A Tale of Two Medicines
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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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A Longitudinal Follow-Up Study of Saffron Supplementation in Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Sustained Benefits to Central Retinal Function

A Longitudinal Follow-Up Study of Saffron Supplementation in Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Sustained Benefits to Central Retinal Function | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

In a previous randomized clinical trial (Falsini et al. (2010)), it was shown that short-term Saffron supplementation improves retinal flicker sensitivity in early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the observed functional benefits from Saffron supplementation may extend over a longer follow-up duration. Design. Longitudinal, interventional open-label study. Setting. Outpatient ophthalmology setting. Participants. Twenty-nine early AMD patients (age range: 55–85 years) with a baseline visual acuity >0.3. Intervention. Saffron oral supplementation (20mg/day) over an average period of treatment of 14 (±2) months. Measurements. Clinical examination and focal-electroretinogram-(fERG-) derived macular (18°) flicker sensitivity estimate (Falsini et al. (2010)) every three months over a followup of 14 (±2) months. Retinal sensitivity, the reciprocal value of the estimated fERG amplitude threshold, was the main outcome measure. Results. After three months of supplementation, mean fERG sensitivity improved by 0.3 log units compared to baseline values (P < 0.01), and mean visual acuity improved by two Snellen lines compared to baseline values (0.75 to 0.9, P < 0.01). These changes remained stable over the follow-up period. Conclusion. These results indicate that in early AMD Saffron supplementation induces macular function improvements from baseline that are extended over a long-term followup.

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ANH-Intl Feature: When medically effective, non-mainstream doctors lose their licenses

ANH-Intl Feature: When medically effective, non-mainstream doctors lose their licenses | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Sometimes, the most brilliant, innovative and caring of doctors find themselves ‘struck off’ or ‘erased’ from the medical register – sometimes repeatedly – simply for stepping outside mainstream practise. Today, we bring you some examples of physicians whose careers have been interrupted or ended in a seeming bid to send a message to the rest of the profession: maintain the paradigm – or else.

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Different combined oral contraceptives and the risk of venous thrombosis: systematic review and network meta-analysis

Different combined oral contraceptives and the risk of venous thrombosis: systematic review and network meta-analysis | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

To provide a comprehensive overview of the risk of venous thrombosis in women using different combined oral contraceptives.

 

Systematic review and network meta-analysis.

 

PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Academic Search Premier, and ScienceDirect up to 22 April 2013.

 

Observational studies that assessed the effect of combined oral contraceptives on venous thrombosis in healthy women. The primary outcome of interest was a fatal or non-fatal first event of venous thrombosis with the main focus on deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. Publications with at least 10 events in total were eligible. The network meta-analysis was performed using an extension of frequentist random effects models for mixed multiple treatment comparisons. Unadjusted relative risks with 95% confidence intervals were reported. The requirement for crude numbers did not allow adjustment for potential confounding variables.

 

3110 publications were retrieved through a search strategy; 25 publications reporting on 26 studies were included. Incidence of venous thrombosis in non-users from two included cohorts was 1.9 and 3.7 per 10 000 woman years, in line with previously reported incidences of 1-6 per 10 000 woman years. Use of combined oral contraceptives increased the risk of venous thrombosis compared with non-use (relative risk 3.5, 95% confidence interval 2.9 to 4.3). The relative risk of venous thrombosis for combined oral contraceptives with 30-35 µg ethinylestradiol and gestodene, desogestrel, cyproterone acetate, or drospirenone were similar and about 50-80% higher than for combined oral contraceptives with levonorgestrel. A dose related effect of ethinylestradiol was observed for gestodene, desogestrel, and levonorgestrel, with higher doses being associated with higher thrombosis risk.

 

All combined oral contraceptives investigated in this analysis were associated with an increased risk of venous thrombosis. The effect size depended both on the progestogen used and the dose of ethinylestradiol.

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Salad vegetables dietary pattern protects against HER-2-positive breast cancer: A prospective Italian study

Salad vegetables dietary pattern protects against HER-2-positive breast cancer: A prospective Italian study | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Studies investigating the relation of diet to breast cancer have produced conflicting results. We hypothesized that dietary factors associated with breast cancer risk might differentially influence the HER-2 status of the cancers that develop, and investigated this hypothesis by analyzing the data of the ORDET prospective study. We analyzed 8,861 volunteer women residents of the Varese Province, Italy, for whom we had full data. By December 31, 2001, 238 cases had occurred in which HER-2 status was known. Four dietary patterns had been identified previously by factor analysis: salad vegetables (high consumption of raw vegetables and olive oil), prudent (cooked vegetables, poultry, fish), western (potatoes, meat, eggs, butter), and canteen (pasta, tomato sauce, wine). In our study, relative risks (RRs) of developing HER-2-positive and HER-2-negative breast cancers by tertiles of dietary pattern factor scores were assessed by multinomial logistic regression. The salad vegetables dietary pattern had a protective effect against HER-2-positive cancers (RR = 0.25, 95% CI 0.10–0.64, for the highest tertile; ptrend = 0.001), much stronger than for HER-2-negative cancers (pheterogeneity = 0.039). This important finding that a salad vegetables dietary pattern protects mainly against a specific breast cancer subtype indicates that future studies on environmental/dietary risk factors should explicitly take account of the heterogeneity of breast cancer phenotypes

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Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Tart Cherry

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Tart Cherry | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

On October 17, 2005, the FDA sent out warning letters to cherry growers insisting that they cease making substantiated health claims that specific chemicals found in cherries could reduce pain and inflammation.

 

Research shows cherries are packed with unique anthocyanins and other compounds that naturally mediate the inflammatory process.

 

These compounds deliver comparable anti-inflammatory activity to ibuprofen (Advil®) and naproxen (Aleve®) - but without the significant side effects!

Standard treatment for muscle pain and inflammation has been with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. With over 111 million prescriptions and accounting for around 60% of over-the-counter pain reliever sales in the USA alone, these are some of the most commonly used types of medications.

 

But because they can have deadly side effects, including gastric bleeding, heart attack, and kidney failure, the search for natural agents that could prove more beneficial and safer has gained increased attention.

 

The compounds found in cherries modulate numerous pathways to protect against other conditions associated with inflammation. For example, tart cherry constituents can switch critical genes off and on; modulate cell-signaling molecules; and target multiple cardiovascular factors—producing, in one study model, an astounding 65% reduction in early mortality!

 

In this article, you will learn of the multiple benefits found in cherries

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How Many Die From Medical Mistakes in U.S. Hospitals?

How Many Die From Medical Mistakes in U.S. Hospitals? | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

It seems that every time researchers estimate how often a medical mistake contributes to a hospital patient’s death, the numbers come out worse.

 

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published the famous “To Err Is Human” report, which dropped a bombshell on the medical community by reporting that up to 98,000 people a year die because of mistakes in hospitals. The number was initially disputed, but is now widely accepted by doctors and hospital officials — and quoted ubiquitously in the media.

 

In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services said that bad hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year.

 

Now comes a study in the current issue of the Journal of Patient Safety that says the numbers may be much higher — between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death, the study says.

 

That would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second.

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Garlic Tablets Rival Blood Pressure Drug Atenolol.

 

A clinical trial on people with hypertension suggests that garlic can lower blood pressure—perhaps as much as the drug atenolol.

 

Because conventional blood pressure therapies often require the use of more than one drug, Saudi researchers sought an alternative in garlic. The close relative to onion is repeatedly studied for blood pressure support, but results have been inconsistent—maybe because of short durations of studies.

 

For 24 weeks, more than 200 subjects with high blood pressure were assigned to consume garlic (300, 600, 900, 1200, or 1500 mg), atenolol, or placebo daily. Researchers monitored for changes in diastolic and systolic blood pressure, and, by week 24, blood pressure significantly improved with garlic use. Garlic supported improvements in a dose-dependent and duration-dependent manner, and it even reached improvements that were comparable to the drug use.

The researchers say this is the first study to directly compare garlic to atenolol in hypertensive subjects.

 

How garlic may influence blood pressure is unclear, but the researchers speculate it has to do with garlic’s ability to produce hydrogen sulphide, its high allicin content, or its influence on nitric oxide production.

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Vitamin D Cuts Kids' Recurrent Ear Infection

Vitamin D Cuts Kids' Recurrent Ear Infection | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Children with low levels of vitamin D and recurrent ear infections had a reduced risk for acute otitis media with vitamin D supplementation, researchers reported here.

 

Compared with children randomized to placebo, patients with recurrent acute otitis media (AOM) who received 1,000 IU daily had significantly lower risk of experiencing one or more episodes of AOM (26 incidents versus 38 incidents, P=0.03), and the risk of uncomplicated acute otitis media was markedly smaller in the vitamin D group (P<0.001), according to Susanna Esposito, MD, of the Universita degli Studi di Milano in Italy, and colleagues.

 

"In clinical practice, this means that in children with recurrent otitis media, we can check their levels of vitamin D and for those with low serum levels of it consider supplement use as a treatment for their condition," she said during a presentation at the Interscience Conference on Anti-Microbial Agents and Chemotherapy.

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What Causes Violent Behavior In Teens? Consider Deficiencies In Vitamins And Minerals

What Causes Violent Behavior In Teens? Consider Deficiencies In Vitamins And Minerals | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

In an effort to find the reasons for violent behavior among teens, many people point to video games, the media, or eroding families, yet one researcher believes the answer may be as simple as malnutrition.

 

“Above all the most influential factor in the course of increasing violence has been changes in the American food system and loss of nutrients for children and growing teens,” wrote Sylvia Onusic, Ph.D., in her article “Violent Behavior: A Solution in Plain Sight.”

 

In fact, deficiencies of vitamins and minerals may all contribute to anxiety, aggression, and violent behavior, according to Onusic, whose work was published earlier this year by The Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit nutrition education foundation. Another factor that may be responsible for rising rates of violence? The increasing prevalence of psychiatric drug use among children and teens, says Onusic.

 

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The Ugly Side of Statins. Systemic Appraisal of the Contemporary Un-Known Unknowns

The Ugly Side of Statins. Systemic Appraisal of the Contemporary Un-Known Unknowns | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Cardio-vascular specialists have witnessed and actively participated in the revolutionary developments that have occurred in their field of specialization over the last few years. Cutting-edge technologies have led to dramatic improvements in life-expectancy and quality of life. An open-mind and pioneering attitude are necessary when exploring new frontiers to improve our patients’ health. However, naive indiscriminate acceptance of novel mainstream therapies is not always advisable and prudence is required in unearthing harmful, covert side effects. An objective review of contemporary vascular research was performed and industrial bias was sifted out for a fresh prospective on how to promote primary cardiovascular prevention with attainable lifestyle adjustments [1]. A comprehensive review of Pubmed, EM-BASE and Cochrane review databases was undertaken for articles relating to cardiovascular primary prevention and statin side effects with the aim of harmonising their roles within contemporary clinic practice. Particular attention was paid to large-scale randomised controlled trials on contemporary cardiovascular pharmacotherapies and their specific adverse effects on metabolic pathways which feature prominently in cardiovascular primary prevention and regenerative programmes. There is a categorical lack of clinical evidence to support the use of statin therapy in primary prevention. Not only is there a dearth of evidence for primary cardiovascular protection, there is ample evidence to show that statins actually augment cardiovascular risk in women, patients with Diabetes Mellitus and in the young. Furthermore statins are associated with triple the risk of coronary artery and aortic artery calcification. Cardiovascular primary prevention and regeneration programmes, through life style changes and abstaining from tobacco use have enhanced clinical efficacy and quality of life over any pharmaceutical or other conventional intervention.

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Biology student at major UK university exposes biased GM crop education

Biology student at major UK university exposes biased GM crop education | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Most British students pay out £9,000/annum over 3 years to graduate. Those who opt for biological sciences will now typically learn about genetically modified (GM) crops. Charlie Maitland, a second-year biology student at a major UK university that is also one of the five UK hotbeds of GM crop research, reflects here on his own education. He pinpoints areas of his education that demonstrate strong bias toward the technology, without even hinting at any health or environmental concerns. He goes on to consider what might be the longer-term implications of a biased education in this field.


Charlie Maitland is a rare breed of student. He contacted ANH-Intl this summer to talk about his education. He had cause to be concerned about the solely positive spin about GM crops being meted out to his student cohort by his lecturers, themselves leading researchers in the field. He was surprised that no-one mentioned, at any point, any evidence pointing to health or environmental risks associated with GM or the lack of adequate toxicological or safety assessments.

 

By contacting ANH-Intl, Charlie felt he might learn something about differing scientific views, and particularly of those who question whether GM technology is really the silver bullet to agriculture’s challenges, as suggested by his university professors. 

 

After an afternoon’s meeting with ANH-Intl’s Rob Verkerk PhD, including sharing of research, views and ideas, Charlie sent us the following article, which we agreed to publish on our website.

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Dynamic Chemotherapy-Induced Upregulation of CXCR4 Expression: A Mechanism of Therapeutic Resistance in Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Cure rates in pediatric acute leukemias remain suboptimal. Overexpression of the cell-surface chemokine receptor CXCR4 is associated with poor outcome in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Certain nonchemotherapeutic agents have been shown to modulate CXCR4 expression and alter leukemia interactions with stromal cells in the bone marrow microenvironment. Because chemotherapy is the mainstay of AML treatment, it was hypothesized that standard cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents induce dynamic changes in leukemia surface CXCR4 expression, and that chemotherapy-induced upregulation of CXCR4 represents a mechanism of acquired therapeutic resistance. Here, it was shown that cell lines variably upregulate CXCR4 with chemotherapy treatment. Those that showed upregulation were differentially protected from chemotherapy-induced apoptosis when cocultured with stroma. The functional effects of chemotherapy-induced CXCR4 upregulation in an AML cell line (MOLM-14, which harbors consistent upregulated CXCR4) and clinical specimens were explored. Importantly, enhanced stromal-cell derived factor-1α (SDF1A/CXCL12)-mediated chemotaxis and stromal protection from additional chemotherapy-induced apoptosis was found. Furthermore, treatment with plerixafor, a CXCR4 inhibitor, preferentially decreased stromal protection with higher chemotherapy-induced upregulation of surface CXCR4. Thus, increased chemokine receptor CXCR4 expression after treatment with conventional chemotherapy may represent a mechanism of therapeutic resistance in pediatric AML.

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The Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Inflammatory and Hemostatic Markers and Disease Activity in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic multisystem inflammatory autoimmune disease. Vitamin D has potent immunomodulatory properties that support its use in the treatment of autoimmune conditions, including SLE. We assessed vitamin D status in patients with SLE and determined alterations in inflammatory and hemostatic markers and disease activity before and after vitamin D supplementation.

 

 

Patients with SLE (n = 267) were randomized 2:1 to receive either oral cholecalciferol 2000 IU/day or placebo for 12 months. Outcome measures included assessment of alterations in levels of proinflammatory cytokines and hemostatic markers, and improvement in disease activity before and after 12 months of supplementation. Disease activity was measured by the SLE Disease Activity Index. Vitamin D levels were measured by Liaison immunoassay (normal 30–100 ng/ml). Serum levels between 10 and 30 ng/ml were classified as vitamin D insufficiency and levels < 10 ng/ml as vitamin D deficiency.

 

The mean 25(OH)D level at baseline was 19.8 ng/ml in patients compared to 28.7 ng/ml in controls. The overall prevalence of suboptimal and deficient 25(OH)D serum levels among patients with SLE at baseline was 69% and 39%, respectively. Lower 25(OH)D levels correlated significantly with higher SLE disease activity. At 12 months of therapy, there was a significant improvement in levels of inflammatory and hemostatic markers as well as disease activity in the treatment group compared to the placebo group.

 

Vitamin D supplementation in patients with SLE is recommended because increased vitamin D levels seem to ameliorate inflammatory and hemostatic markers and show a tendency toward subsequent clinical improvement.

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Lifestyle changes may lengthen telomeres, a measure of cell aging

Lifestyle changes may lengthen telomeres, a measure of cell aging | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
A small pilot study shows for the first time that changes in diet, exercise, stress management and social support may result in longer telomeres, the parts of chromosomes that affect aging.

 

It is the first controlled trial to show that any intervention might lengthen telomeres over time.

 

The study will be published online on Sept. 16, 2013 in The Lancet Oncology.


The study was conducted by scientists at UC San Francisco and the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, a nonprofit public research institute in Sausalito, Calif. that investigates the effect of diet and lifestyle choices on health and disease.

 

The researchers say they hope the results will inspire larger trials to test the validity of the findings.

"Our genes, and our telomeres, are not necessarily our fate," said lead author Dean Ornish, MD, UCSF clinical professor of medicine, and founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute.


Via Kat Carroll
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Plant hope for lung cancer patients

Plant hope for lung cancer patients | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

The North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) here has found a plant extract which promises to offer a novel treatment for lung cancer.

 

The institute is planning to start clinical trials on lung cancer patients once it gets the go-ahead by the Medical Ethics Committee constituted by the Assam government. The committee will have a hearing by the end of this month.

 

Parachuri G. Rao, former director of the institute who has been retained by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research as adviser, said lung cancer is very difficult to cure as radiation and chemotherapy are not effective. But the vapour of the volatile oils extracted from the Litsea cubeba seed, locally known as mejankori, can be inhaled directly into the lungs. In the case of lung cancer affected cells, it causes disintegration (apoptosis) and cell cycle arrest.

 

“If approval is obtained and the oil vaporiser is found to be as effective as when it was tried on a terminally-ill patient and in lab tests, then lung cancer may soon have effective treatment,” he said.

 

“The clinical trials are intended to establish the efficacy of the vaporiser as this will be a systematic treatment where a group will be using both known cancer treatments and our volatile oils and another group which will be only given our vaporiser. A lung cancer patient in whom the cancer had spread to his bones and who was given the vaporiser after he signed a consent form for the treatment was found to be free of cancer cells in the lungs after a biopsy done three months later by the hospital. He, however, was also undertaking other treatment,” Rao said.

Jonathan Middleton's insight:

I posted the study to this back in May this year and its nice to see a follow up to it and potential clinical trials

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Supplementation of Diets with Alpha-Tocopherol Reduces Serum Concentrations of Gamma and Delta Tocopherol in Humans

Despite promising evidence from in vitro experiments and observational studies, supplementation of diets with α-tocopherol has not reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer in most large-scale clinical trials. One plausible explanation is that the potential health benefits of α-tocopherol supplements are offset by deleterious changes in the bioavailability and/or bioactivity of other nutrients. We studied the effects of supplementing diets with RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate (400 iu/d) on serum concentrations of γ- and δ-tocopherol in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial in 184 adult nonsmokers. Outcomes were changes in serum concentrations of γ- and δ-tocopherol from baseline to the end of the 2-mo experimental period. Compared with placebo, supplementation with α-tocopherol reduced serum γ-tocopherol concentrations by a median change of 58% [95% CI = (51%, 66%), P < 0.0001], and reduced the number of individuals with detectable δ-tocopherol concentrations (P < 0.0001). Consistent with trial results were the results from baseline cross-sectional analyses, in which prior vitamin E supplement users had significantly lower serum γ-tocopherol than nonusers. In view of the potential benefits of γ- and δ-tocopherol, the efficacy of α-tocopherol supplementation may be reduced due to decreases in serum γ- and δ-tocopherol levels. Additional research is clearly warranted.

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High concentration of magnesium in drinking water may protect against hip fractures

High concentration of magnesium in drinking water may protect against hip fractures | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

In this large prospective cohort study, researchers in Norway found that high concentrations of magnesium in drinking water correlated with a lower percentage of hip fractures.

 

“[In this study] covering two thirds of the Norwegian population and comprising of 19,000 hip fractures, we observed a consistent and significantly reduced risk of hip fractures in both men and women with a relatively high compared to low magnesium concentration in drinking water,” Cecilie Dahl, MPH, and colleagues wrote in the study.

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Melatonin: The Brain Hormone - Life Extension

Melatonin: The Brain Hormone - Life Extension | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

Melatonin was introduced to the United States in 1992 as a “sleep hormone.”

 

While some find melatonin helps restore restful sleep, scientists are finding far more consistent applications for melatonin in the area of brain protection.

 

New discoveries are validating melatonin’s ability to guard the brain from oxidative stress and the neurodegeneration that occurs as a result of aging and environmental factors.1 With this research, melatonin deserves the title of “brain hormone.”

 

Scientists are increasingly finding that the age-related decline in melatonin levels may be one factor for the age-related increase in neurodegenerative diseases.2-4 In fact, some symptoms of melatonin deficiency are seen in patients with Alzheimer’s, such as disruption of day/night patterns, mood changes, and delirium.

 

Fortunately, supplementing with melatonin in middle age and beyond has been shown to protect against Alzheimer’s as well as reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, shrink the size of the infarct area involved in a stroke, and minimize the brain swelling and dysfunction following a head injury. 

 

As if this were not enough, research is also finding that in lab studies melatonin can play a role in longevity by increasing the “longevity protein” SIRT1.Clearly, melatonin’s beneficial properties extend far beyond sleep.

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Jonathan Middleton's comment, September 26, 2013 7:18 PM
Another little snip from this amazing piece "Because of the high prevalence of sleep disorders in older adults—even those without dementia—use of benzodiazepine drugs is widespread.64 But these drugs, which include alprazolam (Xanax®), diazepam (Valium®), and Lorazepam (Ativan®), and others, have a nasty but little-known side effect—they suppress melatonin levels.
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Nigeria: Who Still Refuses Polio Vaccine?

Nigeria: Who Still Refuses Polio Vaccine? | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

After several endorsements for polio vaccine from eminent Nigerians, including the revered Sultan of Sokoto Muhammed Sa'ad Abubakar III, it appears strange that some people still refuse to let their children and wards benefit from the life-saving vaccines. Or what reason did 102 residents of Niger State have for clinging to wicked rumours spread by the uninformed?

 

According to media reports, Dr Aliyu Shehu Yabagi, the state's director of the Primary Health Care Development Agency, revealed that 102 people have been arrested, prosecuted and either fined or jailed for refusing to allow polio vaccines to be administered on their children and wards in the past two years. Some of the arrested people, he disclosed, "paid fines for their action while others served various jail terms to serve as a deterrent to others". Yabagi also stated that the State House of Assembly was working on a bill to criminalise preaching against the acceptance of polio vaccines, with a huge fine or jail term for convicted offenders.

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Maybe just maybe if they stopped using OPV vaccines which the rest of the world stopped using some years ago now as it carries a risk of causing polio or I should say vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP). So it really does boggle the mind as to the whole push over there to eradicate polio using OPV and not IPV vaccines.

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Can papaya plant leaves cure dengue?

Can papaya plant leaves cure dengue? | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Can papaya plant leaves cure dengue? There is no scientific answer to this question, but the use of papaya leaves has grown phenomenally in the capital in the past few weeks as the mosquito-borne disease sees a spurt, claiming at least five lives in the national capital. Over 900 cases have been reported here so far.

The leaves, which are said to increase dipping platelet counts, are a much sought after product these days in Delhi nurseries - so much so that many residents told IANS that papaya leaves have been disappearing from their localities.

Vikram Saini, director of the Masjid Nursery at Pandara Road in south Delhi, said there are many people who come to buy the papaya plant.

"We are getting a lot of queries. We have ample stocks," Saini said.

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I did find this study on google scholar concerning this one. "From the patient feelings and blood reports it showed that Carica papaya leaves aqueous extract exhibited potential activity against Dengue fever." http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169111600555

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Herbal Antiseptic Oils Beats Chemical for Inhibiting Superbug Infections

Herbal Antiseptic Oils Beats Chemical for Inhibiting Superbug Infections | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

As the battle against superbugs like MRSA and other hospital-acquired infections rages on, researchers have determined that oils derived from plants outperform the antiseptic chlorhexidine and even ethanol in the inhibition of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

 

The researchers - from Australia's Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital - tested a number of extracts derived from plants, including Tea Tree oil, Lemongrass oil, and Eucalyptus oil - against several of the most deadly antibiotic-resistant superbugs. These included Klebsiella pneumoniae, MRSA - methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus,  VRE - vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and ESBL-producing Escherichia coli. The testing was carried out in a laboratory.

The researchers also tested the same bacteria strains against the two most popular antiseptic products used to disinfect hands, hospital equipment and bedsides - chlorhexidine and ethanol, commonly termed rubbing alcohol. The concentration of these were standard issue – 0.1% chlorhexidine and 70% ethanol. The researchers also tested olive oil – as olive oil is also used in some settings to repel bacteria.

 

The researchers measured what is referred to as the zone of inhibition. This is the distance to which a substance will repel the bacteria - preventing microbiological activity. A larger zone of inhibition relates to a stronger antiseptic/antibiotic agent.

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Novel anticancer alkene lactone from Persea americana.

Persea americana Mill (Lauraceae) root bark is used in ethnomedicine for a variety of diseases including cancer.

 

To isolate and characterize the chemical constituent in P. americana, and also to determine the anticancer property of a new alkene lactone from the root bark of P. americana.

 

The MCF-7 cells were treated with different concentrations of the pure compound for 48 h. The percentage of cells in the various phases, online monitoring of metabolic changes and integrin receptor expression determined by flow cytometry. Results: One novel alkene lactone (4-hydroxy-5-methylene-3-undecyclidenedihydrofuran-2 (3H)-one) (1) was isolated and characterized using 1D-NMR, 2D-NMR, infrared, UV and MS. At a concentration of 10 µg/mL, significant reduction of proliferation of MCF-7 was induced while MCF-12 A cell was significantly stimulated by 10 µg/mL. The IC50 value for MCF-7 cells is 20.48 µg/mL. Lower concentration of 1 harbor no significant effect on either MCF-7 or MCF-12A. The apoptotic rates of MCF-7 cells were increased significantly. At the final concentration 10 µg/mL, up to 80% of all breast cancer cells were dead. On the non-tumorigenic cell line MCF-12A, the same concentrations (1 and 10 µg/mL) of compound 1 caused significant enhanced apoptotic rates. A total of 1 µg/mL of 1 caused a decrease of α4-, α6-, β1- and β3-integrin expression.

 

The compound caused a stimulatory effect on non-tumorigenic MCF-12A cells with respect to cell adhesion while tumorigenic MCF-7 cells detached continuously. This is the first report on the anticancer effects of this class of compound.

Jonathan Middleton's insight:

For some reason the pubmed link won't load onto scoopit but here is the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23570517

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Coffee and tea consumption in relation to prostate cancer prognosis

Coffee and tea consumption in relation to prostate cancer prognosis | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Bioactive compounds found in coffee and tea may delay the progression of prostate cancer.

 

 

 

We investigated associations of pre-diagnostic coffee and tea consumption with risk of prostate cancer recurrence/progression. Study participants were men diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002–2005 in King County, Washington, USA. We assessed the usual pattern of coffee and tea consumption two years before diagnosis date. Prostate cancer-specific outcome events were identified using a detailed follow-up survey. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs).

 

 

 

The analysis of coffee intake in relation to prostate cancer recurrence/progression included 630 patients with a median follow-up of 6.4 years, during which 140 prostate cancer recurrence/progression events were recorded. Approximately 61 % of patients consumed at least one cup of coffee per day. Coffee consumption was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer recurrence/progression; the adjusted HR for ≥4 cups/day versus ≤1 cup/week was 0.41 (95 % CI: 0.20, 0.81; p for trend = 0.01). Approximately 14 % of patients consumed one or more cups of tea per day, and tea consumption was unrelated to prostate cancer recurrence/progression.

 

 

Results indicate that higher pre-diagnostic coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer recurrence/progression. This finding will require replication in larger studies.

Jonathan Middleton's insight:

Taken from The Eden Prescription facebook write up on this study which is a great resource for natural cancer treatments.

 

"Coffee Reduces Prostate Cancer Recurrence by Almost 60%: In this new study on prostate cancer patients living in Washington State, USA, men who drank at least 4 cups of coffee daily had 59% less risk of prostate cancer recurrence or progression compared to those drinking only 1 cup weekly (during the 6.4 follow-up period). Recall also another recent study that showed healthy men drinking 3 cups or more daily of coffee had a 55% reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer compared to non-drinkers."


 
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Jonathan Middleton's comment, September 20, 2013 10:50 AM
2nd study thats spoken of I think http://www.nutritionj.com/content/11/1/42
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Saffron for treatment of fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study

Saffron for treatment of fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) has shown beneficial aphrodisiac effects in some animal and human studies. The aim of the present study was to assess the safety and efficacy of saffron on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor-induced sexual dysfunction in women.

 

This was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Thirty-eight women with major depression who were stabilized on fluoxetine 40 mg/day for a minimum of 6 weeks and had experienced subjective feeling of sexual dysfunction entered the study. The patients were randomly assigned to saffron (30 mg/daily) or placebo for 4 weeks. Measurement was performed at baseline, week 2, and week 4 using the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). Side effects were systematically recorded.

 

Thirty-four women had at least one post-baseline measurement and completed the study. Two-factor repeated measure analysis of variance showed significant effect of time × treatment interaction [Greenhouse–Geisser's corrected: F(1.580, 50.567) = 5.366, p = 0.012] and treatment for FSFI total score [F(1, 32) = 4.243, p = 0.048]. At the end of the fourth week, patients in the saffron group had experienced significantly more improvement in total FSFI (p < 0.001), arousal (p = 0.028), lubrication (p = 0.035), and pain (p = 0.016) domains of FSFI but not in desire (p = 0.196), satisfaction (p = 0.206), and orgasm (p = 0.354) domains. Frequency of side effects was similar between the two groups.

 

It seems saffron may safely and effectively improve some of the fluoxetine-induced sexual problems including arousal, lubrication, and pain.

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Vitamin D accelerates clinical recovery from tuberculosis: results of the SUCCINCT Study (Supplementary Cholecalciferol in recovery from tuberculosis)

Vitamin D enhances host protective immune responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis by suppressing Interferon-gamma (IFN-g) and reducing disease associated inflammation in the host. The objectives of this study were to determine whether vitamin D supplementation to patients with tuberculosis (TB) could influence recovery.

 

Two hundred and fifty nine patients with pulmonary TB were randomized to receive either 600,000 IU of Intramuscular vitamin D3 or placebo for 2 doses. Assessments were performed at 4, 8 and 12 weeks. Early secreted and T cell activated 6 kDa (ESAT6) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis sonicate (MTBs) antigen induced whole blood stimulated IFN-g responses were measured at 0 and 12 weeks. Statistical comparisons between outcome variables at 0 and 12 weeks were performed using Student's t-test and Chi2 tests.

 

After 12 weeks, the vitamin D supplemented arm demonstrated significantly greater mean weight gain (kg)+3.75, (3.16-4.34) versus+2.61 (95% CI 1.99-3.23) p 0.009 and lesser residual disease by chest radiograph; number of zones involved 1.35 v/s 1.82 p 0.004 (95% CI 0.15, 0.79) and 50% or greater reduction in cavity size 106 (89.8%) v/s 111 (94.8%), p 0.035. Vitamin D supplementation led to significant increase in MTBs-induced IFN-g secretion in patients with baseline 'Deficient' 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum levels (p 0.021).

 

Supplementation with high doses of vitamin D accelerated clinical, radiographic improvement in all TB patients and increased host immune activation in patients with baseline 'Deficient' serum vitamin D levels. These results suggest a therapeutic role for vitamin D in the treatment of TB.

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