Healing Points Issue 42

Provided by Richard Grossman, L.Ac., O.M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 5, Issue 42   
Tuesday, February 09, 2010

This month in Healing Points Healthblog

Every day I read dozens of sites to find up to the minute news that is important to maintaining and improving health.  Some of the recent highlights from February are listed below. Click here to read the full HealthBlog. 

  • Exposure To Low-level Magnetic Fields Causes DNA Damage In Rat Brain Cells.
  • Possible Mechanism For Link Between Diabetes And Alzheimer's Disease Discovered.
  • Poor Oral Health Linked to Coronary Heart Disease 
  • Amyloid-Alpha May Be a Better Marker of Coronary Artery Disease Than CRP 
  • Long-term Antibiotic Use Linked to Increased Breast Cancer Risk 
  • Whole-Grain Foods May Lower Diabetes Risk 
  • New Findings About Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Depression 
  • Metabolic Syndrome May Be An Important Link To Stroke 
  • Chronic Kidney Disease Likely In People With Syndrome X 
  • Sleep Shortage Takes Toll On Middle Schoolers 
  • Early Fevers Associated with Lower Allergy Risk Later in Childhood


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An Invitation

On  Monday February 23, 2004  another group sound-healing experience will be held at The Elder Tree, at 120 North Topanga Canyon Blvd., Suite 117,  in Topanga Canyon. You can find directions on MapQuest.

I cannot put into words how wonderful, healing and transformative these evens have been.  I've heard stories of miraculous insights and healings from many participants. 

The time will be from 7:30 till about 9:00pm, and a $15.00 donation is requested, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds. All are invited to enjoy this profound experience of healing and consciousness.  Click Here for driving directions and a map.

If you can't make this one, the next Monday Evening Sound Healing event will be held on March 22, 2004, mark your calendars!  A full schedule for 2004 can be found at my Calendar of Events page.

Articles of Interest

Maternal SSRI Use During Pregnancy May Disrupt Newborn Neurobehavior

Maternal use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy can lead to disrupted neurobehavior of their offspring, according to the results of a small prospective study reported in the February issue of Pediatrics.

Previous studies have demonstrated the lack of SSRI-induced birth defects, the authors explain, but only a few studies have investigated the potential neurobehavioral effects of these medications on newborns.

Dr.  Philip Sanford Zeskind and Laura E.  Stephens from the Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina examined the neurobehavior of 34 newborn infants (17 from mothers who used SSRIs during pregnancy, 17 from mothers who did not), using measures of motor activity, heart rate variability, behavioral state, sleeping state organization, startles, and tremors between 14 and 39 hours of age.

SSRI-exposed infants had significantly more tremors.  These infants also had fewer changes in behavioral state and had fewer different behavioral states during the hour-long observation than did nonexposed infants, the authors report.

SSRI-exposed infants also had more active or REM sleep, the report indicates, which was characterized by fewer contiguous periods of REM sleep that were longer-lasting and by more spontaneous startles or arousals, compared with nonexposed infants.

An apparent increase in the motor activity and decrease in significant heart rate variability peaks among SSRI-exposed infants disappeared after adjustment for gestational age, the researchers note.

"The present study provides the first systematic evidence that prenatal SSRI exposure is significantly associated with a wide range of neurobehavioral outcomes among healthy, full-birthweight infants," the authors conclude.  "In all, results of the present study call into question the conclusion that SSRI use during pregnancy has little impact on the developing fetus and infant outcome. "

"At this point," the investigators add, "it is also unclear whether these outcomes are transient or provide the basis for subsequent neurobehavioral problems that may be detected with sensitive measures of neurobehavioral development at a later age. "

Pediatrics 2004;113:368-375.  

Fish oil for mom may prevent allergies in baby

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Fish-oil supplements taken during pregnancy might help prevent allergies in babies at high risk for them, preliminary research suggests.

A study in Australia found that babies whose mothers took fish oil had weaker immune reactions to common allergy triggers and, at 1 year of age, showed signs of being less allergy-prone.

It's too soon to recommend the supplements for some pregnant women, but investigators say their findings lay the groundwork for larger, longer-term studies of whether fish oil can reduce childhood allergies.

In general, pregnant women are advised against taking any medication or supplement unless the benefit is known to outweigh any potential risk to the fetus.  Pregnant women should always consult their doctor before taking drugs or supplements.

The new study looked at whether fish-oil capsules -- rich in healthful omega-3 fatty acids -- might help prevent the development of allergies in babies born to women with a history of hay fever or asthma.  Children with a family history of allergies are at increased risk of developing them.

The theory is that because omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, they may affect the developing immune system in a way that makes it less prone to allergic reaction, according to study author Dr.  Susan L.  Prescott of the University of Western Australia in Perth.

However, she told Reuters Health, "This is the first study to look at this in very early life, so more work is clearly needed. "

The findings are published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

According to the study authors, it's possible that the rise in allergic disease over the past few decades could be related, in part, to a decline in omega-3 fats in the Western diet.  Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines are a prime source of omega-3s; the fats are also found in certain vegetable sources, such as canola oil and flaxseed.

Prescott's team had 98 pregnant women take either fish-oil capsules or, for comparison, capsules containing olive oil.  The women took four capsules per day from the 20th week of pregnancy until delivery.

Analyzing cells taken from the babies' umbilical cord blood, the researchers found greater amounts of omega-3 fats in the cell membranes of newborns whose mothers took fish-oil supplements.  In addition, their immune cells tended to have a weaker reaction to allergy-producing substances like cat dander, compared with babies in the comparison group.

At the age of 1, infants whose mothers took fish oil were three times less likely to show sensitivity to egg during skin tests used to detect allergies.  Babies in the fish-oil group were more likely to develop the allergic skin condition eczema; but among infants with eczema, those in the fish-oil group were much less likely to have a severe case.

Past studies in which fish-oil supplements were given to adults with allergies have yielded mixed results.  According to Prescott's team, omega-3 supplementation may have to take place when the immune system is developing in order to have a benefit.

The next step, Prescott said, is to do larger studies looking at whether children exposed to fish-oil capsules in the womb actually do develop allergies at a lower rate over time.

SOURCE: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, December 2003.

Preservative chemicals found in samples of breast tumors probably came from underarm deodorants, UK scientists have claimed.

Their analysis of 20 breast tumors found high concentrations of para-hydroxybenzoic acids (parabens) in 18 samples.  Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers.  The preservatives are used in many cosmetics and some foods to increase their shelf-life.

"From this research it is not possible to say whether parabens actually caused these tumours, but they may certainly be associated with the overall rise in breast cancer cases," says Philip Harvey, an editor of the Journal of Applied Toxicology, which published the research.

"Given that breast cancer is the largest killer of women and a very high percentage of young women use underarm deodorants, I think we should be carrying out properly funded, further investigations into parabens and where they are found in the body," Harvey told New Scientist.

 Chemical cousins

 The new research was led by molecular biologist Philippa Darbre, at the University of Reading.  She says that the ester-bearing form of parabens found in the tumours indicates it came from something applied to the skin, such as an underarm deodorant, cream or body spray.  When parabens are eaten, they are metabolised and lose the ester group, making them less strongly estrogen-mimicking.

"One would expect tumours to occur evenly, with 20 per cent arising in each of the five areas of the breast," Darbre toldNew Scientist.  "But these results help explain why up to 60 per cent of all breast tumours are found in just one-fifth of the breast - the upper-outer quadrant, nearest the underarm. "

However, Chris Flower, director general of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association, challenged the study's findings.  "There are almost no deodorants and body sprays that contain parabens," he says.  "Although they are in most other creams and cosmetics, the safety margin is huge and they would not have any effect on enhancing growth of new tumours. "

Darbre replies that deodorants and antiperspirants have only stopped containing parabens in the last few months and that the tumours she studied occurred prior to this.

A small survey by New Scientist of three British high street shops and one supermarket found deodorants in each that contained parabens, although most of these products did not.  However, many other products used under the arm commonly contained parabens, such as body sprays, hair removal creams and shaving gels.  Body lotions, face creams, cleansers and shampoos also frequently contained parabens.

 Skin deep

 Previously published studies have shown that parabens are able to be absorbed through the skin and to bind to the body's estrogen-receptors, where they can encourage breast cancer cell growth.

But Flower maintains that the amount of parabens absorbed by the skin is very low and the parabens are "metabolised by the skin cells to produce products that have no estrogenic activity".

Darbre's research did not look at the concentrations of parabens in other areas of the breast or body tissues and Harvey cautions that the significance of the chemicals in tumour tissue should not be over-interpreted.

Darbre says she has not used cosmetic products, including underarm deodorants, for eight years.  She recommends that other women do the same "until their safety can be established".

Journal reference: Journal of Applied Toxicology (vol 24, p5)

STORY at http://www. newscientist. com/news/print. jsp?id=ns99994555

A thought:

Everything you se has its’ roots in the unseen world.

The forms may change,  yet the essence remains the same.

Every wonderful site will vanish; Every sweet word will fade.

But do not be disheartened, the source they come from is eternal.

Growing, branching out, giving new life and joy.

Why do you weep?

The source is within you.

Plunge, plunge into the vast ocean of Consciousness,

Let the drop of water that is you become a hundred mighty seas.

But do not think that the drop alone becomes the ocean.

The Ocean too, becomes the drop.



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