This UN-common cold virus could be public health enemy #1! – Issue 34

Dear Health-Conscious Friend,

Another year is coming to a close. If you didn’t meet all of your fitness goals, don’t worry.

It’s never too late to start improving your health—even if you’re past the “bloom of youth”!

In today’s Monday Edition of Health News Weekly™, I’ll share more interesting news to help protect your health. You’ll even find some tips to help you set new health goals—starting TODAY!

If you’re ready to discover more ways to protect your mind and body from illness, let’s get to it!

Mutant Cold Virus is a Dangerous Killer!

Layne Lowery

A mutated form of a common cold virus has caused 10 deaths in the last 18 months, U.S. health officials said.

According to a November 15 report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adenoviruses usually cause non-life threatening respiratory infections.

But officials say a new version has caused at least 140 illnesses in New York, Oregon, Washington and Texas.

The illness made headlines in Texas earlier this year, when hundreds became sick at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

The virus was fingered as the cause of the most serious cases—and even claimed the life of a 19-year-old trainee.

The Ad14 form of adenovirus was first identified in 1955. In 1969, doctors blamed the virus for a rash of illnesses in military recruits stationed in Europe.

Occurrences of this form of virus were rare until the recent incidents. Authorities say they seem to be growing more common.

The Ad14 strain accounted for 6% of adenovirus samples collected in 22 medical facilities in 2006. None was seen the previous two years, according to a study published this month in the medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

There are more than 50 distinct types of adenoviruses to make you sick. Besides causing the common cold-they can also trigger pneumonia and bronchitis.

But some adenoviruses have also been blamed for stomach problems… eye infections… and the bladder infection cystitis. Severe illnesses are more likely in people with weaker immune systems.

There are no effective antiviral medications for adenoviruses. Patients usually are treated with aspirin, liquids and bed rest.

Could a Blood Pressure Vaccine Replace
Daily Medications?

Roz Roscoe, Staff Writer

A research group says they may have developed a series of shots to provide lifetime protection from high blood pressure. They say this vaccine could replace your need for daily medications to lower blood pressure.

Study author Dr. Juerg Nussberger—a professor of medicine at University Hospital of the Canton of Vaud in Lausanne, Switzerland—presented study results at the November 6 American Heart Association annual meeting in Orlando, FL.

According to a Health Day report, researchers used a small vaccine dose during the trial. But Nussberger the results showed “there was not only safety and tolerability—we also had efficacy with blood pressure.”

Nussberger also has an interest in Cytos Biotechnology, which makes the vaccine.

This new vaccine—known as CYT006-AngQb—works by blocking angiotensin II. This molecule constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure.

Study participants included 65 men and seven women, with an average age of 51 years. The volunteers all had mild to moderate high blood pressure.

Researchers injected volunteers with 100 or 300 micrograms of the vaccine at zero, four and 12 weeks from the start of the trial. Other volunteers received a placebo.

Patients who received either dose of the vaccine produced antibodies against angiotensin II after the first injection. The response was significantly higher and lasted longer in those who received the higher dose.

After 14 weeks, systolic blood pressure—the top number in a reading—fell by 5.6 mm Hg in the high-dose group. Diastolic blood pressure, the bottom number, fell by 2.8 mm Hg.

What’s more, the vaccine seemed to diminish the blood pressure surge that often occurs between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Experts say high blood pressure readings during these early morning hours raise the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The vaccine needs further testing—especially to see if your body would have an “escape mechanism” to raise blood pressure if and when needed.

“The big hope is that you could give a few doses, and that would be it for life, then you wouldn’t have some of the compliance issues related to taking medications on a daily basis,” added Dr. Daniel Jones, president of the American Heart Association. “Safety is the key thing. If this is proven safe, I really can’t think of a downside.”

Fast Fact

Coughing… wheezing… sneezing… these common allergic reactions can make you feel plain miserable! If you’re not sure what’s causing your discomfort, you could ask your doctor about computerized kinesiology systems—also called Dr. Voll’s technology. Some healthcare providers are using these methods to detect allergies.

You might also try some natural remedies such as vitamin B complex and vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Some folks also use B pollen or bromelain with quercetin for some sweet relief!

“Obesity Paradox” Puzzles Health Officials

Tonia Beverly, Contributing Editor

Researchers have coined the term “obesity paradox” to describe a puzzling new connection between weight gain and heart disease.

Study results published in the American Journal of Medicine show an unexpected decrease in illness and death as body weight or body mass index (BMI) increases.

This unusual trend was noted among people with heart failure… patients having angioplasty… people with high blood pressure… and those with diseased heart arteries.

Researchers found that overweight and obese adults with high blood pressure and coronary artery disease had a lower risk of heart attack, stroke or death when compared with normal-weight counterparts.

The reasons for the apparent protective effect of increased BMI “are unclear,” said Dr. Seth Uretsky and colleagues from St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.

The research team investigated the effect of overweight and obesity on heart-related outcomes in 22,576 people. Participants either had treated high blood pressure or coronary artery disease.

Study conclusions show the risk of death, heart attack, or stroke was lower in subjects who were classed as “overweight” with a BMI of 25 to 30. The same was true of obese participants with a BMI of 30 or greater.

“This ’obesity paradox&lsquoo; ccurred in men and women across all age groups, even though blood pressure was better controlled in normal-weight patients,” the investigators note.

In a commentary, Dr. Carl J. Lavie and colleagues of the Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans cautions that “one should not conclude that weight reduction is detrimental in overweight populations.”

Results of numerous studies clearly support the benefits of weight reduction in obese patients with heart disease, despite the obesity paradox.

Health E-Hints

A Simple Solution for Preventing Vision Loss!

You may already know high homocysteine levels cause heart and brain problems. But researchers at the Medical College of Georgia say they suspect homocysteine may also cause damage to your retina—and even vision loss!

According to cell biologist Dr. Sylvia Smith, preliminary evidence suggests elevated homocysteine levels damage the blood vessels and neurons of the retina.

Folate and vitamin B12 change homocysteine into an amino acid that helps create protein. Insufficient folate prevents this change from occurring.

Dr. Smith said a lack of folic acid in your diet can cause homocysteine levels to rise. The key is to include more folate-rich fruits, vegetables and grains in your diet.

Some delicious food sources of essential folate include:

  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Oranges
  • Peanuts

Just a few dietary changes could help you clobber high homocysteine—and help you enjoy eagle-eye vision!