The newsletters I am most likely to open and read (ie actually click on to access the full text) are those from science sites that feature new research. One of my favorites is the magazine The Scientist– they almost always have something the peaks my curiosity. To that end, for over two years we’ve been curating research and news items for you, our professional readers. Have you checked out our R&N pages? Clicked on the link from the newsletter? I honestly don’t know that our R&N pages have gotten the traction that our other content has, despite them being some of my favorite material on our site. I suspect they’ve gone under the radar because the newsletters are pretty jam packed. In an effort to remedy, I am featuring our Research and News this month. Check it out. What do you think? Is this a useful offering for you?
Ketogenic Diet May be Useful for Melanoma
Cancer is in part a metabolic disease. Many cancer cells hijack specific energy pathways, including those that use glucose and amino acids as substrates (think carbohydrates and proteins). Recent research using melanoma cells indicates similar metabolic dysfunctions and suggest that melanomas may also respond favorably to a Ketogenic Diet where both carbohydrate and protein intake are restricted. This Restricted Ketogenic Diet is a medically-supervised diet that we use in certain cancer situations in our clinic and based on the important work of Dr. Thomas Seyfried.
Exercise is Essential to Prevent Age-Related Muscle Loss
As we age, the best way to preserve muscle integrity as we age is through exercise. The causes of age-related muscle loss are numerous and complex, but exercise seems to trump all when it comes to prevention and even reversal, according to a recent report in The Scientist. Strength training is effective at making muscle, and aerobic exercises are important for muscle cell mitochondrial health, including by epigenetic mechanisms. Positive effects can happen very quickly – for example, one hour of brisk walking has a positive impact on insulin sensitivity that persists into the following day. Preserving healthy muscle status as we age is more important than you might think, since muscle cells have functions beyond simply movement – they are also essential for metabolic balance.
Evidence for Food Sensitivities in Autoimmunity
In Functional Medicine, IgG delayed food sensitivities are often looked at as potential drivers of autoimmune diseases of all types. In our clinical experience, and in those of many other practitioners, avoiding food triggers can be extremely important. However, scientific data to support the food-autoimmune connection has been sparse, which is why this paper caught my eye – a review of 100 patients with autoimmune disease, clear differences were seen in the level of IgG food antibodies compared with non-autoimmune controls. The most reactive foods were dairy, gluten/wheat, egg white and rice. Variable reactions were also seed from nuts.
Curcumin May Reduce Risks of Oral Steroid Medication
In our practice, we are often very successful at reducing or eliminating the need for oral steroid medications. But in the cases where glucocorticoids (or other medications) are still required, we like to mitigate the medication side effect risks as much as possible. We know that long-term glucocorticoid (oral steroid) treatment has deleterious effects on bone health. Curcumin, derived from turmeric spice, is one intervention that early research shows may protect against bone loss from long-term glucocorticoid use.
Lactobacillus Probiotics for Depression
Gut and brain are intimately connected, making the gut a significant piece of the puzzle when it comes to addressing depression. In this animal research model, scientists were able to show that a loss of Lactobacillus microbes in the gut led to the onset of depressive symptoms, and that restoring Lactobacilluslevels through probiotics reversed those symptoms. For those FxMed geeks out there—the mechanism uncovered by the researchers was that low Lactobacillus increased levels of kynurenine, known to drive depression via NMDA receptor signaling.
Massive success for deadly sepsis treatment using nutraceuticals and low dose steroids
Sepsis kills more people in hospitals than any other disease. However, a protocol of intravenous vitamin C, vitamin B1 and low dose steroids has shown massive success in this difficult-to-treat condition, reducing mortality from sepsis from over 40% to 8.5%. Of those 8.5% in the group studied, none died from the sepsis itself, rather from their underlying condition. The research findings are published in the peer-reviewed journal, CHEST.
Some tuna fish carry 36 times more chemicals
Although all tuna fish carry some level of contamination, tuna caught nearer industrialized locations off the coasts of North America and Europe can carry up to 36 times more pollutants than species from more remote locations such as the West Pacific. This includes pesticides, flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Worst locations seem to be the northeast Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California analyzed tuna from 12 locations around the world to uncover these data.
Gadolinium from MRIs deposits in the brain
An excellent interview with Mayo Clinic investigator on the deposition of gadolinium in the brains of patients undergoing MRIs, showing cumulative deposits with increased number of MRIs. MRIs are necessary procedures for many diseases, but this makes a good case for chelation therapy after the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents, especially for those who receive numerous MRIs.
Compound in broccoli blocks allergic response to peanut and egg
Could changing our food habits reduce symptoms of food allergy? This mouse study shows that indole-3-carbinol, a compound derived from cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cabbage, can block symptoms of egg and peanut allergy. There are other similar plant compounds that have been studied to similar effect, making the possibilities intriguing, but it’s isn’t clear exactly how this translates to humans. Adding cruciferous vegetables to your diet certainly isn’t a bad idea for most of us, but if you have a food allergy, you should still always carry your epi-pen and be just as careful about avoiding exposure.