An adult woman was found to be missing her cerebellum .

A woman in China’s Shandong Province checked into the hospital for dizziness and nausea, but her diagnosis took doctors by surprise: She was missing a big chunk of brain. Specifically, she lacked a cerebellum — a tiny mass in the back of the skull that holds more neurons than the rest of the organ combined. The results of her examination were published last monthin the journal Brain.

The patient reported that she’d always had trouble maintaining her balance (not surprising, since the cerebellum is important in motor control) and that she hadn’t been able to walk at all until she was 7. Her speech was slurred as a child (again, not surprising — scientists are pretty sure that the cerebellum plays a part in language development), but was intelligible by the time she was 6.

So essentially, it took less than a decade of life for the rest of her brain to pick up the missing cerebellum’s slack. The fact that the patient is alive and thriving is incredible. This is only the ninth time that doctors have found someone to be missing a whole cerebellum, and most of the others have only been discovered after their early deaths. Studying the case will help scientists understand neuroplasticity — the ability of the brain to adapt itself to changes in behavior, environment, or the body.

Don’t Leave Childhood Depression Untreated

Every psychological disorder, including depression, has some behavioral components.

Depressed children often lack energy and enthusiasm. They become withdrawn, irritable and sulky. They may feel sad, anxious and restless. They may have problems in school, and frequently lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.

Some parents might think that medication is the solution for depression-related problem behaviors. In fact, that’s not the case. The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved any drugs solely for the treatment of “behavior problems.” When FDA approves a drug for depression—whether for adults or children—it’s to treat the illness, not the behavior associated with it.

“There are multiple parts to mental illness, and the symptoms are usually what drug companies study and what parents worry about. But it’s rare for us at FDA to target just one part of the illness,” says Mitchell Mathis, M.D., a psychiatrist who is the Director of FDA’s Division of Psychiatry Products.


Depression Is Treatable

The first step to treating depression is to get a professional diagnosis; most children who are moody, grouchy or feel that they are misunderstood are not depressed and don’t need any drugs.

Only about 11 percent of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Before puberty, girls and boys have the same incidence of depression. After adolescence, girls are twice as likely to have depression as boys. The trend continues until after menopause. “That’s a clue that depression might be hormonal, but so far, scientists haven’t found out exactly how hormones affect the brain,” says child and adolescent psychiatrist Tiffany R. Farchione, M.D., the Acting Deputy Director of FDA’s Division of Psychiatry Products.

It’s hard to tell if a child is depressed or going through a difficult time because the signs and symptoms of depression change as children grow and their brains develop. Also, it can take time to get a correct diagnosis because doctors might be getting just a snapshot of what’s going on with the young patient.

“In psychiatry, it’s easier to take care of adults because you have a lifetime of patient experience to draw from, and patterns are more obvious” says Mathis. “With kids, you don’t have that information. Because we don’t like to label kids with lifelong disorders, we first look for any other reason for those symptoms. And if we diagnose depression, we assess the severity before treating the patient with medications.”

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Getting the Proper Care

The second step is to decide on a treatment course, which depends on the severity of the illness and its impact on the child’s life. Treatments for depression often include psychotherapy and medication. FDA has approved two drugs—fluoxetine (Prozac) and escitalopram (Lexapro)—to treat depression in children. Prozac is approved for ages 8 and older; Lexapro for kids 12 and older.

“We need more pediatric studies because many antidepressants approved for adults have not been proven to work in kids,” Farchione says. “When we find a treatment that has been shown to work in kids, we’re encouraged because that drug can have a big impact on a child who doesn’t have many medication treatment options.”

FDA requires that all antidepressants include a boxed warning about the increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents and young adults up to age 24. “All of these medicines work in the brain and the central nervous system, so there are risks. Patients and their doctors have to weigh those risks against the benefits,” Mathis says.

Depression can lead to suicide. Children who take antidepressants might have more suicidal thoughts, which is why the labeling includes a boxed warning on all antidepressants. But the boxed warning does not say not to treat children, just to be aware of, and to monitor them for, signs of suicidality.

“A lot of kids respond very well to drugs. Oftentimes, young people can stop taking the medication after a period of stability, because some of these illnesses are not a chronic disorder like a major depression,” Mathis adds. “There are many things that help young psychiatric patients get better, and drugs are just one of them.”

It’s important that patients and their doctors work together to taper off the medications. Abruptly stopping a treatment without gradually reducing the dose might lead to problems, such as mood disturbance, agitation and irritability.

Depression in children shouldn’t be left untreated. Untreated acute depression may get better on its own, but it relapses and the patient is not cured. Real improvement can take six months or more, and may not be complete without treatment. And the earlier the treatment starts, the better the outcome.

“Kids just don’t have time to leave their depression untreated,” Farchione says. “The social and educational consequences of a lengthy recovery are huge. They could fail a grade. They could lose all of their friends.”

Medications help patients recover sooner and more completely.

Gut bugs may boost flu shot’s effects .

Every year, some unlucky people get the flu even though they’ve had their seasonal shot. One reason, according to a new study, might be their gut bacteria. Researchers have shown that, at least in mice, a strong immune response to the flu vaccine relies in part on signals from intestinal microbes. The findings could help explain variation in the response to the vaccine and suggest ways to maximize its effectiveness.

The body's response to the flu vaccine may depend in part on microbes in the gut.

The microbes that inhabit our bodies—collectively known as the microbiome—may influence everything from obesity risk to food allergies. Recent studies have also shown that resident microbes affect how our immune system responds to infection. For example, mice with depleted microbiomes appear to be more susceptible to the flu. But it wasn’t clear what role the microbiome plays in the response to vaccines.

The new evidence came out of a curious observation that researchers revealed in a 2011 paper. Bali Pulendran, an immunologist at Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues were looking for genetic signatures in the blood of people injected with the trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine—a mixture of three flu strains. They wanted to know whether the expression of specific genes in the immune system’s white blood cells correlated with the amount of vaccine—specific antibodies in the blood—which indicates how strongly a person’s immune system responds to the shot, and how much protection that person will gain against future infections. In a long list of genes associated with strong vaccine response, the researchers found an unexpected one: the gene that codes for a protein called toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5).

“We thought this must just be a coincidence,” Pulendran says. TLR5 is a sensor of flagellin, a protein that makes up the appendages of bacteria. Why would a receptor that interacts with bacteria in the gut have anything to do with the body’s response to a virus injected into muscle? Maybe, the group thought, B cells—the white blood cells that produce antibodies—receive a signal from bacteria that boosts their activity.

To explore that possibility, the researchers designed a new study using mice. They gave the flu vaccine to three different groups: mice genetically engineered to lack the gene for TLR5, germ-free mice with no microorganisms in their bodies, and mice that had spent 4 weeks drinking water laced with antibiotics to obliterate most of their microbiome.

Seven days after vaccination, all three groups showed significantly reduced concentrations of vaccine-specific antibodies in their blood—up to an eightfold reduction compared with vaccinated control mice, the group reports online today in Immunity. The reduction was less marked by day 28, as blood antibody levels appeared to rebound. But when the researchers observed the mice lacking Tlr5 on the 85th day after vaccination, their antibodies seemed to have dipped again, suggesting that without this bacterial signaling, the effects of the flu vaccine wane more quickly.

The researchers saw similar results when they gave mice a polio vaccine, which, like the flu shot, uses an inactivated virus and doesn’t contain so-called adjuvants—additives that boost the body’s immune response. Pulendran and colleagues suggest that these weaker, adjuvant-lacking vaccines rely more heavily on bacterial signaling. (They didn’t see the same results with the live virus in the yellow fever vaccine, for example.)

No specific type of bacteria seemed more important than another in prompting the vaccine response. But further experiments showed a major role for macrophages—immune cells that display pieces of the virus to activate B cells and that can also recognize flagellin. Pulendran’s favored explanation is that flagellin manages to break through the lining of the intestines to circulate in the body and activate B cells and macrophages, amping up antibody production. But where and how the interaction happens “is a huge mystery,” he says. “We don’t have the full answer.”

However, what they do know presents some interesting possibilities for human vaccines. “I think the implications of the work are fairly broad,” says David Artis, an immunologist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City who was not involved in the study. “It tells us that the microbiome is an additional component [of the vaccine response] that we didn’t previously appreciate.” He notes that people in industrialized countries seem to get more protection from flu vaccines than do residents of developing countries—a phenomenon that could be partially explained by variations in their microbiomes, though genetics, diet, and previous infections probably also play a role.

He cautions that the group would need to expose the mice to flu after vaccination to confirm that bacterial signals influence the vaccine-induced resistance to the virus. But if it does, future vaccines could try to mimic the effect of bacteria to prompt a bigger immune response. Several groups are already exploring flagellin as a possible adjuvant, though Artis suspects it’s not the only important microbial protein in play.

The results also raise questions about the role of antibiotics in vaccine response, says Paul Thomas, an immunologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. People who are taking antibiotics when they get vaccinated could see depressed antibody levels “for a long time after,” he says. He suggests a follow-up study to measure antibody levels in people who start antibiotic treatment before getting the flu vaccine. Pulendran says his group plans to do just that for their next experiment.

Rampant overuse of ibuprofen leaves drug contaminating rivers and affecting fish health.

Prolific use of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) ibuprofen is contaminating rivers and poisoning fish, according to a multi-center study published in the journal Environment International.


The study was led by a researcher from the University of York’s Environment Department and involved other researchers from F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., and the United Kingdom’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and Food and Environment Research Agency.

“The results of our research show that we should be paying much closer attention to the environmental impacts of drugs such as ibuprofen which are freely available in supermarkets, chemists and elsewhere,” researcher Alistair Boxall said.

Ibuprofen is commonly marketed under trade names including Advil, Genpril, IBU, Midol, Motrin and Nuprin. It is closely related to other NSAIDs such as ketoprofen and naproxen (Aleve), and is similar to aspirin in some regards.

Half of rivers threatened

It has been well established that, when people take pharmaceutical drugs, they later excrete both metabolized and non-metabolized forms of the drugs back into the environment through their urine. These drugs can then act on fish or other aquatic lifeforms.

Using a new computer modeling approach, the researchers estimated the levels of 12 pharmaceutical drugs in 3,112 stretches of river across the United Kingdom. The rivers were receiving urinary input from a total of 21 million people.

The new model used data inputs including rates of over-the-counter and prescription drug use, rates of non-use of prescribed drugs, effectiveness of different wastewater treatment technologies at removing pharmaceutical compounds and individual differences in drug metabolism.

“When we compared the results of our modelling with available monitoring data for pharmaceuticals in the UK, we were delighted at the close agreement between the modelled and measured data,” researcher Richard Williams said.

Most of the chemical studied were found to pose a low risk to aquatic life. Ibuprofen, in contrast, was found to pose a high risk of adverse effects to aquatic life in nearly half of the river segments studied.

Also risky to human health

Although commonly and even casually used, ibuprofen is a pharmaceutical drug and carries a risk of severe side effects. The drug is particularly risky in those with heart, digestive or kidney problems.

Ibuprofen has been linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke, especially when used over the long term. It has also been shown to induce bleeding, perforation and other damage in the stomach and intestines, often without any warning.

The drug has been shown to impair kidney function in some people, producing a wide variety of kidney-related side effects. One study found that people who consumed 5,000 or more NSAID-containing pills over the course of their lifetimes were significantly more likely to suffer from end-stage renal disease.

Because NSAIDs are metabolized by the kidneys (as are nearly all pharmaceuticals), the risk of side effects is significantly greater in people with impaired kidney function.

Other potentially serious side effects of ibuprofen include swelling or rapid weight gain; headache, sore throat and fever with a severe skin rash that includes blistering and peeling; numbness, pain, muscle weakness, severe tingling or bruising; and severe headache with neck stiffness, chills, increased light sensitivity and sometimes convulsions.

Fortunately, there are many natural alternatives to ibuprofen. Studies have shown that ginger, Chinese skullcap and St. John’s wort are all as effective as or more effective than ibuprofen at reducing pain. Likewise, compounds extracted from sweet cherries, raspberries, holy basil and olive oil have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties comparable to those of the drug. Natural remedies that combine ibuprofen’s painkilling and anti-inflammatory effects include Panax ginseng, omega-3 fatty acids and arnica (applied topically).

Although ibuprofen is commonly used to reduce fevers, fever is actually an important immune response and in most cases should not be artificially lowered.

Sources for this article include:

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FDA Approves Groundbreaking Israeli Lung Imaging System .

The FDA recently approved a groundbreaking, non-invasive, radiation-free lung imaging system created by Deep Breeze an Israeli company.

Deep Breeze is an Israeli company based in Or Akiva in the Haifa District that has invented a non-invasive, radiation-free lung imaging system. Using Vibration Response Imaging, the system generates a real-time picture of the lungs.

This new technology is already being heralded by experts as the biggest breakthrough since ultrasound. It will be used to help diagnose cancer, asthma and other pulmonary diseases. Sales of the system will begin in the US shortly.


Microbes evolve faster than ocean can disperse them

Two Northeastern University researchers and their international colleagues have created an advanced model aimed at exploring the role of neutral evolution in the biogeographic distribution of ocean microbes.

Their findings were published Thursday in the journal Science. The paper—titled “Biogeographic patterns in ocean emerge in a neutral agent-based model”—was co-authored by Ferdi Hellweger, a microbial ecology expert and an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering; his doctoral student Neil Fredrick, PhD’15; and oceanographer Erik van Sebille of Australia’s University of New South Wales.

Their results flew in the face of the long held notion that microbes are infinitely mobile—that the same cells could be found anywhere in the world’s oceans, unhindered by geographic boundaries. On the contrary, the researchers found that microbes evolve faster than the ocean circulation can disperse them, leading to substantial—and dynamic— biogeographic patterns in their surface ocean population.

“Microbes differ between provinces because of neutral evolution and dispersal limitation,” said Hellweger, whose ongoing research on this topic is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Because provinces are not well-mixed, the differences can continue to grow.”

What’s more, the findings shed light on how ocean microbes may respond to global climate change. “You may not see microbes adapt to climate change as rapidly if ocean microbes were completely mixed and they were everywhere,” Hellweger posited. “Certain species of microbes may not thrive under new temperatures in certain provinces.”

Over the past several decades, ecologists have come to understand that both natural selection and neutral evolution—that variation within and between species is caused by genetic drift and random mutations—play a role in the biogeographic patterns of ocean microbes. In this study, Hellweger et al. quantified the role of neutral processes by simulating division, mutation, and death of some 100,000 individual marine bacteria cells with full genomes in a global surface model.

Is The Pattern Of Brain Folding A “Fingerprint” For Schizophrenia?

Anyone who has seen pictures or models of the human brain is aware that the outside layer, or cortex, of the brain is folded in an intricate pattern of “hills”, called gyri, and “valleys”, called sulci.

It turns out that the patterns of cortical folding are largely consistent across healthy humans, broadly speaking. However, disturbances in cortical folding patterns suggest deeper disturbances in brain structure and function.

A new study published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry suggests that schizophrenia is associated with reductions in the complexity of the cortical folding pattern that may reflect deficits in the structural connections between brain regions.

“The cortical folding pattern itself may not be so important, but the disturbances in connections between brain regions implicated by the changes in cortical folding could provide critical clues to deficits in the integrity of brain circuits that contribute to symptoms and functional impairment in schizophrenia,” commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.

The study, conducted by an international group of scientists, measured cortical folding using regional local gyrification index values in patients with psychotic disorders, their first-degree relatives, and healthy controls. The patient group included individuals with diagnoses of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder.

Local gyrification index is an advanced metric that quantifies cortical folding using a 3-dimensional approach.

Senior author Dr. Matcheri Keshavan, a Professor at Harvard Medical School, describes their results: “The main finding was that psychotic disorders are characterized by reduced folding of the cortex in key brain regions such as the cingulate cortex (a brain region involved in thinking and emotions). Reductions in cortical folding may reflect alterations in brain development early in life in these disorders. We also observed these alterations in first degree relatives at high risk for psychotic illnesses.”

With imaging data from 931 participants, this study is one of the largest of its kind and helps to resolve a diverse literature that has produced inconsistent findings, particular in studies of schizophrenia patients. With the consistency of this data in both the patient and relative groups, compared to the healthy group, this study suggests that hypogyria may mark familial risk for psychotic illnesses.

Thus, Keshavan added, “This study lays groundwork for further understanding of the causes of psychotic disorders.”


Some patients ‘awake’ during surgery

Picture of the beginning of anaesthesia
Some people reported sensations of tugging and suffocation

More than 150 people a year in the UK and Ireland report they have been conscious during surgery – despite being given general anaesthesia.

In the largest study of its kind, scientists suggests this happens in one in every 19,000 operations.

They found episodes were more likely when women were given general anaesthesia for Caesarean sections or patients were given certain drugs.

Experts say though rare, much more needs to be done to prevent such cases.

“Start Quote

For the vast majority it should be reassuring that patients report awareness so infrequently”

Prof Tim CookLead researcher

‘Unable to move’

Led by the Royal College of Anaesthetists and Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, researchers studied three million operations over a period of one year.

More than 300 people reported they had experienced some level of awareness during surgery – some recalled experiences from years ago.

Most episodes were short-lived and occurred before surgery started or after operations were completed. But some 41% of cases resulted in long-term psychological harm.

Patients described a variety of experiences – from panic and pain to choking – though not all episodes caused concern.

The most alarming were feelings of paralysis and being unable to communicate, the researchers say.

One patient, who wishes to remain anonymous, described her experiences of routine orthodontic surgery at the age of 12.

She said: “I could hear voices around me and I realised with horror that I had woken up in the middle of the operation but couldn’t move a muscle.

“While they fiddled, I frantically tried to decide whether I was about to die.”

‘Rare but concerning’

She told researchers that for 15 years after her operation she had had nightmares of monsters leaping out to paralyse her.

And it was only after she made the connection between this and her operation that the nightmares stopped.

Each person’s experience was analysed to identify factors that could make these situations more likely.

About 90% occurred when muscle-relaxant drugs – used to help paralyse muscles during surgery – were administered in combination with other drugs that normally dampen consciousness.

Picture of anaesthetist checking monitor
Anaesthetists give a mixture of drugs to dampen down consciousness during surgery

Researchers believe in some of these cases patients received an inappropriate balance of medication, leaving them paralysed but still aware.

And there were several reports of awareness from women who had Caesarean sections while under general anaesthesia.

Though this type of anaesthesia is most often used in emergency situations, researchers say women should be informed of the risks.

Drug errors

They calculate up to one in 670 people who have Caesarean sections with general anaesthesia could experience some levels of awareness.

But experts argue this is partly due to the balance needed when achieving unconsciousness for the woman while still keeping the baby awake.

Other common factors include lung and heart operations and surgery on patients who are obese.

And some 17 cases were due to drug errors.

Researchers are calling for a checklist to be used at the start of operations and a nationwide approach to managing patients who have these experiences.

Prof Tim Cook, at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, who led the research, said: “For the vast majority it should be reassuring that patients report awareness so infrequently.

“However for a small number of patients this can be a highly distressing experience.

“I hope this report will ensure anaesthetists pay even greater attention to preventing episodes of awareness.”

Google buys hi-tech spoon firm

Google has bought a biotech company that has developed a spoon designed to make life easier for people with diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Liftware spoon

It is part of its ambitious foray into health technology, spurred in part by the personal interest of co-founder Sergey Brin.

Last year, Google became the main investor in Calico, a firm dedicated to developing medicines to extend life.

Latest acquisition Lift Labs will join Google’s research division Google X.

The spoon developed by Lift Labs is equipped with sensors that detect tremors and cancels them out by as much as 70%, according to the firm.

The technology it uses is similar to image stabilisation features in cameras that compensate for shaky hands when taking a photo.

Liftware spoon graphic

The firms announced the deal on the search giant’s social network Google+ but did not reveal the financial terms.

“Today we’re welcoming the Lift Labs team into Google X. Their tremor-cancelling device could improve quality of life for millions of people,” said Google.

For its part, Lift Labs wrote: “Google will enable us to reach even more people living with Parkinson’s or essential tremor who could benefit from using tremor-cancelling devices every day.”

Google is gradually increasing its health portfolio. In January it unveiled its smart contact lenses that measure glucose levels in tears to help monitor people with conditions such as diabetes.

And in July it announced an ambitious science project – Basline Study – to collect anonymous genetic and molecular information to create a picture of what a healthy human should be like.

For co-founder Sergey Brin the move into healthcare is a personal one. His mother developed Parkinson’s and, after gene testing, he found that he has a higher than average chance of getting the disease.

Meanwhile his fellow co-founder Larry Page, who suffers from a rare vocal cords problem, is interested in how big data can help solve some of the world’s most problematic diseases. He has made public his hope that people would overcome privacy fears to make their medical records available to researchers.

Google’s semi-secret research facility Google X was set up to work on cutting-edge technology. Other projects include Google’s driverless car, balloons to deliver broadband and Google Glass.

How Bad Is Junk Food For Your DNA?

If we all dropped dead after eating junk food, the message would have been loud and clear: DO NOT INGEST! But this is one of the things we probably have to learn the hard way. Many people these days struggle through a  long time of  sickness, being plagued with low immunity, high toxicity, and a wide range of metabolic imbalances. Most likely they will have to leave this world in a hospital, after a long addiction to medical drugs and doctors.

In the Aboriginal tribes on the other hand, the elderly leave their community and go alone to die in the wilderness when they “feel” it’s time to go. Just like that, on their own feet. Decent. Proud. Simple. Peaceful. In perfect harmony with Nature.

Most modern, “civilized” people refuse to make and acknowledge any connection between the food they ingest, their lifestyle and their health. And they can do that because the effects are both cumulative and most of the times delayed.

When you store enough toxins to build up cancer in your body, the first thought that comes to mind is  ”I have to kill it“, NOT  ”The food I ate and the lifestyle I had were bad, I have to start all new and heal my body and mind“. As you see, the focus is mainly to “kill” something external, a disease that fell on our heads with no reason, out of nowhere (like conventional medicine likes us to believe) and NOT internal, based on our own actions and choices.

This mentality allows it to easily find excuses that validate our eating behavior, with no regard to the massive negative effect the junk food industry has on the human race. And processed, toxic food can come in many forms and sizes: from packaged dinners, “cardboard” cereal boxes, factory raised meat, pasteurized conventional dairy, GMO foods, to candy and even eating un-sprouted, un-soaked, and un-fermented grains, legumes and nuts.

Some of us have awaken and now see the connection. They see and understand that you ARE what you eat…

But have you ever wondered…”How bad is it, really, to eat junk food?”

To put it simple, it goes down to your DNA. Here are the scientific facts:

1. The connection between FOOD and ALTERED GENES in humans

What we eat and what we are exposed to in our environment directly affects our DNA and its expression. Epigenetic factors (“beyond the control of the gene”) are directly and indirectly influenced by the presence or absence of key nutrients in the diet, as well as exposures to toxins, chemicals, pathogens and other environmental factors.

The “genetic material” a mother transmits to her baby is made up of very complex factors, but they all come down to the answers to these simple questions: What did the mom eat? What was her lifestyle? What were her health problems?

In her book “Deep Nutrition“, Catherine Shanahan, MD talks about how genes are affected by the foods we eat:

Epigenetic researchers study how our genes react to our behavior, and they’ve found that just about everything we eat, think, breathe, or do can, directly or indirectly, trickle down to touch the gene and affect its performance in some way. (…) Not only does what we eat affect us down to the level of our genes, our physiques have been sculpted, in part, by the foods our parents and grandparents ate (or didn’t eat) generations ago. (…) (1)

In 2005 scientists from Spain that study epigenetics showed why twins with identical DNA might develop completely different medical problems. And this is very important because conventional medicine wants us to believe that many diseases are out of our own control, that beautiful and healthy people are just a matter of luck and genetic chance.

The study showed that “if one twin smokes, drinks and eats nothing but junk food while the other takes care of her body, the two sets of DNA are getting entirely different chemical “lessons” – one is getting a balanced education when the other is getting schooled in the dirty streets of chemical chaos. ” (1)

So genes actually make very intelligent decisions guided in part by the chemical information in the food we eat. Food is the primary way we interact with our environment and it CAN alter genetic information in the space of a single generation. Researchers have become to understand that DNA has been programmed at some point in the past by epigenetic markers that can turn certain DNA portions on or off in response to certain nutrients.  If, for example there is no enough calcium and vitamin D in the body, the genes remain “dormant” (turned off) and less bone is built in the body, until the specific nutrients are again available. A “forgetful”, “dormant”, “turned off” gene can be “retrained” to function normally under the right environment.

The anthropologic literature is full of evidence and discoveries that link skeletal modification over time to dietary changes. Narrow face, small jaw, crooked teeth, thinned lips, thin bones, flattened features can be all observed in modern generations. And disproportionality disables the body’s ability to function properly.

2. Gene mutation and Methylation

It is estimated that 49% of the general population has an under methylation gene defect. They cannot detoxify well. “More than any other molecule, methyl groups are involved in the healthy function of the body’s life processes, and more than any other molecule, the lack of methyl groups for methylation is involved in chronic, degenerative diseases, autoimmune concerns, hormonal processes and neurotransmitter balances.(…)

The onslaught of cellular damage has only increased in the past ten years. The toxic environment damages cellular function deep within the cell’s epigenetics. Ionizing (x-rays, mammograms) and non-ionizing (cell phones, airport scanners) radiation damage DNA. Genetically modified food damage DNA more and more every day as Round Up Ready genetically modified (GMO) toxins are being incorporated into infants DNA around the world.” (2)

How do methyl groups get damaged?

Poor nutrition along with stress, free radical damage, lack of vitamin B 12 and folic acid and exposure to environmental toxins all damage methyl groups. Methyl groups also decline with the aging processes.

Why are methyl donors so important?

Our bodies conduct a billion methylation processes every moment of our lives! Methyl groups keep every cell doing its correct job for the good of the whole according to the body’s innate intelligence. (2)

They unlock the resistance to healing by supporting the cells with nutrition required for them to heal themselves. All genuine healing is within the cell.

The body uses millions of methyl groups to turn on the stress response according to the laws of Nature. But if a person does not have sufficient methyl donors, that person won’t be able to turn off the stress process anymore.

In a cellular methylation process called DMA Methylation, methyl groups attach to cromosomes and deactivate certain gene sequences so we don’t express them. This includes deactivating disease processes, viral genes and other deleterious elements that may be introduced to a person’s genetics. (2)

Methylation helps convert dangerous molecules to ones that the liver, gall bladder, and kidneys can eliminate.

Excessive weight gain and the inability to lose weight is a cellular issue – one involving inflammation, the cell membrane, anti-oxidants and… methylation!

These are just a few of the very important and numerous roles methylation is conducting. To find more information about this extremely complex process you could check out these websites:

3. The connection between FOOD and ALTERED GENES in animals

Our ancestors chose their food in terms of : good soil, healthy animal, freshly picked. It was not the cheapest, the fastest or the most convenient. And this was the reason they kept themselves healthy and thriving, staying connected to their land.

Not the case these days anymore. A surprising conclusion was drawn in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition regarding conventional fed chickens versus organically fed chickens. It seems that organically fed chickens develop a different process of gene expression in their small intestines than that of chickens which get conventional feed.

“The result is that the genes responsible for creating cholesterol have a higher expression in organically fed chickens, yet these birds do not have elevated blood cholesterol levels. Researchers were surprised to discover that simple differences in cultivation methods can have such a drastic outcome in how chickens process their food and express it in their genes. Dr. Astrid de Greeff from Livestock Research and her colleagues came to find that 49 genes ended up regulating differently in the organic group.” (3)

As you see, you might not feel the negative effects of junk food today or tomorrow. You might even be one of the lucky ones that have stronger, healthier genes and feel relatively ok until later in life. But in the end, that doesn’t mean you and your future generations will be immune to the explosion of Franken-foods that flooded the world and are ingested every day. The old excuse “my grandma lived to be 90 and smoked and drank her whole life, I can do the same” doesn’t apply anymore, and now you know why. Because she already passed down poor genetic material determined by her lifestyle. It can’t get better from there.

Article References

1. Shanahan, Catherine. Deep Nutrition

2. Tips, Jack. Methylation: The Molecule That Unlocks The Body’s Healing Response

3. Huff, Ethan. Organic Chickens are Genetically Different

4. Sikkema, Albert. Organic feed influences gene expression in chickens

5. Choi, Sang-Woon and Friso, Simonetta. Epigenetics: A New Bridge between Nutrition and Health