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SUBJECT: Reading notes vit C cures some cancers, Nov, 2015 from Roc Nutrition Investigator

Here are answers to reader' questions and notes from other readings related to nutrition, aging, and brains.

Vitamin C could target some common cancers - Decades ago, Nobel Prize–winning chemist Linus Pauling was relegated to the fringes of medicine after championing the idea that vitamin C could combat a host of medical conditions, including cancer. Now, a study published online this week by Science reports that vitamin C can kill tumor cells that carry a common cancer-causing mutation and, in mice, can curb the growth of tumors with the mutation. If the findings hold up in people, researchers may have found a way to treat a large swath of tumors that have lacked effective drugs. Because high dose vitamin C is already known to be safe, clinical trials to test this idea could move ahead quickly. ED. NOTE - Please see my poster 175 on a clinical trial I seek funding for to treat superficial bladder carcinoma with vitamin C.

Breastmilk helps neonatal microbiome - Science 28 June 2015 pg 1427 Commensal bacteria underlie, in part, our nutritional status, immune function, and psychological well-being. The trillions of beneficial microbes within our intestinal tract convert dietary nutrients, inhibit pathogen colonization, regulate immune processes, and produce neural signals.  Probiotic dietary supplements contain live beneficial microbes hoped to subsequently colonize the gut. Prebiotic nutrients are thought to enhance good gastrointestinal microflora by preferentially nourishing beneficial microbes. Even “psychobiotics” are being explored to ameliorate symptoms of psychiatric illness. How to most effectively be the landscape architects of our microbial community, however, often remains unclear. An opportunity to gain insights into how natural selection has shaped the coevolution of hosts and microbes can be found in mammalian mother-infant dyads, as our microbiota are ecologically engineered by mothers and breastmilk. 

Pg 1441 Low doses of vitamin B12 supplements can help acne, but in higher doses they can cause flareups.

Methionine supplementation attenuates drug seeking behavior - Epigenetic mechanisms, such as histone modifications, regulate responsiveness to drugs of abuse. Supplementation with the amino acid methionine reduced locomotor-activating and drug-seeking behavior to rats addicted to cocaine.

Designing a sustainable diet, great article to help cut down your weight, 4-legged meat and almond consumption -  Only 4% of Americans meet the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), and fewer than 40% of American adults meet the healthy weight recommendation. Nevertheless, DGAs have tangible influence on federal programs. DGAs inform meal content for example, for (i) military personnel; (ii) 8.6 million needy Americans served by the Women, Infants, and Children program; and (iii) 31 million children served through the National School Lunch Program. DGAC recommended that the government do a better job aligning federal nutrition assistance programs [e.g., the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)] with DGAs.  If DGAC's recommendation is upheld, it would affect 47 million SNAP recipients and billions of dollars annually in government spending. The SNAP debate surely contributes to the DGA controversy. SUSTAINABILITY. FAO defines sustainable diets as those with “low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and healthy life for present and future generations” (4). By this or any other definition of sustainability, no country has achieved a sustainable diet. POLITICAL MANUEVERING. We believe the issue of scope is not the overarching concern but a political maneuver to excise sustainability from dietary discussions for four reasons. First, many industry leaders do not want any food disparaged, and a DGA process that evaluates sustainability will likely lead to conclusions that some foods are better than others. The meat industry feels especially under attack. Much discussion of sustainable diets has focused on the increase in livestock production that will result from population growth and adoption of Western-style diets by an expanding middle class in the developing world. Whether from a health perspective (e.g., reducing coronary heart disease) or an environmental perspective (e.g., reducing methane emissions and deforestation) the dietary advice is the same: eat less meat (7). But reducing discussion to a meat-focused debate ignores larger points around food production. For example, it takes up to 2.8 liters of water to produce a single “heart-healthy” almond (9). 

The hazards of free radicals and carb consumption explained - Inadvertent modifications of proteins by metabolites have been implicated in numerous disorders, including inflammation, diabetes, and human aging. Accumulated stable modifications on long-lived proteins (such as collagen and crystallin) may play a role in diseases of aging. Such modifications have therefore been called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) (7). 

Obstructive sleep apnea as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.

To solve the world’s agricultural and food challenges, the future is seaweed! New Yorker, Nov 2, pg 42

To provide the safest, cleanest, least expensive energy to solve the world’s future demand, the answer is thorium and nuclear waste fueled molten salt nuclear energy!  Dave Dobson lecture, Oct 27
READER’S QUESTION: Here is a review of articles describing what to do about Crohn’s disease (and other diseases involving inflammation, esp. of the GI tract). 

Reported about Maret Traber, LPI, Nov 3 - Obese people need to have a diet rich in vitamin E as they require more than normal levels of the vitamin and at the same time they get less of it, suggests new research. While their weight and other problems cause increased oxidative stress, those same problems actually reduce their effective use of vitamin E, the study pointed out. This vitamin is found at highest levels in some foods such as nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Chronic deficiency in vitamin E could compound the wide range of diseases known to be associated with metabolic syndrome, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and cancer, the study pointed out.

Chondroitin/Glucosamine help for knee pain - Conducted for 16 weeks in 100 Japanese subjects (age, 51.8±0.8 years) with knee pain. Subjects were randomly assigned to one supplement containing 1) 1,200 mg of glucosamine hydrochloride, 60 mg of chondroitin sulfate, 45 mg of type II collagen peptides, 90 mg of quercetin glycosides, 10 mg of imidazole peptides, and 5 µg of vitamin D per day (GCQID group, n=50). In subjects with knee pain, GCQID supplementation was effective for relieving knee pain and improving locomotor functions.

Reader’s question: does alcohol kill brain cells? Observational studies have consistently found that moderate alcohol consumption (no more than two alcoholic drinks/day for men and no more than one alcoholic drink/day for women) is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, and lowered risks of coronary heart disease (CHD) and ischemic stroke,  with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes,dementia, and gallstones, as well as with improved bone mineral density
Heavy alcohol consumption (8)

  • Men: More than 14 standard alcoholic drinks/week or more than 4 standard alcoholic drinks in a day
  • Women: More than 7 standard alcoholic drinks/week or more than 3 standard alcoholic drinks in a day*

Chronic heavy alcohol use and alcohol dependence are associated with detrimental effects on the brain and its function, especially memory and executive functions (170). Alcoholics have been observed to suffer from cerebral atrophy (shrinkage of brain tissue), which likely contributes to alcohol-associated dementia and cognitive impairment (94). In contrast to the progressive cerebral atrophy observed in Alzheimer’s disease, alcohol-related cerebral atrophy may decrease after a period of abstinence. Alcohol-related brain disorders may be associated with nutritional deficiencies like thiamin (171) or niacin (172).
See full article with references here.

Reader’s question: how much cancer does 4 legged and processed meat cause?
Red meat refers to all mammalian muscle meat, including, beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, and goat.  Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation.  An international advisory committee that met in 2014 recommended red meat and processed meat as high priorities for evaluation by the IARC Monographs Programme. This recommendation linked here was based on epidemiological studies suggesting that small increases in the risk of several cancers may be associated with high consumption of red meat or processed meat. The strongest, but still limited, evidence for an association with eating red meat is for colorectal cancer. The IARC Working Group concluded that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer. An association with stomach cancer was also seen, but the evidence is not conclusive.   About 34 000 cancer deaths per year worldwide are attributable to diets high in processed meat. Diets high in red meat could be responsible for 50 000 cancer deaths per year worldwide.  These numbers contrast with about 1 million cancer deaths per year globally due to tobacco smoking, 600 000 per year due to alcohol consumption, and more than 200 000 per year due to air pollution.

Cognitive enhancement drugs and transcranial stimulation likely hazardous  - stimulants such as amphetamine and methylphenidate (sold under trade names such as Adderall and Ritalin, respectively) are widely used for nonmedical reasons. In studies, these drugs had no significant effects. although they differed minimally from nonusers on attention task performance, they exhibited substantially greater differences in motivation and worse study habits, along with more depressed mood.  Another drug used for cognitive enhancement is modafinil (trade name Provigil). Best known for its ability to preserve alertness and cognitive function under conditions of sleep deprivation, it may also enhance aspects of cognition in rested individuals. A recent literature review of the cognitive effects of modafinil found a range of outcomes: enhancement, null effects, and occasionally impairment.  The newest trend in cognitive enhancement is the use of transcranial electric stimulation. One recent attempt to synthesize the literature with meta-analysis concluded that tDCS has no effect whatsoever on a wide range of cognitive abilities.

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
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“They say every piece of bacon takes 8 minutes off your life. I should have died in like  1752.” Heather Archuletta, NASA, re WHO finding meat causes cancer.

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