueberries,TODAY?

Blueberries Fight Belly Fat!© Copyright 2012 CorbisCorporation

 

Health experts have always raved about the health benefits of blueberries, but now, a new University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study suggests that blueberries may help reduce belly fat and risk factors for heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

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Blueberries Fight Belly Fat!

A close-up image of fresh blueberries

 

Blueberries are the fruits of a shrub that belong to the heath family, which includes the cranberry and bilberry as well as the azalea, mountain laurel and rhododendron.

Blueberries are the fruits of a shrub that belong to the heath family, which includes the cranberry and bilberry as well as the azalea, mountain laurel and rhododendron.

Blueberries grow in clusters and range in size from that of a small pea to a marble. They are deep in color, ranging from blue to maroon to purple-black, and feature a white-gray waxy “bloom” that covers the surface serving as a protective coat. The skin surrounds a semi-transparent flesh that encases tiny seeds.

According to a study presented at the 2009 Experimental Biology conference in New Orleans, a diet rich in blueberries lowers blood cholesterol levels while improving glucose control and insulin sensitivity, lowering the risk of subsequent heart disease and diabetes.

Just some of the benefits of blueberries include:

They have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit: Blue Berries, being very rich in antioxidants like Anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial), selenium, zinc, iron (promotes immunity by raising haemoglobin and oxygen concentration in blood) etc. boost up your immune system and prevent infections. Once your immunity is strong, you won’t catch colds, fever, pox and all such nasty viral and bacterial communicable diseases.

They neutralize free radicals which can affect disease and aging in the body: Blue Berries bring you the brightest ray of hope, for they are laden with anti oxidants and rank number 1 in the world of anti oxidants. This is mainly due to presence of Anthocyanin, a pigment responsible for the blue color of the blueberries. The abundance of vitamin-C is also a big factor for this as well.

They aid in reducing belly fat: A new University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study suggests that blueberries may help reduce belly fat and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. So far, we know that the fruit works on rats, which were the test subjects. A blueberry-enriched powder was mixed into the rats’ diet, which was either low-fat or high-fat rat chow. After 90 days, the rats with the blueberry-enriched diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity.

In addition, their health was even better when combined with the low-fat diet. That group had lower body weight, lower total fat mass and reduced liver mass than the rats on the high-fat diet. An enlarged liver is linked to obesity and insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes. Although more research is needed to confirm these results in humans, a related study presented at the same conference showed that men with risk factors for heart disease who drank wild blueberry juice for three weeks seemed to experience slight improvements in glucose and insulin control.

They help promote urinary tract health: The building of colonies of certain bacteria like b-coli along the lining of the inner walls of urinary tract is responsible for this infection, resulting in inflammation, burning sensation during in passage of urine and other complications. Here, Blue Berries can be surprisingly beneficial. It has a compound formed of big polymer like heavy molecules which inhibits the growth of such bacteria. It also has some anti biotic properties which adds to this effect. These heavy and big molecules almost wash-off these bacteria along the tract, thereby preventing the infection.

They help preserve vision: Blueberry extract, high in compounds called anthocyanosides, has been found in clinical studies to slow down visual loss. They can prevent or delay all age related ocular problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia and hypermetropia, dryness and infections, particularly those pertaining to retina, due to their anti-oxidant properties. Blue Berries contain a special group of anti oxidants called Carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin etc.), Flavonoids (like rutin, resveritrol, quercetin etc.), in addition to others such as vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A, selenium, zinc and phosphorus, which are very beneficial and essential for the ocular health. Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

Brain Health: The anthocyanin, the selenium, the vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, the zinc, sodium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese etc., among others, can prevent and heal neurotic disorders by preventing degeneration and death of neurons, brain-cells and also by restoring health of the central nervous system. It is hard to believe that these berries can also cure serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease to a great extent. They even heal damaged brain cells and neuron tissues and keep your memory sharp for a long-long time. Researchers found that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging animals, making them mentally equivalent to much younger ones.

They fight heart disease: The high fiber content, those brilliant anti oxidants and the ability to dissolve the ‘bad cholesterol’ make the Blue Berry an ideal dietary supplement to cure many heart diseases. It also strengthens the cardiac muscles. In this study, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, researchers found that a moderate drink (about 4 ounces) of white wine contained .47 mmol of free radical absorbing antioxidants, red wine provided 2.04 mmol, and a wine made from highbush blueberries delivered 2.42 mmol of these protective plant compounds.

They relieve constipation & aid in healthy digestion: While roughage (fiber) in Blue Berries keep away constipation (Of course, a single piece alone will not do. You need to eat a big handful of them), the vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.

They may prevent/cure certain cancers: Blue Berries can prove to be bliss for the cancer patients, for they contain certain compounds like Pterostilbene (excellent remedy for colon and liver cancer) and Ellagic Acid which, in harmony with Anthocyanin and other anti oxidants like vitamin-C and copper, can do miracles to prevent and cure cancer. Laboratory studies published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry show that phenolic compounds in blueberries can inhibit colon cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death). A significant 34% reduction in ovarian cancer risk was also seen in women with the highest intake of the flavone luteolin (found in citrus).

Other blueberry benefits: They keep you fresh, active, fit, sharp, close to nature and in a good mood, as they are very good antidepressants. You also need not spend a lot on medicines, neither are there any side effects. Remember, the deeper the color of the Blue Berries, the more they are rich in anti oxidants and other medicinal values.

Which blueberries are the BEST blueberries?

Choose blueberries that are firm and have a lively, uniform hue colored with a whitish bloom. Shake the container, noticing whether the berries have the tendency to move freely; if they do not, this may indicate that they are soft and damaged or moldy. Avoid berries that appear dull in color or are soft and watery in texture.

They should be free from moisture since the presence of water will cause the berries to decay. When purchasing frozen berries, shake the bag gently to ensure that the berries move freely and are not clumped together, which may suggest that they have been thawed and refrozen.

Final twist to tale of Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose cells helped the fight against cancer!

Scientists recant in ethics row over publishing DNA genome of research’s unwitting heroine

Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks, who died of cancer in 1951, but whose tumour cells have been an invaluable resource for medical researchers. Photograph: Courtesy of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation

The astonishing story of Henrietta Lacks, who died of cancer in 1951 but whose still living cells are now the basis for much medical research, has captivated America for the past two years – and there is no sign of the debate, or its controversies, abating.

As revealed in the bestselling 2011 book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this is a tale of a poor black tobacco farmer who never consented to having her tissues taken but whose cancer cells have proved so important they have formed the foundation for work leading to two Nobel prizes.

Yet Lacks’s family never knew about it – even as the cells were used around the world in research, or when they themselves were asked for blood samples two decades later. The book described the indignity of the family’s ordeal even as giant corporations profited hugely from Lacks’s cells – known as HeLa in medical parlance. Her children, again without their knowledge, had their medical records studied and even published. It was a story of the complex intersection of medicine, race and profit that seemed to have a happy ending as the book, written by Rebecca Skloot, became a bestseller and Lacks’s contribution to medical science was recognised.

But now history seems to have repeated itself. A group of scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg recently published a paper in which they sequenced the entire genome of a HeLa cell – essentially putting Lacks’s DNA sequence up on the internet for all to see. Amazingly, they failed to alert anyone in the Lacks family about their intentions or ask their permission.

Skloot was outraged, arguing that scientists appeared to have learned little. “The publication of the HeLa genome without consent isn’t an example of a few researchers making a mistake. The whole system allowed it. Everyone involved followed standard practices. They presented their research at conferences and in a peer-reviewed journal. No one raised questions about consent,” she wrote in a column in the New York Times.

David Kroll, a science writer and board member of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation, was furious that Lacks and her family had again apparently fallen into a scientific ethics blind spot. “I was pretty appalled. I could not believe this was happening all over again.”

The impact was rapid. Though the scientists at EMBL had insisted that the genome could not be used to make any sensitive medical conclusions about Lacks or her living family members – such as whether they had a predisposition to certain diseases – one researcher told Skloot they had done precisely that by downloading the genome and provided proof of their deductions confidentially to Skloot. Eventually the EMBL revised its publication, removing full details of the genome, and apologised.

The incident has added an unexpected last chapter to what was already a remarkable story. Lacks died quickly, aged 31, after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. The cells taken from her have been used in experiments all over the world and even in space. HeLa cells have helped make hundred of millions of profits for companies all over the world and been used for medical breakthrough after breakthrough. They have been used to develop the polio vaccine and in vitro fertilisation and even cloning.

Yet, before Skloot’s book was published, her story was little known. Now, not only is Lacks honoured – she has had a school named after her – but her case is held up as a prime example of the abuse of medical ethics where getting consent from test subjects is now seen as a primary moral duty. “The scientific community can still be arrogant and have a disregard for people’s feelings,” Kroll said.

That seems to be particularly true of this latest incident involving the publication of the genome of the HeLa cells. As genetic technology and medicine becomes more common it is going to raise key issues of privacy. The human genome is becoming easier and cheaper to map in its entirety and the sort of breaches that just took place with the HeLa cell line are likely to become more frequent. That could open up many people to unscrupulous employers or health insurance companies trying to analyse DNA sequences for confidential information.

“It speaks very widely to genetic privacy,” Kroll said. After all, Kroll argued, if researchers were still blithe enough to publish a genome as well known as a HeLa cell, then they might be even less bothered by people whose identities are – now – less famous. “The whole Henrietta Lacks case has been a blessing in disguise. Often mistakes can lead to advances and correcting behaviour,” said Kroll.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Sequel

 

 

 

LAST week, scientists sequenced the genome of cells taken without consent from a woman named Henrietta Lacks. She was a black tobacco farmer and mother of five, and though she died in 1951, her cells, code-named HeLa, live on. They were used to help develop our most important vaccines and cancer medications, in vitro fertilization, gene mapping, cloning. Now they may finally help create laws to protect her family’s privacy — and yours.

Michael Gillette

 

Readers’ Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

The family has been through a lot with HeLa: they didn’t learn of the cells until 20 years after Lacks’s death, when scientists began using her children in research without their knowledge. Later their medical records were released to the press and published without consent. Because I wrote a book about Henrietta Lacks and her family, my in-box exploded when news of the genome broke. People wanted to know: did scientists get the family’s permission to publish her genetic information? The answer is no.

Imagine if someone secretly sent samples of your DNA to one of many companies that promise to tell you what your genes say about you. That report would list the good news (you’ll probably live to be 100) and the not-so-good news (you’ll most likely develop Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder and maybe alcoholism). Now imagine they posted your genetic information online, with your name on it. Some people may not mind. But I assure you, many do: genetic information can be stigmatizing, and while it’s illegal for employers or health insurance providers to discriminate based on that information, this is not true for life insurance, disability coverage or long-term care.

“That is private family information,” said Jeri Lacks-Whye, Lacks’s granddaughter. “It shouldn’t have been published without our consent.”

Some scientists agree: Jonathan Eisen, a genomics researcher at the University of California, Davis, tweeted, “A bit stunned that the people publishing the HeLa genome appear to not have gotten consent from the family.” Another said this was going to further damage public trust in science. A few argued that the cells had changed so much over time, they couldn’t accurately tell us anything about Lacks (to which a geneticist replied, “Your claim is so wrong that I don’t know where to start”). Several noted that consent wasn’t required to publish the HeLa genome (true). But over all, the scientific community was surprisingly silent on the issue.

On its own, the HeLa genome doesn’t say anything specific about Lacks: it’s a string of billions of letters that detail the genetic information that makes up a HeLa cell, which is useful for science. A news release from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, where the HeLa genome was sequenced, said, “We cannot infer anything about Henrietta Lacks’s genome, or of her descendants, from the data generated in this study.”

But that’s not true. And a few scientists decided to prove it. One uploaded HeLa’s genome to a public Web site called SNPedia, a Wikipedia-like site for translating genetic information. Minutes later, it produced a report full of personal information about Henrietta Lacks, and her family. (The scientist kept that report confidential, sharing it only with me.) Until recently, few people had the ability to process raw genome data like this. Now anyone who can send an e-mail can do it. No one knows what we may someday learn about Lacks’s great-grandchildren from her genome, but we know this: the view we have today of genomes is like a world map, but Google Street View is coming very soon.

Scientifically speaking, that’s good news. There’s a lot of hope for using technology like this for affordable “personalized medicine.” But legally and ethically speaking, we’re not ready for it.

As Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, says: “This latest HeLa situation really shows us that our policy is lagging years and maybe decades behind the science. It’s time to catch up.” The regulations governing this sort of research were written in the 1970s, long before anyone imagined what you could learn from a bit of DNA. They are largely based on the now outdated belief that if samples are “anonymized” (i.e., your name is removed), there’s no need to get consent before using them in research.

The problem, says Yaniv Erlich, a fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, is that anonymity vanishes when it comes to DNA: “People don’t realize it’s impossible to hide genetic information once it’s out there.” He and his colleagues recently proved that it’s possible to use online public databases to find the identities of people whose anonymous DNA samples had been sequenced and published online. Yet researchers aren’t required to tell you that there is no guarantee that a genome, once sequenced, will stay private or anonymous.

More than a year and a half ago, the N.I.H. and several government organizations proposed changing current regulations to require consent for tissue research, genome sequencing and sharing private data. The proposal generated public comment but nothing changed, and science continues to move forward with speed, potential and outdated regulation.

The Lackses’ experiences over the last 60 years foretold nearly every major ethical issue raised by research on human tissues and genetic material. Now they’re raising a new round of ethical questions for science: though their consent is not (yet) required for publishing private genetic information from HeLa, should it be? Should we require consent before anyone’s genome is sequenced and published? And what control should gene-sharing family members have?

The Lacks family is proud of HeLa’s contributions to society, and they don’t want to stop HeLa research. But they do want to learn about the HeLa genome — how it can be used for the good of science while still protecting the family’s privacy — so they can decide whether to consent to its publication. And they want researchers to acknowledge that HeLa cells are not anonymous and should be treated accordingly.

After hearing from the Lacks family, the European team apologized, revised the news release and quietly took the data off-line. (At least 15 people had already downloaded it.) They also pointed to other databases that had published portions of Henrietta Lacks’s genetic data (also without consent). They hope to talk with the Lacks family to determine how to handle the HeLa genome while working toward creating international standards for handling these issues.

The publication of the HeLa genome without consent isn’t an example of a few researchers making a mistake. The whole system allowed it. Everyone involved followed standard practices. They presented their research at conferences and in a peer-reviewed journal. No one raised questions about consent.

In the three years since my book about HeLa was published, the Lacks family and I have spoken to audiences by the thousands about these issues. Public response is overwhelmingly consistent and in line with several studies: the public supports the science and wants to help it move forward. But that support is dependent on consent and trust.

 

Rebecca Skloot is the author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

Alzheimer’s disease. What you need to know!

cinnamon Studies Show Cinnamon and B Vitamins can Help Prevent Alzheimers

By Dr. Mercola

In the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is currently at epidemic proportions, with 5.4 million Americans—including one in eight people aged 65 and over—living with the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.

By 2050, this is expected to jump to 16 million, and in the next 20 years, it is projected that Alzheimer’s will affect one in four Americans, rivaling the current prevalence of obesity and diabetes.

There is still no known cure for this devastating disease, and very few treatments. Alzheimer’s drugs are often of little to no benefit at all, which underscores the importance of prevention throughout your lifetime.

Research repeatedly suggests the best hope for patients lies in prevention through optimal diet, exercise and staying socially and mentally active. As recently reported by Forbes:

“[A] new study in Science suggested that last year’s ‘breakthrough’ pharmaceutical, bexarotene (Targretin) – a cancer drug that had initially received wide publicity for helping break up the plaques in Alzheimer’s – doesn’t seem to do this very well at all, and can have significant adverse side effects for the patient.

‘Something happened in that initial report – either something technically or otherwise, which we can’t put our hands on at this point in time,” study author Sangram Sisodia told US News & World Report. ‘Something is seriously wrong.’

While memory loss is common among Westerners, it is NOT a “normal” part of aging. Research has shown that even mild “senior moments” are caused by the same brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. These cognitive changes are by no means inevitable!

People who experience very little decline in their cognitive function up until their deaths have been found (post-mortem) to be free of brain lesions, showing that it’sentirely possible to prevent the damage from occurring in the first place. At the end of this article, I share my best tips for maintaining healthy brain function well into old age.

In recent years, researchers studying natural compounds have offered new hope. For example, two recent studies suggest that compounds in cinnamon, as well as vitamins B12, B6, and folate may delay the onset and/or slow progression of the disease.

The Promise of Cinnamon and Vitamins in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease

The first study in question, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease,found that cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin, two compounds found in cinnamon, have an inhibitory effect on the aggregation of a particular protein called tau. Tau plays a large role in the structure and function of neurons.

But while a normal part of cell structures, this protein can begin to accumulate, forming “neurofibrillary tangles” that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Both compounds were found to protect tau from oxidative damage that can lead to dysfunction.

Donald Graves, adjunct professor in UCSB’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and co-author of the study explained the protective process to Medical News Today:

“‘Take, for example, sunburn, a form of oxidative damage. If you wore a hat, you could protect your face and head from the oxidation. In a sense this cinnamaldehyde is like a cap. While it can protect the tau protein by binding to its vulnerable cysteine residues, it can also come off,’ Graves added, which can ensure the proper functioning of the protein.”

It’s interesting to note that there’s a high correlation between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Some even believe Alzheimer’s may be a form of brain diabetes. Insulin and insulin receptors in your brain are crucial for learning and memory, and it’s known that these components are lower in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to the above findings, cinnamon has also been found to have beneficial effects on blood glucose management in type 2 diabetics. This is one of the reasons I include cinnamon in my healthy coconut candy recipe.

B Vitamins Again Show Promise in Alzheimer’s Prevention

The other study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid may help slow the progression of the disease, confirming and supporting previous studies. As reported in the featured article:

“The fact that B-family vitamins may play a significant role in dementia, or more specifically in warding it off has been consistently illustrated. What is news from the current study, however, is that high-dose B-vitamin treatment in people at risk for the disease ‘slowed shrinkage of whole brain volume,’ and especially reduced shrinkage in areas known to be affected in Alzheimer’s disease.”

The 156 study participants, all of whom were over the age of 70, were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. This, along with midlife hypertension, midlife obesity and diabetes, is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s. One group of participants received a placebo while the other received high-dose B-vitamin treatment consisting of:

  • 0.8 mg folic acid
  • 20 mg vitamin B6
  • 0.5 mg vitamin B12

It is important to note that vitamin B12 comes in many forms and it is typically injected because it is not absorbed well by most people, especially in the elderly who need it most. This is due to it being one of the largest vitamins known. The most common form is cyanocobalamin but a better from would be methylcobalamin. A better alternative to B12 injections would also be sublingual sprays, which are absorbed very similarly to the injections.

The treatment effectively slowed shrinkage of the whole brain volume over the course of two years. It also reduced, by as much as seven-fold, the cerebral atrophy in certain brain regions that are particularly vulnerable to damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Another major boon: The supplements cost less than 50 cents a day and are readily available in pharmacies and health-food stores. In the placebo group, higher homocysteine levels at baseline were associated with faster atrophy in these same regions. According to the researchers:

“We… show that the beneficial effect of B vitamins is confined to participants with high homocysteine… and that, in these participants, a causal Bayesian network analysis indicates the following chain of events: B vitamins lower homocysteine, which directly leads to a decrease in gray matter atrophy, thereby slowing cognitive decline.

Our results show that B-vitamin supplementation can slow the atrophy of specific brain regions that are a key component of the AD process and that are associated with cognitive decline.”

Dr. A. David Smith, professor emeritus of pharmacology at Oxford University, founding director of the Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing, and senior author of the study told Bloomberg News that this B-vitamin treatment is “the first and only disease-modifying treatment that’s worked. We have proved the concept that you can modify the disease.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who understands that without proper nutrition and exercise, your brain will be increasingly vulnerable to damage with age…

Vitamin B Cocktail Already Used for Dementia Prevention in Sweden

Three years ago, the same group of researchers showed that the atrophy rate in patients’ whole brains was reduced by about 30 percent in those taking the vitamin cocktail. The atrophy rate was even higher—53 percent—in those who had elevated homocysteine levels, a benefit that was reconfirmed in the featured study. According to Bloomberg:

“The studies, known as Vitacog, were funded by seven charities and government agencies and vitamin maker Meda AB of Solna, Sweden. Smith is an inventor on three patents held by Oxford University for B vitamin formulations to treat Alzheimer’s disease… Vitamin B12 is found in liver, fish and milk and folic acid in fruit and vegetables. Deficiency of folate and B vitamins is already linked to dementia…

Doctors in Sweden began measuring homocysteine in people who report declining memory about two years ago, said [Johan] Lokk [professor and head physician in the geriatric department at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, who wasn’t involved in the study]...

Swedish patients with high homocysteine are given folic acid and B vitamins, even if they aren’t deficient. ‘We think the increased homocysteine level could be deleterious to the brain,’ Lokk said. ‘We wanted to be on the offensive in diagnosing and treating patients. In our opinion, it is harmless and cheap.’”

General Anesthesia Could Increase Risk of Dementia in Elderly by 35 Percent

Related research suggests that being exposed to general anesthesia can increase the risk of dementia in the elderly by as much as 35 percent. The research was presented at the annual congress of the European Society of Anesthesiology (ESA). As reported by Medical News Today:

“Postoperative cognitive dysfunction, or POCD, could be associated with dementia several years later. POCD is a common complication in elderly patients after major surgery. It has been proposed that there is an association between POCD and the development of dementia due to a common pathological mechanism through the amyloid β peptide. Several experimental studies suggest that some anesthetics could promote inflammation of neural tissues leading to POCD and/or Alzheimer’s disease (AD) precursors including β-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.”

Participants aged 65 and over were followed for a total of 10 years. Participants exposed to at least one general anesthetic over the follow-up had a 35 percent increased risk of developing a dementia compared to those who were not exposed to anesthesia. According to lead researcher Dr. Francois Sztark:

“These results are in favor of an increased risk for dementia several years after general anesthesia. Recognition of POCD is essential in the perioperative management of elderly patients. A long-term follow-up of these patients should be planned.”

Tips for Avoiding Alzheimer’s Disease

The beauty of following my revised Nutrition Plan is that it helps treat and prevent all chronic degenerative diseases, from the common ones like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s to the ones you have never heard of or can’t even pronounce. So please read the Plan as soon as you can. It is divided into three helpful sections, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced to help you start at the right level.

The plan is the first step in addressing Alzheimer’s disease, which is currently at epidemic proportions, with 5.4 million Americans – including one in eight people aged 65 and over – living with the disease.

Remember, while memory loss is indeed common among Westerners, it is NOT a “normal” part of aging, and cognitive changes are by no means inevitable. People who experience very little decline in their cognitive function up until their deaths have been found (post-mortem) to be free of brain lesions, showing that it’s entirely possible to prevent the damage from occurring in the first place… and one of the best ways to do this is by leading a healthy lifestyle.

  • Sugar and FructoseIdeally, you’ll want to keep your sugar levels to a minimum and your total fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you have insulin resistance or any related disorders.
  • Improve magnesium levels. There is some exciting preliminary research strongly suggesting a decrease in Alzheimer symptoms with increased levels of magnesium in the brain. Unfortunately, most magnesium supplements do not pass the blood brain levels, but a new one, magnesium threonate, appears to and holds some promise for the future for treating this condition and may be superior to other forms.
  • Optimize your vitamin D levels with safe sun exposure. Strong links between low levels of vitamin D in Alzheimer’s patients and poor outcomes on cognitive tests have been revealed. Researchers believe that optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important chemicals in your brain and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of the glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health. Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Sufficient vitamin D is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation that is also associated with Alzheimer’s.
  • Keep your fasting insulin levels below 3. This is indirectly related to fructose, as it will clearly lead to insulin resistance. However other sugars (sucrose is 50 percent fructose by weight), grains and lack of exercise are also important factors. Lowering insulin will also help lower leptin levels which is another factor for Alzheimer’s.
  • Vitamin B12: In addition to the research presented above, a small Finnish study published in the journal Neurology also found that people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s in their later years. For each unit increase in the marker of vitamin B12, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was reduced by two percent. Remember sublingual methylcobalamin may be your best bet here.
  • Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate, such as the one described in my nutrition plan. Vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day. Avoid supplements with folic acid, which is the inferior synthetic version of folate.
  • High-quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. (I recommend avoiding most fish because, although fish is naturally high in omega-3, most fish are now severely contaminated with mercury.) High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder.
  • Avoid and eliminate mercury from your body. Dental amalgam fillings, which are 50 percent mercury by weight, are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity. However you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my optimized nutrition plan, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.
  • Avoid aluminum, such as antiperspirants, non-stick cookware, vaccine adjuvants, etc.
  • Exercise regularly. It’s been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized, thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1alpha. Research has also shown that people with Alzheimer’s have less PGC-1alpha in their brains and cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s. I would strongly recommend reviewing the Peak Fitness Technique for my specific recommendations.
  • Avoid flu vaccinations as most contain both mercury and aluminum, well-known neurotoxic and immunotoxic agents.
  • Eat blueberries. Wild blueberries, which have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content, are known to guard against Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases. Like any fruit though, avoid excesses here.
  • Challenge your mind daily. Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Avoid anticholinergic and statin drugs. Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers. Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, deplete your brain of coenzyme Q10 and neurotransmitter precursors, and prevent adequate delivery of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants to your brain by inhibiting the production of the indispensable carrier biomolecule known as low-density lipoprotein.

Other Natural Treatments for Your Anti-Alzheimer’s Arsenal

Finally, there are a few other nutritional recommendations worth noting for their specific benefits in preventing and treating dementia. So, although your fundamental strategy for preventing dementia should involve a comprehensive lifestyle approach, you may want to consider adding a few of these natural dietary agents to your anti-Alzheimer’s arsenal. These four natural foods/supplements have good science behind them, in terms of preventing age-related cognitive changes:

  1. Coconut OilThe primary fuel your brain needs for energy is glucose. However, your brain is able to run on more than a single type of fuel, one being ketones (ketone bodies), or ketoacids. Ketones are what your body produces when it converts fat (as opposed to glucose) into energy.
    The medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) found in coconut oil are GREAT source of ketone bodies, because coconut oil is about 66 percent MCTs. In fact, ketones appear to be the preferred source of brain food in patients affected by diabetes or Alzheimer’s.
  2. Astaxanthin is a natural pigment with unique properties and many clinical benefits, including some of the most potent antioxidant activity currently known. As a fat-soluble nutrient, astaxanthin readily crosses your blood-brain barrier. One study found it may help prevent neurodegeneration associated with oxidative stress, as well as make a potent natural “brain food.” The molecules of astaxanthin neutralize free radicals and other oxidants without being destroyed or becoming pro-oxidants themselves in the process. It’s is a unique molecule whose shape allows it to precisely fit into a cell membrane and span its entire width. In this position, astaxanthin can intercept potentially damaging molecules before they can damage your cells. You can get some astaxanthin by taking krill oil, which is a fantastic omega-3 fat supplement. But you can boost your astaxanthin even MORE by adding a pure astaxanthin supplement to your nutritional regimen. For optimal absorption, make sure to take krill oil and/or astaxanthin with a fat-containing meal, since both are fat-soluble.
  3. Gingko bilobaMany scientific studies have found that Gingko biloba has positive effects for dementia. Gingko, which is derived from a tree native to Asia, has long been used medicinally in China and other countries. A 1997 study from JAMAshowed clear evidence that Gingko improves cognitive performance and social functioning for those suffering from dementia.
    Research since then has been equally promising. One study in 2006 found Gingko as effective as the dementia drug Aricept (donepezil) for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer’s type dementia. A 2010 meta-analysis found Gingko biloba to be effective for a variety of types of dementia.
  4. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA): ALA can stabilize cognitive functions among Alzheimer’s patients and may slow the progression of the disease.

Read the full article here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/13/alzheimers-dementia-treatment.aspx

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Men are supposed to be among other things, physically strong. One of the most disturbing things that can accost any man, is the inability to function sexually. It is estimated that over 31 percent of men are affected by this condition. It is manifested through what is broadly known as erectile dysfunction or impotence. The good news is that you can take control of it and regain libido. Our bodies require amino acids in order to metabolize proteins. In total, you need twenty of them. Your body is only able to provide 10 out of the 20. This means that the balance must come from the food you eat.

L-arginine is one of those crucial amino acids whose lack can cause you to have impotence problems. L-arginine benefits not only men. Women too suffer from low libido. However, that is a subject for another day. Why is L-arginine so important to men? It is the originator of Nitric Oxide or NO. This element is important in the process of blood circulation. In the event of low circulation of blood, a man would not be able to have an erection. That is where problems in manhood stem from. L-arginine improves the flow of blood to the male sexual organ enabling it to attain the ideal size for sexual activity.

Other reported L-arginine benefits include increased sexual desire, endurance and satisfaction. If your body is found to be deficient of this important amino acid, you can supplement it. The supplement is found in powder form. There is scientific proof that supplements containing L-arginine have led to improved fertility especially in men with a low sperm count. In a certain test, one scientific journal reported that out of 29 men who were put on L-arginine for a period of 6 weeks, 9 of them had recorded substantial sexual improvement. When the trials started, the nine had low levels of nitric oxide. At the time of winding up the study, they had registered double the amount of NO (nitric oxide).

However, you should know that there are other factors that cause erectile dysfunction. These are diabetes and advancement of age. L-arginine benefits men whose impotence results from their bodies not secreting enough nitric oxide. This amino acid supplement will ensure that your body is able to produce sufficient nitric acid and make you feel like a man again. There are other benefits of this supplement. Of course we had to start with male performance as that is one of the marks of a true man. Other roles played by the powder supplement include improving your body’s immune system, regulating blood pressure, increasing your muscles as well as the speed at which your wounds heal.

But there is more. It is reported that as much as 80 Million Americans have cardiovascular disease. That is 1 out of 3 adults. In recent years, cardiovascular risk in women has been increasing and has killed more women than breast cancer. L-Arginine converts to Nitric Oxide in the body which may possibly help in the fight against heart disease and stroke and high blood plressure

Other benefits are as listed below:

  • Improves circulation of blood
  • Improves bone formation
  • Reduces body fat
  • Improves production of sperms
  • Reduces possibility of your blood clotting
  • Lowers your chances of getting a stroke
  • Can help you recover after a heart attack
  • Minimizes the risk of cancer by hindering the growth of tumors

If you are keen on increasing your sexual ability, perform satisfactorily and improve your health, this is an ideal supplement. It is safe and natural in comparison to Viagra. In terms of cost, L-arginine is relatively cheaper. You can find out more about the scientific tests by reading different scientific journals that have been published online. Above everything, you now have an opportunity of getting back to your youthful self. This is important towards the sustenance and enjoyment of relationships such as marriage where sexual activity plays a big role. Talk to your doctor about this. All supplements should be taken under the instructions provided.