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A Tale of Two Medicines
Natural Medicine, Pharmaceuticals and GMO’s, the Good, the Bad and the OMG! - (The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this scoopit page.)
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Which Fruits and Vegetables Reduce Bladder Cancer Risk

Which Fruits and Vegetables Reduce Bladder Cancer Risk | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

A recent study suggests that a high intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of bladder cancer—but only in women.

 

The findings come from the Multiethnic Cohort Study, a longitudinal survey that, since 1996, has collected data on diet, lifestyle, and genetic factors from more than 215,000 adults between the ages of 45 and 75 in Hawaii and California and searched for links to cancer incidence. The study cohort includes African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos, Native Hawaiians, and whites.

 

Although prospective cohort studies found no relationship, past case-control studies have reported an inverse relationship between the incidence of bladder cancer and the intake of fruits and vegetables. 

 

These studies had been conducted in ethnically homogenous populations, primarily Europeans; therefore, the Multiethnic Cohort Study provided an opportunity to investigate the relationship in an ethnically diverse population.

 

This analysis drew on data from more than 185,000 participants in the study. Dietary data was collected on self-report questionnaires. Subjects were followed for 12.5 years, during which 581 cases of bladder cancer were recorded.

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MicroRNAs 221/222 and Genistein-Mediated Regulation of ARHI Tumor Suppressor Gene in Prostate Cancer

ARHI is an imprinted tumor suppressor gene and is downregulated in various malignancies. However, ARHI expression, function, and mechanisms of action in prostate cancer have not been reported. Here, we report that ARHI mRNA and protein levels were downregulated in prostate cancer tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. Overexpression of ARHI inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation, invasion, and induced apoptosis. Further studies on a new mechanism of ARHI downregulation showed a significant inverse relationship between ARHI and miR-221 and 222, which were upregulated in prostate cancer cell lines. Transfection of miR-221 and 222 inhibitors into PC-3 cells caused a significant induction of ARHI expression. A direct interaction of miR-221 or 222 with a target site on the 3′UTR of ARHI was confirmed by a dual luciferase pMIR-REPORT assay. Finally, we also found that genistein upregulates ARHI by downregulating miR-221 and 222 in PC-3 cells. In conclusion, ARHI is a tumor suppressor gene downregulated in prostate cancer, and overexpression of ARHI can inhibit cell proliferation, colony formation, and invasion. This study demonstrates for the first time that prostate cancer cells have decreased level of ARHI which could be caused by direct targeting of 3′UTR of ARHI by miR221/222. Genistein, a potential nontoxic chemopreventive agent, restores expression of ARHI and may be an important dietary therapeutic agent for treating prostate cancer.

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Saturated fat is not the major issue.

Saturated fat is not the major issue. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Scientists universally accept that trans fats—found in many fast foods, bakery products, and margarines—increase the risk of cardiovascular disease through inflammatory processes.1 But “saturated fat” is another story. The mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades.

 

Yet scientific evidence shows that this advice has, paradoxically, increased our cardiovascular risks. Furthermore, the government’s obsession with levels of total cholesterol, which has led to the overmedication of millions of people with statins, has diverted our attention from the more egregious risk factor of atherogenic dyslipidaemia.

 

Saturated fat has been demonised ever since Ancel Keys’s landmark “seven countries” study in 1970.2 This concluded that a correlation existed between the incidence of coronary heart disease and total cholesterol concentrations, which then correlated with the proportion of energy provided by saturated fat. But correlation is not causation. Nevertheless, we were advised to cut fat intake to 30% of total energy and saturated fat to 10%.”3 The aspect of dietary saturated fat that is believed to have the greatest influence on cardiovascular risk is elevated concentrations of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Yet the reduction in LDL cholesterol from reducing saturated fat intake seems to be specific to large, buoyant (type A) LDL particles, when in fact it is the small, dense (type B) particles (responsive to carbohydrate intake) that are implicated in cardiovascular disease.4

 

Indeed, recent prospective cohort studies have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular risk.5 Instead, saturated fat has been found to be protective.

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The Thousand-Dollar Pap Smear

The Thousand-Dollar Pap Smear | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

The first time a patient called me to say that she'd been billed more than $600 for her Pap smear, I was sure it was a mistake. The second time, I was less sure, and these days I am no longer surprised to find laboratory charges of $1,000 or more for a test that until recently cost only $20 or $30.

 

Cervical-cancer screening is one of the 20th century's true public health successes. The incidence of a disease that once caused more deaths among American women than any other form of cancer has decreased dramatically since the introduction of routine Pap smears in the 1970s. In the modern era, most deaths due to cervical cancer occur among women who have never been screened or who have gone decades without screening. One of the main factors in helping to conquer this once-dreaded disease has been the availability of a cheap, effective screening test that can detect disease early, while it's still very treatable. Yet increasingly, in my roles as the chief medical officer of a community health center and as a family doctor seeing patients in that system, I hear from women who are choosing to skip their screenings because of skyrocketing costs.

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L. rhamnosus probiotic shows long-lasting anti-eczema benefits for kids.

L. rhamnosus probiotic shows long-lasting anti-eczema benefits for kids. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Daily supplements containing the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 strain may reduce the incidence of eczema and skin sensitivity in children, according to data from a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial.


Giving mothers-to-be supplements of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, and continuing the supplementation with the infants until two years of age led to a 44% lower incidence of eczema in children up to the age of six, compared to placebo.


Researchers from the Wellington Asthma Research Group at the University of Otago in New Zealand also report that no effects were observed when Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis HN019 were used instead of HN001.

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Prebiotic and probiotic supplementation prevents rhinovirus infections in preterm infants: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial

 

Simple and safe strategies for the prevention of viral respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are needed.

 

Objective

We hypothesized that early prebiotic or probiotic supplementation would reduce the risk of virus-associated RTIs during the first year of life in a cohort of preterm infants.

 

Methods

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (ClinicalTrials.gov no. NCT00167700), 94 preterm infants (gestational age, ≥32 + 0 and ≤36 + 6 weeks; birth weight, >1500 g) treated at Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland, were allocated to receive oral prebiotics (galacto-oligosaccharide and polydextrose mixture, 1:1), a probiotic (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, ATCC 53103), or placebo (microcrystalline cellulose) between days 3 and 60 of life. The primary outcome was the incidence of clinically defined virus-associated RTI episodes confirmed from nasal swabs by using nucleic acid testing. Secondary outcomes were the severity and duration of RTIs.

 

Results

A significantly lower incidence of RTIs was detected in infants receiving prebiotics (rate ratio [RR], 0.24; 95% CI, 0.12-0.49; P < .001) or probiotics (RR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.28-0.90; P = .022) compared with those receiving placebo. Also, the incidence of rhinovirus-induced episodes, which comprised 80% of all RTI episodes, was found to be significantly lower in the prebiotic (RR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.14-0.66; P = .003) and probiotic (RR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.24-1.00; P = .051) groups compared with the placebo group. No differences emerged among the study groups in rhinovirus RNA load during infections, duration of rhinovirus RNA shedding, duration or severity of rhinovirus infections, or occurrence of rhinovirus RNA in asymptomatic infants.

 

Conclusions

Gut microbiota modification with specific prebiotics and probiotics might offer a novel and cost-effective means to reduce the risk of rhinovirus infections.

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Supreme court ruling brings clinical trials to a halt in India.

Supreme court ruling brings clinical trials to a halt in India. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

The fate of 162 global clinical trials hangs in the balance, as the top Indian court has asked the government to provide more details on their approval process before they can proceed.

 

The trials, most of which involve ‘new chemical entities’ (NCEs), were approved by the drug controller general of India earlier this year. During the latest hearing on a petition filed in February last year by Indore-based health pressure group, Health Right Forum, the supreme court allotted the government two weeks to provide details on the mechanism adopted to approve the trials.

 

Amulya Nidhi, coordinator of Health Right Forum, says: ‘Clinical trials of NCEs are being conducted without following proper protocol, and companies are taking advantage of poor people.’ New chemical entities are drugs that have not yet been approved for marketing and are in various phases of testing. Indian drug laws don’t allow Phase I trials of drugs developed outside of India, but they permit concomitant Phase II and Phase III trials of such products.

 

Trials of NCEs have fired controversy in India because of the high number of deaths that have occurred in the last few years. According to information from the health ministry, 1542 deaths were reported in clinical trials between 2010 and 2012. However, only 54 of these were attributed directly to the trials.

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Students demand boundaries between drug firms and medical schools

Students demand boundaries between drug firms and medical schools | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

When Toronto family doctor Navindra Persaud was studying medicine at the University of Toronto in 2004, he took a week-long course on how to treat patients suffering from chronic pain. But something was missing from the lessons.

 

While there was a growing body of evidence about the risks—addiction, overdose, death—related to opioids such as OxyContin, the negative effects were minimized. Instead, students learned about “strong, consistent” research to support prescribing the drugs to patients with chronic pain unrelated to cancer. Persaud says he and his peers left the lectures with an “incomplete and partially inaccurate” picture of how to treat patients.

 

At the time, he didn’t think there was anything wrong with the classes. Now he knows the lecturer had been previously paid to speak about pain management on behalf of Purdue Pharma LP, the makers of OxyContin. And the free textbook handed out to students? It was published by the drug company, as well. Just three years later, in 2007, Purdue paid more than $600 million, one of the biggest drug settlements in U.S. history, to resolve criminal charges and civil liabilities for misleading health care professionals about OxyContin’s addictive properties.

 

 

The repercussions are being felt in medical schools today. That U of T class spawned complaints by Persaud and two doctors and a 2010 inquiry by the university, which cancelled the classes. The case prompted Persaud to review the textbook, lecture notes and slides, culminating in a 2013 study published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. He concluded that the classes misrepresented the landscape of evidence for painkillers. For example, the lecture notes didn’t include citations for any studies demonstrating the risks related to opioids, yet a study linking acetaminophen (Tylenol) to cardiovascular events was referenced.

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Dietary patterns and breast cancer risk in the California Teachers Study cohort

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate dietary patterns and their relation to breast cancer risk in a large cohort of women.

 

Design: Data from 91,779 women in the California Teachers Study cohort were analyzed, including data from 4140 women with a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer made between 1995 and 2009. Five predominant dietary patterns were identified by using principal components factor analysis: a plant-based diet, high in fruit and vegetables; a high-protein, high-fat diet, high in meats, eggs, fried foods, and high-fat condiments; a high-carbohydrate diet, high in convenience foods, pasta, and bread products; an ethnic diet, high in legumes, soy-based foods, rice, and dark-green leafy vegetables; and a salad and wine diet, high in lettuce, fish, wine, low-fat salad dressing, and coffee and tea.

 

Results: The plant-based pattern was associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk (RR: 0.85; 95% CI: 0.76, 0.95 for the highest compared with the lowest consumption quintile; P-trend = 0.003); risk reduction was greater for estrogen receptor–negative progesterone receptor–negative (ER–PR–) tumors (RR: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.48, 0.91; P-trend = 0.03). The salad and wine pattern was associated with an increased risk of estrogen receptor–positive progesterone receptor–positive tumors (RR: 1.29; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.49); this effect was only slightly attenuated after adjustment for alcohol consumption.

 

Conclusion: The finding that greater consumption of a plant-based dietary pattern is associated with a reduced breast cancer risk, particularly for ER−PR− tumors, offers a potential avenue for prevention.

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Chlorella Found To Be Effective Lutein Source.

Chlorella Found To Be Effective Lutein Source. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Behind all that chlorophyll, chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris) is a rich source of lutein, a healthful carotenoid that can colors plants yellow. But Japanese researchers acknowledge that little is known of how lutein from these green algae is concentrated in the blood.

 

A recent human trial showed that chlorella increased lutein in human blood plasma, but carotenoids are known to reside in both human blood plasma and erythrocytes (red blood cells). Studies indicate an importance of lutein when it’s found in erythrocytes, but little information is available on chlorella, or other food sources of lutein, for efficiently sending lutein to these specific blood compartments.

 

Writing in the Journal of Oleo Science, Japanese researchers believe they have the first evidence that chlorella lutein reaches erythrocytes. For two months, 12 healthy subjects were assigned to consume a large dose of chlorella daily (9 g), equaling 32 mg of lutein daily. Blood collections at the end of each supplementation month, and one month after, would reveal how chlorella affected concentrations of lutein and other carotenoids in erythrocytes.

 

Lutein concentrations in erythrocytes increased four-fold during supplementation and dropped back by the final blood reading, one month after supplementation. Zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene levels also increased. An absence in any other meaningful changes in other blood biochemistry left the researchers to conclude that even this large dose of chlorella is safe for human consumption.

Because of lutein’s ability to act as an antioxidant, and this new indication of its arrival at erythrocytes, there may be additional breakthroughs to uncover. The researchers explain:

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Do children with mental disorders have higher prevalence of hypovitaminosis D?.

Inadequate vitamin D level is associated with various adverse medical outcomes. There is a growing concern that insufficient vitamin D may play a role in the development of psychiatric symptoms. This study aims to answer the question: do children with mental disorders have a higher prevalence of hypovitaminosis D? A retrospective chart review examined 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels in youth ages 7 to 17 (n=67) at two Oregon psychiatric residential facilities. Vitamin D deficiency is defined as <20 ng/ml and insufficiency as <30 ng/ml. Diagnoses were organized into six categories. 25(OH)D levels were compared across genders and diagnostic groups using a two-sample t-test and ANOVA, respectively. Statistical differences in prevalence across diagnostic categories were calculated using a Pearson chi-square test. Using the data from Saintonge’s NHANES III study on healthy US children for comparison, 21% of our cohorts were found to be vitamin D deficient and 64% insufficient, in contrast to 14% and 48%, respectively. While our results are not statistically significant, mainly because of small sample size, the overall mean 25(OH)D level in our cohort was insufficient (27.59 ± 9.35 ng/ml), compared to a sufficient mean value of 32.1 ng/ml in the general population. No statistical significant difference was found in the prevalence across diagnostic categories. This study found that children with psychiatric disorders might have a higher prevalence of hypovitaminosis D than the general pediatric population. Although a causal relationship between hypovitaminosis D and psychiatric disorders cannot be derived based on the study design, our study provides initial descriptive data on the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in children with psychiatric disorders, which has not been previously reported to our knowledge. Prospective studies with a larger sample size and controlled variables would allow more precise analysis of the relationship between hypovitaminosis D and childhood mental disorders.

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Risk of dying from invasive breast cancer lower among multivitamin/mineral users

Risk of dying from invasive breast cancer lower among multivitamin/mineral users | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

Findings from a study involving thousands of postmenopausal women suggest that women who develop invasive breast cancer may benefit from taking supplements containing both multivitamins and minerals. The new research, published today in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, found that the risk of dying from invasive breast cancer was 30 percent lower among multivitamin/mineral users compared with nonusers.


"Our study offers tentative but intriguing evidence that multivitamin/mineral supplements may help older women who develop invasive breast cancer survive their disease," said Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D., lead author of the study and distinguished university professor emerita of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.


Multivitamin/mineral supplements are the most commonly consumed dietary supplements among U.S. adults. They usually contain 20-30 vitamins and minerals, often at levels of 100 percent of U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowances or less, and the usual label recommendation is to take them daily.

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The abstract of the study itself: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10549-013-2712-x

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Maternal Antibodies to Dietary Antigens and Risk for Nonaffective Psychosis in Offspring

Maternal Antibodies to Dietary Antigens and Risk for Nonaffective Psychosis in Offspring | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Objective:  The authors analyzed archival dried blood spots obtained from newborns to assess whether levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) directed at dietary antigens were associated with a later diagnosis of a nonaffective psychotic disorder.


Method:  The study population consisted of individuals born in Sweden between 1975 and 1985 with verified register-based diagnoses of nonaffective psychoses made between 1987 and 2003 and comparison subjects matched on sex, date of birth, birth hospital, and municipality. A total of 211 case subjects and 553 comparison subjects consented to participate in the study. Data on factors associated with maternal status, pregnancy, and delivery were extracted from the Swedish Medical Birth Register. Levels of IgG directed at gliadin (a component of gluten) and casein (a milk protein) were analyzed in eluates from dried blood spots by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Odds ratios were calculated for levels of IgG directed at gliadin or casein for nonaffective psychosis.


Results:  Levels of anti-gliadin IgG (but not anti-casein IgG) above the 90th percentile of levels observed among comparison subjects were associated with nonaffective psychosis (odds ratio=1.7, 95% CI=1.1–2.8). This association was not confounded by differences in maternal age, immigrant status, or mode of delivery. Similarly, gestational age at birth, ponderal index, and birth weight were not related to maternal levels of anti-gliadin IgG.


Conclusions:  High levels of anti-gliadin IgG in the maternal circulation are associated with an elevated risk for the development of a nonaffective psychosis in offspring. Research is needed to identify the mechanisms underlying this association in order to develop preventive strategies.

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New study on neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal exposure to paracetamol.

New study on neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal exposure to paracetamol. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is the most commonly used medicine in pregnancy, yet there are very few studies that have investigated the possible long-term consequences for the child. A new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health suggests that long-term use of paracetamol during pregnancy may increase the risk of adverse effects on child development.

 

The study uses data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study to investigate the effect of paracetamol during pregnancy on psychomotor development, behaviour and temperament at 3 years of age. Almost 3000 sibling pairs were included in the study.

 

The study is a collaboration between the University of Oslo, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology 25th October 2013.

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Local plant provides novel painkilling, wound healing compounds

Local plant provides novel painkilling, wound healing compounds | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Synthetic painkillers have been associated with unpleasant side effects such as organ failure. But the discovery in large quantities of molecules identical to popular synthetic painkiller, Tramadol, may provide the elusive ‘safe’ treatment for headaches, joints and waist pains and heal ‘stubborn’ ulcers and wounds. CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes.


SCIENTISTS have recorded giant strides in ongoing efforts to identify pharmaceutically active substances in traditional medicinal plants.

French researchers from the Grenoble Institute of Neurosciences reported recently in the journal Angewandte Chemie that the African plant Nauclea latifolia produces large quantities of molecules that are identical to Tramadol, a wholly synthetic medication that is used worldwide as a painkiller.

 

Commonly called African peach or African pincushion tree, Nauclea latifolia belongs to the Rubiaceae family. In Nigeria, it is called Ebeyesi in Yoruba, Ubuluinu in Igbo and Tafashiya or Marga in Hausa.

Nauclea latifolia is a small straggling shrub that is abundant throughout sub-Saharan Africa especially in the tropical rain forest in Nigeria.

In traditional medicine, the plant is used to treat different pathologies including epilepsy, fevers, malaria, and pain.

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Vitamin D in Heart Failure

Vitamin D in Heart Failure | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Evidence linking vitamin D to cardiovascular (CV) health has accumulated in recent years: numerous epidemiologic studies report deficiency as a significant CV risk factor, and rodent models suggest that active vitamin D can modulate critical remodeling processes, including cardiac hypertrophy and extracellular matrix remodeling. The presence of vitamin D signaling machinery within the human heart implies a direct role for this hormone in cardiac physiology and may explain associations between vitamin D status and CV outcomes. Heart failure (HF) represents a growing social and economic burden worldwide. Myocardial remodeling is central to HF development, and in the context of emerging evidence supporting mechanistic involvement of vitamin D, this review provides critical appraisal of scientific literature related to the role of vitamin D in CV disease, including data from epidemiologic and supplementation studies, as well as novel findings from animal models and in vitro work. Although associative data linking vitamin D and CV outcomes and evidence supporting a role for vitamin D in relevant pathogenic processes are both substantial, there are limited mechanistic data to indicate vitamin D supplementation as a viable therapeutic adjunct for the prevention of HF development following myocardial injury.


Via Richard D. Hammer, M.D.
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Richard D. Hammer, M.D.'s curator insight, October 24, 2013 8:27 AM

Compelling evidence exists for a role of vit D in heart failure.  This review suggest there is a potential for preventing or stopping progression to end-stage failure with inexpensive vitamin D supplementation.  

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Anticancer activity of Amauroderma rude.

More and more medicinal mushrooms have been widely used as a miraculous herb for health promotion, especially by cancer patients. Here we report screening thirteen mushrooms for anti-cancer cell activities in eleven different cell lines. Of the herbal products tested, we found that the extract of Amauroderma rude exerted the highest activity in killing most of these cancer cell lines. Amauroderma rude is a fungus belonging to the Ganodermataceae family. The Amauroderma genus contains approximately 30 species widespread throughout the tropical areas. Since the biological function of Amauroderma rude is unknown, we examined its anti-cancer effect on breast carcinoma cell lines. We compared the anti-cancer activity of Amauroderma rude and Ganoderma lucidum, the most well-known medicinal mushrooms with anti-cancer activity and found that Amauroderma rude had significantly higher activity in killing cancer cells than Ganoderma lucidum. We then examined the effect of Amauroderma rude on breast cancer cells and found that at low concentrations, Amauroderma rude could inhibit cancer cell survival and induce apoptosis. Treated cancer cells also formed fewer and smaller colonies than the untreated cells. When nude mice bearing tumors were injected with Amauroderma rude extract, the tumors grew at a slower rate than the control. Examination of these tumors revealed extensive cell death, decreased proliferation rate as stained by Ki67, and increased apoptosis as stained by TUNEL. Suppression of c-myc expression appeared to be associated with these effects. Taken together, Amauroderma rude represented a powerful medicinal mushroom with anti-cancer activities.

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Probiotic Effects on Cold and Influenza-Like Symptom Incidence and Duration in Children

Probiotic Effects on Cold and Influenza-Like Symptom Incidence and Duration in Children | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

OBJECTIVE: Probiotic consumption effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidence and duration were evaluated in healthy children during the winter season.

 

METHODS: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 326 eligible children (3–5 years of age) were assigned randomly to receive placebo (N = 104), Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM (N = 110), or L acidophilus NCFM in combination with Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis Bi-07 (N = 112). Children were treated twice daily for 6 months.

 

RESULTS: Relative to the placebo group, single and combination probiotics reduced fever incidence by 53.0% (P = .0085) and 72.7% (P = .0009), coughing incidence by 41.4% (P = .027) and 62.1% (P = .005), and rhinorrhea incidence by 28.2% (P = .68) and 58.8% (P = .03), respectively. Fever, coughing, and rhinorrhea duration was decreased significantly, relative to placebo, by 32% (single strain; P = .0023) and 48% (strain combination; P < .001). Antibiotic use incidence was reduced, relative to placebo, by 68.4% (single strain; P = .0002) and 84.2% (strain combination; P < .0001). Subjects receiving probiotic products had significant reductions in days absent from group child care, by 31.8% (single strain; P = .002) and 27.7% (strain combination; P < .001), compared with subjects receiving placebo treatment.

 

CONCLUSION: Daily dietary probiotic supplementation for 6 months was a safe effective way to reduce fever, rhinorrhea, and cough incidence and duration and antibiotic prescription incidence, as well as the number of missed school days attributable to illness, for children 3 to 5 years of age.

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Vitamin D prevents infection

Vitamin D prevents infection | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

 

Have no confidence in flu vaccine? Try vitamin D!  A trial published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that high doses of vitamin D3 supplements can help effectively protect against infections and reduce use of antibiotics among elderly people.

 

Vitamin D has been known to enhance innate immunity by promoting the production of antibacterial peptides which help fight microbial and viral infection prevention.  It has been reported by Vitamin D Council that older people taking oral vitamin D supplements are at low risk for common flu and avian flu.

 

B. Tran from Population Health Department, Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and colleagues conducted the study and found people taking vitamin D supplements orally were 28% less likely to resort to antibiotics for infection and among people aged 70 or older, the reduction in the risk was almost 50%.

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Study link: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/10/09/ajcn.113.063271.abstract

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Scientist with extensive industry ties quits EU advisory panel

Scientist with extensive industry ties quits EU advisory panel | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

A German scientist who is critical of the European Union’s plan to regulate chemicals and has extensive financial ties to regulated companies has resigned from a key scientific committee of the European Commission.

 

Wolfgang Dekant was one of 18 scientists who authored a controversial editorial that criticized Europe’s plans to regulate hormone-disrupting chemicals. A September investigation by Environmental Health News revealed that Dekant and 16 others had collaborations with the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, tobacco, pesticide and biotechnology industries.

 

A professor of toxicology at the University of Würzburg, Dekant resigned last month from the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks. The committee provides scientific opinions to EU decisionmakers on various topics, such as antimicrobial resistance, fertility reduction and new technologies, such as nanomaterials.

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Probiotics Prevent Gluten Sensitivity and Intestinal Damage from Gliadin.

Probiotics Prevent Gluten Sensitivity and Intestinal Damage from Gliadin. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

In a startling paper discussing treatment alternatives for celiac disease, research from George Washington University School of Medicine finds that probiotics provide a viable solution for gluten digestion and intestinal health – and likely their absence provides the smoking gun for the cause of gluten sensitivities.

 

Celiac disease – an inflammatory immune response to the gliadin protein in gluten – has been increasing over the past few years, and research is illustrating that celiac disease is more prevalent than previously considered.

 

Gluten sensitivities also appear to be increasing, with more and more people in western countries – especially in the U.S. – opting for gluten-free diets. This typically comes from a sense many have had that the gluten foods in their diet produce intestinal irritations, including bloating and indigestion. For this reason, the term “gluten-free” has become ubiquitous among health food stores and consumers.

 

Meanwhile, we find that grain-based foods have been part of the human diet for thousands of years, and some of the healthiest diets – including the Mediterranean Diet – contain gracious quantities of wheat and other whole grains. This is not to mention of course the fiber content among whole grains and the research that has shown foods rich in fiber reduce heart disease and other metabolic disorders.

 

And many traditional societies – producing the diets of a majority of the world’s population, many of which are known for long lifespans – have grains as the cornerstone of their diet. These cultures also come with an absence of a history of intestinal problems.

 

This leads to the logical question: Has humanity really been poisoning itself with wheat and other gluten-containing grains (including barley, rye and others)? Or could there be something else going on?

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Omega-3 fatty acids, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin E all help type 2 diabetes mellitus

Omega-3 fatty acids, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin E all help type 2 diabetes mellitus | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Saturdy Oct 12, 2013 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study in Annals of Medical and Health Science Research suggests that taking dietary supplements omega-3 fatty acids,
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More scientific evidence for the anti-diabetic potential of Rooibos

More scientific evidence for the anti-diabetic potential of Rooibos | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

A team of South African researchers has found more evidence suggesting rooibos may be beneficial in countering diabetes. Details of the study and a summary of other studies pointing to rooibos’ glucose-moderating effects follow below. According to the World Health Organisation by 2030 439 million people will suffer from diabetes, with the major increase happening in developing countries.

 

According to findings published in the July 2013 edition of Phytomedicine, Rooibos can counteract insulin resistance in mouse muscle cells. A team of South African researchers found that an aspalathin-enriched green Rooibos extract in particular increased glucose uptake in these cells, which were made insulin-resistant through treatment with a saturated free fatty acid (palmitate).

 

In humans too, an excess of saturated free fatty acids in the bloodstream is associated with insulin resistance, a major risk factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. In a normal individual, the insulin hormone controls the entry of glucose into muscle and other cells to provide them with energy. In type 2 diabetics, the cells become numb, or resistant, to insulin. Glucose would then remain in the bloodstream, leading to high blood glucose levels that could potentially cause organ damage.

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Effect of type of TAG fatty acids on lutein and zeaxanthin bioavailability

Effect of type of TAG fatty acids on lutein and zeaxanthin bioavailability | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

The xanthophylls lutein and zeaxanthin probably play a role in visual function and may participate in the prevention of age-related eye diseases. Although a minimum amount of TAG is required for an optimal bioavailability of these carotenoids, the effect of the type of TAG fatty acids (FA) is less clear. The aim was to assess the effect of the type of TAG FA on bioavailability of these xanthophylls. A total of three complementary models were used: an in vitro digestion model to study bioaccessibility, Caco-2 cells to study uptake efficiency and orally administered rats to study in vivo bioavailability. Results showed that lutein and zeaxanthin bioaccessibility was greater (about 20–30 %, P< 0·05) with butter and palm oil than with olive and fish oils. Mixed micelle size, which was significantly lower (about 8 %, P< 0·05) with SFA than with unsaturated FA, was inversely related to lutein and zeaxanthin bioaccessibility. There was no significant effect of the type of TAG FA on xanthophyll uptake by Caco-2 cells, but some compounds present in natural oils significantly affected xanthophyll uptake. Oral administration of rats with spinach and butter over 3 d led to a higher fasting plasma lutein concentration than oral administration with olive or fish oils. In conclusion, dietary fats rich in SFA lead to a higher bioavailability of lutein and zeaxanthin, as compared with fats rich in MUFA and PUFA. This is due partly to the higher bioaccessibility of these xanthophylls in the smaller mixed micelles produced when SFA are incorporated into mixed micelles.

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Pasquale Valente's curator insight, October 12, 2013 3:37 AM

dietary fats rich in SFA lead to a higher bioavailability of lutein and zeaxanthin


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Magnesium, vitamin D status and mortality: results from US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001 to 2006 and NHANES III

Magnesium plays an essential role in the synthesis and metabolism of vitamin D and magnesium supplementation substantially reversed the resistance to vitamin D treatment in patients with magnesium-dependent vitamin-D-resistant rickets. We hypothesized that dietary magnesium alone, particularly its interaction with vitamin D intake, contributes to serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels, and the associations between serum 25(OH)D and risk of mortality may be modified by magnesium intake level.

 

Methods

We tested these novel hypotheses utilizing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001 to 2006, a population-based cross-sectional study, and the NHANES III cohort, a population-based cohort study. Serum 25(OH)D was used to define vitamin D status. Mortality outcomes in the NHANES III cohort were determined by using probabilistic linkage with the National Death Index (NDI).

 

Results

High intake of total, dietary or supplemental magnesium was independently associated with significantly reduced risks of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency respectively. Intake of magnesium significantly interacted with intake of vitamin D in relation to risk of both vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency. Additionally, the inverse association between total magnesium intake and vitamin D insufficiency primarily appeared among populations at high risk of vitamin D insufficiency. Furthermore, the associations of serum 25(OH)D with mortality, particularly due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and colorectal cancer, were modified by magnesium intake, and the inverse associations were primarily present among those with magnesium intake above the median.

 

Conclusions

Our preliminary findings indicate it is possible that magnesium intake alone or its interaction with vitamin D intake may contribute to vitamin D status. The associations between serum 25(OH)D and risk of mortality may be modified by the intake level of magnesium. Future studies, including cohort studies and clinical trials, are necessary to confirm the findings.

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