Saturday, 18 February 2012

A Homeopathic Approach to Treat Patients with Advanced Gallbladder, Periampullary, and Liver Carcinomas: A Report of 3 Cases

Aradeep Chatterjee and Jaydip Biswas and. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2012, 18(2): 180-186. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0027.

Published in Volume: 18 Issue 2: February 17, 2012



Objectives: The authors present 3 cases of various pathologically confirmed malignancies (one gallbladder, one periampullary, and one liver). These patients underwent Psorinum therapy as the primary cancer treatment. Psorinum therapy is a homeopathic approach to treat patients with cancer.

Subjects: According to the American Joint Committee on Cancer tumor, nodes, metastasis system, all 3 patients were diagnosed at Stage IV. Their Karnofsky performance status was between 20% and 50% and their Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group score status was between 3 and 4. In these cases, conventional cancer treatments could not be initiated due to the advanced stage of their disease, poor general health performance status, and their financial constraints.

Interventions and outcome: In these patients, Psorinum-6x was administered orally at a dose of 0.02 mL/kg body weight/day on an empty stomach for a complete course duration of 2 years, along with allopathic and homeopathic supportive treatment. According to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors criteria, complete tumor response occurred in 1 case and partial tumor response occurred in the other 2 cases. All 3 patients remained alive and maintained a stable quality of life for at least 2 years. The patients reported no adverse side-effects from Psorinum-6x.

Conclusions: This report indicates the clinical efficacy of Psorinum therapy in treating those 3 patients. Thorough basic research and well-designed clinical trials should be conducted for further investigation of this homeopathic cancer treatment in order to integrate it into the mainstream of oncology treatments.

To read more click HERE

The Moringa Tree

Most people have never heard of it, but in Africa they call it the “Miracle” tree or sometimes the “Giving” tree.

You can use every part of the tree, and African doctors have used it to revitalize many of their patients who once suffered from extreme weight-reduction and were bedridden and plagued by all kinds of other illnesses.

Almost the entire Moringa tree is edible, including the pods, leaves, seeds and roots. The leaves have a remarkably complete set of micronutrients and vitamins, and every essential amino acid. That’s rare for a plant.

Moringa Nutritional Values vs. Various Foods
Nutrient 100g Dry Moringa Other Foods
Vitamin A 18 mg Carrot: 1.8 mg
Vitamin C 17.3 mg Orange: 30 mg
Calcium 2,000 mg Milk: 120 mg
Iron 28.2 mg Spinach: 1.14 mg
Potassium 1,324 mg Banana: 88 mg
Protein 27.9 g Yogurt: 3.1 g
Magnesium 368 mg Broccoli: 19 mg
Fiber 19.2 g Whole Wheat Bread: 6.8 g

When researchers looked at extracts from the Moringa leaf, they found it full of antioxidants and very effective against diabetes.1 The leaf extract is also antibacterial, and even kills human tumor cells.2

Dr. Kizito in South Africa claims a lot of success using the Moringa tree to combat prostate cancer. What you do is rub the essential oil on the skin in the area of the prostate.

For other ailments you put 5 drops of essential oil on the tongue.

They even use Moringa to filter water. What you do is crush the seeds and run water that may be tainted through the powder, and it filters out many impurities. It’s a bit like the way we would use a charcoal filter here in the U.S.

If you live in a warmer, drier climate, you can plant a Moringa tree.

You can buy Moringa powder at your local health-food store. Capsules are also available, and 500 mg a day is a good start.

Both hot and cold Moringa tea are delicious. To make it cold, just add 1-2 tbsp of Moringa leaf powder and a slice of fresh ginger root or some freshly squeezed lemon juice to 16 ounces of water. Stir thoroughly and allow it to sit for an hour to brew. 

For hot Moringa tea, use ½ to 1 teaspoon of Moringa leaf powder in 8-12 ounces of hot water. Allow the tea to steep covered for about 10 minutes.

Added a little bit of honey if you want.

Moringa also nourishes your skin.

Moringa is just one example of the treasure trove of medicinal and nutritional plants in Africa.

1. Gupta R, Mathur M, Katariya P, Yadav S, Kamal R, Gupta R. "Evaluation of antidiabetic and antioxidant activity of Moringa oleifera in experimental diabetes." J Diabetes. 2011 Nov 21.
2. Sreelatha S, Jeyachitra A, Padma P. "Antiproliferation and induction of apoptosis by Moringa oleifera leaf extract on human cancer cells." Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Jun;49(6):1270-5.

Cancer Alert: Beware of These 5 Home Appliances

By Dr. Mercola

Alasdair Philips is qualified in both Electrical- and Electronic Engineering, as well as Agricultural Engineering.

In 1998, he started the British organization Power Watch, which is committed to uncovering the specific details of how electromagnetic fields (EMFs) affect our health and how we can practically protect ourselves against detrimental effects.

Mr. Philips is also a member of SAGE (the UK Department of Health Stakeholder Group on ELF EMFs) and a member of the UK Health Protection Agency's EMF Discussion Group.
Another early group he became involved with was called Electronics and Computing for Peace.

In the 1980s, they were asked to go to Greenham Common Airbase, where a group of women claimed the American military were "zapping" them.

"We went down and we measured, basically, early non-lethal microwave weapons working at the same sort of frequencies that cell phones operate at (about 1800-1900 MHz) [which were being] pulsed at the women...
That's what got me interested in the biological effects of electromagnetic waves," Mr. Philips says.
"... Ten years or so later, I was invited to talk a lot about the first mobile phones and other health concerns, through a series of international [industry] conferences in the late 1990s. I was the token outsider saying, 'Yes, I think there is a problem.'"

Avoid using Wi-Fi routers in your home. Instead, install cable or Ethernet cable. If you need portability, you can use a dLAN device that allows you to access your Ethernet without laying extra wires or irradiating yourself with pulsing microwaves from a router.

"I did a BBC Panorama program a few years ago on Wi-Fi... We were comparing Wi-Fi levels with the levels you get 100 meters from a cell phone tower. They're roughly the same! If you're a yard away from a Wi-Fi router, or sitting next to a Wi-Fi laptop, it's about the same as what's coming from a mast 200 yards away. The UK government gave the UK Health Protection Agency 300,000 pounds sterling to go and do the work to just prove us wrong. Actually they found slightly higher levels than we reported on the Panorama program..."

"There is without doubt an approximate doubling in the incidence of childhood leukemia with magnetic fields above 4 milliGauss, or 0.4 microTesla in U.S. units," Philips says. "It's been confirmed in over 20 studies. Most of the studies are showing a doubling at a level between 3 and 4 milliGauss."

This is a tiny fraction of the international standard, set at 1,000 milliGauss (100 microTesla). They know acute effects may occur at twice the standard limit, at 2,000 milliGauss, but to think the current standard actually protects health is a grave mistake... Unfortunately, according to Mr. Philips, no progress at all has been made in changing the standards for power frequencies to take into account the effects on biological health.

And with respect to microwaves; standing a foot away from your microwave oven while it's running can expose you to upwards of 400 milliGauss, and remember, a mere 4 milliGauss has been firmly linked to leukemia. It would certainly be wise to avoid letting your children stand near the microwave when it's running, and avoid it yourself as much as possible—especially if you're pregnant.

"We recommend you put your microwave oven either in the far corner of your kitchen or ideally in the utility area where you can just go through and put it in and go back a few minutes later. You don't actually use it right next to where you're working on the work surface," Mr. Philips says.

Story at-a-glance
  • The British organization Power Watch, founded by Alasdair Philips, is committed to uncovering the specific details of how electromagnetic fields (EMFs) affect your health and how you can practically protect yourself against detrimental effects
  • While the international safety standard for power fields, such as those emitted from overhead power lines, is set at 1,000 milliGauss, more than 20 studies have linked exposure at a mere 4 milliGauss to childhood leukemia
  • Certain home appliances are particularly troublesome, in terms of the EMF emitted, such as electric heaters, electric stove rings, microwave ovens, electric blankets, and hair dryers
  • Under current guidelines, we are now allowed to expose ourselves to one billion-billion-billion-fold more energy within a particular part of the electromagnetic spectrum than our ancestors were exposed to 100 years ago. Therefore, it is prudent to reduce your EMF exposure as much as you can, particularly where you sleep, and to try to make your home into an “EMF safe zone” to allow your body to rest and restore from the daily assault of radiation

Read more about this important danger HERE

Eat 15g or Less of This Daily to Help Slim Your Waistline

By Dr. Mercola

In today's world it's more difficult than ever to keep your weight under control, as evidenced by the fact that over 2/3 of all American adults are now overweight or obesei, as are one in three children.

Part of the blame rests with the processed food corporations that spend billions of dollars marketing unhealthy foodsii as "healthy choices."

So what do "naturally thin" people know that the rest don't?

David Zinczenco, editor in chief of Men's Health magazine, and Matt Goulding address this question in a recent article featured on Yahoo Healthiii, stating that most thin people tend to live by a series of "laws" that keep them from gaining excess weight.

These seven rules are simple enough that most can follow them:
  1. Avoid "Dieting": By dieting, you're setting yourself up to gain more weight than ever.
  2. Avoid "Fat-Free": Fat doesn't make you fat; you need fat in your diet to help you process certain nutrients.
  3. Sit Down to Eat: Eating more slowly and savoring your meal boosts levels of two hormones that make you feel fuller.
  4. Plan Your Meals and Snacks: Planning your responses to hunger helps you shed pounds faster.
  5. Eat Protein: Those who eat moderately high levels of protein (including organic animal protein) are twice as likely to lose weight and keep it off as those who don't eat much protein.
  6. Move Around: "Fit people stay fit by having fun."
  7. Watch Less TV: Nearly 30 percent of people who watch more than four hours of TV a day have a BMI of 30 or higher.

Story at-a-glance
  • Poor dietary and lifestyle choices are at the root of our skyrocketing obesity rates. Knowing which lifestyle strategies give you the greatest return can help make weight management into a “non-issue”
  • Avoiding sugar/fructose and refined grains, and increasing vegetables and healthy fats are four of the “Master Keys” to successful, long-term weight management and optimal health
  • Knowing which type of exercise is the most efficient is essential if you want to reach your fitness and weight goals with the least amount of struggle
  • For optimal health and weight management, keep your total fructose intake below 25 grams of fructose per day if you're in good health, and below 15 grams/day if you're overweight or have any chronic health conditions.
To read more of Dr. Mercola's valuable weight-loss tips click HERE

The Vitamin that has Been Shown to Dramatically Improve Fertility

By Dr. Mercola

Did you know that in northern countries, which have dark, cold winters, couples are less likely to conceive during the winter, whereas conception rates peak in the summer?

There are a number of reasons why this association exists, but new research highlights vitamin D as one of the most important variable.

Vitamin D, a steroid hormone that influences virtually every cell in your body and has been positively linked to health conditions ranging from cancer to heart disease, may significantly boost fertility in both men and women.

If You’re Struggling With Infertility, Get Your Vitamin D Levels Checked

Vitamin D is so crucial to health that I urge everyoneto make sure their levels are optimized, but if you’ve been dealing with infertility, this is especially important.

A new report has shown that exposure to sunlight boosts fertility in both men and women by increasing their levels of vitamin D, a benefit that appears to work on multiple levels.

As the researchers reported in the European Journal of Endocrinology:
  • Among women, vitamin D appears to impact in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common female endocrine disorder, as well as boost levels of progesterone and estrogen, which regulate menstrual cycles and improve the likelihood of successful conception
  • In men, vitamin D is essential for the healthy development of the nucleus of the sperm cell, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count. Vitamin D also increases levels of testosterone, which may boost libido
The researchers state:

“Given the high prevalence of infertility as well as vitamin D insufficiency in otherwise healthy young women and men and the possible role of vitamin D in human reproduction, research might lead to new therapeutic approaches such as vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of female and male reproductive disorders.”

Story at-a-glance
  • Exposure to sunlight boosts fertility in both men and women by increasing their levels of vitamin D
  • Vitamin D impacts fertility on multiple levels, including boosting levels of progesterone and estrogen in women, which may help regulate menstrual cycles and improve your likelihood of conceiving naturally
  • In men, vitamin D is essential for the healthy development of the nucleus of the sperm cell, improves semen quality and sperm count, and is capable of supporting healthy testosterone levels
  • Vitamin D deficiency is currently at epidemic proportions in the United States and many other regions around the world, so if you’re struggling with infertility make sure you optimize your vitamin D levels

To read the rest of Dr. Mercola's valuable article click HERE

The Major Cause of Breast Cancer Almost Everyone Ignores

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

While roughly 15 percent of women in their 40's detect breast cancer through mammography, many other women experience false positives, anxiety, and unnecessary biopsies as a result of the test, according to the data. In fact, a full decade ago, a Danish study published in The Lancet concluded that previous research showing a benefit of mammograms was flawed and that widespread mammogram screening is unjustified.

That mammograms are still recommended at all speaks volumes about the state of modern medicine...

Mammograms expose your body to radiation that can be 1,000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray, which poses risks of cancer. Mammography also compresses your breasts tightly (and often painfully), which could lead to a lethal spread of cancerous cells, should they exist.

In April 2011, the prestigious Cochrane Collaboration chimed in, saying mammography screening may cause more harm than good8. For their informative leaflet, please see the following link. Even more provocative is the new book, Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy by Peter C. Gøtzsche, Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis Director at The Nordic Cochrane Centre, and Chief Physician. The very first paragraph of the book's ad reads9:

"The most effective way to decrease women's risk of becoming a breast cancer patient is to avoid attending screening."

Now, that's a bold statement! And it's backed up by facts. According to the Cochrane Collaboration, for every 2,000 women invited for screening over the course of 10 years, just ONE woman will have her life prolonged. Meanwhile, 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed with cancer had it not been for the mammography screening, will be misdiagnosed as having breast cancer, and will be treated unnecessarily. Additionally, more than 200 women will experience significant psychological distress for many months due to false positives.

Congressional Hearing on Mammography Cover-Up is Overdue

Folks, this is a major story, and it's about to get much bigger... There's loads of powerful and damning information out there that can, and will, be used to call for a congressional hearing on the mammography cover-up. Decades ago, in 1974, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) was warned by professor Malcolm C. Pike at the University of Southern California School of Medicine that a number of specialists had concluded that "giving a women under age 50 a mammogram on a routine basis is close to unethical."

And in the 1990's, Dr. Samuel Epstein started warning people about the dangers of mammography, stating:

"The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each 1 rad exposure increasing breast cancer risk by about 1 percent, with a cumulative 10 percent increased risk for each breast over a decade's screening... The high sensitivity of the breast, especially in young women, to radiation-induced cancer was known by 1970. Nevertheless, the establishment then screened some 300,000 women with X-ray dosages so high as to increase breast cancer risk by up to 20 percent in women aged 40 to 50 who were mammogramed annually."

Since then, concerned FDA doctors and scientists have issued a number of written warnings in the form of letters to various authorities, such as the October 2008 letter to Representative Dingell, notifying him of corruption within the FDA, which sparked a House Energy and Commerce Committee investigation into Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) activities. 4

A second letter, sent in January 2009 to HHS Secretary-Designate Tom Daschle, Baltimore City Health Department Chief Joshua Sharfstein, and nine members of Congress, delved into more detail. According to Medical Devices Today5:

"In the case of an April 2008 approval of a computer-aided detection device for mammography, the scientists specifically charge (by title, but not by name) ODE Director Donna-Bea Tillman "and her subordinates" with the "most outrageous misconduct by ordering, coercing, and intimidating FDA physicians and scientists to recommend approval, and then retaliating when the physicians and scientists refused to go along."

The letter also includes a bullet-pointed list of nine "examples of wrongdoing" by the ODE Director, including ordering physicians and scientists to ignore FDA guidance documents and allowing manufacturers to market unapproved devices."

In October that same year (2009), the US Preventative Task Force revised its recommendations on mammograms,6 stating that women in their 40's should no longer get routine mammograms for early detection of breast cancer. Instead, the panel recommended waiting until the age of 50, and only doing one mammogram every other year, instead of yearly. They also suggested women between 40 to 49 should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of the test, and then decide if they want to be screened. The Canadian task force followed suit in November last year.7

Many cancer organizations were outraged and have shunned the task forces' new directive; completely ignoring the data supporting their decision... The main reason behind the changed guidelines? The inherent dangers and short-comings of mammographic screening...

Story at-a-glance
  • The FDA secretly monitored the personal e-mail of a group of agency whistleblowers for two years. All of the monitored employees worked in the office responsible for reviewing medical devices, including those for cancer screenings and were expressing concerns over several devices. Some of the employees were harassed and/or terminated, and six of them are now suing the agency
  • There’s a lot of compelling evidence that the dangers of mammography are being covered up, and that a Congressional hearing is well overdue
  • While roughly 15 percent of women in their 40’s detect breast cancer through mammography, many other women experience false positives, anxiety, and unnecessary biopsies as a result of the test, according to the data. In fact, a full decade ago, a Danish study published in The Lancet concluded that previous research showing a benefit of mammograms was flawed and thatwidespread mammogram screening is unjustified.
  • According to the Cochrane Collaboration, for every 2,000 women getting mammography screening over the course of 10 years, just ONE woman will have her life prolonged. Meanwhile, 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed with cancer had it not been for the mammography screening, will be misdiagnosed as having breast cancer, and will be treated unnecessarily

To read the rest of this absolutely important article by Dr. Mercola, click HERE

26 out of 54 People Who Avoided These Foods Got a Brain-Destroying Vitamin Deficiency

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

The average non-vegetarian stores between 2,000 and 3,000 picograms of B-12 per day.

B-12 helps change homocysteine into methionine.

When this does not happen, homocysteine levels increase, which recent research has associated heart disease and deterioration of the arteries and nerves.

Although many vegan foods are said to have active B-12, few are proving to actually raise B-12 or prevent its loss.

There are a variety of symptoms of B-12 deficiency, which is a danger for vegans and live fooders.

The initial symptoms can include low energy, but it can eventually cause permanent nerve damage, depression, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, nervousness, paranoia, hyperactive reflexes, impaired memory and behavioral changes.

According to Dr. Cousen's Blog:

"Consistent research over the last decade has shown that vegans and live food people of all ages and sexes have a much higher risk of becoming B-12 deficient ... 
This deficiency is particularly true with newborn babies ... 
The good news that one major study ... showed, in studying 37 vegan children was that there was normal growth and development in children who were breastfed for 6 months at a minimum, when there was B-12 supplementation ...
It is my medical opinion, as a vegan since 1973 and live fooder since 1983, and as a person committed to supporting all those who choose to become healthy live food vegans, that it would be wise to incorporate some B-12 supplementation in your diet."

Story at-a-glance
  • Vitamin B12 is found almost exclusively in animal tissues, which vegans and vegetarians do not typically eat. The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs, which blocks the uptake of true B12 and actually increases your need for it.
  • B12 is stored in your liver, kidneys and other body tissues. As a result, a deficiency may not be apparent for about seven years.
  • Initial symptoms of deficiency include: lack of motivation, apathy, mental fogginess, muscle weakness and fatigue. Chronic long-term B12 deficiency can lead to serious conditions such as depression, dementia, and fertility problems.

To read the rest of this important article by Dr. Mercola click HERE

"Pharmageddon" is Here - How Doctors Do Harm

By Dr. Mercola

It’s a widely held tenet in our society that if you get sick, you should visit your doctor to “get well.”

But many physicians are relatively clueless about “wellness care,” they are in the business of disease treatment.

This is why the vast majority of physicians’ visits end up with a medication being prescribed, or if that is not appropriate, a surgery or invasive medical test is often recommended.

What is blatantly missing from many of these appointments is a discussion of what is causing your ailment ... which often means hope for a real “cure” is forsaken in favor of expensive and often dangerous symptom management.

"Pharmageddon" is Here

Pharmageddon is "the prospect of a world in which medicines and medicine produce more ill-health than health, and when medical progress does more harm than good" -- and it is no longer a prospect but is fully upon us.

Last year an analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that deaths from properly prescribed drugs now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States! And when you add in deaths attributable to other medical care modalities, like hospital admissions and surgery, the modern medical system becomes the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.

Authored in two parts by Gary Null, PhD, Carolyn Dean, MD ND, Martin Feldman, MD, Debora Rasio, MD, and Dorothy Smith, PhD, the comprehensive Death by Medicine article described in excruciating detail how everything from medical errors to adverse drug reactions to unnecessary procedures caused more harm than good. That was in 2003. In 2010, an analysis in the New
England Journal of Medicine found that, despite efforts to improve patient safety in the past few years, the health care system hasn't changed much at all.i Researchers noted:

“In a study of 10 North Carolina hospitals, we found that harms remain common, with little evidence of widespread improvement.”

They revealed that 18 percent of patients were harmed by medical care (some repeatedly) and over 63 percent of the injuries could have been prevented. In nearly 2.5 percent of these cases, the problems caused or contributed to a person's death. In another 3 percent, patients suffered from permanent injury, while over 8 percent experienced life-threatening issues, such as severe bleeding during surgery. In all there were over 25 injuries per 100 admissions! In other words you have a one in four chance of getting injured if you are admitted to the hospital -- not very good odds by any stretch.

Story at-a-glance
  • Americans spend more on health care than citizens of any other country, up to 1.5 times more per person -- but we rank 50th in life expectancy and 47th in infant mortality
  • A large number of Americans are dying avoidable deaths because of inappropriate medical care, including medical errors, unnecessary surgeries, adverse drug reactions, and more
  • Medical treatments are often ordered because of the providers’ financial interests -- even though evidence to support their effectiveness is lacking, and oftentimes they end up doing more harm than good, sometimes even causing the patient to die
  • The more you take responsibility for your own health -- in the form of nurturing your body to prevent disease -- the less you need to rely on the "disease care" that passes for health care in the United States

Read the rest of this important article at

This Trick May Force Your Body to Burn 400-500 Extra Calories per Day

By Dr. Mercola

For a number of years, scientists have been studying "brown fat."

Brown fat is a heat-generating type of fat that burnsenergy instead of storing it, and this may have important implications when it comes to weight loss.

Human newborns have a supply of brown fat to keep warm, but by adulthood they lose most of their stores of it.

Brown fat has been located in the neck area, around blood vessels (helping to warm your blood), and "marbled" in with white fat in visceral fat tissue.

In a new study, scientists found that they were able to activate the brown fat still present in adult men by exposing them to cold temperatures.

The men burned more calories when cooled, and lost white fat, the kind that causes obesity.

According to the study's authors1:
"That adult humans possess brown fat is now accepted - but is the brown fat metabolically active? Does human brown fat actually combust fat to release heat?
... Ouellet et al. demonstrate that metabolism in brown fat really is increased when adult humans are exposed to cold.
This boosts the possibility that calorie combustion in brown fat may be of significance for our metabolism and, correspondingly, that the absence of brown fat may increase our proneness to obesity - provided that brown fat becomes activated not only by cold but also through food-related stimuli."

Research has shown that certain groups of people tend to have more brown fat than others, and there are direct correlations between the activation of brown fat and metabolic measures of good health. For example:
  • Slender people have more brown fat than obese people do
  • Younger people have more brown fat than elderly people, and
  • People with normal blood sugar levels have more brown fat than those with high blood sugar

Story at-a-glance
  • Brown fat is a heat-generating type of fat thatburns energy instead of storing it, acting more like muscle than fat
  • Research has shown that brown fat can be activated to burn more fat by cooling your body
  • Studies have also shown that animals convert white fat into brown fat simply by exercising. The conversion is triggered by an enzyme called irisin, which is released by the muscles during exercise. It’s still unclear whether this phenomenon is true for humans as well, but humans do have the same protein
  • According to Tim Ferriss, author of The Four-Hour Body, you may be able to increase your fat burning potential by as much as 300 percent simply by adding ice therapy to your dieting strategy. You can do this by placing an ice pack on your upper back and upper chest for 30 minutes a day; drinking about 500 ml of ice water each morning; taking ice cold showers; and/or immersing yourself in an ice bath three times a week

Read the rest of this valuable article at

Friday, 17 February 2012

Couple jailed for son's cancer death

17 02 2012

Cleveland - The parents of an 8-year-old boy who died from Hodgkin lymphoma after suffering for months from undiagnosed swollen glands were sentenced to eight years in prison on Thursday following their guilty pleas to denying him medical treatment.

Attorneys for Monica Hussing, 37, and William Robinson S, 40, had said the parents had financial problems and tried to get checkups for their son but couldn't afford it.

The couple was given the maximum sentence by county Judge Michael Astrab, who accepted their guilty pleas last month to attempted involuntary manslaughter in a last-minute plea deal before their trial was about to begin. They were handcuffed and taken into custody immediately. Both plan to appeal the sentence.

"I loved my son," Robinson told the judge, occasionally wiping his eyes with a tissue. He said he was sorry.

"I tried to help my son," Hussing said as family members in the courtroom quietly sobbed.

Hussing's sister, Shelia Slawinski, cried as she stood before the judge and gave voice to her nephew, Willie Robinson: "I am so in pain ... please take me to the doctor ... the last four weeks have been the most painful."

"I told my sister," Slawinski said. "I offered to help my sister."

According to the prosecution's pre-sentencing memo to the judge, at least eight family members noticed Willie's deteriorating health over a period of more than two years and most spoke to the couple about it. One relative described the boy's swollen neck glands as the size of a softball.

"Twenty-nine months he suffered," Slawinski said. "Twenty-nine months they had to do something and they chose not to."

Drug abuse

Asked outside court why her sister hadn't taken care of Willie and hadn't enrolled him or three siblings in school, Slawinski said it was easier for Hussing to stay in bed during the day and do drugs. Both parents have abused drugs, their attorneys earlier told the judge.

Hussing's oldest daughter, Lillian, 18, defended her mother in court and said Willie was able to do the same things other 8-year-olds do. "He was able to play, go outside," she said.

The judge looked surprised and asked the teen if she would be willing to repeat her statements under oath and possible penalty of perjury. She did.

The judge compared the autopsy photo of Willie's emaciated body to concentration camp victims. "If anybody, anybody, didn't know this kid was sick, they are seriously, seriously disturbed," Astrab said.

Two doctors told the judge before the sentencing that no sick child would be turned away from a hospital.

Willie Robinson collapsed at his home on March 22 2008. Prosecutors say he had begged his parents to take him to see a doctor but was rejected. Hodgkin lymphoma is a highly treatable cancer.

Lillian Hussing said earlier the family didn't have money for medical care when they lived in Warren, tried repeatedly to get help from social services and visited a free clinic but left when told they would have to pay $180.

The family soon moved to Cleveland and the boy died within weeks.

Prosecutors say that while the boy was suffering, the parents claimed financial hardship but paid $87 to have a pit bull treated for fleas. Hussing's defence attorney, John Luskin, said the dog belonged to Hussing's parents and her parents paid for the treatment.

Victim of medical neglect

Trumbull County Children Services says it had worked with the family to provide Willie health care, getting involved after receiving a phone call in July 2007. Agency officials said a case worker visited the family at least monthly and pushed the parents to have a medical follow-up on his swollen neck but they didn't.

However, Robinson's attorney Thomas Rein said previously that a social worker who visited the family in January 2008 "indicated the kids were healthy and happy". He said no one knew the boy had cancer until he died and an autopsy was performed.

And Lillian Hussing said a case worker had told the family the boy's lump looked like a swollen gland and to hold off until they could secure financial assistance before getting it checked.

About two weeks after they moved to Cleveland, she said, her brother came down with something. Her mother treated him with cold medicine and he died within three days.

She said the boy never complained about his neck.

"He played, he went outside, he wrestled, he played video games," the boy's sister said. "He was the happiest kid you could imagine. It never seemed like he was suffering."

The emotional aftermath from their son's death led the couple to split, according to Luskin.

The couple's four other children under 18 were placed in the custody of a family member. Luskin said Lillian Hussing, upon turning 18, decided to return to live with her mother.

Rein said Robinson agreed to plead guilty so his children could be spared any further grief and wouldn't have to suffer by testifying. Lillian Hussing said her mother took a plea bargain because of the uncertainty of a trial and fear she could be sent to prison for a long time.

The coroner ruled that the boy was a victim of medical neglect and died from pneumonia due to Hodgkin lymphoma.


Originally published here

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Studie: Borsmelk is die beste


Johannesburg – Wanvoeding by kinders kan met 25% afneem indien babas in die eerste ses maande net borsmelk gegee word, het 'n voedingkundige van die Verenigde Nasies se Kinderfonds (Unicef) Woensdag gesê.

Chantell Witten het gepraat tydens Save the Children se bekendstelling van 'n nuwe verslag, A life free of hunger: Tackling Child Nutrition.

Volgens Witten word 70% van babas vaste kosse op twee maande gevoer. Sy het ook gesê Suid-Afrika het die laagste aantal moeders in die wêreld wat borsvoed. 

Meeste vroue voer hul babas met babamelk-formule omdat hulle haastig is om terug na hul werke terug te keer nadat hulle geboorte geskenk het. Vroue is ook bang om hul babas te borsvoed wanneer hulle MIV-positief is of Vigs het.

Witten het gesê die eerste twee jaar van 'n kind se lewe is die belangrikste omdat dit die tydstip is waarop kinders al die nodige voedingstowwe moet kry. 

Hoewel sommige voedingstowwe eers op 'n latere stadium aan kinders gegee kan word, sal daardie kinders nie so gesond wees soos diegene wat vir hul eerste ses maande geborsvoed was nie.


Lees oorspronklike artikel HIER

Monday, 13 February 2012

Professor Tim Noakes says "sorry, but carbo is really a no-no"

BIÈNNE HUISMAN | 05 February, 2012 01:15

Professor Tim Noakes and a plate of the food he now recommends Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

Sports science expert Professor Tim Noakes has caused a stir in health circles by refuting his own nutritional advice, widely espoused as athletics gospel.

In an about-turn, Noakes is blaming food containing carbohydrates for the rise in obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The sports physician, affiliated to the University of Cape Town and the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, won worldwide acclaim for his book Lore of Running, described as the "Runner's Bible" and first published in 2003.

Parts of the book, which advocates the benefits of "carbo-loading" and a high-carbohydrate diet, will now be rewritten.

"I used to say 'carbo-load every day, as much as you can'. Yes, this is a turnaround. Absolutely," he said, smiling.

The 62-year-old turned conventional feeding wisdom on its head with claims that fruit juice contained "hidden dangers" and that cereal was one of the worst things parents could feed their children.

That is if you are carbohydrate-resistant, a condition many people suffer from unknowingly, said Noakes.

He said he would like to change the world - one meal at a time.

"The people who have tried everything to lose weight, but cannot, are more than likely carbohydrate-resistant."

Noakes himself tested positive for carbohydrate resistance a year ago. The condition derives from defective insulin in the body. "Some people, like me, are carb-resistant. We cannot metabolise carbs, so it is changed into fat and can lead to obesity and diabetes if one does not change to a low-carbohydrate diet.

Noakes lost 15kg since adopting a new diet a year ago. Now his meals are high in protein and fat.

He said his new anti-carbohydrate arguments were based on theories put forward by Gary Taubes in Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It.

"The results have been incredible. One of my patients lost 30kg over three months."

But local food health expert Dr Harris Steinman said dieticians had some concerns, including whether the revised diet was applicable to everyone.

Read the original article HERE

To learn more about Prof. Tim Noakes click HERE

Also read this article by Prof. Tim Noakes in .pdf format (Against the grains. It’s taken a lifetime to realise it but Professor Tim Noakes now believes the overconsumption of refined carbohydrates may be toxic for the body.) Click HERE

Listen to this Capetalk 567 radio interview with Prof. Tim Noakes "Cut out Carbs to lose weight" - Prof.Tim Noakes (MP3 format).
Prof Tim Noakes chatting to Africa about loosing weight if you cut out Carbs completely. He gets asked a number of question from Listeners. Have a listen he may have answered a question you have about the diet...
To listen to this interview click HERE

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Taking antibiotics ruptured my tendon: The hidden dangers of everyday drugs we assume are harmless

7 February 2012

When Judy Thomas was prescribed a strong antibiotic to shift her chest infection, she didn’t think twice about it.

'The pain was so sharp I felt like I'd been shot or kicked,' said Judy Thomas
'The pain was so sharp I felt like I'd been shot or kicked,' said Judy Thomas

‘It was a few days before Christmas and I was just relieved to get something before the holidays,’ says Judy, 59, a housewife from Ferndown, Dorset.

‘It was a high dose of 500mg of ciprofloxacin twice a day for five days. My GP didn’t mention any possible side-effects.’

Three days later, Judy woke up with an all-pervading tight feeling in the backs of both calves.

‘I could barely walk; I thought the tendon was going to snap,’ she recalls.

‘Ten days later, when I was standing making tea in the kitchen, something did seem to snap in the back of my left calf.

'The pain was so sharp I felt like I’d been shot or kicked, and I blacked out for a few seconds. Afterwards, I was in excruciating pain.’

Next day, she went to A&E with her husband, Geoff, 64, and her left leg was put in plaster because doctors suspected a ruptured Achilles tendon.

‘I was baffled because I hadn’t been doing any exercise and it’s something I thought you only got with running or sport,’ says Judy.

‘It was my sister Sally, a retired nurse, who Googled it later that evening and discovered tendon rupture can be a side-effect of taking ciprofloxacin.

'Imagine my horror when this was confirmed by my GP the next day.’

It can take six months on average to get back to normal activities after an Achilles tendon rupture, but in some cases much longer. A month after taking ciprofloxican Judy is still incapacitated.

‘I’ve been left unable to walk properly,’ she says. ‘I can’t bear weight on it and have been confined to the house.

'Now I’m terrified the tendon in my right leg will rupture, too, as the doctor I saw in A&E said it was showing signs of severe damage.

‘I’ve got pins and needles in my left arm and shoulder, too, which started at the same time. I’m worried this is also connected to the antibiotics, and might be permanent.’

One in six of all prescriptions in the UK is for antibiotics, with the drugs given for everything from ear infections to sore throats. 
But what many patients don’t realise is that like all drugs, antibiotics can cause side-effects.

Amoxicillin, the most commonly prescribed antibiotic in the UK, can cause rashes and diarrhoea, but also nausea, wheezing, itching and a swollen tongue.

One in six of all prescriptions in the UK is for antibiotics, with the drugs given for everything from ear infections to sore throats
One in six of all prescriptions in the UK is for antibiotics, with the drugs given for everything from ear infections to sore throats

Another antibiotic, Flucloxacillin, can cause diarrhoea and nausea, and in rarer cases breathing difficulties, jaundice, bruising and abdominal pain.

And erythromycin, used to treat middle ear and throat infections, cannot only cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea and a rash, but less commonly temporary deafness, skin blisters, jaundice and fever.

‘There’s been a perception that antibiotics are a bit like vitamins in that it won’t do the patient any harm to take them, even if it’s not absolutely certain they do have an infection,’ says Dr Kieran Hand, consultant pharmacist at Southampton General Hospital and a spokesman for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

‘We are realising antibiotics are not completely harmless, and prescribing them is not a decision to be taken lightly.’

This is particularly true for a class of powerful broad spectrum antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, which include ciprofloxacin (the drug Judy was prescribed), levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, ofloxacin and norfloxacin.

Just under a million prescriptions for these drugs were given out in the UK in 2010 for conditions such as chest infections and urinary tract and gastro-intestinal infections.

Some of the alarming side-effects listed for fluoroquinolines include inflamed or ruptured tendon, chest pain, rapid heart beat, black outs, swelling, hot flushes, sweating, pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas) and tinnitus.

It’s only the fluoroquinolone group of antibiotics that have been linked with tendon problems and other muscolo-skeletal issues.

These may start immediately after taking the drugs, or months later.

As a result, doctors and patients often fail to make the link with the antibiotics.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the UK’s drug safety watchdog, received reports of 2,269 ‘suspected’ adverse reactions associated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics, including 67 deaths, since January 2000.

Four years ago, concern about the potential side-effects led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration telling manufacturers to add a ‘black box’ warning to fluoroquinolones.

This is the most serious warning, short of pulling a drug from the market, and indicates that it carries a significant risk of serious or life-threatening adverse events.

In the UK, the British National Formulary, a prescribing guide for doctors and pharmacists, added a specific warning about fluoroquinolones in 2009, stating they should be used ‘with caution’ in patients over 60, those taking corticosteroids, and patients with a history of epilepsy or tendon disorders.

But Judy says she had none of these risk factors.

Nor did Rebecca Robinson, a 44-year-old self-employed hairdresser from Bristol, who was prescribed five courses of ciprofloxacin over a 12-month period after developing cystitis and then a kidney infection in 2006.

Five years later, she is still suffering persistent lower leg pain and other unexplained symptoms, including pain and burning in her lower legs, cervical dystonia (neck spasms), tinnitus and muscle twitching — some of which are recognised side-effects of ciprofloxacin.

‘The reaction started immediately after the first dose: I felt giddiness, back pain and needed to pass urine frequently,’ she says.

‘But it felt just like the kidney infection coming back, so I was prescribed more of the drugs.

‘I’d never felt right since I took those antibiotics but doctors told me there was no connection.

'After three years of tests and no answers, I went online and discovered there were thousands of other people who had taken ciprofloxacin and had similar side-effects to me.

'I have lost half my customers as I have balance problems and find it difficult to stand for long periods.

'I’ve never claimed any disability benefits and always worked to support myself, but what happens if I get worse?

Doctors stress that we must finish a course of antibiotics and don’t mention adverse reactions, so people continue taking the drugs, not realising they are causing them damage.

Philip Howard, consultant pharmacist and a specialist in antibiotics, says although ciprofloxacin has been around for 25 years, it’s only in the past ten years that more side-effects have emerged.

‘When ciprofloxacin was first introduced, it was one of the first broad spectrum antibiotics which could be given as a tablet, so patients didn’t need to stay in hospital.

'That was a major advantage but also came to be one of its major failings, because it then was over-prescribed.

‘As with all drugs, the rarer side-effects sometimes don’t become apparent until large numbers of people have been treated with them.’

He says there are few reasons why ciprofloxacin should still be prescribed by a GP except where there is no alternative, such as where the patient has an allergy to penicillin or where other antibiotics haven’t worked.

‘There is this assumption that antibiotics have no side-effects, but all drugs carry risks. I’d say that unless you need treatment, don’t take them.’

Neal Patel, pharmacist with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, says serious side-effects from antibiotics are rare, but patients should be aware of the risks.

‘If patients notice anything untoward while taking antibiotics they should seek advice from their GP or pharmacist as soon as possible.’

A spokesman for Bayer, manufacturer of ciprofloxacin, said the drug has been used in millions of patients worldwide and has a well-established safety profile.

It added: ‘The product information includes information about tendinitis and tendon rupture, which are recognised but very rare adverse drug reactions.’

Judy Thomas, though, remains convinced ciprofloxacin is the most likely explanation for her ruptured Achilles tendon and pins and needles.

‘I feel very strongly that there should be more prominent warnings on patient information leaflets,’ she says.

‘Antibiotics are something that all of us take without thinking, but we all need to be aware that they have risks as well as benefits.’

Read the original article HERE

A graphic warning of what happens when diabetics inject insulin at the same site every day 'Belly bottom'

10 February 2012

A 55-year-old man with type 1 diabetes shocked his doctors, after he revealed what looked like two bottom cheeks hanging below his navel.

The patient from South Africa, had been told to inject his life-saving insulin jabs into two areas of his stomach to control his blood-sugar levels.

However, he hadn't realised that he needed to rotate the injection site around different parts of his body because the hormone insulin encourages the build up of soft fatty swellings within the layers of the skin.
Lipohypertrophy: The male patient had developed two fatty masses as a result of decades of injecting insulin into the same two sites
Lipohypertrophy: The male patient had developed two fatty masses as a result of decades of injecting insulin into the same two sites

The man went on to develop 'firm and pendulous' masses on his stomach - a condition known as lipohypertrophy. Mild cases are surprisingly common, however this patient had a severe case as he hadn't changed his injection sites for three decades.

Dr Stan Landau, from the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology in Joannesburg, was part of the team who treated the patient.

He told Mail Online: 'We are a group of five senior doctors with many years experience between us and have never seen such a case before.

'We felt we needed to publish the picture in a journal because it was such an extreme case.'

Dr Landau said the patient had continued to inject himself in his stomach because he thought the lumps were normal in insulin users.

'He had seen others with similar, but smaller masses in the same location. Sadly the lumps, though painless, had never been inspected,' the expert said.

Daily jab: Insulin can be injected into the stomach, arms, bottom and thighs

Dr Landau added that although the lumps may shrink slightly the disfiguration would be permanent without plastic surgery.

The patient was encouraged to rotate the injection-site and use a smaller needle. He was also given a different type of insulin.

Unfortunately the team lost contact with the patient after he failed to return for follow-up appointments.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, the team said the case highlighted the need for better medical advice for diabetes patients.

'Sadly many people with diabetes haven't received proper education in terms of how to give an insulin shot correctly,' Dr Landau said.

'It needn't be so.'

Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin. It usually appears in patients before the age of 40.

Insulin allows glucose to enter the cells where it is used as fuel. Without it the glucose builds up in the blood.

Diabetes affects approximately 2.8 million people in the UK. Type 1 accounts for one in 10 people with the condition and is treated with daily insulin injections along with a healthy diet and regular physical activity.

Read the original article HERE

Silver bullet for cancer: Metal can kill some tumours better than chemotherapy with fewer side effects

By Anthony Bond
2 February 2012

Silver can kill some cancers as effectively as chemotherapy and with potentially fewer side effects, new research claims.

Scientists say that old wives tales about the precious metal being a ‘silver bullet’ to beat the Big C could be true.

The metal already has a wide range of medicinal uses and is a common antiseptic, antibiotic and means of purifying water in the third world.

Good news: Silver can kill some cancers as effectively as chemotherapy and with potentially fewer side effects, new research has claimed

Good news: Silver can kill some cancers as effectively as chemotherapy and with potentially fewer side effects, new research has claimed

And British researchers now say that silver compounds are as effective at killing certain cancer cells as a leading chemotherapy drug, but with potentially far fewer side-effects.

They compared it to Cisplatin, currently used to treat a wide variety of cancers, but known to have harsh side effects including nausea, vomiting and even kidney damage.

Silver is used already in everyday products such as deodorant with no known side-effects, and could make for a potentially cheaper alternative to platinum-based Cisplatin.

Researchers from the University of Leeds conducted lab tests which exposed breast and colon cancer cells to various silver-based chemicals over a six day period.

Results, published in journal Dalton Transactions, showed that these silver-compounds were ‘as effective as Cisplatin’ at killing cancer with potentially fewer side effects.

While the team are still unsure about how exactly silver battles cancer, they think its effectiveness may be caused by the structure surrounding silver atoms, known as its ligand.

Way forward: Researchers from the University of Leeds found that silver could be used to help defeat breast cancer

Way forward: Researchers from the University of Leeds found that silver could be used to help defeat breast cancer

They think this may help release the silver ion into cells when it enters the body, killing any cancer.

Study author Dr Charlotte Willans plans to spend the next year looking closely at what effect silver has on both cancerous and healthy cells, and whether it could be a safe and effective new anti-cancer drug.

She said: 'It’s certainly an exciting discovery, although I think we have a lot of work to do in the future. It opens the doors in terms of what we can do and investigate.

'Getting these results also gives us the opportunity we need to apply for funding to take the research further.

'This could lead to a cheaper, less toxic alternative to current treatments for cancer.'

Explaining the research in greater detail, Dr Willans added: 'As many are unfortunately aware, chemotherapy can be a very gruelling experience for the patient.

'Finding effective, yet non-toxic drugs is an ongoing problem, but these preliminary results are an important step in solving it.

'Our research has looked at the structure which surrounds a central silver atom. This "shrubbery" is what determines how reactive it is and what it will interact with.

'Our research has used different types of these ligands to see which is the most effective against cancer cells.'

Read the original article HERE

Colloidal silver cures MRSA infections, purifies water, destroys candida and fights the flu - In spite of FDA ban

Wednesday, February 08, 2012
by: JB Bardot

(NaturalNews) More than 90 years ago doctors and health practitioners discovered the life-saving, disinfectant and germicidal properties in colloidal silver. Anecdotal evidence has confirmed its efficacy as a natural antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal agent. The FDA, however, doesn't agree and ruled in 1999 that all colloidal silver products sold over-the-counter are unsafe and mis-branded. They state they are unaware of any substantial scientific studies or evidence that support its use for the treatment of serious disease. This is one more area where government regulators being influenced by Big Pharma are attempting to discredit the efficacy of a highly effective natural treatment for infections. Read the details of the FDA ruling here:

Colloidal silver is made by suspending microscopic particles of silver in liquid. Silver has been used for hundreds of years not only medicinally, but as a preservative to keep water and milk fresh because it prevents the growth of algae, bacteria and other unwanted organisms. Colloidal silver was used extensively as a natural antibiotic until the 1940s when the advent of "modern" antibiotics became popular.

Over use of colloidal silver can result in a condition called argyria, where the skin and mucous membranes turn gray or blue-gray in color as a result of the silver particles depositing in the tissues and oxidizing when exposed to air and sunlight. Some people are more prone than others to developing this condition, especially those with low vitamin E and selenium levels and those with slower metabolisms. The first signs of argyria are when the gums turn grayish-brown in color.

There are compelling reasons both pro and con for the medicinal use of colloidal silver; however, in light of the lack of efficacy of many antibiotics and the invention of super drugs to kill super bugs, one wonders where the risk really exists. Should you take larger and stronger doses of super-killing antibiotics that often fail to work to fight infections? Absolutely not! Should you use colloidal silver in large quantities, long term? It's probably not a great a idea. Will colloidal silver provide an effective medicinal agent for killing noxious bacterial infections, life-threatening flu viruses and systemic fungal infections? Most likely it will, based on the evidence of the past. Individuals choosing to use colloidal silver should use caution and only take it to treat the existing disease, rather than ingesting large doses daily for long periods.

Other medical uses


The International Space station and Russian space station Mir used colloidal silver as a disinfectant to purify water. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists colloidal silver as being effective for disinfecting drinking water in third world countries, taking advantage of its anti-bacterial properties.

Topical antiseptic and antifungal

Colloidal silver makes an excellent topical application for scrapes, wounds, cuts and sores, acting as an antiseptic to destroy bacteria. In addition, clinical evidence points to its efficacy in eradicating vaginal yeast fungal infections with topical applications and douching.


Possibly one of the most important medical roles for colloidal silver is it's ability to destroy deadly pathogens like methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, the flesh-eating super bug. The MRSA cure was discovered during research in the 1970s at Syracuse University by Robert O. Becker, M.D. Becker's research has been all but discredited by the FDA who helped to downplay his findings. Funding for continued research dried up in 1980, forcing Becker to close his lab and stop his research. At that time he was on the verge of huge breakthroughs in human organ and tissue regeneration.

Sources for this article include: Colloidal Silver: Benefits, Risks & Side Effects

FDA -- DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: Over-the-Counter Drug Products Containing Colloidal Silver
Ingredients or Silver Salts

Colloidal Silver: The Undisputed Cure for MRSA and Other Deadly Super-Pathogens


Silver Medicine: Dr. Robert O. Becker, M.D. -- Silver Ions and Electromedicine

About the author:
JB Bardot is trained in herbal medicine and homeopathy, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle.

Read the original article HERE

Coffee Consumption Reduces Fibrosis Risk In Those With Fatty Liver Disease


Caffeine consumption has long been associated with decreased risk of liver disease and reduced fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease. Now, newly published research confirms that coffee caffeine consumption reduces the risk of advanced fibrosis in those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Findings published in the February issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, show that increased coffee intake, specifically among patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), decreases risk of hepatic fibrosis.

The steady increase in rates of diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome over the past 20 years has given rise to greater prevalence of NAFLD. In fact, experts now believe NAFLD is the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the U.S., surpassing both hepatitis B and C. The majority of patients will have isolated fatty liver which has a very low likelihood of developing progressive liver disease. However, a subset of patients will have NASH, which is characterized by inflammation of the liver, destruction of liver cells, and possibly scarring of the liver. Progression to cirrhosis (advanced scarring of the liver) may occur in about 10-11% of NASH patients over a 15 year period, although this is highly variable.

To enhance understanding of the correlation between coffee consumption and the prevalence and severity of NAFLD, a team led by Dr. Stephen Harrison, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas surveyed participants from a previous NAFLD study as well as NASH patients treated at the center’s hepatology clinic. The 306 participants were asked about caffeine coffee consumption and categorized into four groups: patients with no sign of fibrosis on ultrasound (control), steatosis, NASH stage 0-1, and NASH stage 2-4.

Researchers found that the average milligrams in total caffeine consumption per day in the control, steatosis, Nash 0-1, and Nash 2-4 groups was 307, 229, 351 and 252; average milligrams of coffee intake per day was 228, 160, 255, and 152, respectively. There was a significant difference in caffeine consumption between patients in the steatosis group compared to those with NASH stage 0-1. Coffee consumption was significantly greater for patients with NASH stage 0-1, with 58% of caffeine intake from regular coffee, than with NASH stage 2-4 patients at only 36% of caffeine consumption from regular coffee.

Multiple analyses showed a negative correlation between coffee consumption and risk of hepatic fibrosis. “Our study is the first to demonstrate a histopatholgic relationship between fatty liver disease and estimated coffee intake,” concludes Dr. Harrison. “Patients with NASH may benefit from moderate coffee consumption that decreases risk of advanced fibrosis. Further prospective research should examine the amount of coffee intake on clinical outcomes.”
Contacts and sources:
Citation: “Association of Coffee and Caffeine Consumption with Fatty Liver Disease, Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis, and Degree of Hepatic Fibrosis.” Jeffrey W Molloy, Christopher J Calcagno, Christopher D Williams, Frances J Jones, Dawn M Torres, Stephen A Harrison. Hepatology; December 22, 2011 (DOI: 10.1002/hep.24731); Print Issue Date: February 2012.

Read the original article HERE

A Quantum Connection Between Light And Mechanics


Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ, Garching near Munich) have demonstrated a microscopic system in which light can be converted into a mechanical oscillation and back. This interaction is so strong that it becomes possible to control the motion of the oscillator at the level where quantum mechanics governs its behaviour (Nature, 2 February 2012).

Since the early 20th century, it is known that the motion of objects is ultimately governed by the laws of quantum mechanics, which predict some intriguing phenomena: An object could simultaneously be in two places at the same time, and it should always be moving a little, even at a temperature of absolute zero ─ the oscillator is then said to be in its quantum ground state. Yet we never experience such behavior in the things we see around us and interact with in daily life.
Indeed, quantum effects can only be observed on very well isolated systems, where the coupling to the surrounding environment is extremely weak. For large objects, the unavoidable coupling quickly washes out the quantum properties, in a process known as decoherence. Until recently, scientists were only able to observe quantum mechanical traits in the motion of tiny systems, such as single atoms or molecules. Now, a team of physicists in the Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurement directed by Prof. Tobias Kippenberg has shown that it is possible to control the motion of an object, sufficiently large to be seen with the naked eye, at the level where quantum mechanics dominates. They achieve this by illuminating the object with laser light.

The structure is a carefully crafted glass donut on a microchip, with a diameter of 30 micrometer (about one half of a hair’s diameter, see Figure 1). Just like a wineglass, it can vibrate at a well-defined frequency. But at the same time, it acts as a racetrack for light, which can circle around the circumference of the donut. In turning the bend, the light exerts a little force on the glass surface, an effect called 'radiation pressure'. 
Figure 1. (left) Electron microscopy image of the glass donut, which is smaller than the diameter of a hair. It is connected to the supporting chip by four spokes, to ensure that the structure can vibrate for a long time like a good tuning fork. Light can circulate up to a million times around the circumference of the donut. (right top) As the light bounces against the walls of the structure, it exerts a small force on the glass, which can influence the vibrations of the structure. (right bottom) The structure vibrates in a radial ‘breathing’-like motion, oscillating 78 000 000 times per second. 
Credit: Picture by EPFL, MPQ

Although this force is very small, in these structures it can become appreciable since light circles around the structure up to a million times before being lost. The radiation pressure force can set the ring in motion, causing it to vibrate like a finger running along the rim of a wineglass. But it can in fact also dampen the vibrations, and thus cool down the oscillatory motion.

Cooling is crucial to reaching the regime of quantum mechanical motion, as this is normally overshadowed by random thermal fluctuations. For this reason, the structure is placed in a cryostat that brings it to a temperature of less than one degree above absolute zero. Radiation pressure damping by laser light launched into the donut then cools the motion down by an extra factor of 100. The oscillator is cooled so much that it spends a large fraction of the time in its quantum ground state. But even more importantly: The interaction between light and the motion of the oscillator can be made so strong that the two form an intimate connection: A small excitation in the form of a light pulse can fully transform into a small vibration and back again.

For the first time, this transformation between light and motion is made to occur within a time that is short enough such that the quantum properties of the original light pulse are not lost in the process through decoherence. By outpacing decoherence, the current results provide a powerful way to control the quantum properties of the oscillator motion, and see the peculiar predictions of quantum mechanics at play in human-made objects. Moreover, the mechanical oscillators can serve to interface a variety of quantum systems of completely different nature via light in optical fibers.

Contacts and sources:
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics

Citation: E. Verhagen, S. Deléglise, S. Weis, A. Schliesser, Tobias J. Kippenberg
Quantum-coherent coupling of a mechanical oscillator to an optical cavity mode,
Nature, 2 February 2012. Posted by Alton Parrish

Read original article HERE

Zinc supplements 'can triple the survival chances of young children with pneumonia'

8 February 2012

Zinc supplements can triple the survival chances of young children with pneumonia who are deficient in the mineral, a study has found.

Taking zinc had a dramatic effect on death rates - even though it did not shorten the time severely ill children took to recover.

The metal is found in shellfish, meat, egg yolks and seeds and supports a wide range of functions in the body and is vital to the immune system.

However, many people are deficient in the mineral, both in rich and poor countries.

The new research, involving young children aged six months to five years, was conducted in Uganda where zinc deficiency is rife.

Scientists studied 352 children with severe pneumonia who were all being treated with antibiotics.

Half the children were given additional therapy in the form of 10 milligram or 20 milligram zinc supplements, depending on age.

The researchers found no difference between the two groups in the time it took to recover from infection.

But the risk of dying was very different. Just 4 per cent of children taking zinc died compared with 12 per cent of those not taking zinc.

For children infected with the Aids virus, HIV, the supplements had a really dramatic impact. In this group, an extra 26 out of every 100 children had their lives saved by zinc.

Study leader Professor James Tumwine, from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, said: 'Zinc is known to bolster the immune system and zinc deficiency is rife all over the developed, and developing, world.

'In Uganda, where this study was performed, zinc deficiency in some areas can be as high as 70 per cent.

'We would only need to give 13 of these children with pneumonia zinc on top of their antibiotics to save one life. This equates to about four US dollars (£2.50) - a small price to pay.'
For children infected with the Aids virus, HIV, the supplements had a really dramatic impact. The Ugandan study found that in this group, an extra 26 out of every 100 children had their lives saved by zinc (file photo)
For children infected with the Aids virus, HIV, the supplements had a really dramatic impact. The Ugandan study found that in this group, an extra 26 out of every 100 children had their lives saved by zinc (file photo)

The findings are published in the online journal BMC Medicine.

The researchers pointed out that the HIV-infected children suffered a double disadvantage. Their immune systems were compromised both by HIV infection and zinc deficiency.

Taking zinc supplements was thought to give a big boost to the immune systems. Yet the scientists were unable to explain why the mineral failed to speed up recovery time.

They wrote: 'What is clear is that we have unearthed a very interesting, yet contradictory phenomenon, that seems to be related to HIV infection and severe zinc deficiency. It calls for further studies on the interaction among HIV, zinc and severe pneumonia.'

Read the original article HERE

Breast cancer screening 'no longer justified' and causes 7,000 women a year to have unnecessary diagnosis

8th February 2012

Women should avoid breast cancer screening because it will lower their risk of getting a diagnosis of the disease, claims a leading critic of the NHS programme.

Danish scientist Professor Peter Gotzsche warned that evidence in favour of screening had become weaker as treatments have improved.

Rigorous analysis of the benefits and harms from screening show it does not reduce the overall risk of dying, or the overall risk of dying from breast cancer, he said.

A scientist warned that evidence in favour of screening had become weaker as treatments have improved
A scientist warned that evidence in favour of screening had become weaker as treatments have improved

'Women who go to screening do not live longer than women who do not go to screening.

'If mammography screening was subjected to a health technology assessment today, the recommendation would be to stop screening' he said at the launch yesterday of his new book Mammography Screening Truth Lies and Controversy in London.

Healthy women are getting unnecessary diagnoses of pre-cancerous conditions that are unlikely to develop during their lifetime, says Prof Gotzsche, director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, Copenhagen.

He estimates 7,000 women a year receive an unnecessary breast cancer diagnosis and unnecessary treatment - including some who lose a breast - because of overdiagnosis in the NHS breast cancer screening programme.

He said: 'Screening produces patients with breast cancer from among healthy women who would never have developed symptoms of breast cancer.

'It therefore no longer seems reasonable to attend for breast cancer screening.

Around 7,000 women receive unnecessary breast cancer diagnosis and treatment
Around 7,000 women receive unnecessary breast cancer diagnosis and treatment

'In fact, by avoiding going to screening, a woman will lower her risk of getting a breast cancer diagnosis by about one-third.'

A woman will fare as well by seeing a doctor about any symptoms she has noticed, he added.

Prof Gotzsche, who is director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, Copenhagen, and colleagues have published a number of papers since 1999 which claim the benefits of screening have been oversold and questioning 'misleading' information provided to women by governments and charities.

They conclude that recent improvements in breast cancer survival are more likely to be attributable to advances in treatment rather than screening.

Mounting controversy led to a major review into the NHS breast cancer screening programme being announced by the National Cancer Director in November, which will be led by the internationally recognised public health expert Professor Sir Michael Marmot.

Under the NHS screening programme, which cost £75 million last year, women are invited for three-yearly mammograms, or X-rays, between the ages of 50 and 70 years. The age limits are being extended to 47-73.

Almost two million women in the UK are screened each year.

Iona Heath, president of the Royal College of General Practitioners, in a foreword to the new book, praised Prof Gotzsche's work in the field.

But she warned if women become properly informed about the drawbacks of screening, the uptake may drop which will make it less cost-effective.

'However, there are huge vested interests at work and it may still take time for the limitations and harms of screening to be properly acknowledged and for women to be enabled to make adequately informed decisions' she said.

Professor Michael Baum, an international authority on breast cancer and screening sceptic, resigned from the NHS screening committee in 1995 over fears that women were being misled and has since fought for women to be given a truly informed choice.

Dr Caitlin Palframan, Policy Manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said 'We believe breast screening is vital as it can detect breast cancer at the earliest possible stages when no other symptoms are obvious. The earlier breast cancer is picked up the better, as treatment options are more likely to be less aggressive and more successful.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said it would look at the findings of the independent review.

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Anabolic Steroids Cause Dangerous Body Fat


A research team at Luleå University of Technology and Umea University has, in a unique study involving ten Swedish elite lifters who are actively using anabolic steroids, studied the effect of Anabolic steroids on body fat. Swedish elite lifters who use anabolic steroids have more dangerous fat distribution in the body.

The research was done at the Department of Medical Sciences at Luleå University of Technology in collaboration with the Sports Medicine Unit at Umeå University and Winternet in Boden. The result is now published in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

Credit: Istock

We know that the elite lifters who take Anabolic androgenic steroids have a higher possibility to suffer from strokes and heart attacks. The results of this study of how body fat is distributed in elite lifters who use anabolic steroids may be a reason for the increased tendency to suffer from cardiovascular disease, says Anders Eriksson, a researcher at the Medical Science at LTU.

The researcher studied how two different groups of elite lifters store fat in the body. One group had used anabolic steroids and the other had not used steroids. The study showed that elite lifters who use anabolic steroids have significantly lower fat deposits below the waist, that is, lower levels of so-called gynoid fat, than elite lifters who do not take anabolic steroids.

The power lifters in the study have had their bodies scanned in a so called DEXA scanner that is normally used to study osteoporosis, but that can also measure total body composition and fat content in different parts of the body.

LTU-researcher Ander Eriksson was the first in the world in the mid-1990s, to implement documented doping studies directly to persons who actively used the anabolic steroids. At that time he studied the effect on the cellular level by taking muscle tissue samples in the powerlifters who were active users of anabolic steroids, as well as the elite lifters who previously used drugs, and compared the results with different control groups. These studies he carried out as molecular biologist at the Anatomy Institution, at Umeå University.

This research led to that the International Doping Association World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA decided to extend the shutdown option from 2-4 years of professional athletes who have been caught doping.
Contacts and sources:
Story by Katarina Karlsson
Luleå University of Technology 
Posted by Alton Parrish
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Some African Sex Workers Are Naturally HIV Resistant


Some African sex workers are naturally HIV resistant.  The women are protected by a weak inflammatory response in their vaginas

 A research team lead by Dr. Michel Roger of the University of Montreal Hospital Centre and the university’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology has found that HIV-resistant sex workers in Africa have a weak inflammatory response in their vaginas – a surprise for the researchers, who were expecting the contrary considering the women’s high exposure to the virus. 
File:HIV Virion-en.png
Credit: Wikipedia

“In this part of the world, women represent over 60% of HIV cases, and this proportion continues to increase,” Roger said. “Studying women who are naturally resistant to the virus enables researchers to identify interesting information in terms of developing vaccinations or microbid gels that could prevent transmission of HIV.” The word microbid refers to something that is able to destroy microbes.

Roger has been working with women from Benin and Zimbabwe over the course of the past fifteen years in order to get a better idea of the immune and molecular mechanisms involved in the transmission of HIV. These countries were targeted because of the high number of infected women and the existence of natural resistance in some of them. The researchers found that when these women come into contact with the virus, the immune system cells in their vaginas produced fewer inflammatory molecules (cytokines and chemokines) than the same cells in HIV-infected women.

These molecules play a role in activating and recruiting “lymphocyte T-cells” that normally attack and destroy viruses. However, HIV is cunning and actually uses the T-cell to invade the body. “Fewer T-cells means fewer target cells available for the virus to use,” Roger explained.

Intriguingly, the researchers discovered that the immune response was very different in the women’s blood than in their vaginal mucous membrane. The findings show that it would undoubtedly be more effective to develop vaccinations that would block the virus at the entry point to the body rather than try to fight it once it is already established within the body’s system. “AIDS vaccination research has entirely focused on the blood stream and this approach has been a failure,” Roger said. “Our research shows that the immune response is different at the site of the infection, and that we should turn to the entry points in order to find a means for blocking the virus.” A vaccination of this kind could be administered via the nose and would immunize all mucus membranes in the body.

Research will continue in order to better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the vaginal immune response. Scientists suspect that genetic factors may be at play, as it has been discovered that sisters living in similar circumstances have the same HIV-resistant profile.

Dr. Michel Roger’s latest published research in this area appeared in the September 2011 edition of PLoS One. The study “High Level of Soluble HLA-G in the Female Genital Tract of Beninese Commercial Sex Workers Is Associated with HIV-1 Infection” received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Réseau SIDA of the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec. The University of Montreal and the University of Montreal Hospital Centre are officially known as Université de Montréal and Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), respectively.

Contacts and sources:  W. Raillant-Clark
Université de Montréal  
Citation: Thibodeau V, Lajoie J, Labbé A-C, Zannou MD, Fowke KR, et al. 2011 High Level of Soluble HLA-G in the Female Genital Tract of Beninese Commercial Sex Workers Is Associated with HIV-1 Infection. PLoS ONE 6(9): e25185. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025185
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