A recent study in the respected journal Sleep showed that normal, healthy people with no sleep problems did not need melatonin supplements to improve their sleep. Now think about what was just said because it is important to repeat and understand. Normal healthy people with no sleep problems didn’t receive any benefits from melatonin supplementation. My question to you is; why are they doing a study like this on a group that doesn’t need help? Do we try out chemotherapy on people who don’t have cancer and tell the world that chemo doesn’t help them?
The researchers were very careful to say that melatonin did help people who were suffering from jet lag or shift workers but did the media pick up on it? Minimally. What they focused on was how it didn’t work on the healthy subjects which show that people are wasting their money on the supplement. Why do this? Maybe they felt the need to help their big pharma advertising buddies pushing who spend billions pushing drugs like Ambien (which has numerous dangerous side-effects). Or is it that they are so trained to think in one way that they can’t critically review articles anymore? My opinion is that it is due to both. Money, ego and the poor research and learning skills taught to medical professionals are at the root of many of the problems in medicine today.
In the April 27th, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (vol. 354, no. 17) which appeared on my desk this week, researchers from Australia reported than the use of Vitamin C and E “does not reduce the risk of preeclampsia in nulliparous (never been pregnant before) women.” While the data was definitive; (there was no improvement in risk factors for women taking vitamin C or E over placebo) the study was flawed enough that it should have been rejected if the editors weren’t so biased.
The two main problems I see were the use of the wrong forms of both nutrients and focusing on the two supplements on a population instead of whether the people being tested were being treated as distinct individuals.
First, they used straight ascorbic acid and alpha tocopherol instead of trying better forms of vitamin C or a mixed tocopherol. Secondly, there was no testing to see whether the women actually needed either supplement or if they were profoundly magnesium deficient which is common in preeclampsia? The concept of biochemical individuality took a beating yet again. Poor Dr. Roger Williams, he developed such a simple yet powerful concept only to see it constantly being trampled on. Such a shame.
Researchers led by biochemist Sanjay K. Srivastava studied the effect of capsaicin, the chemical that makes pepper hot, on aggressive cancer cells. Within 38 days of a group of laboratory mice implanted with pancreatic cancer cells, the mice given capsaicin had tumors half the size of the animals given saline solution. Gastrointestinal problems were not seen with the mice being given capsaicin which could have been a problem if we carry this treatment to humans.
In a related study on prostate cancer tumors, mice given capsaicin orally saw their tumors shrink by ¼ in only 4 weeks. This was another powerful study that seemingly verifies findings done by Japanese researchers 5 years ago that capsaicin killed leukemia cells in test tubes.
How capsaicin does its magic is under debate. One group found that it induced apoptosis (suicide) in the cancer cells and another team of researchers found signs that the compound slowed down cell growth and apoptosis. Either way, the old adage of an apple a day keeps the doctor away may need another line; a jalapeño a day may keep cancer away.
Carbon Based Corporation has been at the forefront of an idea that I came up with many years ago that states that people are biochemically unique and that they react differently to different supplements and medications based not on their genetics but on their biochemical positioning at the time. A paper in the April 20th issue of Nature confirms my long standing belief as noted biochemist Jeremy K. Nicholson of Imperial College London believes that a multitude of factors aside from genetics have a huge influence of how our bodies process medications.
While his study was on the processing of drugs, the ramifications of his paper shows that in the laboratory, genetically identical mice had a wide range of reactions to acetaminophen (Tylenol) and these reactions were highly correlated to urinary marker patterns. The patterns include a number of markers looked at by urinary organic acid tests that Carbon Based Corporation has been interpreting for years.
In the Carbon Based Reports, we developed a method of looking at both blood and urinary markers and how they relate to drug interactions. Our other breakthroughs came in the personalizing of nutritional interventions based on cross-correlated markers of blood and urine metabolites. By measuring the results from these tests we are able to help medical professionals construct biochemically individualized nutritional protocols which will maximize the dollar spent by the patient towards achieving optimal health.
Can taking too much omega 3 fatty acids be bad for you? Research over the past 20 years has suggested that the fats found in fish are life savers and can dramatically improve the general health of people with many chronic diseases. Yet, research that will be coming out in the journal Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology by noted fatty acid expert Dr. Alexander Leaf of Harvard Medical School has found a sub group of individuals who could be severely harmed by the use of omega 3 fatty acids.
People with advanced congestive heart failure (CHF) have depressed blood flow and see healthy heart tissue turn to scar tissue which can lead to irregular heartbeats and sudden cardiac death. Omega 3 fatty acids work by reducing the function of hyperexcitable cells which is good for most people but deadly for people with CHF. This finding means that anyone with CHF, chronic angina or poor blood flow to the heart should see their doctor and possibly avoid supplementation or high omega 3 foods such as fish. Better yet, get tested and look deeper into the fatty acid composition of your red blood cells such as the Carbon Based Corporation RBC Fatty Acid tests.
For years, I have had the contention that one of the main reasons people gain weight is because of mechanisms that increase inflammation. Whether the trigger is environmental toxins or stress, foods that cause an inflammatory response, infections or genetic factors, inflammation is one of the main reasons people worldwide are becoming obese.
Dr, Allan Zhao of the University of Pittsburgh, while researching levels of leptin in obese people, found that while the levels of this substance were equivalent to thin people, their C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were substantially higher. Experiments have shown that CRP binds with leptin which is a hormone that has been shown to help control appetite. By binding to leptin, the CRP prevents the receptor sites in the brain from being stimulated to reduce the person’s appetite. This is a major breakthrough and can lead to numerous new ways of treating obesity.
C-reactive protein not only has been linked to obesity with this study but other research has hinted at a strong relationship with coronary heart disease (CHD) as well. The big question is what causes increased levels of CRP?
We know that toxins (and remember that I have a broad definition of toxicity) can and do stimulate cells to signal the body that damage has occurred. They do this by releasing an array of pro-inflammatory substances like prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and cytokines. If the stimulant to inflammation is constant, chronic inflammation can cause a vast array of diseases like arthritis, CHD, asthma, colitis, eczema and many others.
My upcoming book, Achieving Victory over a Toxic World, will deal with this issue a lot deeper with powerful suggestions on how to help remove the toxic stressors and get your life back on track.
A brilliant book edited by Nancy J. Meyers and Carolyn Raffensperger, this is an absolute must read for anyone interested in saving our environment. Every politician should be made to read this book and understand its teachings of how to use the Precautionary Principle in making decisions in our everyday life as well as public policy. Click on the book to get it from Amazon.com.
The other day, the media bleeted like a chirping bird that the mercury used in amalgams was safe based on two “definitive” studies. I looked at the research and was at first appalled, then angry and then spitting fire at the utter nonesense that was called science. The papers were so flawed that the trees used to print this drivel obviously died in vain.
So I was at my computer, ready to hop on my high horse and refute the studies when I decided to slide over to my good friend Pat Sullivan’s blog site to see if he had anything to say about it. Sure enough he was on the job with a masterful response along with numerous updates. Pat, you saved me a lot of time by putting your response on your site. Nice job.
So, for those of you interested, go to www.patsullivan.com and read up on the issue of mercury toxicity as well as the arguments in opposition to his position. Pat may have strong opinions on subjects but I truly admire him for his willingness to let opposing view points be heard.