Cannibus Could Prove Effective For Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

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Cannibus Could Prove Effective For Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Chemicals found in cannabis could prove an effective treatment for the inflammatory bowel diseases Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, say scientists.

Laboratory tests have shown that two compounds found in the cannabis plant. the cannabinoids THC and cannabidiol, interact with the body’s system that controls gut function.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, which affect about one in every 250 people in Northern Europe, are caused by both genetic and environmental factors. The researchers believe that a genetic susceptibility coupled with other triggers, such as diet, stress or bacterial imbalance, leads to a defective immune response.

Dr Karen Wright, Peel Trust Lecturer in Biomedicine at Lancaster University,  presented her findings in the soon-to-be published work at The British Pharmacological Society‘s Winter Meeting in London.

She said: “The lining of the intestines provides a barrier against the contents of the gut but in people with Crohn’s Disease this barrier leaks and bacteria can escape into the intestinal tissue leading to an inappropriate immune response.

“If we could find a way to restore barrier integrity in patients, we may be able to curb the inflammatory immune response that causes these chronic conditions.”

Dr Wright, working with colleagues at the School of Graduate Entry Medicine and Health in Derby, has shown that cells that react to cannabinoid compounds play an important role in normal gut function as well as the immune system’s inflammatory response.

“The body produces its own cannabinoid molecules, called endocannabinoids, which we have shown increase the permeability of the epithelium during inflammation, implying that overproduction may be detrimental,” said Dr Wright.

“However, we were able to reverse this process using plant-derived cannabinoids, which appeared to allow the epithelial cells to form tighter bonds with each other and restore the membrane barrier.”

The research was carried out using cell cultures in a dish but, interestingly, when the team attempted to mimic the conditions of the gut by reducing the amount of oxygen in the cells’ environment, much lower concentrations of cannabinoid were needed to produce the same effect.

Dr Wright added: “What is also encouraging is that while THC has psychoactive properties and is responsible for the ˜high” people experience when using cannabis, cannabidiol, which has also proved effective in restoring membrane integrity, does not possess such properties.”

Read the full journal article.




Personalized Diets Based On Individual Genetic Make-up Offer Promise

research suggests that blanket

public dietary advice is not

the most effective technique

for improving public health.

“In employing this holistic approach

we hope to draw together cutting-edge research

and instigate a significant step forward

in the field of personalised nutrition”

We Bring Two Things To The Dinner Table:

Our Appetites And Our Genotypes. 

Creating a diet tailored specifically for an individual, according to their individual physical and genetic make-up is what Food4Me is all about.

Food4Me is a new, EU (FP7) funded project investigating the potential of this personalised nutrition. When the human genome sequence was launched in 2000, it introduced the possibility of personalisation in health care.

Such personalisation can be applied to nutrition, a key health determinant.

Personalized Nutrition

Studies have shown that individuals respond differently to various nutrients. For example, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, the ˜healthy fats” found in oily fish that are believed to protect against cardiovascular disease, have been found to be more beneficial in individuals with a particular genetic make-up (Ferguson et al., 2010).

The point is, we are all different, and so the way we respond to our diet is also different. Such research suggests that blanket public dietary advice is not the most effective technique for improving public health.

Rather than applying overarching dietary guidance to the whole population, personalised nutrition sets the individual apart to consider their specific physical and genetic characteristics. This practice has been touted as the future of nutrition with significant potential to improve public health.

The early promise has not quite lived up to this expectation however, and despite the efforts of numerous companies there has been limited success.

Food4Me will investigate the possibility of designing better diets based on a person’s genetic make-up. A renowned group of experts will examine the application of nutrigenomic research (studies of the effect of food on gene expression) to personalised nutrition. How can we use our understanding of food and our genes to design a better, healthier and more individual diet?

Food4Me project

Food4Me, a 4 year project coordinated by Professor Mike Gibney of the Institute of Food and Health, University College Dublin (UCD), will consider all aspects of personalised nutrition; from investigating consumer understanding to producing technologies for implementation and investigating gene expression in response to diet. “In employing this holistic approach we hope to draw together cutting-edge research and instigate a significant step forward in the field of personalised nutrition” said Gibney.

A major component of the study is a large multi-centre human intervention study investigating the effectiveness of personalised nutrition. The study will offer participants differing levels of dietary advice; tailored to individual physical characteristics, individual genetic make-up, as well as advice with no personalisation. Over a thousand subjects will be recruited from eight EU countries to take part in the study. Research to determine the effectiveness of personalised nutrition and develop appropriate technologies for its implementation will be supported by investigation of the public’s needs and perceptions.

All results will be consolidated in the design of business and value creation models for the development, production and distribution of personalised foods. These will be tested throughout the project in order to consider the feasibility of future personalised nutrition approaches. Ethical and legal issues will also be assessed and will help shape the framework for the outcomes of the consumer studies, business models and human intervention research.

The data gathered in the project will feed into the development of services to deliver personalised advice on food choice.

  • Full bibliographic informationFerguson, J., F., Phillips, C., M., McMonagle, J., Perez-Martinez, P., Shaw, D., I., Lovegrove, J., A., Helal, O., Defoort., C., Gielstad, I., M., F., Drevon, C., A., Blaak, E., E., Saris, W., H., M., Leszczynska-Golabek, I., Kiec-Wilk, B., Riserus, U., Karlstrom, B., Lopez-Miranda, J. and Roche, H., M. NOS3 gene polymorphisms are associated with risk markes of cardiovascular disease, and interact with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Atherosclerosis. 2010; 211(2):539-544.

→  Read full article

Vitamin C The Heart Of The Matter

Mammals producing their own vitamin C

don’t have heart disease – even though

many have very high levels of cholesterol.

Arterial blockage graphic
  • Vitamin C actually lowers the liver’s production of cholesterol.

  • It also optimizes cholesterol transport in the bloodstream and its uptake by the cells.

  • In addition, vitamin C inhibits blood cells from clumping together and forming clots, which can initiate heart attacks.

  • And, it recycles two other powerful antioxidants (vitamin E and glutathione) by “refreshing” them.

The Heart Of The Matter

Heart disease continues to be the #1 Killer of Americans, taking more than one in four people annually, over 600,000 individuals. Every year nearly 750,000 of us suffer heart attacks. In his best-selling Prescription for Natural Cures, James F. Balch, MD, writes that poor diet (particularly lack of fresh produce and low fiber intake), plus unhealthy lifestyle habits (e.g., smoking and lack of exercise) are the root cause of most heart disease. Heart disease, also called cardiovascular diease CVD), includes atherosclerosis (blocked arteries), angina (chest pain), heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Besides functioning to provide collagen, vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant. Oxidative damage is a major contributor to the development of CVD.FN  Fruits and veggies are our greatest source of vitamin C. Population studies show that people eating the largest quantities of fruits and veggies have a reduced risk of CVD. Researchers think the antioxidant property of the vitamin may be providing protection.

Although results from studies looking at associations between vitamin C and CVD risk are conflicting, several large studies show that sections of the study populations getting the most vitamin C also had a reduced risk of CVD. One of these positive studies is the Nurses’ Health Study, a 16-year study, involving over 85,000 female nurses. Another involved 20,600+ British adults. In the latter, those getting the most vitamin C showed a 42% reduced risk of stroke.

Enter Matthias Rath, MD. In 1987, Rath discovered the connection between vitamin C deficiency and a risk factor for heart disease – lipoprotein(a). In the early 1990s, while working with 2-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, at the Linus Pauling Institute, Rath authored and published Eradicating Heart Disease (Health Now, San Francisco). In it, he wrote about his work, explaining that heart attacks and strokes are not diseases, but the result of vitamin deficiency, particularly a lack of sufficient vitamin C. Since those early days, Dr. Rath has helped a huge number of patients by putting them on his drug-free supplement program.

In his book, Rath points out that mammals producing their own vitamin C don’t have heart disease – even though many have very high levels of cholesterol. For example, bears measure in at 400 mg/dl while the generally considered safe level for humans is under 200. The heart arteries of C-producing animals are kept in better condition than ours by the constant internal bath of ascorbic acid, which results in higher quality collagen.

Reversing Arterial Disease

Our arteries open and close 60, 70, 80 times a minute as the heart pumps. Rath has compared this with stepping on a garden hose  ongoingly with each pump. He has remarked that a new and flexible garden hose  functions as designed. On the other hand, a brittle hose begins to crack, and eventually fails. He likens this to our heart’s arteries, which become weakened by vitamin deficiency, and eventually fail.

In addition, once the arteries are damaged, the body tries to repair them by putting down plaque. Plaque is made from oxidized cholesterol. As this cycle goes forward, ever more plaque adheres to the arteries, narrowing them (atheroclerosis). Eventually, this makes it difficult for the heart to receive sufficient oxygen and other nutrients.

To summarize, heart attacks are a combination of mechanical stress from the pumping heart, the accumulation of plaque narrowing the arteries, and weakened artery walls. Sufficient vitamin C maintains the integrity of the arteries. By adding vitamin C (and some other nutrients), Dr. Rath’s patients have reversed heart disease.

Other benefits of vitamin C are from its antioxidant property. This supports the heart by improving cholesterol profiles. Vitamin C actually lowers the liver’s production of cholesterol. It also optimizes cholesterol transport in the bloodstream and its uptake by the cells. In addition, vitamin C inhibits blood cells from clumping together and forming clots, which can initiate heart attacks. And, it recycles two other powerful antioxidants (vitamin E and glutathione) by “refreshing” them.

Vitamin C Recommendations

Rath recommends 1 gram (1000 mg) per day of vitamin C, in several doses of 250-500 mg each). Although as little as 300 mg per day have been shown to cut heart disease risk in half, a gram remains a conservative amount.7 For years, I have taken between 1 and 3 grams per day of a highly absorbable form. Linus Pauling himself was famous for huge amounts (up to 12 grams daily) and lived well into his 90s.

Rath also recommends several other supplements, particularly the amino acids L-lysine and L-proline. These amino acids are indispensable in the formation of collagen. Lysine is an essential amino acid, meaning it must be consumed through food sources. Proline can be produced by the body, but often in insufficient quantities for therapeutic needs. Five hundred milligrams of each is recommended. (Take them on an empty stomach with juice or water. Protein foods interfere with their absorption.)

Both acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC, 250 mg 2x/d) and coenzyme Q10 (25-150 mg daily) improve the energy supply in the heart muscle cells, supporting the heart’s pumping action. Other important supplements are a multiple vitamin-mineral formula (containing chromium and selenium, 200 mcg of each); additional vitamin E (up to 600 IU); additional magnesium (up to 1200 mg); and omega-3 oils from fish (couple of grams).


Get Fit In 30 Minutes A Day Without A Gym Membership

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You’ll burn just as many calories

from three ten minute sessions

of brisk walking as you would from

a straight half-hour block.

What Benefits Come With 30 Minutes Of Exercise?

One unfortunate result of our modern lifestyle has been a rise in health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease all related to a lack of exercise.

If you worry about not getting enough exercise every day, don’t feel alone. More people are leading sedentary lives nowadays than ever before. Finding thirty minutes a day for exercise is something everyone can do. It’s on you to make it happen. We all deal with the same circumstances and love convenience.

Modern technology has done it to us, in large part: our modes of transportation, our numerous sit-down desk jobs, and our abundance of labor-saving devices like remote controls, escalators and riding mowers have all played their part in removing opportunities that people in previous generations found to exert themselves physically.

Capture Daily Lost Opportunities For Keeping Physically Fit

The good news is you can learn to capture lost opportunities for keeping physically fit without spending hours each week at the gym in order to accomplish it.

If you do spend hours each week in the gym, good for you. For those who don’t, or mean to but don’t, or don’t even think about going anymore, this is for you. Negative Emotions Outweigh Intent to Exercise at Health Clubs: The paradox between recognizing the importance of exercise for weight control and not exercising.

As little as thirty minutes a day devoted to moderate exertion can greatly improve your overall health.

And those thirty minutes can even be divided up throughout the day. You’ll burn just as many calories from three ten minute sessions of brisk walking as you would from a straight half-hour block.

Paying Attention To Opportunities To Move

Getting the biggest bang from your exercise starts with paying attention to opportunities to move. The only way that’s likely to happen is if you have something at stake.

In some of the latest research findings on exercise, a new study, published in The Journal of Physiology, shows that short bursts of very intense exercise — equivalent to only a few minutes per day — can produce the same results as traditional endurance training. For some, “No time to exercise” is no excuse. In fact, exercise causes epigenetic changes to fat cells.

A word to the wise to our adolescents and the school boards that have eliminated any meaningful physical fitness, Lower IQ And Poorer Cardiovascular Fitness In Teen Years Increase Risk Early-Onset Dementia

We have a global problem. Every year  57,100 children who started primary school in England at a healthy weight end up obese or overweight by the time they leave, according to new statistics.

Active Body, Active Mind

For our rapidly growing population of seniors, move it or lose has been scientifically validated once more. The secret to a younger brain may lie in exercising your body./

In addition to helping with weight control, exercise

  • would lower high blood pressure,
  • reduce the risk of chronic problems such as
  • heart disease and
  • colon cancer,
  • improve your circulation and
  • overall energy level, and
  • relieve stress and
  • promote a more positive state of mind.

Other exercises that can bring you similar benefits include bicycling, dancing, hiking and swimming. Even normal chores like mowing the lawn, raking leaves, washing your car, and vacuuming can be used as opportunities for increasing your heart rate and giving your muscles the activity that they yearn for.

Motivation, Mindfulness, Movement

You can achieve all of this without having to sacrifice any of your other daily commitments. The first step to forming an exercise strategy is to examine the way that you typically spend your time, and then isolate blocks that can be utilized for movement and exertion.

This can be done in small ways, such as getting off the bus a block early in order to fit in a brisk walk before work. Coffee breaks and lunch breaks may also provide openings for walks.

One-on-one meetings can be accomplished on foot, and cell phones make it possible for us to keep up with important calls while on the go, too.

Just bringing the idea of exercise more into the forefront of your consciousness will help you to find times during the day to devote to it. If we honestly log our time, most of us will probably discover that we devote a lot more of it to sitting than we really have to.Scientists at Loughborough University have found exercising is more effective than food restriction in helping limit daily calorie consumption.

Remember, it only has to be moderately intensive, not exhausting. And thirty minutes divided up throughout the day is enough to positively impact your health.

Identify the sedentary aspects of your lifestyle that could feasible be turned into activity. Another strategy is to take light activities and make them more engaging. For example, tackle the lawn with a push mower instead of a power mower, or till your garden with hand tools instead of a rototiller. Any strategy that works for you is right for you. Music Increases Exercise Endurance By 15%

Physical activity is absolutely essential to our health and well-being. No matter how busy our lives may be, or how sedentary our jobs, we have to be creative in finding ways to incorporate activity into our daily routines.

Move it or lose it is a fundamental rule for playing the Is It Healthy? Game.



Keeping It Together With Vitamin C

Basket Of Riverside Grown Oranges

Heros Of Vitamin C

The twentieth century had its vitamin C heroes. Among them

  • Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (credited with discovering ascorbic acid crystals),

  • Irwin Stone (vitamin C as a missing link),

  • Linus Pauling (vitamin C and the common cold),

  • Frederick Klenner, MD (pioneer in megadoses of C), and

  • Robert Cathcart, MD (who developed the bowel-tolerance model of vitamin C dosage).

Vitamin C Keeps Us Together

This is the literal Truth. The presence of vitamin C is imperative to the health of every tissue and organ in our body. This is because the primary biochemical function of vitamin C is the synthesis of collagen. (Yes, this is the same material that is injected into lips and facial creases to create plumping. It also appears as an ingredient in cosmetics). Collagen is the body’s most important structural substance. It is a proteinous glue that supports and holds the tissues and organs together.

Collagen comprises about one-third of the body’s total protein weight, and is its most extensive tissue system. Collagen provides bones with toughness and flexibility while preventing brittleness. It strengthens the arteries and veins, supports the muscles, and toughens the ligaments. It supplies scar tissue for healing wounds and keeps our skin tissues soft, firm, and youthful. Not surprisingly, collagen is intimately connected with the entire aging process. Quite simply, without vitamin C, the body simply disintegrates.

In fact, this disintegration has a name. It is called scurvy. All vitamins have deficiency diseases associated with them. Scurvy is the deficiency disease of  vitamin C, and it has caused the deaths of untold millions. It was 70 years before the British Navy mandated the stowing of citrus into ships’ stores. An estimated two million seamen died of scurvy. There’s more info in Scurvy: Disease of Discovery,  by Jonathan Lamb.

By the late 1700s, James Lind, an Englishman (and later a ship’s surgeon), had conducted the first known controlled clinical study. His results demonstrated that men sick with “the scurvy” would recover rapidly when given fresh citrus. This eventually lead to British sailors eating limes, resulting in the sobriquet “Limeys”. Today in Western countries, scurvy is rare.

The tradition of policy lagging behind best practices backed by science continues today.

Without sufficient vitamin C, the body is unable to produce collagen. Gums bleed, leading to loss of teeth; bones become brittle and fracture; weakened arteries rupture and hemorrhage; muscles are useless. Wounds and sores never heal. As we have noted, eventually, the afflicted person dies. In essence, they fall apart.

Makes you want to start paying attention to how much vitamin C is in your daily diet, doesn’t it?



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