Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vitamin D better than vaccines at preventing flu, report claims

Oliver Gillie
The risk of children suffering from flu can be halved if they take vitamin D, doctors in Japan have found. The finding has implications for flu epidemics since vitamin D, which is naturally produced by the human body when exposed to direct sunlight, has no significant side effects, costs little and can be several times more effective than anti-viral drugs or vaccine.

Only one in ten children, aged six to 15 years, taking the sunshine vitamin in a clinical trial came down with flu compared with one in five given a dummy tablet. Mitsuyoshi Urashima, the Japanese doctor who led the trial, told The Times that vitamin D was more effective than vaccines in preventing flu.

Vitamin D was found to be even more effective when the comparison left out children who were already given extra vitamin D by their parents, outside the trial. Taking the sunshine vitamin was then shown to reduce the risk of flu to a third of what it would otherwise be.

Altogether 354 children took part in the trial, which took place during the winter of 2008-09, before the swine flu epidemic. Vitamin D was found to protect against influenza A, which caused last year’s epidemic, but not against the less common influenza B.

The trial, which was double blind, randomised, and fully controlled scientifically, was conducted by doctors and scientists from Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan.

The children were given a daily dose of 1200 IUs (international units) of vitamin D over a period of three months. In the first month children in the group taking the vitamin became ill just as often as those taking the dummy tablet. But by the second month, when the vitamin level in the children’s blood was higher, the advantage of the vitamin was clear.

The Japanese scientists, writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, say that the anti-viral drugs zanamivir and oseltamivir reduce risk of flu infection by 8 per cent in children who have been exposed to infection, compared with a 50 per cent or greater reduction with vitamin D.

Anti-virals are also too expensive, and possibly too toxic, to be given to the population as a whole whereas vitamin D has additional benefits. The sunshine vitamin not only prevents bone fractures but is also believed to reduce risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other illness, including various bacterial as well as viral infections.

The Japanese finding supports a theory that low blood levels of the sunshine vitamin occurring in winter explain why flu epidemics generally peak between December and March.

Vitamin D activates the innate immune system, enabling the body to produce several proteins such as defensin and cathelicidin which trigger cell activity and disable viruses.

Dr Urashima said: “Vitamin D and vaccine work by quite different mechanisms. Vitamin D enhances innate immunity while vaccine enhances acquired immunity. So we do not have to select only one way of prevention, rather we should do both ways, I think.”

Dr John Oxford, professor of virology at Queen Mary School of Medicine, London, said: “This is a timely study. It will be noticed by scientists. It fits in with the seasonal pattern of flu. There is an increasing background of solid science that makes the vitamin D story credible. But this study needs to be replicated. If it is confirmed we might think of giving vitamin D at the same time as we vaccinate.”

Dale Giessman, DC
350 John Muir Pkwy., Suite 265
Brentwood, CA 94513

Friday, July 23, 2010

Olive oil’s anti-inflammatory benefits linked to gene expression

By Lorraine Heller, 30-Jun-2010

Phenolic compounds in olive oil could help repress genes linked to inflammation, thereby providing a molecular basis for the reduction of heart disease risk already linked to the consumption of olive oil.

The study, published in Biomed Central (BMC) Genomics, tested the impact of consuming an olive-oil rich breakfast in people suffering from metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of conditions linked to heart disease and diabetes.

“This study shows that intake of virgin olive oil based breakfast, which is rich in phenol compounds is able to repress in vivo expression of several pro-inflammatory genes, thereby switching activity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to a less deleterious inflammatory profile,” wrote the researchers.

“These results provide at least a partial molecular basis for reduced risk of cardiovascular disease observed in Mediterranean countries, where virgin olive oil represents a main source of dietary fat.”

Previous studies had shown that the consumption of olive oil with a high phenolic content could help reduce pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidant and pro-thrombotic markers compared with the consumption of low phenols virgin olive oil.

The researchers of the current study set out to investigate whether the beneficial effects of olive oil could be linked to gene activity. Their approach was to identify expression changes in genes which could be mediated by olive oil phenol compounds.

Study details

The study, which followed a double-blinded, randomized, crossover design, involved 20 patients suffering from metabolic syndrome. After an initial six-week wash-out period during which participants did not take supplements, vitamins or drugs, they were fed two virgin olive oil-based breakfasts with high (398 ppm) and low (70 ppm) content of phenolic compounds.

All participants consumed a similar low-fat, carbohydrate rich diet during the study period to eliminate potential impacts resulting from their usual dietary habits.

After tracking the expression of over 15,000 human genes in blood cells during the after-meal period, the researchers identified 79 genes that were underexpressed (or turned down) by the high phenol olive oil, and 19 genes that were overexpressed (or turned up).

“Many of those genes have been linked to obesity, high blood-fat levels, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Importantly, several of the turned-down genes are known promoters of inflammation, so those genes may be involved in ‘cooling off’ inflammation that often accompanies metabolic syndrome,” writes the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS), which was involved in the study.

The researchers concluded that their findings strengthen the relationship between inflammation, obesity and diet, and provide evidence at transcription level of control of healthy effects derived from virgin olive oil consumption in humans.

However, they added that “it would be interesting to evaluate whether these beneficial effects are maintained after prolonged feeding and if these effects are carried out by one or several olive oil phenolic compounds, or if they are consequence of a synergic effect of the total phenolic fraction.”

Remember you can get some great tasting local olive oil right down Balfour Rd at the McCauly Bros. store. This is the xxtra-virgin oil, single press which has the most loaded with polyphenols, the most important component of olive oil. By the way ask for the REMAJO brand grown on the Giessman property.

Dale Giessman, DC
350 John Muir Pkwy., Suite 265
Brentwood, CA 94513

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The natural wine and tea components appear to stop or slow the initiation, promotion, and progression of prostate cancer.

(NaturalNews) A major new discovery just reported in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) journal could be a major advance in the treatment of prostate cancer. Not only have the phytonutrients in red wine and green tea been found to halt prostate cancer growth, a team of French and Japanese scientists are reporting they know exactly why this occurs.

Antioxidants known as polyphenols in red wine and green tea produce a combined effect that disrupts an important cell signaling pathway necessary for prostate cancer to thrive. The result? The natural wine and tea components appear to stop or slow the initiation, promotion, and progression of prostate cancer.
Dr. Dale's comment:

Mother nature continues to show profound effects on our health as is described in this new study on polyphenols from red wine and green tea. Not only does this show the protective qualities but also the halting and normalizing after cancer cells have established themselves. So drink to your health, feel free to consume green tea irresponsibly but your red wine responsibly.

The research team conducted lab experiments which showed green tea and wine polyphenols killed prostate cancer cells by inhibiting sphingosine kinase-1/sphingosine 1-phosphate (SphK1/S1P), the cell pathway that's essential for malignancies to survive and thrive. "Not only does SphK1/S1P signaling pathway play a role in prostate cancer, but it also plays a role in other cancers, such as colon cancer, breast cancer, and gastric cancers," Gerald Weissmann, MD, editor-in-chief of the FASEB Journal, pointed out in a statement to the media.

For their research, the scientists studied mice which were genetically altered to develop a human prostate cancer tumor. The rodents were either treated or not treated with green tea and wine polyphenols. The tumors in the mice given the green tea and wine mixture stopped growing.

Then, in order to study the preventive effects of polyphenols, the scientists carried out another experiment using three groups of mice implanted with human prostate cancer cells. One group was given plain drinking water, the second received drinking water with a green tea compound known as EGCg and the third group was given drinking water with a different green tea compound called polyphenon E. The results showed cancerous tumors dramatically decreased in the mice drinking either of the green tea extracts.

"The profound impact that the antioxidants in red wine and green tea have on our bodies is more than anyone would have dreamt just 25 years ago," Dr. Weissmann said in the press statement."As long as they are taken in moderation, all signs show that red wine and green tea may be ranked among the most potent 'health foods' we know."

Source: Natural News

Dale Giessman, DC
350 John Muir Pkwy., Suite 265
Brentwood, CA 94513

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pecans: Handful a day keeps aging at bay

I'm so glad to read this, now some of my favorite foods are actually recommended....chocolate and pecans. I'm not a mouse but I'm going to keep eating them anyway!

United Press International


Eating pecans daily may delay age-related muscle nerve degeneration, U.S. researchers suggest.

Lead researcher Thomas Shea of the Center for Cellular Neurobiology at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell carried out a number of laboratory studies on three groups of mice especially bred to demonstrate a decline in motor neuron function.

The researchers found mice fed a diet supplemented with ground pecans had a significant delay in decline in motor function compared to mice receiving no pecans. Mice eating the diet with the most pecans -- 0.05 percent -- fared best.

Results were based on how the mice on the control diet vs. those on the pecan-enriched diet performed in specific tests.

The study, published in Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, suggests pecans contain a high amount of a natural antioxidants that help fight against cell damage.

"These findings suggest regular consumption of pecans may provide significant nutritive and antioxidant benefits for your body," Shea said in statement.

Dale Giessman, DC
350 John Muir Pkwy., Suite 265
Brentwood, CA 94513

Monday, June 14, 2010

The influence of forgiveness and apology on cardiovascular reactivity and recovery in response to mental stress.

Wow, what a great study to show that forgiveness is for your own good.

Department of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, 55 Lake Avenue N., Worcester, MA, 01605, USA, matthew.whited@umassmed.edu.


To investigate the relation between forgiveness and apology as they relate to cardiovascular reactivity and recovery, 29 men and 50 women were exposed to an interpersonal transgression (i.e., verbal harassment) while performing a serial subtraction task. Participants were categorized into high and low forgiveness groups based on scores on the forgiving personality scale. Following the task, approximately half of the participants received an apology from the experimenter for his/her comments during the task. Although no group differences in cardiovascular reactivity were observed during the serial subtraction task, persons high in forgiveness displayed more rapid diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure recovery than persons low in forgiveness. In response to the apology, participants displayed greater high frequency heart rate variability recovery compared to those who did not receive an apology. A significant apology x sex interaction was observed for diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial blood pressure. Women who received an apology exhibited faster recovery from the transgression than women who did not receive an apology. In contrast, men who received an apology exhibited delayed recovery from the transgression compared to men who did not receive an apology. These results indicate that there are potentially healthful benefits to forgiveness and apology, but the relation is influenced by situation and by sex.

PMID: 20364307 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher

Monday, May 17, 2010

Some Lower Blood Pressure With Chiropractic Visit

The above headline comes from a May 6, 2010 feature story on the Pittsburgh, PA, TV News station KDKA. The story starts off by noting that millions of people have high blood pressure. And they note that if left untreated it can be deadly.
Most people treat blood pressure with medication. However, the story notes that some people are turning to chiropractic for help. As a result, these people are seeing improvement in their blood pressure numbers.
The story focused on Dr. Michael Vactor who stated in an interview that, "Basically, one in four adults in America have some form of high blood pressure."
The article also quoted Bill Bird, a patient who is now sold on chiropractic. Bill has a very stressful job selling cars resulting in high blood pressure requiring prescription medication. After a few visits to the chiropractor, his blood pressure had improved to the point where his medical doctor cut his medication in half. Looking to the future, Bill optimistically stated, "30 to 45 days of my blood pressure staying at the levels it is, I'm going to be off it 100 percent."
In spite of the fact that studies have now shown that chiropractic can help lower blood pressure, some in the medical profession are still skeptical. Dr. Vactor noted, "If we can get somebody's blood pressure to be lowered without medication, it's amazing because most doctors you talk to will tell you it can't be done."
The article also interviewed Dr. George Bakris, a medical doctor whose expertise is high blood pressure, and who conducted a blood pressure study involving chiropractic on 50 patients at the University of Chicago Medical School. "We saw miraculous changes in blood pressure," said Dr. Bakris. "We saw 12 to 13 millimeter reductions in blood pressure."
In the conclusion of the article, Dr. Vactor noted that in spite of the medical approach to treat high blood pressure, chiropractic could have a unique answer. He states, "We've never been able to find a drug or a medication that can lower blood pressure that fast with no side effects."