Health & Wellness


New Zealand tops social progress study

New Zealanders live in the most socially advanced country in the world, a United States survey says.

Despite having just the 25th highest gross domestic product per capita in the world, New Zealand is a world leader in terms of opportunity, safety, personal freedom and lack of corruption among other qualities, the Social Progress Index says.

The survey of 132 countries by the Social Progress Imperative, a non-profit organisation based in the US, measures three main categories: basic human needs, the foundations of wellbeing and opportunity. Each was divided into four sections.

It puts New Zealand at the top of 132 countries surveyed, ahead of Switzerland, Iceland, the Netherlands and Norway.

New Zealand was rated the best in the world in terms of opportunity, which measures personal rights, personal freedom of choice, access to advanced education, tolerance and inclusion.

ADHD not a "real disease": neuroscientist

ADHD is not a real disease: Neuroscientist
Children are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when they actually have symptoms of a range of different psychological problems, according to a leading US neuroscientist.

Dr Bruce Perry, a senior fellow of the Child Trauma Academy in Houston, Texas, is visiting UK health ministers and said ADHD is not a "real disease" because it relates to a broad range of symptoms.

"It is best thought of as a description. If you look at how you end up with that label, it is remarkable because any one of us at any given time would fit at least a couple of those criteria," he told The Observer.

Children diagnosed with ADHD display signs of ongoing hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness.

Dr Perry said doctors are too quick to prescribe psychostimulants and said there is evidence they don't offer long-term benefits.

The pseudoscience of modern psychiatry - manufacturing madness

© Greenmedinfo
Twenty-six years have passed since Prozac, the antidepressant drug, was introduced to the US market and quickly achieved the label of a "wonder drug." In the decade that followed, other antidepressant drugs including paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), fluvoxamine (Luvox), and citalopram (Celexa) would be released, creating an entire class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Since hitting the shelves, the popularity of SSRIs has skyrocketed. Today, 1 in every 10 Americans reaches for antidepressants daily.[1] This ratio jumps to an incredible 25% among women between the ages of 40 and 59.[2] Approximately 5% of children ages 12 to 19 are also taking antidepressants.[3] Worldwide, mental illness is now the leading cause of disability among children.[4]

Active members and veterans of the US military have become especially dependent on psychiatric meds. Today, about 1 in 6 service members is using antidepressants, sedatives, and other psychiatric drugs in an attempt to cope with post traumatic stress disorder and other afflictions.[5] From 2001-2009 alone, psychiatric drug use in this demographic rose by 76% and in 2010 alone, the Pentagon spent more than $280 million on psychiatric drugs.[6] [7]

Allergies exacerbated by stress: research

Allergy sufferers are more likely to experience flare-ups if they are stressed, research suggests.

Feeling stressed - including by allergy symptoms themselves - can have an impact on how many times people have an attack, it found.

Experts at Ohio State University in the US analysed 179 patients for a period of 12 weeks.

Of this group, 39 per cent had more than one allergy flare-up and were found to be the ones suffering the most stress.

Among those who were stressed, 64 per cent had more than four flare-ups over two 14-day periods.

A number of sufferers reported allergy flare-ups within days of increased daily stress, the study found.
Pocket Knife

New Zealand academic questions circumcision study

A New Zealand academic says the authors of a study suggesting male circumcision has major health benefits have confused cleanliness with godliness.

The study of American data suggested half of uncircumcised men would contract an adverse medical condition caused by their foreskin during their life, and that the benefits of circumcision exceeded the risks by 100 to one.

Professor Brian Morris of the University of Sydney said infant circumcision should be regarded as equivalent to childhood vaccination, and as such it would be unethical not to routinely offer parents circumcision for their baby boy.

But Professor Kevin Pringle, the Professor of Paediatrics and Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Otago in Wellington, says he found the paper extremely worrying.

Prof Pringle says the report quotes a more than 20-fold increase in the risk of penile cancer for uncircumcised men, but the figures didn't agree.

Surgery study changes aspirin advice

Taking aspirin before non-cardiac surgery does most patients more harm than good, says an anaesthetist involved in a 23-country study.
It does not prevent heart attacks and it causes bleeding, Professor Kate Leslie says.

Millions of people in New Zealand and Australia have non-cardiac surgery every year and, until now, about 20 per cent have been advised to take aspirin.

This is a dramatic change and will lead to new medical guidelines, says Prof Leslie, who led the Australian part of the 10,000-patient study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Rare skin infection spreads in New York City; 66 cases reported

© AP/Health Department
At inset, what the infection looks like
The number of New Yorkers suspected of having a rare skin infection that comes from handling raw seafood, causing skin lesions, pain and swelling to the hands and arms and even difficulty moving fingers, has more than doubled, officials said Wednesday.

The department said the number of reported cases has surged to 66, up from 30 last month.

Health officials are warning those who purchase raw fish and seafood at Chinatowns in Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn to wear waterproof gloves when handling those items, and to seek medical care if they discover red bumps on hands or arms.

Ketamine (horse tranquilizer) could cure severe depression

Ketamine could help people with severe depression
Scientists at Oxford University have found that the drug Ketamine can cure severe depression even in people who have stopped responding to other anti-depressants.

Horse tranquilliser Ketamine can cure people who have battled severe depression for 20 years, researchers at Oxford University have found.

Sufferers who had failed to respond to anti-depressants like Prozac reported 'feeling themselves again' after decades of misery, just days after intravenous infusions of the class 2 drug.

And relatives told doctors it was like having the sufferer 'back again.'
Alarm Clock

Gut-Wrenching: New studies reveal the insidious effects of Glyphosate

© Tim McCabe, USDA NRCS
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in one of the most heavily used herbicide in the world: Monsanto's Roundup®. The industry claims that Roundup® is quite safe, but authors of a recent article in the scientific journal Entropy reach a very different conclusion:

"Contrary to the current widely-held misconception that glyphosate is relatively harmless to humans, the available evidence shows that glyphosate may rather be the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies."[i]

This is a bold assertion. Is it possible that we are only now realizing the harmful effects of this herbicide that has been in common use since the 1970s? How does glyphosate harm humans? How did we overlook these problems for decades? Read on.

Eliminating MSG: Mother reverses autism symptoms in daughter

A biochemist located in the San Francisco Bay Area believes that she has drastically improved, if not cured, her daughter's autism through eliminating monosodium glutamate, or MSG, from her diet.

Katherine Reid, Ph.D., says her daughter Brooke began exhibiting symptoms of autism at age two. Brooke's communication capabilities were far below average, and she failed to develop normal human connections. She also suffered from tantrums and digestive complications including constipation.

Dr. Reid's husband, a cellular biologist, became suspicious of his daughter's symptoms and began researching, only to find that Brooke was showing nearly every characteristic of autism. After seeing their pediatrician, who also agreed that something was wrong, the family hired a psychologist to test Brooke's learning abilities. The results were devastating in that they showed that she suffered immensely from severe learning disabilities, ultimately diagnosing her with moderate autism.

Comment: Learn more on how to avoid being secretly poisoned by MSG:

MSG is Where You Least Expect It
Avoiding MSG is Trickier Than You Think
MSG: The Flavor Enhancer That Sickens In Two Ways
Protect Yourself from MSG and Aspartame Excitotoxicity
MSG Hidden in Variety of Foods and Contributing To Illness
MSG Lurks As A Slow Poison In Common Food Items Without Your Knowledge
Hold the MSG: Food Triggers for Epilepsy and Other Neurological Illnesses
MSG is being sprayed right on fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, and vegetables as they grow -- even those used in baby food