Health & Wellness


Apple cider vinegar remedies

Like many natural beauty, household and wellness fixes, apple cider vinegar has a long history and dedicated groupies who stand by its powers to help with everything from rust and flies to weight loss and warts.

And also like other natural remedies, the science on some of those claims is mixed, purely anecdotal or non-existent. A first-time user might want to consider all of that before embarking on an apple cider vinegar journey, beyond salad dressings and other food preparations.

"Some studies have shown a possible blood sugar lowering benefit due to a mild effect on gastric emptying, but it's certainly no diabetes or blood-sugar cure," said Jaclyn London, a registered dietitian at Good Housekeeping Institute, referring to some common claims. "It's certainly no weight-loss cure."

Comment: Additional articles on the numerous benefits of ACV:


Researchers discover diabetes medication could release sugar in the bloodstream

© Desconocido
Nearly all medications have some sort of side effects, some more unpleasant and dangerous than others. They may occur because a treatment affects the body in ways that weren't previously anticipated, or simply because not every patient is identical.

This means there is a continual need for us to evaluate and study the medications we use. We discovered previously unidentified effects associated with a commonly prescribed diabetic medication. We found evidence that, in some cases, the treatment could actually promote the release of sugars into the blood - the opposite of what it's designed to do. While our results, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, are very preliminary, they do point to a need for further investigations into how these medications work.

Diabetes affects around 347m people worldwide, a number that is growing in part due to rising levels of obesity. Type 2 or "adult-onset" diabetes occurs when cells in the body fail to respond to insulin, the chemical signal that regulates sugar and fat metabolism. This results in high sugar levels in the blood, which if untreated can damage blood vessels and nerves, leading to heart disease, strokes, kidney damage and loss of sight.

Comment: There have been studies linking GLP-1 drugs with pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer. As with any drug, there are often side effects that the pharmaceutical industry deftly conceals. Fortunately, there are less dangerous ways to help manage diabetes:

Arrow Up

First official GMO free region in New Zealand: Hastings District


Rules in the newly released Hastings District Plan prohibit both releases and field trials of GM crops and animals.
Hastings District Council has secured a major economic opportunity for local food producers by making the district the first official GMO Free food producing zone in New Zealand.

"This is a great day for Hawke's Bay," said John Bostock from Pure Hawke's Bay.
"Today, Hastings joins a growing number of innovative, high-value food producing regions around the world that have protected their GM Free status to meet consumer demand. We congratulate the Council for its leadership in securing that position for Hastings."

Comment: Monsanto's worst fear may be coming true! The pressure to remove GMO's is growing:

Black Magic

Mad Science: Move over test-tube burger, there's a lab-grown chicken breast in the works

The research is still in its infancy, but an Israeli scientist hopes to bring this animal-free meat to the masses.

Amit Gefen is midway through an experiment that could end in a recipe for the world's first lab-grown chicken breast. If things go according to plan, no chickens will be harmed in the process.

Comment: 'test-tube meat could also be associated with genetically engineered or "GMO" foods, and prompt questions about long-term safety' - Geez ya think?

What has the world come to?? Scientists are creating Genetically-Modified "Glow" chickens and 'schmeat' thinking this mad science is going to save the planet?!


Russian govt completely bans GMOs in food production

© Natural Society
Corn food processing plant.
Russia has just announced a game-changing move in the fight against Monsanto's GMOs, completely banning the use of genetically modified ingredients in any and all food production.

In other words, Russia just blazed way past the issue of GMO labeling and shut down the use of any and all GMOs that would have otherwise entered the food supply through the creation of packaged foods (and the cultivation of GMO crops).
"As far as genetically-modified organisms are concerned, we have made decision not to use any GMO in food productions," Deputy PM Arkady Dvorkovich revealed during an international conference on biotechnology.
This is a bold move by the Russian government, and it sits in unison with the newly-ignited global debate on GMOs and the presence of Monsanto in the food supply. It also follows the highly-debated ruling by the World Health Organization that Monsanto's glyphosate-based Roundup is a 'probable carcinogen.'

But I also want to put it into perspective for you. If this announcement were to be made in the United States, for example, it would mean a total transformation of the food manufacturing industry. But in Russia, the integration of GMOs is not close to the same level as in the U.S.

Eye 1

Sleep paralysis: A waking nightmare where sufferers can't move or speak

Sleep paralysis, an awake nightmare.
When most people hear the word 'nightmare' they think of a scary dream that may involve a person's teeth falling out, public humiliation, or being hunted by a scary monster. In these sorts of nightmares it is easy to know when the dream ends, as we are jarred awake and find ourselves surprisingly safe and secure in the comfortable confines of our bedroom. The original nightmare, however, was a different beast entirely.

This older conception was much more frightening and, in certain cultures, even believed to be life-threatening. Nightmares in this more archaic sense consisted of being:

(1) paralyzed except for your eyes
(2) oppressed (or feeling a weight on your chest)
(3) mute (i.e. unable to call out for help)

These three experiences all took place while you were clearly awake and, not surprisingly, also led to strong feelings of terror. Making matters worse (or at least scarier), nightmares usually had visual and tactile elements just as vivid as anything experienced in daily life.

Different times and cultures made sense of the nightmare in their own ways, and wove these experiences into many rich folklore traditions. Some people believed that the nightmare was an actual nocturnal assault (by demons, ghosts, vampires, witches or extraterrestrials). This resulted in attempts to prevent further attacks, like placing crosses in the bedroom, or even go on the offensive, i.e. sleeping with knives or other weapons.

Comment: Anyone who has had this experience first hand will tell you it is bizarre and disturbing. See also:
What makes sleep paralysis scary
Sleep paralysis linked to genetics, anxiety & stressful events
Brain Chemicals That Cause Sleep Paralysis Discovered


Psychiatry & organized crime

The science is settled.

Have you heard this proclamation before about a controversial medical topic?

I have, and it makes me smile. Or maybe smirk. It feels almost like my toddler frothing up a tantrum and yelling with a furrowed brow, when she knows, deep down, that she's backed herself into a corner.

We've heard it about the benign nature of GMOs & glyphosate, about vaccine safety and efficacy, about the danger of homebirth or the necessity of ultrasound. It is dangerous to be certain, let alone so aggressively and dismissively certain about science, which, by definition is a process rather than a destination.

Comment: The "institutional corruption" of Psychiatry: A discussion with the authors of Psychiatry Under the Influence
American psychiatry, as an institution, is not going to reform itself. The guild influence is too strong; so too the cognitive dissonance...

The field, as a whole, is too invested in a narrative born of guild interests, and it has shown little sign of the introspection, as an institution, that could lead it to seriously reform its ways...

We have a society that thinks there is a pill for every ill and a system that incentivizes the prescribing of pills. So there needs to be a paradigm shift, as well as public policy initiatives, that will foster an appreciation of the socio-political grounding of emotional distress.


Gigantic overnight increase in the price of the drug Daraprim

© Paul Taggart/Bloomberg, via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli is the founder and chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which raised the price of the drug Daraprim to $750 a tablet from $13.50.
Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.

The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"What is it that they are doing differently that has led to this dramatic increase?" said Dr. Judith Aberg, the chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She said the price increase could force hospitals to use "alternative therapies that may not have the same efficacy."


Hedge fund buys rights to anti-parasite drug, hikes price by 5000%

This is enough to make anyone sick. Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.
The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The hedge fund manager responsible for the price increase is named Martin Shkreli. Shkreli has a reputation as some type of wunderkind, having started his own hedge fund company while still in his 20's. Shkreli has already drawn attention for urging the FDA not to approve drugs made by companies whose stocks Shkreli was shorting. In July 20012, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington called for an investigation of Shkreli and others whom it charged were manipulating the prices of drug company stocks through blog posts intended to spread negative and purportedly misleading information about certain drugs. According to CREW, Mr. Shkreli has acknowledged he has no medical expertise whatsoever. His company stands to increase sales in the magnitude of tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars from the price increase, according to the article.

Comment: These types of transactions are one reason for the exorbitant cost of medication in the U.S, and another example of psychopathy in action. Squeezing people mercilessly to slake their greed is but one of the psychopath's thrills.
U.S. prescription medicine costs are some of the highest in the world U.S. consumers spend more on medication than any other country in the OECD, with prescription medicines sometimes costing as much as double in the United States compared to countries like the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.

US citizens loathe Big Pharma, study finds

Monkey Wrench

How plumbing (not vaccines) eradicated disease

Vaccines get all the glory, but most plumbers will tell you that it was water infrastructure - sewage systems and clean water - that eradicated disease, and they're right.

Disease Before Plumbing

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europeans despised all things Roman, including bathing. There was a widespread belief that getting wet caused illness. This contempt and fear of bathing persisted through the Dark Ages.

Comment: Historical Data Shows Vaccines are Not what Saved Us