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Tue, 22 May 2018
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Life Preserver

Reduce inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases with baking soda

Baking soda
© Sci-News.com
The new study indicates that oral NaHCO3 activates a splenic anti-inflammatory pathway and provides evidence that the signals that mediate this response are transmitted to the spleen via a novel neuronal-like function of mesothelial cells.
A team of researchers at Augusta University has shown that when rats or healthy people drink a solution of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3), it becomes a trigger for the stomach to make more acid to digest the next meal and for little-studied mesothelial cells sitting on the spleen to tell the fist-sized organ that there's no need to mount a protective immune response. Their results appear in the Journal of Immunology.

"'It's most likely a hamburger not a bacterial infection,' is basically the message," said study senior author Dr. Paul O'Connor, from the Department of Physiology at Augusta University.

Comment: The many uses and benefits of baking soda:


Beaker

CRISPR/Cas9 silences gene associated with high cholesterol levels through epigenetic regulation

CRISPR/Cas9 epigenetic repression system mice liver
© Charles Gersbach, Duke University
Histological sections of liver from control mice treated with saline (left) and the CRISPR/Cas9 epigenetic repression system in which cholesterol levels were lowered (right) show generally normal and healthy tissue.
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have used a CRISPR/Cas9 genetic engineering technique to turn off a gene that regulates cholesterol levels in adult mice, leading to reduced blood cholesterol levels and gene repression lasting for six months after a single treatment.

This marks the first time researchers have delivered CRISPR/Cas9 repressors for targeted therapeutic gene silencing in adult animal models. The study appeared online in Nature Communications on April 26.

The CRISPR/Cas9 system is based on an antiviral defense mechanism in bacteria in which the Cas9 enzyme recognizes the viral DNA sequences of previous infections and cuts up invading DNA during re-infection. Researchers have engineered the CRISPR/Cas9 system to not only locate and cut specific sequences of DNA, but to also turn on or off the expression of targeted genes without making permanent changes to the DNA coding sequence.

Dollar Gold

Most millionaires expect to still be alive at 100 years of age - survey

Lord Jacob Rothschild
© Dave Benett / Getty Images
Lord Jacob Rothschild
While the average lifespan in China, the US and the majority of Eastern Europe is now in the late 70s, the rich across the globe are optimistic they will live for a century.

According to UBS Wealth Management, 91 percent of the 5,000 investors it has surveyed are "making financial changes due to increased life expectancy." Each of those polled has at least $1 million in investable assets, with healthcare stocks as their favored investment.

Some 53 percent of the world's wealthy expect to still be alive at 100 years of age.

"The idea of living a century was once confined to science fiction," said the UBS report, titled The Century Club. "But no longer. For the world's wealthy, living a 100-year life is not an outcome they consider a mere possibility. It's one they expect."

The outlooks of the high net-worth individuals varied based on where they were from. In Germany, which is acknowledged to provide residents with some of the world's best healthcare, 76 percent of those surveyed said they expected to become centenarians.

Heart

Sweet vision: Chocolate could improve poor eyesight, study finds

Chocolate bars
Good news for those of us who have a sweet tooth - eating dark chocolate could help people with poor eyesight to improve their quality of vision, according to new research in the US.

Scientists from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas found that antioxidant compounds in chocolate called flavanols gave a slight temporary boost to the eyesight of up to 30 young adults.

The authors of the study, published this month in the Ophthalmology edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, say they will need to test their results against a wider sample size.

A group of 30 were given blind tastings of either 72 percent cocoa dark chocolate or milk chocolate.

Display

Blue light toxicity: Study finds artificial light, like that emitted by outdoor LEDs and smartphones, linked to some cancers

LA streetlights LED incandescent

The Sixth Street bridge over the Los Angeles River looks a bit different with old, left, and new streetlights.
Exposure to the kind of blue light emitted by outdoor LEDs, smartphones and tablets may increase your risk of breast or prostate cancer, a new study suggests.

The study, published Monday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, compared previous exposure to artificial lights at night between approximately 2,000 breast or prostate cancer patients and approximately 2,000 controls living in Barcelona and Madrid.

The researchers measured exposure to outdoor artificial light, such as streetlights, using images from the International Space Station and to indoor artificial light using self-reported questionnaires.

Comment: Another way of minimizing exposure to blue light is to wear blue-blocking lenses when using devices or exposing yourself to bright LED light after the sun goes down. But there's a lot more to the use of light in health therapies than simply avoidance of blue light at night, and the picture is much more nuanced than it would first appear.

See also:


Pills

Probiotics cure peanut allergies in 80% of children; potentially can replace vaccines for immune stimulation

probiotic bacteria
Modern medicine has abandoned one of the most important systems of the human body -- the commensal bacteria colonies that live symbiotically within the human gut. These various bacteria species aid in digestion and protect the organs and blood from toxins. They also boost the immune system. Here's how:

The Loyola University Health System in Chicago discovered that certain Bacillus bacteria in the digestive tract form spores during times of stress. When these bacteria spores meet B lymphocytes from the immune system, the molecules bind, activating the B cells to reproduce faster. This action prompts the rapid reproduction of antibodies to help fight against viral and bacterial infections. This science is the future of boosting human immune systems.

Comment: The potential for probiotic treatments for addressing a number of health issues is really just in its infancy. As the science on the gut biome continues to progress, it's quite likely that we will evolve beyond our current methods of conferring immunity. It is also likely, however, that the Big Pharma cartel will hold on as tightly as it can to the current money-making paradigm, stooping to new lows in smears and attacks to maintain the status quo.

See also:


Book 2

Can food-focused medicine cure food-related disease?

food
So-called "modern" food, produced through industrialized, chemical-intensive farming practices, is causing a host of chronic, hard-to-diagnose and hard-to-treat health problems in children and adults, say Michelle Perro, MD and Vincanne Adams, PhD, authors of What's Making Our Children Sick?

The book explores the impact chronic exposure to toxins in our food-pesticides, hormones and antibiotics-is having on children, many of whom suffer from myriad health problems that are often linked to an impaired gut and overtaxed immune system.

The book also explores the power of ecomedicine-medicine that focuses on clean, healthy food.

Question

What is the Precautionary Principle?

precautionary
Better safe than sorry. Err on the side of caution. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We have many ways to say that it is wise to avoid foreseeable problems whenever possible. This idea is so important that the governments of the world created the precautionary principle: a globally agreed upon system for navigating possible risks in situations where scientific understanding is lacking or incomplete.

The most comprehensive and well-known iteration of the precautionary principle comes from the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). While the precautionary principle itself is not a legally-binding document, it is an important guiding principle found in many international treaties-you can read this document in its entirety to learn more.

Life Preserver

Addressing addiction: France cut Heroin overdoses by 79 Percent in 4 years

suboxone

Slips of suboxone, a medication that contains buprenorphine
In the 1980s, France went through a heroin epidemic in which hundreds of thousands became addicted. Mohamed Mechmache, a community activist, described the scene in the poor banlieues back then: "To begin with, they would disappear to shoot up. But after a bit we'd see them all over the place, in the stairwells and halls, the bike shed, up on the roof with the washing lines. We used to collect the syringes on the football pitch before starting to play," he told The Guardian in 2014.

The rate of overdose deaths was rising 10 percent a year, yet treatment was mostly limited to counseling at special substance-abuse clinics.

In 1995, France made it so any doctor could prescribe buprenorphine without any special licensing or training. Buprenorphine, a first-line treatment for opioid addiction, is a medication that reduces cravings for opioids without becoming addictive itself.

People 2

Deep sleep is necessary for emotional resilience

sleep
© Photo by Dmitriy Bilous/Getty
Among all the factors contributing to poor health and early death, stress is perhaps the most pernicious yet commonly overlooked. While the stress response is a lifesaving biological function, enabling you to fight or flee an attacker, this "lifesaving" reaction ends up doing far more harm than good when triggered by financial worries, fear of public speaking, difficult bosses and traffic jams.

The sheer number of stress-inducing situations that face us on a daily basis can make it difficult to turn the stress response off. As a result, you may be marinating in corrosive stress hormones around the clock, and this can have serious consequences, from compounding a weight problem to elevating your blood pressure and raising your risk of a heart attack.1,2

Emotional Resilience Helps Lessen the Impact of Stress

Clearly, stress is an inescapable part of life; it's how you address it that will determine whether it will translate into health problems later on. The stress reaction should dissipate as quickly as possible after the perceived danger has passed. The scientific term for this is "resilience" - your ability to rapidly return to normal, physically and emotionally, after a stressful event.

As explained by wellness coach Elizabeth Scott, diplomate at the American Institute of Stress and author of "8 Keys to Stress Management":3
"More resilient people are able to 'roll with the punches' and adapt to adversity without lasting difficulties; less resilient people have a harder time with stress and life changes, both major and minor. It's been found that those who deal with minor stresses more easily can also manage major crises with greater ease, so resilience has its benefits for daily life as well as for the rare major catastrophe."