EP 59: Eggs and Salmonella

EP 59: Eggs and Salmonella

Eggs and Salmonella

There has been a debate going on for years about, should eggs be refrigerated. For those of you that don’t know, the US is one of the only countries that keeps eggs in a fridge. It is not a choice whether you should keep your eggs in the fridge, it is the law. The US Department of Agriculture requires eggs to be refrigerated. Should we refrigerate our eggs?

Why do some countries refrigerate their eggs?

In America, food safety officials emphasize that once eggs have been refrigerated, it is critical they remain that way. A cool egg at room temperature can sweat, facilitating the growth of bacteria that could enter the egg through its porous shell. This bacteria is usually salmonella. This is because eggs undergo a different process before they hit the shelves in the US. The reason we need to keep our eggs in the fridge is that the eggs undergo a specific cleaning process before you are able to buy them. 

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined that the best way to fight Salmonella contamination is by sanitizing the eggs before they reach the consumer. The washing process removes contaminants, but it also removes the natural coating of the egg, leaving the shell porous. On U.S. commercial egg farms, it is required that eggs are thoroughly washed and immediately refrigerated before they leave the farm and during transportation to the grocery store”. 

By 1970, the U.S. had perfected an egg washing system that was easy, effective, and produced clean eggs. There was one catch, after washing the eggs had to be refrigerated. The trade-off for clean, spotless, and bacteria-free eggs is that washing also removes a thin, filmy, protective outer layer called the cuticle. This cuticle is a semi-permeable layer that keeps bacteria out of an egg while letting oxygen circulate. Without this layer the egg becomes more permeable, allowing different types of bacteria to enter the egg. That is why eggs are handled differently in the US. without the cuticle, eggs need to be kept cold to discourage bacterial growth. This process also extends the shelf life of eggs by about 2 weeks, totaling about 40 days. Remember once the egg is washed, it has to be refrigerated. 

https://eggsafety.org/us-refrigerate-eggs-countries-dont/

https://www.organicvalley.coop/blog/why-does-us-refrigerate-eggs/

Different Types of Eggs

Standard White Eggs

These eggs come from white hens that are typically raised in conventional housing systems.  Conventional housing has been the standard for decades, but the Alberta egg industry has begun to transition away from conventional housing systems.

Standard Brown Eggs

These eggs come from brown hens that are typically raised in conventional housing systems.  Conventional housing has been the standard for decades, but the Alberta egg industry has begun to transition away from conventional housing systems.

Furnished / Enriched / Nest-Laid Eggs

These eggs come from hens that are raised in furnished housing systems.  Furnished housing provides more space (both floor space and height) for the hens to move around, while also providing a variety of enrichment, which allows the hens to express more natural behaviors.  Enrichments include nesting boxes, perches, scratch pads, and dust baths.

Free-Run Eggs

These eggs come from hens that are raised in free-run (barn or aviary) housing systems.  Free-run systems allow the hens to roam freely within an enclosed barn, while also providing a variety of enrichments such as nesting boxes and perches. 

Free-Range Eggs

These eggs come from hens that are raised in free-run (barn or aviary) housing systems, which also provide access to outdoor runs (when weather permits).

Organic Eggs

These eggs come from hens that are raised in free-range housing systems.  The hens are only provided feed that has been certified organic, which means that it only contains ingredients that were grown without pesticides, herbicides, or commercial fertilizer.  Look for a certified organic symbol on the egg carton.

Omega-3 Eggs

These eggs come from hens that were provided feed containing extra flax (up to 10-20%).  As a result, the eggs laid by these hens contain more Omega-3 fatty acids.

Vitamin-Enhanced Eggs

These eggs come from hens that were provided feed that was nutritionally enhanced to include higher levels of certain vitamins (ie: Vitamin D or Vitamin E).  As a result, the eggs laid by these hens contain corresponding higher amounts of the particular vitamin(s). 

Vegetarian Eggs

These eggs come from hens that were provided feed containing only plant-based ingredients.

Processed Eggs

Liquid, frozen and dried egg products come from eggs that were broken by special egg breaking machines, and then pasteurized.  They often contain added ingredients (ie: preservatives, flavoring, or coloring) and this process allows for special formulations (ie: egg whites only).

https://eggs.ab.ca/eggs/types-of-eggs/

Maintaining egg freshness

It’s a bit disturbing to know that some eggs end up sitting on a shelf somewhere for up to six weeks before you buy them.

The Float Test

  • If you put an egg in a bowl of water and it sinks to the bottom and lays on its side, then it is as fresh.
  • If it sinks but stands on its end, then it is still good to eat but getting older. 
  • If it floats to the top of the water, do not eat it it’s an old egg.

Other Ways to Tell If an Egg Is Fresh

  • If the shell seems unusually thick, then it is fresh.
  • If the yolk stands really tall after you’ve cracked the egg, it is fresh.
  • If the yolk has wrinkles or dissolves into a puddle when you crack it open, then it is an old egg.

https://eggs.ab.ca/eggs/types-of-eggs/

Should you eat eggs every day?

Science says that up to 3 whole eggs per day are perfectly safe for healthy people. A single medium-sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, which is 62% of the recommended daily intake (RDI).

Salmonella

The case for washing before buying

Studies have shown that washing eggs before reaching shelves prevent Salmonella from entering the inside of the egg.

Study 1

Took a look at hundreds of eggs and experimented with the if a washing technique is used to clean the eggs before reaching consumers there would be less salmonella. Its results showed that:  

  • When undertaken according to a strictly controlled set of best practice conditions, washing eggs that have been contaminated with Salmonella before cuticle hardening does not lead to contamination of contents with these pathogens.
  • Careful temperature regulation has to be used to inhibit salmonella entrance into the egg.
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14717344/ 

Study 2

Another study looked at if washing eggs have a greater effect on salmonella than non-washed eggs. They concluded that:

  • The penetration of bacteria across the eggshell is dependent on the survival of bacteria on the eggshell surface and egg storage conditions. Results from this study indicated that there was no significant difference in the survival rate of S. Typhimurium on the eggshell surface of washed and unwashed eggs.
  • Found that S. Typhimurium strain 2 penetration was significantly higher in washed eggs than unwashed eggs.
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951326/

Study 3

Meta-analysis of whether washing eggs had any statistical effect on salmonella.

  • As this literature review shows, the master key to reduce the likelihood of getting ill from Salmonella in eggs from the point of the consumer is to buy Salmonella-free eggs.
  • The large majority of consumers do not have access to eggs with this guaranteed Salmonella-free status. When purchasing/collecting and using these eggs in cooked dishes, three practices will together reduce Salmonella to acceptable numbers: (1) washing hands after touching dirty eggs or egg contents to avoid ingestion of spilled raw eggs, (2) assuring a proper control of cooking time and temperature, monitored by reliable methods, and (3) cleaning of surface that has been in contact with dirty eggshells or egg containments.
  • https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1541-4337.12753 

What is salmonella

Salmonella is a bacterial infection that usually affects the intestinal tract. Salmonella lives in human and animal intestines and are shed through feces. 

People are usually affected through contaminated food or water, usually through uncooked meats, poultry, eggs, and egg products. 

CDC estimates Salmonella bacteria cause about 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths in the United States every year. Food is the source of most of these illnesses.

https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/index.html 

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms can last anywhere from 2 to 10 days. Onset of symptoms can be anywhere from 6 hours to 6 days. Commonly associated with the stomach flu

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Blood in the stool

Prevention

  • Wash your hands
  • Proper raw meat and poultry handling
  • Proper food storage
  • Clean your cutting board

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/salmonella/symptoms-causes/syc-20355329 

 

EP 58: What is The Law of Attraction & How to Use it

EP 58: What is The Law of Attraction & How to Use it

What is the law of attraction?

The law of attraction is an ancient spiritual principle that says what you think and feel about something will attract it to you. It’s been around for centuries but has risen in popularity recently due to the book, “The Secret.”  The law of attraction teaches us that our thoughts are powerful; they’re energy. 

General concept: All thoughts turn into things eventually. The Law of Attraction dictates that whatever can be imagined and held in the mind’s eye is achievable if you take action on a plan to get to where you want to be. This is one of life’s biggest mysteries. Very few people are fully aware of how much of an impact the Law of Attraction has on their day-to-day life.

Disclaimer: The law of attraction lacks scientific evidence for its claims and is generally viewed as pseudoscience. Some things science maybe can’t measure? 

Proverbs 23:7: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. … For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Dr. Joe Dispenza – If you believe that your thoughts have something to do with your destiny, and you can’t think greater than how you feel, or feelings have become the means of thinking, then by the very definition of emotions, you’re thinking in the past, and for the most part, you’re going to keep creating the same life.

Every morning most people get out of bed on the same side of the bed, go to the toilet, get a cup of coffee, take a shower, get dressed, drive to work the same way, do the same things, and see the same people who push the same emotional buttons. That becomes their routine, and it becomes like a program. This is how people lose their free will to a program, and there’s no unseen hand doing it to them…

Most people wait for crisis, trauma, disease, or a diagnosis. They wait for loss or some tragedy to make up their mind to change. And my message is, why wait? You can learn to change in a state of pain and suffering, or you can learn to change in a state of joy and inspiration.

How does it work

The Law of Attraction is the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on. Whether you’re doing it consciously or unconsciously, every moment we act as human magnets sending out our thoughts and emotions and attracting back more of what we put out to the world. Here are the three universal principles of the law of attraction

Positivity attracts positivity 

When we have positive thoughts, good things happen and when we have negative thoughts, bad things happen. This is because our thoughts are magnetic – they provide a direction or force which attracts like-energy (similar thought) towards us and repels opposite-energy (opposite thought). 

Nature Abhors a vacuum

The phrase nature abhors a vacuum is attributed to Aristotle. It means every space in nature needs to be filled with something. This suggests that by removing negative things from your life, life can make space for more positive things to take their place. It is based on the notion that it is impossible to have a completely empty space in your mind and in your life. Since something will always fill this space, it is important to fill that space with positivity

The present is the key 

The law focuses on the idea that you should focus your energy on finding ways to make the present moment the most enjoyable. Rather than feeling angry or unhappy, it is your choice ultimately how you feel, react and what happens to you.

Most are still naive to the full potential that is locked deep within us. It’s easy to leave your thoughts and emotions unchecked. This sends out the same message to the universe and attracts more unwanted emotions and events into your life? 

Most people who believe in this theory also believe that there’s no such thing as luck – everything happens because of the choices we make. What do you think?

How to practice the law of attraction

Now that you realize the power of the law, you can view yourself as an artist that every day has a blank canvas to paint. If you don’t like something about your canvas, simply change it. 

There are a few ways to practice the law of attraction. The easiest is to visualize what you want and hold that vision in your mind until it manifests. Some habits to incorporate into your life are:

  • Practicing being grateful
    • This allows positive feelings every day to crowd your thoughts. 
  • Visualize your goals
    • Imagine or visualize how you want your day to be like.
  • Optimism
    • Looking for the good in situations 
  • Learning how to identify negative thinking
    • Be the bearer of good news and not the source of negativity.
  • Use positive affirmations
    • “Today is going to be a great day” 
    • “I can achieve anything I set my mind to” 
  • Mediation
    • Meditation is very helpful in accessing your centers of energy that match the gut, heart, and head.
  • Be kind to yourself and others
    • Self-care & Self-love. Set time for yourself
    • Diet/exercise
  • Reflect on your progress
    • It will help you stay focused on your efforts to attract what you want in life.
  • Practice acceptance
    • Focus on accepting things as they are. It doesn’t mean the future will suck, but you won’t be wishing for things to be different right now. 

It only takes 2-5 minutes, at home, in the morning to do the meaningful and focused law of attraction practice. In fact, according to Abraham-Hicks, it only takes 17 seconds to start the manifestation.

When is a good time:

  • Set off 2-5 minutes when you wake up.
  • Set off 2-5 during Lunch
  • Set off 2-5 before going to sleep

While this law may not be an immediate solution for all of life’s challenges, it can help you learn to cultivate a more positive outlook on your life. That positive attitude may help you stay more focused, to be persistent towards your goals. 

Being realistic about the law of attraction

The fact at the end of the day no matter your belief, people’s lives are always the result of their daily actions. 

As you become older, you see that all habits catch up to people. Both good ones, and bad ones. Those people whose lives are on an upward trajectory, that momentum takes years to build. It’s thousands of days of compound work. 

With that being said, optimistic viewpoints drive proactive behavior that, in turn, creates attitudes towards your reality. So applying the law with discipline is a recipe for success. 

Concluding thoughts

The law of attraction is a universal spiritual principle that says you attract what you think about. It’s not just some “new-age” concept – it actually works! When we’re open-minded about our desires before setting them into motion with positive actions (known as affirmations), we’ll find ourselves attracting success quicker than ever imagined possible.

 

EP: 57 Walmart’s Insulin & Magic Mushrooms Regrow Brain Tissue

EP: 57 Walmart’s Insulin & Magic Mushrooms Regrow Brain Tissue

Walmart created an insulin brand to undercut the market.  

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) released in 2018 estimating the total costs of diagnosed diabetes have risen to $327 billion in 2017 from $245 billion in 2012 when the cost was last examined. This represents a 26% increase over a Five-year period.

So, Walmart just launched a more affordable analog insulin branded ReliOn. The Brand is designed to overcome common impediments, like the affordability of and access to diabetes care, especially for those without health insurance. There are three different kinds of ReliOn Novolin insulins available. There is regular, or short-acting, intermediate (N), and a mixed 70/30 available in the ReliOn line of insulins.

ReliOn/NovoLIN N is an intermediate-acting insulin that starts to work within 2 to 4 hours after injection, peaks in 4 to 12 hours, and keeps working for 12 to 18 hours.

The analog insulin vials and will save customers between 58% to 75% off the cash price of branded insulin products, or up to $101 per vial or $251 per package of “FlexPens,” the retailer said. The medication will be available in Walmart pharmacies and Sam’s Club pharmacies in July. 

More than 34 million people in the country (11%) suffer from diabetes, with an additional 1.5 million diagnosed within the United States every year, according to the American Diabetes Association. 

According to data from the Health Care Cost Institute, people with Type 1 diabetes in the U.S. had to dish out $5,700 per year in 2016, up from $2,600 in 2012.

“The price point, we hope, will improve and hopefully revolutionize the accessibility and affordability of insulin,” said Walmart’s Executive Vice President Cheryl Pegus of the company’s health and wellness department, according to the report.

Seems purely philanthropic but this is the largest grocer and employer in the U.S and now, just like Amazon, will take a cut in the healthcare brand market. 

Walmart so far has opened 20 clinics adjacent to its stores with budget-level medical care, including $25 dental cleanings, and $30 annual checkups. They even bought a telehealth company called MeMD in May to offer virtual care and has exerted pressure on the entire pharmaceuticals industry before sending its prescription program to market, which provides monthly supplies of ubiquitous generic drugs for wildly low prices of $4.

https://www.diabetes.org/resources/statistics/cost-diabetes

https://healthcostinstitute.org/

https://corporate.walmart.com/newsroom/2021/05/06/walmart-health-to-acquire-telehealth-provider-memd

https://www.walmart.com/cp/4-prescriptions/1078664

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/prices-insulin-skyrocket-walmart-launches-affordable-brand/story?id=78577787

Psychedelic Mushrooms Can Regrow Brain Tissue Lost in Depression

According to a new study in the journal of Neuron, psilocybin, which shows up naturally in some mushrooms, has shown signs of increasing durable connections between neurons in mouse brains. 

In this study, they used two-photon microscopy to image longitudinally the apical dendritic spines of layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the mouse medial frontal cortex.

What are pyramidal neurons?

Pyramidal neurons are the most populous members of the excitatory family in the brain areas they inhabit. They comprise about two-thirds of all neurons in the mammalian cerebral cortex, which places them center-stage for many important cognitive processes.

What do pyramidal neurons do? 

Like many other types of neuron, their main job is to transform synaptic inputs into a patterned output of action potentials. What makes them special is their numerical dominance, as well as the fact that they are ‘projection neurons’ — they often send their axons for long distances, sometimes out of the brain altogether. For example, pyramidal neurons in layer 5 of the motor cortex send their axons down the spinal cord to drive muscles. Pyramidal neurons might thus be thought of as the ‘movers and shakers of the brain.

Study highlights

  • Psilocybin improves stress-related behavioral deficit in mice
  • Psilocybin increased spine density and spine size in frontal cortical pyramidal cells
  • Psilocybin-evoked structural remodeling is persistent for at least 1 month
  • The dendritic rewiring is accompanied by elevated excitatory neurotransmission

The researchers observed rising numbers and girth of dendritic spines on the first day following exposure to psilocybin. The girth increase happens to create small protrusions on nerve cells capable of enhancing the way information transmits from one neuron to the next. 

These changes persisted for at least a month, and the mice previously placed in stressful situations exhibited improved behavior, with increased neurotransmitter activity, following the administration of psilocybin.

How Depression Affects the Brain

No one knows for sure what causes depression, but researchers have determined that it is definitely a disorder that has biological underpinnings and that the chemistry of the brain plays a big role. 

  • Cortisol and memory
      • The hippocampus releases the hormone cortisol when you’re stressed, which includes episodes of depression. When your brain gets flooded with cortisol for long periods of time, it can slow or stop the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus. This results in the hippocampus actually shrinking in size, which in turn leads to memory problems.
  • Cortisol and the amygdala 
      • The influx of cortisol triggered by depression also causes the amygdala to enlarge. This is a part of the brain associated with emotional responses. When it becomes larger and more active, it causes sleep disturbances, changes in activity levels, and changes in other hormones.
  • Brain inflammation 
    • Inflammation shuts down energy production in the neurons, so brain endurance drops, making it harder to read, work, or concentrate for any length of time. This also leads to depression. In the long run, chronic neuroinflammation results in neuron death and brain degenerative disorders.

https://interestingengineering.com/psychedelic-mushrooms-regrow-brain-tissue-depression

https://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(21)00423-2?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0896627321004232%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(11)01198-5.pdf

https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/how-major-depression-affects-the-brain-and-body-why-residential-treatment-can-help/

 

EP 56: Nitrates, Nitrites and NMN

EP 56: Nitrates, Nitrites and NMN

Nitrates and Nitrites

Manufacturers add nitrites to meat to preserve them. They’re the reason why cured meat is pink or red. In meat, nitrites turn into nitric oxide. This reacts with proteins in the meat, changing its color and helping preserve it.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jsfa.2740261117

Nitrates are fairly stable by themselves and not likely to cause direct harm. However, bacteria in your mouth and other enzymes in the body can convert nitrates into nitrites, and those are harmful.

Most of the nitrites we encounter aren’t consumed directly but are converted from nitrates. Nitrites can either turn into:

  • nitric oxide, which is beneficial for the body
  • nitrosamines, which can be harmful

The relationship between dietary nitrates/nitrites and health is a lot more complex than just saying “they’re bad for us”. For example, the high natural nitrate content of beetroot juice has been credited with lowering blood pressure and enhancing exercise performance. Nitrates are also the active ingredient in some medications for angina.

The difference between the nitrates in vegetables and meat is that the plants absorb them from the ground while for meats it is an additive.

When the nitrites are ingested, one of the things that happen is they react in the acidic environment of the stomach and form nitrosamines.

  • Nitrosamines are considered to be cancerous and linked to bowel cancer

For this to occur amines need to be present, chemicals related to ammonia that are found abundantly in protein foods. Nitrosamines can also be created directly in foods through high-heat cooking, as with fried bacon.

Nitrites and cancer link

A total of 22 articles consisting of 49 studies—19 studies for nitrates, 19 studies for nitrites, and 11 studies for N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)

  • High nitrates intake was associated with a weak but statistically significant reduced risk of gastric cancer. Whereas increased consumption of nitrites and NDMA seemed to be risk factors for cancer.

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/12/5505

According to the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, run by WHO states:

Nitrates or nitrites found primarily in meat sources are probably carcinogenic to humans, conclusions from epidemiologic studies are somewhat mixed. High nitrate intake may be associated with a decreased risk of gastric cancer, whereas nitrite intake may increase the risk of glioma and thyroid and gastric cancers

https://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/home/tools/fact-sheets/dietary-nitrates-nitrites-and-cancer/

https://www.iarc.who.int/

The North American Meat Institute

 “…Nitrates and Nitrites provide a critical food safety function by helping to prevent Botulism and other foodborne illnesses.”
 

What is NMN

NMN is short for nicotinamide mononucleotide, a molecule naturally occurring in all life forms. NMN is the precursor of the essential molecule nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+).

NAD+ is an essential coenzyme required for all cellular life and function. Coenzymes are  ‘helper’ molecules that enzymes need in order to function. 

Why is NAD and MNM Important

As organisms grow older, they accrue DNA damage due to environmental factors such as radiation, pollution, and imprecise DNA replication. According to the current aging theory, the accumulation of DNA damage is the main cause of aging. Almost all cells contain the ‘molecular machinery’ to repair this damage. This machinery consumes NAD+ and energy molecules. Therefore, excessive DNA damage can drain valuable cellular resources.

  • One important DNA repair protein, PARP (Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase), depends on NAD+ to function. Older individuals experience decreased levels of NAD+. The accumulation of DNA damage as a result of the normal aging process leads to increased PARP, which causes decreased NAD+ concentration. This depletion is exacerbated by any further DNA damage in the mitochondria.

NAD+ plays an especially active role in metabolic processes, such as glycolysis, the TCA Cycle (AKA Krebs Cycle or Citric Acid cycle), and the electron transport chain, which occurs in our mitochondria and is how we obtain cellular energy.

https://www.nmn.com/precursors/what-is-nmn

NAD has been shown to effects many parts and functions of our body. Research is currently looking at the potential effects NAD might have on human health and lifespan. 

Potential for NAD

Aging

  • NAD+ is the fuel that helps sirtuins (Sirtuins play a key role in regulating cellular homeostasis) sustain genome integrity and promote DNA repair. Like a car cannot drive without fuel, sirtuins’ activation requires NAD+. Results from animal studies showed that raising NAD+ levels in the body activates sirtuins and increases the lifespans of yeast, worms and mice. Although animal studies showed promising results in anti-aging properties, scientists are still studying how these results can translate to humans.
  • https://www.nmn.com/news/nmn-supplementation-may-improve-conditions-associated-with-reduced-dna-integrity 

Metabolic Disorders

Heart Function

  • Boosting NAD+ levels protects the heart and improves cardiac functions. High blood pressure can cause an enlarged heart and blocked arteries that lead to strokes. In mice, NAD+ boosters have replenished NAD+ levels in the heart and prevented injuries to the heart caused by a lack of blood flow. Other studies have shown that NAD+ boosters can protect mice from abnormal heart enlargement.
  • https://www.nmn.com/news/nmn-provides-heart-protection-in-mice 

Neurodegeneration

Immune System

  • As adults get older the immune system declines, people get ill more easily, and it becomes harder for people to bounce back from illnesses such as the seasonal flu, or even COVID-19. Recent studies have suggested that NAD+ levels play an important role in regulating inflammation and cell survival during the immune response and aging. The study underscored the therapeutic potential of NAD+ for immune dysfunction.
  • https://www.nmn.com/news/treating-aging-overcome-covid-19 

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1535370220929287

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/350/6265/1208.abstract

https://www.nmn.com/precursors/what-is-nmn

NADH

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) + hydrogen (H) is used as a supplement as well. NADH is used for improving mental clarity, alertness, concentration, and memory; as well as for treating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Because of its role in energy production, NADH is also used for improving athletic performance and treating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Unfortunately, there isn’t enough evidence to know whether the supplementation works. 

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1016/nadh

 

EP 55: Ivermectin & CRISPR Treats Genetic Disease

EP 55: Ivermectin & CRISPR Treats Genetic Disease

In this episode, we are going to talk about a new breakthrough in CRISPR technology and Ivermectin.

CRPSIR Injected Into Bloodstream treats a Genetic Disease for the First Time

Ever since we started to talk about CRISPR-Cas9, they have been pushing the boundaries of genome modifications. Just in May researchers were using CRISPR to fix cholesterol in monkeys. 

Just last year, researchers used CRISPR to turn on a fetal form of hemoglobin to correct sickle cell disease or related disease in several people. The treatment required removing a patient’s diseased blood stem cells, modifying them with CRISPR in a dish, and then infusing them back into the body.

The new major breakthrough in gene modification, researchers at University College London (UCL) injected CRISPR into the blood of six people with a genetic condition between the ages 46 and 64. Three of those people showed positive results, creating the opportunity to further trials using this approach. 

The genetic condition is known as transthyretin amyloidosis (TRR). Amyloidosis is a protein misfolding disorder. In this disease, proteins change shape (misfold), then bind together and form amyloid fibrils which deposit in organs. They frequently occur in the peripheral nervous system, which results in a loss of sensation in the extremities (peripheral neuropathy). The autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary body functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, and digestion, may also be affected by amyloidosis.

These amyloid fibrils usually deposit in:

  • The wrist is called the carpal tunnel. This can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes your hand and arm to become numb and tingle.
  • The spinal canal, which can cause narrowing of the spinal column (spinal stenosis).
  • The heart, which can cause heart failure and/or an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome and spinal stenosis can develop several years before heart failure.

Most CRISPR-related treatments involve treatment of the cells in-vitro, injecting into the target organ. This study was different because it required a mode of transport of the whole editing assembly inside the cells. Researchers at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals used messenger RNAs (mRNAs), which carry instructions for making proteins. Since the host cell can use the mRNAs to make its own proteins, researchers simply needed to send enough information to enable CRISPR editing inside the cell.

They injected two messenger RNAs (mRNAs), one identified the mutation on the TTR gene and one made the Cas protein that can cut the DNA at the directed site. It also made it easier for the researchers, since the liver is the site of origin for the disease. 

The mRNAs were encased in lipid particles, which were taken up by the liver cells, allowing the mRNAs entry inside the cell. Once there, the cellular machinery made the necessary Cas protein, which cut the mutation site recognized by the other mRNA. The in-house DNA repair mechanism kicks in and repairs the cut site but this time, leaves the gene out, thereby stopping the production of misfolded protein. 

After 28 days, three men given the higher of two doses of the treatment had an 80% to 96% drop in TTR levels, better than the average of 81% with Patisiran, the current treatment for TTR. This new RNA silences TRR’s production temporarily meaning it must be injected on a regular basis. 

Patisiran (ONPATTRO) costs $13,022 per vial. The annual cost is between $451,430 and $677,145 per patient depending on the weight of the patient.

Jennifer Dounda who last year shared a Nobel prize for developing the gene editor CRISPR says “a critical first step in being able to inactivate, repair, or replace any gene that causes disease, anywhere in the body.”

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17855-amyloidosis-attr

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549697/#:~:text=Patisiran%20is%20supplied%20in%20single,cost%20of%20%2413%2C022.02%20per%20vial.&text=The%20annual%20cost%20is%20between,kg

Ivermectin in the Fight against COVID 19

Ivermectin is being talked about in greater numbers. Research is coming out this antiparasitic drug might be used for covid 19 in prophylaxis and even in possible treatment. It seems that ivermectin interferes with COVID 2 possible ways.

  1. Reports from in vitro studies suggest that ivermectin acts by inhibiting the host importin alpha/beta-1 nuclear transport proteins, which are part of a key intracellular transport process that viruses hijack to enhance infection by suppressing the host’s antiviral response.
  2. Ivermectin docking may interfere with the attachment of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein to the human cell membrane. 

https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/therapies/antiviral-therapy/ivermectin/

Interesting facts: 

  • Between 1995 and 2010 the program using donated ivermectin to prevent river blindness is estimated to have prevented seven million years of disability whilst costing US$257 million.
  • Costs about 7 dollars per pill and generics are available. 

What is the research showing

  1. Ivermectin: a systematic review from antiviral effects to COVID-19 complementary regimen
    1. Examined the antiviral properties of Ivermectin
    2. Ivermectin proposes many potential effects to treat a range of diseases, with its antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-cancer properties as a wonder drug.
      1. In this comprehensive systematic review, the antiviral effects of ivermectin are summarized including in vitro and in vivo studies over the past 50 years. Several studies reported antiviral effects of ivermectin on RNA viruses
        1. There are some studies showing antiviral effects of ivermectin against DNA viruses
      2. Ivermectin plays a role in several biological mechanisms, therefore it could serve as a potential candidate in the treatment of a wide range of viruses including COVID-19 as well as other types of positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses.
      3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32533071/
  2. Ivermectin, a US Food and Drug Administration-approved anti-parasitic agent, was found to inhibit severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replication in vitro.
    1. The trial included 72 hospitalized patients in Dhaka, Bangladesh, who were assigned to one of three groups: 
      1. oral ivermectin alone (12 mg once daily for 5 days.
      2. oral ivermectin in combination with doxycycline (12 mg ivermectin single dose and 200 mg doxycycline on day 1, followed by 100 mg every 12 h for the next 4 days)
      3. A placebo control group. 
    2. Results: 
      1. Clinical symptoms of fever, cough, and sore throat were comparable among the three groups. 
      2. Virological clearance was earlier in the 5-day ivermectin treatment arm when compared to the placebo group (9.7 days vs 12.7 days; p = 0.02), but this was not the case for the ivermectin + doxycycline arm (11.5 days; p = 0.27). 
      3. There were no severe adverse drug events recorded in the study. A 5-day course of ivermectin was found to be safe and effective in treating adult patients with mild COVID-19.
      4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33278625/
  3. Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19
    1. A large majority of randomized and observational controlled trials of ivermectin are reporting repeated, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes. Numerous prophylaxis trials demonstrate that regular ivermectin use leads to large reductions in transmission.
    2. Results:
      1. Meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 have found large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance. 
      2. Results from numerous controlled prophylaxis trials report significantly reduced risks of contracting COVID-19 with the regular use of ivermectin. 
      3. The many examples of ivermectin distribution campaigns leading to rapid population-wide decreases in morbidity and mortality indicate that an oral agent effective in all phases of COVID-19 has been identified.
      4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8088823/

 

EP 54: Podcasting in Nature

EP 54: Podcasting in Nature

After 8 months of staying in California, it’s time for the well-deserved break from travel nursing.

Being travel nurses, we are privileged to take mini-vacations in between contracts. To start our break, we took a little RV trip for 2 weeks exploring the Pacific West to reconnect with ourselves and keep grounded amidst all the chaos in reality and the internet.

We strongly recommend taking these mini nature trips to take some time away and experience calmness once in a while. Not just for nurses but for anyone who has been working so hard to strengthen your mental health.

While reconnecting with nature, we prepared this episode to show you how peaceful and relaxing it is to reconnect with nature. Follow our trip by watching our vlogs on Youtube to get inspiration for your next getaway.