The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment.
Extract Reishi mushroom exerts suppressive effect on cervical cancer cell malignancy
Shandong University (China), August 21 2020
According to news reporting originating in Shandong, People’s Republic of China, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, “We aimed to explore whether ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide (GLP) from Reishi mushroons exhibits antitumor effect on cervical cancer cells. Different concentration of GLP was used to treat cervical cell.”
The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from the Department of Pharmacy, “The data from cell counting kit-8 assay proved that the optimal working concentration and time of GLP were 200 mu g/mL and treated for 48 h. The transwell assay demonstrated that GLP could attenuate the invasion and migration abilities of cervical cancer cells. Moreover, flow cytometry illustrated that GLP could promote the apoptosis of cervical cancer cells and limit the cycle of cervical cancer cells. Western blot assay discovered that the expression of proapoptosis proteins including Bax, Cleaved Caspases 3 and 9 increased and the antiapoptosis protein Bcl-2 decreased after treated with GLP. Moreover, we found that the expression of E-cadherin was increased, and N-cadherin, Vimentin, and Slug were decreased. Meanwhile, the expression of phosphorylated-JAK and phosphorylated-STAT5 was also decreased in cervical cancer cells treated by GLP, suggesting the inhibitory effect on JAK/STAT5 pathways.”
According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “All of these data illustrated that GLP could alleviate the activity and aggressiveness, block the cell cycle, and promote the apoptosis of cervical cancer cells, which were possible via inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal and JAK/STAT5 pathways.”
Low vitamin D and K levels associated with increased risk of mortality during 14.2-year median
Amsterdam University (Netherlands), August 24 2020.
A study published on August 18, 2020 in the European Journal of Nutrition revealed a greater risk of premature mortality among men and women with decreased levels of vitamins D and K.
“Nutritional deficiencies have been recognized as important contributors to disease and increased mortality,” wrote Adriana J. van Ballegooijen of Amsterdam University and her colleagues. “Previous analyses of our cohort indicated that sufficient vitamin D or K alone are associated with survival benefits and reduced cardiovascular disease.”
The study included 4,742 participants in the Prevention of REnal and Vascular ENd-Stage Disease (PREVEND) Study who provided plasma samples between 2001 and 2003 that were used to determine levels of vitamins D and K. Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as levels lower than 20 nanograms per milliliter and low vitamin K was defined as having a dephosphorylated uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein (dp-ucMGP) level of less than 361 picomoles per liter. Mortality data was collected through the end of 2016.
During a median follow-up period of 14.2 years, there were 620 deaths, among which 142 were caused by cardiovascular disease. Among the 970 participants with low levels of vitamins D and K there was a 46% greater risk of dying during follow-up in comparison with participants who had higher levels of both vitamins. An increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality was also observed for the low vitamin D and K group, although the researchers did not determine the increase to be significant.
“Combined low vitamin D and K status are associated with increased all-cause mortality risk and possibly with cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular events compared with adequate vitamin D and K status,” they concluded. “Future studies should investigate the effect of combined vitamin D and K supplementation on clinical outcomes.”
Gallic acid improves recognition memory and decreases oxidative-inflammatory damage in hippocampi of rats with metabolic syndrome
Benemerita Autonomous University of Puebla (Mexico), August 24, 2020
According to news reporting originating from Puebla, Mexico, correspondents, research stated, “Metabolic syndrome (MS) results from excessive consumption of high-calorie foods and sedentary lifestyles. Clinically, insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and hypertension are observed.”
Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from the Benemerita Autonomous University of Puebla, “MS has been considered a risk factor in the development of dementia. In the brain, a metabolically impaired environment generates oxidative stress and excessive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines that deteriorate the morphology and neuronal function in the hippocampus, leading to cognitive impairment. Therapeutic alternatives suggest that phenolic compounds can be part of the treatment for neuropathies and metabolic diseases. In recent years, the use of Gallic Acid (GA) has demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that contribute to neuroprotection and memory improvement in animal models. GA is a type of phenolic acid found in gallnuts, sumac, witch hazel, tea leaves, oak bark, and other plants. However, the effect of GA on hippocampal neurodegeneration and memory impairment under MS conditions is still unclear. In this work, we administered GA (20mg/kg) for 60 days to rats with MS. The results show that GA treatment improved zoometric and biochemical parameters, as well as the recognition memory, in animals with MS. Additionally, GA administration increased hippocampal dendritic spines and decreased oxidative stress and inflammation. Our results show that GA treatment improves metabolism: reducing the oxidative and inflammatory environment that facilitates the recovery of the neuronal morphology in the hippocampus of rats with MS.”
According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Consequently, the recognition of objects by these animals, suggesting that GA could be used therapeutically in metabolic disorders that cause dementia.”
Melatonin linked to improved brain function in child concussion
University of Queensland (Australia), August 19, 2020
Melatonin could improve brain functions related to sleep quality in children recovering from concussion, according to a University of Queensland study.
Using the latest brain mapping techniques, researchers examined Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans from 62 children before and after taking melatonin or a placebo in a randomized clinical trial.
Child Health Research Center’s Dr. Kartik Iyer said the study revealed that concussed children who received 3mg or 10mg of melatonin over a four-week period experienced significant improvement in whole-brain function and gray matter—brain regions which are essential for sleep control and cognition.
Dr. Iyer said the MRI scans enabled the team to rapidly assess millions of neural connections to help guide treatment response.
“We identified a specific ‘network’ of brain connections that positively responded to melatonin treatment, compared with placebo,” Dr. Iyer said.
“The results suggest melatonin, when taken by children with concussion, compensated for normal brain functions that may have been interrupted due to injury.”
One of the most common complaints after childhood concussion is sleep disturbance and fatigue, which can persist for years.
Dr. Iyer said this could have a detrimental effect on brain function and anatomy and potentially hinder progress to normal development.
“A good night’s sleep is essential for children as it allows them to consolidate what they’ve learned throughout the day and restore energy for the day ahead,” he said.
“Our study shows that melatonin, when taken orally over several weeks, may reduce sleep disturbances and improve sleep quality.”
However the team found solving sleep problems may only be part of the answer in aiding recovery.
“A surprising aspect of the study was that not all children made a full recovery from concussion just by taking melatonin,” Dr. Iyer said.
“Even though increases in brain functions and gray matter corresponded with decreases in sleep disturbance and fatigue, the supplement didn’t resolve other common concussion symptoms such as memory problems, anxiety and depression.”
Parents are advised to consult their doctor or neurologist if their child is having sustained sleeping problems following a concussion to assess their suitability for short-term use of melatonin.
This paper was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.
Yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation bring specific benefits for veterans
Medical Care supplement presents progress report on efforts to implement complementary and integrative health therapies at the VA
Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital and Brown University, August 24, 2020
Three popular complementary and integrative health (CIH) therapies – yoga, tai chi, and meditation – lead to significant improvements in key outcomes perceived by Veterans receiving care in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) system, suggests a study in a special September supplement to Medical Care. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.
“[O]ur study showed that meditation, tai chi, and yoga appear to improve overall physical and mental health and reduced perceived stress,” according to the new research, led by Dr. A. Rani Elwy of the VA Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Mass, and an Associate Professor in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Published today, the special issue of Medical Care documents progress toward implementing CIH therapies throughout the VA system – part of efforts to promote a “Whole Health” approach in VA care. As required by the 2016 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), the VA has expanded research and education on CIH programs, focusing on the impact on pain, mental health, and chronic illness.
Improvements in Patient-Reported Outcomes with CIH Therapies Dr. Elwy and colleagues performed a 12-month survey study to examine the impact on CIH therapies on 119 veteran’s self-reported health and well-being. These Veterans completed 401 surveys over five different time point during the study. The surveys focused on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) – an important target for efforts to improve healthcare, focusing on the most important problems and outcomes identified by patients themselves.
Overall, Veterans in the study reported using 14 different CIH therapies. Yoga was the most popular, with nearly half of Veterans participating. This was followed by meditation, acupuncture, and tai chi. Three CIH therapies were associated with significant improvements in PROs:
- Yoga was related to decreases in perceived stress.
- Tai chi was linked to improvements in overall physical and mental health functioning, anxiety levels, and ability to participate in social role activities.
- Meditation was also associated with improvements in physical functioning.
None of the CIH therapies resulted in improvement in Veterans’ pain intensity or level of engagement in their health care. Larger studies with longer follow-up times may be needed to show significant effects on these outcomes, according to Dr. Elwy and coauthors. They conclude: “It is time to focus on health and well-being, as defined by Veterans, and reaching these goals must include participation in CIH treatment approaches.”
More Progress in CIH Implementation and Research at the VA Titled The Implementation of Complementary and Integrative Health Therapies in the Veterans Health Administration, the new supplement presents 11 original research papers and commentaries on the VA’s progress in implementing and evaluating the impact of CIH therapies on Veterans’ health outcomes. Dr. Elwy and Dr. Stephanie L. Taylor of the HSR&D Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, and Policy, Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center are the supplement Guest Editors.
The special issue papers address strategies to build support for and implement CIH programs, to evaluate their effectiveness, and to promote their long-term sustainability. “We already know that CIH therapies are effective for the treatment of Veterans’ chronic pain, posttraumatic stress, depression, and other chronic conditions,” Drs. Elwy and Taylor write. “Now we need to develop, test, and use effective strategies to increase CIH use and sustainment.”
In a commentary, Alison Whitehead and Dr. Benjamin Kligler of the VA Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation state: “As the VA continues to develop new and better ways of making CIH approaches available to all Veterans, and to collect data on the outcomes of this expanded access for Veterans and employees, we hope to demonstrate to the rest of the U.S. healthcare system how an emphasis on whole person care and self-management skills should become the new standard across the industry.”
Excessive fructose consumption may cause a leaky gut, leading to fatty liver disease
University of California at San Diego, August 24, 2020
Excessive consumption of fructose — a sweetener ubiquitous in the American diet — can result in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is comparably abundant in the United States. But contrary to previous understanding, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that fructose only adversely affects the liver after it reaches the intestines, where the sugar disrupts the epithelial barrier protecting internal organs from bacterial toxins in the gut.
Developing treatments that prevent intestinal barrier disruption, the authors conclude in a study published August 24, 2020 in Nature Metabolism, could protect the liver from NAFLD, a condition that affects one in three Americans.
“NAFLD is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the world. It can progress to more serious conditions, such as cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure and death,” said senior author Michael Karin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “These findings point to an approach that could prevent liver damage from occurring in the first place.”
Fructose consumption in the U.S. has skyrocketed since the 1970s and the introduction of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a cheaper sugar substitute that is broadly used in processed and packaged foods, from cereals and baked goods to soft drinks. Multiple studies in animals and humans have linked increased HFCS consumption with the nation’s obesity epidemic and numerous inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, currently regulates it similar to other sweeteners, such as sucrose or honey, and advises only moderation of intake.
The new study, however, defines a specific role and risk for HFCS in the development of fatty liver disease. “The ability of fructose, which is plentiful in dried figs and dates, to induce fatty liver was known to the ancient Egyptians, who fed ducks and geese dried fruit to make their version of foie gras,” said Karin.
“With the advent of modern biochemistry and metabolic analysis, it became obvious that fructose is two to three times more potent than glucose in increasing liver fat, a condition that triggers NAFLD. And the increased consumption of soft drinks containing HFCS corresponds with the explosive growth in NAFLD incidence.”
Fructose is broken down in the human digestive tract by an enzyme called fructokinase, which is produced both by the liver and the gut. Using mouse models, researchers found that excessive fructose metabolism in intestinal cells reduces production of proteins that maintain the gut barrier — a layer of tightly packed epithelial cells covered with mucus that prevent bacteria and microbial products, such as endotoxins, from leaking out of the intestines and into the blood.
“Thus, by deteriorating the barrier and increasing its permeability, excessive fructose consumption can result in a chronic inflammatory condition called endotoxemia, which has been documented in both experimental animals and pediatric NAFLD patients,” said the study’s first author Jelena Todoric, MD, PhD, a visiting scholar in Karin’s lab.
In their study, Karin, Todoric and colleagues from universities and institutions around the world, found that leaked endotoxins reaching the liver provoked increased production of inflammatory cytokines and stimulated the conversion of fructose and glucose into fatty acid deposits.
“It is very clear that fructose does its dirty work in the intestine,” said Karin, “and if intestinal barrier deterioration is prevented, the fructose does little harm to the liver.”
The scientists noted that feeding mice with high amounts of fructose and fat results in particularly severe adverse health effects. “That’s a condition that mimics the 95th percentile of relative fructose intake by American adolescents, who get up to 21.5 percent of their daily calories from fructose, often in combination with calorie-dense foods like hamburgers and French fries,” Karin said.
Interestingly, the research team found that when fructose intake was reduced below a certain threshold, no adverse effects were observed in mice, suggesting only excessive and long-term fructose consumption represents a health risk. Moderate fructose intake through normal consumption of fruits is well-tolerated.
“Unfortunately, many processed foods contain HFCS and most people cannot estimate how much fructose they actually consume,” said Karin. “Although education and increased awareness are the best solutions to this problem, for those individuals who had progressed to the severe form of NAFLD known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, these findings offer some hope of a future therapy based on gut barrier restoration.”
What are the health risks of low glutathione levels
Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, chronic disease continues to exert a lethal toll in the United States. Close to 650,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, while the CDC reports that cancer is expected to claim over 600,000 lives in 2020 alone. In addition, 5.7 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, the number one form of dementia among older adults (and the sixth leading cause of death). Now, peer-reviewed research reveals a common thread connecting these illnesses – virtually all people suffering from these health issues exhibit low levels of glutathione.
Clearly, glutathione – famously referred to as, the “master antioxidant” – plays an important role in health and longevity. Today, we’ll focus on how to renew and replenish stores of this wonderful substance.
Warning: Glutathione shortfalls linked with virtually all chronic health issues
Scientists credit glutathione with the ability to attack viruses and bacteria, neutralize harmful free radicals, boost the immune system, fight inflammation, arrest the growth of cancer cells and combat heart disease.
Unsurprisingly, having low glutathione can have serious health consequences.
In fact, there are many integrative healthcare providers that warn the public about the health dangers associated with low glutathione levels. Simply put, if you’re dealing with blood sugar imbalances, autoimmune disorders or poor brain function, being low in glutathione could be the reason for your health challenges.
In a study published in The Lancet, researchers reported that elderly people demonstrated lower glutathione levels than younger individuals. And, levels declined with age and state of health.In people who were both ill and elderly, levels were even lower – and were at the lowest in the hospitalized elderly.
Warning: Glutathione deficiency is a massive threat to cellular health
In a 2013 review published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists concluded that Alzheimer’s disease may be triggered by oxidative stress in the brain resulting from decreased levels of glutathione.
Research has also shown that low levels of glutathione can set the stage for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
A review published in PLOS One reported that diabetic patients had lower levels of glutathione when compared to a control group. And, abnormal glutathione metabolism was more pronounced in patients with microvascular complications from diabetes.
As with the Alzheimer’s disease study, the scientists concluded that glutathione plays a key role in preventing health issues and reducing oxidative stress.
Significantly, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology found that elderly subjects with diagnoses of arthritis, diabetes or heart disease had significantly lower glutathione levels than subjects who were healthy.
Natural ways to build up your glutathione levels
Obviously, deficiencies should be avoided at all costs. But, a wide variety of factors can drain stores of precious glutathione, leaving us at risk for health problems.
Glutathione-robbing culprits include poor nutrition, exposure to environmental toxins, alcohol use, smoking, infections, sedentary lifestyle and chronic stress.
In addition, common pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs – including acetaminophen and antibiotics – can contribute to low glutathione.
What can we do to restore levels?
The subject of oral glutathione supplementation is somewhat controversial, as some scientists maintain that the compound is broken down too quickly in the digestive tract to be of real benefit. If you do choose to supplement with glutathione, a liposomal formulation is probably your best bet.
Natural health experts typically recommend glutathione dosages of 500 to 1,000 mg a day. As always, check with your integrative doctor before supplementing, especially if you’re not feeling well.
You can boost glutathione levels by consuming foods that are high in cysteine, one of glutathione’s “building blocks.” These include cruciferous vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, as well as allium vegetables such as garlic, onions and leeks.
Other foods that can raise glutathione include asparagus, avocados and bioactive whey protein made from non-denatured proteins. In addition, in terms of helping to replish glutathione levels, you may want to consider taking milk thistle, N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid and vitamin C.
Remember: in these challenging times, it’s important to keep antioxidant levels “fully charged.” There is no better way to accomplish this than by optimizing your glutathione levels.
No safe level of caffeine consumption for pregnant women and would-be mothers
Reykjavik University (Iceland), August 24, 2020
Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should be advised to avoid caffeine because the evidence suggests that maternal caffeine consumption is associated with negative pregnancy outcomes and that there is no safe level of consumption, finds an analysis of observational studies published in BMJ Evidence Based Medicine.
Caffeine is probably the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in history, and many people, including pregnant women consume it on a daily basis.
Pregnant women have been advised that consuming a small amount of caffeine daily will not harm their baby. The UK NHS, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) set this level at 200 mg caffeine, which approximates to roughly two cups of moderate-strength coffee per day.
This study undertook a review of current evidence on caffeine-related pregnancy outcomes, to determine whether the recommended safe level of consumption for pregnant women is soundly based.
Through database searches, Professor Jack James, of Reykjavik University, Iceland, identified 1,261 English language peer-reviewed articles linking caffeine and caffeinated beverages to pregnancy outcomes.
These were whittled down to 48 original observational studies and meta-analyses published in the past two decades reporting results for one or more of six major negative pregnancy outcomes: miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight and/or small for gestational age, preterm birth, childhood acute leukaemia, and childhood overweight and obesity.
A total of 42 separate findings were reported in 37 observational studies; of these 32 found that caffeine significantly increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and 10 found no or inconclusive associations. Caffeine-related risk was reported with moderate to high levels of consistency for all pregnancy outcomes except preterm birth.
Eleven studies reported on the findings of 17 meta-analyses, and in 14 of these maternal caffeine consumption was associated with increased risk for four adverse outcomes: miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight and/or small for gestational age, and childhood acute leukaemia. The three remaining meta-analyses did not find an association between maternal caffeine consumption and preterm birth.
No meta-analyses looked at the association between maternal caffeine consumption and childhood overweight and obesity, but four of five observational studies reported significant associations.
This is an observational study, so can’t establish causation, and the author points out that the results could be impacted by other confounding factors, such as recall of caffeine consumption, maternal cigarette smoking and most importantly pregnancy symptoms. Pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy are predictive of a healthy pregnancy and women who experience them are likely to reduce their caffeine intake.
But he adds that the dose-responsive nature of the associations between caffeine and adverse pregnancy outcomes, and the fact some studies found no threshold below which negative outcomes were absent, supports likely causation rather than mere association.
Professor James concludes that there is “substantial cumulative evidence” of an association between maternal caffeine consumption and diverse negative pregnancy outcomes, specifically miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight and/or small for gestational age, childhood acute leukaemia and childhood overweight and obesity, but not preterm birth.
As a result, he adds, current health recommendations concerning caffeine consumption during pregnancy are in need of “radical revision.”