Evolving Health

Monthly Archives: June 2009

I have often seen milk thistle (silymarin) touted as a shining star among natural remedies for hepatoprotective benefits. And although still controversial, it is intriguing to learn of its antiperoxidative effects in achieving small increases in glutathione levels (1). No doubt that a 2008 meta-analysis from Switzerland on silymarin will pique your interest further. After reviewing the only 19 available “double-blind” and “single-blind” studies, no evidence was found to help with viral… Read More

What is troponin and what is its diagnostic value? Troponin is a three-subunit protein complex that regulates striated (skeletal and cardiac) muscle contraction (1-3). Similar to caldesmon in smooth muscle, troponin affects release from actin (3). The process of muscle contraction is best represented by the sliding filament model (3). The model illustrates heavy dependence on calcium regulation for velocity involving “loose coupling” of calcium binding to troponin to determine the rate… Read More

Forty-two hours after ingesting an unknown mushroom, a 56-year-old man was admitted to a Turkish emergency department (1). Cardiac markers troponin I, creatine kinase (CK), CK-MB isoenzyme, and myoglobin were all elevated (1). The testing detected nothing less than myocardial infarction (2). This diagnosis, however, was not correct. The clinicians noted in their report that despite the potentially confusing cardiac markers, the patient was diagnosed with hepatic and renal falure (1). This… Read More

Sailor Man Should Not Be Without His Olive Omega-3 fatty acids from fish have largely stolen the spotlight for anti-depression, but recent evidence finds that oleic acid from olive oil may also be useful in women. Last May a 10-year national cohort followed 1,947 men and 2,909 women (African-American and Caucasian) (1). They were separated according to “lowest, middle and highest” for oleic fatty acid intake as well as linoleic (omega-6) fatty… Read More

The plethora of scientific studies on lipids and nutrition would have nutritionists thinking within reason that omega-3s are the chosen fatty acid to deliver humankind from sickness. But despite the seemingly omnipotent oil’s overabundance of qualities, not nearly enough is known about how much to consume in relation to other fatty acids such as omega-6. In June 2008, top cardiologists convened to examine all clinical evidence and discuss optimal omega-3 dosages (1)…. Read More

Acute tubular necrosis (ATN) is a condition resulting from tubular cell apoptosis contributing to renal failure (1-3). It can result due to insult from extensive injury such as acute blood loss or septic shock, a specific renal disease such as glomerulonephritis, nephrotoxic drugs or bacterial products, or hypoxia (1-3). ATN is identified via a rising serum urea creatinine and can be classified as pre-renal, renal or post-renal (1). If identified early, corrective… Read More

What effects do you think alcohol consumption could have on renal function tests? You’ve heard before that alcohol in moderation (in moderation!) may be good for your heart, but what can it do to your kidneys? Acute and chronic alcohol consumption does alter renal function and other physiological processes such as blood flow and fluid and electrolyte balances, which can directly affect results of renal function tests (1;2). Effects include higher level… Read More

Why isn’t a total urine volume taken over 24 hours enough to assess renal function? A total 24-hour urine volume can be useful for identifying reduced or increased urine volume, but it is unreliable (not to mention inconvenient) and still not enough to identify renal dysfunction or failure (it can simply indicate dehydration, high fluid intake or use of diuretics) (1-3). The measurement of urinary excretion of creatinine of the 24-hour urine… Read More

Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) could find great relief from using dietary fiber, but how can clinicians make sure they get the right fiber? A 2004 systemic review published in Ailment Pharmacol Ther improved means of advising patients with IBS on which fiber to take. The review included 17 randomized, controlled trials on both soluble (psyillium, ispaghula, calcium polycarbophil) and insoluble fiber sources (corn and wheat bran) (1). The researchers found… Read More

Cardiovascular disease and diabetes have several inter-related risk factors that may include obesity, high-cholesterol, high-triglycerides, hypertension, insulin resistance and inflammation (1). All these separate conditions can be treated in various ways. But why not lump them all together: metabolic syndrome? Combining the cluster of risk factors into one condition remains controversial among scientists. On one side of the coin are those that metabolic syndrome provides a greater perspective for treating and managing… Read More