HealthFreedoms Protect & Preserve Your Health Freedoms2015-11-27T16:00:58Z alice <![CDATA[Stop Using Garlic If You Are in These 6 Types of People]]> 2015-11-27T08:53:26Z 2015-11-27T16:00:58Z Garlic is an herb best known as a flavoring for food. Over the years, people have used garlic as a medicine to prevent or treat a wide range of diseases and conditions.

Nevertheless, there are six types of people who should not eat garlic.

1. People who have liver problems

Some people believe that garlic is an antibacterial and antiviral food and it can kill bacteria and viruses, so they are eating garlic in order to prevent hepatitis. Also, people who already have hepatitis eat garlic every day to cure it. Garlic cannot be used to treat or kill hepatitis virus.

Some elements in garlic may cause stimulation on the stomach and intestines, which may inhibit the secretion of digestive juice in intestinal tract, and affect the digestion of food, thereby aggravating many symptoms for the hepatitis patients, such as nausea.

Moreover, the exaggerated use of garlic can cause anemia because some its components decrease red blood cells and hemoglobin.

2. People suffering from non-bacterial diarrhea

If patients with diarrhea consume raw garlic, the spicy flavor of the garlic may stimulate the intestines which may cause intestinal mucosal hyperemia and edema aggravation, and make the condition even worse.

If the diarrhea has occurred, consumption of garlic should be careful.

3. People with eye diseases

Patients with eye disease should try to not eat garlic, especially those with poor health. Doctors of traditional Chinese medicines believe that the regular consumption of garlic in large quantities for longer period of time would damage the eyes and the liver, but also it may trigger hypopsia, tinnitus, front heaviness, memory loss and so on.

4. Patients before surgery

Patients who will undergo a surgery should stop taking garlic at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery because it might prolong bleeding.

5. Pregnant women and Women breastfeeding

When taken in the amounts normally found in food, garlic is likely safe to use during pregnancy. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of using garlic on the skin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Hence garlic is possibly unsafe when used in medicinal amounts during pregnancy and when breast-feeding.

6. People with low blood pressure

It can lower blood pressure. In theory, taking garlic might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.



alice <![CDATA[Try Mindfulness Meditation To Reduce Pain]]> 2015-11-27T08:57:42Z 2015-11-27T16:00:50Z Mindfulness meditation can bring greater significant and measurable pain relief, according to a new analysis.

The findings are the first to show that patterns of brain activity produced by mindfulness meditation differ from those produced by a placebo cream.

Meditation-related pain reduction is now a rapidly emerging field. Scientific literature has long reported the subjective benefits of mindfulness meditation and related activities such as prayer, on pain – especially in those who are well practiced in the technique.

Sophisticated brain imaging technology is revealing more about how the brain responds to a meditative state.

What you need to know» Mindfulness meditation has been shown to help regulate thought processes, emotions, mood and self-acceptance – all of which are linked with better self-regulation of pain

» In a study where brain activity was monitored during induced pain found that those practicing mindfulness meditation has a reduction in pain better than with morphine

» The authors suggest the technique is useful for managing acute pain. Other research also suggests it is useful for chronic pain.

These studies report that mindfulness meditation – which helps practitioners bring focused awareness to their breathing and to observe their thought processes without criticism or judgement – has been found to improve a range of conditions including anxiety, depression and stress.

It is associated with enhanced control of one’s thoughts, better regulation of emotions and mood and self-acceptance all of which have been linked with better self-regulation of pain.

Learning to control pain

For the current study lead author Fadel Zaidan, PhD, and colleagues at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, took 75 healthy, pain-free participants and induced pain by heating a small area of the skin to 120.2 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Centigrade) – a level of heat most people find very painful.

Participants then rated their physical responses (pain intensity) as well as their emotional ones (how unpleasant the pain was).

The participants were then randomly assigned to one of four groups: a 4 day course on mindfulness meditation, 40 minutes of instruction on relaxation (which the researchers called ‘placebo’ meditation, a placebo analgesic cream (petroleum jelly) or no treatment.

After completing the courses the researchers once again induced pain and monitored people’s responses with a brain scan.

More powerful than morphine

In the mindfulness meditation group, pain intensity fell by 27% and the emotional aspect of pain fell by 44%.

The placebo cream reduced the sensation of pain by 11% and emotional aspect by 13%. In the relaxation group, a 9% decrease in pain rating and 24% in pain unpleasantness was noted, possibly due to a relaxation effect associated with slower breathing.

Past research has indicated that the opioid morphine reduces physical pain by 22% – so mindfulness had a more powerful effect.

But the brain scans, which showed how pain was registering in their brains, showed that those who in the mindfulness meditation group seemed to be using different brain regions than the other groups to reduce pain.

Stimulating new areas of the brain

In this study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, mindfulness meditation reduced pain by activating the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortex brain regions, associated with the self-control of pain; while the placebo cream lowered pain by reducing brain activity in the secondary somatosensory cortex, or pain-processing areas.

The thalamus was deactivated during mindfulness meditation, but activated during all other conditions. The thalamus serves as a gateway that determines if sensory information is allowed to reach higher brain centres. By deactivating this area, mindfulness meditation may have caused signals about pain to simply fade away, the team suggests.

“Based on our findings, we believe that as little as four 20-minute daily sessions of mindfulness meditation could enhance pain treatment in a clinical setting,” say Zaidan

Though he cautions that the participants in this study were healthy, pain-free volunteers, and that results for those suffering from chronic pain may be different. However reviews of the research suggest that even for those with chronic pain mindfulness can help manage some of the associated effects of chronic pain such as depression and anxiety.



alice <![CDATA[Hershey’s Removes Fake Vanilla (Vanillin) from Hershey’s Kisses]]> 2015-11-27T09:03:47Z 2015-11-27T16:00:42Z Chocolate producer Hershey’s announced a little good news last week. The popular candy provider behind Hershey’s Kisses will remove fake vanilla (“vanillin”) from its kisses and chocolate bars and replace it with real vanilla. The people’s collective voice is being heard.

The switch is part of over a change-over to simpler, natural ingredients the company promised in February. Hershey’s is falling in line with many other food companies that are pulling artificial flavors, colors and ingredients from their products to satisfy health-conscious consumers.

Vanillin is a vanilla extract made from wood pulp that is utilized by food companies to reduce manufacturing costs. It’s a synthetic substance that is often produced using petrochemicals and byproducts from the paper industry. Vanillin reportedly “tricks” the brain into believing it is tasting pure vanilla. It’s also a neurotoxin that kills brain cells. Furthermore, vanillin can be addictive because it causes the brain to release serotonin, a “feel-good” hormone. [1] [2]

Hershey’s says it started shipping the vanilla-containing chocolates a few weeks ago, and if they’re not in stores already, they will be soon.

The chocolate’s ingredient lists will now say “natural ingredients” instead of vanillin. The company will also remove lactose, a milk sugar, from Hershey’s Kisses and bars, as well as PGPR from its bars, which makes chocolate flow better in a manufacturing plant. Kisses have never contained PGPR. Instead, Hershey’s will use more cocoa butter to produce the right texture. [3]

PGPR, a viscous, yellow liquid, is an emulsifier comprised of polyglycerol esters of polycondensed fatty acids from castor oil. It’s produced by the chemical giant Palsgaard. Like many toxic, bogus ingredients, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed PGPR “safe for human consumption;” however, PGPR has been shown to cause gastrointestinal problems and allergic reactions in children. [4] [5]

It’s hard to imagine that an ingredient made out of castor oil by a chemical company could possibly be good for you, so Hershey’s announcement is excellent news.

“We started making our great-tasting chocolate in 1894 with ingredients you might find in your pantry, like cocoa, milk, sugar and vanilla, and we’re continuing that tradition today,” said Mary-Ann Somers, vice president and general manager of US Confection at Hershey. “People want to see ingredients that they know and are familiar with in their foods and we’re listening.” [6]

Hershey’s promises to be transparent and to take even more steps in the future to provide consumers with natural, delicious sweets.



[1] Healthy Life Tricks

[2] Global Healing Center

[3] Associated Press

[4] Clean and Lean Revolution

[5] AskDrMaxwell

[5] Fortune


alice <![CDATA[Surgeons Use 3D Printing To Practice A Complex Brain Surgery]]> 2015-11-27T08:50:35Z 2015-11-27T16:00:36Z The impact of 3D printing continues to expand as it further establishes itself into several major industries, including architecture, technology and, most notably, healthcare. In September of this year, we wrote about a 54 year old Spanish cancer patient who had 3D printed titanium ribs and a sternum successfully implanted into his body.

Now, just several months later, we are happy to share the story of Teresa Flint, a mother of three who has also seen the benefits of 3D printing firsthand.

Teresa’s life took an unexpected turn for the worse when she suffered a brain aneurysm, leaving doctors in the challenging position of having to perform a very complex surgery in hopes of saving her life. While the surgeon’s training and experience could have potentially been enough to complete the procedure successfully, they were able to increase their chances of success significantly by using this remarkable technology.

Prior to performing the surgery, a replica of Teresa’s brain vessel anatomy was printed, allowing the doctors and surgeons involved to try out out techniques beforehand and formulate the best plan possible. The end result? A successful surgery that has restored health to a loving mother.

The replica was produced by Stratasys Ltd., who used a flexible photopolymer material to mimic the feel of human tissue, giving doctors the most realistic experience possible. To date, the company has been able to positively impact the lives of many, including several children with heart problems.

What are your thoughts on the continued enhancements being made possible through 3D printing? If you or a loved one were in a time of need, would you be more inclined to trust the medical system if they were given access to trial runs via 3D printing? Let us know via the comment section below.




alice <![CDATA[Dangerous Foods: Should You Give Up Processed Meats?]]> 2015-11-27T08:45:24Z 2015-11-27T16:00:21Z Processed meat has been a hot topic lately. When a popular food item is labeled as dangerous, alarm bells start ringing.

And gosh are people upset! How dare the WHO (World Health Organization) scapegoat popular foods? Did you know that bacon has its own page on Facebook with 6 million likes and growing? True story. And now bacon, along with ham, sausage, hot dogs, salami, and even red meat are said to be potentially carcinogenic. That brings up an important question. Should bacon lovers really be worried?

Is there really such a thing as “dangerous food”?

Food: Nourishing or Depleting

At the end of the day, most food items fall into one of two categories. They are either nourishing or depleting.

A nourishing food contains vitamins, minerals, fiber antioxidants or phytonutrients. It is probably a good source of fat, carbohydrates or protein.

Conversely, a depleting food is nutritiously empty, meaning that it uses more nutrients to be digested by the body than it actually contains. When eaten too often, these foods decimate the body’s vitamin and mineral reserves. Or they offer some nutrients but also contain toxins, bad fats or other carcinogenic ingredients that can alter healthy cells and organs in the body.

Keep in mind, foods aren’t the only things that can have a depleting effect on the body. Pollution, body products and fake estrogen found in plastic are just a few examples of things which also can be depleting to the body.

How Much Dangerous Is Really Dangerous?

So this brings us back to the subject of dangerous foods. Should you really consider giving up a food you love because it has been labeled as bad? And are you putting yourself in similar disease risk pool as smokers if you choose to keep eating them? And what about those centenarians who insist that their straight diet of cigarettes, lard and Cheetos is what got them to their ripe old age? Don’t they prove that disease really just comes down to luck?

Keep a couple things in mind. Just because two things are potentially carcinogenic, doesn’t mean they are so to the same degree.

For instance, cigarettes and nuclear radiation are both carcinogens and are both clearly not health promoting. However, I think we can all agree that smoking one cigarette and being exposed one time to nuclear radiation don’t measure quite the same. So just because eating processed meat and smoking are both classified as carcinogenic doesn’t mean that they create the same risk. Second, whether or not a carcinogen mutates your DNA to potentially create disease has to do with your genetics. So just because someone lives to a ripe old age puffing on cigarettes doesn’t mean others won’t cut their lives short living a similar existence. And while our families can give us an idea of what our genetics holds, you never know the cards you were personally dealt. Banking on sharing your ancestors good health can be a bit of a gamble.

Good Balances Bad

At least 85% of the food we eat during the day should be nourishing. However, there is one thing to keep in mind. When you look at making room for favorite indulgences, everything else you eat during the day matters. When a high level of nourishing food is consumed, the body has a high reserve of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. These are all nutrients needed to help the body process smaller amounts of foods that are less than ideal.

The reason that processed meats are such dangerous foods for many people is that many of us are eating a diet that is almost entirely empty and depleting. And with this kind of diet, the body loses its reserve of the nutrients that help detoxify carcinogens. And as this goes on for years, the body can be worn down, leading to a state of disease.

What Should My Diet Contain?

The bottom line is that you can eat these so-called dangerous foods. But, I would like to add a few important caveats.

  • Processed meats should be a very small part of the diet. They shouldn’t be an everyday thing. They should be an occasional treat.
  • You should eat more fruits and vegetables than you think you should to build your nutrient reserves
  • You need to limit all of your depleting foods (sugar, refined carbohydrates, cereals, granola, cheese, fried foods, bottled sauces, ketchup, salsas, salad dressings and other condiments with hidden sugar etc.) These foods, along with processed meats shouldn’t compose more than 15% of the diet.

Doing so won’t just lower your chance of getting cancer. It will help you feel better as you age. Even those of hearty genetic stock start to become depleted on a cellular level when eating too many unhealthy foods. So while they might not get sick, they won’t feel quite as vibrant, energetic and spirited as they would otherwise.

So take the news about dangerous foods with a grain of salt. There is room for a small amount of any food in most healthy people’s diets. But you need to look at the big picture when you’re evaluating where these foods will fit into your own health profile.




alice <![CDATA[The Cause of Your Physical Pain And Disease Is You]]> 2015-11-27T09:07:48Z 2015-11-27T16:00:08Z Yes, you. Not the environment, your mother’s genes or your junk food diet. Everything in your body that you see manifested as form and phenomena comes from the vibrations within your body which then give rise to either health or disease. What we feel–our emotions coordinate our biochemical, cellular and complete physiological states our entire lives. In other words, the cause of all disease is not tangible at all. Our outlook on life and how we feel about ourselves may be the most relevant health predictor of all.

Many people are already familiar with the fact that emotional stress can lead to digestive issues, irritable bowel syndrome, tension and headaches, but many may not be aware that can also cause other physical illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and even symptoms of severe chronic pain.

More subtly, one might develop psychosomatic symptoms or stress-related symptoms because of unresolved emotional issues. These are not new discoveries; researchers have studied the mind/body interrelationship for several decades because of the importance of this link.

Researchers around the world are slowly integrating research on how our energetic and emotional states cause health and/or disease. How we connect emotionally to our overall wellness and wellbeing may indeed be more relevant than any supplement, food, exercise, medical intervention or health treatment.

Pain is Both Physical and Emotional, But Healing Emotionally Can Eliminate Physical Pain

Pain, of course, is always both a physical and an emotional experience. There are direct neural connections via the brain stem and spinal cord. The circulatory and lymphatic systems also carry neurotransmitters (hormones and immune cells) that find receptor sites in the brain which feedback and modulate the links between brain and body. In this way, every cell in the body – every cell — is linked into the nervous system and as such, can be sensed and felt, whether or not we allow ourselves to be aware of this psychobiological fact.

With a physical pain, there is an obvious link between the psychological experience of pain and an awareness of a physical location in the body. The pain seems to come from an elbow, or a toe, or a hip. Weirdly, we can feel the physical pain in that location even though most, but not all, of the processing is going on in the brain. The neural, blood, and immune pathways between brain and body are tagged with body location information, beginning in the spinal cord and with successively more specific tagging up through the brain stem and thalamus, each adding another layer of redundancy and complexity, until the experience becomes conscious and further identified as “mine” in the insula, parietal, and motor cortices. The marvel of the nervous system is that even though body sense awareness is largely a creation of cortical complexity, we feel in 3-D: the pain is “in” my knee, that object is “out there” in space, etc.

So, with this kind of logic, we can come back to the neural similarities between emotional and physical pain. If the similarity is not just in the brain but in the body, it’s perfectly reasonable to ask: Where does an emotional pain hurt? If there really is an economy of pain networks that includes both physical and emotional pain, and if physical pain has a body location, then this simple syllogism leads to the conclusion that emotional pain must have a physical location in the body.

Feelings of insecurity get the heart and the breath out of synch and activate the sympathetic nervous system as if we were dealing with a threat (elevated heart rate and blood pressure), and can create a sense of unease in the chest, and even pain. People who have been hurt by others often have retracted chests and downcast postures, which are muscular ways of protecting the heart and closing off the self from fully engaging with others for fear of being hurt again. And people in insecure relationships are more likely to have cardiovascular (and other health) problems than those who are more secure.

Vibration is Energy

Every type of energy has a different vibrational frequency. For example, water has one, and when it turns to ice, it has a different vibration. When it turns to vapour, the vibration changes again. Sound waves have their own frequency of vibration. Of all these, thought vibration is the strongest. Most of our thoughts we turn into words — spoken words — and these words we put into action. Action when repeated again and again, form our habits, is it not? And our very nature, our character, is determined by our habits. Every tomorrow that we wake up is then determined by our nature and character.

The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as “junk” but it turns out that so-called junk DNA plays critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave. The discovery, considered a major medical and scientific breakthrough, has enormous implications for human health and consciousness because many complex diseases appear to be caused by tiny changes in hundreds of gene switches.

As scientists delved into the “junk” — parts of the DNA that are not actual genes containing instructions for proteins — they discovered a complex system that controls genes. At least 80 percent of this DNA is active and needed. Another 15-17 percent has higher functions scientists are still decoding.

The Russian biophysicist and molecular biologist Pjotr Garjajev and his colleagues also explored the vibrational behavior of the DNA. The bottom line was: “Living chromosomes function just like solitonic/holographic computers using the endogenous DNA laser radiation.” This means that they managed for example to modulate certain frequency patterns onto a laser ray and with it influenced the DNA frequency and thus the genetic information itself. Since the basic structure of DNA-alkaline pairs and of language (as explained earlier) are of the same structure, no DNA decoding is necessary.

This finally and scientifically explains why affirmations, autogenous training, hypnosis and the like can have such strong effects on humans and their bodies. It is entirely normal and natural for our DNA to react to language. While western researchers cut single genes from the DNA strands and insert them elsewhere, the Russians enthusiastically worked on devices that can influence the cellular metabolism through suitable modulated radio and light frequencies and thus repair genetic defects.

Physical Pain Is A Warning Sign of Emotional Trauma

Often, physical pain functions to warn a person that there is still emotional work to be done, and it can also be a sign of unresolved trauma in the nervous system. Even if one has grieved and processed the emotional impact of a trauma, the nervous system might still unwittingly be in survival mode.

Maggie Phillips, author of Reversing Chronic Pain, writes: “Whether or not trauma was connected to the event or condition that originated their pain, having a chronic pain condition is traumatizing in and of itself.”

Each body area has a language as to what the organs do, the muscles, the nerves, etc. When a condition occurs in the body in a localized area, it’s to help us discover what we might need to change in order to keep “homeostasis” in our emotions, mental reasoning, and spiritual living.Â

Depending on whether we are happy, sad or angry, we have physiological sensations that are located in different areas of the body. We overlook this reality from one day to the next (the famous “lump in the breast” generated by anxiety, the feeling of warmth that pervades our face and our cheeks particularly when we feel the shame…), and do not consciously realize how much the location of these body areas activated by our emotions and how they vary considerably depending on the nature of the emotion.

In a work published in the journal Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences under the title “Bodily maps of emotions”, Finnish scientists for the first time mapped areas of the body activated according to each emotion (happiness, sadness, anger, etc).The researchers proposed that emotions represented in the somatosensory system are culturally universal categorical somatotopic maps. Perception of these emotion-triggered bodily changes may play a key role in generating consciously felt emotions.

We Believe We Must Be First Diseased, Suffer and Then Treated To Live

The power structure that controls the disease industry understands these concepts very well. That is why from the time we are born, until the time we die, they want to control this emotional energy matrix. From the very first vaccine to the very last dosage of medication on our deathbeds (and everything in between), we have been conditioned to accept that external factors and disease treatments are what can help control our pain and suffering.

This is true to a certain extent as we are led down a path to believe that we must suffer and must experience pain to live, so we must then engage in pain coping mechanisms in the form of medications to keep living. It’s just one of the reasons that a greater life expectancy has come at an enormous cost in the quality of life of our elders, for they are suffering with more pain and greater disability than ever before in last 15 years of life. What controls pain is thought and our perception of what it is we feel.

Because we are not taught the importance and power of thought, we have never consciously been in control of them, with the result that when unpleasant things enter our life, we do not realize the connection between the thought-vibration and the effect it has on us. Uplifting thoughts allow us to elevate our consciousness and awareness; non-inspiring thoughts tend to drag us down.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that every part of our physical body vibrates at a precise frequency. Thoughts that are not in harmony or in “sync” with our body cause impedance to our health. All organs, all tissues, membranes, glands, cells, vibrate in precise frequencies in a healthy body. All positive, inspiring, loving and kind thoughts are in harmony with those physical vibrations and help to continue to keep the body in perfect health, with the circulation of the blood going to all the necessary parts of the body, with the digestion working perfectly and the body able to correctly and easily eliminate toxins and waste matter, also allowing proper refreshing sleep to the body.

Unify and Harmony Within

For every effect there is a cause, so when there is enough human intent and energy towards health, love and respect towards ourselves and our planet, we will only create a better world and a better life for all people on Earth.

Start by loving yourself, who you are and why you are here experiencing this life. It’s not a coincidence. You designed it. So take responsibility for your wonderful creation. If you want to change your experience, send out the message and the universe will respond.

To the trained eye of a gardener, the symptom of withering leaves is not a dreadful disease. He recognizes that the dehydrated state of these leaves is but a direct consequence of withdrawn nourishment that they need in order to sustain themselves and the rest of the plant. We must recognize the symptoms of imbalance and dysfunction within ourselves before they even have a chance to produce disease.

Disease is the absence of health…darkness is the absence of light. Health is not the absence of disease. Light is not the absence of darkness.



alice <![CDATA[How Do You Know When You’re Full? Your Gut Bacteria Decide]]> 2015-11-27T09:00:29Z 2015-11-27T16:00:07Z Recent findings published in the journal Cell Metabolism show that bacteria in your gut control exactly when and how much you eat.

Researchers have found that 20 minutes after a meal, bacteria produce proteins that influence activation of appetite-regulating neurons in the brain.

“We now think bacteria physiologically participate in appetite regulation immediately after nutrient provision by multiplying and stimulating the release of satiety hormones from the gut,” said senior study author Serguei Fetissov from University of Rouen in France.

“In addition, we believe gut microbiota produce proteins that can be present in the blood longer term and modulate pathways in the brain,” Fetissov pointed out.

Probiotic complexes such as Laktokhan help people restore advantageous gut microflora in order to improve many aspects of their health. With balanced gut flora, the body’s immune system dramatically improves and is better able to produce and assimilate necessary nutrients, in addition to other beneficial substances.

In the laboratory, Fetissov and colleagues found that after 20 minutes of consuming nutrients and expanding numbers, Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria from the gut produce different kinds of proteins than they did before their feeding.

Probiotics are known to prevent the expression of Escherichia coli. They protect intestinal cells from the inflammation-associated responses by counteracting neutrophil migration, probably through the regulation of chemokine and cytokine expression.

The 20 minute mark seemed to coincide with the amount of time it takes for a person to begin feeling full or tired after a meal.

Excited over this discovery, the researchers began to profile the bacterial proteins pre- and post-feeding.

They saw that injection of small doses of the bacterial proteins produced after feeding reduced food intake in both hungry and fed rats and mice.

Further analysis revealed that “full” bacterial proteins stimulated the release of peptide YY, a hormone associated with satiety, while “hungry” bacterial hormones did not.

The study adds to an emerging body of science supporting the effects of gut microflora on metabolic factors and obesity. The connection between gut microbiota and energy homeostasis and inflammation and its role in the pathogenesis of obesity-related disorders are increasingly recognized.

Imbalances in gastrointestinal microbial communities have been associated with many diseases, and the use of probiotics has been successfully employed to artificially restore this unbalanced flora.



alice <![CDATA[This is What A Single Course of Antibiotics Does To Your Gut For A Year]]> 2015-11-27T05:57:37Z 2015-11-27T10:00:55Z You lose more than your cold and flu symptoms when you take antibiotics!

In a battle against an infection, antibiotics can bring victory over enemy germs. Yet that war-winning aid can come with significant collateral damage; microbial allies and innocents are killed off, too. Such casualties may be unavoidable in some cases, but a lot of people take antibiotics when they’re not necessary or appropriate. And the toll of antibiotics on a healthy microbiome can, in some places, be serious, a new study suggests.

In two randomized, placebo-controlled trials of healthy people, a single course of oral antibiotics altered the composition and diversity of the gut microbiome for months, and in some cases up to a year. Such shifts could clear the way for pathogens, including the deadly Clostridium difficile. Those community changes can also alter microbiome activities, including interacting with the immune system and helping with digestion. Overall, the data, published Tuesday in the journal mBio, suggests that antibiotics may have more side effects than previously thought—at least in the gut.

In the mouth, on the other hand, researchers found that microbial communities fared much better, rebounding in weeks after antibiotic treatments. The finding raises the question of why the oral microbiome is less disturbed by drugs. It could simply be because of the way that antibiotics, taken orally, circulate through the body. Or, it could imply that oral microbiomes are innately more resilient, a quality that would be useful to replicate in microbial communities all over the body.

The joint trials, led by Egija Zaura at the University of Amsterdam, followed 66 healthy participants, 29 in Sweden and 37 in the United Kingdom. At each location, participants were randomly assorted into either a placebo group or one of two groups given antibiotics. The two antibiotics given in the Swedish trial were a lincosamide (clindamycin) and a quinolone (ciprofloxacin). The UK trial included a tetracycline (minocycline) and a penicillin (amoxicillin).

Researchers sequenced microbes of each person’s saliva and feces before and immediately after they took a course of drugs. Then the researchers did follow up sampling at 1, 2, 4, and 12 months.

Gut microbial diversity was significantly altered by all four kinds of antibiotics, which lasted for months. In participants that took ciprofloxacin, microbial diversity was altered for up to 12 months. The antibiotic treatments also caused a spike in genes associated with antibiotic resistance. Lastly, the researchers noted that clindamycin killed off microbes that produce butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that inhibit inflammation, carcinogenesis, and oxidative stress in the gut.

The oral microbiome saw some community shifts. But the communities surprisingly rebounded within a short time—in some cases a week—the authors report. And, the amount of genes associated with antibiotic resistance were generally stable before and after drug treatments.

The authors speculate that the oral microbiome’s steadiness may be related to the constant onslaught of disturbances, such as tooth brushing and changes in moisture and air.

This article was republished with permission from Food Matters





alice <![CDATA[How Loneliness Can Be Deadly]]> 2015-11-27T06:11:22Z 2015-11-27T10:00:39Z We’ve all felt isolated at times, but the so-called “invisible epidemic” that is loneliness is about much more than ephemeral feelings of sadness. Doctors have known for some time that loneliness is associated with not only chronic illness but death, too. Now, scientists are beginning to unravel why this is, with the discovery that social isolation puts our body in “fight or flight” mode, preparing for social threat. This triggers a cascade of events that ultimately alter the production of white blood cells, leaving us vulnerable to disease.

This study, conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago, actually builds on earlier work by the same group. Interestingly, they previously found that perceived social isolation, or loneliness, is associated with changes in gene expression that favor those involved in inflammation while dampening those concerned with antiviral responses. Although inflammation helps us heal, inappropriate inflammatory responses can actually cause more harm than good, damaging cells and leading to an array of conditions if left unabated.

For this latest investigation, the researchers began by further exploring this phenomenon, called CTRA (conserved transcriptional response to adversity), in humans. After looking at the “transriptomes,” or gene readouts, of white blood cells belonging to 141 lonely older adults, as anticipated CTRA was found to be up-regulated. In addition, heightened activity was observed in the sympathetic nervous system, a branch responsible for activating the body’s “fight or flight” response which helps us react to emergency situations.

Moreover, loneliness could be used to predict future CTRA gene expression patterns, and vice versa, indicating that a reciprocal mechanism is at play whereby these responses help propagate one another over time. Moving on, the team decided to examine primate models of loneliness to see if they could unpick the processes that lead to CTRA gene expression. Lonely rhesus macaques, like humans, displayed heightened CTRA activity, alongside a boost in the fight or flight chemical norepinephrine (noradrenaline).

This is where the research ties together nicely: norepinephrine can trigger the production of a type of white blood cell, called an immature monocyte, that displays CTRA activity – less antiviral gene expression and more pro-inflammatory gene expression. And when the team looked at the pools of cells present in the blood of lonely humans and macaques, sure enough they found an abundance of monocytes, which are derived from the immature precursors.

The effects of this alteration in gene expression patterns were indeed felt by the lonely monkeys, which showed impaired antiviral responses to infection with simian immunodeficiency virus, the primate version of HIV. When compared with control animals, lonely macaques had higher levels of viral replication in both the blood and brain.

The researchers therefore propose a model wherein heightened CTRA activity can be explained, at least in part, by a loneliness-driven fight or flight response that boosts immature monocyte levels. The resulting gene expression patterns not only leave the lonely individual vulnerable to infection through a dampened antiviral response, but also susceptible to chronic disease due to inappropriate inflammation.

The findings of this study have been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.



alice <![CDATA[The Real Cause Of Depression May Have Nothing At All To Do With Your Mind]]> 2015-11-27T06:24:55Z 2015-11-27T10:00:12Z Depression is epidemic in our society, and the mainstream solution is a trip to the psychiatrist and an indefinite prescription for pharmaceuticals. Dependent on psychotropic drugs to get by is no way to live, and in the search for happiness, both individuals, doctors and scientists alike are beginning to crack the code of depression, and to question if the pharmacutical solution even works.

George Slavich, a clinical psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles, has for decades been working to learn more about how our bodies and our minds work, or don’t work, together to regulate the emotional system and mood. His findings have led him to the conclusion that depression is not a condition that is isolated in the mind,and that the body may play a primary role in causing or preventing depression.

“I don’t even talk about it as a psychiatric condition any more. It does involve psychology, but it also involves equal parts of biology and physical health.” –George Slavich

 Is Depression All in the Mind?

A simple observation about life has formed the foundation of his conclusions, and that is, ‘everyone feels miserable when they are ill.‘ Labeled ‘sickness behavior,’ the common symptoms of feeling tired, irritable, bored, fed up, and not wanting to move, these symptoms looked a lot like depression to Slavich, who wondered if there might be a common cause for these symptoms for both people who are ill, and for people who are suffering from depression.

“The answer to that seems to be yes, and the best candidate so far is inflammation – a part of the immune system that acts as a burglar alarm to close wounds and call other parts of the immune system into action. A family of proteins called cytokines sets off inflammation in the body, and switches the brain into sickness mode.” [Source]

If this is true, and there is mounting evidence to support his theory, then, treating depression with foods that fight inflammation may very well be far more effective in treating anxiety and depression than expensive addictions to dangerous pharmaceuticals, many of which have been linked to terrible side-effects such as suicide and even psychotic rages that spur violent episodes such as school and public mass shootings.

“Both cytokines and inflammation have been shown to rocket during depressive episodes, and – in people with bipolar – to drop off in periods of remission. Healthy people can also be temporarily put into a depressed, anxious state when given a vaccine that causes a spike in inflammation. Brain imaging studies of people injected with a typhoid vaccine found that this might be down to changes in the parts of the brain that process reward and punishment.

If cytokines and inflammation are seen to rise dramatically during depressive episodes, then it may very well be that this is a crucial piece in understanding these emotional conditions andwhy the mind simply cannot seize control over thought processes and force itself to feel happy. The next question then becomes, ‘what is causing such serious inflammation in the first place?’

Interestingly, researcher Turhan Canli of Stony Brook University in New York believes that the source of inflammation is related to infections, and he thinks we should consider re-labeling depression as an infectious, although not contagious, disease, instead of a mental disorder.

He may be onto something, but other researchers have pointed out that infection is not the only way for inflammation to set in, and that foods and foods ant toxic environmental agents may play a role.

“A diet rich in trans fats and sugar has been shown to promote inflammation, while a healthy one full of fruit, veg and oily fish helps keep it at bay. Obesity is another risk factor, probably because body fat, particularly around the belly, stores large quantities of cytokines.” [Soure]

To support this theory, several clinical trials have so far found that antidepressants when supplemented with anti-inflammatory medicines both improve symptoms and increases the likelihood that a patient will respond to treatment. Two supplements that show tremendous promise for naturally fighting inflammation are curcurmin, an extract of the potent rhizome turmeric, and omega3 fatty acids, both of which are commonly available over-the-counter.

If this really is the key to unlocking depression, then the best solution, both to prevent it and to fight it if it becomes a health problem, might very well be food instead of antidepressants. This gives individuals much more control over their health, but will the corrupt pharmaceutical industry allow food to be presented as an alternative to their medications?