A 3-year-old girl presented with severe epilepsy in the context of Borrelia infection. After ceftriaxone/lidocaine administration, she showed secondarily generalized focal crises that led to neurological and motor sequelae. Genetic studies identified in the patient two heterozygous POLG mutations (c.2591A>G; p.Asn864Ser and c.3649G>C; p.Ala1217Pro). Through analysis of POLG activity in cultured fibroblasts, we confirmed that the mutations altered the mtDNA turnover. Moreover, patient fibroblasts were more sensitive than controls in the presence of a mitochondrial replication-affecting drug, the antiretroviral azidothymidine. To test if ceftriaxone treatment could worsen the deleterious effect of the patient mutations, toxicity assays were performed. Cell toxicity, without direct effect on mitochondrial respiratory function, was detected at different antibiotic concentrations.
The clinical outcome, together with the different in vitro sensitivity to ceftriaxone among patient and control cells, suggested that the mitochondrial disease symptoms were hastened by the infection and were possibly worsened by the pharmacological treatment.
This study underscores the benefit of early genetic diagnosis of the patients with mitochondrial diseases, since they may be a target group of patients especially vulnerable to environmental factors.
Great work hailing from Spain demonstrating that some patients have a genetic predisposition setting them up for treatment failure. This is not a “21 days of doxycycline” treatment and the sooner mainstream medicine wakes up from its coma the better! Until it does, patients will not improve.
Disulfiram is the commonly prescribed drug for the treatment of alcohol dependence. It’s major metabolite (diethyldithiocarbamate) is an inhibitor of dopamine-betahydroxylase, an enzyme that catalyzes the metabolism of dopamine to norepinephrine resulting in psychosis. We recommend that disulfiram should be used at the lowest effective dose, possibly 250 mg daily and caution should be taken while prescribing disulfiram for patients with personal and familial antecedents of psychosis.…..Disulfiram-related psychiatric complications are reported to be more prevalent in eastern countries,3) which suggests that genetic factors may play a role in disulfiram induced psychosis.
In this paper, a hypothesis of vulnerability to disulfiram psychosis is proposed, based on the current lines of evidence for the biological mechanisms involved in the psychoses.
Disulfiram Is a DA Agonist
Disulfiram is an inhibitor of dopamine-beta- hydroxylase (DBH), an enzyme that catalyzes the metabolism of DA to norepinephrine (NE).3 By inhibiting the metabolic pathway from DA to NE in the central nervous system, disulfiram results in an increase of DA concentrations. Therefore, disulfiram is a DA agonist, and is likely to exacerbate preexisting or latent psychosis, similar to amphetamine, methylphenidate and L-dopa.
DA and Affective Psychosis
Increased brain DA is highly correlated with psychomotor activity in animals, and L-dopa has been shown to produce episodes of hypo mania and mania in most patients with bipolar affective psychosis.4 It is possible, therefore, that disulfiram can uncover a preexisting or latent hypomania or mania.
Ticks carry a multitude of bacteria that can harm human health, and a College of Medicine doctoral student is identifying all of them, in hopes of giving physicians ammunition against Lyme disease.
Lying inside a freezer in Drexel’s College of Medicine are 500 dead, mourned by no one.
The deer ticks, dog ticks, lone star ticks and other tiny parasites in the diminutive morgue traveled from nearly every state in the country to reach this resting place. They arrived in baggies or cookie tins or what-have-you, scooped from meadows and forests by helpful volunteers responding to a “call for specimens” on Drexel’s website that was posted by Kayla Socarrás, a doctoral student studying microbiology and immunology. Each tick contains multitudes of smaller organisms — a grab-bag of the pathogenic bacteria that make tick bites so hazardous.
Throughout 2018, Socarrás studied what makes these critters tick…..
Great article worth reading on researchers who admit the following:
A single tick bite can infect you with numerous pathogens capable of persistent infection resulting in permanent illness that can mimic other diseases like MS.
Current testing utilizes “one strain of borrelia that was isolated 30 years ago — based on science that hasn’t kept up with contemporary understandings of how bacteria evolve.”
The classic EM rash is only present in less than half of all cases. The ranges actually go from 27-80%, yet we’ve been told for decades you must have it to have Lyme.
Lyme is extremely pernicious due to its ability to evade antibiotics and the immune system through creating biofilms and by “swapping genes or going dormant.” “A single strain of bacteria might have 1,200 genes out of a possible 5,400 genes available at the species level.”
Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease can’t be cultured. And “Once the spirochete gains a foothold in the brain or other organs, it’s almost impossible to defeat.”
The article states, “One physician was able to reverse Alzheimer’s dementia in three patients who he determined had Lyme disease, by putting them on high-dose antibiotics. A psychiatrist noticed that some of the children referred to her had both bipolar disorder and Lyme disease; on a hunch, she tested all of her bipolar patients and determined that 90 percent were Lyme positive — she began treating them with antibiotics. Ehrlich recounts a case of a famous Duke oncologist with congestive heart failure; after he received a heart transplant, he was able to determine that the muscles of his heart had been massively infected with Borrelia burgdorferi.”
Scientists and legal scholars question the rationale for the use of insects to disperse infectious GE viruses engineered to edit the chromosomes in plants, warning that the technology could very easily be weaponized
A new DARPA program is the first to propose and fund the development of viral horizontal environmental genetic alteration agents with the capacity to perform genetic engineering in the environment
The $27 million project, called “Insect Allies,” is trying to take advantage of insects’ natural ability to spread crop diseases, but instead of carrying disease, they would spread plant-protective traits
The opinion paper “Agricultural Research, or a New Bioweapon System?” argues that if plant modification were really the ultimate goal, a far simpler and more targeted agricultural delivery system could be used
There are also serious concerns about environmental ramifications, as the insects’ spread cannot be controlled. It would also be impossible to prevent the insects from genetically modifying organic crops
Genetic engineering (GE) is being used in myriad ways these days, despite the fact we know very little about the long-term ramifications of such meddling in the natural order.
For example, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, is now planning to use insects to deliver GE viruses to crops, with the aim of altering the plant’s genetic traits in the field.
The $27 million DARPA project, called “Insect Allies,” is basically trying to take advantage of insects’ natural ability to spread crop diseases, but instead of carrying disease-causing genes, they would carry plant-protective traits. As explained by The Washington Post:1
“Recent advances in gene editing, including the relatively cheap and simple system known as CRISPR (for clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats), could potentially allow researchers to customize viruses to achieve a specific goal in the infected plant.
The engineered virus could switch on or off certain genes that, for example, control a plant’s growth rate, which could be useful during an unexpected, severe drought.”
Insect Allies Project Raises Concerns About Bioterror Use
However, scientists and legal scholars question the rationale for the use of insects to disperse infectious GE viruses engineered to edit the chromosomes in plants, warning that the technology could very easily be weaponized.2,3,4,5
The opinion paper6 “Agricultural Research, or a New Bioweapon System?” published October 4, 2018, in the journal Science questions DARPA’s Insect Allies project, saying it could be perceived as a threat by the international community, and that if plant modification were really the ultimate goal, a far simpler agricultural delivery system could be used.
Jason Delborne, associate professor at North Carolina State University, has expertise in genetic engineering and its consequences. He told Gizmodo:7
“The social, ethical, political and ecological implications of producing HEGAAs [horizontal environmental genetic alteration agents] are significant and worthy of the same level of attention as exploring the science underpinning the potential technology.
The authors argue persuasively that specifying insects as the preferred delivery mechanism for HEGAAs is poorly justified by visions of agricultural applications.
The infrastructure and expertise required for spraying agricultural fields — at least in the U.S. context — is well established, and this delivery mechanism would offer greater control over the potential spread of a HEGAA.”
The team has also created a website8 to accompany the paper, the stated aim of which is “to contribute toward fostering an informed and public debate about this type of technology.” On this site you can also find a link to download the 38-page DARPA work plan. DARPA, meanwhile, insists the project’s goal is strictly to protect the U.S. food supply. A DARPA spokesperson told The Independent:9
“[S]prayed treatments are impractical for introducing protective traits on a large scale and potentially infeasible if the spraying technology cannot access the necessary plant tissues with specificity, which is a known problem.
If Insect Allies succeeds, it will offer a highly specific, efficient, safe and readily deployed means of introducing transient protective traits into only the plants intended, with minimal infrastructure required.”
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture are also participating in the research, which is currently restricted to contained laboratories. Still, many are unconvinced by DARPA’s claims of peaceful aims.
The release of such insects could “play into longstanding fears among countries that enemies might try to harm their crops,” says Dr. David Relman, a former White House biodefense adviser and professor of medicine and microbiology at Stanford. According to The Associated Press (AP):10
“Guy Reeves, a coauthor of the Science paper and a biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany, says the technology is more feasible as a weapon — to kill plants — than as an agricultural tool. As a result, he said DARPA could be sending an alarming message regardless of its intentions.”
Unforeseen Ramifications Abound
Others are concerned about environmental ramifications, regardless of whether the genetic traits being delivered to the plants are perceived as beneficial or harmful. According to DARPA, none of the insects would be able to survive for more than two weeks, but what if such guarantees fail? What if nature finds a way? If so, the insects’ spread could be near-unlimited.
Gregory Kaebnick, an ethicist at the Hastings Center bioethics research institute in Garrison, New York, told the AP he’s concerned the project may end up causing unforeseen environmental destruction, as insects will be virtually impossible to eradicate once released. If it turns out the genetic modification traits they carry are harmful, there will be no going back.
Yet others, such as Fred Gould, an entomologist at North Carolina State University who chaired a National Academy of Sciences panel on genetically modified food, believe the project’s stated goal of altering genetic traits of plants via insects is near-impossible in the first place.
However, while the research is still in its initial phase, they already have proof of concept. In one test, an aphid infected a mature corn plant with a GE virus carrying a gene for fluorescence, creating a fluorescent corn plant.11
Open Scientific Debate Is Needed
Reeves questions why there’s been virtually no open scientific debate about the technology. According to Reeves, who is an expert on GE insects, the Insect Allies project is “largely unknown even in expert circles,” which in and of itself raises a red flag about its true intent.
He told The Independent, “It is very much easier to kill or sterilize a plant using gene editing than it is to make it herbicide- or insect-resistant.”12 Felix Beck, a lawyer at the University of Freiburg, added:13
“The quite obvious question of whether the viruses selected for development should or should not be capable of plant-to-plant transmission — and plant-to-insect-to-plant transmission — was not addressed in the DARPA work plan at all.”
How Horizontal Environmental Genetic Alteration Agents Work
As explained in the featured paper, the technology DARPA is using is known as horizontal environmental genetic alteration agents or HEGAAs. Essentially, HEGAAs are GE viruses capable of editing the chromosomes of a target species, be it a plant or an animal. The specificity of HEGAAs are dependent on:
The range of species the GE virus can infect
The presence of a specific DNA sequence in the chromosome that can then become infected
The image below illustrates how an insect-dispersed viral HEGAA would disrupt a specific plant gene. As noted on the team’s website:
“Interest in genetically modified viruses, including HEGAAs, largely stems from their rapid speed of action, as infections can sweep quickly through target populations. This same property is also a serious safety concern, in that it makes it hard to predict where viruses geographically disperse to or what species they eventually infect.
Probably due to the complex regulatory, biological, economic and societal implications that need to be considered little progress has been made on how genetically modified viruses should be regulated when the intention is to disperse them in the environment. It is in this context that DARPA presented its Insect Allies work program in November 2016.”
The team also notes the use of HEGAAs are ultimately not likely to be limited to agriculture, which is why it’s so important to have an open discussion about the technology, its potential uses, misuses and ramifications — including unintended ones.
In 2018, three scientific publications discussed the development of “transmissible vaccines,” i.e., vaccines that would be transmissible between humans and therefore would no longer require individual vaccinations. Such products would also remove any possibility of informed consent, which creates a really huge ethical dilemma. In the past decade, at least seven scientific papers have focused on transmissible vaccines.
The team also brings up the obvious point that insects will not be able to distinguish between conventional crops and certifiedorganic crops, which do not permit genetic engineering.Just how are organic farmers to keep these insect vectors from altering their crops? They can’t, and this could effectively destroy the organic industry as we know it.
DARPA Technology May Violate Biological Weapons Convention
According to DARPA, the technology does not violate the United Nations (U.N.) Biological Weapons Convention. However, according to the Science paper, it could be in breach of the U.N.’s convention if the research is unjustifiable. Silja Voeneky, a specialist in international law at Freiburg University, told The Independent:14
“Because of the broad ban of the Biological Weapons Convention, any biological research of concern must be plausibly justified as serving peaceful purposes. The Insect Allies Program could be seen to violate the Biological Weapons Convention, if the motivations presented by DARPA are not plausible. This is particularly true considering this kind of technology could easily be used for biological warfare.”
The Science team also call for greater transparency from DARPA in order to discourage other countries from following suit and developing similar delivery technologies as a defensive measure.
Gene Drive Technology Needs International Governance
In related news, Simon Terry, executive director of the Sustainability Council of New Zealand, is calling for gene drive technology to be brought under international governance,15,16,17 as this kind of technology can make an entire species infertile in a relatively short amount of time, depending on the species life cycle.
Gene drive is yet another application forCRISPR. In short, it’s a genetic engineering technology that allows you to propagate a specific set of genes throughout an entire population, including its offspring, which allows you to genetically alter the future of an entire species. Gene drive has been proposed as a means to control pests, including mosquitoes and possum.
However, there’s no known way to control it. As an example, while New Zealand would like to use gene drive to eradicate possums, it would be virtually impossible to prevent the spread of the gene drive to other areas, and in Australia, the possum is a protected species.
Gene drive has also been considered as an answer for barnyard grass, a pesky weed among Australian farmers, but a prized commodity in India. Likewise, Palmer Amaranth is considered a weed in the U.S. but an important food source in Central America, Africa, India and China. As noted by Terry, “One man’s pest could be another’s desired plant or animal,” and creating national regulations for a technology that can wipe out an entire species globally simply isn’t enough.
Should We Use Technology That Can Eradicate Entire Species?
In a 2016 report,18 the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) discussed the creation of transgenic mosquitoes, carrying genes against a malarial pathogen. Using CRISPR/Cas9, a gene drive was created that makes virtually all progeny of the male transgenic mosquitoes’ carriers of this antimalaria gene. However, the transgene was found to be unstable in female mosquitoes, and key safety issues were also raised, including:
To what extent might crossbreeding or horizontal gene transfer allow a drive to move beyond target populations?
For how long might horizontal gene transfer allow a drive to move beyond target populations?
Is it possible for a gene drive to evolve to regain drive capabilities in a nontarget population?
According to ISIS, answering these questions is “crucial in the light of the instability of the gene drive in transgenic female mosquitoes.” As noted in the report:
“When these females bite animals including humans, there is indeed the possibility of horizontal gene transfer of parts, or the entire gene-drive construct, with potentially serious effects on animal and human health.
Cas9 nuclease could insert randomly or otherwise into the host genome, causing insertion mutagenesis that could trigger cancer or activate dominant viruses …
Finally, the ecological risks of gene drives are enormous … As the gene drive can in principle lead to the extinction of a species, this could involve the species in its native habitat as well as where it is considered invasive. As distinct from conventional biological control, which can be applied locally, there is no way to control gene flow …
[B]ecause the CRISPR/Cas gene drive remains fully functional in the mutated strain after it is created, the chance of off-target mutations also remain and the likelihood increases with every generation.
‘If there is any risk of gene flow between the target species and other species, then there is also a risk that the modified sequence could be transferred and the adverse trait manifested in nontarget organisms.’ (This commentary has not even begun to consider horizontal gene flow, which would multiply the risks manyfold.)”
DARPA Brushes Off Concerns
James Stack, a plant pathologist at Kansas State University and a member on the advisory panel of DARPA’s Insect Allies project, believes the concerns raised in the Science paper are unfounded. He told The Washington Post:19
“I don’t understand the level of concern raised in this paper, and to jump ahead and accuse DARPA of using this as a screen to develop biological weapons is outrageous.
There’s risk inherent in life and you just have to manage it well. And I think as we move into a more crowded planet it’s going to put increasing demands on our food systems, our water systems. We’re going to need all the tools in the tool box that we possibly have.”
Unfortunately, recent history demonstrates we’ve not been very capable of managing these kinds of man-made risks very well at all. Just look at Roundup-resistant GMO food, for example, or electromagnetic field radiation from cellphones and wireless technologies, both of which have been shown to cause significant health and environmental problems since their inception.
There’s virtually no evidence to suggest mankind is very good at predicting the potential outcomes of our technological advancements, so unleashing gene-altering technologies that cannot be recalled or reversed seems foolish in the extreme. As mentioned, the Insect Allies project may be particularly detrimental for organic and biodynamic farming, as it would be completely impossible to prevent these gene-altering insect vectors from infecting organic crops.
Let’s face it: We’re surrounded by threats, some of them unseen, that are putting us at risk of ill health. GMOs. Processed foods. EMFs. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s at this time that most people seek guidance to help guard against these perils and secure their well-being. Oftentimes, it seems like an impossible feat.
But here’s a secret: The most complex of tasks can become easier and simpler if you take them one step at a time. If you’re truly committed to take control of your health, then my 30-Day Resolution Guide is exactly what you need. This step-by-step plan outlines the most important strategies for achieving optimal wellness, which include:
The healthiest foods to eat (and when to eat them)
The importance of high-quality sleep (and how to get enough)
An innovative HIIT exercise that boosts your mitochondrial health (it only takes 4 minutes!)
I’ve been writing about this for some time and am very concerned about the law of unintended consequences with this technology. Please share this information far and wide because if we don’t, we could find ourselves precisely in the same situation we are in with vaccines (little to no safety studies and serious health ramifications – more coming out daily).
Besides crops, mosquitos, & possums, work is being done on both mice and mosquitoes in efforts of eradicating Lyme/MSIDS. For that info:
Numerous studies show unexpected insertions and deletions which can translate into possible toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and other changes. Science can not predict the real-life consequences on global pattens of gene function.
“It means for all the new inventions … you would need to go through the lengthy approval process of the European Union,” Kai Purnhagen, an expert at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, told Nature.
I’ve been sitting on this article for a while but with the push for gene-editing on mice and insects feel compelled to share it now while the iron’s hot. To understand how this relates to Lyme/MSIDS, please see my comment at the end of the article.
Children’s Health Defense Note: CHD has internal documents in which the FDA acknowledges that technology that allows for the creation of these new vaccines has outpaced their ability to predict adverse events. Shouldn’t our federal agencies be calling for a moratorium until we have that knowledge—especially since it is heavily reported that the CDC/FDA post-marketing surveillance systems are inadequate to pick up problems after licensure?
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has launched efforts to create a vaccine that would protect people from most flu strains, all at once, with a single shot.
Over the years, I’ve written many articles refuting claims that vaccines are safe and effective, but we’ll put all that aside for the moment and follow the bouncing ball.
Massachusetts Senator and big spender, Ed Markey, has introduced a bill that would shovel no less than a billion dollars toward the universal flu-vaccine project.
Here is a sentence from an NIAID press release that mentions one of several research approaches:
“NIAID Vaccine Research Center scientists have initiated Phase 1/2 studies of a universal flu vaccine strategy that includes an investigational DNA-based vaccine (called a DNA ‘prime’)…”
This is quite troubling, if you know what the phrase “DNA vaccine” means. It refers to what the experts are touting as the next generation of immunizations.
Instead of injecting a piece of a virus into a person, in order to stimulate the immune system, synthesized genes would be shot into the body. This isn’t traditional vaccination anymore. It’s gene therapy.
In any such method, where genes are edited, deleted, added, no matter what the pros say, there are always “unintended consequences,” to use their polite phrase. The ripple effects scramble the genetic structure in numerous unknown ways.
This is genetic roulette with a loaded gun. Anyone and everyone on Earth injected with a DNA vaccine will undergo permanent and unknown genetic changes…
Here is the inconvenient truth about DNA vaccines—
They will permanently alter your DNA.
The reference is the New York Times, 3/15/15, “Protection Without a Vaccine.” It describes the frontier of research—the use of synthetic genes to “protect against disease,” while changing the genetic makeup of humans. This is not science fiction:
“By delivering synthetic genes into the muscles of the [experimental] monkeys, the scientists are essentially re-engineering the animals to resist disease.”
“’The sky’s the limit,’ said Michael Farzan, an immunologist at Scripps and lead author of the new study.”
“The first human trial based on this strategy — called immunoprophylaxis by gene transfer, or I.G.T. — is underway, and several new ones are planned.” [That was three years ago.]
“I.G.T. is altogether different from traditional vaccination. It is instead a form of gene therapy. Scientists isolate the genes that produce powerful antibodies against certain diseases and then synthesize artificial versions. The genes are placed into viruses and injected into human tissue, usually muscle.”
Here is the punchline:
“The viruses invade human cells with their DNA payloads, and the synthetic gene is incorporated into the recipient’s own DNA. If all goes well, the new genes instruct the cells to begin manufacturing powerful antibodies.”
Read that again: “the synthetic gene is incorporated into the recipient’s own DNA.”
Alteration of the human genetic makeup.
Not just a “visit.” Permanent residence. And once a person’s DNA is changed, he will live with that change—and all the ripple effects in his genetic makeup—for the rest of his life.
The Times article taps Dr. David Baltimore for an opinion:
“Still, Dr. Baltimore says that he envisions that some people might be leery of a vaccination strategy that means altering their own DNA, even if it prevents a potentially fatal disease.”
Yes, some people might be leery. If they have two or three working brain cells.
This is genetic roulette with a loaded gun. Anyone and everyone on Earth injected with a DNA vaccine will undergo permanent and unknown genetic changes…
And the further implications are clear. Vaccines can be used as a cover for the injections of any and all genes, whose actual purpose is re-engineering humans in far-reaching ways.
The emergence of this Frankenstein technology is paralleled by a shrill push to mandate vaccines, across the board, for both children and adults. The pressure and propaganda are planet-wide.
The freedom and the right to refuse vaccines has always been vital. It is more vital than ever now.
It means the right to preserve your inherent DNA.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.
Frightening information, indeed, and reminiscent of Brave New World.
Hopefully regarding DNA based (gene-editing) vaccines, the evidence for harm is self-evident.
In brief, gene editing has shown unintended consequences of mutations, enhancement of other pathogens,cancer in humans, and very real ethical issues.
Lastly, while many think the only problem some have with aborted fetal tissue in vaccines is only an ethical one, I was told by people with far more experience than I, that putting human DNA from a certain gender into another human of a different gender, could also have unintended consequences – transgenderism.
Please read my entire comment at end of article within link. This is scary business. Please speak out in your sphere of influence.
Recently I discovered that for $10 you can plug your genetic data into a very practical website http://foundmyfitness.com/ that will help you understand your genetic data as well as give you practical steps you can take to improve it.
In this talk Rhonda Perciavalle Patrick, Ph.D. hits on vitamin D(an important hormone in brain function and dysfunction) as well as the MTHFR polymorphism (results in high homocysteine requiring supplementation with L methyfolate) which many Lyme patients have. She also discusses limiting food intake as a method of affecting gene suppression in a positive way (calorie restriction & intermittent fasting). She also discusses how using a sauna and exercise increases longevity.
Approx. 1 hour
Nutrigenomics, Epigenetics, and Stress Tolerance
Our genes influence the way we absorb and metabolize micronutrients. Nutrigenomics looks at the influence genetic variation has over micronutrient absorption/metabolism and the biological consequences of this dynamic relationship. Our diet also influences which of these genes are turned on or off! Emerging evidence in the field of epigenetics has demonstrated that not only can we change the expression of our own genes within our own lifetime; sometimes these changes are heritable and affect our children and grandchildren. This talk explores the intersection between genetics, nutrition, and environment: how your diet, micronutrients, exercise, heat stress, and sleep can change the expression of your genes and how this has profound effects on the way your body functions and ages.
For a brief explanation on Vitamin D by Rhonda: Approx. 4:30
30-80ng/ml the Sweet spot
Fish is a great source of D
Get your D levels tested regularly
Rhonda Perciavalle Patrick, Ph.D. is an assistant scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute and is a science communicator for a broad lay audience via her web and video presence found at FoundMyFitness.com. It is Rhonda’s goal to challenge the status quo and encourage the wider public to think about health and longevity using a proactive, preventative approach.
Rhonda earned her Ph.D. in biomedical science from the University of Tennessee and performed her graduate research work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She also has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biochemistry/chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. She has done extensive research on aging, cancer and nutrition, and metabolism.
Tularemia is an infectious bacterial disease that is life-threatening for rodents, rabbits and hares, but which can also infect humans and dogs. While contact with contaminated blood or meat makes hunters a high-risk group, the frequency of infections among hunting dogs has not been much studied. Researchers from Vetmeduni Viennahave now confirmed a relevant prevalence of infections in Austrian hunting dogs following a serological study in which seven percent of the animals tested positive. This could lead to more intense debate as to whether the often asymptomatic animals represent an additional risk of infection for people.
Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, is an infectious disease that is usually lethal for wild animals such as rabbits, hares and rodents. As a zoonotic disease, however, it also represents a serious health risk for people. Tularemia is caused by various subtypes of the pathogenic bacteria Francisella tularensis, which can be transmitted by biting and stinging insects or directly through contaminated hay, infected blood and other fluids. The raw meat of diseased animals is also associated with a high risk of transmission of the pathogens, which can infect dogs as well as other animals.
Austrian hunting dogs infected more frequently than previously thought
Without secondary disease, however, dogs usually exhibit no or only few symptoms and tend to have a high natural resistance to low levels of the bacteria. As a result, little attention has been paid to dogs in scientific study. Nevertheless, there are theories that canines may act as interim hosts and a further source of infections. Like hunters, dogs can come into direct contact with infected animals (e.g. when retrieving the game). The prevalence of infections among these animals is therefore an important question to be answered.
Scientists from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology at Vetmeduni Vienna for the first time investigated blood samples from 80 Austrian hunting dogs from rural areas known to be endemic for tularemia.
“After two independent analyses, five dogs clearly tested positive,” says first author Annika Posautz.
The study thus showed that dogs in those areas of Austria in which rabbit fever is endemic, i.e. in which it regularly occurs, show a more frequent rate of infection.
Risk of transmission from infected dogs possible, but not confirmed
“The frequency of about seven percent shows that hunting dogs can also become infected regularly. As vectors of the disease, even without symptoms, the animals must also be considered unexpected carriers,” Posautz adds.
Clear scientific evidence is still missing, however, the researchers say. Other factors, such as age – young dogs could come into more frequent contact with game for training purposes – or the question whether dogs represent a potential source of infection for people, must be addressed in future studies.
The blood samples were tested using two different agglutination tests to detect antigens on the surface of the bacteria or antibodies produced by the immune system. “Agglutination works by specifically clumping these proteins to make them visible under the microscope. In the case of suspected tularemia, more than one of these tests is necessary due to the possibility of cross-reactivity with other pathogens. If all tests are positive, the disease can be confirmed without a doubt. This was the case with five animals,” the researcher says.
Some state Lyme (borrelia) has also been bioweaponized:
For a lengthy but informative read on the Lyme-Biowarfare connections:CitizensAlert_Bob13(Scroll to page 44 to see an executive summary. Please notice the names of Steere, Barbour, Shapiro, Klempner, and Wormser, the first four are affiliated with the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). Wormser, lead author of the fraudulent Lyme treatment guidelines, lectures as an expert on biowarefare agents and treatments).
Everyone keeps yammering about climate change despite the fact ticks are extremely ecoadaptive but nobody is talking about ticks tweaked in a lab with bioweaponized pathogens.
If you haven’t yet heard the term methylation, there’s a good chance you’ll soon start hearing it a lot more. Many people are beginning to clue into the importance of this biochemical process, which is a key component of overall wellness, and yet myths and misconceptions are more common than facts. Understanding methylation, and knowing how to optimize it, can give you an edge on staying healthy as you age.
So what is methylation? In biochemical terms, methylation is when a “methyl group” consisting of three hydrogen atoms and one carbon atom are linked to another molecule. Attaching a methyl group to an organic molecule (a chemical compound that contains carbon) makes it less reactive.
In more laymen terms, methylation is a process of making molecules more stable, which is important for a wide range of metabolic functions in the body. For starters, it balances hormone and neurotransmitter activity, and regulates protein synthesis and cellular energy. It processes DNA/RNA, the molecules that are responsible for storing and reading our genetic information, and repairs DNA. And it optimizes the functions of T-cells, white blood cells that play a key role in immune response.
Methylation also helps neutralize toxic substances: When methyl groups attach to organic toxins such as heavy metals, it reduces their toxicity and allows for easier removal from the body. When you consider that the modern world is loaded with higher concentrations of artificial toxins than ever before in history, maintaining optimal methylation is increasingly vital.
One of the most important roles of methylation is regulating the expression of genes. At any given time, you are using only about 1% of your genetic material; the rest of it is in “off” mode. But there are certain factors notorious for turning on “bad” genes that are associated with chronic illness, many of which are unique to the modern world. These include eating a poor diet high in processed food products, exposure to environmental toxicants, dealing with chronic stress, and having a sedentary lifestyle.
This is where methylation comes in — the way the body turns off “bad” genes is by attaching methyl groups to genetic material. Of course, if you don’t change your diet and lifestyle, the bad genes will turn on and/or stay on. Keep stressing your genes, and all the methyl groups in the world aren’t going to help you stay well.
The role of poor methylation in chronic illness
This is a huge misconception: People with symptoms of chronic illness — typical ones being fatigue, neurological symptoms, mood disorders like anxiety, and insomnia, to name a few — are being told that poor methylation is the cause of their illness. But in fact, it’s those same stressors that activate bad genes that increase susceptibility to illness; poor methylation just compounds the problem.
The Western diet is the biggest culprit. The body relies on a steady stream of methyl donors from certain foods to support the metabolic functions that are dependent on methylation. (Methyl donors are any substance that can transfer a methyl group — three hydrogen atoms and one carbon atom — to another substance.) It can use a variety of methyl donors, but the four most important components are methionine (an amino acid) and the B vitamins: methylfolate (B-9), B-12, and B-6.
Unfortunately, modern grain- and meat-based diets are very poor sources of methylfolate and other B vitamins. Food companies often try to compensate for the loss of natural folate by adding folic acid to their products, but it’s not an adequate substitute. What’s more, people who over-consume processed foods tend to develop gastrointestinal problems and lose the ability to produce a substance called intrinsic factor, which is essential for absorption of vitamin B-12.
Genetics also play a role in methylation proficiency. About 50% of the population carries a mutated gene (MTHFR) for an enzyme called 5-MTHF reductase. This gene is necessary to convert homocysteine (an amino acid most abundant in meat) into methionine, an amino acid that’s essential for the methylation process. About 40% of the population carries one MTHFR mutation, and 12% of the population carries a double mutation.
Having MTHFR mutations, however, may be less of a factor in chronic illness than some experts suggest. The evidence linking concerns such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and Parkinson’s disease to the presence of a mutated 5-MTHF reductase gene is mild at best. Scientific investigations have shown only a very slight increased incidence of chronic illnesses in affected individuals.
That’s because this genetic pathway is only one of a variety methylation pathways. The human body would never rely on a single option for a function like methylation which is so essential for life. In addition, for most of history, humans consumed large amounts of plant matter that provided all the components necessary for methylation (methionine, B-9, B-12, and B-6). It’s only in recent history, as our diet has become more plant- and nutrient-deficient, that this particular genetic methylation pathway has become “essential.”
How to know when it’s time to test
People often ask which symptoms indicate they should get tested for poor methylation, but there are no pure telltale signs. My answer is, if you have classic symptoms of chronic illness such as fibromyalgia or ME/CFS, and you eat a lot of processed foods and very few vegetables, it’s pretty safe to assume have poor methylation.
The biggest reason to have the test is to determine whether you have a double mutation, in which case supplementation with natural folates may be valuable. Determining whether you have a MTHFR mutation requires a simple blood test that costs about $150.
Checking for elevations of homocysteine in your blood can tell you the degree of the problem: The higher your homocysteine levels, the lower the formation of methylfolate for making methionine, if methylation mutations are present. More than anything else, elevations of homocysteine indicate over-reliance on grains and meat as a food source.
6 ways to support proper methylation
Maintaining proper levels of methylation is important for health, but it must be part of a more comprehensive strategy. Again, nothing can balance the damage that comes from eating a nutrient-poor diet, living in a toxic environment, allowing stress to get the best of you, and sitting all day. Follow the simple steps below to help ensure optimal methylation, and whether or not you carry a MTHFR mutation will become a non-issue:
1. Eat your veggies.
Focus especially on dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, as well as asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and peas and beans (preferably sprouted). A healthy, plant-based diet containing these foods is the number one way to ensure you take in plenty of methylfolate, one of the primary methyl donors.
2. Get plenty of B vitamins.
Folate is a B vitamin, but vitamins B6 and B12 can be important methyl donors, too. You’ll find them in salmon, eggs, nuts and seeds, plus bananas, avocados, and soy.
3. Look for active forms of B-vitamin methyl donors.
If you take daily vitamin and mineral supplements to support your health, check ingredient lists to be sure they contain bioactive forms of the B vitamin methyl donors, which means they’re in a form your body can actually use. Here’s what they’ll look like on the label:
Folate (active forms: 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate or l-Methylfolate) Note that folic acid found in most multivitamin products is not satisfactory. It is not absorbed and utilized in the body properly, especially if you have a MTHFR mutation. This is particularly true if you are pregnant, in which case supplement with methylfolate, instead of folic acid, and consume plenty of leafy greens.
B6 (active form: Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate)
B12 (active forms: Methylcobalamin or Hydroxocobalamin)
4. Supplement with glutathione, if needed.
Glutathione is an essential antioxidant and another methyl donor, and it’s important for a myriad of processes in the body. Supplementing isn’t as necessary for young, healthy people, but chronic illness and aging put extra pressure on the body, so extra glutathione can be beneficial. Taking SAMe is another way to support the methylation process, but again, it’s unnecessary for young, healthy people, or if you’re getting adequate bioavailable B vitamins.
5. Consider restorative herbs.
Opt for herbs that support your immune system, microbiome and other functions such as andrographis, Japanese knotweed, milk thistle and sarsaparilla. “Any of the restorative herbs will help counteract a wide spectrum of stress factors in the body, and therefore help take pressure off of detoxification and healing systems,” Dr. Rawls says. “Cordyceps and reishi are also good examples, because they support immune system functions.”
6. Stay active, manage stress, and cut back on alcohol.
It’s common sense that living a healthy lifestyle helps keep everything in your body running smoothly. But research has started connecting the dots between lifestyle factors such as sedentary behavior, stress, and toxins such as alcohol with changes in DNA methylation.
Proper methylation impacts so many health systems of the body, and the simple steps outlined above can help support and enhance the process — MTHFR gene mutation or not. Enjoy your favorite produce, take steps to stay active and keep stress in check, and supplement with the right nutrients and herbs, and you’ll be paving a path toward a long, healthy, vibrant life.
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