Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Neck massage by barber may damage nerve, cause paralysis

NEW DELHI: A haircut at most barber shops in India is followed by a head massage. It often ends with a 'neck-crack', when the barber holds you by the chin and tilts the neck sharply to the left and right.

TNN | Updated: Sep 19, 2017, 18:33 IST

Like countless Indian men, Ajay Kumar, 54, came away from the salon feeling refreshed after the haircut-and-massage routine last month. Soon, however, he became increasingly breathless.

It turned out that the neck crack had damaged his phrenic nerves that control the diaphragm, which in turn controls breathing. Kumar, a PSU employee, had to be put on mechanical ventilation. "He has been put on non-invasive ventilation for breathing support and may continue to be on it," said Dr Anand Jaiswal, director of respiratory and sleep medicine at Medanta - The Medicity.

Jaiswal said Kumar's diaphragm was paralysed and he may need ventilator support throughout his life because the nerve rarely regenerates spontaneously.

The doctor also cautioned people against getting a neck massage at saloons. 

"The neck massage and neck-crack that barbers ritually perform after a haircut can cause long-term damage to neck joints and surrounding tissues, muscles or nerves or even cause bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis like in this case," the doctor said.

Breathlessness is often associated with malfunctioning of the heart or lung. When Kumar came to Medanta with the problem about a month back, doctors said they conducted a series of tests to diagnose the problem while treating him for other suspected causes. When the problem persisted, they looked at medical literature for clues. "While examining him, we noticed Kumar had a paradoxical breathing pattern. His chest was moving inward instead of expanding. This abnormal chest movement affected the breathing pattern and led to a drop in his blood oxygen levels," Jaiswal explained.

He added, "As we investigated the possible reasons for the paradoxical breathing, a neurological examination revealed Kumar was suffering from a damaged phrenic nerve. Because he had no other existing illness to explain it, and literature had some examples about neck-crack causing such problem, we questioned Kumar and found that his neck massage had caused the condition."

In a typical Indian barber shop, it is not uncommon to find customers such as Kumar who like to end their haircut with a massage and a customary neck-crack. People get it done because they find it relaxing and believe a neck massage is a good practice to keep the neck loose. Dr Shakir Husain, director, stroke and neurovascular clinic at Neo hospital, said these neck massages can also lead to dissection of the vertebral artery.

"If the dissection or tear is minor, it heals naturally. Blood thinners have to be given for two to three months. But in some cases, surgery has to be done to clear the aneurysm caused due to the tear," he said. Damage to the artery during neck manipulation is also seen in patients opting for chiropractic therapy for musculoskeletal problems. "It may lead to disabling stroke or fatality," the senior neurosurgeon said.

The Dangers of Drinking Reverse Osmosis Water

Scientist and researchers worldwide have repeatedly demonstrated that long-term consumption of reverse osmosis water (RO) water is bad for your health.
June 7, 2014
WHOJust about, everyone knows that Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems excel at removing water impurities, similar to distilled water they both take out the natural minerals in the water Asia and the European countries call it dead water, in some countries it is even banned, few are aware that they also remove the beneficial minerals. In fact, the reverse osmosis process removes 92-99% of beneficial calcium and magnesium. What is the big deal?
“Disease and early death is more likely to be seen with the long term drinking of distilled water, reverse osmosis water”. Zoltan P. Roma MD MSc, In other words reverse osmosis can cause death.
After analyzing hundreds of scientific studies concerning deminerialized or reverse osmosis water, the World Health Organization released a report stating that such water “has a definite adverse influence on the animal and human organism.”
Consumers have been so concerned with removing as many things from water as possible that they have forgotten to ask if the resulting water actually improves health or causes health problems. It is assumed that no toxins equals better health, but there is simply more to healthful water than a lack of toxins, as the World Health Organization clearly points out.
What is alarming is that consuming reverse osmosis water for even just a few months can create serious side effects. “The effects of most chemicals commonly found in drinking water manifest themselves after long exposure.” However “only a few months exposure may be sufficient ‘consumption time effects’ from water that is low in magnesium and/or calcium.
Illustrative of such short-term exposures are cases in the Czech and Slovak populations who began using reverse osmosis-based systems for final treatment of drinking water at their home taps in 2000-2002. Within several weeks or months various health complaints suggestive of acute magnesium (and possibly calcium) deficiency were reported.Among these complaints were cardiovascular disorders, tiredness, weakness or muscular cramps.” Again, serious side effects within just several weeks or months.
However, it gets even worse. Because reverse osmosis water does not have enough minerals, when it is consumed, it also leaches minerals from the body. This means that the minerals being consumed in food and vitamins are being urinated away. Less minerals consumed plus more minerals, being excreted equals serious negative side effects and big health problems. In a scientific study performed to see if minerals consumed in food can make up for the lack of minerals in reverse osmosis water, scientists concluded that “reduced mineral intake from water was not compensated by their diets…low-mineral water was responsible for an increased elimination of minerals from the body.”
“It has been adequately demonstrated that consuming water of low mineral content has a negative effect on homeostasis mechanisms, compromising the mineral and water metabolism in the body.” Consumption of reverse osmosis water “leads to the dilution of the electrolytes dissolved in the body water. Inadequate body water redistribution between compartments may compromise the function of vital organs. Side effects at the very beginning of this condition include tiredness, weakness and headache; more severe symptoms are muscular cramps and impaired heart rate.”
What about those reverse osmosis systems that add minerals back in?
One popular trend since the negative side effects of consuming reverse osmosis water emerged is the practice of adding minerals back into the reverse osmosis water. On this trend, the World Health Organization states that “possibly none of the commonly used ways of re-mineralization could be considered optimum, since the water does not contain all of its beneficial components. In the case of borderline deficiency of a given element, even the relatively low intake of the element with drinking water may play a relevant protective role.” It is practically impossible to recreate natural water with all of its minerals and trace elements from reverse osmosis treated water. Why risk the side effects of reverse osmosis water in any form if healthful alternatives are available?
Since the early 1960’s, epidemiological studies in many countries all over the world have reported that water low in calcium and magnesium is associated with increased morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease.
When used for cooking, reverse osmosis water was found to cause substantial losses of all essential elements from food (vegetables, meat, cereals). Such losses may reach up to 60 % for magnesium and calcium or even more for some other microelements (e.g., copper 66 %, manganese 70 %, cobalt 86 %). In contrast, when mineralized water is used for cooking, the loss of these elements is much lower, and in some cases, even higher calcium content was reported in food because of cooking.
In a multi-city study, women living in cities with low-mineral water more frequently showed cardiovascular changes (as measured by ECG), higher blood pressure, somatoform autonomic dysfunctions, headache, dizziness, and osteoporosis (as measured by X-ray absorptiometry) compared to those of cities with higher mineral content water.
The second website that drives a dagger into the RO industry myth that its pure water is healthy comes from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.). The WHO provides us with a Position Paper titled “The Health risks from drinking
demineralized water” which was written by F. Kozisek. You can tell by the title where the article is headed.
Here is a link to the article:
The final report, published as an internal working document (WHO 1980), concluded that “not only does completely demineralised water (distillate) have unsatisfactory organoleptic properities, but it also has a definite adverse influence on the animal and human organism.”
Scientific testing and the best “unbiased” brains in the world have repeatedly demonstrated that long term consumption of demineralized (RO) water is bad for your health.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Reverse Osmosis and Removal of Minerals from Drinking Water

Reverse Osmosis will generally remove salt, manganese, iron, flouride, lead, and calcium (Binnie et. al., 2002).  Most mineral constituents of water are physically larger than water molecules and they are trapped by the semi-permeable membrane and removed from drinking water when filtered through a RO (, 2004).  Meanwhile, consumers are concerned about the removal of minerals from their drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis Remove Minerals

Reverse Osmosis (RO) removed more than 90-99.99% of all the contaminants including minerals from the drinking water supply (see Figure 1). RO removes minerals because they have larger molecules than water. The subject of minerals and RO created controversy and disagreement among water and health professionals.  The World Health Organization (WHO) made clarification that majority of healthy minerals are needed for human body is from food or dietary supplementary sources and not from drinking tap water. In addition, minerals found in water can be harmful to human health.  The evidence is strong that calcium and magnesium are essential elements for human body (WQA, 2011).  However, its a weak argument to suggest that we should make up this deficiency through water consumption (WQA, 2011). Tap water presents a variety of inorganic minerals which human body has difficulty absorbing (Misner, 2004). Their presence is suspect in a wide array of degenerative diseases, such as hardening of the arteries, arthritis, kidney stones, gall stones, glaucoma, cataracts, hearing loss, emphysema, diabetes, and obesity. What minerals are available, especially in "hard" tap water, are poorly absorbed, or rejected by cellular tissue sites, and, if not evacuated, their presence may cause arterial obstruction, and internal damage (Dennison, 193; Muehling, 1994; Banik, 1989).

Figure 1. Reverse Osmosis Membrane (Source:DOI-BUR, 2009)

Organic Minerals vs. Inorganic Minerals

There are two types of minerals in water, organic and inorganic. Human physiology has a biological affinity for organic minerals. Most organic minerals for our body functions come from dietary plant foods (Misner, 2004). A growing plant converts the inorganic minerals from the soils to a useful organic mineral (Misner, 2004). When an organic mineral (from a plant food) enters the stomach it must attach itself to a specific protein-molecule (chelation) in order to be absorbed, then it gains access to the tissue sites where it is needed (Misner, 2004). Once a plant mineral is divested within the body, it is utilized as a coenzyme for composing body fluids, forming blood and bone cells, and the maintaining of healthy nerve transmission (Balch & Balch 1990).

Reverse Osmosis has Little Affect on Water pH

Water pH levels will automatically change when it is ingested and comes into contact with the food in your stomach (Wise, 2011).  Even on an empty stomach, your stomach acid alone is already several times more acidic than RO water (pH 6-8) with a pH level of 2 (Wise, 2011).  The human body regulates pH levels constantly to find balance and equilibrium (see Figure 2). Therefore under normal conditions it will always maintain a neutral 7.4 pH balance (Wise, 2011). The healthy body is very robust and it will restore homeostatic pH fairly quickly and easily (Wise 2011). Soft drinks and sports drinks typically have a pH level of 2.5, orange juice has a 3 pH and coffee has a 4 pH level and we drink these beverages all the time without problems (Wise, 2011).
Figure 2. Comparison of pH Levels (Source: Wise, 2011)


Water filtered or treated by RO is pure, clean, and healthy.  RO treatment system is currently the only technology that can remove most of the emerging contaminants (i.e., prescription drugs and perchlorate) including other contaminants  (i.e., Arsenic, Cyanide, and Fluoride) that are difficult to remove by other treatment methods.  No more ingesting of harmful inorganic minerals means the body will no longer be stressed with trying to absorb something that wasn't supposed to be there in the first place (Wise, 2011). Consumers should not be concerned about the removal of minerals by RO system.  WHO (2009) and WQA (2011) pointed out, that the human body obtains vast majority of minerals from food or supplements, not from drinking water.

Monday, 25 September 2017

New ways to keep cancer from spreading

One reason cancer is so deadly is its ability to spread throughout the body, in a process known as metastasis. In fact, your chance of surviving cancer is pretty good as long as it’s confined to its original site. It’s metastatic cancer that kills.

By Lee Euler / August 20, 2017
This means that understanding how cancer spreads is a key to developing better treatment options…
Researchers have been studying this phenomenon for more than 100 years, with very little ground gained. But that may be about to change. Mainstream medicine has made some promising discoveries regarding cancer metastasis and possible ways to prevent it.
Understanding the enemy: How metastasis works
Cancer is industrious. A tumor can send cancer cells into the bloodstream constantly, looking for new places to gain traction and set up shop.
Cancer often makes its first move into nearby tissues and lymph nodes. The cancer cells can then create new blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis, to support the spread to distant tissues and organs throughout the body.
Once cancer sets up in a new location, it can repeat the process, and so on again and again until cancer spreads all over.
While some types of tumors are capable of forming metastases in virtually every organ in the body, the most frequent target organs of metastasis are bone, brain, liver, and lung.1 Once the cancer reaches these organs it’s late-stage cancer. It’s much more difficult, if not impossible, to treat.
Altering the Soil:
Using the body to stop the spread of cancer
One theory about metastasis that has held sway for a number of years is the “seed and soil” hypothesis. Developed by Stephan Paget in 1889, it states “that metastasis depends on cross-talk between selected cancer cells (the ‘seeds’) and specific organ microenvironments (the ‘soil’).”2
So like seeds and soil, as long as the body environment supports cancer cells, they’ll continue to grow and spread.
Breast cancer
In a study published in the online journal PLOS in June 2017, researchers turned their attention to the tumor microenvironment for answers.
They found a metabolite in the body called 20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) plays a role in helping cancer to spread. 20-HETE naturally occurs in the body and is necessary for metabolism, sodium and fluid transport to the kidneys, and regulating blood flow to the organs, among other processes.
Unfortunately, cancer cells can also use 20-HETE in angiogenesis, which scientists think is the precondition needed for cancer cells to travel throughout the body.
In the presence of cancer, 20-HETE also increases chronic inflammation, making the body environment a perfect place for disease to flourish.
To test a theory, the researchers inserted breast cancer cells into mice. Breast cancer tends to metastasize to the bones, brain, liver and lungs. Once the cancer established itself and started to spread (about 15 days), they injected the mice with a molecule called HET0016, which inhibits parts of 20-HETE activity.
They gave the mice a dose of this substance five days a week for three weeks. At the end of the study they discovered that administration of HET0016. . .
  • Decreased tumor volume and lung metastasis
  • Reduced migration and invasion of tumor cells in the lungs
  • Decreased the number of pro-inflammatory cytokines and other elements that contribute to tumor growth in the lung microenvironment.3
These results show that HET0016 may be a promising way to stop breast cancer metastasis to the lungs.
Pancreatic cancer
In a study published in the July 2016 issue of the journal Cancer Research, scientists tested the efficacy of HET0016 on 20-HETE in pancreatic cancer cells. They focused on the inflammatory processes associated with 20-HETE, because prolonged and unresolved inflammation is associated with the development of pancreatic cancer.
Using in vitro methods, they added 20-HETE to pancreatic cancer cells and discovered it promoted pancreatic tumor growth and spontaneous metastasis. They also found that pancreatic cancer cells produce more 20-HETE than healthy cells.
Too much 20-HETE leads to over-expression of an enzyme that attracts macrophages, immune cells that are associated with increased malignancy in a tumor microenvironment.4
But when they treated the cells with HET0016, it reduced macrophage migration toward pancreatic cancer cells. This made the microenvironemnt less hospitable to the cancer cells and reduced the spread.
The researchers concluded that treating 20-HETE with HET0016 reduced inflammation, tumor growth and metastasis and could be used as a new treatment for pancreatic cancer.5
Immobilizing the cancer cells themselves
Researchers are exploring advancements in nanotechnology, the area of science that focuses on the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules, to stop cancer metastasis.
Scientists can reduce the size of certain materials to nanoscale, which is much smaller than the eye can see. You could almost say it’s infinitely smaller than what we can see. One nanometer (nm) is one billionth of a meter. A single water molecule is about 1.5 nanometers; a single strand of human hair is about 80,000 to 100,000 nanometers.6
The outside edges of all cells contain broad fibers called lamellipodia. They’re like little legs that help the cells move throughout the body as needed. (The suffix “-podia” means “foot” or “footlike,” from Greek.)
But cancer cells also contain an extra protrusion off the lamellipodia, called filopodia. Cancer cells produce both kinds of “feet” in excess, which means they can move faster and more efficiently than healthy cells.
So researchers are testing the use of gold nanorods on these “cancer feet” to stop the spread of cancer cells.
A nanorod is an element that ranges in size from one to 100 nm. Scientists reduce the element gold down to this tiny size, at which point the gold nanoparticles display different physical and chemical properties.
In a study published in May 2017, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta injected gold nanorods into cancer cells. When they did this, they found it delayed the migration of the cells. In essence, it hobbled the “cancer feet” so they couldn’t move very fast.
The researchers added another step of heating the gold nanorods with a laser to near-infrared light. This effectively stopped the movement of the cancer cells altogether.7
In another study, researchers at the same lab tested this method in a mouse model and found the gold nanorods induced apoptosis (natural death) in cancer cells, without affecting the nearby healthy cells. They also performed a 15-month follow-up and found no long-term toxicity in the mice.8
This treatment could be a vast improvement over chemotherapy and other treatments that destroy healthy and cancerous cells indiscriminately.
So that’s what’s happening in the world of Big Science. I hope these treatments eventually come to market and help patients. Meanwhile, our last issue talked about a natural treatment you can put to work against cancer right now. It’s one of the more effective steps you can take, and it’s good for prevention, too.
Best regards,
Lee Euler,
1 The seed and soil hypothesis revisited – the role of tumor-stroma interactions in metastasis to different organs.
2 The pathogenesis of cancer metastasis: The ‘seed and soil’ hypothesis revisited.
3 HET0016 decreases lung metastasis from breast cancer in immune-competent mouse model.
4 Abstract A13: Macrophage FLT1 mediated inflammatory response determines breast cancer distal metastasis.
5 Targeting the eicosanoid 20-HETE suppresses pancreatic cancer growth and metastasis through regulation of inflammation.
6 Examples of nanoscale.
7 Targeting cancer cell integrins using gold nanorods in photothermal therapy inhibits migration through affecting cytoskeletal proteins.
8 Efficacy, long-term toxicity, and mechanistic studies of gold nanorods photothermal therapy of cancer in xenograft mice.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Girl's donated organs help a record eight people

A 13-year-old girl who died from a brain aneurysm has helped a record eight different people, including five children, through organ donation.
  • 8 September 2017
  • From the sectionHealth
Jemima LayzellImage copyrightLAYZELL FAMILY
Image captionJemima's organ donations have helped five different children around the country.

Jemima Layzell, from Somerset, who died in 2012, donated her heart, pancreas, lungs, kidneys, small bowel and liver.
Jemima's parents said she was clever, compassionate and creative - and would have been "very proud of her legacy".
NHS Blood and Transplant said no other donor had helped as many people.
Jemima collapsed during preparations for her mum's 38th birthday party and died four days later at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
Her heart, small bowel, and pancreas were transplanted into three different people while two people received her kidneys.
Her liver was split and transplanted into a further two people, and both of her lungs were transplanted into one patient.
Normally, a donation results in 2.6 transplants - eight is very unusual.

'Special and unique'

Jemima's mum Sophy Layzell, 43, a drama tutor, and dad Harvey Layzell, 49, managing director of a building firm, said they knew Jemima was willing to be a donor because they had spoken about it a couple of weeks before her death, after someone they knew died in a crash.
Sophy said: "They were on the register but their organs couldn't be donated because of the circumstances of their death.
"Jemima had never heard of organ donation before and found it a little bit unsettling but totally understood the importance of it."
She said they still found the decision to donate their daughter's organs hard, but felt it was right.
Jemima Layzell (right) and her sister AmeliaImage copyrightLAYZELL FAMILY
Image captionJemima's family have set up a trust in her name to promote organ donation
"Everyone wants their child to be special and unique and this among other things makes us very proud.
"Shortly after Jemima died, we watched a programme about children awaiting heart transplants and being fitted with Berlin Hearts in Great Ormond Street Hospital.
"It affirmed for us that saying 'no' would have been denying eight other people the chance for life, especially over Jemima's heart, which Harvey had felt uncomfortable about donating at the time."
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What is a brain aneurysm?

An aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall.
It can develop anywhere in the body, but most commonly in the brain and around the heart.
In the brain, if the ballooning blood vessel bursts, extensive bleeding causes severe brain damage - and usually results in death or serious disability.
There are usually no signs of the problem before the aneurysm ruptures.
Aneurysms in children are rare and it is still not clear why blood vessels weaken to make them form.
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Jemima's parents said it was very important for families to talk about organ donation.
"Every parent's instinct is to say no, as we are programmed to protect our child. It's only with prior knowledge of Jemima's agreement that we were able to say yes.
"Jemima was lovely - clever, funny, compassionate and creative - and we feel sure she would be very proud of her legacy," Sophy said.

'Too many say no'

Sophy, Harvey, and Jemima's sister Amelia, aged 17, now run The Jemima Layzell Trust, which helps young people with brain injuries and also promotes organ donation.
NHS Blood and Transplant said hundreds of people were still dying unnecessarily while waiting for a transplant because too many families said no to organ donation.
Last year, 457 people died waiting for a transplant, including 14 children.
There are currently 6,414 people on the transplant waiting list, including 176 children.
In 2015, 22-year-old Tom Wilson died in a freak accident after he was hit on the head by a hockey stick.
His donated organs, as well as skin, bone and tissue, are thought to have helped the lives of around 50 people.