Andrew’s Blog

Meat and the Environment Posted on December 15, 2015, 0 Comments

Original Source found here: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/not-eating-read-meat-wont-save-the-planet-20151214-glmxly

Not eating red meat won’t save the planet

Asa Wahlquist
Published: December 14, 2015 - 9:00PM

Comment: The future of protein is not meat
It sounds so easy: stop eating red meat to lower greenhouse gas emissions. But nature is far more complicated than that.

There are three critical questions you need to ask before cutting beef and lamb out of your diet for environmental reasons: what will happen to the grasslands that cattle and sheep graze; how will alternate protein be produced; and what will the greenhouse consequences of that production be?

About 60 per cent of the world's agricultural land is grasslands, land that is too poor and too dry to be cropped. In Australia, about 70 per cent of the country is grassland. The only way food can be produced from grasslands is by grazing ruminants. Mammals cannot digest grass, but ruminants have special stomachs filled with grass-digesting bacteria. The problem is those bacteria produce methane, which the ruminant burps out.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a rating 25 times that of carbon dioxide over 100 years, although it has a lifetime of 9 to 12 years in the atmosphere.

The experience worldwide is that if cattle are removed from grasslands, the original ruminants re-establish themselves, or ferals invade.

In Australia the main ferals are goats, as well as camels in drier regions. Contrary to popular belief, kangaroos do produce methane, although the actual quantities, and their alternate pathways for digesting cellulose from grass, are the subject of ongoing research. Even termites produce methane: they are responsible for about three per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

What if everyone did go vegetarian and the grasslands were not grazed at all? In Australia, they would most likely burn. Bushfire accounts for about 3 per cent of Australia's net greenhouse gas emissions.

The argument overseas focuses largely on the huge quantities of grain, that could otherwise be consumed by humans, that are fed to livestock. This is a practice that is indefensible on environmental grounds. In Australia, most cattle and all sheep are grassfed. Dairy cattle are usually given supplementary feed, which is mostly forage or hay with some grain.

If you decide not to eat meat, where are you going to get your protein, and what are the greenhouse gas consequences? Soy beans, chickpeas, lentils - all the high-protein legumes - are crops that are grown on cleared land, land that is ploughed, fertilised, planted, irrigated and harvested by greenhouse-gas producing machines.

Australia is at its limit of land that can be cleared for cropping, and is in the process of reducing irrigation in its food bowl, the Murray-Darling basin. And talking of irrigation, under Australian conditions soybeans need almost as much water as cotton. Australia produces roughly 15 per cent of the soybeans that it consumes, although much of that is used in stock feed.

Pigs and chickens are monogastric and as a result produce a small fraction, per kilo, of the methane produced by ruminants. Unlike cattle they cannot live on grass. In traditional farm situations they were fed on crop residues and waste, but now significant quantities of grains are grown to feed them.

Meat protein substitutes, ranging from tofu to synthetic meat, are all highly processed and that means more greenhouse gas production.

Estimating methane production is a tricky business. There are a number of figures for the percentage of greenhouse gas emissions agriculture is responsible for, and they are getting better. On Monday, the CSIRO announced methane emissions from Australian cattle were actually 24 per cent lower than previously thought.

Critics of meat consumption like to compare ruminant-produced methane with transport emissions. But fossil fuels are releasing carbon that was sequestered hundreds of millions of years ago that will never be replaced. The methane burped by a cow comes from carbon sequestered in the grass during the last growing season. If that grass keeps growing, or produces seedlings, carbon will be sequestered again next season.

There is no comparison: burning fossil fuels is a one-way street. The methane produced by ruminants is a natural part of an ancient life cycle.

Asa Wahlquist is a rural journalist.

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/not-eating-red-meat-won8217t-save-the-planet-20151214-glmxly.html

Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association Posted on October 01, 2015, 0 Comments

Abstract
Background
Epidemiological and animal-based studies have suggested that prenatal and postnatal fluoride exposure has adverse effects on neurodevelopment. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between exposure to fluoridated water and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States.

Methods
Data on ADHD prevalence among 4-17 year olds collected in 2003, 2007 and 2011 as part of the National Survey of Children’s Health, and state water fluoridation prevalence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected between 1992 and 2008 were utilized.

Results
State prevalence of artificial water fluoridation in 1992 significantly positively predicted state prevalence of ADHD in 2003, 2007 and 2011, even after controlling for socioeconomic status. A multivariate regression analysis showed that after socioeconomic status was controlled each 1% increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with approximately 67,000 to 131,000 additional ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011. Overall state water fluoridation prevalence (not distinguishing between fluoridation types) was also significantly positively correlated with state prevalence of ADHD for all but one year examined.

Conclusions
Parents reported higher rates of medically-diagnosed ADHD in their children in states in which a greater proportion of people receive fluoridated water from public water supplies. The relationship between fluoride exposure and ADHD warrants future study.

 

Orignal Source: http://www.ehjournal.net/content/14/1/17/abstract

Fluoride efficacy actually questioned in mainstream media Posted on June 30, 2015, 0 Comments

Fluoridation May Not Prevent Cavities, Scientific Review Shows
BY DOUGLAS MAIN 6/29/15

Water fluoridation, which first began in 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and expanded nationwide over the years, has always been controversial. Those opposed to the process have argued—and a growing number of studies have suggested—that the chemical may present a number of health risks, for example interfering with the endocrine system and increasing the risk of impaired brain function; two studies in the last few months, for example, have linked fluoridation to ADHD and underactive thyroid. Others argue against water fluoridation on ethical grounds, saying the process forces people to consume a substance they may not know is there—or that they’d rather avoid.

Despite concerns about safety and ethics, many are content to continue fluoridation because of its purported benefit: that it reduces tooth decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Oral Health, the main government body responsible for the process, says it’s “safe and effective.”

You might think, then, that fluoridated water's efficacy as a cavity preventer would be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But new research suggests that assumption is dramatically misguided; while using fluoridated toothpaste has been proven to be good for oral health, consuming fluoridated water may have no positive impact.

The Cochrane Collaboration, a group of doctors and researchers known for their comprehensive reviews—which are widely regarded as the gold standard of scientific rigor in assessing effectiveness of public health policies—recently set out to find out if fluoridation reduces cavities. They reviewed every study done on fluoridation that they could find, and then winnowed down the collection to only the most comprehensive, well-designed and reliable papers. Then they analyzed these studies’ results, and published their conclusion in a review earlier this month.

The review identified only three studies since 1975—of sufficient quality to be included—that addressed the effectiveness of fluoridation on tooth decay in the population at large. These papers determined that fluoridation does not reduce cavities to a statistically significant degree in permanent teeth, says study co-author Anne-Marie Glenny, a health science researcher at Manchester University in the United Kingdom. The authors found only seven other studies worthy of inclusion dating prior to 1975.

The authors also found only two studies since 1975 that looked at the effectiveness of reducing cavities in baby teeth, and found fluoridation to have no statistically significant impact here, either.

The scientists also found “insufficient evidence” that fluoridation reduces tooth decay in adults (children excluded).

“From the review, we’re unable to determine whether water fluoridation has an impact on caries levels in adults,” Glenny says. (“Tooth decay,” “cavities” and “caries” all mean the same thing: breakdown of enamel by mouth-dwelling microbes.)

“Frankly, this is pretty shocking,” says Thomas Zoeller, a scientist at UMass-Amherst uninvolved in the work. “This study does not support the use of fluoride in drinking water.” Trevor Sheldon concurred. Sheldon is the dean of the Hull York Medical School in the United Kingdom who led the advisory board that conducted a systematic review of water fluoridation in 2000, that came to similar conclusions as the Cochrane review. The lack of good evidence of effectiveness has shocked him. “I had assumed because of everything I’d heard that water fluoridation reduces cavities but I was completely amazed by the lack of evidence,” he says. “My prior view was completely reversed."

“There’s really hardly any evidence” the practice works, Sheldon adds. “And if anything there may be some evidence the other way.” One 2001 study covered in the Cochrane review of two neighboring British Columbia communities found that when fluoridation was stopped in one city, cavity prevalence actually went down slightly amongst schoolchildren, while cavity rates in the fluoridated community remained stable.

Overall the review suggests that stopping fluoridation would be unlikely to increase the risk of tooth decay, says Kathleen Thiessen, a senior scientist at the Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis, which does human health risk assessments of environmental contaminants.

“The sad story is that very little has been done in recent years to ensure that fluoridation is still needed [or] to ensure that adverse effects do not happen,” says Dr. Philippe Grandjean, an environmental health researcher and physician at Harvard University.

The scientists also couldn’t find enough evidence to support the oft-repeated notion that fluoridation reduces dental health disparities among different socioeconomic groups, which the CDC and others use as a rationale for fluoridating water.

“The fact that there is insufficient information to determine whether fluoridation reduces social inequalities in dental health is troublesome given that this is often cited as a reason for fluoridating water,” say Christine Till and Ashley Malin, researchers at Toronto’s York University.

Studies that attest to the effectiveness of fluoridation were generally done before the widespread usage of fluoride-containing dental products like rinses and toothpastes in the 1970s and later, according to the recent Cochrane study. So while it may have once made sense to add fluoride to water, it no longer appears to be necessary or useful, Thiessen says.

It has also become clear in the last 15 years that fluoride primarily acts topically, according to the CDC. It reacts with the surface of the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to acids excreted by bacteria. Thus, there's no good reason to swallow fluoride and subject every tissue of your body to it, Thiessen says.

Another 2009 review by the Cochrane group clearly shows that fluoride toothpaste prevents cavities, serving as a useful counterpoint to fluoridation’s uncertain benefits.

Across all nine studies included in the review looking at caries reductions in children's permanent choppers, there was evidence linking fluoridation to 26 percent decline in the prevalence of decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth. But the researchers say they have serious doubts about the validity of this number. They write: “We have limited confidence in the size of this effect due to the high risk of bias within the studies and the lack of contemporary evidence.” Six of the nine studies were from before 1975, before fluoride toothpaste was widely available.

The review also found fluoridation was associated with a 14 percent increase in the number of children without any cavities. But more than two-thirds percent of the studies showing this took place more than 40 years ago, and are not of high quality.

Nearly all these papers were flawed in significant ways. For example, 70 percent of the cavity-reducing studies made no effort to control for important confounding factors such as dietary sources of fluoride other than tap water, diet in general (like how much sugar they consumed) or ethnicity.

When it comes to fluoridation research, even the best studies are not high quality. Although this was already well-established, it doesn't seem to be well-known.

“I couldn’t believe the low quality of the research” on fluoridation, Sheldon says.

The data suggest that toothpaste, besides other preventative measures like dental sealants, flossing and avoiding sugar, are the real drivers in the decline of tooth decay in the past few decades, Thiessen says. Indeed, cavity rates have declined by similar amounts in countries with and without fluoridation.

Meanwhile, dental health leaves much to be desired in widely fluoridated America: About 60 percent of American teenagers have had cavities, and 15 percent have untreated tooth decay.

One thing the review definitively concluded: Fluoridation causes fluorosis.

This condition occurs when fluoride interferes with the cells that produce enamel, creating white flecks on the teeth. On average, about 12 percent of people in fluoridated areas have fluorosis bad enough that it qualifies as an “aesthetic concern,” according to the review. According to Sheldon, that’s a “huge number.” A total of 40 percent of people in fluoridated areas have some level of fluorosis, though the majority of these cases are likely unnoticeable to the average person.

In a smaller percentage of cases, fluorosis can be severe enough to cause structural damage, brown stains and mottling to the tooth.

Sheldon says that if fluoridation were to be submitted anew for approval today, “nobody would even think about it” due to the shoddy evidence of effectiveness and obvious downside of fluorosis.

There is also a definite issue of inequality when it comes to fluorosis. Blacks and Mexican-Americans have higher rates of both moderate and severe forms of the condition. Blacks also have higher levels. As of 2004, 58 percent of African-Americans had fluorosis, compared to 36 percent of whites, and the condition is becoming more common.

The Cochrane review concerned itself only with oral health. It didn’t address other health problems associated with fluoride, which Grandjean says need to be researched.

Many of the Cochrane study’s conclusions conflict with statements by the CDC, the American Dental Association and others that maintain fluoridation is safe and effective. The ADA, for example, maintains on its website that “thousands of studies” support fluoridation’s effectiveness—which is directly contradicted by the Cochrane findings. The ADA didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The CDC remains undeterred. “Nothing in the Cochrane review” reduces the government’s “confidence in water fluoridation as a valuable tool to prevent tooth decay in children as well as adults,” says Barbara Gooch, a dental researcher with CDC’s Division of Oral Health.

The CDC and others “are somehow suspending disbelief,” Sheldon says. They are “all in the mindset that this is a really good thing, and just not accepting that they might be wrong.” Sheldon and others suggest pro-fluoridation beliefs are entrenched and will not easily change, despite the poor data quality and lack of evidence from the past 40 years.

Derek Richards, the editor of the journal Evidence-Based Dentistry (published by the prestigious Nature group) concedes that “we haven’t got any current evidence” that fluoridation reduces cavities, “so we don’t know how much it’s reducing tooth decay at the moment,” he says. “But I have no qualms about that.” Richards reasons that because fluoridation may help reduce cavities in those who don’t use toothpaste or take other preventative measures, including many in lower socioeconomic groups, it’s likely still useful. He also argues that there’s no conclusive evidence of harm from fluoridation (other than fluorosis), so he doesn’t see a large downside.

But most scientists interviewed for this article don’t necessarily think fluoridation’s uncertain benefits justify its continuation without more stringent evidence, and argue for more research into the matter.

“When you have a public health intervention that’s applied to everybody, the burden of evidence to know that people are likely to benefit and not to be harmed is much higher, since people can’t choose,” Sheldon says. Everybody drinks water, after all, mostly from the tap. “Public health bodies need to have the courage to look at this review,” says Sheldon, “and be honest enough to say that this needs to be reconsidered.”

Original Source found here: http://www.newsweek.com/fluoridation-may-not-prevent-cavities-huge-study-shows-348251

BPA Free Has a Significant Health Cost Posted on June 19, 2015, 0 Comments

A new study suggests the long-held industry assumption that bisphenol-A breaks down safely in the human body is incorrect. Instead, researchers say, the body transforms the ubiquitous chemical additive into a compound that might spur obesity.

The study is the first to find that people’s bodies metabolize bisphenol-A (BPA) — a chemical found in most people and used in polycarbonate plastic, food cans and paper receipts — into something that impacts our cells and may make us fat.
The research, from Health Canada, challenges an untested assumption that our liver metabolizes BPA into a form that doesn’t impact our health.

“This shows we can’t just say things like ‘because it’s a metabolite, it means it’s not active’,” said Laura Vandenberg, an assistant professor of environmental health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who was not involved in the study. “You have to do a study.”

People are exposed to BPA throughout the day, mostly through diet, as it can leach from canned goods and plastic storage containers into food, but also through dust and water.

Within about 6 hours of exposure, our liver metabolizes about half the concentration. Most of that — about 80 to 90 percent — is converted into a metabolite called BPA-Glucuronide, which is eventually excreted.

The Health Canada researchers treated both mouse and human cells with BPA-Glucuronide. The treated cells had a “significant increase in lipid accumulation,” according to the study results. BPA-Glucuronide is “not an inactive metabolite as previously believed but is in fact biologically active,” the Health Canada authors wrote in the study published this week in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Not all cells will accumulate lipids, said Thomas Zoeller, a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who was not involved in the study. Testing whether or not cells accumulate lipids is “a very simple way of demonstrating that cells are becoming fat cells,” he said.

“Hopefully this [study] stops us from making assumptions about endocrine disrupting chemicals in general,” he said.

The liver is our body's filter, but it doesn't always neutralize harmful compounds. “Metabolism’s purpose isn’t necessarily a cleaning process. The liver just takes nasty things and turns them into a form we can get out of our body,” Vandenberg said.
BPA already has been linked to obesity in both human and animal studies. The associations are especially prevalent for children exposed while they’re developing.

Researchers believe BPA does so by mimicking estrogen hormones, but its metabolite doesn’t appear to do so. In figuring out why metabolized BPA appears to spur fat cells, Zoeller said, it’s possible that BPA-Glucuronide is “hitting certain receptors in cells”.

Health Canada researchers were only looking at this one possible health outcome. “There could be other [health] impacts,” Zoeller said.

In recent studies BPA-Glucuronide has been found in human blood and urine at higher concentration than just plain BPA.

Industry representatives, however, argue the doses used were much higher than what would be found in people.

Steve Hentges, a spokesperson for the American Chemistry Council, which represents chemical manufacturers, said the concentrations used in which the researchers saw increased fat cells were "thousands of times higher than the concentrations of BPA-Glucuronide that could be present in human blood from consumer exposure to BPA.

"There were no statistically significant observations at lower BPA-G concentrations, all of which are higher than human blood concentrations,” he said in the emailed response.

Zoeller agreed the dose was high but said “the concentration is much less important than the fact that here is a group testing an assumption that’s uniformly been made.” Vandenberg said the range is not that far off from what has been found in some people’s blood.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the Health Canada study but couldn’t comment before Environmental Health News’ deadline, said spokesperson Marianna Naum in an email.

The agency continues to study BPA and states on its website that federal research models “showed that BPA is rapidly metabolized and eliminated through feces and urine.”
Health Canada, which was not able to provide interviews for this article, has maintained a similar stance to the U.S. FDA, stating on its website that it “has concluded that the current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and infants.”

However, the fact that Health Canada even conducted such a study is a big deal, Vandenberg said.

“Health Canada is a regulatory body and this is pretty forward thinking science,” she said. “Hopefully this is a bell that can ring for scientists working for other regulatory agencies.”

This article originally ran at Environmental Health News, a news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.

Another reason why you should buy organic Posted on December 17, 2014, 0 Comments

Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues

Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years, a senior UN official said.

By Chris Arsenault

ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years, a senior UN official said on Friday.

About a third of the world's soil has already been degraded, Maria-Helena Semedo of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told a forum marking World Soil Day.

The causes of soil destruction include chemical-heavy farming techniques, deforestation which increases erosion, and global warming. The earth under our feet is too often ignored by policymakers, experts said.

"Soils are the basis of life," said Semedo, FAO's deputy director general of natural resources. "Ninety five percent of our food comes from the soil."

Unless new approaches are adopted, the global amount of arable and productive land per person in 2050 will be only a quarter of the level in 1960, the FAO reported, due to growing populations and soil degradation.

Soils play a key role in absorbing carbon and filtering water, the FAO reported. Soil destruction creates a vicious cycle, in which less carbon is stored, the world gets hotter, and the land is further degraded.

"We are losing 30 soccer fields of soil every minute, mostly due to intensive farming," Volkert Engelsman, an activist with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements told the forum at the FAO's headquarters in Rome.

"Organic (farming) may not be the only solution but it's the single best (option) I can think of."

 

Original article found here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-60-years-of-farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues/

 

I started to eat organic food because I was concerned for my own health/performance.  Soon I realized how important it was for the health of my friends and family, too.  Then long before this article was released, I came to the conclusion that organic/sustainable farming practices are essential for health of our world.  The cost to both our personal and our global environment is one which we are only now beginning to fully understand.  Books like Farmers of Forty Centuries along with countless other works and studies prove that industrialized, chemical farming is not only detrimental; it's unnecessary and even counterproductive to feeding the Earth's growing population.  Mixed use farming and traditional practices of crop rotation and soil conservation can meet the current and future demand for food and water--both of which are wasted in our current system of agriculture.  So if you can at all afford it, go out of your way to support organic and sustainable farming practices.  Your wallet is your voice.  And as I say all the time: you can pay for organic food now or you can pay for it later.

 

Oh...wait--there might not be a later...

Curcumin attenuates neurotoxicity induced by fluoride: An in vivo evidence Posted on April 23, 2014, 0 Comments

Abstract

Background:

Curcumin (Cur), an active ingredient of turmeric is known to have multiple activities, including an antioxidant property and has been suggested to be useful in treatment of several neurological diseases.

Objective:

To investigate the neuroprotective effects of Cur to mitigate the effect of the Fluoride (F) induced neurotoxicity in mice brain using the histological and the biochemical parameters.

Materials and Methods:

Exposure of mice (30 days old male) to F (120 ppm) daily for 30 days.

Result and Discussion:

Treatment with the F causes an increase in lipid peroxidation (LPO) and also increase in the neurodegenerative cells in the hippocampal sub-regions. Interestingly, co-treatment with Cur (30 mg/kg BW) with F (120 ppm) for 30 days results in significant decreases in LPO with a concomitant decrease in neurodegeneration as compared with those treated with F alone.

Conclusion:

Our study reveals that Cur is useful in ameliorating degenerative effects of F in mice brain.

Keywords: Curcumin, neurodegeneration, neuroprotection, lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress, fluoride, histology.

INTRODUCTION

Fluoride (F) is probably the first inorganic ion which drew attention of the scientific world for its toxic effects and now the F toxicity through drinking water is well-recognized as a global problem. Health effect reports on F exposure also include various cancers, adverse reproductive activities, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases.[,] Major cause of F induced neurological diseases is excitotoxicity causing degeneration of neuron cell bodies in selective brain areas.[,,] The process of neurodegeneration begins at the cellular level in which two main processes, oxidative stress, and excitotoxicity act relentlessly to inflict the majority of cell damage and death. Oxidative Stress can cause cellular damage and subsequent cell death mainly by apoptosis in neurodegeneration because the reactive oxygen species (ROS) oxidize vital cellular components such as lipids, proteins, and deoxyribonucleic acid;[,,] therefore, the imbalance between intracellular ROS and antioxidant defense mechanisms results in oxidative stress that is harmful for neurons. F had obvious influence on phospholipid and fatty acid composition in brain cells of rats where lipid peroxidation (LPO) due to oxidative stress causes a decrease in total brain phospholipid content.[] Thus, it is not surprising that oxidative stress is a common discussion point for neurodegenerative changes observed in fluorosis patients. Damage to neurons can reflect both an increase in oxidative processes and a decrease in antioxidant defenses. One proposed strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders that has gained considerable attention is the use of natural antioxidant agents since one common advantage of all these compounds is their human safety.[] Curcumin (Cur) is an ancient Indian herb, which is extracted from the curry powder and has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.[] It reacts with the free radical and can protect cell from singlet oxygen, hydroxyl radical, and superoxide radical damage. The increase in level of glutathione by Cur indicates its antioxidant property possibly by increasing the endogenous defense of the brain to combat oxidative stress.[] Cur's neuroprotective role has recently been demonstrated during neuronal developmental[] and adult hippocampal neurogenesis in fluoride intoxicated mice[] and a biological activity that may enhance neuronal plasticity and repair.[] Here, we investigated the possible protective effects of Cur, a herbal polyphenolic compound, with respect to F induced oxidative stress in hippocampal regions of mice brain.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Drug and chemicals

Cur used in this study was purchased from Prolab marketing Ltd. All other chemicals used were purchased from the standard commercial suppliers and were of analytical grade.

Animals

Adult (one and half months), male, Swiss Albino mice weighing 30 g ± 5 g (BW) were used. Animals were divided into control and three experimental groups (I to III: n = 7). All experiments and protocols were approved by Institutional Animal Ethical Committee (IAEC Reg. No. 973/ac/06/CPCSEA). Animals were maintained in the laboratory as per international norms.

Control group

Group I: Control animals were given mice chow and F-free water ad-libitum for 30 days.

Experimental groups

Mice were randomly divided into three experimental groups and the dosages were selected on the basis of pilot studies conducted in our laboratory.

The treatments were given for 30 days to all the groups and the dosage are as follows:

Table thumbnail

Malondialdehyde (MDA) biochemical estimation

MDA content in brain tissue was measured by using the protocol of Buege and Aust,[] 1978. After 30 days, all the mice were weighed and sacrificed by cervical dislocation. The brain, was dissected out and placed on chilled glass plate, dried, and weighed. Brains were cut into two sagittal pieces with the help of surgical blade, and the hippocampus was dissected out under a stereomicroscope. The tissue was minced, and then homogenized in chilled 100 mM pH-7.2 phosphate buffer saline using a Teflon mechanical homogenizer. Samples were then diluted tenfold and the homogenate was spun at 10,000 rpm for 15 min and the supernatant was used for enzymatic assay. To 0.8 ml of supernatant, 1.2 ml of TCA-TBA-HCI (Trichloroacetic acid (TCA): 15% w/v, thiobarbituric acid (TBA) 0.375%, hydrochloric acid (HCl) 0.25 N) reagent was added and kept in boiling water bath for 10 min. After cooling 2.0 ml of freshly prepared 1 N NaOH was added. The absorbance of pink color obtained was measured at 535 nm against blank, which contained distilled water.

Calculation

Molar extinction of MDA at 535 nm is 1.56 × 105 /M/cm

V × OD535 /0.156 = 4 × OD535 /0.156 = 25.6 × OD535 n moles/ml of homogenate

Statistical analysis

The data were expressed as Mean ± SEM and comparisons of all groups were carried out using the ANOVA (one-way analysis) followed by turkey's post testpost-test. Data were analyzed by the prism software program (Graph pad software Inc.).

Cresyl violet studies

Mice were anesthetized with ether vapors and perfused transcardially using a perfusion unit. The brains were dissected and overnight post fixation was carried out in 10% formaldehyde. Post fixed brains were washed in 0.01 M Phosphate buffer (pH-7.4), three changes of 30 min each. The brain was then dehydrated in graded series of alcohol i.e., 30%, 50%, 70%, 90% and absolute alcohol. This was followed by clearing in xylene. The brain was then impregnated with 2 changes of 50% paraffin in xylene in an oven set at 59.5°C, followed by two changes in melted paraffin at 59.5°C. The blocks were prepared with the help of Leuckhart's pieces and tissues were oriented to cut coronal sections. Coronal sections were cut serially at 10 μ thickness with rotary microtome. Sections were deparaffinized in xylene (two changes of 10 min each). The sections were hydrated to water through down a series of alcohol i.e., 100%, 90%, 70%, 50%, and 30%, 5 min in each grade. The sections were stained in Cresyl violet working solution for 2 min quickly washed in DW and air dried for 45 min in a dust free chamber. The sections were dehydrated in n-butanol, cleared in xylene and mounted in Distrentricresyl phosphate xylene (DPX). The brain of control and all the experimental mice were studied with the help of stereotaxic atlas of mice brain and neuronal counting were carried out.[]

RESULT

MDA estimation

The mean value of MDA content in brain homogenate showed significance (**a, P < 0.001) increase in the MDA activity [Figure 1] in group II, and that of group III a significant decrease (**b, P < 0.001) was found, when compared to the control. Group IV (**c, P < 0.001) shows the MDA concentration near to group I.

Figure 1
Effect of Fluoride (F) and Curcumin (Cur) on Malondialdehyde content of mice Brain. Data represented as mean ± SD, P < 0.001**, no sign = non-significant. On comparing control to Group F (**a) and F+ Cur (**b); F to Group F + Cur (**b) ...

Cresyl violet staining and cell counting

Sections of (Cornu Ammonis area 1)CA1, (Cornu Ammonis area 2) CA3, and (Dentate gyrus) DG region of group I showed optimal sized, pyramidal shaped neuronal cells with a continuous cell membrane [Figure 3]. The cells were closely grouped together to form a band. Group II show extensive degeneration, which appeared to have bursted and lost their shapes, the number of viable cells have been decreased significantly (P < 0.05) [Figure 2] whereas, significant (P < 0.05) increase in the viable cell number was found in group III animals. The morphological structure and number of cells of group IV were found comparable to group I.

Figure 2
Effect of Fluoride (F) and Curcumin (Cur) on Neuronal viability. Data represented as Mean ± SE (P < 0.05)**, No sign = No significance. On comparing control to F Group (**a) and F + Cur (**b); F Group to F + Cur (**b) and Cur (**C)
Figure 3
Photomicrographs demonstrating (Cornu Ammonis) CA1, CA3 and Dentate gyrus region of Hippocampus showing Cresyl violet staining in Control, 120 ppm fluoride (F), Curcumin (Cur) and F + Cur treated group

DISCUSSION

A number of studies and animal experiments indicate that the involvement of free radicals, LPO, and altered antioxidant defense systems are thought to play a key role in the toxic effects of F.[] In our study, we found that MDA content in brain tissue was increased, this could be associated with peroxidation of membrane phospholipids and thus accumulation of MDA. F may cross the blood brain barrier, accumulate in mice hippocampal neuron cell bodies and initiates cascade of reactions which increases the oxidative stress that causes an increase in MDA content of brain tissue, which is an end product of LPO.[] On the other hand, a distinctive decrease in MDA level was observed after Cur treatment, compared to group treated with F.[] This can be correlated with the fact that this phytochemical is capable of quenching oxygen free radicals such as superoxide anions and hydroxyl radicals, which are important for the initiation of LPO.[]

At cytological level, neurodegenerative changes have been reported from our laboratory.[] Although earlier studies on F intoxication and mental disability were observed in fluorosis patients, but these studies were not fully supported with experimental evidences. Recent studies from our laboratory[,] reported first time that F causes severe neurodegenerative changes in brain particularly in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Treatment with F (120 ppm) for 1 month cause significant degeneration in cells of the hippocampus of mice brain.[] These neurodegenerative changes are observed as dark cells, pyknotic cell, 5% cells showed reduced size and few cells showed small or shrunken nucleus in CA1, CA3, and DG region of the hippocampus [Figure 3] and in these regions, various degenerative changes were observed. Even the number of neuronal cells counted in a specific region was less in F group animals as compared to control group [Figure 2]. In group III decrease in neurodegenerative effects were observed. it is evident by presence of fewer dark cells, cells with distorted shape etc., A significant increase in viable neuronal cell count was found when the results were compared with the group II.[] Cresyl violet staining of Cur group clearly showed control pattern of cellular morphology and distribution. Thus Cur protects the neuronal cell bodies in hippocampal area, offering neuroprotection.[] Furthermore, we have first time reported that co-treatment of Cur (30 mg/kg B.W.) along with F (120 ppm) for 30 days, can lower the risk of degeneration caused due to F.

CONCLUSION

Our study thus demonstrate that daily single dose of 120 ppm F result in highly significant increases in the LPO as well as neurodegenerative changes in neuron cell bodies of selected hippocampal regions. Supplementation with curcumin significantly reduce the toxic effect of F to near normal level by augmenting the antioxidant defense through its scavenging property and provide an evidence of having therapeutic role against oxidative stress mediated neurodegeneration.

 

Original Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3969660/

Q and A about Cramping and Fueling during Triathlon Posted on June 25, 2013, 0 Comments

Question for you... I did a 70.3 yesterday in prep for IMLP. My swim and bike went according to plan.  I got off the bike running according to plan feeling very energetic!  About 2 miles in, my right quad started twinging, then my left hammstring. I was forced to walk/run the rest of the run leg, mostly walking.  Eventually, someone gave me a couple salt tabs.  After about an hour and with only about a mile left, they seemed to help and I jogged in without cramping.  It was the very first 90 degree day out here.  I drank tons, popped Endurolytes on the bike, drank the Ironman Perfom, ate pretzels, drank coke...Any thoughts???  I really don't want this to happen during Ironman next month! Thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions.

from S.Vega

Answer:

Could be any number of things.  Magnesium status would be high on the list--it's not readily found in the diet of most people, gets depleted via sweat, and is readily lost in cases of hypothyroidism (which a lot of endurance athletes are prone to).  Fueling/hydration (the latter of which depends more on electrolyte status than amount of water--so drinking tons may be an issue), heat acclimation, effort related to training status, and several other things should all be considered.  But I would suggest to you that race performance is predicated more on nutrition/lifestyle/training outside of race day.  So consistency with sound principles of everything mentioned above along with proper breathing (diphragmatic and nasal when possible), movement (stretching--triathletes often have facilitated quads/hip flexors and tonic musculature is more prone to cramping as the origin and insertion are brought closer together--along with other forms of myofascial work), and sleep (10-6) will increase your threshold for the stress of racing.  And since the intensity at which you race IM will be less than that which you raced the 70.3, fueling should be easier and your effort will be less--both of these will decrease the likelihood of cramping.  If you do cramp, slow down, re-focus on hydration/nutrition, breathe as mentioned above, and press on your upper lip right below the nose--it's a pressure point which can be used to relieve cramping--has saved me a couple of times.  Good luck at IMLP--great race and one which means a lot to me.  Let me know how it goes.

Follow Up Question:

Thanks for the info...As for the 70.3, I was practicing my pacing AND nutrition for IMLP.  Since I went to the USAT clinic in January, I've been a convert to what Seebohar preaches.  My daily nutrition refects my training load.

I had a banana/avocado/honey/almond-coconut milk smoothie at 4 am.  About 45 minutes prior to my swim start, I took 1/4 tsp salt and about 12oz water.  I continued sipping water until the start (no carb drinks).  My swim felt perfect!  As soon as i got on the bike, I ate a banana and drank some of my NUUN.  On the bike, I finished my bottle of NUUN, popped 2 Endurolytes, 1/2 bottle of HEED (with an Endurolyte), and 1.5 bonkbuster bars, and grabbed 2 waters and a bottle of Perform at the stops.  Some of that water went down my jersey for cooling.  I was easily at my IMLP pace, finished in just shy of 3 hours.

I felt great for about 2 miles on the the run and those friggin' cramps started.  Ugh!  I think those salt tabs finally kicked in.

Is it possible to take too many electrolytes???  If so, how do you know the fine line between enough and not enough?

Answer:

Yes, it's possible to take too many electrolytes, but I don't think that's necessarily the issue.  Personally, I don't recommend consumption of PUFA's which was the majority of your smoothie (and the almond milk if not the coconut milk likely had carrageenan unless homemade) and in your bonk breaker bar, as well.  And if you look at the macronutrient content of your breakfast, there really wasn't enough fat or protein to balance the carbs, and I don't doubt that your blood sugar handling was already compromised despite feeling great on the swim.  Additionally, any artificial colors/flavors/sucrolose in the Perform can/will cause issues--I'd use it judiciously and only if in trouble. The NUUN tabs also contain Acesulfame K which stimulates insulin secretion in a dose dependent fashion thereby possibly aggravating reactive hypoglycemia.  They also have some sesame oil (PUFA) which inhibits the use of glucose for fuel (another problem with your a.m. smoothie)--not good for endurance athletes or anyone interested in health.  Lastly, it sounds as if you may have been under fueled.  But, as I said before, what you do during the race has much less impact that how you prepare before--so you could have had no issue with your fueling strategy if pre-race/consistent nutrition (and lifestyle) was better.



The Hidden Costs of Bottled Water Posted on May 05, 2013, 0 Comments

 

Chemtrails and Geo Engineering Posted on January 29, 2013, 0 Comments

   

Anytime man tries to improve upon Mother Nature, we screw it up.

 

 

Fluoridegate Posted on January 23, 2013, 0 Comments


FLUORIDE: Professional Perspectives Posted on December 08, 2012, 1 Comment

Please watch and think and then do your own research.  If your conclusion leads you to oppose the use of fluoride in our water, take appropriate action to protect yourself and others.  Filter your water with a filter which removes fluoride.  Use a fluoride free toothpaste.  Promote the cause among your peers.  Join the Fluoride Action Network or other organizations dedicated to raising public awareness about the adverse health consequences of drugging the population without its consent. 

   

This clip and many other videos along with a host of other resources to educate yourself and others can be found at:  http://www.fluoridealert.org/fan-tv/prof-perspectives/.  

Additional articles can be found if you search this blog for fluoride.  One of my favorites is here: http://triumphtraining.com/blogs/blog/6363832-365-ways-5-my-response-to-the-pro-fluoride-crowd

You're being taken for a (fluo)ride Posted on September 06, 2012, 0 Comments

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5bVK1r0m0k

I live in a town that fluoridates its water. We recently have had 4 children diagnosed with brain tumors within the past year. Any relation to the water? Posted on August 28, 2012, 0 Comments

from P.Horvath

Answer:

Thanks for your question. 
The brain is primarily fat.  Since fat attracts toxins, anything which shouldn't be in the water we're consuming is likely going to end up in the tissues of our body.  Fluoride, being a cumulative toxin (and rated as worse than lead), could easily be linked to the tumors.

Our bodies are 72% water.  We should be drinking 1/2 our body weight in lbs in oz of water each day.  So the importance of our water is magnified by the sheer quantity with which it's consumed.  Filtering you drinking water (and your bathing water since anything on your skin is potentially in your body) is essential.  3 things you want to a filter to eliminate:

--Fluoride
--Chlorine
--VOC's (volatile organic compounds like "medicinal" drugs)

The one I use is one my website (www.triumphtraining.com) under the Andrew Recommends page.  Called Aquasana, it's the best one I've found and the one I use myself.  Whichever you decide on, realize that it's truly an investment in your health.  And as you improve your own health, you improve the health of those around you.

Our offering Posted on May 26, 2011, 0 Comments

I am seeking today.
Here, in this place, high above Tampa Bay.
Its chandelier waters liquid despite the season.
I follow Winter's fugitives
as they flee December on wings soft and keen.
They melt into the South like snow thoughts,
leaving me stalled on this artificial height.
Man can only reach so high.
And even the Skyway
In time
Bows to Earth.

How did those words make you feel?

So if one short stanza from a poem can make you feel all of these things, what do you think happens inside your body during any the 60-70,000 thoughts you have every day?

The Law of Facilitation holds that once an impulse has traveled through a given set of neurons to the exclusion of others, it will tend to do so at a future date. And each time it traverses this path, the resistance will be less. What this means in English is that practice makes perfect. Or, more accurately, practice makes permanent.

60-70,000 thoughts is a lot of practice. And since the brain is a neurochemical organ, you cannot have a thought without also affecting your hormonal status. Thus, every single one of your thoughts causes a hormonal shift which, in turn, causes a biochemical change in the body. Hormones truly are molecules of emotion.

Unfortunately, research shows that for the majority of us up to 90% of our thoughts are Negative! And negative thoughts = negative hormones = negative emotions.

And the thing you need to understand about hormones is that they all impact each other. Have you ever played pool? Well, you know at the start of the game, there are 15 balls on the table that you rack in a triangle. Then you take the cue ball, line it up with perfect aim, and--POW--send it colliding into the other balls, hoping to sink some solids or stripes.

Hormones are the same way, except you have a lot more than 15 hormones in your body. So, even if you're the Minnesota Fats of endocrinology, you cannot predict the outcome of playing with all of these hormones. But one thing is certain, it's impossible to take thoughts like "I'm tired" or "I'm stupid" or "I'm sick" and turn them into POW--happiness corner pocket. It just doesn't work like that.

By now y'all are used to me writing about how you are what you eat. Well, guess what, people? I've got news for you. You are what you think, too. Each one of us is wearing our most dominant thought. When you're feeling an emotion, every cell in your body is sharing that experience until it actually becomes you. Sounds like some metaphysical bullcrap, I know.

But a Japanese researcher named Emoto proved that our thoughts can be literally imprinted on the world around us. His book entitled The Hidden Messages in Water shows dozens of photographs of what the individual molecules of water look like when exposed to words like stupid or to words like beautiful. Water presented with a positive word looked like an exquisite snowflake, completely without flaw. The pictures of water associated with a negative word: they were asymmetrical and distorted. What's even more amazing is how he took polluted water and had it prayed over by a Buddhist Monk. The before picture of the water molecule looked like you would expect--dirty and misshapen. But the after picture was the most perfect and wondrous shape you can possibly imagine.

 

On my water bottle I have the words Health, Love, Chi, and Gratitude. So I drank these ideas into me everyday. The moment I become conscious in the morning I tell myself I choose to be healthy. I choose to be happy. I choose to make this world a better place. This post was about the power of words. And I chose to share some of mine with you. If you learned anything from them, I ask you to make your own offering. For knowledge is dead unless it's shared. It's time to pass on your truth.

Think about what you think about Posted on May 11, 2011, 0 Comments

Love, Chi, Health, Gratitude-these are the words I have written on my stainless steel bottle. Water holds consciousness. So those ideas are literally imprinted into the water I drink everyday.

YOU are 72% water. Now read the title of this post...

365 Ways #338–Generation Death Posted on December 15, 2010, 0 Comments

#338--The generation of Americans born today are not expected to live as long as their parents. A report by the CDC shows that life expectancy dropped for the first time in this country, specifically due to increases in Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, kidney disease, suicide, and flu/pneumonia. Yet all of these conditions are largely influenced by nutrition and lifestyle.

Alzheimer’s–levels of hydration (the brain is 85% water) and fatty acids (omega 3’s).

High Blood Pressure–hydration again along with weight and movement.

Kidney Disease–hydration (seeing a pattern here?), use of prescription/OTC meds and alcohol, food quality (pesticides and chemicals tax all the organs of detoxification).

Suicide–diet (emotional stability is predicated on hormonal status and blood sugar levels, both affected by what we eat/drink) and sleep (psychogenic repair occurs between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.).

Flu/pneuomonia–thoughts, breathing, hydration, nutrition, movement, sleep–all impact health status. As Louis Pasteur said, “It’s not the germ, it’s the terrain.” Thus, when you’re biological terrain is conducive to bacteria and viruses (i.e. your vitality is lacking through ignoring the Six Foundational Principles of Health), then these pathogens have an open invite to your body.

365 Ways #282–Water as a decongestant Posted on November 18, 2010, 0 Comments

#282--Did you know that any histamine related issue is likely a sign you're dehydrated? Most of the water loss one incurs during the day happens through breathing. Thus, if you're congested or can't breathe efficiently, you lose less water with each breath. Allergies and asthma are often the body's attempt to hold onto as much water as possible and can be most effectively treated by hydrating appropriately. So skip the Sudafed and bring out a bottle of water--a stainless steel one, of course.

365 Ways #251–The Pinch Test Posted on November 04, 2010, 0 Comments

#251--Put your hand palm down on a firm surface. Now grab a pinch of skin and hold it for five seconds. The release it and immediately begin to count. Stop when the skin stops moving and check your results:

0-2 seconds 20 years
3-4 seconds 30 years
5-8 seconds 40 years
9-10 seconds 50 years
11+ seconds 60 years

The number of seconds corresponds to your relative biological age. If you scored older than you really are, it's an indication that you're dehydrated. Go eat some water!

365 Ways #235–Eat your water Posted on October 29, 2010, 0 Comments

#235--There's a Chinese proverb which says "Drink your food and eat your water." The first part means that we should chew our food until it's liquid since digestion really does begin in the mouth. The latter part means we shouldn't just guzzle what we drink. We should swirl it around in our mouths before swallowing. This instills the water with Chi. Chi, like breath, is life force. Along with water it is essential for our vitality. So I advise my clients to graze on water throughout the day, making sure they're drinking half their body weight in pounds in ounces of water each day.

365 Ways #156–Smarter people drink more water Posted on September 28, 2010, 0 Comments

#156--The human brain weighs about 1500 grams and "floats" on the cerebrospinal fluid inside the skull. This offers the brain some protection against sudden jolts or impacts. When dehydrated, there isn't enough of this fluid to displace the brain, and the brain literally sinks down. Impaired by its own weight, the brain loses neurons as they die due to a compromised blood supply. Additionally, the brain is 85% water. So like a plum slowly turning into a prune, chronic dehydration causes the brain to shrink and key regulatory functions to be inhibited. So if you're smart, you'll drink enough pure, clean water to stay that way.