TOny Pantalleresco Radio Show – Show of the Week February 28-2011

Show of the Week  February 28-2011


Asthma Tied to Bacterial Communities in the Airway 

Bacteria to Blame in Asthma Attacks in Children, Research Suggests 

Blocking Effects Of Viral Infections May Prevent Asthma In Young Children 

Monsanto’s Technology Stewardship Agreement shifts responsibility to growers 

Recipe For Anti Bacterial Resistance



Dear Secretary Vilsack:

A team of senior plant and animal scientists have recently brought to my attention the discovery of an electron microscopic pathogen that appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and probably human beings.  Based on a review of the data, it is widespread, very serious, and is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans and corn – suggesting a link with the RR gene or more likely the presence of Roundup.  This organism appears NEW to science!- This is highly sensitive information that could result in a collapse of US soy and corn export markets and significant disruption of domestic food and feed supplies.  On the other hand, this new organism may already be responsible for significant harm (see below).  My colleagues and I are therefore moving our investigation forward with speed and discretion, and seek assistance from the USDA and other entities to identify the pathogen’s source, prevalence, implications, and remedies.

We are informing the USDA of our findings at this early stage, specifically due to your pending decision regarding approval of RR alfalfa.  Naturally, if either the RR gene or Roundup itself is a promoter or co-factor of this pathogen, then such approval could be a calamity.  Based on the current evidence, the only reasonable action at this time would be to delay deregulation at least until sufficient data has exonerated the RR system, if it does.

For the past 40 years, I have been a scientist in the professional and military agencies that evaluate and prepare for natural and manmade biological threats, including germ warfare and disease outbreaks.  Based on this experience, I believe the threat we are facing from this pathogen is unique and of a high risk status.  In layman’s terms, it should be treated as an emergency.

A diverse set of researchers working on this problem have contributed various pieces of the puzzle, which together presents the following disturbing scenario:

Unique Physical Properties
This previously unknown organism is only visible under an electron microscope (36,000X), with an approximate size range equal to a medium size virus.  It is able to reproduce and appears to be a micro-fungal-like organism.  If so, it would be the first such micro-fungus ever identified.  There is strong evidence that this infectious agent promotes diseases of both plants and mammals, which is very rare.

Pathogen Location and Concentration
It is found in high concentrations in Roundup Ready soybean meal and corn, distillers meal, fermentation feed products, pig stomach contents, and pig and cattle placentas.

Linked with Outbreaks of Plant Disease
The organism is prolific in plants infected with two pervasive diseases that are driving down yields and farmer income – sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soy, and Goss’ wilt in corn.  The pathogen is also found in the fungal causative agent of SDS (Fusarium solani fsp glycines).

Implicated in Animal Reproductive Failure
Laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of this organism in a wide variety of livestock that have experienced spontaneous abortions and infertility.  Preliminary results from ongoing research have also been able to reproduce abortions in a clinical setting.–The pathogen may explain the escalating frequency of infertility and spontaneous abortions over the past few years in US cattle, dairy, swine, and horse operations.  These include recent reports of infertility rates in dairy heifers of over 20%, and spontaneous abortions in cattle as high as 45%- For example, 450 of 1,000 pregnant heifers fed wheatlege experienced spontaneous abortions.  Over the same period, another 1,000 heifers from the same herd that were raised on hay had no abortions.  High concentrations of the pathogen were confirmed on the wheatlege, which likely had been under weed management using glyphosate.

In summary, because of the high titer of this new animal pathogen in Roundup Ready crops, and its association with plant and animal diseases that are reaching epidemic proportions, we request USDA’s participation in a multi-agency investigation, and an immediate moratorium on the deregulation of RR crops until the causal/predisposing relationship with glyphosate and/or RR plants can be ruled out as a threat to crop and animal production and human health.

It is urgent to examine whether the side-effects of glyphosate use may have facilitated the growth of this pathogen, or allowed it to cause greater harm to weakened plant and animal hosts.  It is well-documented thatglyphosate promotes soil pathogens and is already implicated with the increase of more than 40 plant diseasesit dismantles plant defenses by chelating vital nutrients; and it reduces the bioavailability of nutrients in feed, which in turn can cause animal disorders. To properly evaluate these factors, we request access to the relevant USDA data.

I have studied plant pathogens for more than 50 years.  We are now seeing an unprecedented trend of increasing plant and animal diseases and disorders. This pathogen may be instrumental to understanding and solving this problem.  It deserves immediate attention with significant resources to avoid a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure.


COL (Ret.) Don M. Huber
Emeritus Professor, Purdue University
APS Coordinator, USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System (NPDRS)



Asthma Tied to Bacterial Communities in the Airway

ScienceDaily (Feb. 19, 2011) — Asthma may have a surprising relationship with the composition of the species of bacteria that inhabit bronchial airways, a finding that could suggest new treatment or even potential cures for the common inflammatory disease, according to a new UCSF-led study.

Using new detection methods, researchers learned that the diversity of microbes inside the respiratory tract is far vaster than previously suspected — creating a complex and inter-connected microbial neighborhood that appears to be associated with asthma, and akin to what has also been found in inflammatory bowel disease, vaginitis, periodontitis, and possibly even obesity.[U1]—Contrary to popular belief, the scientists also learned that the airways are not necessarily entirely sterile environments, even in healthy people, while the airways of asthmatics are infected by a richer, more complex collection of bacteria. These findings could improve understanding of the biology of asthma, and potentially lead to new and much-needed therapies.-“People thought that asthma was caused by inhalation of allergens but this study shows that it may be more complicated than that — asthma may involve colonization of the airways by multiple bacteria,” said study co-author Homer Boushey, MD, a UCSF professor of medicine in the division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.–The study is published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.–Asthma is one of the most common diseases in the world, with approximately 300 million asthmatics globally, including 24 million in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The disease has been on the rise for the last 60 years.–“It has gone from 3 percent of the population to slightly more than 8 percent of the population in the U.S.,” said Boushey. “It is most prevalent in western, developed nations — and we don’t know why.”[U2]—In recent years, scientists began studying communities of mixed-species microorganisms (microbiome) found in both diseased and healthy people to better understand their role in a variety of diseases. But research on the microbiome in respiratory disease is relatively uncharted terrain.–“We know fairly little about the diversity, complexity and collective function of bacteria living in the respiratory tract, and how they might contribute to diseases like asthma,” said Yvonne J. Huang, MD, the paper’s first author. She is a research fellow and clinical instructor in the UCSF Pulmonary Division.–“Traditionally, the airways have been thought to be sterile. However, this study suggests this is not the case. Certain asthma patients who require inhaled corticosteroid therapy possess a great abundance of bacteria compared to healthy individuals, and have an increased relative abundance of specific organisms that is correlated with greater sensitivity of their airways.”In their three-year pilot project, the scientists collected samples from the airway linings of 65 adults with mild to moderate asthma and 10 healthy subjects. Then, using a tool that can identify approximately 8,500 distinct groups of bacteria in a single assay, the scientists profiled the organisms present in each sample to look for relationships between bacterial community composition and clinical characteristics of the patients’ asthma.–The researchers found that bronchial airway samples from asthmatic patients contained far more bacteria than samples from healthy patients. The scientists also found greater bacterial diversity in the asthmatic patients who had the most hyper-responsive or sensitive airways (a feature of asthma).–“People have viewed asthma as a misdirected immune reaction to environmental exposures, but few have thought of it in the context of airway microbiota composition,” said senior author Susan Lynch, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Colitis and Crohn’s Disease Microbiome Research Core in the division of gastroenterology.—“We took an ecological approach, considering the bacteria in the context of their microbial neighborhoods to identify relationships between characteristics of these communities and features of the disease…This new approach will help us to better understand the microbiota-host relationships that define human health.”–The authors say that further studies are needed to determine how these specific bacteria identified in the study may influence the cause and development of asthma.


The study was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and by the Strategic Asthma Basic Research Center at UCSF, supported by the Sandler Family Foundation. Huang was funded by a National Institutes of Health grant and by a UC Tobacco-related Disease Research Program award; Lynch receives research support from the NIH; Boushey is an ad-hoc consultant for KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is on the advisory committee for Pharmaxis, is on ad-hoc advisory committees for GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, and receives research support from GlaxoSmithKline.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

Story Source-The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by University of California – San Francisco, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.–Journal Reference-Yvonne J. Huang, Craig E. Nelson, Eoin L. Brodie, Todd Z. DeSantis, Marshall S. Baek, Jane Liu, Tanja Woyke, Martin Allgaier, Jim Bristow, Jeanine P. Wiener-Kronish. Airway microbiota and bronchial hyperresponsiveness in patients with suboptimally controlled asthmaJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2011; 127 (2): 372 DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.10.048




Bacteria to Blame in Asthma Attacks in Children, Research Suggests

ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2010) — Doctors have long known that viral infections can bring about asthma attacks and the shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing associated with them. But while viral infections cannot be treated, scientists at the Danish Paediatric Asthma Centre (DPAC) at the University of Copenhagen and GentofteHospital have discovered that treatable bacterial infections can also cause asthma attacks. The discovery could revolutionize treatment.—“We found a significant relationship between bacterial infections and acute asthma attacks — above and beyond the expected relationship between viral infections and attacks,” says Hans Bisgaard, a professor of pediatrics at the DPAC.–The study examined 361 children between the ages of four weeks and three years to determine the presence of viral and bacterial infections during severe asthma attacks. The results conclude that the number of attacks was just as high in children with bacterial respiratory infections as in those with viral infections.—

Using antibiotics to treat asthma attacks?–“This indicates that bacteria can exacerbate asthma symptoms even if they aren’t infected with a virus,” Professor Bisgaard says. “The findings open up an entirely new method for treating severe asthma attacks. We can’t treat viral infections, but scientists will now look into whether treatment with antibiotics can help children when they have an asthma attack if they are also suffering from a bacterial infection.”–“Being able to use antibiotics to treat asthma attacks in children would be revolutionary,” Professor Bisgaard says.–The effects of antibiotics in treating asthma attacks will now be examined in large-scale, clinical study by the DPAC. The research has been published in British Medical Journalon 4 October 2010.

Story Source–The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by University of Copenhagen.

Journal Reference-H. Bisgaard, M. N. Hermansen, K. Bonnelykke, J. Stokholm, F. Baty, N. L. Skytt, J. Aniscenko, T. Kebadze, S. L. Johnston. Association of bacteria and viruses with wheezy episodes in young children: prospective birth cohort studyBMJ, 2010; 341 (oct04 1): c4978 DOI:10.1136/bmj.c4978



Blocking Effects Of Viral Infections May Prevent Asthma In Young Children

ScienceDaily (Nov. 9, 2007) — Babies who get severe respiratory viral infections are much more likely to suffer from asthma as they get older. Now researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have pinpointed a key step in the development of asthma in mice after a severe respiratory infection. They suggest that medications designed to interfere with this mechanism could potentially prevent many cases of childhood asthma. –“A severe respiratory infection in infancy greatly increases the risk of developing asthma,” says the study’s lead author Mitchell Grayson, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Allergy and Immunology. “Less than one in 30 people who don’t suffer a severe respiratory infection as a baby develop asthma, but of those who do get these infections, one in five goes on to have asthma.”Grayson and colleagues recently published their research in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. They found that mice that developed asthma-like symptoms after a severe respiratory viral infection had an unusual immune reaction. During the infection, the mice produced antibodies and immune signals similar to those produced during an allergic response, instead of those typically made in response to infection. That started a chain reaction that led to asthma. The researchers propose that a similar reaction occurs in some people who suffer severe respiratory viral infections. –“We think genetically predisposed[U3]individuals will tend to have this kind of immune reaction to a severe respiratory viral infection,” Grayson says. “In those people an allergic-type response could be part of their antiviral immune response. That sets them up to make antibodies against a lot of environmental substances, like pet dander or pollen, and they can go on to develop allergies or asthma.” –Reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the number of people with asthma in the United States rose from approximately 7 million in 1980 to about 20 million in 2003. The reasons for this trend are unclear, Grayson indicates. But he suggests that a growing population density and the resulting increase in transmission of respiratory viral infections might be a cause. —Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common source of respiratory infections. In the United States nearly all children have been infected with RSV by two or three years of age. Severe RSV infections, typified by persistent coughing, wheezing and gasping for breath, send many thousands of children to the hospital each year. –To investigate the connection between severe respiratory viral infections and subsequent asthma, the researchers used mice genetically selected to have an asthma susceptibility and infected them with a virus similar to RSV. They found that severe respiratory infections in the mice induced an allergic-type immune response and ultimately caused long-term changes in the airways of the lungs that are hallmarks of chronic asthma. —The researchers discovered that certain immune cells in the mouse lungs reacted to severe viral infections by releasing compounds that instigated an inflammatory response. That in turn induced many lung airway cells to transform into mucus-producing cells, which can cause the obstruction of lung passages and shortness of breath characteristic of asthma. —The researchers found that interfering with this process by altering the immune cells or removing the inflammatory compounds they secreted prevented overgrowth of mucus-producing cells. –The findings promise a new approach to asthma prevention, according to Grayson. “This offers a different way of thinking about what happens in the development of asthma,” Grayson says. “It may be possible to prevent many cases of asthma and other chronic inflammatory airway diseases by stopping allergic-type antibody production after a severe viral infection in infants.”

Journal reference: Grayson MH, Cheung D, Rohlfing MM, Kitchens R, Spiegel DE, Tucker J, Battaile JT, Alevy Y, Yan L, Agapov E, Kim EY, Holtzman MJ. Induction of high-affinity IgE receptor on lung dendritic cells during viral infection leads to mucous cell metaplasia. Journal of Experimental Medicine 2007 Oct 29;204(11):2759-69. –Funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Genentech Inc., Novartis International AG, the Martin Schaeffer Fund and the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Charitable Trust supported this research.–Story Source-The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis, viaEurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.


Monsanto’s Technology Stewardship Agreement shifts responsibility to growers

for any and all losses, injury or damages resulting from the use of Monsanto seeds.  There is no expiration date on the contract.  The grower may terminate the contract, but: “Grower’s responsibilities and the other terms herein shall survive…”

This includes contamination of other farms.  Growers are purchasing seed for Spring planting right now.  Alfalfa, America’s 4th largest crop, is a particular problem because it is a perennial plant and the seeds may lie dormant in the ground for 10-20 years, and WILL contaminate non-GM plants.  Contaminated alfalfa cannot be recalled from the environment.  The liability burden can follow the grower for decades.  Farmers must be made aware of the danger of being sued before they plant GM crops (especially alfalfa because it is used for cattle feed and will affect dairy farmers).

Currently, Australian organic farmer Steve Marsh, who lost his organic certification due to contamination, is suing his GM crop-growing neighbor for the GM contamination.

Contamination of processing equipment is another risk.

There is evidence from India that GM crops are linked to livestock deaths.  The Monsanto Technology Stewardship Agreement contract holds growers responsible for injuries, so this is another potential consequence for farmers planting Monsanto GM crops to consider.

The Monsanto Technology Stewardship Agreement has another clause that farmers will find disturbing
it appears that the growers agree that in order to sell their farm, the new purchaser must also sign a Monsanto Technology Stewardship Agreement.  According to a top real estate broker, the contract places a covenant, condition or restriction (
CCR) on the farmer’s land:

“GROWER AGREES: To accept and continue the obligations of this Monsanto Technology/Stewardship Agreement on any new land purchased or leased by Grower that has Seed planted on it by a previous owner or possessor of the land; and to notify in writing purchasers or lessees of land owned by Grower that has Seed planted on it that the Monsanto Technology is subject to this Monsanto Technology/Stewardship Agreement and they must have or obtain their own Monsanto Technology/Stewardship Agreement.”

Environmental attorney Anthony Patchett further elaborated on Monsanto’s contract in a letter that states“Monsanto’s agreement shifts all liability to the growers, including contamination issues or any potential future liability. All the grower receives is the price of the seed.” He further stated that this contract appears to be “Unconscionable”. Click here to view the letter.

For more information about the perils of contamination, please go to to read the interview with alfalfa seed grower Phil Geertson who opposed Monsanto in the GM case heard in the Supreme Court last summer.  Geertson said that Monsanto’s GM seeds are more expensive and after a few years, weeds can become tolerant to Roundup Ready and other glyphosate herbicides so farmers must return to conventional farming practices anyway.  Therefore, there is no benefit to planting GM crops.

You can alert farmers to the hazard of growing GM crops and how growers can be hurt by Monsanto’s contract, if you would like to take action in opposing GM crops.  Please share this article and video.


Recipe For Anti Bacterial Resistance

Antimicrobials: Silver (and Copper) Bullets to Kill Bacteria

ScienceDaily (Nov. 10, 2009) — Dana Filoti of the University of New Hampshire is presenting thin films of silver and copper she has developed that can kill bacteria and may one day help to cut down on hospital infections.The antimicrobial properties of silver and copper have been known for centuries — last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officially registered copper alloys, allowing them to be marketed with the label “kills 99.9% of bacteria within two hours.” Copper ions are known to penetrate bacteria and disrupt molecular pathways important for their survival.–Using zeolite ceramic structures, Filoti is testing the hypothesis that the combination of silver and copper might work synergistically to better kill bacteria, work that she will present on November 12 at a meeting of the scientific society AVS in San Jose. “The hard ceramic structure looks like Swiss cheese and inside the holes there are ions of silver and copper,” says Filoti.–By experimenting with the ratio of the two metals and the texture of the thin films, she has been able to reduce the amount of microbes present on the surface by 99 percent. One application of these antimicrobials, which Filoti is developing in partnership with a company in New Hampshire, is an antimicrobial face mask designed to protect against pathogens that cause many hospital-acquired infections.

Adapted from materials provided by American Institute of Physics

øøAn Idea to try—

Make a green drink with parsley and dandelion—add ¼ dropper of  colloidal silver with this—should see an impact The mix will not be as refined— but you may still see results—-again this is something to try Dandelion and Parsley are loaded with copper—and enter the blood stream very efficiently—-colloids are extremely penetrating due to the way our system absorbs  them—



[U1]LEAVE STARCHY foods –grains–pastas–rice–corn–polentas–cakes–pastries–bananas–grapes–watermelon-raisons–soy–soy derivatives–tvp-hvp-avp-hpp msg autolysed yeast—all Problematic

[U2]GMO and SOY might be the problem anddd the lack of nutrients in the soil


[U3]Genetically altered food would cause a predispposition to having asthma!!??? is this what they are saying!!!

Alzheimer’s breakthrough: scientists discover omega-3s override the bad gene causing Alzheimer’s Learn more:

Alzheimer’s breakthrough: scientists discover omega-3s override the bad gene causing Alzheimer’s

(NaturalNews) Scientists tend to describe their research and findings with facts and figures only, leaving out any emotion. But Prof. Daniel Michaelson of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Neurobiology has uncovered something so potentially groundbreaking he called it “exhilarating” in a statement to the press.

What news could have this scientist so excited? A diet high in omega-3s, the fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon as well as walnuts, appears to significant block the negative effects of the APOE4 gene — the “bad” APOE gene found in 50% of all Alzheimer’s patients and in about 15% of the population. Having the APOE4 gene greatly ups your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease, a dreaded and deadly form of dementia affecting about five million Americans.

Scientists have found that in all there are five molecules known to affect or cause Alzheimer’s. But just how dangerous these molecules are is linked to environmental factors including diet and lifestyle.

One of these five molecules, APOE, is created by the apolipoprotein E. gene found in all of our bodies. But, according to Prof. Michaelson, there is a
“good” APOE gene and a “bad” APOE gene, which is dubbed APOE4.

He has used animal studies to investigate the effects of diet and environment on carriers of APOE4. So far, his results show a diet high in omega-3 oils and low in cholesterol significantly reduce the negative effects of the Alzheimer’s causing APOE4 gene in mouse models.

“The main take-away message here is that good diets can alleviate the effects of bad genes. Of course nutritionists have had this general idea for a while, but it’s nice to be able to show that this approach can be applied to specifically counteract the negative effects of Alzheimer’s disease-related genes,”Prof. Michaelson said in a statement to the media.

As NaturalNews has previously reported, other researchers have found many natural ways to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, including drinking green tea (…). Walking regularly and briskly for exercise has also been shown to lower the risk for dementia (…).

The results of Prof. Mchaelson’s discoveries with more details are slated to be presented at an international conference in Barcelona, Spain this March.

Editor’s note:NaturalNews is opposed to the use of animals in medical experiments that expose them to harm. We present these findings in protest of the way in which they were acquired.

Learn more:

Study: Combining broccoli with broccoli sprouts doubles anti-cancer effect

Study: Combining broccoli with broccoli sprouts doubles anti-cancer effect

(NaturalNews) Study after study continues to show that eating broccoli helps to prevent and treat cancer. And a new study out of the University of Illinois (U of I) says that combining broccoli with broccoli sprouts nearly doubles the cruciferous vegetable’s anti-cancer effects.

“Broccoli, prepared correctly, is an extremely potent cancer-fighting agent — three to five servings a week are enough to have an effect,” said Elizabeth Jeffery, a U of I professor of nutrition that worked on the study. “To get broccoli’sbenefits, thcoli’s cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory component, dough, the enzyme myrosinase has to be present; if it’s not there,sulforaphane, brocoesn’t form.”

Previousresearchon the cancer-preventing benefits ofbroccolihave found that overcooking broccoli results in the elimination of up to 90 percent of the vegetable’s anti-cancer compounds. (…). However, gentlycookingbroccoli in a steamer, not in the microwave, can potentially unlock more of its anti-cancer compounds than are present wheneatingthe vegetable raw.

Jeffrey and her colleagues compared blood levels of sulforaphane among a group of men who atemealscontaining eitherbroccoli sproutsalone, broccolipowderalone, or both combined. They found that in just three hours after finishing their meals, participants who ate both the powder and thesproutshad nearly twice as much of the anti-cancer substance in their systems than the two other groups did.

“There was almost a twofold increase in sulforaphane absorption when sprouts and powder were eaten together,” said Jeffrey. “It changed the way the subjects metabolized the powder. We saw plasma and urine metabolites much earlier and at much higher levels than when either was eaten alone.”

Jeffrey and her team say that combining other sulforaphane-rich foods like mustard, radishes, arugula, and wasabi, along with broccoli and broccoli sprouts, will increase the benefits even further. But she warns that taking certain broccolisupplementsin lieu of actual broccoli and broccoli sprouts may not work, as some broccoli supplements do not contain the vital enzyme myrosinase that produces sulforaphane.

Sources for this story include:

Learn more:

Mouse models are yielding important clues about the nature of autism spectrum disorders

ScienceDaily (Feb. 24, 2011) — Mouse models are yielding important clues about the nature of autism spectrum disorders, which impact an estimated one in 110 children in the U.S.[1] In labs at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, researchers are studying strains of mice that inherently mimic the repetitive and socially impaired behaviors present in these disorders.

Georgianna Gould, Ph.D., research assistant professor of physiology in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, is eyeing the role that serotonin plays in autism spectrum disorders.

Serotonin is known for giving a sense of well-being and happiness. It is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that acts like a radio tower in the brain conveying signals among cells called neurons. Thirty percent of autism cases may have a serotonin component.[2]

In a recent paper in the Journal of Neurochemistry, Dr. Gould and colleagues showed that a medication called buspirone improved the social behaviors of mice. Buspirone is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in adults as an anti-anxiety and antidepressant adjuvant medication.

Some genetic variations result in diminished transmission of serotonin between neurons. Buspirone increased transmission by partially mimicking the effects of serotonin at cellular sites called receptors.

Reactions to newly encountered mouse

Social interaction behaviors of the mice were measured by placing them in a three-chamber social interaction test and positioning a “stranger” mouse in one of the chambers. Buspirone-treated mice spent more time in the chamber with the stranger mouse than untreated mice and more time sniffing the stranger.

“No animal model is completely characteristic of humans, and we’re far from saying that buspirone is a treatment for behaviors of autistic people,” Dr. Gould said. “But this does offer further proof that serotonin is involved in a significant proportion of autism cases.”

Support from the San Antonio Area Foundation made the project possible. Co-authors of the journal article are Julie Hensler, Ph.D., and Teri Frosto Burke, M.S., of the pharmacology department at the Health Science Center; Lynette Daws, Ph.D., of the university’s physiology department in whose lab the work was conducted; and Robert Benno, Ph.D., and Emmanuel Onaivi, Ph.D., of the biology department at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J.

2nd serotonin-related avenue

Dr. Gould now plans to study the impact of a diet rich in the amino acid, tryptophan, on the social behavior of the mice. Tryptophan is a biochemical precursor of serotonin, which means it is converted into serotonin during the metabolic process. Foods such as turkey are rich in tryptophan.

“We are going to supplement the diet of mice with tryptophan to see if behavior improves, and also reduce it to see if behavior worsens,” Dr. Gould said. The future study of tryptophan is funded by the Morrison Trust, a San Antonio trust that lists nutrition as one of its topics of interest.




Probiotic encapsulation technology attracts industry heavyweight

Probiotic encapsulation technology attracts industry heavyweight

By Shane Starling, 24-Feb-2011


A patent-pending probiotic technology developed by Belgian start-up Vésale Pharma is being eyed major firms keen to develop products employing the technology’s stated bioavailability-boosting potential.

Last week Vésale Pharma hosted a presentation of the IntelCaps microencapsulation technology it developed over more than a year in conjunction with a German lab, BRACE, at its headquarters just outside of Brussels.

About 30 company representatives were in attendance including those from Merck, Chr Hansen, Lallemand, Enestia, Greentech and Atral Cipan.

At least one representative at the meeting spoken to by NutraIngredients said it would have a product on-shelf, probably in Belgium to begin with, by the end of the Summer.

An OTC probiotic supplement launch has been confirmed for early in the summer by an independent contractor using the Vésale.

Vésale Pharma International manager Johan Quintens was delighted with the response to a technology that was developed using the lactobacillus rhamnosisstrain but which can be applied to any probiotic strain, or even other ingredients.

“There a lot of companies that we have been buying probiotics probiotics from them, now for the first time they are interested in buying something from us,” Quintens said

“All of these big probiotic companies already had projects in microencapsulation but it is not so easy to find the gentle technology so that you do not put too much stress on the probiotics – otherwise you will kill them before they can bring any benefit to the body.”

“So we are very excited that this year will see the first commercialisation of the technology this year in the form of an OTC food supplement.”

The smallsphereprocess

The technology is available for €800-€1200/kg when using Vésale Pharma’s own strains but can be applied to other strains.

The secret to the technology developed by BRACE is the “smallsphere” method that employs molecules of between 0.6 and 1 micro metres, dimensions approaching nano levels.

“The probiotics are in the beadlets so that offers production savings as well as they are easier to handle,” Quintens said.

Traditionally probiotics have existed in lyophilised probiotics in powder form which are not suitable for tablets, or chewable tablets that may come in the form of vitamin and mineral blends.

Selenium may reduce prostate cancer markers: Study

Selenium may reduce prostate cancer markers: Study

By Nathan Gray, 23-Feb-2011

Supplementation with selenium glycinate may increase the activities of related plasma enzymes, and reduce the levels of an important marker for the risk of prostate cancer, according to a new study that contradicts current thinking.

The research, published in Nutrition Research, suggests that selenium glycinate supplementation gave changes consistent with improved selenium functional status and lowered prostate cancer risk in a group of 30 middle-aged US men.
   The researchers, from Ohio State University, USA, said that the study contradicts conventional wisdom that selenium supplementation should not increase the activities of blood glutathione peroxidase (GPx) nor affect prostate cancer risk. “If selenium could lower PSA [prostate-specific antigen] in healthy, middle-aged men, then it could be proposed that selenium can lower prostate cancer risk in some men, especially as part of an overall dietary plan,” said the authors, led by senior author Dr Robert DiSilvestro, from the Department of Human Nutrition, at Ohio State. DiSilvestro and his colleagues said that the type of selenium supplementation used in the study (selenium glycinate), which has not been used in previous research, could possesses “especially high bioactivity.” Selenium levels Daily selenium intake in US adult men is reported to be around 153 micrograms. This is well above the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), which is intended to maximize blood activities of the selenium enzyme glutathione peroxidase (GPx) enzymes, said the authors. “Thus, blood GPx activities would not be expected to increase in most US adult men if selenium intake is increased [above the RDA],” they added. Despite this, DiSilvestro and colleagues noted interest in selenium intake has risen due to recent suggestions that intakes above the RDA may increase blood activities and reduce prostate cancer risk. The authors noted that such an idea has been supported by several previous studies, but said that other large scale studies have not found selenium to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. “In light of the current state of selenium research … it would seem that further research on selenium supplementation of healthy, US adult men would serve no purpose,” said the authors.
However, they stated that the number of studies on GPx response to selenium supplementation is low. Additionally, they explained that healthy middle-aged men – a group particularly concerned with preventing prostate cancer – “have not been singled out for study on selenium supplementation” in relation to GPx or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) – a risk assessor for prostate cancer risk. The new study tested whether a 6-week supplementation of 200 micrograms of selenium (in the form of glycinate) affected the activities of 2 blood selenium enzymes (erythrocyte and plasma GPx) and a marker of prostate cancer risk (plasma PSA). Study details DiSilvestro and co- workers reported that selenium supplementation, but not placebo, raised both plasma and erythrocyte GPx activities. They also found that selenium glycinate, but again not placebo, lowered the cancer risk marker of serum PSA. The authors explained that reducing a marker of prostate cancer does not necessarily mean a reduction in cancer risk. “However, this study does justify further study on selenium supplementation and prostate cancer risk, particularly supplementation as selenium glycinate,” they said. Surprising finding The Ohio State scientists said that the findings presented in their study go against the initial beliefs and hypothesis of the research. The authors explained that initially they believed selenium supplementation would have no effect on blood GPx or PSA, but may have effects in non-not blood derived biomarkers. “The blood sample analysis was just included for the sake of completeness,”they explained. “As things turned out, no interesting data resulted for the other samples but did occur for the blood samples,” said DiSilvestro and his colleagues. Source: Nutrition Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.10.012
“Selenium glycinate supplementation increases blood glutathione peroxidase activities and decreases prostate-specific antigen readings in middle-aged US men”
Authors: W. Zhang, E. Joseph, C. Hitchcock, R.A. DiSilvestro

Relaxation drinks are ‘looking for trouble’, says food and drug attorney

Relaxation drinks are ‘looking for trouble’, says food and drug attorney

1 commentBy Caroline Scott-Thomas, 22-Feb-2011

Related topics: Legislation, Food safety and labeling, Health and nutritional ingredients

Makers of relaxation beverages could face problems in light of the FDA’s draft guidance on the distinction between dietary supplements and beverages, says New York-based food and drug attorney Marc Ullman.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its draft guidance for industry on factors that distinguish liquid dietary supplements from beverages in December 2009, and said it issued the draft guidance because of the rise of beverages being marketed as dietary supplements with unauthorized novel and high-dose ingredients and the labeling implications that follow from that.

Marc Ullman, partner at food and drug law firm Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, told that the relaxation beverage category may face particular problems as drinks makers look to include ingredients intended to promote relaxation or alertness in their products.

Such ingredients might include amino acids, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, which is associated with muscle relaxation.

At next month’s Nutracon in Anaheim Ullman will present on the topic, “Product Development: FDA and the Food-Supplement Distinction: What Does it Mean For the Functional Foods and Beverage Industry”.

The problem is with “the fundamental categorization of a product,” he said. “You can’t have a coffee dietary supplement. It’s coffee.”

He explained that the issue is that food and beverage companies promoting such products often make claims regarding ingredients that have not gone through the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) process required for food ingredients. Although this may occur in many sectors of the food and beverage industry, Ullman said he intends to spend some time focusing on the emerging relaxation beverage category in particular during his Nutracon presentation.

“The relaxation product category is a category that’s looking for trouble,” he said.

The idea of relaxation or alertness drinks first emerged in Japan in 2005 when a group of products came onto the market enriched with (GABA) gamma amino butyric acid.

Formulated to help people unwind or focus better, these new drinks quickly spread to the US and have found a niche alongside energy drinks.

And the global market for relaxation beverages is booming. Recent research from Zenith International estimates that sales volumes have trebled since 2007 to 133 million liters in 2010 and the retail value of the market has risen to $521m.

Ullman said that following a flurry of FDA activity to crack down on foods and beverages that it deemed misbranded last year, there has since been a slowdown. However, he envisages ingredient issues to come to the fore again, particularly with Daniel Fabricant, formerly of the National Products Association, taking the helm as the FDA’s director of its Division of Dietary Supplement Programs.

“I would guess you are going to see more emphasis on ingredients and a de-emphasis on the shape of the container,” Ullman said.

Marc Ullman’s presentation forms part of Nutracon’s Food-Supplement Convergence track. Nutracon takes place from March 9-10, 2011. For more information and to register: .

Chinese probiotics firm files patents on technologies and conditions

Chinese probiotics firm files patents on technologies and conditions

By Jess Halliday, 22-Feb-2011

Related topics: Industry, Probiotics and prebiotics, Gut health, Maternal & infant health, Women’s health

China-Biotics has filed five new patents for its probiotics as it plans to enter new condition areas like feminine hygiene and infant diarrhea, and microencapsulated probiotics for harsh manufacturing conditions.

The Shanghai-based company is in the midst of a strategic shift from business-to-consumer to business-to-business. Since its foundation in 1999, activities have centred on the Shining Essence brand of dietary supplements, which have become a recognisable consumer brand in the 1000 pharmacies and supermarkets in China through which they are sold.

China-Biotics already holds three patents relating to its Shining Essence brand, as well as trademark protection on the brand name through to the end of 2011.

The new applications have been filed by the subsidiary Growing Bioengineering to China’s State Bureau of Intellectual Property. They relate to:

  • A new probiotics supplement and preparation for babies’ immune and digestive health, specifically intended to reduce incidence of diarrhea.
  • A micro-encapsulation technique for using probiotics in beauty products.
  • A preparation of probiotics for adding to soy milk.
  • Probiotics for use in feminine hygiene products.
  • A manufacturing method for heat-resistant microencapsulated probiotics.

The company says that products to which these patents relate will, when launched, mark the entry into new markets with high growth potential. Chairman and CEO Jinan Song said growing awareness of probiotics amongst Chinese consumers is informing the company’s R&D activities.

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China-Biotics first entered bulk probiotics supply in 2007 and last year started producing bulk probiotics at its new Qingpu facility in Shanghai.
Dairy driven

In the recent Q3 results communication Song also signalled that probiotics are growing on the back of greater consumption of dairy products in China.


“As dairy producers introduce greater quantities and varieties of value-added

products to the market, our core probiotics cultures are gaining greater acceptance due to reliable product safety, good technical service, and competitive pricing…. “We are also seeing more yogurt producers embracing functional probiotics additives in their products as dairy consumers in major cities are looking for better nutritional benefits.”

The company reported a 39 per cent increase in sales year-on-year in its Q3, to $32.4 million. Bulk product sales were up 133 per cent to $14.3m.

Song said that the switch to a business-to-business model allows China-Biotics to increase operating leverage and lower overall operating expenses.

Emulsions may boost flavonoid bioavailability, suggests study

Emulsions may boost flavonoid bioavailability, suggests study

By Nathan Gray, 21-Feb-2011

Related topics: Research, Phytochemicals, plant extracts

The use of flavonoids as stabilisers for oil-and-water emulsions could boost the bioavailability of the compounds, according to new research.

The study, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, shows that common food flavonoids may act as “excellent stabilizers” of oil-in-water emulsions, and suggests that role of ‘stabilizer’ in an emulsion may increase the bioavailability of such compounds by delivering them to the gut without the need for more complex techniques such as encapsulation.

Researchers from the University of Leeds, explained that the compounds stabilise the emulsions due to “a tendency for accumulation at the Oil−Water interface” which in some cases “can provide very good stabilization of oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions.”

“Understanding of the physicochemical properties of flavonoids is probably the first step in trying to rationalize their bioavailability,” said the authors, led by Brent Murray, Professor of Food Colloids at the University of Leeds.

They added that the results of the study “may be highly significant with respect to the delivery of such insoluble compounds to the gut, as well as their digestion and absorption.”

Flavonoid benefits

Flavonoids are a group of polyphenol plant metabolites that have generated considerable interest in recent years due to their association between dietary consumption and health benefits.

The compounds have been suggested to have many healthy benefits, the evidence for which has come mainly from studies of their in vitro activity as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, in addition to some in vivo animal studies.

But, according to the authors, “in order to fully understand the in vivo consequences of dietary flavonoid ingestion and to make sense of in vitro and animal studies, the processes of flavonoid absorption and metabolism need to be better understood.”

Prof. Murray and his colleagues said despite the occurrence of a considerable amount of flavonoids in the daily diet, flavonoids are generally known to have poor solubility in water.

According to the authors this has spurred “a large number of studies to try and encapsulate them with various structures that might aid their dispersibility, using similar strategies as for water-insoluble drugs.”

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However, they said that by exploring the hydrophobic/hydrophilic nature of flavonoids, it may be possible to find solutions to the problem of solubility by using an emulsion.

Study details

The authors screened a wide range of flavonoids for their emulsification behaviour, noting that it is difficult to predict how good an emulsifier the flavonoid will be, based on the molecular structure of individual flavonoids.

The authors found that some common food flavonoids (including K7Neo, Q3R (rutin), N7Neo(naringin), N7R, and tiliroside) act as excellent stabilizers of oil-in-water emulsions, through their adsorption (as water-insoluble particles) to the surface of the oil droplets – forming a ‘coating’ around a large droplet, known as a Pickering emulsion.

Murray and co- workers said that the Picketing emulsion droplets formed by flavonoids in an oil/water emulsion are “a huge energy barrier to droplet shrinkage or coalescence, and the emulsions are very stable.”

Rutin and naringin were found to produce the finest emulsions, with droplet sizes of 6, and 5 micrometers (μm), respectively.

Healthy emulsion

The researchers said the results may have significance with respect to the location of flavonoid compounds in real food systems, explaining that flavonoids may be delivered as part of a stable oil−water interface which occurs in foods containing emulsified oil.

As such, they added that the study holds promise for the transport and delivery of flavonoids, which are generally insoluble, to the gut without the use of more complex, and often expensive techniques such as encapsulation.

The results may also have an impact on the understanding of human digestion and absorption of flavonoids, said Murray and colleagues.

Source: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1021/jf1041855
“Particle-Stabilizing Effects of Flavonoids at the Oil−Water Interface”
Authors: Z. Luo, B.S. Murray, A. Yusoff, M.R. A. Morgan, M.J. W. Povey, A.J. Day

UN chick pea vitamin paste battling malnutrition in Pakistan

UN chick pea vitamin paste battling malnutrition in Pakistan

Post a commentBy Shane Starling, 22-Feb-2011

Related topics: Industry, Dosage forms, Minerals, Vitamins & premixes, Maternal & infant health

A vitamin and nutrient-rich chick pea paste developed by United Nations scientists is helping in the fight against cinfant malnutrition in Pakistan.


“Good food mum!” Wawa Mum chick pea paste is helping improve infant nutrition in Pakistan

The problem increased dramatically last year as flood waters ravaged large parts of the country, prompting researchers at the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) to try and develop local solutions.

They came up with ‘Wawa Mum’ (literally ‘good food mum’) – a 50g mineral and vitamin-fortified paste meeting a host of daily nutrient requirements and derived from locally-sourced chick peas.

“Wawa Mum has a number of advantages during emergency situations like the floods in Pakistan,” said Dominique Frankefort, deputy director of WFP’s operations in Pakistan. “It’s light, you can eat it immediately and it’s made right here in Pakistan from an ingredient that people know and like.”

Wawa Mum is being manufactured in three factories processing 200 tonnes per month which is enough for four million sachets of the paste.

“We hope to raise that number to 500 metric tons by June and to 1000 tonnes by the end of the year. In order to do that, we’ll be contracting two more factories between now and December.”

Aid faster, cheaper

Frankefort said the paste offered nutrition-providing potential beyond that of traditional humanitarian aid routes.

“At the onset of emergencies, we often have problem getting as much of these products as we need,” said Frankefort. “They’re also expensive and have to be shipped, which adds to the cost and to the amount it takes to get them where they’re needed.”

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“The other ready-to-eat foods (RTFs) we use are mostly peanut pastes. So it occurred to me that if we could find a similar ingredient more available in places like India and Pakistan, then we could develop our own product right where we needed it.”

Because the chick pea is local and in abundant supply, it is also 10 per cent cheaper than other RTFs developed by the WFP.

Chick pea is popular in Pakistan and other Asian countries where it is the base of dishes like chana masala and humus.

Other WFP nutrition solutions include fortified powder blends derived from cereals, soya, beans and pulses; tubs and sachets derived from vegetable fat, dry skimmed milk, malt dextrin, sugar and whey; high energy biscuits; micronutrient powders containing 16 vitamins and minerals, and fortified compressed food bars.

A video about Wawa Mum can be found here.