One thing I love about functional and naturopathic medicine is the belief that everything in the body is connected. This week’s fun facts provide some fun examples!
Specifically, I highlight three top read picks that include:
- The Sugar-Cancer Connection
- The Immune-Brain Connection
- The Environmental-Heart Connection
Read on to learn more…..
Low Sugar Diet Can Starve Cancer Cells (UCLA)
The following excerpt explains how low sugar diets protect against cancer growth:
Now, in a unique study, a UCLA research team led by Thomas Graeber, a professor of molecular and medical pharmacology, has investigated the reverse aspect: how the metabolism of glucose affects the biochemical signals present in cancer cells.
In research published June 26 in the journal Molecular Systems Biology, Graeber and his colleagues demonstrate that glucose starvation — that is, depriving cancer cells of glucose –activates a metabolic and signaling amplification loop that leads to cancer cell death as a result of the toxic accumulation of reactive oxygen species, the cell-damaging molecules and ions targeted by antioxidants like vitamin C.
Marcus, J. Glucose deprivation activates feedback loop that kills cancer cells, UCLA study shows. 6/26/12. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/researchers-discover-that-glucose-235478.aspx
Immune System Health Linked to Alzheimer’s Risk (Eurekalert)
Here’s another neat research report on how the immune system may affect cognitive function! Read on:
Recent work in mice suggested that the immune system is involved in removing beta-amyloid, the main Alzheimer’s-causing substance in the brain. Researchers have now shown for the first time that this may apply in humans.
Researchers at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter with colleagues in the National Institute on Aging in the USA and in Italy screened the expression levels of thousands of genes in blood samples from nearly 700 people. The telltale marker of immune system activity against beta-amyloid, a gene called CCR2, emerged as the top marker associated with memory in people.
Professor David Melzer, who led the work, commented: “This is a very exciting result. It may be that CCR2-associated immunity could be strengthened in humans to slow Alzheimer’s disease, but much more work will be needed to ensure that this approach is safe and effective”.
Gould, A. Immune system may protect against Alzheimer’s changes. Eurekalert. une 15, 2012. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-06/tpco-ism061512.php
The Real Contributors to Heart Disease (Holistic Primary Care)
Finally, here’s some excerpts from one of my online journals regarding some not so common considerations of heart disease.
Bisphenol A (BPA): This compound, used in the manufacture of plastic food containers and can liners, has insulinogenic effects on human islet cells at very low doses. It can modulate insulin secretion in microgram, and even nanogram concentrations. Several investigators have linked BPA to increased risk of CVD, diabetes and liver dysfunction (Lang IA, et.al. JAMA. 2008;300(11):1303-10. Rej R, Carpenter DO. Environ Health Perspect. 2007 Oct;115(10):1442-7). This is in addition to BPA’s documented estrogenic effects.
Lead: Lead exposure, even as low as 2 mcg/dl, is associated with a 55% increase in CVD, an 89% increase in myocardial infarction and a 151% increase in stroke. What’s really disturbing is that an estimated 39% of the US population has serum lead levels in the range that increases risk (Menke A, et al. Circulation. 2006; 114(13): 1388-94)
Latent Celiac Disease & Leaky Gut: People with latent celiac disease, characterized by positive antibodies or inflammation without villous atrophy, have a 19-35% increased risk of developing CVD. Likewise, people with the so-called “leaky gut syndrome” are also at increased risk.
Endotoxemia & Altered Gut Flora: At first glance it might seem like a stretch that the microbial ecosystem within the GI tract could increase cardiometabolic risk, but a growing body of data is showing just that (Tsai F, Coyle WJ. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2009 Aug;11(4):307-13).
Artificial Sweeteners: The risk of obesity increases 200% with regular use of artificial sweeteners, and the risk of diabetes increase by 67%, said Dr. Hyman. People who use non-nutritive, non-sugar sweeteners may consume fewer “calories” but they tend to gain more weight because the perception of having consumed sugar still triggers insulin release and the full cascade of fat-storage signals. Heavy consumption of artificially-sweetened sodas has been linked to increased abdominal fat and to increased risk of stroke.
Goldman, E. Not-So-Obvious Cardiometabolic Risk Factors Worth Considering. Holistic Primary Care. June 28, 2012.