Vitamin C can Help Protect DNA Damage of Skin Cells

LISBON –  – Researchers at the University of Leicester and Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal have found that vitamin C can help protect DNA damage of skin cells and lead to better skin regeneration.

Previous research has shown that DNA repair is upregulated in people consuming vitamin C supplements.

In the new study, the researchers have provided some mechanistic evidence.

The researchers used affymetrix microarray, for looking at gene expression, and the ‘Comet’ assay to study DNA damage

“The exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation increases in summer, often resulting in a higher incidence of skin lesions. Ultraviolet radiation is also a genotoxic agent responsible for skin cancer, through the formation of free radicals and DNA damage,” said lead researcher Tiago Duarte, formerly of the University of Leicester, and now at the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal.

“Our study analysed the effect of sustained exposure to a vitamin C derivative, ascorbic acid 2-phosphate (AA2P), in human dermal fibroblasts.

“We investigated which genes are activated by vitamin C in these cells, which are responsible for skin regeneration.

“The results demonstrated that vitamin C may improve wound healing by stimulating quiescent fibroblasts to divide and by promoting their migration into the wounded area. Vitamin C could also protect the skin by increasing the capacity of fibroblasts to repair potentially mutagenic DNA lesions,” Duarte added.

The researchers hope that the results will be of great relevance to the cosmetics industry.

“The study indicates a mechanism by which vitamin C could contribute to the maintenance of a healthy skin by promoting wound healing and by protecting cellular DNA against damage caused by oxidation,” said Dr Marcus S. Cooke from the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine and Department of Genetics, at the University of Leicester.

“These findings are particular importance to our photobiology interests, and we will certainly be looking into this further,” Cooke added.

The findings have been published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine. (ANI)

Here’s Why Sugar in Green Tea is a Healthy Idea

WASHINGTON – A new study has shown that adding ascorbic acid and sugar to green tea can help the body easily absorb helpful compounds that help fight health problems. Mario Ferruzzi, lead researcher and associate professor of food science and nutrition at Purdue University, insists that adding ascorbic acid to green tea would increase the absorbability of catechins found in the tea.

Here’s How Exposure to Diesel Fumes Causes Cancer

WASHINGTON – American scientists have for the first time shown how exposure to diesel fumes causes cancer.

Qinghua Sun, an assistant professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Ohio State University, says that diesel exhaust has the ability to induce the growth of new blood vessels that serve as a food supply for solid tumors.

The researchers found that in both healthy and diseased animals.

According to them, more new blood vessels sprouted in mice exposed to diesel exhaust than did in mice exposed to clean, filtered air.

They say that this finding indicates that previous illness is not required to make humans susceptible to the damaging effects of the diesel exhaust.

The researchers say that inhaled diesel particles are very tiny in size, which is why they can penetrate the human circulatory system, organs, and tissues.

This suggests that diesel fumes can cause damage just about anywhere in the body, they add.

Diesel exhaust exposure levels in the study were designed to mimic the exposure people might experience while living in urban areas and commuting in heavy traffic.

The levels were lower than or similar to those typically experienced by workers who use diesel-powered equipment, who tend to work in mines, on bridges and tunnels, along railroads, at loading docks, on farms and in vehicle maintenance garages, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The message from our study is that exposure to diesel exhaust for just a short time period of two months could give even normal tissue the potential to develop a tumor,” said Qinghua Sun, senior author of the study.

“We need to raise public awareness so people give more thought to how they drive and how they live so they can pursue ways to protect themselves and improve their health. And we still have a lot of work to do to improve diesel engines so they generate fewer particles and exhaust that can be released into the ambient air,” Sun added.

A research article on the study, supported by Health Effects Institute awards and grants from the National Institutes of Health, has been published in the online edition of the journal Toxicology Letters.

External therapy with Cannabinoids Effective in Reducing Pain in Patients with Herpes Zoster

BERLIN – Researchers at the Clinic for Skin Diseases at the University of Muenster, Germany, investigated the efficacy of an external treatment of chronic pain caused by herpes zoster with a cannabinoid that activates cannabinoid receptors. In an open-label trial, 8 patients with facial neuralgia in herpes zoster received a cream containing the endocannabinoid palmitoylethanolamine. The course of symptoms was scored with a visual analogue scale.

Five of 8 patients (62.5 per cent) experienced a mean pain reduction of 88 per cent. The therapy was well tolerated by all patients. No unpleasant sensations or adverse events occurred. The authors concluded that “topical cannabinoid receptor agonists are an effective and well-tolerated adjuvant therapy option in postherpetic neuralgia.” This cream is already on the market in Germany under the trade name “Physiogel A.I. Crème” used to treat pruritus.

(Source: Phan NQ, Siepmann D, Gralow I, Ständer S. Adjuvant topical therapy with a cannabinoid receptor agonist in facial postherpetic neuralgia. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2009 Sep 10. [Electronic publication ahead of print])

 

Chyawanprash: Ancient Indian Elixir

Chyawanprash is a comprehensive herbal tonic with multiple health benefits, prepared according to an ancient Ayurvedic formula. Used by people around the world today, and especially in India, it is a proven energizer, immunity booster and pre-emptive tonic.

History, Myth & Origin

It is believed that the formula of Chyawanprash was discovered by the sage Chyawan. He was the first to prepare this tonic, and used it to regain his own youth and longevity. Charak Samhita, the ancient Ayurvedic treatise written by sage Charak in the 4th century BC, contains the first historically documented formula for Chyawanprash. According to this ancient text, Chyawanprash is “the foremost of all ‘rasayanas’ or herbal formulations.

A Proven Recipe

This unique ‘jam’ is a mix of 49 powerful ayurvedic herbs with ‘amla’ (Indian gooseberry) or Emblica officinalis as the base. The other ingredients in this traditional recipe include ashwaganda, pippali, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon in a base of clarified butter and honey. This ‘elixir’ is good for all, irrespective of age and gender, and creates a harmonious synergy in the body leading to better metabolism. Here’re some specific health benefits of Chyawanprash.

Digestive and Immune System

Chaywanprash’s basic ingredient amla has 30 times more vitamin C than orange and helps in strengthening the immune system and expediting the healing process. Regular intake of chyawanprash strengthens digestion, absorption and assimilation of food and balances stomach acids.

Heart and Brain

The perfect blend of Ayurvedic herbs acts as a cardiac stimulant and helps in smooth functioning of the heart. Chyawanprash nourishes the brain cells by supporting the nervous system and enhances co-ordination and memory power. The tonic is good for students as it increases retention and recall.

Lung, Liver and Kidneys

The smooth functioning of the lungs is facilitated by the regular intake of chyawanprash. Moisture balance is maintained in the lungs and gives new energy to respiratory system. Chyawanprash helps purify blood and invigorates the liver and helps to eliminate toxins. It helps the downward flow of energy in the body and eases constipation. Apart from these, the herbal jam eliminates wastes from the body without overworking the urinary system.

Other Benefits

The holistic traditional formula of chyawanprash improves skin complexion, glow and fights dermal bacterial infection. It promotes hair growth and helps absorption of calcium resulting in strong bones and teeth. It is especially good for alleviating cough and asthma. The anti-oxidant properties of the tonic act against the ageing process and maintain youthfulness. Chyawanprash enhances fertility, keeps menstruation regular and helps to overcome difficulties in conception. It also improves muscle tone by enhancing protein synthesis effectively.

The age-old Chyawanprash is regarded as an all-embracing herbal health tonic by one and all, and has become an indispensable part of a healthy family.

Home Remedies Series – Dark Circles

Home remedies for dark circles are considered to be the best healing method. It is natural way of curbing the dark blemishes under the eye which will not cause any harm to the skin.

1) Application of a thin sliced cucumber on top of each eye for 15 to 20 minutes, twice a day, relieves stress and cools down the eyes.

 
2) A mixture of almond oil and honey should be applied on the affected area every night before bedtime. You will see a remarkable improvement in two to three weeks.

3) Consume at least two to three liters of water on a daily basis. Water is a very essential remedy in this case and it flushes out the toxins present in the body.

4) Tea bags are known to be very effective in curing dark circles. A cold tea bag should be put on top of each eye for 10 to 15 minutes everyday.

5) Make a paste of fresh mint leaves and add a few drops of lime juice in it. Apply the mixture on the eyes and the dark circles for 10 to 15 minutes everyday and see the difference in two to three weeks.

6) Rose water is considered to be a natural coolant for the body and has been an old home remedy for generations. Apply two to three drops of rose water on a cotton ball and gently massage on the affected area of the eye for five to six minutes. You will see the result in two to three weeks. This method is considered to be one of the most effective cures for dark circles.

The dark circles treatment should be started as soon as possible to avoid it from increasing.

Dark Circles Diet

A healthy diet for dark circles which is full of nutrients is the most essential thing in this case. If the body does not receive its daily intake of nutrients, it may create such problems and maybe worse in the future.
Some of the essential nutrients can be found in:
1) Fresh Fruits and vegetables
2) Green leafy vegetables
3) Cereal crops such as oats, barley, wheat and millets. 4) Fresh juices of fruits and vegetables.

A breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should be consumed before starting any kind of work.

Other Dark Circles Skin Care Treatments

1) Washing your face with water and a soft soap every hour is very important. It is very important that your skin stays fresh and cool all the time and free from any germs or bacteria.

2) Daily eight hours of sleep is very essential for the body and the eyes. It is very important that you sleep without being disturbed at all. This is not only good for the eyes but also for the body as you will not have any health problems in the future.

3) “Work less and relax more” should be your main motto if you wish to get rid of the dark circles as soon as possible. Stress and fatigue are two toxic enemies of a dark circle-free skin.

4) Exercising is also very important and should be added to your daily regime. If you remain healthy at all times, you will not encounter any health problems.

These suggestions are very instrumental for under eye treatment.

Home Remedies Series – Anorexia

Anorexia treatment using Oranges

Oranges are an extremely useful remedy for anorexia. They stimulate the flow of digestive juices, thereby improving digestion and increasing appetite. One or two oranges a day are advised.

Anorexia treatment using Sour Grapes

Sour grapes are another effective remedy for anorexia. The juice of these grapes should be used in kneading the flour before preparing wheat tortilla. Wheat tortilla made in this manner should be eaten continuously for two to three weeks. This remedy will tone up the stomach and improve the appetite.

Anorexia treatment using Lime

Lime is also a valuable remedy for restoring a lost appetite. A preparation made from this fruit and ginger has been found very effective in overcoming this condition. About one teaspoon of the juice of lime should be mixed with an equal quantity of the juice of ginger. One gram of rock salt should be added to this mixture. It should then be placed in sunlight for three days. A teaspoon taken after each meal will tone up the digestive system and improve the appetite.

Anorexia treatment using Apples

Apples are another variety of fruit useful in anorexia. They help digestion by stimulating the flow of pepsin, a proteindigesting enzyme, in the stomach. The old adage, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’, is certainly a valuable one.

Anorexia treatment using Garlic

Garlic possesses a special property to stimulate the digestive tone of the system and improve appetite. A soup prepared from this vegetable can be of immense help to a patient suffering from anorexia. Three or four cloves of raw garlic should be boiled in a cup of water. This soup can be reinforced with the juice of half a lemon and taken twice daily.

Anorexia treatment using Ginger

The use of ginger is valuable in the loss of appetite.About five grams of this vegetable should be ground and licked with a little salt once a day for the treatment of this condition.

Sweeteners Make Sweet Life But Promise Cancer Instead

To get rid of extra weight and extra inches on their waists and hips, many women exclude sugar from their diets. Instead they use various low-calorie substitutes. Doctors warn that certain artificial sugar substitutes, such as cyclamate, are harmful for your body and may contain carcinogenic substances. Saccharine is also not that harmless as many people think.

Artificial sugar substitutes were created for people suffering from diabetes, and not for those who are trying to lose weight. Everyone knows about their positive affects, but for the sake of safety people should study instructions and strictly adhere to the recommended daily dose.

Most artificial sugar substitutes (saccharine, aspartame, etc.) have zero energy value, but they are not good for a human body.

Saccharine (Е-954).

Commercial titles- Sweet’n‘Low, Sprinkle Sweet, Twin, Sweet 10. Advertisers attract people by saying that one hundred pills can substitute from six to twelve kilograms of sugar with zero calories.

Saccharine is allowed in most countries, but doctors do not recommend taking it unless you suffer from diabetes. Scientists are convinced that saccharine contains carcinogenic substances and do not recommend to take it on empty stomach. It should be taken together with foods high in carbohydrates (crackers, bread, pasta, etc.)

Besides, doctors still suspect that saccharin causes exacerbation of cholelithiasis.

Safe dose should not exceed 0.2 grams per day.

Cyclamate (Е 952)

A standard container (100 pills) substitutes for four to eight kilograms of sugar and has zero calories. Cyclamate easily dissolves and can withstand very high temperatures; therefore it can be used while cooking,

Cyclamate is banned in the US and the EU countries as doctors believe it may provoke renal insufficiency. In Russia it is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women.

Safe dose should not exceed 0.8 grams per day.

Aspartame (Е 951)

Other names – sweetly, slastilin, sucrazit, NutraSweet.

A standard container (100 pills) substitutes for four to eight kilograms of sugar and has zero calories. Currently it is considered the safest sugar substitute in the world as the dose of carcinogen in it is insignificant.

Safe dose should not exceed 0.35 grams per day.

Acesulfame potassium (е 950)

Contains dimethyl ether that worsens the functioning of cardiovascular system, and aspartic acid that over stimulates nerve system and may be addictive. For a long time Acesulfame potassium was banned in the US as it was considered poison. Products containing this sugar substitute are not recommended for pregnant and lactating women.

Safe dose should not exceed 1.0 grams per day.

Sucrazit

A standard container (1200 pills) substitutes for six kilograms of sugar and is calorie-free. It contains somewhat toxic fumaric acid, but is allowed in Europe.

Safe dose should not exceed 0.7 grams per day.

Natural Substitutes

If you are absolutely unable to exclude sugar from your diet, it is better to use natural, not artificial substitutes. They have fewer calories than sugar and have other advantages.

Fructose is contained in berries and fruit, flower nectar, plants seeds, and honey. It has 30 percent less calories than sucrose and speeds up breakdown of alcohol in blood.

Xylite produced from corn cobs and cotton seeds husk is good for your teeth and stomach. However, sorbite that can be found in apples, apricots and ashberry is not good for those who diet. It has 55 percent more calories than regular sugar.

Native American Herbal Remedies No. 2

(Please use the search function to find Native American Herbal Remedies #1)

Diabetes

Wild Carrot –  The Mohegans steeped the blossoms of this wild species in warm water when they were in full bloom and took the drink for diabetes.

Devil’ Club –  The Indians of British Columbia utilized a tea of the root bark to offset the effects of diabetes.

Diarrhea

Blackcherry A tea of blackberry roots was the most frequently used remedy for diarrhea among Indians of northern California.

Wild Black Cherry The Mohegans allowed the ripe wild black cherry to ferment naturally in a jar about one year than then drank the juice to cure dysentery.

Dogwood – The Menominees boiled the inner bark of the dogwood and passed the warm solution into the rectum with a rectal syringe made from the bladder of a small mammal and the hollow bone of a bird.

Geranium  – Chippewa and Ottawa tribes boiled the entire geranium plant and drank the tea for diarrhea.

White Oak – Iroquois and Penobscots boiled the bark of the white oak and drank the liquid for bleeding piles and diarrhea.

Black Raspberry The Pawnee, Omaha, and Dakota tribes boiled the root bark of black raspberry for dysentery.

Star Grass – Catawbas drank a tea of star grass leaves for dysentery.

Digestive Disorders

Dandelion – A tea of the roots was drunk for heartburn by the Pillager Ojibwas. Mohegans drank a tea of the leaves for a tonic.

Yellow Root – A tea from the root was used by the Catawbas and the Cherokee as a stomach ache remedy.

Fevers

Dogwood The Delaware Indians, who called the tree Hat-ta-wa-no-min-schi, boiled the inner bark in water, using the tea to reduce fevers.

Willow – The Pomo tribe boiled the inner root bark, then drank strong doses of the resulting tea to induce sweating in cases of chills and fever. In the south, the Natchez prepared their fever remedies from the bark of the red willow, while the Alabama and Creek Indians plunged into willow root baths for the same purpose.

Feverwort – The Cherokees drank a decoction of the coarse, leafy, perennial herb to cure fevers.

Headache

Pennyroyal – The Onondagas steeped pennyroyal leaves and drank the tea to cure headaches.

Heart and Circulatory Problems

Green Hellebore – The Cherokee used the green hellebore to relive body pains.

American Hemp and Dogbane – Used by the Prairie Potawatomis as a heart medicine, the fruit was boiled when it was still green, and the resulting decoction drunk. It was also used for kidney problems and for dropsy.

Hemorrhoids

White Oak The Menominee tribe treated piles by squirting an infusion of the scraped inner bark of oak into the rectum with a syringe made from an animal bladder and the hollow bone of a bird.

Inflammations and Swellings

Witch Hazel The Menominees of Wisconsin boiled the leaves and rubbed the liquid on the legs of tribesmen who were participating in sporting games. A decoction of the boiled twigs was used to cure aching backs, while steam derived by placing the twigs in water with hot rocks was a favorite Potawatomi treatment for muscle aches.

Influenza  

Native Hemlock – The Menominees prepared a tea if the inner bark and drank it to relieve cold symptoms. A similar tea was used by the Forest Potawatomis to induce sweating and relieve colds and feverish conditions.

Insect Bites and Stings

Fendler Bladderpod – The Navajos made a tea and used it to treat spider bites.

Purple Coneflower The Plains Indians used this as a universal application for the bites and stings of all crawling, flying, or leaping bugs. Between June and September, the bristly stemmed plant, which grows in dry, open woods and on prairies, bears a striking purplish flower.

Stiff Goldenrod – The Meskwaki Indians of Minnesota ground the flowers into a lotion and applied it to bee stings.

Trumpet Honeysuckle The leaves were ground by chewing and then applied to bees stings.

Wild Onion and Garlic – The Dakotas and Winnebagos applied the crushed bulbs of wild onions and garlics.

Saltbush – The Navajos chewed the stems and placed the pulpy mash on areas of swelling caused by ant, bee and wasp bites. The Zunis applied the dried, powdered roots and flowers mixed with saliva to ant bites.

Broom Snakeweed – The Navajos chewed the stem and applied the resin to insect bites and stings of all kinds.

Tobacco – A favorite remedy for bee stings was the application of wet tobacco leaves.

 Insect Repellents and Insecticides

Goldenseal – The Cherokee pounded the large rootstock with bear fat and smeared it on their bodies as an insect repellent. It was also used as a tonic, stimulant, and astringent.

Rheumatism

Pokeweed – Indians of Virginia drank a tea of the boiled berries to cure rheumatism. The dried root was also used to allay inflammation.

Bloodroot – A favorite rheumatism remedy among the Indians of the Mississippi region – the Rappahannocks of Virginia drank a tea of the root.

Sedatives

Wild Black Cherry – The Meskwaki tribe made a sedative tea of the root bark.

Hops – The Mohegans prepared a sedative medicine from the conelike strobiles and sometimes heated the blossoms and applied them for toothache. The Dakota tribe used a tea of the steeped strobiles to relieve pains of the digestive organs, and the Menominee tribe regarded a related species of hops as a panacea.

Wild Lettuce – Indigenous to North American, it was used for sedative purposes, especially in nervous complaints.

Thrush

Geranium The Cherokee boiled geranium root together with wild grape, and with the liquid, rinsed the mouths of children affected with thrush.

Persimmon  The Catawba stripped the bark from the tree and boiled it in water, using the resulting dark liquid as a mouth rinse.

The Emergence of E-Patients

Fresh on the heels of the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco, a renewed spotlight is shining on empowered “e-patients.” The convention was a showcase for a myriad of online and mobile tools which enable patients to engage in their health and their lives in ways not previously feasible.

But who are these “e-patients,” and do they represent a significant segment of the population? A common belief among physicians is that “e-patients” are a minority of motivated people, but do not represent the bulk of the patients being attended. Is this true? A sentinel report describes e-patients, and what the term means, in some detail.

A recent report by the Pew Internet Project describes the rise of the e-patient. A rapidly growing segment of the population is using Internet and other e-tools for access to health information: 61% of the total population, and 83% of the online population, use the Internet for querying about health information. It is widespread across genders and ethnicities: 64% of men and 57% of women; 65% of whites, 51% of blacks, and 44% of Hispanics use the Internet this way. There is a skewing toward upscale and educated users, and towards parents of young children. Over the past few years, e-patients have become high-speed (using broadband 88% of the time), and mobile (using wireless 89% of the time). E-patients are also more likely to use social media, and build online networks of “patients like me” to discuss their health conditions, find out about resources, or simply vent their frustrations or experiences with the delivery system.

As consumers, e-patients have used the Internet to find out about the health delivery system as purchasers of service: 47% have looked up information about doctors; 38% have gotten information about hospitals; 33% about how to lose weight; 27% about health insurance; 12% about how to stay healthy during overseas travel.

Clearly, as technology has evolved and delivered fast, meaningful, mobile and low-cost (or free) tools, patients are becoming “e-patients.” They are engaging the health delivery establishment in a new way, in what can be described as Participatory Medicine.

Is there a direction towards which this development of “e-patients” and Participatory Medicine is heading? Are there platforms that are in a position to enable this direction? Patients, as consumers, are gathering information themselves over the Internet (sometimes from trusted sources, sometimes from questionable sources), and are forming communities among themselves in order to find meaning, support, and experience in making health decisions. Engagement with physicians, and other health care providers, is the logical next step in this evolution. Health professionals, when actively engaged in the networks that patients are creating anyway, can provide context and meaning.

Practice Fusion is building a platform that will enable this evolution in health care. By building a physician-facing Electronic Health Record (EHR) system that is able to seamlessly share clinical charts between clinicians taking care of the same patient, and by building a patient-facing Personal Health Record (PHR) that is automatically filled and updated real-time by the physician’s EHR, the level of interaction between patients and their clinicians can reach levels not previously witnessed. The consumer-friendly Health Internet, which is still a dream in practicality, is something that the Practice Fusion platform will be able to achieve in the very near future. With widespread adoption of this approach, and with connectivity between many different constituencies and trusted services, the impact on the health of the country can be measurably improved. That is the vision with which we build these tools. — end

NOTE: GE E-Care is the first on-line medical entity in California catering to E-Patients and engaging in complete Tele-medicine techniques.  This site details the care plan.

Qwest’s Connections Power Colorado Telehealth

DENVER – From the Rockies to the plains, close to 400 healthcare providers in Colorado will be linked through a new communications platform in what’s being billed as one of the largest healthcare information networks in the nation.

Qwest Communications is providing high-speed broadband services to the Colorado Telehealth Network, a consortium of 370 healthcare providers overseen by the Colorado Hospital Association and the Colorado Behavioral Health Council. The network is being funded by two grants from the Federal Communications Commission, totaling $9.8 million, as well as a 15 percent match from participating health centers.

Sharon Montgomery, vice president of Qwest’s government and education solutions division, said the development of new Ethernet and data networking technology helps healthcare providers share data that would, in the past, have been mailed or sent by courier. She said hospitals and health clinics in all parts of the state need secure, real-time access around the clock.

“We’re not talking about pushing data between midnight and 6 a.m.,” she said. “In healthcare you need a reliable partner to get the information there when it’s needed.”

According to Steven Summer, president and CEO of the Colorado Hospital Association, Qwest’s fiber-optic network will connect close to 400 healthcare providers in a state that’s 75 percent rural and 11 percent frontier.

“They’ll be able to get on the highway and go anywhere,” he said.

“The Colorado Telehealth Network will promote better health in many ways, while greatly reducing the need for rural residents to travel long distances to receive quality care,” added George DelGrosso, executive director of the CBHC. “This innovative system will save lives and scarce healthcare resources.”

Summer said the network will be agnostic – “Everyone has to be at the table or nobody’s going to be at the table” – so it’s important that health plans are included in the mix. In addition, he said, physicians have to be comfortable with telehealth.

“The ability of Colorado’s healthcare providers to accurately exchange information with each other in a timely fashion is a critical component of the state’s efforts to make healthcare more affordable, and to improve coverage and access,” said Gov. Bill Ritter.

Curry Compound Kills Cancer

A molecule found in a curry ingredient can kill esophageal cancer cells in the laboratory, suggesting it might be developed as an anti-cancer treatment, scientists said on Wednesday.

Researchers at the Cork Cancer Research Center in Ireland treated esophageal cancer cells with curcumin, a chemical found in the spice turmeric, which gives curries a distinctive yellow color, and found it started to kill cancer cells within 24 hours.

The cells also began to digest themselves, they said in a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Previous scientific studies have suggested curcumin can suppress tumors and that people who eat lots of curry may be less prone to the disease, although curcumin loses its anti-cancer attributes quickly when ingested.

But Sharon McKenna, lead author of the Irish study, said her research suggested a potential for scientists to develop curcumin as an anti-cancer drug to treat esophageal cancer.

Cancers of the esophagus kill more than 500,000 people across the world each year. The tumors are especially deadly, with five-year survival rates of just 12 to 31 percent.

The curcumin used “an unexpected system of cell messages” that caused the cancer cells to die, McKenna said.

Normally, faulty cells die by committing programmed suicide, or apoptosis, which occurs when proteins called caspases are “switched on” in cells, the researchers said.

But these cells showed no evidence of suicide, and the addition of a molecule that inhibits caspases and stops this “switch being flicked’ made no difference to the number of cells that died, suggesting curcumin attacked the cancer cells using an alternative cell signaling system.

In 2007, U.S. researchers said they had found curcumin may help stimulate immune system cells in Alzheimer’s disease.

High-Fructose Diet Increases Blood Pressure Risk

You could be increasing your risk of high blood pressure as much as 87 percent if you consume too many sodas, candies, and other highly sweetened foods.

A new study pinpointing that result implies that cutting back on processed foods and beverages with high-fructose corn syrup may help prevent high blood pressure.

The rising amount of fructose in diets during the past 200 years parallels the increasing rate of obesity, and the number of obese Americans has risen abruptly since the use of high fructose corn syrup became widespread, according to the researchers at the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center.

Americans consume 30 percent more fructose now than just 20 years ago, and as much as four times the amount of 100 years ago when the obesity rate was less than 5 percent. Although obesity has long been linked with the risk of high blood pressure, no conclusive studies directly linked fructose to hypertension.

The new study examined 4,528 adults with no history of hypertension. The amount of fructose in their diets was calculated based on a questionnaire that included foods such as soft drinks, candy, bakery products, and fruit juices. The team found that those who ate or drank more than the amount of fructose in two and a half sugary drinks each day increased their risk up to 87 percent.

“These results indicate that high fructose intake in the form of added sugars is significantly and independently associated with high blood pressure levels in the US adult population with no history of hypertension,” said the authors.

 

WORLD WIDE MEDICAL CANNABIS NEWS

Colorado

USA- According to a newspaper report the amount of people registered to legally use cannabis for medicinal purposes in Colorado has nearly tripled in the last year to just above 11,000. That number is expected to grow to 15,000 by year’s end. (Source: Aspen Daily News)

Science: Diabetic neuropathy

UNITED KINGDOM – According to clinical research at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, UK, a standardized cannabis extract (Sativex) did not reduce pain in 30 patients with diabetic neuropathy. In this controlled trial participants received daily Sativex or placebo. There were no significant differences in pain relief and other outcome measures. (Source: Selvarajah D, et al. Diabetes Care. [Electronic publication ahead of print]

Science: Neuropathic pain

ITALY – According to animal research at the University of Naples, Italy, a selective CB2 receptor agonist reduced neuropathic pain after nerve injury. The treatment with the cannabinoid reduced inflammation. (Source: Luongo L, et al. Neurobiol Dis. [Electronic publication ahead of print])

Science: Detection of cannabis use

USA – According to research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore, USA, THC may be detectable for more than 6 days after last cannabis use in blood of regular users of cannabis. Of 25 participants nine chronic users (36 per cent) had no measurable THC during 7 days of cannabis abstinence; 16 had at least one positive THC of more than 0.25 ng/ml, but not necessarily on the first day. On day 7, 6 full days after controlled cannabis abstinence, six participants still displayed detectable THC concentrations and all 25 had measurable concentrations of THC-COOH. The highest observed THC concentrations at start of the study (day 1) and day 7 were 7.0 and 3.0 ng/ml, respectively. (Source: Karschner EL, et al. Addiction . [Electronic publication ahead of print])

Science: Cannabis and alcohol use

USA – According to a study at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, USA, with 28 daily cannabis users those with past alcohol abuse or dependence increased their alcohol use during a period of cannabis abstinence. Participants were subjected to a 13-day cannabis abstinence period and those with past problematic alcohol use increased alcohol use by 52 per cent. (Source: Peters EN, et al. Drug Alcohol Depend. [Electronic publication ahead of print])

Science: Heritability of cannabis use

HOLLAND – According to a study at the University of Amsterdam with 3115 twins there was a moderate genetic influence (44 per cent) on initiation of cannabis use. The remaining causes were explained by environmental influences shared by twins (31 per cent) and by environmental factors experienced only by the person investigated (24 per cent). (Source: Vink JM, et al. Addict Behav. [Electronic publication ahead of print])

Science: Anxiety

AUSTRALIA – According to a study at the Schizophrenia Research Institute in Darlinghurst, Australia, chronic but not acute administration of the plant cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) caused anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects in mice. (Source: Long LE, et al. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. [Electronic publication ahead of print])

Men More Vulnerable to Mental Illness, Say Experts

NEW DELHI – Don’t reprimand your son for sobbing over a problem he is facing or tick him off for “behaving like a sissy”. It would only make him bottle up his emotions and lead to serious implications on his overall well being. Experts say men are more vulnerable to mental illness and depression than you would imagine.

Praveen Thapar, chairperson of the Sanjivni Centre for Mental Health, said while it’s true that women are more prone to depression, it’s equally true that women are better at sharing their emotions and problems than men – as a result most men keep their problems to themselves which has serious implications later.

In our society we co-relate the word man with power. From the time he is a child, a boy is told not to cry ‘like a sissy’ and be strong. Thus from an early stage he grows up with this learning that he should hide his emotions behind a serene face, Thapar told IANS ahead of World Mental Health Day Saturday.

This however can have serious implications later in life. This habit of bottling up one’s feelings and frustrations may lead to a breakdown later, she said.

Akhila Vasudev, a counselor, agreed.

“While women are more open about their problems and emotions, with men, even when they are with friends, the discussion rarely goes beyond the football match or finances. Often it’s because they have been molded that way.”

”A number of male patients that I have therefore admit that they feel much better after simply talking about their problems. It helps that I am a stranger, they say. Opening up in front of the family is harder,” said Vasudev.

Quoting an example, Thapar said at a post-retirement conference that she attended recently, all that was being discussed about was how to manage your finances.

Post-retirement phase is a different experiences altogether. You have more time on your hand, your expectations may increase, you may feel worthless and useless sitting around – but all that the men talked about was finances, she said.

According to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), mental illness will be the biggest health risk in India by 2010.

 

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) further says that while 20 million Indians suffer from major mental ailments, 50 million suffer from milder forms.

Depression, anxiety, panic attacks and hysteria are all mild forms of mental illnesses which people often ignore, experts say.

According to R.C. Jiloha, head of the department of psychiatry at the Maulana Azad Medical College, among the most common form of mental disorders that men suffer from are anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Because of an increasing awareness on the issue, I have a lot of men coming to me for counselling. But the best way to tackle this is for the corrective measures to begin in the families itself,” Thapar said.

“Parents should interact more with their children and encourage them to be themselves. They should not have a different attitude towards their sons and daughters, she advised.