Category: Health&Lifestyle


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Credit Collective Evolution

Credit Collective Evolution

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OTTAWA — Three leading mental health organizations want provincial and territorial health ministers to be open to targeted federal investments.In a letter, the heads of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Canadian Mental Health Association note that billions of dollars are spent on health, but only seven per cent goes to mental health.The organizations say targeted mental-health funding must be part of a new health accord.”If the federal minister (Jane Philpott) is inclined to spend money on specific mental-health initiatives, let’s give her every reason to open up the country’s coffers,” the letter said.Mental health could be left out in the cold “yet again” if strings are not attached to federal dollars, the president of the mental health commission said Friday.Canada faces a crisis in mental health, Louise Bradley said, adding it costs the country more than $50 billion a year in lost productivity.It also costs lives, she said.”We have people dying every day,” Bradley said in an interview. “We don’t tend to think of mental illness as a terminal illness and yet we lose 4,000 people … registered as dying by suicide every year in Canada. One in five Canadians at this very moment are suffering from a mental illness.”The issue of health spending is the source of a heated debate as Ottawa attempts to reach an agreement on an accord — designed to set shared goals for how billions in federal funds are directed — with the provinces and territories.The main source of friction is the proposed, three per cent annual rate of increase for health transfers, down from six per cent — a hot topic at last month’s meeting of health ministers in Toronto.Dr. Catherine Zahn, president of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, said Friday that health negotiations always present a delicate balance, but she said she personally believes the issue is pressing enough to bring everyone to the table.”It is not unique in any one province,” she said, adding that most industrialized nations earmark more for mental health.The provinces are now pushing for health spending to be on the agenda when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets the premiers on Dec. 8 and 9 to discuss climate change — another irritant in the federal-provincial relationship.Mental-health organizations also want to see it prioritized at the meeting.”Climate change is also extremely important, but if peoples’ minds are simply not the way they need to be in knowledge economy, how can we address anything?” Bradley said.Zahn said she has heard directly from prime minister about the issue.”This is a cause that is close to his heart, as everyone knows, it is not a secret and he deeply understands the issues surrounding the inadequacy of many of our current approaches to care,” she said.For her part, Philpott has firmly noted the federal government wants to see greater accountability for all future health investments, noting experts from across the country “believe in measurement.”Some provinces have indeed signalled an openness to directed spending on mental health, but everyone must get on side, said mental health association president Patrick Smith.”This is something we are all wanting to do, so let’s move on and do it,” he said.—Follow @kkirkup on TwitterBy Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

Source: Direct mental health dollars: organizations

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Hon. Michael Wilson, Board Chair, Mental Health Commission of Canada

As the federal, provincial and territorial governments work toward a new Health Accord, one thing is apparent – there must be a significant infusion of new money earmarked to address the pressing social and economic imperative of mental health problems and illnesses in this country.

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Credit Tech Insider

Credit Tech Insider

  • AFP|
  • Updated: Oct 24, 2016 16:43 IST
Researchers have identified a difference in the levels of specific bacteria in the mouth, throat and gut of patients who suffer from migraines. (iStockphoto)

 An American study has found that migraine sufferers have higher levels of oral bacteria that break down nitrates, which could trigger headaches.

Researchers from the University of San Diego, USA, have identified a difference in the levels of specific bacteria in the mouth, throat and gut of patients who suffer from migraines. Compared to healthy participants, migraine sufferers were found to have higher levels of the bacteria that convert nitrates into nitric oxide in the blood, which can lead to headaches.

Nitrates are found in foods such as processed meats like bacon and salami, as well as wine, chocolate, leafy vegetables and certain medications.

The researchers analyzed fecal samples from 171 migraine sufferers compared with 172 oral samples and 1,996 fecal samples from healthy participants.

They found that, on average, migraine sufferers had significantly higher levels of nitrate-modifying bacteria in their mouths and guts than healthy participants.

Previously, researchers observed that around four in five cardiac patients who take nitrate-containing medication to treat chest pains or congestive heart failure report severe headaches as a side effect.

“We now also have a potential connection to migraines, though it remains to be seen whether these bacteria are a cause or result of migraines, or are indirectly linked in some other way,” explains Dr Embriette Hyde, contributor and project manager for the American Gut Project.

The next step for the scientists is to explore the potential links between nitrate-modifying bacteria and different types of migraines.

The findings were published in the journal mSystems.

The endothelium is the inner lining of our blood vessels. Laid end-to-end, endothelial cells from a single human would wrap more than four times around the world. And it’s not just an inert layer; it’s highly metabolically active. I’ve talked about how sensitive our endothelium is to oxidation and inflammation. If we don’t take care of it, endothelial dysfunction may set us up for heart disease or a stroke. Are we ready to heed our endothelium’s early warning signal?

 

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Depression is a scary, dark, and seemingly uncontrollable beast many of us have experienced in our lifetimes. Some of us have even found the length and depth of our depression to be so overwhelming we seek medical advice that often leads to prescription pills.

Prescription pills have their downfalls, however, including side effects like weight gain, loss of libido, and, according to a new study, the potential to actually double the risk of suicide and violence.

And while depression is typically treated as a mental disorder, new research says that, perhaps, that’s not always the case. What if depression also has a physical cause that requires eliminating inflammation in the body to alleviate symptoms?

Research has recently linked depression to chronic inflammation. A 2012 study in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology noted:

Elevated biomarkers of inflammation, including inflammatory cytokines and acute-phase proteins, have been found in depressed patients, and administration of inflammatory stimuli has been associated with the development of depressive symptoms. Data also have demonstrated that inflammatory cytokines can interact with multiple pathways known to be involved in the development of depression, including monoamine metabolism, neuroendocrine function, synaptic plasticity, and neurocircuits relevant to mood regulation. . . .

Psychosocial stress, diet, obesity, a leaky gut, and an imbalance between regulatory and pro-inflammatory T cells also contribute to inflammation and may serve as a focus for preventative strategies relevant to both the development of depression and its recurrence.

In this respect, depression is the result of your body trying to shield itself from an inflammatory response. Some of the biggest symptoms of depression associated with bodily inflammation involve flat mood, slow thinking, avoidance, changes in perception, and metabolic changes. Evolutionary psychology suggests that this once protected us, keeping us holed up in our caves since we felt too low to go out during a time when illness made us vulnerable to attack, and at risk of passing infection on to others.

In 2013, investigators at Denmark’s Aarhus University analyzed the health records of about 3.6 million people and concluded that those with inflammation caused by autoimmune conditions had a 45% greater chance of suffering from depression. And those who had ever been in the hospital for a life-threatening inflammatory infection were 62% more likely to suffer from depression.

All the findings out there, all the scientific explanations, beg a crucial question: Are people depressed because of inflammatory illnesses? Or is there perhaps an unknown physical process that makes inflammation trigger depression?

Researchers believe that cytokines in your blood, or inflammatory messengers like CRP, interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and TNF-alpha, are linked to and predictive of depression.

In melancholic depression, for example, white blood cells called monocytes make pro-inflammatory genes that trigger the secretion of cytokines. Meanwhile, cortisol sensitivity decreases, which is known to shield against inflammation.

And another team of Danish researchers published a study that found raised levels of C-reactive protein, a substance in the body produced in response to inflammation, were linked to an “increased risk for psychological distress and depression in the general population.”

Dr. Mercola noted that inflammatory agents bring information to your nervous system by stimulating your vagus nerve — responsible for connecting your gut and brain.

“During inflammatory states, brain cells called microglia are activated. When this happens, an enzyme called indoleamine 2 3-dioxygenase (IDO) directs tryptophan away from the production of serotonin and melatonin, instructing it instead to produce an NMDA (an amino acid derivative) agonist called quinolinic acid, which can trigger anxiety and agitation,” he says.

Research also suggests anti-inflammatory drugs may be able to treat depression and would be less harmful than antidepressant pills like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

While SSRIs are said to work by boosting levels of serotonin in the brain, Peter Jones, a professor of psychiatry, believes some of the benefit of antidepressants may come from the fact that SSRI drugs seem to lessen inflammation in the body as a side effect.

Currently, the arthritis drug sirukumab is being tested on depressed patients, while researchers are also looking into creating anti-inflammatory drugs that specifically target depression.

Of course, this solution seems to simply be replacing one issue with another, and one drug with another. But the biggest breakthrough seems to be a new understanding of depression, and if inflammation is, in fact, as closely linked as research shows, you could begin by eating a ketogenic diet that is high in healthy fats and low in net carbs. This type of diet even eliminates C-reactive protein almost completely.

Even just snacking on some raw nuts could lower your levels of inflammation. A great source of healthy fat, eating just a handful of them five times per week can reduce inflammation, according to recent research reported in Reuters Health.

Below is a great interview taken from an article that was written by Dr. Joseph Mercola. You can find some more information on this link if you’re interested in listening.

Related CE article on depression: How Depression Affects Brain Structure & What You Can Do To Change It Back

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Colon cancer: it’s one of the most common cancers among both men and women, and although a number of natural remedies have been linked to the prevention of this disease, government health authorities are quick to mention that not enough research has been done to warrant prescribing them. This is a common theme when it comes to using food as medicine and the science behind it. It’s unfortunate that science today is dominated by the pharmaceutical industry, and that most of the research received by physicians in the Western world comes directly from pharmaceutical companies.“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”  – (source)(source) Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and Former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal

This, however, does not mean that other research, published in reputable peer-reviewed journals, is not being conducted, or is not significant.

A great example comes from a study that shows there is an active anti-cancer component in coconut oil that constitutes 50 percent of its makeup. It’s called lauric acid, and in a study published in the journal Cancer Research, researchers at the University of Adelaide discovered this component completely exterminated more than 90 percent of colon cancer cells after just two days of treatment in a colon cancer cell line (CRC) in vitro. The study also reports/cites studies that postulate and indeed support the position that lauric acid can induce cancer cell death both in vitro and in vivo. For this study, the researchers used the rat small intestinal cell line as a model of normal intestinal epithelial cells, which again, “demonstrated that lauric acid induced considerable cell death.” Although there is still much to learn, there is obviously some potential here.

That being said, as reported by the United Nations University, experiments are being conducted with animals to find out how coconut oil can guard against cancer and have already yielded some interesting results. You can read more about that here.

What’s the difference between in vivo and in vitro studies? For in vitro studies, researchers conduct experiments using cells in a petrie dish, or perform a procedure in a controlled environment outside of a living organism. So, when we are talking about coconut oil and cancer, the study has not been performed in vivo, where researchers will perform experiments on whole, living organism as opposed to a partial or dead organism. Animal studies and clinical trials are two forms of in vivo research.

Unfortunately, clinical trials are highly expensive, making studying the beneficial effects of lauric acid on cancer difficult for researchers who lack proper access to funding. Despite the fact that multiple studies stress the need for more rigorous research, there is simply no money available. Why is this? It’s because medical research is funded by pharmaceutical companies, and pharmaceutical grade products, like drugs, are what they test in human and animal clinical trials. Things found in nature cannot be patented. Drugs can. It is therefore not in the best interests of a pharmaceutical company to fund this type of research, even though it is clearly in the best interests of the rest of the population.

Below is a clip of Dr. Peter Rost, a former vice president of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Pfizer. In it he explains the monetary issue…

More On Coconut Oil

Lauric acid, the colon cancer killing property within coconut oil, is typically found in breast-milk as well. It’s a medium-chain fatty acid which supports the immune system and has plenty of antimicrobial properties. Some people consider raw, organic, virgin coconut oil to be a superfood that can help heal cancer and other disease, and studies like the one above support that assertion.

According to the American Society for Nutrition, clinical studies have also shown that the fats found within coconut oil (MCFAs) “may be useful in treating and preventing diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, virus-related diseases (mononucleosis, hepatitis C, herpes, etc.),  gallbladder disease, Chrohn’s disease, and cancer.” (source)

Coconut oil has even been shown to decrease the side effects of chemotherapy and improve the quality of life for cancer patients. (source)

The point is that there are too many potential health and healing properties associated with virgin coconut oil to count, and further research would be, inarguably, beneficial. If you are interested in learning more about it we encourage you to further your research.

For starters, you can check out this article by Greenmedinfo.com: “The 50 Latest Coconut Oil Benefits, Backed By Science.”

There are so many potential cancer healing foods and plants out there, it’s literally overwhelming, and at the same time heartbreaking that pharmaceutical companies do not use their funds to encourage more research, or acknowledge the research that has already been done. As it stands now, 25 percent of the active ingredients in cancer drugs are found only in the Amazon, despite the fact that only 10 percent of its plants have been studied for their medicinal properties.

According to  studies published in Life Sciences, Cancer Letters and Anticancer Drugs, artemesinin, a derivative of the wormwood plant commonly used in Chinese medicine, can kill off cancer cells and do it at a rate of 12,000 cancer cells for every healthy cell. (source)

More recently, bitter melon juice was shown to kill pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in mice in a study done by the University of Colorado. Considering the results were seen in both in vitro and in vivo tests, the effectiveness of bitter melon juice in treating pancreatic cancer, and potentially other cancers, at a clinical level, are clearly promising.(source)

Here is a clip of a molecular biologist explaining how THC completely kills cancer cells.

The list goes on and on, and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of similar studies that urge further examination into these potentials.

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