Why you should listen to music in the gym: Scientists prove working out to your favourite tunes allows you to enjoy exercising more

Herbs and Helpers

Experts tested the effects of listening to music, a podcast or silence on runners

They found listening to ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams boosted enjoyment by 28%

The findings explain why many adults create playlists to listen to in the gym
Headphones are a standard sight in gyms today.

And scientists have once again proven that listening to your favourite music could aid your exercise routine.

Runners listening to ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams enjoy their workout 28 per cent more than those who do so in silence.

The findings, made by Brunel University experts, explain why many adults create motivational playlists to listen to in the gym.

Research has previously likened music to a legal, performance-enhancing drug that helps to cheat tiredness and spark feel-good vibes.

And the new study, published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, backs up the widely-held theory.

Lead author Marcelo Bigliassi said: ‘We showed music has the potential to increase beta waves and elicit a more positive emotional state.

‘This can be capitalised upon during other forms of exercise and render a given activity more pleasurable.

‘People who struggle to engage in physical activity programmes should select appropriate pieces of music to exercise and see The Way It Makes You Feel.’

The new study monitored electrical activity in the brains of 24 runners who were asked to run 400m at their own pace.

Participants were hooked up to a portable electroencephalogram – often used to detect epilepsy – to measure brainwaves.

This measured the electrical response in their brain in three situations, listening to six-minutes of music, a TED Radio Hours podcast or no sound at all.

Researchers used psychological scales to measure how good the runners felt, what they focused their attention on, how alert they felt and how tired they were.

They found music rearranges the electrical frequency of the brain, causing a drop in focus but enhancing enjoyment.

Pharrell Williams’ tune, which peaked at number one in the UK and US, boosted enjoyment by 13 per cent, on average, compared to the podcast scenario.

The podcast didn’t affect how tired or happy the runners’ felt, but it made them enjoy walking more than without a soundtrack.

The brain mechanisms behind these effects appear to be linked to a boost in beta frequencies in the frontal and frontal-central regions of the cortex.

ARE PRICES FOR SPOTIFY, APPLE MUSIC AND PRIME MUSIC GOING TO RISE?

Music streaming services, like Apple Music and Spotify, could be set to raise subscription prices, following the decision to increase royalties for songwriters and music publishers.

Earlier this year, a federal copyright board raised the music streaming royalties for songwriters and music publishers by more than 40 per cent to narrow the financial divide separating them from recording labels.

The decision stemmed from a long-running dispute that pitted songwriters against steadily growing music streaming services sold by Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora.

The Copyright Royalty Board’s decision will require those services to pay 15.1 per cent of their revenue to the songwriters and publishers, up from 10.5 per cent.

The music publishers association hailed the ruling, stating that it represents ‘the most favourable balance in the history of the industry’.

None of the major companies affected by the new music streaming royalties have confirmed whether the shift will prod any of them to raise the prices paid by consumers.

The popularity of music streaming services has soared in the past few years as more consumers have embraced paying a monthly or annual subscription fee for unlimited access to tens of millions of songs instead of incrementally buying a more limited amount of music on CDs or in a digital download.

Those changing habits have pushed artists, songwriters and publishers to step up their efforts to get a larger cut of the royalties generated from music streaming – a format that didn’t even exist when some performers signed their last record deals years ago.

The Copyright Royalty Board drew up the new rates for songwriters and publishers after hearing evidence during a trial held in 2017.

Source: Daily Mail

The post Why you should listen to music in the gym: Scientists prove working out to your favourite tunes allows you to enjoy exercising more appeared first on Herbs and Helpers – Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs.

Source:

Anti-bacterial kitchen sprays and wipes are a waste of money, claims TV doctor as experiment reveals poisonous bugs return within an hour

Herbs and Helpers

Food-poisoning causing bacteria reappear on kitchen counters within one hour

Twelve hours later, vast amounts of bacteria and fungi colonise worktops

Kitchens hold more pathogens than bathrooms due to their warm environments

Salmonella and E.coli are thought to enter kitchens via contaminated meat

Such bacteria lurk on 72% of sponges, 45% of sinks and 32% of worktops

Anti-bacterial kitchen sprays and wipes may be a waste of money, according to TV doctor Michael Mosley.

He found potentially-harmful bacteria that can cause agonising food poisoning reappear on kitchen counters just one hour after disinfecting surfaces.

After 12 hours, ‘dramatic’ amounts of bacteria and fungi colonise worktops, according to research published on the BBC’s Trust Me I’m a Doctor.

Microbial physiologist Dr Lynn Dover, from Northumbria University, who was involved in the recent investigation, adds, however, the majority of bugs found in people’s homes are harmless and may even be beneficial, with past studies suggesting they can strengthen immunity and boost mental health.

To protect yourself against potentially-harmful bacteria and fungi, Dr Mosley recommends people keep dishcloths and sponges as dry as possible and dunk them in bleach once a week.

WHAT IS THE DIRTIEST ROOM IN THE HOUSE?

Kitchens are the dirtiest rooms in the house, research suggests.

Bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli lurk on 72 per cent of sponges, 45 per cent of sinks, 32 per cent of counters and 18 per cent of chopping boards, according to research released in 2011 by Michigan-based NSF International, which independently tests food and health science sectors.

Such pathogens are thought to enter kitchens via contaminated meat.

In bathrooms, illness-causing bacteria lurk on 27 per cent of toothbrush holders and nine per cent of taps.

Kitchens are thought to harbour more germs due to the warm, moist environments of items such as sponges and coffee machines, which may not be frequently cleaned.

These provide the ideal breeding grounds for bacteria.

Smooth, cold surfaces, which are commonly found in bathrooms, are less hospitable for bugs to reproduce.

The researchers carried out the investigation by having 22 families swab 30 everyday household items ranging from kitchen counters to mobile phones and pet products.

A previous study by Arizona University suggested kitchens harbour up to 200,000 times more bacteria than toilet seats.

How the research was carried out

The Trust Me I’m A Doctor team gave three families a removable kitchen work surface.

Antibacterial wipes were given to the families, who were instructed to give the counters a thorough clean.

They then used the kitchen station as they would at home, while taking frequent swabs of the counter.

The swabs were later analysed.

How to reduce your risk of illness

As well as keeping sponges and discloths clean and dry, Dr Moseley also recommends using certain chopping boards just for meat and others for produce that will be eaten raw, such as salad.

Cleaning with vinegar, as well as soapy water, is a good way of disinfecting kitchen items due to its acetic-acid content.

Some people also put sponges and cloths in the dishwasher or microwave to better kill germs.

Stainless steel sinks may be behind Legionnaires’ disease

This comes after research released in August 2017 suggested stainless steel sinks and kitchen taps could increase people’s risk of contracting life-threatening Legionnaires’ disease.

The growth of bacteria responsible for Legionnaires’, which has previously been linked to rust, is highest in stainless steel taps, a study found.

Such taps are thought to encourage bacterial growth as their protective coating typically degrades over time, promoting rusting, according to researchers from the Netherlands, including the Regional Public Health Laboratory Kennemerland.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recommends people avoid Legionnaires’ by keeping hot-water systems heated to between 50 and 60°C, as well as running taps regularly to avoid water standing for too long.

Legionnaires’ disease, which causes headaches, muscle pain, fever and confusion, affected around 7,000 people in Europe in 2015, however, the ECDC believes there may have been many more unreported incidences.

Source: Daily Mail

The post Anti-bacterial kitchen sprays and wipes are a waste of money, claims TV doctor as experiment reveals poisonous bugs return within an hour appeared first on Herbs and Helpers – Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs.

Source:

Low-carb diets are NOT better than low-fat for losing weight, Stanford study declares

Herbs and Helpers

New research found people on low-cab diets are no better than low-fat diets when it comes to weight loss
The Stanford University team found people cutting either carbs or fat lost, on average, 13 pounds after a year
Fans of trendy low-carb diets include Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow
Trendy low-carb diets are no better for weight loss than those that cut out fat, new research claims.

Many celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox and Mick Jagger, have found weight loss success by eating a low-carb, high-fat diet, dubbed the keto diet.

But a new study found that people who cutting either carbs or fats shaved off about 13 pounds of excess weight in about the same proportion.

Although no diet is better than another, researchers say the fundamental strategy for weight loss is consuming less sugar, less refined flour and eating more vegetables.

‘We’ve all heard stories of a friend who went on one diet – it worked great – and then another friend tried the same diet, and it didn’t work at all,’ said Dr Christopher Gardner, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.

‘It’s because we’re all very different, and we’re just starting to understand the reasons for this diversity. Maybe we shouldn’t be asking what’s the best diet, but what’s the best diet for whom?’

For the study, researchers led by Gardner recruited 609 men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 and placed them into one of two dietary groups: low-carbohydrate or low-fat.

They monitored the progress of the subjects for 12 months by measuring weight, body composition, baseline insulin levels and how many grams of fat or carbohydrate they consumed daily.

The difference between good carbs and bad carbs

Bad Carbs:

White pasta
Sugar-sweetened beverages
Pastries
White bread
White rice
Good carbs:

Whole grain pasta
Brown rice
Vegetables
Fruits
Beans
Whole wheat flour

In the initial eight weeks of the study, participants were told to limit their daily carbohydrate or fat intake to just 20 grams, which is about what can be found in a 1.5 slices of whole wheat bread or in a generous handful of nuts, respectively.

After that they added back five to 15 grams of fat or carbs gradually, aiming to reach a balance they believed they could maintain for the rest of their lives.

They were also urged to consume healthy low-fat and low-carb diets, as opposed to bacon, which is low in carbs, or soda, which is low in fat.

‘We made sure to tell everybody, regardless of which diet they were on, to go to the farmer’s market, and don’t buy processed convenience food crap,’ Dr Gardner said.

By the end of the study, participants in the two groups had lost, on average, 13 pounds.

The findings, published in JAMA today, also showed variations with participants losing up to 60 pounds in a year while others actually gained weight.

Researchers also homed in on genetics to discover if biology would encourage an individual’s body to favor a low-carbohydrate diet or a low-fat diet, but they found no associations between gene patterns and a propensity to succeed on either diet.

‘This study closes the door on some questions – but it opens the door to others. We have gobs of data that we can use in secondary, exploratory studies,’ Dr Gardner said said.

He added that the best way to lose weight is to eat less sugar, consume more vegetables, and go for whole food, whether that is a wheatberry salad or grass-fed beef.

‘On both sides, we heard from people who had lost the most weight that we had helped them change their relationship to food, and that now they were more thoughtful about how they ate,’ said Gardner.

Source: Daily Mail

The post Low-carb diets are NOT better than low-fat for losing weight, Stanford study declares appeared first on Herbs and Helpers – Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs.

Source:

Acupuncture Plus Herbal Medicine PCOS Finding

Herbs and Helpers

Acupuncture plus herbal medicine increase the clinical effective rate of drug therapy for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In research conducted at the Hubei Maternal and Child Care Service Center, drug therapy using cyproterone acetate/ethinylestradiol and letrozole produced an 72.5% total effective rate. Using both drugs and herbal medicine produced an 85.0% total effective rate, and the rate increased to 95.0% when acupuncture was added to the treatment regimen.

Cyproterone acetate/ethinylestradiol is a commonly used medicine for the treatment of PCOS. Letrozole is an aromatase inhibitor used to stimulate ovulation in women with PCOS.

The following parameters were used to evaluate treatment efficacy: menstruation improvements, body weight, body mass index (BMI), luteal hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), LH/FSH ratio, total testosterone (T), and estradiol (E2)]. An enzyme linked immunosorbent assay was adopted to determine the content of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and inhibin B (IHNB).

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, PCOS falls under the Yue Jing Hou Qi (delayed menstruation), Bi Jing (amenorrhea), or the Bu Yun (infertility) class of disorders. Kidney deficiency is one primary cause. Binding of qi, phlegm, and stasis is a secondary cause. The treatment principle is to supplement the kidney essence, boost the liver and spleen, promote blood circulation, and dispel phlegm. Let’s take a look at the treatment protocols that achieved clinical success in the study.

A total of 120 patients from Hubei Maternal and Child Care Service Center participated in the study. They were diagnosed with PCOS between January 2012 and December 2016. The following selection criteria were applied:

Patients meeting the diagnostic criteria of PCOS acknowledged by Rotterdam (2003) conference [2]
Age between 20 – 40
No organic disease of the genital tract
Patent bilateral fallopian tubes detected via radiography
A normal semen analysis of male partners
The following exclusion criteria were applied:

Genital tract malformations, uterine amenorrhea, and other organic diseases
Severe primary and concomitant cardiovascular, liver, kidney, digestive, or hematopoietic diseases
Premature ovarian failure, insensitive ovary syndrome and other disorders with high gonadotropin levels
Adrenal disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, and other endocrine disorders
Infertility of male partners
Participants were randomly divided into three groups: group A, group B, and group C. All three groups were equivalent in all relevant demographics (P>0.05), setting the basis for a fair comparison of results. Group A had 40 patients, mean age 28 ± 3 years, mean course of disease 2.0 ± 1.5 years, mean height 1.62 ± 0.04 m. Group B had 40 patients, mean age 28 ± 3 years, mean course of disease 1.8 ± 1.1 years, mean height 1.61 ± 0.04 m. Group C had 40 patients, mean age 28 ± 4 years, mean course of disease 1.9 ± 1.1 years, mean height 1.62 ± 0.03 m.

For group A patients, one cyproterone acetate 2.00 mg with ethinylestradiol 0.035 mg coated tablet and one letrozole 2.5 mg tablet were given. Group B and C received identical drugs plus herbal medicines (Tiao Jing Qu Tan Fang). Group C also received acupuncture treatment. The herbal formula used in this study (Tiao Jing Qu Tan Fang) contains the following ingredients:

Yin Yang Huo 15 g
Tu Si Zi 15 g
Zi Shi Ying 10 g
Cang Zhu 15 g
Chen Pi 12 g
Fa Ban Xia 12 g
Yi Yi Ren 15 g
Fu Ling 15 g
Dang Gui 15 g
Bai Shao 15 g
Chuan Xiong 10 g
Xiang Fu 12 g
Zhi Zhi Ke 15 g

The researchers note that the ingredients help the body to sooth the kidney and liver, promote blood circulation, transform stasis and phlegm, and remove dampness. The herbal formula was decocted and brewed once per day. Patients consumed 200 ml of the decoction, twice per day. The primary acupoints selected for group C patients were the following:

CV6 (Qihai)
CV4 (Guanyuan)
Ex-CA-1 (Zigong)
ST25 (Tianshu)
ST36 (Zusanli)
ST40 (Fenglong)
SP6 (Sanyinjiao)
SP9 (Yinlingquan)
SP10 (Xuehai)

Patients were treated in the supine position. Size 0.30 mm x 40 mm acupuncture needles were used. After disinfection, needles were perpendicularly inserted into each acupoint, reaching a depth of 1.0 – 1.5 cm. Manipulation techniques differed among acupoints. For Qihai, Guanyuan, Zigong, Tianshu, and Zisanli, the mild attenuating and tonifying (Ping Bu Ping Xie) manipulation technique was applied.

For Sanyinjiao, Yinlingquan, Xuehai, and Fenglong, rotating with attenuation (xie) was used. Upon achieving deqi, an electroacupuncture device was used. Tianshu and Zusanli were respectively connected to the positive and negative electrodes. A dense-disperse wave was used for 20 min at 10 Hz with a 0.5 ms pulse width. One acupuncture session was conducted every two days. Treatment was paused during menstruation. Each treatment course spanned 3 months. All patients received 2 treatment courses in total.

Like the herbs, local acupoint selections are implemented to regulate the meridians, expel phlegm, and supplement the kidney and spleen. The Ren meridian is also called the Sea of the Yin Meridians, which governs the Bao Tai (uterus and fetus). Needling the acupoints Qihai and Guanyuan, which are located on this meridian, supplements original qi and regulates the qi flow of the lower jiao. Zigong is an extra acupoint and enhances fertility in women. Tianshu, Zusanli, Fenglong, Sanyinjiao, Yinlingquan, and Xuehai strengthen the stomach and spleen. According to the Rotterdam’s Consensus on the Efficacy Assessment of PCOS Treatments, the treatment efficacy for each patient was categorized into 1 of 3 tiers: [2]

Recovery: Absence of symptoms. Normal menstrual cycle. Normal serum hormone levels. Mature follicles and discharge of the ovum for three consecutive months detected via B-scan ultrasonography, or pregnancy during treatment.
Effective: Symptoms, menstrual cycle, and serum hormone levels showed improvement. B-scan ultrasonography detected at least one time of the dominant follicle within three consecutive months.
Not effective: Symptoms, menstrual cycle, and serum hormone levels showed no improvement. B-scan ultrasonography detected no dominant follicle within three consecutive months.
The results indicate that acupuncture plus herbs are effective for increasing the efficacy of the medication treatment regimen. Researchers from the study conclude that acupuncture plus herbs cause no significant adverse effects and that the TCM protocol is safe and effective for the treatment of PCOS.

References
1. Yin Y, Zhang YC, Zhang H, Jiang DS, Guo GR. Clinical therapeutic effects of acupuncture combined with Chinese herbal medicine on infertility of polycystic ovary syndrome in the patients with ovulation induction with letrozole [J]. Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion,Jan. 2018,Vol. 38 No. 1

  1. Rotterdam ESHRE/ASRM-Sponsored PCOS consensus workshop group. Revised 2003 consensus on diagnostic criteria and long-term health risks related to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)[J]. Hum Reprod, 2004, 19(1): 41-47.

Source: HealthCMI

The post Acupuncture Plus Herbal Medicine PCOS Finding appeared first on Herbs and Helpers – Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs.

Source:

Gut health affects MEMORY

Herbs and Helpers

Latest research on gut health was presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference on Friday

University of California researchers have shown gut affects sleep and memory
But each person’s gut needs are very different – some can fare better with ice cream than others

Some people have a perfect memory, live to 100, never get sick, and eat ice cream without gaining weight.

New research suggests that could all boil down to their gut health.

Increasingly, scientists are finding our microbiome – which accounts for 57 percent of cells in our body – affects everything from sleeping patterns to brain health.

But that doesn’t mean the global population would have a better memory if we all switched to salads and probiotics: some people’s guts are built to thrive off ice cream, while others should stick to plain rice or kale.

‘This is changing our view of who we are as humans,’ Dr Rob Knight, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, told the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference on Friday.

Unveiling the latest research, Dr Knight and other leading researchers in the field said it’s becoming clear there is no end to the laundry list of factors that affect gut bacteria – and how those changes affect who we are.

Everyone has their own unique make-up of bacteria which is affected by a tumult of factors, including how they were born (via a c-section or vaginal birth) and whether they took antibiotics as a child for an ear infection or conjunctivitis, for example.

As adults, it is affected by what we eat, what we drink, how often we have sex, who we have sex with, where we live, and the air we breathe.

THE FUTURE OF GUT HEALTH: SMART TOILETS, MIRROR SENSORS, AND AN APP TO SCAN YOUR POOP

Dr Rob Knight, co-founder of the American Gut Project, said his team is working on many ‘science fiction’ ideas to revolutionize how we understand our personal gut health.

He tabled three ideas which he is exploring to work towards:

A ‘smart toilet’ that examines your fecal matter and offers a live report of ‘how you’re doing’

A ‘smart mirror’ that gives an analysis of your breath when you breathe on it, much like the cystic fibrosis breath tests available

An app synced with your smart toilet that could scan grocery items while you’re shopping, and can tell you what you should buy to eat

One of the most compelling new details is the way bacteria affects the mind in more ways than we ever realized – in particular, our memory.

‘We are finding strong evidence of associations between the brain and microbiome,’ Janet Jansson, director of biological science at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state, said.

Dr Jansson’s lab has broken ground in this field by showing that they could improve a germ-free mouse’s memory by injecting them with a certain bacteria species called Lactobacillus.

Analyzing the doctored mice compared with the metabolite composition of control mice, they could see that the ones experiencing better memory had also experienced metabolic changes caused by the Lactobacillus.

This finding is not easy to translate into practical methods for memory-boosting since each person’s bacteria make-up is so unique.

Even our own sleeping patterns affect our microbiome – and vice versa, explained Dr Knight, co-founder of the American Gut Project which is analyzing donated fecal samples from 10,000 volunteers.

His analysis of the citizen data compiled broke down which factors are the most important.

The most important factor was unequivocally the variety of vegetables we eat, rather than sticking to romaine every lunchtime.

Next is sleep, having sex and our weight – which all affect different people to varying degrees.

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut way to find out if you are an ice cream and sex person or not.

The only test available to find out what your microbiome needs is only available in Israel.

But blindly loading up on probiotics and cutting out major food groups in the meantime – because they are tipped as ‘healthy’ – is an ill-advised approach to improving gut health.

The concept of taking ‘probiotics’ in general is like taking ‘a lot of drugs’ for an illness, then encouraging your friends to take ‘a lot of drugs’ for any illness, he said.

When it comes to food, he points to a study by the Weizmann Institute in Israel found some people experienced more of a blood sugar surge after eating white bread or rice than they did eating ice cream.

Dr Knight says that experiment on 800 people, published in 2016, was a major advance in gut research showing those who prescribe to popular diets may not be meeting their gut’s individualized needs.

But he insists we are making strides in the field, especially since starting the American Gut Project, in understanding that medicating our gut is pivotal to taking control of all kinds of diseases.

‘Your gut is not Vegas: what happens in your gut does not stay in your gut,’ he quips.

Source: Daily Mail

The post Gut health affects MEMORY appeared first on Herbs and Helpers – Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs.

Source:

Cleaning products linked to poorer lung function

Herbs and Helpers

Regular exposure to cleaning products significantly affects lung function, research has suggested.

The study of 6,000 people by a team from Norway’s University of Bergen, found women appeared to be more badly affected than men.

They said cleaning chemicals were “unnecessary” and microfiber cloths and water were “enough for most purposes”.

UK experts said people should keep their homes well ventilated and use liquid cleaners instead of sprays.

The team looked at data from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey.

Previous studies have looked at the short-term effect of cleaning chemicals on asthma, but this work looked at the longer term.

Prof Cecile Svanes, who led the Bergen team, said: “We feared that such chemicals, by steadily causing a little damage to the airways day after day, year after year, might accelerate the rate of lung function decline that occurs with age.”

Microfiber cloths and water ‘enough’

Adults in the study, published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, were followed for more than 20 years.

Their lung function was measured by looking at how much air people could forcibly breath out – and the amount declined more over the years in women who cleaned.

The authors suggest the chemicals in cleaning products irritate the mucous membranes that line the airways of the lungs, causing long-term damage.

No difference was seen between men who cleaned and those who did not.

The researchers said that could partly be explained by there being far fewer men working as cleaners, but also suggested women might be more susceptible to the chemicals’ effects.

Oistein Svanes, who also worked on the study, said: “The take-home message is that in the long run cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs.

“These chemicals are usually unnecessary; microfiber cloths and water are more than enough for most purposes.”

Sarah MacFadyen, from the British Lung Foundation said: “Breathing in any kind of air pollution can have an impact on our health, especially for those living with a lung condition.

“This study further confirms that air pollution can come from a range of sources, including from paints, adhesives and cleaning products we use indoors.

“Ensuring we keep our homes well ventilated, using liquid cleaners instead of sprays and checking that our cookers and heaters are in good working order will help protect us and prevent everyday products impacting on our lungs.”

Source: BBC

The post Cleaning products linked to poorer lung function appeared first on Herbs and Helpers – Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs.

Source:

Eating more processed food raises cancer risk

Herbs and Helpers

Increasing the amount of ultra-processed food in a person’s diet proportionately increases their risk of cancer, a large study has found.

An examination of the food intake and health of nearly 105,000 people found that for every 10% more factory-processed food someone consumes, there is a 12% greater risk of them developing the disease.

Fizzy drinks, packaged breads and cakes, crisps, sweets, sausages, bacon and ham, instant noodles, and frozen or chilled ready meals were found to be associated with the increased risk.

The research by teams from the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Sao Paulo also suggested there was an 11% increase in the risk of breast cancer.

The study looked at 104,980 healthy French adults with an average age of 43 and asked them about their eating habits.

After an average of five years, the adults were asked whether they had been diagnosed with cancer, and their answers were compared with their medical records.

While eating more ultra-processed food was associated with an increased risk of cancer, there was no significant link between less processed foods – such as canned vegetables, cheese and fresh bread – and cancer.

:: Eating burnt toast ‘may increase cancer risk’

Consuming fresh or minimally processed foods – such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, rice, pasta and fresh meat – was associated with a lower risk of cancer overall.

The study’s authors say: “Several surveys … have suggested that ultra-processed food products contribute to between 25% and 50% of total daily energy intake.

“This dietary trend may be concerning and deserves investigation. Several characteristics of ultra-processed foods may be involved in causing disease.

“In this large prospective study, a 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a significant increase of greater than 10% in risks of overall and breast cancer.

“Further studies are also needed to better understand the relative effect of nutritional composition, food additives, contact materials, and neoformed contaminants in this relation.”

The authors say ultra-processed foods often have a higher content of total fat, saturated fat, and added sugar and salt, along with a lower fibre and vitamin density.

They are also more likely to contain additives and other compounds that are created by heat treatment, some of which may be carcinogenic.

They say governments may need to take the findings into consideration when drawing up effective food and health policies to prevent cancer.

Source: Sky News

The post Eating more processed food raises cancer risk appeared first on Herbs and Helpers – Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs.

Source:

Wedding Rigorous Scientific Methodology and Ancient Herbal Wisdom to Benefit Cancer Patients: The Development of PHY906

Herbs and Helpers

Introduction

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are medical and healthcare practices that are considered outside the realm of conventional mainstream Western medicine.[1,2] Specifically, complementary medicine involves the use of healing practices and products that work together with conventional medicine. In contrast, alternative medicine is used in place of traditional therapies. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH; known until 2015 as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [NCCAM]) has recognized five main categories of CAM: mind-body medicine; whole medical systems; manipulative and body-based practices; energy medicine; and biologically based practices with a focus on herbal medicines, dietary supplements, vitamins, and nutrition. More recently, the NCCIH has developed the term integrative medicine, which combines conventional medical therapies and CAM therapies in a more highly coordinated and integrated manner based on high-quality evidence of safety and effectiveness. There are many definitions of “integrative” medicine, but all involve bringing conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way. The use of integrative approaches to health and wellness has grown significantly within healthcare settings across the United States.[3]

Over the past 10 to 15 years, there has been steadily increasing use of integrative medicine approaches in conjunction with conventional systemic anticancer therapies.[4-10] It is estimated that 40% to 50% of cancer patients, and perhaps more, have used integrative medicine therapies for symptom relief during the course of their conventional systemic treatments. Acupuncture, for example, has been shown to be an effective mind-body practice in alleviating treatment-associated side effects of fatigue, postoperative pain, and nausea and vomiting.[11-15] An important medicinal agent in cancer care is ginger (Zingiber officinale), a flowering plant whose rhizome is widely used as a folk medicine, and which is available in a variety of formulations. Ginger supplementation may represent an alternative adjuvant treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Controlled randomized clinical trials to confirm the clinical benefit of ginger are ongoing.[16,17] Finally, integrative medicine approaches have become especially popular with cancer survivors to manage the adverse effects and consequences of particular treatments—whether they be surgical resection; radiation therapy; or systemic therapy with cytotoxic chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and/or biologic therapy.

Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Herbal Formula PHY906

Traditional Chinese medicine has been practiced for more than 2,000 years. The earliest medical text on traditional Chinese medicine, written around 200 AD, includes the medicinal and toxicological properties of 364 entries, the vast majority describing plants.[18] In the 16th century, the classical Chinese herbal medicine textbook documented the use of nearly 1,900 individual herbs and more than 11,000 formulas to treat human diseases.[19] Traditional Chinese medicine has been used to control disease-associated symptoms and to improve overall quality of life for patients affected by a wide range of medical conditions, including cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, skin disorders, fatigue, stress, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Our own studies of traditional Chinese medicine began in the early 2000s, when we sought to answer the question of whether there was a Chinese herbal medicine that could prevent and/or reduce the gastrointestinal toxicities associated with irinotecan-based chemotherapy. Around that time, the combination of irinotecan, fluorouracil (5-FU), and leucovorin (IFL) was being developed as a frontline treatment regimen, and it was associated with a 25% to 30% incidence of grade 3 or 4 gastrointestinal toxicity in the form of diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Two large phase III clinical studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute revealed an increased early death rate in patients treated with the IFL regimen, which was largely secondary to the treatment-related gastrointestinal toxicities. With this in mind, Professor Yung-Chi Cheng, PhD, and his research team at Yale University reviewed the Chinese literature and identified Huang Qin Tang as a classic formula that has been widely used in China and other Asian countries to treat gastrointestinal disorders, including nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea,[19,20] with the latter presumably occurring secondary, but not limited to, infectious etiologies in humans without serious side effects, other than reversible constipation.

PHY906 is a powder containing a spray-dried aqueous extract derived from the Huang Qin Tang formula; it consists of four principal herbs (Figure 1): Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch, Paeonia lactiflora Pall, Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, and Ziziphus jujuba Mill. Of note, up to 65 individual chemicals have been identified, to date, in these four herbs. The identity of each herb was confirmed by trained botanists, and the plants were closely monitored with respect to soil and growth conditions to ensure the highest levels of chemical consistency in the raw herbs. In addition, testing was performed to ensure the absence of contaminants, such as heavy metals, pesticides/insecticides, and various microbial organisms. In contrast to Huang Qin Tang, the PHY906 formulation was prepared according to a proprietary manufacturing protocol that was specifically designed and implemented by Sun Ten Pharmaceutical Company in Taiwan. This protocol employed standard operating procedures involving hot water extraction of the four herbal components in a specific dry weight ratio of 3:2:2:2; this ratio is different from that which is traditionally used in everyday clinical practice in Asia. The hot water extraction was then spray-dried into a granulated powder and packaged in the form of capsules according to stringent manufacturing practices that followed Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) as determined by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Quality Control in the Production of PHY906

One of the main challenges associated with the development of Chinese herbal medicine relates to the issue of quality control and batch-to-batch variability. Since herbal extracts contain up to hundreds of individual phytochemical components, it is critical to develop robust quality-control metrics. To address this concern, a platform termed PhytomicsQC was developed; this unique and comprehensive set of methodologies integrates chemical analysis, bioresponse analysis, and in vivo animal pharmacology to achieve quality control and batch-to-batch reproducibility in the production of PHY906.[21] For chemical analysis, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) was selected (Figure 2), given its broad capability and increased spectral sensitivity. Gene expression profiling, as seen in Figure 3, was used for bioresponse fingerprinting, since it provides a sensitive, comprehensive, and unique pattern in response to exposure to a given herbal formula. Working closely with Professor Hongyu Zhao, PhD, his bioinformatics colleagues at Yale, and PhytoCeutica (the developers of PhytomicsQC), a Phytomics Similarity Index (PSI) was developed for both the chemical analysis and the bioresponse fingerprint analysis. This PSI value is determined by integrating peak patterns, peak ratios, and peak intensities from various batches; it is a quantitative measure of similarity between two compounds, ranging from 0 to 1, with 1 being identical. This work has been critically important both for the clinical development of PHY906 and as a framework for the development of herbal medicines, as it has shown that herbal formulations manufactured under strict CGMP guidance can yield highly consistent batches of high-quality herbal products that can then be used for both preclinical and clinical studies.

Clinical Experience With PHY906 in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer, and Incorporation of Biomarkers

As noted previously, there has been extensive historical experience regarding the safety of PHY906 use in humans at daily doses as high as 4 to 6 g. As previously mentioned, in China and other Asian countries, this herbal medicine is referred to as Huang Qin Tang, and in the large majority of cases, it has been used to treat short-term diarrhea, presumably secondary, but not limited to, infectious etiologies in humans without serious side effects, other than reversible constipation. Preclinical in vivo studies conducted by the Cheng lab using the murine MC38 model documented the ability of PHY906 to reduce the toxicity associated with irinotecan treatment while increasing irinotecan’s antitumor effects.[22] Additional preclinical studies have shown that PHY906 reduces the infiltration of neutrophils/macrophages, reduces tumor necrosis factor alpha expression in mouse intestine, and decreases proinflammatory cytokine levels in circulating plasma.[22-24]

In February 2002, a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover phase I study was initiated by the group at Yale in collaboration with PhytoCeutica. The purpose of the trial was to evaluate the safety and tolerability of the CGMP product PHY906 in combination with the irinotecan-based IFL regimen. At the time this first clinical study was designed, the bolus, weekly IFL regimen was considered the standard first-line treatment for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, and as mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons for developing this study was that the main dose-limiting toxicity of IFL was, in fact, diarrhea and dehydration, which led to death in a small yet significant fraction of patients. In this study, patients served as their own internal controls; they received IFL plus oral PHY906 with the first cycle, and the same IFL chemotherapy plus placebo with the second cycle. This dose-escalation study examined the effect of PHY906 on the severity of irinotecan-induced toxicities and the effect of PHY906 on the pharmacokinetics of irinotecan and 5-FU. The initial dose level of PHY906 used in this study was 1.2 g/day, which is less than 30% of the dose usually used in the everyday setting, and a second cohort of patients received a total daily dose of 2.4 g/day. PHY906 therapy reduced the severity of diarrhea and nausea/vomiting induced by IFL chemotherapy by at least one grade level, and significantly reduced the incidence of grades 3 and 4 diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and fatigue.[25,26] This first study was important because it clearly documented the ability of PHY906 to significantly reduce the gastrointestinal toxicity associated with IFL chemotherapy.

An extensive series of pharmacokinetic studies were conducted as part of the initial phase I study. They showed that PHY906 did not alter the metabolism of 5-FU and irinotecan, suggesting no unforeseen pharmacokinetic herb-drug interactions. It should be emphasized that the potential for herb-drug interactions must be carefully evaluated when one is investigating any new botanical medicine in combination with a conventional agent. For this first study, no pharmacodynamic biomarker studies were incorporated into the study design, since most of the preclinical studies that would provide the rationale for the inclusion of such translational science were just being initiated.

As a follow-up to this first study with PHY906, a second phase I clinical trial was designed in which PHY906 was combined with irinotecan monotherapy in the second-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. This second study is noteworthy in that it used an entirely new batch of PHY906 that was prepared and formulated under CGMP guidelines and tested using the PhytomicsQC platform to confirm quality control and batch consistency as compared with the original batch prepared 10 years earlier. This study used a traditional 3+3 design and identified irinotecan at 215 mg/m2 and PHY906 at 3.6 g/day to be the recommended phase II doses. Pharmacokinetic studies were performed as part of this phase I study, with LC/MS analysis confirming that the pharmacokinetics and metabolism of irinotecan, SN-38, and their respective glucuronidated metabolites were not altered with increasing doses of PHY906. Pharmacodynamic biomarker assays were also conducted in this study, to begin to correlate the effect of PHY906 on toxicity and/or clinical activity of irinotecan. For these translational studies, we investigated the effect of drug treatment on expression of cytokines, chemokines, and various growth factors; on metabolomic profiling; and on expression of key signaling proteins (total protein and phosphoprotein profiling). In addition, a novel LC/tandem MS (LC/MS/MS) assay was developed to identify the individual chemical components and metabolites in the peripheral blood of patients treated with PHY906.[27]

Earlier in vivo animal experiments revealed a reduced expression of inflammatory markers in the intestine and plasma of mice treated with PHY906 and irinotecan compared with irinotecan alone.[22] RNA microarray data of tumor tissue showed that the combination of PHY906 and irinotecan could enhance various key immune regulatory pathways associated with acute inflammatory processes. It is conceivable, then, that plasma levels of certain immunocytokines, chemokines, and growth factors may be altered as a result of PHY906 treatment and that their expression may be used as surrogate biomarkers that could then be correlated with clinical outcomes. Preliminary results from the phase I study of PHY906 and irinotecan have, indeed, identified different patterns of expression of various cytokines and chemokines.

Based on this second phase I study, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II study was subsequently designed to investigate the effect of PHY906 on the toxicity and clinical efficacy of single-agent irinotecan. Patients who progressed on frontline oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy were randomized to receive irinotecan in combination with either PHY906 or placebo. The primary endpoints of this phase II study were to determine the effect of PHY906 on the safety profile and clinical efficacy of irinotecan monotherapy, and the associated treatment-related quality of life.

In addition to these standard clinical endpoints, an extensive series of translational studies were incorporated into this study. These included profiling of immunocytokines, chemokines, and growth factors; metabolomic profiling; and assessment of tumor mutational load as determined by the presence of mutations of KRAS, BRAF, and/or PI3K/Akt. The approach for cytokine/chemokine profiling utilized a multiplexed cytometric bead array that allows for the simultaneous detection of 30 to 100 plasma proteins with the potential to assay up to 300 proteins.

Metabolomic profiling studies have been performed by Professor Wei Jia, PhD, and his group at the University of Hawaii. Their analysis has employed time-of-flight MS or quadrupole MS/MS coupled to chromatographic separations including gas chromatography (GC) and LC. The use of both LC/MS and GC/MS platforms to analyze each biological sample increases the number of metabolites detected by the two complementary analytical platforms, and the two platforms will also cross-validate results for each other given their mutual identification of metabolites. The combined GC/MS and LC/MS metabolomic profiling is a powerful technique providing a chemical snapshot of specific and dynamic cellular processes that will potentially correlate with tumor response and side effects. To date, 136 identified metabolites (typically with molecular weight [MW] < 1,000 kD) have been identified in plasma samples from patients treated on the phase II clinical trial of PHY906 plus irinotecan. Preliminary analysis of the data has identified four metabolites whose expression in plasma appears to be altered in response to treatment with PHY906. These results need to be confirmed and validated in the phase II randomized study.

For studies on tumor mutational analysis, a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay employing peptide nucleic acid clamping with a locked nucleic acid substituted primer will be used to detect colon tumor–associated mutated DNA circulating in patients’ plasma. The level of circulating plasma tumor DNA with different mutations will be quantified for analysis and correlated with clinical outcomes. The levels of circulating tumor DNA are anticipated to decrease in the responder group after chemotherapy and increase with tumor progression. Different mutations of the circulating tumor DNA may be detected throughout treatment since dominance of mutations may change in tumors, and this evolution in tumor mutational load may correlate with disease progression.

Further studies will be performed using the novel LC/MS/MS methodology to characterize the chemical profile of PHY906 and metabolites in each blood sample taken from patients. Using this LC/MS/MS protocol, up to 33 chemicals and/or metabolites of PHY906 have been identified in patient blood samples with high reproducibility using only 100 mL of plasma at each time point.[27] Of note, not all chemicals found in the PHY906 herbal formulation are present in the peripheral circulation, and new PHY906 metabolites have been identified in the peripheral blood of patients. Moreover, the formation of some of these herbal metabolites appears to be dose-related. There are also individual differences in the circulating levels of flavones and their metabolites following treatment with PHY906. Finally, the presence of herbal metabolite profiles is being correlated with the biological activity of an individual patient’s plasma sample against several key immunologic regulatory signaling pathways and DNA repair pathways using unique reporter cell lines established by Professor Cheng and colleagues at Yale University.

The goal of these informationally rich translational studies is to begin to identify potential biomarker(s) that can be used to predict the clinical activity of PHY906 when used in combination with irinotecan chemotherapy. Specifically, our hope is to use these biomarkers in determining the potential effect of PHY906 on the toxicity and/or clinical benefit of irinotecan chemotherapy. These translational studies should also serve to support the results of the extensive in vivo preclinical studies, which have already documented the potential effects of PHY906 on various key signaling pathways. Finally, we hope to gain new insights into the underlying biochemical and molecular mechanisms of action of PHY906 and begin to identify the potential active compounds and/or metabolites for each biological activity, so that these can be investigated in further detail in future studies.

Summary

Over the past 15 years, we have learned a great deal from the preclinical and clinical studies investigating the Chinese herbal medicine PHY906, and we believe that the insights gained can serve as a model for investigators interested in the clinical development of Chinese herbal medicine and/or other botanical products. First and foremost is the issue of quality control and standardization of processes used both to create the Chinese herbal medicine and to identify the high-quality material that will be used for both the preclinical and clinical studies. It is notable that, at the very start of this journey with PHY906, the PhytomicsQC platform was developed; this platform represents a comprehensive multiplex technology that integrates chemical and biological fingerprints combined with a novel biostatistical methodology to assess and confirm the quality and identity of different batches of PHY906. With high-quality herbal material in hand, in vivo animal studies can then be performed to establish safety, efficacy, and potential dosing schedules. Characterization of the in vivo metabolism of the Chinese herbal medicines is also necessary to identify the presence of active as well as inactive herbal metabolites and to investigate potential herb-drug interactions. Our recent work has shown that the formation of herbal metabolites can differ quite significantly between in vivo model systems and use in patients. Studies to investigate the potential biological mechanisms of action using a systems biology approach are critical in providing the preclinical rationale to move forward with the clinical studies. This preclinical work is of particular relevance as it begins to identify potential biomarkers that can then be incorporated in the clinical studies.

The design of early-phase clinical trials combining Chinese herbal medicine with cytotoxic chemotherapy should follow the same rigorous principles that guide the clinical development of conventional Western medicines and be based on a sound preclinical rationale. The phase I aspect of these studies can follow a traditional 3+3 design as we have done with PHY906, or it can use adaptive designs in cases where the herbal medicine under study has been widely used and its safety profile is well established. The clinical trials must be designed with well-defined endpoints, and well-validated quality-of-life instruments and/or patient-reported outcome questionnaires should be incorporated. Translational pharmacodynamic biomarkers should be incorporated to begin to assess the biological effects of the herbal medicine. For PHY906 and other herbal medicines, these biomarkers can include tumor mutational load, cytokine/chemokine expression, metabolomic profiling, and formation of key herbal metabolites.

As with the development of conventional systemic therapies such as targeted agents, biologic agents, and/or immunotherapies, the tissue source from which these biomarkers are derived needs to be carefully considered. A topic of ongoing debate is whether tumor tissue, peripheral blood, or some other surrogate tissue should be used for these translational studies. While tumor tissue is ideal, there are several important limitations to using tumor tissue for biomarker interrogation. These include the inability to obtain pre- and posttreatment samples, the issue of tumor heterogeneity (leading to variable biomarker measurements), potential harm and inconvenience to the patient during the actual biopsy procedure, and the financial costs associated with tumor biopsies. Given these concerns, peripheral blood has now become an appropriate surrogate tissue for biomarker studies, although it remains to be determined whether peripheral blood adequately reflects what is actually taking place in tumor tissue. Once the translational biomarker data have been generated, sophisticated bioinformatic computational biology approaches must be developed to mine the data and facilitate identification of the biomarkers that can potentially be used to determine which patients will benefit from PHY906 or any other herbal medicine in terms of reduced toxicity from systemic chemotherapy, a better quality of life, and/or enhanced clinical activity in the form of improved overall response and progression-free survival.

Finally, as with the clinical development of any novel therapeutic agent, successful development of a Chinese herbal medicine such as PHY906 requires close and effective collaboration between academic centers, the biopharmaceutical industry, and government. All of the preclinical work with PHY906 was completed at the Yale Cancer Center, with much of the financial support coming from the National Cancer Institute and PhytoCeutica. The clinical studies were conducted at Yale, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hillman Cancer Center (formerly the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute) and the University of Pittsburgh, and City of Hope Cancer Center. The translational metabolomic studies were performed at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. All of these investigations were carried out in close partnership with industry partners, including Sun Ten Pharmaceutical Company, PhytoCeutica, and Yviva, as well as multiple governmental agencies, including the National Cancer Institute and the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine, NCCAM/NCCIH, and the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Botanical Review Team.

References:
1. Harlan WR Jr. New opportunities and proven approaches in complementary and alternative medicine research at the National Institutes of Health. J Altern Complement Med. 2001;7(suppl 1):S53-S59.

  1. Engel LW, Straus SE. Development of therapeutics: opportunities within complementary and alternative medicine. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2002;1:229-37.
  2. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Complementary, alternative, or integrative health: what’s in a name? https://nccih.nih.gov/health/integrative-health. Accessed January 9, 2018.

  3. Horneber M, Bueschel G, Dennert G, et al. How many cancer patients use complementary and alternative medicine: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Integr Cancer Ther. 2012;11:187-203.

  4. Boon H, Stewart M, Kennard MA, et al. Use of complementary/alternative medicine by breast cancer survivors in Ontario: prevalence and perceptions. J Clin Oncol. 2000;18:2515-21.

  5. Boon HS, Olatunde F, Zick SM. Trends in complementary/alternative medicine use by breast cancer survivors: comparing survey data from 1998 and 2005. BMC Womens Health. 2007;7:4.

  6. Mao JJ, Farrar JT, Xie SX, et al. Use of complementary and alternative medicine and prayer among a national sample of cancer survivors compared to other populations without cancer. Complement Ther Med. 2007;15:21-9.

  7. Mao JJ, Palmer CS, Healy KE, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine use among cancer survivors: a population-based study. J Cancer Surviv. 2011;5:8-17.

  8. Chung VC, Wu X, Lu P, et al. Chinese herbal medicine for symptom management in cancer palliative care: systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016;95:e2793.

  9. Yun H, Sun L, Mao JJ. Growth of integrative medicine at leading cancer centers between 2009 and 2016: a systematic analysis of NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center websites. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2017;2017:29-33.

  10. Mao JJ, Farrar JT, Bruner D, et al. Electroacupuncture for fatigue, sleep, and psychological distress in breast cancer patients with aromatase inhibitor-related arthralgia: a randomized trial. Cancer. 2014;120:3744-51.

  11. Molassiotis A, Bardy J, Finnegan-John J, et al. Acupuncture for cancer-related fatigue in patients with breast cancer: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2012;30:4470-6.

  12. Vickers AJ, Straus DJ, Fearon B, et al. Acupuncture for postchemotherapy fatigue: a phase II study. J Clin Oncol. 2004;22:1731-5.

  13. Lesi G, Razzini G, Musti MA, et al. Acupuncture as an integrative approach for the treatment of hot flashes in women with breast cancer: a prospective multicenter randomized controlled trial (AcCliMaT). J Clin Oncol. 2016;34:1795-802.

  14. Choo SP, Kong KH, Lim WT, et al. Electroacupuncture for refractory acute emesis caused by chemotherapy. J Altern Complement Med. 2006;12:963-9.

  15. Konmun J, Danwilai K, Ngamphaiboon N, et al. A phase II randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study of 6-gingerol as an anti-emetic in solid tumor patients receiving moderately to highly emetogenic chemotherapy. Med Oncol. 2017;34:69.

  16. Marx W, McCarthy AL, Ried K, et al. The effect of a standardized ginger extract on chemotherapy-induced nausea-related quality of life in patients undergoing moderately or highly emetogenic chemotherapy: a double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial. Nutrients. 2017;9:E867.

  17. Yang SZ. The divine farmer’s materia medica: a translation of the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing. Boulder, CO: Blue Poppy Press; 1998.

  18. Li S. The Ben Cao Gang Mu: Chinese edition. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press; 2016.

  19. Hsu CS, Hsu HY. Commonly used Chinese herb formulas – with illustrations. 2nd ed. Vol 1. Long Beach, CA: Oriental Healing Art Institute; 1980.

  20. Tilton R, Paiva AA, Guan JQ, et al. A comprehensive platform for quality control of botanical drugs (PhytomicsQC): a case study of Huangqin Tang (HQT) and PHY906. Chin Med. 2010;5:30.

  21. Lam W, Bussom S, Guan F, et al. The four-herb Chinese medicine PHY906 reduces chemotherapy-induced gastrointestinal toxicity. Sci Transl Med. 2010;2:45-59.

  22. Wang E, Bussom S, Chen J, et al. Interaction of a traditional Chinese medicine (PHY906) and CPT-11 on the inflammatory process in the tumor microenvironment. BMC Med Genomics. 2011;4:38.

  23. Liu SH, Cheng YC. Old formula, new Rx: the journey of PHY906 as cancer adjuvant therapy. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012;140:614-23.

  24. Farrell MP, Kummar S. Phase I/IIA randomized study of PHY906, a novel herbal agent, as a modulator of chemotherapy in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2003;2:253-6.

  25. Kummar S, Copur MS, Rose M, et al. A phase I study of the Chinese herbal medicine PHY906 as a modulator of irinotecan-based chemotherapy in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2011;10:85-96.

  26. Zhang W, Saif MW, Dutschman GE, et al. Identification of chemicals and their metabolites from PHY906, a Chinese medicine formulation, in the plasma of a patient treated with irinotecan and PHY906 using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). J Chromatogr A. 2010;1217:5785-93.

Source: Cancer Network

The post Wedding Rigorous Scientific Methodology and Ancient Herbal Wisdom to Benefit Cancer Patients: The Development of PHY906 appeared first on Herbs and Helpers – Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs.

Source:

Careful with those statins—‘bad’ cholesterol helps us live longer

Herbs and Helpers

As we’ve been saying for many years, ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol—targeted by statin drugs—is good for you as you get older. In fact, higher levels help you live longer once you reach the age of 60, a new study has discovered

The over-60s who have the highest levels of LDL cholesterol are less likely to develop fatal diseases, such as cancer, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems—and heart disease, the very thing it’s supposed to cause.

This is because medicine completely misunderstands the function of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Far from being an artery-clogging fat, it seems to counter micro-organisms that can cause these fatal diseases, says a group of 17 scientists from a range of medical and academic institutions, including Harvard Medical School.

They assessed the mortality and LDL cholesterol levels of 68,096 people aged over 60, and discovered that 80 per cent of those living the longest also had the highest levels of LDL cholesterol. Conversely, those with the lowest levels were far more likely to die prematurely.

There is an association between total cholesterol levels and heart disease among younger people, the researchers concede, but the balance tilts the other way once someone reaches the age of 60, the very time when public health policy dictates that statins should be taken as a routine ‘just-in-case’ protection against heart disease.

References
(Source: BMJ Open, 2016; 6: e010401)

Source: WDDTY

The post Careful with those statins—‘bad’ cholesterol helps us live longer appeared first on Herbs and Helpers – Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs.

Source:

Chemicals found in fast food wrappers and clothes are linked weight gain in women

Herbs and Helpers

A study led by Harvard’s School of Public Health looked at the affect of chemicals called perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) on weight regulation

PFASs are found in products like nonstick cookware and stain resistant carpet

High blood levels of PFASs were found to be associated with slower metabolism

Chemicals found in fast food packaging and a wide variety of other consumer products could cause weight gain by crushing metabolism – particularly in women, new research claims.

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are used to make food packaging such as bread wrappers, microwave popcorn packs, and paper boards oil or water resistant.

However, the chemicals can permeate into the food – or from clothes onto the body – and are then ingested and absorbed into the blood stream.

Now, a study led by Harvard’s School of Public Health which followed 621 participants for two years has found a clear link between high blood levels of PFASs and lower resting metabolic rate – making it harder to stay slim after weight loss.

Lead researcher Qi Sun warns every single person in the US likely has a detectable level of PFASs in their blood.

They come from an array of products from nonstick cookware to carpet that’s been pretreated to be stainproof to outdoor waterproof clothing.

‘It can be very useful because it repels both water and oil,’ Sun, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School, told Daily Mail Online.

Another newly-discovered source of PFASs is drinking water near industrial sites.

‘This study is the first that has looked directly at how PFASs affect body regulation in humans,’ Sun said. ‘It found a clear link before exposure to the chemicals and slower metabolism.’

People with slower metabolisms, or a lower metabolic rate, burn fewer calories during normal daily activities and may have to eat less to avoid becoming overweight.

There is a lot of research available on how chemicals are linked with excess weight gain and obesity in animals, but very little data for humans.

‘Now, for the first time, our findings have revealed a novel pathway through which PFASs might interfere with human body weight regulation and thus contribute to the obesity epidemic,’ Sun said.

The researchers, along with colleagues from Louisiana State University and Tulane University, analyzed data from 621 overweight and obese participants in the Prevention of Obesity Using Novel Dietary Strategies clinical trial.

The trial tested the effects of four heart-healthy diets on weight loss over a period of two years.

Researchers looked at the possible connection between the amount of PFASs in participants’ blood as they entered the study and their weight loss or gain over time.

During the first six months of the trial, participants lost an average of 14lbs, but regained six pounds over the course of the following 18 months.

Those who gained the most weight back also had the highest blood concentrations of PFASs, and the link was strongest among women.

On average, women who had the highest PFAS blood levels regained about four to five pounds more body weight than women in the lowest third.

PFASs have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, immune dysfunction, high cholesterol, and obesity.

‘We typically think about PFASs in terms of rare health problems like cancer, but it appears they are also playing a role in obesity, a major health problem facing millions around the globe,’ said study co-author Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard.

‘The findings suggest that avoiding or reducing PFAS exposure may help people maintain a stable body weight after they successfully lose some weight, especially for women.’

Sun suggested that the best way for people to avoid the negative effects of PFASs is to avoid products that use them.

He said while there is not a large amount of research on the health effects of PFASs exposure, people have cause for concern.

‘We are still accumulating research to illustrate the health effects,’ he said. ‘Based on what we know so far I think people should be concerned about their exposure to PFASs.’

Source: Daily Mail

The post Chemicals found in fast food wrappers and clothes are linked weight gain in women appeared first on Herbs and Helpers – Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs.

Source: