Category Archives for "Some facts about"

Microbiome

What is the humane microbiome? Scientists have been working to specify the definition of the human microbiome and the microbiota that can often be used interchangeably. The  microbiome is defined as the catalog of the microbial taxa associated microbes and their genes whereas microbiota as the microbial taxa composed of bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses. The ratio of bacteria in the human body  to the number of human cells (≈37 trillion) is estimated to be 1.3. If we have more of these microorganisms than we have our own human cells and carry around of them about 0.2 kg in our body, what is their relevance to our health and disease?

Most microbes reside only in the colon (which has a volume of 0.4 litres) and yet still not discovered but still in research for its influence in various diseases such as:

So far we have learnt that microbiome represents an important environmental factor that can influence various disease manifestation. Discussion focuses on the therapeutic potential to modify the intestinal microbial population with probiotics, prebiotics, and taking care of the oral microbiome. We can boost our innate immune and the adaptive immune system improving our diet, lowering stress, and exercising regularly with supporting our body’s microbiome.

Autoimmune Disorders – 1

Autoimmunity was first described as “horror autotoxicus” (horror of self-toxicity) by Nobel Laureate Paul Ehrlich at the beginning of the twentieth century to depict the immune system mechanism response to foreign materials and hypothesising that the immunity system naturally inhibits giving rise to autotoxins by means of certain contrivances. The immune system is a complex and powerful network of molecules and chemicals that protects us from diseases by fighting against infection causing agents. This process, however, may go wrong and the immune system can attack and damage self tissues resulting in autoimmune disorders.

While only 67 autoimmune diseases had been identified in 1992, there is a rapid increase in the number as the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA) has classified more than 100 autoimmune diseases in 2017. Worldwide instances of autoimmune diseases (AIDs) such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, multiple sclerosis,inflammatory bowel disease, crohn’s disease, sjögren’s syndrome, lupus, psoriasis, hashimoto’s thyroiditis, grave’s disease and more have increased tremendously -up to 9% per year for some diseases-, affecting more than 23.5 million Americans

Currently, conventional medicine strategy is based on treating the symptoms grounded with no existing cure and unknown exact causes. Therapies involve medicines to calm the overactive immune response and bring down inflammation in the body mostly by non-specific immunosuppressive medications with limited efficacy, high toxicity, and life-threatening side effects. As a result, nearly all patients suffering and confused, try to understand the real causes of inflammation and look for more treatment strategies. 

There are patients recorded as in partial or complete remission telling their stories by changing their diet and lifestyle, who are considered anecdotal by most of the medical doctors. However, there is an actual research with its results available to provide a path for clinical medicine. It won’t be a surprise in the near future to see the diet and lifestyle changes as a part of medical treatment. Some of the studies indicate:

Mindfulness

Mindfulness  is an intentional cultivation of consciousness, which is believed to promote well-being. Mindfulness practice in daily life with focused attention, awareness, and non-judgemental, accepting attitude demonstrates benefits in health, productivity, overcoming addictions, avoiding burnout, self-regulating behaviour and positive emotional states.

I used to think I was too busy to spend time on mindfulness and besides, there was no sufficient evidence to relate the effects in physical health. Little did I know that my approach was purely judgemental and unaccepting, building limits to a better version of my health and well-being. After some research, I decided to squeeze mindfulness practices into my busy daily schedule even only for 1 minute every day. Realisations came after each other: it was noisy, chaotic, painful and restless, everything contrary to what I expected in exchange of my spent time. Just like I observed my breath, I observed my mind trying to get me out of the practice. The value of regular practice has given me one of the greatest gifts of understanding that I have a choice; all movements inside my mind will just pass if I let them go without attachment. Without any resistance or distraction, I could breathe calmly and be mindful of my body and state of my mind by practicing consistently. I could observe myself getting better in focusing, stress relief and ultimately having increased performance in my daily life. 

Mindfulness in medicine(mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)) has been successfully utilised to treat anxiety, depressive relapse, eating disorders, psychosis, and borderline personality disorder. There is an increasing interest about the therapeutic effects of mindfulness meditation and its clinical applications:

Are you still thinking that you don’t have time to practice?

Dementia

Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms, which include impairments in cognitive functions (thought, communication, memory, thinking, orientation, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgement) where consciousness is not affected. Worldwide, around 47 million people have dementia and it is projected to nearly triple by 2050.

Researchers have come up with a new test, which may help diagnose and identify those who are already at high risk. Since the initial sites of Alzheimer’s disease pathology appears to be associated with an asymmetrical (left greater than right) decrement of odour detection sensitivity (olfactory dysfunction),  a quick “Peanut Butter” or “Sniffin’Sticks” may be a useful tool for predicting the onset of the disease.

As the diet and lifestyle changes could potentially prevent millions of cases a year, Alzheimer’s disease is incurable but preventable.

Below are the ideal health behaviours that will help maintain our quality of life and cognitive functions, besides reduce the risk of dementia:

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

PFOA is a synthetic persistent chemical, which is widely used in commercial and industrial manufacturing such as prominent consumer goods of non-stick cookware (Teflon), waterproof carpets, breathable clothing (Gore-Tex), filtration in water treatment processes, microwave popcorn bags and latex printing inks. PFOA persists indefinitely into the airwater, and soil as a toxicant and carcinogen. Once it is in the environment, our food and beverages are further exposed particularly fish, and sea food (i.e. shrimps, mussels, clams, and oysters).

PFOA,  its salts and PFOA-related substances (C8-chemistry) are identified as persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic and will be banned from 4 July 2020 in the European Union (EU Regulation under Entry 68 of Annex XVII of REACH). Until this regulation is implemented, there have been and are still cases where the exposure of PFOA are associated with increased risk of diseases such as below:

It is found that the greatest portion of the chronic exposure to PFOS are likely to result from the intake of contaminated foods, including drinking water. This is followed by the ingestion of dust and inhalation of air. Therefore, the most adequate starting point is eliminating the exposed foods and beverages as well as other related consumer products, and contacting producers and organisations to follow up the regulations to occur.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis -which I refer to as “the loud silent disease,” because despite painful symptoms it is usually not diagnosed– is the development of uterine-lining tissue outside the uterus commonly on ovaries, fallopian tubes, tissue lining the pelvis and rarely in liver, lung and on surgical scars. With an estimated prevalence of 10% in women, each menstrual cycle affects the endometrial tissue to thicken, break down and bleed causing inflammation, scarring and eventually abnormal adhesion outside uterus.

Symptoms may include commonly painful periods (dysmenorrhea), chronic pelvic pain, dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse), heavy/irregular bleeding and infertility (25-50% of women with endometriosis) leading to considerable loss of quality of life in physical, mental, and social well being. While the aetiology and pathogenesis are unclear, the scientific literature available (PubMed, MEDLINE, Europe PMC, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE, ScienceDirect) on the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis provide both awareness and future progress.

The current therapies are invasive and primarily treat the symptoms of endometriosis with short-term benefit due to recurrence of pain and disease progression. We require new medical therapies understanding the etymology, exploring preventative methods, and personalising treatment options such as:

It seems that the dietary treatment of endometriosis with lifestyle changes is based on the facts, and offers only positive side effects.

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Bisphenol A, commonly referred to as BPA, is a synthetic estrogen (xenoestrogen) that is used in the chemical industry to manufacture plastics. BPA, which is used in numerous commercial products such as laptops, cell phones, baby bottles, water main pipes, laboratory and hospital equipment, food storage containers (water bottles and food/soda cans) is discovered to be toxic with harmful effects on both environment and human body.

A comprehensive literature search about the relationship between BPA and health effects in humans was published in 2013 providing support that environmental BPA exposure can be harmful to humans, especially in regards to behavioural and other effects in children.

Highlighted evidences raise concerns of BPA implications in diseases below:

What are we supposed to do? Even with a few simple changes of habits in food&drink shopping, we can drastically reduce our exposure.

Glyphosate

Glyphosate is a pesticide that is used in agriculture, horticulture and in some non-cultivated areas to control plants. Regardless of the fact that our health is under threat, the human exposure to this pesticide is increasing as the Environmental Sciences Europe study in 2016 presents. It leaves incremental residues in the air, water and soil with probable adverse effects on environment and ecosystem too.

Glyphosate was classified in 2015 as a “probable human carcinogen” based on increased prevalence of rare liver and kidney tumors in chronic animal feeding studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Recently, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has determined that glyphosate (CAS No. 1071-83-6) cause cancer.

Researchers now link the glyphosate to cancer, autism, organ damage, Alzheimer’s disease, infertility and autoimmune diseases below:

We can build a healthy future by refusing to incorporate the chemical products like glyphosate into our farming system and supporting sustainable organic farming practices.