Origins

The series “Origins” opens the new season with several articles from our guest author Harry Bourne.

India, Africa, the Sea & Antiquity

Author: Harry Bourne

What is about to be described in this section is to demonstrate what is written about various groups hypothesised to have reached parts of Africa in antiquity and will mainly follow Oliver Cromwell’s much-quoted comment on the occasion of his portrait being painted. This was that the portrait had to include his warts plus all his other imperfections or never be done.

This wartsn’all approach means the noting of the good and bad about the cited groups. This will largely concentrate on the period between circa (= ca.) 500 BCE and ca. 500 CE. By BCE is meant Before Common Era (= BC) and CE indicates Common Era (= AD).

Indian seafarers are mainly excluded from this section and willbe discussed in Part 2 and onwards. Mention of such as “online in 2015” indicates access in that year.


Part 1.1

China

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Probably the most thorough research into theorised voyages across the enormous Pacific Ocean are by the authors summarised in the two volumes edited by John Sorenson and Martin Raish (1). Several of them firmly opine ancient Chinese knew the Americas as the White Coast, Fusan/Fusang, Mulanpi, etc, and are the ancestors of the Olmecs. The Olmecs are a culture of what variously are called the Native Americans, American Indians, Amerinds, etc, and many of who have the so-called Chinese eye-fold.

The Chinese (Fu)san resembles at least one of the umpteen names applied to the Africans  severally called San, Khwe, Aka/Akka among numerous others. It seems they seemingly once occupied most of Africa but are now mainly confined to its least desirable corners (esp. the southwest). Their small stature, yellowish skins, epicanthis, etc, made the San/Khwe ideal candidates for speculation about antecedents. The first Dutch in southern Europe happily filled the gaps according to Tia Mysoa (2) when attributing these antecedents to the crew of a wrecked Chinese ship and this will be seen to have other parallels.

It will be obvious it is the variously tagged epicanthic, Mongolian, Chinese or Mandelan fold of the eye takes most attention in the attribution to Chinese sources when it occurs in Africa. Tests by Chinese scientists on the DNA hair of the population of the Lamu-group island of Pate and a local women was identified as a “China girl” and there is a one-time naval supremacy of China to which to this is then attached. Porcelain of Chinese manufacture has several Kenyan find-spots and the Chinese placename of Shanghai and that of Shanga (Pate, Kenya) have also been compared.

A recent popular about the Chinese in Pre-Colonial Africa is the book simply titled 1421 by Gavin Menzies (3). He described the Treasure ships that the Ming Shi-li (= Ming Records) says were enormous and were led across the Indian Ocean Region (= IOR) by the Chinese admiral Zheng-he/Cheng-ho. Menzies (ib.) further tells us about the Chinese ships having passed Cape Agulhas and on to points west. The significance about Cape Agulhas is that it is the southernmost point of continental Africa not Cape Town as so often said. To its east is the IOR and to its west is the Atlantic. According to Menzies, the Chinese were led by Zheng-he past Cape Agulhas, much of Atlantic-west Africa up to the Gulf of Guinea. Zheng-he is also said to have sailed past Gulf-facing Africa to as far north in west Africa as the Cape Verde Islands. Here they left an inscription marking this great feat at Janela.

The South China Sea has been the scene of some spectacular wrecks of Chinese ships according to Arab chronicles cited by James Hornell (4). The Chinese legend of Hsu-Fu tells of 3000 Chinese supposedly migrating across the Pacific Ocean. If their ships are exampled by the replica also named as Hsu-Fu, it fell apart several hundred miles short of its intended American destination according to Tim Severin (5).

The Tek Sing was another wooden Chinese ship. It was en route to Indonesia and foundered on an Indonesian island. The loss of life was so great that the Tek Sing has acquired the clearly unwanted label of the eastern Titanic according to a Wikipedia (6) contribution.  This is despite the expected Chinese knowledge over the centuries of the routes to and from the South China Sea.

On the other hand, that the Chinese fleet led by Zheng-he did get to and crossed the Indian Ocean Region (= IOR) is beyond question. However, the size of his ships has been questioned very seriously by Zheng-Ming (7) and Stephen Davis (8) in China and outside of China respectively. Even a massive timber found in a Chinese frequently claimed as proving the giant size of the Chinese ships turns out to belong to a river-craft not a seacraft. Probably the most authentic giant wooden ships are the Orlando class of battleships constructed for the British Royal Navy that another Wikipedia entry. Their very length made them so unstable and needing steel supports that they proved useless and were soon scrapped. It will be shown this is not the only example of ancient ships of giant size to which this applies.

Geoff Wade (9) closely examined the supposedly peaceful and benign nature of Zheng-he’s expeditions and concluded it was anything but on both counts. The epicanthic fold is known all over Africa and owes nothing to shipwrecked Chinese. The more so given that the San represent probably the oldest known strand of mankind. As to the “China girl” from the Kenyan island of Pate, Geoffrey York (10) reports that her brother apparently from the same set of parents and all being black Africans is totally baffled as to her synodontism claimed by Chinese scientists.

This will indicate the “China girl” that York (ib.) says was said by Chinese sources as marking a one-time Chinese maritime supremacy does nothing of the kind as to proving this was ever the case. This resembles something on another small island a little to the north of Pate to be mentioned in the next section. The porcelain plus other small finds of Chinese origin occurring in Kenya are likely to indicate general trade with east Africa.

The Shangai/ Shanga equation actually proves to have no more substance to it than that of the comparison of Shiraz (Persia/Iran) and the Shirazi (= Swahili) of east Africa. The more so given that Felix Chami (11) has effectively removed this line of argument. York (ib.) further shows that despite the claimed Chinese wreck and despite diligent searches by the Chinese, so far actual wrecks are unproven. There is thus little support for the Chinese claims. Moreover, if Zheng-he’s ships got past Cape Agulhas and sailed along the west African coast, it is surely legitimate to wonder why such a feat was marked in the Janela (Cape Verde Islands) inscription in an obscure Indian language.

un-atardecer-y-un-barco-2674

 

Follow up: Part 1.2: Indonesia. Stay tuned. 

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Passing Beyond

What if Death Were Not the End?

Part I: Near Death Experience and Dreams

Written by LLS

A friend of mine recently died – unexpectedly and much too early. His death left a deep void for many of his friends. It left an empty space in my life as well, and like so many times before I hoped he would in any way contact me, or leave me a sign. But like all other times, nothing happened, and again I thought about what may happen after death. As someone who studied psychology and neurology but also loves to go beyond scholarship, I have investigated the subject in its different aspects and had long planned to write an article about this. The death of my friend finally made me sit down and do it.

I’ll present three different approaches to the subject which come to different conclusions. At the end, there will be a more likely and a less likely outcome for the readers. I leave the conclusion to each of them.

Quo vadis?

afterlife

NDE experience: the tunnel of light

The questions are probably as old as mankind itself: what happens after we’re biologically dead? Is there life after death? Is there an Otherworld? Will we be reborn? Or is there just nothing after we close our eyes forever?

The different cultures have found different solutions for this question. For some cultures that have still shamanic background, the dead continue to exist in a world that continuously touches ours, is as real as our world and can be accessed by breaking through the thin membrane between the two realities.

In antiquity, the dead often had to undertake a long journey to another world far away and needed therefore supplies to have a safe trip and a good status in the Otherworld.

Today’s world religions don’t agree with each other concerning this question, either. In Hinduism and Buddhism exists the concept of reincarnation; Judaism, Christianity and Islam divide the souls in good and bad ones and the Otherworld in Heaven and hell.

Modern science doesn’t conceive any further existence after death at all. Western societies educate their members with the idea of life that happens by chance, with no hope for another reality. Dead is dead and there’s no doubt that everything is over for the one who passes through that doorway. This happens majorly because modern science refuses the idea of a god, of a reality beyond matter. Only what we can experience is real – all the rest is fantasy. For those who die, the world ceases to exist. Innumerable people have therefore tried to find the sense of life and got lost in the desperation of not finding a deeper meaning to their existence.

However, in the last decades, scientists have started to ponder the question whether an existence after death might be actually a possibility. As quantum physics naturally trespassed the rigid frontiers of positivism – the type of science that denies anything we have no proof for – also the concept of existence started shifting. The fact that people who had been clinically dead and were reanimated all reported the same experiences of leaving their physical bodies, entering tunnels of light and feeling extreme happiness and freedom, triggered a whole bunch of investigations that would try to scientifically explain what was actually happening.

Perception and the brain: a doorway to the explanation of near death experience?

brain_12

Enhanced brain activity

A recently published study focuses on the aspect of perception. The scientists think that the near death experiences are based on neurological processes that provoke particular pseudo-experiences when we die. When we’re about to die, we reach a state that doctors call “clinical death”. That is when the heart stops beating. Scientists observed that in the first  30 seconds after clinical death, there was strongly synchronized brain gamma-wave brain activity, similar to the moment when the brain is highly stimulated. They concluded that the reduction of sugar and oxygen supply can enhance the brain’s activity. This, so the scientists, is the reason why many people have the feeling to pass through a tunnel of light. However, they say, after that light it’s really over. The clinical death is followed by the biological death. All functions of organs and cells are finally terminated.

So far the commonly accepted scientific theory concerning near death experiences.

However, inevitably the question arises: if so, and if all near death experiences are based on mere brain stimulation given by the lack of sugar and oxygen, how come all NDE reports are the same?

Let’s compare the described situation to our dreams. Basically, we’re in front of a similar phenomenon, only that it’s not based on the lack of any vital substances. So let’s have a look at the brain.

gene-linking-brain-structure-to-intelligence-discovered

Depiction of the human brain

Our brain consists of several parts. Much of the size of the human brain comes from the cerebral cortex, especially the frontal lobes, which are associated with executive functions such as self-controlplanningreasoning, and abstract thought. The human cerebral cortex is a layer of neural tissue that covers the two cerebral hemispheres that make up most of the brain. (Wikipedia) The two hemispheres which have different tasks are interconnected by a small organ called pons (lat. “bridge”).  The pons is part of the brainstem, and in humans and other bipeds lies between the midbrain (above) and the medulla oblongata (below) and in front of the cerebellum. This region of the brainstem includes neural pathways or tracts that conduct signals from the brain down to the cerebellum and medulla, and tracts that carry the sensory signals up into the thalamus. In the research about dreams, scientists have observed that during sleep electric impulses are being fired on the cortex, coming from the area of the pons. They came to the conclusion that the pictures of our dreams are being triggered by the area of the cortex where the impulses arrive. However, the discussion between behaviorists and depth psychologists has never stopped as the depth psychologists sustain that the pictures aren’t created by chance but have something to do with the psychological situation of the dreaming individual. However it is, one thing is for sure: when we sleep, impulses reach the cortex where entire movies are being created, and whether they have a deeper psychological meaning or not, we all know that our all dreams are far from being only slightly similar. Our dreams are as individual as we are. So why should our all brains create the almost identical pictures in a situation when again our brains experience stimulation – in the moments after our clinical death? This seems illogical. A group of doctors has therefore performed an in-depth research on people who were clinically dead and could be reanimated. They came to very different conclusions.

(To be continued: NDE and Afterlife experiments)

Tissue regeneration: Researchers create gel that regrows tooth enamel

…and eliminates pain associated with tooth decay

Our article “How to Heal Cavities Naturally” has triggered an ongoing discussion ever since it was posted.

However, science has developed a new technique that holds the promise of tooth regrowth.

Researchers say tooth gel will regrow enamel and cover painful blemishes.

Dual discoveries in tissue regeneration at the University of Southern California propose a promising method to regrow nonliving hard tissue, lessening or even eliminating pain associated with tooth decay, which the National Institutes of Health calls the most prevalent chronic disease.

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Nearly grown enamel

Janet Moradian-Oldak, a dentistry professor at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, has investigated methods to regrow tooth enamel for the past two decades. The process is especially tricky because unlike bone, mature enamel cannot rejuvenate. Tooth enamel is a nonliving tissue.

The a-ha moment came October 22 when, in collaboration with lead author Sauma Prajapati of USC and other colleagues, she published a study in the Biomaterials journal saying matrix metalloproteinase-20, an enzyme found only in teeth, chops up amelogenin proteins, which facilitate organized enamel crystal formation. MMP-20 clears the way for hard material to usurp vacated space.

Her team is the first to define the function of an enzyme for preventing protein occlusion inside a crystal, she said.

“MMP-20 is released at a very early stage of enamel formation,” said Moradian-Oldak, the study’s senior author. “MMP-20 chops up proteins during the crystallization of enamel. Together with other enzymes, it gets rid of ‘sludge’ so the enamel making cells in the body can add more mineral and make enamel, the hardest bioceramic in the human body.”

Repairing tooth decay
Moradian-Oldak will marry the MMP-20 discovery with another study published Nov. 2 in the Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Informatics, which concluded an amelogenin-chitosan hydrogel could repair early tooth decay by growing an enamel-like layer that reduces lesions by up to 70%.

“Recognizing MMP-20’s function in biomineralization is one of the first steps to learning how dental enamel forms in nature,” said Qichao Ruan, lead author of the hydrogel study and a postdoctoral research associate in the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at USC. “The findings regarding MMP-20 not only help us to further understand the mechanisms of enamel formation but also can be applied in the design of novel biomaterials for future clinical applications in dental restoration or repair.”

The Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved any type of enamel regrowing gel. USC is in preclinical trials. Moradian-Oldak said one day people may be able to use an overnight mouth guard or teeth strips saturated with hydrogel to regrow enamel-like substances and reduce teeth sensitivity.

Finding the right fix
Products such as toothpaste and mouthwash containing fluoride and casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate promote remineralization of initial enamel lesions; however, they need to be used regularly and are more of a tire patch than a real solution, Moradian-Oldak said. It plugs up the problem so people don’t feel pain. The gel, however, fills the cracks and holes with an enamel-like substance.

In the United States, 92% of adults aged 20 to 64 have had dental decay in their permanent teeth, Moradian-Oldak said. Grinding teeth at night, gum recession, and the disappearance of enamel over a lifetime due to demineralizing acidic food and drink are all common problems people everywhere face.

When tested in an environment that mimics an oral cavity’s biochemical processes, the gel created a robust attachment, eliminating the threat of secondary cavities in the same spot, Ruan said. The gel could be more effective than traditional crowns, whose adhesion weakens over time, he added.

“Besides biocompatibility and biodegradability, the gel has unique antimicrobial and adhesion properties that are important for dental applications,” Ruan said.

MMP-20 carves out proteins that decrease enamel strength
USC researchers tested their theory using wild type mice and MMP-20 null mice. The MMP-20 null mice had inconsistent enamel hydroxyapatite crystals that were shorter, wider, and thinner than those found in the wild type mice.

Some 31% of the enamel nanocrystals area isolated from MMP-20 mice were imperfect, whereas only 10% of the area was imperfect in crystals from wild type mice.

The gel that produces enamel-like growth
In preparation for a possible human study, USC researchers used human molars without any lesions. They sliced teeth into three or four blocks, created artificial tooth decay, then cycled the samples in artificial saliva with pH 4.6, 7.0, and 6.5.

Normal salivary pH is between 6 to 7 but could quickly fluctuate between 5.3 to 7.8 based on food and beverage intake.

A sample of supersaturated calcium and phosphate ions in a remineralization solution produced an enamel-like substance; however, it created a disorganized structure with irregular crystals. In contrast, the hydrogel grew oriented crystals, reducing the depth of the lesions by 50% to 70% after seven days of hydrogel application. It is a big improvement over other methods, Ruan said.

“In one study, it was reported that only about 24% of tooth decay was recovered after 12 days of pH cycling with sodium fluoride treatment,” he said.

The next step is to alter the gel recipe using MMP-20 to create a stronger enamel-like seal, Moradian-Oldak said.

“We create a protective cover on enamel,” she said. “We restore the structure of enamel, and it will prevent decay from progressing.”

The studies were funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (DE-13414 and DE-020099) and USC Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program via the Wallace Coulter Foundation (WCF/GRZYWACZ/2011).

 

Source: Dentistry IQ

Science, Parascience, Religion, Imagination And The Deception Of The Human Mind

Official blog of Lara Lamberti

The Human Mind

mysterypic

So, that’s it.

I’m working on a new mystery series, and with this, I’m into a certain kind of research, and lots of questions and subjects of investigation are coming up on the way.

When I’m confronted with the decision whether to create fiction or documentary, I mostly end up with fiction.

I’ve been into the unexplained for many years now, after many other years when I studied psychology, visited a shamanic school, learned aroma therapy, was instructed in leading people into deep meditation, and many more things. I stayed with Berber people for weeks in the desert and participated in Native American shamanic rituals during my extensive stays in the U.S. I could say that I’ve seen a whole lot of the universe beyond the materialistic every day world.

I have to admit that while studying everything that was available about unexplained facts and  phenomena the whole UFO subject…

View original post 1,358 more words

The Disclosure Initiative: If It’s True…

…we want to know!

You too might want to support the Disclosure campaign.

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End-The-Truth-Embargo-1024x768

“Dedicated to ending the government imposed
truth embargo regarding an extraterrestrial
presence engaging the human race.” ~ Stephen Bassett

Message:

Join The PRG Tweet Storm

 

Greetings!

The Congressional Hearings to End the Truth Embargo with a Formal Disclosure

The Initiative by Elizabeth Trutwin

There is an Extraterrestrial Presence Engaging the Human Race

An overwhelming consensus of Citizens in the United States and the World agree there is indeed an Extraterrestrial Presence engaging the Human Race. Whether we look at Human Origins, Ancient Astronauts evidenced in literature and art, Contact Experiencers, Craft Sightings, Crop Circles or Extraterrestrial Life the evidence is abundant. If just one of the Extraterrestrial Craft that were thought to have crashed, did crash; it means Someone with intelligence and science far beyond our own have visited Earth.

We know much more than that. In fact many believe Extraterrestrials are living among us in their own Bases we cannot see under Lakes and below our Oceans to name a few. When Russian MiGs were shot down by the United States we had translators help us back engineer their technology. Then we built better Fighter Jets. When Extraterrestrial Craft were shot down we did the same thing. This is how our society gained infrared night vision, LED lights, fiber optics, computer chips and solid state transmitters. The United States first gained that Extraterrestrial technology when General Roger Ramey emptied the gadgets from a crashed flying saucer in 1947 near Roswell, New Mexico, U.S. Thus began The Truth Embargo.

The Role of The Space Act and Executive Order in a Formal Disclosure

The Space Act

The Space Act came to pass under the Eisenhower administration appropriated by Vice President Richard Nixon. The National Aeronautics and Space Act (NASA) of 1958 provided a cover story for NSA Astronauts. The Act declares: “The Congress declares that the general welfare and security of the United States require that adequate provision be made for aeronautical and space activities.” In other words our Countries SECURITY is threatened without NASA. The Institute for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) was established the same year. Stephen Bassett pointed out in a recent presentation that SETI is the most egregious use of science in all of history. By their existence they have cost many lives. Many witnesses to Extraterrestrial activities have died over the years unable to tell their story, unable to have their story be heard because a fake entity stands by with no “official” results. If SETI has ever found signals there is no chance in this world they will tell us as long as the Truth Embargo is allowed to continue.

It is The Space Act legislation which made it legal to steal any patent from any inventor related to free energy or exploring space.

The Space Act and the National Security Act both fall under the Department of Defense (DOD). NASA is directed by a civilian space agency except that activities of the weapons system defense of the United States are the responsibility of DOD. By this arrangement everything NASA does is classified.

Read full article and information about the initiative on Disclosure Media

The 7 Most Haunted College Campuses In The World

Happy Halloween!
Pursuing a higher education comes with a price.

by 10/25/2014

Oh, wait, I’m sorry, were you thrown off by that last part? Basically, what I meant to say was that for some students, the college struggle goes beyond the academic and into the realm of the supernatural. Below, find the seven scariest real-life hauntings on college campuses:

7. Fordham University

tumblr_mc3vw5e67S1rdutw3o1_500The Bronx campus of Fordham University is gorgeous, but it also comes with icy ghost hands that will grab your shoulders in Keating Hall — the basement of which was once an old hospital morgue, if you believe the local legends. Also, ladies, be sure to say hi to the blonde ghost that haunts the shower room, even though she’ll never talk back. (She’s the silent type.)

6. Nagasaki University

Grudge-tumblr_static_2Nearly 70 years after the atomic bomb hit Nagasaki, “screams, cries, and the smell of burning flesh” have all been reported from both students and visitors.

5. University of Illinois

tumblr_m7yz18l82x1roaheko1_500Thinking about pursuing higher education at the University of Illinois? Great! Just hope you’re okay with the faceless man who terrorizes the student body. Legend has it, more than one student was found hanged in their closet after encounters with ‘Ol Facey.

4. Heidelberg University

39705-Clown-DemonWomen in Nazi Germany went through forced sterilization at the university’s clinic due to Hitler’s eugenic movement, and at nightfall, you can still hear them weeping. Understandably. Also, at least two Jewish professors were murdered in the Holocaust, and in their former classrooms, the the chalkboards have been known to “self-erase” and randomly produce strange words, written by no one.

3. Oxford University

Nearly_Headless_NickEngland’s famous Oxford University, the oldest in the English-speaking world, has a number of famous ghosts. Like, literally famous — the ghost of Colonel Francis Winderbank haunts Merton College library, while the headless spirit of Archbishop William Laud hangs out in the St. John’s College library.

2. University of Toronto

tumblr_m9h84pieeA1rdq2opo1_500In the 1850s, a stonemason named Ivan Reznikoff tried to kill his rival, Paul Diabolos, with an axe — supposedly over a shared lover. Diabolos supposedly got the better of Reznikoff and murdered him, hiding his body somewhere in the building. Now, there are three pieces of evidence that support this banana-pants story — one, the still-visible axe marks on a door where Reznikoff swung, two, skeletal remains found in the building after a fire, and three, the personal account of future respected lawyer and parliamentarian Allen Bristol Aylesworth, who personally spoke with a man claiming to be Reznikoff’s ghost.

1. Ohio University

tumblr_mdwtddaXa71qlr7ydo1_500Fox once shot an episode of “Scariest Places on Earth” here, due to its numerous reported paranormal incidents. Wilson Hall, in particular, is located in the middle of a pentagram consisting of five cemeteries, and a student’s reported death in room 428 in the 1970s led to subsequent residents of the room reporting paranormal activity. Legend has it, a second student later died in the same room after practicing witchcraft, and it’s been vacant and boarded up ever since.

Oh, and did we mention that there was a mental institution built next to the university, compete with a cemetery mostly populated by unmarked graves? And that there’s another dorm where a female student, Laura, fell to her death, and ever since then Bob Marley’s “Laura” won’t play on any musical device?

See more at: MTV.com

Original article at: MTV.com

Vitamin K: The Link To Longevity

By Judy Ramirez 

sep2014_tslbovk_02Dr. Bruce Ames is one of the world’s leading authorities on aging and nutrition. Four years ago, Dr. Ames published research indicating that optimum intake of vitamin K plays an important role in longevity.1

A new 2014 study on vitamin K confirms that ample vitamin K intake can indeed help you live longer.2 In a group of more than 7,000 people at high risk for cardiovascular disease, people with the highest intake of vitamin K were 36% less likely to die from any cause at all, compared with those having the lowest intake.

This protection even extended to those with initially low vitamin K intake who boosted their consumption during the course of the study—demonstrating that it’s never too late to start gaining the benefits of vitamin K supplementation. Increasing intake conferred protection against cardiovascular death as well.2

Vitamin K is capable of opposing many of the leading causes of death in modern-day Americans—including atherosclerosis,3 osteoporosis,4 diabetes,5,6 and cancer2,7—because it has the unique ability to activate proteins involved in these conditions.

In this article, we will review a host of new studies that detail the impact of vitamin K supplementation on preventing these and other major age-related diseases.

Risk Reduction By Increased Vitamin K Intake

Condition Vitamin K Form Risk Reduction
All-Cause
Mortality
K2 26% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)3
All-Cause
Mortality
K1 36% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)2
Cancer K1 46% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)2
Cancer, Advanced
Prostate
K2 63% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)7
Cancer
Death
K2 28% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)54
Coronary
Artery Calcification
K2 20% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)30
Coronary Heart Disease K1 21% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)66
Coronary Heart Disease K2 9% lower risk for each 10 microgram/d increased intake67
Coronary Heart Disease Mortality K2 57% (Highest vs. Lowest Intake)3
Metabolic Syndrome K1 27% for having low HDL-cholesterol*
49% for having elevated triglycerides*
82% for having high blood sugar*
(All Highest vs. Lowest Intake)68
Type II
Diabetes
K2 7% lower risk for each 10 microgram/d increased intake5
Type II
Diabetes
K1 17% reduction for each 100 microgram/d increased intake6
Type II Diabetes K1 51% with increased K1 intake vs. decreased or no change in intake6
*Based off of odds ratios

 

The Many Benefits Of Vitamin K

Vitamin K was first discovered in 1935, when it was found to be an essential nutrient to prevent abnormal bleeding in chickens.8 For decades thereafter, vitamin K was identified as the “coagulation vitamin” (in fact, the initial “K” comes from the German spelling, koagulation). During that time, it was established that vitamin K worked by activating certain proteins made in the liver that are required for normal blood clotting. Without sufficient vitamin K, blood would not clot, and severe bleeding would ensue.9,10

Vitamin K activates those blood-clotting proteins by making a small but vital chemical change in the proteins’ structure, specifically on the protein building block called glutamic acid.11

By the turn of the 21st century, scientists had learned that vitamin K produces similar changes to glutamic acid molecules to activate a handful of other vital proteins in the body, with the collective name of Gla-proteins.12-16 According to 2014 research, 16 different vitamin K-dependent Gla-proteins have been identified.17 This means that they depend on vitamin K to activate them in order to carry out their intended role.

With the discovery of the Gla-proteins, scientists learned that vitamin K is vital for much more than the healthy clotting of blood. For example, the Gla-protein in bone, called osteocalcin, is responsible for making sure calcium is deposited in bones, while the Gla-protein in arterial walls, called matrix Gla protein, prevents calcium from being deposited in arteries.18

Insufficient blood clotting was thought to be the main sign of vitamin K deficiency. However, scientists have since learned that you can have enough vitamin K to promote healthy blood clotting, yet still not have enough vitamin K for it to activate the Gla-proteins necessary to help prevent cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer, all conditions in which vitamin K-dependent proteins are known to be factors.13,14,19 Fortunately, studies show that vitamin K supplementation can significantly increase the amount of activated Gla-proteins in tissues—without over-activating the clotting proteins.18

Vitamin K And Atherosclerosis

As we age, calcium that belongs in our bones begins to make its appearance in other unwanted areas, including inside the linings of major arteries.20 Over time, normal smooth muscle cells in artery walls transform into bone-like cells through the deposition of calcium, essentially turning sections of artery into bony tissue that is not resilient and flexible, and does not have the ability to effectively regulate blood flow.19,21 This process lends literal reality to the term “hardening of the arteries,” which we now know as late-stage atherosclerosis.

Nature has provided a powerful inhibitor of arterial calcification in the form of matrix Gla protein, one of the 16 Gla-proteins activated by vitamin K. This specific Gla-protein is produced in arterial walls, but is only activated when sufficient vitamin K is present.3,14,15,19,22-24 In the absence of sufficient vitamin K, arterial calcification is able to continue unopposed, leading to advanced atherosclerosis and its deadly consequences, heart attacks and strokes.14,16 Indeed, in older men and women who had the highest levels of inactive matrix Gla protein (indicating low vitamin K levels), there was a nearly 3-fold increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those with the lowest levels.23

Researchers have known for nearly 20 years that insufficient vitamin K intake in the diet is related to atherosclerosis in the aorta, the body’s largest blood vessel.16 Since that time, a host of basic science and laboratory studies have indicated that higher vitamin K intake is essential for preventing atherosclerosis in major vessels of all kinds. Animal studies even show that vitamin K can “rescue” calcified arteries that occur as a result of the overuse of drugs that inhibit vitamin K, such as certain blood thinners.25,26

Another way matrix Gla proteins help protect against atherosclerosis is by inhibiting the production of inflammatory signaling molecules (cytokines), which contribute to plaque formation and calcification.27 People with the highest dietary intake of vitamin K have significantly lower levels of those inflammatory markers, and also of substances involved in appetite generation and insulin resistance, both of which are important in preventing atherosclerosis.28 (Some of these effects may be related to increased levels of another vitamin K-dependent Gla-protein that suppresses inflammation and promotes glucose tolerance.) 29

Human Studies On Vitamin K

sep2014_tslbovk_03  Human studies on dietary vitamin K intake have been somewhat inconsistent, probably because of confusion about which form of the vitamin is most iVit K 2mportant.30

Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is the main dietary form of the vitamin, but vitamin K2 (menaquinone) has a stronger relationship to arterial calcification.15

In one study, people with the highest intake of vitamin K2 were 57% less likely to die of coronary heart disease compared with those with the lowest intake.3 In another study, women with the highest intake of vitamin K2 were found to be at a 20% lower risk for coronary artery calcification compared with women with the lowest intake levels, while the same study found that vitamin K1 had no significant impact.30

Vitamin K supplementation studies suggest that both forms of the vitamin contribute to protection from arterial calcification in atherosclerosis, with a slight edge for vitamin K2. For example, when healthy men and postmenopausal women supplemented with 500 micrograms of vitamin K1 per day, they experienced a modest 6% reduction in the progression of arterial calcification, but only in subjects with the most advanced disease at baseline.22 And a study using vitamin K1 in combination with vitamin D and minerals demonstrated that the combined supplement could slow the loss of arterial suppleness and promote elasticity.14

Similarly, supplementation with both 180 and 360 micrograms of vitamin K2 significantly reduced the amounts of inactivated matrix Gla protein, thereby lowering the risk of atherosclerosis with calcification; placebo recipients in that study showed no effect.31 In another study, a group of kidney disease patients on hemodialysis (who have a very high risk for advanced atherosclerosis with calcification) took either 135 or 360 micrograms of vitamin K2. Supplementation dramatically decreased the amount of inactivated matrix Gla protein by 77% at the lower dose, and 93% at the higher dose.32

Intriguingly, it is now apparent that women with atherosclerosis are more likely to have lower bone mass than women without atherosclerosis. They’re also more likely to have lower circulating vitamin K levels, highlighting the age-related trade-off between calcium in bones (which is desirable) and calcium in arterial walls (which is undesirable).20

Vitamin K And Osteoporosis

Sufficient vitamin K is also required in order to activate the Gla-protein osteocalcin, which binds tightly to bone minerals to create strong bones.33 With inadequate vitamin K, bones can’t hold on to vital calcium, which leads to osteoporosis.34 To make matters worse, the calcium has to go somewhere, so it enters the bloodstream, where it contributes to stiffening arteries.33

Fortunately, supplementation with vitamin K is an effective means of protecting your bones from osteoporosis.

A study of healthy postmenopausal women between 50 and 60 years old demonstrated that three years of supplementation with 1 mg/day of vitamin K1, plus 8 micrograms (320 IU)/day of vitamin D together with minerals, reduced the loss of bone in the hip and spine compared both to placebo recipients and to those supplemented with vitamin D and minerals alone.35

In another study, postmenopausal women with pre-existing osteoporosis took 1,500 mg of calcium carbonate and 45 mg of vitamin K2 or placebo each day for 48 weeks. Compared to baseline values, the women experienced an increase in spinal bone mineral density and a 55.9% reduction in inactive osteocalcin levels, while a 9.3% reduction occurred in the group taking only the calcium supplement.36 The same dose of K2 was later shown to maintain hip bone strength and improve the overall geometry of the femoral neck over a three-year period, while placebo recipients lost hip bone strength during that time.37

Even lower doses of 180 micrograms/day of vitamin K2 (especially in the form of longer-lasting MK-7, which is derived from natto or fermented soybeans), when given for three years, increased the amount of activated osteocalcin and produced significant improvements in bone mineral content and density in the lower spine and femoral neck, while also increasing bone strength and preventing loss of height in spinal vertebrae.38

Vitamin K2 has recently been recognized by the European Food Safety Authority as having an important role in maintaining normal bone health.38 When added to alendronate, a common anti-osteoporosis drug, vitamin K2 significantly increased bone mineral density in the femoral neck compared with alendronate alone.39

Vitamin K And Diabetes

Type II diabetics have an increased risk of bone fracture. This is likely due in part to the incomplete activation of the Gla-protein osteocalcin (caused by lack of vitamin K), and the decrease of calcium being deposited in bone that occurs as a result.40 Conversely, people with the highest vitamin K1 intakes have reductions in inflammatory markers related to diabetes.28

Vitamin K has also been found to have a direct impact on the diabetic state itself. In a group of healthy volunteers between 26 and 81 years old, higher dietary vitamin K1 intake was associated with greater insulin sensitivity and lower post-meal glucose levels.41 And in a study of older adults at high risk for cardiovascular disease, the risk of developing type II diabetes was reduced by 17% per 100 micrograms of K1 intake per day.6

Another study demonstrated that both vitamins K1 and K2 reduced the risk of developing diabetes. However, the stronger and more significant association occurred with K2, which reduced the risk of type II diabetes by 7% for each 10-microgram increase in intake.5

In addition to reducing the risk of diabetes, vitamin K has been shown to reduce the effects of diabetes as well.

Supplementation studies in animals show that diabetic rats, like diabetic humans, develop bone mineral loss. However, when diabetic rats were supplemented with vitamin K2, not only was osteopenia prevented, hyperglycemia was prevented as well.42

Human supplementation studies demonstrate that both K1 and K2 are effective in combating the effects of diabetes. In older, non diabetic men, three years of supplementation with 500 micrograms/day of vitamin K1 produced a significant reduction in insulin resistance compared with controls.43 And in a study of healthy young men, just four weeks of supplementation with 30 mg of K2 three times daily improved insulin sensitivity.44 This may have occurred as a result of an increase in the vitamin K-dependent Gla-protein osteocalcin, which has been shown in animal studies to increase insulin secretion and sensitivity.45

Vit K

Vitamin K And Cancer

Studies of vitamin K intake reveal potent preventive properties against several types of cancer, including prostate, colon, and liver cancers.46

When prostate cancer cells in culture are treated with vitamin K2, both those sensitive to male hormones (androgens) and those resistant to male hormones are unable to reproduce, and eventually die.47 Vitamin K2 has been associated with a 63% lower risk of advanced prostate cancer in men with the highest intake of the nutrient.7 Similarly, a higher ratio of vitamin K-activated osteocalcin versus inactive osteocalcin correlates closely with reduced prostate cancer risk, demonstrating the molecular connection.48

In human colon cancer cells, vitamin K2 has been shown to induce cancer cell death by several different mechanisms and to suppress the growth of colon tumors implanted into mice.49,50

Supplementation studies also reveal vitamin K’s powerful effect on the most common kind of liver cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma. This cancer is almost always associated with alcoholism or hepatitis B or C infection.51 Although surgical or radiation treatment can destroy the primary tumor, recurrence is common and typically determines the long-term prognosis.52,53 Several human studies show that vitamin K2 supplementation can dramatically reduce the recurrence rate in hepatocellular carcinoma and may impact the survival rate as well.52,53

As with most nutrients, vitamin K is not the single answer to cancer prevention, but it shows tremendous promise, which highlights the importance of maintaining adequate levels through boosting your intake. A large European study showed that cancer death was 28% less likely overall in those with the highest versus lowest intakes of vitamin K2.54

Impact Of Vitamin K2 Supplement On Liver Cancer Patients53
Recurrence Rate, % Survival Rate, %
12 mo 24 mo 36 mo 12 mo 24 mo 36 mo
Vitamin K2 45 mg/day 12.5 39.0 64.3 100 96.6 87.0
Controls 55.2 83.2 91.6 96.4 80.9 64.0

 

Read full article at: Life Extension Magazine

Beyond Angkor: How lasers revealed a lost city

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Deep in the Cambodian jungle lie the remains of a vast medieval city, which was hidden for centuries. New archaeological techniques are now revealing its secrets – including an elaborate network of temples and boulevards, and sophisticated engineering.

In April 1858 a young French explorer, Henri Mouhot, sailed from London to south-east Asia. For the next three years he travelled widely, discovering exotic jungle insects that still bear his name.

Today he would be all but forgotten were it not for his journal, published in 1863, two years after he died of fever in Laos, aged just 35.

Mouhot’s account captured the public imagination, but not because of the beetles and spiders he found.

Readers were gripped by his vivid descriptions of vast temples consumed by the jungle: Mouhot introduced the world to the lost medieval city of Angkor in Cambodia and its romantic, awe-inspiring splendour.

“One of these temples, a rival to that of Solomon, and erected by some ancient Michelangelo, might take an honourable place beside our most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome,” he wrote.

 

His descriptions firmly established in popular culture the beguiling fantasy of swashbuckling explorers finding forgotten temples.

Today Cambodia is famous for these buildings. The largest, Angkor Wat, constructed around 1150, remains the biggest religious complex on Earth, covering an area four times larger than Vatican City.

It attracts two million tourists a year and takes pride of place on Cambodia’s flag.

But back in the 1860s Angkor Wat was virtually unheard of beyond local monks and villagers. The notion that this great temple was once surrounded by a city of nearly a million people was entirely unknown.

It took over a century of gruelling archaeological fieldwork to fill in the map. The lost city of Angkor slowly began to reappear, street by street. But even then significant blanks remained.

Then, last year, archaeologists announced a series of new discoveries – about Angkor, and an even older city hidden deep in the jungle beyond.

An international team, led by the University of Sydney’s Dr Damian Evans, had mapped 370 sq km around Angkor in unprecedented detail – no mean feat given the density of the jungle and the prevalence of landmines from Cambodia’s civil war. Yet the entire survey took less than two weeks.

Their secret?

Lidar – a sophisticated remote sensing technology that is revolutionising archaeology, especially in the tropics.

Mounted on a helicopter criss-crossing the countryside, the team’s lidar device fired a million laser beams every four seconds through the jungle canopy, recording minute variations in ground surface topography.

The findings were staggering.

Lidar technology has revealed the original city of Angkor - red lines indicate modern features including roads and canals

Lidar technology has revealed the original city of Angkor – red lines indicate modern features including roads and canals

The archaeologists found undocumented cityscapes etched on to the forest floor, with temples, highways and elaborate waterways spreading across the landscape.

“You have this kind of sudden eureka moment where you bring the data up on screen the first time and there it is – this ancient city very clearly in front of you,” says Dr Evans.

These new discoveries have profoundly transformed our understanding of Angkor, the greatest medieval city on Earth.

Phra Sav Ling Povn, palace of the leprous king, near Angkor Wat, circa 1930

Phra Sav Ling Povn, palace of the leprous king, near Angkor Wat, circa 1930

At its peak, in the late 12th Century, Angkor was a bustling metropolis covering 1,000 sq km. (It would be another 700 years before London reached a similar size.)

Angkor was once the capital of the mighty Khmer empire which, ruled by warrior kings, dominated the region for centuries – covering all of present-day Cambodia and much of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. But its origins and birthplace have long been shrouded in mystery.

A few meagre inscriptions suggested the empire was founded in the early 9th Century by a great king, Jayavarman II, and that his original capital, Mahendraparvata, was somewhere in the Kulen hills, a forested plateau north-east of the site on which Angkor would later be built.

But no-one knew for sure – until the lidar team arrived.

The lidar survey of the hills revealed ghostly outlines on the forest floor of unknown temples and an elaborate and utterly unexpected grid of ceremonial boulevards, dykes and man-made ponds – a lost city, found.

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Most striking of all was evidence of large-scale hydraulic engineering, the defining signature of the Khmer empire.

By the time the royal capital moved south to Angkor around the end of the 9th Century, Khmer engineers were storing and distributing vast quantities of precious seasonal monsoon water using a complex network of huge canals and reservoirs.

Harnessing the monsoon provided food security – and made the ruling elite fantastically rich. For the next three centuries they channelled their wealth into the greatest concentration of temples on Earth.

One temple, Preah Khan, constructed in 1191, contained 60t of gold. Its value today would be about £2bn ($3.3bn).

But despite the city’s immense wealth, trouble was brewing.

At the same time that Angkor’s temple-building programme peaked, its vital hydraulic network was falling into disrepair – at the worst possible moment.

The end of the medieval period saw dramatic shifts in climate across south-east Asia.

Tree ring samples record sudden fluctuations between extreme dry and wet conditions – and the lidar map reveals catastrophic flood damage to the city’s vital water network.

With this lifeline in tatters, Angkor entered a spiral of decline from which it never recovered.

In the 15th Century, the Khmer kings abandoned their city and moved to the coast. They built a new city, Phnom Penh, the present-day capital of Cambodia.

Life in Angkor slowly ebbed away.

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When Mouhot arrived he found only the great stone temples, many of them in a perilous state of disrepair.

Nearly everything else – from common houses to royal palaces, all of which were constructed of wood – had rotted away.

The vast metropolis that once surrounded the temples had been all but devoured by the jungle.

 

Source: BBC

Image credit: David Lazar

Cassini Watches Mysterious Feature Evolve in Titan Sea

pia18430-640

September 29, 2014

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is monitoring the evolution of a mysterious feature in a large hydrocarbon sea on Saturn’s moon Titan. The feature covers an area of about 100 square miles (260 square kilometers) in Ligeia Mare, one of the largest seas on Titan. It has now been observed twice by Cassini’s radar experiment, but its appearance changed between the two apparitions.

Images of the feature taken during the Cassini flybys are available at:

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18430

The mysterious feature, which appears bright in radar images against the dark background of the liquid sea, was first spotted during Cassini’s July 2013 Titan flyby. Previous observations showed no sign of bright features in that part of Ligeia Mare. Scientists were perplexed to find the feature had vanished when they looked again, over several months, with low-resolution radar and Cassini’s infrared imager. This led some team members to suggest it might have been a transient feature. But during Cassini’s flyby on August 21, 2014, the feature was again visible, and its appearance had changed during the 11 months since it was last seen.

Scientists on the radar team are confident that the feature is not an artifact, or flaw, in their data, which would have been one of the simplest explanations. They also do not see evidence that its appearance results from evaporation in the sea, as the overall shoreline of Ligeia Mare has not changed noticeably.

The team has suggested the feature could be surface waves, rising bubbles, floating solids, solids suspended just below the surface, or perhaps something more exotic.

The researchers suspect that the appearance of this feature could be related to changing seasons on Titan, as summer draws near in the moon’s northern hemisphere. Monitoring such changes is a major goal for Cassini’s current extended mission.

“Science loves a mystery, and with this enigmatic feature, we have a thrilling example of ongoing change on Titan,” said Stephen Wall, the deputy team lead of Cassini’s radar team, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to continue watching the changes unfold and gain insights about what’s going on in that alien sea.”

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and ASI, the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The radar instrument was built by JPL and the Italian Space Agency, working with team members from the United States and several European countries.

For more information about Cassini and its mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/cassini

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

Source: NASA news