Crohn's disease causes severe inflammation in the digestive tract,
usually in a part of the small intestine called the ileum, however
inflammation can occur anywhere in the digestive tract. The most
common symptoms of Crohn's disease are abdominal pain, diarrhea,
rectal bleeding, fever, and weight loss. Over the years a number
of studies have connected Crohn's disease to various infectious
organisms. One of these in particular, Mycobacterium avium
paratuberculosis, or MAP, a relative of the tuberculosis bacteria
has been implicated in a number of studies. The problem has been
that MAP is very difficult to grow in a lab; so proving that
patients with Crohn's disease had an infection with MAP was
particularly difficult, until now. Saleh Naser, Ph.D. associate
professor of molecular biology and microbiology at the University
of Florida, Orlando, developed a new and easier way to culture MAP
in the lab. His findings show that 50% of the patients with Crohn's
disease have MAP infection in their blood, 22% of the patients with
ulcerative colitis (a severe inflammatory condition of the colon)
have it, and none of the patients free of inflammatory bowel diseases
MAP causes an intestinal illness in cattle, goats, and sheep called
Johne's disease. Recently live MAP bacteria have been found in
pasteurized milk in a supermarket in Wales indicating it is a very
tough bacteria. MAP also can pass from mother to child in breast milk.
Apparently some people exposed to the bacteria may be genetically
susceptible to inflammatory bowel diseases, and others may not develop
Crohn's disease because they are not genetically susceptible. The study
appears in the September 18th issue of the journal The
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
If you are diagnosed with Crohn's disease, maybe you shouldn't
just settle for the typical treatment of corticosteriod-anti-inflammatory
medication, The antibiotic Biaxin can kill MAP.
Vitamin D May Build Strong Muscles in the Elderly
In a study of 4,100 ambulatory elderly individuals aged 60 to
over 90, In elderly individuals with the highest levels of active
vitamin D in their blood versus those with the lowest, their walking
time was 27% faster. They could stand quicker and easier from a
sitting position (67% faster). In both active and inactive people
over the age of 60, higher blood levels of vitamin D are associated
with stronger muscles, better physical performance, and this
translates to better ability to stay on their feet and function.
The study is published in the September 2004 issue of The American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.PH.
On June 30th I posted a study connecting low blood levels of
vitamin D to a big jump in the risk of developing severe periodontal
disease. That same day I posted a study connecting lower levels of
vitamin D to an increased risk of developing diabetes. On August
4th I posted a study showing that supplementing with vitamin D,
600 IU to 4,000 IU every day starting in summer and throughout the
winter prevented the development of SAD in these Canadian subjects.
SAD is seasonal affective disorder or the winter blues, a form of
depression suffered by about 11,000,000 Americans. Other studies we
have reviewed on air include a combination of vitamin D and calcium
supplementation decreasing the risk of colon cancer, vitamin D
supplementation benefits patients with MS, vitamin D may help prevent
arthritis, and vitamin D lowers the risk of certain cancers.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.
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