Show of the Month November 19 2012

Show Topics

 

  • Eating of Soil and Raw Starch Documented in Madagascar
  • Low Testosterone Appears To Increase Long-Term Risk Of Death
  • Sleep Loss Dramatically Lowers Testosterone in Healthy Young Men
  • Declining Testosterone Levels in Men Not Part of Normal Aging
  • High Exposure to Food-Borne Toxins- Preschool Children Particularly
  • Vulnerable to Compounds Linked to Cancer, Other Conditions

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Eating of Soil and Raw Starch Documented in Madagascar

ScienceDaily (Nov. 9, 2012) — Pica — craving and intentionally consuming nonfood substances, such as earth — and amylophagy, eating raw starches — are widespread among people around the world, including the U.S. Some 180 species of animals are also known to engage in pica, possibly to rid themselves of toxins.—-A study appearing Oct. 17 in the online journal Public Library of Science One (PLoS One) provides the first population-level data of pica in Madagascar. It is one of only a few studies to assess the consumption of earths, raw starches, chalk, ash and other nonfoods across men, women and children. Pica has been documented throughout history; it was first referenced by Hippocrates in 400 B.C. Since then, there have been hundreds of ethnographic descriptions of pica and dozens of epidemiologic studies, mostly among pregnant women, with a few studies among children. In contrast to prior studies, this one in northeastern Madagascar found a high prevalence of pica and amylophagy among men, with some 63 percent of adult males engaging in the behavior among the 760 participants from the Makira Protected Area. Also contrary to other findings, this survey, made in 2009, found no peak in pica and amylophagy among pregnant women, though only four pregnant women were sampled. Local taboos against talking about pregnancy prior to birth may have led to underreporting, according to the authors. The findings for men and pregnant women in Madagascar “fly against much of what I know in terms of distribution” among members of a population, said Sera Young, a research scientist in Cornell University’s Division of Nutritional Sciences and the paper’s senior author. Young is also the author of the book, “Craving Earth: Understanding Pica — the Urge to Eat Clay, Starch, Ice and Chalk” (2011).—Across the entire sample in the prior year, 53.4 percent engaged in geophagy, eating specific types of earth, including a fine white clay subsoil, fine sand and red river sediment; 85.2 percent ate such raw starches as raw cassava, raw sweet potato, uncooked rice and another local wild root; and 19 percent ate other items considered locally to be nonfood, including rock salt, used coffee grounds, charcoal, rice chaff, blackboard chalk and ash.–Pica has positive and negative consequences, making it an important public health concern, said Young.—On the positive side, clay-based pica may be protective, by coating the intestines or binding directly to toxins and pathogens, thereby preventing them from entering the blood, Young added. Clay also acts as an anti-diarrheal.Such protections may be especially beneficial to vulnerable populations like pregnant women and children. Another potential benefit is that earth-based pica may act like a multivitamin, adding micronutrients like iron or calcium to the diet, which may help explain why men consume it. However, the bioavailability of these micronutrients has been shown to be very low.—On the negative side, earth, starch or other pica substances could bind to iron in the diet, leading to or worsening anemia. Also, some raw starches are high in calories but are not nutritious. And some substances may contain pathogens or harmful chemicals.–“It could be a really harmful behavior, which causes anemia, for example, or it could be a low-tech protective behavior,” said Young.–Story Source-The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Cornell University, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS. — Journal Reference–Christopher D. Golden, B. J. Rodolph Rasolofoniaina, Rakoto Benjamin, Sera L. Young. Pica and Amylophagy Are Common among Malagasy Men, Women and Children. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (10): e47129 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047129-

Special Note-this would not be suggested today with all the chemtrails  dumping on the earth and the wide spread of GE or GMO not to mention the pollutants causing acid rais –smart dust and radioactive fall out-it may not be the best thing to use—as well a lot of these earth bound clays may have high levels of aluminum and lead as wel—and this can cause a intestinal congestion and blockage—-if it is the only thing to do to remove a poison out of the system or is the only thing available then again utilize it but it has as many drawbacks as pluses—using mashed  fibres as mentioned or purred fibres may see a significance as well —but again must be cautioned on the need to flush well and utlize amylase and cellulose enzymes or ferment the fibres before utilizing them

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Low Testosterone Appears To Increase Long-Term Risk Of Death

ScienceDaily (June 17, 2008) — Men may not live as long if they have low testosterone, regardless of their age, according to a new study.–The new study, from Germany, adds to the scientific evidence linking deficiency of this sex hormone with increased death from all causes over time–so-called “all-cause mortality.”—The results should serve as a warning for men with low testosterone to have a healthier lifestyle, including weight control, regular exercise and a healthy diet, said lead author Robin Haring, a PhD student from Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald, Institute for Community Medicine.—“It is very possible that lifestyle determines levels of testosterone,” he said. —In the study, Haring and co-workers looked at death from any cause in nearly 2,000 men aged 20 to 79 years who were living in northeast Germany and who participated in the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP). Follow-up averaged 7 years. At the beginning of the study, 5 percent of these men had low blood testosterone levels, defined as the lower end of the normal range for young adult men. The men with low testosterone were older, more obese, and had a greater prevalence of diabetes and high blood pressure, compared with men who had higher testosterone levels, Haring said.—Men with low testosterone levels had more than 2.5 times greater risk of dying during the next 10 years compared to men with higher testosterone, the study found. This difference was not explained by age, smoking, alcohol intake, level of physical activity, or increased waist circumference (a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease), Haring said.—-In cause-specific death analyses, low testosterone predicted increased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease and cancer but not death of any other single cause.—-DPC Biermann, Bad Nauheim, Germany, provided the testosterone reagent, and Novo Nordisc provided partial funding for this analysis.—Detailed results will be presented at The Endocrine Society’s 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.—Story Source–The above story is reprinted from materials provided by The Endocrine Society, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

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Sleep Loss Dramatically Lowers Testosterone in Healthy Young Men

ScienceDaily (May 31, 2011) — Cutting back on sleep drastically reduces a healthy young man’s testosterone levels, according to a study published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).—Eve Van Cauter, PhD, professor in medicine and director of the study, found that men who slept less than five hours a night for one week in a laboratory had significantly lower levels of testosterone than when they had a full night’s sleep. Low testosterone has a host of negative consequences for young men, and not just in sexual behavior and reproduction. It is critical in building strength and muscle mass, and bone density.-Low testosterone levels are associated with reduced well being and vigor, which may also occur as a consequence of sleep loss” said Van Cauter.

At least 15% of the adult working population in the US gets less than 5 hours of sleep a night, and suffers many adverse health effects because of it. This study found that skipping sleep reduces a young man’s testosterone levels by the same amount as aging 10 to 15 years.—As research progresses, low sleep duration and poor sleep quality are increasingly recognized as endocrine disruptors,” Van Cauter said. The ten young men in the study were recruited from around the University of Chicago campus. They passed a rigorous battery of tests to screen for endocrine or psychiatric disorders and sleep problems. They were an average of 24 years old, lean and in good health.—For the study, they spent three nights in the laboratory sleeping for up to ten hours, and then eight nights sleeping less than five hours. Their blood was sampled every 15 to 30 minutes for 24 hours during the last day of the ten-hour sleep phase and the last day of the five-hour sleep phase.—The effects of sleep loss on testosterone levels were apparent after just one week of short sleep. Five hours of sleep decreased their testosterone levels by 10% to 15%. The young men had the lowest testosterone levels in the afternoons on their sleep restricted days, between 2 pm and 10 pm.—The young men also self-reported their mood and vigor levels throughout the study. They reported a decline in their sense of well-being as their blood testosterone levels declined. Their mood and vigor fell more every day as the sleep restriction part of the study progressed.—Testosterone levels in men decline by 1% to 2% a year as they age. Testosterone deficiency is associated with low energy, reduced libido, poor concentration, and fatigue.   The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded this study. Additional funding came from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the National Institutes of Health. Rachel Leproult, PhD, organized and supervised the Story Source-The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Chicago Medical Center, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS. –Journal Reference-R. Leproult, E. Van Cauter. Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011; 305 (21): 2173 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.710

******************************************************************************* Declining Testosterone Levels in Men Not Part of Normal Aging

ScienceDaily (June 23, 2012) — A new study finds that a drop in testosterone levels over time is more likely to result from a man’s behavioral and health changes than by aging. The study results will be presented June 25 at The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in Houston. –“Declining testosterone levels are not an inevitable part of the aging process, as many people think,” said study co-author Gary Wittert, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia. “Testosterone changes are largely explained by smoking behavior and changes in health status, particularly obesity and depression.”—-Many older men have low levels of the sex hormone testosterone, but the cause is not known. Few population-based studies have tracked changes in testosterone levels among the same men over time, as their study did, Wittert said.

In this study, supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the authors analyzed testosterone measurements in more than 1,500 men who had measurements taken at two clinic visits five years apart. All blood testosterone samples underwent testing at the same time for each time point, according to Wittert.—-After the researchers excluded from the analysis any men who had abnormal lab values or who were taking medications or had medical conditions known to affect hormones, they included 1,382 men in the data analysis. Men ranged in age from 35 to 80 years, with an average age of 54.   -On average, testosterone levels did not decline significantly over five years; rather, they decreased less than 1 percent each year, the authors reported. However, when the investigators analyzed the data by subgroups, they found that certain factors were linked to lower testosterone levels at five years than at the beginning of the study.—“Men who had declines in testosterone were more likely to be those who became obese, had stopped smoking or were depressed at either clinic visit,” Wittert said. “While stopping smoking may be a cause of a slight decrease in testosterone, the benefit of quitting smoking is huge.”–Past research has linked depression and low testosterone. This hormone is important for many bodily functions, including maintaining a healthy body composition, fertility and sex drive. “It is critical that doctors understand that declining testosterone levels are not a natural part of aging and that they are most likely due to health-related behaviors or health status itself,” he said.  Unmarried men in the study had greater testosterone reductions than did married men. Wittert attributed this finding to past research showing that married men tend to be healthier and happier than unmarried men. “Also, regular sexual activity tends to increase testosterone,” he explained.—The study findings were presented by Andre Araujo, PhD, who was a visiting professor at the University of Adelaide and is vice president of epidemiology at New England Research Story Source-The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Endocrine Society, via Newswise.

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High Exposure to Food-Borne Toxins- Preschool Children Particularly Vulnerable to Compounds Linked to Cancer, Other Conditions

In a sobering study, researchers measured food-borne toxin exposure in children and adults by pinpointing foods with high levels of toxic compounds and determining how much of these foods were consumed. –ScienceDaily (Nov. 13, 2012) — In a sobering study published in the journal Environmental Health, researchers at UC Davis and UCLA measured food-borne toxin exposure in children and adults by pinpointing foods with high levels of toxic compounds and determining how much of these foods were consumed. The researchers found that family members in the study, and preschool children in particular, are at high risk for exposure to arsenic, dieldrin, DDE (a DDT metabolite), dioxins and acrylamide. These compounds have been linked to cancer, developmental disabilities, birth defects and other conditions. However, the study also points to dietary modifications that could mitigate risk.—-“Contaminants get into our food in a variety of ways,” said study principal investigator Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor and chief of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health at UC Davis. “They can be chemicals that have nothing to do with the food or byproducts from processing. We wanted to understand the dietary pathway pesticides, metals and other toxins take to get into the body.”–Researchers assessed risk by comparing toxin consumption to established benchmarks for cancer risk and non-cancer health risks. All 364 children in the study (207 preschool children between two and seven and 157 school-age children between five and seven) exceeded cancer benchmarks for arsenic, dieldrin, DDE and dioxins. In addition, more than 95 percent of preschool children exceeded non-cancer risk levels for acrylamide, a cooking byproduct often found in processed foods like potato and tortilla chips. Pesticide exposure was particularly high in tomatoes, peaches, apples, peppers, grapes, lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, spinach, dairy, pears, green beans and celery.–“We focused on children because early exposure can have long-term effects on disease outcomes,” said Rainbow Vogt, lead author of the study. “Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency only measures risk based on exposures of individual contaminants. We wanted to understand the cumulative risk from dietary contaminants. The results of this study demonstrate a need to prevent exposure to multiple toxins in young children to lower their cancer risk.”—The researchers used data from the 2007 Study of Use of Products and Exposure-Related Behavior (SUPERB), which surveyed households in California with children between two and five to determine how their diets, and other factors, contribute to toxic exposure. Specifically, SUPERB homed in on 44 foods known to have high concentrations of toxic compounds: metals, arsenic, lead and mercury; pesticides chlorpyrifos, permethrin and endosulfan; persistent organic pollutants dioxin, DDT, dieldrin and chlordane; and the food processing byproduct acrylamide. Toxin levels in specific foods were determined through the Total Diet Study and other databases.—Perhaps most disturbing, preschool-age children had higher exposure to more than half the toxic compounds being measured. Even relatively low exposures can greatly increase the risk of cancer or neurological impairment.

“We need to be especially careful about children, because they tend to be more vulnerable to many of these chemicals and their effects on the developing brain,” says Hertz-Picciotto.—Though these results are cause for concern, the study also outlines strategies to lower family exposure. For example, organic produce has lower pesticide levels. In addition, toxin types vary in different foods. Certain pesticides may be found in lettuce and broccoli, while others affect peaches and apples.–“Varying our diet and our children’s diet could help reduce exposure,” said Hertz-Picciotto. “Because different foods are treated differently at the source, dietary variation can help protect us from accumulating too much of any one toxin.”–Families also can reduce their consumption of animal meat and fats, which may contain high levels of DDE and other persistent organic pollutants, and switch to organic milk. While[U3]  mercury is most often found in fish, accumulation varies greatly by species. Smaller fish, lower on the food chain, generally have lower mercury levels. In addition, acrilomides are relatively easy to remove from the diet.—“Acrilomides come from chips and other processed grains, said co-author Deborah Bennett, associate professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at UC Davis. “Even if we set aside the potential toxins in these foods, we probably shouldn’t be eating large amounts of them anyway. However, we should be eating fruits, vegetables and fish, which are generally healthy foods. We just need to be more careful in how we approach them[U4] .”–The study also highlights a number of policy issues, such as how we grow our food and the approval process for potentially toxic compounds. Though the pesticide DDT was banned 40 years ago, the study showed significant risk of DDE exposure.—“Given the significant exposure to legacy pollutants, society should be concerned about the persistence of compounds we are currently introducing into the environment,” said Bennett. “If we later discover a chemical has significant health risks, it will be decades before it’s completely removed from the ecosystem.”—While the study has profound implications for dietary habits, more work needs to be done to quantify risk. Specifically, researchers need to determine how these food-borne toxins interact collectively in the body.This research was funded by a Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant #RD-83154001 from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  –Other authors include Diana Cassady and Joshua Frost at the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences and Beate Ritz at the UCLA Department of Epidemiology.–Story Source-The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of California – Davis Health System. –Journal Reference-Rainbow Vogt, Deborah Bennett, Diana Cassady, Joshua Frost, Beate Ritz, Irva Hertz-Picciotto. Cancer and non-cancer health effects from food contaminant exposures for children and adults in California: a risk assessment. Environmental Health, 2012; 11 (1): 83 DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-11-83

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