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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fish Oil May Protect Against Colon Cancer

Scientists at Texas A&M University have gained new insight into how diet affects colon cancer. Eating mostly corn oil or fish oil can affect the fatty acid composition of cell membranes, which in turn can affect whether a cell will become cancerous. The study was performed on rats, which were injected with a carcinogen known to induce colon cancer (azoxymethane). The scientists then looked at individual cells of the colons of the rats fed either fish oil or corn oil diet.
The researchers, led by Joanne R. Lupton, a professor who holds appointments in animal science, food science and technology, nutritional sciences and veterinary anatomy and public health and holder of the William W. Allen Endowed Chair in Nutrition, and Raymond J. Carroll, Distinguished Professor of Statistics, Nutrition and Toxicology says, "Fish oil seems to protect against colon cancer while corn oil not only does not protect against it but appears to promote it."
Lupton stated that when the fatty acid composition of the cell membranes in the colon is changed, it sets up a different fate for the cell. A signal can go from the cellular membrane to the nucleus of the cell and tell it either to divide and become a tumor or give up the ghost and undergo programmed cell death. The fish oil favors a better cell membrane, which is cancer protective. Fish oil and corn oil diets might create different chemical environments in the colon. BIO-MEGA 3 from Biotics Research is a very pure source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is obtained from small fish in the Southern Hemisphere, free of dioxins and mercury. Biotics extensively tests its products for purity and quality.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Allergies and the Sterile Environment

A study published in the British Medical Journal (May 22, 2004, Vol. 328, p. 1223) seems to support the idea that raising children in too sterile of an environment may contribute to allergies. Children who spent a lot of time with microbes (for example, children who live around pets or farm animals) are less likely to develop allergic rashes than children who do not have this exposure. This same benefit was not derived from getting infectious diseases such as colds and diarrhea. Infectious diseases seemed to increase the likelihood of developing rashes. Having a large number of siblings seems to protect against allergy, but if this study is right, it's not because siblings pass on infectious diseases.

Friday, May 2, 2008

So what is "Qi?"

Well, that's a loaded question.
The Egyptians called it "ka." The Hebrews called it "ruah." Christians call it "spirit."
Medicine calls it...superstition.
Almost every ancient religion or metaphysical belief system has in some way addressed
the question of life--or more specifically, what is that force that gives life to
the living?
The answer in acupuncture is Qi or Chi. (pronounced "chee.") This is the life-force
energy that circulates in the acupuncture meridians and gives life to all the organs,
structures, and even the consciousness in humans and animals.
And simply put, all dysfunction and disease can be traced to a blockage in the flow
of Qi.
As modern science has sought to discover more about this life-force energy that
makes us who we are, many interesting theories have developed.
One theory []
by Oxford physicist Roger Penrose and anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff suggests
that human consciousness can be traced to quantum interactions in microtubules in
brain cells. Since these interactions take place on the quantum level, they operate
outside the realm of time as we know it. The fascinating implication of this work
is that the consciousness--the soul--exists outside time and is therefore...immortal.
Whether this theory is correct has yet to be proven, but the question of Qi remains
fascinating from both scientific and philosophical standpoints.