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
- 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
- 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
Click Here to give your comments, suggestions, requests, questions, etc.
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Share Healing Points™ with Family and Friends
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
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
Calendar of Events
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
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
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. "
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
STORY at http://www. newscientist. com/news/print.
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