Year of birth significantly changes impact of obesity-associated gene variant .

Investigators working to unravel the impact of genetics versus environment on traits such as obesity may also need to consider a new factor: when individuals were born. A multi-institutional research team finds that the impact of a variant in the FTO gene that previous research has linked to obesity risk largely depends on birth year.
“Looking at participants in the Framingham Heart Study, we found that the correlation between the best known obesity-associated gene variant and body mass index increased significantly as the year of birth of participants increased,” says Harvard Medical School instructor James Niels Rosenquist of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry, lead author of the report.

Investigators working to unravel the impact of genetics versus environment on traits such as obesity may also need to consider a new factor: when individuals were born. In the current issue of PNAS Early Edition a multi-institutional research team reports finding that the impact of a variant in the FTO gene that previous research has linked to obesity risk largely depends on birth year, with no correlation between gene variant and obesity in study participants born in earlier years and a far stronger correlation than previously reported for those born in later years.

“Looking at participants in the Framingham Heart Study, we found that the correlation between the best known obesity-associated gene variant and body mass index increased significantly as the year of birth of participants increased,” says James Niels Rosenquist, MD, PhD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Psychiatry, lead author of the report. “These results — to our knowledge the first of their kind — suggest that this and perhaps other correlations between gene variants and physical traits may very significantly depending on when individuals were born, even for those born into the same families.”

The authors note that most studies of interactions between genes and the environment have looked at differences within specific birth cohorts — groups born during a particular span of years — which would not account for changes in the larger environment that take place over time. To investigate whether different conditions experienced by different age groups might alter the impact of a gene variant, they analyzed data from participants in the Framingham Offspring Study — which follows the children of participants in the original study — gathered between 1971, when participants ranged in age from 27 to 63, and 2008.

Looking at the relationships between participants’ body mass index (BMI), as measured eight times during the study period, the FTO variants they had inherited and when they were born revealed that the previously reported association between a specific FTO variant and BMI was seen, on average, only in participants born in later years. While there was no correlation between the obesity-risk variant and BMI for those born before 1942, in participants born after 1942 the correlation was twice as strong as reported in previous studies. While this study was not able to identify the environmental differences that combine with FTO variant to increase the risk of obesity, the authors note that post-World War II factors such as increased reliance on technology rather than physical labor and the availability of high-calorie processed foods are likely contributors.

“We know that environment plays a huge role in the expression of genes, and the fact that our effect can be seen even among siblings born during different years implies that global environmental factors such as trends in food products and workplace activity, not just those found within families, may impact genetic traits,” says Rosenquist, an instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “Our results underscore the importance of interpreting any genetic studies with a grain of salt and leave open the possibility that new genetic risk factors may be seen in the future due to different genetically-driven responses to our ever-changing environment.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. The original article was written by Sue McGreevey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. James Niels Rosenquist, Steven F. Lehrer, A. James O’malley, Alan M. Zaslavsky, Jordan W. Smoller, and Nicholas A. Christakis. Cohort of birth modifies the association between FTO genotype and BMI. PNAS, December 2014 DOI:10.1073/pnas.1411893111

How To Become A Morning Person

How To Become A Morning Person

Train yourself to love the a.m. 

It’s an all-too-common scenario: Your alarm goes off in the morning and you hit snooze, and then you hit snooze again, and then again. Before you know it, you’re late (as per usual) and you tell yourself the same lie you told yourself yesterday: “Tomorrow I will go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. I have to. I have to be a better morning person; I cannot go on like this.”

Not only does snoozing your way through your morning make you late for work, it may also impact your mental health — and not in a good way. A recent study from researchers at Binghamton University in New York, published in the journal Cognitive Therapy and Research, found that night owls are more likely to report negative thoughts such as worry and anxiety than chipper “morning people,” who are often more positive overall.

The good news is that it’s actually possible to train yourself to become a morning person — even if you love nothing more than staying up late and rising at the crack of noon. We checked in with Michelle Segar, PhD, a sustainable behavior change expert and director of the University of Michigan Sharp Center, who says there are three steps you can take to develop any “sustainable behavior change” — i.e. a change that you’ll stick with for the long haul. Check them out below.

Step 1: Do Some Mental Digging

Of course you know that waking up early is good for you. After all, you read the Internet, and you see all those chipper people bustling about in the morning being super productive while drinking their skim milk lattes in Spandex. But here’s the thing: Just because you know you should rise early like they do isn’t enough of a reason for you to do it yourself—you have to dig deeper.

“Your reason for changing your ways needs to be deeply compelling and specific,” confirms Segar, who is also the author of the forthcoming book “No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness.” “If your reason is simply that you know you should change, you won’t feel personally connected to it, and you won’t be motivated enough to carry through,” says Segar.

So ask yourself: Why do you want to be a morning person? Is it so you have time to exercise? So you have time to prepare a healthy breakfast? So you get to work on time? All of the above? Whatever it is, figure it out — that specificity will help you follow through with your goal later on.

Step 2: Make A Game Plan

Now you need to figure out how you’re going to make learning how to be a morning person a priority in your daily life. The first step is identifying the exact roadblocks in your way right now. Chances are, Segar says, you’re staying up too late in the first place. So take note of what you’re doing after 10 p.m.: Are you watching Netflix? Are you stalking your ex on Facebook? Are you scrolling through Instagram? Playing on Tinder? “Once you’ve figured out your bedtime weakness, start to set cues to cut yourself off,” says Segar.

For example: If you have a habit of watching Hulu or Netflix on your laptop in bed, set your alarm on your phone for 11 p.m. every night. When that alarm goes off, turn the computer off. Just do it. If you’re a social media night owl, tell your Facebook friends that you’re trying to go to bed earlier and ask them to help you out. That way, when they see you on late at night, they’ll tell you to go to bed — and you’re more likely to do so since they’re holding you accountable. There are even sleep apps you can use, like Zansors and Sleep Cycle, that analyze your sleep data, give you feedback on your lifestyle, and remind you to go to bed on time. It doesn’t really matter what you choose to use as your cue to go to bed, as long as you choose something.

Estrogen worsens allergic reactions in mice

Estradiol, a type of estrogen, enhances the levels and activity in mice of an enzyme that drives life-threatening allergic reactions, according to researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The study results may help explain why women frequently experience more severe allergic reactions compared to men. Furthermore, the results reaffirm the importance of accounting for gender in the design of animal experiments.

Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction triggered by food, medication or insect stings and bites. Immune cells, particularly mast cells, release enzymes that cause tissues to swell and blood vessels to widen. As a result, skin may flush or develop a rash, and in extreme cases, breathing difficulties, shock or heart attack may occur. Clinical studies have shown that women tend to experience anaphylaxis more frequently than men, but why this difference exists is unclear.

In the current study, NIAID researchers found that female mice experience more severe and longer lasting anaphylactic reactions than males. Instead of targeting , estrogen influences, enhancing the levels and activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), an enzyme that causes some of the symptoms of anaphylaxis. When the researchers blocked eNOS activity, the gender disparity disappeared. In addition, giving estrogen-blocking treatments to female mice reduced the severity of their allergic responses to a level similar to those seen in males.

While the study has identified a clear role for estrogen and eNOS in driving severe anaphylactic reactions in female mice, more work is needed to see if the effects are similar in people and may be applied toward future preventive therapies.

Top 10 List Of Medical Mysteries For 2014: The Events That Caused Our Readers To Gasp.

medical mysteries
A woman born lacking a key part of her brain, a boy who loses his hunger, a man whose heart rotated in his chest: We bring you our most astounding stories from 2014. Courtesy of Colleen Simon and

The Strange Case of A Woman Born Without A Cerebellum

It was common sense for doctors to perform a CAT scan on the 24-year-old woman who was admitted to a hospital in the Shandong Province of China after complaining of dizziness and nausea. After all, she reported she was unable to stand on her own until age 4 and unable to speak intelligibly until age 6. In fact, throughout her life, she told her doctors she’d suffered balance problems. Despite these slight health issues, the woman was married, with a daughter, and had functioned normally for years. Imagine the surprise —  utter shock, really — when her doctors looked at the scan and identified her problem: her entire cerebellum was missing.


The Strange Case Of A Woman Who Hears Music

Imagine waking in the night hearing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Sounds pleasant enough, but what if this song plays through your mind non-stop, disturbing your every waking hour and every nightly dream? Due to a mysterious musical hallucination, Susan Root of Essex, England, endured for FOUR YEARS Patti Page’s rendition of the tune, How Much is that Doggie in the Window, though now she hears Judy Garland’s Somewhere over the Rainbow. Her husband of 40 years has to shout to get her attention because she sometimes can’t hear anything except for the song in her head.

The Strange Case Of Migraine Headaches

What causes the debilitating condition known as a migraine headache, when flashes appear before the eyes and the headaches with a repeated pounding sensation? Sadly, no one knows. “What researchers do know is that migraines are a genetic disease, in that they run in families,” Medical Daily reported. “If one parent has a history of migraines, there is approximately a 40 percent chance their child will experience them as well.” When both parents suffer, the possibility of their child dealing with these headaches jumps to over 90 percent. However, some unknown other element is at play and so, whether a person suffers from cluster, aura, or regular variety, migraines remain unaccountably strange.


migraine headache Courtesy of Shutterstock

The Strange Case of A Boy Who Lost His Appetite

“Exactly one year ago, Landon Jones woke up without an appetite or thirst, and now at 12 years old, his parents must force food and drink on him every day to keep him alive,”Medical Daily reported. Since that Oct. 14 morning in 2013, Jones has lost 40 pounds. Though his sense of smell and taste remain intact, these sensations do not inspire in him any desire to eat or drink. Meanwhile, his doctors continue to search for a cause to this first case of a mysterious loss of hunger, while his unfortunate parents do their best to support and help their ailing child.

The Strange Case Of A Woman Who Lost Her Pulse

A 40-year old Florida mother who underwent a routine cesarean section temporarily lost her pulse. Hardly surprising, until one more detail is mentioned: the woman had not pulse for 45 full minutes. “Ruby Graupera-Cassimiro, 40, had a normal C-section late in September. But in the recovery room, doctors began to notice she wasn’t breathing,” Medical Dailyreported. During the crisis, her doctors found no mystery in what had happened to Graupera-Cassimiro: fluid from her amniotic sac had entered her bloodstream, creating a vacuum in her heart, which stopped her lung function and blood circulation. The mystery lies in just one singular fact: After reviving her, her doctors discovered the lack of blood flow to her brain left no neurological damage. A miracle?

The Strange Case of 200 Girls Falling Ill

Since May in El Carmen, Colombia, over 200 tween and teen girls entered the nearest hospital suffering from nausea, abdominal pain, and a numbness in hands. What could have caused this strange synchronicity of illness on such a wide scale? While many attribute the girls’ unusual illness to mass hysteria, Medical Daily reported, “coincidentally, the Colombian village was introduced to a vaccine that helps to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV).” Is this a case of harmful side effects from a single vaccination or one of an unusual psychological epidemic?

200 girls200 girls courtesy of Shutterstock

The Strange Case Of A Woman Seizing To Ne-Yo’s Voice

Zoe Fennessy, 26, suffers an epileptic seizure that causes severe nausea and stops her in her tracks… but only when she hears a song by Ne-Yo, a Grammy-nominated artist. In fact, this British mom must wear earphones whenever she shops or walks around in public as a way to prevent hearing the pop star’s voice and suffering its effects. “Fennessy suffered her first seizure back on New Year’s Day in 2006 following intermittent bouts of sickness, fatigue, and stress. … After hearing Ne-Yo’s collaboration with Pitbull on ‘Give Me Everything,’ Fennessy suffered her first music-induced seizure,” Medical Daily reported. Though Ne-Yo has caused her great pain, she claims she doesn’t dislike the pop star or his music.

The Strange Case of Stillborn Births

Again we present not a single mystery, but a number of related and long-standing mysteries instead. Earlier this year, English researchers confirmed that male babies are more likely to be stillborn than females — significantly so. While scientists believe this gender disparity results from some biological source, they have not yet identified an exact or even a plausible cause. Usually cases are accounted for in vague, uncertain terms, while one quarter of the total are said to arise from unknown origin. Sadly, one aspect of this unsolved puzzle is clear: 100,000 male babies die in this manner every year.


The Strange Case Of A Man’s Rotating Heart

“After surviving traumatic injuries due to a motorcycle crash in Italy, an X-ray and CT scan revealed that a 48-year-old man’s heart had rotated 90 degrees to the right within his body,” Medical Daily reported. What’s unique about the case is that while the heart rotated, the man remained awake and alert. Doctors say the accident itself did not cause this strange rotation, it most likely occurred within the hour following the crash when a punctured lung caused air to be released into the space around his chest. Draining the air 24 hours later, his doctors were able to turn the man’s heart back to its original position. Astoundingly, his heart was uninjured by this extreme event.

The Strange Case Of A Man Who Speaks Mandarin

Of all the cases described here, this is the one that might prompt you to say, I wish! In 2012, after waking up from a week-long coma resulting from a car crash, Ben McMahon of Melbourne, Australia, appeared to have lost some of his English-speaking abilities. However, upon seeing a Chinese nurse, he began speaking fluent Mandarin. While McMahon had taken classes in high school and spent time in Shanghai, he was nowhere near fluency in the Mandarin language. No one knows for sure how this language inversion came about, but McMahon’s doctors believe the accident damaged the brain circuitry associated with speaking English, while engaging the network linked to speaking Mandarin.

9 Secrets To Lasting Weight Loss

9 Secrets To Lasting Weight Loss

Armed with these simple tips, you canpainlessly shed pounds.

Mindful eating may not be a mainstream weight-loss tactic (yet), but that doesn’t mean it’s unsupported by science. In a 2013 Kent State University study, researchers found that mindfulness strategies — for example, paying close attention to the taste and smell of food, and attending to hunger and fullness — significantly increased people’s satiety after a meal. Another study showed that dieters who still practiced mindfulness techniques after completing a weight-loss program continued dropping weight. So how can you bring these skills to the table to drop pounds? Start with these secrets to success, gleaned from the new book 20 Pounds Younger.

Eliminate distractions.

We live in a world where the ability to multitask is considered résumé-worthy. But eating while working, answering e-mails, or doing other tasks can make you consume more than you need. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who played solitaire during lunch felt less full than undistracted eaters and ate significantly more when offered cookies just half an hour later. So make your meal strictly about eating: Banish the TV, iPad, smartphone, or book from the table—period.

Pay attention to portions.

People who eat mindlessly often prefer to remain in a state of ignorance, with no knowledge of serving sizes or the number of calories in foods. But in order to give your body what it needs, you need to face the facts. “How many M&Ms is a portion? How many chips?” says Lesley Lutes, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at East Carolina University. “Take it out, put it on your plate.” In her experience, people are often surprised — in a good way. “They thought a portion was just three or four chips,” she says. “They felt so guilty about what they were eating that they’d just stick their hand in the bag and keep eating. But we want you to celebrate food.” The first step? Understanding — and consciously choosing — what you eat.

Put your food on display.

When you eat straight out of the bag, what happens? (1) You don’t stop eating until the bag is empty, and (2) you have no idea how much food you actually shoveled in. “People consume a lot more calories if they’re not focused on the food,” says Lutes. “Seeing the food — and seeing the portion size — actually helps you feel more full.” So regardless of how much or how little you’re eating, use a plate or a bowl. That way, your mind will register that you’re eating — and you’ll expand the sensory experience (and pleasure) of your meal. “We eat first with our eyes,” says Katie Rickel, PhD, a clinical psychologist and weight-loss expert who works at a weight-management facility in Durham, North Carolina. “We have to gain some pleasure from the visual appearance of food — otherwise, watching Food Network shows would be totally boring.” (This is also why we like to post our meals on Instagram.) Another trick that helps some people: Leave a bit of food on your plate. By conditioning yourself to stop eating before the empty plate signals that you’re “full,” you’ll gain the confidence that you can overcome visual cues to keep eating.

Appreciate your food.

I know it seems hokey, but before or during your meal, take a moment to think about where your food came from — for example, “This piece of fruit started as a seed, which was planted by a farmer or blown by the wind. Sunlight gave that seed the energy to grow, then someone tended the plant as it matured, harvested the fruit, and delivered it to me.” “This makes the experience more whole, rather than just stuffing food into your mouth without thinking about it,” says Rickel. Plus, it’s much easier to trace the path of “real” food than it is the heavily processed stuff, which may actually be a little gross to think about in too much detail. “This could probably help you choose cleaner, more whole foods,” she says.

Start off eating slowly.

You probably think eating mindfully means eating at a snail’s pace. But that’s only true in the beginning. “For teaching purposes, we slow it down,” says Jennifer Daubenmier, PhD, an assistant professor at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. “But with practice, you don’t necessarily have to eat in slow motion.” As Rickel points out, “If you took every single bite of every single meal mindfully, then you wouldn’t get anything else done during the day.” So sure, when you’re learning to be mindful, it’s helpful to slow down your shoveling. But eventually, tuning in to the experience of eating will become so second nature that you won’t have to dine at a grandma pace. One easy way to help you keep a reasonable pace: Put your utensils down and your hands in your lap between bites.

Pretend you’re a food critic.

Your job isn’t just to hoover down the food on your plate — you have to take note of the presentation, the nuances of every flavor, and how satisfying each item is. “When you bite into a grape, all of these juices come out — and there are sensations you’d totally miss if you just stuffed a handful of grapes into your mouth,” says Rickel. “Try to follow the first bite down your esophagus and into your belly, and take a moment to notice whether you feel one grape more energetic.” In mindful eating workshops, people first practice this with just three or four raisins. “That really brings people’s attention down to their sen- sory experience,” says Daubenmier. “They really notice the texture, the smell, and the thoughts that come up.”

Observe your inner experience.

You can drag out your meal for two hours, but all of that extra time doesn’t mean a thing if you aren’t paying attention to what’s happening inside your body and mind. To truly be mindful, you need to take note of every sensation and urge:How do I know when I’m hungry? What sensations do I experience? What does it feel like when I’m emotionally, but not physically, hungry? How do I know when I’m full? 

Eat how much you need — not how much you think you should. 

A lot of factors probably contribute to the size of your meals: how much you put on your plate, what others around you are eating, and — if you’re dieting — guilt about what you think you should do. But the truth is, only your body can tell you how much you need to consume. In mindful eating programs, “people think the idea is to get them to stop after one bite,” says Lutes. “But we want you to eat what you want, but be mindful of it, actually enjoy it, and not feel guilty about it.” In other words, if your body’s signals are telling you to continue eating, then you have no reason to feel bad about doing so.

Try to be mindful every time you eat. 

You can eat mindfully at a buffet, a birthday party, or during Thanksgiving dinner. The key: Let your friends or family members do the talking at the start of the meal, buying you a few moments to take a mindful bite or two. Mini meditations are perhaps the easiest way to put this into practice. Before you eat, analyze your level of hunger and any emotions you’re bringing to the table, and take a few deep breaths to help you focus on the food in front of you. (Some people find it helpful to close their eyes, but you don’t have to.) About halfway through the meal, check in again, noticing the decrease in hunger and increase in fullness you’re experiencing. This is a good time to answer the questions, “Do I really need to keep eating?” and “Am I satisfied?”

The most censored health news stories of 2014 – here’s what the establishment doesn’t want you to remember.

2014 was a year in which we watched the mainstream media devolve into a spot-on depiction of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, engaging in White House-ordered news story blackouts, CDC-inspired anti-health propaganda that endangered the public and corporate-funded disinfo campaigns disguised as news.

But what were the biggest health-related censored news stories of the year? That’s what this Natural News article is all about. Consider it a short list of things the establishment doesn’t want you to remember actually happened.

Remember: The purpose of the mainstream media — which is really the state-run, corporate-backed propaganda mouthpiece — is not to keep you informed but rather to keep you in a state of obedient ignorance of what’s really going on in the world around you. The censorship of important news stories is a key element in this scheme, and it is vigorously pursued to make sure the public doesn’t find out about real-world events, discoveries or scandals the establishment is trying to bury.

Censored story #1) CDC whistleblower admits vaccines linked to autism

In August of 2014, a high-level CDC scientist named William Thompson went public with an admission that he and other scientists knowingly committed scientific fraud at the CDC. This was done, Thompson explained, to bury any public knowledge of the scientific evidence linking vaccines and autism.

In a public letter posted on the website of his legal counsel, Thompson wrote:

I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected…

Along with this admission, Natural News also exclusively released two secret emails further implicating the CDC and its top scientists and executives. You can read those emails here.

Following this astonishing revelation — clearly one of the biggest medical fraud stories of the decade — the entire mainstream media blackballed the story and shamelessly decided to take part in a media-wide cover-up. To this day, there isn’t a single mainstream media outlet that has reported the scientific fraud that was committed at the CDC and openly admitted to by the CDC’s own scientist.

Interestingly, it wasn’t long after this took place that the CDC got caught lying over and over again about Ebola transmission vectors. In the later months of 2014, the CDC’s “authority” and reputation took a nose dive as the American public came to quickly realize the agency lied far more often than it told the truth (see below).

The CDC even memory-holed its own document which originally admitted Ebola can be spread through aerosolized particles. In response to this schizophrenic behavior of the CDC, we decided to have some fun with the concept here at Natural News and released a parody CDC guidance document that encouraged Americans to do things like spend extra time scrubbing their middle fingers. (See the parody document here – PDF.)

What we really learned about the mainstream media this year, however, is that all stories revealing scientific fraud at the CDC will be systematically suppressed.

The media, in other words, is a CDC protection racket.

Censored story #2) The ongoing Ebola outbreak in America

When the Ebola outbreak story first broke in the United States, the mainstream media was all over it. Stories ran 24/7, with regular updates on hospitals testing patients for possible Ebola infections and round-the-clock coverage of the Ebola outbreak in a Dallas hospital.

But in the run-up to the mid-term elections in which Democrats looked to get crushed, the White House put out an order to the national media: No more Ebola stories.

And just like that, coverage of Ebola dropped to absolute zero. Across the nation, the entire mainstream media censored nearly all stories about Ebola in the USA on orders from the federal government. Sure, they still reported on Ebola in Africa — that seems really far away to the average brainwashed TV news viewer — but no stories of Ebola in the United States were allowed. The cover-up was now under way, and it has continued to this day despite the fact that the CDC is still tracking 1,400 possible Ebola infections in the United States.

You won’t read that story in the mainstream media, of course. You’re not allowed to know this information. All you’ll get in the mainstream media is laughably absurd statements from the Obama administration’s most ridiculous talking heads such as “Ebola czar” Ron Klain who said yesterday that the CDC is “a national treasure.”

You heard that right. Sort of like Mt. Rushmore or the Grand Tetons. The same CDC that conspires with drug companies to push toxic vaccines laced with mercury onto pregnant women is a “national treasure” according to the comical talking heads on the news. These are the same people who share million-dollar government paychecks with the likes of Obamacare architect and MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, the man who openly explained how the wildly unconstitutional law was constructed in a “tortured way” to exploit “the stupidity of the American voter.”

Three things you need to realize about the obedient, contrived media

This orchestrated nationwide censorship demonstrated three very revealing things about the mainstream media:

#1) The media is wholly obedient to the dictates of the federal government. Whatever the White House orders the media to do, it will obediently and blindly follow.

#2) The media has utterly abandoned real journalism. When the national press is beholden to the government and unwilling to run stories of public interest that the White House doesn’t want run, it is no longer a “free press” but a pathetic mouthpiece of the establishment.

#3) The purpose of the media is to shape the awareness of the public, not to inform the public. It essentially functions as a massive sleight-of-hand stage magician, encouraging you to look in one direction while not seeing the subterfuge taking place in the other direction. Once an Ebola vaccine becomes commercially viable, of course, you will see the national press running a full-on campaign of scary-sounding Ebola stories, with each one strongly urging everybody to get vaccinated.

All these reasons explain why so many people are turning off the mainstream media and tuning in to alternative media sources where the White House and the CDC can’t control the content. If you want to know the truth about infectious disease, don’t believe anything you see or read in the mainstream media. Nearly 100% of that information is CDC propaganda.

Censored story #3) Toxic heavy metals in organic rice protein

Early in 2014, I announced the launch of the Natural News Forensic Food Lab which features high-end ICP-MS analytical instrumentation that can detect heavy metals and minerals down to 1 part per billion.

With the help of chemists, I learned how to run this instrumentation and began running heavy metals analysis on foods, superfoods, nutritional supplements and more. In this process, I discovered alarming concentrations of lead and cadmium in the rice protein being imported from China and used across the natural products industry in the United States, sold as “raw, sprouted organic rice protein” superfood.

This was a huge story in the alternative media, and it caused an uproar in the industry where manufacturers quickly responded with efforts to source cleaner raw materials. I personally negotiated with North America’s top organic protein manufacturers and reached an historic agreement to limit heavy metals concentrations in these products. (I’ll be testing all the proteins again in early 2015 and reporting the results to see what improvements have been achieved).

This huge story — with massive public health implications — was ignored by virtually the entire mainstream media. The reason, I was later told, was because no media organization wanted to give Natural News any credibility as a “science” organization conducting scientific laboratory assessments of food… even though that’s exactly what we were doing. If the same research had been done at a university, I was told, it would have made huge headlines and been widely reported.

Natural News, you see, is not allowed to be mentioned in any positive light in the mainstream media for the simple reason that we oppose mercury in vaccines, the psychiatric drugging of children, unlabeled GMO food, toxic fluoride in municipal water supplies, the spraying of toxic chemical pesticides on food, and so on. These positions are unacceptable to the corporate-controlled “puppet media” (i.e. mainstream media) whose stories are almost 100% driven by either corporate or government interests. Those interests, of course, are 100% aligned with the chemical poisoning of the population — and it is precisely this chemical poisoning that dumbs people down to a low enough IQ where they can watch shows like CNN or MSNBC and actually believe they’re watching news.

The one exception to all this is the Dr. Oz Show. Doctor Oz invited me on the show to reveal my laboratory findings to his global audience, and that became one of the most popular shows of 2014. Thanks to Dr. Oz, the secret was out about heavy metals in rice protein, herbs from China and even some cacao powders.

I find it interesting that Dr. Oz is now being viciously attacked and slandered by the pharma-controlled mainstream media. Apparently, the media is totally panicked that Dr. Oz has the courage to actually tell the truth.

In today’s “scientific dictatorship” of genetically modified news, so to speak, no actual truth is allowed. The only “truth” that’s allowed to be published by the establishment actually consists of outrageous quack science lies such as “mercury in vaccines is good for pregnant women” or “chemical pesticides are harmless to humans” or even “there is no link between vaccines and autism.” (Even the CDC’s own top scientists know there’s a link.)

Censored story #4) Vaccines intentionally laced with sterilization chemicals for population control

Here’s another story you didn’t see in the mainstream media. A pro-vaccine group called the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association discovered that 2.3 million women in Kenya were injected with UNICEF / WHO vaccines laced with sterilization chemicals.

“We sent six samples from around Kenya to laboratories in South Africa. They tested positive for the HCG antigen,” Dr. Muhame Ngare of the Mercy Medical Centre in Nairobi told LifeSiteNews. “They were all laced with HCG.”

As I wrote on November 8, 2014:

HCG is a chemical developed by the World Health Organization for sterilization purposes. When injected into the body of a young woman, it causes a pregnancy to be destroyed by the body’s own antibody response to the HCG, resulting in a spontaneous abortion. Its effectiveness lasts for years, causing abortions in women up to three years after the injections.

Dr. Ngare explained “…this WHO campaign is not about eradicating neonatal tetanus but a well-coordinated forceful population control mass sterilization exercise using a proven fertility regulating vaccine.”

There was absolutely no mention of this genocidal vaccine campaign by the mainstream media in the United States. The story was completely blacked out, just like a related story on another vaccine in Italy killing 13 people and being pulled by the government.

In fact, it is official policy across all mainstream media organizations to:

1) Censor all stories of vaccine injuries, deaths, contamination and sterilization schemes.

2) Mindlessly promote all vaccines as miracle medicines, with the complete absence of critical thinking or real investigative journalism.

The one notable exception to all this was an Associated Press investigation into the wildly unconstitutional vaccine injury court currently running in America, where parents of children who are directly damaged by vaccines must wait ten years or more to receive a financial payout. And as part of that payout, they must agree to never speak to the press about their child being damaged by vaccines.

The AP deserves real credit for having the courage to investigate this story. Apparently real journalism is still alive and well in some sectors of the AP and, at times, even Reuters. My sense is that there are journalists everywhere who are dying to engage in real journalism but are stifled by their corporate bosses. Anyone who attempts to print the truth about vaccine-damaged children is quickly threatened or fired from their jobs.

Five signs that a media organization has sold you out

So how can you tell whether a media organization can be trusted to tell you the truth about real-world events? Here are five red flags that indicate an organization has sold you out:

Sign #1) Blind obedience to the vaccine industry or biotech industry
If the news organization is constantly promoting pro-vaccine or pro-biotech stories while refusing to ask intelligent, skeptical questions about those subjects, they can’t be trusted. You’ll even find this to be true among some “alternative” publications that try to position themselves as alternative news but have actually been bought out by Bill & Melinda Gates money. Wikipedia also demonstrates blind obedience to the vaccine and biotech industries because it has largely been taken over by “biotech gangs” of sock puppet editors who pose as “volunteers” but are actually paid by corporations to spread disinformation.

Sign #2) Blind obedience to the White House / Obama worship
The blind worship of authority is another sign that something is terribly wrong with that news outlet. A real press would hammer the White House with tough questions, not kow-tow to a dictatorial tyrant that routinely violates the laws of the land.

Sign #3) Participates in organized censorship of important stories such as the CDC vaccine whistleblower
Every large news organization that refused to cover the CDC vaccine whistleblower story has already abandoned any shred of real journalism or ethical reporting. This was one of the biggest health stories of the decade with implications for tens of millions of people. A large nationwide dialog needs to take place over this issue right now, even as we are headed for a future where 50% of the children will become autistic by the year 2025 according to some estimates. Vaccines clearly play a role in this equation, so why is the mainstream media covering up a huge whistleblower admission from the CDC’s own top-level scientist? Shameless.

Sign #4) Receives large advertising revenues from drug companies
Any news organization that’s largely driven by ad revenues from drug companies has also abandoned all ethics. There is no legitimate justifiable reason for drug companies to advertise doctor-prescribed patented medicines directly to the public, and the practice is illegal almost everywhere else in the world. Media organizations that contribute to this practice in the United States are collaborating in a horrific mass over-medication epidemic that harms American children and senior citizens while bankrupting cities, businesses and private households due to skyrocketing health insurance costs (which are directly calculated from prescription drug prices and prescribing trends).

Even worse, the money influence over the mainstream media allows drug companies to dictate the content of their articles, which is exactly why the media is so gung-ho about promoting medications all the time.

Sign #5) Parrots the same canned news of every other mainstream news outlet
The biggest sign that a news organization shouldn’t be trusted is the mindless parroting of the exact same news that every other mainstream organization is pushing. When you see the same contrived story published over and over again across a hundred or more mainstream newspapers, you know the story is being fed to them from an outside source. This “outside source” is usually the White House, the CDC, a corporate press release or some other piece of total propaganda that’s crafted and distorted to look like news.

Very few media organizations conduct actual journalism anymore. Most so-called “stories” are just corporate press releases re-written without any fact-checking or due diligence whatsoever.

Where to get uncensored news: The rise of the Alternative Media

Just as the economic middle class is disappearing in the western world today, so is the “knowledge middle class.” With each passing year, we’re seeing an expanding divide between those who are totally ignorant of reality (people who watch cable news networks) and those who are well informed (people who read alternative news websites).

People who watch mainstream cable news broadcasts have become functionally retarded in their lack of practical knowledge about the way the world really works. They don’t know, for example, that what you eat affects the health outcome you experience. They think flu shots really work. They think guns are so dangerous that they magically go off by merely being touched. These people believe chemotherapy helps them heal, vitamins are dangerous and that General Mills breakfast cereals are nutritious because they are fortified with small metal shavings known as “iron fortification.”

It’s important to understand the mindset of the mainstream media in feeding all this theater to the gullible public. Content censors and story fabricators who occupy the top positions in media are fully aware that they are running a theatrical production largely based on fiction, but they figure anyone stupid enough to believe what they’re broadcasting is probably deserving of the lies they’re being fed anyway. It’s all a grand joke being played out on the public, and I’ve personally heard from more than one ex-journalist who told me things like, “Day after day we couldn’t believe the public was still swallowing what we were broadcasting… so we just kept going.”

People who read the alternative media websites, on the other hand, know that almost everything in media and government is a charade… a Hunger Games-like theater of the absurd, where everything is contrived, staged or manipulated to further the interests of either a powerful corporate sponsor or a power-hungry government that wants to dominate its people. The liberal media was all over this charade when Bush was in charge and contrived evidence was whipped up regarding “weapons of mass destruction,” but as soon as their own guy (Obama) occupied the White House, they became rapid supporters of the very same class of absurd fictions such as “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” and “Obamacare will make health insurance affordable for everyone!”

Alternative news readers are the best-informed people

Alternative news fans, on the other hand, know things that clueless mainstream news consumers will never understand: Fluoride is a toxic waste pesticide chemical from China that’s dumped into the U.S. water supply. The vaccine injury court is a sham that denies Americans their constitutional right to due process. The cancer industry doesn’t want to cure cancer; it wants to profit from it. Fresh raw milk is good for you. Vaccines are laced with heavy metals, toxic chemicals and sometimes even hidden cancer viruses. The CDC works for the pharmaceutical industry and once approved a polio vaccine that may have caused up to 98 million Americans to be injected with cancer-causing viruses. The Federal Reserve is part of a private global banking cartel that profits from the systematic theft of purchasing power via relentless currency debasement. And a global debt collapse is coming because it is mathematically inevitable.

Those who are well informed by reading the alternative media usually have trouble being around mindless mainstream media consumers because it’s difficult to have an intelligent conversation with them. Where to even begin? You can’t tell them things like “America has conspired with Saudia Arabia to launch a petrodollar currency war against Russia” because people who watch mainstream news stations have no knowledge of currency wars, the petrodollar, the history of America’s collaboration with the anti human rights Saudi kingdom, and so on.

Similarly, you can’t delve in to the physics of why concrete-and-steel buildings don’t just magically collapse pancake-style from a few office fires, because they’ve been trained to cognitively reject all laws of physics that conflict with the myths which have been drilled into their heads by the mindless media. Trying to explain reality to a mainstream media news consumer is a lot like trying to teach a pig to sing: you waste your time and annoy the pig.

No, the zombies who are hypnotized and indoctrinated by mainstream media have to escape their mental prisons on their own. It’s a process that some can achieve and others can’t, for whatever reason. But it’s a process that can’t be forced on anyone. If people want to eat their genetically modified junk food, get injected with mercury-laced flu shots and believe that Obama is a friend of the U.S. Constitution, then they have a long journey ahead of them if they want to learn anything at all about the way the world really works.

Viral ‘Quad Mom’ Ashley Gardner Gives Birth to Quadruplets .

Last fall, Ashley Gardner’s priceless expression went viral when her husband snapped a photo of her as she found out she was pregnant with two sets of identical twins.

And now, after a little more than 29 weeks, the babies have arrived via cesarean section.

“Mom and babies are doing incredible!!!” the family wrote on its Facebook account, A Miracle Unfolding — Gardner Quadruplets. “We are so happy with how everything turned out today! The doctors, nurses, and staff were incredible!! More updates to follow soon!!”

PHOTO: The quadruplets are actually two sets of identical twins, which is so rare that its odds are 1 in 70 million.
 The quadruplets are actually two sets of identical twins, which is so rare that its odds are 1 in 70 million.

The smallest baby was just less than two pounds, and the rest were more than two pounds, according to the Facebook page. All four newborn girls have dark hair, it said.

“Mama is doing great and Dad is over joyed!” the Facebook page read.

The Pleasant Grove, Utah, couple had tried to have children for years but Ashley Gardner, 27, hadendometriosis, making conception difficult. So they underwent in-vitro fertilization and had two embryos implanted. But the embryos split, creating two sets of identical twins. In a natural birth, the chances of this happening is one in 70 million.

PHOTO: The Gardner family welcomed four babies on Sunday, when doctors delivered their rare quadruplets via C-section.

 The Gardner family welcomed four babies on Sunday, when doctors delivered their rare quadruplets via C-section.
PHOTO: Ashley Gardner was shocked when she learned she was having quadruplets.

Ashley Gardner was shocked when she learned she was having quadruplets.

Health and medicine 2014: Ebola, MERS, surgeon general, hepatitis C, Obamacare.

What else happened besides the Ebola outbreak?

Ebola and E-Cigarrettes.
Ebola and e-cigarettes, two of the most important medical stories of 2014.

Photo illustration by Juliana Jiménez Jaramillo.

It was a weird, fascinating year for medicine. Did you know there was a mumps outbreak in the National Hockey League? Or that a man turned his amputated leg into a lamp and tried to auction it off on eBay? (Starting bid: $80,000.) I polled medical experts in a wide range of specialties to compile the 10 most important medical stories of the year.

No. 10: The NRA flexes its muscle.

Can you name our surgeon general? And where was this person during the Ebola panic? Or the Obamacare rollout? It turns out we spent much of 2014 without one—the position became vacant in July 2013—and it’s because of an errant tweet. During the vetting process, it was revealed that Obama’s nominee, a physician/entrepreneur named Vivek Murthy, had tweeted this on Oct. 16, 2012:

This led the National Rifle Association to lobby red-state Democrats to join most Republicans and vote against Murthy’s confirmation. Murthy testified that he would not pursue gun control legislation—he has no power to do so, and his primary interest is the obesity epidemic—but there were enough election-year jitters to scuttle his nomination. After the midterms, some Democrats, including Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Jon Tester of Montana, said they were willing to reconsider. Murthy was finally confirmed as the nation’s 19th surgeon general on Dec. 15.

No. 9: Human enterovirus 68 and xenophobia.

On Aug. 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was notified by a hospital in Missouri that it was noticing an increase in children hospitalized with severe respiratory illness—including many admitted to the intensive care unit. It turned out they were suffering from a somewhat obscure respiratory infection called enterovirus 68. From mid-August to Dec. 4, a reported 1,121 people in 47 states and the District of Columbia came down with it. There were three unusual things about this year’s enterovirus 68 outbreak: It was much larger than the sporadic cluster of cases that have been popping up since 2005. It appeared to be causing a poliolike syndrome that left children paralyzed. And conservative pundits erroneously tried to blame the outbreak on undocumented immigrants.

No. 8: Corporations get religion.

Hobby Lobby, the Oklahoma-based arts-and-crafts chain, challenged a new regulation requiring health insurance provided by employers to cover emergency contraceptives. The company was founded by a man named David Green, who argued that his family’s religious beliefs forbade them “from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices.”

Oral arguments at the Supreme Court in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby were heard on March 25. Three months later, on June 30, the court, citing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, ruled 5–4 that Hobby Lobby and other “closely held” corporations could exempt themselves from the law based on religious preferences.

No. 7: The rise of e-cigarettes.

The list of celebrity endorsements, paid or otherwise, is enough to make anyone skeptical: Jose Canseco, Kevin Federline, Danny Bonaduce, and Stephen Dorff. Charlie Sheen declared that he, too, wants to be involved, announcing an electronic cigarette line called “Nicosheen” in partnership with everyone’s favoriteex-con, Lenny Dykstra. They all rave about e-cigarettes, touting them as a cheap and healthy way to quit smoking. But a new study shows that e-cigarette vapors contain carcinogenic preservatives like acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, in addition to the highly addictive main ingredient, nicotine. Scores of cities chose to rewrite their laws in 2014, restricting e-cigarette use in smoke-free venues (the town of Westminster, Massachusetts, proposed banning them entirely), and experts from the world’s leading lung organizations—including the American Thoracic Society, American College of Chest Physicians, and the European Respiratory Society—released a position statement on e-cigarettes calling for them to be “banned until more about their safety is available.” Perhaps inspired by this controversy, e-cigarettes became the go-to movie prop in 2014 for villains who need to look “too slick to be trusted.”

No. 6: MERS alert.

A lethal virus called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, was first recognized in 2012 in a man in Saudi Arabia who developed kidney failure and pneumonia. On May 2, the first imported case was confirmed in the United States. Nine days later, a second case of MERS appeared in the U.S. Both cases were diagnosed in travelers from Saudi Arabia. Although the cases were unrelated, it freaked out a lot of people. There is no vaccine, no cure, and as many of 60 percent of infected patients die. By June, the virus had been confirmed in 22 countries, including the United Kingdom, Egypt, Turkey, and Austria. Scientists figured out that the virus lives in camels (and possibly bats), and aggressive infection control measures quelled the outbreak—just as another viral pandemic in Western Africa started making news.

No. 5: Flu vaccine underwhelms.

This season’s flu vaccine has been underperforming. It is less than 50 percent effective against the predominant circulating strain of influenza, called H3N2. Many commenters asked why vaccine-makers don’t include more strains—the current shot contains three or four influenza strains, depending on the brand. We could put more strains in, but that would drive the cost of the vaccine way up while providing little extra coverage. The vaccine-makers actually predicted the correct strains this year, but the predominant subtype has mutated ever so slightly, in a process called antigenic drift.

No. 4: Hacktivists hit Harvard.

This summer, Boston Children’s Hospital was targeted in a cyberattack reportedly instigated by the group Anonymous. It had to do with a highly publicized case in which a teenager named Justina Pelletier was taken into custody by child protective services because doctors were afraid she was being abused at home. Anonymous threatened the Harvard-affiliated hospital with retaliation if it didn’t take disciplinary action against certain doctors, and the group demanded the immediate return of the child to her parents. The attack started off rather mildly: Hackers posted the personal information of doctors involved in the case. Then, weeks later, the hospital was subjected to attacks affecting its Internet connectivity. The group also employed “spear phishing” emails, attempting to get health care workers to open attachments that provided a way for attackers to get behind the hospital’s firewall. The attacks ultimately subsided after members of Anonymous tweeted calls to back off.

No. 3: New drugs in the pipeline.

This was a great year for new treatment of three chronic, debilitating diseases: hepatitis C, congestive heart failure, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic and ultimately fatal lung disease characterized by a progressive decline in the ability to breathe. An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 people are diagnosed with IPF each year, and the five-year survival rate is dismal. There is no good treatment; many physicians compare it with being diagnosed with terminal cancer. In May, however, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial showed that a new drug called pirfenidone dramatically reduced disease progression, halving the rate of decline at one year of treatment. It wasn’t a cure, but it was a bright spot for patients with this devastating illness.

There are roughly 200 million people in the world with hepatitis C. Until this year they had very few treatment options, and the ones that existed—which included a gnarly drug called interferon—weren’t very effective and had lots of terrible side effects. And most of these drugs had to be administered intravenously. This year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new oral treatment called sofosbuvir, which, in combination with another drug called ledipasvir, providesremarkably high cure rates for people infected with hepatitis C, genotype 1—the most common subtype in the United States, Japan, and much of Europe. The downside? Sofosbuvir is priced between $80,000 and $160,000 for 12 weeks of therapy. Thankfully, there are more oral treatments for hepatitis C in the pipeline, which should drive the costs down.

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to sufficiently pump blood to meet the needs of the body. For 25 years, the cornerstone of treatment has included an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor. This year, a new type of drug called a neprilysin inhibitor, which prevents an enzyme called neprilysin from degrading proteins that dilate blood vessels, was shown in a landmark trial to dramatically reduce the risks of hospitalization and death for patients with heart failure when given with another drug called an angiotensin receptor blocker.

No. 2: The Obamacare rollout.

It’s unclear what the Affordable Care Act will look like (or if it will exist) in a few years, so for posterity, let’s look at how it all started. Open enrollment began on Oct. 1, 2013, offering Medicaid eligibility to citizens with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level in participating states. It also provided tax credits for private insurance purchased via marketplaces for people who weren’t eligible for Medicaid but had incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The rollout was a bit of a mess, and on April 10, Kathleen Sebelius announced her resignation as secretary of Health and Human Services.

Tens of thousands of previously uninsured Americans enrolled in health insurance exchanges, and as the year drew to a close, the Obama administration claimed victory. But on Nov. 7, the Supreme Court made the surprise announcement that it would hear King v. Burwell, the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The casehinges on the legality of the Internal Revenue Service extending tax credits to the 4.5 million people who bought their health plans in the 34 states that declined to establish their own health insurance exchanges. Expect a ruling in June.

No. 1: Coming to America: The Ebola Outbreak.

This story drowned out just about everything else having to do with medicine in 2014. Although it’s fading from the headlines now, the worst Ebola epidemic in history isn’t over. But rather than looking back, let’s look ahead at what’s to come.

As novel vaccines and treatments become available in the coming months, a practical and ethical issue will emerge: How should we use them? In particular, should we perform a clinical trial using a control group when the next promising, untested drug becomes available? Or should we just give the new drug to everyone? A well-designed, randomized trial would benefit medicine in the long term, but it might be at the expense of the people who have Ebola today. (If the new drug works and you have Ebola, you don’t want to be randomly assigned to the group that doesn’t get the drug; if the new drug turns out to be more dangerous than a lack of treatment, it could lead to even more deaths.) For the record, I think we should perform a randomized control trial when the next Ebola drug becomes available: It’s the only way we’ll really know if the new treatment actually works.

These were the 10 stories that rocked my world in 2014. Just missing the cut were a change in the approach to cancer screening and an unsuccessful trial aimed at treating high blood pressure. What stories were important to you?

Long-term proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use and the development of gastric pre-malignant lesions.

BACKGROUND: Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the most effective drugs to reduce gastric acid secretion. PPIs are one of the most commonly prescribed classes of medications worldwide. Apart from short-term application, maintenance therapy with PPIs is recommended and increasingly used in certain diseases, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, especially for people with erosive oesophagitis or Barrett`s oesophagus. Although PPIs are generally safe, their efficacy and safety of long-term use remains unclear. The question of whether the long-term use of PPIs could promote the development of gastric pre-malignant lesions has been widely investigated, but results are inconsistent. Limited insight on this problem leads to a dilemma in decision making for long-term PPI prescription.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the development or progression of gastric pre-malignant lesions, such as atrophic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia, enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cell hyperplasia, and dysplasia, in people taking long-term (six months or greater) PPI maintenance therapy. SEARCH
METHODS: We searched the following databases (from inception to 6 August 2013): the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CINAHL. In addition, we searched the reference lists of included trials and contacted experts in the field.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in adults (aged 18 years or greater) concerning the effects of long-term (six months or greater) PPI use on gastric mucosa changes, confirmed by endoscopy or biopsy sampling (or both).
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently performed selection of eligible trials, assessment of trial quality, and data extraction. We calculated odds ratios (OR) for analysis of dichotomous data and mean differences for continuous data, with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
MAIN RESULTS: We included seven trials (1789 participants). Four studies had high risk of bias and the risk of bias in the other three trials was unclear. In addition, it was difficult to assess possible reporting bias. We pooled 1070 participants from four RCTs to evaluate corporal atrophy development revealing an insignificantly increased OR of 1.50 (95% CI 0.59 to 3.80; P value = 0.39; low-quality evidence) for long-term PPI users relative to non-PPI users. In five eligible trials, corporal intestinal metaplasia was assessed among 1408 participants, also with uncertain results (OR 1.46; 95% CI 0.43 to 5.03; P value = 0.55; low-quality evidence). However, by pooling data of 1705 participants from six RCTs, our meta-analysis showed that participants with PPI maintenance treatment were more likely to experience either diffuse (simple) (OR 5.01; 95% CI 1.54 to 16.26; P value = 0.007; very-low-quality evidence) or linear/micronodular (focal) ECL hyperplasia (OR 3.98; 95% CI 1.31 to 12.16; P value = 0.02; low-quality evidence) than controls. No participant showed any dysplastic or neoplastic change in any included studies.
AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: There is presently no clear evidence that the long-term use of PPIs can cause or accelerate the progression of corpus gastric atrophy or intestinal metaplasia, although results were imprecise. People with PPI maintenance treatment may have a higher possibility of experiencing either diffuse (simple) or linear/micronodular (focal) ECL cell hyperplasia. However, the clinical importance of this outcome is currently uncertain.

Hypertension Adds to Genetic Risk in Alzheimer’s Disease

Hypertension interacts with genetic risk to increase the burden of amyloid beta (Aβ) in the brain, a new study suggests.

In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), individuals with the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 gene, indicating higher AD risk, had higher levels of Aβ, researchers report. Even in healthy control patients, the presence of hypertension and APOE ε4-positivity was associated with a greater level of Aβ in the brains of adults older than 70 years.

Despite the strong risk conferred by APOE ε4, age remains the greatest risk factor for AD, suggesting that age-related comorbidities may be important. Among them, “poor vascular health is a significant medical issue in aging populations,” Karen Rodrigue, PhD of the Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas at Dallas told delegates here at the 7th Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD).

Previous studies have implicated hypertension in this process. The Honolulu-Asia Aging Study showed a link between midlife diastolic blood pressure, levels of circulating plasma Aβ, and subsequent probable AD in Japanese-American men who were never treated for hypertension. Another study showed that a higher Framingham cardiovascular risk score correlated with a greater amyloid burden.

In the present study, Dr Rodrigue and colleagues investigated the interaction of hypertension and APOE ε4–positivity on the accumulation of Aβ in the brain.

Using data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), they studied a cognitively diverse group of 1013 adults aged 47 to 89 years and classified them as a control group (comprising individuals having neither risk factor), a genetic risk group (ε4 heterozygous or homozygous patients), a vascular risk group (patients with a diagnosis of hypertension or elevated blood pressure), or a double risk group (patients with both genetic and vascular risks).

Among the participants, 449 (44%) were ε4-positive, and 564 (56%) were ε4-negative; 65% were hypertensive (average blood pressure, 142/77 mm Hg), and 35% were normotensive (123/71 mm Hg). For all participants, complete data on APOE genotype, positron emission tomography 18F-florbetapir scans, diagnostic information for dementia, and hypertension status were available.
18F-florbetapir scan results were expressed as a standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR, normalized to cerebellar gray matter), and scan results were dichotomized according to a cutoff of 1.1, with ratios greater than 1.1 considered positive for Aβ, after adjustment for age and body mass index.

Interaction of Blood Pressure and APOE ε4

“Those individuals with the double risk with the ε4-positivity who carried a hypertension diagnosis showed the highest SUVRs,” Dr Rodrigue reported. Whereas ε4-negative individuals had a mean amyloid SUVR of 1.1 whether hypertensive or not, taken together, ε4-positive patients had an SUVR of about 1.3 if normotensive and almost 1.4 if hypertensive (APOE x hypertension interaction, P < .02).

The synergistic effect of hypertension on ε4-positivity was seen only for the group of individuals with AD (normotensive SUVR = 1.4 vs 1.5 for hypertension, P < .002). Interestingly, for the ε4-negative group of AD patients, those with normal blood pressure had higher SUVR (approximately 1.35) than hypertensive patients (approximately 1.2).


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