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16 January 2009

Messege from Dr Lau : Book Update

Naming my baby
This was the most important time, the time when I had to christen my book.
I’d read somewhere that for every person that reads the whole text, 500 read only the title!
Therefore, I knew that my title must balance two objectives:
• Catch my readers’ attention
• Provide a terse summary of the content
Personally, I have always preferred short, working titles. I don’t like unnecessary word trappings. I am all for simple links and fixed sets.
This boiled down my selection to one catch phrase: Help in Your Hands.
I thought it was short, sweet and immensely practical.
It froze it immediately.

Hormone Therapy Shrinks Your Brain

The use of postmenopausal hormone therapy can accelerate the loss of brain tissue in women aged 65 and older, well beyond the loss that normally occurs with age.

Initial study results indicate that treatment with estrogen, with or without progesterone, increased the risk of dementia and overall cognitive decline in women 65 years of age or older.

Imaging studies conducted on roughly 1400 participants showed that women who had taken hormone therapy had slightly smaller brain volumes in two critical areas -- the frontal lobe and the hippocampus. Both areas are involved in thinking and memory skills, and loss of volume in the hippocampus is a risk factor for dementia.


* Reuters January 12, 2009

Cancer May Not Be a Cell Mutation After All

In 1931, German scientist Otto H. Warburg earned the Nobel Prize for his theory on the origin of cancer. He believed that that cancer starts from irreversible injury to cellular respiration.

His work eventually fell out of favor, as genomic mutations became the standard model for the cause of uncontrolled cell growth. But seventy-eight years after Warburg received science's highest honor, researchers report new evidence in support of the original Warburg Theory of Cancer.

Healthy cells generate energy by the oxidative breakdown of a simple acid within the mitochondria. Tumors and cancer cells generate energy through the non-oxidative breakdown of glucose, a process called glycolysis. Warburg argued that cancer should therefore be interpreted as a type of mitochondrial disease.

Recently, bioinformatic models were used to compare the lipid characteristics of the normal and the tumor mitochondria samples. Major abnormalities in the content of a complex lipid called were present in all types of tumors. Those results suggest that cardiolipin abnormalities can underlie irreversible respiratory injury in tumors and link mitochondrial lipid defects to the Warburg theory of cancer.


* Eurekalert January 12, 2009

Can Chocolate Disrupt Your Sleep?

Chocolate contains caffeine, but in varying amounts depending on the type. A 1.5-ounce Hershey’s milk chocolate bar contains nine milligrams, about three times as much caffeine as a cup of decaffeinated coffee. But a dark chocolate Hershey’s candy bar has far more: about 30 milligrams, the same as a cup of instant tea.

Chocolate also has other stimulants. One is theobromine, which increases heart rate and causes sleeplessness.

In other words, eating chocolate at night can potentially keep you awake.


* New York Times January 12, 2009

Wall Street Journal Agrees Probiotics are Good For You

The Wall Street Journal article linked below shines some mainstream media attention on something I have been promoting for years -- probiotics. Consuming these healthy bacteria can improve your body's overall balance of good versus bad micro-organisms, boosting your general health. But be careful -- not all of the probiotic-containing products found on store shelves provide the health benefits they claim.

Some regular foods contain healthy bacteria naturally, such as yogurt and naturally fermented pickles. But pasteurization has eliminated many of the probiotics that should be found in modern foods. The recent boom in probiotic products reflects an effort to re-introduce bacteria that promote good health.

When choosing a probiotic, look for products that list a specific strain of bacteria on their label, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG -- the final two letters identify the strain. A product that simply uses the first two names may include a similar, but not identical, bacterium that doesn't have the same scientific testing behind it. It’s best when the actual product -- not just the bacterium -- has been tested in humans. Don’t be afraid to do a bit of research, especially when a simple Web search can yield a lot of information.

Some additional tips: Look for the word "live" on the package, since organisms killed by processing won't be helpful. The expiration date may be particularly important, because even if a product still tastes good the bacteria may no longer be alive. For maximum benefit, try to consume a variety of different bacteria, as each may contribute something slightly different.


* Wall Street Journal January 13, 2009

15 January 2009

Can Sunlight Cure Septicemia?

Septicemia -- a serious disorder also called blood poisoning -- is a systemic inflammatory response to pathogenic organisms in the blood or tissues. It is a relatively common, and often deadly disease.

In the U.S., the highest rates of septicemia occur in the winter and in the Northeast, the areas and times that receive the least sunlight. This could mean that the disease is related to vitamin D deficiency, as vitamin D is produced in your body when sunlight hits your skin. In fact, the epidemiological features of septicemia, including seasonality, racial disparity and advanced rate with age, are all similar to the epidemiology of vitamin D deficiency.

It is very possible that the two disorders are related. The hypothesis that higher levels of vitamin D could reduce the incidence and improve the prognosis of septicemia should be tested without delay.

Dermato-Endocrinology 1:1, 25-30; January 2009

Doctors Pay to Hear Town's Vaccine Views

There are many parents in the free-spirited town Ashland, Oregon who won't get their kids vaccinated -- so many that federal researchers are paying money just to hear their views. Eighty locals received $50 apiece to talk about their worries regarding the risks of childhood shots.

The meeting is one of three in which the government is paying average citizens to give their views, in order to help inform officials charting the direction of vaccine research for the next five years. A similar meeting was held in Birmingham, Alabama and another is set for Indianapolis, Indiana. Both of those sites tend to hold more mainstream views about vaccines.

Ashland has one of the highest rates in the nation for vaccine exemptions -- 28 percent and rising in kindergartens, compared with about 4 percent statewide. One alternative school has a 67 percent vaccine exemption rate.

Seattle Times January 9, 2009

Antibiotics are More Dangerous Than You Thought

Some people beg their doctor for drugs that:

Can cause diarrhea
Land more than 140,000 people in the emergency room every year
Help only about one in 4,000 patients avoid a serious complication
And do nothing to relieve their symptoms
What drugs are these? The antibiotics which are routinely requested and prescribed for colds, flu and similar illnesses.

Antibiotics are useless for colds, influenza, most sore throats and the vast majority of bronchitis cases, because those illnesses are caused by viruses. Antibiotics kill only bacteria. Every time people take unneeded antibiotics, they encourage the growth of bacterial strains that resist antibiotics, creating hard-to-control "superbugs."

Nonetheless, half of antibiotic prescriptions still go to people with viral illnesses.

USA Today January 12, 2009

Mouthwash Kills Bad Breath ... and People

A review article has concluded that there is now "sufficient evidence" that "alcohol-containing mouthwashes contribute to the increased risk of development of oral cancer".

Acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product of alcohol that can accumulate in the mouth, is believed to be carcinogenic and could be the cause of the problem.

The lead author of the review, Professor Michael McCullough, an associate professor of oral medicine at the University of Melbourne, said that that alcohol-containing mouthwash should be reclassified as prescription-only and should carry written health warnings.

Sources: January 11, 2009

Mercury In Vaccines Was Replaced With Something Even MORE Toxic

The short, eye-opening eBook linked below is titled Aluminum in Vaccines -- a Neurological Gamble, by Neil Miller, Director of the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute. It documents the hazards associated with aluminum-laden vaccines. Children are receiving high concentrations of aluminum in their shots. This well-documented neurotoxin may be more dangerous than mercury.

Vaccines containing high concentrations of neurotoxic aluminum were added to the child immunization schedule when several vaccines containing mercury were removed. Two-month old babies now receive 1,225 mcg of aluminum from their vaccines -- 50 times higher than safety levels! Although the FDA, CDC and World Health Organization are aware of the dangers, they expect parents to play Russian roulette with their children.

Aluminum in Vaccines -- a Neurological Gamble (PDF)