Psychiatric problems such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder probably aren't all 'in your head'—but they may very well be in the environment.
The quality of the air we breathe may be a trigger for so-called psychiatric problems, and the age we start breathing polluted air could also be a factor.
Bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia may all be caused by poor air quality—and the chances of schizophrenia, in particular, double if we're exposed to polluted air during our first 10 years.
Although genetics and life experiences may play a part in psychiatric problems, environmental factors could be the third element of a complex interplay, say researchers from the University of Chicago, who explored the effects of air pollution in the US and Denmark.
They used Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) measures to assess air quality in the US and a national pollution register in Denmark, and then set those against two big population data sets, including 151 million US residents and 1.4 million people in Denmark—and, for the Danish data, they were also able to assess exposure to air pollution in a person's first 10 years.
They found a direct link between air quality and a risk of psychiatric disorders. "Living in polluted areas, especially early on in life, is predictive of mental disorders," said researcher Atif Khan.
They suspect that pollution is causing inflammation in the brain, and this is triggering the disorders—as earlier animal studies had predicted. In those studies, researchers discovered that small particulate matter, or fine dust, was travelling to the brain after being breathed in. Animals exposed to high levels of pollution showed signs of cognitive impairment and depression-like behavior.
Curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, is a natural cancer killer—and the list of cancers it can combat keeps on growing. The latest is bone cancer, and the spice could be particularly effective against osteosarcoma, the second most lethal cancer among children.
It stops the cancer growing and promotes healthy bone cells, say researchers who believe it's a real alternative to chemotherapy, especially for small children.
Researchers have been searching for a gentler way to treat the disease, especially after surgery when children are recovering from bone damage while still getting high doses of chemo.
Now a research team from Washington State University believes it has found it in curcumin, which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and bone building qualities. In laboratory tests, they discovered the spice inhibits osteosarcoma cell growth by 96 per cent while, at the same time, promoting healthy cells.
One problem has been getting the curcumin to the right place in the body. Taken orally, it doesn't get absorbed properly and is metabolized and eliminated too quickly before it can be effective. The Washington researchers got around the problem by encasing the spice in fat molecules, which helps it survive its journey through the gut.
In this video, Lynne and Bryan explain how the most common—and the deadliest—cancers are not being researched by independent scientists, which is blocking the introduction of innovative, and non-chemo, therapies into mainstream treatment.
I've been suffering from tingling, numbness and pain that comes and goes in my right hand. My doctor told me it's carpal tunnel syndrome, probably caused by years of using my computer mouse at work and long hours spent scrolling on my smartphone. I've already taken steps to improve my posture at work, including changing my mouse, and cut down on the amount of time I'm on my phone, but can you suggest anything else that can help? I don't want to go down the drug route.
J.T., via email
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by pressure on the median nerve, which runs through a U-shaped space in the wrist called the 'carpal tunnel.' As well as the symptoms you describe, it can also lead to weak muscles in the hand, difficulty gripping and even a permanent loss of feeling in some fingers.
While repetitive computer use is commonly thought to be a cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, scientific studies on this have reported contradictory results. Still, a recent review of the evidence found that frequent computer or mouse use can nearly double the risk of developing the condition.1 Repeatedly tapping, scrolling and swiping on your smartphone or tablet can also lead to carpal tunnel problems, it seems.2
If these sorts of repetitive movements are the cause of your carpal tunnel syndrome, improving your posture and reducing your phone use should help (also remember to give your hands and wrists a break every 15-20 minutes). But make sure you rule out other possible causes such as diabetes, arthritis and thyroid disease.3
Here are some other steps you can take to beat the condition.
This holistic hands-on therapy, which uses manual pressure and stretching to release physical restrictions in the body, could help carpal tunnel syndrome. Instead of manipulating muscles, myofascial release works on the fascia—the web of elastin and collagen fibers that surrounds and separates muscles and other internal organs—which can scar or harden as a result of trauma, inflammation or prolonged poor posture.
In a study of four patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, all saw an improvement in both their symptoms and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans after myofascial release treatment.4
To find a myofascial release practitioner near you visit
DIY myofascial release
According to Amanda Oswald, a leading myofascial release therapist in the UK and author of Living Pain Free: Healing Chronic Pain with Myofascial Release, most diagnosed cases of carpal tunnel syndrome have nothing to do with the carpal tunnel. The symptoms are caused by restrictions in the fascia further upstream, particularly in the neck, chest and armpit, she says. Her approach is 'fascial stretching,' focusing on the neck and arms, to release tension in these areas, and it's something you can easily do yourself at home.
Here's a simple exercise to try. Hold each stretch for at least 1½ to 2 minutes—the time it takes for fascia to start to release.
• Standing or sitting, slowly take your head to the side, bringing your ear toward your shoulder.
• Allow your arms to hang by your sides and keep your arms and shoulders loose.
• Gently move deeper into the stretch, waiting when you feel barriers and slowly breathing into them to allow deeper release.
• Imagine your opposite arm elongating and stretching away from your neck to create a three-dimensional fascial stretch in a pattern from your fingers to your arm, neck and head.
Beginners: Practice this in front of a mirror to ensure you don't raise your shoulders up as you stretch. Advanced: To deepen the stretch, place your hand on the side of your head, but do not force it; only use the pressure of your hand as a counterweight.
For more fascial stretches for carpal tunnel syndrome, see Amanda's book Living Pain Free (Lotus Publishing, 2017; available on Amazon)
This manipulative treatment has proven success in treating carpal tunnel syndrome, especially the 'opponens roll' maneuver.5 Used together with self-stretching exercises, it resulted in less restricted wrist movement and improved nerve conduction in one study.6
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
TCM techniques including acupuncture and cupping can be effective for carpal tunnel syndrome. In one randomized controlled trial, acupuncture was just as effective as steroid treatment, and it was also better at reducing sleep disturbance and improving nerve conduction than the drugs and came with minimal side-effects.7
In a trial of cupping therapy, whereby heated glass cups are applied to the skin to create suction and encourage energy flow in the body, the cupping group experienced a significant reduction in pain and other symptoms compared to the control group.8
A yoga-based therapy was more effective at easing carpal tunnel syndrome and improving grip strength than wrist splints or no treatment in one study. The participants practiced 11 yoga postures that worked the joints of the upper body, along with relaxation, twice a week for two months.9
Check out WDDTY's August 2017 issue for some excellent hand and upper body exercises provided by our resident yoga expert Charlotte Watts, or find a yoga class or therapist near you.
Carpal tunnel syndrome has been linked to low levels of vitamin B6,10 so supplementing with the vitamin might help. In fact, several trials have found B6 to alleviate symptoms, even in people who are not deficient in the vitamin.11 Suggested dosage: 100 to 300 mg/day for up to three months; 50 to 100 mg/day after that.
Ultrasound has always been considered a safe screening technology for pregnant women. But new evidence coming out of China suggests we may need to think again
It's something every obstetrician needs to see and every mother-to-be wants to have: an image of the unborn child that shows in clear detail the baby's tiny hands, fingers and toes. For the doctor, it's much more than a happy photo opportunity; it is a chance to ensure the overall health of the fetus, including the proper functioning of internal organs and tissues.
Ultrasound uses sound waves, at a frequency thousands of times above levels considered harmful to our hearing, to develop an image of organs and blood vessels. Since the growing fetus doesn't develop ears until the 24th week or so, parents-to-be are assured that ultrasound waves are safe, and certainly far safer than x-rays, which use electromagnetic radiation.
That much may be so, but it doesn't make prenatal ultrasound screening entirely safe—and evidence that has only recently surfaced suggests it isn't.
Private correspondence between the UK Department of Health and AIMS, a pressure group for better maternity services, reveals that routine prenatal ultrasound screening had never been properly tested for its safety before it was rolled out across National Health Service (NHS) hospitals and clinics in 1978.
Just four years later, the health minister Dr Gerard Vaughan was writing that it was "no longer ethically possible" to run independent human trials as so many women had already been screened.
But human studies were being carried out in China—on fetuses that had been aborted as a result of the country's 'one family, one child' policy—and a cache of 50 papers uncovered by medical researcher Jim West shows that the enormous heat generated by ultrasound changes the brain structure of the baby.
Clues from China A healthy woman in the West will usually have two ultrasounds during a pregnancy, but it can be more if she has a health problem, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, or if the initial scans picked up an abnormality in the fetus.
But in China, with so many human research papers pointing to ultrasound's possible dangers, sonographers—the ultrasound technicians—are not advised to use the technology as a just-in-case screening, and certainly not during the first trimester when most women in the West are first screened.
Professor Ruo Feng from the Institute of Acoustics at Nanjing University recommends that ultrasound should be restricted to assessing known medical problems—and pregnancy isn't a 'medical problem'—and that commercial or educational fetal ultrasound imaging, where the mother-to-be wants a keepsake image, for instance, should be prohibited.
Even an ultrasound deemed necessary should use the smallest dose possible, Professor Feng claims, and this was something that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) once agreed with. In 1985, it issued guidance on the level of intensity of an ultrasound scan, and yet inexplicably increased that level by 15-fold just seven years later.
In 1982, the World Health Organization (WHO) was also sounding a cautionary note. It warned that ultrasound can create "powerful shockwaves far above the speed of sound" and "cavitational bubble collapse temperatures of thousands of degrees"—a biological phenomenon that happens when ultrasound waves cause liquids to vibrate.
But what was this doing to the baby? By 2002, FDA researchers were getting worried. While diagnostic ultrasound was, on the whole, safe, "there have been some reports that there may be a relation between prenatal ultrasound exposure and . . . growth restriction, delayed speech, dyslexia and non-right-handedness."1
This is because any sudden heating from ultrasound could affect the neurological function and structure of the fetus, as Chinese researchers had observed. With temperatures rising in the womb by as much as 10°F (5.6°C), these sudden temperature highs could "affect behavioral and cognitive function, such as memory and learning," say researchers from Monash University in Australia.
Even more worryingly, the researchers say, these effects were observed more than 25 years earlier, when ultrasounds were not as powerful.2
Hotting up This shouldn't be news. Ultrasound was developed as a therapy—not a diagnostic system—when researchers noted that the heat it generated affected animal tissue.
Entire schools of fish were destroyed when exposed to high-intensity ultrasound, experiments in the 1920s discovered. Ultrasound is also used industrially to disintegrate and blend materials and to weld steel.
And yet, by the mid-1960s, it started to be used to monitor the fetus. Most of the research into fetal ultrasound had been carried out in the former USSR and never translated. Before it was fully rolled out across the UK, the country's Medical Research Council had considered running an independent trial into any possible dangers of ultrasound but decided against it.
And by 1982, the technology was too well established, as Dr Vaughan revealed in his letter to AIMS. "The use of ultrasound techniques has become so widespread that a controlled trial along the lines originally proposed would no longer be ethically possible," he wrote.
Despite these concerns, the Royal College of Obstetrics did publish a review three years later that gave the technology a clean bill of health, but this was quickly dismissed by experts who denounced it as lacking the "rigor which normally would be expected of its scientific committee." In other words, it was bad science.3
Since then, numerous animal studies have warned that ultrasound could be affecting brain development, causing memory problems and antisocial behavior—but have been dismissed because the results wouldn't necessarily translate to people.
Medical researcher Jim West wasn't convinced. If any researcher had used a screening technique called electrophoresis, which uses electric currents to reveal any ultrasound damage to DNA, he would be a step closer to knowing whether it was harmful or not.
His line of enquiry eventually led him to China, where researchers routinely use electrophoresis. He discovered one Chinese paper that referenced others, and he was eventually able to uncover 50 human ultrasound studies. The studies, which involved 2,700 pregnant women who had agreed to have an abortion under China's child planning policies, covered 23 years up to 2011.
The first study, the one that led West to the others, discovered that DNA from aborted fetal tissue had been damaged after just 10 minutes of low-frequency ultrasound.4 Although the damage was seen only in aborted tissue, and so the effects this would have had on a developing child can't be known, West believes it could have led to childhood cancers like leukemia and neonatal jaundice.5
Although this is conjecture, it is astonishing that proper, independent studies—that track the health and development of screened and unscreened children—have not been carried out to find out for sure. Several arguments block these trials from happening: they would be unethical, and, in any event, ultrasound is safe—two views that create a vicious circle.
The prevailing opinion was stated by two researchers who surmised that "the relative safety of ultrasound has been well established based on its use over several decades. One could postulate that humans are resistant to ultrasound-related biologic effects."6
If we're sure ultrasound is safe, any harm to the developing child—whether it's autism, behavioral problems or development issues—must have a different cause. But we'll never find out if we don't look.
Don't ask us The US is the only country that sets official safe levels of ultrasound intensity—even though the FDA, which sets the guidelines, made it less safe when it increased the threshold 15-fold in 1992.
But whatever the threshold may be, a survey of doctors, midwives and sonographers—who carry out the ultrasound tests—discovered that only one-third even knew what those safe levels were. Even less than a third knew where to find the indices on the ultrasound equipment's screens, while just one in five, or 22 percent, knew how to adjust the energy output on the machine they were using every day.1
The sound and the story Ultrasound was developed in the 1920s and 1930s as a therapy to treat a range of conditions from Parkinson's to cancer.
William Fry at the University of Illinois was an early pioneer and used it to destroy part of the brain to alleviate Parkinson's disease, or so he thought. By the 1950s, it was being used to treat people with rheumatoid arthritis and Ménière's disease, which can cause hearing loss, dizziness and vertigo.
But some believed it was a cure-all for a wide range of problems, from gastric ulcers to eczema, asthma, urinary incontinence and hemorrhoids, although there was more wishful thinking than science to support the approach.
It was in the 1940s that ultrasound was first mooted as a diagnostic tool, and by 1958, researchers in Lund, Sweden, were investigating its use for monitoring early-stage pregnancy. It got an early green light for safety when researchers tested it on pregnant rats, who survived the experience unscathed.
Similar work was being carried out in Soviet Russia, and by the mid-1960s, there was a sudden explosion of ultrasound clinics being set up across the US, Europe and Japan. New scanners were developed to meet the demand, using the basic A-mode technology and the B-mode, which produces a clearer and brighter image.
In 1982, around the time when ultrasound was being adopted in pediatric clinics, the World Health Organization sounded a warning. Ultrasound, it said, can "create powerful shockwaves far above the speed of sound."
Diagnostic ultrasound produces sound wave pressure that is thousands of times that of the hearing pain threshold, and it's a technology employed not just for fetal screening but in industry.
Apples are supposed to keep the doctor away—but oranges have their part to play, too. Eating an orange a day will help ward off macular disease, one of the most common eye problems that can lead to blindness as we get older.
Regular orange eaters are 60 per cent less likely to have developed the disease 15 years later, a new research study has discovered.
People who eat an orange a day are the least likely to suffer from macular degeneration when they're elderly, but even eating an orange once in a while also has some protective effect.
Although vitamins C, E and A are supposed to keep our eyes healthy, it was the flavonoids specifically found in oranges that seemed to have the greatest benefit, say researchers from the University of Sydney.
They tracked the eating habits of more than 2,000 people aged 50 and over for 15 years. The participants were eating other healthy foods and drinks, and especially those that contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids, such as tea, apples and red wine, but it was only those who regularly ate oranges that reduced their chances of macular degeneration and especially compared to those who never ate oranges.
"The data didn't show a relationship between other food sources protecting the eyes against the disease," said lead researcher Bamini Gopinath.
One in seven people over the age of 50 will be affected by macular degeneration to some extent.
Moringa oleifera has a remarkable variety of medical usages with high dietary worth and medicinal benefits.
The Benefits of Moringa Seeds for Wellness Moringa seeds are seeds stemmed from the Moringa tree. Moringa tree not only gives incredible benefits with the fallen leaves yet additionally by seed. Young moringa seeds and also fresh has a soft appearance, while the dried seed has a strong structure. Moringa seeds could be steamed, steamed or barbequed for multiple benefits.
What is Moringa and Moringa Seeds
Moringa is a small tree grown in the Himalayan area. The Moringa tree is available in 13 various types, however, when we speak of it we describe the Moringa oleifera tree, which is complete of nutrients. It proliferates in the ideal environment, generally Himalayan and the tropics (India, Pakistan, Nepal). The Moringa oleifera tree and its advantages are not brand-new. In fact, it has been eaten by different cultures across the globe for thousands of years. In one culture (Ayurveda), it is utilized in traditional healing remedies as well as said to assist thousands of diseases. The tree can endure challenging climates and also is stated to never die. It could expand in poor soil problems and expands to huge elevations. It grows rapidly and strongly all year. It is often called the ‘horseradish tree’ due to the fact that it appears like horseradish in look as well as spicy taste.
Moringa Seeds Health Benefits
A single offering of moringa has nearly three times the amount of iron as spinach. This is particularly vital for vegetarians/vegans and also those who deal with reduced iron issues, as the body needs iron to improve the blood and also carry oxygen to the muscle mass, body organs, as well as tissues.
The benefits of moringa plant extract additionally consist of remedy for bronchial asthma and also inflammation triggered in the air passages. According to research, therapy with moringa aids to lower the severity of asthmatic strikes as well as numerous signs and symptoms such as hissing, coughing, dyspnea and also the tightness of the upper body. It expands its protective results against bronchial constrictions and also urges better lung feature as well as respiration.
Can Lower Cholesterol
Too much cholesterol in the blood has been connected to heart illness. In standard Thai medication, moringa is utilized as a cardiotonic (a drug or herb used to enhance how the heart agreements). Some plants have been known to reverse bad cholesterol and also study is showing that moringa is amongst them.
Moringa extracts exert a hepatoprotective result on the liver. Research researches have actually verified the efficiency of moringa leaves against the liver damages caused by anti-tubercular drugs along with its stimulating results in accelerating the recuperation process. It aids to restore the degrees of glutathione content in the body and also protects against radiation-induced hepatic lipid peroxidation. This protective effect is connected to the visibility of phytochemicals such as catechin, epicatechin, ferulic acid and vitamin C located in moringa.
Boosts brain health
The antioxidant qualities reduce nerve cell degeneration and also enhance mind feature. Research studies suggest that moringa leaves could give protection against signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s illness and may even delay its onset.
Abundant in antioxidants
The fallen leaves are rich in antioxidants, beta-carotene, including vitamin C, quercetin, as well as chlorogenic acid (phytochemical). The last, chlorogenic acid, has been revealed to slow-moving cells’ absorption of sugar as well as pet scientists have discovered it to lower blood glucose levels. It has actually additionally been linked in weight loss and applying an anti-obesity effect.
Moringa Seeds are high in fiber which could assist the digestion system as well as battle against digestive grievances, such as Irritable Bowel Disorder or bloating. It can aid us to feel extra comfortable after overindulging in food and also beverage. It is usually utilized as a detox help, therefore. Lots of people utilize the seeds in a smoothie mix to remove out the system and remove any build-up of toxins.