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Misinformed consent: Introducing Hepatitis C drugs in Georgia

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Trust us, we... er, um... think it'll be good for you.
On May 6 New Eastern Outlook published an article about the new Hepatitis C drugs being introduced to Georgia. It stated that this is another US-imposed programme in which patients will be given experimental drugs which they cannot give their informed consent to taking because not enough information is known about them to give that consent. Georgians will be used as guinea pigs, in other words.

These suggestions produced howls of protest from people working in Georgia's healthcare sector. They insisted that the drugs were safe and the point of the programme was to see if Hep C could be totally eradicated in one go, using Georgians as a sample population. Even Georgia's Health Minister, Dr. David Sergeenko, weighed in by announcing that the new drugs have been approved and "Georgia is not a testing country".

The trouble is, Georgia's Health Minister and the others involved with this programme are not telling the truth. If they don't know this, they should resign. If they do, they should be in jail.

Arrow Down

FDA goes on the attack against essential oils

In September of 2014, the FDA began a coordinated attack on companies that market essential oils. The top brands are dōTERRA and Young Living. Both companies offer essential oils to help manage a variety of symptoms ranging from headaches to anxiety to hyperactivity. Many essential oil users claim to have eliminated the need for over-the-counter medications due to using specific combinations of essential oils to target common maladies.

Back in 2014, Young Living received a warning that you can see on the FDA's website. It seems they had conducted a thorough search of the Internet, including websites, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and cited instances that Young Living essential oils were mentioned in conjunction with a medical diagnosis. For example, "Eucalyptus Blue essential oil has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties." And, "Since I have become an avid Young Living essential oil user I have learned all about the anti-microbial properties of so many oils, including ANTI-VIRAL constituents in many of our essential oils."

Comment: It's highly interesting that the FDA has been caught basically rubber-stamping approvals for pharma drugs that have later been found to cause severe side effects and deaths, yet they are now targeting the manufacturers of plant oils that have been in use for centuries. It's not difficult to see the hand of BigPharma in directing this.

FDA uses mafia tactics for the benefit of Big Pharma


Health

Antidepressants combined with NSAIDs increases risk of intracranial hemorrhage

A new study has found that taking antidepressants with a common class of painkillers, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), increases the user's risk of intracranial haemorrhage (bleeding inside the skull) soon after starting treatment.

Commonly used NSAIDs include ibuprofen and aspirin.

Based on the ongoing concern of a drug interaction, a team of researchers based in Korea compared the risk of bleeding among patients treated with antidepressants with and without NSAIDs.

Using the Korean nationwide health insurance database, their study involved over four million people who were prescribed antidepressants for the first time between 2009 and 2013.

The researchers analyzed the timing of both NSAID prescriptions and hospital records to identify any patients with a first admission of intracranial haemorrhage within 30 days of a new prescription. Factors that could affect the results, such as age, sex, and use of other medications, were taken into account.

Compared with the use of antidepressants alone, the findings showed that a combined use of antidepressants and NSAIDs was linked to a significantly increased risk of bleeding.

Comment: NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen are associated with stomach bleeding and also cause the body to retain fluids, which may lead to kidney damage. They also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Ibuprofen has been linked to dozens of adverse health effects, including anemia, DNA damage, hearing loss, hypertension, and miscarriage.


Bacon n Eggs

Fat is back: The Real Meal Revolution's high-fat diet

© Alamy
'The Real Meal Revolution explains how we can load up on butter, cheese and cream, while staying healthy and – miraculously – losing weight'
Fat, if the past year's headlines are anything to go by, is no longer the enemy. It's back on the menu (the trend for butter-laden Bulletproof coffee, anyone?), back in our kitchens (low-carb "fat bomb" recipes abound), and even back in the good books of US government dietary advisers.

Their report, released in May, declared eating cholesterol-rich foods has very little bearing on the amount of cholesterol in your body. If the US government adopts its advice, it could mean a reversal of the dietary information given to Americans since the 1960s. Big news if you've been itching for a fry-up.

Now a new book by three South Africans, the scientist and ultra-marathon-runner Professor Tim Noakes, the nutritionist Sally-Ann Creed, and the chef Jonno Proudfoot, is about to be published in the UK. It explains how we can load up on butter, cheese and cream, while staying healthy and - miraculously - losing weight.

Comment: It's good that LCHF diets are getting more and more well known. But all the mainstream versions still seem to have something wrong with them: either too many carbs, too many processed foods and additives, or the inclusion of dairy, like this one. At the very least, people trying a diet like this for the first time should stop eating dairy for several weeks before reintroducing it, to see if they experience any negative reactions.


Health

The hidden health dangers of kale have been revealed

© Wikimedia Commons
Curly kale growing in the garden.
People who love kale, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower often eat these vegetables on a regular basis. But over-indulgence may be dangerous. It may sound strange, but healthy-eating food addicts may be doing themselves harm.

A small study has found that if consumed in prodigious amounts, kale, and other members of the cruciferous family of vegetables to which it belongs, can be dangerous, and it doesn't matter if the kale is organic or not.

Biologist Ernie Hubbard is an alternative medicine researcher, living in Marin County, California. In 2010, he had the opportunity to conduct a study for a Cleveland-based company on a detoxification formula, called ZNatural. Hubbard is a molecular biologist with a background in biochemistry and genetics.

With his background, he was able to develop some tests not usually found in traditional laboratories, including "bio-impedence" analyzers that measure cellular energy and "chelating" formulas like ZNatural. While chelating formulas are controversial, ZNatural proved to be safe.

But it was during the testing phase of the product that Hubbard discovered something quite by accident, and that is the real story. Twenty volunteers were involved in the study conducted by Hubbard, and they happily peed into cups before, during and after the consumption of the ZNatural product.

Hubbard noticed an odd pattern in the testing of the urine samples. Several people had high levels of thallium and cesium in their urine, two heavy metals. "At first, I just thought 'Oh, another one of those.' By the third or fourth, I started scratching my head," Hubbard said.

Ambulance

Doctors searching for clues to child paralysis cases now suspect a different enterovirus

A mysterious outbreak of child paralysis cases previously linked to enterovirus D68 may instead have another cause, doctors at the University of Virginia Children's Hospital are cautioning after determining that a stricken child appeared to be suffering from a different virus.

A 6-year-old girl arrived at UVA Children's Hospital in October after her parents noticed that her right shoulder was drooping and that she was having difficulty using her right hand. She had previously exhibited cold-like symptoms, including a cough, a slight fever and headache. The child's paralysis symptoms were similar to those seen in more than 100 other children during an outbreak of acute flaccid myelitis that began in the summer of 2014.

While enterovirus D68 has been the primary suspect in the paralysis cases, the girl's test results identified a different potential culprit, enterovirus C105. "Surprisingly, it came back with this enterovirus C105, which I'll admit, when it came back, I'd never heard of," said UVA's Ronald B. Turner, MD. "It was just described in the last eight or nine years and it hasn't been seen much around the world. Now, I think you have to be careful with that, because we don't look for it. And you don't see what you don't look for. So it's possible it's out there and it's not being detected because nobody's sending specimens to be tested in this way."

Comment: One thing not being mentioned is the link between the epidemic of child paralysis and vaccinations. It has been reported that all of the afflicted children have been vaccinated with the MMR vaccines, influenza vaccines, and polio vaccines, yet the illness has not been occurring in un-vaccinated children. Paralysis is associated with polio infection and Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) is a class of paralyses that is indistinguishable from the paralysis occurring in thousands within the vaccinated population.


Magnify

Some psychiatric drugs seem to affect moral decisions

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A new study in which researchers observed people making moral decisions while taking prescription drugs sheds light on how the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine are deeply connected to a variety of human behaviors.

When healthy people were given citalopram, a serotonin-boosting antidepressant, they became significantly harm aversive. In fact, they were willing to pay twice as much to prevent harm to themselves or others compared to people given placebo drugs.

In contrast, when healthy people were given levodopa, a dopamine-boosting Parkinson's drug, they became more selfish, virtually eliminating altruistic behaviors.

The findings provide insight into the neural basis of clinical disorders characterized by a lack of concern for others, such as psychopathy.

Comment: Additional examples of how 'commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs influence moral decisions in healthy people'


Health

Lost knowledge — 10th century cure for MRSA "Superbug"

© The British Library Board (Royal 12 D xvii)
If the "leech" doctors circa 1000AD were able to treat superbugs that modern doctors struggle with, I wonder what other knowledge has come and gone and had to be rediscovered?

How many lives have been lost because information was not there when they needed it?

Judith Curry posted a link this week to a story about a medieval recipe for an "eyesalve" that rather surprised researchers when it worked against the ghastly MRSA superbug, which is resistant to almost all modern antibiotics.

The book is one of the earliest known medical texts, called Bald's Leechbook. The recipe called for garlic, onion, wine, and bile from a cow. It was very specific — the mix had to be brewed in brass and then left for nine days. The researchers at the University of Nottingham followed it closely, then it was tested in the lab. Will it work on people, and what are the side-effects?

I wonder if the nine day wait is an incubation period for microbial growth? Some of our best antibiotics come from fungus like penicillin and the cephalosporins - which has had five hundred million years or so to figure out uber-tricky ways to kill competitors and pests.

Perhaps the stew gets the conditions right for one particular type of mould to grow? Though the story doesn't mention that (and I would expect the researchers would have looked for it). They suggest it may be a slow chemical reaction.

Pills

Truth emerging: More psychiatrists question low serotonin theory of depression

The common belief that depression is linked to low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin is again being questioned by top psychiatrists.

Professor David Healy of the Hergest Unit, Bangor, U.K., writes in the British Medical Journal that the idea that serotonin levels might be lower in people with depression was rejected in the 1960s. But when serotonin reuptake inhibiting (SSRI) drugs were developed in the 1980s, the manufacturers searched for a problem the drugs could solve.

So drug companies attempted marketing SSRIs for depression, Healy writes, even though they were less effective than older tricyclic antidepressants, and "sold the idea that depression was the deeper illness behind the superficial manifestations of anxiety."

"The approach was an astonishing success, central to which was the notion that SSRIs restored serotonin levels to normal, a notion that later transmuted into the idea that they remedied a chemical imbalance," he writes.

But "[N]o one knew if SSRIs raised or lowered serotonin levels; they still don't know," he states. "There was no evidence that treatment corrected anything."

Comment: Once again, we see the hand that BigPharma has played in co-opting science, much to the detriment of millions of people who have likely worsened their overall health due to the predatory nature of this criminal industry.


Ambulance

Pollution blamed for nearly 10,000 deaths in London in 2010

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© AFP /Ben Fathers
Air pollution obscures the view of the London eye in central London on April 9, 2015
Air pollution was the cause of the early deaths of almost 9,500 people in Britain's capital city in 2010, according to research by King's College London.

The study showed for the first time the impact of nitrogen dioxide from exhaust fumes and fossil fuel burning, and showed the problem was far greater than previously thought.

According to the study for Transport for London and the Greater London Authority, in 2010 there were 3,537 premature deaths in London due to particulate matter, and 5,879 due to nitrogen dioxide.

The knock-on cost to the economy was estimated at £3.7 billion.

"In one of the busiest cities in the world people are at greater risk of being killed by the air they breathe than in a car accident," said Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation.

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