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Past News Items - Nov 2012


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In the News

ALCAT Worldwide Sponsors Successful Conference on Gut, Brain & Autoimmune Disorders

Israeli Innovation Shown to Demonstrate Reduction in Headaches and Neck Pain

Peer-Reviewed Clinical Study Shows New Blood Test More Accurately Predicts Risk of a Heart Attack

Metagenics Transforming Lives with a Novel Weight Loss Program

Walnuts: An Excellent Source of ALA

Natural Hormone Pellet Therapy -- An Alternative to Bad Medicine

Pycnogenol Reduces Critical Asthma Symptoms In New Clinical Trial




Released: 11/27/12


ALCAT Worldwide Sponsors Successful Conference on Gut, Brain & Autoimmune Disorders

Recently the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) hosted the successful conference in Fort Lauderdale called Gut, Brain, and Autoimmune Disorders: The Role of Food. Sponsored by ALCAT Worldwide, the two-day conference was well received by the attendees and impressive list of speakers.

ALCAT Worldwide is a division of Cell Sciences Systems, where the ALCAT Test is performed in its licensed and FDA compliant laboratory. The ALCAT Test is a simple blood test that measures the body's cellular response to a wide array of substances including foods, functional foods, medicinal herbs, food additives, food colorings, environmental chemicals, molds, pharmacoactive agents, and antibiotics. The ALCAT Test identifies the personal triggers of inflammation caused by foods and chemicals.

Some of the highly respected speakers were:

  • Alessio Fasano, MD – One of the world's leaders in Celiac Disease Research and the Director of the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research
  • David Perlmutter, MD – National Speaker, Board Certified Neurologist and Medical Director of the Perlmutter Health Center
  • William Davis, MD – Author of Wheat Belly
  • Gerard E. Mullin, MD – Director, Integrative Health Services at Johns Hopkins University
  • David Brady, ND, DC, CCN, DACBN – Director, Human Nutrition Institute at University of Bridgeport
  • Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, CHN – Author of Digestive Wellness & Digestive Wellness for Children
  • Roger Deutsch, CEO of Cell Sciences Systems, Author of Your Hidden Allergies are Making you Fat and the pioneer of the popular global ALCAT

Test spoke at the conference that was held at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.

Deutsch discussed how hidden food allergies actually make people fat and how to properly test for it. He also discussed how food allergies can effect more than weight loss and gain, which includes chronic fatigue, eczema, digestive disorders, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis and aching joints.

The scope of the presentations by experts, clinicians and scientists focused on:

  • Understanding the immunological differences between innate and specific immunity and how those differences manifest in disorders ranging from gluten and other food sensitivities to more sever manifestations, such as celiac disease.
  • Understanding what are the connections between the GI and nervous systems and how their mutual feedback mechanisms impact organism homeostasis, physical and psychological.
  • Understand diagnostic tests and clinical tools.
  • Discovering new areas of research and how these impact clinical practice.

 

Released: 11/27/12


Israeli Innovation Shown to Demonstrate Reduction in Headaches and Neck Pain

A revolutionary new device based on the principles of physiotherapy, Occiflex supports slow, repeated, and precise treatment for patients with muscle-dysfunction-related chronic pain. The Occiflex table mechanism allows physiotherapists to devise a manual mobilization file that is tailored to the needs of each patient, and, since it does not depend on the therapist's physical abilities, it can continue therapy for much longer than is standard and possible today. Plus, since each patient's therapy protocol is saved in a database, treatment can be reproduced precisely each time. The patient's file can be modified at any time, as conditions changes. The Occiflex treatment table improves the condition of the cervical joints, muscle, ligaments, and central nervous system control over the neck and head.

The Clinical Journal of Pain recently published a scientific article that describes the clinical trial conducted by Headway in the physiotherapy department of the Bnei Zion Medical Center in Haifa, Israel. The trial tested the advanced prototype developed by the company. Results indeed demonstrated a reduction of chronic neck pain in the patients and increased mobility.

According to Tamir Levital, CEO of Headway, "Occiflex will make the work of 50,000 physiotherapy and pain centers around the world more efficient and provide relief for the hundreds of millions who suffer from chronic neck pain and headaches. It will also save physiotherapists time and energy, and permit them to treat a number of patients simultaneously. The results of our trials show that Occiflex permits more precise, effective, repeated, and longer treatment than is possible today. We are very happy with the results of the trial and are getting ready to market Occiflex starting in 2013."

 

Released: 11/16/12


Peer-Reviewed Clinical Study Shows New Blood Test More Accurately Predicts Risk of a Heart Attack

Aviir Inc. announced today that a new peer-reviewed study published in the November issue of Current Medical Research and Opinion demonstrated that its MIRISK VP (formerly TruRisk™) Assessment is an improved method of determining who is likely to suffer from a heart attack within five years, allowing preventive measures to be implemented.

The study investigators analyzed more than 5,000 individuals culminating in a study that sampled blood from 1,084 individuals who had no evidence of heart disease and were followed over 8 years. The MIRISK VP algorithm was shown to correctly identify significantly more individuals who experienced a heart attack as being at high risk versus the Framingham Risk Score, the current gold standard of measuring risk. The MIRISK VP assessment was then shown to perform more accurately than the current gold standard method in a separate multiethnic study population, identifying correctly a net 43% more individuals as higher or lower risk for heart disease in the intermediate risk group. The MIRISK VP test measures the blood levels of seven coronary artery disease-related proteins associated with plaque formation and inflammation, along with other clinical risk factors, such as family history, in an algorithm to determine an individual’s risk of a cardiac event.

Tom Quertermous, MD, the principal investigator on the study, explained, "A significant number of coronary events occur in individuals classified as intermediate risk by commonly used assessment tools. Over half the individuals who experience a severe cardiac event, such as myocardial infarction or 'heart attack,' have at most one such risk factor. Individuals classified as intermediate risk that are actually at high risk may not receive the appropriate treatments and are less likely to make the medical and lifestyle changes necessary to avoid a serious cardiac event. Equally important, a significant number of individuals who are actually at low risk can avoid costly therapy and additional diagnostic testing with the MIRISK VP."

Aviir CEO Douglas Harrington, MD, explained that more than 50 percent of people who suffer a heart attack have "normal" cholesterol levels and many of those victims have no significant narrowing of their arteries.

"A key indication of risk, aside from age, family history and other common clinical clues, is the presence of vulnerable plaque in the arteries," said Harrington. "That plaque can rupture at any time, causing clotting that can lead to an acute myocardial infarction. In fact, over 75% of cardiac events are caused by vulnerable plaque rupture. It has been shown that about 80% of heart disease is preventable. The information that MIRISK VP provides is significant to giving both the patient and physician the knowledge necessary to head-off a potentially life threatening event through both medical and lifestyle choices. In addition," concluded Harrington, "the power of the multiethnic and gender demographics in this study allows more accurate risk assessment for specific real-world subgroups that face either greater or less risk than the subset of white males that has been the predominant population in past risk studies.

"A clinically useful method for accurately predicting 5-year risk of a serious cardiac event among intermediate risk patients has been an unmet medical need; however, the results of this study indicate that the MIRISK VP assessment, with its novel protein biomarkers, is a powerful prediction tool and an important step towards improved patient knowledge and care."

 

Released: 11/14/12


Metagenics Transforming Lives with a Novel Weight Loss Program

Metagenics announced the creation of a new, clinically tested weight loss program called FirstLine Therapy Healthy Transformation, and will be hosting a seminar series detailing this program throughout the United States from January 26 to March 10. This novel lifestyle medicine seminar entitled “Transforming Lives with a Clinically Tested Weight Loss Program” will be presented in Boston, Washington, DC, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta, and Houston.

More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults in the US are obese. On average, overweight or obese Americans have participated in at least five weight loss programs. Many report disappointment and weight regain.

At this exciting new seminar, Dr. Joseph J. Lamb and other lifestyle medicine practitioners who have successfully implemented a healthy weight loss program will discuss the distinct advantages of FirstLine Therapy Healthy Transformation for obese patients who have previously failed to achieve desired results. He will also explore the science behind the development of the program and how the nutritional components facilitate weight loss.

At this unprecedented seminar series, clinicians will discover:

  • A clinically designed dietary modification plan to promote weight loss
  • Innovative nutritional support strategies to enhance diet and other lifestyle recommendations
  • Recent clinical research demonstrating program success

For more information on how to register, visit metagenics.com/seminars.

 

Released: 11/13/12


Walnuts: An Excellent Source of ALA

A meta-analysis published in the recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition evaluates how the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) offers protective effects on cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The study found ALA to be associated with a lower risk of CVD, particularly coronary heart disease (CHD) death.

These findings support the potential heart health benefits of ALA and suggest consumers should obtain adequate amounts of ALA in their diets. Walnuts are a key source of ALA and the only nut that provides a meaningful amount of the essential plant-based omega-3 fatty acid offering 2.5 grams of ALA in a mere handful.

This systematic review incorporated 27 original studies and included 251,049 individuals and found that overall ALA exposure was associated with lower risk of CVD. In fact, in the pooled dietary analysis, each 1 gram per day increment of ALA intake was associated with a 10 percent lower risk of CHD death. Previously, the majority of research funding of omega-3 fatty acids have been directed towards marine sources, however recently increased attention has been given to its plant-based counterpart ALA, and has been suggesting that ALA consumption also offers cardiovascular benefits.

The researchers believe that there may be a direct or indirect antiarrythmic effect of ALA that could partially explain why ALA appeared protective against CHD. Previous studies have found ALA consumption may lower cholesterol levels, positively affect thrombosis, improve endothelial function and decrease inflammation.

The type of omega-3s found in walnuts and other plant sources are different from the type of omega-3s found in fish. According to Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at The Pennsylvania State University, consumers need to understand the nutritional benefits of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. She notes that "research is showing that the effects of ALA may have unique and independent benefits important to our wellbeing."

Cardiologist Dr. James Beckerman finds this study extremely noteworthy and suggests people include more ALA rich food sources into their diet to promote heart health and potentially lower the risk of fatal cardiac events. "Given that plant sources of ALA are cheaper and more accessible to many people as compared to omega-3 fatty acids from fish, this study expands our arsenal to fight heart disease with safe and well tolerated dietary interventions that are easy for people to incorporate into their lifestyles," notes Dr. Beckerman.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM), which establishes nutrient requirements, recommends that people should consume 1.1 to 1.6 grams a day of ALA which can easily be attained. "Eating a handful of walnuts, for example, is a great way to boost your ALA intake. In just a handful, or ounce of walnuts you get well over the amount of ALA recommended by the IOM, not to mention a whole host of additional nutrients," states Dr. Kris-Etherton. In addition to ALA, walnuts have high antioxidant content, along with numerous micronutrients that Dr. Kris-Etherton thinks may work together synergistically.

For more industry information, health research and recipe ideas, visit walnuts.org.

 

Released: 11/09/12


Natural Hormone Pellet Therapy -- An Alternative to Bad Medicine

For eight decades subcutaneous hormone pellet therapy has been utilized in patients. Currently hormone pellet therapy is used to treat peri-menopause, menopause, and andropause patients in five continents. The safety and efficacy of both estrogen and testosterone pellet therapy has been documented throughout the world's peer reviewed journals.

In 2002, the initial data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) revealed an increased risk of breast cancer, venous thrombosis (VTE), heart attack and stroke from the use of PremPro, a synthetic estrogen and progestin. Although the flaws from this study have been published many times, it continues to be held as the "gold standard" for hormone replacement therapy. It seems as the investigators from this study continue to want to scare the patients and their physicians into using hormone replacement sparingly and only for short durations. All the WHI study has done is reduce the quality of life for millions of women.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), in its Committee Opinion 352 from December 2006, and reaffirmed in 2012, stated that medicine cannot advance without innovation. Examples of innovation include robotic surgery, chorionic villous sampling, vaginal birth after cesarean section, and continuous birth control pills to treat endometriosis. The ACOG Opinion went on to say a clinician should share their results with colleagues and teach these techniques to other physicians. ACOG believes innovation should move to clinical trials. After Dr. Greenblatt introduced subcutaneous hormone pellet therapy in 1939 there have been numerous clinical trials to support the efficacy and safety worldwide. The fact that subcutaneous hormone pellets are used across the United States and in five continents by Board Certified Ob-Gyn's, Family Physicians, and Urologists attest to its standard of care.

The ACOG Committee Opinion 532, dated August 12, 2012, calls into question just how the committee could overlook the large number of studies performed worldwide on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and conclude that hormone replacement therapy is no longer indicated for long term health improvement. They state there is a lack of evidence to support superiority claims of bio-identical hormones over conventional menopausal hormone therapy.

In the background section of the Committee Opinion it says the belief that replacing hormones lost by waning ovarian function was dispelled by the WHI. This is complete nonsense and is not subscribed to by the majority of Board Certified Ob-Gyn's. The WHI looked at only two drugs: PremPro and Premarin. They are both synthetic hormones and both are oral preparations. The risk of blood clots and breast cancer was known prior to the study by numerous other clinical trials. Medroxyprogesterone acetate, the synthetic progestin, also increases risk of breast cancer; in fact we knew that it's caused breast tumors in beagle dogs in the 1950's. Most gynecologists had moved on to safer preparations including transdermal, oral bio-identical and subcutaneous hormone therapy prior to 2002.

The ESTHER Study from France published in Circulation in 2007, showed oral, not transdermal estrogen, was associated with VTE. None of the studies utilizing subcutaneous hormone pellet therapy have shown an increase risk of VTE, heart attack, stroke, or breast cancer. In addition, the WHI did not utilize any of these preparations and therefore conclusions about subcutaneous hormone pellet therapy cannot be made based on WHI data. Ronald Young, MD, a prominent Houston Ob-Gyn, and an investigator in the HERS Study and the WHI, in a recent interview agreed the WHI was flawed. He stated you just don't give estrogen in those doses to women at that age (average age of women in WHI was 64) very often.

Most importantly, the Committee Opinion does say that compounding is used to provide treatment for patients when the exact product needs are not commercially available or different routes of administration are required. In order to appropriately balance hormones, individual dosing is necessary and requires multiple pellet doses for estradiol and testosterone. In addition, only subcutaneous hormone pellets achieve constant blood levels. This is exactly what the Committee was addressing. They go on to say other potential advantages include greater dosing flexibility and lower dose preparations. I totally agree with ACOG on this point. Furthermore, subcutaneous hormone pellets contain FDA approved compounds without fillers. They can be and should be tested by an independent lab for purity and potency, allaying one of ACOG's concerns, and meeting the litmus test for proper dosing.

The real issue here is that the opinion in this report deals with estrogen and progesterone and does not deal with the treatment of hypo-testosteronism in females or males. Safety and efficacy have been established by multiple clinical studies for 80 years. There is no study to support the Committee Opinion that FDA approved hormones are more efficacious than individualized compounded hormones. In fact, the FDA still allows the sale of PremPro knowing the serious side effects from this synthetic preparation. Safety of statins and bisphosphonates has all been called into question during the last year. Worldwide, subcutaneous hormone pellet therapy has an eight decade safety net that has never been called into question. On the Committee's list of FDA approved products, testosterone is missing. Yet, Testopel is an FDA approved hormone.

The Committee opinion, again, is just an opinion about hormone replacement therapy and it is certainly not speaking to the benefits of subcutaneous hormone pellet therapy which does benefit long term health by conferring benefits to the brain, heart, lipids and bones. Newer research seems to be showing long term benefits to the breast as well.

It seems to me that the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology had it right back in 2006. Innovative medicine is a dream that becomes reality when backed up by clinical studies. At a time in our history when aging healthier and living happier is of paramount importance to most men and women, we must as clinicians do everything possible to facilitate this. Not balancing hormones, scaring patients and disseminating myths from the WHI is bad medicine. Balancing hormones and using the safest most physiologic delivery method to achieve this is not alternative medicine, but an alternative to bad medicine.

 

 

Released: 11/08/12


Pycnogenol Reduces Critical Asthma Symptoms In New Clinical Trial

Study shows natural supplement improves allergic asthma management: helps asthma patients reduce inhaler dosage, sleep awakenings and doctor visits

A new study gives hope to the almost 25 million Americans suffering from asthma. Those afflicted with asthma know the discomfort of asthma symptoms, particularly dependence on an inhaler and awakening suddenly at night struggling to breathe.

 

The study, published in Volume 53 of Panminerva Medica, found that natural supplement Pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all) – an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree – improved control of allergic asthma, reducing night awakenings caused by asthma symptoms by nearly 50 percent. Asthma patients who used Pycnogenol experienced reduced dependence on inhalation corticosteroid (ICS), which is commonly administered through an inhaler, and required less visits to a doctor due to asthma symptoms.

 

The study, conducted at the Department of Biomedical Sciences at University of Pescara, Italy examined 76 patients, aged 25 – 45 years, with mild to moderate allergic asthma to dust mites. Provocation with dust mite allergen was carried out to confirm allergen specificity. During the study participants were split into two groups. One group was given 100 mg of Pycnogenol per day in addition to sustaining their use of ICS. The other group continued their use of ICS without additional supplementation. Daily ICS dosage and common asthma symptoms were evaluated in participants of both groups throughout a six month period. The study found that:

 

  • Pycnogenol supplementation allowed for lowering the daily required ICS dosage in 55 percent of participants. In the control group only 6 percent of patients were able to control their asthma with a lower steroid dosage, while 19 percent had to switch to a higher regimen to control their asthma.
  • In the Pycnogenol group use of a salbutamol rescue inhaler was required, on average, every fifth day, while in the control group inhalers were required, on average, every second day to deal with sudden asthma symptom flare-ups.
  • Pycnogenol reduced night awakenings caused by asthma symptoms to only half the frequency as before, while no significant change was found for the control group.
  • Pycnogenol lowered the amount of days with a more than a one asthma score, which is a measure used to evaluate asthmatic patients' degree of respiratory distress.
  • Pycnogenol decreased frequency of consultation by a general practitioner or specialist by asthma patients.

"Managing asthma allows those suffering from this critical condition to experience less of the uncomfortable symptoms of asthma, enabling them to live a better quality of life," said Dr. Fred Pescatore, an internationally recognized health expert and author of the best selling book The Allergy and Asthma Cure.

 

"Pycnogenol has offered my patients with asthma a healthy way to effectively manage this condition by reducing their use of multiple medications and occurrence of critical symptom episodes."

 

This study joins a wealth of other research regarding the benefits of Pycnogenol® for asthma management in both adults and children with mild to moderate asthma. Previous research has demonstrated the natural supplement's antioxidant activity and powerful anti-inflammatory properties that work to combat the inflammatory processes of the bronchi that cause them to constrict and swell, making breathing difficult. Pycnogenol was shown in three clinical studies to lower leukotriene values, inflammatory mediators responsible for asthma symptoms, to some extent also inallergic rhinitis (hay-fever).

 

Asthmatics experience periods of wheezy breathing and breathlessness with intervals of relative or complete freedom from symptoms. Antigenic substances such as pollen, mite in house dust and animal hair may challenge the immune system leading to airway obstruction, while chemical irritants like tobacco, smoke, and air pollution may also trigger symptoms. Pycnogenol normalizes the immune response that can starve off harmful inflammation such as in asthma as well as hay-fever.

 

"This study gives promising news to asthma patients seeking natural ways to complement their medication in order to better control their asthma symptoms, and confirms that Pycnogenol offers a natural solution that is not only effective but also safe," said Dr. Gianni Belcaro, a lead researcher of the study.

 

 

 

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