January 2019 Newsletter 
Sauna Season's Here: OK for Kids?
According to a survey of 1247 Finnish families published in 1989, 98.5% of children used saunas!  Nearly half of the children were in the sauna  2-3 times a week, and over 90% at least once a week. The children's sauna visits began quite early, in 70% during infancy. The time spent in a hot steam bath increased with age. Symptoms were rare and were not serious.

That said, we're a bit more conservative here at Bambini.  We suggest that adolescents 12 and up are supervised by an adult.  Kids 6-11 should be accompanied by an adult in the sauna, keep duration to about one minute per year of age, and limit the temp to about 125-130 degrees.  Children should be well hydrated beforehand.  

According to a Finnish study of 81 children published in Pediatrics, those under age 10 may experience a significant drop in blood pressure during or just after a sauna.  Two kids fainted during during the study!

The benefits of sauna are legion:  improved mood & reduced stress, enhanced mitochondrial function & endurance, healthy weight loss & detoxification, reduced inflammation, enhanced autophagy / DNA repair / stem cell activation -- and many more. 

A recent study Finnish men aged 42-60 found that those using the sauna 2-3 times per week were 24% less likely to die from all causes. Those using the sauna 4-7 times per week were an amazing 40% less likely to die from all causes!

There are two main types of saunas.  Traditional (aka Finnish or steam baths) saunas heat by convection.  Rocks heat the air, which in turn, heats the body.  Temperatures run around 180 degrees.  Steam generated by pouring water on the rocks keeps the experience tolerable.

With infrared saunas, the heat source is a ceramic or carbon fiber.  These surfaces do no get nearly as hot -- greatly reducing the chance of a burn.  Thus, they are a better choice for families with children.  They're also twice as energy-efficient as traditional saunas.  They raise core body temperature faster and higher than steam baths -- thus getting us sweating (i.e. detoxing) more readily.

Not ready to make the investment?  Test drive a sauna at Inner Light.
Honeysuckle for Flu
In 2015, researchers from Jiangsu, China published their findings on the effect of MIR2911, a micro-RNA from honeysuckle, against three strains of influenza A (H1N1, H5N1 and H7N9). What prompted this study? Well, honeysuckle has a long track record in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
What is microRNA? We wondered that too. These are short (22 or so nucleotide long) strands of RNA that do not code for protein but rather serve to regulate gene expression. They're found in both plants and animals; several hundred have been identified in humans to date.
The scientists in China found that MIR2911 is remarkably heat stable. Adding boiling water (think honeysuckle tea) did not destroy it. Moreover, the stuff inhibited viral replication phenomenally well - they, in fact, called it " virologic penicillin."
More recently, the same team discovered that MIR2911 works against EV71, the dreaded "hand foot and mouth disease" virus! What's brewing in your teapot tonight?
Molecular Hydrogen Anyone?
Hydrogen gas was first recognized as a distinct substance in 1766 by English scientist Henry Cavendish. About 20 years later, Antoine Lavoisier reproduced his research and coined the term "hydrogen."
Medical research on H2, however came along quite slowly. Up until 2007, only about 50 papers could be found in the literature. In that year, however, a sentinel study from Japan on the anti-oxidant properties of hydrogen gas was published. Since then, research has exploded with more than 600 studies in the last decade!
The many health benefits being linked to molecular hydrogen currently include reduced inflammation, boosted energy, healthy weight loss, better mood, anti-cancer effects, improved allergies, and enhanced blood sugar control.  Wow!!!
As a neutral molecule, H2 easily passes through cell membranes and organelles - including mitochondria. Mechanism of action includes free radical scavenging, NRF-2 pathway activation, and boosted glutathione synthesis.
Although a few hospitals are administering hydrogen gas under pressure to critically ill patients, office-based hyperbaric hydrogen therapy does not seem likely in the near future.

Currently, the most practical way to achieve benefits is through oral supplements that release hydrogen gas when added to water. Amazon currently stocks about a dozen.  Some feel that the health benefits of alkaline water are in large part due to dissolved hydrogen.  
We're currently just sticking our toe into hydrogen water. Check in with us as the year goes along - we'll keep you posted on our experience as it grows with this exciting new therapy.
The Cell Danger Response
What do asthma, ADHD, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, post-Lyme, mold toxicity, Tourette's and other stubborn disease states have in common? Over the last few years, researchers in San Diego under the direction of Robert Naviaux MD/PhD have discovered that they all share a common chemistry.
Under conditions of low stress, mitochondria make (and cells retain) ATP -- the chemical that powers chemical reactions in the body. In response to a wide variety of insults (toxins, physical injuries, infections, etc), ATP leaks out of our cells and binds to purinergic receptors on the cell surface. This triggers an altered metabolic state the Dr Naviaux calls the cell danger response.
How does one address this response? First, removing the toxin or other causative agent is important if possible. Second, cells need nutrients to restore healthy energy production. And finally, the team in San Diego has discovered that certain "anti-purinergic" agents may help.
Recently, for instance, they studied the effect of suramin (an old antibiotic used to treat sleeping sickness) in five boys with autism. After a single dose, clinical improvement in autism symptoms was noted! Other potential anti-purinergic substances include salvia, baicalin, and kaempferol.
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