~Thoughts for Thinking People~


Current Research and Thoughts You Can Use for Health and Healing
...And Which Verify The Wysong Optimal Health Program™


Broccoli compounds may protect joint health
Heavy exertion can cause an increase in the levels of COX-2 enzyme in joints, which triggers inflammation and pain, and suppresses the activity of phase 2 enzymes. This ultimately kills chondrocytic cells, and when chondrocytes stop functioning properly, arthritis can develop. The beneficial phase II enzymes, occurring naturally in broccoli, seemed to prevent the activation of the inflammatory COX-2 enzymes. The phase 2 enzymes inhibited inflammation and apoptosis (chondrocyte cell death). This has the potential for stopping pain and inflammation before they start. Prescription drugs like Vioxx keep COX-2 enzymes at bay by temporarily blocking their ability to send the biochemical signals that set off pain and inflammation. When the medication is stopped, the stockpiled COX-2 enzyme can resume its damaging ways. Healy, Z.R., Lee, N.H., Gao, X., Goldring, M.B., Talalay, P., Kensler, T.W., and Konstantopoulos, K. (2005). Divergent responses of chondrocytes and endothelial cells to shear stress: Cross-talk among COX-2, the phase 2 response, and apoptosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; v. 102 (39), 14010-14015.

(Dr. W. Straight Talk: There are three lessons to be learned here. One, any repetitive work or exercise—particularly high impact such as running on roads—will eventually exhaust the healing capacity of the joints. Arthritis will begin as signaled by pain. Pain means you are doing something wrong or in excess. So back off and give the body a chance to recuperate. Pain is never the problem, it is a signal that you are doing something wrong. To turn off the pain while continuing things as usual is like turning off a fire alarm that starts ringing in your home. Be careful of any repetitive activities and sports that put stress on joints. Allow recovery time and don’t assume the body does not notice abuse. The piper will be paid eventually. Two, drugs that turn off the pain fire alarm only delay and compound the damage. Three, natural compounds found within real foods can not only ease the pain but facilitate healing.)

Red meat excess a risk marker for cancer
A study investigated associations between intakes of meat, other animal products, fat and cholesterol, and pancreatic cancer risk over 7 years. Findings revealed that the strongest association was with processed meat. Intakes of processed pork and total red meat were both associated with 50% increases in risk of pancreatic cancer. There were no associations of pancreatic cancer risk with intake of poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, total fat, saturated fat, or cholesterol. Fat and saturated fat are not likely to contribute to the underlying carcinogenic mechanism. Carcinogenic substances related to meat preparation methods might be responsible for the positive association, concluded the study. Nöthlings, U., Wilkens, L.R., Murphy, S.P., Hankin, J.H., B.E. Henderson, Kolonel, L.N. (2005). Meat and Fat Intake as Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer: The Multiethnic Cohort Study. J National Cancer Inst, V. 97 (19), pp. 1458-1465.

(Dr. W. Straight Talk: Meat is one of the natural foods of humans. Natural is defined as any food that can be eaten in its raw state and digested. Anything in excess can cause problems, even natural foods. Note in this study, however, that it is processed meats that are being studied. Processing, even just heat, creates toxins.)

High fat diet eases Alzheimer’s
Exploring how dietary components can interact to influence the metabolic state of the body, a new study shows that a high fat, low carbohydrate diet eases Alzheimer's disease. The findings suggest that insulin and the related hormone, insulin related growth factor-1 (IGF-1), are the key players in reducing the brain protein amyloid-beta, an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Most studies of the deleterious effects of fat have been done in the presence of high carbohydrate. If carbs are high, dietary fat is not oxidized and is instead stored as body fat. When carbohydrates are very low and fat is high, compounds called ketone bodies are generated. Ketosis and these compounds may play a role in the observed reduction in amyloid-beta. Van der Auwera, I., Wera, S., Van Leuven, F. and Henderson, S. (2005). A ketogenic diet reduces amyloid beta 40 and 42 in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Nutrition & Metabolism. Oct.2005

(Dr. W. Straight Talk: There is very little that decreasing dietary carbohydrates won’t help. Other than as a part of natural foods, such as fruits, carbohydrates should be considered toxic. Unfortunately, sugars and grain starches ( which convert to sugar in the digestive tract) are the mainstay of the modern diet. Little wonder obesity and chronic degenerative diseases are epidemic.)

Premature births - a silent epidemic
According to a Stanford University pediatrician, "One in eight babies in the United States is born prematurely, and it's a sign that something is going wrong." The rate of premature births, born more than three weeks early, has increased by 31 percent from 1981 to 2003. The most popular explanations are the rising numbers of older women having babies, and fertility treatments which increase the chances of multiple births. Both do add significantly to the preemie rate. However, there’s a third reason, the widely overlooked increase of toxic chemicals in fetal blood. The Environmental Working Group reported this summer that mothers ingest and pass to their unborn babies 217 chemicals known to harm fetal brains. The chemicals come from clothing, food packaging, flame retardants, pesticides, food additives, and emissions from power plants and plastic production, among other prevalent sources. The direct medical costs in a preterm baby's first year are $41,610, according to the March of Dimes, or 15 times the costs of a full-term baby. Preemies raise the average cost of every baby with employer-sponsored insurance by 2 1 / 2 times, from $2,830 to $7,139. But more than half of preemies aren't in employee health plans, usually without prenatal care, leaving taxpayers on the hook for most of their $11 billion cost per year. Preemies are well known to have higher rates of asthma, cerebral palsy, low IQ, learning and social difficulties, vision and hearing disorders, and infant death. Low birth weight has been associated with eventual obesity. (A preemie’s metabolism goes into a survival mode, adopting a tendency of storing all food.) Besides likely triggering premature births, pesticides and other chemicals tend to restrict the nutrients a fetus can ingest. So after developing bodies that cling desperately to every ounce in the womb, it's not surprising that these fetuses become children who retain more weight than they need. 25 October 2005 Dayton Daily News; (c) 2005 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company

(Dr. W. Straight Talk: Childhood obesity extends the added medical costs for preemies well beyond that first year. Obese kids are more likely to become obese adults with higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, asthma, arthritis and some cancers. So the dots ultimately connect from weak environmental regulations to increased premature births to more obesity to higher healthcare costs to–as the Dayton area's auto industry is learning painfully–fewer jobs. And all this time we thought we had to choose between less pollution or more jobs. Premature babies are just one of many ways pollution drives up healthcare costs and otherwise compromises American competitiveness in the world market.)

Primrose oil fatty acid blocks cancer-causing gene
A new study shows that Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid present in evening primrose oil and several other plant oils, inhibits action of Her-2/neu, a cancer gene that is responsible for almost 30 percent of all breast cancers. Breast cancer patients with Her-2/neu- positive tumors have an aggressive form of the disease and a poor prognosis. Since GLA exerts selective toxic effects on cancer cells without affecting normal cells, this “reveals a valuable means by which an inexpensive herbal medicine might regulate breast cancer cell growth, metastasis formation and response to chemotherapies and endocrine therapies," concluded the study. Javier A. Menendez, J.A., Vellon, L., Colomer, R., and Lupu, R. (2005). Effect of Gamma-Linolenic Acid on the Transcriptional Activity of the Her-2/neu (erbB-2) Oncogene. J Natl Cancer Inst; 97: 1611- 1615.

(Dr. W. Straight Talk: By and large, people on modern processed diets are fat deficient. They may be getting plenty of processed fats (toxins) but not enough of the health-giving natural fats found in natural foods. Every cell in our body is encased in a membrane made of two layers of fat. Hormones are made of fat (cholesterol is the starting material) and some important vitamins are fat soluble. Fresh natural raw foods provide fats as we were designed to have. Given that few people get enough of these, properly designed fatty acid supplements are a good idea.)

Supplements reduce healthcare costs, shows study
“With healthcare costs for Americans 65 and older expected to reach $16 trillion by the year 2030, the need for innovative and preventative healthcare solutions is clearer than ever,” states DSEA president. The study into the economics of older Americans taking omega-3 and lutein with zeaxanthin supplements has shown that they may shave a combined $5.6 billion off healthcare costs over the next five years, and help seniors live independently for longer.

(Dr. W. Straight Talk: What a cheap insurance policy supplements are. Although the best source of nutrients is from fresh, real foods, modern dietary practices, food processing and heating, environmental toxins and high stress living create demands beyond what ordinary foods can provide. Seldom in life can you do something with so many upsides, and essentially no downsides. Take your supplements and rotate them as described in the Optimal Health Program.)

Broccoli fights cancer-causing bacteria in humans
Broccoli’s ability to fight Helicobacteri pylori, the bacterium responsible for most stomach cancers, has been demonstrated in a human study for the first time. H. pylori is known to cause gastritis and is believed to be a major factor in peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. In humans the cells lining the stomach can act as reservoirs of helicobacter, making it more difficult to get rid of the infection. Vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, known as ‘cruciferous' vegetables contain glucosinolate. This is broken down into active sulforaphane compounds when the plant is cut or chewed. The study involved 40 people who were infected with H. pylori. Over a two-month period, 20 of them received 100g of two- to three-day old broccoli sprouts with their food each day. At this young age, broccoli sprouts contain the highest concentrations of sulforaphane. After two months, the broccoli group showed significantly less H. pylori, compared to the controls. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2002) May 28;99 (11):7610-5).

(Dr. W. Straight Talk: My feeling is that H. pylori is an opportunist, not a cause of stomach problems. Once it is there and kicking up its heels, treatment with natural compounds as above is a good idea. The primary cause of the epidemic of stomach problems is the amount and types of food we eat. We eat too much and consume way too much sugar and carbohydrate. This stress eventually weakens gastric tissue and allows H. pylori to take root. Follow the OHP and reverse metabolic acidosis with pure water and WellSpring. That will work a miracle for not only your stomach but your overall health.)

More vitamin D linked to better lung health
The relationship between lung function and vitamin D was examined by using 14,000 participants from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) carried out between 1988 and 1994. Lung function was measured by the volume of air that could be forcibly blown out in total, the forced vital capacity (FVC), or in one second, the forced expiratory volume (FEV1). Vitamin D was quantified by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the standard indicator of vitamin D levels. “The difference in lung function between the highest and lowest levels of vitamin D is substantial (106 mL for FEV1, and 142 mL for FVC).” The study concluded that vitamin D supplements could be a simple, low-cost method to prevent or slow the loss of lung function. Chest (2005). Dec. v.128, no 6.

(Dr. W. Straight Talk: Yet another in the increasingly long list of reasons vitamin D is so important. [How the sun is absolutely crucial to your health] The sun is not only important, it is essential to life. When you burn a log in the fireplace, the heat you feel is stored sun energy. When you drive to work, the car is moving because of the sun heat stored in the fuel derived from oil. There is little on Earth that would be possible without ole sol. So respect her. Get out in the sun as much as possible. In these winter months, if you live above the Florida panhandle, you can pretty much figure you are vitamin D-deficient. You will not get enough from your fortified milk either. Supplementation is critical. If everyone paid heed, billions of dollars could be trimmed from the medical care industry and a lot of people would feel a whole lot better too.)

More support for dark chocolate's heart benefits
A daily treat of dark chocolate can improve overall heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease, according to a new study. Smokers were chosen as the study group because smoking is a major risk factor in cardiovascular health. Endothelial cells, which line the walls of the arteries, are affected by cigarette smoke, both passive and active. Platelets contribute to blood clotting and then to thrombosis. The volunteers were randomly divided into two groups and, after a 24-hour period of abstinence from polyphenol rich foods, were given 40g of dark or white chocolate. Dark chocolate induced a rapid and significant improvement of endothelial and platelet function in healthy smokers two to eight hours after ingestion. “Only a small daily treat of dark chocolate may substantially increase the amount of antioxidant intake and beneficially effect vascular health,” concluded the study. Dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants, and contains more polyphenols per gram than green tea or red wine. Hermann, F., Spieker, L.E., Ruschitzka, F., Sudano, I., Hermann, M., Binggeli, C., Lüscher, T.F., Riesen, W., Noll, G., & Corti, R. (2006). Dark chocolate improves endothelial and platelet function. Heart, Jan 2006; 92: 119 - 120.

(Dr. W. Straight Talk: How cool is that if you are a chocolate lover! The lesson is not to smoke and eat chocolate, but to live right and smart—as if thinking matters—and enjoy a great natural treat. One of my favorite parts of the day is to munch on our new Dark Chocolate Therapy after supper. This is also further evidence that the heart disease plague that has ravaged modern humans can be prevented. No, prevention is not about measuring cholesterol, blood pressure or having angiograms. That merely puts you in the downward spiral of the medical mill. Treating a symptom—heart disease—is not a solution. Preventing it by following the principles in the OHP is the smart thing.)