Monthly Archives: January 2007

Imagine a Cancer Drug That Kills All Cancers. Too Bad You Can’t Get It.

Imagine if you will that there is a drug that would kill almost any type of cancer, has very few side-effects and is relatively cheap. Actually, you don’t need to imagine it as it does exist and it’s called dichloroacetate or DCA. The problem is no pharmaceutical company will touch it because they can’t patent it and they can’t make ridiculous amounts of money on it. So much for compassionate corporations eh?

What DCA does is cause cancer cells to switch from using glycolysis to generate energy back to using the mitochondria for energy production. This causes the cells to revert from their immortal cancerous state where they commit suicide (apoptosis).

One problem with the drug is that it changes the way researchers need to look at cancer. Instead of being caused by a genetic mutation, they would have to change their point of way and admit that metabolism can spark cancer. My old mentor told me that the real definition of cancer is the abnormal growth and rate of growth of cells. Nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately, cancer research is a big business and imagine the problem that would arise if we had a simple and inexpensive answer to many cancers? Lots of jobless researchers I guess.

After reading about this drug in the British journal New Scientist last week I think we need to change the name of drug companies from pharmaceuticals to harmaceuticals. The tag fits them better.

Nutrition Update for the Week of January 29th, 2007

Augmenting Zinc Supplementation with Vitamins A and D May Increase Plasma Concentrations of Zinc: Implications for Alzheimer ‘s Disease and Other Diseases – In this study, researchers found that when zinc was combined with vitamins A and D, plasma zinc went up faster than and higher than any other combination tried. This is significant especially with the elderly who are notorious for being zinc deficient.

Increased Dietary Intake of Omega-3 PUFAs from Plant Sources May Improve Bone Health – This study suggest that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may improve bone health via a reduction in bone resorption. Yet another reason to take at least 1 gram of omega-3’s daily (3 grams would be even better in my opinion).

Maternal Intake of Folic Acid During Early Pregnancy May Lower Risk of Isolated Cleft Lip (with or without cleft palate) in Infants – Cleft palate is a tough disease to go through as it requires multiple surgeries in many cases to correct. Taking a nominal amount of folic acid every day (400 micrograms) has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of an infant developing a cleft palate. One word of caution, there is some evidence that too much folate (over 2 milligrams daily) may increase the risk of having a child with cleft palate. Doing a simple organic acid in urine test from MetaMetrix can give you a strong clue if you are folate deficient. The marker they use is formiminoglutamic acid or FIGLU for short.

Elevated Homocysteine and Low Folate May Exert a Negative Effect on Specific Cognitive Domains – Yet another reason to supplement with folic acid. Test yourself for homocysteine as early in life as possible and work on lowering it. The blood test is available through many major labs and should become a standard of care.

Green Tea may Alleviate Diabetes in Rodents – One of the active ingredients in green tea, ECGC, is beginning to get a lot of good press, especially in the treatment of obesity. In this study, it seems to be beneficial in treating diabetes.

Association between Low Plasma Vitamin D and Type 1 Diabetes in Young Adults – As my regular readers know, I am a big vitamin D fan and this study just keeps my enthusiasm going. Get yourself a bottle and take at least 800 IU’s a day in the winter, spring and fall and 400 IU’s in the summer.

Supplementation with Korean Red Ginseng May Improve Glucose and Insulin Regulation in Subjects with Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes – This is another in a string of studies I have read that show benefits of ginseng with diabetes.

Choline: Critical Role During Fetal Development and Dietary Requirements in Adults – Choline is one of those great brain nutrients that may have a lot of other benefits including the reduction of homocysteine via its conversion into the essential amino acid methionine.

Come back next week for another update and don’t forget to go to Vitasearch for more details on the studies reviewed here today.

Internet Browsers – You’ve Got to Get Rid of Explorer

After years of frustration, I finally dumped Microsoft’s Internet Explorer which should be renamed into Internet Deplorer. It bombs all the time, it is spyware’s favorite browser and it just doesn’t work as well as most of its competitors. I’ve tried Opera and liked it but not enough to make the switch. The browser I decided on is Firefox.

This browser is as easy to use as you can imagine and it has a boat load of excellent add-ons. My favorite is Stumble! After you download it (after you get Firefox, it asks you which add-ons you want), it asks you what fields of interest you have. When you’re done with that just hit the Stumble! button and it randomly selects sites from around the world for you to enjoy. Give it a thumbs up or down and they will begin to learn what your real interests are.

You can easily import all of your valuable bookmarks from Explorer in a few seconds.

The other must have add-on is Cooliris. When you drag your cursor over to an internet link on any web site, a little blue box appears. Drag your cursor over to it and a separate temporary window appears that allows you to see the link without opening another tab or window.

All in all, I heartily recommend you dump Explorer and start using Mozilla’s Firefox. You’ll be absolutely thrilled you did.

It Makes You Think

The late Carl Sagan was known for his observational skills and the way he put our world into perspective. When commenting about a picture taken by the spacecraft Voyager I back in 1990 which showed earth from billions of miles away he said the following which I found very profound. Think about it this weekend.

“We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

To see that “dot” go to Makes one humble doesn’t it?

Followup – Your Cat May Make Your Schizophrenic

A recent posting of mine talks about the link between behavior, particularly schizophrenia and infection by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Modern psychiatry has long thought the schizophrenia was either an imbalance of chemicals in the brain or something your mother did to you as a child. In a special edition of Forbes Magazine out now, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey associate director for laboratory research at the Stanley Medical Research in Chevy Chase, Maryland, talks about how this nasty parasite may be the cause of schizophrenia in a large number of cases.

What truly amazes me is that the idea of a microbe causing this devastating brain disorder is not recent. A matter of fact the journal Scientific American published an article entitled “Is Insanity Due to a Microbe?” in 1896. Yes, 1896, over 111 years ago! Very few medical journals are publishing this kind of information which is a shame.

For people suffering with this disease, you need to demand that your physician look into the possibility of Toxoplasma gondii as being the cause of your disorder. Make them look at an antibody test for the parasite. This could be the breakthrough many people have been looking for.

JigsawBar – My Opinions

My friend Pat Sullivan, founder of JigsawHealth and ACT Software, made an offer on his blog site for bloggers to judge the taste of his health bar JigsawBar. Well, I received my two boxes today and I have to say I am very impressed. These are THE best health bars I have ever tried.

They are well constructed nutritionally and taste really good. Both the coconut-almond and the chocolate were home runs in my opinion. Amazingly they made it with no soy (which is a great thing), casein or gluten and contain a number of nutrients, omega 3 fatty acids and have the right balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Pat, you did well. Props to you, your staff and the manufacturer this is something I will recommend to all my friends.

Monthly Nutrition Update

Starting today, I will be reviewing the most important papers each month (in my opinion) from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition . The first issue, Volume 85, Number 1, has a number of excellent studies.

Risk Assessment for vitamin D by Hathcock, Shao, Vieth, and Heaney – In this review article, the authors believe that vitamin D is much safer than previously thought. While high doses are dangerous, 800 I.U.’s daily for adults and 400 for children seem to be safe (higher levels were deemed safe but I like to keep things a little saner).

Normal-weight obese syndrome: early inflammation? by De Lorenzo, et al – The authors of this study propose that people with normal weight but high fat content (>30%) are at a higher risk of becoming obese than those with lower fat levels. They further report that adipose tissue (fat tissue) harbors more pro-inflammatory cytokeines which leads to a greater risk of being obese later in life. This seemingly makes the case that an increase in exercise and a lowering of body fat is protective against obesity especially among younger people.

Supplementation with calcium + vitamin D enhances the beneficial effect of weight loss on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations by Major, et al – When going on a weight loss program, the addition of calcium and vitamin D helps to improve your lipid profile (cholesterol, HDL and LDL).

Folate and vitamin B-12 status in relation to anemia, macrocytosis, and cognitive impairment in older Americans in the age of folic acid fortification by Morris, Jacques, Rosenberg and Selhub – This excellent study shows that when vitamin B-12 is deficient, high folic acid was associated with anemia and cognitive impairment. When B-12 was normal, folic acid was associated with protection against cognitive impairment. This means that a balance between the two nutrients is as important as having enough of either one. Two assess your levels of these two nutrients, I suggest a urine Organix test from MetaMetrix . The two markers are FIGLU (folic acid marker) and Methylmalonate (B-12).

Carbohydrate intake and HDL in a multiethnic population by Merchant, et al – Basically, the bottom line of this study was the suggestion that decreasing the intake of sugar-containing soft drinks and juices as well as snacks would be highly beneficial to improving you blood fat profile.

Are Multivitamins Really Dangerous?

Last week,, headlined a study published on the website ConsumersLab that had found that a few popular multivitamins were not up to snuff. Instead of publishing a fair and honest headline that reported what had really been found, the writers decided to make up a sensational headline questioning whether vitamins were safe.

What really was found was that one multivitamin actually contained 15 milligrams of lead!!! That is way more than should ever be found in any supplement but only the women’s multi from Vitamin Shoppe contained lead. Also, a couple of children’s vitamins contained twice the levels of vitamin A claimed on the label. These findings are why the industry needs to better police itself against poor quality supplements.

Shame on the manufacturers of these poor quality supplements. Those of us in the industry don’t need this type of garbage. To the general public, demand that the supplements you buy are being tested for purity and quality and ask for the reports.

Antidepressants and Bone Health

In a recent study published in this past Monday’s Archives of Internal Medicine , researchers report that people taking antidepressant drugs like Zoloft have more than double the risk of bone fracture than people not taking the drug. This is just one of many studies showing the potential problems with this class of drugs.

What interests me is why many physicians refuse to look at alternatives that are well researched such as amino acids. There is ample science behind the use of these basic building blocks of life. One book I highly recommend to anyone interested in using amino acids to improve their health is “The Healing Nutrients Within ” b Dr. Eric Braverman. This is the third edition of an important work first authored by the legendary Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer which I recommended earlier today.

Other nutrients like zinc, magnesium, potassium and many B-complex vitamins are also helpful in restoring brain health. With all of the risks surrounding antidepression drugs, why not try other, cheaper and safer alternatives?