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Oct 11

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  • Killed by herbal remedy: California Rep Tom McClintock’s realtor wife Lori, 61, died after taking Chinese herbal WEIGHT LOSS treatment white mulberry leaf, autopsy finds Friday August 26th, 2022
    • Tom McClintock’s wife Lori died in December 2021 at her home in Sacramento 
    • Her autopsy reveals she suffered severe dehydration caused by gastroenteritis
    • Lori had consumed white mulberry leaf not long before she died 
    • The Chinese herb is used for weight loss and to manage diabetes, but it is not FDA-approved as a supplement 
    • It can be purchased online or in drug stores as tea, powder or pills 
    • There is an ongoing push to enforce stricter regulation of the health supplement industry – worth a reported $54billion 
    • White mulberry leaf can aid weight loss by reducing sugar and carb cravings 
    • Lori seems to have had a reaction to it which caused her gastroenteritis  

    California congressman Tom McClintock’s wife Lori died of dehydration which was caused by a herbal weight loss treatment, a coroner has found.

    Lori, 61, died in December last year from extreme dehydration that was brought on by white mulberry leaf. It triggered severe gastroenteritis which caused Lori to suffer diarrhea and vomiting.

    It’s unclear if the politician’s wife took a dietary supplement containing white mulberry leaf or if she drank a diet tea containing the leaf as an ingredient, but a ‘partially intact’ leaf was still in her stomach when she died, the autopsy read.

    Lori had been trying to lose weight and had also joined a gym before her death on December 15, 2021.

    Her autopsy report says her death was caused by ‘dehydration due to gastroenteritis due to adverse effects of white mulberry leaf ingestion.’

    Her death underscores the dangers of herbal and weight loss supplements, a vast but scarcely regulated industry worth some $54billion in the US.

    It remains unconfirmed where Lori purchased the white mulberry leaf. It is known to aid weight loss by staving off sugar and carb cravings.

    In April, Senators Dick Durbin and Mike Braun proposed a bill that would enforce FDA approval of dietary supplements.

    Currently, the FDA oversees some of the industry but companies do not need its approval to market dietary products or supplements.

    WHITE MULBERRY LEAF: THE CHINESE HERB USED FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND DIABETES

    Mulberry leaf tea is often used as a dietary supplement and as a treatment for diabetes.

    The leaf extract slows down the absorption of glucose, helping the body keep blood-sugar levels low in a similar way to medicines used to treat type 2 diabetes.

    It is also used to treat the common cold, and many other conditions, but there is little scientific evidence that it treats such ailments.

    The leaf grows on shrubs or trees in China, displaying a fruit similar to a blackberry and is commonly eaten by silkworms.

    The FDA approved the use of white mulberry leaf Reducose in 2019.

    Reducose is classified as a food ingredient so requires FDA approval.

    It however only contains the water extract from a white mulberry leaf – and is not the entire leaf itself.

    The FDA does not generally approve dietary supplements, which has prompted calls for more regulation in the industry.

    Among those calling for that law to change are Senators Dick Durbin and Senator Mike Braun.

    Braun and Durbin say it creates a danger for consumers, many of whom assume the products are safe when they are not.

    McClintock’s family has not yet commented on the results of her autopsy.

    White Mulberry Leaf is can be ingested in a pill or as a powder.

    It is also commonly brewed as herbal tea, and it’s often used to treat diabetes.

    The leaf works by slowing down the body’s absorption of glucose.

    McClintock, 66, was returning from Washington DC, after voting in Congress the night before.

    He found his wife unresponsive in their Elk Grove home on December 15, 2021.

    In a statement at the time, he said: ‘Our family’s darkest day and most terrible nightmare has come.

    ‘Lori is gone.’

    Dr. D’Michelle DuPre, a former forensic pathologist in South Carolina, said that hite mulberry leaves ‘do tend to cause dehydration, and part of the uses for that can be to help someone lose weight, mostly through fluid loss, which in this case was just kind of excessive.’

    Teas and herbal remedies used for weight loss can cause dehydration as they make your bowels move more frequently, removing additional water retained in the body.

    If the person is then not re-hydrating, they risk organ failure linked to being dehydrated.

    According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there have been no deaths from the white mulberry plant reported in the last 10 years.

    McClintock, a member of the republican party, ran as the governor of California on the 2003 recall election, and for lieutenant governor in the 2006 election.

    Approximately 148 people reported white mulberry plant ingestion to poison control officials nationally, mostly in cases where children had ingested it, according to the AAPCC.

    Dietary supplements and herbal remedies is a $54billion industry, according to the Council of Responsible Nutrition.

    The same source says around 80 percent of Americans use dietary supplements.

    Source: Daily Mail

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  • Massive Review Shows Vitamin D Really Does Seem to Ease Depressive Symptoms Sunday August 21st, 2022

    Our bodies need the right amount of vitamin D to function as normal – both physically and mentally – and there’s a growing amount of evidence out there linking a lack of vitamin D with depression.

    Now a new meta-analysis of 41 previous studies suggests that taking vitamin D supplements can relieve depressive symptoms in people already diagnosed with depression, opening up a potential alternative option for treatment.

    As well as controlling levels of calcium and phosphate in the body, it’s thought that vitamin D helps to regulate various functions in the central nervous system – and earlier research on animals suggests it could even contribute to the control of chemical balances in the brain, which may explain the association between vitamin D and mental health.

    “These findings will encourage new, high-level clinical trials in patients with depression in order to shed more light on the possible role of vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of depression,” says Tuomas Mikola, doctoral researcher and lead author at the University of Eastern Finland.

    The new meta-analysis covered a total of 53,235 study participants from 41 studies, including those with and without depression, people taking vitamin D supplements and people taking placebos, and individuals with a variety of physical conditions.

    While the doses used varied, the typical vitamin D supplement was 50-100 micrograms a day. In the participants with depression, vitamin D supplements were shown to be more effective than placebos at alleviating depressive symptoms.

    Vitamin D supplements seemed to be most effective in shorter bursts (under 12 weeks), the researchers report. However, in healthy individuals, it was placebos that had a slightly greater impact on depressive symptoms.

    “Our results suggest that vitamin D supplementation has beneficial effects in both individuals with major depressive disorder as well as in those with milder, clinically significant depressive symptoms,” write the researchers in their published paper.

    With depression now recognized as the leading cause of disability worldwide – affecting over 280 million of us every year – and antidepressants not effective for everyone, more treatment options need to be explored urgently.

    However, before we get ahead of ourselves, the data we have so far isn’t enough to prove that low vitamin D levels cause depression, or that supplements are an effective treatment. Even though this new meta-analysis shows a link, previous research hasn’t been quite so conclusive.

    While a meta-analysis like this is helpful in comparing results across a large number of people, the different approaches and factors in each individual study make it more difficult to draw broad conclusions – even though a lot of work is done to correlate information across the studies as a whole.

    Yet more statistical crunching will be required to know what the story is for sure: via studies of larger general and clinical populations, and by observing different dose amounts and different treatment durations, for example.

    “Despite the broad scope of this meta-analysis, the certainty of evidence remains low due to the heterogeneity of the populations studied and the due to the risk of bias associated with a large number of studies,” says Mikola.

    The research has been published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

    Source: Science Alert

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  • Antidepressants called into question as researchers find ‘no convincing evidence’ depression is caused by ‘chemical imbalance’ Wednesday July 20th, 2022

    Many antidepressants might not be treating the condition, because they are being used to correct a cause of depression that doesn’t actually exist, new research has suggested.

    A new review of existing studies concludes that the “chemical imbalance” theory of depression, in particular low levels of serotonin, does not stand up to scrutiny.

    Serotonin is a chemical transmitter that appears to play a role in governing mood and emotions.

    Most antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and were originally said to work by correcting abnormally low serotonin levels.

    However the umbrella study, carried out be researchers at University College London (UCL) and published in Molecular Psychiatry, suggests that depression is not likely caused by a chemical imbalance, and calls into question what antidepressants do.

    The number of people in England taking antidepressants has been rising, according to NHS figures, with 8.3 million patients receiving them in 2021/22, a 6% rise on the previous year when the figure was 7.9 million.

    The UCL team said 85% to 90% of the public believes that depression is caused by low serotonin or a chemical imbalance, however this does not appear to be the case and patients should be made aware of other options for treating depression.

    More on Depression

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    The lead author of the review, Joanna Moncrieff, professor of psychiatry at UCL, said: “It is always difficult to prove a negative, but I think we can safely say that after a vast amount of research conducted over several decades, there is no convincing evidence that depression is caused by serotonin abnormalities, particularly by lower levels or reduced activity of serotonin.

    “The popularity of the ‘chemical imbalance’ theory of depression has coincided with a huge increase in the use of antidepressants…

    “Thousands of people suffer from side-effects of antidepressants, including the severe withdrawal effects that can occur when people try to stop them, yet prescription rates continue to rise.

    “We believe this situation has been driven partly by the false belief that depression is due to a chemical imbalance.

    “It is high time to inform the public that this belief is not grounded in science.”

    However the Royal College of Psychiatrists said patients should continue to take the medication they had been prescribed.

    A spokesman said: “Medication should be available for anyone who needs it. We would not recommend for anyone to stop taking their antidepressants based on this review, and encourage anyone with concerns about their medication to contact their GP.”

    Professor Allan Young, director of the Centre for Affective Disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry, said of the new study: “The (undiscussed) elephant in the room is the good evidence of the efficacy and acceptability of serotonergic antidepressants.

    “The use of these medicines is based on clinical trial evidence which informs their use for patients.

    “This review does not change that.”

    Source: Sky News

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