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The Lonely Assassin Causing Almost One In Five Heart Deaths…Depression

According to the World Health Organisation, 350 million people across the world are affected by  depression . Lead researcher, Professor Karl-Heniz Ladwig, from the Technical University of Munich, said: “There is little doubt that depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.“The question now is, what is the relationship between depression and other risk factors like tobacco smoke, high cholesterol levels, obesity or hypertension?“How big a role does each factor play?”In order to find out, researchers led by Prof Ladwig, examined data the medical records of 3,428 male patients between the ages of 45 and 74. They looked at their health over a 10-year period. And, they compared the impact of depression on the heart, with the four major risk factors – smoking, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and obesity.

Prof Ladwig said: “Our investigation shows that the risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease due to depression is almost as great as that due to elevated cholesterol levels or obesity.”Their findings, published in the journal Atherosclerosis, show only high blood pressure and smoking are more dangerous, posing a greater risk to a man’s heart health.Looking at the population as a whole, Prof Ladwig said depression accounts for roughly 15 per cent of cardiovascular deaths.“That is comparable to the other risk factors, such as hypercholesterolemia, obesity and smoking,” he said.

These factors cause 8.4 to 21.4 per cent of all cardiovascular deaths.Prof Ladwig said he and his team invested a lot of time in their study, largely due to the fact it took a decade to gather all the results.But, it paid off, he said.“Our data shows that depression has a medium effect size within the range of major, non-congenital risk factors for cardiovascular diseases,” Prof Ladwig concluded.“In high risk patients, the diagnostic investigation of co-morbid depression should be standard.“This could be registered with simple means.”The study comes as another team of scientists at the University of Vermont found people who eat red hot chilli peppers are 13 per cent less likely to die early – particularly from heart attack or stroke.It’s thought the compound capsaicin is responsible for the protective nature of the fiery food, helping prevent obesity and ensuring good blood flow to the heart.


Light Therapy May Aid Traumatic Brain Injury


Two patients with long-term deficits from traumatic brain injury (TBI) have shown substantial improvement in cognitive function with transcranial light therapy, investigators reported.A TBI patient on medical disability returned to work as a technology consultant after four months of nightly, at-home treatment with near-infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) placed on the forehead and scalp,Seven years after a closed-head TBI, another patient experienced improved sustained attention capability from 20 minutes to three hours with ongoing LED treatment.

Both patients regressed with discontinuation of the light therapy, Margaret A. Naeser, PhD, of Boston University and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, and colleagues reported online in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery.”Results from the two chronic TBI cases described here, along with those from previous [light therapy] studies with acute stroke patients and chronic, major depression cases, suggest that further, controlled research with this methodology is warranted,” Naeser and her co-authors wrote in conclusion.

“Transcranial red/near-infrared LED may be an inexpensive, noninvasive treatment, suitable for home treatments, to improve cognitive function in TBI patients, as well as to reduce symptom severity in post-traumatic stress disorder,” they added.

In patients with closed-head, mild TBI, CT or MRI scans usually show no evidence of focal lesions, but more often, diffuse axonal injury in the anterior corona radiata and frontotemporal regions.PET scans of the brain have shown reduced regional glucose metabolism in bilateral frontal and temporal lobes in chronic TBI, the authors wrote. Other studies have shown abnormal frontal-lobe activation.

Frontal-lobe regions susceptible to TBI-related damage include the prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate gyrus. The former is involved in maintaining working memory, especially sustained attention. The anterior cingulate gyrus has been implicated in divided attention, working memory, and memory retrieval among other functions.

Low-level laser therapy has been shown to have beneficial cellular and physiologic effects in controlled trials, the authors continued.Absorption of laser light has been associated with increased cellular respiration, intracellular calcium flux, increased ATP synthesis, increased nerve-cell proliferation and migration, and NF-κB activation.

Transcranial infrared light has been shown to reduce brain damage in preclinical models of stroke, improve memory in middle-aged mice, and improve outcomes in clinical stroke . Low-level light treatment has stimulated neuronal repair in an animal model of spinal-cord injury.



Low-level laser therapy also increases expression of various growth factors that could induce neurogenesis in TBI. Studies involving patients with chronic major depression showed significant improvement in depression and anxiety for two weeks after a single light treatment.Given the experimental and clinical evidence supporting therapeutic benefits of light therapy in TBI, Naeser and colleagues have evaluated transcranial near-infrared/LED light as a means of improving cognitive function in patients with chronic TBI.
















Go Gluten FREE

More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed. It is also estimated that as much as 15% of the US population is gluten intolerant. Could you be one of them?

If you have any of the following symptoms it could be a sign that you have gluten intolerance

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation. I see the constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.

2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.

5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.

7. Migraine headaches.

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

How to test for gluten intolerance?

I have found the single best ways to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to do an elimination diet and take it out of your diet for at least 2 to 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. Please note that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better.

The best advice that I share with my patients is that if they feel significantly better off of gluten or feel worse when they reintroduce it, then gluten is likely a problem for them. In order to get accurate results from this testing method you must eliminate 100% of the gluten from your diet.

How to treat gluten intolerance?

Eliminating gluten 100% from your diet means 100%. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination or medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body.The 80/20 rule or “we don’t eat it in our house, just when we eat out” is a complete misconception. An article published in 2001 states that for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity eating gluten just once a month increased the relative risk of death by 600%.Still unsure?Seek out an integrative practitioner or functional medicine physician to help to guide you, or check out my