LIFESTYLE, NUTRITION, NUTRACEUTICAL IMPACTS, & ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS

New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation
www.feelguide.com/2015/01/06/new-research-discovers-tha-depression-is-an-allergic-reaction-to-inflammation/
New research is revealing that many cases of depression are caused by an allergic reaction to inflammation. Tim de Chant of NOVA writes: “Inflammation is our immune system’s natural response to injuries, infections, or foreign compounds. When triggered, the body pumps various cells and proteins to the site through the blood stream, including cytokines, a class of proteins that facilitate intercellular communication. It also happens that people suffering from depression are loaded with cytokines.” Inflammation is caused by obesity, high sugar diets, high quantities of trans fats, unhealthy diets in general, and other causes. By treating the inflammatory symptoms of depression — rather than the neurological ones — researchers and doctors are opening up an exciting new dimension in the fight against what has become a global epidemic.

Aerosolization of Mycotoxins after Growth of Toxinogenic Fungi on Wallpaper
Brankica Aleksica,b, Marjorie Draghic, Sebastien Ritouxc, Sylviane Baillya, Marlène Lacroixa, Isabelle P. Oswalda, Jean-Denis Baillya and Enric Robinec
Scientific and Technical Centre for Building, Airborne Pollutants and Bioaerosol Division, Marne-la-Vallée, France
Dan Cullen, Editor
http://aem.asm.org/content/83/16/e01001-17
Many fungi can develop on building material in indoor environments if the moisture level is high enough. Among species that are frequently observed, some are known to be potent mycotoxin producers. This presence of toxinogenic fungi in indoor environments raises the question of the possible exposure of occupants to these toxic compounds by inhalation after aerosolization. This study investigated mycotoxin production by Penicillium brevicompactum, Aspergillus versicolor, and Stachybotrys chartarum during their growth on wallpaper and the possible subsequent aerosolization of produced mycotoxins from contaminated substrates. The possible colonization of building material by toxinogenic fungi in cases of moistening raises the question of the subsequent exposure of occupants to aerosolized mycotoxins. In this study, we demonstrated that three different toxinogenic species produce mycotoxins during their development on wallpaper. These toxins can subsequently be aerosolized, at least partly, from moldy material. This transfer to air requires air velocities that can be encountered under real-life conditions in buildings.

When Mold is the Hidden Culprit
October 4, 2018
By Nicole Spear, MS, CNS
Designs for Health, Research and Education
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/node/877
Mold exposure from water damaged buildings and mycotoxins present in humid indoor air is a leading root cause of many chronic illnesses. It is estimated that nearly 25 percent of all buildings harbor some type of toxic mold and the resulting mycotoxins can be a major contributor to nearly half of all chronic illnesses. Mold is a hearty organism that lives and feeds on household surfaces with a high cellulose content such as wood, fiberboard, paper, lint, and dust. Modern HVAC systems help circulate the dangerous mycotoxins released from the growing mold species. Humans that reside in these environments for long durations inhale and ingest mycotoxins and find that their health is deteriorating and they are being plagued with mysterious symptoms. But because mycotoxin exposure has not been a common consideration in health, it is rarely identified in an initial health evaluation.

Immune Response among Patients Exposed to Molds
David A. Edmondson, Christy S. Barrios, Trevor L. Brasel, David C. Straus, Viswanath P. Kurup, and Jordan N. Fink
Int J Mol Sci. 2009 Dec; 10(12): 5471–5484.
Published online 2009 Dec 21. doi: [10.3390/ijms10125471]
Macrocyclic trichothecenes, mycotoxins produced by Stachybotrys chartarum, have been implicated in adverse reactions in individuals exposed to mold-contaminated environments. Cellular and humoral immune responses and the presence of trichothecenes were evaluated in patients with mold-related health complaints. Patients underwent history, physical examination, skin prick/puncture tests with mold extracts, immunological evaluations and their sera were analyzed for trichothecenes. T-cell proliferation, macrocyclic trichothecenes, and mold specific IgG and IgA levels were not significantly different than controls; however 70% of the patients had positive skin tests to molds. Thus, IgE mediated or other non-immune mechanisms could be the cause of their symptoms.

Detection of Mycotoxins in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Joseph H. Brewer, Jack D. Thrasher, David C. Straus, Roberta A. Madison, and Dennis Hooper
Toxins 2013, 5, 605-617;
doi:10.3390/toxins5040605
Scientific literature has demonstrated mycotoxins as possible causes of human disease in water-damaged buildings (WDB). This study was conducted to determine if selected mycotoxins could be identified in human urine from patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Patients (n = 112) with a prior diagnosis of CFS were evaluated for mold exposure and the presence of mycotoxins in their urine. Urine was tested for aflatoxins (AT), ochratoxin A (OTA) and macrocyclic trichothecenes (MT) using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA). Urine specimens from 104 of 112 patients (93%) were positive for at least one mycotoxin (one in the equivocal range). Almost 30% of the cases had more than one mycotoxin present. OTA was the most prevalent mycotoxin detected (83%) with MT as the next most common (44%). Exposure histories indicated current and/or past exposure to WDB in over 90% of cases. Environmental testing was performed in the WDB from a subset of these patients. This testing revealed the presence of otentially mycotoxin producing mold species and mycotoxins in the environment of the WDB. Prior testing in a healthy control population with no history of exposure to a WDB or moldy environment (n = 55) by the same laboratory, utilizing the same methods, revealed no positive cases at the limits of detection.

Pillows: A Hot Bed Of Fungal Spores.
University of Manchester. ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2005.
<www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051015093046.htm>.
Researchers at The University of Manchester funded by the Fungal Research Trust have discovered millions of fungal spores right under our noses — in our pillows. Aspergillus fumigatus, the species most commonly found in the pillows, is most likely to cause disease; and the resulting condition Aspergillosis has become the leading infectious cause of death in leukaemia and bone marrow transplant patients. Fungi also exacerbate asthma in adults.

Pathophysiology of multiple chemical sensitivity.
Barnig C1, de Blay F.
Rev Mal Respir. 2013 Jun;30(6):446-50. doi: 10.1016/j.rmr.2013.02.016. Epub 2013 Apr 18.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23835316
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a complex clinical entity that includes a large number of non-specific symptoms, associated in a univocal manner in each patient and triggered by exposure to various chemicals at low concentrations, well below those known to cause toxic effects. However, no objective test exists currently to diagnose this syndrome. One of the main reasons is that the pathophysiology is poorly understood. However, many explanatory hypotheses have been proposed.
Patients with symptoms of MCS are often encountered by pulmonologists. Their suffering is undeniable but, unfortunately, the lack of understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms makes treatment difficult and empirical.

The correlation between mental health and multiple chemical sensitivity: a survey study in Japanese workers
Xiaoyi Cui,corresponding author Xi Lu, Aya Hisada, Yuki Fujiwara, and Takahiko Katoh
Environ Health Prev Med. 2015 Mar; 20(2): 123–129.
Published online 2014 Dec 11.
doi: 10.1007/s12199-014-0434-2
As far as we are aware, this is the first study using path analysis to explore whether MCS can indicate mental health in worker populations worldwide, and we found a significant causal relationship between them. This could indicate that more focus should be placed on the impact of MCS on mental health in future investigations.

Biomagnetic Pair Therapy and Typhoid Fever: A Pilot Study
Bryan L. Frank, MD
Med Acupunct. 2017 Oct 1; 29(5): 308–312.
Published online 2017 Oct 1. doi: [10.1089/acu.2017.1253]
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5653337/
This pilot study examined the laboratory responses of patients with laboratory-documented typhoid fever who were treated with Biomagnetic Pair Therapy (BPT; medical biomagnetism), a specific application of pairs of magnets for various ailments that are infectious and otherwise.
This study was an assessment of patients’ response to treatment with only BPT for Salmonella typhi infections (typhoid fever) using standard conventional laboratory techniques. The research was conducted in an outpatient village clinic in Kenya. There were 52 participants who were evaluated for possible systemic illness, including typhoid fever, from an open-label study. Participants who felt sick and requested testing for possible typhoid fever were tested with a standard Widal test by a certified laboratory technician. Participants who tested positive (13 patients) were then treated with BPT (a “First Aid” approach) only. These participants then returned for follow-up laboratory and clinical evaluations after 2 days.
Most of the participants (10 of 13) retested as negative, and all patients reported symptomatic clinical improvement.
As a significant majority of participants demonstrated clearing of their S. typhi after BPT, this technique should be studied further in larger trials for its efficacy in treating typhoid fever.

Could certain frequencies of electromagnetic waves or radiation interfere with brain function?
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, a Division of Springer Nature America, Inc.  Apr 24, 2006
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/could-certain-frequencies/
Amir Raz, assistant professor of clinical neuroscience at Columbia University, offers the following answer.
Definitely. Radiation is energy and research findings provide at least some information concerning how specific types may influence biological tissue, including that of the brain. In some cases the effect may be therapeutic. For example, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a technique used to induce a short-term interruption of normal activity in a relatively restricted area of the brain by rapidly changing a strong magnetic field near the area of interest. Mark George provided a nice account of TMS in the September 2003 issue of Scientific American. In it he described how head-mounted wire coils can deliver powerful yet evanescent magnetic pulses directly into focal brain regions to painlessly modulate neural activity by inducing minute electric currents. Clinically, TMS may be helpful in alleviating certain symptoms, including those of depression.
Researchers typically differentiate between the effects of ionizing radiation (such as far-ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma ray) and nonionizing radiation (including visible light, microwave and radio). The ionizing variety may be undesirable because it can cause DNA damage and mutations, thus we should all limit our exposure to its sources–radioactive materials and solar radiation among them. However, given modern technology, nonionizing radiation from power lines, personal wireless devices, cell phone towers and other sources is practically unavoidable. Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) surround home appliances as well as high-voltage electrical transmission lines and transformers.

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity–an increasing challenge to the medical profession.
Hedendahl L, Carlberg M, Hardell L.
Rev Environ Health. 2015;30(4):209-15.
doi: 10.1515/reveh-2015-0012.
In 1970, a report from the former Soviet Union described the “microwave syndrome” among military personnel, working with radio and radar equipment, who showed symptoms that included fatigue, dizziness, headaches, problems with concentration and memory, and sleep disturbances. Similar symptoms were found in the 1980s among Swedes working in front of cathode ray tube monitors, with symptoms such as flushing, burning, and tingling of the skin, especially on the face, but also headaches, dizziness, tiredness, and photosensitivity. The same symptoms are reported in Finns, with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) being attributed to exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). Of special concern is involuntary exposure to radiofrequency (RF)-EMF from different sources. Most people are unaware of this type of exposure, which has no smell, color, or visibility. There is an increasing concern that wireless use of laptops and iPads in Swedish schools, where some have even abandoned textbooks, will exacerbate the exposure to EMF.

Designed electromagnetic pulsed therapy: clinical applications.
Gordon GA.
J Cell Physiol. 2007 Sep;212(3):579-82.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17577213
First reduced to science by Maxwell in 1865, electromagnetic technology as therapy received little interest from basic scientists or clinicians until the 1980s. It now promises applications that include mitigation of inflammation (electrochemistry) and stimulation of classes of genes following onset of illness and injury (electrogenomics). The use of electromagnetism to stop inflammation and restore tissue seems a logical phenomenology, that is, stop the inflammation, then upregulate classes of restorative gene loci to initiate healing. Studies in the fields of MRI and NMR have aided the understanding of cell response to low energy EMF inputs via electromagnetically responsive elements. Understanding protein iterations, that is, how they process information to direct energy, we can maximize technology to aid restorative intervention, a promising step forward over current paradigms of therapy.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a low-frequency magnetic field in the treatment of musculoskeletal chronic pain
Alex W Thomas, PhD, Karissa Graham, BSc, Frank S Prato, PhD, Julia McKay, BSc, Patricia Morley Forster, MD, Dwight E Moulin, MD, and Sesh Chari, MD
Pain Res Manag. 2007 Winter; 12(4): 249–258.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2670735/
Exposure to a specific pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) has been shown to produce analgesic (antinociceptive) effects in many organisms. In a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled clinical trial, patients with either chronic generalized pain from fibromyalgia (FM) or chronic localized musculoskeletal or inflammatory pain were exposed to a PEMF (400 μT) through a portable device fitted to their head during twice-daily 40 min treatments over seven days. The effect of this PEMF on pain reduction was recorded using a visual analogue scale. A differential effect of PEMF over sham treatment was noticed in patients with FM, which approached statistical significance (P=0.06) despite low numbers (n=17); this effect was not evident in those without FM (P=0.93; n=15). PEMF may be a novel, safe and effective therapeutic tool for use in at least certain subsets of patients with chronic, nonmalignant pain.

Efficacy and safety of the pulsed electromagnetic field in osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis
Ziying Wu, Xiang Ding, Guanghua Lei, Chao Zeng, Jie Wei, Jiatian Li, Hui Li, Tuo Yang, Yang Cui, Yilin Xiong, Yilun Wang, and Dongxing Xie
BMJ Open. 2018; 8(12): e022879. Published online 2018 Dec 14. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022879
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303578/
PEMF could alleviate pain and improve physical function for patients with knee and hand OA, but not for patients with cervical OA. Meanwhile, a short PEMF treatment duration (within 30 min) may achieve more favourable efficacy.

A controlled study of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in medication-resistant major depression.
Avery DH, Holtzheimer PE 3rd, Fawaz W, Russo J, Neumaier J, Dunner DL, Haynor DR, Claypoole KH, Wajdik C, Roy-Byrne P.
Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Jan 15;59(2):187-94. Epub 2005 Sep 1.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16139808
Transcranial magnetic stimulation can produce statistically and clinically significant antidepressant effects in patients with medication-resistant major depression.

Effects of a pulsed electromagnetic therapy on multiple sclerosis fatigue and quality of life: a double-blind, placebo controlled trial.
Lappin MS, Lawrie FW, Richards TL, Kramer ED.
Altern Ther Health Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;9(4):38-48.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Lappin+MS%3B+Altern+Ther+Health+Med.+2003+Jul-Aug%3B9(4)%3A38-48
Evidence from this randomized, double-bind, placebo controlled trial is consistent with results from smaller studies suggesting that exposure to pulsing, weak electromagnetic fields can alleviate symptoms of MS. The clinical effects were small, however, and need to be replicated. Additional research is also needed to examine the possibility that ambulatory patients and patients taking interferons for their MS may be most responsive to this kind of treatment.

Immune System Effects of Echinacea, Ginseng, and Astragalus: A Review
Keith I. Block MD, Mark N. Mead, MS
First Published September 1, 2003
https://doi.org/10.1177/1534735403256419
Echinacea, a native of North America, is widely used to prevent, or provide early treatment for, colds. Preclinical studies lend biological plausibility to the idea that echinacea works through immune mechanisms. Numerous clinical trials have been carried out on echinacea preparations: it appears that the extracts shorten the duration and severity of colds and other upper respiratory infections (URIs) when given as soon as symptoms become evident. However, trials of long-term use of echinacea as a preventive have not shown positive results. Ginseng has been studied in some depth as an antifatigue agent, but studies of immune mechanisms have not proceeded so far. Preclinical evidence shows some immune-stimulating activity. There have been several clinical trials in a variety of different diseases. Astragalus is the least-studied agent. There are some preclinical trials that show intriguing immune activity. The herbs discussed appear to have satisfactory safety profiles.

Cilantro Detoxifying and Delicious!
Designs for Health Research and Education
January 21, 2015
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/cilantro-detoxifying-and-delicious
In the past two decades one quality of cilantro that has captured the attention of many is its ability to detoxify heavy metals such as mercury and lead. This discovery was first made public in a study where 400 mg of cilantro was used daily to remove excess mercury that was deposited in various organs after the removal of amalgam dental fillings. In more recent years the use of cilantro has become more widely recognized as an adjunct treatment for detoxifyng heavy metals and some chemicals such as phthalates plasticizers and insecticides. In a recent animal study cilantro was able to significantly decrease lead deposition in bone and kidneys while also reducing lead-induced inhibition of enzyme activity. Such examples show how cilantro has earned its place among natural plant-based chelating agents although more rigorous clinical trials are needed to determine its therapeutic efficacy as a sole heavy metal detoxifier.

Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the vitamin D pathway associating with circulating concentrations of vitamin D metabolites and non-skeletal health outcomes: Review of genetic association studies.
Jolliffe DA, Walton RT, Griffiths CJ, Martineau AR
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2016 Nov;164:18-29.
doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2015.12.007. Epub 2015 Dec 11.
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London and Blizard Institute in the UK examined 120 genetic association studies on SNPs in 11 vitamin D pathway genes and their relationship with vitamin D levels and 50 non-bone related health outcomes, such as increased risk of diseases like asthma, autoimmune thyroid diseases and tuberculosis.
The researchers discovered that all 120 of the genetic association studies reported a connection between the above factors. Forty-four studies reported 114 findings suggesting that the variations lead to differing metabolite concentrations of vitamin D, meaning genes may be able to affect vitamin D levels in some way. Seventy-six studies reported 105 findings suggesting that the variations affect health outcomes, of which infectious and autoimmune diseases like HIV and psoriasis were the most frequent.

Low magnesium levels make vitamin D ineffective. Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function.
February 26, 2018
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, American Osteopathic Association, 2018; 118 (3): 181
Anne Marie Uwitonze, Mohammed S. Razzaque.
DOI: 10.7556/jaoa.2018.037
Vitamin D can’t be metabolized without sufficient magnesium levels, meaning Vitamin D remains stored and inactive for as many as 50 percent of Americans. In addition, Vitamin D supplements can increase a person’s calcium and phosphate levels even while they remain Vitamin D deficient. People may suffer from vascular calcification if their magnesium levels aren’t high enough to prevent the complication.

Adult vitamin D deficiency disrupts hippocampal-dependent learning and structural brain connectivity in BALB/c mice.
Al-Amin MM, Sullivan RKP, Kurniawan ND, Burne THJ
Brain Struct Funct. 2019 Feb 2. doi: 10.1007/s00429-019-01840-w. [Epub ahead of print]
Converging evidence from human and animal studies support an association between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment. Previous studies have shown that hippocampal volume is reduced in adults with vitamin D deficiency as well as in a range of disorders, such as schizophrenia.

Diet during pregnancy and infancy and risk of allergic or autoimmune disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, Despo Ierodiakonou, Katharine Jarrold, Sergio Cunha, Jennifer Chivinge, Zoe Robinson, Natalie Geoghegan, Alisha Ruparelia, Pooja Devani, Marialena Trivella, Jo Leonardi-Bee, Robert J. Boyle.
PLOS Medicine, 2018; 15 (2): e1002507
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002507
Women who take fish oil supplements and probiotics in later pregnancy may reduce their child’s risk of food allergy and eczema, according to new research.

Neutrophils Are Critical for Myelin Removal in a Peripheral Nerve Injury Model of Wallerian Degeneration.
Jane A. Lindborg, Matthias Mack, Richard E. Zigmond.
The Journal of Neuroscience, 2017; 37 (43): 10258
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2085-17.2017
Immune cells are normally associated with fighting infection but in a new study, scientists have discovered how they also help the nervous system clear debris, clearing the way for nerve regeneration after injury. Researchers have recently shown certain immune cells — neutrophils — can clean up nerve debris, while previous models have attributed nerve cell damage control to other cells entirely.

Gut microbiome alterations in Alzheimer’s disease
Nicholas M. Vogt, Robert L. Kerby, Kimberly A. Dill-McFarland, Sandra J. Harding, Andrew P. Merluzzi, Sterling C. Johnson, Cynthia M. Carlsson, Sanjay Asthana, Henrik Zetterberg, Kaj Blennow, Barbara B. Bendlin & Federico E. Rey
Scientific Reportsvolume 7, Article number: 13537 (2017)
doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13601-y
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. However, the etiopathogenesis of this devastating disease is not fully understood. Recent studies in rodents suggest that alterations in the gut microbiome may contribute to amyloid deposition, yet the microbial communities associated with AD have not been characterized in humans. Towards this end, we characterized the bacterial taxonomic composition of fecal samples from participants with and without a diagnosis of dementia due to AD. Our analyses revealed that the gut microbiome of AD participants has decreased microbial diversity and is compositionally distinct from control age- and sex-matched individuals. We identified phylum- through genus-wide differences in bacterial abundance including decreased Firmicutes, increased Bacteroidetes, and decreased Bifidobacterium in the microbiome of AD participants. Furthermore, we observed correlations between levels of differentially abundant genera and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of AD. These findings add AD to the growing list of diseases associated with gut microbial alterations, as well as suggest that gut bacterial communities may be a target for therapeutic intervention.

β-Amyloid accumulation in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation.
Shokri-Kojori E, Wang GJ, et al.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2018 Apr 9. pii: 201721694.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1721694115.
Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are a group of conditions that cause mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These conditions affect one’s ability to function socially, personally, and professionally. According to a new study published last week, researchers demonstrate how sleep disruption increases amyloid beta and tau proteins, which are associated with ADRD. Nutrients to consider to help restore sleep include magnesium l-threonate, valerian root, passionflower, lemon balm, and melatonin.

Antiinflammatory Therapy with Canakinumab for Atherosclerotic Disease.
Paul M Ridker, Brendan M. Everett, Tom Thuren, Jean G. MacFadyen, William H. Chang, Christie Ballantyne, Francisco Fonseca, Jose Nicolau, Wolfgang Koenig, Stefan D. Anker, John J.P. Kastelein, Jan H. Cornel, Prem Pais, Daniel Pella, Jacques Genest, Renata Cifkova, Alberto Lorenzatti, Tamas Forster, Zhanna Kobalava, Luminita Vida-Simiti, Marcus Flather, Hiroaki Shimokawa, Hisao Ogawa, Mikael Dellborg, Paulo R.F. Rossi, Roland P.T. Troquay, Peter Libby, Robert J. Glynn.
New England Journal of Medicine, 2017;
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1707914
Investigators have announced results of a clinical trial culminating from 25 years of cardiovascular research work. The team reports a significant reduction in risk of recurrent heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular death among participants who received a targeted anti-inflammatory drug that lowered inflammation but had no effects on cholesterol.

Medial prefrontal cortex stimulation accelerates therapy response of exposure therapy in acrophobia.
Martin J. Herrmann, Andrea Katzorke, Yasmin Busch, Daniel Gromer, Thomas Polak, Paul Pauli, Jürgen Deckert.
Brain Stimulation, 2017; 10 (2): 291
DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2016.11.007
It is possible to unlearn fears and anxiety. And this works even better when a specific region of the brain has previously been stimulated magnetically.

Fungus makes mosquitoes much more likely to become infected with malaria. A natural Anopheles-associated Penicillium chrysogenum enhances mosquito susceptibility to Plasmodium infection
Yesseinia I. Angleró-Rodríguez, Benjamin J. Blumberg, Yuemei Dong, Simone L. Sandiford, Andrew Pike, April M. Clayton, George Dimopoulos.
Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 34084
DOI: 10.1038/srep34084
A fungus that compromises the immune system of mosquitoes, making them more susceptible to infection with the parasite that causes malaria, has been discovered by scientists. Because environmental microorganisms can vary greatly from region to region, the researchers say the findings may help explain variations in the prevalence of malaria in different geographic areas.

Differential Modulation of Intracellular Survival of Cytosolic and Vacuolar Pathogens by Curcumin
Sandhya A. Marathe, Minakshi Sen, and Dipshikha Chakravortty
2012;56(11):5555–5567. doi:10.1128/AAC.00496-12
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3486527/
Curcumin, a principal component of turmeric, acts as an immunomodulator regulating the host defenses in response to a diseased condition. The role of curcumin in controlling certain infectious diseases is highly controversial. Through colocalization experiments, we demonstrated that curcumin prevented the active phagosomal escape of cytosolic pathogens and enhanced the active inhibition of lysosomal fusion by vacuolar pathogens. We have demonstrated that the membrane-stabilizing activity of curcumin is crucial for its differential effect on the virulence of the bacteria.

Memory and Brain Amyloid and Tau Effects of a Bioavailable Form of Curcumin in Non-Demented Adults: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 18-Month Trial
Gary W. Small, Prabha Siddarth, Zhaoping Li, Karen J. Miller, Linda Ercoli, Natacha D. Emerson, Jacqueline Martinez, Koon-Pong Wong, Jie Liu, David A. Merrill, Stephen T. Chen, Susanne M. Henning, Nagichettiar Satyamurthy, Sung-Cheng Huang, David Heber, Jorge R. Barrio
p266–277
Published online: October 27, 2017
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2017.10.010
Daily oral Theracurmin may lead to improved memory and attention in non-demented adults. The FDDNP-PET findings suggest that symptom benefits are associated with decreases in amyloid and tau accumulation in brain regions modulating mood and memory.

Curcumin and Brain Health
Biotics Research blog, December 2018
http://info.bioticsresearch.com/researchforum/better-cognitive-health-in-india?
A study, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, looked at 40 subjects between the ages of 50 and 95 who had mild memory issues (not true AD). For 18 months they were randomly given 90 mg of curcumin twice each day or a placebo. All the subjects were given standardized cognitive assessments at baseline and at six-month intervals. At the end of 18 months, memory test scores improve by 28% in the curcumin group compared to the controls.
At the start of the study, 30 of the subjects received PET scans to determine levels of tau proteins and beta amyloid. At the end of the 18 months the 30 subjects received a second PET scan. The scans in the subjects receiving curcumin showed significantly less amyloid and tau signals in the amygdala and hypothalamus when compared to those in the placebo group.

Turmeric for Prevention of Dementia: Food for Thought
Mustafa M. Husain, Yamna Channa, Mohan Chilukuri
p278–279
Published online: December 27, 2017
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2017.11.010

A Look at Cat’s Claw Herb
April 17, 2018 – 08:17
Research and Education Blog
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/node/785
In vitro studies indicate cat’s claw may stimulate the immune system, help relax smooth muscles (including the intestines), dilate blood vessels, and act as a diuretic. The latter two effects may mean cat’s claw could be beneficial for lowering blood pressure. As it contains coumarins, it may also have natural blood thinning effects. Cat’s claw is also a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and has been used to address inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, gastritis and osteoarthritis.

Garlic extract favorably modifies markers of endothelial function in obese patients.
Szulinska M, Kregielska-Narozna M, et al.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Mar 28; 102-792-292.
doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.03.131.
Garlic extract improves biomarkers associated with cardiovascular risk specifically related to endothelial function and arterial stiffness in obese patients. Garlic has a broad range of health benefits, from antimicrobial properties to supporting cardiovascular health.

L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state.
Nobre AC1, Rao A, Owen GN.
Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:167-8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328
EEG was measured in healthy, young participants at baseline and 45, 60, 75, 90 and 105 minutes after ingestion of 50mg L-theanine (n=16) or placebo (n=19). Participants were resting with their eyes closed during EEG recording. There was a greater increase in alpha activity across time in the L-theanine condition (relative to placebo (p+0.05). A second study replicated this effect in participants engaged in passive activity. These data indicate that L-theanine, at realistic dietary levels, has a significant effect on the general state of mental alertness or arousal. Furthermore, alpha activity is known to play an important role in critical aspects of attention, and further research is therefore focussed on understanding the effect of L-theanine on attentional processes.

Effects of L-theanine or caffeine intake on changes in blood pressure under physical and psychological stresses
Ai Yoto, Mao Motoki, Sato Murao, and Hidehiko Yokogoshi
J Physiol Anthropol. 2012; 31(1): 28.
Published online 2012 Oct 29.
doi: 10.1186/1880-6805-31-28
L-theanine, an amino acid contained in green tea leaves, is known to block the binding of L-glutamic acid to glutamate receptors in the brain, and has been considered to cause anti-stress effects by inhibiting cortical neuron excitation. Both L-theanine and caffeine, which green tea contains, have been highlighted for their beneficial effects on cognition and mood.

L-Acetylcarnitine: A Mechanistically Distinctive and Potentially Rapid-Acting Antidepressant Drug
Santina Chiechio, Pier Luigi Canonico, and Mariagrazia Grilli.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jan; 19(1): 11.
Published online 2017 Dec 21. doi: 10.3390/ijms19010011
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5795963/#sec3-ijms-19-00011title
The characteristic lag time in classical antidepressant effectiveness has given great impulse to the search for novel therapeutics with more rapid effects. l-acetylcarnitine (LAC), a small molecule of growing interest for its pharmacological properties, is currently marketed for treatment of neuropathic pain. Recent preclinical and clinical data suggested that LAC may exert antidepressant effects with a more rapid onset than conventional drugs. Herein, we review data supporting LAC antidepressant activity and its distinctive mechanisms of action compared with monoaminergic antidepressants. Furthermore, we discuss the unique pharmacological properties of LAC that allow us to look at this molecule as representative of next generation antidepressants with a safe profile.

New review summarizes the health benefits of resveratrol
Science Review, January 4, 2019
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/node/924?
Resveratrol may act as a chemoprotective compound and mimics calorie restriction by decreasing insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and IGF-binding proteins. The highest reduction was seen at 2.5 grams per day.
Studies also support a beneficial role for resveratrol in cardiovascular disease and improving endothelial function in overweight individuals with borderline hypertension, with a minimum effective dose of 270 mg per day. Lower doses did not influence relevant metabolic risk markers or inflammation.
Resveratrol has been widely studied for potential effects on conditions associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. Again, lower doses (75 mg per day) showed no effect on relevant biomarkers, but in a study in individuals undergoing peritoneal dialysis, a dose of 450 mg per day for 12 weeks improved urinary ultrafiltration and decreased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Researchers posited that low doses of resveratrol, or single high doses, don’t appear to have much effect, and that the benefits attributable to the compound may require moderate and continued dosing.

Astragalus: Funny Name, Serious Benefits
Designs for Health Nutrition Notes blog
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/node/897?
November 3, 2018
In the present day, astragalus is used for bolstering the immune system, often in combination with ginseng and echinacea. This general strengthening of immune function—now backed up by modern research—is likely why this herb was believed to boost the life force and potentially make people more resistant to common ailments, such as cold and flu.

Nutrition: Review on Possible Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Botchway B, Moore M, et al.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;61(3):867-883.
doi: 10.3233/JAD-170874.
According to this review, patients with Alzheimer’s disease had significantly lower plasma levels of folate and vitamins B12, C and E. This is not surprising, as antioxidants have been found to be depleted in the brain of those with neurodegenerative disorders. Providing antioxidant support is essential for mitigating some of the damage seen in neurodegenerative disorders. In addition, the body’s cells are more susceptible to damage and death in older adults. Folate and B12 are significant as they play a large role in the metabolism of homocysteine and elevated levels are a risk factor for cognitive decline. Curcumin also plays an important role. There are only a few natural products that have demonstrated the wide range of protective properties as curcumin. There have been connections with vitamin D deficiency and Alzheimer’s as it correlates with almost all conditions, however, curcumin and vitamin D work together to enhance the brain’s immune system to protect against amyloid-induced toxicity. Other brain supportive nutrients to consider include GPC, CDP-choline (citicoline), ginkgo biloba, and phosphatidylserine. GPC and CDP-choline are water soluble forms of choline that can cross the blood brain barrier and support brain health. These help make more acetylcholine, neurotransmitters, and phosphatidylcholine in the cell membranes. Daily intake of fish oil has been found to lower the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. One study found that daily dietary supplementation with 900 mg DHA resulted in a 7 year age improvement in cognition over 24 weeks in elderly patients with cognitive decline.

Plasma Vitamin C Concentrations and Cognitive Function: A Cross-Sectional Study.
Travica N, Ried K, Sali A, Hudson I, Scholey A, Pipingas A.
Front Aging Neurosci. 2019 Apr 2;11:72. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2019.00072. eCollection 2019.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31001107
This cross-sectional study included 81 healthy individuals ages 24 to 96 years of age with a range of plasma vitamin C concentrations. Cognitive assessments included The Swinburne-University-Computerized-Cognitive-Assessment-Battery (SUCCAB) and two pen and paper tests as well as the Symbol-Digits-Modalities-Test (SDMT) and Hopkins-Verbal-Learning-Test-Revised (HVLT-R). Individuals were divided into two groups: those with a plasma vitamin C level of greater than 28 μmol/L (considered adequate) and those less than 28 μmol/L (considered deficient).
The SUCCAB assessment identified a significantly higher performance ratio in the group with adequate vitamin C levels compared to those in the deficient group on reaction time, immediate recognition memory, and delayed recognition tasks. There were significantly higher scores in immediate recall on the HVLT-R, delayed recall, total recall in those with adequate plasma vitamin C concentrations. Similar results were seen on the SDMT. Hence, the researchers were able to report a significant association between vitamin C concentrations and the cognitive tasks they set out to examine.

Vitamin B12 modulates Parkinson’s disease LRRK2 kinase activity through allosteric regulation and confers neuroprotection.
Schaffner A, Li X, Gomez-Llorente Y, Leandrou E, Memou A, Clemente N, Yao C, Afsari F, Zhi L, Pan N, Morohashi K, Hua X, Zhou MM, Wang C, Zhang H, Chen SG, Elliott CJ, Rideout H, Ubarretxena-Belandia I, Yue Z.
Cell Res. 2019 Apr;29(4):313-329. doi: 10.1038/s41422-019-0153-8. Epub 2019 Mar 11.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=30858560
Parkinson’s disease is the most common chronic neurodegenerative movement disorder, affecting approximately 1% of individuals over the age of sixty. There is currently no cure and treatments target only the symptoms and not the progression.
Mutations in Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) has been identified as a cause in the majority of familial and some sporadic forms of Parkinson’s disease. It has been considered a promising drug target; however, these have demonstrated unwanted side effects and no clear clinical outcome. Vitamin B12 has been shown to inhibit LRRK2 but is more subtle in its actions. This is similar to botanicals modulating inflammatory pathways instead of having a hard lock out on an enzyme system that drugs have with negative side effects. Vitamin B12 appears to help prevent neurotoxicity and dopamine deficits.

Role of glutathione metabolism in host defense against Borrelia burgdorferi infection
Kerstholt M, Vrijmoeth H, Lachmandas E, Oosting M, Lupse M3, Flonta M, Dinarello CA, Netea MG, Joosten LAB.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2018 Mar 6;115(10):E2320-E2328.
https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1720833115
We found that the GSH pathway is essential for Bb-induced cytokine production and identified glutathionylation as a potential mediating mechanism. Taken together, these data indicate a central role for the GSH pathway in the host response to Bb. GSH metabolism and glutathionylation may therefore be important factors in the pathogenesis of Lyme disease and potentially other inflammatory diseases as well.

CBD Oil: The Basics
Designs for Health: Research and Education
February 27, 2018
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/node/763
CBD is cannabidiol – a cannabinoid compound extracted from the cannabis plant. Various Cannabis species supply over 100 cannabinoids but medicine has focused primarily on either tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD). Interest in cannabinoids has surged in the last 20 years for their pharmacological effects on the neurological system and especially, as possible modulators of pain, inflammation, addiction, mood and psychosis, mental health disorders, and most recently, cancer.

Identification of Essential Oils with Strong Activity against Stationary Phase Borrelia burgdorferi.
Feng J, Shi W, Miklossy J, Tauxe GM, McMeniman CJ, Zhang Y.
Antibiotics (Basel). 2018 Oct 16;7(4). pii: E89.
doi: 10.3390/antibiotics7040089.
It has recently been shown that B. burgdorferi develops dormant persisters in stationary phase cultures that are not killed by the current Lyme antibiotics, and there is interest in identifying novel drug candidates that more effectively kill such forms. We previously identified some highly active essential oils with excellent activity against biofilm and stationary phase B. burgdorferi. Here, we screened another 35 essential oils and found 10 essential oils (Allium sativum L. bulbs, Pimenta officinalis Lindl. berries, Cuminum cyminum L. seeds, Cymbopogon martini var. motia Bruno grass, Commiphora myrrha (T. Nees) Engl. resin, Hedychium spicatum Buch.-Ham. ex Sm. flowers, Amyris balsamifera L. wood, Thymus vulgaris L. leaves, Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers. fruits, Eucalyptus citriodora Hook. leaves) and the active component of cinnamon bark cinnamaldehyde (CA) at a low concentration of 0.1% have strong activity against stationary phase B. burgdorferi.

All’s Well with Boswellia
Designs for Health: Research and Education
February 23, 2018
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/node/761
Boswellia (Boswellia serrata), an herb that has been employed in Ayurvedic medicine for a variety of ailments. (Boswellia also goes by its more common name, frankincense.) Boswellia is particularly recognized for its efficacy in ameliorating the pain and stiffness associated with inflammatory conditions, such as osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, rather than potentially damaging the GI tract, evidence suggests boswellia improves inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The ‘Odd’ Repercussions of Low Magnesium
Designs for Health: Research and Education
February 9, 2018
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/node/754
With mood disorders such as depression reaching epidemic levels, not to mention being difficult to cope with, it’s interesting to note that magnesium insufficiency may be a contributing factor. Some healthcare practitioners have suggested that marginally low magnesium levels (as opposed to overt clinical deficiency) may lead to hyper-excitability, ultra-sensitivity to noise, and being “high-strung” in general.

Vitamin D status and metabolism are influenced by magnesium status
Science Update, December 28, 2018
According to a new randomized trial published earlier this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers demonstrated that magnesium influences vitamin D status. Magnesium had a regulatory effect, with magnesium deficiency essentially shutting down the vitamin D synthesis and metabolism pathway.

Bacopa Monnieri – Time-Honored Nootropic
Designs for Health: Research and Education
January 18, 2018
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/node/741
Bacopa monnieri—or Bacopa—has over 1400 years of use in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is recognized to “sharpen intellect and attenuate mental deficits. Bacopa works via multiple mechanisms, including antioxidant neuroprotection, inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, increasing cerebral blood flow, and modulating the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine. In vivo and in vitro studies show that Bacopa inhibits the release of inflammatory cytokines from mouse microglial cells and inhibits enzymes associated with inflammation in the brain.

Boost Brain Health with American Ginseng
Designs for Health: Research and Education
December 29, 2017
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/node/732
American ginseng has some impressive properties for supporting healthy cognitive function and mental focus. The primary active constituents in this plant are called ginsenosides. American ginseng is rich in ginsenoside Rb1 (Rb1), a compound shown to improve spatial learning and memory in hippocampus-dependent tasks.

New study demonstrates enhanced cognition and cerebrovascular function with resveratrol
Designs for Health: Research and Education
April 6, 2017
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/si-42214/new-study-demonstrates-enhanced-cognition-and-cerebrovascular-function-with-resveratrol
Resveratrol has been widely publicized for its cardiovascular health benefits. However researchers believe it also has positive effects on the hippocampus an area of the brain that is critical to functions such as memory learning and mood. In a recent study published in Nutrients researchers demonstrated oral supplementation with resveratrol enhanced both cerebrovascular function and cognition in post-menopausal women which can potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

New study demonstrates glutamine decreases intestinal permeability
Designs for Health: Research and Education
October 26, 2017
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/si-42214/new-study-demonstrates-glutamine-decreases-intestinal-permeability-in-runners
In a study published last Friday in the European Journal of Applied Physiology researchers demonstrated that acute supplementation with glutamine mitigates intestinal permeability in runners. It makes sense to consider BCAAs and/or glutamine powder prior to or during exercise to help prevent gastrointestinal barrier dysfunction. In addition other studies have demonstrated that oral supplementation with colostrum decreases intestinal permeability. These findings demonstrate the importance of colostrum and glutamine in helping to prevent leaky gut and are important nutrients to consider for athletes. For those individuals who have a sensitivity to dairy and cannot use colostrum serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin/protein isolate (SBI) is a great alternative to normalize the gut microbiota and decrease gut permeability.

Multispecies probiotic may have a significant effect on mood
Designs for Health: Research and Education
April 16, 2015
https://blog.designsforhealth.com/si-42214/new-study-demonstrates-glutamine-decreases-intestinal-permeability-in-runners
Brain Behavior and Immunity researchers found that multispecies probiotics have an effect on mood after four weeks of supplementation.

Nanoparticle- and Liposome-carried Drugs: New Strategies for Active Targeting and Drug Delivery Across Blood-brain Barrier
Pinzón-Daza, Martha & Campia, Ivana & Kopecka, Joanna & Garzón, Ruth & Ghigo, Dario & Rigant, Chiara. (2013).
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250921349_Nanoparticle-_and_Liposome-carried_Drugs_New_Strategies_for_Active_Targeting_and_Drug_Delivery_Across_Blood-brain_Barrier
The blood-brain barrier (BBB), the unusual microvascular endothelial interface between the central nervous system (CNS) and the circulatory system, is a major hindrance to drug delivery in the brain parenchyma. Besides the absence of fenestrations and the abundance of tight junctions, ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters critically reduce drug entry within the CNS, as they carry many drugs back into the bloodstream. Nanoparticle- and liposome-carried drugs, because of their increased cellular uptake and reduced efflux through ABC transporters, have been developed in recent times to circumvent the low drug permeability of the BBB. This review discusses the role of ABC transporters in controlling drug penetration into the brain parenchyma, the rationale for using nanoparticle- and liposome-based strategies to increase drug delivery across the BBB and new therapeutic strategies for using nanoparticle- and liposome-carried drugs in different conditions, ranging from CNS tumors and neurodegenerative diseases to viral infections and epilepsy.

Antimicrobial Efficacy of Liposome Encapsulated Silver Ions and Tea Tree Oil against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans
Low, Wan Li & Martin, Claire & Hill, David & Kenward, M.A.. (2013). Letters in applied microbiology. 57. 33-39.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23581401
We have shown that encapsulating silver (as the ion Ag+) and tea tree oil (singly and in combination) in a controlled release liposomal carrier system can improve their antimicrobial efficacy as well as reduce the effective concentration required. These findings may impact on the problems of agent toxicity caused by the need for high effective doses or microbial resistance where long term application is required.

Selective Essential Oils from Spice or Culinary Herbs Have High Activity against Stationary Phase and Biofilm Borrelia burgdorferi
Feng, J., Zhang, S., Shi, W., Zubcevik, N., Miklossy, J., & Zhang, Y. (2017). Frontiers in medicine4, 169.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641543/
It has been reported that essential oils have antimicrobial activities and some have been used by patients with persisting Lyme disease symptoms. However, the activity of essential oils against the causative agent Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) has not been well studied. Here, we evaluated the activity of 34 essential oils against B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture as a model for persister bacteria.

Additional Essential Oils with High Activity against Stationary Phase Borrelia burgdorferi
Jie FengWanliang ShiJudith MiklossyYing Zhang

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