Thursday, December 6, 2007

National Trial to Test Omega 3 will Pave the Way for Omega 5 Oil Trials


A consortium of researchers, supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Institutes on Aging and coordinated by the University of California-San Diego, will be conducting a nationwide clinical trial to study the effects of an omega-3 fatty acid on the progression of Alzheimer's disease.Researchers will study 400 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease at 51 sites across the United States. All participants will be above the age of 49. Approximately 60 percent of the participants will receive a daily supplement of 2 grams of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3; the other 40 percent will receive a placebo instead. The study will be conducted with a double-blind procedure, meaning that neither patients nor researchers will know which patients are receiving the placebo until after the study is completed.The DHA will be donated by Martek Biosciences Company, a major manufacturer of DHA and a promoter of the fatty acid as a food additive.The researchers will monitor the participants for 18 months, measuring the progress of Alzheimer's with a variety of cognitive tests. In addition, researchers will monitor the physical and biological markers of the disease, including brain atrophy and protein concentration in blood and spinal fluid.Studies on mice have suggested that DHA may be effective in slowing the progression of Alzheimer's, but the upcoming study will be the first human trial.DHA occurs naturally in microalgae and accumulates in aquatic animals higher up the food chain. For this reason, the most common, non-synthesized dietary source of DHA is fish oil. The body can synthesize small quantities of DHA upon the consumption of another omega-3 called a-linolenic acid, which is found in a variety of seeds and nuts.There are an estimated 5 million Alzheimer's patients in the United States, It was the country's seventh leading cause of death in 2004.



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2 comments:

Jacob K said...

The delivery of health information in bits and pieces can result in never piecing together important parts of the puzzle to create “the big picture.”


What should humans be doing to live long and healthy lives? Lower cholesterol? Avoid MSG and hydrogenated fats in foods? Take calcium supplements? Eat a low-fat diet? Limit refined sugar intake? There are yes’s and no’s to these questions.


Here is the “big picture:” During childhood growth, the body has a high demand for nutrients, particularly iron to make new red blood cells and calcium to make new bone. A state of mineral overload cannot be realized because of the high demand for these nutrients. The growth years are generally disease-free.


With the cessation of growth, around age 18, there is a profound change. Now there is a slight excess of these two minerals.


The first sign of cellular aging can be observed in living cells under a microscope in this third decade of life. Something called lipofuscin begins to appear. Lipofuscin is comprised of fats and proteins which were once removed by the digestive action of enzymes produced by small bodies inside human cells called lysosomes. Another small body within living cells, called the mitochondria, provides energy for the lysosomes to conduct their garbage-cleaning activity.


But the lysosomes and mitochondria begin to rust and calcify, starting in the third decade of life. Lipofuscin can no longer be efficiently removed from living cells.


The progressive accumulation of lipofuscin in human cells is a marker of aging. Lipofuscin itself increases free-radical production within cells that leads to gene mutations, aging and disease.


Women, being the baby-carriers of the species, must be protected from disease until they have produced offspring. So women have unique ability to control calcium and iron. Menstruation prevents iron overload by loss of about 30 milligrams of iron per cycle in menstrual flow. Estrogen sends a signal to hold calcium in bones and women donate calcium and iron to their babies, preventing their own overload of these two minerals.


Men have no such protection. They accumulate excess calcium and iron once childhood growth ceases. Men will accumulate excess iron at the rate of 1 milligram per day of life after age 18, so that by age 40 they will have twice the amount of iron and calcium stored in their body compared to an equally-aged woman, and experience twice the rate of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. An early hysterectomy would eliminate the advantage females have. With the onset of menopause, women experience the same rate of disease as men.


This means that biological aging really doesn’t begin till ~age 18. Humans have birthdays, but aren’t really aging till their physical growth ceases.


What this tells us is that there must be different diets to facilitate the different nutrient demands during periods of the human lifespan.


Childhood diets can be rich in calcium and iron to facilitate growth of bone and new red blood cells. The same goes for fertile females who are producing offspring.


However, fertile pre-menopausal women crave more iron and calcium in their diet. Fertile women are often anemic, pale and fatigued. They are often advised to supplement their diet with iron and calcium.


Meat, particularly red meat, provides highly absorbable iron. Dairy products are rich in calcium. Women are frequently advised to eat these foods.


Females usually do the shopping and cooking in the family, and they tend to buy foods for their own cravings.


But male spouses eating a diet selected by their wives, one that is rich in red meat and dairy, will experience accelerated aging and higher rates of disease.


This difference can be observed in the unusually long lifespan of the mole rat. Most rodents (mice, rats) live no more than 3 years. The mole rat exhibits unusual longevity – up to 28 years. But this unusual longevity is only seen in female mole rats. The males live about as long as other rodents. Why the unusual longevity among female mole rats?


This subterranean rodent menstruates continually. She also produces offspring throughout life. A female mole rat will give birth to about 100 pups a year, thus she continually donates iron and calcium to her offspring.


Furthermore, the mole rat has two long protruding teeth to create underground tunnels, and these teeth grow throughout life, and they become a “sink” for calcium. They prevent over-calcification much the way reindeer or other animals shed their antlers to prevent calcium overload.


It is likely that humans live much longer if they learned to control these minerals at appropriate times in their lifespan. The female mole rat lives up to 9 times longer than males by controlling minerals. Currently, female humans live only about 5-8 years longer than males. But women predominate among longevinarians.


Evidence for the over-mineralization theory of aging is observed among dairy and meat producing countries. The rate of cardiovascular disease is greatest in North America, Ireland, New Zealand and Scandinavian countries, where water and grasslands are abundant to feed cattle. Compare this to Japan, a mountainous island country that juts out of the ocean and has little flat grassland, and low intake of calcium from dairy and iron from red meat. The Japanese have the highest life expectancy of any major country in the world.


The “big picture” comes into focus with the story of monks who live in monastic communities near Mount Athos in northern Greece, who recently gained attention in The London Times (December 6, 2007).


These monks frequently practice fasting, a direct way to limit overmineralization. They do not eat meat, and for dairy, only limited amounts of cheese. They do occasionally eat fish, which provides them with essential omega-3 oils. Otherwise they eat plenty of home-grown vegetables and olive oil. Whole grain bread, pasta, olives and rice comprise the rest of their diet. They consume red wine with dinner, which is known to contain longevity factors. Very few of these monks develop prostate cancer -- about one fourth the international average. Their rate of lung and bladder cancer is zero. Their discipline to follow this “diet plan” emanates from their Biblical teaching, but it also must be said they don’t have calcium/iron-craving women cooking for them.


Researchers are now investigating ways to rid the human body of lipofuscin, and therefore reverse biological aging. Molecules such as resveratrol, quercetin, bran (IP6 from rice bran), lipoic acid, carnitine, flaxseed lignans, among others, can control and/or eliminate (chelate) iron and calcium, and have been shown to reduce lipofuscin levels. Biologists indicate there is no theoretical limit on the human lifespan if ways can be developed to prevent the progressive accumulation of lipofuscin.

Anonymous said...

Herbs were not given much importance until recently. When herbs were first discovered, they were thought to be some form of weeds and some of them were considered to be poisonous. Gradually, it came to be understood that these herbs did much more than merely spice food or give fuel to the body. The vital elements, organic, and mineral present in them were recognized and utilized to their full potential. Their powers of healing, medicinal value, and their ability to counteract certain health problems slowly brought them to the forefront. Thus the process of healing through natural herbs has revolutionized the way we look at medicine and also brought about a change in the kind of foods we eat.

Some natural herbs like alfalfa are rich in protein and contribute greatly to the development of muscle, hair, nails, and even the skin. It is used to counteract fatigue, and is also used in the treatment of arthritis, nausea, and diabetes. The advantages of

Aloe Vera are many and as varied as can be. Aloe Vera gel is used to treat burns and also open wounds. It is a well-known beauty aid, a powerful astringent, and a great medium. It has been used to treat hair loss and the juice of aloe vera has great potency. It strengthens the immune system and keeps the digestive tract intact. The juice is not only anti fungal but also anti bacterial, and anti oxidant. The full potential of Aloe Vera is still to be acknowledged.


Ashwagandha is known as the anti ageing herb. About 3 gms. of the herb consumed for at least a year has been proved beneficial. It has been shown that this natural herb is able to increase memory and can also increase melanin concentrations in the hair. A significant increase in the red blood cell count and hemoglobin has also been noticed. The herb “Brahmi” helps to combat stress and depression and is often termed as 'food for the brain'.

The Indian gooseberry called the 'Amla' is rich in Vitamin C. What is more important is that the vitamin remains intact whether it is dried, crushed or burnt. The juice and the fruit have wonderful restorative properties. The Neem fruit, seed, leaves, bark and the roots have antibacterial properties. Skin diseases, burns, diarrheas, inflammatory diseases, bronchitis can all be at least partially cured using extracts of the neem tree. The skin of the pomegranate and oil from its seeds are very good cleansers.

The flowers of the hibiscus plant stimulate the growth of hair, prevents graying, hair loss, and offers remedies against many scalp disorders. Jasmine flowers and jasmine oil relieve tension and act as anti depressants. Seeds of the sunflower are rich in vitamins and fatty acids. The oil has properties that promote well-being. The leaves of the papaya help in digestion. The presence of the enzyme papain helps proteins to digest faster.

And so the list goes on and on.

There are so many natural herbs with wonderful properties and so many others still to be discovered.