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Jeff Hartvigsen
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Do You Over Wash Your Clothes?

Steve: Textile scientists believe most people wash their clothes way too often.

It isn't so much that bacteria don't populate your clothing, they most certainly do. But that doesn't mean you have to wash your clothes. It's a bit overkill because it's your bacteria. It's supposed to be on your skin. And so if it's on your clothing, and your clothing puts it back in contact with your skin, that's just where that bacteria is supposed to be.

The Alliance for Water Efficiency sponsors one of the only researchers in the world whose focuses on examining how skin microflora grows in textiles, and how odorous molecules interact with the fibers. In other words, she studies stinky clothing.

The average American family washes almost 400 loads of laundry a year, which accounts for up to 40 percent of overall water consumption in a typical four-person household.

And then there's the wear and tear on your favorite items. Each wash cycle degrades the fibers of your clothing. Consider denim, one of the most popular garments worldwide. Excessive laundering means faster thinning of the fabric and loss of color, especially in areas like the thighs and butt that already rub when worn.

According to the research, jeans worn for a year without washing are about as dirty as jeans worn for two weeks.

If your clothes smell? Wash them. That's a pretty legitimate reason.

Inflammation: Resolve It. Don't Block It.

Bonnie and Steve: To date, there is no longer any doubt that chronic disease states can also be referred to as inflammatory disease states. This has been confirmed by a number of major health associations ranging from the American Heart Association, to the American Diabetes Association as well as groups concerned about a range of issues from auto-immune diseases to chronic fatigue syndrome to fibromyalgia - and in each case we've discussed, there is clear association with the inability to resolve the inflammatory status of the condition and resulting poor outcomes.

So what?

The clinical 'so what' means: 1) underlying inflammation must be managed and controlled before the condition specific issue can be managed, 2) managing inflammation requires RESOLVING it and NOT Blocking it and 3) by incorporating this two pronged approach will support improved outcomes more effectively and consistently.

But the real take home message to the question of 'so what?' is: knowing that resolution is a specific independent pathway that results in greater control and true resolution of inflammation - and as an independent pathway, requires the use of specific nutritional therapy in the use of specific pro-resolving mediators (SPMs).

How do we manage all this?

First, as we've discussed before, blocking inflammation to the point of reducing inflammatory markers and responses (reflective of changes in PGE2, IL1b, IL6 and others) only serves to render the resolution pathway inactive. This means we have masked the symptom, perhaps suppressed pain responses but have not solved the underlying or root cause and response to the problem of inflammation. Thus, moderate suppression of a normal inflammatory response can be used in conjunction with SPMs to help optimally activate a resolution response.

This first step is particularly important in individuals with chronic pain, who are obese, have insulin resistance, or may be pre-diabetic. These particular patient segments have been shown to be deficient in their availability of SPMs to help activate the resolution pathways while at the same time are also not able to convert other metabolites to the active forms of resolvin mediators.

The second step is making sure that a clinically effective therapeutic approach is taken. Recent clinical observations have shown that for the hyper-inflamed patient with these chronic disease states, a 4 week regimen using higher doses of SPMs can help begin to resolve the inflammation. Subsequent monitoring of the patient over the next 4 to 8 weeks can then help assess progress and result in lowering use of SPMs down to what would be considered a maintenance and/or preventive dose.

Lastly, with resolution actively being managed, more focus can then be taken toward the condition itself and addressing specific, and classic, biomarkers of the selected chronic disease state can then be achieved.

So, blocking inflammation should be minimized and only mildly suppressed while preferentially managing the resolution of inflammation.

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New Research

Acid Reflux
Those with long-term PPI use have an alteration in their gut microbiome, which pre-disposes them a higher risk of developing Clostridium Difficile infection, according to a study in the November issue of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Blocking gastric acid with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) is associated with an increased risk of iron deficiency, researchers report from the November issue of Gastroenterology. Gastric acid facilitates iron absorption, so anything that interferes with gastric acid would be expected to have an impact on iron absorption.

Children and adolescents reporting stimulant medication use had lower DXA measurements of the lumbar spine and femur compared with nonusers. The findings in the December issue of JAMA Pediatrics support the need for future prospective studies to examine the effects of stimulant use on bone mass in children.

Canadian researchers have developed a simple saliva test for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. According to the study in the November issue of Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the test is based on detecting levels of amyloid beta 42, a peptide fraction of amyloid-beta protein precursor.

The repeated or lengthy (3 hours) use of general anesthetic and sedation drugs during surgeries or procedures in children younger than 3 years or in pregnant women in the third trimester may affect the child's developing brain, the FDA warned recently.

Men with prostate cancer who are treated with testosterone-lowering drugs (androgen deprivation therapy) are twice as likely to develop dementia within five years as prostate cancer patients whose testosterone levels are not tampered with. The study was published in the October issue of JAMA Oncology.

New research, from the 2016 American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual conference, confirmed that children whose mothers used antibiotics during pregnancy had 22.2% higher rates of asthma, most often for urinary tract infection during the first two trimesters.

According to an article in Medscape, fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins, and macrolides appear to be the most common classes of antibiotics to induce changes in mental status.

"Hi, Bonnie, I noticed your warning about Lyrica. It is a horrible drug. My ex-husband was given this drug without his knowledge as routine after a total knee replacement (while under dialysis care for failing kidneys). The knee replacement went great but he almost died bleeding to death from Lyrica. The nurse at the rehab center showed me the medication list and my ex-h never took that drug. They immediately took him off and saved him from bleeding to death at Glenbrook. I had immediately called the surgeon's nurse, and I doubt they ever used that drug again on anyone. They (Rush Hosp) treated him like a king after that. Thank God all is well now. As far as I know, that drug is used for all types of nerve pain. I didn't realize it was for anxiety. Renate"

Antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), not can cause weight gain and sexual side effects, but can significantly disrupt sleep architecture in elderly patients and may contribute to early signs of neurodegeneration that can progress to dementia, according to research presented at the Institute of Psychiatric Services: The Mental Health Services 2016 Conference.

Antidepressants don't work for more than half of the clinically depressed people who try them, according to a study in American Journal of Psychiatry. Researchers found that four supplements: omega-3 fish oils, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), methylfolate (bioactive form of folate) and vitamin D3 were all associated with boosts in the effects of medication.

Medical cannabis for pain management that is administered with an inhaler is now available in Israel. This is the first time the medical cannabis sector has complied with pharmaceutical standards for inhalation, which is the most efficient means for administering the plant.

Newer pharmacological treatments for constipation are superior to placebo in relieving constipation, but many patients remain constipated. All five treatments: methylnaltrexone, naloxegol, lubiprostone, prucalopride or linaclotideare, were accompanied by no change or a possible increase in the prevalence of abdominal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and flatulence in some patients. The results were published in the October issue of BMJ Open Gastroenterology.

As a result of an updated review in December, the FDA concluded that use of the type 2 diabetes medicine pioglitazone (Actos, Actoplus Met, Actoplus Met XR, Duetact, Oseni) may be linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer.

According to a study from American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, E-cigarettes are known to deliver chemicals toxic to the lungs, including oxidant metals, glycerol vapor, diketone flavoring compounds and nicotine. The study found that when compared to those who never tried e-cigarettes, the risk of the respiratory symptoms was approximately 85 percent higher among past users, and double among current users.

Prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen modestly increases the risk for hearing loss in older women, according to findings in the December issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The FDA issued guidelines recently detailing the data makers of sunscreen sold over the counter need to produce to prove the ingredients in the products are safe and effective.

The guidance is the latest step aimed at settling longstanding questions about the safety of potential new ingredients in sunscreen. Companies will need to provide data from a so-called "maximal usage trial" to determine whether the ingredient is absorbed into the blood and, if so, to what degree - the same standard used by the FDA for all topically applied drugs.

Synthetic Thyroid
Using levothyroxine to treat subclinical hypothyroidism should be considered on a patient-by-patient basis and be started only after at least two thyroid-stimulating-hormone (TSH) tests show an abnormal result, urge a group of clinicians concerned about overuse of the drug.

Researchers from Mayo Clinic, reported recently in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology that levothryoxine is the most prescribed drug in the United States, yet overt hypothyroidism is at between 0.2% and 2.0% of the population, and its incidence is stable.

An emerging strain of yeast, Candida auris, has been found in nine countries and possibly the US, and has sickened hundreds of people.

This particular strain is especially deadly, with only one-third of patients surviving the infection. The resistant yeast can also jump from patient to patient within a hospital.

Researchers say that drug-resistant fungi have arisen largely as a result of the use of fungicides on crops.

Fiber a Key to Longevity?

Bonnie and Steve: Most people know that a diet high in fiber helps to keep us "regular." Now researchers in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences have uncovered a surprising benefit.

Using data compiled from a population-based study that examined more than 1,600 adults aged 50 years and older for long-term sensory loss risk factors and systemic diseases, they found that out of all the factors they examined, which included a person's total carbohydrate intake, total fiber intake, glycemic index, glycemic load, and sugar intake, it was the fiber that made the biggest difference to what the researchers termed "successful aging."

Successful aging was defined as including an absence of disability, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases including cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke.

Those who had the highest intake of fiber or total fiber actually had an almost 80 percent greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life over a 10-year follow-up. That is, they were less likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression, and functional disability.

While it might have been expected that the level of sugar intake would make the biggest impact on successful aging, the particular group they examined were older adults whose intake of carbonated and sugary drinks was quite low. So this must be taken into account.

Fiber keeps your colon healthy and provides fuel for probiotics to flourish, so these results should not come as a surprise.

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Combat mental and physical fatigue

Astaxanthin has been found to be simultaneously effective against both mental and physical fatigue in a new study from Journal of Clinical Therapeutics & Medicines.

Participants took 12 mg. of astaxanthin or placebo for eight weeks in the double­-blind, placebo­-controlled study. Researchers induced fatigue and stress, similar to that encountered in daily life. There was a mental challenge, where individuals were subjected to a number of timed calculations and a physical test with a bicycle ergometer. Metrics of fatigue were assessed both before and after the stressor tests.

Those taking the astaxanthin exhibited improvements in clarity of thinking, concentration, motivation, and mood. Irritation and feeling of body heaviness were reduced. In the calculation test, an increase in errors observed in the placebo during the second half of the test was almost eliminated in the astaxanthin group. Supplementation with astaxanthin also significantly reduced salivary cortisol, a biomarker for stress.

For those with a yellow or red SOD2 gene (see your Pure Genomics genetic chart), astaxanthin may be especially helpful for daily mental and physical fatigue.

Vaccine Update

Another case series of rare chronic symptoms among young females seen after vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) has been reported in the medical literature, this time from Italy. The paper was published in the August issue of Immunologic Research. This latest case series joins other similar reports from other countries that have been published in the medical literature. The latest symptoms fit in with a recently described phenomenon known as autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA syndrome). The theory behind the syndrome suggests that postvaccination conditions, which are rare but have been chronicled among multiple individuals receiving different vaccines, might be the consequence of some immune dysfunction, putatively activated by the adjuvant (aluminum) rather than by the actual bacteria/virus antigen.

In Japan, lawyers acting on behalf of girls and young women who still have symptoms, including pain disorders, after vaccination against HPV are now planning a class-action suit against the Japanese government, which launched a national vaccination program, and the two manufacturers of the vaccines - Merck & Co (Gardasil) and GlaxoSmithKline (Cervarix), according to a March 30th report in The Japan Times.

The long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited, new research from mBio suggests. Currently, seasonal flu vaccines are designed to induce high levels of protective antibodies against hemagglutinin, a protein found on the surface of the influenza virus that enables the virus to enter a human cell and initiate infection. New research found that higher levels of antibody against a different flu surface protein, neuraminidase, were the better predictor of protection against flu infection and its unpleasant side effects. Neuraminidase, which is not currently the main target antigen in traditional flu vaccines, enables newly formed flu viruses to exit the host cell and cause further viral replication in the body.

The World Health Organization recommends the flu vaccine only for those who are at risk of dying from the complications of the flu. They admit that, in the healthy population, it is at best only modestly effective at preventing the flu.

A recent article published in Medscape solidly questions the effectiveness of universal immunization against the flu. The authors, Dr. Eric A. Biondi, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and Dr. C. Andrew Aligne, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pediatrics, director of The Hoekelman Center, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry in New York, reviewed medical studies by the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the effectiveness of universal immunization. Positive results, in healthy people, were rare. Indeed, in 2000, the CDC conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. They found that, in healthy people, it was no more effective than placebo. Surprisingly, even in the elderly population the effectiveness of widespread vaccination was questionable.

Evidence suggests that routine vaccinations can have nontargeted effects on susceptibility to infections and allergic disease. Researchers in the April issue of Allergy tested the hypothesis that delay in vaccines containing diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) is associated with reduced risk of food allergy and other allergic diseases. Children with delayed DTaP had less eczema and less use of eczema medication.

Researchers in Clinical Infectious Diseases are challenging the convention that tetanus and diphtheria vaccine boosters need to be administered every 10 years. We have always been told to get a tetanus shot every 10 years, but actually, there is very little data to prove or disprove that timeline. When they looked at the levels of immunity among adults, they realized that antibody titers against tetanus and diphtheria lasted at least 30 years without the need for further booster shots, after completing the standard five-dose childhood vaccination series.

Chicken Pox/Shingles
Ever since the introduction of varicella (chicken pox) vaccination in children, there has been debate regarding its effect on varicella zoster virus (shingles) in adults. Patients presenting with shingles seems to be increasing in number at younger ages (5 years less than previously evaluated), according to a study in the March issue of British Journal of Ophthalmology.

In rare instances, there is a link between the chickenpox and shingles vaccine and corneal inflammation. It is a finding the researchers in American Academy of Ophthalmology say should be discussed by primary care physicians and patients with a history of eye inflammation before getting vaccinated.

Pertussis/Whooping Cough
A 5-month pertussis outbreak in a Florida preschool with a high vaccination rate, was detailed in an January issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Alarmingly, the highest case rate, 48%, occurred in one class where all 17 pupils had received the full series pertussis vaccines.

The Tdap booster is meant to protect against pertussis, or whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria. The journal Pediatrics study found it protected about 69% of adolescents against whooping cough in the first year after vaccination, but protection dropped to 57% of adolescents in the second year, then 25% and 9% in the third and fourth years after vaccination, respectively.

Why Do Healthy People Die Young?

Bonnie and Steve: 65 scientists in seven countries recently recorded age-related changes to human DNA, calculated biological age, and estimated a person's lifespan. According to the results, published September 28th in the journal Aging, a higher biological age, regardless of chronological age, consistently predicted an earlier death.

Chronological age refers to the actual time a human has been alive, while biological age refers to how old that human seems.

Researchers analyzed the DNA in blood samples collected from more than 13,000 people in the United States and Europe.

Applying a variety of molecular methods, including an epigenetic clock, the scientists measured the aging rates of each individual. The clock calculates the aging of blood and other tissues by tracking methylation, a natural process that chemically alters DNA over time. By comparing chronological age to the blood's biological age, the scientists used the clock to predict each person's life expectancy.

They discovered that 5 percent of the population ages at a faster biological rate, resulting in a shorter life expectancy. Accelerated aging increased these adults' risk of death by 50 percent at any age.

For example, two 60-year-old men, Peter and Joe, both smoke to deal with high stress. Peter's epigenetic aging rate ranks in the top 5 percent, while Joe's aging rate is average. The likelihood of Peter dying within the next 10 years is 75 percent compared to 60 percent for Joe.

The finding may explain why some individuals die young, even when they follow a nutritious diet, exercise regularly, drink in moderation and don't smoke.

The study validates the use of DNA methylation function as a biomarker for biological age.

Pure Genomics
For those of you who have already participated in our Pure Genomics screening, you know how important methylation is. Specifically, how important it is to know the genetic deficiencies within your methylation cycle and apply therapies to harmonize your epigenetic messages.

This study is proof positive that no matter how healthy your lifestyle is, if you leave impaired methylation unattended, biological aging may accelerate.

We have found that Pure Genomics helps our clients immeasurably:
Reaffirmation for why you should continue to adhere to your optimal diet and lifestyle. Genes are the deepest layer of individualization. When you are doing incredibly well despite numerous genetic deficiencies, it provides a strong deterrent for falling off the wagon.
Creates the last thrust of motivation for someone who is having trouble adhering to his or her diet and lifestyle protocol.
Connects the dots for family disease history so that preventive planning can be implemented for future generations.
Wonderful addition for new clients, especially to make sure they get nutrients they can absorb.
Research now shows that evaluating the methylation cycle may mitigate the effects of biological aging. What more can you ask for?

Signs and Symptoms of Leaky Gut

Steve: The intestinal barrier is actually incredibly thin - just a single layer of epithelial cells separates the intestinal lumen from the underlying tissue. All these cells are held together by junctions that play a crucial role in regulating what is allowed to cross the intestinal barrier.

In today's environment, our gut is continually exposed to substances that undermine its integrity. Pesticides, food additives, excess sugar, NSAIDs and antibiotics are just some of the culprits in promoting widespread loss of healthy barrier function.

Gluten is certainly one of the first things we look at if you present with these selected symptoms and conditions:

-Abdominal distention
-Abdominal pain
-Brain fog
-Celiac disease
-Crohn's disease
-Food intolerance
-Irritable Bowel Syndrome
-Migraine headaches
-Ulcerative colitis

There are many layers to leaky gut that need to be uncovered based upon individual needs. Luckily, the gut can be healed and your body can be brought back into balance with dietary and lifestyle vigilance.
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