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January 3, 2012 / dgiessman

Some Common Cold Relief from Down Under

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Gold kiwifruit may slash severity of common cold: Study

By Stephen Daniells, 02-Jan-2012

Related topics: Phytochemicals, plant extracts, Immune system, Research

Eating a couple of gold kiwifruit every day may reduce the severity of symptoms of the common cold, says new data from New Zealand.

The numbers of days suffering from a sore throat were cut from 5.4 to 2 days as a result of eating kiwifruit, compared to bananas, while the numbers of days of suffering from head congestion fell from 4.7 to 0.9 days, researchers report in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Consuming the kiwifruit led to increases in blood levels of vitamin C, but researchers from the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research and Massey University.

“This study shows that the micronutrients provided by regular eating of gold kiwifruit appear to be important in reducing symptoms of colds and other upper respiratory infections,” said lead author Dr Denise Hunter.

“While we do not know what compounds produce these results, these findings suggest that eating gold kiwifruit on a regular basis throughout the winter period may reduce the severity of some cold symptoms.”

The study was funded by Zespri International Limited, and the company also provided the fresh and free-dried gold kiwifruit used in the study.

Cold stats

The common cold is one of the most widespread illnesses in the world. It is estimated that adults suffer from between two and four episodes annually, whilst children in school may have as many as 12 episodes per year.

A recent Cochrane review estimated that the total economic impact of cold-related work loss exceeds $20 billion per year. As a result, Americans spend around $2.9 billion on over-the-counter drugs (and another $400 million on prescription medicines) for symptomatic relief of cold.

Study details

If further data supports the findings of the new study, it could see kiwifruit added to a list of potential cold remedies. The researchers recruited 37 healthy over-65 year olds and asked them to eat four kiwifruit daily for four weeks then switch to two bananas per day (or vice versa) with a four week kiwifruit/banana-free period prior to each treatment period.

Results indicated a reduction in self-reported cold symptoms with gold kiwifruit compared to banana, with sore throat symptoms reducing from 5.4 to 2 days and head congestion from 4.7 to 0.9 days.

The researchers also reported an easing in the severity of symptoms of head congestion during the gold kiwifruit period.

Markers of immune health were not significantly affected by consumption of the kiwifruit or banana, they added.

Take home

“Regular consumption of gold kiwifruit by community-dwelling older people has a positive and significant influence on a number of plasma antioxidants, including vitamins C and E (a-tocopherol), and lutein/zeaxanthin, and significantly reduces cellular damage from oxidative stress, namely lipid peroxidation,” said the researchers.

“Furthermore, when participants consuming gold kiwifruit experienced symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, many symptoms tended to be shorter in duration and less severe; this was significant for duration and severity of head congestion, and duration of sore throat.

“Although the mechanisms behind the influence of enhanced plasma antioxidants and dietary analytes on improved symptoms of upper respiratory tract infectionsafter consumption of gold kiwifruit remain speculative, the reduction in duration and severity of selected upper respiratory tract infections symptoms indicates that gold kiwifruit may provide an important and clinically relevant contribution to lessening the burden of respiratory infection in older individuals.”

Source: British Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, FirstView Articles, doi: 10.1017/S0007114511006659
“Consumption of gold kiwifruit reduces severity and duration of selected upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and increases plasma vitamin C concentration in healthy older adults”
Authors: D.C. Hunter, M.A. Skinner, F.M. Wolber, C.L. Booth, J.M.S. Loh, M. Wohlers, L.M. Stevenson, M.C. Kruger

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© 2012 – William Reed Business Media SAS – All rights reserved. William Reed Business Media SAS

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September 15, 2010 / dgiessman

Keep on truck’in for your arteries.

National Institute of Health and Nutrition reports research in hypertension

NewsRx.com 09-14-10

 Fresh data on hypertension are presented in the report ‘Longer time spent in light physical activity is associated with reduced arterial stiffness in older adults.’ “Habitual moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity attenuates arterial stiffening. However, it is unclear whether light physical activity also attenuates arterial stiffening,” investigators in Tokyo, Japan report (see also Hypertension).

 “It is also unclear whether light physical activity has the same effects in fit and unfit individuals. This cross-sectional study was performed to determine the relationships between amount of light physical activity determined with a triaxial accelerometer and arterial stiffness. A total of 538 healthy men and women participated in this study. Subjects in each age category were divided into either high-light or low-light physical activity groups based on daily time spent in light physical activity. Arterial stiffness was measured by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity. Two-way ANOVA indicated a significant interaction between age and time spent in light physical activity in determining carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (p <0.05). In the older group, carotid femoral pulse wave velocity was higher in the low-light physical activity level group than in the high-light physical activity level group (945??19 versus 882??16 cm/s; p<0.01). The difference remained significant after normalizing carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity for amounts of moderate and vigorous physical activity. The carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (r=-0.47; p<0.01) was correlated with daily time spent in light physical activity in older unfit subjects. No relationship was observed in older fit subjects,” wrote Y. Gando and colleagues, National Institute of Health and Nutrition.

 The researchers concluded: “These results suggested that longer time spent in light physical activity is associated with attenuation of arterial stiffening, especially in unfit older people.”

 Gando and colleagues published their study in Hypertension (Longer time spent in light physical activity is associated with reduced arterial stiffness in older adults. Hypertension, 2010;56(3):540-6).

September 15, 2010 / dgiessman

Is you statin drug working for you or against you?

Statin Drugs Open Us Up to Foodborne Illnesses

Posted By ANH-USA On September 14, 2010 @ 4:43 pm In Heart Health, Nutrition, Statins | 3 Comments

Statin-Drugs-1Did you know that cholesterol drugs make us more vulnerable to bacterial infections, including e. coli and salmonella? We have some other surprising news about cholesterol—and natural ways to battle those bugs.

At the same time the government says it is trying to address the problem of foodborne illnesses, it recommends drugs which may actually put its citizens at greater risk from food poisoning.

A recent study shows that the statin drug simvastatin, which the government is advocating we take to lower cholesterol levels, actually weakens our immune system and makes it difficult to fight off bacterial infections. Italian scientists found that the drug, sold under the names Zocor and Simvacor, hinders the ability of the body’s immune cells to kill pathogens [1], and increases the production of cytokines, which trigger and sustain inflammation. This is a preliminary finding in that it is based on lab work with human cells and also mice studies. But it is not at all surprising. In fact, it is completely in agreement with earlier research.

Surprise! High Cholesterol Protects Against Infection!

Cholesterol isn’t the ticking time bomb most people have been led to think. Believe it or not, people with high cholesterol live the longest. Dr. Harlan Krumholz of Yale’s Department of Cardiovascular Medicine found that old people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did old people with high cholesterol [2]. Many studies have found that low cholesterol is in one respect or another worse than high cholesterol. A review of nineteen large studies of more than 68,000 deaths by the Division of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota found that low cholesterol predicted an increased risk of dying from gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases [3].

Since food-related illnesses have an infectious origin, as do most other gastrointestinal illnesses, understanding the relationship between cholesterol and infection is vital. The University of Minnesota team followed more than 100,000 healthy individuals in the San Francisco area for fifteen years. At the end of the study those who had low cholesterol at the start of the study had been admitted to the hospital more often because of an infectious disease [4]. In other words, either low cholesterol made them more vulnerable to infection, or high cholesterol protected those who did not become infected.

Even so-called “bad” cholesterol is needed by the body. It is oxidized “bad” cholesterol we have to worry about, and statins do not address that issue at all.

There is great evidence that Niacin will bring your HDL (good cholesterol) up and protect you more.  Harv Health Lett. 2010 Jul;35(9):6-7.  Elevating your HDL game. “Good” cholesterol levels can be increased in several ways, but taking niacin is the most effective.

Natural Cures

If you do contract a foodborne illness, what does natural health research suggest? Remedies worth researching include red wine (potentially very effective), resveratrol, honey (especially medicinal Manuka honey), and the old antibacterial stand-by, raw garlic. Some experts advocate drinking lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to help kill the bacteria, taking activated charcoal, or eating carrots because beta carotene bolsters the immune system. And a Japanese study showed that wasabi eliminates e. coli and other food poisoning bacteria entirely [5]. These are just a few ideas, but they’ll get you started on your own research.

July 24, 2010 / dgiessman

Olive oil’s anti-inflammatory benefits linked to gene expression

The study, published in Biomed Central (BMC) Genomics, tested the impact of consuming an olive-oil rich breakfast in people suffering from metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of conditions linked to heart disease and diabetes.

“This study shows that intake of virgin olive oil based breakfast, which is rich in phenol compounds is able to repress in vivo expression of several pro-inflammatory genes, thereby switching activity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to a less deleterious inflammatory profile,” wrote the researchers.

“These results provide at least a partial molecular basis for reduced risk of cardiovascular disease observed in Mediterranean countries, where virgin olive oil represents a main source of dietary fat.”

Previous studies had shown that the consumption of olive oil with a high phenolic content could help reduce pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidant and pro-thrombotic markers compared with the consumption of low phenols virgin olive oil.

The researchers of the current study set out to investigate whether the beneficial effects of olive oil could be linked to gene activity. Their approach was to identify expression changes in genes which could be mediated by olive oil phenol compounds.

Study details

The study, which followed a double-blinded, randomized, crossover design, involved 20 patients suffering from metabolic syndrome. After an initial six-week wash-out period during which participants did not take supplements, vitamins or drugs, they were fed two virgin olive oil-based breakfasts with high (398 ppm) and low (70 ppm) content of phenolic compounds.

All participants consumed a similar low-fat, carbohydrate rich diet during the study period to eliminate potential impacts resulting from their usual dietary habits.

After tracking the expression of over 15,000 human genes in blood cells during the after-meal period, the researchers identified 79 genes that were underexpressed (or turned down) by the high phenol olive oil, and 19 genes that were overexpressed (or turned up).

“Many of those genes have been linked to obesity, high blood-fat levels, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Importantly, several of the turned-down genes are known promoters of inflammation, so those genes may be involved in ‘cooling off’ inflammation that often accompanies metabolic syndrome,” writes the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS), which was involved in the study.

The researchers concluded that their findings strengthen the relationship between inflammation, obesity and diet, and provide evidence at transcription level of control of healthy effects derived from virgin olive oil consumption in humans.

However, they added that “it would be interesting to evaluate whether these beneficial effects are maintained after prolonged feeding and if these effects are carried out by one or several olive oil phenolic compounds, or if they are consequence of a synergic effect of the total phenolic fraction.”

Remember you can get some great tasting local olive oil right down Balfour Rd at the McCauly Bros. store.  This is the xxtra-virgin oil, single press which has the most loaded with polyphenols, the most important component of olive oil.  By the way ask for the REMAJO brand grown on the Giessman property.

June 15, 2010 / dgiessman

The influence of forgiveness and apology on cardiovascular reactivity and recovery in response to mental stress.

Wow, what a great study to show that forgiveness is for your own good.

Department of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, 55 Lake Avenue N., Worcester, MA, 01605, USA, matthew.whited@umassmed.edu.

Abstract

To investigate the relation between forgiveness and apology as they relate to cardiovascular reactivity and recovery, 29 men and 50 women were exposed to an interpersonal transgression (i.e., verbal harassment) while performing a serial subtraction task. Participants were categorized into high and low forgiveness groups based on scores on the forgiving personality scale. Following the task, approximately half of the participants received an apology from the experimenter for his/her comments during the task. Although no group differences in cardiovascular reactivity were observed during the serial subtraction task, persons high in forgiveness displayed more rapid diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure recovery than persons low in forgiveness. In response to the apology, participants displayed greater high frequency heart rate variability recovery compared to those who did not receive an apology. A significant apology x sex interaction was observed for diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial blood pressure. Women who received an apology exhibited faster recovery from the transgression than women who did not receive an apology. In contrast, men who received an apology exhibited delayed recovery from the transgression compared to men who did not receive an apology. These results indicate that there are potentially healthful benefits to forgiveness and apology, but the relation is influenced by situation and by sex.

PMID: 20364307 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher

May 29, 2010 / dgiessman

Diet soda now promoted as medicine to stop kidney stones (opinion)

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) The “most retarded science journal of the year” award goes to the Journal of Urology which has published an article suggesting that diet soda is actually an effective type of medicine for preventing kidney stones (April 19, 2010 issue). The research was led by Dr Brian H. Eisner, a urologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who is apparently completely clueless about human nutrition and the toxicity of aspartame.

According to Dr Eisner, diet sodas are not only good medicine for preventing kidney stones; they’re also a good source of water hydration. Noting that patients need to consume 2-3 liters of water each day, Dr Eisner said in a Reuters article, “If drinking these sodas helps people reach that goal, then that may be a good thing.” (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS…)

If you’re thinking this is some sort of April Fools joke, it isn’t. Dr Eisner and the Journal of Urology are somehow convinced this is good research and that diet sodas may actually have a positive medicinal effect on the human body. Instances of such “scientific” stupidity appear to be increasing in western medicine where doctors remain wildly ignorant of the effects on the human body caused by processed ingredients or toxic chemical additives.

Aspartame, used as the primary sweetener in diet sodas, is a potent neurotoxin according to experts like Dr Russell Blaylock. Many believe it promotes headaches, vision problems, endocrine system problems and nervous system disorders. It has never been proven safe for human consumption by any honest testing.

Most diet sodas also contain alarmingly high levels of phosphoric acid, a substance that causes a huge increase in acidity throughout the body, suppressing immune function, weakening bones and contributing to kidney stones (not preventing them).

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

The truth about diet soda

There is absolutely no question that drinking diet soda is atrocious for your health. That a mainstream western doctor would somehow conclude diet soda to be a medicine for preventing kidney stones is equivalent to declaring “pizza prevents heart disease” or that smoking cigarettes prevents cancer. It shows not merely the shocking nutritional ignorance of Dr Eisner himself, but the utter lack of nutritional knowledge among his peers at the Journal of Urology who somehow saw fit to publish his study.

This is called science? Keep in mind that the entire claim is based on the idea that certain diet sodas contain citrate and that frequent consumption of citrate from natural sources (lemonade, lime juice, etc.) is well known to prevent kidney stones. Consuming natural lemonade actually does prevent kidney stones, but you can’t extrapolate from that and claim a lemon-flavored diet soda will accomplish the same thing. That’s like saying that since fruit helps prevent cancer, then drinking fruit punch must prevent cancer, too.

This research, by the way, never even tested diet sodas on human subjects. It’s really just a “thought experiment” from someone who isn’t even very good at thinking. The entire paper is the scientific equivalent of saying, “Hey, I betcha that thar diet soda might prevent them kidney stones ‘cuz there’s citrate in it!”

And the Journal of Urology was just silly enough to actually publish it as science. It makes you wonder: What are the requirements for having a scientific paper rejected by the Journal of Urology?


Dale Giessman, DC
350 John Muir Pkwy., Suite 265
Brentwood, CA 94513
925-513-8883

May 17, 2010 / dgiessman

Some Lower Blood Pressure With Chiropractic Visit

The above headline comes from a May 6, 2010 feature story on the Pittsburgh, PA, TV News station KDKA. The story starts off by noting that millions of people have high blood pressure. And they note that if left untreated it can be deadly.

Most people treat blood pressure with medication. However, the story notes that some people are turning to chiropractic for help. As a result, these people are seeing improvement in their blood pressure numbers.
The story focused on Dr. Michael Vactor who stated in an interview that, “Basically, one in four adults in America have some form of high blood pressure.”
The article also quoted Bill Bird, a patient who is now sold on chiropractic. Bill has a very stressful job selling cars resulting in high blood pressure requiring prescription medication.  After a few visits to the chiropractor, his blood pressure had improved to the point where his medical doctor cut his medication in half. Looking to the future, Bill optimistically stated, “30 to 45 days of my blood pressure staying at the levels it is, I’m going to be off it 100 percent.”
In spite of the fact that studies have now shown that chiropractic can help lower blood pressure, some in the medical profession are still skeptical. Dr. Vactor noted, “If we can get somebody’s blood pressure to be lowered without medication, it’s amazing because most doctors you talk to will tell you it can’t be done.”
The article also interviewed Dr. George Bakris, a medical doctor whose expertise is high blood pressure, and who conducted a blood pressure study involving chiropractic on 50 patients at the University of Chicago Medical School. “We saw miraculous changes in blood pressure,” said Dr. Bakris. “We saw 12 to 13 millimeter reductions in blood pressure.”
In the conclusion of the article, Dr. Vactor noted that in spite of the medical approach to treat high blood pressure, chiropractic could have a unique answer. He states, “We’ve never been able to find a drug or a medication that can lower blood pressure that fast with no side effects.”