I thought I would spend some time speaking about a few different health issues that interest me and might interest you.
1 I thought this would be interesting information for those suffering from CFS as there has been much information over the past years about the possible link between the XMRV virus and CFS. This has just been disproved.
Two studies, which appeared in Science Magazine (a well known and highly regard peer reviewed weekly journal) have shown that this connection arose from tainted laboratory compounds. It appears that in earlier experiments, the lab reagents and cell lines were contaminated with the XMRV virus to begin with. One of the teams also found no evidence of the XMRV in the blood of CFS sufferers. Therefore at this point, the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome remains still unknown.
2 It appears that the next generation of antidepressant medications has been discovered.
The problem with the current crop of antidepressant medication sis that they can take from weeks to months before you feel the effects. This might no be poised for change. Ketamine, which is an anesthetic, and usually found in operating rooms, in very low doses will work against depression in as little as 15 minutes.
Mice receiving a shot of Ketamine showed dramatic improvement in minutes and the reduced depression lasted for a week.
In high doses, Ketamine can render a person unconscious, it is known on the street as Special K for it’s euphoric and hallucinatory effects. However in a much lowered dose, these effect do not occur. Apparently Ketamine produces proteins, whose lack are related to depression. There have been several preliminary small trials with people and the results have been fast and dramatic. The nice thing is that this drug opens up the possibility of depression having a totally different physiological mechanism from what is currently believed. The fact is that with the many anti-depressant meds on the market, scientists and Doctors have no clue as to how they work. There are theories, but no facts. One of the problems with the current group of anti-depressant meds is that what works for one might very well not work for someone else. The other problem is that these meds can take weeks to months to start working. These new meds are still years away, but they apparently work well and there are no side effects. Time will tell.
3 Olive Oil may lower the risk of Strokes.
In a study in France, it was reported that people who consume olive oil in large amounts, either for cooking or in salads are less vulnerable (41% less) to stroke, as compared to people who don’t. This was published in the June 15, 2011 Journal of Neurology. 7,600 people were followed over 5 years, so it is a large enough sample to be very valid.
4 Heart tissue may be able to regenerate after all!
Stem cells used in an outside layer of heart muscles may replace the number of cells damaged due to heart attacks. Though this is very preliminary news, the implications are dramatic as heart disease is the number one killer among people.The work was done at the British Heart Foundation in London and published in the June 8, 2011 issue of Nature (a prestigious science journal). The lead scientist was Dr. Paul Riley.
5 Chemicals Linked to Children’s Lower IQs.
Children exposed to toxic pesticides while in utero (in the uterus) have been show to have lower IQs than children with no exposure.The pass through the placenta and interfere with compounds in the brain. These studies appeared in the April 21 Environmental Health Perspectives (a highly respected peer reviewed journal). It is show that every one point drop in IQ will lead to loss in earnings over the person’s lifetime. Time to start taking such companies as Monsanto to task!
6 Cell phones may interfere with the bacteria in our bodies,
Cell phones may upset the delicate balance of bacteria in our bodies of which we depend. The date is just starting to come in, but we have a symbiotic relationship with these micro-organisms and depend on them for a number of things, one of which is to keep yeast in our bodies in check. These studies were done at the University of Houston.
I usually don’t editorialize but I was driving home today and listening to a discussion of obesity, on my local Public Broadcasting Station. The speakers being interviewed were two so called, experts from Harvard University. The basis of discussion centered around getting children to eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise more. They felt that this was the solution for the societal epidemic of obesity. I listened to the entire program and was shocked at the superficiality of the discussion. They just did not talk about some of the real causes, their basic argument being that eating better and more exercise would stop this problem. Perhaps on the surface, this sounds good, but wait!
What about artificial sweeteners in food such as High Fructose Corn Syrup(now called Corn Sugar), Splenda, Aspertame which is shown to cause weight gain and other health problems?
What about the tons of preservatives which interfere with the brain’s receptors so you are not aware that you are “full” and continue to eat?
What about the genetically modified vegetables, which are banned in many countries, due to the side effects?
How about the television commercials which are geared to children to get them to want to eat fast/junk food? Now I realize that it is the parents responsibility to monitor children and what they watch as well as what they eat. The problem lies in that in today’s economic climate, many times both parents have to work, just to make ends meet. Many times there is a nanny or baby sitter or day care for part of the day.
My question is, why hadn’t some of these issues been addressed by the so called experts? It is pretty well accepted that about 90% of illnesses we deal with have lifestyle causes. Foods, environment, air pollution, bad habits etc. when will these experts wake up?!
I will be writing in depth on this issue next week in a number of blog posts. This Wednesday’s post will be more on fibro meds or (the good the bad and the ugly), Friday will be a nice surprise.