Wednesday, February 8, 2012

HCV Morning News:Hull blood contamination victim wants hepatitis C inquiry

Morning News

Hull blood contamination victim wants hepatitis C inquiry
A Hull man with haemophilia is calling for an inquiry into how NHS patients were infected by contaminated blood during the 1970s and 80s.
Glenn Wilkinson, 47, was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1983 after a routine operation to remove two teeth at Hull Royal Infirmary.

He is one of a number of people pressing for a full judicial inquiry.
About 4,300 people in the UK, mainly haemophiliacs, were infected with contaminated blood in the 70s and 80s.
Mr Wilkinson, who is fighting for compensation, has launched a campaign to highlight the plight of thousands of similar victims.

The Labour MP for Hull North, Diana Johnson, is backing the campaign and is due to raise the issue in the House of Commons later.

Mr Wilkinson, who is married with two children, said the illness had "devastated" his life and he had "a terrific fear of passing the virus on to family members".

'Full apology'
He hoped a full judicial inquiry would "draw a conclusion to what we've had to suffer for decades".
He said: "An apology and recognition of what's happened to us would mean everything.
"We need a full judicial inquiry. Enquiries have taken place in the past but they haven't had all the power of law that a full judicial inquiry would have. So we need that. We need answers.
"We need the government to accept that what they did was wrong and we need an apology."

An independent public inquiry into the matter was held in 2007, led by Lord Archer. The findings were published in a report in 2009, which called it an "horrific human tragedy". It said UK authorities had been slow to react but accepted it was hard to directly apportion blame.

Lord Archer concluded the main responsibility for the tragedy rested with the US suppliers of the contaminated blood products.

'Extra support'
Since the early 1980s the government rejected calls for a full inquiry and refused to admit any fault, claiming the treatments were given "in good faith".
However, after a 20-year fight by campaigners, payments of varying amounts were given to people in 2004.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "In January 2010, the government announced a package of measures to improve the support that was already in place for those affected with HIV and/or hepatitis C by contaminated NHS supplied blood and blood products."
"One of the key decisions was that payments for those who are most seriously affected by hepatitis C infection would be significantly improved."

In January 2011, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced extra financial support.
The campaign led by Mr Wilkinson claims a similar situation could happen in the future unless there is an inquiry.


Galectin Therapeutics (GALT): Three Franchises, One Big Opportunity

Galectin Therapeutics Inc. (OTCBB: GALT) is a leader in developing carbohydrate-based therapeutic compounds to inhibit galectin proteins involved in progression or cause of disease. The promising role of galectin in cancer could give the company a distinct position with hopes of synergizing with other companies fighting cancer, from Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN) to Generex Biotechnology Corporation (PINK: GNBT).

Building a Promising Cancer Treatment Platform
Galectin Therapeutics is focused on the development of galectin protein inhibitors. With promising efficacy seen in clinical trials, the company is re-positioning its GM-CT-01 treatment to work in conjunction with existing cancer vaccines and other immune cancer therapies such as ipilimumab (Yevoy, BMS) to improve their efficacy. The new approach could transform it into a platform play targeting numerous indications.
Currently, more than 100 cancer vaccines are being developed by a variety of companies, both public and private, that trigger some part of the immune system to produce additional tumor infiltrating lymphocytes. But all of these treatments are vulnerable to being turned off by the galectin effect of the tumor, which the company’s drug can help inhibit.

A Novel Mechanism for Fighting Cancer With The Patient’s Own Immune System
GM-CT-01 works by protecting the immune system’s tumor infiltrating lymphocyte’s (TILs) tumor killing capabilities. TILs are created by the body’s immune system to recognize antigens on tumor cells and ultimately kill off cancerous tumor cells. While many vaccine’s and drugs can enhance TIL production, GM-CT-01 is one of the only promising treatments to protect TILs from being turned off by the tumor’s galectin effect and enhance their efficacy in killing cancer.
An experiment conducted by the Ludwig Institute serves as evidence of GM-CT-01’s TIL protecting and reactivating capability.  To view the results of how CD8 TILs are protected and more effective with GM-CT-01 vs working on their go to Galectin Therapeutic’s website at

A Large Clinical Opportunity in Fibrosis
Galectin Therapeutics is also targeting opportunities in the treatment of fibrosis, currently a series of untreatable diseases like liver cirrhosis, fatty liver disease and kidney fibrosis. Galectin-3 has been tied to inflammation and fibrosis thanks to a very convincing preclinical study. Researchers knocked out Galectin-3 in lab mice, and then, utilizing a proven protocol of organic chemical injections, attempted to create fibrosis of the liver in both mice missing Galectin -3 and normal mice. When the experiment showed no increase in fibrosis in the mice missing Galectin-3 and significant increase in fibrosis in normal mice who had Galectin-3 the researchers concluded that Galectin-3 was part of the root cause of the fibrotic condition.  Subsequently, the company has shown that its Galectin Inhibitors reverse fibrosis in toxic liver fibrosis and fatty liver associated fibrosis.
Since its galectin inhibitors have very low probability of toxicity potential and the drug addresses an unmet medical need for patients that may die from cirrhosis the company believes that there are expedited clinical trial pathways available such as fast track status with the FDA and orphan disease status.  Market entry as the first drug for an indication of liver fibrosis could lead to a large market share, favorable pricing, and a significant valuation.

A Unique Investment Opportunity in Biotech
Galectin Therapeutics offers biotech investors a unique opportunity. With three “block buster size” franchises in liver cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, and cancer immunology enhancement, the company is well-positioned to pursue a combination of partnerships and could eventually become the target of a buyout offer.  An independent analyst has a risk adjusted NPV discounted $6 target price on this sub $1 stock which was written before the company had data indicating it had a drug that could treat the third franchise of fatty liver disease another disease currently without a pharmaceutical treatment. As a result, this is one stock that investors may want to watch closely over the coming months.
For a copy of the analyst report email your request to


A Newly Published Study Associates Alcoholic-Induced Liver Damage to The Abnormal Metabolism of an Essential Nutrient
Miami, Florida (PRWEB) February 08, 2012
A newly published study investigates the dietary supplementation of an essential nutrient (methionine) as a potential treatment for the alcohol-induced liver damage. Concurring, in most part, with the investigation of this study, Nutri-Med Logic Corp states that countering alcohol-induced liver injury depends on the proper activities of a pro-oxidant gene (CYP2E1), as well as the availability of nutrients such folate and choline (methyl group), which increase the levels of methionine and ultimately the production of a potent anti-oxidant (glutathione). However, Nutri-Med Logic Corp adds that any nutrient capable of contemporaneously providing the methyl group as well as directly moderating the activities of the pro-oxidant gene takes precedence.

One such important nutrient is Poly-Enyl-Phosphatidyl-Choline, an extract of soy that has been the target of studies for more than two decades, for its therapeutic potentials in Alcohol-induced Fatty Liver, Hepatitis, Fibrosis and Cirrhosis.

Elimination of alcohol takes place in two parts: converting alcohol to acetaldehydes and then to acetate. While acetate is harmless, known and used by the body, but acetaldehydes are one of the most damaging molecules implicated in pathology of alcohol-induced liver diseases, vitamin inactivation, hangover and even suggested to alter neurotransmitter, thus causing addiction.
The xenobiotics, elimination of foreign substances such as alcohol, is mainly done through a process called phase II enzymes. Glutathione, an endogenous anti-oxidant, represents the most powerful component of the phase II enzymes.

According to this published study, alcohol alteration of methionine reduces the availability of glutathione, which together with the hyperactivity of the pro-oxidant gene CYP4502E1 exert injuries to the liver.

Production of glutathione through methionine is dependent on the methyl group of folate or choline; the difference being that folate contains one methyl group but choline (betaine) contains three methyl groups. Studies going back to 1954 have established that alcohol consumption increases the requirement of choline intake. J Exp Med. 1954 Dec 1;100(6):615-27In conclusion.
Availability of methyl, through choline, increases the production of glutathione, needed to counter acetaldehydes. Poly-Enyl-Phosphatidyl-Choline is a pure and potent dietary source of choline.
On the other hand, alcohol-induced hyperactivity of the gene CYP2E1 not only results in accumulation of fat in the liver, producing alcoholic fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis but also results in conversion of liver's stellate cells to myofibroblasts and the subsequent production of collagens, which ultimately results in fibrosis and cirrhosis.

Poly-Enyl-Phosphatidyl-Choline, contains a component called DLPC (dilinoleoy-Phosphatidylcholine), which a plethora of studies have conclusively demonstrated its ability to moderate the alcohol-induced hyperactivities of the pro-oxidant gene CPY2E1.
In conclusion, Nutri-Med logic Corp agrees with this recently published study and the role of methionine in Steatohepatitis as well as the inconclusive results from supplementation of methionine but adds that more than two decade of studies have produced credible and favorable results from supplementation of another nutrient: Poly-Enyl-Phoshaptidyl-Choline.
Nutri-Med Logic Corp is the producer of PolyEnylPhosphatidylCholine (PPC 425mg), an extract of soy and the recommended dietary supplement for those with Fatty Liver and Alcoholic Liver Disease, in Europe for decades.

Nutri-Med Logic Corp is also the producer of the Natural, Balanced, Deodorized and Concentrated Omega-3, which is also a Pharmaceutical Grade Omega-3;

Producer of a Pharmaceutical Grade R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, the dietary supplement of choice for the Diabetics, in Germany for more than 40 years;
Nutri-Med Logic Corp invites you to visit its News Archives and Review other News Releases on the potential benefits of PolyEnylPhosphatidylcholine, Omega-3 and R-Alpha Lipoic Acid.
Nutri-Med Logic's products are Formulated Based on Nutritional Logic, made from the highest quality raw materials that are manufactured in pharmaceutical facilities, encapsulated in pharmaceutical facilities and packaged in pharmaceutical facilities.
It must be noted that the studies, sources or statements above have not been evaluated by The FDA and, thus, one should not relate the cause of any diseases, stated herein, to lack of the dietary supplements, stated herein, nor equate their supplementation to prevention, treatment or cure.


Today Marks the 12th Annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

African Americans are still most severely impacted by HIV/AIDS
Numerous individuals and various organizations around the country are observing the 12th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

“On this National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we have greater opportunity than ever before to reverse the HIV epidemic in Black America and the nation as a whole,” said Dr. Kevin A. Fenton, director of National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, in a recent press statement.

African Americans are still most severely impacted by HIV/AIDS, however, it’s important to note over the past several years medical advancements have provided greater knowledge about the virus and disease, as well as greater treatment solutions.

According to the Center for Disease Control, recent research among heterosexual couples has shown that early treatment of an HIV-infected partner not only can improve their health, but also reduce their risk of passing the virus to their uninfected partner by as much as 96%.
Research has also demonstrated that pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP—a daily dose of an antiretroviral medication—can significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection in some high-risk populations when provided with HIV risk reduction counseling, condoms, and other prevention measures.

Still, there is much more to be done.
A major issue is the lack of health insurance in the black community, says the CDC. Nearly one in five African Americans does not have health insurance. Also important, however, are the issues of homophobia and stigmas that prevent the demographic from getting tested and if HIV positive, seeking treatment.
Learn more at

Online Pharmacies

Online Rx Sites Have Chaotic Side Effect Info: Study
Here is a finding that will likely thrill drugmakers that argue consumers should avoid purchasing their meds over the Internet: a majority of web sites selling cholesterol pills lacked information about contraindications, key warnings and side effects. Moreover, risk information was presented in a “chaotic” fashion and one-third failed to describe side effects in layman’s language.
Specifically, general contraindications were missing in 92 percent and info about contraindicated medicines was absent in 47.3 percent. Warnings about symptoms associated with myopathy, liver disease, hypersensitivity and pancreatitis were absent in 37 percent; 48 percent; 91 percent, and 96 percent, respectively. Only 7 percent listed side effects compatible with current prescribing info...
Continue reading at Pharmalot

 Healthy You

Your immune system is crucial in maintaining your health—so it's important to keep it in good order. But how do you do that? People talk about boosting immunity as if it were a task similar to building muscles or reducing blood cholesterol. Hundreds of ads for supplements and other products promise to boost immunity. But keeping your immune system in good shape is a complicated task. "How do I boost immunity?" is really the same question as "What can I do to stay well?"

How does the immune system fight disease?

Because war is a handy metaphor for the human body's reaction to disease, science writers like to describe the immune system in militaristic terms—the body's department of defense. But unlike the Armed Forces, the immune system has no headquarters or commander-in-chief. And its operations are usually swifter and more efficient than any army's could be.

Rather than "making war," your immune system is really more like an immigration service: a highly differentiated cellular bureaucracy that supervises your biological commerce with the outside world, sorts through billions of pieces of information about incoming materials, and takes routine action as required. Only occasionally does it declare an emergency.

The immune system's basic task is to recognize "self" (the body's own cells) and "nonself" (an antigen—a virus, fungus, bacterium, or any piece of foreign tissue, as well as some toxins). To deal with nonself or antigens, the system manufactures specialized cells—white blood cells—to recognize infiltrators and eliminate them. We all come into the world with some innate immunity. As we interact with our environment, the immune system becomes more adept at protecting us. This is called acquired immunity.

What are the parts of the system?

Among the primary components of the immune system are a variety of white blood cells. These constitute a communications network that helps organize the immune response.
Most people are surprised to learn that the skin, including the mucous membranes, is among the most vital components of immunity. The skin not only forms a wall against intruders, but actually alerts the white blood cells if the wall is breached by invading organisms (through a wound, for instance). The protection afforded by the intact skin is why it's nearly impossible to catch a disease from a toilet seat, for example.

Most infectious agents get inside the body when we inhale them or swallow them; a few can enter through the genitals. They make their way into the blood and move rapidly through the body. The immune system has its own circulatory system called lymphatic vessels, which allow white blood cells to catch intruders. Other important parts of the immune system include the tonsils and adenoids, thymus, spleen, lymph nodes, appendix, certain areas of the small intestine, and bone marrow.

What do the white cells do?

Many mature white blood cells are highly specialized. The so-called T lymphocytes (T stands for thymus-derived) have various functions, among them switching on various aspects of the immune response, and then (equally important) switching them off. Another lymphocyte, the B cell, manufactures antibodies. A larger kind of white cell, the scavenger called the phagocyte (most notably the macrophage), eats up all sorts of debris in tissue and the bloodstream, and alerts certain T cells to the presence of antigens.

In addition, there are killer, suppressor, and helper T cells. Killer T cells, stimulated by helper T cells, zero in on cells infected by antigens, or turn against the body's own cells when, as in the case of cancer, they begin to proliferate abnormally. Another class of lymphocyte killer cell is called "natural" because, unlike T and B cells, it doesn't need to recognize a specific antigen. Most healthy cells are of no interest to natural killer cells, but cancer cells and cells invaded by viruses may be vulnerable to their search-and-destroy missions.

What makes a person immune to various diseases?

Thanks to the lymphocytes, the immune system possesses a memory, or a sense of history. The lymphocytes manufacture antibodies (proteins circulating in the blood) that attack intruders. Once you have produced antibodies to a certain microbe—a specific flu virus, for example—that particular virus cannot make you sick again, because you have cells that immediately recognize it and produce the antibodies that destroy it. The immunity may last for years, sometimes for life. This is "acquired immunity."

Science has also developed vaccines. It all began in the late eighteenth century, when the English physician Edward Jenner observed that people who caught a mild disease called cowpox never got smallpox, which is related to it. Using a boy who had not had either disease, Jenner tried inoculation: he scraped the child's skin and applied secretions from cowpox sores, and the boy got cowpox. When Jenner later inoculated him with smallpox matter, the boy did not develop smallpox. (Such human experimentation would land Dr. Jenner in court today.)
Creating immunity by injecting healthy people with dead or altered disease-causing microbes has prevented millions of deaths from measles, polio, diphtheria, flu, smallpox, tetanus, yellow fever, and many other diseases. Vaccines truly are immune-system boosters.

Does loss of sleep depress immunity?

It can. But losing sleep for a few nights won't necessarily make you ill. Many things boost or depress immunity temporarily. The number of immune cells rises and falls naturally in healthy people. 

What foods boost immunity?

An adequate diet helps maintain immunity and keeps you healthy. The immune system needs such nutrients as protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Severely malnourished people are particularly vulnerable to immune dysfunction, and they get sick more easily than other people and stay sick longer. What most people want to know, though, is whether one specific food or kind of food will boost immunity in otherwise healthy people on an adequate diet. The answer is generally no.

What supplements boost it?

So far there's no reason to believe that supplements will boost immunity in healthy people, except in the malnourished and many of the elderly. Though severe malnutrition is rare in the U.S., some groups, particularly the elderly, may be deficient in such nutrients as vitamin C, certain B vitamins, and zinc. Studies suggest that raising nutrient intakes to adequate levels can enhance immunity, and there is some evidence that elderly people stay healthier if they take a multivitamin/mineral pill. In contrast, other research suggests that megadoses of certain nutrients can significantly suppress some immune responses. 

Consider zinc, for instance, found in meat and grains, and often promoted as an ideal immune-system booster when taken as a supplement. While some studies show that zinc supplements can boost immunity and promote wound-healing in the elderly, high intakes can actually suppress the immune response. 

A diet low in beta carotene can depress immunity, but it's not clear that beta carotene supplements can correct the situation, or what levels of supplementation would be helpful. Among the agents that have been shown to stimulate immunity in experiments are bacteria such as those in yogurt, but it's far from certain that consuming yogurt (with or without live cultures) will promote resistance to disease. 

What about vitamin C?
This vitamin is necessary to good health and no doubt to immune function. But numerous studies have shown that vitamin C supplements have minimal or no effect on the immune response, unless you are deficient in C.
Does exercise boost immunity?

Some research shows that sedentary people don't have as vigorous an immune system as those who exercise. Moderate exercise (for example, a moderate walking program undertaken by previously sedentary people) seems to improve immune function. But there is also evidence that overdoing exercise may depress the immune system: high-intensity or prolonged endurance exercise steps up the output of two so-called stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, both of which can depress various components of the immune system.

Olympians and other highly trained athletes often report that after intense competition and training they are more susceptible to colds. Yet such news should not deter athletes from competing or exercisers from exercising. 

The health benefits of exercise are clear. Regular aerobic exercise is good for the heart. Weight-bearing exercise builds bone and muscle. The idea that your immune cells might not show a response to your exercise program should not deter you from exercising or from beginning an exercise program if you are sedentary.

Can emotions affect the immune system? 

States of mind surely affect health, and extreme emotional stress may damage immunity and bring on illness. But research into the link between mind and immunity is in its early stages and has produced very little solid evidence so far—and not much advice about how to protect the immune system from the ill effects of emotional stress. An experiment may show that extreme grief depresses human T cells, for instance, but we don't know if the rest of the system is harmed, or whether the fluctuation means much. 

Still, reports of increased illness and even death among the recently bereaved are common. Cancer patients with a "fighting spirit" seem to live longer than those who are despondent, but this may or may not prove something about immune function. Good social support is thought to improve immunity in people under stress.
Immune cells and nerve cells do interact. For example, when fighting an infection, immune cells are able to stimulate the brain to transmit the impulses that produce fever. Receptors for many of the chemicals released during stress, such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, have been observed on the surface of lymphocytes found near nerve terminals in the lymph nodes and spleen. This suggests that what goes on in the brain can interact with the immune system to suppress or, conversely, enhance it.

What does smoking do to immunity?

Part of the reason smokers are at risk for lung cancer and respiratory diseases may be that smoking suppresses immune cells. When smokers quit, immune activity begins to improve within 30 days.
When and why does the immune system malfunction?
The immune system has so many built-in fail-safes that, in theory at least, we should rarely fall ill. But, in fact, we do. Harmful agents such as HIV can baffle our defenses. The system can simply be overwhelmed by the number and toxicity of viruses, bacteria, or other foreign cells and toxins.
Though the immune system defends us against cancer, it is subject to cancer. Leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells; multiple myeloma affects certain lymphocytes that produce antibodies. Cancers of the lymph system include lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease. Some of these cancers can now be successfully treated.

Sometimes the gatekeepers of the system go crazy, mistaking a basically inoffensive intruder such as pollen, dust, or a bit of bee venom for an enemy and causing the body to go into the red alert known as an allergic reaction. In addition, the immune system can mistake the body's own cells and tissues for "nonself" and attack them, as in auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus. 

The immune system will also reject and kill potentially lifesaving organ and tissue transplants, unless some way can be found to circumvent the reaction. Though in theory a pregnant woman's immune system should attack the fetus—which is nonself—it doesn't. This is because the fetus itself produces a substance that shields it from the maternal defense system.

So how can I nurture my immune system?

Perhaps the most direct action you can take is to consume a varied, balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, whole and fortified grains, and dairy products, with small amounts of fish and meat if you wish. A basic daily multivitamin/mineral supplement is usually a good idea for older people. Beware of any supplement, however, that promises to boost immunity: protein supplements, enzyme supplements, and the whole range of specific vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and nostrums that claim to boost immunity don't strengthen it.

Regular moderate exercise is associated with good health and longevity and will benefit your cardiovascular system, whether it boosts immunity or not. Getting adequate sleep is also helpful. And, of course, don't smoke.

Adults Get Too Much Sodium Every Day
Atlanta, GA - infoZine - Nearly all Americans consume much more sodium than they should, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the sodium comes from common restaurant or grocery store items.

The latest Vital Signs report finds that 10 types of foods are responsible for more than 40 percent of people’s sodium intake. The most common sources are breads and rolls, luncheon meat such as deli ham or turkey, pizza, poultry, soups, cheeseburgers and other sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes such as meat loaf, and snack foods such as potato chips, pretzels and popcorn. Some foods that are consumed several times a day, such as bread, add up to a lot of sodium even though each serving is not high in sodium.

“Too much sodium raises blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “These diseases kill more than 800,000 Americans each year and contribute an estimated $273 billion in health care costs.”

The report notes that the average person consumes about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, not including any salt added at the table, which is more than twice the recommended limit for about half of Americans and 6 of every 10 adults. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day. The recommendation is 1,500 milligrams per day for people aged 51 and older, and anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease, and African Americans.

Key points in the Vital Signs Report:
  • Ten types of foods account for 44 percent of dietary sodium consumed each day.

  • 65 percent of sodium comes from food sold in stores.

  • 25 percent of sodium comes from meals purchased in restaurants.

  • Reducing the sodium content of the 10 leading sodium sources by 25 percent would lower total dietary sodium by more than 10 percent and could play a role in preventing up to an estimated 28,000 deaths per year.

Reducing daily sodium consumption is difficult since it is in so many of the foods we eat. People can lower their sodium intake by eating a diet rich in fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables without sauce, while limiting the amount of processed foods with added sodium. Individuals can also check grocery food labels and choose the products lowest in sodium. CDC supports recommendations for food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the amount of sodium added to foods.

“We’re encouraged that some food manufacturers are already taking steps to reduce sodium,” said Dr. Frieden. “Kraft Foods has committed to an average 10 percent reduction of sodium in their products over a two year period, and dozens of companies have joined a national initiative to reduce sodium. The leading supplier of cheese for pizza, Leprino Foods, is actively working on providing customers and consumers with healthier options. We are confident that more manufacturers will do the same.”

Related Reduce Sodium Link link

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