SUPPLEMENTS MAY TURN AROUND KIDS' DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR
Supplements may correct kids' nutritional deficiencies and in the process, reduce antisocial behavior.
A recent study determined that many children with violent or disruptive behavior suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Correcting these deficiencies with supplementation reduced the incidence of antisocial behavior in 6- to 12-year-olds. The children in the study who received supplements were disciplined 47 percent less during the school year than those who received a placebo.
Researchers gave a group of 40 students daily supplements formulated to provide the nutritional equivalent of vitamins and minerals present in a well-balanced diet; another group of 40 received a placebo. Subjects were later rated on differences in types of serious rule violations that occurred during the intervention period. Violations included vandalism, refusal to work, uttering obscenities, being disrespectful, disorderly conduct, assault/battery, and defiance.
The study's authors believe poor nutritional habits lead to low concentrations of water-soluble vitamins in blood, impair brain function and subsequently cause violence and other serious antisocial behavior. They theorized that correcting the low concentrations improved brain function and lowered the incidence of violent and antisocial behaviors. The researchers believe their findings are especially important for the minority of children for whom both rewards and sanctions are not effective in changing behavior. They urge wider application of medical and nutritional intervention as one possible approach to improving the behavior of disruptive and antisocial children.
SOURCE: This study is featured in the February 2000 issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
GINKGO BILOBA HELPS WITH ARTERY BLOCKAGE
A recent study suggests high amounts of Ginkgo biloba may help Intermittent claudication.
Intermittent claudication is a painful condition caused by blockage to the arteries in the leg. Similar blockages in the heart cause angina and heart attacks, and in the brain, strokes.
A double-blind study enrolled 74 people with fairly severe intermittent claudication. Half were given 240 mg of Ginkgo biloba daily; the other received 120 mg daily. The study showed that higher than usual amounts of Ginkgo biloba increased walking distance of subjects with intermittent claudication versus taking the normal dose.
At the beginning of the study, participants were able to walk an average of 100 meters without pain. After six months, participants taking 240 mg of Ginkgo biloba daily could walk more than twice as far without pain. In contrast, the lower Ginkgo biloba dose provided participants with about a 60 percent improvement. Ginkgo biloba is believed to be effective by improving circulation.
The study is published in the December 1999 issue of the German journal Arzneimittel Forschung (Drug Research).
EPSTEIN-BARR VIRUS INFECTION LINKED TO BREAST CANCER
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is present in a high proportion of invasive breast cancers and is frequently associated with more aggressive tumors, according to a paper published in the August 18th issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The prevalence of EBV was determined in biopsy specimens taken from 100 patients with invasive breast cancers and 30 healthy tissue samples. EBV was detected in 51 of the 100 tumor biopsies, but only in 3 of the 30 healthy tissue samples.
According to the report, EBV was more common in tumors that were negative for steroid hormone receptors. The virus was also detected more frequently in tumors with a high histologic grade.
It was also observed that EBV infection was associated with lymph node invasion and that because it was frequently associated with the most aggressive tumors, EBV may play a role in their development.
To better understand the role that EBV plays in the pathogenesis of breast cancer, scientists are now examining pre-cancerous lesions for the presence of the virus.
Natural health professionals generally believe Epstein-Barr is a name synonymous with certain kinds of yeast infections. REUTERS
CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA BELIEVED TO BE CAUSED BY AN INFECTION
According to one of the world's most eminent cancer specialists, Childhood leukemia is cased by an infection and not by radiation or environmental pollution.
Sir Richard Doll, who first established the link between smoking and lung cancer, has given his full support to a controversial theory that cancer clusters, including those near to nuclear installations, are the result of a virus or other infectious agents.
For two decades scientists have been trying to explain why leukemia in children clusters around certain industrial sites, in particular the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria. Several investigations by leading cancer experts, epidemiologists and radiobiologists, have failed to establish a link with radiation or any other single factor, such as chemical pollution.
One theory developed by Professor Leo Kinlen, a cancer epidemiologist, has gradually become the most convincing explanation of the clusters.
Kinlen, who is funded by the Cancer Research Campaign and has no financial ties with the nuclear industry, believes viruses or other infectious agents being introduced into a local community by the mass movement of migrant workers. Some children may be more susceptible to developing leukemia as a result of being exposed to an infectious agent that may have little or no effect on other children.
A computer model of the Kinlen hypothesis has been produced and found that it can correctly predict the incidence of leukemia according to the amount of population mixing involved. NEW YORK TIMES SYNDICATE
Pregnant women have long been advised to take folate or folic acid, to ensure proper development of the fetus. This B vitamin has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease in both men and women. Now, there's evidence that folate can also help you beat the blues.
A recent study by Harvard researchers indicated that 15-38% of depressed adults has low levels of folic acid. Research also suggests that depressed adults with low levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 do not gain as much benefit from antidepressant medications as those with adequate levels of B vitamins.
YOUNG GINSENG EXPORTS ARE BANNED
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has banned exports of immature wild ginseng roots because native plants growing in the nation's forests are becoming depleted and soon might be added to the endangered-species list.
Increasing demand for U.S. ginseng by exporters to Asian markets has caused mature wild ginseng plants to disappear and has prompted many to strip young plants from the ground before they produce seeds and renew the species. The most recent export data show that in 1997 the USA exported 110,000 pounds of wild roots and 2 million pounds of cultivated roots to Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Malaysia.
More than half of states that were monitored reported a 40% decrease in the harvesting of plants in 1998, which reflects excessive harvesting and poaching. The ban, effective immediately, states that export's of ginseng roots from plants younger than 5 years old will be seized, and criminal penalties can be applied under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Ginseng plants are most commonly used for fatigue and backed strongly by scientific evidence. Plants grow to 60 years old and those 5 and older have at least three leaves. Mature roots resemble a human body.
SOURCE: USA TODAY
BERKELEY POISED TO STOCK ITS SCHOOLS WITH ORGANIC FOODS
The school board in Berkeley is expected to vote resoundingly in favor of stocking school cafeterias with organic food--everything from pesticide free carrot sticks to milk certified clean of bovine growth hormone. Their vote would also include a mandated organic garden at every school.
Widespread access to chemical free foods is certainly not a trend in school cafeterias, but it's a nice one to think about.
The biggest hurdle is cost. Year-round organic farms in neighboring counties surround Berkeley, making fresh food easier to find during winter months. Still, some organic produce can cost as much as 50 percent more than it's counterparts.
The district hopes to defray some of the added expense by eventually growing 25 percent of the produce for its 9,500 students.
Not wanting to starve notoriously picky children, the district will continue to make other foods available.
SOURCE: LOS ANGELES TIMES
EARLY WEIGHT PROBLEMS CARRY RISK LATER IN LIFE
Men who are overweight at age 25 are more likely in middle age to develop Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, than thinner men.
The results come from a long-term study of 913 male physicians. Overall the group was predominantly white and most were lean. Their body mass indexes at age 25 were averaged 23.2, at 35 the average was 23.9 and by age 45 it was 24.1.
The researchers discovered that men who were overweight at age 25--those who had a body mass index of 25 or greater--were four times more likely to develop diabetes after age 50 than men who were not overweight. In some cases it is possible that the development of diabetes may be biological.
The effect of excess weight on insulin resistance is cumulative, much like the ingestion of tobacco smoke on the development of lung cancer.
SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON POST
CHRONIC SINUSITIS CAUSED BY FUNGUS
Mayo Clinic researchers say they have found the cause of most chronic sinus infections--an immune system response to fungus.
An estimated 37 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic sinusitis, an inflammation of the membranes of the nose and sinus cavity. Its incidence has been increasing steadily over the last decade. Common symptoms are runny nose, nasal congestion, loss of smell and headaches. Frequently the chronic inflammation leads to polyps, small growths in the nasal passages which hinder breathing.
The researchers studied 210 patients with chronic sinusitis. Using new methods of collecting and testing mucus from the nose, they discovered fungus in 96 percent of the patients; mucus. They identified a total of 40 different kinds of fungi in these patients, with an average of 2.7 kinds per patient. Fungus allergy was thought to be involved in less than 10 percent of the cases, and it is not an allergic reaction, but an immune reaction.
In sensitive individuals, the body's immune system sends eosinophils (a type of white blood cell activated by the body's immune system) to attack fungi. The eosinophils irritate the membranes in the nose. As long as the fungi remain, so will the irritation.
Chronic sinusitis lasts about three months or longer. Acute sinusitis lasts a month or less. They claim the cause of the acute condition is usually a bacterial infection.
Thousands of kinds of single-cell fungi (molds and yeast) are found everywhere in the world. Fungal spores (the reproductive part of the organism) become airborne like pollen.
SOURCE: MAYO CLINIC PROCEEDINGS
CONVENTIONAL VS. ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Conventional Western medicine is organized around the Theory of Diseases, which believes that a person becomes sick because he or she contracts a disease. In this model, each disease is seen as an independent entity which can be fully understood without regard to the person it afflicts or the environment in which it occurs. Conventional treatments are treatments of diseases, not of people. Most of the drugs employed in conventional medicine are designed to act as chemical strait jackets, preventing the cells of the body from performing some function that has become hyperactive. The side effects of these drugs are a direct extension of their actions and may be fatal.
A Harvard research team concluded that 180,000 Americans are killed in hospitals by their doctors every year.(1) Most of these deaths occur because doctors prescribe drugs without paying attention to the special characteristics of the person for whom the drugs are prescribed.
Alternative Medical Systems, Ancient and Modern
Alternative systems of healing supply a perspective that can help to reverse the "one size fits all" philosophy of conventional medical practice. All alternative systems of healing, ancient or modern, share one common characteristic which separates them from conventional Western medicine. They all approach sickness as a dynamic event in the life of an individual, a problem of balance and relationship, the result of disharmony between the sick person and his or her environment. This approach to understanding illness is called biographical.
In the biographical concept of illness, the "disease" itself has no independent reality. The healer's job is not to identify and treat the disease entity, but to characterize the disharmony of each particular case, so that they can be corrected. These disharmonies are described differently in different cultures. The language which describes them may be magical or naturalistic, but the diagnostic and therapeutic focus is always on the person who is ill and the context in which the illness occurs, rather than on the disease itself.
Integrated Medicine perceives illness biographically and at the same time uses the powerful database of modern biological and behavioral science to help describe the varied disharmonies which undermine the health of each individual. These disturbances originate, almost entirely, with dietary, environmental or social conditions.
Although the media are full of stories about "cancer genes", for example, the scientific evidence is that greater than 90% of cancers are environmentally induced. When identical twins are reared in separate environments, the rate at which each twin develops cancer is comparable to the cancer rate in the adoptive family, not the biological family. The publicity accorded to "cancer genes" serves to cripple individual initiatives at cancer prevention and to displace scrutiny from cancer's environmental and dietary triggers. Integrated Medicine exists to empower you to improve your health by improving your four pillars of healing: interpersonal relationships, diaita, environment, and your innate system of detoxification and repair.
SOURCE: Leape LL. Error in medicine. Journal of the American medical Association. 1994; vol 272: pp 1851-1857.
A WORD OF CAUTION
Any practices or advice given in this publication are not intended to replace the services of your physician, or to provide an alternative to professional medical treatment.