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Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Canada Declares BPA Toxic
October 19, 2010
Last week, the government of Canada formally declared bisphenol A (BPA) to be a toxic substance. The US still denies it.
This comes after Canada’s first national physical study on BPA revealed that 91% of Canadians have the chemical in their bodies, with teenagers having the highest concentrations.
As we have noted in numerous Pulse articles and Action Alerts, there are serious health risks from exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical BPA. As a result, there have been nationwide efforts to ban it from food and beverage containers, especially those used by babies and children. ANH-USA has petitioned the FDA to review the widespread use of BPA in children’s dental products, but the Agency has not deigned to respond.
Animal tests show that BPA, a plastics hardener that is also a synthetic estrogen, can cause reproductive and behavioral abnormalities and lower intellectual ability, and sets the stage for cancers, obesity, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.
The New York Times reports that Canada’s move was strenuously fought by its chemical industry. Designating BPA as toxic will make it easier to ban the use of BPA in specific products through regulations rather than by amending legislation, a cumbersome and slow process, according to an official at Environment Canada.
Other encouraging Alzheimer’s news comes from the University of California at Irvine, where a study recently showed that mice with cognitive impairment had dramatic improvement with niacinamide. Niacinamide is one of the water-soluble B-complex vitamins known as B-3. Niacin, or nicotinic acid, is another form. When an amide molecule attaches itself to niacin, it becomes niacinamide (also called nicotinamide). The body can convert niacinamide back into niacin but is unable to make niacinamide out of niacin. One major difference is that in doses exceeding 50 mg, niacin typically produces flushing of the skin, but niacinamide does not. Niacin and niacinamide also have different applications. In the niacinamide form, it reduces inflammation. Since many studies indicate that inflammation may trigger Alzheimer’s, researchers wondered if niacinamide would help Alzheimer’s.
Researchers gave mice the equivalent of a human dose of 2000 to 3000 milligrams of niacinamide, and the results were shocking. “Cognitively, they were cured,” said Dr. Kim Green, the head of the study. “The vitamin completely prevented cognitive decline associated with the disease, bringing them back to the level they’d be at if they didn’t have the pathology.” Niacinamide also improved memory in mice without Alzheimer’s.
Pioneering integrative physician and researcher Jonathan V. Wright, MD, notes that niacinamide has been widely used for a variety of purposes for more than 60 years, and its safety is well known. He reports that as far back as 1943, William Kaufman, PhD, MD, a psychiatrist and exceptionally thorough clinical researcher, showed that niacinamide deficiency causes impaired memory, easy distractibility, an inability to concentrate, mental fog, slowed thoughts, difficulty comprehending, unwarranted anxiety, a lack of initiative, being uncooperative or quarrelsome, etc. And he discovered that all of these symptoms—and many more—“disappeared or…improved considerably” with the use of niacinamide.
Niacinamide isn’t the only B vitamin that may help significantly with Alzheimer’s. A study from Oxford University found that fairly high dosages of three B vitamins (folic acid, B6 and B12) could reduce the rate of brain atrophy in patients with mild cognitive impairment—because these vitamins reduce homocysteine. (Other studies have found that TMG, or trimethylglycine, also controls homocysteine and is useful if the B vitamins are not enough.) Around 50% of people with mild cognitive impairment go on to develop Alzheimer’s.
But this study, widely trumpeted in the world press, wasn’t quite what it seemed. It was a study of B vitamins, yes, but it was at the same time a study of a patented drug. How could that be? Why was a drug company happy to see the curative role of B vitamins established? Here’s why: TrioBe Plus—the formulation of the B vitamin used in the study, is a patented drug, even though it is really just a blend of three ordinary vitamins and shouldn’t have received a patent. It is made by a Swedish drug company, Meda AB, based on a patent held by the chief researcher. As our colleagues at ANH-Int’l point out, the lead author of the research had to declare a conflict of interest because the patent for the use of these vitamins in this particular form is in his name. He will therefore personally gain massively if your local doctor starts to prescribe this to everyone who’s complaining about losing their car keys on a regular basis.
So the pharmaceutical industry is once again patenting and promoting a drug that’s not a drug, but is merely three forms of vitamin B you can get from any health food store. Supplements are not drugs—but drug companies are so unsuccessful in producing new drugs that they are looking greedily at supplements.
Monday, October 18, 2010
The obesity, estrogen, cancer connection.
Endometrial cancer is the fifth most common cancer among women. Its primary risk factors include exposure to high estrogen levels and obesity, which is known to elevate chances of developing the disease by between three and five fold.
According to a recent study, vitamin D supplementation “inhibited the carcinogenic effect of obesity on the endometrium”, in mouse models of obesity.
Sources: Dietary Vitamin D Exposure Prevents Obesity-Induced Increase in Endometrial Cancer in Pten+/− Mice
Study Links Shorter Sleep Durations with Greater Risks of Mental Distress in Young Adults
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
DARIEN, IL – Young adults who get fewer than eight hours of sleep per night have greater risks of psychological distress, a combination of high levels of depressive and anxious symptoms, according to a study in the Sept. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.
Using an average self-reported nightly sleep duration of eight to nine hours as a reference, the study found a linear association between sleep durations of less than eight hours and psychological distress in young adults between 17 and 24 years of age. The risk of psychological distress increased by 14 percent for each hour of nightly sleep loss, such that those sleeping less than six hours a night were twice as likely to be experiencing distress as average sleepers. A similar association was found between sleep duration and persistent psychological distress; the risk that a person with psychological distress at baseline would be distressed at the one-year follow-up increased by five percent for each hour of nightly sleep loss after adjusting for potential confounders (RR 1.05). Long sleep durations of more than nine hours showed no association with distress at any time point.
“In young adults already experiencing distress, the fewer hours they sleep the worse the outcome across the range of sleep hours,” said lead author Nick Glozier, MBBS, MRCPsych, PhD, associate professor of psychological medicine at the Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Centre for Integrated Research and Understanding of Sleep (CIRUS) at the University of Sydney in Australia.
The study also found that the risk for the onset of psychological distress was increased only in those young adults with extremely short sleep durations. Participants without psychological distress at baseline who reported sleeping five hours or less per night were three times more likely to be distressed one year later (RR 3.25).
“Short sleep duration increases the risk of a new onset of distress only among the very shortest sleepers, and doesn’t appear to have a psychological impact in young adults in good mental health with moderately short sleep durations, such as seven hours a night” said Glozier.
In 2007 the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimated that 17.9 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years experienced serious psychological distress in the past year. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that 26 percent of all young people between 16 and 24 years of age had a mental disorder in 2007.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Researchers in Japan recently studied the effect of vitamin D3 supplements (1,200 IU per day from December through March) on the incidence of seasonal influenza A in school children.
Influenza A infection occurred in 18.6% of children in a placebo group versus 10.8% of children who received the supplement – a 42% reduction in risk among those taking the supplement.
The reduction was more prominent among children who had not been taking other vitamin D supplements.
Influenza infection was not reduced among a subgroup of asthmatic children but those who became infected were significantly less likely to have an asthmatic attack if they received vitamin D than if they had not.
Supplementation did not affect the incidence of influenza B (which is less common than influenza A and is not seasonal).14
A review of medical studies published from 1950 to 2009 that looked, among other variables, at vitamin D intake and asthma suggested that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to airway inflammation, decreased lung function and poor asthma control.
The researchers conducting the review hypothesized that vitamin D supplementation may lead to improved asthma control, although this cannot be established as many of the studies were not specifically designed to test the effects of vitamin D supplementation on patients with asthma.15
As stated by the New York Times:
"In the new study, mammograms, combined with modern treatment, reduced the death rate by 10 percent, but the study data indicated that the effect of mammograms alone could be as low as 2 percent or even zero.
A 10 percent reduction would mean that if 1,000 50-year-old women were screened over a decade, 996 women rather than 995.6 would not die from the cancer — an effect so tiny it may have occurred by chance."
A valid non toxic option would be Thermography where subtle changes in tissue temperature are measured. This relatively new technology has become more popular recently with many states approving licensing.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
A September 23, 2010 article in the New England Journal of Medicine announced that, finally, the FDA has stepped forward and decided on regulatory action for Avandia, a diabetes drug that last year claimed 1,354 lives as a result of cardiac-associated problems.
The FDA is restricting access to Avandia by requiring GSK to submit a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS.
Under the ruling, the drug will be available to patients not already taking it only if they are unable to achieve glycemic control using other medications and, in consultation with their health care professional, decide not to take a different drug for medical reasons.
Current users of Avandia will be able to continue using the medication if they appear to be benefiting from it and they acknowledge that they understand these risks. Doctors will have to attest to and document their patients’ eligibility; patients will have to review statements describing the cardiovascular safety concerns.
But did the FDA go far enough – could it be too little, too late?
Unlike the US FDA, British regulators have ruled that GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia could lead to heart attacks or strokes, and benefits no longer outweigh the risks.
And so last week, they told 90,000 British diabetes patients to stop taking it.
Evidence linking Avandia to an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke has been building since 2007, and GSK has agreed to pay $460 million in damages to settle about 10,000 lawsuits in America linking its use to patients suffering serious medical setbacks. But the US FDA has chosen only to monitor the drug, rather than ask for a recall.
mercola sept 2010
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