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These life-saving devices are everywhere. But could you find one when you need it?

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Sean Ferguson didn’t have a pulse for 11 minutes.

In the summer of 2016, Ferguson, then 23, went into cardiac arrest while playing pickup basketball with friends at the field house at Cape Breton University.

Ferguson doesn’t remember much of that day. He was a month away from his wedding. He tries to avoid thinking about how his wife might have had to plan a funeral instead. 

“I was told that for 11 minutes I was clinically dead, pronounced dead … that’s what the ambulance drivers and the doctors told my family and the boys that were there that day.” 

As he lay on the court, someone called 911 and another friend sprinted to a nearby rink to grab a defibrillator. Used along with CPR, the device’s shock helped stop Ferguson’s heart from quivering erratically — resetting it to a normal rhythm and keeping him alive. 

The Nova Scotia government is still working on ensuring people who call 911 for help during a cardiac arrest can receive directions to the nearest defibrillator.

Life-saving portable defibrillators are in schools, rinks, businesses and community centres across Atlantic Canada. But there’s a problem: Even 911 dispatchers often don’t know the locations. 1:24

In Ferguson’s case, he later found out there was an even closer defibrillator — less than 10 metres from where he collapsed. Luckily, his friends did chest compressions and were still able to bring a device to him in a matter of minutes

“In a scenario like that, you’re so scrabbly, your adrenaline is so high and your reactions may not be as composed as they normally are. For you to make one phone call and be told where it is, I feel like that is huge in being able to save lives,” he said.

A 2017 CBC News investigation found many defibrillators in Atlantic Canada are not registered with provincial authorities, and emergency dispatchers in Nova Scotia don’t even know where they are located, making it impossible to direct bystanders to nearby devices.

Since then, the Nova Scotia government has installed new software — but it hasn’t started using it. Staff are still getting rid of technical glitches, said paramedic Mike Janczyszyn, who co-ordinates a provincial registry of automated external defibrillators, or AEDs.

“We’ve encountered more delays than we’d like already … we are aggressively working toward that right now,” he said.

When it starts running, an alert will pop up in EHS’s communications centre when there’s a defibrillator within 1,200 metres of a cardiac arrest. That way, the dispatchers can tell people on the scene exactly where to find one. Similar programs have been running for years in other parts of Canada.

A newly expanded and renovated EHS dispatch centre opened in November in Halifax. The dispatchers are required to ask 911 callers if there’s a defibrillator in the area. Eventually, they’ll receive an alert notifying them when there’s one close to a caller’s address. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

The automated external defibrillator used on Ferguson is one of about 700 registered devices sprinkled across Nova Scotia.  

They’re often stationed in gyms, movie theatres, malls and rinks. Getting to them quickly is crucial when someone is experiencing cardiac arrest. 

When people go into cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, their survival rate is about five per cent, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Janczyszyn said the combination of calling for help, CPR and AEDs can dramatically improve people’s chances. Chest compressions and artificial respiration keeps blood flowing, ensuring people’s organs receive oxygen, keeping them alive. 

“Every minute that passes without an [automated external defibrillator], without doing CPR, your chance of survival go down by about seven to 10 per cent,” said Janczyszyn.

Paramedic Mike Janczyszyn co-ordinates EHS’s automated external defibrillator registry. (CBC)

When someone collapses, people often don’t reach for a defibrillator because they don’t know where to find one, he said. And research shows even when people are trained, they may not do CPR, which is necessary for a defibrillator to be effective.

“There’s no liability involved with using an AED as long as you’re using it properly,” said Janczyszyn. “It actually tells you exactly what to do. The most important thing with using an AED is grabbing it and turning it on.”

Janczyszyn has been trying to ensure all the devices in Nova Scotia are included in the provincial registry so directions to them will be available in an emergency. He’s helped doubled the number of registered devices since last December.

Not all of them are considered publicly accessible and Janczyszyn estimates the number of registered devices could be less than half of the defibrillators available.

“They need to be out in the public. They don’t need to be behind closed doors or locked doors but they need to be in publicly accessible areas to be effective,” he said. 

EHS has upped its promotion and has been holding information sessions in an effort to stress the importance of CPR and encourage organizations to sign up their devices. As of November, it was possible to do so online.

It’s possible to purchase a defibrillator that is enclosed in a heated case so it doesn’t freeze in the winter and the battery doesn’t die. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

When people register, they can decide whether to list their device as publicly accessible and also opt to be “responders,” meaning they will be notified when there’s a cardiac arrest within 1,200 metres of their defibrillator.

“You could get a text message or voice call that there’s a cardiac arrest nearby and respond with your AED. That kind of eliminates some of the time as opposed to someone just being at the scene and bringing it back,” said Janczyszyn. “The more people to help you out in that scenario, the better.”

So far, 78 people have signed up. 

“We’d love to have the numbers higher but it’s based on preference of anyone who registered. Seventy-eight is a great number when you look at it. That’s 78 additional bystanders or rescuers in Nova Scotia that are willing to help,” he said.

Alyssa and Sean Ferguson on their wedding date, almost exactly a month after Sean nearly died. (Anita Clements)

After Ferguson’s close call, he spent 22 days in hospital in Halifax and Sydney.  Due to a heart condition — hypertrophic cardiomyopathy subcutaneous — a type of defibrillator is now implanted in his chest.

Two and a half years later, he’s celebrating the holidays with his wife and young son. He recommends people experiencing heart issues get blood work done and an EKG, just in case. He always keeps an eye out for the devices that saved his life. 

“I say this to people and business owners and friends, it’s just so easy to have one,” he said. “I do everything I can to be positive, upbeat and educate people.”

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Researchers warn about the severe psychological distress caused by eating junk food

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(Natural News) Does junk food make you sad? While the current state of the American food industry is more than enough to make anyone feel depressed, new research from Loma Linda University demonstrates a link between junk-laden diets and psychological distress. Based on their findings, it appears that what you eat can and does affect your mental health — and that the prepackaged garbage peddled as “food” can have a seriously deleterious effect on your emotional well-being.

Even after adjusting for other external factors, the scientists found this relationship held steady: The more junk food a person ate, the more distress they reported feeling. When you consider the physiological effects junk food has on the body, it is no wonder that people report feeling like they are more distressed: They are in distress, they just don’t know it’s because of what the “food” they’re eating is doing to them on the inside.

Estimates suggest that the average American gets 60 percent of their daily calories from processed or junk food. Junk food consumption is a widespread problem here in the United States. Now, there are questions about whether or not junk food is a driving force in the plague of insanity (and stupidity) striking the U.S.

Scientists link junk food to poor mental health

Published in the journal International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition in early 2019, a study from Loma Linda University scientists finds a link between poor diet and poor mental health. Even after adjusting for external factors such as gender, age, education and income level, the association between junk food intake and mental illness remained.

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Study leader Jim E. Banta, Ph.D., MPH, an associate professor at the school, says that their conclusions support the findings of previous research. To conduct their study, Banta and his team looked at data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). The scientists used 240,000 phone surveys conducted by CHIS between 2005 and 2015, and included data on socio-demographics, health status and health behaviors.

“This and other studies like it could have big implications for treatments in behavorial medicine,” Banta said of the findings.

“Perhaps the time has come for us to take a closer look at the role of diet in mental health, because it could be that healthy diet choices contribute to mental health. More research is needed before we can answer definitively, but the evidence seems to be pointing in that direction,” he added.

The fact that scientists in the 21st century are only now just beginning to even consider the possibility of a relationship between nutrition and mental health is truly disturbing. Natural health practitioners have long been aware of the importance of good nutrition for total well-being, including mental state.

Is poor nutrition turning America insane?

Vitamin D deficiency is a well-known cause of depression. B vitamins, iron, selenium and magnesium also support good mental health and deficiencies in these nutrients can also cause depression and anxiety. There is a growing body of research which strongly supports poor nutrition as a causative factor not only in depression, but in other mental illnesses — including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD and more.

For example, Dr. Banta notes that some research has linked high sugar consumption to bipolar disorder, while fried foods and processed grains are linked to depression. There is no ignoring the link between diet and disease — whether it is of the body or of the mind makes no difference.

Nearly 60 percent of the American population’s diet comes from disease-causing food, and it is hard not to wonder if obesity, heart disease and death aren’t the only problems being caused by junk food diets.

Are the increasingly insane leftists just running around in a nutrient-deprived, sugar-spiked frenzy? Whether you’re talking about the inanity of “social justice” score-keeping or the rapid acceptance of censorship to silence conservatives, it’s clear that the far left is missing a few bolts upstairs. A diet of GMOs, pesticides and toxic food additives will do that to you, though.

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Eat healthier to improve your physical and mental well-being

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(Natural News) The physical health and mental well-being of a person depend a lot on nutrition and the food that he eats. Diet also influences the risk of developing chronic diseases. While the relationship between physical health and diet is well-understood, little is known about how diet and its quality influence the development of mental disorders. In a recent study, researchers from the University of Regensburg in Germany investigated the behavioral effects of a Western diet on pattern separation – the process of keeping items distinct in memory. They discovered that a diet consisting of increased amounts of sugar and saturated fatty acids, reduced levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and an increased ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids (Western diet) harms memory. The results of their study were published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness.

The Western diet impairs pattern separation

In this study, researchers investigated the utility of spatial separation – a behavioral process associated with the hippocampus – in the assessment of dietary interventions and the behavioral effects of the transgenerational administration of a Western diet on pattern separation. Pattern separation is the process of keeping items distinct in memory and is mediated by the hippocampus. Previous studies have suggested that there is a relationship between hippocampal function and diet quality in both humans and animals.

To examine the association between them, the researchers used rats, feeding over seven generations a diet containing increased amounts of sugar and saturated fatty acids, reduced levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and an increased ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids. This diet composition is characteristic of a diet known as the Western diet. The researchers administered it transgenerationally because previous studies have shown that interventional diets need to be implemented over several generations to induce behavioral effects.

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They compared the spatial pattern separation (or local discrimination) performance of these animals with that of rats fed a standard diet. For the test, they presented the rats two locations and allowed them to learn across trials to respond to the correct location. During spatial discrimination training, they designated a location as the correct one and rewarded the rats if they touched the correct location. They reversed the correct and incorrect locations every time the rats successfully got the correct ones nine times out of 10 trials.

The researchers found a separation-dependent difference between the standard and Western diet groups in the number of discriminations performed in the pattern separation task. The rats fed with a Western diet performed fewer discriminations. Rats with lesions in the dorsal hippocampus showed impaired pattern separation when the locations were close together but not when they were far apart. The researchers associated this impairment with hippocampal dysfunctioning. Their results align with previous studies which demonstrated that consumption of a Western diet impaired cognitive functions, damaged brain regions, and contributed to the occurrence of neurodegenerative diseases. Their results confirmed that pattern separation could be negatively affected by transgenerational administration of a Western diet.

The researchers concluded that spatial pattern separation can help detect the effects of dietary interventions and that the Western diet can impair pattern separation.

How to make your diet healthier

A healthy diet can provide many benefits, the most important of which is the prevention of chronic diseases. Here are some things that you can do to make your diet healthier:

  • Eat slowly
  • Choose whole grains
  • Add probiotics to your diet
  • Increase your protein intake
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid frying food and eating fast food
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Try new and healthy recipes
  • Eat vegetables first before every meal
  • Eat fruits instead of drinking them
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stop drinking sweetened beverages
  • Get adequate sleep

Eating healthier and becoming aware of your nutritional needs will not only improve your physical health, but these will also benefit your mental and emotional well-being.

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Apples: Eat them to keep the doctor away – and boost stem cell therapy

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(Natural News) There is some truth behind the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are superfoods, and they are good sources of antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative damage and boost the immune system. They also contain dietary fiber, which is good for digestion and the maintenance of gut microbiota. But there is more to apples than just being healthy, antioxidant fruits. In a recent study published in the journal Nutrition Research, researchers from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea showed the beneficial effect of apple extracts on the proliferation of adult stem cells. They also identified the possible molecular mechanisms underlying apple’s pro-proliferative effects.

Apple ethanol extracts can enhance the proliferation of stem cells useful for tissue regeneration

Tissue regeneration using adult stem cells (ASCs) has significant potential in the treatment of many degenerative diseases. It also provides a promising means of repairing chronic tissue or organ failure due to injuries, congenital defects, and aging. Stem cells are essential in regenerative medicine because they can be used directly in cell replacement therapies. However, studies on their application in clinical settings suggest that age negatively affects the proliferation status and differentiation potential of ASCs. This presents a possible limitation in their therapeutic use.

In the hopes of addressing this limitation, researchers turned their attention to the pro-proliferative activity of apples. Apples are rich sources of valuable phytochemicals that are known to be beneficial to human health. They possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and even anticancer activities. These antioxidants can help maintain human cells and protect them from harmful oxidation products. In addition, apples contain metabolites that could ensure longevity and increase the number of human cells in culture. (Related: Apples could hold key for increasing lifespan.)

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Because of this, researchers hypothesized that apple extracts might exert beneficial effects on ASCs. They obtained apple extracts using ethanol as the extraction solvent and tested these on human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) and human cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (CB-MSCs). They also used 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide and Click-iT 5-ethynyl-2?-deoxyuridine flow cytometry assays to evaluate the pro-proliferative effects of the extracts.

The researchers found that treatment with apple extracts promoted the proliferation of ADSCs and CB-MSCs. Apple extracts also induced the stepwise phosphorylation of p44/42 MAPK (ERK), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), p70 S6 kinase (p70S6K), S6 ribosomal protein (S6RP), eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4B, and eIF4E in ADSCs. p44/42 MAPK (ERK) is a signaling pathway involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. Inhibition of this pathway results in cell apoptosis. mTOR is a key signaling node that coordinates cell cycle progression and cell growth. p70S6K is a cytokine that regulates cell growth by inducing protein synthesis. eIFs, on the other hand, are proteins or protein complexes involved in translation and protein biosynthesis.

The researchers also reported that apple extracts significantly induced the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in both ADSCs and CB-MSCs. VEGF is a potent angiogenic factor, which means it promotes the formation of blood vessels. VEGF also plays a role in other physiological functions, such as hematopoiesis, wound healing, and development. IL-6 is a promoter of proliferation. The researchers further confirmed that the apple extract-induced proliferation of ADSCs under serum-free conditions is mediated by ERK-dependent cytokine production because when they pre-treated cells with PD98059, a specific ERK inhibitor, it inhibited the phosphorylation of the mTOR/p70S6K/S6RP/eIF4B/eIF4E pathway.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that extracts from apples are potent pro-proliferative agents, and the beneficial effect of apple extract on the proliferation of ASCs may overcome the limitation in their therapeutic use in tissue regeneration.

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