Dr. Sheri Weinstein’s medical practice is based on internal and functional medicine, as well as anti aging and regenerative medicine. She uses advanced diagnostic techniques to unveil toxicities, nutritional and mitochondrial deficiencies and hormone imbalances, all of which can hasten the aging process and contribute to a variety of disease processes including obesity, the number one health problem in America today. Sarasota Wellness and Internal Medicine facility provides many screening services for detecting cardiovascular disease, including a complete human performance lab with V02 testing, stress testing, and vascular and cardiac dopplers.
Does this sound like you? Once or twice a week you finish work and head to a local bar to meet friends for dinner and two or three drinks. Other nights you just go home and have a couple of cocktails before dinner. Nothing wrong with two or three drinks every day after work, right?
Many people are rethinking that mindset, following the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on the dangers of excessive alcohol use. According to the CDC’s definition, heavy drinking is defined as 15 or more drinks a week for men, and eight or more drinks a week for women In essence, that’s about two drinks per day for men, andRead More
Report to the nation finds continuing declines in cancer death rates since the early 1990s;
Feature highlights cancers associated with excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity
Death rates from all cancers combined for men, women, and children continued to decline in the United States between 2004 and 2008, according to the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2008. The overall rate of new cancer diagnoses, also known as incidence, among men decreased by an average of 0.6 percent per year between 2004 and 2008. Overall cancer incidence rates among women declined 0.5 percent per year from 1998 through 2006 with rates leveling off from 2006 through 2008.
The report is co-authored by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Cancer Society. It appeared early online on March 28, 2012, in the journal CANCER.
The special feature section highlights the effects of excess weight and lack of physical activity on cancer risk. Esophageal adenocarcinoma, cancers of the colon and rectum, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, endometrial cancer, and breast cancer among postmenopausal women are associated with being overweight or obese. Several of these cancers also are associated with not being sufficiently physically active.
“This report demonstrates the value of cancer registry data in identifying the links among physical inactivity, obesity, and cancer,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D. “It also provides an update of how we are progressing in the fight against cancer by identifying populations with unhealthy behaviors and high cancer rates that can benefit from targeted, lifesaving strategies, and interventions to improve lifestyle behaviors and support healthy environments.”
For more than 30 years, excess weight, insufficient physical activity, and an unhealthy diet have been second only to tobacco as preventable causes of disease and death in the United States. However, since the 1960s, tobacco use has declined by a third while obesity rates have doubled, significantly impacting the relative contributions of these factors to the disease burden. Excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity have been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis, as well as many cancers.
“In the United States, 2 in 3 adults are overweight or obese and fewer than half get enough physical activity,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “Between children and youth, 1 in 3 is overweight or obese, and fewer than 1 in 4 high school students get recommended levels of physical activity. Obesity and physical inactivity are critical problems facing all states. For people who do not smoke, excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity may be among the most important risk factors for cancer.”
The Report to the Nation was first issued in 1998. In addition to drops in overall cancer mortality and incidence, this year’s report also documents the second consecutive year of decreasing lung cancer mortality rates among women. Lung cancer death rates in men have been decreasing since the early 1990s.
Colorectal cancer incidence rates also decreased among men and women from 1999 through 2008. Breast cancer incidence rates among women declined from 1999 through 2004 and plateaued from 2004 through 2008. Incidence rates of some cancers, including pancreas, kidney, thyroid, liver, and melanoma, increased from 1999 through 2008.
“The continued declines in death rates for all cancers, as well as the overall drop in incidence, is powerful evidence that the nation’s investment in cancer research produces life-saving approaches to cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment,” said NCI Director Harold E. Varmus, M.D. “But, it is also important to note that investments we make today are critical if we hope to see these declines in incidence and death from cancer reflected in future Reports to the Nation.”
Among children ages 19 years or younger, cancer incidence rates increased 0.6 percent per year from 2004 through 2008, continuing trends from 1992, while death rates decreased 1.3 percent per year during the same period. These patterns mirror longer-term trends.
Among racial and ethnic groups, the highest cancer incidence rates between 2004 and 2008 were among black men and white women. Cancer death rates from 2004 through 2008 were highest among black men and black women, but these groups showed the largest declines for the period between 1999 and 2008, compared with other racial groups. The differences in death rates by racial/ethnic group, sex, and cancer site may reflect differences in risk factors, as well as access to and use of screening and treatment.
“While the sustained decline in cancer mortality rates is good news, the persistence of disparities among racial and ethnic groups continues to concern us,” said Betsy A. Kohler, executive director of NAACCR. “The collection of comprehensive cancer surveillance data on all patients may provide clues to understanding these differences and addressing them.”
The report notes that continued progress against cancer in the United States will require individual and community efforts to promote healthy weight and sufficient physical activity among youth and adults.
Reference: Eheman C, Henley SJ, Ballard-Barbash R, Jacobs EJ, Schymura MJ, Noone AM, Pan L, Anderson, RN, Fulton JE, Kohler BA, Jemal A, Ward E, Plescia M, Ries LAG, Edwards BK. Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975–2008, Featuring Cancers Associated with Excess Weight and Lack of Sufficient Physical Activity. CANCER; Published Early Online: March 28, 2012.
To view the Report, go to http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1097-0142
— Last Edited by Greentea at 2012-03-29 08:47:02 —Read More
The inclusion of genetically modified (GM) plants in the human diet has raised concerns about the transfer of transgenes from GM plants to humans. Contrary to the claims by biotech giants such as Monsanto, a report in PLOS One shows that meal-derived DNA fragments are large enough to carry complete genes as they enter the human circulatory system. In some of the human samples studied the relative concentration of plant DNA was higher than the human DNA.
The potential effects of horizontal gene transfer on human health have always been stated as an important item in the safety assessment of genetically modified organisms. However, the persistence in the human gut of DNA from dietary GM plants has been relatively unknown since their inception.
Our bloodstream is considered to be an environment well separated from the outside world and the digestive tract. According to the standard paradigm, large macromolecules consumed with food cannot pass directly to the circulatory system. During digestion proteins and DNA are thought to be degraded into small constituents, amino acids and nucleic acids, respectively, and then absorbed by a complex active process and distributed to various parts of the body through the circulation system.
Based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies, researchers in PLOS One reported evidence that plant DNA concentration shows a surprisingly precise log-normal distribution in the plasma samples while non-plasma (cord blood) control sample was found to be free of plant DNA.
DNA molecules are ubiquitous in large numbers in all raw and unprocessed food. Depending on the extent of processing, various fractions of DNA molecules of varying size may be present in the consumed product, even in processed food such as corn chips and chocolate.
The amount of DNA in food is relatively low compared to other constituents and does not have significant nutritional value, hence nutritional studies rarely deal with this issue.
More studies coming forward point to increasing evidence of gene transfer from genetically modified crops to gut microflora most likely occurring with transgenes of microbial origin.
Mechanism of Health Risks
Antibiotic resistance among microbial human pathogens is currently a top priority issue in health care and research. The horizontal gene transfer of antibiotic-resistance genes between microorganisms has been important for the development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
Pathogens may also produce enzymes and toxins that cause damage in host cells, which may facilitate entry into tissues (eg, proteinases of fungi infecting lungs) or suppress immune response (eg, damage to blood cells). In addition, pathogens may be self-sufficient for certain nutritional compounds or be able to sequester them.
Australian researchers have recently revealed serious issues over a new kind of genetically engineered wheat that could induce major health threats for people who consume it. “If this silences the same gene in us that it silences in the wheat — well, children who are born with this enzyme not working tend to die by the age of about five,” stated Professor Carman.
Various mechanisms exist for gene transfer between microorganisms, such as phage transduction, conjugation, and transformation by free DNA. The possible scenario for gene transfer between GM crops and microorganisms is, however, limited to transformation with free DNA. Blood is not free of DNA. White blood cells have nuclei that contain genetic material, which gives the dominant part of the DNA in a full blood sample. Beyond the DNA contained in the white blood cells the cell free blood plasma contains DNA, too.
When genetic engineers insert a new gene into any organism there are “position effects” which can lead to unpredictable changes in the pattern of gene expression and genetic function. The protein product of the inserted gene may carry out unexpected reactions and produce potentially toxic products. There is also serious concern about the dangers of using genetically engineered viruses as delivery vehicles (vectors) in the generation of transgenic plants and animals. This could destabilise the genome, and also possibly create new viruses, and thus dangerous new diseases. (Refs: Green, A.E. et al (1994) SCIENCE 263:1423; Osbourn, J.K. et al (1990) VIROLOGY 179:921.)
Alterations in our DNA can change our metabolism, growth rate, and/or response to external environmental factors. Potential health risks to humans include the possibility of exposure to new allergens, obesity, immune-suppression, cancer as well as the transfer of antibiotic-resistant genes to gut flora. All of these health risks are facilitated by enzymes within digestive tract.
The integrity of the DNA is countered by the activity of DNA degrading enzymes released by the pancreas and intestinal epithelial cells during its passage through the gastrointestinal tract. Nevertheless, it has been shown that fragments of genetically modified DNA can persist in the gastrointestinal tract and consequently be available for uptake by intestinal competent bacteria.
There are animal studies, mainly focusing on the GMO issue, supporting the idea that small fragments of nucleic acids may pass to the bloodstream and even get into various tissues. For example, foreign DNA fragments were detected by PCR based techniques in the digestive tract and leukocytes of rainbow trouts fed by genetically modified soybean, and other studies report similar results in goats, pigs and mice.
Global Threat To Humanity’s Food Supply
Unnatural gene transfers from one species to another are dangerous. Biotechnology companies erroneously claim that their manipulations are similar to natural genetic changes or traditional breeding techniques. However, the cross-species transfers being made, such as between fish and tomatoes, or between other unrelated species, would not happen in nature and may create new toxins, diseases, and weaknesses.
The process of inserting genes is quite random and can damage normal genes. Genetic research shows that many weaknesses in plants, animals, and humans have their origin in tiny imperfections in the genetic code. Therefore, the random damage resulting from gene insertion will inevitably result in side-effects and accidents. Scientists have assessed these risks to be substantial. (Refs: Palmiter, R.D. et al (1986) ANNUAL REVIEW OF GENETICS 20: 465; Inose, T. et al (1995) INT. JOUR. FOOD SCIENCE TECH. 30:141.)
DNA introduced into plant cells mostly integrates at random, i.e. at non-predetermined positions of the genome. The biological process ultimately responsible for random integration is known as illegitimate recombination. DNA integrated at random frequently contains multiple copies and often copies are scrambled. Multiple copies also often induce gene silencing and hence instability in the expression of the introduced genes. In addition, the DNA integrates at loci of unknown stability and capacity for expression and randomly integrated copies may induce unpredictable and undesirable mutations in the host genome…Although our understanding of the general biology of recombination in plants is constantly improving, we still lack the knowledge for precision engineering of plants’ genes and thus GM engineering may present one of the biggest threats to human health and the environment.
Feb 19, 2014 by NATASHA LONGORead More
If you’ve been quenching your thirst for the universal solvent with sodas, you probably have a little reason to worry. However, the larger contention ought to be raised against those sodas marketed with the label of ‘diet’, since, as you will see, they come with many side effects, some of which can be dangerous for you in the long run. While it is seldom right to advocate complete abstinence from any substance, you need to make sure that you aren’t addicted to diet soda. The following article is intended to do just that; the message is- enjoy your soda every once in a while, but don’t make it a daily necessity.
1. Though marketed as ‘diet’ soda, the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas act in the same way as regular sugar and trigger insulin, which promotes weight gain. To make matters worse, over the long run these sweeteners confuse the body into craving more sugars, since they dull the body’s ability to perceive the reception of sugar. Thus, if you turn to diet sodas to quench your thirst, be prepared for the weight gain that’s bound to follow.
2. Diet sodas are as acidic as regular sodas (with a pH as low as 3.2); what this means for you is that they both dissolve tooth enamel, and lead to dental problems like cavities, tooth decay, etc. in the long run.
3. Two common add-ons in diet soda, potassium benzoate and sodium benzoate, cause cell damage by inhibiting the function of a cell’s mitochondria and thus rendering it ineffective. These preservatives, which are added as mould inhibitors, are also skin, eye and membrane irritants, which may aggravate conditions such as asthma and allergies.
4. Those at risk of diabetes and/or heart diseases would be specially advised to not get addicted to diet soda since it increases one’s risk of metabolic syndrome, characterized by high blood pressure, increased blood glucose levels and higher cholesterol.
5. Two other pitfalls that seem to be a result of diet soda include headaches and depression. While headaches are speculated to be the result of two artificial sweeteners, aspartame and anecdotal, depression is a risk both diet and regular sodas carry when drank frequently.
6. Loss of bone density is another thing that is caused by both regular and diet sodas. Low bone density in practice translates to greater susceptibility to fractures and general loss of bone strength. This is especially significant for females over the age of forty, who are already at risk of osteoporosis and other bone related diseases.
7. A recent research has also speculated that diet sodas, or more specifically the sweeteners in diet sodas, may be linked with a higher risk of kidney damage. The risk of kidney damage, which was not observed in sugar-sweetened sodas, was shown to rise as much as two-fold when participants drank diet sodas regularly.
8. Another pitfall of diet sodas, or rather of cocktails consisting of diet sodas, is that these drinks will get you high faster since the artificial sweeteners in them get absorbed in the body faster than sugar, which would have acted as a slight buffer against the absorption of alcohol. Needless to say, the hangover you suffer the day after will be similarly worse.
9. Dehydration is another danger posed by all sodas, which causes many maladies in the body such as poor nutrient transportation, poor cell (and consequently tissue and organ) functioning, dizziness, fatigue, etc. While one time dehydration may not be a serious problem in the long run, it shouldn’t be allowed to occur frequently.
10. Perhaps the largest unspoken disincentive of sodas remains caffeine addiction that they sometimes bring about. Caffeine, which is found in almost all sodas, is the same as found in coffee, and withdrawal from it can lead to classic symptoms such as headaches, irritation, etc. However, sodas are still freely available to children without any regulation.