Got the facts on Milk?

Got the facts on Milk? The Milk Documentary (2011) is an entertaining, award winning feature documentary that dares to question the conventional wisdom of the much publicized health benefits of milk and dairy products. Addressing myth, truth and all in-between, the film is a humorous yet shocking exposition that provokes serious thought about this everyday staple.

The film raises questions about dairy’s role in cancer, osteoporosis, weight gain, asthma, acne, early menstruation, and more; covers the preponderance of lactose intolerance in communities of color, and explains why diary consumption is fraught with high-stakes political, economic, ethical and environmental considerations.

The most profound question that the movie raises is “should we be consuming dairy products?” Well if you believe the experts in the movie the answer is a resounding, NO!

Learn more at www.MilkDocumentary.com

Omega-3 Intake Heightens Working Memory in Healthy Young Adults

University of Pittsburgh researchers publish first-ever Omega-3 study on a population at the “top of its cognitive game”. 

While Omega-3 essential fatty acids—found in foods like wild fish and grass-fed livestock—are necessary for human body functioning, their effects on the working memory of healthy young adults have not been studied until now.

In the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have determined that healthy young adults ages 18-25 can improve their working memory even further by increasing their Omega-3 fatty acid intake. Their findings have been published online in PLOS One.

“Before seeing this data, I would have said it was impossible to move young healthy individuals above their cognitive best,” said Bita Moghaddam, project investigator and professor of neuroscience. “We found that members of this population can enhance their working memory performance even further, despite their already being at the top of their cognitive game.”

Led by Rajesh Narendarn, project principal investigator and associate professor of radiology, the Pitt research team sought healthy young men and women from all ethnicities to boost their Omega-3 intake with supplements for six months. They were monitored monthly through phone calls and outpatient procedures.

Before they began taking the supplements, all participants underwent positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, and their blood samples were analyzed. They were then asked to perform a working memory test in which they were shown a series of letters and numbers. The young adults had to keep track of what appeared one, two, and three times prior, known as a simple “n-back test.”

“What was particularly interesting about the presupplementation n-back test was that it correlated positively with plasma Omega-3,” said Moghaddam. “This means that the Omega-3s they were getting from their diet already positively correlated with their working memory.”

After six months of taking Lovaza—an Omega-3 supplement approved by the Federal Drug Administration—the participants were asked to complete this series of outpatient procedures again. It was during this last stage, during the working memory test and blood sampling, that the improved working memory of this population was revealed.

“So many of the previous studies have been done with the elderly or people with medical conditions, leaving this unique population of young adults unaddressed,” said Matthew Muldoon, project coinvestigator and associate professor of medicine at Pitt. “But what about our highest-functioning periods? Can we help the brain achieve its full potential by adapting our healthy behaviors in our young adult life? We found that we absolutely can.”

Although the effects of Omega-3s on young people were a focus, the Pitt team was also hoping to determine the brain mechanism associated with Omega-3 regulation. Previous rodent studies suggested that removing Omega-3 from the diet might reduce dopamine storage (the neurotransmitter associated with mood as well as working memory) and decrease density in the striatal vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 (commonly referred to as VMAT2, a protein associated with decision making). Therefore, the Pitt researchers posited that increasing VMAT2 protein was the mechanism of action that boosted cognitive performance. Unfortunately, PET imaging revealed this was not the case.

“It is really interesting that diets enriched with Omega-3 fatty acid can enhance cognition in highly functional young individuals,” said Narendarn. “Nevertheless, it was a bit disappointing that our imaging studies were unable to clarify the mechanisms by which it enhances working memory.”

Ongoing animal modeling studies in the Moghaddam lab indicate that brain mechanisms that are affected by Omega-3s may be differently influenced in adolescents and young adults than they are in older adults. With this in mind, the Pitt team will continue to evaluate the effect of Omega-3 fatty acids in this younger population to find the mechanism that improves cognition.

Other Pitt researchers involved in the project include William G. Frankle, professor of psychiatry, and Neal S. Mason, research assistant professor of radiology.

 

Reference

Narendran R, Frankle WG, Mason NS, Muldoon MF, Moghaddam B. Improved working memory but no effect on striatal vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 after omega-3 polyunsaturated Fatty Acid supplementation. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46832. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046832. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Branding Illness

Pharmaceutical companies have an important role in providing us with the medication we need. But if one looks closely, it becomes obvious that this industry sells fewer drugs than…diseases, since the best way to multiply their earnings is to continuously invent new diseases, make us all feel that we are sick and in need of cures or prevention.

A woman in the grip of pre-menstrual dysphoric disease slams grocery carts outside a supermarket in frustration. A concerned young Japanese woman asks her husband if he has ever been happy. Peppy actors in lab coats reassure the audience that depression is like “a cold of the soul.”

These are scenes from some of the many pharmaceutical ads that pepper Maladies à vendre/Branding Illness (2010), a French eye-opening documentary about how big drug companies create diseases and then supply the medications that can cure them.

It’s a reversal of the traditional approach—trying to discover a drug that cures an illness—and one that relies far more heavily on marketing than on research.

The film offers case after startling case of how big pharma creates the conversation around new diseases and then offers up the solutions. Take pre-menstrual dysphoric disease. It appeared right about the time the patent on Prozac was about to expire, representing a significant loss of income. Enter PMDD. Prozac manufacturer Eli Lilly rebranded the drug, changed its colour, jacked up the price, and had a potentially profitable new medication to sell as a treatment for a disease few had ever heard of before.

Featuring at times acerbic commentary from experts including physicians, historians and medical anthropologists (among them maverick academic David Healy), BRANDING ILLNESS offers unprecedented insight into the ways illnesses and their potential cures are marketed. No claim seems too outrageous—whether it’s convincing the Japanese they have widespread depression, urging millions of healthy adults they need medication to lower their cholesterol, or even proposing that all adults over 50 take a “poly-pill” to lower their risk of common diseases.

In one particularly striking segment, a member of the Dutch Institute for Rational Use of Medicine recounts how her group pretended to represent a pharmaceutical company and created a fake awareness campaign for a drug to treat excessive flatulence. Their brochures were welcomed in doctors’ offices, their posters hung in medical centres, and television news reported on the “problem” and the treatment available.

The Internet is supposed to make medical information more accessible, but as the film points out, it’s very hard to know who is behind the information users find. A seemingly innocuous awareness campaign could be part of an expensive PR effort. Antoine Vial of the French Health Regulatory Agency puts a campaign for ankylosing spondylitis under the microscope, and finds that what it doesn’t say may be more revealing than what it does.

And if it’s hard for consumers to get access to objective opinions, it’s no easier for independent-minded academics. Medical anthropologist Kalman Applbaum says 80% of clinical trials and 97% of the most influential clinical trials are commercially funded.

Even science has become a tool to advance the sales of drugs.

Zinc and Inflammation

Zinc deficiency affects nearly 2 billion people in the developing world resulting in growth retardation, hypogonadism, immune dysfunction and cognitive impairment. Additionally, the roles of this divalent cation in the human body have not been clearly elucidated, since the essentiality of zinc has only been known within the last 50 years. However, it has been clearly documented that the supplementation of zinc improves many conditions such as; acute diarrhea in children, the common cold, infections in the elderly, oxidative stress and generation of inflammatory cytokines. Janet Ludwig, Ph.D. has worked in this area of study specifically modifying cellular injury by zinc supplementation.

This presentation from a webinar in May 2012 explore the following areas in order to begin to understand the therapeutic role of zinc in many inflammatory conditions:

•             Zinc roles in the body-metalloenzymes

•             Zinc as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent

•             Membrane stabilization by zinc

•             Inflammatory diseases ameliorated by zinc supplementation.

 

 

Janet Ludwig, PhD

Janet Ludwig, PhD has worked in the area of zinc and inflammation for more than 25 years. She was at the Division of Surgical Biology at the Arizona Health Sciences Center studying zinc and cell injury induced by alcohol and carbon tetrachloride, an effective hepatotoxin. Additionally, she studied the mechanisms and structural identification of the potent class of inflammatory mediators, Platelet-Activating Factors (PAFs), at the Department of Pathology, University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio. She has taught courses in inflammation, biochemistry and nutrition at various Universities. She also travels to Bangkok, Thailand to give nutritional advice in a non-governmental organization that aids in improving the conditions for impoverished women and their children. Currently she is on the Hawthorn University faculty.

 

Good Diets Fight Bad Alzheimer Genes

Diets high in fish oil have a beneficial effect in patients at risk

Scientists today agree that there are five molecules that are known to affect or cause Alzheimer’s disease, which plagues an estimated five million Americans. The potency of these molecules is linked to environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle.

Professor Daniel Michaelson of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Neurobiologyat the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences has illuminating news about one of these five molecules — APOE, created by the apolipoprotein E gene found in all of our bodies.

Professor Michaelson says APOE comes in two forms, a “good” APOE gene and a “bad” APOE gene, called APOE4. He has developed animal models to investigate the effects of diet and environment on carriers of APOE4, the presence of which is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s. It appears in 50% of all Alzheimer’s patients, and in 15% of the general population which due to APOE4 is the population which is at risk of getting the disease.

The good news? A diet high in Omega 3 oils and low in cholesterol appears to significantly reduce the negative effects of the APOE4 gene in mouse models.

Exercise is not enough — and may be worse

Prof. Daniel Michaelson

In differentiating between the good and bad variants of the APOE gene, Professor Michaelson and his team studied many variables. They determined that while a rich and stimulating environment is good for carriers of “good” APOE, the same environment has a negative effect on those at risk for Alzheimer’s because they carry the APOE4 gene. While this environment stimulated the formation of new neuronal connections in the “good APOE” mice, it caused the death of brain neurons in the “bad APOE” mice. The stimulating environment included running wheels and tubes for hiding and sliding, as well as ropes and other toys for the mice to play on, replaced and updated with new toys weekly. Those in a non-stimulating environment had access to no toys at all.

“Conditions that are generally considered good can be harmful if the mouse is a carrier of the APOE4 gene. Extrapolating this to the human population, individuals with the bad APOE4 gene are more susceptible to stress caused by an environment that stimulates their brain,” says Professor Michaelson.

The following is an abstract of a study by the research group of Professor Michaelson. The study is published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (2012; 28 (3): 667-83):

“Apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) is the most prevalent genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Epidemiological studies revealed that consumption of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA: 22 : 6 (ω3)), a major brain polyunsaturated fatty acid, is protective for AD and that elevated cholesterol levels are an AD risk factor. We presently investigated the extent to which the pathological effects of apoE4 in vivo can be prevented by consuming fish oil (DHA) or can be modified by cholesterol. Accordingly, apoE3- and apoE4-targeted replacement mice were subjected, following weaning, to a fish oil dietenriched in DHA and to a cholesterol-containing diet under regular and enriched environments. Cholesterol metabolism in the hippocampus and the corresponding phospholipid and fatty acid levels were affected by fish oil (DHA) and cholesterol diets and by environmental stimulation. Importantly, cholesterol metabolism and the fatty acid levels were not affected by apoE4. The phospholipid levels were, however, affected by apoE4. This effect was most pronounced in the cholesterol-fed mice and was abolished by the fish oil (DHA) diet. ApoE4 elevated hippocampal intraneuronal amyloid-β levels under regular conditions and lowered them following environmental stimulation, relative to those of the apoE3 mice. ApoE4 also elevated the levels of the presynaptic transporters Vglut and Vgat, and decreased behavioral performance in an object recognition test. Importantly, all of these apoE4 phenotypes were abolished by the fish oil (DHA) diet, whereas the cholesterol diet modified them. These findings suggest that a fish oil (DHA)diet could be used to attenuate the effects of apoE4 in AD.”

When it’s good, it’s good

“The main take-away message here is that good diets can alleviate the effects of bad genes. Of course nutritionists have had this general idea for a while, but it’s nice to be able to show that this approach can be applied to specifically counteract the negative effects of Alzheimer’s disease-related genes,” says Professor Michaelson.

 

 Reference

Kariv-Inbal Z, Yacobson S, Berkecz R, Peter M, Janaky T, Lütjohann D, Broersen LM, Hartmann T, Michaelson DM. The isoform-specific pathological effects of apoE4 in vivo are prevented by a fish oil (DHA) diet and are modified by cholesterol. J Alzheimers Dis 2012; 28 (3): 667-83.

 

A Diet High in Choline During Pregnancy May Mean Less Stress for Baby

New research from Cornell University indicates that pregnant women who increase choline intake in the third trimester of pregnancy may reduce the risk of the baby developing metabolic and chronic stress-related diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes later in life (1). The results, published in the latest edition of the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (The FASEB Journal), suggest that choline, a nutrient found in high quantities in eggs, may help protect against the effects of a mother’s stress during pregnancy (1).

Previous research indicates high exposure to the stress hormone cortisol during pregnancy, often due to maternal anxiety or depression, may make offspring vulnerable to stress-induced illness and chronic conditions (2, 3). This finding adds to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the importance of choline in fetal development.

A Closer Look at the Study

Twenty-four women in the third trimester of pregnancy were randomly assigned to consume either 480 milligrams (mg) choline per day or 930 mg per day for 12 weeks prior to delivery. Researchers collected maternal and placental blood samples as well as samples of placental tissue. They then compared cortisol levels and genetic differences among all the samples. The researchers observed lower levels of cortisol in the placental cord and changes in cortisol-regulating genes in both the placental and fetal tissue among women in the higher choline intake group. “The study findings raise the exciting possibility that a higher maternal choline intake may counter some of the adverse effects of prenatal stress on behavioral, neuroendocrine, and metabolic development in the offspring,” says Marie Caudill, PhD, Cornell University, who is an author of the study and a leading choline researcher.

Choline: A Vital Nutrient

Choline is especially important for pregnant women – it has been shown to play an important role in fetal and infant brain development, affecting the areas of the brain responsible for memory and life-long learning ability. In addition, research shows women with diets low in choline have four times greater risk of having babies with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida (4).

Emerging research also shows choline may have additional benefits in other areas, including:

  • Breast cancer prevention: A study funded by the National Institutes of Health concluded that dietary choline is associated with a 24 percent reduced risk of breast cancer (5).
  • Anti-inflammatory: Foods rich in choline may help reduce the risk of inflammation associated with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, bone loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (6).
  • Brain function: Choline also promotes adult brain function by preserving the structure of brain cell membranes and is an essential component of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter involved in memory function and muscle control (7).

The Incredible Excellent Source of Choline

Despite its important role in the body, only one in 10 Americans is meeting the Adequate Intake (AI) guidelines for choline (8). Eggs are an excellent source of choline, containing 125 mg per egg. Neva Cochran, registered dietitian and nutrition communications consultant, explains that the nutritional benefits of eggs are not merely limited to choline. “Not only are eggs an excellent source of choline, they contain many other nutrients pregnant women need most, such as high-quality protein, iron and folate—all for just about 15 cents apiece,” says Cochran.

In order to get adequate amounts of choline, Cochran suggests the following tips:

  • Find it in Food: A great way to get your daily dose of choline is to include choline-rich foods in the diet, such as eggs, lean beef, cauliflower and peanuts. Also keep in mind most multivitamins, even prenatal vitamins, provide far less than the Adequate Intake for choline.
  • Don’t Skip the Yolk: Choline is found exclusively in the egg yolk, not the white. Nearly half of the protein and most of the vitamins and minerals are also contained in the yolk.

 

References

1. Jiang, X., J. Yan, A. A. West, C. A. Perry, O. V. Malysheva, S. Devapatla, E. Pressman, F. Vermeylen, and M. A. Caudill. Maternal choline intake alters the epigenetic state of fetal cortisol-regulating genes in humans. FASEB J 2012; 26: 3563-3574.

2. Levitt, N. S., Lindsay, R. S., Holmes, M. C., and Seckl, J. R. Dexamethasone in the last week of pregnancy attenuates hippocampal glucocorticoid receptor gene expression and elevates blood pressure in the adult offspring in the rat. Neuroendocrinology 1996; 64: 412.

3. Levitt, N. S., Lambert, E. V., Woods, D., Hales, C. N., Andrew, R., and Seckl, J. R. Impaired glucose tolerance and elevated blood pressure in low birth weight, nonobese, young South African adults: early programming of cortisol axis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2000; 85: 4611.

4. Shaw GM, et al. Periconceptional dietary intake of choline and betaine and neural tube defects in offspring. Am J Epidemiol 2004; 160: 102-9.

5. Xu X, et al. Choline metabolism and risk of breast cancer in population-based study. FASEB J 2008; 22: 1-8.

6. Cho E, et al. Dietary choline and betaine assessed by food-frequency questionnaire in relation to plasma total homocysteine concentration in the Framingham Offspring Study. AJCN 2006; 83: 905-11.

6. Cho E, et al. Dietary choline and betaine assessed by food-frequency questionnaire in relation to plasma total homocysteine concentration in the Framingham Offspring Study. AJCN 2006; 83: 905-11.

7. Moeller SM, et al. The Potential Role of Dietary Xanthophylls in Cataract and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. J Am Coll Nutr 2000; 19 (5): 522S-527S.

8. Jensen HH, et al. Choline in the diets of the US population: NHANES, 2003-2004. Abstract presented at Experimental Biology 2007.

 

Hard Metals Disease

“If I poisoned someone, they would put me away for life, but the company I worked for poisoned me and got away with it,” says a disabled worker.

Hard Metals Disease (1987) is the shocking story of the Valenite Corporation, a subsidiary of General Telephone and Electric (GTE) and an international corporation with factories in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. This investigative documentary spent four years tracking Valenite activities. Did Valenite knowingly expose its workers to hazardous substances? What happens to jobs and workers when factories move to Mexico? The trail of dead and sick workers Valenite left behind raises questions about corporate responsibility.

As a correspondent for NBC’s Today Show, Jon Alpert consistently brought investigative reporting on controversial social issues to commercial television. This Emmy® Award winning documentary examines “Hard Metals Disease,” cobalt poisoning among workers in the tungsten carbide machine tool industry. Alpert focuses on workers suffering from this debilitating, incurable lung disease who were exposed to cobalt dust at three plants of the Valenite Metals Corporation. Establishing a close rapport with the workers as they tell their own stories of Valenite’s negligence and subsequent cover-up, Alpert departs from standard television reportage in his powerful and unapologetic indictment of industry.

 

Biochemical Individuality

The Basis for the Genetotrophic Concept

Roger J. Williams (1893 – 1988) was an American professor of chemistry, which named folic acid and discovered pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). He was founder and director of the Clayton Foundation Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas which, under his directorship, was responsible for more vitamin related discoveries than any other laboratory in the world. Dr. Williams was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and President of the American Chemical Society.

Roger J. Williams also developed the concept of genetotrophic disease. According to him, the following thesis formed the basis of this new approach to nutrition:

“the nutritional microenvironment of our body cells is crucially important to our health, and deficiencies in this enviromnent consititute a major cause of disease.”

In 1956 Dr. Williams published the groundbreaking work Biochemical Individuality, which is only now coming to be accepted and understood by the medical community. Until now, generalized dietary recommendations like the RDAs were the norm. This timeless classic links our biological diversity with individual nutritional needs and shows you how to determine and meet those needs for optimal well-being.

This version of Biochemical Individuality was reprinted in 1989 by Keats Publishing, New Canaan, Connecticut. The book has a new introduction by Jeffrey S. Bland, Ph.D.

Embedly Powered

via Scribd

 

Link to the text version of this audio presentation from the Ludwig von Mises Institute

 

Read More 

Roger J. Williams: Pioneer in Biochemistry, Nutrition, Biochemical Individuality, and Public Education. Biochemical Institute, The University of Texas, Austin (website)

Roger J. Williams, Wikipedia article

 

Increase in RDA for Vitamin C Could Help Reduce Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancer

The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, of vitamin C is less than half what it should be, scientists argue in a recent report, because medical experts insist on evaluating this natural, but critical nutrient in the same way they do pharmaceutical drugs and reach faulty conclusions as a result.

The researchers, in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, say there’s compelling evidence that the RDA of vitamin C should be raised to 200 milligrams per day for adults, up from its current levels in the United States of 75 milligrams for women and 90 for men.

Rather than just prevent the vitamin C deficiency disease of scurvy, they say, it’s appropriate to seek optimum levels that will saturate cells and tissues, pose no risk, and may have significant effects on public health at almost no expense – about a penny a day if taken as a dietary supplement.

“It’s time to bring some common sense to this issue, look at the totality of the scientific evidence, and go beyond some clinical trials that are inherently flawed,” said Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, and one of the world’s leading experts on the role of vitamin C in optimum health.

“Significant numbers of people in the U.S. and around the world are deficient in vitamin C, and there’s growing evidence that more of this vitamin could help prevent chronic disease,” Frei said. “The way clinical researchers study micronutrients right now, with the same type of so-called ‘phase three randomized placebo-controlled trials’ used to test pharmaceutical drugs, almost ensures they will find no beneficial effect. We need to get past that.”

Unlike testing the safety or function of a prescription drug, the researchers said, such trials are ill suited to demonstrate the disease prevention capabilities of substances that are already present in the human body and required for normal metabolism. Some benefits of micronutrients in lowering chronic disease risk also show up only after many years or even decades of optimal consumption of vitamin C – a factor often not captured in shorter-term clinical studies.

A wider body of metabolic, pharmacokinetic, laboratory and demographic studies suggests just the opposite, that higher levels of vitamin C could help reduce the chronic diseases that today kill most people in the developed world – heart disease, stroke, cancer, and the underlying issues that lead to them, such as high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, poor immune response and atherosclerosis.

“We believe solid research shows the RDA should be increased,” Frei said. “And the benefit-to-risk ratio is very high. A 200 milligram intake of vitamin C on a daily basis poses absolutely no risk, but there is strong evidence it would provide multiple, substantial health benefits.”

An excellent diet with the recommended five to nine daily servings of fruits and raw or steam-cooked vegetables, together with a six-ounce glass of orange juice, could provide 200 milligrams of vitamin C a day. But most Americans and people around the world do not have an excellent diet.

Even at the current low RDAs, various studies in the U.S. and Canada have found that about a quarter to a third of people are marginally deficient in vitamin C, and up to 20 percent in some populations are severely deficient – including college students, who often have less-than-perfect diets. Smokers and older adults are also at significant risk.

Even marginal deficiency can lead to malaise, fatigue, and lethargy, researchers note. Healthier levels of vitamin C can enhance immune function, reduce inflammatory conditions such as atherosclerosis, and significantly lower blood pressure.

  • A recent analysis of 29 human studies concluded that daily supplements of 500 milligrams of vitamin C significantly reduced blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and directly attributes to an estimated 400,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
  • A study in Europe of almost 20,000 men and women found that mortality from cardiovascular disease was 60 percent lower when comparing the blood plasma concentration of vitamin C in the highest 20 percent of people to the lowest 20 percent.
  • Another research effort found that men with the lowest serum vitamin C levels had a 62 percent higher risk of cancer-related death after a 12-16 year period, compared to those with the highest vitamin C levels.

Laboratory studies with animals – which may be more accurate than human studies because they can be done in controlled conditions and with animals of identical genetic makeup – can document reasons that could explain all of these findings, Frei said.

Critics have suggested that some of these differences are simply due to better overall diet, not vitamin C levels, but the scientists noted in this report that some health benefits correlate even more strongly to vitamin C plasma levels than fruit and vegetable consumption.

Scientists in France and Denmark collaborated on this report. Research at OSU on these issues has been supported by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

 

Reference 

Frei B, Birlouez-Aragon I, Lykkesfeldt J. Authors’ Perspective: What is the Optimum Intake of Vitamin C in Humans? Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2012; 52 (9): 815-29.

 

Fukushima Radiation Release is Worse than You Have Been Told

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

by Steve Hickey, PhD; Atsuo Yanagisawa, MD, PhD; Andrew W. Saul, PhD; Gert E. Schuitemaker, PhD; Damien Downing, MD

People have been misinformed about the tragedy at Fukushima and its consequences. There is a continuing cover up, the reactors have not been stabilized, and radiation continues to be released. The Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy (JCIT) has recently released a video for people wishing to learn more about how to protect themselves from contamination by taking large doses of vitamin C.

 

 

Japanese Government Minimizes Danger; Ignores Vitamin C

In the fall of 2011, JCIT presented a study that Fukushima workers had abnormality gene expression, which may be avoided using dietary antioxidants, especially vitamin C. The data was presented in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. The JCIT sent letters to the government urging the government to tell the people how they may protect themselves from radiation. To date, the recommendation has been ignored by Japanese government and TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company).

Linus Pauling gained the Nobel Peace Prize in part based on his calculations of the number of deaths from nuclear weapons fallout (1). He was supported by physicist and father of the Soviet bomb Andrei Sakharov, who also later received the Nobel Prize for peace (2). These and other scientists estimated that there would be an extra 10,000 deaths worldwide for each megaton nuclear test in the atmosphere. A nuclear reactor can contain much more radioactive material than a nuclear weapon. Fukushima had six reactors, plus stored additional radioactive material and nuclear waste.

How Radiation Damages Cells

Ionizing radiation acts to damage living tissue by forming free radicals. Essentially, electrons are ripped from molecules. Removing an electron from an atom or molecule turns it into an ion, hence the term ionizing radiation. X-rays, gamma rays, alpha- and beta-radiation are all ionizing.

Most of the damage occurs from ionizing radiation generating free radicals in water, as water molecules are by far the most abundant in the body. While avoiding unnecessary exposure to ionizing radiation is clearly preferable, people affected by Fukushima do not have the luxury of avoiding contamination.

Antioxidants: Free-Radical Scavengers

Free-radical scavengers, as the name suggests, mop up the damaging radicals produced by radiation. The more common term for free radical scavenger is antioxidant. Antioxidants replace the electrons stripped from molecules by ionizing radiation. Antioxidants have long been used in the treatment of radiation poisoning (3-7). Most of the harm from ionizing radiation occurs from free radical damage which may be quenched by the free electrons antioxidants provide. Fortunately, safe antioxidants are widely available as nutritional supplements. Vitamin C is the prime example.

Why Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is of particular importance and should be included at high intakes for anyone trying to minimize radiation poisoning. High dose vitamin C provides continual antioxidant flow through the body. It is absorbed from the gut and helps to replenish the other antioxidants. When it is used up, it is excreted in the urine. Importantly, it can chelate, or grab onto, radioactive heavy metal atoms and help eliminate them from the body. Large dynamic flow doses of vitamin C (about 3,000 mg, taken 4 times a day for a total of 12,000 mg) would exemplify antioxidant treatment. Higher doses have been used by Dr. Atsuo Yanagisawa and colleagues (8-9).

Shortly after the disaster, Dr. Damien Downing described how supplements can help protect against radioactive fallout (10). OMNS issued an update on the response to Fukushima in Japan (11). Recently, Dr. Gert Schuitemaker has provided a review of vitamin C as a radio-protectant for Fukushima contamination (12).

Persons living in the areas affected by radioactive contamination can take antioxidant supplements, especially high doses of vitamin C, to counteract the negative consequences of long-term low dose radiation exposure, as well as to protect the health of coming generations.(12, 13). People who have a possible internal or external radiation exposure should take antioxidant supplements to maintain an optimal antioxidant reserve. Because of the enormous size and oceanic spread of Fukushima contamination, this literally applies to everyone.

(Orthomolecular Medicine News ServiceMay 14, 2012)

 

“The International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine is pleased to have participated in the making of this important DVD on the protective effects of intravenous vitamin C on radiation exposure from the Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011. We are in full support of the valuable work of Dr. Yanagisawa and his colleagues, and we very much appreciate the commitment of Mr. Daisuke Shibata, who has made it possible for the free distribution of the video around the world. May this orthomolecular message raise awareness and foster improvement in the treatment of radiation exposure.”

Steven Carter
Director, International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine

 

References

1. The Nobel Foundation (1962) The Nobel Peace Prize 1962, Linus Pauling Biography.

2. Sakharov A. (1975) The Nobel Peace Prize 1975, Andrei Sakharov, Autobiography.

3. Brown SL, Kolozsvary A, Liu J, et al: Antioxidant diet supplementation starting 24 hours after exposure reduces radiation lethality. Radiat Res 2010; 173: 462-8.

4. Zueva NA, Metelitsa LA, Kovalenko AN, et al: Immunomodulating effect of berlithione in clean-up workers of the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident [Article in Russian]. Lik Sprava 2002; (1): 24-26.

5. Yamamoto T, Kinoshita M et al. Pretreatment with ascorbic acid prevents lethal gastrointestinal syndrome in mice receiving a massive amount of radiation. J Radiat Res (Tokyo) 2010; 51 (2): 145-56.

6. Gaby A. Intravenous Nutrient Therapy: the “Myers’ Cocktail”. Alt Med Rev 2002; 7 (5): 389:403.

7. Narra VR, Howell RW, Sastry KS, Rao DV. Vitamin C as a radioprotector against iodine-131 in vivo. J Nucl Med 1993; 34 (4): 637-40.

8. Yanagisawa A. Orthomolecular approaches against radiation exposure. Presentation Orthomolecular Medicine Today Conference. Toronto 2011.

9. Green MH, Lowe JE et al. Effect of diet and vitamin C on DNA strand breakage in freshly-isolated human white blood cells. Mutat Res 1994; 316(2):91-102

10. Downing D. (2011) Radioactive Fallout: Can Nutritional Supplements Help? A Personal Viewpoint. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, May 10.

11. OMNS (2012) Vitamin C Prevents Radiation Damage, Nutritional Medicine in Japan. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, February 1.

12. Schuitemaker GE. Vitamin C as protection against radiation exposure. J Orthomolecular Med 2011, 26: 3; 141-145. [Also in Dutch: Schuitemaker G.E. Radioactiviteit in Japan: Orthomoleculair antwoord. Ortho 2011:3, June.

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