I am pretty chill about most things, but deciding when to launch my podcast has been pretty agonizing. I tried in vain for months to get people I have met over the past year to share their stories and be my first guests but something always happened-I lost their contact info, I could not get them when both our schedules were clear, I called their office but never got a call back.
Finally, I decided to just give it one last try before I got on the mic like an emcee to host my own show-when I called Mary Mills Flanagan from the Emotion Code practitioner directory. She picked up! And she was pleasant, kind, welcoming and agreeable-my type of person. We talked for awhile about ourselves then about how the emotion code has changed our lives. She told how a very similar practice started by ancient Asians also teaches people how to release trapped or hidden emotions. We don't talk about this in the interview-it got too juicy too fast- but I will do a follow up with her and cover that aspect of the process-and lo and behold we don't actually talk about how the process works-which leaves room for part 2 of my show. What we did discuss was proof that miracles are real, because everything she talked about impacting-children, education, the future-are all near and dear to my heart. And it was such an amazing interview I knew I had to release it on a special day.
And so, to my fellow 11s, we begin what i know to be a powerful and prophetic journey on this day 11/11/2020-The Modern Miracles Podcast has begun!
The Board of Supervisors’ unanimous vote will let people sue those who call the police for discriminatory reasons.
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure on Tuesday aimed at cracking down on racist 911 calls, a phenomenon that’s been increasingly documented on social media.
The Caution Against Racial and Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act ― the CAREN Act, for short ― gives people who believe they’ve been the subject of a 911 call placed with “the specific intent to discriminate” the right to sue the caller in civil court. Its name evokes the “Karen” meme, this year’s shorthand for a white woman weaponizing her privilege, usually with a heaping dose of prejudice against people of color.
The ordinance was introduced by Supervisor Shamann Walton, who thanked his colleagues at Tuesday’s meeting for unanimously sponsoring it.
“Black and Indigenous people of color have the right to go about daily activities without being threatened by someone calling 911 on them due to racial bias,” he said.
“We don’t want what happened to Emmett Till in 1955 ― or the long history of false accusations of Black men and boys in this country, due to weaponizing law enforcement to threaten, terrorize and sometimes even kill them ― to ever happen again,” he added.
Walton, the only Black person on the Board of Supervisors, proposed the measure in July, not long after a white woman in San Francisco made national headlines for calling the police on a Filipino man writing “Black Lives Matter” in chalk on his own property. The incident, like so many others, was captured on video and went viral on social media.
And it wasn’t the first time something like that made waves in San Francisco. In 2018, a white woman in the city was captured on video threatening to call the cops on an 8-year-old girl (who was not white) selling water “illegally.” The internet named the woman Permit Patty.
Walton’s ordinance applies to all people discriminated against on the basis of their “race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, national origin, place of birth, sex, age, religion, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, weight, or height.”
Efforts to combat racist 911 calls are happening on a state level, too. California Assemblyman Rob Bonta introduced a bill last month that would make such discriminatory 911 calls a hate crime. Its aim is to “prevent the weaponization of our law enforcement against communities of color,” Bonta said.
A secret set of salivary glands has been hiding behind the nose.
Scientists have discovered a new organ: a set of salivary glands set deep in the upper part of the throat.
This nasopharynx region — behind the nose — was not thought to host anything but microscopic, diffuse, salivary glands; but the newly discovered set are about 1.5 inches (3.9 centimeters) in length on average. Because of their location over a piece of cartilage called the torus tubarius, the discoverers of these new glands have dubbed them the tubarial salivary glands. The glands probably lubricate and moisten the upper throat behind the nose and mouth, the researchers wrote online Sept. 23 in the journal Radiotherapy and Oncology.
The discovery was accidental. Researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute were using a combination of CT scans and positron emission tomography (PET) scans called PSMA PET-CT to study prostate cancer. In PSMA PET-CT scanning, doctors inject a radioactive "tracer" into the patient. This tracer binds well to the protein PSMA, which is elevated in prostate cancer cells. Clinical trials have found that PSMA PET-CT scanning is better than conventional imaging at detecting metastasized prostate cancer.
PSMA PET-CT scanning also happens to be very good at detecting salivary gland tissue, which is also high in PSMA. Until now, there were three known large salivary glands in humans: one under the tongue, one under the jaw and one at the back of the jaw, behind the cheek. Beyond those, perhaps a thousand microscopic salivary glands are scattered throughout the mucosal tissue of the throat and mouth, study co-author and Netherlands Cancer Institute radiation oncologist Wouter Vogel said in a statement.
"So, imagine our surprise when we found these," Vogel said.
To confirm the discovery, Vogel and his colleagues imaged 100 patients (99 of them men due to the focus on prostate cancer) and found that all of them had the newly discovered glands. They also dissected that nasopharynx region from two cadavers from a human body donation program and found that the newfound region consisted of mucosal gland tissue and ducts draining into the nasopharynx.
The discovery could be important for cancer treatment. Doctors using radiation on the head and neck to treat cancer try to avoid irradiating the salivary glands, Vogel said, because damage to these glands can impact quality of life.
"Patients may have trouble eating, swallowing or speaking, which can be a real burden," he said.
But because no one knew about the tubarial salivary glands, no one tried to avoid radiation in that region. The researchers examined records from more than 700 cancer patients treated at the University Medical Center Groningen and found that the more radiation the patients had received in the area of the unknown glands, the more side effects they reported from their treatment. The new discovery could thus translate to fewer side effects for cancer patients.
"Our next step is to find out how we can best spare these new glands and in which patients," Vogel said. "If we can do this, patients may experience less side effects, which will benefit their overall quality of life after treatment."
A South Dakota Native American tribe has solved one of the biggest challenges facing tribal schools amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic by developing a plan to provide computers and cost-effective, high-speed internet connections to all students and teachers.
As the pandemic rages on, schools that serve Native communities have been closed and students are being taught remotely, a concept that has forced tribal governments to grapple with the longstanding, expensive problem of providing computers and connecting tribal members to high-speed internet service.
Reaching and teaching children through remote education is nearly impossible if students and their teachers do not have computers or reliable internet service.
Leaders with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in central South Dakota say they have found a low-cost solution to the tribe’s computer and internet needs that will aid education but which may ultimately improve life overall in the community.
More:Pandemic brings new challenges to education system on Native American reservations in S.D.
Since early June, the tribe has been working on an ambitious plan to build its own wireless internet network. The idea is to broadcast a high-speed, wireless internet signal across the roughly 207-square-mile Lower Brule reservation using digital radio waves, similar to how cell phones communicate with one another. The tribe’s new network became the first-of-its-kind in South Dakota when it began limited operations at the end of July on the reservation located just west of the Missouri River southeast of Pierre.
Securing adequate internet access for educators and students, not to mention businesses or individual tribal members who want to use the internet, has been a challenge on Native American reservations for years.
But a combination of new technology, the efforts of a California non-profit organization, an influx of federal CARES Act funding and a little luck came together at just the right moment for the Lower Brule tribe, said former Tribal Chairman Boyd Gourneau, who left office in early October.
Gourneau said he met an executive with an organization called MuralNet by chance at a conference for tribal chairmen before the COVID-19 pandemic began. MuralNet was founded in 2017 specifically to help tribal governments exert sovereignty over their peoples’ internet access. Gourneau didn’t know it at the time, but his chance meeting actually put the Lower Brule Tribe in a unique position to eventually build its wireless internet network.
Many of South Dakota’s reservations have closed themselves off to outside visitors and taken other drastic measures to protect their vulnerable populations. Some tribal governments have imposed curfews and restricted or banned social gatherings; at least one tribe is contacting every tribal elder daily to see to their needs.
Geographic isolation and a history of poverty on reservations have led in part to high rates of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and liver disease. A severe shortage of accessible, quality healthcare has created challenges in the fight for wellness, particularly during the pandemic. As of Sept. 28, Native Americans accounted for 19% of South Dakota’s COVID-19-related deaths and 12% of the state’s overall COVID-19 cases despite making up only 9% of the state population. Reservation economies, which already lagged behind the state as a whole, have been devastated by pandemic-control efforts.
To further reduce the spread of COVID-19, most schools serving South Dakota Native American reservations chose to delay the start of the school year and teach remotely via computers and the internet for at least the first few weeks of the school year.
But large swaths of the state’s nine reservations lack adequate internet access, largely because the reservations are isolated and their populations are spread thin over relatively large areas. The Oglala Lakota County School District, which covers most of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwest South Dakota, for example, covers roughly 2,000 square miles.
South Dakota reservations are also some of the most economically disadvantaged communities in the country. The average household income on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in south central South Dakota is just $22,587, for example. Statewide, the average household brings in more than $56,000 per year and nationally, the average household makes more than $68,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
For service providers, providing high-speed internet infrastructure across rural South Dakota and reservation lands has not been seen as commercially viable. Building a network of fiber optic cables can cost millions of dollars and take years to complete. Such big investments aren’t likely a profitable bet for private companies if there are relatively few customers around.
The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe wireless network has been put into operation for around $250,000, Gourneau said.
And unlike the Verizon and AT&T hotspots many other tribes have purchased for their students, Lower Brule’s network is both permanent and wholly owned by the tribe itself.
The tribe no longer will have to rely on an outside entity to provide its people with what has become an essential tool for economic development, education and overall quality of life, Gourneau said.
“Everything we’re doing is all with the vision of being self-sufficient and not depending on the government,” Gourneau said.
Teaching challenges spur innovation
As in many of the nation’s Indian reservations, internet access on the mostly rural Lower Brule Sioux Reservation was inadequate in mid-March, when schools in South Dakota started to shut down due to the pandemic. Lower Brule Schools Superintendent Lance Witte said many of his school’s roughly 300 students didn’t have any internet access at home.
Some Lower Brule students obtained internet access by using a relative’s smartphone hotspot feature for watching class video and participating in virtual classroom discussions, a potentially expensive prospect not available to many students, Witte said.
“We did not have a one-to-one device program for our students. So trying to do things like Google Classroom or or Zoom meetings and things like that just weren’t in the cards,” he said.
Lower Brule School students finished the 2019-20 school year completing packets of worksheets and other printed school materials that were either picked up from the school or delivered to their homes on a regular basis, Witte said. Lower Brule School’s teachers and students needed a better system, Witte said.
“We realized one of the big things we needed to do is figure out in our community, our rural community out here, we need to figure out how we’re going to get students access to WiFi,” Witte said.
Lower Brule School is a Tribal Grant School, meaning it is funded by federal grants but is controlled by the tribe instead of the federal Bureau of Indian Education, and the Lower Brule Tribal Council serves as the school board. The arrangement turned out to be a big help as the tribe worked to solve the internet access problem for the school’s students because the tribal council was familiar with the needs of the Lower Brule School.
More News Watch:South Dakota restaurants battle for survival amid pandemic
Witte said the tribe took a two-pronged approach to its internet problem. The first task was to put computers or iPads in the hands of all students. Money for that project came from the BIE and resulted in each of the Lower Brule School’s 300 or so students being assigned their own iPad or Chromebook computer to use at home.
But even after making sure each student had a computer, the tribe still needed to get its students connected to the internet. The solution had its roots in a 2019 Federal Communications Commission decision. The ruling allowed for the auctioning of leases for a lightly used portion of the radio wave spectrum, the 2.5 gigahertz band, to commercial users. Tribal governments, though, were given first crack at claiming unused portions of the 2.5 GHz band for use on their reservations.
The FCC regulates who can broadcast signals through the nation’s airwaves to prevent interference in critical communications systems. Periodically, the FCC auctions exclusive rights to portions of the radio wave spectrum. The rights to each piece of the spectrum are assigned via a broadcast license.
The 2.5 GHz band hasn’t come up for auction since the late 1990s and happens to be an ideal candidate for use in broadcasting an internet signal. The band can be broadcast with enough power to penetrate obstacles such as tree leaves and walls, so anyone using the network will just need a simple router to obtain access.
The FCC plan was to allow tribes to submit applications for licenses to use the 2.5 GHz spectrum between Feb. 2, 2020 and Sept. 2, 2020. By the end of Sept. 2, tribal governments had submitted 349 individual applications for 2.5 GHz spectrum broadcast licenses on their reservations. On Sept. 15, the FCC announced that it had accepted 157 applications. The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, was one of the first tribal governments in the U.S. to take advantage of the 2.5 GHz spectrum.
“It’s like the tribe claiming the air, which is afforded to us by the FCC, much like we would claim our mineral rights,” said Witte.
Nonprofit tech firm helped set up network
In June, the Lower Brule Tribal Council partnered with a Silicon Valley nonprofit called MuralNet to plan and build its wireless internet network. The tribe’s goal was to broadcast a high-speed internet signal to each home on the reservation by the time school started on Sept. 8.
To meet its goal, the tribe applied for a temporary broadcast license so it could broadcast its internet signal before receiving the official FCC license.
MuralNet was founded in 2017 specifically to help Native American tribal governments exert sovereignty over their tribal internet connections. With the nonprofit’s help, the Lower Brule Tribe applied for and received a temporary permit to broadcast an internet signal using the 2.5 GHz spectrum.
The tribe, with MuralNet’s help, negotiated to buy a large, commercial internet connection that could be broadcast and shared among the network’s users. MuralNet, which has a partnership with the tech conglomerate Cisco Systems to build wireless networks for tribes, then helped the tribe set up antennas on their municipal water tower to broadcast a wireless signal that gives anyone with the right router immediate access to the internet through the tribe’s fiber optic line.
Essentially, the Lower Brule tribe built its own cellular network, said Mariel Triggs, MuralNet’s CEO.
“They’re passing out their own hotspots, so there are no subscription fees,” Triggs said. “They have control over it, they get to maintain it and all they have to do is pay for the connection to the internet pipe for the whole system.”
Owning its own network means the tribe can buy internet access at less expensive wholesale prices and can control what its people pay for in-home internet access.
Broadcasting a high-speed internet connection, as opposed to running fiber optic cable to each house, means the tribe’s network will cost a fraction of a traditional hard-line network. A small tribal community in Arizona’s Grand Canyon, for example, was able to provide internet connections for all of its residents through a similar venture for about $15,000 in 2017.
Laying fiber optic cables to connect rural homes to the internet can cost between $16,000 and $60,000 per mile, according to a 2019 report by the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
A wireless network also takes far less time to build. From start to finish, the Lower Brule Tribe network only took about two months to get up and running, Triggs said. The tribe first met with MuralNet on June 1 and its network was broadcasting by the end of July.
“Lower Brule is actually our record right now,” Triggs said. “And they’re already in the process of expanding their network so that they can add on more students.”
As of Sept. 29, there were 25 Lower Brule households accessing the tribe’s network, Gourneau said.
Because wireless internet technology is so much more affordable, virtually any tribe who wants to try setting up its own network can, Triggs said. While the Lower Brule Tribe was able to secure a federal license for exclusive use of the 2.5GhZ band of radio wave spectrum, there are other spectrum bands that don’t require licenses to use. MuralNet’s partnership Cisco Systems can even help pay for some of a network’s planning and setup costs.
Still, broadcasting an internet signal comes with some inherent problems. For one thing, the signal requires a line of sight to each home trying to access it. A house whose line-of-sight to the tribe’s antenna is blocked by a hill won’t be able to connect, Triggs said. The signal also doesn’t yet have enough range to reach every corner of the reservation.
There are workarounds for the network’s limitations, Triggs said. One workaround to the lack of range would use parabolic microwave antennas to shoot a powerful, narrow beam of signal to far flung communities on the reservation. A weaker signal could then be broadcast from an antenna on a telephone pole to nearby homes.
Another option would be to run a fiber optic cable out to a reservation community, attach an antenna to it and broadcast a signal from there. But running fiber optic cables is an expensive prospect.
Right now, the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe is paying for its internet connection using money from the CARES Act, the federal coronavirus relief package. The tribe’s next big challenge will be figuring out how to make the new network sustainable, Triggs said. Normally, a sustainability plan would have been one of the first things MuralNet helped the tribe with, but that step was skipped to get students connected to the internet more quickly amid the pandemic.
For the immediate future, the tribe will remain focused on ensuring its students have immediate and ongoing internet access, said new Lower Brule Tribal Chairman Clyde Estes, who became chairman in October.
The potential long-term economic benefits to the entire community could be huge if a fast, reliable internet service can be implemented and maintained, he said.
“I think we’re really ahead of the game,” Estes said. “I believe it will be a great thing because there are a lot of people that need to do business online. Maybe we can teach adults and elders who have never done internet stuff before how they could access their financial information or keep up with current news and events going on.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has established a program that will provide $4.6 million to prevent longtime Atlanta residents from being displaced by city’s rapidly rising property values.
For years, builders have been buying up property in poorer neighborhoods on the city’s westside and building luxury developments, raising property taxes that existing residents can’t afford.
According to the announcement made late Monday, Bottoms’ Anti-Displacement Program would authorize the use of the first installment of the Gulch Housing Trust Fund to help offset rising property taxes for so-called legacy Atlanta residents
There’s little evidence yet, except maybe in people who are deficient in vitamins and minerals
Consumers have long turned to vitamins and herbs to try to protect themselves from disease. This pandemic is no different — especially with headlines that scream “This supplement could save you from coronavirus.”
It also helps to have celebrity enthusiasts. When President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, his pill arsenal included Vitamin D and zinc. And in an Instagram chat with actress Jennifer Garner in September, infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci touted vitamins C and D as ways that might generally boost the immune system. “If you’re deficient in vitamin D,” he noted, “that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection. I would not mind recommending, and I do it myself, taking vitamin D supplements.”
What it is: Called “the sunshine vitamin” because the body makes it naturally in the presence of ultraviolet light, Vitamin D is one of the most heavily studied supplements (SN: 1/27/19). Certain foods, including fish and fortified milk products, are also high in the vitamin.
Why it might help: Vitamin D is a hormone building block that helps strengthen the immune system.
How it works for other infections: In 2017, the British Medical Journal published a meta-analysis that suggested a daily vitamin D supplement might help prevent respiratory infections, particularly in people who are deficient in the vitamin.
But one key word here is deficient. That risk is highest during dark winters at high latitudes and among people with more color in their skin (melanin, a pigment that’s higher in darker skin, inhibits the production of vitamin D).
“If you have enough vitamin D in your body, the evidence doesn’t stack up to say that giving you more will make a real difference,” says Susan Lanham-New, head of the nutritional sciences department at the University of Surrey in England.
And taking too much can create new health problems, stressing certain internal organs and leading to a dangerously high calcium buildup in the blood. The recommended daily allowance for adults is 600 to 800 international units per day, and the upper limit is considered to be 4,000 IU per day.
What we know about Vitamin D and COVID-19: Few studies have looked directly at whether vitamin D makes a difference in COVID-19.
In May, in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, Lanham-New and her colleagues published a summary of existing evidence and concluded that there’s only enough to recommend vitamin D to help with COVID-19 prevention for people who are deficient. That paper made inferences from how vitamin D works against other respiratory tract infections and immune health.
More than a dozen studies are now testing vitamin D directly for prevention and treatment, including a large one led by JoAnn Manson, a leading expert on vitamin D and an epidemiologist and preventive medicine physician at Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. That study will analyze if vitamin D can affect the course of a COVID-19 infection. The trial aims to recruit 2,700 people across the United States with newly diagnosed infections, along with their close household contacts.
The goal is to determine whether newly diagnosed people given high doses of vitamin D — 3,200 IU per day — are less likely than people who get a placebo to experience severe symptoms and need hospitalization. “The biological plausibility for a benefit in COVID is compelling,” she says, given the nutrient’s theoretical ability to impede the severe inflammatory reaction that can follow coronavirus infection. “However the evidence is not conclusive at this time.”
What it is: Zinc, a mineral found in cells all over the body, is found naturally in certain meats, beans and oysters.
Why it might help: It plays several supportive roles in the immune system, which is why zinc lozenges are always hot sellers in cold and flu season. Zinc also helps with cell division and growth.
How it works for other infections: Studies of using zinc for colds — which are frequently caused by coronaviruses — suggest that using a supplement right after symptoms start might make them go away quicker. That said, a clinical trial from researchers in Finland and the United Kingdom, published in January in BMJ Open did not find any value for zinc lozenges for the treatment of colds. Some researchers have theorized that inconsistences in data for colds may be explained by varying amounts of zinc released in different lozenges.
What we know about zinc and COVID-19: The mineral is promising enough that it was added to some early studies of hydroxychloroquine, a drug tested early in the pandemic. (Studies have since shown that hydroxychloroquine can’t prevent or treat COVID-19 (SN: 8/2/20).)
In July, researchers from Aachen University in Germany wrote in Frontiers of Immunology that current evidence “strongly suggests great benefits of zinc supplementation” based on looking at similar infections including SARS, another disease caused by a coronavirus. For example, studies suggest that giving zinc reduces the risk for death from a pneumonia infection. The researchers cite evidence that zinc might help prevent the virus from entering the body, and help slow the virus’s replication when it does.
Another review — also based on indirect evidence — published August 1 in Advances in Integrative Medicine also concluded that zinc might be helpful in people who are deficient.
In September, researchers from Hospital Del Mar in Barcelona reported that among 249 patients studied, those who survived COVID had higher zinc levels in their plasma (an average of 63.1 mcg/dl) than those who died (43mcg/dl).
What it is: Also called L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C has a long list of roles in the body. It’s found naturally in fruits and vegetables, especially citrus, peppers and tomatoes.
Why it might help: It’s a potent antioxidant that’s important for a healthy immune system and preventing inflammation.
How it works for other infections: Thomas cautions that the data on vitamin C are often contradictory. One review from Chinese researchers, published in February in the Journal of Medical Virology, looked at what is already known about vitamin C and other supplements that might have a role in COVID-19 treatment. Among other encouraging signs, human studies find a lower incidence of pneumonia among people taking vitamin C, “suggesting that vitamin C might prevent the susceptibility to lower respiratory tract infections under certain conditions.”
But for preventing colds, a 2013 Cochrane review of 29 studies didn’t support the idea that vitamin C supplements could help in the general population. However, the authors wrote, given that vitamin C is cheap and safe, “it may be worthwhile for common cold patients to test on an individual basis whether therapeutic vitamin C is beneficial.”
What we know about Vitamin C and COVID-19: About a dozen studies are under way or planned to examine whether vitamin C added to coronavirus treatment helps with symptoms or survival, including Thomas’ study at the Cleveland Clinic.
In a review published online in July in Nutrition, researchers from KU Leuven in Belgium concluded that the vitamin may help prevent infection and tamp down the dangerous inflammatory reaction that can cause severe symptoms, based on what is known about how the nutrient works in the body.
Melissa Badowski, a pharmacist who specializes in viral infections at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy, and colleague Sarah Michienzi published an extensive look at all supplements that might be useful in the coronavirus epidemic. There’s still not enough evidence to know whether they are helpful, the pair concluded in July in Drugs in Context. “It’s not really clear if it’s going to benefit patients,” Badowski says.
And while supplements are generally safe, she adds that nothing is risk free. The best way to avoid infection, she says, is still to follow the advice of epidemiologists and public health experts: “Wash your hands, wear a mask, stay six feet apart.”
A.R. Martineau et al. Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. British Medical Journal. Published online February 15, 2017. doi: 10.1136/bmj.i6583.
S.A. Lanham-New et al. Vitamin D and SARS-CoV-2 virus/COVID-19 disease. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health. Published online May 13, 2020. doi: 10.1136/bmjnph-2020-000089.
M. Singh and R.R. Das. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. Published online April 30, 2015. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub5.
H. Hemilä et al. Zinc acetate lozenges for the treatment of the common cold: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. Vol. 10, January 2020. Doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031662.
I. Wessels, B. Rolles and L. Rink. The potential impact of zinc supplementation on COVID-19 pathogenesis. Frontiers in Immunology. Published online July 10, 2020. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01712.
R. Güerri-Fernández et al. Lower baseline zinc levels are associated with poorer outcome in COVID-19. ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease. September 23, 2020.
S. Arentz et al. Zinc for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 and other acute viral respiratory infections: a rapid review. Advances in Integrative Medicine. Published online August 1, 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.aimed.2020.07.009
S.R. Bauer et al. What is the role of supplementation with ascorbic acid, zinc, vitamin D, or N-acetylcysteine for prevention or treatment of COVID-19? Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. June 2020. Doi: 10.3949/ccjm.87a.ccc046.
L. Zhang and Y. Liu. Potential interventions for novel coronavirus in China: A systematic review. Journal of Medical Virology. Published online February 13, 2020. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25707.
H. Hemilä and E. Chalker. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Published online January 13, 2013. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4.
S. Michienzi and M.E. Badowski. Can vitamins and/or supplements provide hope against coronavirus? Drugs in Context. Published online June 22, 2020. Doi: 10.7573/dic.2020-5-7.
A new study has suggested that people who exercise in the morning between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. may be less likely to develop cancers than those who exercise later in the day.
New research has suggested that people who exercise in the early morning may have a reduced risk of developing cancer than those who exercise later in the day.
The research, appearing in the International Journal of Cancer, may help inform future research into the timing of exercise as a potential way of reducing cancer risk.
Research has shown that doing recreational exercise can reduce a person’s risk of developing many different cancers.
This information is important because of the high numbers of people who develop cancer and the significant number who die of the disease. For example, in the United States, scientists estimate that by the end of 2020, 1,806,590 people will receive a diagnosis of cancer, while 606,520 people will die from the disease.
Given the large numbers of people who develop cancer, even a change as small as changing the time a person exercises could make a significant contribution to reducing the impact of cancer across a whole population.
As of 2018, 46.7% of adults in the U.S. did not meet the minimum aerobic physical activity guidelines. Increasing physical activity and optimizing when it is most effective might be a possible way of reducing the prevalence of cancer in society.
There is also evidence that a person’s circadian rhythm may have links to their chance of developing cancer. The phrase circadian rhythm refers to the biological processes that affect a person’s sleep-wake cycle.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer have classified the level of evidence linking night shift work that disrupts a person’s circadian rhythm as “probably” carcinogenic to humans.
In particular, researchers have linked night shift work to an increased risk of breast cancer. The evidence for prostate cancer remains unclear.
Scientists have shown that exercise also has a relationship with a person’s circadian rhythm. According to 2019 research, exercising during the day may help improve a person’s circadian rhythm and lessen the adverse effects of disrupted sleep patterns.
Given that exercise can potentially reduce the risks of cancer and improve circadian rhythms and disrupted circadian rhythms can increase cancer risk, the authors of the new research hypothesized that the timing of physical activity might affect cancer risk.
To test this hypothesis, the researchers behind the present study analyzed the data from 2,795 participants. The participants were a subset of the Spanish multi case-control study (MCC-Spain), which set out to understand factors causing common cancers in Spain and how to prevent them.
From 2008–2013, researchers interviewed the participants to find out their lifetime recreational and household physical activity. An average of 3 years later, researchers assessed the timing of when people exercised.
The researchers looked in particular at the 781 women who had breast cancer and also responded to the questionnaire about their physical activity and 504 men who had prostate cancer and provided data about the timing of their exercise.
The researchers chose the controls in the MCC-Spain study randomly from general practice records. The researchers matched them to people in the study with cancer who were of the same sex and similar age. The controls in this study also responded to the follow-up questions about physical activity and its timings.
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The researchers found that physical activity between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. had the strongest potential beneficial effect at reducing breast and prostate cancer.
About 7% of the people with breast cancer and 9% of people in the control group undertook most of their exercise in the early morning. About 12.7% of people with prostate cancer and 14% of the control group did early morning exercise.
The researchers developed a model that showed that the odds of developing breast cancer were potentially 25% lower due to exercising in the morning compared with not exercising.
However, the statistical confidence of this estimate ranges from a 52% reduction to a 15% increase in risk.
The results show a similar picture for prostate cancer. The model predicted that those who exercised in the early morning had a 27% reduced chance of having prostate cancer than non-exercisers. However, the range went from a 56% reduction to a 20% increase.
People who exercised in the evening, between 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., had a 25% reduced risk for developing prostate cancer. However, as with the early morning findings, the evidence is not statistically significant.
The researchers suggest that any beneficial effects of early exercise for breast cancer risk may have links to estrogen. High estrogen levels have associations with an increased risk of breast cancer, and exercise can lower estrogen levels. Further, estrogen production is most active at around 7:00 a.m.
Melatonin may also be a factor. Researchers have shown that melatonin may protect against cancer risk and that exercise later in the day or at night can delay melatonin production.
As the researchers note, the study has limitations, and they could not detect the small effect that the timing of exercise might have with certainty.
However, the small size of the effect does not mean it is unimportant. Cancer is a prolific disease, and any small effects, when amplified across a population, can be important.
Other study problems include not recording all the information for all participants and not considering some confounding variables, such as diet and sleep patterns.
However, these were minor issues relative to the sample size, and the differences between the cases and controls in this study were small.
Nonetheless, the study clarifies the value of exploring the association between exercise time and cancer risk further.
For Dr. Manolis Kogevinas, Scientific Director of the Severo Ochoa Distinction at ISGlobal in Barcelona and the coordinator of the study, “[t]hese results, if confirmed, may improve current physical activity recommendations for cancer prevention. [What is] clear is that everyone can reduce their cancer risk simply by being moderately physically active for at least 150 minutes each week.”