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Thu, 26 Apr 2018
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Health & Wellness


The brain suffers most from a poor diet

By now, the majority of us realize that having a poor diet and lifestyle is directly related to our overall health. In many ways, healthy eating has become somewhat trendy as people are starting to understand that they do indeed have control over their own health and are ready to take responsibility for their lives.

Unfortunately, there are still a large number of people who generally 'feel fine,' and thus don't realize the damage they actually may be causing to their bodies. Luckily, the human body is an amazing organism that, if given the right environment is perfectly capable of healing itself.

Comment: Read more about how food affects the brain:

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The Health & Wellness Show: Broccoli for Brains: Do you have to be mental to be a vegan?

Veganism, the strict practice of abstaining from the consumption and use of animal products, is on the rise. Reportedly, there are about 1.6 million vegans in the United States. The trendiness of being vegan dwarfs their actual representation in the population and a closer look at vegans tends to reveal something not quite right. Occasionally, a news story pops up where a vegan does something that most folks would find utterly bonkers such as wanting to feed dogs vegan diets, harassing meat-eating restaurant patrons, sitting idly by while a vegan baby dies of malnutrition, and most recently, shooting up people at a YouTube office.

We don't mean to cast aspersions, but are vegans nuts? Join us for this episode of The Health and Wellness Show where we explore this question and the very real underlying dietary reasons for why this may be so.

And stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment, where she speaks about the inappropriateness of vegetarian diets for pets.

Running Time: 01:43:49

Download: OGG, MP3

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Microscope 1

Viral rescue: The germs' eye view of infection

© Photo courtesy David Gregory & Debbie Marshall/Wellcome Images
Colour-enhanced image of the bacteriophage T4.
She was only 22 years old, but her attending doctor in Texas was running out of options. The sticky substance coating the patient's lungs was par for the course with cystic fibrosis (CF); mucus is a signature of this heritable, progressive and incurable disease. So, too, is infection. But this time, a particularly nasty and stubborn bug had taken hold. The persistent presence of bacteria was putting an additional burden on the young woman's already overtaxed respiratory system, and chronic infection degrades lung function. The best antibiotics Western medicine had to offer had failed.

The Scottish physician Alexander Fleming discovered the first modern antibiotic, penicillin, in 1928. In 1945, Fleming issued a warning: should we misuse or overuse antibiotics, bacteria can and will resist. Today, resistance has become a scourge of modern medicine. Not only did we deploy antibiotics to save lives, but for commercial gain - pumping them into industrial farm animals, from cows and pigs to chicken and fish. Under pressure from this assault, bacterial populations did what they'd done for aeons: evolve or die. Those strains that could survive antibiotics are now winning the evolutionary race, and we are progressively running out of cures.


Getting only 6 hours of sleep is linked to mental health issues

cellphone in bed
© plainpicture/photocake.de
It’s not worth skimping on sleep.
You might think you can get by on 5 or 6 hours' sleep a night, but people who get less than 7 hours are more likely to have mood or mental health problems.

A severe lack of sleep has been linked to mood disorders, depression, anxiety and Alzheimer's disease. But much less is known about the effects of skimping on a little sleep each night, missing the recommended amount by an hour or so.

According to the US National Sleep Foundation, most adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, while 6 hours may be okay for some people. Anything under 5 hours is deemed insufficient.

Comment: See also:


Vaccine fear mongering: WHO warns Miami at risk of yellow fever outbreak

yellow fever hazard
Miami is at risk of a deadly yellow fever outbreak because the disease could thrive there but the city has no checks on travelers arriving from endemic zones, a study to be published by the World Health Organization showed.

Yellow fever is spread by the same mosquito that causes Zika virus, which spread through the Americas after being detected in Brazil in 2015 and has been reported in southern Florida and southern Texas.

The U.S. Centres for Disease Control advises that yellow fever is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America, and is a very rare cause of illness in U.S. travelers.

But the study, "International travel and the urban spread of yellow fever", showed that almost 2.8 million people flew to the United States from endemic yellow fever areas in 2016.

Unlike some countries, the United States does not require travelers from such places to show proof of yellow fever vaccination.


Carrageenan: The toxic extract lurking in your organic food

carrageenan caution
Carrageenan, a food additive extracted from red seaweed, is commonly added as a thickening agent to processed foods, particularly dairy products, certain deli meats and other prepared foods. Since it comes from seaweed, many people assume carrageenan is natural - perhaps even healthy - and along with conventional foods this additive is often found in "natural" and organic products.

The problem is that carrageenan is not nutritious, nor is it natural or certified organic. It's a processed additive extracted from seaweed using alkali, and research suggests it's highly inflammatory, triggering an immune reaction that may cause inflammation in your gastrointestinal system and related problems.1 As such, organic watchdog groups such as The Cornucopia Institute have called for it to be removed from the U.S. list of approved organic ingredients.

In December 2016, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) expert advisory board, voted to do just that. After hearing evidence on the potential health risks and the availability of alternative ingredients, NOSB voted to remove carrageenan from the organic ingredients list. Unfortunately, the vote is technically only a recommendation, and while the USDA has historically almost always sided with their expert panel, in April 2018 they did just the opposite.

Comment: More on carrageenan:

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Flesh-eating disease Buruli ulcer increasing at alarming rate in Australia

Buruli ulcer
© Haydel & Otto
Mycobacterium Ulcerans
A flesh-eating disease known as the Buruli ulcer, which is usually found in West and Central Africa, has been increasing at an alarming rate in Australia over the past two years, especially in the state of Victoria.

A report published Tuesday in the Medical Journal of Australia describes the disease as a "worsening epidemic, defined by cases rapidly increasing in number, becoming more severe in nature and occurring in new geographic areas."

Comment: Well that's disturbing.

See also:


Cure for cavities? Researchers use proteins to regrow tooth enamel

dental cavity procedure
Researchers at the University of Washington have designed a convenient and natural product that uses proteins to rebuild tooth enamel and treat dental cavities.

The "modern" theory of dental disease suggests that we have an almost total lack of power and responsibility concerning this condition. Children's cavities are on the rise, and children today who have cavities are requiring more expensive and extensive dental surgery to hide the problems of dental decay.

The research finding was first published in ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering.

"Remineralization guided by peptides is a healthy alternative to current dental health care," said lead author Mehmet Sarikaya, professor of materials science and engineering and adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Oral Health Sciences.

Comment: See also:

Life Preserver

A Pre-agricultural Diet Promises More Than Immunomodulators in Multiple Sclerosis and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating autoimmune neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system that affects the brain and spinal cord. Autoimmune means that defenses in the body that normally protect us from infections get confused, attacking the person's own tissues. According to Dr. Ricardo Buzó and Dr. Jorge Correale, experts in this disease, "myelin is the object of attack in multiple sclerosis, which is like the rubber coating of a cable. In this analogy the rubber is made of fat. When myelin is lost, two phenomena occur: the impulse is conducted more slowly and a short circuit occurs, because the information travels where it does not have to travel."

One of the forms of multiple sclerosis is the relapses or remissions form, representing 70% of all cases. It can be very multifaceted with a single symptom or several of them. One of the most common is eye pain and loss of vision, usually from only one eye. The other frequent symptoms are sensory and motor ones. Sometimes balance disorders appear.

Multiple sclerosis may progress steadily or in acute attacks, followed by temporary remission of symptoms.

As a result of the attack on myelin, patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) then suffer from muscle spasticity, severe pain, muscle weakness, imbalance or loss of coordination, chills, loss of vision and difficulty falling asleep.

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Epstein-Barr virus linked to seven serious diseases, and possibly 94 more

Epstein Barr Virus virions
© DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0030430.g001
This electron microscopic image of two Epstein Barr Virus virions (viral particles) shows round capsids—protein-encased genetic material—loosely surrounded by the membrane envelope.
A far-reaching study conducted by scientists at Cincinnati Children's reports that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) - best known for causing mononucleosis - also increases the risks for some people of developing seven other major diseases.

Those diseases are: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes. Combined, these seven diseases affect nearly 8 million people in the U.S.

Study results published April 12 in the journal Nature Genetics. The project was led by three scientists: John Harley, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology (CAGE) at Cincinnati Children's and a faculty member of the Cincinnati VA Medical Center; Leah Kottyan, PhD, an immunobiology expert with CAGE; and Matthew Weirauch, PhD, a computational biologist with the center. Critical contributions were provided by Xiaoting Chen, PhD, and Mario Pujato, PhD, both also in CAGE.

Comment: That there may be a viral connection to many other diseases, including autoimmune conditions, is very intriguing. Given that EBV is so ubiquitous, further developments along this line of research could prove to be quite promising.

See also: