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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How antibiotics enable pathogenic gut infections

How antibiotics enable pathogenic gut infections | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

 

A new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine could help pinpoint ways to counter the effects of the antibiotics-driven depletion of friendly, gut-dwelling bacteria.

 

 

A number of intestinal pathogens can cause problems after antibiotic administration, said Justin Sonnenburg, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology and the senior author of the study, to be published online Sept. 1 in Nature. Graduate students Katharine Ng and Jessica Ferreyra shared lead authorship.

 

 

“Antibiotics open the door for these pathogens to take hold. But how, exactly, that occurs hasn’t been well understood,” Sonnenburg said.

 

 

In the first 24 hours after administration of oral antibiotics, a spike in carbohydrate availability takes place in the gut, the study says. This transient nutrient surplus, combined with the reduction of friendly gut-dwelling bacteria due to antibiotics, permits at least two potentially deadly pathogens to get a toehold in that otherwise more forbidding environment.

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Swine study suggests flu vaccination may sometimes backfire

Swine study suggests flu vaccination may sometimes backfire | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Canadian researchers identified a greater risk of infection in those who had been vaccinated against seasonal flu, a puzzling finding that researchers are still unraveling, including a group yesterday that revealed more about a mechanism for the process through experiments on pigs.

 

The heightened risk identified during the 2009 pandemic threatened to disrupt vaccination efforts in Canada, and the findings raised tough issues for policymakers, especially when studies in the United States and other countries contradicted the Canadian findings. However, in 2010 a large study by a Canadian team put an exclamation point on the earlier findings, reporting that the risk of needing treatment for pandemic flu was 1.4 to 2.4 times greater in those who had been vaccinated against seasonal flu in the previous year.

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Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Solander ex Ellis) Contains Powerful Compounds that Prevent and Cure Cancer

Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Solander ex Ellis) Contains Powerful Compounds that Prevent and Cure Cancer | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Chemoprevention uses natural or synthetic molecules without toxic effects to prevent and/or block emergence and development of diseases including cancer. Many of these natural molecules modulate mitogenic signals involved in cell survival, apoptosis, cell cycle regulation, angiogenesis, or on processes involved in the development of metastases occur naturally, especially in fruits and vegetables bur also in non-comestible plants. Carnivorous plants including the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Solander ex Ellis) are much less investigated, but appear to contain a wealth of potent bioactive secondary metabolites. Aim of this review is to give insight into molecular mechanisms triggered by compounds isolated from these interesting plants with either therapeutic or chemopreventive potential.

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Antitumor effect of Japanese apricot extract (MK615) on human cancer cells in vitro and in vivo through a reactive oxygen species-dependent mechanism

Antitumor effect of Japanese apricot extract (MK615) on human cancer cells in vitro and in vivo through a reactive oxygen species-dependent mechanism | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Aims and background. MK615 is produced from Japanese apricot and contains several cyclic triterpenes, such as oleanolic and ursolic acids. MK615 was shown to strongly suppress cutaneous in-transit metastasis in a patient with malignant melanoma. The present investigation was undertaken to clarify the antitumor effects of MK615 in vitro and in vivo.
Several human cancer cell lines were exposed to MK615 for 7 days to examine its antiproliferative effects. The effect of MK615 on in vivo growth of human pancreatic cancer MIAPaCa-2 cells was also examined.
MK615 inhibited the growth of several human cancer cell lines in a concentration-dependent way. Pancreatic cancer MIAPaCa-2 cells were highly sensitive to the growth-inhibiting effects of MK615. Treatment with MK615 preferentially induced cell death in human cancer cells while sparing normal cells such as human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and mouse bone marrow cells. When MIAPaCa-2 cells were incubated with MK615 in the presence of antioxidant, growth-inhibition was significantly reduced, and MK615 induced the accumulation of reactive oxygen species in cancer cells but not in HUVEC. MK615, in both the presence and absence of gemcitabine, significantly inhibited the growth of human pancreatic cancer cells as xenografts without apparent adverse effects.
MK615, a supplement produced from Japanese apricot, may have therapeutic value in treating human cancers through a reactive oxygen species-dependent mechanism.
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Application of herbal medicine alba in treatment of patients with the pathology of thyroid

High prevalence of hyperplastic and autoimmune diseases of thyroid in Ukrainian population is determined by endemic deficit of iodine and selenium. The aim of this research was to assess the place of biologically-active additions on the basis of herbal material containing an iodine and selenium in prophylaxis and treatment of thyroid pathology. During the six month period 55 patients received herbal preparation Alba twice a day. The levels of TSH, volume of thyroid, the sizes of nodular goiter (ultrasound investigation) were measured before and at the end of the investigation. The levels of thyroid stimulating antibodies to TSH receptor (AB-r TSH) were evaluated in patients with hyperthyroidism. The results of Alba application showed that in patients with thyroid pathology (diffuse nontoxic goiter, hyperthyroidism and chronic thyroiditis) it was possible to reduce the volume of thyroid, normalize its function, and decrease the level of AB-r TSH in diffuse toxic goiter. We also found approximately 20 % shortening of the time needed to get target level of TSH and finally the duration of treatment of thyrotoxicosis.

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Effect of Kushen (Radix Sophorae flavescentis) extract on laryngeal neoplasm Hep2 cells.

To evaluate the effect of fermented extract of Kushen (Radix Sophorae Flavescentis) or non-fermented ESF on laryngeal neoplasms Hep2 cells.

 

Use 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay to explore the effect of fermented ESF and non-fermented ESF on Hep2 cells, and detect the mRNA and protein expression level of Bcl-2, Bax and Caspase-3 with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot.

 

Both fermented ESF and non-fermented ESF could inhibit laryngeal neoplasm's Hep2 cells, but and the cells did not response to the dilution 1: 320 of fermented ESF, nor to the 1:1280 dilution of non-fermented ESF. As time progressed, the dilution 1:80 of fermented ESF and 1:320 dilution of non-fermented ESF could significantly reduce Bcl-2 mRNA and protein expression and down-regulate Caspase-3 mRNA and protein expression. Bax mRNA and protein were not expressed in Hep2 cells.

 

Both fermented ESF and non-fermented ESF could inhibit the proliferation of Hep2 cells, and the effect of non-fermented ESF was significantly better than that of the fermented.

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Coenzyme Q10 And Cancer: Enhancing Treatment Outcomes And Improving Chemotherapy Tolerability

Coenzyme Q10 And Cancer: Enhancing Treatment Outcomes And Improving Chemotherapy Tolerability | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

Few lay people understand that one of the reasons chemotherapy does not cure more cancers is that its inherent toxicity limits the dosage that can be administered. What this means is that even if the cancer is slowly being eradicated by the chemo drugs, the damage inflicted on healthy cells can be so severe that chemotherapy must be discontinued. A common side effect cancer victims face is chemotherapy-induced immune suppression that leaves patients susceptible to life-threatening infections.

 

Fortunately, research suggests that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) can offer critical support for those challenged with cancer, including improving the tolerability of chemotherapy and lessening its adverse impact on immune function. In addition, tantalizing evidence suggests that CoQ10 may help chemotherapy drugs more effectively battle cancer via several fascinating mechanisms. Here, we’ll explore CoQ10’s importance in combating cancer.

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Rejuvenate Your Cells by Growing New Mitochondria

Rejuvenate Your Cells by Growing New Mitochondria | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

Mitochondrial dysfunction is a primary cause of age-related decline.1-7 In a revealing study, a team of researchers showed that muscle tissue of a 90-year-old man contained 95% damaged mitochondria compared to almost no damage in that of a 5-year-old.

 

When one looks at the boundless energy of a child compared to an elderly person, the devastating impact of mitochondrial degradation become instantly apparent. A myriad of recent scientific reports link defective and deficient mitochondria to virtually all degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, heart failure, and cancer.

 

Up until now, the best we could do was protect and improve the function of existing mitochondria using nutrients like L-carnitine, lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10.


In an unprecedented breakthrough, a compound has been discovered that promotes the growth of new mitochondria structures within aging cells!


In this article, you will discover how this novel compound can help reverse cellular aging by activating genes that stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis, which means the generation of new mitochondria.

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Structural Requirements for Potent Direct Inhibition of Human Cytochrome P450 1A1 by Cannabidiol: Role of Pentylresorcinol Moiety

Our recent work has shown that cannabidiol (CBD) exhibits the most potent direct inhibition of human cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) among the CYP enzymes examined. However, the mechanism underlying this CBD inhibition remains to be clarified. Thus, to elucidate the structural requirements for the potent inhibition by CBD, the effects of CBD and its structurally related compounds on CYP1A1 activity were investigated with recombinant human CYP1A1. Olivetol, which corresponds to the pentylresorcinol moiety of CBD, inhibited the 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase activity of CYP1A1; its inhibitory effect (IC50=13.8 µM) was less potent than that of CBD (IC50=0.355 µM). In contrast, d-limonene, which corresponds to the terpene moiety of CBD, only slightly inhibited CYP1A1 activity. CBD-2′-monomethyl ether (CBDM) and CBD-2′,6′-dimethyl ether inhibited CYP1A1 activity with IC50 values of 4.07 and 23.0 µM, respectively, indicating that their inhibitory effects attenuated depending on the level of methylation on the free phenolic hydroxyl groups in the pentylresorcinol moiety of CBD. Cannabidivarin inhibited CYP1A1 activity, although its inhibitory potency (IC50=1.85 µM) was lower than that of CBD. The inhibitory effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabielsoin (IC50s ≈10 µM), which contain a free phenolic hydroxyl group and are structurally constrained, were less potent than that of CBDM, which contains a free phenolic hydroxyl group and is rotatable between pentylresorcinol and terpene moieties. These results suggest that the pentylresorcinol structure in CBD may have structurally important roles in direct CYP1A1 inhibition, although the whole structure of CBD is required for overall inhibition.

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What government tells you to eat is all wrong

What government tells you to eat is all wrong | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

I have a hobby. When I see a healthy patient over 90 years old, I always ask them about their diet, and the answer is almost always the same: They lean over and, sounding a little guilty like the kid who got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, say something like, “Well, I hate to tell you this, but I have eaten butter, eggs and bacon all my life.”

 

At which point I ask the female patients about their pie cooking – and they all agree they used lard.

 

 

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Omega-3 fatty acids offer cancer potential: Lab study

Omega-3 fatty acids offer cancer potential: Lab study | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Omega-3s - in particular eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) - may offer benefits to people with certain cancers, according to new lab work suggesting that the fatty acids may help kill off cancerous cells.
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Drug giant Novartis has been hit by a scandal over research studies in Japan that touted the benefits of its most popular medicine

Drug giant Novartis has been hit by a scandal over research studies in Japan that touted the benefits of its most popular medicine | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Swiss drug giant Novartis faces a mounting problem in Japan, its second-largest market, where researchers have retracted studies that touted the benefits of the company's most popular medicine.
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Effects of Qigong Exercise on Fatigue, Anxiety, and Depressive Symptoms of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-Like Illness.

Effects of Qigong Exercise on Fatigue, Anxiety, and Depressive Symptoms of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-Like Illness. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Anxiety/depressive symptoms are common in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome- (CFS-) like illness. Qigong as a modality of complementary and alternative therapy has been increasingly applied by patients with chronic illnesses, but little is known about the effect of Qigong on anxiety/depressive symptoms of the patients with CFS-like illness. Purpose. To investigate the effects of Qigong on fatigue, anxiety, and depressive symptoms in patients with CFS-illness. Methods. One hundred and thirty-seven participants who met the diagnostic criteria for CFS-like illness were randomly assigned to either an intervention group or a waitlist control group. Participants in the intervention group received 10 sessions of Qigong training twice a week for 5 consecutive weeks, followed by home-based practice for 12 weeks. Fatigue, anxiety, and depressive symptoms were assessed at baseline and postintervention. Results. Total fatigue score, physical fatigue score and depression score were significantly improved and mental fatigue score was marginally significantly improved in the Qigong group compared to controls. The anxiety score was not significantly improved in the Qigong group. Conclusion. Qigong may not only reduce the fatigue symptoms, but also has antidepressive effect for patients with CFS-like illness.
Trial registration HKCTR-1200.
    

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How To Clean Your Arteries With One Simple Fruit

How To Clean Your Arteries With One Simple Fruit | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

A new study published in the journal Atherosclerosis confirms that pomegranate extract may prevent and/or reverse the primary pathology associated with cardiac mortality: the progressive thickening of the coronary arteries caused by the accumulation of fatty materials known as atherosclerosis.

 

Mice with a genetic susceptibility towards spontaneous coronary artery blockages were given pomegranate extract via their drinking water for two weeks, beginning at three weeks of age. Despite the fact that pomegranate treatment actually increased cholesterol levels associated with very low density lipoprotein-sized particles, the treatment both reduced the size of the atherosclerotic plaques in the aortic sinus (the dilated opening above the aortic valve) and reduced the proportion of coronary arteries with occlusive atherosclerotic plaques.

 

Remarkably, the researchers also found that pomegranate extract treatment resulted in the following beneficial effects:

Reduced levels of oxidative stressReduced monocytie chemotactic protein-1, a chemical messenger (chemokine) associated with inflammatory processes within the arteries.  Reduced lipid accumulation in the heart muscleReduced macrophage infiltration in the heart muscleReduced levels of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and fibrosis in the myocardiumReduced cardiac enlargementReduced ECG abnormalities
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Plant polyphenols may modulate microbiota: In vitro study

Plant polyphenols may modulate microbiota: In vitro study | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it
Plant polyphenols may modulate microbiota: In vitro study. Post a comment. By Nathan Gray+. 27-Aug-2013. Phenolic compounds found in black tea and red wine grape extracts could modify the composition of microbes in our gut, say ...
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Ancient Ayurveda Beats Clonazepam in Clinical Trial for Anxiety Disorder

Ancient Ayurveda Beats Clonazepam in Clinical Trial for Anxiety Disorder | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

Researchers from India have proven in a randomized clinical study using international protocols that an ancient Ayurveda remedy for anxiety outperformed the benzodiazepine drug Clonazepam (Klonopin) in relieving severe anxiety.

 

The researchers, from India's National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), tested 72 patients in a hospital setting who were diagnosed with severe generalized anxiety disorder using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS). The test subjects were all adults between 20 and 55 years old of both sexes and most had experienced their anxiety disorder for seven years or more. They were also diagnosed with comorbid generalized social phobia.

 

The researchers randomly divided the patients into three groups. One group was given the standard anti-anxiety medication Clonazepam (Klonopin) at the standard prescriptive dose of .75 milligrams per day (.25mg morning, .50mg night). Another group received 200 milligrams of an Ayurvedic herbal remedy called Manasamitra Vataka (also Manasamitra Vatakam) – in two doses (100 mg each).

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Antimutagenic activity and in vitro anticancer effects of bamboo salt on HepG2 human hepatoma cells.

Bamboo salt is a traditional Korean baked solar salt processed by packing the solar salt in bamboo joint cases and heating it several times to high temperatures. The antimutagenic activity and in vitro anticancer effects of bamboo salt on HepG2 human hepatoma cells were investigated and compared to those of other salt samples. Although solar salt and purified salt exhibited comutagenicity with N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) in the Salmonella typhimurium TA100 strain, bamboo salt was associated with a lower degree of comutagenicity or antimutagenic activity. Bamboo salt baked nine times (9×) showed a greater increase in antimutagenic activity than salts baked once (1×) or three times (3×). At a concentration of 1%, the growth rate of HepG2 cells treated with 9× bamboo salt determined by a 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MIT) assay was reduced by 65%; this rate of inhibition was higher than that achieved with 1× baked bamboo salt (40%). Purified and solar salts had relatively lower inhibitory effects on growth rate (25% and 29%, respectively). Compared to the other salt samples, 9× bamboo salt significantly (p<0.05) induced apoptosis as determined by 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining and flow cytometry analysis. It also upregulated the expression of Bax, caspase-9 and caspase-3; and downregulated Bcl-2 expression. The bamboo salts, especially 9× bamboo salt, also significantly (p<0.05) downregulated the expression of inflammation-related NF-κB, iNOS, and COX-2, and upregulated the gene expression of IκB-α compared to the other salt sample.

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Effect of Jinlong capsule on proliferation and apoptosis of human pancreatic cancer cells BxPC-3.

To study the possible roles of Jinlong capsule (JLC) on the proliferation and apoptosis of human pancreatic cancer cells BxPC-3.

 

The human pancreatic cancer cells BxPC-3 were treated with JLC at the concentration of 0.05-1.00 mg/mL for 24-120 h. The inhibition rate of JLC on human pancreatic cancer cells BxPC-3 was detected by 3-(4,5-dimethiylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Flow cytometry was employed to measure cell apoptosis using Annexin V-FITC/Propidium iodide (AV-FITC/PI) method. Cell cycles were determined by PI staining. The expression of 5100 Calcium binding protein A4 (S100A4) in cell matrix was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The expression levels of apoptosis-related protein such as BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19 kDa interacting protein 3 (BNIP3), B-cell lymphoma/leukemia-2 (Bcl-2) and Cys-teinylaspartate specific proteinase 3 (Caspase-3) were detected by Western blotting.

 

JLC significantly inhibited the proliferation of human pancreatic cancer cells BxPC-3 in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. JLC promoted cell apoptosis and maintained cell cycle in S and G2/M phase rather than G1/G0 phase. The expression of 5100A4 in the cell matrix was reduced. The expression of cell apoptotic protein BNIP3 was increased while Bcl-2 was decreased.

 

JLC can inhibit the proliferation of human pancreatic cancer cells BxPC-3 by stimulating cell apoptosis, arresting the cell cycle at S and G2/M phase which blocks the circulation of normal cell cycle and reducing the expression of S100A4 protein. Higher pro-apoptosis protein BNIP3 and lower anti-apoptosis protein Bcl-2 levels were found, which may be related to the apoptotic effects of JLC.

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Blueberries cut type-2 diabetes risk

Blueberries cut type-2 diabetes risk | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

Eating more fruit, particularly blueberries, apples and grapes, is linked to a reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes, suggests a study in the British Medical Journal.

 

Blueberries cut the risk by 26% compared with 2% for three servings of any whole fruit - but fruit juice did not appear to have the same effect.

The research looked at the diets of more than 187,000 people in the US.

 

But Diabetes UK said the results of the study should be treated with caution.

Researchers from the UK, US and Singapore used data from three large studies of nurses and health professionals in the US to examine the link between fruit consumption and the risk of contracting type-2 diabetes.

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FDA hikes generic user fees 24%

FDA hikes generic user fees 24% | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that user fees charged for Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) in fiscal 2014 will rise 24%, from $51,520 to $63,860.

Fees for Prior Approval Supplements (PAS) for ANDAs will also go up 24%, to $31,930, and fees for Drug Master Files (DMF) will increase 48% to $31,460 for the year, October 1, 2013-September 30, 2014. Annual facility fees for finished dosage forms (FDF) will increase around 25%, to $235,152 for foreign facilities and $220,152 for domestic facilities, but rates for active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facilities for both foreign and domestic facilities will be reduced, to $49,515 and $220,152, respectively. FDA says it is expecting some 911 ANDAs to include a filing fee in fiscal 2014, and to receive 583 fee-paying DMFs.
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Decreased DNA damage and lowered oxidative stress linked to supplements.

Decreased DNA damage and lowered oxidative stress linked to supplements. | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

DNA damage and lowered oxidative stress linked to specific supplements  

 

 

August 7, 2013. A study described in an article published online on August 6, 2013 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reveals an ability for several dietary supplements to help prevent oxidative stress and DNA damage.

 

The current study utilized data from 209 men and women who participated in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) biomarker study, which enrolled residents of western Washington between 2000 and 2001. Interviews and questionnaires administered following enrollment ascertained the frequency of use for glucosamine, chondroitin, fish oil, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), coenzyme Q10, ginseng, garlic, ginkgo and saw palmetto. Measurement of urinary 8-isoprostane and prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2 alpha) assessed oxidative stress levels, and blood samples were analyzed for white blood cell DNA damage and DNA repair capacity.

 

Researchers Elizabeth D. Kantor of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and her colleagues found a reduction in urinary PDF2 alpha, indicating lower amounts of oxidative stress, among those who reported consuming 14 or more tablets glucosamine or chondroitin per week. For glucosamine users, the reduction was 40% lower, and for chondroitin users, the reduction was 47% lower in comparison with nonusers. The use of fiber supplements was associated with a 43% reduction in PDF2 alpha, and for those who used coenzyme Q10, there was a 58% lower level of DNA damage compared to nonusers.

 

"Our results suggest that glucosamine, chondroitin, and fiber supplements are associated with reduced oxidative stress, while CoQ10 supplementation was associated with reduced DNA damage," the authors conclude. "Further research is needed to better understand the associations between use of these popular supplements and oxidative stress/DNA damage, as oxidative stress and DNA damage have been suggested to play a role in several diseases. Our results provide evidence of a potential mechanism by which these supplements may affect disease risk, warranting further research on these potential preventives."

 


Via Richard D. Hammer, M.D.
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Richard D. Hammer, M.D.'s curator insight, August 13, 2013 1:38 PM

Important info, especially the fact that CoQ10 supplementation appears to reduce DNA damage significantly. This may have a significant impact on disease prevention.

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Study: weeds get unintended 'fitness' boost from genetic modification

Study: weeds get unintended 'fitness' boost from genetic modification | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

Genetically modified (GM) crops could give harmful weeds a significant growth boost if their modifications are transferred into the wild.

 

Rice weeds with a herbicide-resistant genetic modification produced up to 125 percent more seeds and had photosynthesised at rates up to 109 percent higher than control plants.

 

The research from the Fudan University in Shanghai, published in New Phytologist, suggests that an experimental gene modification that protects against the widely-used glyphosate herbicide also confers significant fitness benefits to weeds.

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Association between nutrition and the evolution of multimorbidity: The importance of fruits and vegetables and whole grain products

 

Multimorbidity is a common health status. The impact of nutrition on the development of multimorbidity remains to be determined. The aim of this study is to determine the association between foods, macronutrients and micronutrients and the evolution of multimorbidity.

 

Data from 1020 Chinese who participated in the Jiangsu longitudinal Nutrition Study (JIN) were collected in 2002 (baseline) and 2007 (follow-up). Three-day weighted food records and status for 11 chronic diseases was determined using biomedical measures (hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and anemia) or self-reports (coronary heart disease, asthma, stroke, cancer, fracture, arthritis and hepatitis). Participants were divided in six categories of stage of evolution of multimorbidity. Association of foods, macronutrients and micronutrients at baseline with stages in the evolution of multimorbidity were determined. Data were adjusted for age, sex, BMI, marital status, sedentary lifestyle, smoking status, annual income, education and energy intake.

 

The prevalence of multimorbidity increased from 14% to 34%. A high consumption of fruit and vegetables (p < 0.05) and grain products other than rice and wheat (p < 0.001) were associated with healthier stages in the evolution of multimorbidity. The consumption of grain products other than rice and wheat was highly correlated with dietary fibers (r = 0.77, p < 0.0001), iron (r = 0.46, p < 0.0001), magnesium (r = 0.49, p < 0.0001) and phosphorus (r = 0.57, p < 0.0001) intake which were also associated with healthier stages.

 

This study provides the first evidence of an association between nutrition and evolution towards multimorbidity. More precisely, greater consumption of fruits and vegetable and whole grain products consumption appear to lower the risk of multimorbidity.

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Science and Social Control: Political Paralysis and the Genetics Agenda

Science and Social Control: Political Paralysis and the Genetics Agenda | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

 

Variations in individual “educational attainment” (essentially, whether students complete high school or college) cannot be attributed to inherited genetic differences. That is the finding of a new study reported in Science magazine (Rietveld et al. 2013). According to this research, fully 98% of all variation in educational attainment is accounted for by factors other than a person’s simple genetic makeup.

 

 

This implies that most of student success is a consequence of potentially alterable social or environmental factors. This is an important and perhaps surprising observation, of high interest to parents, teachers, and policymakers alike; but it did not make the headlines.

 

The likely reason is that the authors of the study failed to mention the 98% figure in the title, or in the summary. Nor was it mentioned in the accompanying press release.

 

Instead, their discussion and interest focused almost entirely on a different aspect of their findings: that three gene variants each contribute just 0.02% (one part in 5,000) to variation in educational attainment. Thus the final sentence of the summary concluded not with a plea to find effective ways to help all young people to reach their full potential but instead proposed that these three gene variants “provide promising candidate SNPs (DNA markers) for follow-up work”.

 

This is as spectacular a misdescription of a scientific finding as is to be found anywhere in the scientific literature.

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Pomegranate Juice Augments Memory and fMRI Activity in Middle-Aged and Older Adults with Mild Memory Complaints

Pomegranate Juice Augments Memory and fMRI Activity in Middle-Aged and Older Adults with Mild Memory Complaints | A Tale of Two Medicines | Scoop.it

Despite increasing emphasis on the potential of dietary antioxidants in preventing memory loss and on diet as a precursor of neurological health, rigorous studies investigating the cognitive effects of foods and their components are rare. Recent animal studies have reported memory and other cognitive benefits of polyphenols, found abundantly in pomegranate juice. We performed a preliminary, placebo-controlled randomized trial of pomegranate juice in older subjects with age-associated memory complaints using memory testing and functional brain activation (fMRI) as outcome measures. Thirty-two subjects (28 completers) were randomly assigned to drink 8 ounces of either pomegranate juice or a flavor-matched placebo drink for 4 weeks. Subjects received memory testing, fMRI scans during cognitive tasks, and blood draws for peripheral biomarkers before and after the intervention. Investigators and subjects were all blind to group membership. After 4 weeks, only the pomegranate group showed a significant improvement in the Buschke selective reminding test of verbal memory and a significant increase in plasma trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and urolithin A-glucuronide. Furthermore, compared to the placebo group, the pomegranate group had increased fMRI activity during verbal and visual memory tasks. While preliminary, these results suggest a role for pomegranate juice in augmenting memory function through task-related increases in functional brain activity.

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