BLOOD SUGAR DYSREGULATION (DIABETES / PRE-DIABETES) AND IT'S EFFECT ON CONNECTIVE TISSUES (LIGAMENTS, TENDONS, & FASCIARead Now
DIABETES EFFECT ON CONNECTIVE TISSUES
"The correct establishment and maintenance of cell polarity are crucial for normal cell physiology and tissue homeostasis. Conversely, loss of cell polarity, tissue disorganization and excessive cell growth are hallmarks of cancer." From a 2011 issue of Cell Death & Differentiation (Epithelial Cell Polarity: A Major Gatekeeper Against Cancer?)
"Whereas the importance of cell proliferation in cancer is well recognized, the role cell polarity plays is only beginning to be appreciated. If cell proliferation and death are analogous to acceleration and brakes in a car, and metabolism is analogous to fuel, cell polarity can be compared with the steering wheel, which controls direction and maintains spatial relationships in traffic. Improper steering can result in significant damage even to a non-speeding car, and conversely, proper steering can prevent damage to a speeding car. similarly, we posit that loss of control over cell polarity can disrupt normal cell behavior and lead to initiation and progression of cancer." From a 2012 issue of the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology (Cell Polarity As A Regulator of Cancer Cell Behavior Plasticity)
"Epithelial cells possess a distinctive apical–basal polarity and loss of polarity is frequently assumed to be a common feature of cancer progression. A widely accepted paradigm for cancer progression is that epithelial cells undergo a transition, during which they lose apical / basal polarity and become highly migratory. [These cells] penetrate the basement membrane, cross the endothelium and enter the lymphatic system or bloodstream through which they are rapidly disseminated. At ectopic sites in the body, the cells colonize surrounding tissue to form metastases." From a 2013 issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Cell Polarity in Morphogenesis and Metastasis)
"Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related death in women worldwide. The developing mammary gland is a highly proliferative and invasive tissue, and some of the developmental programs may be aberrantly activated to promote breast cancer progression. In the breast, luminal epithelial cells exhibit apical–basal polarity, and the failure to maintain this organizational structure, due to disruption of polarity complexes, is implicated in promoting hyperplasia and tumors." From the June 2016 edition of the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry (Cell Polarity Proteins in Breast Cancer Progression)
This helps explain why we should have a slightly negative overall polarity. If you really want to understand this whole relationship better, read Dr. Sircus' cool article from last December, ELECTROMAGNETIC PROPERTIES OF CANCER. Just remember that none of what you are reading today is 'way out there' or confined to alternative medicine. It's mainstream. In fact, DR. OTTO WARBURG won the Nobel Prize for Medicine back in 1931 for his pioneering work on this topic --- a topic that's getting increasingly wider play with every passing day (HERE). Now lets move on to the relationship of the fascia system to the lymphatic system.
FASCIA, CANCER, AND YOUR LYMPHATICS
Our body is under a constant invasion from every sort of microbe you can imagine. A failure to properly deal with these invaders by our immune system (80% OF WHICH LIVES IN THE GUT) would mean a quick death. The lymph system carries germs or other things that should not be there to the lymph nodes (larger nodules of lymphatic tissue), where they are filtered out. Because B-Cells (white blood cells that make antibodies) and T-CELLS (white blood cells that either eat the bad guys or throttle back on immune response to lessen one's chances of developing AUTOIMMUNITY) live in these nodes, said invaders are recognized, marked for destruction, and wiped out.
For reasons that are not totally clear, once cancer makes it as far as the lymph nodes, it actually has a better chance of survival, which is why finding cancer in lymph nodes is not a good thing. Instead of activating the immune system against cancer like would happen in the presence of germs, cancer in the lymphatics suppresses the immune system. Listen to the first two sentences of Lymphatic Vessels in Cancer Metastasis: Bridging the Gaps, from a 2006 issue of Oxford Academic's Carcinogenesis.
"Distant organ metastasis is the most important factor in determining patient survival in cancer. This is thought to occur via the body's own systems for transporting fluid and cells, the blood vascular and lymphatic systems. Cancer cells may exploit these vascular systems by expressing growth factors, which alter the normal pattern of angiogenesis and lymphatic vessel growth (lymphangiogenesis), thus creating conduits for tumour metastasis."
In a paper presented to 7th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back a Pelvic Pain, Australian massage therapist Peter Lelean (Migratory Fascia - A Role In Ductal Carcinoma In Situ?) wrote, "Treatment of shoulder pain in women revealed common pelvic misalignments and anomalies in upper thoracic myofascia, where distorted strain patterns may inhibit lymphatic function, therefore becoming a risk factor in Ductal Carcinoma In Situ." After talking about the part of the latisimus dorsi not associated with the THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA, he invoked TRAVELL & SIMMONS, quoting them as saying clear back in 1983, "Entrapment of this lymph duct by passage between tense fibers of an involved pectoralis major muscle, may cause edema of the breast. This seems to coincide with the reportedly higher proliferation of ductal accretions in the upper outer quadrant."
Osteopath Steve Matta expounded on this when he said in last year's Lymphatics, "The lymphatic channels course through fascia. Fascia can sometimes be nice and loose or it can be super tight. If all goes well, the lymph is able to move through lymphatic channels without any problems and we can properly fight infections. Let’s think about this for a second…if the lymphatic channels are located in the fascia and the fascia can tighten up, what do you think happens to the flow of lymph when the fascia is tight? That’s right, it slows down." So, beyond things like lymphedema, other problems can occur. Sometimes bad problems.
Something like seven and a half gallons of lymph (interstitial fluid) courses through the lymphatic system each day. A failure to move this fluid means you increase the amount of cellular waste in the body, which causes inflammation, which then EPIGENETICALLY turns on the genes said to cause cancer. In an article called Fascia, Muscles, and the Lymph System, renowned fascia therapist Victoria L. Magown wrote, "Fascia plays an important role with our Lymph System. The majority of our Lymph System lives in the Superficial Fascia right under the skin. The Fascia and Muscles need to be flexible, supple and strong to move the lymph through the lymphatic vessels. This is done by the Fascia and Muscles contracting which constricts the lymphatic vessels and pushes the lymph fluid forward. Check valves prevent the fluid from flowing backward. Since the lymphatic system does not have a heart to pump it, its upward movement depends on the motions of the Fascia, Muscles and pumping joints." The thing is folks, it's not like I haven't shown you all of this previously (SEE MY ARTICLE ON THE PRIMO-LYMPHATIC SYSTEM).
MORE ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FASCIA & CANCER
COULD FIXING YOUR FASCIA HELP WITH CANCER?
"Adipocytes might arise from vascular stromal cells. Here, we identified adipose precursor cells resident in fascia, an uninterrupted sheet of connective tissue that extends throughout the body. Our findings suggest a novel model for the origin of adipocytes from the fascia, which explains both neogenesis and expansion of adipose tissue. Fascial preadipocytes generate adipose cells to form primitive adipose lobules in superficial fascia, a subcutaneous nonadipose tissue. With continuous adipogenesis, these primitive adipose lobules newly formed in superficial fascia may be the rudiment of subcutaneous adipose tissue."
There are any number of studies linking this all together. Two years ago the journal Trends in Biotechnology (Biomechanical and Biochemical Remodeling of Stromal Extracellular Matrix in Cancer) concluded that, "During cancer progression, epithelial cells undergo genetic alterations which, together with stromal changes including ECM remodeling, disturb the homeostatic dynamics of the epithelium. A parallel organization of stromal ECM fibrils is associated with tumorigenic responses. In an emerging paradigm, continuous and progressive regulation via mechanical forces and aberrant signaling are believed to be responsible for tumor-associated ECM remodeling."
A year prior, Research Gate (Tumor Mechanics and Metabolic Dysfunction) said, "Desmosplasia is a characteristic of most solid tumors and leads to fibrosis through abnormal extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition and remodeling. The resulting stiff tumor stroma not only compromises vascular integrity to induce hypoxia, but also promotes aggressiveness by potentiating the activity of key growth, invasion, and survival pathways. Intriguingly, many of the pro-tumorigenic signaling pathways which are mechanically activated by ECM stiffness also promote glucose uptake and aerobic glycolysis, and an altered metabolism is a recognized hallmark of cancer. Indeed, emerging evidence suggests that metabolic alterations and an abnormal ECM may cooperatively drive cancer cell aggression and treatment resistance." Can anyone say Otto Warburg?
On his website 'The Fascianator,' Anthony Chrisco overviewed the first ever Harvard Medical School Joint Conference on Fascia, Cancer and Acupuncture, saying "It is in these pockets of stiffness that the cancer cells grow and proliferate. The end result is the growth of cancerous tumors in the body. Specifically in areas like our pelvis and thorax. I also learned how consistent rolling, yoga, massage and any other form of movement helps our lymphatic system shuttle our cellular waste so can be filtered out and eliminated." Last year, a large group of elite fascia researchers led by Langevin, Keely, Schleip, Findley, and others, published a similar study called Connecting (T)issues: How Research in Fascia Biology Can Impact Integrative Oncology in the journal Cancer Research. Take a gander at some of their cherry-picked conclusions.
"Recent advances in cancer biology are underscoring the importance of connective tissue in the local tumor environment. Inflammation and fibrosis are well-recognized contributors to cancer, and connective tissue stiffness is emerging as a driving factor in tumor growth. Physical-based therapies have been shown to reduce connective tissue inflammation and fibrosis and thus may have direct beneficial effects on cancer spreading and metastasis. Pathologic processes involving chronic inflammation and tissue fibrosis result in stiff connective tissue; this is likely a bidirectional feedback, as emerging evidence points to tissue stiffness itself being a contributor to the fibrotic process. In addition, there is evidence that these factors are important in cancer biology as well. Although the importance of connective tissue or stroma in cancer was first hypothesized over a century ago, cancer research has predominantly focused on the neoplastic transformation of the cancer cells themselves. However, the last decades have seen a growing interest in the factors within the “soil” that may influence cancer growth, such as angiogenesis and inflammation. Indeed there is increasing evidence that inflammation and metabolic abnormalities within the cancer microenvironment are not simply a passive reaction to cancer cells, but can also drive neoplastic transformation. Complementary and integrative treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, and yoga, are used by increasing numbers of cancer patients to manage symptoms and improve their quality of life. In addition, such treatments may have other important and currently overlooked benefits by reducing tissue stiffness and improving mobility."
Why is all of this such a big deal? Think about it this way; not only are we collectively living the high carb lifestyle (HERE ---- REMEMBER THAT SUGAR IS MASSIVELY INFLAMMATORY), which leads to serious tissue densification (a breeding ground for cancer), but medicine's standard cancer therapies (namely chemo and radiation) have devastating effects on connective tissues. I have seen time and time again in my patients that have undergone these treatments that the results leave surrounding tissues hard, tough, thick, and a great deal of the time, generally immobile. Forget for a moment that this causes pain, while realizing it contributes to the vicious cycle of inflammation and cancer. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
For those of you interested in this topic, you could take one of Thomas Findley's (MD / Ph.D / Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Rutgers University) classes on DRY NEEDLING. Or if you want to deal with PATIENTS LIKE THESE, you could take courses from Walter Fritz, a renowned PT from New York who wrote the article, Myofascial Release in the Head and Neck Cancer Patient. As long as the fascia has been dealt with first (HERE), CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS are an incredible neurological and immuno-friendly form of treatment as well. You could even try Polarity Therapy, which was developed just after WWII by Dr. Randolph Stone, an Austrian / American DO, Chiro, and Naturopath. Plus, many people are attacking the ACID (H+) / AKLALI (OH-) conundrum by consuming special kinds of water or alkali foods.
What do I personally recommend to keep your fascia supple, hydrated, and mobile, whether you are fighting cancer, trying to stay cancer-free, or simply looking to stay healthy and pain free? For starters, drink plenty of water (not fluids; water). Secondly, there are a wide variety of self-helps available for working on your own fascia (HERE for instance). Thirdly, pumping your lymphatics may require you to climb on the kid's TRAMPOLINE or maybe use a WHOLE BODY VIBRATION MACHINE. RESISTANCE TRAINING has also shown itself valuable.
And although this list is in no ways complete, there's no substitute for knocking out inflammation at its source (HERE) --- which will require you to eat some sort of ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET. There is also lots of information out there on treatments like CUPPING being used to pump the lymphatics. And would be easy to argue that nothing is more important that stretching (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE). In fact, listen to what a group of ten Harvard researchers, including Dr. Langevin, concluded in a study published in the July 2016 issue of the Journal of Cell Physiology (Stretching Impacts Inflammation Resolution in Connective Tissue).
"It is now well established that acute inflammation is accompanied by an active program of resolution that begins in the first few hours after the onset of inflammation and involves the synthesis of specialized pro-resolving mediators derived from dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids [FISH OIL]. We developed a method by which rats and mice spontaneously stretch their whole body when they are partially lifted by the tail and allowed to grasp the edge of a surface with their front paws. When held in this position, the animals spontaneously extend both front and hind-limbs, which increases the distance between shoulders and hips by 25%. This increase in shoulder-to-hip distance stretches the thoracolumbar fascia, which connects the shoulders and pelvis, and creates a shear plane deformation between its most superficial layer (aponeurosis of latissimus dorsi) and the subcutaneous tissues of the back. The results of this study show that stretching decreases inflammation, and the similar effects of active and passive stretching suggest a mechanical effect on the tissues. Connective tissue, or stroma, is increasingly recognized as an important player in both the transition from acute to chronic inflammation, as well as the resolution of acute inflammation, either through direct contact with immune cells or by inducing changes in cytokine profiles in the tissue. The influence of mechanical forces within connective tissue is potentially far-reaching since connective tissue plays multiple roles in the body: as part of the musculoskeletal system, connective tissue forms continuous, compliant layers that can both stretch and bear loads; as part of the immune system, connective tissue is both the “container” for immune exchanges throughout the body, as well as the “conduit” through which water, proteins and immune cells return to the blood via lymphatics. Given these multiple roles, it is plausible that body movements could influence immune-related processes through a cross-talk between resident stromal cells and circulating immune cells."
God forbid you ever come down with CANCER, but if you simply PLAY THE ODDS, some of you reading this either will, or maybe already have. What I want to do now is give you a bonus section on what sort of diet might (emphasis on might) actually help accentuate your healing process, while providing a "boost" to any standard therapies you may or may not choose to do. In an age when most doctors don't give a rip about what you eat while you're fighting cancer (HERE), and an equal number who wouldn't have any idea what to suggest anyway (HERE), doesn't it make sense to educate yourself?
DISCLAIMER: The information presented on this site (including this post), while directly cherry-picked from the most current peer-review available, is just that --- cherry-picked information. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure diseases of any kind, including cancer. If you feel you have a disease that needs diagnosing or treating, or if you are interested in an out-of-the-box approach, please discuss this post with your physician. Please realize that there is a high probability of receiving a deer-in-the-headlights look.
WHAT KIND OF DIET IS BEST?
DR. DAVID GORSKI is an intriguing guy. He's not only one of the nation's most renowned breast cancer surgeons, he's a research scientist with a Ph.D in cellular physiology. Along with a number of pals, he also happens to run the anti-quackery website mentioned in the quote above. Gorski is rabidly and unapologetically against all forms of alternative medicine. All. Period, end of story. But, like any number of his site's brethren, he has to pretend that everything the medical community does is based on "SCIENCE". In other words, he seems to believe that the science-based medicine (which also happens to be the name of his site) that I call "EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE" here on my site, is the be-all, end-all, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only effective treatments of sickness and disease (IN THIS CASE CANCER) are drugs, chemo (many types, including immunotherapy), radiation, and surgery. Enter Dr. Thomas Seyfried.
Compared to crackpots like me, Seyfried and those like him have proven much tougher targets of Gorski's vitrol. You see, Dr. S is part of the club. He's part of academia. And he thinks like Warburg. In fact, check out the 2012 book he wrote called Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer, and listen to one of the many glowing Amazon reviews; this one by Dr. Stephen Strum.
"I am a board-certified medical oncologist with 30 years experience in caring for cancer patients and another 20 years of research in cancer medicine dating back to 1963. Seyfried's is the most significant book I have read in my 50 years in this field. It should be required reading of all cancer specialists, physicians in general, scientific researchers in the field of cancer and for medical students. I cannot overstate what a valuable contribution Thomas Seyfried has made in writing this masterpiece."
What exactly is it that has made Dr. Seyfried so popular with so many people, yet so vilified by others? He's a huge proponent of using the Ketogenic Diet to help those with cancer. The premise that DR. WARBURG proved scientifically --- that cancer needs sugar to survive. Take away cancer's sugar supply and you at least start pulling the rug out from under it. And what's really cool is that this is the work that Seyfried does in his lab at Boston College on a day-to-day-to-day basis.
How does one go about starving cancer of sugar? The KETOGENIC DIET of course (preferably done PALEO STYLE, using only organic fats). I recommend the Ketogenic Diet to enough people (it's been mainstream medicine's treatment of choice for SEIZURE DISORDERS for decades) that you can find it on my ONLINE PATIENT HANDOUTS. Allow me to leave you with videos on the Cancer / Lymphatics connection by Drs. Schleip, Findlay, and Langevin, as well as Doctor Seyfried's Cancer as a Metabolic Disease with Metabolic Solutions lecture.
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IS THERE A SMARTER WAY TO PRACTICE MEDICINE?
- NO IMAGING FOR NON-COMPLICATED LOW BACK PAIN: What can I tell you about imaging the low back? In most cases, what you see on the X-ray or MRI has little correlation to the patient's symptoms (HERE and HERE). What's interesting is that we are seeing this in KNEE PROBLEMS, SHOULDER PROBLEMS, and numerous other areas as well. It helps explain why MRI'S are overrated, and why increasing numbers of doctors are telling their patients with certain problems not to bother with the MRI until they are actually ready to have surgery.
- DO NOT RUN LABS, IMAGE, OR PRESCRIBE ANTIBIOTICS FOR RUN-OF-THE-MILL UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS: Science tells us that something like 90% of all upper respiratory infections (colds, FLU, sore throats, tonsillitis, laryngitis, SINUS ISSUES, EAR INFECTIONS, etc) are viral (they don't respond to antibiotics). Furthermore, science has also shown that a healthy immune system will take care of the huge majority of the other 10% of upper respiratory infections (the bacterial infections) on it's own. ANTIBIOTICS are a slippery slope because with 80% of your immune system being made up of the bacteria that live in your Gut (HERE), these drugs destroy your immune system as they take care of (OR "TRY" TO TAKE CARE OF) infections. Study after study shows that the major difference between people with URI's who take antibiotics and those who don't take antibiotics is that the antibiotic group tends to get recurrent infections. And if you destroy your GUT HEALTH with antibiotics, your chances of developing a wide array of seemingly unrelated health problems (INCLUDING CANCER) skyrocket (HERE).
- NO PSA TESTS, EXCEPTING VERY SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES: It's been known for a very long time that the PSA TEST (Prostate Specific Antigen) is not a great test because of the crazy numbers of false positives / false negatives.
- NO LONG-TERM PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS: Because of the absurd number of side effects, Proton Pump Inhibitors (otherwise known as PPI'S) are one of the worst drugs you can take. Besides causing large numbers of issues by creating a problem called hypochlorhydria; since strong acid is protective against a wide range of microorganisms, it's not surprising that PPI-weakened stomach acid is highly linked to several kinds of dysbiosis (HERE), which are in turn frequently linked to EPITHELIAL MEMBRANE HYPER-PERMEABILITY, which is itself a hallmark of most chronic illness. BTW, if you take a PPI, look at the label and notice that it warns against using the drug for more than two weeks at a time, more than three times per year.
- OTHERS THAT DIDN'T MAKE THE LIST: The Swiss only tried to implement their top 5 because they believed that doing more would be too difficult. One that was on the cusp of being top-five was "No Bone Density Tests (DEXA) for Women Under 65". To see why for over two decades I have been warning my female patients that bone density tests are one of the biggest scams going, follow THESE LINKS. Honestly, rather than mention others by name, most can be found HERE.
I bring all this up because yesterday a study was published in the European Journal of General Practice (How Do Swiss General Practitioners Agree with and Report Adhering to a Top-Five List of Unnecessary Tests and Treatments?) meant to show how good a job Swiss physicians were doing at following said recommendations. Although the authors concluded that, "awareness and acceptance of 'Smarter Medicine' appear to be high among Swiss GPs," they also concluded that only, "62% knew of 'Smarter Medicine." Just realize that the results of our national programs are definitely less than 62%
That's right; even though most of you were probably not aware, the United States has actually had two similar programs (Choosing Wisely and Less is More) whose purpose is to use the "BEST EVIDENCE" to cut out the tests and procedures (there are many) that are most responsible for something known as OVERDIAGNOSIS & OVERTREATMENT. Be aware that with our per-capita consumption of healthcare at over $10,000, the stratospheric trajectory, with no end in sight, shows that American healthcare as we currently know it is becoming more UNSUSTAINABLE with every passing day.
What I am not advocating here is the KIND OF HEALTHCARE SYSTEM that Lancet was touting a few weeks ago. What I am suggesting is that it is more critical than ever to start taking care of your family's health. It's time to realize that your doctor can't do it for you --- your health is up to you. Take a look at THIS VERY COOL POST to see various ways that people just like you (overweight, degenerative diseases, autoimmune diseases, pain, etc) are turning their lives around 360 degrees. Every day I see people who got sick and tired of being sick and tired and decided to do something about it. You can to!
WHAT EXACTLY ARE FASCIAL ADHESIONS AND WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO DO WHATEVER IS NEEDED TO BREAK THEM?Read Now
WHY BREAKING FASCIAL ADHESIONS MIGHT JUST BE
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU DO TODAY
Inflammation presents a conundrum to friction-free fascia. On one hand it's critical for normal healing processes and should be harnessed. But on the other, if there is too much inflammation, rest assured there will be problems --- lots of problems (HERE). Furthermore, it's critical to realize that the end result of too much inflammation, no matter where said inflammation is (local or systemic), is always the same --- fibrosis. FIBROSIS is just what it sounds like; fibrotic tissue that is otherwise known as SCAR TISSUE (microscopically it tends to look and act more like a HAIRBALL than well-combed hair). Fibrosis leaves people in a quandary --- a FULL-BLOWN CONUNDRUM that I have written about repeatedly. Considering that fibrosis is America's leading cause of death, I sincerely hope folks are getting the message. Enter Dr. Lawrence Wilson.
Dr. Wilson is an MD (BS from MIT) who was a protege of the brilliant biochemist, Dr. Paul Eck. The focus of their clinical practice was mineral balancing, as well as pioneering the use of hair analysis to diagnose these imbalances. I was turned on to their work two decades ago when I attended a number of Dr. Janet Lang's "Integrated Endocrinology" seminars. Read these cherry-picked statements from Dr. Wilson's article titled Adhesions.
"In the body, an adhesion is an abnormal attachment or stickiness between two or more body tissues. Adhesions are a type of scarring or scar tissue that causes two tissues to stick together in an abnormal way. Adhesions may also be viewed as a kind of substitute physical and chemical structure that can develop in the body. In other words, adhesions can replace or substitute for other structures such as muscles, tendons, ligments and even bones that have become weakened or are out of place, or are not functioning for some other reason. In this case, the adhesions are compensations and adaptations to some kind of weakness or other problem in the body. Adhesions are always a toxic adaptation or condition. Adhesions can interfere with the blood supply and the nerve supply to various parts of the body. They also restrict bodily movement and cause poor posture. For these reasons, adhesions often cause disease and shorten a person’s lifespan. In some cases, they become vicious cycles, in which case they are even worse. The most common site of adhesions is in the fascia layers, which are under the skin. However, they can occur at other sites, including the cell membranes, the intercellular substance and matrix, the muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, organs and elsewhere. In all cases, they involve a hardening, toughening or fibrosis of the body tissues. The main cause of adhesions appear to be inflammation that is not correctly resolved. Unresolved inflammation is often, or perhaps always due to nutritional imbalances, but may also be caused by a trauma such as a surgery, a fall, or something else. Inflammation may also be due to an infection. What is called scarring is nothing more than adhesions in the tissues that are visible, or can be felt or palpated with one’s hand. Unfortunately, most adhesions cannot be felt. They go undetected and are not dealt with by most medical and holistic doctors and practitioners."
After discussing the "conundrum" I mentioned earlier (he refers to it as a vicious cycle), Wilson goes on to talk about many of the same things I deal with on my site, including the fact that both CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS and THERAPY are a waste of time if these adhesions --- the scar tissue that occurs mostly in the FASCIA LAYER --- are not properly dealt with first. Dr. Wilson has his own nutritional protocol for dealing with inflammation that while certainly not the same, shares many of the same traits as PALEO. And while nutrition is also an integral part of my OVERALL PROTOCOL for helping patients regain their lives as well as SOLVING THEIR OWN BACK OR NECK PAIN, there is another principle I agree with him on as well. "Medical drugs often subtly irritate, damage and congeal the tissues. These are among the “adverse effects” of these drugs. In fact, allopathic remedies cause so much adhesion damage that I predict that someday most of them will be outlawed." Tough to argue that we don't take WAY TOO MANY DRUGS!
I an article called Fascia and Inflammation, Kevin M. Cronin, a PT and owner of several Chicago area Physical Therapy clinics, said this of the connection. "Nearly all painful conditions are accompanied by inflammation of the fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that is abundant throughout the entire body and covers all nerves, arteries, veins, and internal organs of the body. Fascia is filled with millions of nerve endings and also contains smooth muscle cells, so it can contract if injured or traumatized, and also cause skeletal muscle to tighten. The inflammatory chemicals make those same nerve endings even more sensitive, so that now it takes only takes a very mild strain to cause more inflammation, muscle spasm, and pain." So, fascia is everywhere; and when it is attacked by inflammation, it tends to not only create scar tissue, but to become HYPER-SENSITIZED (see link for Dr. Chan Gunn's amazing work). Although not as hard-line as Wilson, Cronin's article also warned of the dangers posed by trying to deal with inflammation via drugs (HERE or HERE).
Because fascia is so important to your body's ability to move and maintain NORMAL POSTURE (something spoken of by both Cronin, Wilson, and the guy we are going to talk about next), it obviously has important biomechanical properties attached to it (no pun intended). Closely related to both engineering and physics, biomechanics is simply the application of mechanical principles to biological systems (tissues, cells, organs, limbs, joints, etc, etc). Three weeks ago, McGill University engineer, Dr. Mark Driscoll, published a paper called Fascia - The Unsung Hero of Spine Biomechanics, in which he discussed the various roles that fascia plays as a tissue whose unique properties allow it to be used to gain mechanical advantage in a variety of situations (FASCIA & BIOMECHANICS).
"Over the last decade fascia has gained acknowledgement as a player in biomechanics by way of conveying mechanical forces directly or indirectly. The spine is a biomechanical marvel in regards to its intricate control and performance. However, because of such complexities many things can go wrong, perhaps why the spine is responsible for plaguing so many with pain. The role of fascia in spinal stability has yet to be fully understood but several novel and valuable discoveries have been made. Clinically, many researchers have shown and alluded to the role of the thoracolumbar fascia (TLF) in spine stability. The TLF is believed to play a role in transferring forces during coordinated activities and, consequently, such important function may be coupled with pathologies and clinical observations of TLF dysfunction. Mechanically, the tension in the TLF is regulated by many muscular attachments spanning the spino-pelvic region and by the intra-abdominal and muscular pressures. From a rehabilitation or treatment approach, the aforementioned biomechanical role of fascia offers an option upon which to plan and treat musculoskeletal disorders. Once a dysfunction sets it, regardless of its etiology, compensatory patterns may worsen by way of the novel biomechanical notion of physiological stress shielding."
I am a firm believer that ignoring the adhesions that routinely accumulate in the THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA of those struggling with CHRONIC BACK PAIN OR SPINAL DYSFUNCTION is a huge but commonly made error. We could easily take this concept a step further by saying the same thing about chronic neck pain as it relates to the CERVICAL FASCIA. In other words, as I mentioned earlier, it's not that I am against STRETCHING, therapy, chiropractic adjustments, RESISTANCE EXERCISES, or any number of other treatments so frequently used to address musculoskeletal issues (I suppose at times INVERSION might put on this list), but these have to be done after the facial adhesions are dealt with, which is especially true in severe cases. In fact, it's why I have said for a very long time that in many cases, BREAKING SAID ADHESIONS must be intense (yes, there may actually need to be BRUISING involved).
For many reasons, lots of people are squeamish about bruising. The funny thing is that it's not usually the patient, but the practitioner (or maybe the spouse or co-worker). My experience is that people who have hardcore chronic pain (EVEN THOSE WHOSE PAIN MAY HAVE CENTRALIZED), couldn't give a rip if you bruise them or not --- if you can show them quick results (I'll show you just how quickly in a moment). For instance, I had a female patient yesterday who 8 years ago decided to have a non-malignant tumor removed from her neck, just above her collar bone. The resultant adhesions had disabled her, not allowing her to move her neck at all side-to-side. Her cervical ROM was about 90% better in 10 minutes (stupid me, I was too busy to take the time to do a before and after video). Like I said, GOOD RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.
I bring this up because a year ago, Elisha Celeste wrote an article called Fascia, Fat Shaming and Cellulite – Are You Saying Yes to Self Abuse, or Self Love? Although she was specifically picking on the people who use ASHLEY BLACK GURU'S FASCIA BLASTER DEVICE here, her point was that if a treatment meant to deal with Fascial Adhesions causes bruising, it's too aggressive --- a point that's not uncommon among bodyworkers.
"Is there such a thing as “good” bruising? I’ve never heard that until now. A bruise is a soft tissue injury. Small capillaries have broken open, spilling blood into the surrounding tissue. Swelling and inflammation occur because the body isolates that area to STOP the bleeding and heal the damage by sending repair hormones to that spot. There is no one on this planet that can convince me that having bruises... is a good thing and a sign of healing my fascia. I proudly and happily make the claim, as a fascia release expert, that there is absolutely NO need to bruise yourself to get healthy fascia."
I would never pick on Elisha here, because frankly, it sounds like she is doing some very cool things in her practice and helping a ton of people. However, because I personally hate seeing the same patients over and over and over for the exact same thing, I 'proudly and happily' want to make a claim as well. I tell my new patients that if I am going to be able to help them, they'll know after one treatment (THAT WOULD BE ONE AS IN ONE). Not that one treatment is usually enough to totally solve many of the messes they bring in to me, but they'll know). I honestly don't know of anyone else making similar claims (it's why a visit to see me is so BLASTED SIMPLE).
BTW, Elisha is absolutely right about much of what she said. When bruising occurs and inflammation is released (remember that it's SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION that is so bad, and that a certain amount of LOCAL INFLAMMATION is critically necessary to ensure a proper and productive healing process --- HERE), it sets in motion a cascade of chemical, neurological, and mechanical events. The "hormones" that are released to the bruised / inflamed area (you can see these HERE or HERE) are actually the GH-like growth factors that turn the metabolic / anabolic crank in people with long-standing severe adhesions. No, I don't bruise everyone who darkens the doors of my clinic; not even the majority. If, however, you have a chronic problem that is not responding to anything else, I'll give you the option of seeing if a Tissue Remodeling treatment is something you'd like to try. We already know clearing out adhesed fascia is a big deal for pain relief, but let's talk now about why this is important for problems other than pain.
A 2015 article by a group of very famous fascia researchers (Fascia Research IV: Basic Science and Implications for Conventional and Complementary Health Care) dealt with some of this. In this paper they discussed a new technology that is in many cases allowing practitioners to actually image fascia (DIAGNOSTIC ULTRASOUND) because the layers will start "sticking" or adhering together. "The structural organization of fascia into sheet-like layers with multiple orientations, attachments and its intimacy with muscle groups provides fascia with a distinctly functional anisotropy (directional variability)." When these sheets become "adhesed" to each other, it causes a wide array of problems. What sorts of problems? Here is a small sampling of a common problem that has little -- at least initially -- to do with pain.
"AT Still, MD posited a connection between cancer and fascia more than 100 years ago. Epidemiological studies show that persons with diseases of increased systemic fibrosis such as scleroderma have a much higher rate of cancer. People, who exercise, particularly resistance or weight training, are less likely to die of their cancer (and other diseases). It has been noted that both cancer and the surrounding tissues become stiffer. Stiffening of the extracellular matrix is a hallmark of cancer. The tumor associated ECM shows increased collagen deposition and crosslinking which stiffens the tissue, and increased tumor cell and fibroblast contractility which in turn increases the tension in the tissue, leading to further remodeling and stiffening. Mechanosignalling and cellular tension foster increased tumor aggressiveness. In response to mechanical cues from the ECM, cells modulate their shape and nuclear architecture which then remodels the ECM. Tumor cells show increased anaerobic glycolytic metabolism. There is emerging evidence of a connection between the altered ECM stiffness and these metabolic changes. Nutrition plays a role in reducing inflammation. The anti-nflammatory diet is [not only helpful for treating] musculoskeletal conditions, but is also useful for cardiac conditions and for cancer."
This is not so much different than some of what DR. INGBER & LANGEVIN have proposed --- that fascia is a factor in all (or at least many) disease processes. Much of this has to do with the fact that intact and healthy fascia is a full-blown PROPROICEPTIVE POWERHOUSE. Furthermore, even though AT STILL recognized a century ago that CANCER was related to fascia, 90 years ago WARBURG DISCOVERED that cancer was fed by the "glycolytic metabolism" that these authors discussed (the body fermenting sugar).
The associated cancer made the ECM thick or 'DENSIFIED', causing even more inflammation and subsequent mechanosignalling (MECHANOTRANSDUCTION --- turning mechanical signals into electrical impulses). The authors went on to say that this mess can be effectively treated (not always cured, but treated) by adding PROPER NUTRITION to whatever else you happen to be doing as treatment (remember that virtually all disease processes have similar starting points -- HERE). A huge problem, however, is that the medical community pays little more than lip service for using diet to treat much of anything --- especially cancer (HERE, HERE, and HERE). (MORE ON THE CANCER / FASCIA CONNECTION)
Beyond GIVING HELPFUL INFORMATION to both local and OUT OF STATE / INTERNATIONAL PATIENTS on a day-to-day basis, I created a completely free generic protocol that most of you can use to start taking your life back (HERE). This is important because regardless of how much my treatment helps you with your pain, a failure to deal with the underlying inflammation that is still on the loose will assure you that sooner or later your problem will return --- probably with several nasty friends. If you liked this post on fascia, be sure to check out my 160 others on the topic as well (HERE). Oh; and don't forget to like, share, or follow on FACEBOOK as well.
SUGAR INDUSTRY CAUGHT WITH THEIR HAND IN THE COOKIE JAR: YET ANOTHER PROOF THAT SCIENCE IS BOUGHT AND PAID FORRead Now
THE "SCIENCE" BEHIND ONE OF THE
MANY LIES YOU GREW UP BELIEVING
For a very long time I have told you that your level of GUT HEALTH is critically important to almost every function of your body, including your IMMUNE SYSTEM FUNCTION and your WEIGHT. What's interesting is that Project 259 initially revealed that rats fed a diet high in sucrose (white table sugar) actually had lower levels of blood triglycerides (fat) than rats fed a conventional diet of "cereal meals, soybean meals, whitefish meal, and dried yeast, fortified with a balanced vitamin supplement and trace element mixture." What their research did not initially reveal is that these mice were raised and kept "germ free" (sometimes lab animals are purposely grown and then kept in an environment that makes sure there are no microbes either inside of them or outside of them). What did these conflicting results and hidden information really mean?
The authors of this study that came out in yesterday's issue of PLoS Biology (Sugar Industry Sponsorship of Germ-Free Rodent Studies Linking Sucrose to Hyperlipidemia and Cancer: An Historical Analysis of Internal Documents) realized the bait and switch, concluding that these "results suggested to SRF that gut microbiota have a causal role in carbohydrate-induced hypertriglyceridemia." In other words, the high sugar diet was fouling the MICROBIOME of certain mice in the study, causing them to gain weight (obviously via inflammatory pathways).
So, like any other huge corporation with huge amounts of money at stake, Big Sugar pulled the plug and, "terminated Project 259 without publishing the results." In the immortal words of SNL's "Church Lady" character, 'Isn't that special?' This, folks, is what's known throughout the scientific medical community as INVISIBLE & ABANDONED RESEARCH, and unfortunately accounts for about half of all studies done in this field. Don't like what you're seeing? Just bail on the whole mess and figure out a better way to set up the study so as to get the results that those signing your paychecks are looking for.
Oh, I forgot to mention that SRF also determined, just like our old friend DR. OTTO WARBURG had done thirty five years earlier in the late 1920's, that these increased amounts of dietary sugar also happened to be associated with increased incidence of certain cancers. Here is a quote taken directly from the Sugar Association's study, "No credible link between ingested sugars and cancer has been established." Realizing they had stumbled onto the mother load of BS, the researchers for this PLoS Biology study, all from the University of California San Francisco (they work with DR. ROBERT LUSTIG) and all with rather impressive credentials), concluded that (ahem, if listening to corporate lies makes you sick, I strongly suggest you have a certified barf-bag or triple-bagged trashcan handy for the resultant spew)......
"The Sugar Association, a United States sucrose industry trade association (which has organizational ties to SRF, the International Sugar Research Foundation, and ISRF’s successor, the World Sugar Research Organisation), has consistently denied that sucrose has any metabolic effects related to chronic disease beyond its caloric effects. On January 5, 2016, the Sugar Association issued a press release criticizing findings from a study published in Cancer Research using multiple mouse models that suggested that dietary sugar induces increased tumor growth and metastasis when compared to a non-sugar starch diet. Our study contributes to a wider body of literature documenting industry manipulation of science. Industries seeking to influence regulation have a history of funding research resulting in industry-favorable interpretations of controversial evidence related to health effects of smoking, therapeutic effects of pharmaceutical drugs, the relationship between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and weight gain or obesity...."
All I can say is thank God that at least a little bit of this fraudulent research is finally coming to light. If you want to learn more about the academic battle that led to these studies --- the battle between DR. ANCEL KEYS and DR. JOHN YURDKIN --- in relationship to what the medical community has been telling us we should be eating for the past fifty years, just follow the links. And for those of you looking to get off the medical merry-go-round, take ten minutes to READ THIS. Oh, if you liked today's post, you might enjoy my regular column on oxymoronically-named EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE.
GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT
WHAT TOPICS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Sincerely, Russ Schierling
ANOTHER WAY TO DESTROY FASCIAL ADHESIONS
Donnie, like my friend JARED, is an elite level strength athlete. Donnie's accomplishments in the strength world are rather impressive (INSANELY IMPRESSIVE would be more accurate --- he's the only person to total over 3,000lbs), but that's not what interests me most about him. As I sat here yesterday morning recovering from my second HERNIA SURGERY in six months --- right and left (yeah, I'll be back seeing patients on tomorrow morning), trying to figure out something I might be able to do so that these never have to be repeated, I came across some of Donnie's Devious Devices. Obviously this guy's mind is always on overdrive.
Thompson, like many other brilliant thinkers, stumbled onto something so revolutionary, yet so simple, that it made me stop and take notice. Almost a decade and a half ago, thanks to his incessant badgering, a group of Donnie's training partners realized that he was onto something big. After using KETTLE BELLS to roll people's bodies out since 2004, a few years ago Donnie started creating "devices" specifically meant to work in a similar capacity to FOAM ROLLERS --- only imagine foam rollers made not of foam, but out of heavy steel. Really heavy steel. With the X-wife weighing in at a whopping 135lbs (and an 'X-husband' that weighs??????), it's obviously not for the wimpy or faint of heart. Why do I bring all of this up in today's post?
It seems that even though there is not much research on Donnie's novel method of BREAKING FASCIAL ADHESIONS, not only have he and his lifting mates seen some fantastic results using his creations, but it's catching on elsewhere as well. Named "Body Tempering" by Thompson, there are actually a significant number of elite strength athletes using his creations, as well as several NFL and NCAA Division I football teams. What's the method behind Donnie's madness? I guess in many ways it's not so much different than something I recently ran across in an old coffee table book I own, Chiropractic, An Illustrated History. Here's a quote from someone writing about the famed British sea captain and explorer, Captain Cook, after he found his way to Tahiti in the 1700's.....
Twelve giantesses immediately fell upon him pummeling and squeezing unmercifully with their plump, lively hands, until his joints cracked and all his flesh felt like misused blubber. After fifteen minutes of this, the released victim got up. To his astonishment he felt immediate relief.
As a pencil-necked geek on the outside looking in, what's my opinion these rollers? I haven't tried it yet but honestly; PDC (pretty darn cool)! Firstly, I love Donnie Thompson's entrepreneurial spirit. I admire small businessmen in general, and sincerely wish him even more success than he's already had. Secondly, I love the way he thinks, as well as his creativity and outside-the-box way of looking for novel solutions to common problems. One of the more amazing things I saw on his site was Donnie taking his invention, the "Fat Bells" (ball-like semi-solid hollow dumbells that you actually put your hand inside of), screw two of them together (it took him less than 5 seconds), and then using the resulting mutant creature in similar fashion to an X-wife. All of which begs the question, how do these things really work?
I've talked at length on my site about DAVIS' LAW of TISSUE DEFORMATION (HERE as well). H.G. Davis was a renowned Civil War-era surgeon who rightly realized, like Dr. Wolf did with bones before him (see links on Davis for info on Wolf), that soft tissues would remodel themselves in response to mechanical stresses put upon them. The problem is, if there aren't enough of these mechanical stresses running around (or if the stresses never really change), then the tissues will inevitably shorten --- a common phenomenon that I refer to in my clinic as "TETHERING". What else do we know? If you are putting the kinds of mechanical stresses on MUSCLES and other connective tissues that Donnie and his crew are on a regular basis (LIGAMENTS, FASCIA, TENDONS, etc), said tissues are forced to adapt --- they have no choice. These adaptations are not anything novel and aren't much different than the physical adaptations that occur from lifting weights or engaging in other forms of training (it's known as getting in shape).
Comparing the effects that elite athletes try and achieve by training at altitude (peer review shows that high altitude training leads to increased EPO production, increased hematocrit, increased hemaglobin, etc, etc); in his piece called The Complete Guide to Foundations & Fallacies of Tissue Regeneration, Dr. John Rusin talked about things like BIOTRANSFORMATION and vasodilation, as a couple of the numerous ways that the body would try and adapt to Body Tempering (he likened it to RBFT or Restricted Blood Flow Training).
"Tissue tempering stimulates specific changes/adaptations due to its progressive and direct compression to the tissue. As with all forms of mechanical compression and shear, a reduction of tissue tightness involving fascia, muscle, veins, organs and nerves have been observed both scientifically and anecdotally. The specific changes seen with tissue tempering can also be extrapolated from recent well documented studies of occlusion training showing increased blood flow and circulating growth factor hormones that stimulate protein synthesis following treatment. An agreeable yet not documented finding with occlusion training such as tissue tempting is that it may in fact aid in ridding toxins specifically from the fascia, veins and nerve encasement’s by means of increasing vasodilation, NO2 production, and local hyperemia."
While some of these effects are vascular and/or endocrine, others are undoubtedly due to the mechanical nature of the training itself, which results in something called MECHANOTRANSDUCTION (turning mechanical energy into electrical impulses). Interestingly enough, mechanotransduction also happens to be (along with TENSEGRITY) the property that allows fascia to act as a second nervous system (HERE) --- a tough yet elastic PROPRIOCEPTIVE POWERHOUSE if you will. Bottom line, whether you are an elite athlete or AN ATHLETE WANNABE like me, there are some interesting principles at play here that Donnie Thompson had the vision and wherewithal not only to notice, but to harness and market as well. Oh; I almost left out the link to DONNIE'S SITE as well as a link to a list of my 150+ articles on fascia (HERE). Enjoy!
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MORE REASONS YOU CAN'T TRUST BIG PHARMA
A chief reason for a free media is for them to be able to report on government vice. In other words, we have Freedom of the Press so that media outlets can tell common citizens about instances of governmental corruption without fearing for their lives (just don't mention this to Seth Rich's family). Similarly, we have many medical media outlets whose job is to report on what's new in the scientific, medical, and pharmaceutical industries. In many cases, although not always, this pertains to reporting on new research or medical "breakthroughs". Many of you may not be aware of the recent fallout (☢) surrounding this topic.
MEDICAL MEDIA OUTLETS ARE TAKING MONEY FROM BIG PHARMA hand-over-fist and then trying to suggest that it doesn't cloud their judgment or affect the stories they print. Furthermore, practicing physicians are doing the same thing. Only since it's illegal for industry to offer doctors cash-for-prescribing, one of the more common ways to work around this pesky little problem is to do just what our politicians have done --- give short little talks ("speeches") for payments that could only be described as exorbitant (a great and hilarious example of this can be found HERE). We see the very same outcomes happening in the results of studies that have been done on the docs who create the "GUIDELINES" that everyone else in their profession is forced to follow. When studies are actually done on this those who create said guidelines, they show that these guidelines are bought and paid for.
Not quite two decades ago, the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine showed the world how big this problem is by asking a question via the title of an editorial; Is Academic Medicine for Sale? Few people would know who she is if DR. MARCIA ANGELL had not answered her own question so brutally. But it's obvious few got her memo. Just one short month ago today, Peer Journal Preprints (Industry Payments to Physician Journal Editors) had this to say about the sad state of affairs of journal editors who, like Angell, happen to be physicians. Pay attention to these cherry-picked results.
"In 35 journals 333 of 447 'top tier' editors met inclusion criteria as US-based physician-editors. Of these, 212 (63.7%) received any industry-associated payments in the study period. In an average year during the study period, 141 (42.3%) of physician-editors received any payments directed to themselves (rather than their institutions). A substantial minority of physician-editors receive direct payments from industry within any given year. More robust and specific editor financial conflict of interest declarations may be appropriate given the extent of editors’ influences on the medical literature."
So, while not everyone was on the take, there were two editors who collected more than 1 million dollars each in this study. But the fun doesn't stop there. One week later the British Medical Journal published a study called Payments by US Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturers to US Medical Journal Editors: A Retrospective Observational Study. Five researchers from the University of Toronto, concluded that the problem may be even worse.
"Our finding that editors of high impact journals (in specialties such as cardiology, gastroenterology, and endocrinology) receive larger payments than the typical practicing physician of the same specialty should raise questions. It is well recognized that pharmaceutical and medical device makers target physician 'thought leaders' for lucrative consulting and advisory roles. The rationale for such a strategy is that these leaders can influence both their physician peers and trainees to boost sales of products. Our finding suggests that, not surprisingly, editors at influential journals are attractive to industry; indeed, the same traits that make an individual attractive to an influential journal as a candidate for an editorial role would likely make that individual attractive to industry. We found that industry payments to journal editors are common and can be substantial. Moreover, many journals lack clear and transparent editorial conflicts of interest policies and disclosures. Journal editors should reconsider their conflict of interest policies and the impact that editor relations with industry may have on public trust in the research enterprise."
When it comes to medical research, it is being financially conflicted at every turn of the crank. What do I mean? For instance, these journals are full of advertisements --- in many cases for the very drugs or devices whose studies are being published. And then there's the issue of reprints. Drug manufactures frequently request large numbers of study-reprints, paying top dollar for them (most studies are not free, more on that shortly). These reprints are then used by the pharmaceutical company to promote their product by essentially saying, "hey, look how good our new medication turned out in this 'peer-reviewed' study." A couple of questions.
Why, if most of this research is being done in public facilities and universities (or in private facilities using public dollars) do you --- the American taxpayer --- have to pay for the results of these studies? Spend any real amount of time on PubMed like I do, and you quickly realize that while most study's abstracts are free, the actual studies usually are not (I would guess that this number is about 10-15%). The cost of obtaining these studies in their entirety is anywhere from $4.00 for a half day digital "rental," on up to several hundred dollars ($199.00 is a very common price for a study). Thus, when Big Pharma tells a certain journal that it needs "X" number of reprints of a certain study (think in terms of the "speeches" discussed earlier) the financial windfall for said journal could be substantial. And unfortunately, it is apparent that there are far too few editors of far too few journals who aren't so comfortable and cozy as to willingly bite the hand that is feeding them.
Lastly, I just loved the Orwellian term from one of the quotes above, "THOUGHT LEADERS". Speaking of thought leaders, are you aware of the #1 way Big Pharma's thought leaders continually manipulate the research so that it always seems to come out in their favor? Can anyone say INVISIBLE & ABANDONED STUDIES? Although I have written about this phenomenon extensively (see link), the problem of not reporting negative findings has gotten so bad that believe it or not, a major medical institution (The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology) is now offering a prize of 10,000 Euros for the best paper showing negative results. In an article called World’s First 'Negative Findings' Science Prize Aims to Tackle Publication Bias, ZME Science says of this problem...
"Unpublished negative scientific results can lead some research groups on unnecessary false tracks. Simply put, if you’d know there’s a good chance the research will come up blank before starting, you might choose not to engage and use limited resources in some other project. Unpublished data is effectively a waste of valuable real and human capital, particularly in the face of the reproducibility challenge. According to a recent study, irreproducible biomedical research costs the US economy alone $28 billion each year. Over 50% of published biomedical data cannot be reproduced, as startling as that may sound."
And there it is folks, not only is industry burying their negative results; of the results that are published, a significant percentage cannot be reproduced --- many experts believe this number to be over 50% (HERE). Even though I love looking at medical research, this post shows why it all needs to be taken with a grain of salt, which is doubly true for those still touting EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE as the pinnacle of truth and virtue. The problem is, I just showed you THE OTHER DAY in my piece on Metals in Vaccines that science isn't doing what it claims to be able to do simply because it can't --- it's not capable (HERE). For those of you interested in why, just follow some of the links. And for those of you interested in addressing potential underlying causes of you chronic health conditions or chronic pain, be sure and read THIS SHORT POST.
EVER WONDER WHY THE FLU VACCINE IS SO INEFFECTIVE?
WONDER NO MORE
It's all a vicious cycle, where every year, the powers that be use large amounts of tax-payer dollars on campaigns warning us to prepare for the flu apocalypse because THIS YEAR IS GOING TO BE THE WORST FLU SEASON EVER. And then, when all is said and done, you read an article by some government official (usually buried in the back of the newspaper) saying that this year's flu vaccine turned out to be something like 13.3% effective (HERE). And now we finally (and supposedly) know why --- it's the eggs that the flu virus used to make the vaccines are grown in. The Scripps scientists opened their study with a revelation that should catch everyone's attention; "The effectiveness of the annual influenza vaccine has declined in recent years." According to these authors, it all has to do with the way that a certain mutation in the virus interacts with certain mutations in the egg protein. Listen to part of the news release from the Scripps Research Institute (How Flu Shot Manufacturing Forces Influenza to Mutate: Egg-Based Production Causes Virus to Target Bird Cells, Making Vaccine Less Effective)
"X-ray crystallography to show that—when grown in eggs—the H3N2 subtype mutates a key protein to better attach to receptors in bird cells. Specifically, there was a mutation called L194P on the virus’s hemagglutinin glycoprotein (HA). This mutation disrupts the region on the protein that is commonly recognized by our immune system. This means a vaccine containing the mutated version of the protein will not be able to trigger an effective immune response. This leaves the body without protection against circulating strains of H3N2. In fact, analysis shows that the current strain of H3N2 used in vaccines already contains this specific mutation L194P on HA. “Vaccine producers need to look at this mutation...."
Any time I get around flu vaccine research, my BS detector has a tendency of going off. Want to know what tripped the switch this time? Allow me to show you that this problem is almost as old as the hills. It's nothing new, and it sounds to me like it's yet another excuse for why efficacy for the various forms of flu vaccines for various populations (HERE, and HERE for example) is functionally zero (if you think I'm being too harsh, click the links).
Over 22 years ago, the August 1995 issue of the Journal of Virology published a study very similar to the one being discussed today called Selection of a Single Amino Acid Substitution in the Hemagglutinin Molecule by Chicken Eggs Can Render Influenza A Virus (H3) Candidate Vaccine Ineffective. The study essentially concluded that thanks to mutations, (which are extremely common), growing these viruses in mutated eggs should be ended. "Thus, it is recommended that in the selection of vaccine candidates, virus populations with the egg-adapted HA Lys-156 substitution be eliminated." Yes, I realize that this is a bit different mutation than the one we were discussing earlier, but the principles are the same. Said mutations caused a vaccine that was described with words such as "nonprotective," "poorly recognized," and that, "egg-grown HA Lys-156 variant induced an AFC profile vastly different from that elicited by the other two reassortant vaccines." With this being the case, why should be be surprised that almost a quarter century later, this latest PLoS study is saying things things similar?
"Despite the first commercial influenza vaccines being approved in the US more than 70 years ago, complete and broad protection from an influenza vaccine has remained out of reach. Furthermore, in the past decade, the effectiveness of the seasonal vaccine against H3N2 viruses has been particularly low. ...the vaccine effectiveness was estimated to be only 33% for H3N2 viruses. Studies have attributed this low effectiveness of the H3N2 vaccine to the egg-based production process. Although eggs provide a cost effective way to grow influenza virus, the abundance of avian-type receptors on the chorioallantoic membrane often results in selection of variants that increase binding to avian-type receptors, and reduce binding to human-type receptors. More importantly, these egg-adaptive substitutions on the HA have also been shown to impact antigenicity, leading to a decrease in vaccine effectiveness. As annual vaccination remains the major preventive measure against influenza virus, it may be beneficial to accelerate consideration of alternative approaches for influenza vaccine production to optimize the protective effectiveness of the vaccine."
You don't have to read very far between the lines to see just how bad this really is for the H3N2 part of the vaccine, all of which begs the question of just how common the H3N2 flu virus is concerning overall flu statistics? Listen to what Sino Biological said in their article titled Influenza Hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes and Flu Virus Strains. "The influenza virus is divided into three main types, Influenza A, Influenza B, and Influenza C, which are distinguished by differences in two major virus surface proteins. Influenza A virus is the most common flu virus infecting humans, animals, and birds. There are 16 different types of hemagglutinin A (HA) and 9 different types of NA, therefore, there are potentially 144 different subtypes of influenza A viruses. Among them, two subtypes of influenza A, H1N1 and H3N2, most commonly infect humans." In their entry, Wikipedia took this concept a step farther by saying that the, "H3N2 is increasingly abundant in seasonal influenza."
What do I come away from this with? One of my friends, a brilliant MD who not only practices, but teaches at a major university and leads an online study group of about 70 physicians, researchers, functional medicine specialists, nutritionists, experts in athletic performance, etc (I will not mention his name here), recently stated on the message board that there will never be a universal flu vaccine. This post explains why. With so many potential combinations of virus, as well as both the viruses and the growing medium (in this case eggs) showing constant genetic variations and mutations, one's immune system is rarely encountering the same virus in real life exposure that it encountered via immunization. And even when it does, efficacy is downright poor. For more information on the crappy nature of Flu Vaccines, including my piece called TWENTY REASONS YOU DON'T WANT A FLU SHOT, simply click the link.
WHIPLASH, NECK PAIN,
& POST-SURGICAL ARTHRITIS
A POTENTIAL BREAKTHROUGH FOR HANNAH
I was diagnosed with loss of cervical curve years ago. I have had multiple car accidents (not my fault - went through a windshield head first as a 4 year old in 1974, whiplash from a rear end accident at age 9, then again at age 18). I have DDD in lumbar spine - failed back surgery x2. I also have idiopathic peripheral polyneuropathy (maybe from Lyme) in my hands, arms, legs and feet. I tend to fall a lot. I tripped the other day and landed head first into a dresser. This of course did nothing for my chronic neck pain!
Anyway I had to change pain management people and my current one is claiming that nothing is ever done for a reverse neck curve and that I am exaggerating the pain from my C5, C6, C7 osteophytes and diagnosed cervical DDD. I have had cervical facet rhizotomy in the past and can no longer look up to the top shelf in the grocery store, nor tip my head all the way back to get the last drop when taking a drink. I have limited side to side movement (being blind in right eye from car accident - I often have to turn my entire upper body around to the right to see out of my left eye). I can't watch TV or sit for too long without using a pillow to prop my head up.
Years ago I used to use a cervical foam collar on occasion for support. I can no longer get it under my chin. I also used to use an inflatable pump collar for traction (over the door traction made me nauseous and dog ate pump). Current provider won't do anything for me (order new collars, etc). She states "it is what it is". I currently get pain medication from her - which is being restricted all over the country so I'm limited in my choices of providers/doctors. (Although her office hung up on me the other day so maybe I should go elsewhere.)
Can you just tell me if indeed I should be concerned with the pain, symptoms and limitations with my neck? I'm 47 and I don't want to spend the rest of my life looking down. Thank you so much for your time.
Firstly, yes you should be concerned about the limitations in your neck because any time there is chronic pain, there is a chance of you ending up with CENTRAL SENSITIZATION. And with the kind of chronic restriction you are describing, there's a 100% probability of ending up with DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS (DJD / DDD). Secondly, females are much more prone to most disease processes, and particularly most AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE PROCESSES, when compared to their male counterparts (BLEEDING EVERY MONTH can be problematic as well). Add to this the fact that HEAD INJURIES ARE HEAVILY-LINKED TO AUTOIMMUNITY (a fact seen by the three severe MVA's in her youth), and you can see why this needs to at least be discussed --- especially in relationship to IPP.
IPP (Idiopathic Peripheiral Polyneuropathy) is a NEUROPATHY at multiple sites of the body, with an "officially" unknown cause. The NIH's Periphrial Neuropathy Fact Sheet (What is Peripheral Neuropathy?) shows why various forms of PN can be so devastating, "An estimated 20 million people in the United States have some form of peripheral neuropathy, a condition that develops as a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system. Damage to nerves that supply internal organs may impair digestion, sweating, sexual function, and urination. In the most extreme cases, breathing may become difficult, or organ failure may occur. Peripheral nerves send sensory information back to the brain and spinal cord, such as a message that the feet are cold. Peripheral nerves also carry signals from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles to generate movement. Damage to the peripheral nervous system interferes with these vital connections. Peripheral neuropathies may also be caused by a combination of both axonal damage and demyelination."
Although there were many reasons for said neuropathy listed in this article, the most common was said to be trauma ("such as from automobile accidents..."), while the one with the biggest entry was autoimmune ("Autoimmune diseases can lead to nerve damage. When the tissue surrounding nerves becomes inflamed, the inflammation can spread directly into nerve fibers. Over time, these chronic autoimmune conditions can destroy joints, organs, and connective tissues, making nerve fibers more vulnerable to compression injuries and entrapment."). Relief of neuropathy symptoms can often be accomplished with LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY. However, long-term regeneration of almost any neuropathy and/or autoimmune condition is going to require a change of diet (be aware that many neurological issues --- including some kinds of neuropathy --- respond quite well to a KETOGENIC APPROACH.
Not sure from her history whether Hannah actually has Lyme Disease or not, but Lyme is certainly a wildcard. Even though there are many claims out there, I am not aware of anyone consistently getting great results with Lyme patients. If she has had Lyme, the standard therapy is to give many months (3-15) of ANTIBIOTICS, hoping that the antibiotics kill the bacteria before it BEFORE THEY MESS YOU UP TOO BADLY (remember that 4/5ths of your body's immune system resides in the Gut in the form of bacteria --- HERE). If I see a patent who has autoimmunity (whether the disease has been named or not --- in many cases they are not because no one knows for sure what the auto-antigen is or how to test for it) or been on hardcore antibiotics, it is time to start thinking about the most potent treatment that few people are familiar with --- FMT. Now for the arthritis.
What we are seeing over and over again in the practice of medicine (I just saw a study on this topic on KNEES yesterday) is that it is almost impossible to look at the results of an imaging test, whether for DISC HERNIATION, DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS, or ROTATOR CUFF PROBLEMS, and in most cases, have any real idea whether or not the problem you see on the film is causing the patient's symptoms. This is because said symptoms correlate very poorly (emphasis on poorly) with imaging studies --- yet another of the MANY DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS that Big Medicine doesn't want you to know about. Would I be surprised that Hannah's pain doctor told her that FHP (FORWARD HEAD POSTURE) doesn't mean anything? Certainly not --- no more than I am surprised by dentists who claim that a mouthful of CAVITIES is kind of like death and taxes; just another one of life's unfortunate inevitabilities.
So, beyond addressing these issues systemically (this is done by addressing INFLAMMATION), you'll need to address the neck issue itself. This could be a challenge for you Hannah because if you can no longer get a soft collar under your chin, it tells me that you have a whale of a case of FHP. How do I suggest you deal with this? You cannot start with adjustments. Neither can you start with stretching or strengthening exercises. You will have to go through both PHASE I and PHASE II of the simple rehab protocol I suggest for people with these sorts of issues.
The good news for you Hannah is that this does not have to be one of those scenarios that always seems to end like this --- "the normal cost is fifteen grand, but if you sign up today, we'll give it to you for half that". By the way, it is my experience that medications from the BIG FIVE FAMILY, or procedures like Radio Frequency Ablations (RFA's are otherwise known as Facet Rhizotomies), rarely work for the long-term because they do absolutely nothing to address underlying causes (unfortunately the ablated nerves always grow back, many times with a vengeance).
The cool thing for many of you in the same situation as Hannah is that I have put together a general protocol that will help at least some of you (HERE is the link to our Case Studies). Don't get me wrong, as much as I with it would, I did not say it would help all of you, but best guess is that it's better than a 50/50 --- and it's not going to make you worse. Furthermore Hannah, you are going to have to step out of the box. Making healthcare decisions based largely on what your insurance provider will pay will get you in trouble in way too many cases (the DAKOTA TRACTION UNITS, for instance, are dirt cheap).
To see my GENERAL PROTOCOL for relieving inflammation in those of you struggling with chronic pain, chronic inflammatory degenerative diseases, autoimmunity, or even some conditions that you have probably been told are "GENETIC," simply follow the link and start reading.
CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY ILLNESSES OR AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES? WHY FMT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT, AWESOME, AND RADICAL TREATMENT OPTION YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF!Read Now
ME AND MY MICROBIOME
WHY FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANT IS THE HOTTEST TREATMENT OPTION AVAILABLE FOR CHRONIC ILLNESS
"Though new to the Western medical world, FMT has been described 1,700 years ago by an ancient Chinese researcher of the fourth century named Ge Hong, who first used what he called ‘yellow soup’ to treat his patients with severe diarrhea." From Dr. Liji Thomas' (MD) article on News-Medical dot net, History of Fecal Transplant
"Gut microbiota is known to play a main role in regulating both health and disease in humans. Strategies for the therapeutic modulation of gut microbiota are therefore expected to give a relevant contribution in the management of disorders associated with its impairment. Among these options, one of the most renowned is fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). Moreover, it was shown to be a promising therapy for the management of several noncommunicable disorders, including inflammatory bowel diseases and metabolic disorders." From next month's issue of the Italian journal, Minerva Gastroenterologica Dietologica (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: Past, Present and Future Perspectives)
"The microbiota-gut-brain axis (MGBA) regulates the reciprocal interaction between chronic inflammatory bowel and psychiatric disorders. This interaction involves... antibiotic-induced dysbiosis. Perturbation of microbiota was accompanied by a general inflammatory state and alteration of some endocannabinoidome member in the gut [the endocannibinoidome is the system of neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors found in both the central nervous system (including the brain) and peripheral nervous system, and known to regulate cognitive processes, fertility, pregnancy, pre and postnatal development, appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, as well as mediating the pharmacological effects of cannabis]. Behavioral changes, including morphological rearrangements of non-neuronal cells in brain areas controlling emotional behavior were detected." From September's issue of Brain, Behavior and Immunity (Antibiotic-Induced Microbiota Perturbation Causes Gut Endocannabinoidome Changes, Hippocampal Neuroglial Reorganization and Depression in Mice)
"The use of prebiotics as an aid for the development of a healthy gut microbiome is equally as important in maintaining gut homeostasis. Breastmilk, a natural prebiotic source, provides optimal active ingredients for the growth of beneficial microbial species. However, early life disorders such as necrotising enterocolitis, childhood obesity, and even autism have been associated with an altered/disturbed gut microbiome. Subsequently, microbial therapies have been introduced, in addition to suitable prebiotic ingredients, which when administered, may aid in the prevention of a microbial disturbance in the gastrointestinal tract." From an Irish study published in last month's issue of Frontiers in Nutrition (Microbial Therapeutics Designed for Infant Health)
Although there are any number of studies showing the benefits of PROBIOTICS for the same problems we will be discussing today, there are many others showing them to be not only ineffective, but actually causing side effects (HERE). For chronically ill individuals, PROBIOTICS CAN'T COMPETE WITH FMT. Why not? Feces contains the bacteria that make up most of your MICROBIOME --- anywhere from a few hundred, to in some cases, a few thousand strains. The very best probiotics have maybe 20 strains (most have no more than a handful). What this means is that just like vitamins (HERE), probiotics are actually capable of causing DYSBIOSIS (abberations in the numbers of bacterial strains or ratios of strains to each other). And if you have dysbiosis, you can almost assure yourself that you are going to have "THE LEAKIES" as well --- leaky brain, leaky cord, leaky lung, leaky gut, etc, etc, etc. In other words, this is a big reason that FMT is literally light years ahead of probiotics or thinking you can cure hardcore diseases simply by consuming fermented foods (HERE).
Today I am giving you yet another post on why it may behoove at least some of you to start looking into FMT. FMT has been the medical standard of care for people who come down with C. DIFF infections (these are almost always picked up in a hospital setting by those who have had lots of ANTIBIOTICS --- the number one cause of all the various forms of dysbiosis, as well as the treatment-of-choice for said infections). But let's forget about C. Diff for a moment. Peer-review is so loaded with studies on FMT for things other than chronic C. Diff, I am going to go out on a limb and say that for at least half a decade, it's the single most amazing treatment option out there. Unfortunately, most of you have either never heard of it, or you've brushed it aside because it sounds "gross" (kind of like THIS, but not so funny). Using the most current research available, allow me to show you why when it comes to FMT, you need to get up to speed.
For those of you who have not been on my site before, just days ago the journal Cell Host and Microbe (The Human Microbiome and Obesity: Moving beyond Associations), stated that "Mounting evidence indicates that the gut microbiome responds to diet, antibiotics, and other external stimuli with speed and high precision and in ways that impact a variety of metabolic conditions." The authors concluded with an info-gram showing that altered microbiomes are intimately related to (I am loosely quoting here and adding my own links) antibiotics, GENETICS / EPIGENETICS, EXERCISE, DIET, energy intake [what and how much you eat], ADIPOSE TISSUE, exposure to human touch (or a lack thereof), in-utero environment, social status, HPA-AXIS, AGE, STRESS, BRAIN, IMMUNE SYSTEM, HYGIENE, not to mention both MALE and FEMALE HORMONES. Oh, inflammation was on the list as well. Of all these, the buck stops with inflammation. Figure out how to solve inflammation and at the very least, you have the potential to get better without living life stoned on THE BIG FIVE or something worse.
I've already mentioned the relationship between one's microbiome and one's level of inflammation --- a big deal because inflammation not only always leads to fibrosis, fibrosis in its many forms just happens to be the leading cause of death in the US (HERE). What can you do about this inflammation? My grandfather, who was one of the smartest businessmen I ever knew, not only ran a large Kansas farm, but exposed me to some "interesting" home remedies, many of which, looking back on, were geared directly at resolving inflammation (not sure where the sixty year old ceramic jar of home-rendered skunk lard came from, but I can vouch for it's efficacy in drawing out boils). When he used to talk about the way his family treated a puncture-wounded foot when he was a kid (think stepping on a nail here), the "cure" was to go walk around in the cattle pen barefooted in order to prevent infection. In light of the crazy-sounding nature of said treatment, microbiome is the only thing that makes sense. Let's look at one of the more "interesting" ways that people are purposefully transferring / receiving microbes.
BRAND NEW RESEARCH ON GUT HEALTH AND FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSFER
GUT MICROBIOME MADE SIMPLE
DIY FMT MADE RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE
- MICROBIOTA, IMMUNE SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT IN INFANTS, AND THE EFFECTS OF VACCINES ON SAID MICROBIOTA: Listen folks; when you look at the number of children (let alone adults) who suffer with chronic illnesses, you should start to notice a pattern. Unfortunately, we are screwing up our children's internal ecosystems from the very moment they are born (HERE is one of the chief ways), which in turn can screw up almost anything you can imagine. This month's issue of MMBR published a study called The First Microbial Colonizers of the Human Gut: Composition, Activities, and Health Implications of the Infant Gut Microbiota, in which they discussed the importance of early-infant colonization by good bacteria since babies are born without a microbiome (their first exposure is via mom's VAGINAL FLORA). "Microbes colonize the neonatal gut immediately following birth. The establishment and interactive development of this early gut microbiota are believed to be (at least partially) driven and modulated by specific compounds present in human milk. Various studies have linked certain features of the microbiota/microbiome, such as reduced diversity or aberrant composition, to intestinal illnesses in infants or disease states that are manifested at later stages of life, including asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and metabolic disorders. Thus, a growing number of studies have reported on how the early human gut microbiota composition/development may affect risk factors related to adult health conditions." When baby's Gut is not colonized properly, bad things result not just in their present, but in their future. Two months ago a study by ten Georgia State University researchers was published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity (The Microbiota Influences Cell Death and Microglial Colonization in the Perinatal Mouse Brain) which revealed that the mammalian fetus develops in a largely sterile environment, and direct exposure to a complex microbiota does not occur until birth. Our results suggest that direct exposure to the microbiota at birth influences key neurodevelopmental events and does so within hours. These findings may help to explain some of the behavioral and neurochemical alterations previously seen in adult mice. This early-onset dysbiosis-induced MICROGLIAL ACTIVATION actually killed cells in specific parts of the brain. The icing on the cake is that just last month, a group of Italian researchers, writing in Frontiers in Medicine, stated that, "Bacteria located in both colostrum and mature milk can stimulate the anti-inflammatory response by stimulating the production of specific cytokines, reducing the risk of developing a broad range of inflammatory diseases and preventing the expression of immune-mediated pathologies, such as asthma and atopic dermatitis." So, you're not BREASTFEEDING for at least the first year of you child's life? Better rethink that decision.
- FMT AND YOUR METABLOME: Related to the microbiome, the METABOLOME is the sum total of the chemicals your body manufactures to keep you in HOMEOSTASIS -- many of which are made by bacteria. A study from this month's issue of Mass Spectrometry Reviews (....Targeting the Crosstalk Between Gut Microbiota and Brain in Neurodegenerative Disorders) concluded that, "The emerging development in mass spectrometry technologies has shown promise in the discovery and quantitation of neuroactive small molecule metabolites associated with gut microbiota and brain. Significant progress has been made recently in the characterization of intermediate role of small molecule metabolites linked to neural development and neurodegenerative disorder, showing its potential in understanding the crosstalk between gut microbiota and the host brain. These metabolic pathways allowed the microbiota to impact the regular function of the brain, which can in turn affect the composition of microbiota via the neurotransmitter substances. The dysfunctional interaction of this crosstalk connects neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease." For those of us who believe that MEDICATIONS are one of the chief ways people screw up their internal ecology, this study is a must-read, and particularly in light of the fact that I have previously written about FMT research on both ALZHEIMER'S and PARKINSON'S.
- FMT AND SKIN CONDITIONS: Although there are hundreds upon hundreds of studies linking everything from PSORIASIS, ACNE, ECZEMA, and many others (all are inflammatory, and many are autoimmune) to abnormal microbiome (dysbiosis), I could not find any 'current' studies on using FMT for these. What I did find, however, were scads of testimonials on various sites from around the world (mostly message boards where commenters were not selling anything) telling how they "cured" (their word, not mine) skin problem X with FMT. Just for you Mike L out on the East Coast; a study from this month's issue of Experimental Dermatology (The Akkermansia-Muciniphila is a Gut Microbiota Signature in Psoriasis) discussed this strain of bacteria as associated with the TH-17 CELLULAR APOPTOSIS SYSTEM and psoriasis.
- FMT AND pH (ACID BLOCKERS / PPI'S): Speaking of drugs that among their numerous side effects are sure to foul your microbiome, PPI's (Proton Pump Inhibitors) are one of the worst offenders. Take a gander at the study in this month's issue of Cancer Letters (Gastric Microbiota: An Emerging Player in Helicobacter Pylori-Induced Gastric Malignancies). I've already shown you why it's not only normal physiology, but critically important to have MEGA-STRONG STOMACH ACID (including the fact it keeps nasty critters like H. Pylori away (see link), but this new study goes even further. "The complex diversity of nonpathogenic microbes that colonize the human body, known as microbiota, exert considerable effects on physiological homeostasis, and immune regulation. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacterium that frequently colonizes human stomach and is a major pathogenic agent for peptic ulcer diseases, gastric cancer, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. Due to its acidic pH and peristaltic movements, the stomach has been considered a hostile environment for most microorganisms, however various commensal microorganisms are capable of colonizing the stomach. Recent pieces of evidence indicate that commensal gastric microbes or their metabolites influence the capability of H. pylori to colonize the stomach and directly modulate its pathogenicity and carcinogenic potential." And guess what decreases stomach acidity, while increasing whole-body acidity ---- all while being a known cause of cancer itself? That's right folks, sugar and junk carbs (HERE).
- MORE MICROBIOME AND HPA-AXIS: One of the hallmarks of the majority of our population who lives in a state of CONSTANT SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE is an inability to sleep, coupled with a constant fatigue or exhaustion. Going back to Y-2K (The Sympathetic Nerve -- An Integrative Interface Between Two Supersystems: The Brain and the Immune System in the journal Pharmacology Review) we see simply from looking at the study's title that there is an intimate relationship here. Bear in mind, however that the authors were not interested so much in manipulating the microbiome as they were in creating drugs. "Pharmacological manipulation of the sympathetic-immune interface is reviewed with focus on new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of experimental models of autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome." A study from the January 2017 issue of Nature Reviews (The Mucosal Immune System: Master Regulator of Bidirectional Gut–Brain Communications) bears out this relationship by revealing, "The messengers of this complex dialogue include neural, metabolic, endocrine and immune mediators responsive to diverse environmental cues, including nutrients and components of the intestinal microbiota (microbiota–gut–brain axis). We are now starting to understand how perturbation of these systems affects transition between health and disease." BTW, this study talks extensively about TREGS.......
- YOUR MICROBIOTA CONTROLS AND TRAINS TREGS (T-REGULATORY CELLS): TREGS are T-Regulatory cells, previously known as T-suppressor cells (they prevent the immune system from running away with itself, which almost always leads to AUTOIMMUNITY). This month's issue of the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (Gut Microbiota in Health and Disease) concluded that "Intestinal regulatory T (Treg) cells are critical to maintaining immune tolerance to dietary antigens and gut microbiota." After discussing a number of things now known about the relationship between Tregs and one's microbiome, the author goes on to describe several examples, saying that, "This cutting-edge method may lead to the evolution of an altered disease concept." Isn't it interesting that I just wrote an article dealing with this very topic --- microbiota as a common denominator in virtually all disease processes (HERE)
- FMT AND INSULIN RESISTANCE, CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME / PRE-DIABETES: CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME (aka Metabolic Syndrome, Syndrome X, or Pre-Diabetes) affects well over half our nation's adult citizens (HERE), not to mention an exploding number of children and teens. For instance, just two short weeks ago Molecular Metabolism published a study called Host-microbiota Interaction Induces Bi-Phasic Inflammation and Glucose Intolerance in Mice (in other words, the inflammation occurred both early and later). Last month's copy of Cell Metabolism (Improvement of Insulin Sensitivity after Lean Donor Feces in Metabolic Syndrome Is Driven by Baseline Intestinal Microbiota Composition) said that, "The intestinal microbiota has been implicated in insulin resistance.... Lean donor FMT in obese metabolic syndrome patients improves insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity at six weeks after FMT was significantly improved, accompanied by altered microbiota composition. We also observed changes in plasma metabolites [some of the "metabolomic" changes discussed earlier]. The beneficial effects of lean donor FMT on glucose metabolism are associated with changes in intestinal microbiota and plasma metabolites." This is why the body composition of your donor is such a big deal --- something I will discuss at length later on. There was also a study on dysbiosis being associated with coronary artery disease (hardening of the arteries otherwise known as arteriosclerosis). This month's issue of Beneficial Microbes (The Gut Microbiome Composition is Linked to Carotid Atherosclerosis) revealed that the amount of a bacteria named M. Racemosus, "had the same impact in the model as waist-to-hip ratio, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, fasting triglycerides or fasting glucose, suggesting that its relative abundance in the gut may be a relevant biomarker for cardiovascular risk." Did you catch that? A certain bacteria is as good a marker of heart disease as all the stuff you are tested for in the clinic.
- FMT HELPS RESTORE SEROTONIN PRODUCTION: Fun Fact --- MELATONIN (your sleep hormone) is made from serotonin, and a full 90% of your serotonin is manufactured in your Gut (HERE). A study from September's Scientific Reports (Dysbiosis Contributes to Chronic Constipation Development via Regulation of Serotonin Transporter in the Intestine) dealt with the fact that the neurotransmitter serotonin is much more than a chemical that affects only the brain. "Chronic constipation is a globally prevalent functional gastrointestinal disorder with the prevalence 2–20% and is accompanied with intestinal dysbiosis. Mice which received fecal microbiota from patients with constipation presented a reducing in intestinal peristalsis and abnormal defecation parameters including the frequency of pellet expulsion, fecal weight and fecal water content." All this means is that what I showed you in my link on CONSTIPATION is true --- the number one factor is dysbiosis.
- FMT AND OBESITY: The combination of DIABETES and obesity is not only so common that it is frequently called "Diabesity" in the scientific literature, there are hundreds of studies linking gut bacteria to your weight (it's at least part of why ANTIBIOTICS MAKE YOU FAT). In fact, I have covered this many times previously in my NUMEROUS FMT POSTS. A study on the relationship between inflammation, obesity, and cognitive decline (Inflammation and Gut-Brain Axis Link Obesity to Cognitive dysfunction) was published in this month's issue of Current Opinions in Pharmacology. "Obesity prevalence is increasing steadily throughout the world's population in most countries and in parallel the prevalence of metabolic disorders including cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes is also rising, but less is reported about excessive adiposity relationship with poorer cognitive performance, cognitive decline and dementia. Inflammation may eventually spread from peripheral tissue to the brain, and recent reports suggest that neuro-inflammation is an important causal mechanism in cognitive decline. This inflammatory status could be triggered by changes in the gut microbiota composition." Let me give you another; when you think of neuro-inflammation, you had better be thinking of ALUMINUM --- something that is found in almost every vaccine and antiperspirant.
- FMT AND NEUROPSYCHIATRIC PROBLEMS: Earlier this month, the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (Microbes and Mental Health: A Review) stated that, "There is a growing emphasis on the relationship between the microorganisms inhabiting the gut and human health. The emergence of a microbiota-gut-brain axis to describe the complex networks and relationship between the gastrointestinal microbiota and host reflects the major influence this environment may have in brain health and disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). Bidirectional communication between the microbiota and the CNS occurs through autonomic, neuroendocrine, enteric, and immune system pathways. Perturbations of the gut microbial community have already been implicated in multiple host diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and inflammation, while recent evidence suggests a potential role of the microbiota-gut-brain axis in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety." Another study, this one from Curent Neuropharmacology concluded the same thing --- "The microbiota-gut-brain axis might provide novel targets for prevention and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders" --- before discussing FMT. Believe me when I tell you that both DEPRESSION and ANXIETY are big deals in Western civilization. Earlier this month and earlier this summer, the journals Neurotherapeutics (Anxiety, Depression, and the Microbiome: A Role for Gut Peptides) and BioPsychiatry (Harnessing Gut Microbes for Mental Health: Getting From Here to There) dealt with gut peptides, concluding that "The conceptual development of the microbiome-gut-brain axis has facilitated understanding of the complex and bidirectional networks between gastrointestinal microbiota and their host, highlighting potential mechanisms through which this environment influences central nervous system physiology. Communication pathways between gut microbiota and the central nervous system could include autonomic, neuroendocrine, enteric, and immune systems, with pathology resulting in disruption to neurotransmitter balance, increases in chronic inflammation, or exacerbated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity." I've already shown you that experts are doing FMT for these sorts of problems --- much more in other countries than in PHARMA-RUN America.
- MICROBIOME AND MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: The relationship between microbiome and MS is nothing new (HERE and HERE). However, some brand new research has helped shed even more light on this issue. About three weeks ago, ten Italian researchers publishing in Frontiers in Neurology (Immunological and Clinical Effect of Diet Modulation of the Gut Microbiome in Multiple Sclerosis Patients) concluded that "Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by demyelination and mediated by an auto-reactive immune process directed against central neural tissues. Pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS), has been linked to an alteration of the resident microbial commensal community and of the interplay between the microbiota and the immune system. Dietary components acting on microbiota composition, could, in principle, result in immune modulation and, thus, could be used to obtain beneficial outcomes for patients. Evaluation of clinical parameters showed that in the high-vegetable/low-protein diet group the relapse rate during the 12 months follow-up period and the Expanded Disability Status Scale score at the end of the study period were significantly reduced. Diet modulates dysbiosis and improves clinical parameters in MS patients by increasing anti-inflammatory circuits. Because Lachnospiraceae favor Treg differentiation." Paleo, Paleo, Paleo folks --- Don't be afraid of either the protein or FAT as long as it's the right kind of fat. Another study, this one from this month's Neurotherapeutics (Intestinal Permeability in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis) dealt with MS and LEAKY GUT saying, "Recently the influence of intestinal permeability on brain function has greatly been appreciated. Previous works showed an increased IP that preceded experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis development and worsened during disease with disruption of tight junctions. We found that an alteration of intestinal permeability is a relatively frequent event in relapsing-remitting MS. The results led us to hypothesize that gut may contribute to the development of MS." This is not a surprise as virtually every single individual with chronic illnesses is going to have problems with barrier dysfunction --- and not just in the gut, but in a wide array of tissues and organs as well (the "leakies" I discussed earlier).
- FMT AND EPILEPSY: Once you realize that MANY CASES OF SEIZURE DISORDERS, INCLUDING EPILEPSY are autoimmune, you'll start to realize why FMT (along with the Ketogenic diet from last link in the previous bullet) might just be the cat's meow. A study that was published just after our big flood (HERE) in the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Cured Epilepsy in a Case with Crohn’s Disease) talked about a young lady with a 17-year history of Crohn's Disease (stick around --- we'll address Crohn's in a bit). Note that this is a case study. "A 22-year-old girl, with a 17-year history of epilepsy, was referred to the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University in May 2015 because of unsuccessful CD treatment. The initial presentation was at the age of 6 years, with generalized seizures of loss of consciousness and unexplained chronic diarrhea. The patient had more than 120 seizures every year between the ages of 6 to 13. FMT showed positive response of more than 20 months seizure-free without using antiepileptic drugs." Say this sentence very slowly: They put healthy people's poop inside of her and "cured" her epilepsy! If you've ever known anyone with seizures, stop and let the magnitude of this wash over you for a moment. I don't care who you are, this is cool!
- MICROBIOTA AND HEAD INJURIES: What about people who have neurological issues, but they are the result of HEAD INJURIES instead of a "disease process"? Interestingly enough, head injuries are highly related to the development of autoimmune diseases (HERE). A study from the January 2018 issue of Nutrition (Head Injury Profoundly Affects Gut Microbiota Homeostasis), concluded that "Head injury induces a hypercatabolic state [your body is breaking itself down faster than it is building itself back up], dysimmunity [autoimmunity], and septic complications that increase morbidity and mortality." For the record, bear in mind that many of these infections (sepsis) are autoimmune --- HERE is an example. BTW, it only took four days for the rats used in this study to "profoundly" have their microbiome affected by their head injury.
- FMT AND THE IMMUNO-COMPROMISED: The brutal truth is that while some people have a disease process that leads them to be severely immuno-compromised, the most common reason for people whose immune systems are extremely suppressed is the drugs they are given. This is because IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPRESSION IS THE SINGLE MOST COMMON MEDICAL THERAPY in the United States! The April issue of Frontiers in Immunology (Immune Responses to Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic Treatment and Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Mice) concluded that "Compelling evidence demonstrates the pivotal role of the commensal intestinal microbiota in host physiology and the detrimental effects of its perturbations following antibiotic treatment. broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment resulted in profound local (small and large intestinal), peripheral (mesenteric lymph nodes), and systemic (splenic) changes in the immune cell repertoire that could, at least in part, be restored upon FMT." This study is amazing and free to read in its entirety.
- FMT AND THE HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS: One of my favorite topics on GUT HEALTH is the HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS --- the idea that in order to properly train a developing immune system (see earlier stuff on Tregs), it must be exposed to some germs --- not just COLDS OR FLU, but real childhood diseases like people used to get before vaccination's went HOG WILD (sounds crazy but stick with me). Last month's issue of Cell (Wild Mouse Gut Microbiota Promotes Host Fitness and Improves Disease Resistance) published a study by 14 NIH scientists that basically said that wild mice are different than lab-raised mice because of the amount of germs and diseases (not to mention SOIL AND OTHER ANIMALS) they spend their lives around. What's truly amazing is that this "advantage" can be transferred via FMT. "Among 21 distinct mouse populations worldwide, we identified a closely related wild relative to standard laboratory mouse strains. Its bacterial gut microbiome differed significantly from its laboratory mouse counterpart and was transferred to and maintained in laboratory mice over several generations. Laboratory mice reconstituted with natural microbiota exhibited reduced inflammation and increased survival following influenza virus infection and improved resistance against mutagen / inflammation-induced colorectal tumor genesis." Why is this so critical to know? We have a veritable explosion of ALLERGIES in this country, with no end in sight. The European authors of the September issue of Nature Immunology (The Immunology of the Allergy Epidemic and the Hygiene Hypothesis) agreed, coming to some interesting conclusions of their own (and none too popular with most US researchers either --- at least THOSE WHO VALUE THEIR CAREERS). "The immunology of the hygiene hypothesis of allergy is complex and involves the loss of cellular and humoral immunoregulatory pathways as a result of the adoption of a Western lifestyle and the disappearance of chronic infectious diseases. The influence of diet and reduced microbiome diversity now forms the foundation of scientific thinking on how the allergy epidemic occurred. We propose that barrier epithelial cells are heavily influenced by [i.e. they are leaky leaky leaky leaky leaky leaky] environmental factors and by microbiome-derived danger signals and metabolites, and thus act as important rheostats for immunoregulation, particularly during early postnatal development. Preventive strategies based on this new knowledge could exploit the diversity of the microbial world and the way humans react to it, and possibly restore old symbiotic relationships that have been lost in recent times, without causing disease or requiring a return to an unhygienic life style." So, thanks to vaccines, we have traded acute childhood diseases that everyone used to get (and AS HYGIENE IMPROVED, HAD LOW MORTALITY), and traded them for a veritable patchwork of chronic degenerative inflammatory and autoimmune diseases --- diseases that don't kill you outright, but they destroy you nonetheless, body and soul (HERE).
- FMT AND ASTHMA: Allergies and ASTHMA go together like beanies and weenies as verified by a study from the August issue of Allergologia et Immunopathologia (Future Prospect of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation as a Potential Therapy in Asthma), which concluded that, "There is convincing evidence from both human and animal studies suggesting that the gut microbiota plays an important role in regulating immune responses associated with the development of asthma. Certain intestinal microbial strains have been demonstrated to suppress or impair immune responsiveness in asthma experimental models, suggesting that specific species among gut commensal microbiota may play either a morbific [makes you sick] or phylactic [keep you from getting sick] role in the progression of asthma. The faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a rather straightforward therapy that manipulates the human gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota, by which a healthy donor microbiota is transferred into an existing but disturbed microbial ecosystem. In this review, we provide several insights into the development of FMT therapy for asthma." The fact that between 8 and 10% of our entire population has asthma should not be lost on my readers.
- FMT AND AUTISM: As you already know if you follow my site, I have a ton of info on AUTISM --- particularly as it relates to Gut Health (HERE). New studies continue to back this up, with several studies that I have already dealt with in other capacities this year leading the way (click the links).
- FMT AND BLOOD & BONE DISORDERS: When you read this, just remember that bones make blood, and that OSTEOPOROSIS is caused by inflammation. Now, take a listen to the results of this study from a dozen Polish researchers (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Patients With Blood Disorders Inhibits Gut Colonization With Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria) that was published in August's Clinical Infectious Diseases. "Patients with blood disorders colonized with antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) are prone to systemic infections that are difficult to treat. Reintroduction of commensal bacteria can lead to eradication of enterococci. Twenty-five FMTs were performed in 20 participants (including 40% who had neutropenia) who were colonized by a median of 2 strains of ARB. The primary endpoint [eradication] was reached in 60% of the FMTs and more frequently in cases in which there was no periprocedural use of antibiotics. Among participants 75% experienced complete ARB decolonization. There were no severe adverse events. FMT in patients with blood disorders is safe and promotes eradication of ARB from the gastrointestinal tract." Just one month earlier, the journal Calcified Tissue International (Gut Microbiota, Immune System, and Bone) concluded that, "It is well documented that the gut microbiome (GM) can interact with immune cells, dendritic cells [nerves], and hepatocytes [liver], producing molecules such as short-chain fatty acids, indole derivatives, polyamines, and secondary bile acid. The receptors for some of these molecules are expressed on immune cells, and modulate the differentiation of T-effector and T-regulatory cells [Tregs]: this is the reason why dysbiosis is correlated with several autoimmune, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases. Due to the close interplay between immune and bone cells, GM has a central role in maintaining bone health and influences bone turnover and density. GM can improve bone health also increasing calcium absorption and modulating the production of gut serotonin, a molecule that interacts with bone cells and has been suggested to act as a bone mass regulator."
- GUT MICROBIOTA AND MUSCLE WASTING: Exercise is good, but not all exercise is created equally. If you go back and look at earlier links, you'll see why I am such a monster proponent of adding at least a few minutes of strength training to whatever else you happen to enjoy doing (you will lose 10% of your muscle mass per decade after the age of 30 unless you are resistance training). Last month's issue of Calcified Tissue International (Gut Microbiota Contribute to Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle Size, Composition, and Function: Biological Basis for a Gut-Muscle Axis) concluded, after revealing just how important lean body mass really is for a variety of purposes, that "Aging is associated with a decrease in muscle mass and function (sarcopenia) that is associated with a loss of independence and reduced quality of life. Gut microbiota, the bacteria, archaea, viruses, and eukaryotic microbes residing in the gastrointestinal tract are emerging as a potential contributor to age-associated muscle decline. Specifically, advancing age is characterized by a dysbiosis of gut microbiota that is associated with increased intestinal permeability, facilitating the passage of endotoxin and other microbial products into the circulation." So in some ways, FMT could almost be called a proverbial fountain of youth.
- FMT AND ARTHRITIS: According to the NIH (Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases) rheumatic diseases include everything from OSTEOARTHRITIS, POLYMYALGIA RHEUMATICA, TENDINOSIS/TENDINITIS, GOUT, BURSITIS, KNEE PROBLEMS, AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES (click for a list), RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, JRA, and a whole host of others. Now listen to this; the September issue of Clinical Rheumatology (The Role of Gut Microbiota in the Pathogenesis of Rheumatic Diseases) revealed that "Rheumatic diseases refer to many diseases with a loss of immune self-tolerance [autoimmunity], leading to a chronic inflammation, degeneration, or metabolic derangement in multiple organs or tissues. Over the past decades, emerging studies suggested that alteration of intestinal microbiota, known as gut dysbiosis, contributed to the occurrence or development of a range of rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic sclerosis, and Sjogren's syndrome." The article went on to discuss the potential of microbiota-targeted therapies to prevent or cure rheumatic diseases, one being FMT
- LIVER DISEASE, INCLUDING HEPATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY: When the liver cannot DETOX / BIOTRANSFORM, toxins build up in the blood and affect the brain, causing something called hepatic encephalopathy (HE), with symptoms being forgetfulness, sweet-smelling breath (ketoacidosis, not to be confused with ketosis that people on the ketogenic diet work hard to achieve) as well as shaky upper extremities, disorientation, cognitive dysfunction, and slurred speech. There are studies showing FMT to be beneficial for a wide array of liver problems, but HE is where these people will all end up if not dealt with properly. The June issue of Hepatology (Fecal Microbiota Transplant from a Rational Stool Donor Improves Hepatic Encephalopathy) revealed that HE is a common reason for hospital readmissions (hospitals get severely docked financially for readmissions that occur within a certain time-frame) and then concluded that, "FMT with antibiotic pretreatment was well tolerated. Cognition improved. Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score transiently worsened post-antibiotics, but reverted to baseline post-FMT. Postantibiotics, beneficial taxa, and microbial diversity reduction occurred with Proteobacteria expansion. However, FMT increased diversity and beneficial taxa." A similar study, this one in last month's issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Prevents Hepatic Encephalopathy....) stated something quite similar. "FMT enables protective effects in HE rats, and it improves the cognitive function and reduces the liver function indexes. FMT may cure HE by altering the intestinal permeability and improving the toll-like receptor (TLR) response of the liver." TLR's are markers that help identify receptors on pathogens, and are handy for marking baddies for the immune system's search and destroy missions.
- FMT AND ALOPECIA (HAIR LOSS): Before you get any wild ideas, understand that alopecia is not the same as male pattern baldness. Also, the most common reason by far that people get FMT, at least here in America, is for C.Diff infections. Writing for the September issue of the ACG Case Reports Journal (Hair Growth in Two Alopecia Patients after Fecal Microbiota Transplant) a group of five gastroenterologists saw alopecia cured (hair regrowth) in people being treated for C.Diff. "Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune, inflammatory condition of the hair follicle. It is classified as patchy, totalis, and universalis, depending on the degree of hair loss. AA is one of the most common autoimmune disorders, affecting about 4.5 million people in the United States. Onset typically occurs in younger patients, with 66% presenting before age 30 and only 20% presenting after age 40. It is thought to be a T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease that attacks the hair follicle. Notable improvement in AA was observed after FMT was performed for recurrent C. Diff infection." It is no longer uncommon to find instances of people having FMT for C. Diff and getting cured of something else (kind of like THIS).
- FMT AND CANCER: I've got plenty of cool stuff on CANCER on my site, much of it (including OTTO WARBURG'S WORK) having at least in some way to do with the microbiome. This relationship is also why ANTIBIOTICS ARE A KNOWN CAUSE OF CANCER. How much does Gut inflammation caused by dysbiosis affect cancer? That question was answered in the August issue of Seminars in Immunology (Microbiome, Inflammation and Colorectal Cancer), when the authors concluded that, "Chronic inflammation is linked to the development of multiple cancers, including those of the colon. Inflammation in the gut induces carcinogenic mutagenesis and promotes colorectal cancer initiation. Additionally, myeloid and lymphoid cells infiltrate established tumors and propagate so called "tumor-elicited inflammation", which in turn favors cancer development by supporting the survival and proliferation of cancer cells. In addition to the interaction between cancer cells and tumor infiltrating immune cells, the gut also hosts trillions of bacteria and other microbes, whose roles in colorectal inflammation and cancer have only been appreciated in the past decade or so." Research that was published just a few short weeks ago in Science (Gut Microbiome Influences Efficacy of PD-1-Based Immunotherapy Against Epithelial Tumors) by a team of almost fifty researchers and physicians showed that when dysbiotic rats with cancer that were resistant to certain types of tumor-blocking medications were given FMT from rats that were not resistant, the medication (chemo) started working. To sum it all up, August's copy of Carcinogenesis (Microbiota in Digestive Cancers: Our New Partner?) concluded that, "There is much evidence about the gut microbiota's contribution to carcinogenesis, involving proinflammatory and immunosuppressive signals. At the same time, it seems increasingly clear that commensal microbes can modulate cancer therapy efficacy and safety, in particular innovating treatments as immune checkpoint inhibitors." This is just one of the many reasons that it should be criminal for doctors --- especially CANCER DOCTORS --- not to be educating their patients about the importance of Otto Warburg's work, and the importance of DIET IN GENERAL.
- PRE & POST-FMT ANTIBIOTICS, AND WHICH METHOD OF FMT IS BEST: There are many ways that different physicians and facilities do FMT. There is the colonic route (putting it in through your rear end), the nasogastric route (a tube is run through your nose down into the top of the bowel), and the pill route (feces is freeze dried, capsulized, and taken orally). Everything I have seen to date points to the colonic route as not only being the best, but probably the safest as well --- more so than the nasogastric route. August's issue of the Journal of Hospital Infections (Comparative Effectiveness of Fecal Microbiota Transplant by Route of Administration) agreed by stating, "Overall, nasogastric delivery of FMT was less effective than lower endoscopic delivery. When patients were stratified by illness severity, nasogastric delivery achieved similar cure rates in healthier individuals, whereas lower endoscopic delivery was preferred for relatively ill individuals. Nasogastric delivery may be less effective than lower endoscopic delivery." Some doctors will want to clear out the dysbiosis prior to the FMT. While one could probably achieve this with COLONIC IRRIGATION, researchers writing in the June issue of Frontiers in Microbiology (Preparing the Gut with Antibiotics Enhances Gut Microbiota Reprogramming Efficiency by Promoting Xenomicrobiota Colonization) concluded just what we see in the title --- "These results suggest that FMT relied on the available niches in the intestinal mucosa and that preparing the gut with antibiotics facilitated xenomicrobiota colonization in the intestinal mucosa." I am always leery of antibiotics, but clearing out BIOFILMS can at times prove exceedingly difficult without resorting to this class of drugs. Case in point of being leery of antibiotics, the August issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases (Early Antibiotic Use Post-Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Increases the Risk of Treatment Failure) also made some conclusions as seen in the study's title --- "Antibiotic use within the first 8 weeks post fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) may disrupt microbial engraftment and limit FMT effectiveness." This, folks, is why I strongly recommend you do whatever needed to KEEP YOUR FAMILY OFF ANTIBIOTICS (fortunately, MY KIDS have never had to take them).
- ETHICAL ISSUES; WHO MAKES THE BEST DONOR? Yes, there are some big ethical issues here, the first being whether you should have the FMT done via COLONOSCOPY. The second being what should the donor look like (this is absolutely critical and I cover it for you HERE). Be aware that one of the things that the labs that do FMT are starting to do is pool donor feces.
INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE & FMT
"We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis assessing the effectiveness and safety of FMT in IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) through January 2017, with clinical remission established as the primary outcome. 53 studies were included. Overall, 36% of UC, 50.5% of CD, and 21.5% of pouchitis patients [due to colostomy, they have an artificial, surgically created rectum] achieved clinical remission. Sub-analyses suggest remission in UC improved with increased number of FMT infusions and lower gastrointestinal tract administration [as opposed to nasogastric infusions]. Most adverse events were transient gastrointestinal complaints [gas, bloating, discomfort, etc]." From the October issue of Crohn's & Colitis (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis)
"Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) represent a growing public health concern due to increasing incidence worldwide. The current notion on the pathogenesis of IBD is that genetically susceptible individuals develop intolerance to dysregulated gut microflora (dysbiosis) and chronic inflammation develops as a result of environmental triggers. Among the environmental factors associated with IBD, diet plays an important role in modulating the gut microbiome, influencing epigenetic changes, and, therefore, could be applied as a therapeutic tool to improve the disease course." From the September issue of Nutrients (Diet, Gut Microbiome and Epigenetics: Emerging Links with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and Prospects for Management and Prevention). The authors talked about the FODMAP diet here.
"Ultra-processed foods are ready-to-heat and ready-to-eat products created to replace traditional homemade meals and dishes due to convenience and accessibility. They could impact the prevalence of autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Ultra-processed foodstuffs can induce gut dysbiosis, promoting a pro-inflammatory response and consequently, a "leaky gut", associated with increased risk of autoimmunity. In addition, food emulsifiers, commonly used in ultra-processed products could modify the gut microbiota and intestinal permeability, which could increase the risk of autoimmunity. In contrast, unprocessed and minimally processed food-based diets have shown the capacity to promote gut microbiota eubiosis, anti-inflammatory response, and epithelial integrity." From this month's issue of Foods (Old Fashioned vs. Ultra-Processed-Based Current Diets: Possible Implication in the Increased Susceptibility to Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in Childhood)
- CROHN'S DISEASE AND FMT: Back in July (PRIME TIME FOR THE CURRENT RIVER) the journal Scientific Reports (Multiple Fresh Fecal Microbiota Transplants Induces and Maintains Clinical Remission in Crohn’s Disease Complicated with Inflammatory Mass) concluded, "Crohn’s disease (CD) is characterized by a transmural inflammatory process, which may lead to the formation of intraabdominal inflammatory masses or abscess. Twenty-five patients were diagnosed with CD and related inflammatory mass by CT or MRI. All patients received the initial FMT followed by repeated FMTs every 3 months. The primary endpoint was clinical response (improvement and remission) and sustained clinical remission at 12 months. 68.0% and 52.0% of patients achieved clinical response and clinical remission at 3 months post the initial FMT. This pragmatic study suggested that sequential fresh FMTs might be a promising, safe and effective therapy to induce and maintain clinical remission in CD with intraabdominal inflammatory mass." BTW, almost 3 of 4 people studied improved their mass with FMT.
- FMT AND ULCERATIVE COLITIS: An August systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 studies was published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for the Induction of Remission for Active Ulcerative Colitis). "Despite variation in processes, FMT appears to be effective for induction of remission in UC, with no major short-term safety signals. Clinical remission was achieved in 39 of 140 patients in the donor FMT groups compared with 13 of 137 in the placebo groups. Clinical response was achieved in 49% donor FMT patients compared to 28% of placebo patients." The July issue of Free Radical Biology & Medicine (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Could Reverse the Severity of Experimental Necrotizing Enterocolitis Via Oxidative Stress Modulation) showed even better results for a form of IC known as NEC or Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Right behind Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS), NEC is the next leading cause of morbidity in preemies (it causes the bowel to die due to lack of OXYGEN). "Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been used successfully to treat a variety of gastroenterological diseases. FMT eliminated ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) production and promoted Nitrous Oxide production in experimental NEC mice. FMT decreased the extent of proinflammatory signalin in the intestinal mucosa tissue, and suppressed intestinal apoptosis [pre-programmed cellular death] and bacterial translocation across the intestinal barrier [Leaky Gut Syndrome], which was accompanied by decreased inflammatory cytokine levels [less inflammation], altered bacterial microbiota, and regulated lymphocyte proportions. FMT is effective in a mouse model of NEC through the modulation of oxidative stress and reduced colon inflammation." Super cool, but a similar study on children with UC was published in last month's issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (Fecal Microbial Transplant In Children With Ulcerative Colitis) revealing that, "Remission or a 20-point improvement of PUCAI scores were seen in 60% of children receiving FMT versus 28% receiving placebo. More importantly, children receiving FMT did not require escalation of therapy in contrast to 71% receiving placebo. No serious adverse events related to FMT. Bloating and fever were adverse events that were considered related to FMT." Notice the "transient" side effects that most people get with FMT.
- IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Irritable Bowel Syndrome is an Autoimmune Disease that is caused by inflammation, but is not "officially" part of the IBD family of diseases. We do know that there is a huge connection between SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and IBS (HERE), that tends to respond like gangbusters to cutting FODMAPS out of the diet. Back in June the World Journal of Gastroenterology asked a question via a study title, Can Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Cure Irritable Bowel Syndrome? "IBS is the most prevalent functional GI disorder in developed countries. It is estimated that IBS affects 10%-15% of the adult population and strongly impairs quality of life, work productivity, and social function as well as inflicting substantial costs to health care systems. Accumulating evidence indicates that the gut microbiota plays a significant role, and alterations in gut microbiota among IBS patients have been described frequently. IBS symptoms are characterized by chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits, including diarrhea and/or constipation, in the absence of organic or structural causes. In the final analysis, treatment of 48 patients was evaluated. Treatment revealed an improvement in 58% of cases." Last month's issue of Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Versus Placebo for Moderate-to-Severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome) concluded almost the same thing, with about 65% of the treatment group getting the results they were looking for. "FMT induced significant symptom relief in patients with IBS. No serious adverse events could be attributed to FMT."
Again, let me reiterate. If you are chronically ill or overweight, as are the vast majority of American adults (as well as a huge percentage of our nation's children), at least start researching what it is going to take for you to restore your Gut Health so that you can start the process of truly regaining your life. Fortunately for you, I have lots of information on this topic completely free on my site (see below).
SOLVING CHRONIC NECK AND HIP PAIN
QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY!
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If you are struggling with chronic conditions, I might have the answer for you (HERE). Be sure and take a look at my generic protocol for getting out of pain, getting healthy, and taking your life back as well (HERE). And because FACEBOOK is the best way to reach those you love and care about most, be sure to like, share, or follow!
FASCIAL ADHESIONS ARE A CHIEF CULPRIT IN NUMEROUS CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES CAUSED BY CUTANEOUS NERVE ENTRAPMENTSRead Now
FASCIAL ADHESIONS, CHRONIC PAIN, AND CUTANEOUS NERVE ENTRAPMENTS
MORE COMMON THAN YOU EVER DREAMED!
- DERMATOMAL PAIN PATTERNS: In the same way that we know which nerves control what organs, we also know what specific areas of sensation are controlled by each spinal nerve. These areas are known as dermatomes. In other words, a dermatome refers to the area of skin innervated by a single spinal nerve. For instance, if a person had severe pain in a dermatomal pattern on their abdomen, it would not be a shock to see them break out with SHINGLES a day or two later (the herpes zoster / chickenpox virus hides in the nerve root and attacks the length of said nerve if a person BECOMES OVER-STRESSED or has a weakened immune system). Dermatomes are what allow us to look at what part of a patient's hand is numb and tell what nerve is the likeliest one being pinched in the neck or upper back. Dermatomal patterns of sensation are seen in the pics above, and while cutaneous nerve entrapments will often create patterns similar to dermatomal patterns, they are usually not an exact match.
- MYOTOMAL PATTERNS OF DYSFUNCTION: Myotomes are the muscle's equivalent of the dermatome, except that they are measures of motor function instead of sensory. In other words, a myotome is muscle or group of muscles controlled by a specific spinal nerve. So if we've figured out what dermatome is affected in our patient, we can start testing things like grip strength, the ability to spread one's fingers against resistance, or maybe the ability to stand on one's heels or toes, to see if the dermatomal level of lesion matches the myotomal level. Again, myotomes are a motor issue, not sensory (which does not mean that muscles cannot be a source of pain).
- SCLERATOMAL OR SCLERATOGENOUS PAIN PATTERNS: The Scleratome refers to all the deep tissues that are controlled / innervated by a specific spinal nerve. Scleratogenous patterns of pain go back to embryonic development (again, the somite) and encompasses the specific referral patterns of specific deep tissues (bone, cartilage, LIGAMENTS, TENDONS) controlled by a specific spinal nerve.
- TRIGGER POINT PAIN REFERRAL PATTERNS AND TENDER POINTS: I have written extensively about TRIGGER POINTS and their pain referral patterns ("Tender Points" are said to be Trigger Points that do not refer pain, but are locally painful).
- VISCERAL PAIN REFERRAL PATTERNS: The soma refers to the body (think "somite" here) and the viscera refers to the organs. And yes, organs have specific referral patterns as well, although far less is known about them than somatic pain referral. Visceral referral is thought to arise from a combination of embryological origins, the level of spinal cord innervation / nerve supply, and yes, the fascial connections that are found throughout the organ systems (the last pic at the bottom of the post has a diagram showing visceral pain referral patterns from specific organs).
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to refer pain, which is why it can sometimes be difficult to nail down exactly what is going on in a suffering individual. What I want to do now is talk about still another mode of potential pain referral -- the entrapment of cutaneous nerves in superficial connective tissues, i.e fascia.
Are entrapment syndromes of the cutaneous nerves real, or am I blowing a lot of hot air here. Although YESTERDAY'S POST on entrapment of the Superior Cluneal Nerve (SCN) should have answered this question, we'll delve in a bit deeper today and talk about other entrapment syndromes regarding other cutaneous nerves. Before we do, I want you to understand that it is in the cutaneous nerves where we find SMALL FIBER NEUROPATHY --- one of the hallmarks of FIBROMYALGIA (the only surefire way of testing for this problem is via biopsy). People with small fiber neuropathy typically struggle with numbness, tingling, burning, and other paresthesias of the extremities, and it's not uncommon that they have hypersensitivity to heat, cold, or both, as well. Whatever the source of pain, science is increasingly insistent that dealing with it is critical in order to diminish the chances of developing CENTRAL SENSITIZATION.
"Nerves travel to the upper and lower extremities and traverse the various joints along their paths. Unfortunately, these nerves can become compressed or entrapped at various regions of the extremities, especially at "tunnel" regions, where they may be predisposed or vulnerable to compression. Neurosurgeons, among other surgical specialists treat these entrapment neuropathies, which can account for 10-20% of a practice’s cases." From a September 2017 article for Medscape (Nerve Entrapment Syndromes) written by a group of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and plastic surgeons.
Now that we've ascertained that nerve entrapments are not only real, but common as well, it would be helpful to have some kind of idea of how common they are --- particularly entrapments of the cutaneous nerves. Some are so common that they have their own name. For instance, when there is entrapment of the Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve (LFCN), it is known as 'Meralgia Paraesthetica' (MP). Although its symptoms are different (sensitivity to light touch, sensitivity to temperature extremes, buttock or groin pain, problem worse with tight pants, constant pain, burning, stinging, etc), MP is sometimes confused with IT-BAND issues due to its proximity.
Because one of the more common types of pain is abdominal pain, it is likewise important to realize that the RIB CAGE and ABDOMEN are not uncommon areas to find entrapments of cutaneous nerves. For instance, the May 2014 issue of Continuing Education in Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain (Abdominal Cutaneous Nerve Entrapment Syndrome) stated, "Abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome is a frequently overlooked diagnosis in patients with abdominal pain. Patients have often undergone a plethora of investigations, including diagnostic surgery and psychiatric review, before referral to Pain Management Services... resulting in significant anxiety, distress, and loss of work days for the patient. Up to 30% of patients with chronic abdominal pain have pain originating in the abdominal wall and abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome (ACNES) is the most frequent cause of pain in these cases." When thinking about what I see in my clinic, I am not surprised at these numbers.
Other common cutaneous nerve entrapment syndromes involve various cutaneous nerves of the SKULL AND NECK. Take for instance the occipital nerves (those nerves at the back of the head). A study from the April 2016 issue of Headache (Occipital Neuralgia Diagnosis and Treatment: The Role of Ultrasound) had this to say. "Occipital neuralgia is a form of neuropathic type of pain in the distribution of occipital nerves. Occipital neuralgia frequently occurs as a result of nerve entrapment or irritation by a tight muscle or vascular structure, or nerve trauma during whiplash injury. Ultrasound not only allows distinguishing normal from abnormal entrapped occipital nerves, it can identify the level and the cause of entrapment as well." Which leads into the next topic concerning cutaneous nerve entrapments --- imaging.
After mentioning some of the things that can cause entrapment of cutaneous nerves (fibrous bands, scar tissue, fibrosis, masses, bony calluses, external compression, inflammation, and others), sports medicine physician, Phillip M. Steele, showed via his 64 page online seminar notes (Nerve Entrapments: Frequently Seen, Commonly Missed) exactly what's stated in the title; these problems are common. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that cutaneous nerve entrapments are probably even more common than experts like Dr. Steele believe. Why? Because when you start talking about things like SCAR TISSUE / FIBROSIS as causes of cutaneous entrapment, all bets are off. Simply imagine how much easier it would be to bind a nerve in soft tissues that are deranged and TETHERED due to it looking / acting more like a HAIRBALL, than in healthy elastic tissue that looks more like well-combed hair under a microscope.
Which begs yet another question; what can be done to effectively deal with these entrapments? as ou probably already guessed, the peer-reviewed literature is definitely slanted towards invasive procedures such as INJECTIONS, NSAIDS, and various forms of tissue releases (surgery). While I would never argue against the fact that in some cases --- maybe even many cases --- drastic measures like these might be required; likewise, in many cases --- probably the majority of cases --- the problems could be dealt with conservatively using various MANIPULATIVE TECHNIQUES, MASSAGE, or TISSUE REMODELING (for examples, CLICK HERE). And as I've written concerning treating those who might already be "CENTRALIZED," what have you got to lose? Worst case scenario YOU TRY A TREATMENT and see what happens. It will either help or it won't; it's not going to somehow make you worse.
Be aware, however, that there are any number of societal issues at play that have undoubtedly led to a sharp spike in said nerve entrapments. Not surprisingly, INFLAMMATION has been mentioned as a causal factor many times in this post by people far smarter than I (inflammation always leads to fibrosis, which always leads to degeneration --- HERE). And with the vast majority of our adult population either OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE, this creates its own risk factors for cutaneous nerve entrapment simply because there is a SUBSTANTIAL LAYER OF FAT just under the skin (sub-cutaneous). Similarly, because so many Americans are both sedentary and HUNCHED OVER ALL DAY in the posture of chronic pain, chronic illness, and age; nerve entrapments occur easier as well (motion is lotion when it comes to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems).
All of this together is why an important part of almost anything I do involves educating patients or others who are willing to learn, about the things they can do to help them help themselves (HERE). Oh; and for those of you who love reading about fascia, check out my FASCIA SUPER POST with all 140 of my articles on fascia neatly organized and categorized.
People are complaining about my site --- complaining that they are spending more time than they intended to spend. Feel free to join them. And while you're at it, be sure to share the wealth. One of the best ways to reach those you love and care about most with pertinent health-related information (all completely free) is by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK.
CAN ADHESIONS IN THE THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA DRIVE SCIATICA? HOW COMMON ARE ENTRAPMENTS OF THE SUPERIOR CLUNEAL NERVE?Read Now
THORACOLUMBAR-DRIVEN LEG PAIN / SCIATICA
IS IT A REAL THING?
Low back pain (LBP) is a common condition with a life-time prevalence affecting up to 84% of the population. Chronic LBP is less prevalent, occurring in about 23%. Large epidemiological studies have shown that up to 37% of patients with chronic back pain have a neuropathic pain component, mainly presenting as radicular [radiating] leg pain.
The authors go on to talk about a number of studies showing how this leg pain is frequently not a true sciatica, but instead a "pseudo-sciatica" caused not by irritation of the nerve roots themselves, but by irritation / entrapment of a cutaneous or superficial nerve known as the Superior Cluneal Nerve (SCN). As you will see in the pictures below, the SCN travels in the superficial layer of the Thoracolumbar Fascia (you can actually see these layers moving independently of each other HERE with the proper technology) just above the posterior portion of the illiac crest --- the large bones just below the bottom of the ribs that you use when you put your hands on your hips --- before popping through said fascia and supplying feeling to the upper half of the buttock.
PICTURES OF A RIGHT BUTTOCK / HIP AND A RIGHT BUTTOCK PIRIFORMIS MUSCLE
It's super easy to assume that pain in the area we have been discussing is caused by the usual suspects --- a DISC ISSUE, PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME, or a SACROILIAC PROBLEM. There's another problem I am leaving out --- something called Thoracolumbar Junction Syndrome or Maigne's Syndrome (named after a French surgeon). This occurs when SUBLUXATION of the spinal area where the ribs end (T-12) and the lumbar spine begins (L-1) refers pain to the very area we've been discussing, as well as the groin, the lower abdomen, the sex organs (testicles / ovaries), and the upper portion of the IT-BAND. This is why tightness in the Thoracolumbar area of the spine is often times not simply a compensation for what's going below it at the lumbosacral area; it's frequently itself the primary problem. The obvious connection here is that the Superior Cluneal Nerves arise from the spinal levels (T-12, L-1, and L-2) otherwise known as the Thoracolumbar spine.
What's crazy is that just as there are experts telling us that the number one cause of buttock pain and sciatica is problems with the Piriformis, I likewise found people touting Superior Cluneal Nerve Entrapment as the number one cause of both as well. Which begs yet another question; can SCN Entrapment be imaged? A group of scientists and researchers from the neurology department at Austria's Medical University of Vienna published a paper (Successful Identification and Assessment of the Superior Cluneal Nerves with High-Resolution Sonography) in a recent issue of the journal Pain Physician saying yes. "We hereby confirm that it is possible to visualize the medial branch of the superior cluneal nerves (mSCN) in the majority of anatomical specimens. The patients described may indicate a higher incidence of mSCN syndrome than has been recognized. mSCN syndrome should be considered in patients with low back pain of unknown origin." The problem is that while this technology clearly shows the fascial layers either moving normally or restricted in their movement (HERE), it is not yet in common use (meaning that in most cases, insurances will not cover it).
The real question now that you've been diagnosed a Cluneal Nerve Entrapment is how to go about having it treated? Although the medical literature is replete with information on nerve blocks, NSAIDS, CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS, and a wide variety of surgical procedures (usually in the form of fascial releases), I use a combination of adjustments (frequently focusing on the Thoracolumbar Junction) as well as TISSUE REMODELING and LLLT. Because in most cases this is a fascia issue, there are many who have good results with ACUPUNCTURE as well as DRY NEEDLING. While a conservative approach does not always work, drugs are never a long-term solution. And honestly; why would you want to start with surgery anyway?
This thought process was driven home by a Japanese study published this past July in the journal Spine Surgery and Related Research (Treatment of Low Back Pain Elicited by Superior Cluneal Nerve Entrapment Neuropathy After Lumbar Fusion Surgery). In this study, the authors took individuals who had undergone lumbar spinal fusion (you know, pins, screws, rods, wires, STABILIZERS, etc), yet still struggled with pain and sciatica (here in America we refer to this as Failed Back Surgery Syndrome). The authors then did a Trigger Point Injection at the area where the Superior Cluneal Nerve exits the Thoracolumbar Fascia (see earlier pic with arrow at top) to see if it would help. 75% had relief (but since the relief was short-lived, release surgery was done on the osteofibrous tunnel).
Stay tuned because my NEXT POST is going to be on Cutaneous Nerve Entrapments in general. That's right; these sorts of entrapments can happen all over the body, causing a myriad of chronic pain issues that are rarely solved simply because they are rarely addressed, let alone looked for. Oh; and make sure to check out the cool video below by Dr. Rick Boatwright, an Arizona DC who has written extensively about why he believes SCN Entrapment is the number one cause of low back pain / sciatica (pseudo sciatica) facing our population today.
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If you are one of the millions of Americans struggling with Low Back Pain, make sure to read my DIY article for getting rid of yours (HERE). While you're at it, make sure to spread the wealth by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK. It's the easiest way to reach those you love and care about most with potentially life-changing information.
IS QUESTIONING FORCED VACCINATION POLICIES ANTI-SCIENTIFIC? WHY VACCINES CAUSE MORE DAMAGE THAN THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY IS LETTING ONRead Now
IS QUESTIONING FORCED
VACCINATION POLICIES UNSCIENTIFIC?
METALS IN VACCINES (MERCURY & ALUMINUM) BYPASS THE BODY'S NORMAL DEFENSES WHEN THEY ARE INJECTED AS OPPOSED TO INGESTED
CS Lewis (1898-1963) is unarguably one of the greatest intellects of the 20th Century. On faculty at both Oxford and Cambridge, Lewis is today best known for his Chronicles of Narnia series. However, if you follow Lewis' body of work, you already know that he believed something that I have warned my readers about for years --- that science is easily manipulated for profit and power. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in our nation's forced vaccination policies. I recently showed you from peer-review (Lancet) that HONEST SCIENTISTS AND DOCTORS were forced to admit decades ago that it was improved sanitation and not vaccines that largely lead to our nation's dramatic reductions in infectious illness.
Earlier this month, Dr Nicola Luigi Bragazzi (a medical doctor with a Ph.D in nanochemistry and nanobiotechnology) of Italy's University of Genoa, along with a group of researchers from the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases at Israel's Tel-Aviv University, published a study in the journal Vaccine called Debate on Vaccines and Autoimmunity: Do Not Attack the Author, Yet Discuss it Methodologically. As you might imagine from the study's title, Bragazzi and company are tired of taking it on the chin for publishing legitimate research findings that are not in lockstep with standard vaccine propaganda. Below is the entire abstract, word-for-word.
"Since Jenner, vaccines and vaccinations have stirred a hot, highly polarized debate, leading to contrasting positions and feelings, ranging from acritical enthusiasm to blind denial. On the one hand, we find anti-vaccination movements which divulge and disseminate misleading information, myths, prejudices, and even frauds, with the main aim of denying that vaccination practices represent a major public health measure, being effective in controlling infectious diseases and safeguarding the wellbeing of entire communities. Recently, the authors of many vaccine safety investigations are being personally criticized rather than the actual science being methodologically assessed and critiqued. Unfortunately, this could result in making vaccine safety science a “hazardous occupation”. Critiques should focus on the science and not on the authors and on the scientists that publish reasonably high-quality science suggesting a problem with a given vaccine. These scientists require adequate professional protection so there are not disincentives to publish and to carry out researches in the field. The issues for vaccine safety are not dissimilar to other areas such as medical errors and drug safety."
It's quite clear what Dr. Bragazzi is saying here. It's obvious that many (that would be many as in a whole lot) of those in the field of vaccine research are being blasted (and in many cases, BLACKLISTED) for reporting findings that don't toe the line concerning industry's standardized vaccine talking points. Dr. Bragazzi is happy to discuss his scientific findings, but the attacks on he and others like him have gotten personal. It's obvious that he has been given a label that for someone in the scientific research community is akin to being called a racist homophobic Satanist. He's been called an anti-vaxxer.
With a large portion of the media driven by Big Pharma to increasingly push the forced vaccination agenda (HERE), people need to realize that vaccines --- especially in the manner they are currently being given, and especially in light of the fact that every year there are more and more of them --- are proving increasingly dangerous. In other words, if you value your career and reputation, it's dangerous to be a researcher looking into the link between AUTOIMMUNITY and VACCINES. Enter the debate between Robert Kennedy Jr. and Doctor Paul Offit.
I was a year old when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated by Palestinian, Sirhan Sirhan. Robert Junior was fourteen. After attending Harvard, young Kennedy got his law degree at the University of Virginia, crusading for the past three decades against POLLUTION, particularly in the form of metals, and particularly against MERCURY and ALUMINUM, which are, one or the other or both, found in virtually all vaccines (aluminum as an ADJUVANT and mercury as a preservative).
Paul Offit is an MD -- a pediatrician to be precise --- who would characterize himself as the anti-Kennedy. He is a hardcore advocate of stringently enforced government-mandated vaccine policies, who has not only written several books on the topic, but belongs to several organizations, some in the capacity of board member, that not only promote vaccination "education," but various ways of forcing parents to have their children vaccinated. He also happens to have been the co-inventor of the rotovirus vaccine, which is why his detractors (there are many) have nicknamed him PAUL "FOR PROFIT" OFFIT. Not only did he make tens of millions off this patent, but publicly stated that the average person COULD HANDLE 100,000 INJECTIONS OF VACCINES without a problem / reaction.
I bring all of this up because two months ago the medical daily STAT interviewed Kennedy about a potential appointment by President Trump (who is himself a freedom-to-choose kind of guy when it comes to vaccines) to a yet-to-be created National Vaccine Safety Commission (An Interview with Robert Kennedy Jr. on Vaccines). Of course Kennedy mentioned the lack of vaccine safety in the article. Not surprisingly, three weeks ago Offit fired back in an article titled Correcting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Vaccine ‘Facts’. I was going to do a critique of Offit's "facts," but it seemed that Dr. Dr. James Lyons-Weiler already did this with an article of his own titled Bertrand Russell on the Importance of Facts: Offit vs. Kennedy.
Lyons-Weiler's bio page is amazing (HERE) as is his current book (An Environmental and Genetic Cause of Autism --- HERE), but what I want to talk about for a moment is a study that was mentioned in his article called Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methyl-Mercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal. This study's premise is rather amazing. After discussing the fact that the way most vaccine studies are done allows the data to be easily manipulated (HERE), Lyons-Weiler mentioned a study by a group of six researchers, scientists and physicians from the University of Washington, who came to some conclusions many of you may not be aware of.
"Public perception of the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines has a direct impact on immunization rates. The current debate linking the use of thimerosal in vaccines to autism and other developmental disorders has led many families to question whether the potential risks associated with early childhood immunizations may outweigh the benefits. Thimerosal is an effective preservative that has been used in the manufacturing of vaccines since the 1930s, and consists of 49.6% mercury by weight and breaks down in the body to ethyl-mercury and thiosalicylate. Recent reports have indicated that some infants can receive ethylmercury (in the form of thimerosal) at or above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for methylmercury exposure, depending on the exact vaccinations, schedule, and size of the infant calculated that children receive 187.5 μg of ethylmercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines given over the first 14 weeks of life. According to the authors, this amount approaches or, in some cases, exceeds the U.S. EPA guidelines for MeHg exposure during pregnancy. Other estimates have indicated that the schedule could provide repeated doses of ethylmercury from approximately 5 to 20 μg/kg over the first 6 months of life. Studies in preterm infants indicate that blood levels of Hg after just one vaccination (hepatitis B) increase by > 10-fold to levels above the U.S. EPA guidelines."
Not only is this scary stuff from mainstream scientists working at a mainstream institution, it actually gets worse. The authors went on to show how our government, as well as the industry it is supposed to be policing, are calculating mercury exposure to infants and children. Suffice it to say that it is extremely misleading (the half life to clear inorganic mercury from the human body could not be estimated by the short term studies previously used because it's over four months). Furthermore, this team determined that ethyl mercury's perceived faster clearance times from the blood is because the mercury is not really being cleared, but is instead being stored --- largely in the brain (the BBB is not fully developed in infants). Read the study (HERE) as it's free online in its entirety.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE WHETHER INGESTED OR INJECTED?
Firstly, all you need to do is go back and look at some of my previous links to see what most of you already know --- you can't trust our government and you can't trust big pharma. What you can trust is that when there is big money at stake, corporations and the people running them (including their government accomplices) will do whatever it takes to separate you from your hard-earned dollars --- the ultimate definition of cronyism.
Just remember that when it comes to mercury, you need to realize there are two kinds --- ethyl-mercury (etHg) and methyl-mercury (meHg). What's the difference? In 2013, the Journal of Applied Toxicology published a study on the topic called Toxicity of Ethylmercury (and Thimerosal): A Comparison with Methylmercury. Pay attention to their conclusions.
"Ethylmercury is derived from the metabolism of thimerosal, which is the most widely used form of organic mercury. Because of its application as a vaccine preservative, almost every human and animal (domestic and farmed) that has been immunized with thimerosal-containing vaccines has been exposed to etHg. Although methylmercury is considered a hazardous substance that is to be avoided even at small levels when consumed in foods such as seafood and rice, the World Health Organization considers small doses of thimerosal safe regardless of multiple/repetitive exposures to vaccines that are predominantly taken during pregnancy or infancy. In vitro studies comparing etHg with meHg demonstrate equivalent measured outcomes for cardiovascular, neural and immune cells. However, under in vivo conditions, evidence indicates a distinct toxicokinetic profile between meHg and etHg, favoring a shorter blood half-life, attendant compartment distribution and the elimination of etHg compared with meHg. EtHg's toxicity profile is different from that of meHg, leading to different exposure and toxicity risks. Therefore, in real-life scenarios, a simultaneous exposure to both etHg and meHg might result in enhanced neurotoxic effects in developing mammals."
This is a big deal for several reasons. Because mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive element on the planet, it's highly toxic even in small doses --- very small doses. Furthermore, many of the "mercury free" vaccines are not free of mercury at all. They contain trace amounts because they were originally made with mercury, later having it chemically removed. So when a propaganda piece on the FDA's website (Vaccines and Thimerosal) tells you something like the following, you now understand why it's comparing apples to oranges (the mercury is of two very different kinds). In fact, most vaccine toxicity studies have been done with meHg instead of etHg; not the kind of mercury found in vaccines --- thimerosal.
"Thimerosal meets the requirements for a preservative as set forth by the United States Pharmacopeia; that is, it kills the specified challenge organisms and is able to prevent the growth of the challenge fungi. Thimerosal in concentrations of .001% to .01% has been shown to be effective in clearing a broad spectrum of pathogens. A vaccine containing 0.01% thimerosal as a preservative contains 50 micrograms of thimerosal per 0.5 mL dose or approximately 25 micrograms of mercury per 0.5 mL dose. For comparison, this is roughly the same amount of elemental mercury contained in a 3 ounce can of tuna fish."
When it comes to mercury in tuna (methyl mercury), most is cleared via the feces. This is generally true of all ingested mercury. What is absorbed via the gut, is run through the liver, where it is dealt with by the most powerful antioxidant in the body --- GLUTATHIONE, before then being excreted via the feces. However, when the mercury is injected, it bypasses the first part of this process, making its way to various organs and tissues before finally making its way to the liver to be dealt with. Because mercury accumulates in certain bodily tissues (it has a high affinity for brain and nerve tissues, probably due to their high fat content), its effects are accumulative. So even if there is no immediate reaction other than fever and the swelling, redness, and pain so common at the injection site --- all of which are purposeful functions of the adjuvant --- it does not mean you are out of the woods yet. Not by a long shot.
One of the areas of vaccine study that has barely been touched upon is the synergistic adverse effects of the various metals found in vaccines. We already know that there are any number of metals that when exposed to each other, multiply their toxicity by many orders of magnitude. A perfect example is lead and mercury. Both highly toxic in their own right, a 1978 study called Combined Effects in Toxicology--A Rapid Systematic Testing Procedure: Cadmium, Mercury, and Lead showed something truly mind-bending. When the authors took the average amount of mercury that would kill one in 100 mice and added it to the average amount of lead that would kill one in 2,000 mice, the mixture killed 100% of the mice it was given to. This phenomenon was noted in the last sentence of the first red quote in this section. Lest you think I'm being ticky tacky here, take a look at the conclusions of similar studies.
- In 2002, Chinese authors published a study in Aquatic Toxicology (Synergistic Toxicity of Multiple Heavy Metals is Revealed by a Biological Assay...) that concluded, "Based on these data, we conducted pairwise and triple metal combination testing and demonstrated that these heavy metals displayed synergistic killing effects on C. elegans larvae. Drastic increases in mortality rate up to 100% could be observed at low metal concentrations. The results illustrate the complexity of toxicity tests in biological systems and show that physical-chemical monitoring of toxicants may underestimate biohazards in environmental samples."
- In 2004, our own CDC published a scientific article called Mixed Exposures Research Agenda - A Report by the NORA Mixed Exposures Team that stated, "Each stressor has the potential to cause a physiological effect..... Mixed exposures may produce acute or chronic effects or a combination of acute and chronic effects, with or without latency. Other exposures in combination with certain stressors may produce increased or unexpected deleterious health effects, or they may combine or interact in the environment to create a new exposure risk. Exposures to mixed stressors can produce health consequences that are additive, synergistic, antagonistic, or can potentiate the response expected from individual component exposures."
- Seven years later a 2011 issue of the journal Human and Experimental Toxicology (Infant Mortality Rates Regressed Against Number of Vaccine Doses Routinely Given: Is There a Biochemical or Synergistic Toxicity?) concluded that, "The infant mortality rate (IMR) is one of the most important indicators of the socio-economic well-being and public health conditions of a country. The US childhood immunization schedule specifies 26 vaccine doses for infants aged less than 1 year—the most in the world—yet 33 nations have lower IMRs. Using linear regression, the immunization schedules of these 34 nations were examined and a correlation was found between IMRs and the number of vaccine doses routinely given to infants. Nations were also grouped into five different vaccine dose ranges: 12–14, 15–17, 18–20, 21–23, and 24–26. Statistically significant differences in mean IMRs were found between nations giving 12–14 vaccine doses and those giving 21–23, and 24–26 doses. A closer inspection of correlations between vaccine doses, biochemical or synergistic toxicity, and IMRs is essential." Note that this is only talking about mortality and not morbidity, which is a far greater problem (can anyone say AUTISM or ALZHEIMER'S?).
- Two years later the same journal carried a study called Comparison of VAERS Fetal-Loss Reports During Three Consecutive Influenza Seasons, where the authors, "compared the number of inactivated-influenza vaccine–related spontaneous abortion and stillbirth (SB) reports in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database during three consecutive flu seasons beginning 2008/2009 and assessed the relative fetal death reports associated with the two-vaccine 2009/2010 season." What did this author discover? "The observed reporting bias was too low to explain the magnitude increase in fetal-demise reporting rates in the VAERS database relative to the reported annual trends. Thus, a synergistic fetal toxicity likely resulted from the administration of both the pandemic (A-H1N1) and seasonal influenza vaccines during the 2009/2010 season."
- In 2015, researchers from the University of Brazil published a study (Exposure to Mercury and Aluminum in Early Life: Developmental Vulnerability as a Modifying Factor in Neurologic and Immunologic Effects) in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that concluded, "Currently, ethylmercury (EtHg) and adjuvant-Al (aluminum) are the dominating interventional exposures encountered by fetuses, newborns, and infants due to immunization with Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs). Despite their long use as active agents of medicines and fungicides, the safety levels of these substances have never been determined, either for animals or for adult humans—much less for fetuses, newborns, infants, and children. Immunological and neurobehavioral effects of Thimerosal-EtHg and Al-adjuvants are not extraordinary; rather, these effects are easily detected in high and low income countries, with co-exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) or other neurotoxicants. Rigorous and replicable studies (in different animal species) have shown evidence of EtHg and Al toxicities. More research attention has been given to EtHg and findings have showed a solid link with neurotoxic effects in humans; however, the potential synergistic effect of both toxic agents has not been properly studied. Therefore, early life exposure to both EtHg and Al deserves due consideration."
- Later in 2015 a dozen Chinese researchers looked at combinations of various toxic metals in a study (Toxicity Assessment Due to Sub-Chronic Exposure to Individual and Mixtures of Four Toxic Heavy Metals) published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials. "Humans are exposed to a cocktail of heavy metal toxicants in the environment. Though heavy metals are deleterious, there is a paucity of information on toxicity of low dose mixtures. In this study, lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) were administered individually and as mixtures to 10 groups of 40 three-week old mice (20 males and 20 females), for 120 days. The study established that low dose exposures induced toxicity to the brain, liver, and kidney of mice. Metal mixtures showed higher toxicities compared to individual metals, as exposure to low dose Pb+Hg+Cd reduced brain weight and induced structural lesions, such as neuronal degeneration in 30-days. Interactions in metal mixtures were basically synergistic in nature and exposure to Pb+Hg+As+Cd induced renal tubular necrosis in kidneys of mice." The point here is not that vaccines contain lead, but that science is only starting to scratch the surface of the synergistic reactivity / toxicity of heavy metals. There were numerous other health-related issues in this study as well.
Which brings us to another question; where do metals like aluminum and mercury most commonly end up if the body cannot excrete them via it's BIOTRANSOFRMATION (DETOX) PATHWAYS? The April 2013 issue of BMC Medicine (Slow CCL2-Dependent Translocation of Biopersistent Particles from Muscle to Brain) showed us. A dozen French researchers, scientists, and physicians concluded that.....
"Long-term biodistribution of nanomaterials used in medicine is largely unknown. This is the case for alum, the most widely used vaccine adjuvant, which is a nanocrystalline compound spontaneously forming micron/submicron-sized agglomerates. Although generally well tolerated, alum is occasionally detected within monocyte-lineage cells long after immunization in presumably susceptible individuals with systemic/neurologic manifestations or autoimmune (inflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA). Intramuscular injection of alum-containing vaccine was associated with the appearance of aluminum deposits in distant organs, such as spleen and brain where they were still detected one year after injection. mice with chronically altered blood-brain-barrier. Stereotactic particle injection pointed out brain retention as a factor of progressive particle accumulation. Continuously escalating doses of this poorly biodegradable adjuvant in the population may become insidiously unsafe, especially in the case of overimmunization or immature/altered blood brain barrier or high constitutive CCL-2 production."
Here's the problem. Although these authors admit that many people (maybe even most people) tolerate low-does of aluminum just fine --- at least at first and at least at first glance --- they also revealed that there are many who do not. What groups do not? Those with a BBB (blood brain barrier) that is either immature (think infants and young children here --- the individuals in our society who are hardest hit by increasing numbers of vaccines) or altered (think LEAKY BRAIN SYNDROME here --- exceedingly common in our ULTRA-INFLAMED society), it's easy to see how aluminum could be adversely affecting far more people than originally estimated. Rather than me continuing (there is so much info on this topic I could write a book), I'm going to let people far smarter than I am speak.
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A few final thoughts on this debate between Drs Offit and Lyons-Weiler. Firstly, it's important to be aware that mercury is not the only toxic substance in vaccines --- not by a long shot (HERE is the CDC's list), and that this milieu of substances has been likewise shown to have synergistic toxicity to metals. Secondly, realize that the rotovirus vaccine that Offit made a fortune off is rendered ineffective (or at least less effective) by mother's milk.
A 2010 study by our own "trust us" government (this time the CDC --- Inhibitory Effect of Breast Milk on Infectivity of Live Oral Rotavirus Vaccines) revealed that as insinuated by the title, BREAST MILK rendered this vaccine significantly less effective. The government's solution? Instead of saying, 'hey, we might be onto something cool here,' they suggested that, "A short delay of breast-feeding at the time of immunization might be the least complicated intervention to improve the efficacy of these vaccines. Our findings suggest that the neutralizing activity of breast milk could substantially reduce the potency and effectiveness of live oral rotavirus vaccines among infants in resource-poor countries where mothers often breast-feed in clinic at the very time that a vaccine is orally administered."
And thirdly, before Offit released his criticism of Kennedy, the honest thing to do would have been to point readers to the fact that the debate between these two is not a new thing. You see; two years ago Lyons-Weiler wrote a telling article called PAGING DR. OFFIT; YOUR ALUMINUM NEURO-TOXICITY READING ASSIGNMENTS ARE READY! Unfortunately, this is an issue that to some degree we all must face --- both personally and via our children. For those of you who are struggling with issues caused by any sort of toxicity, a visit to a specialist in FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE might be needed. However, I have left some general suggestions for those of you dealing with chronic illness and or chronic pain (HERE).
OLDEST MEDICAL JOURNAL (LANCET) TOUTS THE KARL MARX SYSTEM OF HEALTHCARE
Because it's easy for GEEZERS LIKE ME to forget that it's been almost thirty years since what we now hail as the fall of communism (the Soviet Union); EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT A VALID EXCUSE, I can at least to some degree understand why this history lesson has been lost on our younger generation --- particularly since it's no longer taught in our public schools (hey; learning about ELVIS and Madonna is important!). How else could you possibly explain its resurgence in the Westernized world --- especially here in America?
Born in Prussia (Germany) in 1818, young Karl was educated by his father, who was a student of humanism and the Enlightenment. At 12, was sent to public school to be educated by a friend of his father, who also happened to be an ardent humanist (humanists are atheists who believe that man can solve all their problems APART FROM GOD or religious morality). Having married the daughter of another close friend of his father (a radical in his own right), Marx made his way to Berlin where he fell under the spell of the teachings of Hegel (the philosopher who heavily influenced Jung, Freud, Nietzsche, and many others --- all ardent and outspoken atheists). Soon after, Marx met Engels (who had himself become an atheist), and within a few years had become good enough buddies to co-author their magnus opus --- the The Communist Manifesto.
According to this tandem, communism would be an all encompassing worldview in which capital, the means of production, and personal property (farms, homes, businesses, banks, money, gold, mines, ships, factories, railroads, assets of all sorts, etc, etc, etc), are owned by the government. The idea was to create a perfected utopia --- a "classless" society where everyone is equal (although as Orwell's pigs warned, some are more equal than others). A society of people working for and in turn being provided for by the state; "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." But unfortunately, achieving such a lofty goal required class warfare and an ongoing revolution of workers against employers. In other words, since capitalism had tainted everything it touched (including people's minds), things would have to get worse before they could get better. So at least at first, there would need to be a government whose decisions would be made "for the good of the people". Deciphering the doublespeak, this meant that individuals had no rights, including the right to vote for said leaders. Enter Lenin.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (aka Lenin) was born into a wealthy family in Czarist Russia in 1870 (Marx was about 50). Although he grew up in the church, after Lenin's father died when he was 16, he renounced his faith in God and became an atheist. Having married a Marxist educator, he started or joined numerous radical revolutionary groups, eventually being exiled to Siberia for three years. Upon his release, Lenin established the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP). After years of starting newspapers, founding and running radical organizations, and traveling to constant speaking engagements to promote the RSDLP (in many ways reminiscent of the early life of Hitler as described in John Toland's 1976 biography, Adolph Hitler), he saw an opportunity and made his play.
When WWI broke out in 1914, Russia, just like what would happen a few decades later in WWII, found itself at war with Germany. At the end of the war, Lenin took power of the Reds or Bolsheviks (the more radical branch of the RSDLP) in a civil war against the Whites or Mensheviks. Lenin's "Reds" came out on top, and when Lenin seized control of Russia in 1917 he enacted a series of laws, which in most ways were not only extremely oppresive, but 180 degrees opposite of the core principles of our Constitution.
All land and property (everything mentioned earlier) now belonged to the state, with millions of people being displaced from their homes. Farms were "collectivized" with a result similar to the destructive chaos caused more recently in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe (yep, RM was a self-avowed Marxist). Labor unions were outlawed. Any sort of opposition via the media was abolished, with the press essentially becoming an arm of the government's propaganda machine. Because Lenin was a rabid atheist, the church was taken over by the Communist government as well, with any and all "non-official" churches outlawed. And finally, Russia's legal system was totally dismantled and replaced by a series of "Revolutionary Tribunals". Judges were told to ignore historical law, basing their decisions on a "socialist sense of justice". And don't forget, Lenin also established the Cheka --- the Soviet's secret police, which would eventually become the KGB; an organization that made the Gestapo look like Romper Room. Not only were people afraid to talk to others about what was going on in their country, they soon began to fear discussing it in their own homes --- especially with their children, who were being brainwashed in public schools (see first video below). The plan to create a Marxist society was carried out by Lenin with ruthless efficiency, which brings us to Stalin.
Josef Stalin's use of political power made Lenin look like an angel. His purges are legendary for their scope and depth, slaughtering millions upon millions of those who disagreed with him (alongside those he thought might disagree with him --- those with any higher education were usually the first to go). After victory in WWII, the Soviet Union immediately and aggressively began exporting communism around the globe. Much of Europe became communist. China, North Korea, and numerous other countries in the region rapidly followed. And more recently, parts of Africa (ETHIOPIA for a number of years) and Latin America (VENEZUELA, Honduras, Cuba, El-Salvador, etc) have come under its spell. How has communism worked out for Joe-average citizens in these countries?
Over the past 100 years (1917 to 2017), Communism, under leaders like Stalin, Lenin, Khrushchev, Ceaușescu, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, the three Un's, along with numerous others, is directly responsible for the deaths of at least 100,000,000 people. That would be one hundred million human beings, although I have seen estimates that are significantly higher than this. This means that communism is the world's leading cause of "unnatural" death over the course of the past century --- and this doesn't begin to count those who were killed indrectly (poverty, exposure, starvation, sickness, etc). Let that sink in all of you Che Guevara t-shirt-wearing Millennials. And let that sink in Richard Horton.
Richard Horton is the editor of The Lancet (a journal which I have been watching increasingly promote leftist causes for the last decade), and just this morning wrote an editorial piece called Medicine and Marx, in which he gleefully stated, "Marxist ideas have re-entered the political debate." Although Horton is unfortunately correct, I simply have to scratch my head and ask; do these folks ever learn? I am going to cherry-pick from Horton's third and final paragraph (he is at least partially quoting from Terry Eagleton --- a university professor and outspoken British communist, whom I would assume is making money off the books he writes, about his collectivistic belief that people should not be able to make money off of the books they write).
As Terry Eagleton argued in Why Marx Was Right (2011), Marxism isn't about violent world revolution, tyrannical dictatorships, or unachievable utopian fantasies. I think Marx matters to medicine for three reasons. First, Marx offers a critique of society, a method of analysis, that enables explication of disquieting trends in modern medicine and public health—privatized health economies..... Second, Marxism defends a set of values. The free self-determination of the individual, an equitable society, the end of exploitation, deepening possibilities for public participation in shaping collective choices, refusing to accept the fixity of human nature and believing in our capacity to change, and keeping a sense of the interdependence and indivisibility of our common humanity. Finally, Marxism is a call to engage, an invitation to join the struggle to protect the values we share. You don't have to be a Marxist to appreciate Marx. As the centenary of his birth approaches, we might agree that medicine has a great deal to learn from Marx.
Are you kidding me? Marxism, by its very nature, leads to tyranny, exploitation, and abject poverty. This is true 100% of the time and in 100% of the cases except for the ruling class living at the top of the food chain, stifling individual expression, often to the point of torture and/or death. It's why everyone in communist countries WANTS TO FLEE! As for Horton's assertion that people in communist nations are "free and self-determined individuals," he's delusional --- YouTube is full of videos of people who risked everything to escape from communism and likewise warning about letting it into this country. The term "collective choices" is the best example of Orwellian doublespeak I've heard in quite some time (see videos below to witness a "Collective Farm" in action, and listen carefully at the very end of the first video to hear the communist leader talk about those who would be first on the list for the "Killing Fields" --- doctor, professor, and student --- quite similar to Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution in Communist China). And let's be honest with each other; when has communism ever increased public participation in anything good? Sorry, but public executions don't count.
Horton is right about one thing however. Since society has forgotten just how terrible this political system really is, we do have a great deal to learn from Karl Marx. We should all be students of history (as opposed to 21st century revisionist history) so that we don't, in the words of Marx himself, repeat it. For all the problems we have in American healthcare today (they are legion, and I have ROUNDLY AND REPEATEDLY LAMBASTED THEM --- including HERE), I would challenge Horton to show me a communist nation where healthcare for the common man is even the remotest semblance of what we have access to here in the United States of America.
In fact Richard, show me a country where communism has worked out at all? Unfortunately, there are at least 100,000,000 people we can't ask this question of. In fact, with all the recent research on "PHYSICIAN BURNOUT," it's interesting to note that the most 'burned out' states also happen to be the bluest (see link). The Lancet is lying when it tries to tell you that communism isn't about utopian fantasies. The truth is, Horton and his ilk are living on FANTASY ISLAND. But when he needs that emergency appendectomy, he should pray (I'm not sure who to) that he doesn't have to go to Cuba or North Korea to have it done!
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COOL NEW RESEARCH ON INTERMITTENT FASTING
In a brand new study from Annual Review of Nutrition (Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting) researchers from the Department of Cancer, Department of Public Health, and Department of Endocrinology --- all from the University of California San Diego --- reviewed over 120 studies on the subject and came to some interesting conclusions.
- ALTERNATE-DAY FASTING: Food is consumed every other day (usually either two or three days a week). This type of fasting was "as effective as simple caloric restriction in reducing obesity-associated body weight and fasting insulin and glucose concentrations. Alternate-day fasting in rodent models of obesity has also been shown to reduce total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations, reduce liver steatosis and inflammatory gene expression, and have beneficial effects on cancer risk factors, such as cell proliferation." Some of the studies in this category also showed significant reductions in INFLAMMATORY BIOMARKERS as well. For the record, just realize that simple calorie restriction is not a great way to attempt to lose weight. A problem for people who did their fasting in this manner is that they never seemed to get over their hunger on fasting days.
- MODIFIED FASTING REGIMENS: Same thing as above, only instead of eating nothing on alternate days, modified fasters consume 20-25% of the normal amount of calories on those days. Some of the effects listed included "decreased visceral fat [BELLY FAT], leptin, and resistin, and increases in adiponectin.... appear to reduce adipocyte size, cell proliferation, and levels of insulin-like growth factor, statistically significant weight loss, decreases in fasting insulin, and one found reductions in fasting glucose, improvements in circulating LDL cholesterol or triglycerides, improvements in inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), adiponectin, leptin, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)." About 15% complained of irritability, lack of energy, hunger, etc, but overall, people on this diet felt better mentally and emotionally, had less anger and fatigue, and had more self confidence. They felt fuller as well. The authors did say that these benefits are not different than what studies have shown for people who simply restrict calories on a daily basis (something people are rarely able to stick with --- HERE).
- TIME-RESTRICTED FEEDING: This is what I do when I do it (the studies were on people who ate either one or two meals a day). The authors showed that this way of eating was associated with, "reductions in body weight, total cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and TNF-α, as well as with improvements in insulin sensitivity.... reduces the risk of obesity and obesity-related conditions, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cancer." Note that many of these studies are not on humans but on rats.
- MECHANISMS OF ACTION OF INTERMITTENT FASTING --- CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS: There are several areas of action that researchers looked at regarding intermittent fasting. These include circadian rhythms and sleep, microbiome, and energy intake -vs- energy expenditure. After talking about the way that most hormones such as INSULIN are on a 24 hour ebb-and-flow cycle, they stated that "As circadian rhythm synchronizers, it is hypothesized that fasting and time-restricted feeding regimens that actively impose a diurnal rhythm of food intake aligned with the 24-hour light–dark cycle lead to improved oscillations in circadian clock gene expression, the reprogramming of molecular mechanisms of energy metabolism, and improved body weight regulation. The potential effects of prolonged nightly fasting on energy intake, sleep, physical activity, and circadian activity rhythm may act in concert to reduce the risks of cardiometabolic disease and cancer. It is plausible that a chronically disturbed circadian profile may affect gastrointestinal function and impair metabolism and health." Working with this normal cycle instead of against it is critical (i.e. prolonging the fast by skipping breakfast) as opposed to disrupting the fast by eating late at night --- something that has repeatedly been shown to cause metabolic problems.
- MECHANISMS OF ACTION OF INTERMITTENT FASTING --- GUT MICROBIOME: I have shown you repeatedly that GUT HEALTH and MICROBIOME are critically important to overall health. These authors talked about research showing that dysbiosis-induced OBESITY could be "transferred" to thin mice via FMT. Not only did the authors suggest that fasting has the potential to help reverse DYSBIOSIS, but that, "extended fasting period (i.e., gut rest) could also lead to reduced gut permeability and to blunted systemic inflammation, which are typically elevated in obesity." Gut permeability refers to LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. And then we have the BRAIN-GUT PATHWAY. "Brain–gut pathways activated in the brain during fasting acts to promote energy balance by enhancing gut epithelial integrity." This is super cool because anywhere you have "THE LEAKIES" (Gut, brain, lungs, nerves, cord, etc), rest assured you will have SYSTEMIC HEALTH PROBLEMS. Thus, helping increase "epithelial integrity" goes a long way to solving lots of problems.
- MECHANISMS OF ACTION OF INTERMITTENT FASTING --- ENERGY IN / ENERGY OUT: While many studies showed that the benefits of fasting are no different than daily caloric restriction (aka "dieting"), the authors also said that "even a 1-day fast or 75% calorie restriction was shown to reduce caloric intake by approximately 30% during the subsequent 3 days." Furthermore, having always been an early riser, if I ever sleep in (which I never do anymore), I feel sluggish the entire rest of the day. Here is at least part of an explanation. "Animal studies indicate that the circadian clock regulates locomotion. Mice on a time-restricted, isocaloric feeding regimen [a single meal] have shown improved muscle coordination toward the end of the feeding period. Rodent studies demonstrate that time-restricted feeding regimens increase locomotion and improve circadian activity rhythms." Thus, movement is important, and movement is now known to be at least partially controlled by circadian rhythms.
It's clear that when you eat has a huge effect on circadian rhythms, which in turn has huge effects on both metabolism and energy levels, not to mention mental ability and outlook. Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that the number one way (by far) to increase lifespan is to eat about 60% of what you normally would eat. It seems that Intermittent Fasting is a potential method of helping people get closer to this goal (I have a post in the works on this topic). As always, whether you choose to fast intermittently or not, the KETOGENIC DIET or PALEO DIET are great diet choices and can both be done in an manner consistent with Intermittent Fasting. Also be aware that it is helpful to do an ELIMINATION DIET prior to anything you start so you can figure out what foods you might be reacting to immunologically.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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