In this video, Carole Baggerly of Grassroots Health sits down with Dr. Cedric Garland of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine’s Moore’s Cancer Center, to discuss his breakthrough paper.
Dr. Garland has introduced a revolutionary new screening for cancer that could eliminate as many as 50,000 cases of breast cancer or colon cancer each year. Using a new computer modeling system that can detect cancer based on Vitamin D levels in the blood, this early detection ability means that physicians will no longer have to wait until a tumor is actually formed in order to detect it.
Sitting down for more than six hours a day increases the risk of mortality, particularly in the case of women. This is one of the key findings in a study conducted by researchers of the American Cancer Society and published on the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The study followed a cohort of over 123 thousand relatively healthy people over a period of 14 years. Researchers say time spent sitting was independently associated with total mortality, regardless of physical activity level. The study concludes that in order to reduce the risk of mortality, it is not only recommended being physically active but also reducing time spent sitting.
Dr. Alpa Pattel, lead researcher, stated in a press release issued by the American Cancer Society that “Prolonged time spent sitting, independent of physical activity, has been shown to have important metabolic consequences, and may influence things like triglycerides, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, resting blood pressure, and leptin, which are biomarkers of obesity and cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.”
The study links the sedentary lifestyle followed by many people in the US to the obesity epidemic as well as to all-cause death rates. Greater physical activity, less sedentarism, having a balanced diet, caloric restriction, and proper consumption of nutritional supplements have all been associated with greater longevity.
Vitamin D is a “fat-soluble” vitamin produced by a small series of foods and produced within the body when ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin. A study conducted in Finland, links higher levels of vitamin D to a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
The first hypothesis thought out by scientists from the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland, was that Parkinson’s disease “may be caused by a continuously inadequate vitamin D status leading to a chronic loss of dopaminergic neurons in the brain.”
The study was published in the July issue of Archives of Neurology, and by the end of the 29-year period, in which 3,173 Finnish men and women (between the ages of 50-79) free of Parkinson’s were followed, 50 of them had acquired the illness.
The researchers said Vitamin D “has been shown to exert a protective effect on the brain through antioxidant activities, regulation of calcium levels, detoxification, modulation of the immune system and enhanced conduction of electricity through neurons,” but still haven’t been able to clarify how this nutrient influences the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Finland has limited amounts of sunlight, and so its population has constantly low vitamin D levels. After considering other elements such as the body mass of each subject and their physical activity, the subjects with the highest levels of vitamin D were found to have 67% lower risk of developing the illness than those with the lowest levels of vitamin D.
Many Americans also suffer from low Vitamin D levels, due to limited exposure to sunlight due to skin cancer concerns. Vitamin D supplements are recommended to prevent Vitamin D deficiency, which is linked to a number of health concerns including osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, muscle weakness and brain health.
At the School of Life Sciences at Lanzhou University, G.A. Liu and R.L. Zheng conducted research into the ability of polyphenols (groups of chemicals found in plants) to protect healthy cells against diseases like heart disease and cancer at the cellular level.
Seven polyphenols were studied, among them resveratrol.
DNA damage was induced by using hydrogen peroxide on human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) which is known to cause single strand breakage in DNA. The researchers then observed the ability of the seven polyphenols to protect the cells against the damage the hydrogen peroxide was invoking on the cellular DNA.
Resveratrol Provides Significant Cell Protection
Resveratrol, as well as others of the seven tested polyphenols, had a substantial impact on inhibiting cell damage. The impact was dose-dependent as higher doses were more effective in cell protection.
Some of the polyphenols, however, failed to provide any protection. In fact, only three had any effect in protecting the cells against hydrogen peroxide damage (resveratrol, quercetin, and 7.8-dihydroxy-4-methyl coumarin), but these had a big enough impact to convince the researchers that they had discovered a possible mechanism explaining resveratrol’s outstanding track record in protecting against cancer and heart disease.
G. Calabrese of the Department of Human Nutrition at Universita Cattolica in Piacennza, Italy took a close look at the health benefits of moderate red wine consumption as it might impact menopause.
Leading up to this 1999 study, there was a great deal of literature surrounding the health benefits of resveratrol, a polyphenol naturally occurring in many foods and beverages. Its cancer preventative and heart disease preventative characteristics have made resveratrol the focus of many studies. However, Calabrese intended to determine if these health benefits would extend themselves beyond cancer and heart disease and might be an influence on menopause.
Calabrese’s Findings Surrounding Resveratrol
The hypothesis of this study is based on the idea that the structure of resveratrol is so much like that of diethylstilbestrol, a drug prescribed to prevent miscarriages, that it might act as a phytoestrogen in humans.
Calabrese’s team conducted a population study, read literature on resveratrol’s effects on female reproduction, osteoporosis, and cancer, and they conducted various trials of their own.
Their findings concluded that moderate wine consumption appeared to act as a phytoestrogen, a compound in plants that simulates estrogen in humans. Resveratrol boosted the physiological reactions that typically accompany estrogen increases. This activity could effectively moderate the effects and symptoms of menopause in women.
Doctors Philippe Marambaud, Haitian Zhao, and Peter Davies from the Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York published a study in 2005 that found that resveratrol, a red wine ingredient, lowers the levels of an Alzheimer’s disease protein.
Several studies show that moderate red wine consumption is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Wine is full of antioxidant compounds that have potential nerve protection characteristics. In this study, resveratrol is shown to lower the levels of a specific protein that clumps in the brain as a result of a gene variation. This protein, called beta amyloid, can lead to memory loss and dementia, which are features of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder that leads to the most common form of dementia occurring in aging adults. These findings suggest resveratrol supplements, made from natural compounds, have a therapeutic potential in Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that moderate wine intake reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Resveratrol is suspected to have antioxidant and nerve protection properties. Therefore, resveratrol contributes to the beneficial effect of drinking red wine on the nerve degeneration process associated with aging.
This study also suggests that chemical modifications of resveratrol can be done in the context of improving its potency, stability, and the rate at which resveratrol is absorbed. This can also improve resveratrol’s therapeutic use to fight the effects of aging.
Drs. A.A. Bertelli, L. Giovannini, W. Bemini, M. Migliori, M. Fregoni, L. Bavaresco, and A. Bertelli at the Institute of Anatomy at University of Milan, Italy have evaluated the anti-blood clotting effect of cis-resveratrol, a type of the antiaging compound resveratrol found in red wine.
In 1996, these doctors evaluated the anti-blood clotting activities of cis-resveratrol in a laboratory environment in different concentrations on blood-platelet rich plasma. Cis-resveratrol was able to decrease toxin-induced blood platelet clotting, while trans-resveratrol at the same concentration had a lower efficiency rate. However, both types of resveratrol were observed to cause a decrease in blood clotting, a common condition experienced by aging adults.
In this study, both of these have effective properties in biological fluids, such as blood platelet rich plasma. The evaluation of resveratrol activity in animals and humans takes into account the total amount of both cis- and trans-resveratrol. Cis- and trans-resveratrol, like resveratrol, can be consumed by drinking red wine or taking resveratrol supplements, in the form of tablets, pills or lozenges.
Doctors from the Micorarray Division of Genomic Tree, Inc in Daejon, Korea reported that they studied the effects on a genome-scale analysis of resveratrol induced gene expression in ovarian cancer cells in 2003.
Resveratrol is a natural compound found in large quantities in grapes and red wine. Resveratrol can be consumed in lozenge or pill form as well. This compound has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, cancer preventative and anti-aging effects.
The doctors examined whether or not resveratrol has any effect on growth and gene expression in ovarian cancer cells and found that resveratrol supplements restricts cell growth and stimulates ovarian cancer cell death.
The conclusion to the study shines a ray of hope on the possible uses for resveratrol. A new view of gene expression in ovarian cancer cells treated with resveratrol shows that the compound’s actions may be more than just anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.
In a 1999 study from the College of Medicine in the Institute of Biochemistry at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, researchers Jen-Hun Lin and Shu-Huei Tsai studied the cancer and heart disease prevention benefits of resveratrol, a red wine ingredient. Resveratrol may have therapeutic potential for acute coronary heart disease, cancer and other heart related health problems, such as clogged arteries.
Resveratrol’s strong antioxidant activities may have positive effects on many diseases and disorders like cancer, aging, vascular disease and various immune complex-mediated diseases. Experiments show that resveratrol has significant antioxidant activity on a molecular level as well as cancer chemopreventative abilities.
Moderate red wine drinking, thus the consumption of resveratrol, is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing blood platelets from clumping and causing a blood clot. There are many benefits to consuming resveratrol and the basic properties of this natural plant compound are anti-cancer, anti-heart disease, and anti-inflammatory. Resveratrol has been shown to suppress build up on artery walls, which can lead to clogged arteries. Resveratrol can be consumed in ways other than red wine drinking, such as resveratrol supplements in the form of tablets.