‘Hangxiety’: why alcohol gives you a hangover and anxiety


A few drinks can relax you – but, says scientist David Nutt, that morning-after feeling is the booze playing tricks with your brain
Want to avoid ‘hangxiety? Then drink less
Want to avoid ‘hangxiety? Then drink less.

If you are looking forward to your first stiff drink after a dry January, be warned: it may feel bittersweet. You may feel you deserve an alcoholic beverage after toughing it out all month – but have you forgotten what it feels like to wake up haunted by worries about what you said or did the night before? These post-drinking feelings of guilt and stress have come to be known colloquially as “hangxiety”. But what causes them?

David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London, is the scientist who was fired in 2009 as the government’s chief drug adviser for saying alcohol is more dangerous than ecstasy and LSD. I tell him I have always assumed my morning-after mood was a result of my brain having shrivelled like a raisin through alcohol-induced dehydration. When Nutt explains the mechanics of how alcohol causes crippling anxiety, he paints an even more offputting picture.

Alcohol, he says, targets the Gaba (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptor, which sends chemical messages through the brain and central nervous system to inhibit the activity of nerve cells. Put simply, it calms the brain, reducing excitement by making fewer neurons fire. “Alcohol stimulates Gaba, which is why you get relaxed and cheerful when you drink,” explains Nutt.

The first two drinks lull you into a blissful Gaba-induced state of chill. When you get to the third or fourth drink, another brain-slackening effect kicks in: you start blocking glutamate, the main excitatory transmitter in the brain. “More glutamate means more anxiety,” says Nutt. “Less glutamate means less anxiety.” This is why, he says, “when people get very drunk, they’re even less anxious than when they’re a bit drunk” – not only does alcohol reduce the chatter in your brain by stimulating Gaba, but it further reduces your anxiety by blocking glutamate. In your blissed-out state, you will probably feel that this is all good – but you will be wrong.

The body registers this new imbalance in brain chemicals and attempts to put things right. It is a little like when you eat a lot of sweets and your body goes into insulin-producing overdrive to get the blood sugar levels down to normal; as soon as the sweets have been digested, all that insulin causes your blood sugar to crash. When you are drunk, your body goes on a mission to bring Gaba levels down to normal and turn glutamate back up. When you stop drinking, therefore, you end up with unnaturally low Gaba function and a spike in glutamate – a situation that leads to anxiety, says Nutt. “It leads to seizures as well, which is why people have fits in withdrawal.”

It can take the brain a day or two to return to the status quo, which is why a hair of the dog is so enticing. “If you drank an awful lot for a long time,” says Nutt, “it might take weeks for the brain to readapt. In alcoholics, we’ve found changes in Gaba for years.”

To add to the misery, the anxiety usually kicks in while you are trying to sleep off the booze. “If you measure sleep when people are drunk, they go off to sleep fast. They go into a deeper sleep than normal, which is why they sometimes wet the bed or have night terrors. Then, after about four hours, the withdrawal kicks in – that’s when you wake up all shaky and jittery.”

Imbalances in Gaba and glutamate are not the only problem. Alcohol also causes a small rise in noradrenaline – known as the fight-or-flight hormone. “Noradrenaline suppresses stress when you first take it, and increases it in withdrawal,” says Nutt. “Severe anxiety can be considered a surge of noradrenaline in the brain.”

Another key cause of hangxiety is being unable to remember the mortifying things you are sure you must have said or done while inebriated – another result of your compromised glutamate levels. “You need glutamate to lay down memories,” says Nutt, “and once you’re on the sixth or seventh drink, the glutamate system is blocked, which is why you can’t remember things.”

If this isn’t ringing any bells, it may be because hangxiety does not affect us all equally, as revealed by a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. Researchers quizzed healthy young people about their levels of anxiety before, during and the morning after drinking alcohol. According to one of the authors, Celia Morgan, professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter: “The people who were more shy had much higher levels of anxiety [the following day] than the people who weren’t shy.” The team also found a correlation between having bad hangxiety and the chance of having an alcohol use disorder. “Maybe it’s playing a role in keeping problematic drinking going,” says Morgan.

One theory as to why very shy people might be more at risk of hangxiety and alcoholism is the possibility that alcohol’s seesaw effect on Gaba levels is more pronounced in them. Their baseline Gaba levels may be lower to start with, says Morgan. “It could also be a psychological effect – people who are more highly anxious are more prone to rumination, going over thoughts about the night before, so that’s another potential mechanism.”

However, the study’s findings have wider implications – after all, most drinkers lean on alcohol as social lubrication to some degree.

The bad news is that there seems to be little you can do to avoid hangxiety other than to drink less, and perhaps take painkillers – they will at least ease your headache. “Theoretically, ibuprofen would be better than paracetamol,” says Nutt, “because it’s more anti-inflammatory – but we don’t know how much of the hangover is caused by inflammation. It’s something we’re working on, trying to measure that.”

Morgan suggests trying to break the cycle. “Before drinking in a social situation you feel anxious in, try fast-forwarding to the next day when you’ll have much higher anxiety levels. If you can’t ride that out without drinking, the worry is that you will get stuck in this cycle of problematic drinking where your hangxiety is building and building over time. Drinking might fix social anxiety in the short term, but in the long term it might have pretty detrimental consequences.” Exposure therapy is a common treatment for phobias, where you sit with your fear in order to help you overcome it. “By drinking alcohol, people aren’t giving themselves a chance to do that,” says Morgan.

But there might be hope for the future. Nutt is involved in a project to develop a drink that takes the good bits of alcohol and discards the damaging or detrimental effects. “Alcosynth”, as it is currently called, drowns your sorrows in the same way as alcohol, but without knocking the Gaba and glutamate out of kilter. “We’re in the second stage of fundraising to take it through to a product,” he says. “The industry knows [alcohol] is a toxic substance. If it was discovered today, it would be illegal as a foodstuff.”

Until Alcosynth reaches the market, Nutt says his “strong” message is: “Never treat hangxiety with a hair of the dog. When people start drinking in the mornings to get over their hangxiety, then they’re in the cycle of dependence. It’s a very slippery slope.”

A compound found in Kiwi may prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease


https://speciality.medicaldialogues.in/a-compound-found-in-kiwi-may-prevent-non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/

Mothers-to-be, take note: Obesity during pregnancy can double risk of fatty liver in teens


Children of obese mothers are twice as likely to develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as teenagers, says a new study. Also, children fed infant formula milk before completing six months of breastfeeding have a 40% likelihood of getting the disease.

Obesity
Newborns who had obese mothers at the start of pregnancy were twice as likely to develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as teenagers.

A study has warned that newborns, who had obese mothers at the start of pregnancy, were twice as likely to develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as adolescents.The study also found that adolescent children of women, who were obese at the start of pregnancy, were twice as likely to have NAFLD, while those fed with infant formula milk before completing six months of breastfeeding, had a 40% increased likelihood of NAFLD.

NAFLD is the most common liver disorder in developed countries, affecting up to one in four adults. It occurs when fat accumulates within the liver cells in people who do not consume excessive alcohol, and is commonly associated with obesity and insulin resistance.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when fat accumulates within the liver cells in people who do not consume excessive alcohol, and is associated with obesity and insulin resistance. (Shutterstock)

Lead investigator Oyekoya T Ayonrinde from the University of Western Australia, Perth, said that there have been studies into the benefits of breastfeeding on other diseases, but there is little information about benefits of breastfeeding linked to liver disease.

Dr Ayonrinde added that the team therefore examined records of Australian adolescents to establish whether infant nutrition and maternal factors could be associated with the subsequent diagnosis of NAFLD. The team performed liver ultrasound on more than 1,100 adolescents aged 17 years and were followed even before their birth.

The study found that NAFLD was diagnosed in about 15% of the adolescents examined. 94% had been breastfed as infants. The duration of breastfeeding before starting supplementary milk was four months in 55% and six months in 40%.

The researchers explained that this study further provided additional reasons to support opportunities for women to breastfeed their infants for at least six months while delaying the start of infant formula milk. “This study further supports the need to encourage comprehensive healthy lifestyles before and during pregnancy and prolonged exclusive breastfeeding for the long-term health benefits of future generations,” the team concluded.

The research has appeared in the journal of Hepatology.

Pump provides liver disease relief


pump diagram
The rechargeable pump sits underneath the skin and can be switched off at night

Patients at the Royal Free Hospital in London are testing a device that provides relief from a common side-effect of liver disease.

The pump siphons off excess fluid that can build up in the abdomen after liver failure and diverts it to the bladder so it can be urinated out.

A liver transplant may be the only option for patients with cirrhosis.

Doctors say the pump could buy time and may even allow the liver to recover, avoiding the need for a transplant.

“Start Quote

It can improve quality of life for patients and keep them out of hospital for longer”

Prof Rajiv Jalan

So far eight patients at the Royal Free have had one fitted.

The Alphapump sits beneath the skin of the abdomen and is connected to two small tubes that do the siphoning.

Ascites

When patients have cirrhosis, the liver and kidneys stop working properly and fluid, known as ascites, can accumulate.

Litres of fluid can gather inside the abdominal cavity, making the patient appear pregnant as well as being painful.

Patients may have to make weekly or monthly trips to hospital to have the fluid drained.

Rajiv Jalan, professor of hepatology at University College London’s institute for liver and digestive health at the Royal Free, is the doctor running the trial.

He said: “With cirrhosis, patients can accumulate litres and litres of fluid. They might need to come to hospital fortnightly to have up to 20 litres drained from their tummy.

“The pump can avoid this by draining about 15 millilitres every 15 minutes. It means they’ll pass a little bit more urine but they can turn the pump off at night.

“It can improve quality of life for patients and keep them out of hospital for longer.”

Ginger may protect the brain from MSG toxicity, says fascinating research.


For thousands of years, ginger has been hailed as a superfood for its healing properties that aid every system of the body. The oils that ginger contains are antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal, and ginger has even been found to inhibit cancer growth. Now a study has actually proven that ginger can reverse the damage done by monosodium glutamate, or MSG, a known harmful excitotoxin.

Comforting Hand

After injecting pure MSG into rats for 30 days, researchers found subsequent withdrawal caused adverse effects including significant epinephrine, norepinephine, dopamine and serotonin depletion. Low levels of these important neurotransmitters can be detrimental to health.

MSG is widely used as a cheap flavor enhancer in many processed foods. While MSG may seem tasty for the scant time that its on your tongue, every bite comes with a potential kitchen sink of negative side effects, including headaches, migraines, eye damage, fatigue, drowsiness, depression, numbness, muscle spasms, nausea, rashes, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, difficulty breathing, anaphylaxis and seizures, just to name a few.

Subsequent to injecting lab rats with MSG, researchers injected ginger root extract for 30 more days and were able to completely reverse the neurotransmitter depletion and brain damage that MSG caused. Not only that, but the positive effects of 
ginger were maintained even after scientists stopped administering it!

A wealth of independent studies show that MSG should be avoided at all costs. Also popularly printed on food labels as hydrolyzed protein, torula or autolyzed yeast, soy or yeast extract and soy protein isolate among some 40 other names, scientists have found that consuming MSG even in low doses can cause blood glutamate levels to fluctuate abnormally high and then stay there. Anyone suffering from a disease or immunity issue that would contribute to a weakened blood-brain barrier is then much more susceptible to the chemical seeping into his or her brain and doing damage. Studies have effectively linked MSG consumption to several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

In a 2008 
study published in the Journal of Autoimmunity, researchers actually concluded, “we suggest that MSG should have its safety profile re-examined and be potentially withdrawn from the food chain”.

As a cheap flavor enhancer, MSG holds more benefits for food companies than for consumers.

Despite overwhelming evidence of MSG’s detrimental health effects, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to claim the substance is “generally recognized as safe.” The FDA admits that it has received reports from people who have suffered the adverse effects from MSG, but the organization claims, “However, we were never able to confirm that the MSG caused the reported effects.”

Truth in Labeling Campaign co-founder Jack Samuels has commented that “the staff at the FDA are unbelievably fantastic in their ability to write in a way that deceives the public, but loosely based on fact. We refer to such writing as half truths. Read the FDA points carefully and you will see how MSG can be hidden in foods.”

On the other hand, ginger’s neuroprotective role can be added to a basket of healthful properties. With an oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) score of 28,811, ginger has an extraordinarily high ability to quench oxygen free radicals. After exposing breast cancer cells directly to crude ginger extract in a laboratory for example, researchers found the cells were rendered unable to reproduce. This treatment had the added benefit of leaving the healthy cells unaffected, something allopathic medicine with its chemotherapy treatments that indiscriminately target all cells, even healthy ones, cannot claim. Ginger is also a 
natural pain reliever, digestive aid and detoxifier. In short, it’s amazing.

The list of ginger’s health benefits – not just as a brain protector but as a full-body protector – cannot be overstated.

Bariatric surgery yields genetic changes among patients with NAFLD.


Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who undergo bariatric surgery may experience DNA-altering effects that can reverse their disease symptoms, according to a recent study.

Researchers evaluated snap-frozen liver biopsies collected from 18 normal controls and 18 healthy obese, 12 obese with steatosis and 15 obese with NASH patients. Follow-up biopsies were performed in seven healthy obese patients, 10 with steatosis and six with NASH at 5 to 9 months after participants had undergone bariatric surgery.

Across the groups, 467 CpG loci were methylated differently at a false discovery threshold of q=.05, with the NASH and normal liver samples as the extreme groups in PCA and heatmap analysis. Nine of 294 genes annotated to these CpGs had 5% or more methylation difference between controls and the NASH group and more than 0.2 log2 change to mRNA expression (P<.05 after correction for multiple testing). These genes code for key enzymes for insulin and insulin-like signaling and intermediate metabolism.

Investigators observed a weak but significant inverse correlation in the changes to DNA methylation between NASH samples and controls before and after bariatric surgery in the CpG loci (P=.004). Methylation was partially reversible at the HOBX1PRKCZSLC38A10 and SECTM1 loci.

Paired analysis before and after surgery indicated 113 sites with different methylation (q=.05), with strong correlations observed between the differences in the control and NASH groups and bariatric surgery (P<2.2 x 10–16). Among the sites, 80 were mapped to 32 gene loci, and researchers noted differential expression of the gene encoding protein-tyrosine phosphatase epsilon before and post-surgery.

Binding sites for TFs GRP20 (P<3.8 x 10–233), SREBP2 (P<3.8 x 10–272), PGC1A (P<1 x 10–300) and ZNF274(P<1 x 10–300) were significantly enriched in the phenotype and bariatric remodeling groups.

“While the presented study is limited … it represents a genome-wide assessment of CpG methylation in NAFLD and its dynamic change induced by the weight loss after bariatric surgery,” the researchers concluded. “Some of the candidate epigenetic driver genes may represent attractive targets for future mechanistic studies and therapeutic inventions.”

Source: Endocrine Today

Exercise Could Hold Key to Successful Cancer and Mental Health Treatment.


prevent-cancer

Mounting evidence continues to show that exercise may be a key component in successful cancer prevention and treatment. Studies have also found that it can help keep cancer from recurring, so it’s really a triple-win.

Yet not surprisingly few oncologists ever tell their patients to engage in exercise beyond their simple daily, normal activities, and many cancer patients are reluctant to exercise, or even discuss it with their oncologist. Hopefully, you will not be one of them.

Most recently, research announced at the 2013 International Liver Congress1found that mice who exercised on a motorized treadmill for an hour each day, five days a week for 32 weeks, experienced fewer incidents of liver cancer than sedentary mice.

Exercise may also be absolutely crucial in the treatment of depression, according to recent research.2 I’ve often stated this, and the science continues to support this advice.

Meanwhile, mounting evidence condemns the “evidence-based” drug paradigm, as reviews keep finding that large amounts of published drug research is either seriously flawed or outright fraudulent — motivated of course by the financial interests of the funding party.

Might Exercise Be a Key to Cancer Cure?

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a cancer that originates in your liver cells, and is one of the most common types of cancers. According to the featured article inMedical News Today,3 HCC accounts for just over five percent of all cancers worldwide, and causes an estimated 695,000 deaths annually.

According to the reported research,4 the first of its kind for this type of tumor, regular exercise may be the key to significantly reducing your chances for developing liver cancer.

The study involved two groups of mice: One group was fed a high fat diet, and then divided into two sub-groups — one that exercised and one that did not. The second group was fed a controlled diet, and also divided into sub-groups of exercise and non-exercise. According to the featured article:

“After 32 weeks of regular exercise, 71 percent of mice on the controlled diet developed tumors larger than 10mm versus 100 percent in the sedentary group. The mean number and volume of HCC tumors per liver was also reduced in the exercise group compared to the sedentary group.”

In the high-fat diet group, exercise decreased the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Professor Jean-Francois Dufour told Medical News Today:

“We know that modern, unhealthy lifestyles predispose people to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which may lead to liver cancer; however it’s been previously unknown whether regular exercise reduces the risk of developing HCC. This research is significant because it opens the door for further studies to prove that regular exercise can reduce the chance of people developing HCC.

The results could eventually lead to some very tangible benefits for people staring down the barrel of liver cancer and I look forward to seeing human studies in this important area in the future. The prognosis for liver cancer patients is often bleak as only a proportion of patients are suitable for potentially curative treatments so any kind of positive news in this arena is warmly welcomed.”

Exercise Needs to be Part of the New Standard of Care for Cancer

But the benefits of exercise are not limited to prevention alone. It can also help you recuperate faster and help prevent recurrence of cancer. A report issued by the British organization Macmillan Cancer Support5 just last year argues that exercise really should be part of standard cancer care. It recommends that all patients getting cancer treatment should be told to engage in moderate-intensity exercise for two and a half hours every week, stating that the advice to rest and take it easy after treatment is an outdated view.

According to Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support:7

Cancer patients would be shocked if they knew just how much of a benefit physical activity could have on their recovery and long term health, in some cases reducing their chances of having to go through the grueling ordeal of treatment all over again…”

Indeed, the reduction in risk for recurrence is quite impressive. For example, previous research has shown that breast and colon cancer patients who exercise regularly have half the recurrence rate than non-exercisers.8 Macmillan Cancer Support also notes that exercise can help you to mitigate some of the common side effects of conventional cancer treatment, including:

Reduce fatigue and improve your energy levels Manage stress, anxiety, low mood or depression Improve bone health
Improve heart health (some chemotherapy drugs and radiotherapy can cause heart problems later in life) Build muscle strength, relieve pain and improve range of movement Maintain a healthy weight
Sleep better Improve your appetite Prevent constipation

Exercise Can Also Benefit Your Mental Health — Even When Forced

Many recent studies have shown that exercise provides a level of protection against stress-related disorders and depression. But could it still work if it was prescribed and forced upon you, by doctor’s orders, for example; or if part of a mandatory program, such as high school students or military, who are required to participate whether they like it or not?

To find out, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder devised an animal study to determine whether rats that were forced to exercise would experience the same stress- and anxiety-reduction as those who were free to choose if and when to exercise.

The rats exercised either voluntarily or forcibly for six weeks, after which they were exposed to a stressor. The following day, their anxiety levels were tested by measuring how long they froze when placed in an environment they’d been conditioned to fear. The longer the rats remained frozen, like “a deer in headlights,” the greater the residual anxiety from the previous day’s stressor. According to the lead author:9

“Regardless of whether the rats chose to run or were forced to run they were protected against stress and anxiety. The sedentary rats froze for longer periods of time than any of the active rats. The implications are that humans who perceive exercise as being forced — perhaps including those who feel like they have to exercise for health reasons — are maybe still going to get the benefits in terms of reducing anxiety and depression.”

Could 89 Percent of ‘Landmark’ Cancer Research Be Untruthful?

Findings such as the ones above, which demonstrate the significant benefits of lifestyle changes like exercise on your physical and mental health, become all the more important in light of mounting evidence showing that conventional drug treatment research has been sorely compromised by industry funding. As discussed in a recent GreenMedInfo article,10 the alleged “groundbreaking” results of nearly nine out of 10 cancer studies cannot be reproduced by any means!

“This means that to an extent, we have based our healthcare and clinical guidelines on fake studies that reported untruthful results in order to accommodate the interests of industrial corporations,” Eleni Roumeliotou writes.

“Cancer is a major killer in US. The American Cancer Society reports that in 2012, more than half a million Americans died from cancer, while more than 1.6 million new cases were diagnosed. Given the seriousness of these statistics and the necessity of evidence-based medicine, it would make sense to trust that honest, objective research is tirelessly trying to find the best cancer therapies out there.”

Alas, this trust in the scientific rigor of medical research appears to have been misplaced. First of all, nearly three-quarters of all retracted drug studies are due to falsification of data,11 meaning it’s not even a matter of misinterpretation of data; rather the data used to draw conclusions are pure fiction. Large numbers of patients can be affected when false findings are published, as the average lag time between publication of the study and the issuing of a retraction is 39 months. And that’s if it’s ever caught at all.

Last year, former drug company researcher Glenn Begley also showed that the vast majority of the “landmark” studies on cancer are unreliable — and a high proportion of those unreliable studies come from respectable university labs. Begley looked at 53 papers in the world’s top journals, and found that he and a team of scientists could NOT replicate 47 of the 53 published studies — all of which were considered important and valuable for the future of cancer treatments!

Part of the problem, they said, is that scientists often ignore negative findings in their results that might raise a warning. Instead, they opt for cherry-picking conclusions in an effort to put their research in a favorable light. The allegations appeared in the March 28 issue of the prestigious journal Nature.12

“It was shocking,” Begley said.13 “These are the studies the pharmaceutical industry relies on to identify new targets for drug development. But if you’re going to place a $1 million or $2 million or $5 million bet on an observation, you need to be sure it’s true. As we tried to reproduce these papers we became convinced you can’t take anything at face value.”

As if that’s not disturbing enough, Roumeliotou points out that Begley was not permitted to disclose which 53 cancer studies he evaluated and found to be without scientific merit. She writes:14

“…when they contacted the original authors and asked for details of the experiments, they had to sign an agreement that they would not disclose their findings or sources. This shows that the scientists, who published the tainted research, were all along, fully aware of the discrepancies of their articles and criminally conscious of the fact that they were misleading the medical and public opinion.”

Your Lifestyle has Tremendous Influence Over Your Health and Cancer Risk…

In light of the evidence supporting the notion that lifestyle changes, such as exercise, have a profound impact on human health and diseases of both mind and body, it would be foolish in the extreme to ignore such advice. Especially when you consider that the conventional drug paradigm is riddled with unreliable and outright fraudulent research — courtesy of the financial influence of the drug industry itself, which funds the vast majority of drug research.

Studies on exercise and other lifestyle changes however are less likely to be fraudulent simply because there’s no money to be made by coming to the conclusion that exercise may be helpful — unless it was funded by a gym franchise, perhaps…

Whether you’re trying to address your mental or physical health, I would strongly recommend you read up on my Peak Fitness program, which includes high-intensity exercises that can reduce your exercise time while actually increasing your benefits.

Now, if you have cancer or any other chronic disease, you will of course need to tailor your exercise routine to your individual circumstances, taking into account your fitness level and current health. Often, you will be able to take part in a regular exercise program — one that involves a variety of exercises like strength training, core-building, stretching, aerobic and anaerobic — with very little changes necessary. However, at times you may find you need to exercise at a lower intensity, or for shorter durations.

Always listen to your body and if you feel you need a break, take time to rest. But even exercising for just a few minutes a day is better than not exercising at all, and you’ll likely find that your stamina increases and you’re able to complete more challenging workouts with each passing day. In the event you are suffering from a very weakened immune system, you may want to exercise at home instead of visiting a public gym. But remember that exercise will ultimately help to boost your immune system, so it’s very important to continue with your program, even if you suffer from chronic illness or cancer.

Source: mercola.com

Exercise Could Hold Key to Successful Cancer and Mental Health Treatment.


run

Mounting evidence continues to show that exercise may be a key component in successful cancer prevention and treatment. Studies have also found that it can help keep cancer from recurring, so it’s really a triple-win.

Yet not surprisingly few oncologists ever tell their patients to engage in exercise beyond their simple daily, normal activities, and many cancer patients are reluctant to exercise, or even discuss it with their oncologist. Hopefully, you will not be one of them.

Most recently, research announced at the 2013 International Liver Congress1found that mice who exercised on a motorized treadmill for an hour each day, five days a week for 32 weeks, experienced fewer incidents of liver cancer than sedentary mice.

Exercise may also be absolutely crucial in the treatment of depression, according to recent research.2 I’ve often stated this, and the science continues to support this advice.

Meanwhile, mounting evidence condemns the “evidence-based” drug paradigm, as reviews keep finding that large amounts of published drug research is either seriously flawed or outright fraudulent — motivated of course by the financial interests of the funding party.

Might Exercise Be a Key to Cancer Cure?

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a cancer that originates in your liver cells, and is one of the most common types of cancers. According to the featured article inMedical News Today,3 HCC accounts for just over five percent of all cancers worldwide, and causes an estimated 695,000 deaths annually.

According to the reported research,4 the first of its kind for this type of tumor, regular exercise may be the key to significantly reducing your chances for developing liver cancer.

The study involved two groups of mice: One group was fed a high fat diet, and then divided into two sub-groups — one that exercised and one that did not. The second group was fed a controlled diet, and also divided into sub-groups of exercise and non-exercise. According to the featured article:

“After 32 weeks of regular exercise, 71 percent of mice on the controlled diet developed tumors larger than 10mm versus 100 percent in the sedentary group. The mean number and volume of HCC tumors per liver was also reduced in the exercise group compared to the sedentary group.”

In the high-fat diet group, exercise decreased the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Professor Jean-Francois Dufour told Medical News Today:

“We know that modern, unhealthy lifestyles predispose people to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which may lead to liver cancer; however it’s been previously unknown whether regular exercise reduces the risk of developing HCC. This research is significant because it opens the door for further studies to prove that regular exercise can reduce the chance of people developing HCC.

The results could eventually lead to some very tangible benefits for people staring down the barrel of liver cancer and I look forward to seeing human studies in this important area in the future. The prognosis for liver cancer patients is often bleak as only a proportion of patients are suitable for potentially curative treatments so any kind of positive news in this arena is warmly welcomed.”

Exercise Needs to be Part of the New Standard of Care for Cancer

But the benefits of exercise are not limited to prevention alone. It can also help you recuperate faster and help prevent recurrence of cancer. A report issued by the British organization Macmillan Cancer Support5 just last year argues that exercise really should be part of standard cancer care. It recommends that all patients getting cancer treatment should be told to engage in moderate-intensity exercise for two and a half hours every week, stating that the advice to rest and take it easy after treatment is an outdated view.

The organization offers loads of helpful information about the benefits of exercise for cancer patients on their website, and also has a number of videos on the subject, available on their YouTube channel

According to Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support:7

Cancer patients would be shocked if they knew just how much of a benefit physical activity could have on their recovery and long term health, in some cases reducing their chances of having to go through the grueling ordeal of treatment all over again…”

Indeed, the reduction in risk for recurrence is quite impressive. For example, previous research has shown that breast and colon cancer patients who exercise regularly have half the recurrence rate than non-exercisers.8 Macmillan Cancer Support also notes that exercise can help you to mitigate some of the common side effects of conventional cancer treatment, including:

Reduce fatigue and improve your energy levels Manage stress, anxiety, low mood or depression Improve bone health
Improve heart health (some chemotherapy drugs and radiotherapy can cause heart problems later in life) Build muscle strength, relieve pain and improve range of movement Maintain a healthy weight
Sleep better Improve your appetite Prevent constipation

Exercise Can Also Benefit Your Mental Health — Even When Forced

Many recent studies have shown that exercise provides a level of protection against stress-related disorders and depression. But could it still work if it was prescribed and forced upon you, by doctor’s orders, for example; or if part of a mandatory program, such as high school students or military, who are required to participate whether they like it or not?

To find out, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder devised an animal study to determine whether rats that were forced to exercise would experience the same stress- and anxiety-reduction as those who were free to choose if and when to exercise.

The rats exercised either voluntarily or forcibly for six weeks, after which they were exposed to a stressor. The following day, their anxiety levels were tested by measuring how long they froze when placed in an environment they’d been conditioned to fear. The longer the rats remained frozen, like “a deer in headlights,” the greater the residual anxiety from the previous day’s stressor. According to the lead author:9

“Regardless of whether the rats chose to run or were forced to run they were protected against stress and anxiety. The sedentary rats froze for longer periods of time than any of the active rats. The implications are that humans who perceive exercise as being forced — perhaps including those who feel like they have to exercise for health reasons — are maybe still going to get the benefits in terms of reducing anxiety and depression.”

Could 89 Percent of ‘Landmark’ Cancer Research Be Untruthful?

Findings such as the ones above, which demonstrate the significant benefits of lifestyle changes like exercise on your physical and mental health, become all the more important in light of mounting evidence showing that conventional drug treatment research has been sorely compromised by industry funding. As discussed in a recent GreenMedInfo article,10 the alleged “groundbreaking” results of nearly nine out of 10 cancer studies cannot be reproduced by any means!

“This means that to an extent, we have based our healthcare and clinical guidelines on fake studies that reported untruthful results in order to accommodate the interests of industrial corporations,” Eleni Roumeliotou writes.

“Cancer is a major killer in US. The American Cancer Society reports that in 2012, more than half a million Americans died from cancer, while more than 1.6 million new cases were diagnosed. Given the seriousness of these statistics and the necessity of evidence-based medicine, it would make sense to trust that honest, objective research is tirelessly trying to find the best cancer therapies out there.”

Alas, this trust in the scientific rigor of medical research appears to have been misplaced. First of all, nearly three-quarters of all retracted drug studies are due to falsification of data,11 meaning it’s not even a matter of misinterpretation of data; rather the data used to draw conclusions are pure fiction. Large numbers of patients can be affected when false findings are published, as the average lag time between publication of the study and the issuing of a retraction is 39 months. And that’s if it’s ever caught at all.

Last year, former drug company researcher Glenn Begley also showed that the vast majority of the “landmark” studies on cancer are unreliable — and a high proportion of those unreliable studies come from respectable university labs. Begley looked at 53 papers in the world’s top journals, and found that he and a team of scientists could NOT replicate 47 of the 53 published studies — all of which were considered important and valuable for the future of cancer treatments!

Part of the problem, they said, is that scientists often ignore negative findings in their results that might raise a warning. Instead, they opt for cherry-picking conclusions in an effort to put their research in a favorable light. The allegations appeared in the March 28 issue of the prestigious journal Nature.12

“It was shocking,” Begley said.13 “These are the studies the pharmaceutical industry relies on to identify new targets for drug development. But if you’re going to place a $1 million or $2 million or $5 million bet on an observation, you need to be sure it’s true. As we tried to reproduce these papers we became convinced you can’t take anything at face value.”

As if that’s not disturbing enough, Roumeliotou points out that Begley was not permitted to disclose which 53 cancer studies he evaluated and found to be without scientific merit. She writes:14

“…when they contacted the original authors and asked for details of the experiments, they had to sign an agreement that they would not disclose their findings or sources. This shows that the scientists, who published the tainted research, were all along, fully aware of the discrepancies of their articles and criminally conscious of the fact that they were misleading the medical and public opinion.”

Your Lifestyle has Tremendous Influence Over Your Health and Cancer Risk…

In light of the evidence supporting the notion that lifestyle changes, such as exercise, have a profound impact on human health and diseases of both mind and body, it would be foolish in the extreme to ignore such advice. Especially when you consider that the conventional drug paradigm is riddled with unreliable and outright fraudulent research — courtesy of the financial influence of the drug industry itself, which funds the vast majority of drug research.

Studies on exercise and other lifestyle changes however are less likely to be fraudulent simply because there’s no money to be made by coming to the conclusion that exercise may be helpful — unless it was funded by a gym franchise, perhaps…

Whether you’re trying to address your mental or physical health, I would strongly recommend you read up on my Peak Fitness program, which includes high-intensity exercises that can reduce your exercise time while actually increasing your benefits.

Now, if you have cancer or any other chronic disease, you will of course need to tailor your exercise routine to your individual circumstances, taking into account your fitness level and current health. Often, you will be able to take part in a regular exercise program — one that involves a variety of exercises like strength training, core-building, stretching, aerobic and anaerobic — with very little changes necessary. However, at times you may find you need to exercise at a lower intensity, or for shorter durations.

Always listen to your body and if you feel you need a break, take time to rest. But even exercising for just a few minutes a day is better than not exercising at all, and you’ll likely find that your stamina increases and you’re able to complete more challenging workouts with each passing day. In the event you are suffering from a very weakened immune system, you may want to exercise at home instead of visiting a public gym. But remember that exercise will ultimately help to boost your immune system, so it’s very important to continue with your program, even if you suffer from chronic illness or cancer.

Source: mercola.com

 

Exercise Could Hold Key to Successful Cancer and Mental Health Treatment.


prevent-cancer

Mounting evidence continues to show that exercise may be a key component in successful cancer prevention and treatment. Studies have also found that it can help keep cancer from recurring, so it’s really a triple-win.

Yet not surprisingly few oncologists ever tell their patients to engage in exercise beyond their simple daily, normal activities, and many cancer patients are reluctant to exercise, or even discuss it with their oncologist. Hopefully, you will not be one of them.

Most recently, research announced at the 2013 International Liver Congress1found that mice who exercised on a motorized treadmill for an hour each day, five days a week for 32 weeks, experienced fewer incidents of liver cancer than sedentary mice.

Exercise may also be absolutely crucial in the treatment of depression, according to recent research.2 I’ve often stated this, and the science continues to support this advice.

Meanwhile, mounting evidence condemns the “evidence-based” drug paradigm, as reviews keep finding that large amounts of published drug research is either seriously flawed or outright fraudulent — motivated of course by the financial interests of the funding party.

Might Exercise Be a Key to Cancer Cure?

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a cancer that originates in your liver cells, and is one of the most common types of cancers. According to the featured article inMedical News Today,3 HCC accounts for just over five percent of all cancers worldwide, and causes an estimated 695,000 deaths annually.

According to the reported research,4 the first of its kind for this type of tumor, regular exercise may be the key to significantly reducing your chances for developing liver cancer.

The study involved two groups of mice: One group was fed a high fat diet, and then divided into two sub-groups — one that exercised and one that did not. The second group was fed a controlled diet, and also divided into sub-groups of exercise and non-exercise. According to the featured article:

“After 32 weeks of regular exercise, 71 percent of mice on the controlled diet developed tumors larger than 10mm versus 100 percent in the sedentary group. The mean number and volume of HCC tumors per liver was also reduced in the exercise group compared to the sedentary group.”

In the high-fat diet group, exercise decreased the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Professor Jean-Francois Dufour told Medical News Today:

“We know that modern, unhealthy lifestyles predispose people to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which may lead to liver cancer; however it’s been previously unknown whether regular exercise reduces the risk of developing HCC. This research is significant because it opens the door for further studies to prove that regular exercise can reduce the chance of people developing HCC.

The results could eventually lead to some very tangible benefits for people staring down the barrel of liver cancer and I look forward to seeing human studies in this important area in the future. The prognosis for liver cancer patients is often bleak as only a proportion of patients are suitable for potentially curative treatments so any kind of positive news in this arena is warmly welcomed.”

Exercise Needs to be Part of the New Standard of Care for Cancer

But the benefits of exercise are not limited to prevention alone. It can also help you recuperate faster and help prevent recurrence of cancer. A report issued by the British organization Macmillan Cancer Support5 just last year argues that exercise really should be part of standard cancer care. It recommends that all patients getting cancer treatment should be told to engage in moderate-intensity exercise for two and a half hours every week, stating that the advice to rest and take it easy after treatment is an outdated view.

Story at-a-glance

  • Modern, unhealthy lifestyles predispose you to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which may lead to liver cancer. Recent research suggests that regular exercise reduces the risk of developing liver cancer
  • Previous research has shown that breast and colon cancer patients who exercise regularly have half the recurrence rate than non-exercisers, and the cumulative evidence strongly indicates that exercise really should be part of standard cancer care
  • Many recent studies have shown that exercise provides a level of protection against stress-related disorders and depression, and recent research demonstrates that these protective benefits are induced even if the exercise is forced as a mandatory part of a program, such as doctor’s orders, school curriculum or military service
  • Mounting evidence shows that our healthcare and clinical guidelines are based in large part on fraudulent studies that report untruthful results in order to accommodate the interests of corporations. In one review, scientists could NOT replicate 47 of the 53 published studies—all of which were considered important and valuable for the future of cancer treatments
  • Source: mercola.com

 

 

Intricate Interplay.


In our latest Clinical Problem-Solving article, a 55-year-old man presented with sinus congestion, headaches, chills, mild nausea, fatigue, and a “foggy” sensation that had lasted approximately 1 week. He reported darker urine than usual and had noticed that his eyes were turning yellow.

Although generally regarded as a chronic liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis is manifested as an acute illness in about 25% of patients.

Clinical Pearls

What is the differential diagnosis for severe aminotransferase elevations?

In contrast to the broad differential diagnosis for elevations in serum aminotransferase levels that are less than 5 times the upper limit of the normal range, the causes of severe aminotransferase elevations (>20 times the upper limit of the normal range) are more limited and include Wilson’s disease, acute biliary obstruction, and viral, toxic, ischemic, and autoimmune hepatitis.

What are the two types of autoimmune hepatitis?

Two types of autoimmune hepatitis have been proposed; type 1 is defined by positive results on testing for antinuclear antibodies and smooth-muscle antibodies, and type 2 by positive results on testing for antibodies against liver-kidney microsome type 1 and liver cytosol type 1. Type 2 autoimmune hepatitis has been described mainly in children in Europe and is rare in the United States. Among patients with type 1 disease, the reported prevalence of antinuclear antibodies alone is 13%, smooth-muscle antibodies alone 33%, and both 54%. Autoantibodies develop later in the disease in some patients who are seronegative on initial evaluation. Autoantibody-negative autoimmune hepatitis is important to recognize because patients with this condition typically have a favorable response to glucocorticoid therapy.

Morning Report Questions

Q: What is the standard treatment for severe cases of autoimmune hepatitis?

A: Treatment with either prednisone alone (at a dose of 60 mg daily) or a combination of prednisone (at a dose of 30 mg daily) and azathioprine (at a dose of 50 mg, or 1 to 2 mg per kilogram of body weight, daily) is recommended in cases of severe autoimmune hepatitis, on the basis of data from randomized clinical trials; combination therapy is generally preferred because the lower dose of glucocorticoid reduces side effects. Prednisolone in equivalent doses can be substituted for prednisone. Glucocorticoids are tapered over a 4-week period to a level required to maintain a biochemical remission, and this maintenance regimen is then continued until disease resolution (defined as biochemical remission for a minimum of 24 months), unless there is treatment failure or drug toxicity.

Q: What are the characteristics of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?

A: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is one of the most common causes of asymptomatic aminotransferase elevations and chronic liver disease in Western countries. It encompasses a spectrum of disorders, from simple steatosis to fibrosing steatohepatitis that can progress to cirrhosis and its complications, including hepatocellular carcinoma. Aminotransferase levels can wax and wane, often into the normal range. Associated features include insulin resistance, central adiposity, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. The diagnosis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease requires that there is no history of substantial alcohol consumption, although the definition of substantial alcohol consumption and the effect of obesity on thresholds for the development of alcoholic fatty liver disease remain unclear. Statins can be safely used in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and, in the majority of patients with this condition, are associated with improvement in liver enzyme abnormalities.

Source: NEJM