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PSORIASIS

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PSORIASIS

Post by pmmutiti on Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:34 pm

Psoriasis is a fairly common skin disease characterized by thick, silvery white scales surrounded by a red, inflamed border. Psoriasis is accompanied by high concentrations of arachidonic acid in the plaques and profound changes in the metabolism of eicosanoids leading to an increase in proinflammatory agents. It is known that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) counteracts the formation of these proinflammatory agents and some studies have shown that oral supplementation with fish oils benefits psoriasis patients.

A team of researchers from Austria, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Germany, and Poland now report that intravenous infusions of a fish oil emulsion is quite effective in ameliorating the symptoms of chronic plaque-type psoriasis. Their double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial involved 54 men and 29 women between the ages of 18 and 80 years who had been hospitalized with severe psoriasis. The patients were randomized into two groups. Group 1 (43 patients) received twice daily infusions of a fish oil emulsion (100 ml of a 10% emulsion infused over a period of 90 minutes) while group 2 (40 patients) received twice daily infusions of a placebo emulsion based on linoleic acid.

Physicians assessed the severity of the psoriasis on days 0, 4, 7, 11 and 15 of the two-week trial. Sixteen of the 43 patients (37%) receiving fish oil showed at least a 50% improvement in their condition at the end of the trial as compared to 9 out of 40 patients (23%) in the placebo group.


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Peter Mwaura Mutiti : Teaching old blood cells new tricks:
When you hear someone mention circulation you probably think of the heart and major arteries—and for good reason. Circulatory disorders such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) are major risk factors for heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.

But there’s more to it than that. With all the attention on the heart and arteries, it’s easy to overlook serious health problems affecting the smallest components of the circulatory system—microscopic blood vessels called microcapillaries, where the critical exchange of oxygen and nutrients actually takes place. If blood isn’t flowing through this web properly, it can trigger all sorts of health problems, many of which may not seem related to circulation at all.

A number of factors contribute to poor circulation as we age. Arteries and veins become stiff and congested as cholesterol and calcium plaques accumulate and restrict blood flow. Spasms in the smooth muscles surrounding the circulatory arteries and veins can also choke off circulation. These same processes also occur in our microcapillaries, reducing microcirculation and impairing the critical exchange of nutrients and gases in tissues and major organs.

This problem only gets worse as we get older because of changes in the composition and structure of blood cells. As you reach middle age, the blood starts to thicken and congeal as platelets and blood proteins make cells sticky. Plus, the spleen—the organ that removes old, damaged blood cells from circulation—begins to slow down with age, which means new, healthy blood cells are replaced at a sharply reduced rate. And to make matters even worse, as blood cells age, they become stiff and no longer appear round and evenly shaped. This makes it harder for them to pass smoothly through the capillaries. In fact, the angular, jagged shape of the old cells can damage the fragile microcapillaries even further.

Eventually, these age-related changes take their toll on the microcapillaries, reducing circulation to the tissues and blocking the flow of nutrients and oxygen. Removal of carbon dioxide and other metabolic waste products is also hindered. This leads to a slow buildup of metabolic garbage that can gradually bury the cells in their own waste products. In time, the cells, poisoned by their own metabolic byproducts, begin to waste away and ultimately cease to function altogether.

The combined effect of poor circulation and old blood contributes to a host of symptoms, including deep fatigue, fuzzy thinking, frequent infections, and lowered sex drive—all conditions usually considered just “normal parts of aging.”

If circulation doesn’t improve, it can lead to more serious conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. But giving your body a fresh supply of healthy blood may target all of these problems and more.
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