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SCHIZOPHRENIA

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SCHIZOPHRENIA

Post by pmmutiti on Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:53 pm

There is evidence that schizophrenia is associated with an abnormal metabolism of unsaturated fatty acids in both blood plasma and red blood cells. This abnormality, in turn, is associated with extraordinary low levels of long-chain unsaturated fatty acids such as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and AA (arachidonic acid) in cell membranes.

Researchers at the Imperial College School of Medicine now report that fatty acid levels can be restored to normal and schizophrenia symptoms eliminated or at least vastly diminished by oral supplementation with EPA, the major component of fish oils. Their experiment involved a 30-year-old man who had suffered from schizophrenia for over 10 years. He had frequent (at least daily) hallucinations and also suffered from persecutory delusions and thought disorder. The patient was put on 2 grams/day of EPA and was evaluated for schizophrenia symptoms and blood plasma and red blood cell membrane levels of fatty acids at monthly intervals for 6 months. The results were spectacular. After 6 months the overall score for schizophrenia symptoms had dropped by a factor of 6 (an 85% reduction in severity). Episodes of delusions were completely eliminated and there was an 88% reduction in the number of hallucinatory episodes.

The remarkable clinical improvement in symptoms was associated with substantial increases in the levels of EPA, DHA and AA in red blood cell membranes and with significant increases in EPA and DHA levels in blood plasma. The researchers conclude that EPA supplementation is able to reverse the abnormal fatty acid profiles found in schizophrenics and that this reversal is associated with, and is likely to be the cause of, the clinical improvement.


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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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