Saturday, April 21, 2018

Johns Hopkins researchers invent new class of immunotherapy drugs to fight cancer

Johns Hopkins researchers have invented a new class of cancer immunotherapy drugs that are more effective at harnessing the power of the immune system to fight cancer. This new approach, which was reported in Nature Communications, results in a significant decrease of tumor growth, even against cancers that do not respond to existing immunotherapy.
"The immune system is naturally able to detect and eliminate tumor cells. However, virtually all cancers -; including the most common cancers, from lung, breast and colon cancers to melanomas and lymphomas -; evolve to counteract and defeat such immune surveillance by co-opting and amplifying natural mechanisms of immune suppression," says Atul Bedi, M.D., M.B.A., an associate professor of otolaryngology -; head and neck surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and senior author of the study.
Major way tumors evade the immune system is via regulatory T cells (Tregs), a subset of immune cells that turn off the immune system's ability to attack tumor cells. Tumors are frequently infiltrated by Tregs, and this is strongly correlated with poor outcome in multiple cancer types.
Many tumors produce high levels of a protein that promotes the development of Tregs. Bedi's team reasoned that since Tregs in the tumor shut down immune responses against tumor cells, turning off Tregs may help immunotherapy work better.
"This is especially challenging because Tregs are not only induced by the TGF-beta (transforming growth factor-beta) protein made by tumor cells but make their own TGF-beta to maintain their identity and function in the tumor," says Bedi. Tregs also make cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein 4 (CTLA-4), which prevents anti-tumor immune cells from acting.
To address this problem, the researchers invented a new class of immunotherapy drugs they called Y-traps. Each Y-trap molecule is an antibody shaped like a Y and fused to a molecular "trap" that captures other molecules nearby, rendering them useless.
The researchers first designed a Y-trap that targets CTLA-4 and traps TGF-beta. This Y-trap disables both CTLA-4 and TGF-beta, which allows anti-tumor immune cells to fight the tumor and turns down Treg cells.
To test the Y-traps, the team transplanted human cancer cells into mice engineered to have human immune cells. The researchers found that their Y-trap eliminated Treg cells in tumors and slowed the growth of tumors that failed to respond to ipilimumab, a current immunotherapy drug that targets the CTLA-4 protein.
"Tregs have long been a thorn in the side of cancer immunotherapy," says Bedi. "We've finally found a way to overcome this hurdle with this CTLA-4-targeted Y-trap."
Antibodies to another immune checkpoint protein, PD-1, or its ligand (PD-L1), are a central focus of current cancer immunotherapy. While they work in some patients, they don't work in the vast majority of patients.
The research team designed a Y-trap targeting PD-L1 and trapping TGF-beta. Tested against the same engineered mice, they found that their Y-trap works better than just PD-L1-targeting drugs atezolizumab and avelumab. Again, this Y-trap slowed the growth of tumors that previously had not responded to drugs.
"These first-in-class Y-traps are just the beginning. We have already invented a whole family of these multifunctional molecules based on the Y-trap technology. Since mechanisms of immune dysfunction are shared across many types of cancer, this approach could have broad impact on improving cancer immunotherapy," says Bedi. "Y-traps could also provide a therapeutic strategy against tumors that resist current immune checkpoint inhibitors."
"This approach appears to be an innovative strategy, and an exciting technical accomplishment to target multiple suppressive mechanisms in the tumor microenvironment," says Robert Ferris, M.D., Ph.D., professor of oncology and director of the Hillman Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Ferris was not connected with the study. "I look forward to seeing its translation into the clinic."
Bedi envisions using Y-traps not only for treatment of advanced, metastatic cancers but also as a neoadjuvant therapy to create a "vaccine" effect -; that is, giving them to patients before surgery to prevent recurrence of the disease.

Why Risk With Dangerous Statin Drugs When You Can Eat Only Four Brazilian Nuts A Month.



Researchers have found a natural way to reduce cholesterol levels, which has no side effects. Patients, who have high cholesterol levels, are often prescribed statin drugs even though these drugs are known to have side effects, like muscle pain, confusion, digestive problems, liver damage and memory loss.As a result of these health issues, researchers have recently found a natural way to reduce high cholesterol level.

A study published at the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, included 10 participants (23 – 34 years old) eating a serving of Brazil nuts, was carried out to and the effects of nuts on the cholesterol levels. Namely, ten women and men ate a serving of zero, one, four or
eight Brazil nuts.

They had a balanced diet and blood sample tests were taken on the first day, at 48 hours, and after 5 and 30 days of eating the nuts. The results of the study have shown that the serving of nuts improved the cholesterol level. After 9 hours of eating the nuts, the bad cholesterol, or the LDL, was signi􀃒cantly reduced. The statin drugs have effects
after four days. However, that is not all. The researchers tested the cholesterol level
after 5 days and then after 30 days. However, the participants in the study did not eat only Brazil nuts. They ate the serving of nuts a month before and the cholesterol was still low even after 30 days. After eating nuts, the cholesterol level remained reduced. This study
was not funded by the nut industry of Brazil.

What is interesting is the fact that four nuts had better effects than eight nuts on the cholesterol levels. The results of the study have shown that eating only four nuts a month can improve the bad cholesterol and boost up the good cholesterol levels up to 30 days, or
even longer.

Brazil nuts have numerous health benefits that regulate cholesterol levels, including antioxidants (Vitamin E, polyphenols, and selenium), polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, soluble fiber and plant sterols.

The polyunsaturated and saturated fats are beneficial for the production of cholesterol in the liver, whereas the soluble 􀃒ber slows its absorption. Vitamin E, polyphenols, and selenium stop oxidation of circulation in bad cholesterol. All these benefits regulate the cholesterol balance.
Brazil nuts also reduce in􀃓ammation, which is a cause of tightening arteries and other health issues. Another study has shown that eating a portion of Brazil nuts also significantly reduces inflammation.
Nowadays, when a study is published in the medical literature with such amazing results, the clinical practice will change when the
results will be replicated, particularly if the study is done on only 10 participants. However, eating four nuts a month is cheap, harmless and easy, so the best way is to prove it yourself. Brazil nuts in dark chocolate have greater benefits.

HOME-MADE DARK CHOCOLATE BRAZIL NUTS:

– You will need these ingredients:
• 300 g dark chocolate
• 30 fresh organic Brazil nuts

– Preparation method:

1. Crack the nuts and remove the shells.
2. Melt the chocolate bars in over a pan of steaming water.
3. Add the Brazil nuts in the melted chocolate and mix it. Take the
nuts out with 2 forks.
4. Put the nuts on a greaseproof paper or silicone sheet.
5. Store them in the fridge for half an hour. Consume them within a
week.
The researchers stated that one serving of nuts is enough and that it does not cause kidney and liver toxicity. Namely, Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, so that four nuts on a daily basis may increase the daily intake of selenium.


A Brazil nut contains 50 mcg – 300 mcg of selenium based on the content of the soil where the tree grows. So, eating one or two nuts contains the daily recommended dose. However, you do not have to worry about that, because you eat four nuts a month.

What Are Brazil Nuts Good For?

If you ever find yourself walking through the Amazon rainforest, remember to not only watch your step  turn your eyes to the skies, too. Why? Because if you’re not cautious, you can fall victim to a Brazil nut “cannonball”  fruits of the Brazil nut tree that fall to the ground.
While it sounds like fun, beware: these pods can weigh as much as 5 pounds apiece, and when they fall, they do so at a speed of more than 50 miles per hour. If one hits your head, you can end up with a serious injury  or possibly die!1
Nevertheless, Brazil nuts are a prized crop, and are now exported from the South American continent to various parts of the world. Keep reading to discover more interesting facts about this remarkable tree nut, and why it’s a great addition to your diet.

What Are Brazil Nuts?

Nutrient-rich and delicious, Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa) are harvested from trees native to South American countries, such as Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and, obviously, Brazil.2 The trees are often found along the banks of major rivers, and are considered one of the Amazon’s giant trees.
Brazil nut trees can grow as high as 200 feet, with branches and flowers that provide shelter and flowers for various forest creatures.3 The edible nuts themselves are found inside the fruit of the tree  these are round pods with a coconut-like shell. When cracked open, the nuts inside are found in orange-like segments. There are about 12 to 20 Brazil nuts in each pod.4 Each mature tree produces over 250 pounds of nuts per year.
For decades, biologists have been puzzled by Brazil nuts, particularly how they reproduce. Eventually, they discovered that Brazil nut trees rely on bees and other plants like orchids to thrive. The agouti, a guinea pig-like mammal (but much larger), also contributes to the Brazil nuts’ reproductive process. These creatures have small, chisel-like teeth capable of penetrating the pod, so they can eat the nuts, or drop them into the soil  where they germinate and grow into new trees.5
Today, the Brazil nut industry is a global business that’s worth $50 million per year. Nut harvesters gather the fallen pods and chop them open using a sharp tool.6
Brazil nuts can be eaten raw or blanched. They can be added to different recipes or enjoyed as a snack, with a drizzle of salt. These nuts are very crunchy, but with an almost creamy flavor. Try salted Brazil nuts  they’ll provide you with an interesting combination of textures and flavors.7

Benefits of Brazil Nuts

There’s a lot to love about Brazil nuts. For one, they are loaded with healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They’re a great source of organic selenium, a powerful antioxidant-boosting mineral that offers potential for warding off cancer.8 When compared to pecans and macadamias, though, Brazil nuts are a bit lower in protein and fat  yet they still provide wholesome benefits. In fact, Brazil nuts may:

  • Help manage blood pressure levels. Nutrients like calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium are all necessary in blood pressure control, and Brazil nuts have high amounts of these heart healthy nutrients.9
  • Give your heart health a boost. The palmitoleic acid and oleic acid in Brazil nuts have been linked to balanced cholesterol profile and boosting heart health, through the elimination of dangerous omega-6 fatty acids from the body.10
  • Help improve thyroid function. Being deficient in selenium can actually affect thyroid metabolism. In fact, selenium acts as a catalyst for the production of active thyroid hormones. One study, for example, found improvement in the low thyroid levels of people who consumed Brazil nuts as a selenium supplement.11
  • Keep your skin healthy and help ward off acne. The selenium in the nuts not only helps improve skin elasticity, but gives it a healthy glow as well. This is because selenium stimulates glutathione activity. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant compound that may help eliminate free radicals from the skin. What’s more, it may help protect against acne, thanks to the high zinc content in the nuts.12

Uses for Brazil Nuts

You will never run out of uses for Brazil nuts, because, like other types of tree nuts, they are incredibly flexible, and blend well with the food they’re added to. The nuts can be mixed into your morning porridge, drizzled all over salads, or added to trail mixes that you bring to the gym, as a pre- or post-workout snack.

These Brazil Nut Recipes Are Good Dairy Alternatives

If you’re lactose-intolerant, Brazil nut milk can be a great alternative to dairy, but without triggering unpleasant symptoms. Here’s an easy recipe from Dr. Oz:13

Brazil Nut Milk Recipe


Ingredients:
2 cups Brazil nuts
4 cups water
Procedure:
  1. Soak the Brazil nuts and vanilla bean in a large bowl of water for eight hours.
  2. Discard soaking water and rinse the nuts and vanilla bean.
  3. Blend nuts, 4 cups of water and vanilla bean in a blender.
  4. Strain pulp from the milk using a nut milk bag. You can save pulp for another use.
  5. Serve the milk or use in recipes.
Another dairy alternative you can try is Brazil nut cheese. This is a light and tasty vegan cheese, and although it takes a couple of days to make, the end product is certainly worth it. Check out this recipe from One Green Planet:14

Brazil Nut Cheese Recipe

Ingredients:
3/4 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
3 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar
1 cup raw Brazil nuts, soaked for 5 to 8 hours
1/4 cup za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice mixture)
Salt, to taste
Procedure:
  1. Combine the soaked Brazil nuts, water, apple cider, nutritional yeast and salt in a blender and blitz until it has a smooth consistency.
  2. Strain the mixture using a nut milk bag, squeezing out as much moisture as possible. Once the mixture is slightly moist and crumbly, leave it in the bag and place in a ramekin.
  3. Let the cheese sit for two days on the counter. Make sure it’s fermenting safely. The smell should be slightly sour but not foul.
  4. After two days, gently remove from the ramekin and roll out of the nut milk bag. Place the cheese on a small plate, free standing and without the ramekin, and refrigerate for another day.
  5. Once it has set, pour the za’atar onto a flat surface and roll the cheese over it to cover completely.

Cooking With Brazil Nuts: Two Must-Try Recipes

As mentioned above, Brazil nuts, like other tree nuts, are highly versatile in the kitchen. Whether you’re making an appetizer, a main course or even dessert, you can count on these nuts to provide a delicious crunch to your meals.  If you want to incorporate Brazil nuts into a healthy salad, try this recipe from Yummly:15

Beef Salad With Blue Cheese Dressing

Ingredients:
3 ounces toasted Brazil nuts, chopped
1 bunch watercress, trimmed
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
2 grass fed rib eye steaks, cooked and thinly sliced
pears, cored and thickly sliced
 
Ingredients for blue cheese dressing:
1/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup homemade mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Procedure:
  1. Combine steak, tomatoes, watercress, Brazil nuts and pears in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine bleu cheese dressing ingredients and mix well. Season to taste.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad before serving and toss well.
If a side dish is what you need, however, check out this creative way of infusing Brazil nuts into pesto, adapted from the website Food and Wine:16

Roasted Broccoli With Brazil Nut Pesto

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons water
1 large garlic clove, chopped
5 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 1/2 pounds broccoli, large stems discarded, cut into 4-inch-long florets
Procedure:
  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In a food processor, add the parsley, Brazil nuts, tarragon, lemon zest, garlic and water, and pulse until it forms a coarse paste.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of the coconut oil and parmesan cheese, and then process until it forms a slightly smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the broccoli florets with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and spread on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper, and then roast for eight minutes or longer, until the florets have browned and are crisp-tender. Transfer to a platter, drizzle the pesto sauce and serve warm.

Brazil Nuts Nutrition Facts

Brazil Nuts

Serving Size: 133 grams
 Amt. Per 
Serving
% Daily 
Value*
Calories87244%
Calories from Fat740 
Total Fat88.4g136%
Saturated Fat20.1g101%
Trans Fat0 g 
Cholesterol0.0mg0%
Sodium4.0mg0%
Total Carbohydrates16.3g5%
Dietary Fiber10.0g40%
Sugar3.1g 
Protein19.0g38%
Vitamin A0.0IU0%
Calcium213mg21%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

For Added Variety in Your Diet, Munch on Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts travel a long way to reach your plate, which is why you should appreciate them more. In terms of flavor and versatility, they will not disappoint you because their creamy and nutty goodness can work for a wide variety of dishes.
Nutritionally speaking, these nuts are a powerhouse, too  offering healthy fats, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, particularly selenium. So stock up on Brazil nuts, and reach for them whenever you need something to munch on to keep you going through the day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Brazil Nuts

Q. Where do Brazil nuts come from?
A. Brazil nuts come from the "fruit" of Brazil nut trees, which are native to South American countries. The edible nuts are found inside, in orange-like segments. There are 12 to 20 Brazil nuts in each pod. Each mature Brazil nut tree can produce over 250 pounds of nuts per year.
Q. Are Brazil nuts good for you?
A. Yes. Brazil nuts come with healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Selenium, a standout nutrient in these nuts, is known for helping protect against cancer.
Q. Where to buy Brazil nuts?
A. You can buy Brazil nuts from grocery stores or health stores. Make sure to look for high-quality, unprocessed Brazil nuts.

I am 70 Years Old and I Do Not Have a Single Joint Pain; I Will Let You Know My Solution

If you have some time with a knee pain, you have a hard time walking, and you spend a lot of time in bed due to pain. However, today I want to teach you the best natural treatment to fight these terrible pains and to be able to walk again and perform normally in your daily life.
The reality is that this remedy is a shake that you can use both as a drink and as an ointment. The best thing about this is that you can do it yourself from the comfort of your home, with ingredients that you probably have in your fridge.

So if you want to end these terrible joint pain, read to the end and learn to prepare it. Do you want to know more? Keep Reading …

Undoubtedly, joint pain is still a challenge with which traditional medicine has not yet been able to give a concrete and effective response. So far there are only treatments to relieve joint discomfort through anti-inflammatory drugs and that can produce certain effects at the stomach level.
Conditions such as osteoarthritis or arthritis that cause joint pain almost permanently are very difficult to treat. These diseases are leading to a definite and secure immobility, therefore these people are forced to use canes or lie down for a long time.
Due to this, we must mention that there is a very effective Russian remedy in natural medicine that will help you with joint pain, in addition to working to slow down the progression of the disease. That’s why today we will introduce you how to prepare it.
Remedy for joint pain:
Ingredients:
-1 eggplant
-1 liter of water
preparation:
In a pot until it boils. Remove from the heat and place the sliced aubergine inside the hot water.
Let the water cool and when you take room temperature strain the preparation. You must store 750 ml of this mixture on one side and keep the rest in another container.
For internal use:
The 750 ml that you set aside before, you should divide it into three shots throughout the day in the following way: one take on an empty stomach, the second take before lunch and the last before going to sleep.
For external use:
The remaining 250 ml you should add 50 ml of olive oil. Mix well both ingredients and apply on painful areas rubbing gently before going to sleep. It is necessary to keep the affected areas warm, it is best to place a cloth with a bandage to keep it in place.