The last few issues have concentrated on “systems biology,” the science behind our network of interconnected cells working together in a perfect symphony of cell communication:
“In the 21st century, researchers have moved beyond the concept that diseases exist independently from one another. Rather, it is now understood that diseases are interconnected through similar pathways, and that these pathways form a physiological network. Thus, it is now recognized that the gene expression alterations of different diseases may be very similar one to the other, even when diseases strike different parts of the body and do not resemble each other in the phenotype (presentation). Researchers around the world are now examining this concept of comorbidities, which are also being called disease ‘adjacencies.‘”
Even though the best answers to health and societal problems require an integration of the whole, we still need to pay attention to reductionist studies. Consequently, this issue is an attempt to catch up on disparate research that at first blush may seem disconnected from the whole. Ponder the articles below; you will find the thread that links them together. Hugo Rodier, MD
“Effects of Statins on Energy and Fatigue With Exertion: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial ,” J. Archives Int Med June 11, 2012 Epub &.
“Statin use is associated with reduced incidence and progression of knee osteoarthritis in the Rotterdam study,” J. Ann Rheum Dis. 2012;71:642 &.
“The effects of statins on osteoarthritis structural progression: another glimpse of the Holy Grail?” J. Ann Rheum Dis. 2012;71:633. No doubt Big Pharma will cash in on these findings. It would be better to teach people about the common mechanism underlying arthritis and cholesterol problems, and how to prevent it…
“Mechanically induced experimental knee osteoarthritis benefits from anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of simvastatin via inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-3,” J. Orthopaed Traumatol. 2011;12:145. Whence inflammation? Read on:
“What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Heart Disease,” Book by Doctor Houston, Mark. New York: Grand Central Life & Style, 2012. “I tell everyone that if you do not clean up your gut, you will not clean up your cardiovascular system. It’s that simple.”
“Polyphenol-rich extract of pomegranate peel alleviates tissue inflammation and hypercholesterolaemia in high-fat-induced obese mice: potential implication of the gut
Microbiota,” British J. Nutrition June 7th 2012, Epub.
“Metabolic stress-induced inflammation plays a major role in the development of osteoarthritis in mice,” J. Arthritis Rheum 2012;64:1172. Processed foods trigger inflammation.
“Omega-3 fatty acids and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease risk-is it just a fish tale?” J. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Apr 9 [Epub.] Omega oils decrease inflammation:
“GPR120 is an omega-3 fatty acid receptor mediating potent anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing effects,” Cell. 2012;142:687. So do most nutritional supplements:
“The role of nutraceutical supplements in the treatment of dyslipidemia,” J. Clin Hypertens 2012;14:121. The best is fermented red rice.
“Nutrition and nutraceutical supplements in the treatment of hypertension,” J. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2012;8:821. The best is arginine.
“Effect of folic acid supplementation on the progression of carotid intima-media thickness,” J. Atherosclerosis. 2012;222:307. Folic acid synergizes L-arginine in arterial health.
“The effectiveness and cost effectiveness of dark chocolate consumption as prevention therapy in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease,” BMJ 2012;344:e3657. No sugar or milk added.
“Lower lifetime dietary fiber intake is associated with carotid artery stiffness: the Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study,” Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96:14
“Newly Reported Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis in Relation to Deployment Within Proximity to a Documented Open-Air Burn Pit in Iraq,” Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine 2012;54:698. So do toxins in the environment.
“Chemical Intolerance Common in Primary Care Patients,” J. Annals of Family Practice 2012;10:357. About 20% of patients have it.
“Role of Environmental Chemicals in Diabetes and Obesity: A National Toxicology Program Workshop Review,” J. Environ Health Perspect. 2012;120:779. Google “obesogens.”
“Nutrition Can Modulate the Toxicity of Environmental Pollutants: Implications in Risk Assessment and Human Health,” J. Environ Health Perspect. 2012;120:771. Lots of plant-based foods.
“Effects of high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose on the pharmacokinetics of fructose and acute metabolic and hemodynamic responses in healthy subjects Journal Metabolism Clinical and Experimental 2012;61:641 “Compared with sucrose, HFCS leads to greater fructose systemic exposure and significantly different acute metabolic effects.”
“Differences in Nutrient Intake Associated with State Laws Regarding Fat, Sugar, and Caloric Content of Competitive Foods,” J. Arch of Ped & Adol Med 2012;166:451. Less consumption in California, where junk food is regulated in schools.
“Greater Whole-Grain Intake Is Associated with Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Weight Gain, J. Nutrition 2012;142:1304
“Bitter Melon Seed Oil-Attenuated Body Fat Accumulation,” J. Nutrition 2012;142:1197
“Maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy is associated with adiposity in the offspring,” Am J. Clin Nutr 2012;96:57
“Insulin Resistance and Adiposity in Relation to Serum β-Carotene Levels,” J. Pediatric 2012;161:58
“Exercise and Meditation Help Reduce Burden of Acute Respiratory Infection,” J. Ann Fam Med. 2012;10:337-346
“Zinc as adjunct treatment in infants aged between 7 and 120 days with probable serious bacterial infection,” J. Lancet 2012;379:2072. Eat more veggies and/or supplement Zinc
“Good medicine rather than new medicines,” British Medical Journal 2012;344:e4417
“Dutch GPs agree to refer fewer patients to hospital and prescribe more generic drugs,” BMJ 2012;344:e4510
“Neuropsychological Measures of Attention and Impulse Control among 8-Year-Old Children Exposed Prenatally to Organochlorines,” J. Environ Health Perspect. 2012;120: 904.
“Reserve antidepressants for cases of severe depression, Dutch doctors are told,” BMJ 2012;344:e4211
“Chronic Mental Health Issues in Children Now Loom Larger Than Physical Problems,” JAMA 2012;308:223. Top 5 pediatric problems are mental: speech, learning, ADD, other emotional, other developmental.
“Relation of Cumulative Low-Level Lead Exposure to Depressive and Phobic Anxiety Symptom Scores in Middle-Age and Elderly Women,” J. Environ Health Perspect. 2012;120:817
“Evidence on the Human Health Effects of Low-Level Methylmercury Exposure,” J. Environ Health Perspect. 2012;120:799. Remember “Mad as a Hatter?”
“Lack of sleep increases risk of strokes in low risk patients,” SLEEP 2012: Associated Professional Sleep Societies 26th Annual Meeting.
“Fall Prevention Using Olfactory Stimulation With Lavender Odor in Elderly Nursing Home Residents,” J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012;60:1005
“Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Delivered to Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Positive Patients in Iran: Effects on CD4+ T Lymphocyte Count and Medical and Psychological Symptoms,” J. PsychosomMed 2012;74:620
“Running and all-cause mortality risk–is more better?” American College of Sports Medicine 2012 Annual Meeting, June 2, 2012; San Francisco, CA. Presentation 3471.
“Potential adverse cardiovascular effects from excessive endurance exercise,” J. Mayo Clin Proc 2012; 87:587-595.
“Resveratrol improves insulin resistance of catch-up growth by increasing mitochondrial complexes and antioxidant function in skeletal muscle,” Journal Metabolism Clinical and Exp 2012;61:954. Grapes fuel energy in the cell; they help with pre diabetes and obesity.
 “Systems biology and the future of medicine,” J. Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med 2011;3:619
 Functional Medicine Update, Dr. Jeffrey Bland; July 2012
 See July blog on an Integrative view of the tragic events in Aurora, Colorado.