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Chemical in cigarette smoke may damage important aspect of vision

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Chemical in cigarette smoke may damage important aspect of vision


Exposure to a chemical in tobacco smoke could make it more difficult for people to see in low-contrast conditions, such as low light, fog or glare, a new study suggests.


Researchers found that higher levels of cadmium in the blood were associated with diminished contrast sensitivity, they report in JAMA Ophthalmology.


“This particular aspect of vision is really important because it affects your ability to see the end of a curb or put a key into a lock in low light,” said lead author Adam Paulson of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, School of Medicine. “It’s something that at this point in time there’s no way to correct, unlike visual acuity, which you can easily correct with glasses or contact lenses.”


Smoking can raise cadmium levels, as can consumption of leafy green vegetables and shellfish, Paulson said. It may be possible to eat greens and avoid cadmium if you can find produce that has not been treated with pesticides, he added.


For a closer look at the impact of two heavy metals, cadmium and lead, Paulson and his colleagues analyzed data from a larger study dubbed the Beaver Dam Offspring Study, which was designed to look at the aging process. Volunteers enrolled in that study between 2005 and 2008.


Both lead and cadmium accumulate in the retina, Paulsen said.


The retina is the layer of nerve cells at the back of the eye that senses light and sends signals to the brain.


Volunteers’ contrast sensitivity was examined through an eye test. Instead of making letters smaller and smaller, researchers made successive reductions in the contrast between the letters and the background. Volunteers would start with black letters against a white background. Then, with each iteration, the letters would become more and more washed out.


At the beginning of the study, all 1,983 participants had no impairment. All were retested at five and 10 years after the study started. At the 10-year mark, nearly one quarter of the study volunteers had some impairment of their contrast sensitivity, and that impairment was associated with levels of cadmium, but not lead.


That doesn’t necessarily mean that lead won’t impact contrast sensitivity. “Levels of lead in our study population were actually quite low,” Paulsen said. “It could be that in our study there wasn’t enough exposure to lead. It’s possible that another study might find an association.”


The new study suggests “that certain trace chemicals that we are exposed to in small amounts could be harming our eyes in subtle, incremental ways over time,” said Dr. Mandeep S. Singh of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Here, the investigators implicate cadmium, which is present at relatively high levels in cigarette smoke, but there could be other culprits which we don’t know about. But it is another good reason to avoid smoking.”


Many people don’t realize they can have good visual acuity, 20-20, and still not feel like they can see well, Singh said in an email. “Even people who can read all the way down to the smallest letters on the eye chart can have deficits in contrast sensitivity that tells us their vision is not OK.”


Cadmium is a neurotoxin, and it could be damaging the nerve cells of the vision system, Singh said.


Even those with 20-20 vision can experience problems with daily living if their contrast sensitivity is impaired, said Dr. Nicholas J. Volpe, George and Edwina Tarry Professor and chairman of the department of ophthalmology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.


Contrast sensitivity declines as we age, Volpe said. But the new study suggests there might be other factors that can affect it.


Volpe cautioned that the study has found an association, but it can’t prove that cadmium actually causes contrast sensitivity to decline. It’s possible cadmium is a marker for some other factor.


Another issue is that the researchers weren’t able to say that cadmium, independent of smoking, was associated with contrast sensitivity declines, Volpe said. So, until there are more studies, “I don’t know that we’ll be checking cadmium levels,” he said. “More often I’ll be saying, don’t smoke.”



SOURCE: bit.ly/2OChQam JAMA Ophthalmology, online September 13, 2018.

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More Whole Grains May Be Key to Lowering Diabetes Risk

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More Whole Grains May Be Key to Lowering Diabetes Risk

Eating more whole grain foods — rye bread, whole grain bread, or oatmeal/muesli — has been tied to having a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes in a large study of middle-aged people in Denmark.
Among healthy 50- to 65-year-old Danes, those who ate the most of these whole grain foods (highest quartile) had about a 30% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes by the time they were 65 to 80 years old compared with their peers in the lowest quartile of whole grain consumption.  
Moreover, the association persisted whether the whole grains were rye, wheat, or oats.
The study from the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Cohort was published in the September issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

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Niacin Shows An increase in HDL and lower lipoprotein(a) in type 2 diabetes patients

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Niacin Shows An increase in HDL and lower lipoprotein(a) in type 2 diabetes patients

Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

There are only a few natural products that have demonstrated such a wide range of protective properties as curcumin. Turmeric has three main bioactive components, namely curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. These curcuminoids have many biological effects including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
According to a study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, another application can be added to this list: addressing dyslipidemia in patients with type II diabetes. Researchers demonstrated that curcuminoid supplementation can reduce lipoprotein(a) and increase HDL-C, which may reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event in these patients. 
This study included a total of 82 patients with type II diabetes, 18 to 65 years of age. Each patient took either 1000 mg of standardized curcumin or a placebo for 12 weeks. Baseline lab testing included serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-C, non-HDL-C, and lipoprotein(a). At the end of the 12 weeks there was a significant reduction of serum lipoprotein(a) and an increase in HDL-C concentrations only seen in the curcuminoid group. There were no significant changes in total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglycerides in either group.
This is an interesting study since the ability to influence lipoprotein(a) is very limited. Niacin is one of the only natural agents that can significantly reduce lipoprotein(a); however, it is not effective for everyone.
Health care providers have many tools today to assess cardiovascular health and support the body’s physiology, and it is essential to perform a thorough assessment of these patients. This may include looking at lipid fractionation profiles, chronic inflammatory markers (ferritin, hs-CRP, fibrinogen), nutrient markers (magnesium, potassium, selenium, copper, folate, B12, B6, zinc, and calcium), fat soluble nutrients (vitamins A, D, E & K, and CoQ10), oxidative stress factors (homocysteine, insulin, and lipid peroxidases), heavy metals, and fatty acid profiles. A successful treatment approach should include investigation into these various factors.
Source: Panahi Y, Khalili N et al. Curcuminoids modify lipid profile in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized control trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2017 August;22:1-5.

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3 Tests Tell You How Long You Will Live

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3 Tests Tell You How Long You Will Live

Most people have a desire to live life to the fullest with a combination of quantity and quality.


There are many parameters that may determine how long you live, however,this short article presents the findings of five researchers who identified three simple tests you can do at home to measure your ability to increase years to your life.


The medical paper published in the British Medical Journal in 2014 revealed a 13 year study where they took 1,355 men and 1,411 women in 1999 when they were 53 years old and then checked to see who was alive and well 13 year later in 2012.


The following are the three tests that were evaluated:


Standing on one leg with your eyes closed for 10 seconds or longer, having a strong grip, and being able to stand up and sit back down in a chair many times in a minute.


According to the researchers of this paper, these tests clearly represented tell-tale signs of longevity.


Performed well in all three tests at age 53 or so and you should be healthy and vibrant 13 years later, when you are 66.


Researcher from University College London estimate that a 53 year old who can complete these tests successfully is up to 5 times more likely to be alive and well at 66 than someone who couldn’t complete the tests or who did them poorly.


There were far higher death rates amoung those who failed to complete the tasks.


Officially the tests are called the Chair Test (Standing up and sitting down in a chair 39 times in a minute for a man, and 36 times for a woman), the balance test (standing on one leg for 10 seconds or longer with eyes closed), and the grip test (ability to apply a pressure of up to 54.5 kg)


To find a healthcare professional certified in functional medicine, go to http://bit.ly/1LSKhYj are clinicians who have been trained at Functional Medicine University (http://bit.ly/1yw3lpn)




Reference:


Cooper R1, Strand BH, Hardy R, Patel KV, Kuh D.Physical capability in mid-life and survival over 13 years of follow-up: British birth cohort study. BMJ. 2014 Apr 29;348:g2219

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Air Pollution Tied to Cognitive Decline

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Air Pollution Tied to Cognitive Decline


Air pollution can impair cognitive performance, especially in older people, men, and those with less education, new research suggests.


Investigators studied the verbal and mathematical skills of more than 25,000 people in China over a 4-year period. They found a correlation between worse air quality and cognitive decline, especially on verbal test scores and particularly in older men who were less educated.

Long-term exposure to air pollution impeded cognitive performance in verbal and math tests, and the negative impact was more pronounced for men than women, with the damage increasing as people age,” senior author Xiaobo Zhang, PhD, National School of Development, Peking University, Beijing, China, and the Division of Development Strategy and Governance, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC, told Medscape Medical News “Investing in cleaner air not only improves human health but also cognitive capital, so when evaluating the impact of air pollution, the hidden cost on intellect should not be ignored,” Zhang added.


The study was published online  August 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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ASCOT Legacy: Long-term Survival Benefit of BP and Lipid Lowering Drugs

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ASCOT Legacy: Long-term Survival Benefit of BP and Lipid Lowering Drugs

Blood pressure (BP) and lipid-lowering medications continue to offer survival benefits to hypertensive patients more than a decade after they were taken, the results of a long-term follow-up of data from a landmark trial suggest.
Researchers conducted an analysis of more than 8500 UK patients almost 16 years after they were enrolled in the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial (ASCOT).
They showed that patients treated with a regimen based on the calcium channel blocker amlodipine had a 29% reduction in stroke-related death vs those given a regimen based on the β-blocker atenolol, even after just 5.5 years of treatment.
Among patients who went on to be randomly assigned to atorvastatin or placebo, who were treated for 3.3 years, statin therapy was associated with a 15% reduction in rates of cardiovascular death.
Results of the ASCOT Legacy trial, given here at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2018 and published simultaneously in The Lancet, indicate that the benefits of BP- and lipid-lowering therapies accrue over time, even after patients have completed treatment.

As per the study design, this BP-lowering arm (BPLA) of the trial was stopped after a median of 5.5 years because the newer amlodipine therapy prevented more strokes and deaths than the older β-blocker–based regimen.
In the subsequent lipid-lowering arm (LLA) of the trial, 10,305 patients from the original cohort who had nonfasting total cholesterol concentrations of 6.5 mmol/L or less were randomly assigned to additional atorvastatin, 10 mg, or placebo.

Again, the study was stopped after a median of 3.3 years after atorvastatin was shown to be associated with a significantly lower rate of nonfatal myocardial infarction and fatal coronary heart disease (CHD).

Gupta concluded that the findings “confirm the long-term benefits of statin therapy in reducing cardiovascular deaths…even after 13 years of trial closure.”

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The Fat Hormone: How Effective are You at Burning Belly Fat?

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The Fat Hormone: How Effective are You at Burning Belly Fat?

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

Leptin, a recently discovered hormone, regulates body weight by suppressing food intake and/or increasing energy expenditure.
Leptin is a very powerful and influential hormone produced by fat cells.
Science has discovered that leptin is the most powerful metabolic regulator that tells your brain whether you should be hungry, eat and make more fat.
Basically, leptin is the way that your fat stores speak to your brain to let your brain know how much energy is available and, very importantly, what to do with it.
In a perfect world, as you gain weight, you secrete more leptin from your fat cells. This in turn tells your brain you have enough stored fat so it reduces your appetite sending messages to help you burn fat.
But there is a problem!
Unfortunately many people have something called “leptin resistance”. This means that no matter how much leptin you create from your fat cells, the brain doesn’t see it.  This leads to a cascade of your brain thinking you are starving ======> you burn less calories====>your appetite goes into overdrive and finally every bit of food you eat gets stored on your belly!
Until you address leptin resistance, you’re not going to lose weight!
Optimal Leptin Levels
Your goal is to keep your leptins below 12, however, not too low. Researchers have discovered that leptins too far to the low side has been associated with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
A leptin above 12 is not considered healthy.
Leptin levels can now be measured with a simple blood test. Levels above 12 are linked to weight gain, accelerated aging, increased risk of infertility, diabetes and heart attack.  In addition, high leptin levels are associated with belly fat and numerous cancers
Leptin rises if you don’t sleep well, and if you have any kind of perceived stress.
Thyroid Connection
If you are having difficulty losing weight, I recommend you get your leptin checked. Remember you want it under 12.  From a thyroid perspective, if your leptin is above 12 you will commonly see low T3 (the most metabolically active thyroid hormone) and elevated reverse T3. This is not good for those trying to lose weight. The thyroid medication Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is aT4 medication and should be used with some level of caution when high leptin levels are seen. The take away from this thyroid connection is the fact that reverse T3 means T4 is not being effectively converted into the metabolic workhorse hormone, T3.
The Solution:
You become leptin resistant by eating the typical American diet full of sugar, refined grains, and processed foods. The solution is to eat a diet that emphasizes good fats and avoids blood sugar spikes. Basically a diet that emphasize healthy fats, lean meats and vegetables, and restricts sugar and grains.
For a full thyroid/leptin work-up, I recommend a practitioner knowledgeable in functional medicine.
References:
Kozlowska, Rosolowska-Huszcz. Leptin, thyrotropin, and thyroid hormones in obese/overweight women before and after two levels of energy deficit.Endocrine. 2004 Jul;24(2):147-53.
Hsieh CJ1, Wang PW, Wang ST, Liu RT, Tung SC, Chien WY, Lu YC, Chen JF, Chen CH, Kuo MC.Serum leptin concentrations of patients with sequential thyroid function changes. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2002 Jul;57(1):29-34
Ríos, Cisternas, Arrese, Barja. Is Alzheimer’s disease related to metabolic syndrome? A Wnt signaling conundrum.Prog Neurobiol. 2014 Jul

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Dr. Lane’s thoughts XII (special edition) Sarah “Huckster” Sanders

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Dr. Lane’s thoughts XII (special edition) Sarah “Huckster” Sanders

I know that the US President Trump is a nasty, rude, racist white supremist with only a fleeting relationship to integrity, honest, or patriotism.  I get it; I understand that people who share his views and using the odd system in the US called the electoral college.  The electoral college, with support from a Republican-controlled legislatures, created the weird-shaped districts through gerrymandering to create white-dominated areas that elected him.


OK, Trump is true to his elitist white-priviliged roots.  He is true to his upbringing by a racist father who lost his first son to alcoholism and reluctantly passed on his empire to a son he was so disappointed with that he sent him away to military school.


I understand that Trump hates anyone who speaks truth or honesty to him and he is riled by the press who he calls “fake news” when they point out the thousands of lies he has stated since his inaguration.


Like I have written – he is true to himself.


I can’t comprehend his cadre of people who repeat his lies and, especially, Sarah Huckabee Sanders (“Sarah HuckaSanders”) who has a special level of hell waiting for herself.


She uses the altering of language, the denial of comprehension, the outright reversal of statements to cover up, confuse, and alienate the American people without an iota of shame.


She is a combination of obstructing lawyer, priviliged white woman, and angry 7-year old on a daily basis with her false statements to the press, her denial of facts even when presented to her and her facetious surprise at routine questions. 


I admire her ability to speak the lies of her employer which would burn in the mouth of any other person or be hard to repeat without the blackest of hearts.


Being the spokesperson for a wannabe dictator deserves the greatest condemnation I can offer.


Shame, shame, shame.

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First Biomarker Evidence Autism Is Linked to DDT

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First Biomarker Evidence Autism Is Linked to DDT

Elevated levels of a dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) metabolite in pregnant women provide the first biomarker evidence that the banned insecticide is implicated in autism in children, new research shows.
“This study provides the first evidence, using a marker of an insecticide in the blood, that a pregnant mother’s exposure to this organic pollutant is related to an increased risk of autism in her offspring. Previous studies were based, for example, on proximity to sites that were contaminated with these pollutants,” lead investigator Alan S. Brown, MD, MPH, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, told Medscape Medical News.


Link to article

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Three Eye Conditions Linked to Higher Alzheimer’s Risk

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Three Eye Conditions Linked to Higher Alzheimer’s Risk


Three eye diseases have been linked to an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), results of a large, longitudinal, population-based study suggest.
Glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and diabetic retinopathy (DR) were associated with a 40% to 50% increased risk for AD.
Participants recently diagnosed with glaucoma had a 46% increased likelihood of developing AD. Similarly, the risk among those recently diagnosed with AMD or diabetic retinopathy had a 50% increased AD risk compared with their counterparts without these conditions.
Although the study evaluated individuals with degenerative eye conditions for subsequent risk for AD or all-cause dementia, there is a potential for the association to be bidirectional. When neurologists evaluate patients for possible dementia, they may also want to ask about eye health, she said.  
The study was published online August 8 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

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