Health News: Blueberry for Dementia; Taurine Reverses AMD; New Protocol Aids Recovery of Vaccine-Injured Patients; Zinc Lowers Glucose
Blueberry Supplementation in Midlife for Dementia Risk Reduction
Late-life dementia typically develops over a period of many years beginning in midlife. Prevalence of metabolic disturbance also accelerates in middle age and is a prominent risk factor for dementia. Preliminary studies indicate that blueberry supplementation can improve cognitive performance and influence metabolism and brain function and therefore may have a role in early intervention to prevent neurodegeneration.
In a randomized controlled trial, researchers investigated the effects of daily blueberry supplementation in a middle-aged sample of insulin-resistant participants with elevated risk for future dementia. They enrolled overweight men and women, aged 50 to 65 years, with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and performed pre- and post-intervention assessments of cognition and metabolism and exploratory measures of peripheral mitochondrial function.
They observed improved performances for the blueberry group on measures of lexical access, p = 0.003, and memory interference, p = 0.04, and blueberry-treated participants reported reduced memory encoding difficulty in daily life activities, p = 0.03. The blueberry-treated group also exhibited correction of peripheral hyperinsulinemia, p = 0.04, and a modest trend for increased mitochondrial uncoupling, p = 0.11. The cognitive findings indicated improved executive ability in this middle-aged sample.
In addition, the changes in metabolic and bioenergetic measures imply potential mechanistic factors associated with anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin actions. The demonstration of these benefits in middle-aged individuals with insulin resistance and SCD suggests that ongoing blueberry supplementation may contribute to protection against cognitive decline when implemented early.
Report published April 13, 2022 in MDPI. https://tinyurl.com/MDPIblueberryreport
Amino Acid Taurine Aids Recovery from Macular Degeneration
by Jule Klotter
While anecdotal reports cannot have the weight of controlled research, those reports often provide clues for new avenues of treatment that are later confirmed in large studies. In Vol. 2 of Dr. Zamm’s Medical Mysteries Series, Alfred V. Zamm, MD, shares his own experience after being diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). (Vol. 1, GERD: A Manganese Nutritional Deficiency, was reviewed in Townsend Letter, Nov. 2021.)
Degeneration of the macula, the area on the retina where sharp vision occurs, leads to vision loss. It has no known cure according to Zamm’s opthalmologist, although a combination of vitamins A, C, E, and a few other nutritients might help.
Since he had already been taking vitamins for years, Dr. Zamm decided he was going to have to solve this mystery himself if he wanted to save his vision. He artitrarily decided to take L-methionine (500 mg / twice a day), a sulfur-containing amino acid that he had researched and used before, and kept track of his vision using the Amsler grid.
L-Methionine is the precursor to L-cystine, which is precursor to the amino acid taurine. With methionine, the AMD symptoms largely resolved for about a year. Then, whether it was because he had reduced his consumption of beef and pork (key sources of taurine) or because he was a year older, the symptoms began to return. Increasing the dosage of methionine did not help.
While searching for alternatives, Dr. Zamm came upon veterinary research about cats (whose bodies cannot make taurine) that developed retinal degeneration and eventually went blind when placed on a taurine-free diet. If they were given taurine before retinal cells died, the cats’ vision would return. Dr. Zamm began taking 500 mg of taurine three times a day with meals. (He weighs about 170 lbs.)
The taurine helped his “sick and dysfunctional” retinal cells recover but could not totally restore his vision: “…taking taurine in time was fortuitous in saving enough of my rescuable macular cells to produce an excellent result – but not a 100% cure.”
In Macular Degeneration a Solution, Dr. Zamm also explains that heavy metal poisoning from mercury and other toxic metals have a role in AMD. Heavy metals work to “disable enzymes that are involved in the metabolic conversion of sulfur-containing amino acids that product taurine.”
He includes information about selenium, which is needed for several enzymes including glutathione peroxidase (detoxification). Other factors that can contribute to blurred vision include allergies, chemicals, hypoglycemia, and visual stressors such as reading small print on a computer.
For those who like to dig deeper, Dr. Zamm has provided a list of research studies he found useful. This little lay-friendly book highlights an amino acid that may be key to preserving vision. The book is available at: https://www.amazon.com/Macular-Degeneration-Age-related-Degeneration-AMD/dp/B09LGVYJMP
Reprinted with permission from Townsend Letter for Doctors, (April 2022 issue). To read more of the articles in Townsend Letter, visit: www.townsendletter.com
India Supreme Court Supports
Freedom of Choice Regarding Vaccination
– Landmark decision on May 2, 2022
by Shalini Mehta
We are a family of three: myself, my husband, and our 17-year-old daughter. I started following a vitamin regimen in 2015 when I was desperately seeking answers for my husband’s health after he went through a surgery. I knew that medication alone would not allow him to fully recover. On the other hand, my daughter experienced some horrendous side effects of the MMR vaccine. Finally, God heard my prayers and I happened to hear Andrew Saul in the Food Matters documentary. His knowledge helped me to understand the importance of supplements of essential nutrients. It turned around my and my family’s health.
Then COVID-19 came to India, where I live. On the 20th of March, 2020, our country went for a complete lock-down. Just like everyone we didn’t know what this virus was and how it would impact the world health scenario. But I knew that my family and I were enthusiastic and devoted consumers of vitamins and minerals, even though it’s not easy to get supplements in India.
In the meantime, I heard Dr. Thomas Levy talk about how vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide are helpful against COVID-19. Also I heard Dr. Saul mention that vitamin C, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin A and zinc are important supplements for preventing COVID, and how in some countries intravenous vitamin C is being used to treat COVID.[3-10] We had already been on these supplements since 2015. And we were also very particular about getting our vitamin D and zinc levels checked.
Apart from these supplements, all three of us have been very particular about our health and life choices. We wear a mask while going out to the marketplace, sanitize our hands and use hydrogen peroxide in diluted form on everything that comes from outside in our home. All our vegetables are washed either in salt water or baking soda. We have stopped going to crowded places. We put a shoe rack at the entrance of the house and to date we don’t wear outside shoes inside the house.
We use organic sesame oil in the inner lining of our nose twice a day. In Ayurvedic medicine, sesame oil is stated to be very beneficial to keep any airborne virus from going down the respiratory tract. We eat only organic, local, seasonal, home-cooked food and we are vegetarians. We exercise for half an hour, five times a week and are very active in our home chores. My husband is 53 years old and I am 49 years, and we don’t suffer from any co-morbidity. As a result of this simple yet effective protocol, none of us has been infected with COVID-19.
But a big concern was vaccination. In December 2021 we noticed that even though the government of India was encouraging public to get vaccinated, it was not compulsory. In my country, the government never forces people to do anything related to personal choice, allowing people to make their informed choices. But I was a little uneasy when I learned that vaccination was becoming compulsory in some countries. And in our country, some organizations without consent of the government made it mandatory for people to be double vaccinated, and barred entry of unvaccinated people into their premises.
So, in March 2022, we were encouraged when some good Samaritan lawyers filed petitions in the Supreme Court of India requesting that vaccination should not be forced upon people and that the results of vaccine trials done in India should be made public. Based on this data, it should be a personal choice to get vaccinated, and using evidence, they proved in the court that vaccinated people were spreading infections just as much as non-vaccinated people. They also brought forth the argument that COVID vaccine had created some major challenges in people’s health because the vaccine trials were not extensive and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) was given injudiciously.
So, on May 3, 2022 we woke up to the very positive judgement of the Supreme Court of India that vaccines should not be forced on people because Article 21 of our Indian constitution states ‘the right to life.’ The Court clearly stated: “With respect to bodily integrity and personal autonomy of an individual in the light of vaccines and other health measures introduced to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are of the opinion that bodily integrity is protected under Article 21 (Right to Life) of the constitution and no individual can be forced to be vaccinated.”
This article was reprinted with permission of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. To order a free subscription, go to: http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html and to visit their extensive archives of articles visit: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml.
1. IMDB (2008) Food Matters. Movie, 1h 20m. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1528734
2. Levy TE (2021) Hydrogen Peroxide Nebulization and COVID Resolution: Impressive Anecdotal Results. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v17n13.shtml
3. Saul AW, Doctor X (2021) Vitamin C Treatment of COVID-19: Case Reports. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n47.shtml
4. Holford P (2020) Vitamin C Cuts COVID Deaths by Two-Thirds. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n50.shtml
5. Passwater M (2021) Vitamin C Levels in Critically Ill Covid-19 Patients. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v17n17.shtml
6. Downing D (2020) How we can fix this pandemic in a month. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n49.shtml
7. Grant WB (2021) Update on the beneficial effects of vitamin D for cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and COVID-19. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v17n21.shtml
8. Levy, TE (2021) Canceling the Spike Protein: Striking Visual Evidence. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v17n24.shtml
9. Rasmussen MPF (2020) Vitamin C Evidence for Treating Complications of COVID-19 and other Viral Infections. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n25.shtml
10. Gonzalez MJ (2020) Personalize Your COVID-19 Prevention: An Orthomolecular Protocol. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n31.shtml
11. https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/nobody-can-be-forced-to-get-vaccinated-vaccine-mandates-not-proprortionate-supreme-court-198032 and https://indianexpress.com/article/india/supreme-court-centre-covid-19-vaccine-policy-7897266/ and https://tv9telugu.com/national/supreme-court-rules-no-one-can-be-forced-to-get-vaccinated-for-covid-19-697450.html
Zinc Supplements Lower Blood Glucose Levels: Best in Older Patients with Diabetes
In a randomized placebo-controlled trial of 144 patients with Type 2 diabetes, researchers in Pakistan found that zinc supplements had a positive effect on blood glucose levels. Further, they found that patients in the older age group (51 – 70 years old) had a better response than their younger counterparts (30 – 50 years old). The researchers speculate that the older we are, the more zinc we need and the better we utilize it.
Reported by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, April 2022; https://www.crnusa.org/