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Autoimmunity Increases The Farther Away From Equator

One of the strongest risk factors for autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is how far away from the equator you live. Prevalence of MS ranges from 1-2/10,000 near the equator and up to 200/10,000 at latitudes higher than 50 degrees. Studies show reductions in risk for MS:
  • Higher sun exposure when aged 6 to 15 years in Tasmania
  • Summer outdoor activities in childhood and adolescence in Norway
  • Sun sensitive skin type 1 and 2 in the UK
  • Higher oral vitamin D intake. Areas with diets rich in fish oil have lower incidence of MS
These studies suggest that greater sun exposure and/or greater dietary intake of vitamin D is protective against autoimmunity.

  • A 30 year follow-up study in Finland found a marked reduction in the prevalence of type 1 diabetes (relative risk 0.12) in infants who received daily vitamin D supplementation in the 1960s.
  • The presence of islet auto-antibodies in offspring was inversely correlated with maternal dietary vitamin D intake during pregnancy.
Vitamin D is not only beneficial for the prevention of autoimmunity, but if administered during the development of the disease it has the ability to block the progression of the disease.

Is this the Biggest Medical Breakthrough Since the Discovery of Antibiotics?

Harvard Researchers are saying Resveratrol which helps keep your blood pressure in the normal range, helps your heart health, and better controls the aging process could be the biggest medical breakthrough in 30 years. Researchers have been mystified for years about how the French can smoke cigarettes and eat high-fat foods, yet still have extremely low rates of cancer and heart disease. They call it the French paradox.

The biggest hurdle with Resveratrol is finding a way to consume the large concentrations required to provide you with a benefit without consuming large amounts of wine. Resveratrol is now contained in some health supplements, such as Poly C Powder and the women's multivitamin, Vital Woman.

Are Household Cleaners Linked to Breat Cancer?

A study has found a potential link between the use of household cleaners and air fresheners and breast cancer.

Breast-cancer risk was highest among women who reported the most use of cleaning products and air fresheners - it was twice the risk of those who reported low use of the products. The connection was drawn mostly between mold and mildew cleaners and air fresheners. Chemicals of concern include synthetic musks, phthalates, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, terpenes, benzene and styrene and some antimicrobial agents.

The Columbus Dispatch July 20, 2010
Environmental Health July 20, 2010: 9(1):40

Honey Works Better Than Drugs For Herpes!

When a researcher treated patients with Acyclovir for one herpes outbreak and honey for another, overall healing time with honey was 43 percent better than with Acyclovir for sores on the lips and 59 percent better for genital sores. Raw honey (not heat treated), or even better Manuka honey, needs to be used. There were also fewer side effects for the honey group and it must be applied 4 times per day.

Source: Medical Science Monitor 10(8):MT94-98, August 2004

Which Infant Formulas Contain Hidden Toxic Chemicals?

Although artificial human milk is regulated, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention USA found that a thyroid-affecting chemical used in rocket fuel contaminated 15 brands of powdered infant formula - including two that accounted for 87% market share in 2000 in USA. The top offenders included Similac and Enfamil.

And in China, 76 tons of melamine-tainted milk products were recently seized, just two yrs after melamine-adulterated formula killed 6 infants and hospitalised thousands more.

For all these reasons the American Academy of Pediatrics remains less than sanguine about infant formula, recommending exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued nursing 'until at least the baby's first birthday'. Indeed, they credit mother's milk with everything from breast cancer risk reduction to obesity prevention.

Source: Mother Jones July 12, 2010

Calcium and Heart Attack - What You Really Need to Know

You saw the sensational media headlines last week: Calcium supplements cause heart attacks! This was another example of bad research, poorly constructed, but it does contain an element of truth that we all need to understand. The conclusions are "dramatically overstated.....Seven of the 15 trials evaluated had no, or incomplete, data on cardiovascular outcomes....Further, the researchers chose to exclude any trials administering calcium plus vitamin D - including the Women's Health Initiative, which found calcium plus Vitamin D had no effect on the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke".

Supplemental calcium should never be taken alone. It needs additional magnesium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin K. Calcium plays an important role in building and maintaining bone mass.

The World Health Organisation was urging world governments to put extra calcium in everyone's water supply. So, in effect, one conventional medicine authority is saying the opposite.

Source: Alliance for Natural Health - US

Is Magnesium the Answer to Treatment-Resistant Depression?

Researchers report that"there is more than sufficient evidence to implicate inadequate dietary magnesium as the main cause of TRD [treatment-resistant depression]. Since inadequate brain magnesium appears to reduce serotonin levels, and since antidepressants have been shown to have the action of raising brain magnesium, we further hypothesise that magnesium treatment will be beneficial for nearly all depressives, not only TRD."
A 2008 randomised clinical trial supports the use of magnesium in depression, with results showing it to be as effective as the tricyclic antidepressant Imipramine in treating depression in magnesium-deficient diabetics, without any of the side effects of Imipramine. Magnesium is low in processed foods, potentially harming the brain, while calcium, glutamate and aspartate - all common food additives - may worsen affective disorders.
Source: Eby GA 3rd, Eby KL. Magnesium for treatment-resistant depression: a review and hypothesis. Med Hypotheses 2010 Apr 2010;74(4):649-660.

Vitamin D Reduces Risk of Pelvic Floor Disorders

Pelvic floor disorders, including urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and faecal incontinence, affect many women, with frequency increasing with age. Vitamin D insufficiency has been linked with poor muscle strength. The analysis showed approximately 82% of women had vitamin D levels below the normal range. Consistent with the researchers' hypothesis, higher vitamin D levels were associated with a decreased risk of any pelvic floor disorder in all women.
Source: Obstet Gynaecol 2010 Apr;115(4):795-803.

Babies Need Daily Vitamin D Supplement

In November 2008, the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) doubled the recommended daily intake of vitamin D for infants and children, from 200IU to 400IU. The study revealed that the use of oral vitamin D supplements was low (1-13%) and only 11-25% of American infants met the recommended level of 400IU per day. Both breastfed and formula-fed babies younger than six months of age are at risk of low vitamin D intake.
Source: Pediatrics 2010 Apr;125(4):627-632.

Vitamin D Prevents Influenza in Children

A recent study found that vitamin D supplements reduced the incidence of influenza A in schoolchildren. The multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial studied 430 schoolchildren aged 6-15 years, over the Japanese winter between December 2008 and March 2009. The children were assigned a total of 1200IU of vitamin D3 daily (3 x 200IU tablets twice daily) or placebo. Asthma attacks were also prevented by vitamin D3 supplementation.
Source: Am J Clin Nutr 2010 May;91(5):1255-1260.

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