Creating Waves of Awareness
EDITORIAL | There is something very creepy about this type of scientific research.
We have entered the Vaccine Era at the end of the antibiotic era. Is it safe and effective? In the same way that antibiotics left their mark on the environment and society, how will history look back on vaccines?
Humans are complicated creatures, with so many hormones, proteins, chemicals, nerves and components that interact in ways yet unknown. So, lets tinker with this one or that one here and there. I'm sure we can come up with a human who works better than the one that evolved over millennia or that God created depending upon your point of view.
How is it that a "little known hormone" suddenly appears on the scene, called ghrelin? My automatic spell checker wants to change it to gherkin, as in the pickle we will find ourselves in, or what I'm tending to think of as gremlin, as in stranger than human.
Human hormones work in mystical ways, including affecting our moods, dreams, emotions and fears. They are there for a reason. Doesn't it make sense to investigate how they protect us from harm, or how we can deal with these changeable moods and fears in a way that requires personal interaction, communication, understanding and touch?
Doesn't it make sense for us to make sense out of all this? Do you think that an injection, a pill, a mind blowing drug with encapsulate the problem and secure it away never to see the light of day? All these repression techniques belie the trust we must have in our own body's ability to heal and recover from trauma naturally.
Perhaps what this tells us concerns the amount of trauma and the reasons for reducing these types of trauma. I'm referring to hatred and war. I'm telling you that trauma from killing, maiming, abusing, raping and hurting other human beings protects us in a fashion. It tells us that its NOT OKAY to behave in the manner.
Now, if we give you a shot to take away your PTSD, what in heaven will protect your psyche and soul from wanting to go out and kill other human beings? Are we on the road to create zombies, soldiers who have no moral compass and no reason to feel or touch another human being in a compassionate manner? If we lose our connection and network of nerves can we even call ourselves human anymore?
By tinkering with the plants we eat, we have already seen the disastrous results of deformed animals, proliferation of tumors, resistant insects and plants and a denatured soil due to monoculture and GMO breeding.
In addition, we may lose the lessons we learn through patience and time. Each life has a mission and a reason to be on the planet. By reducing each person's potential to earn and learn from challenges in life, we reduce their ability to fulfill their mission. I don't mean to say that people should suffer with PTSD. I mean to say, those who suffer will fight for healing in others and for peace on earth.
Maybe the answer comes in the form of training health care providers in biofeedback, meditation, stress reduction techniques, homeopathy, sleep therapy and many other forms of natural medicine. How about relationship training for family members to reduce the number of rapes and criminal acts that occur daily?
Another lesson we learn from the investigation of this 'little known hormone' ghrelin concerns the vital connection between the guts and the brain. What we eat and how we think. If we start fiddling around with the gut hormones, what's going to happen to our ability to absorb necessary nutrients? Will we see all kinds of auto-immune disease as a result of these vaccines? Will we see some change in brain chemistry and 'unexpected' thinking or non-thinking patterns? Can we predict the future when we play with our hormones? I wonder...
It's a breakthrough that could help thousands of American soldiers returning from dangerous deployments. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe they may have discovered a way to create a vaccine that could prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
"What it's going to do is that they'll still have perfectly strong memories of the event. They just won't have the bad health consequences," said Ki Goosens, an assistant professor of neuroscience with the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.
The key is a lesser-known hormone produced by the stomach called ghrelin.
"One of the really interesting things about ghrelin that was sort of unexpected...was that the background levels of ghrelin go up if an organism has experienced a period of prolonged stress," Goosens said. "So the more stressed you are, the more ghrelin your stomach will churn out and so in that regard, it's a stress hormone."
During experiments, researchers found rats given a drug to stimulate ghrelin levels became more susceptible to fear -- but by blocking the receptors, the researchers reduced fear.
Molly Line joined Fox News Channel as a Boston-based correspondent in January 2006.
Is Post Traumatic Stress real? Really? They had to ask.
Long-term administration of a drug that mimics the hunger-signaling hormone ghrelin protected Alzheimer's disease-model mice from memory deterioration, despite a high-glycemic-index (GI) diet, according to research published in the journal Scientific Reports by University of Alabama at Birmingham investigator Inga Kadish, Ph.D., and colleagues.
Kadish, the senior author of the UAB paper, showed in 2013 that long-term (four months) administration of the ghrelin agonist -- an experimental drug from Eli Lilly and Company that binds to the ghrelin receptor and produces an even greater response than ghrelin -- protected Alzheimer's disease-model mice from memory deterioration. The current paper expands that research by including a possible risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, the high-GI diet.
"With chronic diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer's, you need to do a long-term study," said Kadish, an assistant professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, UAB School of Medicine. "So we did the long-term experiment with the worst-case scenario, a high-GI diet. Alzheimer's disease has 10 or 20 risk factors, and some of the strongest risk factors are diabetes or metabolic syndrome."
In contrast to short-term administration of the ghrelin agonist drug -- which impairs insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, which are signs of metabolic syndrome and diabetes -- the researchers found that the long-term ghrelin agonist treatment did not impair insulin signaling and glucose tolerance in Alzheimer's disease mice fed a high GI diet.
The Alzheimer's disease-model mice have three mutations in the amyloid beta (A4) precursor protein that have come from human families in Sweden, the Netherlands and Iowa that have familial Alzheimer's. These mice show a deterioration in spatial learning as they age -- in other words, they get lost when trying to swim to a platform hidden just beneath the water surface that they previously were trained to find in a 4-foot-wide pool.
The test mice fed with the ghrelin agonist and the high-GI diet showed long-term cognitive enhancement in this water maze test, as compared to the mice fed with a normal diet or high-GI diet only. The test mice also showed more activity and reduced body weight and fat mass. The test mice also showed a beneficial impact of the long-term ghrelin agonist treatment on insulin signaling pathways in hippocampal brain tissue. Alzheimer's patients show significant shrinkage of the hippocampus, a part of the brain cortex that has a key role in forming new memories.
"The present results suggest," the authors wrote, "that ghrelin might improve cognition in Alzheimer's disease via a central nervous system mechanism involving insulin signaling."
First author of the paper, titled "Ghrelin agonist does not foster insulin resistance but improves cognition in an Alzheimer's disease-mouse model," is Nicolas Kunath, M.D., of the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany, who came to UAB as a visiting student for five months. Co-authors are Thomas van Groen, associate professor, Ashish Kumar and Monique Dozier-Sharpe, all in the UAB Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology; and David B. Allison, Ph.D., director of the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center and Office of Energetics, and professor in the UAB School of Public Health.
This paper from the Kadish lab is one piece of a much larger research effort at UAB, Allison says.
"These new results are an important part of a larger ongoing project for which we received a rare 'Transformative R01 Grant' from the National Institutes of Health," Allison said. "The overall project tests whether perceptions of one's environmental circumstances that relate to security of ability to obtain food energy and social disparity affect fatness and the fundamental rate of aging. Our longitudinal studies are starting to yield exciting findings in multiple species."
Heading straight for the fridge after a blowout with your partner? Marital stress and bickering can in fact work up an appetite, per a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science.
Researchers at the University of Deleware and Ohio State University studied the interactions of 43 couples, who have been married for longer than three years, by filming them eating a meal together and then attempting to talk through a problem within their relationship. While the couples’ “problem discussions” took place, the scientists observed how the pair communicated, their hostility levels, and even subtle details like put-downs and eye rolls.
They also used blood tests to track the men and women’s hormone levels before and after the exchanges and examined their heights, weights, BMIs, and typical diets.
It turns out, couples who had hostile exchanges and showed signs of a distressed marriage saw a surge of the appetite-triggering hormone ghrelin post-argument, and they had poorer diets overall. However, this was only the case for those who were in a normal to overweight BMI range (30 or lower).
The amped up hunger some couples may experience after a spousal spat could have negative longer-term health implications, the study explains, such as worsened emotional eating behavior or obesity.
“Ghrelin’s not just pushing you to eat,” lead study author Lisa Jaremka, an assistant professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Delaware, told Today. “It’s creating a craving for specific types of foods: those that are high in sugar, high in fat and high in salt.”
One of the most interesting side effects you may feel after training with The Altitude Centre is that compared to training at sea level, you don’t feel very hungry afterwards.
A study published by the journal ‘Appetite’ investigated this and found that exposure to hypoxia of 14.5 per cent (2980m) reduced plasma concentration of ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry.
The study from the University of Bedfordshire investigated the effects of continuous moderate-intensity and high-intensity interval exercise in combination with short exposure to hypoxia on appetite.
Subjects comprising of 12 men completed four, 2.6-hour trials of moderate intensity and high intensity interval exercise at normoxia and hypoxia.
During moderate intensity exercise, the subjects ran for 50 minutes at 70 per cent of their altitude specific VO2 max, and during high intensity exercise, six sets of three minutes running at 90 per cent of their altitude VO2 max (with a seven minute warm-up and cool-down at 70 per cent VO2 max).
Exercise was completed after a controlled breakfast, and the participants ate another controlled, standardised meal (equivalent to 30 per cent of daily energy requirements) 45 minutes after exercise.
The results showed that participants’ appetite was lowered after hypoxic training compared to normoxia (sea level) due to lower concentrations of ghrelin found after hypoxic training, and this effect occurred during exercise, post-exercise, and for the full 2.6-hour trial period. Levels of ghrelin were also higher in high intensity interval exercise than moderate intensity exercise in hypoxic conditions during exercise.
These findings demonstrate that short exposure to hypoxia causes suppressions in appetite and ghrelin concentrations, and appetite responses to exercise do not appear to be influenced by the type of exercise completed.
This is great news for those of you fighting off the doughnut cravings at 2pm; our lunch time classes – high intensity interval cardio and Summit Circuits – may be able to help you manage a healthy eating plan.
For those of you heading to high altitudes for a trek or climb, we advise eating double whilst at altitude, even if you’re not feeling that hungry; book a Mountaineering Consultation for more information on summiting safely and successfully.