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Fri, 28 Apr 2017
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Health & Wellness


Gluten allergy in coeliac disease may be provoked by virus

Intestine under attack
Infection with a common, symptomless virus could be one of the first steps towards developing coeliac disease, a painful autoimmune condition that damages the gut.

Coeliac disease involves the immune system treating gluten as an antigen and attacking it and has generally been thought to be a genetic disease. However, there is some evidence that the onset of the condition may be linked to people experiencing viral infections. These may include infection by adenoviruses, which cause colds, rotaviruses, which can cause diarrhoea, and the hepatitis C virus.

Now there is experimental evidence that some viruses may indeed prompt the onset of coeliac disease. Bana Jabri at the University of Chicago, Illinois, and her team have found that exposing mice to a common reovirus called T1L breaks their tolerance of gluten.

When the team fed small groups of mice gliadin - a component of gluten - they found that mice produced two to three times as many antibodies against the compound over the next two days if they were also infected with reovirus.

"The reovirus changes the way the immune system sees gluten," says Jabri. Normally, the body's immune system learns to tolerate the wide range of substances in our food, including gluten - a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. But the team's findings suggest that infection with a reovirus interferes with this, leading the body to mistakenly attack gluten.

"Our experiments are the first to demonstrate that a virus can induce loss of tolerance to dietary antigens," says Jabri.


Looking for a 2nd opinion? Mayo Clinic says 88% of patients get a different diagnosis with a 2nd opinion

That's the message the Mayo Clinic is hoping to send by releasing a new study that points to the high importance of another physician's opinion.

The new study, which was published Tuesday, states 88 percent of those who came to the Mayo go home with a new or refined diagnosis - one that changed their plan for care and "potentially their lives." They say only 12 percent of patients receive confirmation that the original diagnosis was complete and correct.

The Mayo study was based on the records of 286 patients who were referred to the clinic's General Internal Medicine Division over a two-year period. In each case, the patient's referring diagnosis was compared to the final diagnosis to determine any consistencies or errors.

In 21 percent of the cases, the diagnosis was changed completely.

In 66 percent of the cases, the diagnosis was modified or refined.


Is meat glue gluten-free?

Do you find yourself at the grocery store staring at different cuts of meat trying to find the perfect piece to buy? You look at the color, marbling, and for the overall freshness of the meat. Little do you know; the meat industry could be using a pink slime meat glue enzyme to create that perfect piece of meat. This enzyme is called microbial transglutaminase, and it has been used secretly by the food industry for decades. Although this enzyme is technically gluten free, it has been shown to create intestinal damage that can mimic celiac disease (CD)

What is mTG (Microbial Transglutaminase) - AKA Meat Glue

Microbial transglutaminase (mTG), is produced from a bacterial strain, Streptoverticillium1. Over the decades, it was isolated from the livers of guinea pigs for commercial use. Today, it can be sourced from the blood plasma of cows or pigs, at a cheaper cost. It is cultivated and dried into a powder. mTG is sprinkled on any type of meat or fish where it forms the protein cross links (pink slime), binding small scraps of meat together to form seamless large chunks of meat. The meat is then rolled, wrapped and refrigerated. A few hours later, you have a "brand new steak". The process is done so well that even butchers can't tell a fake steak from a real steak. It is also used in manufacturing cheese, dairy products, gelatin, edible films, and in baked goods. mTG improves the solubility, emulsifying capacity, foaming properties, and gelation in proteins. It also improves the texture and volumes of bread. Basically, mTG is used to make food look more attractive and appealing to consumers.

Comment: Watch how pieces of meat are glued together to create a more valuable 'joint' of meat:

Comment: See also: Dr. Peter Osborne: Why you should go grain-free


Evidence found of popular farm pesticides - neonictinoids - in drinking water

Of the many pesticides that American farmers have embraced in their war on bugs, neonicotinoids are among the most popular. One of them, called imidacloprid, is among the world's best-selling insecticides, boasting sales of over $1 billion a year. But with their widespread use comes a notorious reputation — that neonics, as they are nicknamed, are a bee killer. A 2016 study suggested a link between neonicotinoid use and local pollinator extinctions, though other agricultural researchers contested the pesticides' bad rap.

As the bee debate raged, scientists studying the country's waterways started to detect neonicotinoid pollutants. In 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey collected water samples from streams throughout the United States and discovered neonicotinoids in more than half of the samples.

And on Wednesday, a team of chemists and engineers at the USGS and University of Iowa reported that they found neonicotinoids in treated drinking water. It marks the first time that anyone has identified this class of pesticide in tap water, the researchers write in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

Gregory LeFevre, a study author and U of Iowa environmental engineer, told The Washington Post that the find was important but not immediate cause for alarm.

Comment: While the 'dose makes the poison' argument is given by the author, what is conveniently overlooked is the effects neonicotinoids have on the bee population (a keystone species in the food chain):
It's often said that we have bees to thank for one out of every three bites we take of food. In addition to producing honey, honeybees literally criss-cross the United States, pollinating almonds, oranges, melons, blueberries, pumpkins, apples, and more. And while carrots are a biennial root crop that are harvested long before they flower, all carrots are planted from seed, and honeybees pollinate the carrot flowers that produce the seeds. Other species of bees, both social and solitary bees, pollinate other crops. And the populations of all these species of bees are in decline...


The 5 Strangest Reasons You're Not Losing Weight and What to Do

An interview with "First Lady of Nutrition" Ann Louise Gittleman reveals five hidden causes of weight gain that might shock you.

I sat down with New York Times bestselling author and creator of the Fat Flush diet, Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS to learn more about her latest book, The New Fat Flush Plan. Here's what I learned.

The classic Fat Flush was first published more than 15 years ago and was really the book that launched the diet/detox revolution. What gives Fat Flush such longevity? The book challenged all the weight loss rules with unique protocols that produced faster and longer lasting results than any other diet book on the market. Fat Flush introduced the idea that the right fats can make you lean and trim, and how you can harness the fat burning power of the liver to supercharge healing, regardless of age and hormonal challenges. It's a health book masquerading as a diet book!

Dr. Gittleman recently expanded and updated her bestseller to include, among other things, the latest science about 10 hidden weight gain factors that can sabotage even the most conscientious eaters. Below, she highlights five of these factors along with simple steps you can take to overcome them.


KFC hatches plan to serve antibiotic-free chicken by 2018 to meet new requirements

© Carlo Allegri / Reuters
The fried chicken giant, KFC, said it will curb the use of "medically important" antibiotics in its chicken supply. Poultry suppliers who supply the company's 4,200 restaurants have until the end of 2018 to meet the new requirements.

Kentucky Fried Chicken was the last holdout of the big three chicken restaurants, after McDonald's and Chick-fil-A, to join the fight against the dangerous rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs and decide to drop their use.

"We recognize that it's a growing public health concern,"Kevin Hochman, KFC president told Reuters. "This is something that's important to many of our customers and it's something we need to do to show relevance and modernity within our brand."

The policy only applies to its fried chicken in the US, supplied by 2,000 domestic chicken farms, and the restriction applies to whole of the bird's life from hatchery to dinner plate.

Life Preserver

The benefits of going barefoot to keep your brain young

To keep your mind sharp, you could do crossword puzzles or try to learn a new language—basically anything that's mind-boggling and takes practice. But a lesser-known way to maintain your cognitive abilities? Going barefoot.

"Your nervous system is especially sensitive in your feet," says Emily Splichal, MD, podiatrist, human movement specialist, and Ashtanga yoga instructor. "And people don't even realize that the nerves there age. The more we wear shoes, we take away that information between the feet and your brain. That's why it's important to be barefoot and stimulate your nervous system in that way."
"Your nervous system is especially sensitive in your feet. And people don't even realize that the nerves there age."

Comment: Go barefoot for a truly prehistoric health boost:

Grounding, a Brain Booster

Grounding may also boost your mood. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at the University of California - Irvine tested 40 adults to see if grounding could improve mood. Part of the group grounded for one hour; the others did not ground. The participants' moods were assessed on a special scale before and after the experiment. Those who grounded reported pleasant and positive moods, while the others had no improvement. The researchers reported their findings in the April 2015 issue of Psychological Reports.

Everybody benefits from grounding, but in different ways. The positive results can come quickly and dramatically, such as less pain and better sleep, or subtly and gradually over time. Often, people who are very ill or are saddled with various symptoms notice a dramatic difference. Someone who has radiant health and sleeps well might not feel the differences so dramatically, but connecting to the earth helps preserve and perpetuate that good health.

I sincerely regard grounding as a simple, natural form of antiaging and preventive medicine, whether the benefits are obvious or subtle. Through the simple and powerful method of grounding, we can remember our connection to nature and, in so doing, reclaim aspects of our health that need rejuvenation. Where there is Earth, there is healing.


Research into alternatives to fecal microbiota transplant

© Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post
Fecal transplant in capsule form
Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is an emerging technique showing high efficacy in the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (RCDI) which is a disease of the gut caused by the overgrowth of this toxic microbe, and which makes up a fourth of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The reason for the infection is the disruption of the normal gut microbiome by the administration of antibiotics. It is typically treated with prolonged courses of the antibiotics.

However, recurrences are common and may be discouraging and debilitating. RCDI is defined as the reappearance of the infection at any time following completion of antibiotic therapy. This recurrence is related to abnormal composition of the gut microbial community, or dysbiosis. Individuals who cannot, for whatever reason, restore the normal pattern of enteric bacterial colonization, are prone to RCDI. It is difficult to treat, and can lead to significant loss of quality of life and ill-health.

Comment: See also:


Why we ignore the litany of potentially deadly side effects in TV ads for Big Pharma drugs

Who doesn't laugh at drug commercials with their before-and-after scenes of life-changing improvements accompanied by numerous terrifying side effects? But these drug ads continue because they work. Beyond the overt manipulations, there are more covert ones—including techniques that diminish the impact of the required warning section.

Former advertising executive Jerry Mander observed that his ex-colleagues in advertising don't care if you think their commercial is ridiculous or even false, because the image of the product goes into your head anyway, and your insides will always carry this "neuronal billboard." Mander, in his 1978 book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, instructed us that TV commercials must be viewed with what he called "sensory cynicism."

Nearly two decades after Mander's book was published, a new kind of TV commercial—one requiring a different level of sensory cynicism—appeared in the United States. In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration implemented new rules for direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs. These new rules required that the ad need only mention the major risks and prevalent adverse effects, provide a toll-free number, refer to other information sources, and state the need to see a medical professional. Those new rules made it possible to run a TV drug ad.

Comment: Breaking Big Pharma: Doctors call for immediate drug advertising ban
According to a major U.S. doctor group, drug companies should stop advertising to consumers directly. The doctors claim that the ads push patients to pursue expensive treatments and inflate the demand for extra therapies.
"It's a disgusting, dishonorable way to generate sales - but it works. In 2008, the House Commerce Committee found that every $1,000 spent on drug ads produces 24 new patients,1 and a 2003 research report found that prescription rates for drugs promoted with DTC ads were nearly seven times greater than those without such promos.2 Ethics aside, these consumer hustles have proven to be profit bonanzas." -Dr. Mercola
During a recent vote at the annual meeting in Atlanta, the nation's American Medical Association decided that they were going to call for a ban on consumer drug commercials in magazines and television commercials.

This vote "reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially driven promotions, and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices," said AMA Board Chair-elect Patrice A. Harris in a statement announcing the votes result. "Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate."

When the FDA surveyed 500 U.S. physicians revealed:4
  • About 75% believed that DTC ads caused patients to think the drug works better than it did, and many physicians felt some pressure to prescribe something when patients mentioned DTC ads. [5]
  • Only 40% of physicians believed that patients understood well the possible risks and negative effects of an advertised drug from the DTC ad alone. [5]
  • 8% of physicians felt very pressured and 20% felt somewhat pressured to prescribe the specific brand name drug when the patient asked the physician to do so. [5]


Common cold duration reduced by 20% with high dose Vitamin C

© The Urban Clinic
People with the high levels of vitamin C from their diets are known to have reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and early death. But did you know the wonder vitamin can effectively help you with the common cold?

Earlier studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that taking vitamin C supplements in the short-term reduced both systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) all without any side effects making it an excellent natural alternative to dangerous medications.

A huge amount of data has found significant effects for vitamin C in the prevention and alleviation of symptoms of infections, including the common cold.

Writing in Nutrients, Dr Harri Hemila from the University of Helsinki, Finland, reviews the evidence for vitamin C in a range of infections -- adding that for now, the potential for vitamin C 'is not known'.

Comment: See also: