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Thu, 24 Aug 2017
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Epidemic of Vitamin D Deficiency Sweeping the World

There is an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency sweeping across our modern world, and it's an epidemic of such depth and seriousness that it makes the H1N1 swine flu epidemic look like a case of the sniffles by comparison. Vitamin D deficiency is not only alarmingly widespread, it's also a root cause of many other serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease.

A new study published in the March, 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that a jaw-dropping 59 percent of the population is vitamin D deficient. In addition, nearly 25 percent of the study subjects were found to have extremely low levels of vitamin D.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Richard Kremer at the McGill University Health Center, said "Abnormal levels of vitamin D are associated with a whole spectrum of diseases, including cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders."

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Vitamin D Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Helps Prevent Diabetes

High-dose vitamin D supplements may help increase the body's sensitivity to the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin, thus reducing the risk of diabetes, researchers have found.

Insulin resistance (or insensitivity) occurs when the body's tissues stop responding as strongly to the presence of insulin. As a consequence, the cells uptake less sugar from the bloodstream, producing the elevated glucose levels characteristic of diabetes.

In the current study, conducted by researchers from Massey University and published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers randomly assigned 81 South Asian women between the ages of 23 and 68 to take either a placebo or 4,000 IU of vitamin D once per day. All participants suffered from insulin sensitivity at the start of the study, but none were taking diabetes drugs or vitamin D supplements larger than 1,000 IU per day.

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Vitamin D Slashes Risk of Bowel Cancer by 40 Percent

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that high levels of vitamin D help to lower the risk of developing bowel cancer. The study, which was the largest of its kind, evaluated nearly 2,500 people with and without bowel cancer to see how vitamin D plays a role in preventing the disease.

Scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, and Imperial College London, compared 1,248 bowel cancer patients with 1,248 control group patients. Observers were able to make a clear connection between bowel cancer and low vitamin D levels, indicating that maintaining higher blood serum levels of vitamin D may help to prevent it.

Vitamin D is primarily derived from exposure to natural sunlight where the skin converts UVB rays to the vitamin D. During the winter months or other times when sun exposure is limited, though, it can be difficult to get adequate levels of vitamin D. Few foods are rich in vitamin D but a few of the best sources include fish, cod liver oil, and raw milk.

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ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder Linked to Phthalate Exposure of Mother

Prenatal exposure to phthalates has been linked to problem behavior in children. A collaborative study by Mount Sinai, Cornell University and U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention connects attention deficits and aggressiveness in children to levels of prenatal phthalate exposure.

Researchers analyzed phthalate metabolite levels in urine samples of 404 multiethnic women who were pregnant with their first babies. The mothers were not told of the urine test results. When contacted for follow up visits four to nine years later, 188 women consented. They completed questionnaires designed to determine their child's reasoning skills as well as behavior. They were interviewed by researchers unaware of the previous urine test results.

The study showed that mothers with higher concentrations of low molecular weight phthalates reported poorer behavior in their children. The behavioral indicators were highly consistent with conduct and reasoning problems associated with ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

Light Saber

Tamiflu Anti-Viral Drug Revealed as Hoax: Roche Studies Based on Scientific Fraud

When it comes to selling chemicals that claim to treat H1N1 swine flu, the pharmaceutical industry's options are limited to two: Vaccines and anti-virals. The most popular anti-viral, by far, is Tamiflu, a drug that's actually derived from a Traditional Chinese Medicine herb called star anise.

But Tamiflu is no herb. It's a potentially fatal concentration of isolated chemical components that have essentially been bio-pirated from Chinese medicine. And when you isolate and concentrate specific chemicals in these herbs, you lose the value (and safety) of full-spectrum herbal medicine.

That didn't stop Tamiflu's maker, Roche, from trying to find a multi-billion-dollar market for its drug. In order to tap into that market, however, Roche needed to drum up some evidence that Tamiflu was both safe and effective.

Eye 1

Breakthrough New Eye Treatment Plays Part in Winning Olympic Gold

© Newscom
Beverly Hills, California - According to the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute, U.S. bobsled Capt. Steve Holcomb may do more than just bring home gold at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. The story of how Holcomb went from going blind due to a degenerative eye condition called Keratoconus to having his vision restored with a breakthrough new medical procedure called C3-R is raising global awareness of the C3-R treatment.

"Keratoconus can be a devastating condition, and it affects millions of people worldwide," says Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler of Beverly Hills, California, pioneer of the C3-R treatment.

"Keratoconus can take away from people the ability to read, to drive a car, and to just live a normal life. When Steve first came to my office he was facing having to leave his sport because he could no longer see well enough to drive his bobsled downhill."

Holcomb's coaches and the USOC weren't ready to give up on their best driver. They researched C3-R, then a relatively new procedure, and thought it was the best chance to save Holcomb's eyesight. The USOC and the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation took the exceptional step of paying for Holcomb to have the treatment.

"Previously, the only treatment for severe Keratoconus was a cornea transplant," says Dr. Boxer Wachler. "This is why C3-R is being seen as such a breakthrough. C3-R is non-surgical. It uses vitamin applications and light to strengthen the cornea. C3-R can cure the disease without the need for a cornea transplant. The treatment only takes 30 minutes and can be done in a doctor's office."

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Flu shots futile: study

Nursing Home Test; 'Didn't find' proof immunization stops virus

A new Canadian-led study has added to a simmering scientific dispute over flu-shot campaigns, concluding that immunizing nursing-home workers does nothing to cut the number of confirmed influenza cases among the homes' elderly residents.

Coming at the end of the largest flu-vaccination campaign in Canadian history, the review of previous studies calls for stepped-up research into alternative, lower-tech ways to combat the virus, such as improved hand washing.

"What troubled us is that [shots] had no effect on laboratory-confirmed influenza," said Dr. Roger Thomas of the University of Calgary, lead author of the paper published by the respected Cochrane Library.

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Study: Nicotine Takes Time to Accumulate in Brain

A new study shows that nicotine builds up in the brain over the course of smoking a whole cigarette.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center put to rest the idea that each puff on a cigarette causes a spike of nicotine to the brain.

In fact, it takes a while for the nicotine to reach its peak effect.

The researchers used a PET scan on 13 addicted smokers and ten non-addicted smokers to see which parts of the brain lit up and when.

The addicts took longer to get all the nicotine up to their brains, which surprised researchers.

Comment: See other articles on nicotine and its beneficial effects:

Warning: Nicotine Seriously Improves Health

Nicotine Activates More than Just the Brain's Pleasure Pathways

Nicotine Benefits

Brain Cells Work Differently than Previously Thought: Nicotine Helps to Spark Creativity

Nicotine Lessens Symptoms Of Depression In Nonsmokers


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DASH Diet Fuels the Brain

Following DASH Diet Improves Brain Activity in Overweight Adults

A diet designed to help lower blood pressure may also boost brainpower.

A new study shows the DASH diet in combination with regular exercise improved mental activity by 30% in overweight adults compared with those who didn't diet or exercise. The DASH diet was developed by the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension study and emphasizes low-fat dairy products and low-cholesterol foods as well as carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables.

Researchers say high blood pressure affects about 50% of adults aged 60 and older and increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of mental decline like dementia.

Lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise, have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve brain activity, but they say this is the first study to look at the combined effects of diet and exercise on brainpower in overweight people with high blood pressure.

Family

Brain Activity Predicts Emotional Resiliency Following a Fight with a Partner

Common wisdom tells us that for a successful relationship partners shouldn't go to bed angry. But new research from a psychologist at Harvard University suggests that brain activity - specifically in the region called the lateral prefrontal cortex - is a far better indicator of how someone will feel in the days following a fight with his or her partner.

Individuals who show more neural activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex are less likely to be upset the day after fighting with partners, according to a study in this month's Biological Psychiatry. The findings point to the lateral prefrontal cortex's role in emotion regulation, and suggest that improved function within this region may also improve day-to-day mood.

"What we found, as you might expect, was that everybody felt badly on the day of the conflict with their partners," says lead author Christine Hooker, assistant professor of psychology in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "But the day after, people who had high lateral prefrontal cortex activity felt better and the people who had low lateral prefrontal cortex activity continued to feel badly."