Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A limitation of molybdenum for treating nausea and vomiting

I know I talk up molybdenum constantly--well, actually only when "stomach bugs" are going around or someone reports on how it went after trying it out out. I would like to talk about other fun nutrition/biomedical things, too. But I need to tell you about a serious limitation of molybdenum. Here goes:

Molybdenum doesn't help alleviate nausea and vomiting if it is not ingested.

Having it sitting in a cupboard over the kitchen sink doesn't lead to it actually helping! Taking it nine days before the nausea hits doesn't seem to do it, either. My second-grader now knows these things.

This past Friday, she woke up in the wee hours with her stomach hurting. She lay in bed thinking she could control it with her mind. (Yes, because that totally works with nausea. ;) ) She also thought that she didn't want to wake up her mom to ask for molybdenum, bless her little heart. This is the same second grader who successfully used molybdenum in October to avoid vomiting from a stomach bug going around her classroom. She knows it can help her, but I guess she was too groggy to think clearly. Anyway, to end the story, she came to me around 4:00 a.m. with the news that she'd thrown up in her bed. We cleaned her up, and she required multiple doses of molybdenum because she threw up much of her first dose. She was done vomiting by around 6:00 a.m., but she was wiped out from the ordeal and spent most of Friday on the couch watching PBS Kids. This was a very different experience for her than the one back in October, where she took molybdenum soon after feeling her stomach hurt and never threw up at all.

I'm still open to the possibility that molybdenum is helping due to placebo effect and luck (in science, one must always be open to having their hypothesis disproven), but her contrasting experiences are another data point in favor of molybdenum's being genuinely effective at resolving biological causes of nausea and vomiting.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Update on "Report on molybdenum and a currently circulating GI virus" and a little complaining about an unrelated subject

Here we are six days later, and no one else in the family has thrown up since my kindergartner awakened me in the wee hours of Thanksgiving Eve, as reported below. After she threw up, I pre-dosed everyone with 500-1000 mcg of powdered molybdenum glycinate and some zinc, including the toddler, who shares a bedroom with the kindergartner. My father-in-law (a retired engineer, so someone who likes things proven to him), my 13-year-old, my 10-year-old, and I all experienced some stomach cramping/pain at different times over the Thanksgiving holiday, so we took extra molybdenum when it happened. Everyone recovered quickly, and no one else ever threw up.

I think this is a big deal. I stumbled on a highly effective nausea preventive that doesn't appear to have any side effects. It saved my Thanksgiving get-together, too.

But how do I tell more people? I'm merely a lawyer who likes to research things more interesting than subject matter jurisdiction. (I'm putting off writing a short brief on that subject right now, in fact. Why can't people just file certified copies when the statute says to do so? Grumble, grumble.) My discovery about molybdenum helping with nausea needs to be investigated by people with the proper background. Unfortunately, there is little profit motive for anyone to research this with expensive trials, for molybdenum is found in inexpensive foods: lentils and other legumes, barley, oats, etc.

I do "cold emails" to academic researchers about molybdenum sometimes after finding out about yet another success from a friend* or relative (I give them bottles of molybdenum to have on hand for when nausea or a migraine strikes), but I rarely receive responses to those emails. Are the emails just going into researchers' spam folders along with invitations to fake conferences? Is the idea of a "cure for nausea" just too snake-oil sounding? Is it that too many people don't know anything about molybdenum's role in the human body and aren't willing to do a quick internet search before discarding my email? I don't know. It's discouraging to not know how to get the word out. Sure, some local people and family members are being helped right now, but that's a speck of sand compared to the global population. It's not enough that I'm being "passed over" by the destroying angel of nausea and vomiting; I want other people to benefit, too. My inability to "sell" an idea so easy to test is a downside of my introversion and lack of entrepreneurship. And it's a big inability--my medical-school-trained brothers basically dismiss me as a crackpot, which I do not enjoy. If it's not a published trial, they do not want to hear it, much less try it.

Yet how do I stop saying molybdenum works when I repeatedly observe its effectiveness at helping with nausea and migraine? Like Galileo, my observations render me unable to change my story. :) "And yet it works."

* A few days ago, a nurse friend of mine told me that a pregnant friend of hers had been experiencing "morning sickness" a while back. My friend loaned her a bottle of molybdenum, which she took for a week. The pregnant woman reported that her morning sickness went away. Unfortunately, I don't know what dose she took or what she weighed. But I'm happy it seems to have helped her!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Report on molybdenum and a currently circulating GI virus

Wednesday morning at about 3 am, my five-year-old came to my room saying, "Mommy, my tummy really hurts." I invited her to snuggle in bed with me, hoping that she was just cold and would fall asleep with me. I was probably in groggy denial. About two minutes later, she started to vomit, so I grabbed her to me and got her to the bathroom, where she vomited in the toilet and then had a severe bout of diarrhea. Within just a few minutes she went from normal to looking as though she was on the verge of dehydration. I was momentarily frightened, but molybdenum had proven itself in the past, so I calmly cleaned up her, me, and the bathroom, after which we went down to the kitchen and I gave her some molybdenum (1000 mcg of powdered molybdenum glycinate for nausea/vomiting) and zinc (30 mg of powdered chelated zinc for the diarrhea, a use which is well-supported by research--https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3113371/). She then cuddled up on the armchair in the family room under a couple of blankets, and I gave her a container to vomit into should the need arise. Within half an hour, she reported that her tummy only hurt a little, and not much after that she fell asleep. Once she looked deeply asleep, I went back to bed. I woke at 9 am the next morning to hear her loud, chipper voice carrying through the house; she was already totally over the virus.

Because these stupid gastrointestinal viruses are so contagious, I gave everyone in the family 500-1000 mcg of molybdenum on Wednesday morning (after I woke up). Then on Thursday, close to bedtime, I noticed my teenager curled up on the family room floor. She was so out of it from a virus, probably the same one, that she didn't even fully realize she was sick. So I gave her 1000 mcg molybdenum and 30 mg zinc and sent her to get ready for bed. An hour later she complained that her stomach was still hurting, so I gave her 1000 mcg more and she went to sleep after that. The next morning (today, which is Friday), she said her stomach still hurt, so I gave her 1500 mcg more of molybdenum, after which she ate a banana. By lunchtime, she was happily serving herself turkey, stuffing, rolls, gravy, etc. from the Thanksgiving leftovers. She's recovered after just a few hours discomfort and never even vomited.

If this is the same stomach bug other local people have been telling me about in the recent past, my children should have suffered for days, not just a few hours.

I don't think molybdenum directly affected the virus because I don't know by what mechanism it could do that. But supplemental molybdenum does seem to greatly reduce the duration of a GI illness in addition to relieving the vomiting and nausea caused by it. Perhaps it does so because freeing the GI tract from a burden of excess sulfite, via support of sulfite oxidase function, somehow permits other immunity-related resources to more quickly expel the virus from the GI lining or at least protects the lining from sulfite-induced vulnerability. Some things to research next week when the holiday is over.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

More soup for you! And you, too! Soup for everyone!

I just wrote a long comment on Joanne Jacob's blog, where she posted recently about charter schools not being able to close the gender gap that is leaving more and more boys out in the cold educationally. In it, I call for a rebirth of soup popularity. It's almost winter; surely that's not too controversial a call! Below is what I wrote in the comment:

Boys are more fragile when it comes to ADHD and autism (which look similar on brain scans - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160727110911.htm). A girl may have ADHD and still get acceptable grades because spaciness alone doesn't usually create a discipline issue, while boys' higher physical energy combined with ADHD does create discipline issues and greatly disrupts their classrooms and their own educational paths. No charter is going to solve ADHD and autism just with a different school culture.

We need to find a way to ameliorate and/or prevent ADHD and autism. I might have mentioned this before, but I think a possible key is easily absorbable glycine betaine in the diet. Glycine betaine is an osmoprotectant (i.e., it protects cell walls from perturbation by dissociated aqueous NaCl) which can nevertheless be easily boiled out of plant cells. Those regions where they frequently consume the water in which glycine betaine-containing food was boiled (i.e., cuisines including barszcz, palak/spinach, and beverages/soups made with wheat and rye) are experiencing much lower burdens of autism (e.g., Poland with 1/40th the autism of the USA). 

I've been testing glycine betaine (AKA trimethylglycine) with my own Aspie child by putting it in our family milk and increasing intake of pasta cooking water and palak paneer. Glycine betaine is an inexpensive supplement because it's a byproduct of making beet sugar, and beets are one of the best vegetable sources of glycine betaine. Spinach and amaranth are two other good vegetable sources. Wheat and rye are also good grain sources of glycine betaine in the European-style diet. Glycine betaine's value lies in its role in supporting the function of the enzyme betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase, which catalyzes transformation of homocysteine to methionine, important because the next molecule, SAM-e, is used for carrying out DNA methylation. My Aspie child's emotions are stable now; the last time she had a big meltdown was when she'd been traveling and hadn't had supplemental glycine betaine for a while.

If I had a charter school, I'd add beet/rye/spinach soups to the lunch menu and see what happens. If I ran a regular public school, I'd do the same. We should learn from the Poles. The drive for convenience that has us draining away our cooking water in the West appears to be a big waste of easily-utilized, important nutrients. It's time for a soup renaissance.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thin people

As a weight-conscious American woman, I often wonder, "Why are southeast Asians so thin? Why are eastern Europeans so often thinner young adults than western Europeans (except for the French)? Why is my third child downright skinny?"

I think that Dr. Jason Fung's theories on obesity resulting from insulin resistance--which can be acquired in the womb--help explain why some people seem programmed to be thinner.

In order to avoid developing insulin resistance, one needs to avoid subjecting one's body to chronic high levels of insulin, which insulin is stimulated by high glucose levels in the blood. With my third child, and only with her, I exercised a lot during pregnancy, often taking long walks that lasted into early evening and apparently resulted in me using up all my circulating glucose; I have a strong memory of getting weak and hungry on those walks but pushing through anyway. 

Southeast Asians regularly eat a plant we call water spinach (AKA kangkong, ong choy, Ipomoea aquatica) that is proven in rats to inhibit glucose absorption and decrease blood glucose levels. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17651914, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11746851, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10967485) Certainly, genetics also plays a role, but if you've seen southeast-Asian-Americans whose gestational development and childhood occurred in the USA, you've probably noticed that they tend not to be as skinny as their peers raised in Asia.

Eastern Europeans eat rye bread much more than western Europeans, and rye bread also slows down glucose absorption. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25370913) However, some people in the rye-consuming countries, such as in Finland, also drink caffeinated coffee throughout the day, and caffeinated coffee appears to decrease insulin sensitivity and increase glucose (http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/12/2990/, http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/5/1254.full, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28031026), so a rye bread effect in them might be counteracted by their constant coffee consumption.

If I could go back in time to my pregnant self, I'd have a lot to tell me.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Schizophrenia, tyrosinase, ginseng, capers, and tyrosinase inhibitors (tea, mate, kojic acid, etc.)

The Texas church shooting two days ago has been weighing heavily on me, for I have a relative with schizophrenia. She refuses mental health treatment. She showed signs of early schizophrenia as early as her adolescence in that she had no close friends despite being able to engage in work, social events, and family events relatively well. Cold, distant, and detached describes her pretty well back then. (http://schizophrenia.com/earlysigns.htm) Then over the next two decades came hypersensitivity, ruminating thoughts, suicidal thoughts and hostility, hygiene neglect, lack of insight, nonsensical logic, delusions, affective flattening, and abusive behavior. It's a horrible thing to watch happen to a loved one, especially because the person, due to brain dysfunction, is convinced that nothing is wrong with her and that her problems are all due to mistreatment by others.

I think that tyrosinase activity is a key to schizophrenia. Tyrosinase is a copper-containing enzyme that is connected to both melanin and dopamine production. Tyrosinase is expressed in the brain. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-4159.2005.03019.x/full) One way researchers bring about schizophrenia in lab rats is by giving them the copper chelator cuprizone. (https://www.pubfacts.com/detail/28989170/Olig2-Silence-Ameliorates-Cuprizone-Induced-Schizophrenia-Like-Symptoms-in-Mice, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3058516/)  A look at an epidemiology map of schizophrenia quickly gives rise to a supposition that melanin and schizophrenia might be inversely related (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_schizophrenia), and higher melanin appears associated with altered dopamine signalling-connected sensitivity (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569050/). Dopamine dysfunction is  involved in schizophrenia. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4032934/) As rats grow up, their cutaneous tyrosinase goes from making dopamine to making melanin in a way that temporally mirrors the common adolescent/young adult onset of early signs of schizophrenia in humans. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12832289)

I did some searching to see what could upregulate tyrosinase expression or increase its activity. Lymphoid enhancer-binding factor-1 (LEF-1) regulates tyrosinase gene transcription; overexpression of LEF-1 increases tyrosinase gene promoter activity, while LEF-1 knockdown decreases tyrosinase expression. (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0143142) This is a promising finding, for LEF-1 is underexpressed in schizophrenia patients. (http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC1888575) Components of ginseng root can upregulate tyrosinase expression, too (https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/892073/), and ginseng root extract does not have a net effect of suppressing tyrosinase activity (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12808298).

There are a handful of studies to indicate that ginseng root might actually be able to help ameliorate schizophrenia. A small study nearly a decade ago found that schizophrenia patients who took panax ginseng (AKA Korean ginseng) were less likely to have "flat affect" and other negative symptoms (negative in the sense of there being an absence of normal motivation, pleasure, etc.); the dosage was 200 mg/day, and it was taken for eight weeks. (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ginseng-may-help-treat-schizophrenia/) A 2015 study subjected pregnant mice to stress and then found that ginseng could reverse the prenatal stress-caused behavioral changes in the offspring. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4249748/)

If ginseng can really help with schizophrenia, wouldn't it have been noticed sooner? Ginseng is very important in traditional Chinese medicine. However, something else is very important in Chinese culture: tea, which just so happens to inhibit tyrosinase. (https://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/10576599) Moreover, throughout eastern Asia, people regularly eat foods containing kojic acid, an important tyrosinase inhibitor in the field of skin-lightening research. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27725765, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289283346_Inhibition_of_tyrosinase_activity_on_dopamine_hydrochloride_by_kojic_acid)

There are many tyrosinase inhibitors that are in the human diet. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2705500/) There's mate in South America. (http://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/ArticleFullRecord.jsp?cn=HJPHBN_2015_v41n4_391) Perhaps mate is why Uruguay has more of a schizophrenia burden than Argentina despite being full of European-ancestry people and otherwise having a similar diet, for Uruguayans are mate-obsessed. There's rosmarinic acid, named after the culinary herb rosemary, which contains it. (http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?request_locale=es&recordID=KR2005011915) There's arbutin, found in bearberries, pear skins, and wheat. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8632348) It would take a supercomputer (good thing we live in the 21st century) to calculate the tyrosinase inhibition caused by an individual's diet, and the frequency of intake of the inhibitors would also need to be taken into account, for rare is the person who eats rosemary all day, while green tea at every meal is the rule in Japan and mate lovers in Uruguay seem to spend every waking hour cuddling their mate gourds.

The human diet doesn't appear to contain much in the way of tyrosinase boosters (http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/22/8/1303/htm). There are capers (https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-90-481-3419-9_127.pdf) and watery grapefruit and pomelo extracts (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20857432).  And then there is the possibility of ginseng root candy being a tyrosinase booster, so I will probably be giving some to my relative for Christmas this year.* This paucity of dietary tyrosinase boosters compared with the plethora of tyrosinase inhibitors is exactly what one would expect to find with an intractable issue like schizophrenia, for if tyrosinase activity is a key to schizophrenia, any tyrosinase boosters in the diet should have started to make themselves manifest by now by decreasing the prevalence of schizophrenia where they are consumed. But who consumes pomelo extract and capers regularly? (Actually, the countries where capers are most often eaten do in fact mostly show up at the bottom of the list for schizophrenia burden...I'm starting to get cautiously optimistic about my little hypothesis....my relative is getting capers for Thanksgiving.) And any tyrosinase boost from ginseng root might have been noted earlier were it not for the simultaneous consumption of tyrosinase-inhibiting tea in China.

* As with everything, ginseng shouldn't be overused. There are published case reports of two men who ended up with manic psychosis from using huge doses of ginseng (15-20 grams/day). (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261289619_Manic_Psychosis_Associated_With_Ginseng_A_Report_of_Two_Cases_and_Discussion_of_the_Literature) One can always get too much of a good thing.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New theory on a possible nutrition modification to lessen chance of developing thyroid cancer

Silicon (Si, atomic number 14) as a micronutrient is likely about to get new attention. This year, researchers announced that they had identified "a mammalian efflux Si transporter, namely Slc34a2 (also termed NaPi-2B) a known sodium-phosphate co-transporter, which was upregulated in the kidney following chronic dietary Si deprivation." (http://ajpcell.physiology.org/content/early/2017/02/08/ajpcell.00219.2015) Slc34a2 is highly expressed in thyroid cancer, lung cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, and kidney cancer. (https://www.proteinatlas.org/ENSG00000157765-SLC34A2/pathology) There has been recent work on using an anti-Slc34a2 antibody drug-conjugate to fight ovarian cancer. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26156394) What if another way to decrease Slc34a2 expression is simply to make sure there is enough Si in the diet? Might that not work to fight/prevent cancer in the thyroid/ovaries/uterus/kidneys/lungs?

There is circumstantial evidence to support that dietary silicon intake is protective against developing at least one of those types of cancer. Specifically, beer intake tends to decrease the risk of developing thyroid cancer (http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v101/n9/full/6605337a.html), and beer is a great dietary source of silicon. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7904687) The silicon in beer comes mostly from barley husks (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208091922.htm), which during the mashing process are immersed in hot water for hours; this water is separated from the barley and subsequently turned into barley malt extract and/or fermented. The good news for alcohol avoiders (like me) is that no fermentation is necessary to get silicon from barley malt extract. One can make their own wort (i.e., the liquid obtained from mixing hot water with milled malted barley and then filtering out the solids) and use it unfermented to make beverages--I did that a few days ago, mixing my homemade sweet wort ("sweet" = without hops) with lemonade--or purchase barley malt extract and mix it in other beverages, such as warm milk.

Silicon is also quite bioavailable from grains and grain products. (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/75/5/887.long) Besides possibly helping prevent some cancers, per the hypothesis set forth above, silicon shows potential to help prevent nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28446627) I've never been on the "grains are evil" bandwagon, and the more I learn about our bodies, the more I think that it's probably very unhealthy to avoid all grains permanently. (There's a big difference between a Krispy Kreme donut and pumpernickel bread. Feel free to avoid the donuts forever.)

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Obesity Code, glucose, insulin, and intermittent fasting

I recently read Dr. Jason Fung's book, The Obesity Code, and found it very informative. His basic premise is that weight gain and type 2 diabetes are caused by insulin resistance and insulin. I liked his hypothesis, for I have thought for the past several months that type 2 diabetes is an attempt to protect the body wherein the body combats a surfeit of insulin by shutting down the insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas.* Dr. Fung's recommendations for better health are to 1) decrease insulin resistance by steering clear (mostly--he understands the human need for occasional celebrations) of highly processed carbohydrates and snacking, and 2) lose weight as needed via intermittent fasting.

Intake of highly processed carbohydrates causes blood glucose and then insulin to spike, and eventually the body becomes resistant to insulin, if I rightly understand the studies cited by Dr. Fung. To minimize insulin spikes, I've been looking into natural sources of compounds that slow down absorption of sugar in order to utilize them more in my diet. With each meal, I now consume some ellagic acid--in the form of red raspberry seed meal--because ellagic acid (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20522017) is an alpha glucosidase inhibitor (i.e., it reduces the rate of digestion of carbohydrates) that tastes good and is easy to find. Giving up bread and cold breakfast cereal isn't currently a realistic option for my family, especially since only one older child and myself are overweight.

The story of how that one child started her life overweight is a point of evidence in support of Dr. Fung's hypothesis. I'm generally a fairly healthy eater. But while I was pregnant with her, I ate far too many simple carbohydrates because that was the set meal served in my workplace cafeteria. Lunch, my main meal, was usually rice, potatoes/pasta, a small portion of meat, a dessert, and "jugito," which was basically Kool-aid with a little dried fruit added. During my workday, I snacked on dinner rolls that I'd made at home out of white flour and sugar. I only worked at that location for two years, but unfortunately my pregnancy with that child fell entirely within those two years. She was born weighing 9.5 pounds and broke her collarbone during birth because of her size. And she has remained overweight her whole life despite attempts at dietary restriction and extracurricular sports. It appears, per Dr. Fung's hypothesis, that I passed on my excessive insulin levels to her in utero and made her insulin resistant. None of her siblings are overweight, and I ate far less in the way of simple carbohydrates during their gestational periods.

She has been eating the red raspberry seed meal with me at mealtimes. She and I also already do a monthly fast because of our religion (LDS), but we have recently added additional fasting for breakfast on Sundays. Just to keep the fast from being too unpleasant--and ourselves from gorging on simple carbohydrates at Sunday lunch--we are drinking a little extra virgin olive oil as a breakfast substitute because it has some calories but doesn't raise insulin levels.

* I wonder if the same paradigm could be used to help explain Hashimoto's thyroiditis eventually....

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Doing well while those around us puke and feel miserable

Tuesday, my oldest and I started to feel as though we had caught the "stomach bug" going around our school/babysitting environment (https://petticoatgovernment.blogspot.com/2017/10/vomiting-avoided-happy-me.html), so we took molybdenum and we were fine afterward--a little lingering discomfort in the gut, but then we only took 500 mcg, which is the same amount I'd given the seven-year-old. Thursday morning, the toddler (3 years old) announced that her tummy hurt. She got some powdered molybdenum glycinate mixed in her milk bottle and drank it up. She made no further complaints and never threw up.

So maybe this is just not a very bad stomach bug? No, it is a bad one. It sent the principal of my children's school home all day yesterday. She's a very dedicated principal and wouldn't have gone home over something little. She tried to work and had to give up, leaving the school at 8:10 a.m. and not returning. And last week, the stomach bug put my toddler's babysitter's teenage daughter in bed for a day.

We are escaping the nausea and vomiting that accompanies this stomach bug. If you think I'm exaggerating, just test it for yourself. Have molybdenum on hand (it's cheap) and take it (preferably powdered for fast utilization) the next time your stomach lets you know you picked up a gastrointestinal illness. Then--assuming it works, which I have no reason to to doubt yet--spread the word.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

As the stomach bug moves...

We've been having fun playing "epidemiologist" with my second grader's classroom since she had her short bout with a stomach bug five days ago. (https://petticoatgovernment.blogspot.com/2017/10/vomiting-avoided-happy-me.html) My second grader gets to observe who is out sick each day and where they sit in relation to those who have already been out sick. The illness is short-lived--everyone is only missing one day of school and then they're back...to share--but it is still a nuisance.

Two children of a teacher were out sick yesterday, and their parent told me that it was because of vomiting. The children were back in school today, so there will probably be several other children in their classes missing tomorrow.

In the meantime, I highly recommend having a molybdenum supplement on hand for such occasions. In fact, my eighth grader and I just took some after school today because apparently it's our turn to play "host."

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Vomiting avoided, happy me!

Today is Saturday. On Thursday, my 2nd grader started feeling sick to her stomach in the afternoon. I immediately ran for the molybdenum and gave her 500 mcg* of powdered molybdenum glycinate mixed in a beverage. She drank it all up. She rested on the couch after that for a while, and then she felt better and went about her evening as normal. When questioned about whether any classmates had been absent from school recently, she reported that one classmate had been gone just the day before but was already back in school Thursday. And that particular classmate had literally licked my daughter's hand early that afternoon (she and her classmates play at pretending to be cats frequently).

Because my daughter felt better after drinking the molybdenum, I let her go to school on Friday. She never threw up and is totally back to normal now. However, another one of her classmates was absent on Friday...coincidentally, a classmate who sits right next to the one who was absent on Wednesday.

Experiences like this keep me talking about molybdenum to anyone who'll listen. It stops nausea and vomiting.

* 500 mcg is below the tolerable upper intake level for children her age.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A report of 2/3 migraine reduction from taking 70 mcg of molybdenum nightly

My husband met with someone a few weeks ago who had been dealing with regular migraines. Being an admirable husband who pays attention to his wife, he immediately thought of molybdenum and suggested it to his acquaintance. She tried a couple molybdenum supplement capsules, and since she thought they helped her avoid getting a migraine, she ordered her own bottle of molybdenum. Here is her report on how her personal molybdenum experiment has been going:
I had planned to email you after taking molybdenum for 1 month.  I’ve been taking 70 mcg of molybdenum each night before bed for three weeks now.  As I mentioned when we spoke, I have chronic migraines almost every day, and most often the onset is during the night.  So, I figured I’d take the molybdenum before bed and see what happens.  In the last three weeks, I have only woken up with 1 headache – it is amazing!!!  Interestingly, the one morning I woke up with a headache was also the one night I didn’t drink Sleepytime tea with the molybdenum.  Could be a total coincidence… or not?  At any rate, I have felt better overall.  My headaches that arrive during the daytime have also been cut by 2/3 at least.  It’s truly incredible to feel this good for so long – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for making the suggestion.   I was waiting until the 1-month mark to give it time and see if the decreased headaches continue (I have taken things in the past that made me feel better for a couple weeks but then stopped).

She has been diagnosed in the past as being sensitive to sulfites, so I think her experience tends to support sulfite oxidase being the most important molybdoenzyme connected to migraine relief. But there are four other known molybdoenzymes in the human body, and I don't exclude them from possible involvement with migraines.

An interesting part of this anecdote is how low the amount of molybdenum supplementation is. One bowl of lentils has more than 70 mcg of molybdenum. She is probably a small woman.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


I just finished looking over a recently-published book titled Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age, by Edward D. Hess and Katherine Ludwig. One quote stood out to me:
We define humility as a mindset about oneself that is open-minded, self-accurate, and "not all about me," and that enables one to embrace the world as it "is" in the pursuit of human excellence. 

Humility seems to come down to a willingness to seek the truth of objective facts, individual feelings, and any combination of the two even when one's ego is screaming "Stop!" I recommend this book.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Nutrition vs. IQ-racism

Occasionally on the internet, I run across commenters who posit that intelligence is genetic, the IQs of some racial/ethnic groups are widely different, and that nothing can be done to close the gaps. I strongly disagree with at least one of those claims.

I do think that that genes play a large role in intelligence. After all, they play roles in height, cancer, sociability, athletic ability, artistic talent, autism, and so on. Why then should memory capacity be singularly unaffected by genes?

Secondly, where accurate testing reveals current differences in average intellectual ability between some groups, we must deal honestly with those test results no matter how distasteful and unfortunate we consider them. Willful ignorance of current realities will never help the human family to progress, and hopefully physical and mental betterment for everyone is a commonly-held goal.

However, I reject claims that group IQ gaps are unchangeable. DNA is merely a code of starting instructions, not unalterable destiny; figure out exactly how the code affects IQ, and you can use that information to help everyone have higher IQs, regardless of their underlying genotypes. The more I learn about nutrition, the more convinced I become that nutrition and exposure to toxins (lead, meth, cannabis, betel, alcohol, tobacco, some medications, etc.) are large factors in producing observed differences in group IQs. It thus follows that much can be done to increase intelligence via cessation of substance abuse and targeted nutrition modifications during pregnancy.

Why am I so firmly convinced that this is possible? I have observed marked differences in height and health between similar heritage groups that were nurtured differently. For example, I was an LDS missionary in western Poland for 18 months soon after communism there was ended. I worked with dozens of young European-ancestry American men (some even of Polish ancestry), many of whose parents and grandparents had due to their religion eschewed alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful substances and apparently fed their offspring on high-protein, high-variety diets. As a group, the American LDS young men were quite tall and healthy-looking compared to the Polish young men, who'd been born into communism-caused scarcity, industrial pollution, and Eastern European alcohol abuse. The young Polish men I've seen in more recent years seem to be significantly taller and healthier than I remember their counterparts being in the 1990s. A 2016 article reports that Polish men, similar to many other population groups world over, have grown taller by 5.35 inches on average in the past century. (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jul/26/tall-story-men-and-women-have-grown-taller-over-last-century-study-shows) If improved nutrition can make such a large difference in physical appearance in just a century, then why not in brain development?

We know that, among other things, protein deficiency, iodine deficiency, and alcohol abuse during pregnancy tend to decrease the intelligence of the children affected. If we can extrapolate from mice, the deleterious effects of fetal alcohol syndrome may well extend out three generations or more. (https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2017/07/07/Alcohol-in-pregnancy-may-have-transgenerational-effects/3951499434939/) I probably owe much of my current health and cognitive ability to my non-drinking mother, health-conscious maternal grandmother, and my non-drinking great-grandmothers (at least two of four). As for iodine, I have a "white privilege" in that I can enjoy consuming milk as an adult; milk and yogurt are the main foods in which American women tend to get iodine in their diet, and people of European heritage are almost the only people in the world who don't become lactose intolerant with age (although even some of them develop lactose intolerance). Guess who else gets plenty of iodine, though? The seaweed eaters of East Asia, who coincidentally keep topping the charts in international academic tests. And then there's protein....All you have to do is read a bit about kwashiorkor to see that grave, lasting harm to cognitive ability is inflicted by not getting enough protein during early childhood. (http://www.nature.com/pr/journal/v5/n11/abs/pr1971371a.html)

I wish I could take every potential parent in the world and sit down with them to discuss the probable effects of their substance use and family dietary choices on their progeny. Well-informed diet and lifestyle choices by parents appear to have the potential to help equalize cognitive ability between groups.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Some personal anecdotes of home remedies that seemed to help and things that didn't

I like to be healthy and to help my family to be healthy. Unfortunately, there are many small ailments for which medicine doesn't have a sure-fire cure. So when some cold virus or other health annoyance affects my family, I like to look for ways to be healthy that don't involve going to the doctor. If it's a virus, the doctor can't do much anyway, and the doctor's office doesn't need us there to share our sniffles or tie up their resources with our minor afflictions.

So here are some things I've tried with me and my family that don't seem to have worked:
  • Getting rid of a cold sooner with melatonin. While the melatonin helped the sick people fall asleep, it didn't seem to shorten the duration of the cold noticeably.
  • Weight control by increasing the amount of catalase in our diet. While oxidative stress, diabetes, and weight issues go hand-in-hand, simply increasing catalase in the diet didn't seem to help me or my one child who struggles with weight.
  • Weight control by eating dessert before the main dish. This one was a long shot, but it was fun and odd to eat dessert out of order for a week or two.
  • Neti pot for sinus infections. I haven't used my neti pot for over five years because it made my head feel waterlogged and didn't help much (if at all) with the underlying sinus complaint.

And here are some things I've tried that do seem to have a beneficial effect:
  • Chewable vitamin C for avoiding colds. Like the doctor who recently discovered that intravenous ascorbic acid can help cure sepsis (http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/23/521096488/doctor-turns-up-possible-treatment-for-deadly-sepsis), I reasoned that ascorbic acid might be more effective if directly delivered to where it's needed rather than relying only on absorption via the digestive system and subsequent transport throughout the entire body. Chewed vitamins get aerosolized to a small degree and so can be carried by breathing to other locations within the respiratory tract. After one bad week of colds at the beginning of this school year, I bought a 500 tablet container of chewable vitamin C and now we regularly give one tablet to family members if they sneeze. No one has come down with a cold since we started doing that. But we are only in October....
  • Oral exposure to pomegranate juice/powder in order to kill flu viruses. This one I'm less confident of, but the two times I've tried it for possible incipient flu infections, it seems to have been beneficial. The reason I think it might work is the pomegranate compound punicalagin, which has been observed in vitro to have a significant effect in inhibiting influenza virus replication. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19586764)
  • Avoiding sinus headaches by manually moving the upper nasal tissues around. Snot apparently causes sinus issues. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050730100344.htm) I got the idea to try massage a couple of months ago from this website--http://www.wikihow.com/Massage-Your-Sinuses--which told of a "nose rub" technique to help sinuses drain. The women in my family tend to have narrow noses with sinuses that too often stop up, so why not do something that addresses snot buildup in our particular nose structure? Doing the "nose rub" as described on the website made me feel like little Tabitha on the show "Bewitched," just wiggling my nose tip back and forth; so instead when I feel a little sinus congestion starting, I stick my thumb up each nostril in turn and using my index and middle fingers to grip the outside of my nose, I move the upper tissues of my nose in a few circles in both directions. It works to help my sinuses drain themselves. Usually I experience at least one really bad sinus headache each month, but this last month I was able to avoid getting a sinus headache. I caution anyone who tries this to 1) have clipped, smooth thumbnails and 2) don't do it in public. :)
  • Avoiding heme overdosing in order to not have restless legs syndrome. I'm not prone to RLS, but I did seem accidentally to give it to myself by eating around 2 dozen+ canned oysters, which are high in heme. (https://petticoatgovernment.blogspot.com/2017/09/oyster-heme-possible-rls.htmlNot eating additional high doses of heme--plus possibly the hydroxocobalamin and ascorbic acid I took the next day--appears to have been efficacious in limiting my RLS episode to just one night.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Update on excess folic acid findings

A little over a year ago, my friend and I wrote a letter to the editor in which we expressed concern that excess folic acid was linked to the rise in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorders:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27346490: "Unintended consequences of inhibiting dihydrofolate reductase through folic acid supplementation: inattentive-type attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and ASD connections."

Two recent studies indicate that excess folic acid during pregnancy causes--in mice and people-- diminished cognitive function in the offspring:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28069796: "High dietary folate in pregnant mice leads to pseudo-MTHFR deficiency and altered methyl metabolism, with embryonic growth delay and short-term memory impairment in offspring."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28724645: "Effect of maternal high dosages of folic acid supplements on neurocognitive development in children at 4-5 y of age: the prospective birth cohort Infancia y Medio Ambiente (INMA) study."

I expect more studies will come out with similar results over the next few years. Folic acid just isn't a typical molecule in the human body or diet.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Licorice might be a cognitive enhancer

A year ago, I mused that licorice might be behind the protective effect that smoking tobacco has against developing Parkinson's. I looked specifically at its component isoliquiritigenin. But there's interesting recent research about another licorice molecule: liquiritigenin. It appears it could be a memory enhancer.

Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2017 May 30. doi: 10.4062/biomolther.2016.284. [Epub ahead of print]
The Memory-Enhancing Effects of Liquiritigenin by Activation of NMDA Receptors and the CREB Signaling Pathway in Mice.

Ko YH, Kwon SH, Hwang JY, Kim KI, Seo JY, Nguyen TL, Lee SY, Kim HC, Jang CG.

Abstract: Liquiritigenin (LQ) is a flavonoid that can be isolated from Glycyrrhiza radix [licorice]. It is frequently used as a tranditional oriental medicine herbal treatment for swelling and injury and for detoxification. However, the effects of LQ on cognitive function have not been fully explored. In this study, we evaluated the memory-enhancing effects of LQ and the underlying mechanisms with a focus on the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) in mice. Learning and memory ability were evaluated with the Y-maze and passive avoidance tests following administration of LQ. In addition, the expression of NMDAR subunits 1, 2A, and 2B; postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95); phosphorylation of Ca²⁺/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII); phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK 1/2); and phosphorylation of cAMP response element binding (CREB) proteins were examined by Western blot. In vivo, we found that treatment with LQ significantly improved memory performance in both behavioral tests. In vitro, LQ significantly increased NMDARs in the hippocampus. Furthermore, LQ significantly increased PSD-95 expression as well as CaMKII, ERK, and CREB phosphorylation in the hippocampus. Taken together, our results suggest that LQ has cognition enhancing activities and that these effects are mediated, in part, by activation of the NMDAR and CREB signaling pathways.


I like the taste of the deglycyrrhizinated licorice tablets I bought a year ago and stuck in the fridge. Maybe I'll pull those out and see if I notice a memory-enhancing effect. Of course, now that I've read the research above, there's no way to rule out a placebo effect in me. Also, I'm not suffering memory problems. I need to find someone who is complaining of memory issues and see if they want to try licorice....

Sunday, September 24, 2017

And another molybdenum/migraine success

A colleague was out with a five-day migraine a week ago. Guess what I told her about? Of course. And she tried it. She was able to come back to work (that's how I saw her to give her some molybdenum) but still had the migraine lingering and threatening to descend again, so she took 1000 mcg of molybdenum glycinate. Ninety minutes later, I saw her helping push someone else's broken-down automobile and reporting that the molybdenum had helped her.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Oyster heme & possible RLS

Oysters are really high in heme (a kind of iron) content. (https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/) I ate a lot of oysters (canned, not fresh) yesterday because I wanted the zinc and glycine betaine in them. Oysters are fairly foreign to me, and I had forgotten about their high heme content. Over a year ago, I wrote (http://petticoatgovernment.blogspot.com/2016/07/carbon-monoxide-and-restless-legs_15.html) that restless legs syndrome appears to me to be endogenous carbon monoxide excess in the leg muscles, which carbon monoxide is a metabolic product of heme, and so I suggested that people dealing with restless legs syndrome avoid overconsuming heme. 

Guess what woke me at 4 am this morning? This weird feeling in my legs....

I took a hydroxocobalamin lozenge (also suggested in my year-old post as a help since it combined with Vitamin C appears to be a possible treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning) and was able to fall back asleep soon after. My legs still feel a little weird this morning, and I have a bit of a "steely" feeling in my head. So I'll take more hydroxocobalamin and some Vitamin C now, and then I'll set to figuring out why I'm so sensitive to heme intake. It was just one can of oysters! (Which I ate all by myself.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

One-page summary of nutrition to promote proper methylation

Here is a one-page summary of some of what I consider the most valuable information I've gathered on nutritional factors that promote proper methylation, which appears to help with ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and possibly preventing cancer. Feel free to share (without alteration, please) as widely as you like.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Recent research roundup

I often have tabs on my browser that I leave open for a week or more because I've been looking into a subject but haven't collected enough interesting material to write a whole blog post. Tonight I'm going to link to my open pages so that I can finally close them on my browser. One tab is connected to hydrogen peroxide and antioxidants, which tangentially goes along with our family research project of testing all our produce for catalase action. (If you want to have fun, put some mushed banana in a glass then pour in some 3% hydrogen peroxide; the results are slow but impressive.) A couple are about iron overload and its possible connection to mental health condition exacerbation (I'm curious as to whether there's a link between fluctuating iron stores in women and symptom severity.). And the rest are my research into whether there is anything special in chicken gizzards, which topic became one of interest a couple weeks ago after I noted that chicken gizzard soup, which I'd never cooked before, made me feel unusually happy and peaceful; the research led me to MUC1, a mucin in gizzards which is upregulated by GABA and which I suspect might help people feel calm (That could contribute to the common relaxed feeling after Thanksgiving dinner, which is the only time Americans tend to eat gizzard--it's part of giblets--broth on the same day. People wouldn't have noticed as large an effect from eating fried gizzards because they usually boil then dry gizzards before coating and frying them; no broth consumed. I think MUC1 might be heat stable at 100C, given that mucin in cooked okra is what makes it so slimy, but I couldn't find any clear evidence of that, only that it's very resistant to heat denaturation at temperatures up to 85C. There are also water-soluble forms of MUC1, which could explain how MUC1 would end up in gizzard broth instead of staying in the rubbery gizzard pieces in my soup. MUC1 is overexpressed in many cancers, so I'm sure much more research on it will be forthcoming.). Kind of random, but that's what roundups are for.


Antioxidant effect of red wine anthocyanins in normal and catalase-inactive human erythrocytes. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286301001644 “Subsequently, we demonstrate that fractions containing anthocyanins lower ROS (reactive oxygen species) and methemoglobin production in human erythrocytes treated with H2O2. Finally, we reported that the protective effects of anthocyanins were also confirmed in an experimental model in which RBCs were deprived of catalase activity by treatment with 4 mM sodium azide. The results obtained clearly demonstrate that red wine anthocyanins protect human RBCs from oxidative stress.”

Iron overload and psychiatric illness. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8194001
Abstract: Seven patients with varying psychiatric disorders were found to have iron overload as manifested by abnormal serum ferritin, transferrin saturation index (TSI), or excessive urinary iron. All possible sources of secondary iron overload were ruled out. The patients were treated with the specific iron chelator, deferoxamine, given IM for seven to 22 weeks which resulted in significant clinical improvements. These cases indicate a need to be aware that disordered iron metabolism is a somatic cause of psychiatric illness and that there is clinical improvement upon lowering elevated iron levels in patients with iron overload.

Hemochromatosis-induced bipolar disorder: a case report. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163834311001368
Objective - A patient presenting with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, bipolar disorder was found to be affected by high iron hemochromatosis. This prompted us to explore the relation between bipolar disorder and iron overload.
Method - We report the case and review the peer-reviewed literature focusing on mood symptoms in patients with hemochromatosis or iron overload. Animal studies of brain effects of iron overload are summarized. High iron hemochromatosis was confirmed by genetic testing, and treatment was instituted to address iron overload.
Results -Patient's bipolar symptoms completely subsided after phlebotomic reduction of iron overload.
Conclusion - Clinicians should explore the possibility of iron overload and seek genetic confirmation of hemochromatosis in resistant bipolar disorder to avoid unnecessary medication.

Structure of the glandular layer and koilin membrane in the gizzard of the adult domestic fowl (Gallus gallus domesticus). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1261543/?page=1

Histomorphological and Histochemical Studies of the Stomach of the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=ajas.2015.280.292 “Rossi et al. (2005) observed in the gizzard’s mucosa of the partridge (Rhynchotus rufescens) low folds lined by simple columnar to cuboidal epithelium. The mucosa revealed the presence of tubular glands, which were lined by low cuboidal at their bases, whereas higher at their upper portions. In fact, the luminal surface of the gizzard was lined with secretory product of the mucosal glands, which solidified at the surface to form a hard cuticle of koilin. Selvan et al. (2008) recorded that the gizzard’s wall of the guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) constructed from the usually known four tunics in addition to an internal lining of koilin which was a secretary layer above the mucosa. The koilin showed positive reaction with the PAS. The surface epithelium was PAS positive too. They showed predominance of neutral mucin. The PAS positive material was present in the lumen of the glands and in the cells that were lined both the surface and crypts.”

The differences between the localizations of MUC1, MUC5AC, MUC6 and osteopontin in quail proventriculus and gizzard may be a reflection of functional differences of stomach parts. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7580.2010.01243.x/full “In conclusion, the expressions of MUC1, MUC5AC, MUC6 and OPN in quail proventriculus and gizzard were different. These differences may be a reflection of functional differences of stomach parts. In addition, the localization of MUC5AC in proventriculus was different from those of MUC1, MUC6 and OPN. The immunoreactivity of MUC5AC was present in the lining epithelium of both folds and superficial proventricular glands in the proventriculus, whereas MUC1, MUC6 and OPN reactivity was found in the oxynticopeptic cells of profound proventricular glands. Furthermore, the immunoreactivity of MUC1 in gizzard was different from that of MUC5AC. Although MUC5AC was expressed in the cells of surface epithelium and profound glands of the gizzard, MUC1 was localized in the simple tubular profound glands of the gizzard. However, MUC6 and OPN immunoreactivity was absent in the gizzard. These differences may also be a reflection of the functional differences between the surface epithelial cells and glandular cells of both the proventriculus and gizzard.”

Disease-associated epigenetic changes in monozygotic twins discordant for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3221539/. The top biological function pathway in the SZ gene list was ‘psychological disorders’, comprising nine genes directly implicated in SZ (CCND2, CHRNA2, FXR2, FXYD6, HRH3, MUC1, PFN2, SLC31A2, SLC6A3) (P= 3.64E − 03).

GABA selectively increases mucin-1 expression in isolated pig jejunum. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4607675/ “Porcine jejunum epithelial preparations were incubated with two different amounts of GABA or glutamine on the mucosal side for 4 h, and changes in the relative gene expression of seven different mucins, enzymes involved in mucin shedding, GABA B receptor, enzymes involved in glutamine/GABA metabolism, glutathione peroxidase 2, and interleukin 10 were examined by quantitative PCR (TaqMan® assays). Protein expression of mucin-1 (MUC1) was analyzed by Western blot. On the RNA level, only MUC1 was significantly up-regulated by both GABA concentrations compared with the control. Glutamine-treated groups showed the same trend. On the protein level, all treatment groups showed a significantly higher MUC1 expression than the control group. We conclude that GABA selectively increases the expression of MUC1, a cell surface mucin that prevents the adhesion of microorganisms, because of its size and negative charge, and therefore propose that the well-described positive effects of glutamine on enterocytes and intestinal integrity are partly attributable to effects of its metabolite GABA.”

Oral intake of γ-aminobutyric acid affects mood and activities of central nervous system during stressed condition induced by mental tasks. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22203366 “In this study, we investigated how the oral intake of GABA influences human adults psychologically and physiologically under a condition of mental stress. Sixty-three adults (28 males, 35 females) participated in a randomized, single blind, placebo-controlled, crossover-designed study over two experiment days. Capsules containing 100 mg of GABA or dextrin as a placebo were used as test samples. The results showed that EEG activities including alpha band and beta band brain waves decreased depending on the mental stress task loads, and the condition of 30 min after GABA intake diminished this decrease compared with the placebo condition. That is to say, GABA might have alleviated the stress induced by the mental tasks. This effect also corresponded with the results of the POMS scores.”

Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16971751 “The effect of orally administrated gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on relaxation and immunity during stress has been investigated in humans. Two studies were conducted. The first evaluated the effect of GABA intake by 13 subjects on their brain waves. Electroencephalograms (EEG) were obtained after 3 tests on each volunteer as follows: intake only water, GABA, or L-theanine. After 60 minutes of administration, GABA significantly increases alpha waves and decreases beta waves compared to water or L-theanine. These findings denote that GABA not only induces relaxation but also reduces anxiety. The second study was conducted to see the role of relaxant and anxiolytic effects of GABA intake on immunity in stressed volunteers. Eight acrophobic subjects were divided into 2 groups (placebo and GABA). All subjects were crossing a suspended bridge as a stressful stimulus. Immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels in their saliva were monitored during bridge crossing. Placebo group showed marked decrease of their IgA levels, while GABA group showed significantly higher levels. In conclusion, GABA could work effectively as a natural relaxant and its effects could be seen within 1 hour of its administration to induce relaxation and diminish anxiety. Moreover, GABA administration could enhance immunity under stress conditions.”

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Another anecdote about molybdenum and migraine

Around nine months ago, I told a friend about molybdenum helping some people with their migraines. She usually gets migraines two or three times in a year. Her migraine triggers seem to be worry, lack of sleep, and caffeine withdrawals. She came down with a migraine a couple of days ago and experienced relief from molybdenum as described below.

This was the first time she tried molybdenum for a migraine. The day before yesterday, she wanted to try it after coming home from work but couldn't find it (I'd given her a bottle of molybdenum months ago; it's only $7/bottle, so I give it to friends who want to try it--like I've said, I'm not getting a dime out of this molybdenum thing) and was too sick to look for it. She took a giant dose of ibuprofen instead. Then in the morning she took more ibuprofen, which dulled the migraine pain for her and made her feel weird; she said that even with the ibuprofen she could "tell the headache was still there" and "felt queasy." She remembered the molybdenum was in her bedside table and grabbed the bottle of it before leaving for work.

While at work, she asked how much she should take, and since she's not a heavy woman, I suggested based on other friends' reports, that she start with around 300 mcg and and then take a little more (up to 500 mcg) if the molybdenum seemed to be having an effect. Considering the tolerable upper limit for chronic molybdenum supplemenation is 2000 mcg/day, 500 mcg is a conservative amount; one could get the same amount of molybdenum by eating 3-5 bowls of lentils. Not that anyone in the USA would eat that many lentils in a day.... She did experience a benefit with a smaller dose and so eventually took a total of 500 mcg.

Before she took the molybdenum, she was experiencing "the aftermath of a headache -- sensitivity to light, aura-like peripheral vision, and queasy stomach." In response to the question of how taking molybdenum affected her, she said, "Gradually the symptoms went away. I had taken a large dose of ibuprofen, so my symptoms were dull and I didn't realize the exact moment that I felt better." She says in the past she usually had symptoms for a week, but this time she didn't. She said she would recommend it to someone else suffering from migraines.

So there's another molybdenum success story.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Back to school!

As happens when children go back to school, they share their germs. Most of the family is dealing with a cold right now. Lots of Vitamin C (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10543583) and rest.

It's almost a given that a "stomach bug" of some kind will start going around our school community within the next few months, and I know I'll feel guilty that almost no one knows molybdenum can help prevent the unpleasant nausea and vomiting that usually accompany gastrointestinal viruses. So I wrote up a short, relatively simple summary of why I think it helps. Here it is:

“Stomach bug” going around?
Molybdenum can help!

A typical part of a viral gastroenteritis infection is damage to the mucosa (lining) of the proximal small intestine (the part of the small intestine closest to the stomach).[1] Our bodies use hydrogen sulfide (H2S) while working to protect the gastric[2] and intestinal mucosa,[3] but the hydrogen sulfide must be broken down quickly because hydrogen sulfide can be toxic at higher levels. The final step of breaking down hydrogen sulfide is one in which sulfite (SO3) is converted to sulfate (SO4). Ingested “sulfites” are known to cause nausea and have other unpleasant effects on health; the FDA had to ban putting sulfiting agents on restaurant salad bars in the 1980s because many people were having to go to emergency rooms after eating sulfited food from salad bars.[4]
The enzyme our bodies use to transform sulfite to sulfate is called sulfite oxidase. It is one of five known enzymes in the human body that use the element molybdenum (element #42 on the periodic table). Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral in the human diet and is typically found at high levels in beans, liver, barley, and oats. Molybdenum bound to the amino acid glycine can also be purchased as a food supplement. By not being deficient in molybdenum, we can help our bodies break down excess sulfite before it makes us nauseated.

Author: CE Taylor (I'm not a medical doctor, just someone who noticed a connection between molybdenum-containing foods and lower levels of "morning sickness" and then whose sister tried molybdenum for a stomach bug and was surprised to find that it protected her from nausea and vomiting. Molybdenum is not a medicine; it is a trace element that already is found in the human diet.)

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1089575 - Widerlite L, Trier JS, Blacklow NR, Schreiber DS. Structure of the gastric mucosa in acute infectious bacterial gastroenteritis. Gastroenterology. 1975 Mar;68(3):425-30.
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28346391 - Bronowicka-Adamska P, Wróbel M, Magierowski M, Magierowska K, Kwiecień S, Brzozowski T. Hydrogen sulphide production in healthy and ulcerated gastric mucosa of rats. Molecules. 2017 Mar 27;22(4). pii: E530. doi: 10.3390/molecules22040530.
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17241876/ - Wallace JL, Caliendo G, Santagada V, Cirino G, Fiorucci S. Gastrointestinal safety and anti-inflammatory effects of a hydrogen sulfide-releasing diclofenac derivative in the rat. Gastroenterology. 2007 Jan;132(1):261-71
[4] http://www.nytimes.com/1986/07/09/us/us-issues-ban-on-sulfites-use-in-certain-foods.html - Molotsky I. U.S. issues ban on sulfites’ use in certain foods. The New York Times. 1986 July 8.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mandela's quote is not good science

Many now are talking about a quote of Nelson Mandela's that was tweeted by Obama and has been retweeted more than any other tweet before. Here's the quote:

"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion...People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love...For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

People don't actually have to "learn" racial bias. It develops naturally in infants as early as six months of age. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170411130810.htm):

Two studies by researchers at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto and their collaborators from the US, UK, France and China, show that six- to nine-month-old infants demonstrate racial bias in favour of members of their own race and racial bias against those of other races.
In the first study, "Older but not younger infants associate own-race faces with happy music and other-race faces with sad music," published in Developmental Science, results showed that after six months of age, infants begin to associate own-race faces with happy music and other-race faces with sad music.
In the second study, "Infants rely more on gaze cues from own-race than other-race adults for learning under uncertainty," published in Child Development, researchers found that six- to eight-month-old infants were more inclined to learn information from an adult of his or her own race than from an adult of a different race.
(In both studies, infants less than six months of age were not found to show such biases).
"When we consider why someone has a racial bias, we often think of negative experiences he or she may have had with other-race individuals. But, these findings suggest that a race-based bias emerges without experience with other-race individuals," said Dr. Naiqi (Gabriel) Xiao. 

Anyone who has ever observed a very small child freak out or inexplicably behave rudely to someone new who is from a different ethnicity or race knows that these findings reflect the truth. Anyone who has traveled the world has seen how racism exists in every group of people and seems to develop as naturally as greed. Does that mean we give up and just let everyone act on that racism? No, just like with greed, we need to teach people NOT to be racist and penalize and stigmatize those who let their racial bias lead them to engage in criminal and antisocial behavior. We also need to give them early exposure to caring, trustworthy people of many different ethnicities to help them develop warm feelings for all humanity from an early age.

I find Mandela's quote unfortunate because it places blame on humanity for something that grows without being taught. The focus should instead be on working to give young children positive interactions with people of all ethnicities and races to prevent racism from developing in the first place.

(I think the findings above help explain why I've never quite understood all the accusations of "racism" swirling through the air: A Mexican housekeeper crossed the border to take care of me daily when I was a toddler, and when I first started school, I had an African-American friend, violin teacher, and school teacher. People who cared for me, loved me, and taught me built my trust and affection for all people, and my parents supported that development.)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Learning about the CNMI

We learned about the CNMI these past two weeks. Unfortunately, there is very little available about the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Not too surprising, since its population is barely over 50,000, but still I was sad that almost all the video footage I could find was about the Second World War Battle of Saipan, which is grim viewing for children.

The CNMI is land belonging to the United States of America, but because it only has commonwealth status, it maintains a greater degree of flexibility in some of its laws. Because of its tropical location and proximity to Asia, it is a relatively popular tourist destination and is allowed to parole in (allow entry of non-US-visa holders) tourists from Russia and China for periods up to 45 days.

The food offerings there seem to be a mix of Spanish, Filipino, Chamorro, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and other Asian cuisines. The most interesting geographical thing about the CNMI is its proximity to the Marianas Trench, the deepest part of the world's oceans. In 2009, President G.W. Bush issued a proclamation making 95,000 square miles of the trench and its surroundings a protected U.S. National Monument.