Archive | September 2021

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.

In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression. Your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.”

MAYO CLINIC

10 Earliest Symptoms of Parkinson’s DIsease

Below are 10 signs that you might have the disease. No single one of these signs means that you should worry, but if you have more than one sign you should consider making an appointment to talk to your doctor.

1-Tremor

Have you noticed a slight shaking or tremor in your finger, thumb, hand or chin? A tremor while at rest is a common early sign of Parkinson’s disease.

What is normal?
Shaking can be normal after lots of exercise, if you are stressed or if you have been injured. Shaking could also be caused by a medicine you take.

2-Small Handwriting

Has your handwriting gotten much smaller than it was in the past? You may notice the way you write words on a page has changed, such as letter sizes are smaller and the words are crowded together. A change in handwriting may be a sign of Parkinson’s disease called micrographia.

What is normal?
Sometimes writing can change as you get older, if you have stiff hands or fingers or poor vision.

3-Loss of Smell

Have you noticed you no longer smell certain foods very well? If you seem to have more trouble smelling foods like bananas, dill pickles or licorice, you should ask your doctor about Parkinson’s.

What is normal?
Your sense of smell can be changed by a cold, flu or a stuffy nose, but it should come back when you are better.

4-Trouble Sleeping

Do you thrash around in bed or act out dreams when you are deeply asleep? Sometimes, your spouse will notice or will want to move to another bed. Sudden movements during sleep may be a sign of Parkinson’s disease.

What is normal?
It is normal for everyone to have a night when they ‘toss and turn’ instead of sleeping. Similarly, quick jerks of the body when initiation sleep or when in lighter sleep are common and often normal.

5-Trouble Moving or Walking

Do you feel stiff in your body, arms or legs? Have others noticed that your arms don’t swing like they used to when you walk? Sometimes stiffness goes away as you move. If it does not, it can be a sign of Parkinson’s disease. An early sign might be stiffness or pain in your shoulder or hips. People sometimes say their feet seem “stuck to the floor.”

What is normal?
If you have injured your arm or shoulder, you may not be able to use it as well until it is healed, or another illness like arthritis might cause the same symptom.

6-Constipation

Do you have trouble moving your bowels without straining every day? Straining to move your bowels can be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease and you should talk to your doctor.

What is normal?
If you do not have enough water or fiber in your diet, it can cause problems in the bathroom. Also, some medicines, especially those used for pain, will cause constipation. If there is no other reason such as diet or medicine that would cause you to have trouble moving your bowels, you should speak with your doctor.

7-A Soft or Low Voice

Have other people told you that your voice is very soft or that you sound hoarse? If there has been a change in your voice you should see your doctor about whether it could be Parkinson’s disease. Sometimes you might think other people are losing their hearing, when really you are speaking more softly.

What is normal?
A chest cold or other virus can cause your voice to sound different, but you should go back to sounding the same when you get over your cough or cold.

8-Masked Face

Have you been told that you have a serious, depressed or mad look on your face, even when you are not in a bad mood? This is often called facial masking. If so, you should ask your doctor about Parkinson’s disease.

What is normal?
Some medicines can cause you to have the same type of serious or staring look, but you would go back to the way you were after you stopped the medication.

9-Dizziness or Fainting

Do you notice that you often feel dizzy when you stand up out of a chair? Feeling dizzy or fainting can be a sign of low blood pressure and can be linked to Parkinson’s disease (PD).

What is normal?
Everyone has had a time when they stood up and felt dizzy, but if it happens on a regular basis you should see your doctor.

10-Stooping or Hunching Over

Are you not standing up as straight as you used to? If you or your family or friends notice that you seem to be stooping, leaning or slouching when you stand, it could be a sign of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

What is normal?
If you have pain from an injury or if you are sick, it might cause you to stand crookedly. Also, a problem with your bones can make you hunch over

QUOTE FOR WEEKEND:

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra.  A new study confirms that men are more likely to have Parkinson’s than women and that the number of those diagnosed with PD increases with age, regardless of sex.  Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease.”

Parkinson’s Foundation

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

parkinsons-disease1  parkinsons-disease-2

Parkinson Disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. Nearly one million people in the US are living with Parkinson’s disease. The cause is unknown, and although there is presently no cure, there are treatment options such as medication and surgery to manage its symptoms.

Parkinson’s involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, called neurons. Parkinson’s primarily affects neurons in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As PD progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally.

There are three types of Parkinson’s disease and they are grouped by age of onset:

 

1-Adult-Onset Parkinson’s Disease – This is the most common type of Parkinson’s disease. The average age of onset is approximately 60 years old. The incidence of adult onset PD rises noticeably as people advance in age into their 70’s and 80’s.

 

2-Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease – The age of onset is between 21-40 years old. Though the incidence of Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease is very high in Japan (approximately 40% of cases diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease), it is still relatively uncommon in the U.S., with estimates ranging from 5-10% of cases diagnosed.

 

3-Juvenile Parkinson’s Disease – The age of onset is before the age of 21. The incidence of Juvenile Parkinson’s Disease is very rare.

 

Parkinson’s disease can significantly impair quality of life not only for the patients but for their families as well, and especially for the primary caregivers. It is therefore important for caregivers and family members to educate themselves and become familiar with the course of Parkinson’s disease and the progression of symptoms so that they can be actively involved in communication with health care providers and in understanding all decisions regarding treatment of the patient.

According to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, there are approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. who suffer from Parkinson’s disease – approximately 1-2% of people over the age of 60 and 3-5% of the population over age 85. The incidence of PD ranges from 8.6-19 per 100,000 people. Approximately 50,000 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. annually. That number is expected to rise as the general population in the U.S. ages. Onset of Parkinson’s disease before the age of 40 is rare. All races and ethnic groups are affected.

Knowledge is Critical when Dealing with a Life-Altering Condition such as Parkinson’s Disease and being able to make the changes to last longer and at your optimal level of functioning! First step is accept you have it!

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it’s critical to learn everything you possibly can about this condition so that you can make informed decisions about your treatment. That’s why we created the Medifocus Guidebook on Parkinson’s Disease, a comprehensive 170 page patient Guidebook that contains vital information about Parkinson’s disease that you won’t find anywhere in a single source.

What Are the Possible Risk factors that can be a cause of Parkinson’s Disease?  

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation notes that even after decades of intense study, the causes of Parkinson’s disease are not really understood. However, many experts believe that the disease is caused by several genetic and environmental factors, which can vary in each person.

1-Genetic Factors

In some patients, genetic factors could be the primary cause; but in others, there could be something in the environment that led to the disease. Scientists have noted that aging is a key risk factor. There is a 2-4% risk for developing the disease for people over 60. That is compared to 1-2% risk in the general population.

2-Environmental Factors

Some scientists believe that PD can result from overexposure to environmental toxins, or injury. Research by epidemiologists has identified several factors that may be linked to PD. Some of these include living in rural areas, drinking well water, pesticides and manganese.

Some studies have indicated that long term exposure to some chemicals could cause a higher risk of PD. These include the insecticides permethrin and beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (beta-HCH), the herbicides paraquat and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and the fungicide maneb. In 2009, the US Veterans Affairs Department stated that PD could be caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

We should remember that simple exposure to a single toxin in the environment is probably not enough to cause PD. Most people who are exposed to such toxins do not develop PD.

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“There are more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) annually in the U.S., nearly 90% of them fatal, according to the report. The incidence of EMS-assessed non-traumatic OHCA in people of any age is estimated to be 356,461, or nearly 1,000 people each day.”
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation (https://www.sca-aware.org)

WHAT IS A CARDIAC ARREST VS HEART ATTACK.

heart_attack

Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. The time and mode of death are unexpected. It occurs instantly or shortly after symptoms appear.

Each year, more than 420,000 emergency medical services-assessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States.

No. The term “heart attack” is often mistakenly used to describe cardiac arrest. While a heart attack may cause cardiac arrest and sudden death, the terms don’t mean the same thing. Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart. A heart attack (or myocardial infarction) refers to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply, not necessarily resulting in the death of the heart attack victim.

Cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. In cardiac arrest death results when the heart suddenly stops working properly. This may be caused by abnormal, or irregular, heart rhythms (called arrhythmias). A common arrhythmia in cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation. This is when the heart’s lower chambers suddenly start beating chaotically and don’t pump blood. Death occurs within minutes after the heart stops. Cardiac arrest may be reversed if CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is performed and a defibrillator is used to shock the heart and restore a normal heart rhythm within a few minutes.

Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

People often use these terms interchangeably, but they are not synonyms. A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. A heart attack is a “circulation” problem and sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem.

What is a heart attack? A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die. The longer a person goes without treatment, the greater the damage. Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and intense. More often, though, symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. Unlike with sudden cardiac arrest, the heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack. The heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men.  A heart attack actually caused scarring to the heart since it causes damaging to the heart muscle tissue.

What is cardiac arrest? Sudden cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and often without warning. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment.

Fast action can save lives. Find out what to do if someone experiences a heart attack or cardiac arrestFast action can save lives. Find out what to do if someone experiences a heart attack or cardiac arrest.Fast action can save lives. Find out what to do if someone experiences a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

What to do: Heart Attack Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number. Every minute matters! It’s best to call EMS to get to the emergency room right away. Emergency medical services staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too.

What to do: Sudden Cardiac Arrest Cardiac arrest is reversible in most victims if it’s treated within a few minutes. First, call 9-1-1 for emergency medical services. Then get an automated external defibrillator if one is available and use it as soon as it arrives. Begin CPR immediately and continue until professional emergency medical services arrive. If two people are available to help, one should begin CPR immediately while the other calls 9-1-1 and finds an AED.  Learn CPR  you may just save someone one day being at the right place at the right time.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death unfortunately – nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States. By performing Hands-Only CPR to the beat of the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive,” you can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival.

Learn the two easy steps to save a life CPR, go to heart.org/handsonlycpr.

 

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“1 in 78 The estimated number of women who will develop ovarian cancer. 0 The number of screening tests for ovarian cancer.  93% The five-year survival rate when diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages. 21,000 The estimated number of women that will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2021.”.
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

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Most people are aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but how many of you are also aware that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month? This cancer is the more silent sister to breast cancer which takes over the month of October with a worldwide pink party and numerous product promotions, some tasteful and some less so. Maybe people and product promoters are just drawn to pink versus the more reserved teal blue color for ovarian cancer. More likely it’s because breasts are visual and ovaries are invisible to the eye. But ovarian cancer is very visible to those diagnosed and to their loved ones.

We need to make more noise about ovarian cancer awareness. But first you have to listen… to your body. Ovarian cancer can be sneaky. Symptoms, such as indigestion, bloating, painful intercourse, menstrual irregularities and back pain, can point to other less invasive conditions. While breast cancer has screening protocols like mammograms and breast self-examination, there is no reliable screening for ovarian cancer. Unfortunately for many women the disease is often detected at an advanced stage. Both breast and ovarian cancer are diagnosed in women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.

Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the ovaries. Women have two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus. The ovaries — each about the size of an almond — produce eggs (ova) as well as the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen. At this late stage, ovarian cancer is more difficult to treat and is frequently fatal. Early-stage ovarian cancer, in which the disease is confined to the ovary, is more likely to be treated successfully.

Surgery and chemotherapy are generally used to treat ovarian cancer.

Early-stage ovarian cancer rarely causes any symptoms. Advanced-stage ovarian cancer may cause few and nonspecific symptoms that are often mistaken for more common benign conditions, such as constipation or irritable bowel.

Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include and don’t ever ignore them:

  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Quickly feeling full when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvis area
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea
  • A frequent need to urinate (urgency including difficulty to void)
  • Increased Abdominal Size
  • Painful Sex
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • ***When to see a doctorIf you have a family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer, talk to your doctor about your risk of ovarian cancer. Your doctor may refer you to a genetic counselor to discuss testing for certain gene mutations that increase your risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Only a small number of women are found to have genetic mutations that can lead to ovarian cancer.Certain factors may increase your risk of ovarian cancer.     Look at  Risk Factors:
  • Age. Ovarian cancer can occur at any age but is most common in women ages 50 to 60 years.
  • Inherited gene mutation. A small percentage of ovarian cancers are caused by an inherited gene mutation. The genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer are called breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). These genes were originally identified in families with multiple cases of breast cancer, which is how they got their names, but women with these mutations also have a significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • The gene mutations that cause Lynch syndrome, which is associated with colon cancer, also increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Estrogen hormone replacement therapy, especially with long-term use and in large doses.
  • Age when menstruation started and ended. If you began menstruating before age 12 or underwent menopause after age 52, or both, your risk of ovarian cancer may be higher.
  • Never being pregnant.
  • Fertility treatment.
  • Smoking.
  • Use of an intrauterine device.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose. Screening tests, such as ultrasounds and computed tomography (CT) scans, show masses around the pelvis, which can suggest ovarian cancer. Removing part of the tumor for testing is the only way to officially diagnose ovarian cancer.

Finding ovarian cancer before it spreads is critical—when found early, about 94% of women live longer than 5 years after diagnosis. While there are currently no effective screening tests for ovarian cancer, there are scientific studies in progress to help determine ways to detect ovarian cancer.

What are the treatments?

1-Surgery is the first course of treatment for most women with ovarian cancer. Surgery to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible is called debulking. Its purpose is to remove all of the cancer that can be seen.

2-Chemotherapy is a drug that enters the bloodstream to kill cancer cells. This type of treatment works by killing cells in the body that divide frequently. The drawback of chemotherapy is that it also kills healthy cells, resulting in harsh side effects.

Chemotherapy can be injected into a vein, injected into the abdomen, or given by mouth. Ovarian cancer is usually treated with 2 or more types of drugs every 1 to 4 weeks.

The first group contains a platinum-based medicine and is thought to interfere with the DNA structure of the cancer cells, which stops them from making new cells, thus causing cancer cell death

Than a non platinum based medicine as another choice, collectively called taxanes. These disrupt cancer cell division.

3-Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. This type of treatment can be useful in areas where the cancer has spread.  This treatment is not used as a primary treatment.

4-Targeted therapy uses a type of drug that can target cancer cells.

DNA damage that is not repaired can lead to cell death, which can be a good thing in cancer cells.  When someone with a BRCA mutation uses certain types of targeted therapy, DNA damage in cancer cells is less likely to be repaired, leading to cancer cell death.

5- Hormone therapy uses hormones or hormone-blocking drugs to attempt in killing cancer cells. It works by blocking hormones from working or lowering hormone levels to slow tumor growth.

6-There are also clinical trials provide the opportunity to study promising new treatments and procedures just like many other cancers.

 

 

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Extensive research by NASA has revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxin in 24 hours.  Plants will help regulate humidity and increase levels of positivity — seeing greenery and nature help us feel more relaxed and calm, which in turn benefits your every day mood. Indoor plants serve a practical and aesthetic purpose, and will enhance your life.”

BETTER by Today (https://www.nbcnews.com)

Part II Believe or not, PLANTS do enhance our lives both mentally and physically!

Part 2 Plant               plants 6             Plants 9

Foods from roots/plants:  

Arabidopsis Plant

Look at medical proof, in July 2011 by online publication of Nature, investigated why Arabidopsis does its major stem-growing in the dark—a pattern common to most plants. Biologist Steve Kay and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, report that a specific trio of proteins regulates the rhythm in Arabidopsis stems. Arabidopsis thaliana helped scientists not very long ago too unearth new clues about the daily cycles of many organisms, including humans. This is the latest in a long line of research, much of it supported by the National Institutes of Health, that uses plants to solve puzzles in human health. While other model organisms may seem to have more in common with us, greens like Arabidopsis provide an important view into genetics, cell division and especially light sensing, which drives 24-hour behavioral cycles called circadian rhythms.

Some human cells, including cancer cells, divide with a 24-hour rhythm. One of the main human circadian rhythm genes, cryptochrome, has been associated with diabetes and depression. Both of these discoveries grew from work with plants.

T group of proteins, called the evening complex, interacts in the early evening to silence two genes that usually promote plant growth. When the evening complex’s activity trails off a few hours before dawn, proteins release the brakes on growth and plants enter their nightly phase of rapid stem elongation.

When the plant is mutated the three genes that code for the evening complex, this makes the Arabidopsis biological clock run out of sync—stems grew unusually long and flowered early.

Scientists aren’t yet certain why night is the best time for stems to grow, but Kay speculates it has to do with using resources efficiently. Plants pick up carbon and nitrogen during the day, then store these essential nutrients as starch and proteins. “In the later night, they can release these resources in a coordinated fashion to provide the building blocks for stem growth,” says Kay. “

Our understanding of human health and the role of clocks in health and disease can greatly benefit from studying how clocks work in plants,” he adds.

Scientists are interested in answering basic biological questions, but others who work with plants have their eyes on future disease therapies. Plant-based molecules, for instance, are being used to target reservoirs of HIV that hide out in their hosts. At the University of California, Berkeley, chemist Jay Keasling has look over the years for simple ways to get microbes to produce greater quantities of these plant-based molecules at lower cost.

How plants like Arabidopsis suppress harmful genes may also help improve HIV therapies. A team of biologists led by Craig Pikaard at Washington University in St. Louis is investigating RNA polymerases, chemicals important in determining which genes get switched on, to learn how plants silence harmful virus-derived genes. Similar silencing pathways could be harnessed for HIV therapies.

More generally, scientists are looking toward plants as a medicinal source. Chemist Sarah O’Connor at MIT is genetically engineering periwinkle plants, the natural source of the anticancer drug vinblastine, to produce variations of the drug with halogens attached. Halogens make some medicines last longer in the body, meaning that probing periwinkle’s capabilities could make cancer treatments more effective.

Plant compounds present in carrots and parsley may one day support more effective delivery of chemotherapy treatments, new research has found. Specific plant compounds are able to inhibit transport mechanisms in the body that select what compounds are absorbed into the body, and eventually into cells. These same transport mechanisms are known to interfere with cancer chemotherapy treatment.

Some further examples of good compounds coming from plants for human lives are:

Flavonoids are one class of secondary plant metabolites that are also known as Vitamin P or citrin. These metabolites are mostly used in plants to produce yellow and other pigments which play a big role in coloring the plants. In addition, Flavonoids are readily ingested by humans and they seem to display important anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-cancer activities. Flavonoids are also found to be powerful anti-oxidants and researchers are looking into their ability to prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Flavonoids help prevent cancer by inducing certain mechanisms that may help to kill cancer cells, and researches believe that when the body processes extra flavonoid compounds, it triggers specific enzymes that fight carcinogens. Good dietary sources of Flavonoids are all citrus fruits, which contain the specific flavanoids hesperidins, quercitrin, rutin, berries, tea, dark chocolate and red wine that includes many of the health benefits attributed to these foods come from the Flavonoids they contain.

Phytic acid is the main method of phosphorus storage in plant seeds, but is not readily absorbed by many animals (only absorbed by ruminant animals). Not only is phytic acid a phosphorus storage unit, but it also is a source of energy and cations, a natural antioxidant for plants, and can be a source of mycoinositol which is one of the preliminary pieces for cell walls.

Phytic acid is also known to bond with many different minerals, and by doing so prevents those minerals from being absorbed; making phytic acid an anti-nutrient. There is a lot of concern with phytic acids in nuts and seeds because of its anti-nutrient characteristics. In preparing foods with high phytic acid concentrations, it is recommended they be soaked in after being ground to increase the surface area. Soaking allows the seed to undergo germination which increases the availability of vitamins and nutrient, while reducing phytic acid and protease inhibitors ultimately increasing the nutritional value. Cooking can also reduce the amount of phytic acid in food but soaking is much more effective.

Phytic acid is an antioxidant found in plant cells that most likely serves the purpose of preservation. This preservation is removed when soaked, reducing the phytic acid and allowing the germination and growth of the seed.

Atropine is a type of secondary metabolite called a tropane alkaloid. Alkaloids contain nitrogens, frequently in a ring structure, and are derived from amino acids. Tropane is an organic compound containing nitrogen and it is from tropane that atropine is derived. Atropine is synthesized by a reaction between tropine and tropate, catalyzed by atropinase. Within Atropa belladonna atropine synthesis has been found to take place primarily in the root of the plant. The concentration of synthetic sites within the plant is indicative of the nature of secondary metabolites.

Gossypol has a yellow pigment and is found in cotton plants. It occurs mainly in the root and/or seeds of different species of cotton plants. Gossypol can have various chemical structures. It can exist in three forms: gossypol, gossypol acetic acid, and gossypol formic acid. All of these forms have very similar biological properties. Gossypol is a type of aldehyde, meaning that it has a formyl group. The formation of gossypol occurs through an isoprenoid pathway. Isoprenoid pathways are common among secondary metabolites. 3Gossypol’s main function in the cotton plant is to act as an enzyme inhibitor. An example of gossypol’s enzyme inhibition is its ability to inhibit nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-linked enzymes of Trypanosoma cruzi. Trypanosoma cruzi is a parasite which causes Chaga’s disease.

For some time it was believed that gossypol was merely a waste product produced during the processing of cottonseed products. Extensive studies have shown that gossypol has other functions. Many of the more popular studies on gossypol discuss how it can act as a male contraceptive. Gossypol has also been linked to causing hypokalemic paralysis. Hypokalemic paralysis is a disease characterized by muscle weakness or paralysis with a matching fall in potassium levels in the blood. Hypokalemic paralysis associated with gossypol in-take usually occurs in March, when vegetables are in short supply, and in September, when people are sweating a lot. This side effect of gossypol in-take is very rare however. Gossypol induced hypokalemic paralysis is easily treatable with potassium repletion.

Believe or not, plants enhanced our lives.

Tune in tomorrow of specific names of compounds in foods we eat to help your health derived from plants.