Tomato extract shows blood thinning potential versus aspirin: Study
University of Aberdeen (Scotland), November 23, 2022
A proprietary tomato extract has been shown to thin blood in healthy people – but less severely than aspirin and without typical side-effects. The research – published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded the lycopene-free extract “may be appropriate for use as a dietary antiplatelet.” Lead researcher Dr Niamh O’Kennedy working at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition & Health at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland told us the research showed tomato extracts could be used as alternatives to drugs like aspirin for blood thinning. This was especially the case for groups like the elderly who frequently were intolerant of drugs like aspirin typically prescribed for that purpose. “Platelet function is very tricky,” Dr O’Kennedy told us. “If you knock out the platelets it can have a bad effect on the body. And many treatments knock out too much. Some people respond strongly so bad they bleed. ” She added: “Results like this show that people and the medical world should start looking at dietary interventions like these that can have a big impact.” Platelet plugs usually form within 50-100 seconds. The researchers found platelet plugs were formed within 100-150 seconds among tomato extract users, compared to 300-600 seconds for aspirin users. Because of this more gentle effect, Dr Kennedy and her team suggested tomato extract could be a suitable dietary intervention to control platelet hyperactivity which increases with age, the onset of type II diabetes, mellitus, atherosclerosis and other conditions in subjects with low cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.
Use of penicillin early in life, even in low doses, affects the gut microbiome, contributing to brain inflammation and changes in behavior
McMaster University (Ontario), November 18, 2022
It is truly unavoidable to catch a cold or contract a disease, especially with today’s lifestyle trends and medical misinformation. A lot of the medicine we use to treat our health conditions may actually cause more harm than good. A St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster University joint study found that low doses of penicillin administered to pregnant mice and their young results in behavioral changes that have long-term effects. The study, which was published in Nature Communications, reports that the behavioral changes noted in the mice included elevated levels of aggression, characteristic neurochemical changes in the brain, and imbalance in the gut microbiome of the mice. On the bright side, giving the mice a lactobacillus strain of bacteria managed to prevent the effects of the administered penicillin. Low-dose penicillin taken in late pregnancy and early life of mice offspring results in behavioral changes and imbalances in the microbes of the gut. While the tests were done on mice, there are increasing concerns about the long-term effects of antiobiotics in humans, according to Dr. John Bienenstock, director of the Brain-Body Institute at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and distinguished professor at McMaster University. Large doses of multipurpose antibiotics in adult animals have been shown to affect behavior, but none have been able to test the effects of clinical doses of commonly used antibiotics, such as penicillin, on the bacteria in the gut and in behavior. Almost all babies in North America have received some dose of antibiotics during their first year of life. Researchers are looking into analyzing the effects of the drug on the offspring of the mice if given only to the pregnant mothers (teratogenesis). Penicillin is the first type of medication that is effective against bacterial infections caused by staphylococci and streptococci, but is however, easy to build resistance against. Almost 10 percent of all people around the world are allergic to penicillin.
High-dose vitamin C reduces inflammation in cancer patients, study shows
Riordan Clinic (Wichita KS), November 22, 2022
The value and impact of a daily vitamin C supplement as well as high, concentrated doses for acute illnesses is becoming increasingly clear. Studies have already shown the efficacy of liposomal vitamin C in treating infections and as an anti-cancer therapy. Now, another study is confirming its effectiveness against inflammation in cancer patients, one of the primary markers.
High levels of inflammation seem to indicate a higher risk of cancer as well as a less hopeful prognosis for healing and recovery. Inflammation impairs the immune system, plays a role in cachexia, lowers toleration of numerous cancer treatments, and generally decreases health and quality of life.
This study made use of high-dose intravenous vitamin C (IVC) treatments and analyzed their effects.
The results found indicate great promise for the use of high-dose intravenous vitamin C treatments to help reduce inflammation in cancer patients, which is one of the major factors of cancer and its progression.
Markers of inflammation such as pro-inflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein tumor markers showed a positive response to vitamin C treatments, with inflammation reduced significantly. This improvement correlated with reduced tumor size and the hindrance of the cancer’s ability to metastasize.
Vitamin C is especially valuable in extremely high doses taken either orally or intravenously. A range of cancers have been proven to benefit from vitamin C treatments, including cancers of the prostate, breast, skin, bladder, lung, pancreas, thyroid, and B-cell lymphoma.
This research was conducted by Riordan Clinic scientists and published in the Journal of Translational Medicine. When supplementing with liposomal vitamin C orally for major health issues, 10,000 to 12,000 mg per day should be taken. This dose can be taken in 2,000 to 4,000 mg doses gradually throughout the day to aid absorption.
Having trouble sleeping? Try exercise!
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, December 1, 2022
The vast majority of people have trouble sleeping from time to time. However, 10 to 20 per cent of the population struggle more than the rest of us and have serious long-term sleep problems. Many people who struggle with insomnia sooner or later resort to some form of sleeping aid. However, one study of more than 34 000 adults would suggest that some of them should exercise instead. “We’ve observed that people who are in better physical condition have a lower risk of taking prescription sleeping pills,” says Linda Ernstsen, an associate professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Department of Public Health and Nursing. The researchers reviewed participant data in Norway’s large Trøndelag Health Survey (The HUNT study). A total of 240 000 people from Trondheim have taken part in the survey since it began in 1984. Four survey rounds have been carried out to date. “Almost 5800 of the participants received their first prescription sleep medication during the study period,” says Ernstsen. This means that approximately 17 percent of the participants’ sleep issues were serious enough to warrant a prescription from their doctor. But the participants who were in the best condition used fewer of these prescription drugs. “These findings suggest that being physically fit can also help you sleep better,” Ernstsen says. Unfortunately, the beneficial effect of exercise is stronger for men than for women. The findings show that the fittest men had a 15 per cent lower risk of needing drugs for troublesome sleep issues. “The corresponding percentage risk for the fittest women was much lower. But women who struggle with sleep can still benefit from getting in better shape,” says Ernstsen.
New study puts gut microbiome at the center of Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis
University of Alabama at Birmingham, December 1, 2022
New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham says the gut microbiome is involved in multiple pathways in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The findings, published in Nature Communications, show a wide imbalance in microbiome composition in persons with Parkinson’s disease. The study is the largest microbiome study conducted at the highest resolution. The investigators employed metagenomics, the study of genetic material recovered directly from the stool microbiome of persons with PD and neurologically healthy control subjects. “The primary aim of this study was to generate a full, unaltered view of the imbalance in PD gut microbiome,” said Haydeh Payami, Ph.D., professor in the Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine Department of Neurology and senior author on the study. The study reports Parkinson’s disease metagenome is indicative of a disease-promoting microbiome. “We found evidence for multiple mechanisms that we know are linked to PD, but we didn’t know they were happening in the gut also and are orchestrated by the microbiome,” Payami said. Investigators found an overabundance of opportunistic pathogens and immunogenic components, which suggest infection and inflammation at play, overproduction of toxic molecules, and overabundance of the bacterial product curli. This induces PD pathology and dysregulation of neurotransmitters, including L-dopa. At the same time, there was a shortage of neuroprotective molecules and anti-inflammatory components, which makes recovery difficult. The researchers studied 257 species of organisms in the microbiome, and of these, analysis indicated 84, more than 30%, were associated with Parkinson’s disease. “Of the 84 PD-associated species, 55 had abnormally high abundance in persons with PD, and 29 were depleted,” Payami said. “We found that over 30% of the micro-organisms and bacterial genes and pathways tested have altered abundances in Parkinson’s disease, which indicates a widespread imbalance.” At one end of the spectrum, Bifidobacterium dentium was elevated by sevenfold, Actinomyces oris by 6.5-fold and Streptococcus mutans by sixfold. At the other end of the spectrum, Roseburia intestinalis was reduced by 7.5-fold and Blautia wexlerae by fivefold. Overall, 36% of PD-associated species had higher than twofold change in abundance, reflecting a 100% to 750% increase or decrease in PD versus the healthy control group. “This is exciting research, as metagenomics is a new, albeit fast-evolving field, and the resources, methods and tools, while state-of-the-art, are still in development,” Payami said.
Five precepts of Buddhism may be linked to lower depression risk
Study suggests the moral practice may buffer known links between high stress levels and depression
Chiang Mai University (Thailand) & Károli Gáspár University (Hungary), November 30, 2022
A new study suggests that people with high levels of neuroticism and stress may be at greater risk for depressive symptoms, but those links could be buffered for people who observe the five precepts of Buddhism—a fundamental system of ethics for the religion’s followers.
The five precepts of Buddhism guide followers not to kill, steal, engage in sexual misconduct, tell ill-intentioned lies, or use intoxicants. Previous research suggests that observing the five precepts can boost wellbeing and quality of life for the general public, including nonserious followers. However, it has been less clear whether the five precepts could ease symptoms of depression for those at higher risk. To address this question, Wongpakaran and colleagues focused on known links between neuroticism, stress, and depression. Prior research has shown that greater neuroticism is associated with greater risk of depression, both directly as well as indirectly through perceived stress—how people think and feel after stressful life events. From late 2019 through September 2022, the researchers conducted an online survey of 644 adults in Thailand. The survey included standard questionnaires to measure each participant’s levels of perceived stress, neuroticism, and depressive symptoms, as well as their observance of the five precepts of Buddhism. Statistical analysis of the survey results showed that observing the five precepts to a high degree appeared to buffer the influence of perceived stress on depression. These results suggests that people with high levels of neuroticism and stress may be less likely to develop depressive symptoms if they follow the five precepts closely. The researchers note that, while their study suggests potential benefits for the five precepts in the context of depression, it does not confirm a cause-effect relationship. A large proportion of participants were female and people who lived alone, and participants’ religious involvement was unknown, although 93.3% reported that they were Buddhist. More research will be needed to determine whether these findings might extend to the general population of Thailand and beyond, as well as to non-Buddhists. The authors add: “The five precepts practice makes other people feel safe, as all these behaviors are harmless, and it potentially provides the stressful practitioner with a buffer against depression.”