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Depresssion, The immune systrem and Lung cancer!


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Any Depressed Gardeners Out There?

By Louise Valentine

Epoch Times New York Staff Apr 04, 2008

Contact with dirt—children's delight. (Family photo)

Research on infectious diseases, lung cancer, unstressed mice, the immune system, and Mycobacterium vaccae (M. vaccae) has led to the connection of the immune system with depression.

M. vaccae is a harmless bacterium found in the soil that may take the place of Prozac.

Oncologist Dr. Mary O'Brien tried out an experimental vaccine made from killed M. vaccae on lung cancer patients at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. They improved in every way from fewer cancer symptoms, to better emotional and cognitive function.

Intrigued by Dr. O'Brien's results, Dr. Christopher Lowry of Bristol University put forth the hypothesis that perhaps M. vaccae would alleviate depression by causing the production of serotonin, the antidepressant messenger of nerve cells in the brain. Since the blood-brain barrier protects us from bacteria, how can this be?

The immune system has two kinds of activated Th cells: Th1 (T helper 1) and Th2 (T helper 2). Th1 cells attack pathogens within the cell, while Th2 cells attack pathogens outside the cells. Sometimes Th2 lymphocytes get out of hand, causing an exaggerated immune response or allergic reactions to harmless substances. They also interfere with the infection-fighting abilities of Th1.

Enter M. vaccae, which has a two-pronged effect. First, it stimulates T cells that immediately get to work restoring the balance between Th1 and Th2, diminishing allergic, tubercular, and cancer symptoms. Second, and this is where Dr. Christopher Lowry and his colleagues of Bristol University enter, it stimulates dendritic cells of organs such as the lungs and heart to secret cytokines. Dr. Lowry traced the action of the cytokines to the organs' sensory nerves, which sent messages to the raphe nucleus in the brain, which releases serotonin into the limbic or emotion center.

Dr. Lowry injected mice with M. vaccae. To find their stress levels, he put them in water. Stressed mice will not swim. The injected ones swam happily. Later their brains were examined to trace the path of serotonin.

There was a saying: "You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die." Did it mean that you had to eat dirt in order to have a healthy and happy life? Some people would say so.

This isn't the first study that implicates our super-hygienic lives, especially as toddlers, with difficulties later on. "These studies help us understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health. They also leave us wondering if we shouldn't all be spending more time playing in the dirt," according to Dr. Lowry.



http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/ ... 033007.php

http://www.silence-therapeutics.com/ind ... &Itemid=40

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/ ... 033007.php


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My brother and brother in law must be very happy. They are avid gardeners. My brother living in city has always, since he was a teen, had a green house to get started early. My brother in law, on a 1/4 acre lot, grows even corn. Nothing , not a bush in his yard does not produce something edible either fruit or vegetable.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Additional research data re M. Vaccae and Lung Cancer:

Successful immunotherapy with Mycobacterium vaccae in the treatment of adenocarcinoma of the lung.

Eur J Cancer. 2008 Jan;44(2):224-7. Epub 2007 Oct 24

Stanford JL, Stanford CA, O'Brien ME, Grange JM.

Centre for Infectious Diseases and International Health, Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences, University College London, 46 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JF, UK. johnls@dircon.co.uk

Immunotherapy with a heat-killed suspension of Mycobacterium vaccae (SRL172), given with chemotherapy, in a phase III trial against non-small-cell-lung cancer showed no improvement in the primary endpoint of survival over chemotherapy alone in the initial published analysis. Compliance was poor, with on average only 53% of patients receiving more than 2 injections in the SRL172 arm of the study. Quality of life was, however, improved in those receiving SRL172. Secondary analyses based on compliance with therapy showed that immunotherapy led to significantly improved survival times of patients with adenocarcinoma but, by contrast, had no beneficial effect on survival times of patients with squamous cell carcinoma. Survival of adenocarcinoma patients receiving SRL172 was increased by a mean of 135 days (p=0.0009, Kaplan-Meier log rank test) and survival after 4 or 5 doses of SRL172 showed a difference of greater than 100 days (p<0.05, Mantel-Hänszel log rank test) in the group receiving SRL172 in addition to chemotherapy. Despite the problems inherent in a secondary analysis, these results encourage further research on the role of killed preparations of adjuvant-rich micro-organisms, including saprophytic mycobacteria such as M. vaccae, and members of related genera in the therapy of a range of cancers. (PMID: 17928219 )

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1792 ... d_RVDocSum

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