As I’m getting ready to write the paper from this project I’ve been looking at the literature. Some of you may be familiar with the animal world. What is one thing we always see in rodents and with the higher primates? It’s touching. You can’t have 2 animals together for very long without them touching each other. There is just something inherent in then, instinctual, that makes them want to touch and be touched. We know from rodent studies that when a mouse or a hamster is touched, oxytosin, a neurohormome is released. That has a feel-good type of action in the brain but it also induces touch, makes them want to touch another. We also know that is you isolate monkeys and you deprive them of touch, they suffer. They suffer tremendously, not just physically but also emotionally.
I think that we may be similar to the animals in our need to touch and be touched. There is a physician at Duke University who has done 3 decades of work looking at touch in mice. He has separated mice pups from their mother shortly after birth and then observed changes in gene expression. He has offered them adequate warmth, adequate food, but has deprived them of touch. They have definite changes in gene expression and hormones that are detrimental. He discovered that if he took a paint brush and stroked them with the paint brush that it switched back their gene expression and their hormones. So it is absolutely this tactile stimulation that is responsible for these changes.
Our skin is our largest organ but, as physicians, we often overlook the skin as being useful for therapeutic modalities. For instance, skin diseases like herpes, shingles, psoriasis, dermatitis; when do they flare? When the patient is stressed. It makes sense to me that something that touches the skin can induce changes and have a healing effect on the body.
We know that with aging there are changes in the inflammatory pathways and in immune response that make people more at risk for cardiovascular events or for cancer to occur. We’re hoping to prevent these types of problems, quite possibly, with something like Bio-Touch.
We enrolled 18 postmenopausal women in the first part of the study. We had 9 in the Control group and 9 in the Bio-Touch group and studied blood work and saliva tests in both groups. These are preliminary results. We have, I think, 486 samples still at the lab right now, but I was eager to go ahead and share the results that we have because I think they’re very important.
This is what we were looking at:
Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a substance in the body that helps kill tumor cells. As IL-12 levels go down with age, the potential for tumor growth increases. We know especially that breast cancer patients have low IL-12 levels. The potential for mutations in genes to group together into a mass or tumor and develop blood vessels to feed themselves can flourish in an environment of low IL-12. Also, asthma patients, people with sever allergies, have low IL-12.
Researchers have tried to raise IL-12 levels using high doses of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, but they have not been successful. They’ve also tried giving people synthetic IL-12, especially cancer patients, but it’s very toxic, hard for the patient to tolerate. This is of tremendous importance. Keeping IL-12 levels up is an effect that could quite possibly be preventive or protective over time.
What we discovered was that the Control group had appropriately low IL-12 levels for their age, while the Bio-Touch group had an increase in their IL-12 levels.
Another finding is that something called Myeloperoxidase goes down in the Bio-Touch group; whereas we see the age-related increase in Myeloperoxidase in the Control group. [High levels of Myeloperoxidase indicate risk of cardiovascular disease; also a good biomarker for autoimmune, inflammatory diseases and cancer.]
Also we know that a high nighttime Cortisol [the primary stress hormone] is associated with problems with glucose-insulin balance, with cancer risk, and with cardiovascular disease risk. We saw that Bio-Touch tended to lower high nighttime Cortisol to either close-to-normal or normal; whereas we saw no change in the Control group.
My colleague Dr. Kurdowska took white blood cells called Neutrophils from both groups. She incubated and then stimulated them, creating a sensation that might occur in the face of a virus or bacteria being introduced into the body. She measured how quickly the blood cells acted to respond to the bacteria or the virus and saw an enhanced neutrophil function in the Bio-Touch group, as compared to our Control group. So people might be less prone to infections or tend to have fewer infections with this type of enhanced neutrophil function.
We were also looked at some Clotting Factors and saw no changes in either group.
Concerning Hormone results, we not only looked at Cortisol, but we also looked at testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. However, our limitation in analyzing that data is financial. Subjects may be called upon later to complete this part of the study as funding become available. Right now we’re now analyzing the data on just 4 subjects to see which direction we want to pursue.
Finally, concerning the Genetic data, I’m hopeful we’ll have that analyzed in the next 30 days, as I found a software program that will allow me to mine the data with some expertise. (We’re hoping to see a notable gene receptor response to Bio-Touch.)
View Dr. Stephenson’s PowerPoint Presentation HERE