Saturday, December 16, 2017

Alexander Rybak

Our family is full of Alexander Rybak fangirls. Our children couldn't tell you the name of a Justin Bieber hit or Lady Gaga song (although they might know parodies of some of hers), but they can sing along with much of Rybak's music, including some of the Russian songs, which shows their great appreciation for him, for they don't speak Russian. Here's one of my favorites:



I'm a violinist but not remotely as good as he is. Here's another great song by him. He recorded it in Belarussian, Russian, and English. Even if you've never been to Europe, he can make a person wish they could see the skies he loves so well.


Friday, December 15, 2017

A bit more on angiogenesis and thymoquinone

Angiogenesis during pregnancy is crucial, for it is the forming of new blood vessels from existing ones. To create a placenta and a baby, this process must be able to go forth properly.

An overlooked dietary source of an angiogenesis inhibitor is thymoquinone (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18644991, https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/or.2012.2165, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1567576916302053), one of the most active constituents of Nigella sativa (AKA black cumin, czarnuszka, black seed, etc.). (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387228/) In 2013, it was shown that thymoquinone has a potentially disruptive effect on embryonic development in the middle of rat pregnancy (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/01480545.2011.648326); specifically, thymoquinone caused fetal death and resorption:

Results showed that TQ [thymoquinone] induces maternal and embryonic toxicities in a dose- and time-dependent manner. With a dose of 50 mg/kg, treated rats experienced a significant decrease in maternal body weight and complete fetal resorption when the dose was given on day 11 of gestation. On the other hand, 46.2% of implants were resorbed and the viable fetuses showed no TQ-related malformations when the dose was given on day 14 of gestation. At a lower TQ dose of 35 mg/kg, maternal and embryonic toxicities were observed only when it was given on day 11 of gestation.


As in the rodent studies of thalidomide, thymoquinone does not appear to cause to cause any morphological abnormalities in rat fetuses. Just fetal resorption. This is striking to me because it resembles the only early indication that thalidomide is harmful to developing embryos. Thalidomide has a different effect on developing rodents than on humans. Thalidomide was initially approved for human use partly because the rodent tests done with it appeared to be showing that it was safe for developing embryos.

A 1962 study titled "Thalidomide and Congenital Abnormalities," by Victor Knapp, George Christie, and Mary Seller, all working in the UK, looked at the teratogenic effects of Thalidomide on rats, mice, and rabbits, and the study reported no abnormalities in the offspring of these animals after researchers had exposed the pregnant females to the drug. The authors noted that the study provided no grounds to think that drugs containing Thalidomide were safe for human use, and they argued that the only method guaranteed to safely deal with drugs of unknown teratogenicity would be to completely refrain from using them unless absolutely necessary. In 1963, Joseph A. DiPaolo, working in the US, discussed various birth defects found in mice fetuses whose mothers were fed Thalidomide daily, but he found only one kind of anamoly [sic] called fetal resorption, or the partial or complete dissolution of fetal tissues after some embryos had died in utero.

Black cumin is much praised by some Islamic researchers. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28603137https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26396361https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27247928) I think this is because they have a "hadith" (post-Quran saying attributed to Muhammed) in which Muhammed was reported to have said that black cumin is good for all diseases except death. 

Narrated Khalid bin Sa`d: We went out and Ghalib bin Abjar was accompanying us. He fell ill on the way and when we arrived at Medina he was still sick. Ibn Abi 'Atiq came to visit him and said to us, "Treat him with black cumin. Take five or seven seeds and crush them (mix the powder with oil) and drop the resulting mixture into both nostrils, for `Aisha has narrated to me that she heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, 'This black cumin is healing for all diseases except As-Sam.' Aisha said, 'What is As-Sam?' He said, 'Death."

https://sunnah.com/bukhari/76 (Might Khalid bin Sa'd, Aisha, or Ibn Abi 'Atiq have heard wrong or unintentionally exaggerated?)

It appears to me from the way some researchers in Islamic countries talk about black cumin, they seem frightened to admit that, like all medicinal substances, black cumin might have some negative side effects, too. Which is irrational. Now, I totally get where they're coming from. After all, in the middle of a "Wheat Belly" trend, I refuse to dump wheat because D&C 89 (the Mormon Word of Wisdom) says that wheat is "for man." But lots of LDS people who believe that D&C 89 is a revelation from God have celiac disease and so don't eat wheat. It's important to find out where a particular substance helps and where it harms in order to utilize it wisely and for optimal effects.

It's been repeatedly noted that Muslim cultures/countries tend to top the global charts for birth defects (http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/healthy-living/2015/03/10/Saudis-unaware-of-high-birth-defect-rate-.html), including congenital blindness (http://jalili.co/covi/07_cbmena.htm) and deafness (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00439-001-0674-2?no-access=true), which were also results of thalidomide exposure during gestation (http://www.thalidomide.ca/recognition-of-thalidomide-defects/), interestingly enough. Researchers appear to almost unanimously conclude that consanguinity (marrying close relatives) is the main factor behind this higher rate of birth defects. (https://reproductive-health-journal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1742-4755-6-17, http://www.journalrmc.com/volumes/2_Association%20of%20Consanguineous%20Marriages%20%20with%20Congenital%20Birth%20Defects%20(1).pdf) But what if the least secular Muslims--the ones marrying cousins despite all the data about the higher risk of the practice because clerics tell them that Muhammed's approval of cousin marriages 14 centuries ago makes it evil to question them now--are also using black cumin during pregnancy because of the hadith recommending it? What if the black cumin is contributing to birth defects, too? How would we ever tease out evidence of such an effect while both cousin marriage and black seed use are promoted within the hadith-accepting sects of Islam? Ideas?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

GDF15, "morning sickness," and angiogenesis

Last month, researchers at Cambridge announced that they had found a correlation between the protein GDF15 and nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. (http://www.newsweek.com/sick-pregnancy-protein-your-placenta-could-be-blame-723716) Here's the abstract from their prepublication paper:

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) affects 70-90% of all pregnant women, but its pathogenesis is unknown. Growth and Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF15), secreted from the trophoblast and decidual stromal cells, is present at high levels in the blood of pregnant women. The receptor for GDF15 has recently been identified and is specifically expressed in the hindbrain where it transmits aversive signals including nausea and conditioned taste aversion. We explored the relationship between GDF15 concentrations in maternal serum during pregnancy and self-reported NVP. In a study of 791 women from the Cambridge Baby Growth Study maternal GDF15 concentrations were higher in women who reported vomiting in the 2nd trimester (geometric mean: 11,670 pg/mL; 95% confidence interval 11,056-12,318) and were even higher in the eleven women who reported taking anti-emetics during pregnancy (13,376 (10,821-16,535) compared to those who reported no nausea or vomiting during pregnancy (10,657 (10,121-11,222); P=0.02 and P=0.04, respectively, adjusted for gestational age at sampling and maternal BMI). In conclusion serum GDF concentrations early in the second trimester are significantly and positively associated with second trimester vomiting and with maternal anti-emetic use. In the context of the recently revealed biology of GDF15 this data suggests that antagonism of GDF15 may have some potential for therapeutic benefit in NVP.

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/11/17/221267.full.pdf+html

I am both delighted and worried by this paper, and the cause for both feelings is the same: GDF15 promotes (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11033-011-1182-7) and has an essential role in angiogenesis (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28831101), the creation of new blood vessels from existing ones. Around 18 months ago, I published my hypothesis that sulfite, a metabolic product of endogenous H2S used in angiogenesis, is the primary culprit behind NVP and that molybdenum supplementation can help the body more quickly break down that sulfite to sulfate via sulfite oxidase.* (http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877(16)30098-6/fulltext) So naturally I'm very pleased to see this recent finding that connects an angiogenesis promoter to NVP. What worries me is the paper's suggestion that antagonism of GDF15 might be a therapy to treat NVP.

We do not want to interfere with angiogenesis during early pregnancy. That's exactly what went wrong with thalidomide. Thalidomide inhibits angiogenesis, leading to truncated limbs and other awful consequences.

I found the lead author's professional Facebook page and posted my appreciation of his findings and concern about the proposal to antagonize GDF15. I hope he takes it seriously despite my lack of biology credentials. Whether I have a piece of paper from the proper college is irrelevant to the copious evidence of the necessity of proper angiogenesis in pregnancy.

* And if you've been reading my blog, you know that molybdenum ended up surprising me by being good for more than just NVP!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Didn't see that coming...

A friend has an adult son who needs 24-hour care due to having suffered a traumatic brain injury. His medications caused him to frequently be nauseated, so nine days ago she started giving him a molybdenum supplement. The molybdenum appears to have stopped his diarrhea (I hadn't even known he was suffering from that). They used to have to change his clothes 3-4 times a day (their utilities bill from running the clothes dryer has been really high) due to his diarrhea, and now they never have to do so. Nine days of molybdenum, nine days without diarrhea.

I've asked her what medications her son was on in order to try to figure out why molybdenum is helping with the diarrhea. I also need to ask her what dosage she is using.

When I first started using molybdenum for "stomach bugs," it seemed like there was still a bit of diarrhea even though the molybdenum got rid of the nausea. But I was also using lower doses initially. Now that I think over the past few times our family has used molybdenum for circulating gastrointestinal viruses, there has been often been no diarrhea in connection with the viruses. What could be going on?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Just another homeschool morning

My children are technically homeschoolers who attend school on a part-time basis. The mornings are when we do our focused schoolwork. It's startling how much children can learn when they apply themselves and aren't distracted by their classmates.

Today's math and history are done (the 1930s were so "depressing"...ba-dum-dum). Dd13 was struggling to have enough breath on a new trumpet piece, so today she watched two videos on trumpet playing breathing from the Lincoln Center. Now she's smiling over her reading of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" from her composition textbook. Dd10 keeps talking my ear off about people like Thomas Edison and Marion Anderson--no, I hadn't known she could sing every voice part from bass to soprano--and is now happily playing the harp upstairs. Dd8 and dd5 finished reading/writing/math/etc. and are working on the Suzuki "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on their violins together; they want to do a concert tonight along with dd3, who is playing the toy electric pink plastic guitar that I usually keep out of reach because it's obnoxious.

I've been very pleased with the results of using the Story of the World four-volume history set as our homeschool history "spine." Dd13's history teacher at school says she knows so much history that he doesn't have to use Google when she is in the classroom because he can always count on her to know something when the rest of the class is coming up dry as to answers.

I've also been pleased to have avoided the miseducation of my children in several areas of social studies. To judge by the rhetoric coming out of US college students right now, it's apparent that they've been taught that slavery was a uniquely American evil perpetrated only by white men against black people. That's manifestly false to anyone who's got just a basic understanding of world history. Or even religion. Two nights ago at bedtime, I was reading a Bible parable to my children that started like this:

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
23Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:33Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

No races mentioned. That's because slavery is an ancient and world-encircling practice, for it is taking people's labor without respect for their individual freedom. And people have been taking things unjustly from others for pretty much forever.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A limitation of molybdenum for treating nausea and vomiting

I know I talk up molybdenum constantly--well, actually only when "stomach bugs" are going around or someone reports on how it went after trying it out out. I would like to talk about other fun nutrition/biomedical things, too. But I need to tell you about a serious limitation of molybdenum. Here goes:

Molybdenum doesn't help alleviate nausea and vomiting if it is not ingested.

Having it sitting in a cupboard over the kitchen sink doesn't lead to it actually helping! Taking it nine days before the nausea hits doesn't seem to do it, either. My second-grader now knows these things.

This past Friday, she woke up in the wee hours with her stomach hurting. She lay in bed thinking she could control it with her mind. (Yes, because that totally works with nausea. ;) ) She also thought that she didn't want to wake up her mom to ask for molybdenum, bless her little heart. This is the same second grader who successfully used molybdenum in October to avoid vomiting from a stomach bug going around her classroom. She knows it can help her, but I guess she was too groggy to think clearly. Anyway, to end the story, she came to me around 4:00 a.m. with the news that she'd thrown up in her bed. We cleaned her up, and she required multiple doses of molybdenum because she threw up much of her first dose. She was done vomiting by around 6:00 a.m., but she was wiped out from the ordeal and spent most of Friday on the couch watching PBS Kids. This was a very different experience for her than the one back in October, where she took molybdenum soon after feeling her stomach hurt and never threw up at all.

I'm still open to the possibility that molybdenum is helping due to placebo effect and luck (in science, one must always be open to having their hypothesis disproven), but her contrasting experiences are another data point in favor of molybdenum's being genuinely effective at resolving biological causes of nausea and vomiting.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Update on "Report on molybdenum and a currently circulating GI virus" and a little complaining about an unrelated subject

Here we are six days later, and no one else in the family has thrown up since my kindergartner awakened me in the wee hours of Thanksgiving Eve, as reported below. After she threw up, I pre-dosed everyone with 500-1000 mcg of powdered molybdenum glycinate and some zinc, including the toddler, who shares a bedroom with the kindergartner. My father-in-law (a retired engineer, so someone who likes things proven to him), my 13-year-old, my 10-year-old, and I all experienced some stomach cramping/pain at different times over the Thanksgiving holiday, so we took extra molybdenum when it happened. Everyone recovered quickly, and no one else ever threw up.

I think this is a big deal. I stumbled on a highly effective nausea preventive that doesn't appear to have any side effects. It saved my Thanksgiving get-together, too.

But how do I tell more people? I'm merely a lawyer who likes to research things more interesting than subject matter jurisdiction. (I'm putting off writing a short brief on that subject right now, in fact. Why can't people just file certified copies when the statute says to do so? Grumble, grumble.) My discovery about molybdenum helping with nausea needs to be investigated by people with the proper background. Unfortunately, there is little profit motive for anyone to research this with expensive trials, for molybdenum is found in inexpensive foods: lentils and other legumes, barley, oats, etc.

I do "cold emails" to academic researchers about molybdenum sometimes after finding out about yet another success from a friend* or relative (I give them bottles of molybdenum to have on hand for when nausea or a migraine strikes), but I rarely receive responses to those emails. Are the emails just going into researchers' spam folders along with invitations to fake conferences? Is the idea of a "cure for nausea" just too snake-oil sounding? Is it that too many people don't know anything about molybdenum's role in the human body and aren't willing to do a quick internet search before discarding my email? I don't know. It's discouraging to not know how to get the word out. Sure, some local people and family members are being helped right now, but that's a speck of sand compared to the global population. It's not enough that I'm being "passed over" by the destroying angel of nausea and vomiting; I want other people to benefit, too. My inability to "sell" an idea so easy to test is a downside of my introversion and lack of entrepreneurship. And it's a big inability--my medical-school-trained brothers basically dismiss me as a crackpot, which I do not enjoy. If it's not a published trial, they do not want to hear it, much less try it.

Yet how do I stop saying molybdenum works when I repeatedly observe its effectiveness at helping with nausea and migraine? Like Galileo, my observations render me unable to change my story. :) "And yet it works."

* A few days ago, a nurse friend of mine told me that a pregnant friend of hers had been experiencing "morning sickness" a while back. My friend loaned her a bottle of molybdenum, which she took for a week. The pregnant woman reported that her morning sickness went away. Unfortunately, I don't know what dose she took or what she weighed. But I'm happy it seems to have helped her!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Report on molybdenum and a currently circulating GI virus

Wednesday morning at about 3 am, my five-year-old came to my room saying, "Mommy, my tummy really hurts." I invited her to snuggle in bed with me, hoping that she was just cold and would fall asleep with me. I was probably in groggy denial. About two minutes later, she started to vomit, so I grabbed her to me and got her to the bathroom, where she vomited in the toilet and then had a severe bout of diarrhea. Within just a few minutes she went from normal to looking as though she was on the verge of dehydration. I was momentarily frightened, but molybdenum had proven itself in the past, so I calmly cleaned up her, me, and the bathroom, after which we went down to the kitchen and I gave her some molybdenum (1000 mcg of powdered molybdenum glycinate for nausea/vomiting) and zinc (30 mg of powdered chelated zinc for the diarrhea, a use which is well-supported by research--https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3113371/). She then cuddled up on the armchair in the family room under a couple of blankets, and I gave her a container to vomit into should the need arise. Within half an hour, she reported that her tummy only hurt a little, and not much after that she fell asleep. Once she looked deeply asleep, I went back to bed. I woke at 9 am the next morning to hear her loud, chipper voice carrying through the house; she was already totally over the virus.

Because these stupid gastrointestinal viruses are so contagious, I gave everyone in the family 500-1000 mcg of molybdenum on Wednesday morning (after I woke up). Then on Thursday, close to bedtime, I noticed my teenager curled up on the family room floor. She was so out of it from a virus, probably the same one, that she didn't even fully realize she was sick. So I gave her 1000 mcg molybdenum and 30 mg zinc and sent her to get ready for bed. An hour later she complained that her stomach was still hurting, so I gave her 1000 mcg more and she went to sleep after that. The next morning (today, which is Friday), she said her stomach still hurt, so I gave her 1500 mcg more of molybdenum, after which she ate a banana. By lunchtime, she was happily serving herself turkey, stuffing, rolls, gravy, etc. from the Thanksgiving leftovers. She's recovered after just a few hours discomfort and never even vomited.

If this is the same stomach bug other local people have been telling me about in the recent past, my children should have suffered for days, not just a few hours.

I don't think molybdenum directly affected the virus because I don't know by what mechanism it could do that. But supplemental molybdenum does seem to greatly reduce the duration of a GI illness in addition to relieving the vomiting and nausea caused by it. Perhaps it does so because freeing the GI tract from a burden of excess sulfite, via support of sulfite oxidase function, somehow permits other immunity-related resources to more quickly expel the virus from the GI lining or at least protects the lining from sulfite-induced vulnerability. Some things to research next week when the holiday is over.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

More soup for you! And you, too! Soup for everyone!

I just wrote a long comment on Joanne Jacob's blog, where she posted recently about charter schools not being able to close the gender gap that is leaving more and more boys out in the cold educationally. In it, I call for a rebirth of soup popularity. It's almost winter; surely that's not too controversial a call! Below is what I wrote in the comment:

Boys are more fragile when it comes to ADHD and autism (which look similar on brain scans - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160727110911.htm). A girl may have ADHD and still get acceptable grades because spaciness alone doesn't usually create a discipline issue, while boys' higher physical energy combined with ADHD does create discipline issues and greatly disrupts their classrooms and their own educational paths. No charter is going to solve ADHD and autism just with a different school culture.

We need to find a way to ameliorate and/or prevent ADHD and autism. I might have mentioned this before, but I think a possible key is easily absorbable glycine betaine in the diet. Glycine betaine is an osmoprotectant (i.e., it protects cell walls from perturbation by dissociated aqueous NaCl) which can nevertheless be easily boiled out of plant cells. Those regions where they frequently consume the water in which glycine betaine-containing food was boiled (i.e., cuisines including barszcz, palak/spinach, and beverages/soups made with wheat and rye) are experiencing much lower burdens of autism (e.g., Poland with 1/40th the autism of the USA). 

I've been testing glycine betaine (AKA trimethylglycine) with my own Aspie child by putting it in our family milk and increasing intake of pasta cooking water and palak paneer. Glycine betaine is an inexpensive supplement because it's a byproduct of making beet sugar, and beets are one of the best vegetable sources of glycine betaine. Spinach and amaranth are two other good vegetable sources. Wheat and rye are also good grain sources of glycine betaine in the European-style diet. Glycine betaine's value lies in its role in supporting the function of the enzyme betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase, which catalyzes transformation of homocysteine to methionine, important because the next molecule, SAM-e, is used for carrying out DNA methylation. My Aspie child's emotions are stable now; the last time she had a big meltdown was when she'd been traveling and hadn't had supplemental glycine betaine for a while.

If I had a charter school, I'd add beet/rye/spinach soups to the lunch menu and see what happens. If I ran a regular public school, I'd do the same. We should learn from the Poles. The drive for convenience that has us draining away our cooking water in the West appears to be a big waste of easily-utilized, important nutrients. It's time for a soup renaissance.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thin people

As a weight-conscious American woman, I often wonder, "Why are southeast Asians so thin? Why are eastern Europeans so often thinner young adults than western Europeans (except for the French)? Why is my third child downright skinny?"

I think that Dr. Jason Fung's theories on obesity resulting from insulin resistance--which can be acquired in the womb--help explain why some people seem programmed to be thinner.

In order to avoid developing insulin resistance, one needs to avoid subjecting one's body to chronic high levels of insulin, which insulin is stimulated by high glucose levels in the blood. With my third child, and only with her, I exercised a lot during pregnancy, often taking long walks that lasted into early evening and apparently resulted in me using up all my circulating glucose; I have a strong memory of getting weak and hungry on those walks but pushing through anyway. 

Southeast Asians regularly eat a plant we call water spinach (AKA kangkong, ong choy, Ipomoea aquatica) that is proven in rats to inhibit glucose absorption and decrease blood glucose levels. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17651914, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11746851, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10967485) Certainly, genetics also plays a role, but if you've seen southeast-Asian-Americans whose gestational development and childhood occurred in the USA, you've probably noticed that they tend not to be as skinny as their peers raised in Asia.

Eastern Europeans eat rye bread much more than western Europeans, and rye bread also slows down glucose absorption. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25370913) However, some people in the rye-consuming countries, such as in Finland, also drink caffeinated coffee throughout the day, and caffeinated coffee appears to decrease insulin sensitivity and increase glucose (http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/12/2990/, http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/5/1254.full, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28031026), so a rye bread effect in them might be counteracted by their constant coffee consumption.

If I could go back in time to my pregnant self, I'd have a lot to tell me.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Schizophrenia, tyrosinase, ginseng, capers, and tyrosinase inhibitors (tea, mate, kojic acid, etc.)

The Texas church shooting two days ago has been weighing heavily on me, for I have a relative with schizophrenia. She refuses mental health treatment. She showed signs of early schizophrenia as early as her adolescence in that she had no close friends despite being able to engage in work, social events, and family events relatively well. Cold, distant, and detached describes her pretty well back then. (http://schizophrenia.com/earlysigns.htm) Then over the next two decades came hypersensitivity, ruminating thoughts, suicidal thoughts and hostility, hygiene neglect, lack of insight, nonsensical logic, delusions, affective flattening, and abusive behavior. It's a horrible thing to watch happen to a loved one, especially because the person, due to brain dysfunction, is convinced that nothing is wrong with her and that her problems are all due to mistreatment by others.

I think that tyrosinase activity is a key to schizophrenia. Tyrosinase is a copper-containing enzyme that is connected to both melanin and dopamine production. Tyrosinase is expressed in the brain. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-4159.2005.03019.x/full) One way researchers bring about schizophrenia in lab rats is by giving them the copper chelator cuprizone. (https://www.pubfacts.com/detail/28989170/Olig2-Silence-Ameliorates-Cuprizone-Induced-Schizophrenia-Like-Symptoms-in-Mice, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3058516/)  A look at an epidemiology map of schizophrenia quickly gives rise to a supposition that melanin and schizophrenia might be inversely related (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_schizophrenia), and higher melanin appears associated with altered dopamine signalling-connected sensitivity (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569050/). Dopamine dysfunction is  involved in schizophrenia. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4032934/) As rats grow up, their cutaneous tyrosinase goes from making dopamine to making melanin in a way that temporally mirrors the common adolescent/young adult onset of early signs of schizophrenia in humans. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12832289)

I did some searching to see what could upregulate tyrosinase expression or increase its activity. Lymphoid enhancer-binding factor-1 (LEF-1) regulates tyrosinase gene transcription; overexpression of LEF-1 increases tyrosinase gene promoter activity, while LEF-1 knockdown decreases tyrosinase expression. (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0143142) This is a promising finding, for LEF-1 is underexpressed in schizophrenia patients. (http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC1888575) Components of ginseng root can upregulate tyrosinase expression, too (https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/892073/), and ginseng root extract does not have a net effect of suppressing tyrosinase activity (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12808298).

There are a handful of studies to indicate that ginseng root might actually be able to help ameliorate schizophrenia. A small study nearly a decade ago found that schizophrenia patients who took panax ginseng (AKA Korean ginseng) were less likely to have "flat affect" and other negative symptoms (negative in the sense of there being an absence of normal motivation, pleasure, etc.); the dosage was 200 mg/day, and it was taken for eight weeks. (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ginseng-may-help-treat-schizophrenia/) A 2015 study subjected pregnant mice to stress and then found that ginseng could reverse the prenatal stress-caused behavioral changes in the offspring. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4249748/)

If ginseng can really help with schizophrenia, wouldn't it have been noticed sooner? Ginseng is very important in traditional Chinese medicine. However, something else is very important in Chinese culture: tea, which just so happens to inhibit tyrosinase. (https://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/10576599) Moreover, throughout eastern Asia, people regularly eat foods containing kojic acid, an important tyrosinase inhibitor in the field of skin-lightening research. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27725765, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289283346_Inhibition_of_tyrosinase_activity_on_dopamine_hydrochloride_by_kojic_acid)

There are many tyrosinase inhibitors that are in the human diet. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2705500/) There's mate in South America. (http://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/ArticleFullRecord.jsp?cn=HJPHBN_2015_v41n4_391) Perhaps mate is why Uruguay has more of a schizophrenia burden than Argentina despite being full of European-ancestry people and otherwise having a similar diet, for Uruguayans are mate-obsessed. There's rosmarinic acid, named after the culinary herb rosemary, which contains it. (http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?request_locale=es&recordID=KR2005011915) There's arbutin, found in bearberries, pear skins, and wheat. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8632348) It would take a supercomputer (good thing we live in the 21st century) to calculate the tyrosinase inhibition caused by an individual's diet, and the frequency of intake of the inhibitors would also need to be taken into account, for rare is the person who eats rosemary all day, while green tea at every meal is the rule in Japan and mate lovers in Uruguay seem to spend every waking hour cuddling their mate gourds.

The human diet doesn't appear to contain much in the way of tyrosinase boosters (http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/22/8/1303/htm). There are capers (https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-90-481-3419-9_127.pdf) and watery grapefruit and pomelo extracts (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20857432).  And then there is the possibility of ginseng root candy being a tyrosinase booster, so I will probably be giving some to my relative for Christmas this year.* This paucity of dietary tyrosinase boosters compared with the plethora of tyrosinase inhibitors is exactly what one would expect to find with an intractable issue like schizophrenia, for if tyrosinase activity is a key to schizophrenia, any tyrosinase boosters in the diet should have started to make themselves manifest by now by decreasing the prevalence of schizophrenia where they are consumed. But who consumes pomelo extract and capers regularly? (Actually, the countries where capers are most often eaten do in fact mostly show up at the bottom of the list for schizophrenia burden...I'm starting to get cautiously optimistic about my little hypothesis....my relative is getting capers for Thanksgiving.) And any tyrosinase boost from ginseng root might have been noted earlier were it not for the simultaneous consumption of tyrosinase-inhibiting tea in China.

* As with everything, ginseng shouldn't be overused. There are published case reports of two men who ended up with manic psychosis from using huge doses of ginseng (15-20 grams/day). (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261289619_Manic_Psychosis_Associated_With_Ginseng_A_Report_of_Two_Cases_and_Discussion_of_the_Literature) One can always get too much of a good thing.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New theory on a possible nutrition modification to lessen chance of developing thyroid cancer

Silicon (Si, atomic number 14) as a micronutrient is likely about to get new attention. This year, researchers announced that they had identified "a mammalian efflux Si transporter, namely Slc34a2 (also termed NaPi-2B) a known sodium-phosphate co-transporter, which was upregulated in the kidney following chronic dietary Si deprivation." (http://ajpcell.physiology.org/content/early/2017/02/08/ajpcell.00219.2015) Slc34a2 is highly expressed in thyroid cancer, lung cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, and kidney cancer. (https://www.proteinatlas.org/ENSG00000157765-SLC34A2/pathology) There has been recent work on using an anti-Slc34a2 antibody drug-conjugate to fight ovarian cancer. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26156394) What if another way to decrease Slc34a2 expression is simply to make sure there is enough Si in the diet? Might that not work to fight/prevent cancer in the thyroid/ovaries/uterus/kidneys/lungs?

There is circumstantial evidence to support that dietary silicon intake is protective against developing at least one of those types of cancer. Specifically, beer intake tends to decrease the risk of developing thyroid cancer (http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v101/n9/full/6605337a.html), and beer is a great dietary source of silicon. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7904687) The silicon in beer comes mostly from barley husks (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208091922.htm), which during the mashing process are immersed in hot water for hours; this water is separated from the barley and subsequently turned into barley malt extract and/or fermented. The good news for alcohol avoiders (like me) is that no fermentation is necessary to get silicon from barley malt extract. One can make their own wort (i.e., the liquid obtained from mixing hot water with milled malted barley and then filtering out the solids) and use it unfermented to make beverages--I did that a few days ago, mixing my homemade sweet wort ("sweet" = without hops) with lemonade--or purchase barley malt extract and mix it in other beverages, such as warm milk.

Silicon is also quite bioavailable from grains and grain products. (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/75/5/887.long) Besides possibly helping prevent some cancers, per the hypothesis set forth above, silicon shows potential to help prevent nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28446627) I've never been on the "grains are evil" bandwagon, and the more I learn about our bodies, the more I think that it's probably very unhealthy to avoid all grains permanently. (There's a big difference between a Krispy Kreme donut and pumpernickel bread. Feel free to avoid the donuts forever.)

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Obesity Code, glucose, insulin, and intermittent fasting

I recently read Dr. Jason Fung's book, The Obesity Code, and found it very informative. His basic premise is that weight gain and type 2 diabetes are caused by insulin resistance and insulin. I liked his hypothesis, for I have thought for the past several months that type 2 diabetes is an attempt to protect the body wherein the body combats a surfeit of insulin by shutting down the insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas.* Dr. Fung's recommendations for better health are to 1) decrease insulin resistance by steering clear (mostly--he understands the human need for occasional celebrations) of highly processed carbohydrates and snacking, and 2) lose weight as needed via intermittent fasting.

Intake of highly processed carbohydrates causes blood glucose and then insulin to spike, and eventually the body becomes resistant to insulin, if I rightly understand the studies cited by Dr. Fung. To minimize insulin spikes, I've been looking into natural sources of compounds that slow down absorption of sugar in order to utilize them more in my diet. With each meal, I now consume some ellagic acid--in the form of red raspberry seed meal--because ellagic acid (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20522017) is an alpha glucosidase inhibitor (i.e., it reduces the rate of digestion of carbohydrates) that tastes good and is easy to find. Giving up bread and cold breakfast cereal isn't currently a realistic option for my family, especially since only one older child and myself are overweight.

The story of how that one child started her life overweight is a point of evidence in support of Dr. Fung's hypothesis. I'm generally a fairly healthy eater. But while I was pregnant with her, I ate far too many simple carbohydrates because that was the set meal served in my workplace cafeteria. Lunch, my main meal, was usually rice, potatoes/pasta, a small portion of meat, a dessert, and "jugito," which was basically Kool-aid with a little dried fruit added. During my workday, I snacked on dinner rolls that I'd made at home out of white flour and sugar. I only worked at that location for two years, but unfortunately my pregnancy with that child fell entirely within those two years. She was born weighing 9.5 pounds and broke her collarbone during birth because of her size. And she has remained overweight her whole life despite attempts at dietary restriction and extracurricular sports. It appears, per Dr. Fung's hypothesis, that I passed on my excessive insulin levels to her in utero and made her insulin resistant. None of her siblings are overweight, and I ate far less in the way of simple carbohydrates during their gestational periods.

She has been eating the red raspberry seed meal with me at mealtimes. She and I also already do a monthly fast because of our religion (LDS), but we have recently added additional fasting for breakfast on Sundays. Just to keep the fast from being too unpleasant--and ourselves from gorging on simple carbohydrates at Sunday lunch--we are drinking a little extra virgin olive oil as a breakfast substitute because it has some calories but doesn't raise insulin levels.

* I wonder if the same paradigm could be used to help explain Hashimoto's thyroiditis eventually....

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Doing well while those around us puke and feel miserable

Tuesday, my oldest and I started to feel as though we had caught the "stomach bug" going around our school/babysitting environment (https://petticoatgovernment.blogspot.com/2017/10/vomiting-avoided-happy-me.html), so we took molybdenum and we were fine afterward--a little lingering discomfort in the gut, but then we only took 500 mcg, which is the same amount I'd given the seven-year-old. Thursday morning, the toddler (3 years old) announced that her tummy hurt. She got some powdered molybdenum glycinate mixed in her milk bottle and drank it up. She made no further complaints and never threw up.

So maybe this is just not a very bad stomach bug? No, it is a bad one. It sent the principal of my children's school home all day yesterday. She's a very dedicated principal and wouldn't have gone home over something little. She tried to work and had to give up, leaving the school at 8:10 a.m. and not returning. And last week, the stomach bug put my toddler's babysitter's teenage daughter in bed for a day.

We are escaping the nausea and vomiting that accompanies this stomach bug. If you think I'm exaggerating, just test it for yourself. Have molybdenum on hand (it's cheap) and take it (preferably powdered for fast utilization) the next time your stomach lets you know you picked up a gastrointestinal illness. Then--assuming it works, which I have no reason to to doubt yet--spread the word.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

As the stomach bug moves...

We've been having fun playing "epidemiologist" with my second grader's classroom since she had her short bout with a stomach bug five days ago. (https://petticoatgovernment.blogspot.com/2017/10/vomiting-avoided-happy-me.html) My second grader gets to observe who is out sick each day and where they sit in relation to those who have already been out sick. The illness is short-lived--everyone is only missing one day of school and then they're back...to share--but it is still a nuisance.

Two children of a teacher were out sick yesterday, and their parent told me that it was because of vomiting. The children were back in school today, so there will probably be several other children in their classes missing tomorrow.

In the meantime, I highly recommend having a molybdenum supplement on hand for such occasions. In fact, my eighth grader and I just took some after school today because apparently it's our turn to play "host."

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Vomiting avoided, happy me!

Today is Saturday. On Thursday, my 2nd grader started feeling sick to her stomach in the afternoon. I immediately ran for the molybdenum and gave her 500 mcg* of powdered molybdenum glycinate mixed in a beverage. She drank it all up. She rested on the couch after that for a while, and then she felt better and went about her evening as normal. When questioned about whether any classmates had been absent from school recently, she reported that one classmate had been gone just the day before but was already back in school Thursday. And that particular classmate had literally licked my daughter's hand early that afternoon (she and her classmates play at pretending to be cats frequently).

Because my daughter felt better after drinking the molybdenum, I let her go to school on Friday. She never threw up and is totally back to normal now. However, another one of her classmates was absent on Friday...coincidentally, a classmate who sits right next to the one who was absent on Wednesday.

Experiences like this keep me talking about molybdenum to anyone who'll listen. It stops nausea and vomiting.

* 500 mcg is below the tolerable upper intake level for children her age.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A report of 2/3 migraine reduction from taking 70 mcg of molybdenum nightly

My husband met with someone a few weeks ago who had been dealing with regular migraines. Being an admirable husband who pays attention to his wife, he immediately thought of molybdenum and suggested it to his acquaintance. She tried a couple molybdenum supplement capsules, and since she thought they helped her avoid getting a migraine, she ordered her own bottle of molybdenum. Here is her report on how her personal molybdenum experiment has been going:
I had planned to email you after taking molybdenum for 1 month.  I’ve been taking 70 mcg of molybdenum each night before bed for three weeks now.  As I mentioned when we spoke, I have chronic migraines almost every day, and most often the onset is during the night.  So, I figured I’d take the molybdenum before bed and see what happens.  In the last three weeks, I have only woken up with 1 headache – it is amazing!!!  Interestingly, the one morning I woke up with a headache was also the one night I didn’t drink Sleepytime tea with the molybdenum.  Could be a total coincidence… or not?  At any rate, I have felt better overall.  My headaches that arrive during the daytime have also been cut by 2/3 at least.  It’s truly incredible to feel this good for so long – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for making the suggestion.   I was waiting until the 1-month mark to give it time and see if the decreased headaches continue (I have taken things in the past that made me feel better for a couple weeks but then stopped).

She has been diagnosed in the past as being sensitive to sulfites, so I think her experience tends to support sulfite oxidase being the most important molybdoenzyme connected to migraine relief. But there are four other known molybdoenzymes in the human body, and I don't exclude them from possible involvement with migraines.

An interesting part of this anecdote is how low the amount of molybdenum supplementation is. One bowl of lentils has more than 70 mcg of molybdenum. She is probably a small woman.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Humility

I just finished looking over a recently-published book titled Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age, by Edward D. Hess and Katherine Ludwig. One quote stood out to me:
We define humility as a mindset about oneself that is open-minded, self-accurate, and "not all about me," and that enables one to embrace the world as it "is" in the pursuit of human excellence. 

Humility seems to come down to a willingness to seek the truth of objective facts, individual feelings, and any combination of the two even when one's ego is screaming "Stop!" I recommend this book.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Nutrition vs. IQ-racism

Occasionally on the internet, I run across commenters who posit that intelligence is genetic, the IQs of some racial/ethnic groups are widely different, and that nothing can be done to close the gaps. I strongly disagree with at least one of those claims.

I do think that that genes play a large role in intelligence. After all, they play roles in height, cancer, sociability, athletic ability, artistic talent, autism, and so on. Why then should memory capacity be singularly unaffected by genes?

Secondly, where accurate testing reveals current differences in average intellectual ability between some groups, we must deal honestly with those test results no matter how distasteful and unfortunate we consider them. Willful ignorance of current realities will never help the human family to progress, and hopefully physical and mental betterment for everyone is a commonly-held goal.

However, I reject claims that group IQ gaps are unchangeable. DNA is merely a code of starting instructions, not unalterable destiny; figure out exactly how the code affects IQ, and you can use that information to help everyone have higher IQs, regardless of their underlying genotypes. The more I learn about nutrition, the more convinced I become that nutrition and exposure to toxins (lead, meth, cannabis, betel, alcohol, tobacco, some medications, etc.) are large factors in producing observed differences in group IQs. It thus follows that much can be done to increase intelligence via cessation of substance abuse and targeted nutrition modifications during pregnancy.

Why am I so firmly convinced that this is possible? I have observed marked differences in height and health between similar heritage groups that were nurtured differently. For example, I was an LDS missionary in western Poland for 18 months soon after communism there was ended. I worked with dozens of young European-ancestry American men (some even of Polish ancestry), many of whose parents and grandparents had due to their religion eschewed alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful substances and apparently fed their offspring on high-protein, high-variety diets. As a group, the American LDS young men were quite tall and healthy-looking compared to the Polish young men, who'd been born into communism-caused scarcity, industrial pollution, and Eastern European alcohol abuse. The young Polish men I've seen in more recent years seem to be significantly taller and healthier than I remember their counterparts being in the 1990s. A 2016 article reports that Polish men, similar to many other population groups world over, have grown taller by 5.35 inches on average in the past century. (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jul/26/tall-story-men-and-women-have-grown-taller-over-last-century-study-shows) If improved nutrition can make such a large difference in physical appearance in just a century, then why not in brain development?

We know that, among other things, protein deficiency, iodine deficiency, and alcohol abuse during pregnancy tend to decrease the intelligence of the children affected. If we can extrapolate from mice, the deleterious effects of fetal alcohol syndrome may well extend out three generations or more. (https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2017/07/07/Alcohol-in-pregnancy-may-have-transgenerational-effects/3951499434939/) I probably owe much of my current health and cognitive ability to my non-drinking mother, health-conscious maternal grandmother, and my non-drinking great-grandmothers (at least two of four). As for iodine, I have a "white privilege" in that I can enjoy consuming milk as an adult; milk and yogurt are the main foods in which American women tend to get iodine in their diet, and people of European heritage are almost the only people in the world who don't become lactose intolerant with age (although even some of them develop lactose intolerance). Guess who else gets plenty of iodine, though? The seaweed eaters of East Asia, who coincidentally keep topping the charts in international academic tests. And then there's protein....All you have to do is read a bit about kwashiorkor to see that grave, lasting harm to cognitive ability is inflicted by not getting enough protein during early childhood. (http://www.nature.com/pr/journal/v5/n11/abs/pr1971371a.html)

I wish I could take every potential parent in the world and sit down with them to discuss the probable effects of their substance use and family dietary choices on their progeny. Well-informed diet and lifestyle choices by parents appear to have the potential to help equalize cognitive ability between groups.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Some personal anecdotes of home remedies that seemed to help and things that didn't

I like to be healthy and to help my family to be healthy. Unfortunately, there are many small ailments for which medicine doesn't have a sure-fire cure. So when some cold virus or other health annoyance affects my family, I like to look for ways to be healthy that don't involve going to the doctor. If it's a virus, the doctor can't do much anyway, and the doctor's office doesn't need us there to share our sniffles or tie up their resources with our minor afflictions.

So here are some things I've tried with me and my family that don't seem to have worked:
  • Getting rid of a cold sooner with melatonin. While the melatonin helped the sick people fall asleep, it didn't seem to shorten the duration of the cold noticeably.
  • Weight control by increasing the amount of catalase in our diet. While oxidative stress, diabetes, and weight issues go hand-in-hand, simply increasing catalase in the diet didn't seem to help me or my one child who struggles with weight.
  • Weight control by eating dessert before the main dish. This one was a long shot, but it was fun and odd to eat dessert out of order for a week or two.
  • Neti pot for sinus infections. I haven't used my neti pot for over five years because it made my head feel waterlogged and didn't help much (if at all) with the underlying sinus complaint.

And here are some things I've tried that do seem to have a beneficial effect:
  • Chewable vitamin C for avoiding colds. Like the doctor who recently discovered that intravenous ascorbic acid can help cure sepsis (http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/23/521096488/doctor-turns-up-possible-treatment-for-deadly-sepsis), I reasoned that ascorbic acid might be more effective if directly delivered to where it's needed rather than relying only on absorption via the digestive system and subsequent transport throughout the entire body. Chewed vitamins get aerosolized to a small degree and so can be carried by breathing to other locations within the respiratory tract. After one bad week of colds at the beginning of this school year, I bought a 500 tablet container of chewable vitamin C and now we regularly give one tablet to family members if they sneeze. No one has come down with a cold since we started doing that. But we are only in October....
  • Oral exposure to pomegranate juice/powder in order to kill flu viruses. This one I'm less confident of, but the two times I've tried it for possible incipient flu infections, it seems to have been beneficial. The reason I think it might work is the pomegranate compound punicalagin, which has been observed in vitro to have a significant effect in inhibiting influenza virus replication. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19586764)
  • Avoiding sinus headaches by manually moving the upper nasal tissues around. Snot apparently causes sinus issues. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050730100344.htm) I got the idea to try massage a couple of months ago from this website--http://www.wikihow.com/Massage-Your-Sinuses--which told of a "nose rub" technique to help sinuses drain. The women in my family tend to have narrow noses with sinuses that too often stop up, so why not do something that addresses snot buildup in our particular nose structure? Doing the "nose rub" as described on the website made me feel like little Tabitha on the show "Bewitched," just wiggling my nose tip back and forth; so instead when I feel a little sinus congestion starting, I stick my thumb up each nostril in turn and using my index and middle fingers to grip the outside of my nose, I move the upper tissues of my nose in a few circles in both directions. It works to help my sinuses drain themselves. Usually I experience at least one really bad sinus headache each month, but this last month I was able to avoid getting a sinus headache. I caution anyone who tries this to 1) have clipped, smooth thumbnails and 2) don't do it in public. :)
  • Avoiding heme overdosing in order to not have restless legs syndrome. I'm not prone to RLS, but I did seem accidentally to give it to myself by eating around 2 dozen+ canned oysters, which are high in heme. (https://petticoatgovernment.blogspot.com/2017/09/oyster-heme-possible-rls.htmlNot eating additional high doses of heme--plus possibly the hydroxocobalamin and ascorbic acid I took the next day--appears to have been efficacious in limiting my RLS episode to just one night.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Update on excess folic acid findings

A little over a year ago, my friend and I wrote a letter to the editor in which we expressed concern that excess folic acid was linked to the rise in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorders:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27346490: "Unintended consequences of inhibiting dihydrofolate reductase through folic acid supplementation: inattentive-type attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and ASD connections."

Two recent studies indicate that excess folic acid during pregnancy causes--in mice and people-- diminished cognitive function in the offspring:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28069796: "High dietary folate in pregnant mice leads to pseudo-MTHFR deficiency and altered methyl metabolism, with embryonic growth delay and short-term memory impairment in offspring."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28724645: "Effect of maternal high dosages of folic acid supplements on neurocognitive development in children at 4-5 y of age: the prospective birth cohort Infancia y Medio Ambiente (INMA) study."

I expect more studies will come out with similar results over the next few years. Folic acid just isn't a typical molecule in the human body or diet.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Licorice might be a cognitive enhancer

A year ago, I mused that licorice might be behind the protective effect that smoking tobacco has against developing Parkinson's. I looked specifically at its component isoliquiritigenin. But there's interesting recent research about another licorice molecule: liquiritigenin. It appears it could be a memory enhancer.

Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2017 May 30. doi: 10.4062/biomolther.2016.284. [Epub ahead of print]
The Memory-Enhancing Effects of Liquiritigenin by Activation of NMDA Receptors and the CREB Signaling Pathway in Mice.

Ko YH, Kwon SH, Hwang JY, Kim KI, Seo JY, Nguyen TL, Lee SY, Kim HC, Jang CG.

Abstract: Liquiritigenin (LQ) is a flavonoid that can be isolated from Glycyrrhiza radix [licorice]. It is frequently used as a tranditional oriental medicine herbal treatment for swelling and injury and for detoxification. However, the effects of LQ on cognitive function have not been fully explored. In this study, we evaluated the memory-enhancing effects of LQ and the underlying mechanisms with a focus on the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) in mice. Learning and memory ability were evaluated with the Y-maze and passive avoidance tests following administration of LQ. In addition, the expression of NMDAR subunits 1, 2A, and 2B; postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95); phosphorylation of Ca²⁺/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII); phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK 1/2); and phosphorylation of cAMP response element binding (CREB) proteins were examined by Western blot. In vivo, we found that treatment with LQ significantly improved memory performance in both behavioral tests. In vitro, LQ significantly increased NMDARs in the hippocampus. Furthermore, LQ significantly increased PSD-95 expression as well as CaMKII, ERK, and CREB phosphorylation in the hippocampus. Taken together, our results suggest that LQ has cognition enhancing activities and that these effects are mediated, in part, by activation of the NMDAR and CREB signaling pathways.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28554200

I like the taste of the deglycyrrhizinated licorice tablets I bought a year ago and stuck in the fridge. Maybe I'll pull those out and see if I notice a memory-enhancing effect. Of course, now that I've read the research above, there's no way to rule out a placebo effect in me. Also, I'm not suffering memory problems. I need to find someone who is complaining of memory issues and see if they want to try licorice....

Sunday, September 24, 2017

And another molybdenum/migraine success

A colleague was out with a five-day migraine a week ago. Guess what I told her about? Of course. And she tried it. She was able to come back to work (that's how I saw her to give her some molybdenum) but still had the migraine lingering and threatening to descend again, so she took 1000 mcg of molybdenum glycinate. Ninety minutes later, I saw her helping push someone else's broken-down automobile and reporting that the molybdenum had helped her.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Oyster heme & possible RLS

Oysters are really high in heme (a kind of iron) content. (https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/) I ate a lot of oysters (canned, not fresh) yesterday because I wanted the zinc and glycine betaine in them. Oysters are fairly foreign to me, and I had forgotten about their high heme content. Over a year ago, I wrote (http://petticoatgovernment.blogspot.com/2016/07/carbon-monoxide-and-restless-legs_15.html) that restless legs syndrome appears to me to be endogenous carbon monoxide excess in the leg muscles, which carbon monoxide is a metabolic product of heme, and so I suggested that people dealing with restless legs syndrome avoid overconsuming heme. 

Guess what woke me at 4 am this morning? This weird feeling in my legs....

I took a hydroxocobalamin lozenge (also suggested in my year-old post as a help since it combined with Vitamin C appears to be a possible treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning) and was able to fall back asleep soon after. My legs still feel a little weird this morning, and I have a bit of a "steely" feeling in my head. So I'll take more hydroxocobalamin and some Vitamin C now, and then I'll set to figuring out why I'm so sensitive to heme intake. It was just one can of oysters! (Which I ate all by myself.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

One-page summary of nutrition to promote proper methylation

Here is a one-page summary of some of what I consider the most valuable information I've gathered on nutritional factors that promote proper methylation, which appears to help with ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and possibly preventing cancer. Feel free to share (without alteration, please) as widely as you like.