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Archive for December, 2015

The #1 Nutrition Rule I Live By: A Cardiologist Explains by Dr. Robert Ostfeld

My brother Daniel died from an incurable disease when he was three. I was seven, and I remember wanting to throw stamps into his grave so he could write us. I was too shy and did not. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to help people. One thing led to another and I went to medical school and ultimately became a cardiologist. Over the years, I had the opportunity to train with many wonderful and brilliant physicians and scientists.

But despite my many years at Yale and Harvard, I never learned much about nutrition. And this odd gap, I have come to learn, is quite common. It was only after my formal education was complete that I started to learn more.

I’ve never seen anything come close to the depth of benefits that a plant-based diet provides. I’ve now been at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, where I am the Director of Preventive Cardiology, for many years. When I first started, I did all of the things I was trained to do. I prescribed guideline-based medications and recommended a variety of medical procedures — all of which can be very helpful.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-22610/the-1-nutrition-rule-i-live-by-a-cardiologist-explains.html (more…)

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Stress dynamically regulates behavior and glutamatergic gene expression in hippocampus by opening a window of epigenetic plasticity Contributed by Bruce S. McEwen, October 20, 2015 (sent for review August 12, 2015; reviewed by Bita Moghaddam and Johannes M. H. M. Reul)   http://www.pnas.org/content/112/48/14960

Chronic stress alters the hippocampal responses to familiar and novel stressors, behaviorally, physiologically, and epigenetically. In the aftermath of chronic stress in WT mice and in mice with a BDNF loss-of-function allele without any applied stress, there is a window of plasticity that allows familiar and novel experiences to alter anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors, reflected also in electrophysiological changes in the dentate gyrus (DG) in vitro. A consistent biomarker of mood-related behaviors in DG is reduced type 2 metabotropic glutamate (mGlu2), which regulates the release of glutamate. Within this window, familiar stress rapidly and epigenetically up-regulates mGlu2 by a P300-driven histone H3 lysine 27 acetylation and improves mood behaviors. This transient epigenetic plasticity may be useful for treatment of stress-related disorders where dysregulaton of glutamate is involved.

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/48/14960

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Glyphosate is Carcinogenic

The WHO expert panel reclassified glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic’ more than 40 years after it was brought to market, but the range of available evidence is sufficient to classify it definitely carcinogenic.

The WHO IARC reclassified glyphosate as ‘probable carcinogen’ based on ‘limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals’, supported by strong evidence that glyphosate and glyphosate formulations are genotoxic, and strong evidence that glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA, and glyphosate formulations cause oxidative stress; both oxidative stress and genotoxicity being key characteristics of carcinogens.

Regarding carcinogenicity in humans, we have reviewed the main evidence presented in the glyphosate part of the IARC Monograph 112 [10], which showed that glyphosate exposure is associated with increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from several large epidemiological studies as well as smaller studies, and single studies have found non-significant RRs or ORs for glyphosate exposure and several cancer sites. In addition, we have presented further relevant evidence from the formal scientific literature as well as reports from non-government organizations.

First, glyphosate use has gone up rapidly and enormously worldwide especially since glyphosate-tolerant genetically modified crops were introduced. The global glyphosate market demand in 2012 was 718 600 tonnes [35], with GM crops accounting for 45.2 % of the total demand, and glyphosate for ~25 % of the global pesticide market [36]. Glyphosate and its residues have heavily contaminated air, soil, and water worldwide, constituting a major increase in pesticide burden on public health. It is to be found not only generally in human and livestock urine through exposure in food and feed (as well as in drinking water, and through inhalation from the air and absorption through the skin), but also in all livestock tissues tested and in mother’s milk, contradicting all the claims of the manufacturer that glyphosate does not accumulate in soil or leach into water, and that it does not bio-accumulate in tissues.

Second, although no post-market health monitoring has been done for either GM crops or glyphosate, it is significant that US government data show a marked deterioration of public health, with increase in incidence of 22 diseases including 6 cancers – liver, thyroid, bladder, pancreas, kidney and myeloid leukaemia – closely tracking the increase in GM crops planted and glyphosate used in the country [8]. For 22 diseases, the Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between incidence and % GM crops and between incidence and glyphosate usage. Most of the 44 coefficients are greater than 0.91, with none of them falling below 0.81, and those for incidence of cancers and glyphosate use among the highest.

Glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential has been known to Monsanto and the US EPA from long term animal experiments since the early 1980s but repeatedly dismissed. This has resulted in two decades of people and planet being poisoned by glyphosate herbicides on a misclassification of ‘noncarcinogenic’ that has allowed the manufacturer to claim it is ‘safe’ and perpetrating many other falsehoods to promote its ubiquitous and liberal use Dr Mae-Wan Ho and Prof Peter T. Saunders

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Glyphosate_is_Carcinogenic.php (more…)

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Pesticide Exposure found to cause Parkinsons Disease as Aldehyde dehydrogenase variation enhances effect of pesticides associated with Parkinson disease

http://www.neurology.org/content/82/5/419.short

The objective of this study was to determine whether environmental and genetic alterations of neuronal aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzymes were associated with increased Parkinson disease (PD) risk in an epidemiologic study.

Methods: A novel ex vivo assay was developed to identify pesticides that can inhibit neuronal ALDH activity. These were investigated for PD associations in a population-based case-control study, the Parkinson’s Environment & Genes (PEG) Study. Common variants in the mitochondrial ALDH2 gene were genotyped to assess effect measure modification (statistical interaction) of the pesticide effects by genetic variation.

Results: All of the metal-coordinating dithiocarbamates tested (e.g., maneb, ziram), 2 imidazoles (benomyl, triflumizole), 2 dicarboxymides (captan, folpet), and 1 organochlorine (dieldrin) inhibited ALDH activity, potentially via metabolic byproducts (e.g., carbon disulfide, thiophosgene). Fifteen screened pesticides did not inhibit ALDH. Exposures to ALDH-inhibiting pesticides were associated with 2- to 6-fold increases in PD risk; genetic variation in ALDH2 exacerbated PD risk in subjects exposed to ALDH-inhibiting pesticides.

Conclusion: ALDH inhibition appears to be an important mechanism through which environmental toxicants contribute to PD pathogenesis, especially in genetically vulnerable individuals, suggesting several potential interventions to reduce PD occurrence or slow or reverse its progression.

http://www.neurology.org/content/82/5/419.short/reply#neurology_el_61067

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How to Support Sustainable Agriculture  – it is UP to YOU
Several things we can do to help sustainable agriculture and sustain the Earth
1. Eat PESTICIDE FREE , for your health and to support farmers who aren’t doing harm, who are growing with very few chemicals, which are used sparingly. Eat PESTICIDE FREE 100% of the time. You can do this! If hard for you to do, please do your best! smile emoticon

2. Support small, PESTICIDE FREE farmers as much as possible. At your grocery store, look for organic B companies. And buy from local PESTICIDE FREE farmers (especially those who are using regenetative ag/permaculture methods) at farmers markets or visit their farms.

3. Even if PESTICIDE FREE  cut down significantly on meat purchases. That will free up your food budget for more organic veggie/fruit purchases.

4. Buy less processed/packaged foods. Processed food have more of a “carbon footprint”, (more transportation costs are involved, for example).

5. Grow your own Vertical hydroponic pesticide free food crops, using regenetative ag/permaculture methods. Learn about what that means – making your own compost, designing your landscape so everything works with nature and has a beneficial relationship, conserving water, etc.

If you don’t have land, containers are a good option. No sunlight? Grow lamps. No time, rather buy PESTICIDE FREE at grocery? That works. (You might consider donating food scraps to someone who composts. I do. I store in the freezer.)

At the very least, learn about it. Then, if your own conditions aren’t condusive, you can still teach others. Take a permaculture class, some given on weekends, some online. Learn about it so you can teach other people. You can share informative posts, too. Help this grow until everyone with front and back yards is growing PESTICIDE FREE food crops, rather than lawns. How cool would that be!! smile emoticon Help GROW this and Outgrow Monsanto!!

6. Cut down on paper use. Buy recycled paper at the very least. Also plastic – use glass, as much as possible. Recycle. Be as resourceful as possible, in your own home.

7. Speaking of homes, you can also support Earth, with other products you use for home care and personal care. The less toxic chemicals the better. Protect our water systems and your family.

8. Cut down on gasoline use. Some ideas – Carpool, ride a bicycle, use public transportation. Plan your trips so you can do errands together in one location. This reduces the use of fossil fuels and you’re not giving as much money to companies like Exxon, BP, etc.

And there’s another reason. Do you know what ethanol is made from? It’s made from Monsanto’s genetically engineered Roundup Ready Corn (also RR Soy, but mostly corn). About 40% of RR Corn is used for ethanol. Besides all the harm Roundup Ready genetically engineered crops/agriculture/foods are doing to our health, the cultivation of these crops, this agriculture (monoculture) is destroying the soil, habitats, the bees (neonicotinoids are applied to seeds), biodiversity, small farms, and much more!! It’s the very opposite of Agri-cology. Chemical agriculture destroys Earth’s delicate ecological balance and is a large factor in climate change. Please consider this and cut down on buying gasoline.
Every bit helps.

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Coconut oil attenuates the effects of amyloid-β on cortical neurons in vitro.

Dietary supplementation has been studied as an approach to ameliorating deficits associated with aging and neurodegeneration.

We undertook this pilot study to investigate the effects of coconut oil supplementation directly on cortical neurons treated with amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide in vitro. Our results indicate that neuron survival in cultures co-treated with coconut oil and Aβ is rescued compared to cultures exposed only to Aβ. Coconut oil co-treatment also attenuates Aβ-induced mitochondrial alterations. The results of this pilot study provide a basis for further investigation of the effects of coconut oil, or its constituents, on neuronal survival focusing on mechanisms that may be involved.

http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/24150106

Nafar F, Mearow KM Division of BioMedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada.
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease : JAD [2014, 39(2):233-237] (more…)

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Investing in the transition to sustainable agriculture

Ecological impacts of industrial agriculture include significant greenhouse gas emissions, loss of biodiversity, widespread pollution by fertilizers and pesticides, soil loss and degradation, declining pollinators, and human health risks, among many others. A rapidly growing body of scientific research, however, suggests that farming systems designed and managed according to ecological principles can meet the food needs of society while addressing these pressing environmental and social issues. The promise of such systems implies an urgent need for increasing the scope and scale of this area of research – agroecology. Overall, US public funding of sustainable agriculture is relatively small.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901115300812

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