Volume 15 • Number 10 and 11 • October-November 2014

Autism rates continue to climb, a sure sign that it is mostly an environmental problem. My home state, Utah, leads the nation with 1/54 boys affected. This is a moral tragedy of major proportions, accentuated by the fact that we are doing very little, if anything, for the root of the problem. No doubt it is the politics of environmental issues that paralize our communities. But, we could still raise awareness to limit exposure to toxins like pesticides[1] in the environment. We could also feed our children better. There are politics involved here, too, which keeps a nutritional approach from our clinics and schools. But, nothing can keep us from improving our children’s diets in the privacy of our own homes. Unfortunately, medical schools are not teaching doctors these simple concepts:

By emphasizing the powerful role of nutrition in medical training and practice we stand to dramatically reduce suffering and needless death-not to mention the colossal cost savings.” “A Deficiency of Nutritional Education.”[2]

We have known that emphasizing plant based foods improves the symptoms of Autism and ADD. Avoiding processed foods full of chemicals and eating more fiber improves the gut flora where we detoxify and metabolize. This approach is gaining momentum in the medical journals.[3] It has been found to help with practically all diseases. The latest shocking news is that a messed up gut flora from jet travel increases the risk of obesity.[4]

A recent article showed that eating more broccoli lowers the risk of Autism.[5] Why? Because the micronutrients like sulforaphanes therein help our liver detoxify better. So, President Bush Sr. needs to eat his words. and broccoli.

Politics, Bees and Monsanto

The editorial above alluded to environmental issues being politisized to the point of paralysis. The main sticking point is the profits that would be lost to those who would have to clean up their act. Money is the root of our environmental problems; this is where the battle lines are drawn. A glaring example of this is Monsanto. You may want to read the October issue of the National Geographic. This excellent magazine has been running a series of articles on food for the past few months. Unfortunately, the NG people are also susceptible to politics, as we all are.

Their article on GMOs is quite informative and sheds light on these battle lines. While we all agree that it is good and safe to “naturally” tweak the DNA of our crops by crossbreading and other well established techniques, we disagree on injecting chemicals, especially pesticides into their DNA. Amazingly, this technique is not mentioned in the article at all! I believe that NG was not properly informed by Monsanto.

Pesticides have been linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsonims and Alzheimer’s disease.[6] This is easy to understand: pesticides are derivatives of Nerve gas used in WWI and WWII. We have ignired this problem, again, because $$$$$$$$$ issues and misinformation by Monsanto. The European Union has banned GMOs, but, in the USA we call you a conspiracy nut if you don’t conform with what the media puts out. Incidentally, our media is now in the pocket of big corporations like Monsanto.

We have also ignored the proverbial “canary in the mine,” or, rather, bees. They have been dying in alarming proportions, a problem now dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder. I am sure you can imagine how seriously affected our crops, plants and flowers will be if this problem worsens. Even though the root of the problem has been clear to many for a while, it is only until recently that I dare say the cause of CCD is pesticides.[7]

If you think that is terrible, wait to read this: Monsanto has recently bought the company Beeologics, which has been researching CCD. It seems that Monsanto not only wishes to keep the light of day from shining on them, but they plan to use Beeologics’ technology to expand their GMO production! This was reported on the internet site naturalnews.com, which, granted, may not be a solid source. However, all we have to do is keep an eye on Beeologics and see who will be running it in the near future.

 

Morality and Health

To ignore the issues presented above is, in my opinion, immoral. I will now step aside for you to read from the journal Science:

“The science of morality has drawn heavily on well-controlled but artificial laboratory settings. To study everyday morality, we repeatedly assessed moral or immoral acts and experiences in a large (N = 1252) sample using ecological momentary assessment. Moral experiences were surprisingly frequent and manifold. Liberals and conservatives emphasized somewhat different moral dimensions. Religious and nonreligious participants did not differ in the likelihood or quality of committed moral and immoral acts. Being the target of moral or immoral deeds had the strongest impact on happiness, whereas committing moral or immoral deeds had the strongest impact on sense of purpose. Analyses of daily dynamics revealed evidence for both moral contagion and moral licensing. In sum, morality science may benefit from a closer look at the antecedents, dynamics, and consequences of everyday moral experience.”[8]

Breakthrough: natural treatment for back pain-Theramine

Ibuprofen and tylenol cause a lot of problems and should not be taken for very long. We have reported on their side effects frequently; they now involve liver failure, heart attacks and strokes. The best way to handle back pain is to look into the emotional and financial stress that is at the root of 80% of causes. The others are mechanical, and often associated with ergonomics of one’s job. Chiropractors, Physical Therapy, Acupuncture and Massage are effective. Now we have another safe and natural way of handling back pain, other than previously reported Curcumin, MSM sulfur, Cherry juice, SAMe, B6 injections, GABA, Stinging nettle, Glycine, Arginine, Boswellia, etc.

The trade name of a combination of natural products is Theramine. It contains the amino acids L-arginine, L-histidine HCL, L-glutamine, L-serine, and GABA, in addition to Griffonia Seed (95% 5HTP), Whey Protein Hydrolysate, Grape Seed Extract (85% Polyphenols), Choline Bitartrate,Cinnamon, and Cocoa Extract (6% Theobromine).[9]

Brain Update

We all worry about “All-timers” disease, aka Alzheimer’s disease, AD. As you saw above we could do more for the environmental and nutritional factors that are involved. We could also try to avoid certain drugs now associated with a higher risk of AD: sleeping pills and xanax-like drugs, the benzodiazepines.[10]

Plant-base diets have been shown to not only lower the risk of AD, but also the risk of strokes.[11] Since memory loss is an early warning that AD may be coming next, we advise patients to be active: “Strength training boosts memory in a single session.”[12] Get rid of processed foods, especially sugar, learn to play a music instrumuent or a new language, socialize more, walk more,[13] and consider supplements like omega oils, CoQ10, and the herbs Sage and/or Huperzine A.

Vitamin D update

Despite the tsunami of articles on the benefits of this pro-hormone (not a vitamin) insurance companies still give a hard time to doctors who recommend testing your blood levels of this molecule as recently suggested by the National Osteoporosis Society. We do best (reduction of mortality and morbidity) when we keep said levels >50 ng/ml. BTW, levels <50 increase ther risk of “All-timers.”[14] Here is another flurry of articles on the benefits of vitamin D:

Testicular Synthesis and Vitamin D Action,”
Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism 2014;99 (10) , pp. 3766. Less testosterone when vitamin D levels are low.

Serum Vitamin D Levels in Relation to Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies Action,”
Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism 2014;99 (10) , pp. 386. Higher risk of schizophrenia when.

The Combination of Vitamin D Deficiency and Mild to Moderate Chronic Kidney Disease Is Associated With Low Bone Mineral Density and Deteriorated Femoral Microarchitecture: Results From the KNHANES 2008-2011,”
Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism 2014;99 (10) , pp. 3879

“Vitamin D Promotes Vascular Regeneration,”
J. Circulation. 2014;130:976

Vitamin D boosts (pancreatic) cancer treatment,”
J. Nature October 2 2014;514:8

Vitamin D Receptor-Mediated Stromal Reprogramming Suppresses Pancreatitis and Enhances Pancreatic Cancer Therapy,”
J. Cell;159:25

The Link between Serum Vitamin D Level, Sensitization to Food Allergens, and the Severity of Atopic Dermatitis in Infancy,”
J. of Pediatrics 2014;165:849

The effects of vitamin D supplementation on airway functions in mild to moderate persistent asthma,”
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2014;113:404

 

Did Cancer evolve to protect us?”[15]

This is the title of a maverick article you may want to read in its entirety. It’s getting a lot of pushback from Oncologists. Enjoy:

A physics-based, “atavistic” model posits that cancer is a “safe mode” for stressed cells and suggests that oxygen and immunotherapy are the best ways to beat the disease.


A new theory declares cancer is the reexpression of an ancient “preprogrammed” trait that has been lying dormant. Could cancer be our cells’ way of running in “safe mode,” like a damaged computer operating system trying to preserve itself, when faced with an external threat? That’s the conclusion reached by cosmologist
Paul Davies at Arizona State University in Tempe (A.S.U.) and his colleagues, who have devised a controversial new theoryfor cancer’s origins, based on its evolutionary roots. If correct, their model suggests that a number of alternative therapies, including treatment with oxygen and infection with viral or bacterial agents, could be particularly effective.

At first glance, Davies, who is trained in physics rather than biomedical science, seems an unlikely soldier in the “war on cancer.” But about seven years ago he was invited to set up a new institute at A.S.U.-one of 12 funded by the National Cancer Institute-to bring together physical scientists and oncologists to find a new perspective on the disease. “We were asked to rethink cancer from the bottom up,” Davies says.

Davies teamed up with Charley Lineweaver, an astrobiologist at The Australian National University in Canberra, and Mark Vincent, an oncologist at the London Health Sciences Center in Ontario. Together they have come up with an “atavistic” model positing cancer is the reexpression of an ancient “preprogrammed” trait that has been lying dormant. In a new paper, which appeared in BioEssays in September, they argue that because cancer appears in many animals and plants, as well as humans, then it must have evolved hundreds of millions of years ago when we shared a common single-celled ancestor. At that time, cells benefited from immortality, or the ability to proliferate unchecked, as cancer does. When complex multicellular organisms developed, however, “immortality was outsourced to the eggs and sperm,” Davies says, and somatic cells (those not involved in reproduction) no longer needed this function.

The team’s hypothesis is that when faced with an environmental threat to the health of a cell-radiation, say, or a lifestyle factor-cells can revert to a “preprogrammed safe mode.” In so doing, the cells jettison higher functionality and switch their dormant ability to proliferate back on in a misguided attempt to survive. “Cancer is a fail-safe,” Davies remarks. “Once the subroutine is triggered, it implements its program ruthlessly.”

Speaking at a medical engineering conference held at Imperial College London, on September 11, Davies outlined a set of therapies for cancer based on this atavistic model. Rather than simply attacking cancer’s ability to reproduce, or “cancer’s strength,” as Davies terms it, the model exposes “cancer’s Achilles’ heel.” For instance, if the theory is correct, then cancer evolved at a time when Earth’s environment was more acidic and contained less oxygen. So the team predicts that treating patients with high levels of oxygen and reducing sugar in their diet, to lower acidity, will strain the cancer and cause tumors to shrink.

The effects of oxygen level on cancer have been independently investigated for many years and appear to support Davies’s ideas, says CostantinoBalestra, a physiologist at Paul Henri Spaak School and the Free University of Brussels, both in Belgium. In unpublished work that has been submitted for peer review, for instance, Balestra and his colleagues have recently demonstrated that slightly elevated oxygen levels can begin to induce leukemia cell death without harming healthy cells. “It almost looks too easy,” Balestra says. “Our preliminary results seem to show that supplying a little extra oxygen for one or two hours a day, in combination with other traditional cancer therapies, would benefit patients without any harsh side effects.” Balestra emphasizes, however, that this work was not carried out to test Davies’s hypothesis and cannot be taken as proof that the atavistic model is correct.

Davies and his colleagues also advocate immunotherapy-specifically, selectively infecting patients with bacterial or viral agents. Medical researchers are already investigating the promising effects of such an approach for artificially boosting patients’ immune systems to aid in their recovery. Immunotherapy has already performed well in treating melanomas, for instance, and its effects on other cancers are being studied. According to the atavistic model, however, in addition to invigorating the immune system, cancer cells should also be more vulnerable than healthy cells to being killed by infectious agents because they lose higher protective functionality when they “reboot into safe mode,” Davies says. Recent studies injectingclostridium spores in rats, dogs and a human patient also appear to support this interpretation, he says.

Some scientists, such as David Gorski, a surgical oncologist at Wayne State University, remain skeptical. “The ‘predictions’ of atavism are nothing that scientists haven’t come to by other paths,” he says.

Davies and his colleagues have already begun a more direct test of their theory, in answer to such criticisms. “The key to our theory is looking at the ages of the genes responsible for cancer,” Davies explains. The atavistic model claims that with the onset of cancer, cells revert to a more primitive mode and more recently evolved functions are switched off. The team therefore predicts that as cancer progresses, more recently evolved genes should lose function, whereas ancient genes become active.

To check if this hypothesis is correct, Davies and his colleagues are currently cross-referencing data from the cancer genome atlas, which identifies the genes that are involved in cancer, with various databases that classify the genes that we have in common with other species. The latter data set enables biologists to trace back genes’ ages. Any correlation that exists between the gene age and cancer will be a boost to the atavistic model. “Combining the two data sets hasn’t been done before,” Davies says. “But it’s essentially a data-mining exercise that doesn’t take much money and it’s something we’re working on now.”

Brendon Coventry, a surgical oncologist and immunotherapist at the University of Adelaide in Australia, sees value in physicists working with oncologists to piece together existing medical evidence to try to understand cancer’s origins. “Enormous amounts of money and the brightest minds in biological and medical science have failed to make a big impact in the war on cancer, so maybe it’s time for a new paradigm,” Coventry says, adding: “A cosmologist can look at the cell as an ‘internal universe’ to be explored in a new way.”

[1] “Pesticides and Autism Spectrum Disorders: New Findings from the CHARGE Study,”
J. Environ Health Perspect; 2014 DOI:10.1289/ehp.122-A280

[2] Am J. of Medicine 2014;127:804

[3] “Analyzing the Human Microbiome: A “How To” Guide for Physicians,” Am J Gastroenterol. 2014;109(7):983

[4] J. Cell Epub October 16 2014

[5] “Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD),” www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1416940111
Epub Oct 13 2014

[6] “Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study,” J. Environ Health Perspect;2014 DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307044

[7] “Sub-lethal exposure to neonicotinoids impaired honey bees winterization before proceeding to colony collapse disorder,” Bulletin of Insectology 67(1): 125-130, 2014 ISSN 1721-8861

[8] “Morality in everyday life,” J. Science 12 September 2014: 1340

[9] “Reduction in Pain and Inflammation Associated With Chronic Low Back Pain With the Use of the Medical Food Theramine,” Am J Therapy 2012;19:108

[10] “Benzodiazepine use and risk of Alzheimer’s disease: case-control,” BMJ 2014;349:g5205

[11] “Healthy lifestyle cuts risk of CVA in half in women,” J. Neurology Epub October 8 2014

[12] J. Acta Psychologica October 2014

[13] “Walking Is the Superfood of Fitness,” Katy Bowman; book “Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement,”

[14] “Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease,” BMJ 2014;349:g5049

[15] Medscape October 2, 2014

Hugo Rodier, MD is an integrative physician based in Draper, Utah who specializes in healing chronic disease at the cellular level by blending proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, & allopathic practices when necessary.

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Information on this blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this blog for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please consult your health care practitioner with any questions or concerns you may have.