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Fri, 28 Oct 2016
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Health & Wellness


Depression as a symptom of inflammation

The idea that depression and other mental health conditions are caused by an imbalance of chemicals (particularly serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain is so deeply ingrained in our collective psyche that it seems almost sacrilegious to question it.
© altered-states.net
Of course Big Pharma has played a role in perpetuating this idea. Antidepressant drugs, which are based on the chemical imbalance theory, represent a $10 billion dollar market in the U.S. alone. According to the CDC, 11 percent of Americans over 12 years old take antidepressants, and they are the second-most prescribed medications (after cholesterol-lowering drugs). Doctors wrote a staggering 254 million prescriptions for antidepressants in 2010. (1)

Yet as popular as this theory has become, it is riddled with problems. For example:
  • Reducing levels of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine does not produce depression in humans, even though it appears to do so in animals.
  • Although some depressed patients have low levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, the majority do not. Several studies indicate that only 25 percent of depressed patients have low levels of these neurotransmitters.
  • Some depressed patients have abnormally high levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, and some patients with no history of depression have low levels of them. (2)

Comment: For more information, listen to our radio show Inflammation: The Root of Disease


Probiotics can aid recovery from spinal cord injuries

© Kigerl et al., 2016
Disrupting the gut microbiome with antibiotics before spinal cord injury (bottom) increases the number of inflammatory cells (brown) in the damaged region of the spine.
Researchers from The Ohio State University have discovered that spinal cord injury alters the type of bacteria living in the gut and that these changes can exacerbate the extent of neurological damage and impair recovery of function. The study, "Gut dysbiosis impairs recovery after spinal cord injury," by Kristina A. Kigerl et al., which will be published online October 17 ahead of issue in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests that counteracting these changes with probiotics could aid patients' recovery from spinal cord injuries.

The trillions of bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tract are collectively known as the gut microbiome. Disruption of this microbial community, or dysbiosis, occurs when nonpathogenic gut bacteria are depleted or overwhelmed by pathogenic inflammatory bacteria. Autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis) have been linked to dysbiosis, and it has been implicated in the onset or progression of neurological disorders, including autism, pain, depression, anxiety, and stroke.

Traumatic spinal cord injuries have secondary effects or comorbidities, including loss of bowel control, that are likely to cause dysbiosis. The authors reasoned that if any changes in the gut microbiome occur, they might, in turn, affect recovery after spinal cord injury.

The benefits of probiotics--more than ever

Probiotics promote a healthy immune system and decrease the incidence of colds, allergies, and even eczema by boosting your immune system. Some experts now claim that your beneficial bacteria may account for as much as 80-90% of your immune function. By lining every square inch of your intestinal tract, they not only provide a barrier to entry for many microorganisms that arrive with your food, they also directly kill many pathogens such as bad bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and yeast. They also function as immunomodulators and produce a number of immune factors such as lactoferrin that directly boost immune function as well as a number of B vitamins that offer nutritional support for the immune system. And finally, it is estimated that some 70% of your immune system cells reside within your colon in a layer of lymphoid tissue just below the surface epithelial cells.
See also:
36 Immune Benefits of Probiotics
The cutting edge of gut health and disease
How your microbiome controls your health

Light Saber

Gut microbiome emerges as new target for controlling viral infections

A recent review by Julie Pfeiffer and Herbert Virgin suggests that studying the interactions between the enteric virome, other microbes in the microbiota and host genes could be a useful tool with therapeutic benefits.

The mammalian gut microbiome is a complex community in which the virome plays an important role in regulating immunity and homeostasis. Nevertheless, recent data indicate that the enteric virome has been profoundly underestimated and researchers say enteric viruses (poliovirus, retrovirus, norovirus, reovirus) can interact with other microbial constituents that inhabit the intestine through both direct and indirect mechanisms. The coordinated interactions between these different microbial kingdoms - including viruses, bacteria, fungi, eukaryotes and helminths (termed "transkingdom interactions") - have important effects on enteric and systemic immune responses. Genetic variations in the host also affect these interactions and can influence the occurrence of enteric viral diseases.

Comment: For more information on how to heal your microbiome, listen to our radio show Some of my best friends are germs:
Download: OGG, MP3 

The human body is teeming with billions -- nay, TRILLIONS -- of microbes with over a thousand different species populating the gut alone. We are covered with bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites from the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet, inside and out. How did we come to be populated with such a vast array of these little beasties and what's their purpose? What influence do they exert on our physical and mental health and, more importantly, what can we do (and what can we avoid doing) to keep our microbial community happy and in balance?

Join us on this episode of the Health and Wellness Show as we take a look at the role these microbiota play from infancy to adulthood, in sickness and in health. Learn how to create poo you can be proud of and a microbiome that works in your favor. Cause -- let's face it -- germs are here to stay! 


Tasmanian devil offers a whole new way to fight antibiotic resistance

© Adam Cox
Scientists have discovered that Tasmanian devil milk contains an arsenal of antimicrobial compounds that can kill some of the most deadly bacterial and fungal infections known to science - including golden staph.

Tasmanian devils were found to produce six different types of these antimicrobial compounds - humans produce just one - and scientists were able to successfully synthesize them in the lab to test their effectiveness against a number of drug-resistant bacterial and fungal pathogens.

When tested against 25 different bacterial and six fungal strains, the six varieties of antimicrobial compounds were found to kill golden staph (Staphylococcus aureus) - responsible for food poisoning, pneumonia, and toxic shock syndrome - and Enterococcus, which can cause urinary tract infections and meningitis.

The compounds also killed Candida krusei - a rare yeast species associated with high mortality - and the deadly and hyper-virulent airborne fungus called Cryptococcus gattii.

Snakes in Suits

Big Pharma's greed in the politics of pain

“Big Pharma continues to not care about people, only about profit,” she told The Fix.
When it comes to campaign contributions, Big Pharma outspends even the powerful gun lobby. But despite the odds, heartbroken parents and addiction survivors continue to fight.

When Jodi Barber found her son Jarrod on the couch barely breathing, she rushed to call 911 while her husband administered CPR. The ambulance whisked Jarrod to the hospital where he was born, but it was too late. Nineteen years after they welcomed him into the world, Barber and her husband said goodbye to him in the same building.

The same year, three of Jarrod's friends also died from using Opana, a prescription opiate. In the six years since his death, Barber has watched many more young lives ended too soon by opiate addiction, and in her mind it is clear who is to blame.

"Big Pharma continues to not care about people, only about profit," she told The Fix.

Pocket Knife

Are you ready? Starting your preparedness journey

Regardless of what you think the future may throw at you there are some things that will put you in good stead whatever happens.

A crisis will fall into one of five categories:
  • Personal
  • Local
  • Widespread
  • National
  • International
  • Global
Each one of them is important if you happen to be the person living through it and dealing with the aftermath of it. The difference between making sure you have enough food in store to see you through the first few weeks after a job loss and having enough in store to see you through a global collapse just comes down to the amount you have in the pantry - the principle behind why there is extra food in the pantry is exactly the same.

Comment: What will the coming civil unrest look like?
According to a survey conducted by the Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation, 55 percent of Americans believe that the government will come to their rescue when the proverbial poop hits the fan because your big brother really cares. Literally, every alternative media outlet could show conclusive proof that an EMP was going to wipe out the power grid. We could conclusively prove that nuclear bombs were going off in 39 American cities in the most horrific false flag attack in world history and it would not make any difference to 55% of all Americans because of their cognitive dissonance.
In Part One of this series, I detailed how the present administration, through Executive Order 13603, is positioning itself to impose martial law and subsequently control all food and food production. Part One further pointed out that despots use the control of food, and subsequent starvation of millions, as a means to subjugate an unruly population.
Read more about the importance of being prepared for anything...


Natural herbal HPV "cure" discovered

Despite the widespread belief that HPV infection is a lethal force against which we only have vaccination and watchful waiting to defend ourselves, both ancient herbal medicine and our body's inherent immune defenses have newly been confirmed to have significant power against it.

A groundbreaking study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, titled, "Clearance of Cervical Human Papillomavirus Infection by Topical Application of Curcumin and Curcumin Containing Polyherbal Cream: A Phase II Randomized Controlled Study," reveals that vaccination and watchful waiting are not the only recourse against HPV infection.

The study is believed to be the first of its kind to find an effective and safe therapeutic intervention for the clearance of established cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Moreover, the study confirmed that HPV infection is self-limiting and clears on its own in 73.3% of the untreated placebo group within 37 days.

The researchers evaluated the effectiveness of two herbal interventions in eliminating HPV infection from the cervix of women who were determined to have HPV infection through Pap smear and HPV DNA tests (PCR), but whose condition had not yet progressed to high grade cervical neoplasias (i.e. cervical pre-cancer).

Comment: Are HPV vaccines worthless? Study: HPV infections not necessary for development of cervical cancer


Placebo pills work for chronic back pain even when patients are in on the ruse

It is conventional medical wisdom that placebo effects depend on patients' belief they are getting pharmacologically active medication. A recent paper is the first to demonstrate that patients who knowingly took a placebo in conjunction with traditional treatment for lower back pain saw more improvement than those given traditional treatment alone.

Joint senior author Ted Kaptchuk, director of the Program for Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says:
"These findings turn our understanding of the placebo effect on its head. This new research demonstrates that the placebo effect is not necessarily elicited by patients' conscious expectation that they are getting an active medicine, as long thought.

Taking a pill in the context of a patient-clinician relationship, even if you know it's a placebo, is a ritual that changes symptoms and probably activates regions of the brain that modulate symptoms."

Comment: The placebo effect is so...effective it should be used in medical settings everywhere.


Exercise triggers production of a molecule that repairs the brain

© unknown
Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa have discovered that a molecule triggered by running can help repair certain kinds of brain damage in animal models. They found that this molecule, called VGF nerve growth factor, helps to heal the protective coating that surrounds and insulates nerve fibres. Their study, published in Cell Reports, could pave the way for new treatments for multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative disorders that involve damaged nerve insulation.

"We are excited by this discovery and now plan to uncover the molecular pathway that is responsible for the observed benefits of VGF," said Dr. Picketts, senior author of the paper and a senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and professor at the University of Ottawa. "What is clear is that VGF is important to kick-start healing in damaged areas of the brain."

The team made this discovery while studying mice genetically modified to have a small cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance and movement. These mice had trouble walking and lived only 25 to 40 days.

However, if these mice were given the opportunity to run freely on a wheel, they lived over 12 months, a more typical mouse lifespan. The running mice also gained more weight and acquired a better sense of balance compared to their sedentary siblings. However, they needed to keep exercising to maintain these benefits. If the running wheel was removed, their symptoms came back and they did not live as long.

Comment: Related articles:


Unhealthy relationships increase risk of infection in both mother and child

© unknown
Pregnant women dissatisfied in their relationship have an increased risk of infectious diseases. This also affects their children.

This is the conclusion in Roger Ekeberg Henriksen's PhD thesis, recently defended at the University of Bergen.
"My study does not prove that the first thing leads to the second. But those who report that they are dissatisfied in their relationship more often report illnesses during pregnancy. Their children are also reported ill more often during their first year."

"If you compare the group of pregnant women with the lowest satisfaction to the group with highest satisfaction in their relationship, the first group's risk of becoming ill is more than twice that of the second group."

Comment: For an in-depth look at the connection between chronic stress and physical health, we highly recommend the work of Dr. Gabor Maté, author of When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection. He has also authored and co-authored a number of other books and there are many YouTube videos of him speaking at length on a range of related topics, from ADD to addiction.