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Blastocystis hominis. Is It Really A Problem?

Thursday, 15 October 2009 by | Comments: 116
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Blastocystis hominis cyst-like forms in a wet mount stained in iodine

Blastocystis hominis cyst-like forms in a wet mount stained in iodine

Problem?

Michael E. Ash BSc (Hons) DO. ND. F.Dip ION reviews the latest studies on this pathogen.

Blastocystis is an unusual enteric protozoan parasite of humans and many animals. It has a worldwide distribution and is often the most commonly isolated organism in parasitological surveys. The parasite has been described since the early 1900s, but only in the last decade or so have there been significant advances in the understanding of Blastocystis biology.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

vrm-coverIodine deficiency epidemic

Although most of us believe we are not deficient in iodine since the fortification of salt with iodine, the fact is most people are deficient and don’t know it. Due to changes in food intake, eating patterns and food production methods, iodine intake has been decreasing in the U.S. since the early 70’s. Even worse, we are exposed to increasing levels of environmental toxins that either block the absorption of iodine or block its actions in the body.

Author: Joseph Pizzorno, ND Source: Vitamin Retailer Magazine, November 2009

Reading Time: 4 minutes

v2_title_largeThe question of independence of decision making from financial benefits in medicine and other areas of healthcare remains an ongoing problem. It exists, it is being more exposed, it is insidious and it affects important decision making processes. No discipline is free of the pernicious influence of commercial pressure – how this translates into risk Vs benefit is a more complex question.

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

front-cover-Focus-sept-2009New Research Reveals Probiotic’s Anti-Toxin, Anti-Inflammatory, Immune Boosting Properties

Lactobacillus GG is the most prolifically researched probiotic in the world—over 400 studies have been published that document its remarkable immune-modulating properties.This unique immunobiotic was isolated from a healthy human in 1985 by a team of two Tufts University researchers,Barry Goldin, M.S., Ph.D. and Sherwood L. Gorbach, M.D. They spent nearly a decade testing organisms until they discovered one that was a potent antimicrobial, survived stomach and bile acid, and was very, very sticky—it adhered well to the gut mucosa.

LGG (Culturelle) Its Workings Are Explained

Tuesday, 06 October 2009 by | Comments: 1
Reading Time: 2 minutes

39.coverValio’s Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG®) is the most frequently studied and used probiotic. Under the supervision of researchers at the Institute of Biotechnology, and the Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences at the University of Helsinki, an international research team determined the genome sequences of LGG and a bacterium closely related to it. The results, published in the renowned PNAS journal, shed light on the origin of probiotic mechanisms.

Many research publications have confirmed that  bacteria promote health and support immune systems and improve digestion. Some probiotics can also alleviate the symptoms suffered by those with irritable bowel syndrome. As many as every fifth westerner suffers from this pain, also called spastic colon. Studies say that LGG probiotics are also an effective treatment method for reducing children’s atopic symptoms, and the risk of respiratory infections.

Are Published Trials The Full Picture?

Monday, 05 October 2009 by | Comments: 1
Reading Time: < 1 minute

jcv092309In the Journal Of The American Medical Association (JAMA) last month (sept9th 2009) a rather dull  article was published that continues to raise significant questions about the availability of quality data required for optimal clarity in making clinical decisions.

For some time now it has been understood that  trials can go missing, that is they are started but not reported on, mainly due to unwanted outcomes, rather than collapse of the trial. The result can be a level of selective publishing practice that highlights benefits rather than failure by excluding unsuccessful studies or may deliver a retrospectively applied outcome score to an allied interventional benefit when the proposed (wished for) outcome does not materialise.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

untitledDr Miller an American Surgeon reviews the current state of iodine related health problems from a predominately American perspective. He does  summarises in his review, published in issue 75 of the UK journal Caduceus a substantive set of opinions and research that brings the importance of iodine and supplementation back into the clinic.

Used extensively until the mid 1900’s iodine has largely fallen out of medical favour and remains a controversial nutrient. Dr Miller elegantly describes the transition from ubiquitous therapy to supplement pariah and the extensive data collected from over 12,000 patients that indicate its therapeutic value.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

IBD’s are characterised by wasting and chronic intestinal inflammation induced by many different cytokine-mediated pathways. It is clearly recognised that medical and surgical interventions do not cure Crohn’s disease because relapse is the rule after remission.

Until a few years ago, IBD was classified into Th1-dependent, that is, Crohn’s disease, and Th2-dependent, that is, ulcerative colitis, phenotypes. However, in recent years, it has been shown that new T-cell subclasses, that is, Th17 and regulatory T cells (TR), exist independently of Th1 and Th2 and that they play a central role in modulating IBD.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

2009coverBreast cancer survivors might be able to reduce their risk for contralateral breast cancer by making lifestyle modifications. A new study published online September 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that obesity, alcohol use, and smoking all significantly increase the risk for second primary invasive contralateral breast cancer among breast cancer survivors.

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, found that obese women had a 50% increased risk for contralateral breast cancer, and those who consumed 7 or more alcoholic drinks per week had a 90% increased risk. Survivors who currently smoked had a 120% increased risk of developing a second breast cancer.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

coverThe optimal status for Vitamin D is unlikely to be met without the ingestion of Vit D supplements. This is in part because the minimum levels are being revised upwards and the suitable food sources are inadequate in nutrient density and are erratically consumed. In addition the change in sunbathing practices in the northern hemisphere has led to a widely recognised Vit D deficiency pandemic.

Children are especially vulnerable to the adverse consequences of Vit D deficiency during their growing years. Recognising the need for supplemental intervention a group of clinicians and scientists from Divisions of Adolescent Medicine and Endocrinology, Children’s Hospital Boston, and Biotics Research Corporation explored the effectiveness of differing forms of Vit D3 in the restoration of normal levels of Vit D status in children.

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