MSM Fights More than Inflammation

Methylsulfonylmethane, known as MSM, is commonly utilized in the form of MSM eyedrops or powder in vcaps to be taken as a supplement.  It is well known for its anti-inflammatory capacity, documented by researchers.  Scientists are documenting substantiating research and finding new uses.

Anti-Inflammation

MSM inhibits inflammasomes, which are protein formations that stimulate production of  lymphocytes (white blood cells).  It also inhibits the activity of ‘pro-cytokines’ which promote inflammation throughout the body, creating health-damaging fevers and causing tissue death and shock.1 This effect of MSM is useful in reducing the tissue swelling that damages the optic nerve, causes eye soreness of dry eyes and Sjogrens syndrome and other inflammatory-related conditions.

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Eyebright Fights Microbes and Inflammation

eyebrightEuropean researchers have been looking at what makes eyebright tick and why it has long been regarded in traditional folk medicine as a helpful herb for eye conditions.  Turns out that eyebright supports more than eye health.  Wikipedia describes eyebright as having  possible benefits not only for blepharitis and conjunctivitis, but for eye strain, colds and sinus infections, allergies and hay fever and sore throats and coughs.

Anti-Microbial Action

Eyebright has anti-microbial action and is more effective in concentrations of at least 512 micrograms per milliliter against a number of nasty microbes associated with eye infections.

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Glaucoma Linked to Mercury in the Body

mercuryA new study has found that higher levels of mercury in the blood are linked to a greater chance of developing the eye disease glaucoma. Additionally, low levels of manganese (a chemical element) were associated with lower incidence of glaucoma.

This cross-sectional population-based study was published online on August 6th 2015 in JAMA Ophthalmology. The researchers looked a blood or urine metallic element levels, as well as eye disease in 2,680 Korean adults.

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Benefits of Maritime Pine Bark Extract

pine barkThe effects of extracts of French Maritime pine bark (Pinus pinaster bark extract) have been reviewed in the journal, Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences.  The writers explain the damaging role of free radicals which arise from oxidative processes within the body as well as the damage resulting from inflammation and that many studies have demonstrated that such damage can be prevented or limited.

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Wi-Fi, Cellphones & EMF Pollution

emf phoneExposure to electromagnetic fields has been considered a potential contributor or cause to many chronic illnesses for about 20 years.  What is becoming more apparent is that EMF pollution when combined with toxins and poor diet makes chronic disease more likely.

  • Toxins are found in foods, the environment, and prescription drugs.
  • Poor diet (standard western diet) is comprised of mostly carbohydrates, too much sugar, too much fat, and foods contaminated by pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

It has been difficult to do any properly controlled studies because there are so many potential sources of EMF pollution, making it difficult to isolate results from any one type.

  • Wi-fi and cellphones – exposure in most public places and in the home
  • Alternating current – normal household current in the US and many parts of the world; much of Europe uses direct current
  • ELF – extra low frequency fields used in electrical system distribution

Wireless

Long-term studies have demonstrated that cell phone use may cause leakage in the barrier between the brain and blood vessels, as well as broken DNA in blood cells.  Original funding for such research by the cell phone industry association was withdrawn  when results began to associate cellphone use with biological damage.  Wide research since that early 1999 study has substantiated the connection between extensive cellphone use and negative effects for human health.

In 2003 the EPA said that children are 10 times more vulnerable to cancer risks from exposure to chemicals, a wake-up call that children are more vulnerable, period.  Research has since reported that extensive cellphone use by the young (more than an hour a day) contributes to hearing loss, vision impairment, and malignant brain tumors in children.  This latter finding: after one or more years of cellphone use, people under the age of 20 have a 5.2 times greater risk of developing malignant brain tumors.

The general proliferation of wireless devices in the office, shop, restaurant and home (cell phones, iphones, cordless telephones, wifi equipment, etc.)  have led to increased health risk since wi-fi has been implicated as a cause or contributing factor to any number of health conditions.

Researchers have evaluated  the reaction of the human cell to EMF radiation, summarized here:3

  • The cell senses EMF radiation that does not occur in nature and behaves as though it is under attack.
  • In defense, the cell closes or slows the cellular systems that bring in nutrients and remove waste.
  • The cell then becomes nutrient deficient leading to poor communication between cells.
  • As a consequence of waste accumulation in the cell, free radicals accumulate.
  • Free radicals interfere with the metabolic activity of mitochondria within the cell.  As an example, the brain’s blood-brain barrier is weakened allowing toxins to penetrate into the brain.
  • Free radicals interfere with DNA repair within the cell and micronuclei form from broken bits of DNA.
  • These micronuclei have protective membranes around them and so, as such, cause no harm.  However, when cell death occurs the micronuclei are released into the interstitial fluid between cells.
  • The immune system is well suited for responding to damaged DNA.  However, when intercellular communication is poor the micronuclei are able to clone themselves and replicate in the interstitial fluid.  This may be the mechanism by which cancers and chronic disease develop.

Waugh3 summarizes that exposure to cellphone radiation causes brainwave changes which are linked to conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and motor neuron disease. Waugh reports that exposure to low-level radiation increases levels of beta amyloid and suppresses pineal gland functioning (which produces melatonin, thought to protect the brain from damage), and changes in the autonomic nervous system (leading to heart irregularities, blood pressure changes, fatigue, sleep problems and more.

For more information see this EMF pollution article.

Alternating Current

A number of researchers have implicated standard AC current, and more specifically, the high voltage power lines that deliver such current throughout the world.  These studies of course are complicated by the factor of our increased lifestyle and pace of living.

One study comparing cancer rates to home electrification (1900 to 1960) noted a correlation between the two; however during that same period the pace of life increased, use of chemicals in farming increases, exposure to chemicals in the environment increased. It is difficult to isolate a direct cause-and-effect for AC and high voltage although there are 1000s of anecdotal reports of such correlation.

A 2008 French study compared the increased incidence of leukemia in subjects who lived near overhead high voltage lines.1  Other research found significant correlation between proximity to the high power lines in France in both farm animal behavior and in human health symptoms including increased irritability, headache, poor sleep, and other problems.2

Another researcher found that dirty power (spikes, surges and other abnormalities) amplifies negative effects of alternating current.

 

 

Footnotes:

1. Can disturbances in the atmospheric electric field created by powerline corona ions disrupt melatonin production in the pineal gland?, Henshaw, DL, et al,  Journal of Pineal Research, 2008, vol 45, 341:350.

2.  Citizen’s Survey, Living with a Very High Voltage Power line?, Gouhier, Catherine, et al, Centre de Recherche et d’Information Indépendantes sur les Rayonnements Electromagnétiques, 2009

3. Living Safely with Electromagnetic Radiation, Waugh, J., Castle Mountain Publishing, 2010.

New Medical Imaging Device Sees Individual Rods and Cones Using Math

mathNever underestimate the power of mathematics to improve vision care! Engineers at the University of Illinois have married adaptive optics with retinal scanners to see individual rods and cones. This new technology could increase the accuracy and speed of eye disease diagnosis.

Astronomers use adaptive optics to improve the clarity of telescopes. This is typically done using complex hardware. The engineers decided to make corrections using computer calculations instead of hardware. And they applied the technology to instruments used to scan the retina, the tissue at the back of the eye. The retina contains rod and cone cells, which send signals to the brain when light falls on them. Continue reading

Association Found Between Glaucoma and Alzheimer’s Disease

elderlyPast studies looking for an association between glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease have been inconclusive. However, a recent 2015 large study of 7770 Alzheimer’s patients found such an association, specifically with women.

The study appeared in the July 2015 issue of Eye, and it was based on a study of ethnic Chinese in Asia. Each Alzheimer’s patient was matched randomly with controls of the same age and gender. They looked at who had a previous diagnosis of open-angle glaucoma.

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. Up to 40% of patients with open-angle glaucoma do not have elevated eye pressure. This “chronic” type of glaucoma silently steals vision, starting in the periphery. Regular eye exams are essential to detecting glaucoma. Treatments are available to slow down the progression of this serious eye disease.
The study adjusted for patient socioeconomic characteristics and multiple diseases. It found that in female patients with Alzheimer’s disease, there was a statistically significant higher incidence of open-angle glaucoma. No association was found in the male patients.

This study implies that an unhealthy body begins to accumulate a longer and longer list of chronic diseases. Maintaining overall health through a balanced diet, exercise, lower stress and supplementation can help head off poor health and disease. Check out our protocol for overall wellness.

Learn more about Alzheimer’s and glaucoma.

Editor’s Note:  There is also an apparent connection between Alzheimer’s and environmental pollutants such as mercury, lead, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic, pesticides and metal-based nanoparticles.1

Source: Dementia is associated with open-angle glaucoma: a population-based study. S-D Chung, J-D Ho, C-H Chen, H-C Lin, M-C Tsai and J-J Sheu. Eye, (10 July 2015)

Footnote:

  1. M. Chin-Chan, Environmental pollutants as risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders: Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases., Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, April, 2015.

Iritis – Minor Irritation or Major Warning?

iritis-eyeIritis is a common diagnosis that literally means “inflammation of the iris,” the colored part of the eye. Anterior uveitis is a more technical term for iritis. There are many possible causes, and sometimes the cause cannot be identified. Due to the complexity of the vision system, any suspected case of eye inflammation should be examined by an optometrist, ophthalmologist or medical doctor. Most of the time, iritis resolves in less than 6 weeks; however, iritis can reoccur. It can signal  acute or chronic underlying disease in the body, and therefore should be cared for by a qualified healthcare professional. Without proper treatment, iritis can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, an irregularly sized and sluggish pupil, calcium deposits in the cornea, central serous choroidopathy, or retinal swelling (cystoid macular edema).  Continue reading

Cataract Surgery Might Not Make Wet Macular Degeneration Worse

cataract surgeryA study slated to appear in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Ophthalmology found that cataract surgery does not appear to worsen pre-existing wet AMD (age-related macular degeneration). However, cataracts surgery appears to slightly change the anatomy of the eye, which might make AMD patients more susceptible Continue reading

S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) Supplements May Improve Depression Medication Results

depressionA pilot study has found that for patients who were not responding well to depression medication, adding the over-the-counter supplement S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) improved their condition. The research appeared in the April 2015 edition of Advances in Integrative Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal.

About 40% of depressed patients who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) have mixed results, and 30% have poor results. SSRI is a standard pharmaceutical treatment for clinical depression, and the medication can have side effects Continue reading