Search This Blog

11 July 2008

AMA Admits Decades of Discrimination Against Black Doctors

After more than a century of institutional discrimination against blacks in the medical profession, the American Medical Association has finally admitted its role in promoting such discrimination, issuing an apology for all the harm its racist policies have caused over the years. Unknown to most consumers, the American Medical Association barred physicians from becoming members of the AMA unless they were first accepted as members of local AMA chapters, yet many local AMA chapters had rules specifically barring membership of black doctors well into the 1960's.

That's right: Whether you could become a practicing member of the AMA depended largely on your skin color!

...Provide Your Email Address to Read The Rest of This Story Now...
You'll receive full access to all 25,000+ articles on plus free downloadable reports, exclusive interviews by health guru Mike Adams and free access to all the summaries of the industry's top health books offered at

"I wish that more people had the level of intensity that Mr. Mike Adams has to get the knowledge in our hands and help us get healthy and stay healthy. I have recommended ALL my friends to sign up for this important newsletter." - Dr. Jack Singh, founder, the Organic Food Bar Company

Enter Your Email Address to Get INSTANT Access to the Full Article:

(If you've already registered, just enter your email address again to access the full article.)

Unsubscribe at any time. We NEVER send spam. Your e-mail privacy is 100% protected!

Praise for NaturalNews and Mike Adams:

"Mike Adams is the best health and natural products writer on the scene today."
- Ronnie Cummins, founder, Organic Consumers Association (

"Mike Adams has one of the best websites on the Internet. His articles, podcasts and books will improve your life, and possibly save it. As a journalist he is relentless in his questioning, always asking insightful questions to expose the truth. Masterful!"
- Suzy Cohen, R.Ph., Author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist (

Even after the discriminatory rules were rewritten, many AMA chapters maintained a discriminatory stance against black physicians that effectively barred their participation in the white-dominated, "rich man's" system of conventional medicine that still stands today.

Today, the AMA issues a website statement that apologized, "for its past history of racial inequality toward African-American physicians." While this is clearly a step in the right direction, it does nothing to reestablish the careers and livelihoods of all the black physicians who were denied placement in "white man's medicine" simply because of their skin color.

You see, there's a dirty little secret about conventional medicine that even the AMA won't admit: Modern medicine remains racist right now. Look at who's in charge of the AMA, the drug companies and the FDA? Can you say, "Rich white guys?"

Look at who gets the high-end health care services (white women and men) and who gets stuck with the low-budget, overcrowded hospitals, emergency rooms and medical clinics? (Black women and men.) As Dr. Nedra Joyner, president of the National Medical Association (NMA) said yesterday, "These persistent, race-based health disparities have led to a precipitous decline in the health of African-Americans when compared to their white counterparts and the population as a whole."

So why isn't anybody taking any serious action towards ending racial disparities in medicine right? The AMA may be able to apologize for its one-hundred-year participation in blatant discrimination against black physicians, but it has barely taken the first step towards ending racial disparities in medicine today.

The AMA has a whole lot more to apologize for
But there's a lot more than just racism going on in the history of conventional medicine. I ask: When will the AMA apologize to all the other people it has harmed throughout American history?

• When will the AMA apologize for ongoing discrimination against black patients? Black men and women are suffering from extremely aggressive forms of prostate and breast cancers right now, and the AMA has still failed to educate black patients about the crucial role of sunlight and vitamin D in preventing such cancers. See

• When will the AMA apologize for decades of attempts to destroy the competing practice of chiropractic medicine? What about the AMA's hundred-plus years of attacks on virtually every form of medicine it did not control or profit from?

• When will the AMA apologize to all the families of the victims of Big Tobacco companies for promoting cigarettes in its Journal of the American Medical Association, even long after evidence clearly linked cigarette smoking with cancer and heart disease? Read What the American Medical Association hopes you never learn about its true history at

• When will the AMA apologize to all the nutritional supplement companies whose vitamins have been discredited in JAMA using fraudulent science clearly designed to distort study results and discredit nutrients that compete with pharmaceuticals?

• When will the AMA apologize to Dr. Burzynski for its ravaging attacks on his antineoplastons cancer therapy which astonished conventional cancer researchers by reversing cancer in numerous patients? See

• When will the AMA apologize to Harry Hoxsey for attacking his character and attempting to outlaw his anti-cancer salves? Today, we know the ingredients in Hoxsey's salves are genuine anti-cancer medicines made by Mother Nature.

• When will the AMA apologize to all the people who have been killed by the dangerous pharmaceuticals that are regularly promoted in its journal? (JAMA looks more like a catalog of drug ads than a genuine science journal...)

• When will the AMA apologize to the homeopathic community for its vehement attacks against a system of medicine that conventional doctors make no attempt to even understand? Read How the American Medical Association Got Rich by Dana Ullman at

• When will the AMA apologize to the entire U.S. population for its utter failure to embrace the safer and far more effective natural therapies that make many pharmaceuticals truly obsolete? By refusing to recommend such natural therapies, the AMA has played a significant role in limiting the choice of health care consumers, forcing them to rely on highly profitable - yet highly dangerous - prescription drugs that just happen to enrich the corporations that provide most of the financial support for the AMA!

• When will the AMA apologize to all the tens of millions of Americans who have been killed by the very kind of drugs-and-surgery medicine pushed by the AMA, even when safer and far less expensive alternatives are readily available? The AMA has blood on its hands, and this goes way beyond racial discrimination. I believe the AMA's power-hungry policies on controlling medicine have resulted in actions that are best described as crimes against humanity.

And finally, in the most outrageous but true conclusion to all this, when will the AMA and conventional medicine ever learn that their drug-based medicine doesn't work, and that cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, Alzheimer's and other degenerative conditions can be cured with raw foods, medicinal herbs, sunlight, and exercise without using a single pharmaceutical or scalpel?

AMA's president has pancreatic cancer
Here's the real highlight of all this: AMA president Dr. Ron Davis found out just two weeks ago that he has stage-4 pancreatic cancer. This is the PRESIDENT of the AMA, folks! Stage-4 pancreatic cancer? At only 52 years of age? I think that just tells you everything you need to know about the utter lack of credibility at the AMA in matters of health.

Astonishingly, Dr. Davis is undergoing the very same toxic chemotherapy his association continues to recommend to patients, meaning he has about a 5% chance of survival. In public statements, he apparently considers that a good chance. I consider it to be complete idiocy, and as much as I would never wish for death or suffering of any human being, when this AMA president dies from chemotherapy, it will only be a karmic reflection of the very same suffering and death the AMA has unleashed upon countless millions.

In no way do I wish for Dr. Davis' death, but if he does not survive chemotherapy, I pray that the entire system of conventional medicine goes with him and we end the era of AMA influence on our world. It is a complete waste for a man of Dr. Davis' intellectual capacity to die at the age of 52, especially when there are known cures for his condition that do not require administering toxic poisons that more often kill the patient than the cancer.

If Dr. Davis does die, it will only be from a lack of education, not from a lack of available options. Of course, it is his own organization -- the AMA -- that has long sought to outlaw such options, and thus Dr. Davis no doubt will find it intellectually impossible to step outside the boundaries the AMA has so vigorously defined and seek natural therapies that could save his life.

Regardless of the outcome of Dr. Davis in particular, I believe it's time to look past useless chemicals, monopolistic market practices, toxic chemotherapy and Big Pharma corruption as we attempt to create a health care system that actually offers health, not disease management. If we hope to have any real solutions for national health care in our immediate future, we need to bury the AMA, prosecute the top officials at the FDA, and unleash a new era of nutrition, natural remedies and public education about how to prevent and reverse diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many others.

Because all these cures exist! I've revealed many of them right here on The AMA, however, still insists there are no such cures. And thus even their own leaders die needlessly, suffering under a system of knowledge oppression and monopolistic market practices that is, in my view, directly responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people in the United States alone.

What's really clear in watching all this is that the AMA has no answers for health, no honesty for the public and it can't even keep its own leaders free from cancer. If it wasn't so damn tragic, it would be hilarious. But there's nothing funny about the scourge of bankruptcy, suffering and death that has followed in the wake of the AMA for well over a hundred years. I wish AMA president Dr. Ron Davis would seek out natural therapies and cure his pancreatic cancer, but apparently he's too "educated" for that. (I've watched many doctors die from their own ignorance and stubbornness. Dr. Davis will certainly not be the first...)

Remember, the AMA is the organization that future historians will one day see as leading the delusional era of toxic chemical medicine where doctors were nutritionally illiterate, drug companies practiced fraudulent science, and half the population was drugged up on medications that only destroyed their health. That the AMA has now seen fit to apologize to blacks for decades of discrimination barely scratches the surface of all the apologies this organization owes the world for its selfishness, greed, corruption and incessant disease mongering.

In the last hundred years, the AMA has proven itself to be a great disservice to humanity. We will all be better off when the organization is shut down and disbanded.

About the author: Mike Adams is a consumer health advocate with a strong interest in personal health, the environment and the power of nature to help us all heal He has authored and published thousands of articles, interviews, consumers guides, and books on topics like health and the environment, impacting the lives of millions of readers around the world who are experiencing phenomenal health benefits from reading his articles. Adams is a trusted, independent journalist who receives no money or promotional fees whatsoever to write about other companies' products. In 2007, Adams launched EcoLEDs, a maker of energy efficient LED lights that greatly reduce CO2 emissions. He also launched an online retailer of environmentally-friendly products ( and uses a portion of its profits to help fund non-profit endeavors. He's also the founder of a well known HTML email software company whose 'Email Marketing Director' software currently runs the NaturalNews subscription database. Adams is currently the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit, and pursues hobbies such as Pilates, Capoeira, nature macrophotography and organic gardening.

9 July 2008

Low vitamin D levels putting Indians at risk of bone disorders

The vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in most parts of India, irrespective of people’s age, socio-economic and education status
angalore: In the land of abundant sun, Indians suffer from vitamin D deficiency. There’s been a set of studies to prove this, but new research suggests this deficiency, which can lead to life threatening emergencies in young population, has not led to protective bio-adaptation over time.
After their first systematic study of blood serum in 2000, which showed more than 75% of healthy people studied in northern India had vitamin D deficiency, researchers have now shown that though our skin has darkened while adapting to tropical climate, there is no bio-adaptation to this deficiency. In other words, the dark skin, which prevents ultraviolet rays mediated vitamin D to be formed in the body, does not lead to over-expression of vitamin D receptor, a hormone that regulates calcium levels in the body.
As a result, say researchers, this deficiency is prevalent in most parts of India, irrespective of people’s age, socio-economic and education status. “Now we know the role of vitamin D deficiency in bone disorders like rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis, which are widely prevalent in India,” says Ravinder Goswami at department of endocrinology and metabolism of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. His two new studies were recently published in the British Journal of Nutrition and European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In the early stage of vitamin D deficiency, our body adapts by increasing the parathyroid hormone in the blood which helps in maintaining the normal calcium levels and, hence, the deficiency is not easily detectable. But, in the long run, says Dr Goswami, this leads to bone resorption (bone breaks down to release calcium in the blood) and osteoporosis (reduction in bone density which enhances risks of fracture). “About one-fourth of normal people we studied, including physicians and paramedical workers, have supra-normal levels of parathyroid hormone,” said Dr Goswami.
When it comes to bone health, vitamin D and calcium go hand in hand, as the former helps in the absorption of the latter. “The reason for widespread vitamin D deficiency is that, in rural population, vitamin D levels are better due to their exposure to sun but their dietary calcium is poor, whereas in urban population dietary calcium is better but vitamin D is deficient,” said C.V. Harinarayan, head of endocrinology at Wockhardt Hospital in Bangalore. The prevalent dietary calcium intake is 307 -340mg in urban population, 263-280mg in rural population, which is less than a third of the required calcium (1 gm/day).
While earlier at Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences in Tirupati, Dr Harinarayan had the first documented evidence of this deficiency in Andhra Pradesh. “This is one of the sunniest parts of India and if people are deficient here, it speaks volumes about the prevalence of this deficiency in other parts of India,” he said. However, he cautions that north-eastern India is not covered in these studies and it’s essential to collect data from there.
Endemic fluorosis in many parts of the country worsens the deficiency. “Fluoride affects the kidney which is responsible for converting vitamin D to active form,” said Narayana P. Kochupillai, director-research, MS Ramaiah Medical College in Bangalore. Dr Kochupillai, who, along with Dr Harinarayan, was the first to study vitamin D deficiency in 1995, says it causes some of the bone lesions typical to India. He’s even had clinical evidence of acute respiratory failures which occur due to deformed thoracic cage, resulting from advanced bone loss in the thoracic cage and the spine. Studies have also linked vitamin D deficiency to increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Presenting data at a meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bangalore last week, Dr Goswami and other researchers called for a national policy on vitamin D fortification of food, just as in the West. “There is no systematic effort in the country to study this; there is need now to take this issue in a public forum,” says Dr Kochupillai. He and others believe a national programme of vitamin D fortification should be undertaken, on the lines of salt iodinization, as vitamin D can also aid tuberculosis and endemic goitre treatments. In fact, the department of biotechnology is already funding a research project to test vitamin D as an adjuvant (aid) in tuberculosis therapy.
The overarching claim for fortification comes from Goswami’s other study which shows that 60,000 units (IU) of vitamin D taken once a week for eight weeks along with 1g of elemental calcium every day restored the baseline vitamin D level of 5-7 nanogram/millilitre to the ideal level of 32ng/ml. The sufficient level is 20ng/ml. But the levels dropped to 9.6ng/ml one year after vitamin D supplements were stopped.
“We are now studying to see what could be the best regimen for long term restoration of ideal vitamin D levels in the body,” says Dr Goswami. However, direct exposure to sunlight, at least for half-an-hour a day, is what researchers suggest for good vitamin D intake.
So, keeping face to the sun can prevent bone loss, literally.

8 July 2008

Mature Stem Cell Transplants Linked To Treatment Of Cerebral Palsy

ScienceDaily (May 31, 2002) — Whether transplantation of mature stem cells can help babies with cerebral palsy is the study focus of a Medical College of Georgia physician-scientist.
Dr. James E. Carroll, chief of the Section of Pediatric Neurology, has received a two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to pursue whether brain damage that occurs during the birth of these babies can be repaired with transplants.

Cerebral palsy is a term used for brain damage that occurs before or during birth to about 1 to 2 babies per 1,000 births. One-tenth of these babies incur the damage during birth, when complications such as protracted periods in the birth canal, can deprive the baby of adequate oxygen.

"The baby's brain is very resilient to low-oxygen," Dr. Carroll said. "During delivery there is a certain period of time when the blood vessels are squeezed off and it's not uncommon for babies to come out blue." But when those ischemic periods exceed 10 minutes, damage can occur.

In premature babies, the damage typically is in the white matter, including the supporting glial cells around the fluid-filled ventricles and the hippocampus, which controls memory. In full-term babies, damage occurs in the cortex, the outer, thinking portion of the brain. The difference in damage location results from changes in circulation as the brain matures.

Preliminary data on an animal model for stroke has shown that mature stem cells from the bone marrow will migrate to the site of brain injury, Dr. Carroll said, referencing the work of colleagues, Drs. David Hess and William D. Hill. Drs. Hess and Hill are looking for mechanisms to enhance this natural repair process.

Dr. Carroll is using a mouse model with ischemic injury to see whether putting additional stem cells in the circulation can augment repair.

"There have been lots of strategies to help with this problem, but there is a need for other strategies," Dr. Carroll said. "Some strategies have centered around better care of babies prior to birth and after birth and that's a good thing. But other things that have not worked are the use of various agents given to protect the brain," he said of studies that worked in the laboratory but were not effective in human trials.

In his study model, bone marrow is removed from one group of mice that is genetically similar to the group that gets the transplant. Two major stem cell populations, hematopoietic and marrow stromal cells, are retrieved and tagged with a jellyfish protein that fluoresces green so they can be tracked. His goal in using two different cell lines is to see which is most effective; he believes it will be the marrow stromal cells.

The fluorescing cells are then transplanted into the vascular system of the other group of mice and monitored to see whether – as in the preliminary data – transplanted cells will find their way to the brain to help repair damaged brain cells and make new ones as well as supporting blood vessels. "The idea is that we would put cells into the right place and they would implant and function," Dr. Carroll said. "We don't know if that will happen."

He eventually wants to find an even more specific cell population, the oligodendrocyte cells, which make insulation for brain cells and are the most damaged in cerebral palsy. "There are culture techniques available that will allow us to develop this type of cell specifically and put it in the brain. That is really the next step and we are really interested in doing that."

If his laboratory studies work, he hopes to begin clinical trials on mature stem cell transplants in about five years.

Cerebral palsy results in a wide range of disability, from undetectable to severe physical disability. Some children also have accompanying learning and memory problems. "The numbers of people with this condition are not huge, but it can be a huge problem for those who have it," said Dr. Carroll, who believes that the transplant techniques being developed to help these babies have potential application in a large number of conditions.

Stem Cell Research Targets Cerebral Palsy

ScienceDaily (Aug. 18, 2004) — Natural chemicals that assist healing may one day help transplanted adult stem cells integrate into an injured brain, helping children with cerebral palsy recover lost function, according to researchers at the Medical College of Georgia.
"We know that we can get stem cells into the brain and they will turn into brain cells but we really don't know how well they work," says Dr. James E. Carroll, chief of the MCG Section of Pediatric Neurology. "The cells probably do form synapses," he says of connections brain cells make so they can communicate. "But the question is: Will all this integrate into improved function?"

Dr. Carroll is principal investigator on a new grant from the American Heart Association and an existing grant from the National Institutes of Health that are using an animal model of cerebral palsy to identify the most effective way to transplant stem cells and possibly answer that question.

With this latest grant, Dr. Carroll, who also treats patients with cerebral palsy, wants to determine whether transplanted stem cells work best when the cells are injected directly into the brain along with these natural chemicals, called chemokines.

Chemokines are growth factors that attract white blood cells and are quickly summoned to the site of an injury, such as a brain injury that occurs in cerebral palsy. More recently, researchers have found that chemokines also seem to attract stem cells to an injury site. However, at least in an animal model of cerebral palsy, the healing chemicals are present for only a few days after injury, Dr. Carroll has shown.

"Chemokines are produced normally, naturally and briefly after a brain injury of some type as part of the healing process," Dr. Carroll says. "But probably there are not enough of them produced and they are not produced long enough to do what we want to do. So we are working on ways to get additional factor into the brain to promote the integration of new cells long after the injury has occurred."

When he began his studies several years ago, Dr. Carroll was putting stem cells from donor mice into the circulation of an animal model of cerebral palsy. Preliminary work had shown that stem cells migrated to the injury site, but his studies showed too few cells were making the journey. The two-year grant from the American Heart Association, will enable to him to explore whether a direct injection into the brain can help increase the number of cells where they are needed and if the extra chemokines help them become part of a better-functioning brain.

He'll try several direct approaches including injecting chemokines into the injury site first and stem cells second and taking the technically-easier route of injecting both at the same time. To enable this approach, Dr. Carroll will use a virus' ability to infect a cell to get chemokines inside stem cells before they are injected.

Although stem cells are immature cells coveted for their potential to become many different types of cells, donated stem cells may trigger an immune response, much like a transplanted organ. So Dr. Carroll also will compare the success of transplants that include the immunosuppressive agent, cyclosporine-A, to those that don't.

He'll also look at the bottom line: whether the motor skills of the animal model are improved following the transplant.

Since he began his studies of stem cell transplants, parents nationwide have asked when the technique will be available to help children. "I tell them we are working hard and making progress, but it is slow and there may be clinical trials in several years," Dr. Carroll says. Although he thinks there is potential for stem cell therapy to one day help restore function lost to the group of disorders known as cerebral palsy, many unanswered questions remain. One concern is whether these proliferating young cells might cause tumors. Also, cerebral palsy is not a single problem, but a complex disease in which virtually all brain cell types could need repair.

He noted that there is much parents and caregivers already do for children with cerebral palsy, including physical therapy along with botox injections and baclofen pumps to reduce debilitating spasticity that comes from confused communication to the muscles about whether they should relax or contract.

Cerebral palsy, which affects about 500,000 people in the United States, is defined as brain damage that occurs before or during birth. The number of people with the disorder has increased over the last 30 years as more premature babies survive. Its effects run the gamut, from barely detectable to devastating loss of motor control. The causes are diverse as well, including everything from oxygen deprivation during birth to prenatal infections.

Potential of Stem Cell Treatments for Autism

Autism is a complex brain developmental disorder that is characterised by impaired social interactions, communication difficulties, obsessive attachment to routines and repetition, and often an extreme dislike of certain sounds, textures and tastes. Autism usually surfaces in the first three years of life and may vary in severity from mild to disabling. Depending on degree of severity, some children with autism may develop into independent adults with full time employment and self-sufficiency; however this is seldom the case (2). There is no known single cause but abnormalities in brain function are generally attributed to environmental, immunological and neurological factors.

Social costs
It is reported as one of the fastest-growing developmental disabilities in the US, with diagnoses having increased by staggering proportions in the last decade (2). An estimated 1.5 million children and adults in the U.S. currently (as at 2007) have some form of autism (2). Presenting these statistics another way; autism spectrum disorders are believed to affect approximately 1 in 166 children (1).

Children with autism suffer from two major conditions: Hypoperfusion and Immune Dysregulation

Hypoperfusion of the brain in autism

Children with autism have shown impaired blood flow (hypoperfusion) to the brain. Hypoperfusion may contribute to functional defects not only by inducing hypoxia (an oxygen deficit that prevents normal brain function) but also by allowing for abnormal metabolite or neurotransmitter accumulation. Hypothetically, if perfusion can be improved through the revitalisation of blood vessels (angiogenesis), then this should also allow for metabolite clearance and restoration of functionality.

Immune dysregulation in autism
Successful neurodevelopment is contingent upon a normal balanced immune response. Children with autism have immune systems that do not function normally; instead an autoimmune response of the nervous system appears to prevail (3). Astrocytes (supportive brain cells) that normally play a critical role in regulating perfusion [reviewed in 1] and protection against central nervous system infection, have the potential to cause damage to the host when functioning in an aberrant (i.e. auto-immune) manner. Autistic children often have continually suppressed immune systems and chronic inflammation. Immune dysregulation is very apparent in gastrointestinal health - most autistics experience symptoms ranging from diarrhea, gas, and bloating to intestinal lesions and inflammation of their gastrointestinal system (3,4).

Autism treatments
At this time there is no universally-accepted therapy or cure for autism. Current approaches are either behavioural, medical (treatment of anxiety and depression), nutritional (restriction of allergy-associated dietary components/ supplementation of minerals and vitamins/antioxidant therapy) or a combination of these. Research has increasingly focused on the connections between the immune system and the nervous system (4) yet to date no approach has been successful in correcting immune dysregulation/chronic inflammation in autism.

Rationale for using Stem Cells to treat autism
The administration of CD34+ umbilical cord cells and mesenchymal cells are proposed as novel treatments for the two pathologies associated with autism – hypoperfusion to the brain and immune dysregulation (1). Using these two kinds of stem cells together may potentially heal both the brain and the gut (3,4).

Treatment of hypoperfusion defect with umbilical cord blood CD34+ stem cells
Angiogenesis - the formation of collateral blood vessels - is believed to be fundamental in neurological recovery. A promising method of increasing angiogenesis into damaged areas is by administration of CD34+ stem cells [reviewed in 1]. Umbilical cord blood has highly active CD34+ cells that, following injection into a patient, should induce angiogenesis in areas of cerebral hypoperfusion. Consequently improved blood flow and oxygen to the brain should also improve nervous system functioning.
Safety: Allogeneic cord blood CD34+ cells are needed if this therapy is to be made available for widespread use because few, if any, patients will have access to autologous cord blood. Safety concerns regarding allogeneic CD34+ cells centre on fears of graft / host reactions. It is believed that allogeneic cord blood cells can not be used without immune suppression however Riordan et al (6) have recently published an account of the feasibility of cord blood cells administration in absence of immune suppression. Also, there are reports of stem cell treatments where no immune suppression was used in over 500 patients without a single one suffering graft vs. host disease [reviewed in 1].

Immune modulation by mesenchymal stem cells
The treatment of immune dysregulation in autism is expected to profoundly influence neurological function. The ability of mesenchymal stem cells to suppress pathological immune responses (e.g. inflammation) and to stimulate haematopoiesis (blood cell regeneration) leads to the possibility that these cells may also be useful for treatment of the defect in T cell numbers associated with autism(3).
Safety: The review by Ichim et al (1) suggests that allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells administered to suppress inflammation may be used without fear of immune-mediated rejection.

Practical clinical entry
The following passage is quoted directly from the authors’ proposal in ‘Stem Cell Therapy for Autism’(1) and outlines their suggestions for clinical trials : “We propose a Phase I/II study investigating a combination of cord blood expanded CD34+ cells together with mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of autism and clinical manifestations of inflammatory intestinal disease. One of the authors (*Fabio Solano) has utilized both CD34+ and mesenchymal stem cells clinically for treatment of various diseases. In some case reports, the combination of CD34+ and mesenchymal stem cells was noted to induce synergistic effects in neurological diseases, although the numbers of patients are far too low to draw any conclusions. We propose to conduct this study based on the previous experiences of our group in this field, as well as numerous other groups that have generated anecdotal evidence of stem cell therapy for autism but have not published in conventional journals. We believe that through development of a potent clinical study with appropriate endpoints, much will be learned about the pathophysiology of autism regardless of trial outcome.”

Cautionary arguments
While the rationale for using stem cells to treat autism is indeed sound, many proponents of stem cell treatment for autism (6,7,8,9) are in agreement that clinical trials with sufficient patient numbers are needed to assess treatment efficacy. When patients and their families consider new treatments, the proposals need to be interpreted in a discerning manner that can be balanced with scientific evidence.

1. Review: Stem Cell Therapy for Autism Thomas Ichim, Fabio Solano, Eduardo Glenn, Frank Morales, Leonard Smith, George Zabrecky, Neil H Riordan Journal of Translational Medicine June 2007, 5:30
2. Alliance for stem cell research
3. The immune response in autism: a new frontier for autism research Paul Ashwood, Sharifia Wills, Judy vd Water Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 80:1–15; 2006
4. The Stem Cell and Autism Connection
5. Autism
6. Cord blood in regenerative medicine: do we need immune suppression? Riordan N, Chan K, Marleau A, Ichim T. Journal of Translational Medicine. Jan 2007 5:8
7. Kristina Chew, July 2007
8. (publication is equivalent to Review: Stem Cell Therapy for Autism Ichim et al.)
9. Osiris

7 July 2008

Hospitals are More Hazardous in July

July 1 marks the beginning of the academic year for medical students, when the annual influx of new interns begins at hospitals. Many experts believe that July is therefore the riskiest time of the year for hospital patients, who are susceptible to the mistakes of new medical staff.

A study of this trend concluded that “the July medical-training period is associated with between 1,500 and 2,750 accelerated deaths every year.”

Medical students must deal with their new responsibility of working with patients, and acclimate to the nuances of their assigned hospital and a demanding work schedule. Overworked interns’ long hours and extended shifts may also be responsible for the high rate of accidents that occur when they join a medical staff.


* Finding Dulcinea July 2, 2008

Resveratrol, Found In Red Wine, Wards Off Effects Of Age On Heart, Bones, Eyes And Muscle

Scientists have found that the compound resveratrol -- found in red wine and grape skin -- slows age-related deterioration and functional decline of mice on a standard diet, but does not increase longevity when started at middle age.

This study, conducted and supported in part by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, is a follow-up to 2006 findings that resveratrol improves health and longevity of overweight, aged mice. The report confirms previous results suggesting the compound, found naturally in foods like grapes and nuts, may mimic, in mice, some of the effects of dietary or calorie restriction, the most effective and reproducible way found to date to alleviate age-associated disease in mammals.

The findings, published July 3, 2008, in Cell Metabolism, may increase interest in resveratrol as a possible intervention for age-related declines, said NIA scientists. The authors emphasized, however, that their findings are based on research in mice, not in humans, and have no immediate and direct application to people, whose health is influenced by a variety of factors beyond those which may be represented in the animal models.

The study is a collaborative effort between the laboratories of Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D., of the Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology at the NIA; David A. Sinclair, Ph.D., of the Glenn Laboratories for Molecular Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School; and an international group of researchers. The investigators compared mice fed a standard diet, a high-calorie diet, or an every-other-day feeding regimen with or without high- or low-dose resveratrol to study the impact of resveratrol on aging and health. In previous studies, different forms of dietary restriction, including every-other-day feeding, have been shown to improve markers of health.

"Research is attempting to understand the process of aging and to determine how interventions can influence this process. Dietary restriction has well-documented health benefits in mammals, and the study of possible mimetics of it, such as resveratrol, are of great interest," said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. "Resveratrol has produced significant effects in animal models, now including mice, where it mimics some, but not all, consequences of caloric restriction. Its effects in humans remain to be studied."

A major finding of the study reported today is that resveratrol prevented age-related and obesity-related cardiovascular functional decline in the mice as determined by several parameters. Total cholesterol was significantly reduced in 22-month-old non-obese mice after 10 months of resveratrol treatment, although triglyceride levels had only a slight, non-significant trend toward a decrease. Further, the aortas of 18-month-old obese and non-obese mice treated with resveratrol functioned significantly better than untreated mice. Resveratrol also moderated inflammation in the heart.

In addition to cardiovascular function, the scientists found resveratrol to have a variety of positive effects on other age-related problems in mice:

* Treated mice tended to have better bone health, as measured by thickness, volume, mineral content and density, and bending stiffness compared to the non-treated control group.
* At 30 months of age, resveratrol-treated mice were found to have reduced cataract formation, a condition found to increase with age in control-group mice.
* Resveratrol enhanced balance and motor coordination in aged animals. Scientists found significant improvement in performance at 21 and 24 months versus 15 months in the resveratrol-treated mice but not in the untreated mice.
* Resveratrol partially mimicked the effects of dietary restriction on the gene expression profiles of liver, skeletal muscle and adipose (fatty) tissue in mice.
* Along with determining the effect of resveratrol on the health of mice, scientists also studied the effect of resveratrol on longevity.

"We found that while quality of life improved with resveratrol, the compound did not significantly affect overall survival or maximum lifespan for mice on a standard diet, compared to mice on the same diet without resveratrol," said de Cabo.

Resveratrol did not have a significant effect on lifespan in animals fed standard chow, suggesting that the intervention did not affect all aspects of the basic aging process. Mice on a high-calorie diet without resveratrol lived the shortest length of time and mice on an every-other-day regimen lived the longest, regardless of resveratrol treatment. However, for mice on a high-calorie diet, mean and maximum lifespan increased for mice on resveratrol when compared with the control mice.

Researchers found that resveratrol's effects on longevity could be completely uncoupled from changes in body weight, meaning that mice on a high-calorie diet with resveratrol did not necessarily lose weight but did experience a longer (and healthier) life than mice on the same high-calorie diet not taking resveratrol. They speculate that improved cardiovascular health and reduced fatty changes in the liver may have contributed to the increased lifespan of resveratrol-treated mice.

Researchers still have much to learn before resveratrol can be recommended for human use. Basic questions of safety and biological effect in humans remain to be studied experimentally.

"We are learning a great deal about how resveratrol affects the health and survival of mammals," said Sinclair. "Continued study of calorie restriction mimetics such as resveratrol may eventually point the way to new medicines to treat diseases of aging."

In addition to scientists from the NIA and Harvard Medical School, researchers from the following institutions collaborated in this study: New York Medical College, Valhalla, N.Y.; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; University of Sydney in Australia; Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia; University of California, San Diego, La Jolla; Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, N.Y.; University of Cincinnati, Ohio; University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and Audie Murphy VA Hospital, San Antonio, Texas; Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain; Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La.; University of Washington, Seattle; and Sirtris Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, Mass., a company founded by Harvard University co-lead author Sinclair.

De Cabo is a scientist in the NIA's Intramural Research Program. In addition, the research was funded by grants from the NIA, the primary supporter of the work, as well as grants from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; the National Eye Institute; and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the NIH. The Ellison Medical Research Foundation, the American Heart Association, the Australian and Spanish governments and Paul F. Glenn and The Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging also provided support to members of the research team.
Adapted from materials provided by NIH/National Institute on Aging, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Toxic Metals: The Reason You Still Feel Sick

Dr, Kaayla Daniel and Dr. Galen Knight have observed that even when people follow healthy dietary guidelines, they can still have serious health problems. They may digest their food poorly, experience digestive distress, or be generally sickly.

One reason may be toxic metals. Mercury, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic, lead, nickel, and other metal poisons flood the environment and invade your body. Toxic metals can cause or contribute to a long list of diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain and neurological disorders. While the medical establishment recognizes the acute toxicity that comes from high levels of metals in your body, far more people suffer the adverse effects of low-level, chronic exposure.

But you can reduce your exposure to dangerous environmental metals by:

* Using glass, cast iron, carbon steel, titanium, and enamel cookware; aluminum and teflon are well known for their toxic dangers, and stainless steel can expose you to carcinogenic nickel

* Minimizing consumption of restaurant food; restaurants are required to use stainless steel pots and vats

* Avoiding stainless steel thermoses; the glass lined kind are best

* Not using cosmetics with aluminum bases, mineral powders that contain bismuth, and aluminum-laden antiperspirants

* Staying away from vaccinations that inject mercury or aluminum directly into your bloodstream

* Avoiding dental amalgam fillings

Other ways to protect yourself include a healthy diet, and the use of food grade diatomaceous earth. More information about this subject will be discussed in my Inner Circle interview with Dr. Kaayla Daniel, coming soon to


* Mad as a Hatter -- How to Avoid Toxic Metals and Clear Them From the Body (PDF)

Swimming the Amazon: 3,274 Miles on the World's Deadliest River

Last year on April 8th, Slovenian marathon swimmer Martin Strel became the first man to swim the entire length of the Amazon River. He swam 3,274 miles from the headwaters in Peru to the Brazilian port city of Belém.

The task took him 66 days with a support crew of near twenty people following him in a boat for protection.

Strel had already swum the Danube, the Mississippi, and the Yangtze. In 1997, he became the first to swim non-stop from Africa to Europe, which he did in 29 hours, 36 minutes, and 57 seconds. Seven previous swimmers had attempted -- and failed -- that swim before Strel.

When Strel reached the finish line at Belém, he had to be helped to his feet and ushered into a wheelchair. His blood pressure was at heart-attack levels and his entire body was full of subcutaneous larvae.

You can click the link below the read a fascinating interview with Strel.


* Four Hour Work Week July 1, 2008

How Broccoli Fights Cancer

Just a few additional portions of broccoli each week could protect men from prostate cancer. Researchers believe a substance called isothiocyanate in the broccoli sparks hundreds of genetic changes, activating some genes that fight cancer and switching off others that fuel tumors.

Prostate cancer kills more men than any other kind except for lung cancer. Each year, 680,000 men worldwide are diagnosed with the disease and about 220,000 will die from it.

The benefit derived from broccoli would likely also be available from other cruciferous vegetables that contain isothiocyanate, including Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, arugula, watercress and horseradish.


* Reuters July 1, 2008

How to Shop for Organic Foods Without Breaking Your Budget

Pesticide and hormone-free products often have a premium price tag, meaning that organic food can seem like a luxury for anyone on a tight budget. But there are ways to buy good food without draining your bank account.

Craig Minowa, environmental scientist with the Organic Consumers Association, offers these tips:

* Learn to buy big -- Many health-food stores have bulk sections, and if you fill a bag with organic cereal, you may end up paying less for it than you would for the nonorganic variety
* Form a buying club -- If a bunch of people pool their grocery lists, they can often special-order directly with the store

Sarah Bratnober, communications director at the Organic Valley Family of Farms, advises:

* Follow the 80/20 rule -- 80 percent of the benefits come from 20 percent of the purchases; think about what your family eats the most of, and make sure that those products are organic

Barbara Houmann, spokeswoman for the Organic Trade Association, says:

* Buy fruits and vegetables in season -- you’ll save money by focusing on what's easily available

If you do manage to get more organic into your diet, you won't regret it. Organic produce isn't just healthy and better for the environment, it tastes better, too.


* Newsweek June 14, 2007

Vaccinations at Some Clinics Suspended Following Child's Death

All Genesis Medical Center Pediatric Clinics have suspended their use of childhood vaccines after a baby received routine vaccinations, then died several hours later at home. Genesis Health Group says that it is suspending pediatric vaccinations merely as a precaution until the cause of the baby's death can be determined.

The seemingly healthy baby boy was brought in for a "well baby" visit that includes routine vaccinations for pneumonia, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus. Later that night, his parents found him dead with no obvious cause for his death.

Genesis sent the batch of vaccines the boy received to the FDA and to the makers of the vaccines for testing. This is the first time Genesis has ever suspended pediatric vaccinations at its clinics.


* WQAD July 2, 2008

Bird Flu Vaccine Kills the Homeless

Three Polish doctors and six nurses face criminal prosecution after a number of homeless people died following medical trials for a vaccine to the H5N1 bird-flu virus.

The medical staff are being investigated over medical trials conducted on as many as 350 homeless and poor people last year. Authorities claim that the alleged victims received money to be tested with what they thought was a conventional flu vaccine, but was actually an anti bird-flu drug.

The director of the homeless center in the area said that 21 people from his center died this year, a figure well above the average of about eight.

The suspects said that the all those involved knew that the trial involved an anti-H5N1 drug and willingly participated.


* The Telegraph July 3, 2008