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Past News Items - March 2017

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In the News

Leader in Hormone Testing Adds Oxidative Stress Marker

Doctor Burnout Is A National Threat Lost In the Debate About Revising the Affordable Care Act


American College of Healthcare Sciences Announces Opening of Community Focused Satellite Campus in Kona, Hawaii

Metabolic syndrome: Toxicology's next patient

UAB Study Shows Link Between Microbiome in the Gut and Parkinson’s

Released: 03/30/17

Leader in Hormone Testing Adds Oxidative Stress Marker

Precision Analytical Inc., the founders and innovators of DUTCH, (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones), is excited to announce the addition of a new biomarker, 8-Hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), to the world leader in comprehensive hormone testing, the DUTCH Complete™ hormone panel. Starting the 2nd week of March, healthcare providers and hormone testers will have an expanded picture of their overall health and hormones from a simple dried urine test one can complete from the comfort of their home.

Precision Analytical's medical director Dr. Carrie Jones explained, "The 8-OHdG is a marker for DNA damage in the body. Along with chronic stress, degenerative diseases and cancer can greatly affect your hormones such as estrogen and cortisol. This new marker gives you even greater insight at a cellular level! As the disease state worsens, the 8-OHdG level goes up. Thankfully, there are proactive -- and likely preventative -- things you can do to improve the healing process while checking your progress along the way."

8-OHdG measures the effect of endogenous oxidative damage to DNA. The marker is used to estimate risk factor for various cancers (including breast cancer and prostate cancer), and degenerative diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, pancreatitis, and chronic hepatitis.

Adjusting treatments and lifestyle to minimize the presence of 8-OHdG is a productive step toward health and longevity. Precision Analytical's founder and president Mark Newman agrees stating, "Reducing oxidative stress is a key component to overall health." Mark also believes the "8-OHdG is a great compliment to a comprehensive hormone overview like DUTCH."

There are few laboratories in the United States running tests for 8-OHdG. Precision is the first to test for this marker in dried urine. Typical fees to measure 8-OHdG are over a hundred dollars per test. Precision Analytical customers will receive the test as an added benefit of the DUTCH Complete™ panel at no additional cost.

Precision Analytical Inc.,the founders and innovators of DUTCH (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones), got their start in 2012. They quickly caught the attention of functional and integrative medicine influencers like Dr. Joseph Mercola and Chris Kresser, and became the world leader in hormone testing as their method is the most comprehensive informationally and has the easiest sample collection.


For more information on Precision Analytical's innovative DUTCH test, or to your test today, visit or contact Kelly Navari at 503.687.2065 or

Released: 03/30/17

Doctor Burnout Is A National Threat Lost In the Debate About Revising the Affordable Care Act

Author Dr. Thomas Black coaches physician financial wellness to battle substance abuse, suicidal urges and Government mandates


As Washington considers how to improve the Affordable Care Act, Texas physician and author Thomas Black warns that a bigger problem is being ignored. Doctor burnout is on the rise and threatens the stability of any national health insurance plan leaders may draft in the future.

A new 2017 report by Medscape Lifestyle reveals that the burnout rate for emergency medicine (EM) doctors is nearly 60 percent, up 10 points since 2013, the first year the report was issued. One of the main reasons for burnout is "too many bureaucratic tasks." More than 14,000 physicians in 27 specialties took part in the survey and noted that over 50 percent of all doctors are dealing with these intense issues.

"No one is talking about the health of physicians and nurses. I want the citizens of this country to be covered by a good health plan, but not at the expense of doctors, some of whom suffer from depression and substance abuse. Most people would be shocked to learn that suicide among doctors is a problem. I've lost several colleagues in recent years," says Black, who manages a network of hospitals in the Dallas areas.

Also, government mandates bring a heavier workload without putting restrictions on the number of hours a doctor can function in the ER. Yet this nation limits the hours an airline pilot or truck driver can legally perform their duties.

"It makes no sense. Why are physicians, who deal with life and death decisions, not aided and respected in the same manner?"

Black, a U.S. Navy veteran and emergency medicine doctor, began to transition out of hospital emergency rooms when he felt ravaged, emotionally and spiritually, by the unrealistic demands placed on physicians during an endless series of medical crisis.

"When you lose a child you are caring for in the ER a little bit of your soul dies. There is nowhere to go to mourn and get some relief. You just have to buck up and carry on, hour after hour, one tragedy after another," he says. "Part of the problem is money. Everyone thinks doctors are wealthy and therefore don't need or deserve more attention. Not true."

To share his own ordeal in medical school and then as a partner in a bustling medical group, Black authored The Passive Income Physician: Surviving a Career Crisis by Expanding Net Worth. The memoir/guidebook reveals Black's belief that doctors can cut back clinical hours, and buy some restorative time early in their careers, by learning more about the topic medical school ignores—finance. (The digital edition is free at March 31-April 3.)

"We have to look after our own health if we're going to be effective in hospitals. Yes, we make good money, but that doesn't buy superhuman endurance and emotional stability under duress. If the politicians won't discuss the depletion of the medical community, we must do a better job managing our money and personal expectations," he says, adding, "Commercial real estate and expanding net worth was my path to a calm mind and healthy heart."

While influential groups such as the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association of the United States and the Children's Hospital Association raised their voices during recent ACA debates, Black choose to coach his colleagues by administering a little money medicine that includes information about hard assets and passive income.

"Real estate is now my passion but it is also my salvation," says Black, who last year co-founded Napali Capital to help professionals improve their net worth. He also offers insights at his Freedom in the Black blog, and speaks to medical groups.

"The Passive Income Physician sheds some light on the dangers of overworking our doctors, and how they can do a better job providing for themselves. Obamacare will be with us for the foreseeable future. But no matter which health plan you prefer, when you rush your family member to an emergency room, do you want to be treated by an exhausted, depressed doctor? Or a rested, balanced human being who is not on the verge of collapse?"


For more information, visit; call (608) 216-6638; or write to Napali Capital, LLC., 8111 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1501 Dallas, TX 75251

Released: 03/22/17


New Serum Test Identifies Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) to Help Treat Patients Suffering from Irritable Bowels, Malabsorption, Fatigue and More


Small intestine bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, is a notoriously challenging disorder to diagnose, due in part to the fact that its signs and symptoms can be confused with many other conditions. For example, many of the millions of people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may also have unidentified SIBO, so there is a pressing need for a more accurate assessment of this disorder. Cyrex Laboratories, a clinical laboratory specializing in functional immunology and autoimmune reactivity, is leading the charge with their new Array 22- Irritable Bowel/SIBO Screen.

Array 22 is designed to identify specific bacteria in the small intestine that have migrated from the large intestine, potentially compromising essential barrier integrity and setting the stage for autoimmunity. This serum test is recommended for patients with irritable bowel symptoms, signs of malabsorption such as weight loss, fatty stools or anemia, and conditions such as fatigue, reflux, obesity, food intolerances or skin disorders.

Array 22 assesses potential breach of the intestinal barrier by bacterial cytotoxins and evaluates immune reactivity from their entry into circulation. This cutting-edge serum antibody test improves upon the standard breath tests for SIBO, by not only eliminating the need for exhaustive dietary restriction and collection protocols for patients, but also by providing better specificity and sensitivity.

“With the new Array 22, we’re specifically targeting the immediate need for a more precise evaluation of SIBO to give physicians the most accurate information possible to treat their patients,” said Jean Bellin, president of Cyrex Laboratories. “We’ve developed the Array 22 with the unparalleled quality standards and value that Cyrex Laboratories has become known for throughout the healthcare community.”

Patients suffering from irritable bowels or who suspect SIBO are strongly encouraged to ask their physicians about Array 22. Healthcare providers may request a consultation to discuss testing results with a member of the Cyrex clinical consulting team. Physicians and other licensed healthcare professionals, as well as patients, can learn more about Array 22 and the other unique arrays that comprise the Cyrex System, at


About Cyrex Laboratories
Cyrex is a clinical immunology laboratory specializing in functional immunology and autoimmune reactivity. Cyrex offers multi-tissue antibody testing for the early detection and monitoring of today’s complex autoimmune conditions. Cyrex develops innovative testing arrays through continuous collaboration with leading experts in medical research and clinical practice. Cyrex technology is built on four pillars of excellence, including the antigen purification system, optimized antigen concentration, antigen-specific validation and parallel testing technology. Cyrex is a CLIA licensed laboratory based in Phoenix, Arizona and holds a Medical Device Establishment License in Canada.

Released: 03/16/17

American College of Healthcare Sciences Announces Opening of Community Focused Satellite Campus in Kona, Hawaii

Accredited holistic health college opens satellite campus in Hawaii to provide on-site wellness workshops and classes serving Pacific Rim students, ACHS students and graduates, and the public.

Portland, Ore.—March 9, 2017American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) announces the opening of its new satellite campus in the Central Kona Center Building in Kealakekua, Hawaii. Initially, the college’s new campus will offer on-site wellness workshops and classes to the local community, training to its Pacific Rim students who want to study aromatherapy with industry experts in a face-to-face environment, and additional on-site learning opportunities for current ACHS students and graduates.

Community members, students, and graduates in the Kona area can tour the satellite campus at the college’s Open House event on Saturday, March 18 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., 81-958 Halekii St., Suite 5C, Kealakekua, HI 96750. Also, meet College President and Health and Wellness Expert Dorene Petersen, learn about upcoming holistic health classes and workshops (aromatherapy, holistic nutrition, and more!), and enter to win a free door prize.

“It’s exciting to see how much the ACHS community has grown since founding the college nearly 40 years ago. Our community of students, alumni, and faculty—who are committed to the advancement of the holistic health and wellness industry—is truly amazing,” says ACHS President and Founder Dorene Petersen. “Our goal is always to provide an outstanding academic experience, and our new Kona campus will be integral to that mission. There is a lot of opportunity for community outreach and enrichment, and expanded student support. Dean of Students Heather Baley will manage the new campus and has more than 15 years’ experience in Student Services.”

ACHS has nearly 40 years’ experience providing accredited complementary alternative medicine and holistic health and wellness education. Programs vary from full-length graduate and undergraduate degrees to professional certificates to one-hour webinars. Areas of specialty include aromatherapy, herbal medicine, holistic nutrition, holistic spa management, wellness coaching, and sports nutrition, among others.

ACHS is committed to professionalism, integrity, and ethical and social responsibility, and was one of the first accredited higher education institutions specializing in holistic health and wellness to come a Certified B Corporation®. ACHS is one of only approximately 1,800 other companies to earn this designation through a verifiable commitment to higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, accountability, and to maintaining a clear mission to benefit the communities served.

The ACHS satellite campus in Kona plans to offer extensive community service through free and low-cost clinics for wellness and nutrition coaching provided by students and graduates. 

“Hawaii has always been top of my list for a satellite campus,” says ACHS Chief Strategy Officer Erika Yigzaw. “As a New Zealander, Hawaii feels like home, and the rich history of botanical medicine and the amazing native plants offer much inspiration for health and wellness advocates. In fact, island life should inspire us all to reduce stress and live more simply. There’s a reason that so many of the world’s Blue Zones are on islands! The Hawaii satellite campus creates more opportunities for our students and graduates to experience transformational learning and lets ACHS give back to Kama’aina through community education and health coaching clinics with students and graduates from programs like the Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition and Diploma in Aromatherapy. It’s a win-win for a B CorpTM like ACHS.”


For more information about ACHS and its current programs, visit, call 800.487.8839 or email

Released: 03/07/17

Metabolic syndrome: Toxicology's next patient

Metabolic syndrome: Toxicology's next patient

A rise in caloric consumption combined with a decrease in physical activity has contributed to a boom of metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases (e.g., heart failure and stroke). Over the last couple of decades, studies exploring these diseases have uncovered some of the complex pathophysiological mechanisms involved, resulting in the identification of a plethora of interconnected physiological, pathophysiological, biochemical, and clinical factors that play a role in their development. These factors include obesity/abdominal adiposity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, a low-grade state of chronic inflammation, hypoxia, oxidative stress, fasting hyperglycemia, high blood pressure (hypertension), endothelial dysfunction, a hypercoagulable state, genetics, and more. This constellation of interconnected risk factors that play a role in the development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases has been dubbed metabolic syndrome.

The concept of this complex syndrome was first introduced by Gerald M. Raven during the Banting Medal Address during the 1988 American Diabetes Association meeting. He proposed that cardiovascular risk was high among insulin-resistant, hyperinsulinemic individuals who were glucose intolerant and who exhibited a collection of other risk factors, such as increased levels of plasma triglyceride, low HDL-cholesterol, and essential hypertension. He called the collection of these factors Syndrome X, as the significance of these abnormalities and their precise role in cardiovascular diseases was not fully understood at the time. While the condition has been given several definitions over the years based on improved understanding, a harmonized definition for metabolic syndrome was the result of a 2009 joint meeting of the American Heart Association, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the International Diabetes Foundation, the World Heart Federation and the International Association for the Study of Obesity. Accordingly, metabolic syndrome is diagnosed based on the presence of any three of five criteria:

• Increased waist circumference (as a measure of abdominal obesity that is specific to populations and ethnic groups);

• Triglycerides levels at 150mg/dl or higher;

• HDL-c levels at 40 mg/dL or lower in men and 50 mg/dL or lower in women;

• Blood pressure at 130/85 or higher; and

• Fasting plasma glucose (glycemia) at 100mg/dL or higher.

Diagnosed with these criteria, metabolic syndrome confers a five-fold increased risk for type 2 diabetes and a three-fold increased risk for cardiovascular disease, including an up to four-fold increased risk for stroke or heart failure. Metabolic syndrome also is associated with several other diseases, including many cancers, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and neurological disorders.

Metabolic Percentages.pngWith approximately 35% of all adults and 50% of individuals aged 60 years or older estimated to have metabolic syndrome, it is a major public health issue and is changing what was thought of as a "normal" individual. The presence of metabolic syndrome in an increasing percentage of individuals suggests an altered metabolic, physiological, and pathophysiological state that may change or exacerbate the toxic responses to drugs and/or environmental toxicants. And this syndrome is not limited to the adult population. It increasingly is diagnosed in the pediatric population with a prevalence rate of about 11.9% in overweight children and 29% in obese children.

While several intricate pathways and mechanisms are at play in metabolic syndrome, obesity (abdominal obesity in particular) and insulin resistance are considered to be at the core of this syndrome. For example, a positive energy balance leads to adipose tissue expansion and obesity resulting in consequences, which include the following:

• Infiltration of macrophages and other immune cells into the adipose tissue, giving rise to an inflamed adipose tissue with an increased secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and adipokines and a concomitant decrease in the anti-inflammatory adipokine, adiponectin.

• Ectopic deposition of fat in key organs such as the liver, heart, skeletal muscle, and pancreas due to spill over from expanded adipose tissue, resulting in tissue lipotoxicity and consequent inhibition of insulin signaling.

• Binding of circulating free fatty acids to toll receptors on various organs, augmenting inflammatory signaling via the downstream activation of NFκB and JNK pathways resulting in a vicious cycle of inflammation, which further inhibits insulin signaling in these tissues.

• Free fatty acid accumulation in tissues and in its breakdown to intracellular diacylglycerol and ceramide, which interferes with insulin signaling and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. This accumulation of free fatty acids and its incomplete oxidation mediates mitochondrial dysfunction, which triggers formation of reactive oxygen species that induce oxidative stress, which further impairs mitochondrial function. Increased reactive oxygen species levels also hinder insulin signaling and impair GLUT4 translocation.

A failure of cells to respond to insulin results in the pathological condition of insulin resistance. Insulin, by activating complex signaling pathways involving pI3K/AKT, MAPK, and clb and by binding to transcriptions factors such as FOXO and PPARg, regulates glucose uptake and glucose and lipid metabolism in peripheral tissues. Insulin resistance disrupts these pathways, resulting in hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia. Dyslipidemia also results from the accumulation of free fatty acids in the liver along with insulin-augmented lipogenesis, increasing triglyceride production and release, together with an increased hepatic uptake and renal clearance of HDL-c resulting in a dysregulated lipid profile of low levels of HDL-c and high triglyceride seen in metabolic syndrome. Glucotoxicity and lipotoxicity mediate pancreatic β-cell dysfunction in insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. This combination of insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, additionally, plays a role in the development of hypertension by tipping the balance between endothelial cell secretion of the vasodilator, NO, and the vasoconstrictor, ET-1.

Although obesity and IR are at the core of the pathophysiological mechanisms of metabolic syndrome, several other factors also are implicated, including dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, the autonomic nervous system, impact of gut microbiome on metabolism, the cellular and metabolic alterations in response to drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxicants. Both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms are thought to play a role besides environmental and lifestyle causes of MS.

An examination of the metabolic disturbances associated with metabolic syndrome reveals that many of the pathways and mechanisms involved overlap with those affected by drugs and environmental toxicants and can result in similar types of cellular and organ toxicities. It also is conceivable that drug responses and toxicities may be altered in subjects with metabolic syndrome in whom several metabolic and signaling pathways have gone awry.

To help further understanding and expand your knowledge of the complex and multidimensional condition of metabolic syndrome, SOT is hosting a Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology (CCT) meeting titled "Metabolic Syndrome and Associated Diseases: From the Bench to the Clinic" on March 11, in Baltimore, Maryland. Scheduled for the day before the start of the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, the CCT meeting aims to explore several aspects of metabolic syndrome, including the risk factors, causes, and the manifestations of diseases associated with it; the various cellular and pathophysiological mechanisms that may play a role; and the current and potential therapeutic strategies and risk assessment, which together will enable the development of safer drugs and potential new therapeutics.

The CCT organizers hope that a "focus on understanding the pathways and risk factors leading to disease and on how these pathways can be perturbed to develop drugs for disease interventions will create a unique combination that is likely to lead to new thought processes and scientific collaborations in addition to defining knowledge gaps, identifying research needs, protecting public health, and empowering product development."

Story Source:  Materials provided by Society of Toxicology



Released: 03/06/17

UAB Study Shows Link Between Microbiome in the Gut and Parkinson’s

UAB Study Shows Link Between Microbiome in the Gut and Parkinson’s


There is growing evidence showing a connection between Parkinson’s disease — a neurodegenerative condition — and the composition of the microbiome of the gut. A new study from researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that Parkinson’s disease, and medications to treat Parkinson’s, have distinct effects on the composition of the trillions of bacteria that make up the gut microbiome.

The findings were published in February in Movement Disorders, the journal of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

“Our study showed major disruption of the normal microbiome ¬— the organisms in the gut — in individuals with Parkinson’s,” said Haydeh Payami, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neurology, in the UAB School of Medicine.

Payami says, at this point, researchers do not know which comes first. Does having Parkinson’s cause changes in an individual’s gut microbiome, or are changes in the microbiome a predictor or early warning sign of Parkinson’s? What is known is that the first signs of Parkinson’s often arise as gastrointestinal symptoms such as inflammation or constipation.

“The human gut hosts tens of trillions of microorganisms, including more than 1,000 species of bacteria,” she said. “The collective genomes of the microorganisms in the gut is more than 100 times larger than the number of genes in the human genome. We know that a well-balanced gut microbiota is critical for maintaining general health, and alterations in the composition of gut microbiota have been linked to a range of disorders.”

Payami’s team studied 197 patients with Parkinson’s and 130 controls. Subjects came from Seattle, New York and Atlanta.

The study indicated that Parkinson’s is accompanied by imbalance in the gut microbiome. Some species of bacteria were present in larger numbers than in healthy individuals; other species were diminished. Different medications used to treat Parkinson’s also appear to affect the composition of the microbiome in different ways.

“It could be that, in some people, a drug alters the microbiome so that it causes additional health problems in the form of side effects,” Payami said. “Another consideration is that the natural variability in the microbiome could be a reason some people benefit from a given drug and others are unresponsive. The growing field of pharmacogenomics — tailoring drugs based on an individual’s genetic makeup — may need to take the microbiome into consideration.”

The study subjects came from three regions, the Northeast, Northwest and South. Payami says the research team detected an unexpected difference in gut imbalance as a function of geographic site, which may reflect the environmental, lifestyle and diet differences between the three regions.

Another function of the microbiome is to help the body rid itself of xenobiotics — chemicals not naturally found in the body often arising from environmental pollutants. The study found evidence that the composition of bacteria responsible for removing those chemicals was different in individuals with Parkinson’s. This may be relevant because exposure to pesticides and herbicides in agricultural settings is known to increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s.

Payami says the study of the microbiome is a relatively new field, and a better understanding of macrobiotics may provide unexpected answers for Parkinson’s disease and potentially other disorders.

“This opens up new horizons, a totally new frontier,” she said. “There are implications here for both research and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Therapies that regulate the imbalance in the microbiome may prove to be helpful in treating or preventing the disease before it affects neurologic function.” However, Payami cautions against grand conclusions until more data are available.

Payami says another study is underway at UAB with individuals with Parkinson’s and healthy individuals in Alabama in an effort to replicate and confirm the results.

“The present findings lend support to the notion that the composition of the gut microbiome may hold new information for assessing efficacy and toxicity of Parkinson’s medications,” Payami said. “Additional studies are needed to assess the effects of those drugs, with larger numbers of treated and untreated patients as well as individuals who do not have Parkinson’s.”

The study was supported by funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one of the National Institutes of Health.

About UAB
Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center.

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