Monday, January 31, 2011

Herpes link to Alzheimer's?

My guy at 6 months with chicken pox, happy as can be

And again at 3 years with chicken pox, withdrawn and non verbal

Anyone trying to heal their child from Autism probably understands the viral link that has been shown. Many children with Autism have viral issues, auto-immunity, brain inflammation, etc. my son included. My son had chicken pox at 6 months of age then again at 3 years of age (neither time did he run a fever). I also had chicken pox twice and both sides of my childrens' family have "interesting" viral issues, specifically with the Herpes strain, such as chicken pox. Many of us also recognize some of the similarities between Autism and Alzheimers. So, I find this article fascinating from the standpoint of maybe finally getting some answers to help those suffering from Alzheimers, and potentially preventing others from having it in the first place. Now, the comment in this article about a new vaccine concerns me, I would rather see us focus more on actually treating the virus, maybe research into the use of Lysine or maybe even homeopathic remedies for Herpes. As we have progressed through homeopathy with my son, I believe we are seeing a resurgence in healing from the virus, potentially even from exposure to a relative who has had shingles and treated it allopathically (per Pierre Fontaine). Yes indeed, could have happened. Maybe these bumps on just one side of his body are his body's way of finally (truly) healing from his double dose of chicken pox long ago. Who knows really until this all plays out. But, fascinating data and this adds a plausible explanation to this mysterious disease. Oh and by the way, the author, David Perlmutter, MD has a new book coming out called Power Up Your Brain, I would look into it if I were you....looks pretty fascinating! So, here's the article.

Story from the Huffington Post:

Alzheimer's And Herpes Simplex Virus: A Link?
Read More: Alzheimer's Disease Herpes , Alzheimer's Herpes , Alzheimers Disease Herpes , Alzheimers Herpes , Herpes And Alzheimers , Herpes Virus Alzheimer's , Health News

David Perlmutter, M.D..Board-Certified Neurologist and author of upcoming book, "Power Up Your Brain."
Posted: January 31, 2011 08:18 AM

Last week an advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration unanimously recommended the approval of a diagnostic brain scan for Alzheimer's disease. The new technology is based upon imaging and quantifying the amount of a specific protein, beta amyloid, in the brains of patients suspected of having the disease. Research has demonstrated a striking correlation between the amount of beta amyloid in the brain and the degree of cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's patients.

Dr. Norman Foster, professor of neurology at the University of Utah, testified before the FDA committee and was quoted in The New York Times stating the approval of the new scan "would be a historic advance in neurology and in the daily management of patients with memory complaints," an interesting comment as the article goes on to say, "If a person has Alzheimer's though, there is as yet no treatment that can slow or reverse the disease ... "

Over the past several decades, the understanding of beta amyloid's role as a causative agent for Alzheimer's disease has served to underpin worldwide research in attempt to develop meaningful treatments designed to rid the brain of this damaging protein. Interestingly, these attempts have met with almost universal failure. Most recently, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced yet another failure in an attempt to chemically reduce beta amyloid in humans. In an August 17, 2010 press release the company noted that their experimental drug semagacestat, an "oral agent designed to reduce the body's production of amyloid beta plaques, which scientists believe play an important role in causing Alzheimer's disease," actually caused more rapid decline in Alzheimer's patients. The company revealed that patients treated with the experimental drug "worsened to a significantly greater degree than those treated with placebo."

If beta amyloid were the cause of Alzheimer's disease, then why would ridding the brain of this protein actually cause patients to worsen? Harvard researcher Dr. Stephanie Soscia and her associates may have the answer. Their recently published research questioned why beta amyloid accumulates in the Alzheimer's brain in the first place, and concluded that in fact, the protein actually serves to rid the brain of a variety of bacteria and viruses. They described beta amyloid as an "antimicrobial peptide" which accumulated in response to an infectious agent. Their work looks upon beta amyloid in a new light as they stated, "If the normal function of beta amyloid is to function as an antimicrobial peptide, then an absence of the peptide may result in increased vulnerability to infection." Rather than causing the disease, beta amyloid may be our brain's natural response to an infectious agent, accumulating as a way of defending us against a pathogen. So perhaps we should reconsider beta amyloid since it has been said that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Assuming beta amyloid is produced in response to an infectious agent, logically we would want to examine the evidence supporting the role of infection in Alzheimer's disease. Over the past several years, compelling evidence has surfaced linking herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) to Alzheimer's disease. In 2008, Canadian researchers Luc Letenneur and Karine Peres demonstrated a dramatic increase in antibodies directed against HSV1 in Alzheimer's patients compared to age-matched individuals without the disease. Professor Ruth Itzhaki from the University of Manchester has explored the relationship of HSV1 to Alzheimer's disease in great depth. In her landmark article published in 2008 entitled "Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Alzheimer's disease: The Enemy Within," Dr. Itzhaki revealed that HSV1 infects the brains of 90 percent of adults. If HSV1 causes Alzheimer's, this high rate of infection would be a necessary characteristic in light of the very high prevalence of Alzheimer's disease. Further, she points out, HSV1 can remain latent in the nervous system lifelong and may undergo periodic reactivation causing persistent brain inflammation. As an example, HSV1 is the cause of recurrent fever blisters that occur when the virus gets activated in the brain. Undoubtedly the most compelling evidence linking HSV1 to Alzheimer's disease comes from her recent discovery of HSV1 DNA actually located exactly within the beta amyloid plaque, the so-called "hallmark" of the disease.

So compelling are these findings that Dr. Itzhaki has concluded, "Our present data suggest that this virus is a major cause of amyloid plaques and hence probably a significant etiological factor in Alzheimer's disease. They point to the usage of antiviral agents to treat the disease and possibly of vaccination to prevent it."

The FDA's likely approval of technology allowing the quantification of beta amyloid in suspected Alzheimer's patients will clearly provide a valuable tool in defining the cause of dementia in cognitively impaired individuals. But focusing on ridding the brain of this protein may be treating the smoke while ignoring the fire. Indeed, the evidence now suggests that beta amyloid protein may very well represent a positive response in the brain's attempt to deal with a viral infection. Proving the role of HSV1 in Alzheimer's disease could be as simple as treating a group of patients with readily available antiviral medication. Dr. Itzhaki recently sent me an email indicating she stands ready to get this research underway, but as is so often the case, funding the study remains a challenge.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sprouted rice flour by Sol Grains

I found this little gem a few months back through Azure Standard, the co-op we order from once per month. They do monthly truck shipments all over as long as you meet the minimum for your drop point. I highly recommend them for many healthy food items and even bulk grains. They have standards for pesticide use, etc. from the manufacturers they stock. So, if they don't meet their standards (low or NO usage of the bad stuff) then they don't carry it! I love Azure Standard. As I place my monthly order I always check out the "New Items" page. I saw sprouted rice flour. I regularly soak all the nuts we eat and have sprouted buckwheat and nuts. If you are like me, you do a lot of cooking and prep already. So any short cut I can take that doesn't sacrifice quality, well then I am all over it!!

What are the benefits of soaking and sprouting grains? It increases the protein content of the item and increases the digestibility of it as well. However, if you are on a low oxalate diet, this may not be for you. Sprouting increases oxalates while just soaking reduces them. But if you are looking for a sprouted flour option without having to sprout and grind it yourself, you may want to look into Sol Grains and you can find it at Azure Standard!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Responsibly farmed Tilapia at Whole Foods

Are you trying to add more fish into your diet but horribly confused about what is "safe" to eat?? Today, Whole Foods is doing their one-day sale on "responsibly farmed" tilapia for $4.99 per lb. For more info, click HERE.

And in case you haven't heard, this week is Sprouts "Gluten Free Jubilee" and most gluten free products are 25% off. The sale goes through next Wednesday, January 19th so you had better hurry. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Coconut boosts brain function!

Oh thank God since we consume a *LOT* of coconut, daily. My son (and now my daughter) also use the MCT oil from New Beginnings to help fight yeast overgrowth. But, in addition, coconut oil is a staple in our house. Being also dairy free it serves as "butter" on gluten free english muffins or cinnamon toast, it is used in cooking and especially in baking!! We also use coconut oil as "lotion", coconut flour in baking as well as flaked coconut daily. I use homemade coconut milk in all of my cooking and baking, even in my coffee in the morning! Coconut is so versatile and I am glad we are talking about this particular fat's good side as it got a bad rap a couple of decades ago. Coconut oil is very healthy for you! I have also read that it is not stored as fat but burned immediately (may have to do with being sent right to the liver...) and so this is a wonderful fat to add to LOSE WEIGHT! You heard me! I continue to lose weight and coconut oil is a very big component in my daily diet. I have also read that our cells utilize MCT (medium chain triglycerides) more effectively for cellular energy so it may also have some impact on mitochondrial function, but that is my guess only. Read on for an article from Natural News with more info on the benefits of coconut oil....
(NaturalNews) The human brain needs a continual supply of fuel. When this continual supply is interrupted brain cells begin to die. In the short-term, this can cause symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, & tiredness. Long-term exposure to environments that deplete sources of brain fuel from effectively getting into the cells leads to neurodegenerative diseases. New research is showing that coconut oil can supply the brain with a very clean source of energy that prevents unwanted short-term symptoms and is effective at preventing and treating neurodegenerative disease states.

In many neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's, neurons in certain regions of the brain have become insulin resistant. Insulin is the necessary hormone that brings glucose into cells where it can be used for energy. This is Diabetes in the brain. When brain cells become resistant to insulin they are unable to get glucose and they become malnourished and begin to die.

Because the brain is unable to lower circulating blood sugar levels these levels remain high. High blood sugar is neurotoxic in that it binds with protein molecules to create advanced glycolytic enzymes (AGEs). These AGEs dramatically increase oxidative stress levels in the body and have a particular affinity for damaging neuronal tissue. This combination of high blood sugar and low energy states within the brain cells is the perfect storm for massive brain cell death.

Coconut oil is considered one of the best fuels for healthy brain function. Outside of mother's milk, coconut oil is nature's richest source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are not processed by your body in the same manner as long chain triglycerides. Normal fat metabolism depends on bile salts that have been released from your gallbladder before it can be broken down in your digestive system.

MCTs bypass bile metabolism and go directly to your liver where they are converted into ketones. The liver then immediately releases the ketones into the bloodstream where they are transported to the brain to be used as fuel. Research has shown that the ketone bodies produced by MCTs provide a stable source of energy for the brain during periods of low blood sugar without the neurological risks associated with high blood sugar.

This is why ketones appear to be the preferred source of brain food in patients affected by diabetes or any neurodegenerative condition such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, & Multiple Sclerosis, etc. One of the leading authorities on MCT research is Dr. Mary Newport. She has shown that ketone bodies may help the brain recover from lack of oxygen induced brain death in newborns through adults. Additionally, ketones can help the heart patient recover from a heart attack and they can affectively shrink cancerous tumors.

Additional research has shown that regular MCT consumption in dogs with "age-related mental decline" increases the phospholipid and omega-3 fatty acid (EPA & DHA) content in the parietal cortex of the brain. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish not coconut oil. The researchers believe that the presence of the MCTs allowed omega 3s to be liberated from fat stores & utilized in the brain where they are most needed to help form solid memory centers.

The average sized adult should consume 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil daily. This could be taken orally, added to food, or applied onto skin. It can be taken in the form of coconut oil, milk, meat, or flakes. Coconut milk provides approximately 1 Tbsp of coconut oil for every 3 ounces. People with diabetes (type I & II) or neurological disease would benefit from up to 8-10 tablespoons of coconut oil daily.

[Editor`s Note: NaturalNews is strongly against the use of all forms of animal testing. We fully support implementation of humane medical experimentation that promotes the health and wellbeing of all living creatures.]

Learn more:

Friday, January 7, 2011

One parent's view on Dr. Wakefield, vaccines and Autism

There has been a lot of controversy in the last few days regarding Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his study that linked a new type of bowel disease and Autism. His study was published and then later retracted by the Lancet. His study found and reported that the children in this study suffered from inflammatory bowel disease as well as Autism and the parents in the study reported that the conditions began at the time of their MMR vaccine. He suggested that more research be done on this potential connection and that parents be allowed to choose the single vaccines rather than the combo shot. Since then it has been a hailstorm of conjecture, disagreement, strife even within our very own Autism community. Of course there are parents of children with Autism who feel vaccines had nothing to do with their child's disorder (or who even had unvaccinated children with Autism). I firmly feel that toxicity is the root cause (vaccines being one component in that toxicity). And we can look back at the toxicity of mothers who are bearing these children as well.

I was a good girl, I had my titers run for measles, mumps and rubella and when it was found I did not have immunity, I received the vaccine 3 months before trying to conceive. And I ate the SAD (standard american diet) which I thought was healthy but in reality was filled with hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, the gamut of over 200 forms of MSG, etc. My house was "clean" because I used bleach and antibacterial wipes all the time, both very toxic. But on the flip side most of my son's things were hand-me downs including his crib and clothes which at least were a little better than the new stuff that usually contains toxins in paint, particle board, sizing in clothes, etc. We also bought a new car in time for his arrival, that wonderful new car smell which is the chemical off gassing that we breathed the few months before he arrived and of course he breathed when he was born.

There are theories arising about the issues with mitochondrial function. I used to joke about having chronic fatigue (which is linked to mitochondrial issues), not so funny anymore. Our mitochondria come from mom. I think that we have managed to toxify our environment and our bodies to the point of seeing this huge rise in Autism and other auto-immune disorders (which may have roots in this impact on our mitochondria??). Now this is MY theory, you don't have to agree. But, I see that as the foundation. So my son, I believe, did have this predisposition. My son rec'd Hep B vaccine at birth, which looking back I would have refused all together. I do not have Hep B and there is NO way he could contract that being that it comes from IV drug use and/or sex. There are also other vaccines I would have declined or delayed. But I didn't know any of this, I didn't know of the toxic adjuvants that are in our vaccines, or the fact that multiple vaccines have not had safety studies. We do not really know the impact to our developing babies' immunes systems when we give them more than one vaccine at a time. My son rec'd 6 vaccines in one day, his 4 month birthday. From that moment forward he screamed most of the day and would not sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time. By the time those effects were just starting to fade, it would be time for more vaccines and we'd start all over. But, the MMR was not in the 6 vaccines where we saw the biggest change in my son.

So what? Why not just move on? Well, I have and I am happy to say through biomed and detoxifying his body, he has gone from non verbal child with no social interaction who engaged in many repetitive behaviors (like spinning tupperware lids constantly)to a pretty near typical 7 year old with some lingering sensory issues and small deficits in social skills and language. We still have work to do and there are days when I still hate Autism and what it will do to him probably forever. But he is a far cry from where he was when he was 3 and scoring in the severely Autistic range on the CARS eval. His last CARS eval scored him in the not Autistic range. Do I think vaccines are the only culprit? No. Our food supply is pretty toxic for the most part and I had no clue why eating organic was important when he was a baby or about the insidious ingredients that are even in our baby foods and snacks, not to mention pretty much anything that comes out of a box. This whole journey has opened our eyes.

But, I liken this experience to someone who has had a family member impacted by lung cancer as a result of smoking. Remember when the doctors were doing ad campaigns about how safe smoking was?? You would pretty much call bullshit on that, wouldn't you? Or just with anything, if you used a product, ate a food and had a reaction that you knew in your heart was related to that item, how would you feel about the manufacturer saying "That is not true, our products are perfectly safe and you did NOT have a reaction from our products". That is pretty galling and more than anything, I want to share our story to help other new parents make INFORMED decisions about their vaccine choices. I went in blindly and believed they were safe because that is what I was told. I had no idea what aluminum does to the brain, what squalene is, I had never even heard of thimerisol. I wish I had and I wish I had done THAT research before making that choice. And if parents do that level of research and feel comfortable with their vaccine choices, well then that is all I ask for! It took me years before I finally decided most vaccines are not in my childrens' best interest, many are ineffective and we see naturopathic physicians whom I have confidence in should my child contract an illness. Did you know high dose vitamin A can be used for measles? L-Lysine and another herb larrea tridentata are effective against chicken pox and shingles? There are other options.

So, I decided to do this blog to share some of the videos that I feel are worth watching in one place. Some of them are long but worth it. This blog also feeds right to Facebook so some of this will be redundant. And some of you without Autism in your lives are probably saying "shut up about Autism already" and that is ok. We all probably say that about people's hobbies or status updates that we see on Facebook. It is representative of our lives and our interests. The sad thing about Autism is that unless we all start waking up, each and every one of you will have someone in your life who has Autism. And that is why I talk about it so much, plus I firmly believe we are not too far gone and that Autism is treatable. So, for my Autism peeps, here are some videos in case you have not already seen them, and for anyone else interested in the "other side of the coin". Everyone has probably already seen the negative spin campaign and smear stories so I will not post those here.

Dr. Wakefield being interviewed on CNN HERE

JB Handley interviewed on CNN version 1 HERE

JB Handley on CNN version 2 HERE

And if you want to see a very compelling video about the whole GMC mess with Dr. Wakefield and the "journalist" Brian Deer who brought his story to the GMC, see this video HERE. Warning, it is an hour long. But I think you see Brian Deer in action, hear how he speaks to parents of children with Autism, hear THEIR stories of what he did, including listing these childrens' names on a website.