Virus Linked to Changes that Appear in Early Stages of Prostate Cancer

August 11, 2004

Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School have found evidence that a common and usually innocuous virus, the BK virus, may be at least part of the cause for prostate cancer. The researchers analyzed prostate tissue from men who had their prostates surgically removed to prevent metastasis. 71% of these samples contained genetic material from the virus. The BK virus is commonly found in people, and it causes a lifelong, subclinical and persistent infection in the urinary tract. It can cause kidney and bladder disease if the immune system is compromised. The study is published July 19th, 2004 in the online edition of Oncogene.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph

Recent evidence is showing a cross section of illnesses may sometimes be caused by viruses or bacteria. A recent study in Africa showed that a virus was implicated in that area only in the onset of breast cancer, gingivitis causing bacteria have been shown to contribute to cardiovascular disease, particular strains of E. Coli may cause Crohn's disease, the Epstein Barr virus is implicated in testicular and other cancers and strains of the wart virus can cause cervical and head and neck cancers. It is important to keep your immune system healthy. A multiple-vitamin, mineral supplement is needed for normal immune system activity, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are needed for balancing immune function. NAC and SOD protect immune cells from their own chemical arsenal, and the herbs Astragalus, Olive Leaf, and Maitake Mushroom can promote immune activity. L-Theanine and mild exercise can help prevent inhibition of the immune system by stress. Fruits and vegetables are also needed for antioxidant protection.

Even Slightly Low Thyroid Function Contributes to Heart Disease

The thyroid gland releases hormones that allow you to unlock and use available energy. Low function of the thyroid gland is called hypothyroid or hypothyroidism. Many people have subclinical hypothyroidism, where it is not easy for your doctor to detect and the symptoms of fatigue, depression, weight gain, and anxiety may be marginal. Japanese researchers evaluated 2550 subjects who were screened for thyroid activity for a connection between subclinical hypothyroidism and cardiovascular disease. They were originally screened between 1984 and 1987. Heart disease developed 2.6 times more often in people with subclinical hypothyroidism than in individuals with normal thyroid activity. When evaluating the sexes separately men had a 3.7 fold increased risk, and women had a 1.6 fold increased risk. During the ten year follow-up after screening death was more common in men than those with normal thyroid function but not women. The study is published in the July 2004 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine Aids Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic nerve damage leads to pain and loss of sensation. It is a leading risk factor for foot amputation. A study of 333 patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy compared the effects of Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) versus placebo in these patients. They were supplemented with injectable ALC at 1,000mg for ten days (a very short time), and given 2,000mg by mouth for the rest of the study period (355 days). The patients treated with ALC had a significant improvement in nerve function - such as the velocity of nerve conduction and the improvement in strength of conduction (which can translate to improved sensation of feeling). The patients on ALC had a 39% improvement in pain where the placebo patients had only an 8% improvement. The study is published in Drug R D, 2002;3(4):223-231.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph

Other nutrients found to be useful for diabetic neuropathy include Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Phosphatidylserine, Ginkgo Biloba, B-complex vitamins, minerals, and DHA.