South Whidbey Record article on Reboot Center
Posted Jul 6, 2012, 12:34 PM by Dr. Jennifer Schiavone-Ruthensteiner
Posted May 20, 2012, 8:23 AM by Dr. Jennifer Schiavone-Ruthensteiner"Healing is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature."W H Auden
Emerson's rocket launch
Posted May 5, 2012, 10:37 AM by Dr. Jennifer Schiavone-RuthensteinerGet ready for another rocket launch by SpaceX. Jan's son, Emerson, works for this amazing company. Soon enough it will be selling tickets to the moon! The launch is planned for May 19th, so stay tuned.
In considering more than pharmaceuticals for diabetes...
Posted Apr 30, 2012, 4:46 PM by Dr. Jennifer Schiavone-RuthensteinerType 2 Diabetes affects nearly 26 million Americans, and the number is growing annually. Many diabetes drugs have bothersome and potentially dangerous side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, and liver damage. Because of the side effects and a general trend towards the use of alternative medicine in the US, as many as 3.6 million Americans with diabetes have tried some form of alternative medicine for their condition.A new study conducted by my very own alma mater, Bastyr University, demonstrated that boosting one's diabetes protocol with complementary and alternative medicine may indeed have desirable health benefits. And these benefits may also help with other associated health challenges, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol and heart disease.
In the Bastyr study, one group of 369 adults with type 2 diabetes received conventional treatment, including stress management, dietary supplements, and prescription medication. The second group received complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments on top of the standard care provided by their doctors.
The CAM treatments included exercise and diet counseling and regular glucose monitoring from naturopathic physicians. Most of the patients in the study received stress-management counseling, selective dietary supplements, and other individualized measures as part of the conventional care prescribed to them by their regular doctors.
Researchers compared the two groups and their treatments 6 months later, which showed that those who bundled CAM treatments with conventional care had lower blood-sugar levels, better eating and exercise habits, improved mood, and a stronger sense of control over their condition.My opinion: It is wonderful to see funding going towards these types of studies, as their outcomes don't necessarily benefit big pharmaceutical endeavors. To me it seems obvious that a disease that is primarily caused by poor dietary and lifestyle choices should be able to be countered, at least in part, by adopting healthier habits. Onwards and upwards towards making a healthier America!
Can cholesterol slow or stop cancer cell growth?
Posted Apr 21, 2012, 8:57 AM by Dr. Jennifer Schiavone-Ruthensteiner
A Simon Fraser University researcher is among four scientists who argue that cholesterol may slow or stop cancer cell growth. They describe how cholesterol-binding proteins called ORPs may control cell growth in A Detour for Yeast Oxysterol Binding Proteins, a paper published in the latest issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
The scientists came to their conclusion while trying to understand how cholesterol moves around inside cells in the fat’s journey to cell surfaces where it reinforces their outer membrane.
“The assumption was that ORPs bind and transport cholesterol inside cells in a similar fashion to how lipoproteins bind and move around the fat outside cells through the blood stream,” explains Chris Beh. The SFU associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry co-authored this paper.
Beh and his colleagues noted that genetic changes engineered by them block the ability of ORPs to bind cholesterol but don’t stop ORPs from functioning. In fact, these altered ORPs work better and activate other regulator proteins, which in turn trigger a variety of cellular processes that stimulate cell growth.
The scientists believe this happened because cholesterol-binding normally interferes with ORPs’ ability to bind to another lipid or fat called PI4P, which is important for cell growth.
“That told us that ORPs probably have nothing to do with moving around cholesterol within cells,” says Beh. “Rather cholesterol-binding puts the brakes on ORP’s ability to bind to PI4P which, if left unchecked, could accelerate cell growth like crazy,” says Beh. “Given that uncontrolled cell growth is a key feature of cancer, this means gaining a better understanding of the true purpose of cholesterol-binding within cells could be important in cancer treatment.”
Beh and his colleagues draw on two important facts to support their conclusion.
“First, cancer cells require ORPs to survive,” explains Beh. “Second, other scientists have previously shown that a new class of natural compounds that look like steroids or cholesterol can kill a broad spectrum of different cancer cells.”
Beh says he and his research partners will now find out exactly which proteins respond to ORP activation and under what circumstances does cholesterol turn off ORP’s activation of them.
The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Simon Fraser University.
- C. T. Beh, C. R. McMaster, K. G. Kozminski, A. K. Menon. A Detour for Yeast Oxysterol Binding Proteins. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2012; 287 (14): 11481 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.R111.338400
On autoimmune disease and the GUT
Posted Apr 19, 2012, 7:07 AM by Dr. Jennifer Schiavone-RuthensteinerHippocrates, the father of modern medicine, is known to have said "all disease begins in the gut." After that, it seems the Western world had a sort of Medical Middle Ages. However, the profession is shifting towards (I hope) a more whole body-oriented way of diagnosing and treating people. Just a few years ago, routine testing for Vitamin D was unheard of; it is now commonplace. The same is true for the VAP test, a comprehensive cardiovascular check that is much more thorough than the standard "bad cholesterol, good cholesterol, total cholesterol" test. Same goes for the more and more commonplace recommendation of taking probiotics along with antibiotics.Now on to autoimmunity, and back to the gut. When a person is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Grave's Disease, Celiac Disease, or one of many others, there are a few elements that absolutely have to be considered. These include the following:1. Determining and regulating immune function at the level of the intestinal epithelial barrier is key to diagnosis and treatment. In this age of poor dietary habits and strong, often toxic medicines, many of which directly and indirectly trigger leaky gut (which will the be the topic of another post) and mucosal inflammation, the risk of dysregulating the fine balance of GI flora and cellular structure and function increases.2. There are now some excellent predictive autoantibody tests that can determine one's chance of acquiring specific autoimmune illnesses, sometime decades before symptoms present themselves. This is a medical breakthrough. My opinion is that these tests should be selectively conducted during preventive visits. An ounce of prevention...3 Chronic infections can overactivate and in a way confuse the immune system, which may then attempt to go after its own proteins, hence predisposing to autoimmunity.4. Pro-inflammatory dietary & lifestyle triggers can severely interfere with proper balanced functioning of the immune system, especially when repeated offenders enter the body on a daily basis.Two of the four stated points underlying the initiation of autoimmunity have to do with the gut. My lovely grandmother told me when I was a child: "food is your best medicine." I remember those words every day when seeing patients, feeding my children, shopping for groceries. There is a simple trick which I encourage my patients to implement. It can make a world of difference to the gut, and thereby can help the whole body move towards better health and reduce autoimmune triggers. Here's the trick: When about to eat or drink something, ask the simple question: "Is this good for me OR bad for me?" It really is that simple. But it gives the body that one second to recalibrate away from mindless eating and towards thoughtful dietary choices.Where to start? I recommend the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis, which tests for a number of inflammatory, digestive, infectious, and other elements in the stool, thereby giving a clear and objective measure of gut health. I also highly recommend testing for specific predictive antibodies. And eating your veggies.
East meets West
Posted Apr 6, 2012, 9:33 PM by Dr. Jennifer Schiavone-RuthensteinerTai Chi vs. drug therapy for arterial compliance:http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/243764.php vs.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12460707. I've made my choice...you?
Posted Apr 6, 2012, 7:17 AM by Dr. Jennifer Schiavone-Ruthensteiner69 tons of pure oxycodone and 42 tons of pure hydrocodone were dispensed in 2010. TONS! I was shocked when I read this story: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-painkiller-addiction-epidemic-20120405,0,256189.story
Exposure to germs in early life may help strengthen our immune system
Posted Apr 1, 2012, 7:42 AM by Dr. Jennifer Schiavone-RuthensteinerAt last! A new study done on mice demonstrated that exposure to germs in childhood helps develop the immune system and thereby prevents allergies and other immune-related diseases such as asthma and colitis later on in life. So, let your kids play in the dirt. A little bit of it may actually be good for them. Well, at least it appears to be good for baby mice. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2012/03/21/science.1219328.abstract
Interesting connection between Vitamin D and diabetes
Posted Apr 1, 2012, 7:39 AM by Dr. Jennifer Schiavone-RuthensteinerIt appears that the latest research demonstrates a possible link between low levels of Vitamin D (or would a more accurate name be "hormone D?") and being more susceptible to diabetes when one already has slightly high blood sugar. Check out the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=22426800.