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Mon, 08 Feb 2016
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Health & Wellness


Whole stevia leaf more effective than antibiotics in treating Lyme disease, says study

Lyme disease is exceedingly difficult to treat, due to its well-known shape-shifting (pleomorphic) abilities, with conventional antibiotics often failing to produce a long-term cure. Could the commonly used natural plant Stevia provide a safer, and more effective means to combat this increasingly prevalent infection?

A promising new preclinical study has revealed that whole stevia leaf extract possesses exceptional antibiotic activity against the exceedingly difficult to treat pathogen Borrelia Burgdorferi known to cause Lyme disease. The study found,
Stevia whole leaf extract, as an individual agent, was effective against all known morphological forms of B. burgdorferi."
At present, the CDC acknowledges that at least 300,000 are infected with Lyme disease, annually, with the conventional standard of care relying on antibiotics that are not only toxic but increasingly coming under scrutiny for addressing only surface aspects of the infection, often leaving antibiotic-resistance Lyme disease deep within the system to continue to cause harm.

Comment: This research is promising. Hopefully, it will be fully investigated.


Natural approaches for cramps and PMS

Menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can be debilitating for some women and make them feel very uncomfortable at "that time of the month." Our ancestors have utilized a variety of very effective herbal solutions to address every kind of pain associated with monthly cycles.

Restoring your menstrual cycle can be done naturally and effectively with herbs, nutrition and exercise. Here are 15 very effective herbs for menstrual pain.

These are probably the most effective herbs for reducing uterine spasm and cramping. These sister herbs bring relief of pain and muscle spasm in the uterus. Cramp bark and Black haw have been shown safe for use for several days prior to onset on menses in anticipation and prevention of painful cramps.

Comment: Some women report a decrease or complete cessation of menstrual problems and PMS symptoms when dropping gluten from their diets.


Mysterious disease kills 6 children in Nepal; 50 others infected

A team of health workers has reached Itawa village in Kapilbastu district, where six children died of a yet-to-be-identified disease with symptoms similar to that of measles. The District Public Health Office, Kapilbastu dispatched the team to the village Ward Number 7 and 8 of the Somdiha VDC near the Nepal-India border.

The team is treating the infected children of the village. Team leader and officiating chief of the District Public Health Office, Bishnu Jayaswal said they were making home visits in the village and treating the infected children.

They were collecting blood samples simultaneously. He said the infected children had rashes like that of measles all over the body, high fever, and diarrhoea. They have also shown symptoms of malnutrition. The blood samples have been sent to the Central Health Laboratory at Teku, Kathmandu and the disease will be identified once the blood report is available. The unidentified disease has so far claimed the lives of six children in the village. All the victims are below five years. As many as 50 children have been infected, the District Helath Office stated.


Depressed? Check your gut: How bacteria affect mental health

As many of you adopt new behaviors and habits during this year's 21-Day Challenge, there's a fascinating unseen story going on between your brains and bellies I thought it'd be worth talking about. New behaviors and habits create new neural pathways, which are essentially new road maps for how you'll think, feel, and act in the future. Now the integrity of those neural pathways—whether they're firing at full force and with the right materials to do their job—is intimately connected to something I've talked about on the blog before in different ways: our gut microbiome. But as you'll see, this microscopic landscape is worth talking about again—specifically because it influences your brain (that grand master of all organs) and how well you're likely to stick to all those newly adopted changes in the future.

Comment: The link between mental health and the gut is well established, but complicated, with a lot of factors coming into play. Having enough health-promoting gut bacteria of the right strains is important, as is getting rid of any pathogenic micro-organisms that are detrimental to health. Eliminating inflammatory foods (especially junk food, grains, dairy, soy, beans, and sugar) and balancing out inflammatory and anti-inflammatory fats can also go a long way to improving mental health. Detoxing from heavy metals and toxic halogens, and healing leaky gut can also be significant factors in improving mental health.

In short, treat your gut and your gut-biome well, and they'll do the same to you, to the benefit of all.


Big Pharma is not letting on how risky commonly prescribed drugs may be

The AMA is debating whether direct-to-consumer advertising should be banned.

They are so common no one thinks twice about them: drug ads that tell you about a disease you might have, a pill that could treat it, and tell you to "ask your doctor" if the pill is right for you.

Until 1997, such direct-to-consumer ads did not exist because without a doctor's recommendation, how could people know if the medication was appropriate or safe? The only thing people knew about drugs and drug risks was from ads they peeked at in medical journals at the doctor's office.

But after the ads started in 1997, the allergy pill Claritin became a household word, along with Xenical, Meridia, Propecia, Paxil, Prozac, Vioxx, Viagra, Singulair, Nasonex, Allegra, Flonase and of course Lipitor—and Big Pharma became a Wall Street darling.

Comment: Hopefully the article Breaking Big Pharma: Doctors call for immediate drug advertising ban will help consumers look at drugs more critically and demand full information before they succumb to drugs with serious side effects! Read more about how "Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate."

Heart - Black

Prescribing psychiatric drugs to children could be defined as reckless endangerment

When physicians (or medical paraprofessionals) prescribe psychiatric drugs to children without the parent or legal guardian's fully informed consent, the prescribers could reasonably be charged with reckless endangerment and/or child endangerment because such drugs commonly cause a multitude of well-known adverse effects, including the following short list: worsening depression, worsening anxiety, sleep disturbances, suicidality, homicidality, mania, psychoses, heart problems, growth disturbances, malnutrition, cognitive disabilities, dementia, microbiome disorders, stroke, diabetes, serious withdrawal effects, death, sudden death, etc. We physicians (not only psychiatrists) normally only spend a small amount of our scarce time warning about a few of the dozens of potential adverse effects when we recommend drug treatment - and apparently most American courts uphold this questionable action when the rare malpractice case manages to be heard in the legal system.

And yet, Child Protective Services has the legal right to charge parents with medical neglect for refusing to give their child a known neurotoxic or psychotoxic drug that wasn't adequately tested either in the animal lab or in long-term clinical trials prior to being given marketing approval by the FDA.

Comment: There is much evidence to support the fact that Child Protective Services is not the best advocate for children. Actually, CPS often puts children at great risk. The agency has used lame excuses to remove children from homes where they are safe and well-cared for, then placed them in very dangerous circumstances and sometimes has lost track of them completely.

This makes no sense to parents and can't be explained by their lawyers, especially if the parents know more than their medical caregivers about the multitude of potentially serious dangers that such drugs could pose for their child. It is worth noting that psychiatrists admit that there is no scientific test in existence that proves that children deserve a permanent mental illness label (and getting brain-altering drugs for the rest of their lives).

Indeed, making a psychiatric diagnosis in this big business era of high volume/high turnover patient care is based largely on an unscientific, sometimes absurd checklist of patient behaviors, emotions or thoughts, often hurriedly obtained after a relatively short office visit. Checklists of signs or symptoms of a newly thought-up "mental illness" periodically are composed at the annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association where the newly invented "disorder" is voted on (by a show of hands) by groups of volunteer psychiatrists, most of whom have financial and/or professional conflicts of interest. If a sufficient majority of convention attendees agree, the new diagnosis is then placed in the next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), which contains hundreds of other unscientific check-lists of "mental disorders".



Attack on vaccine choice rolls to the East Coast

As we predicted, more states are following in the footsteps of California and restricting parents' freedom to protect their children's health. Check below to see if your state is one of them.

New York is considering a bill, S6017, that would eliminate all non-medical exemptions to vaccination. According to news coverage, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, the bill's sponsor, said that parents worried for their children's safety "have bought into the garbage that these vaccinations can cause autism. That's a lot of crap."


Defensive health strategies and lack of trust in the wisdom of the human body

In Humble Awe of Human Complexity

Eastern wisdom tells us that when we think we know, we don't. But when we admit ignorance, we achieve enlightenment. The most profound part of my departure from conventional medicine has been the depths of my surrender to all that we do not, cannot, and must not understand about the body and its experience. Humble awe and wonder are truly the only appropriate states for approaching the complexity of the human condition.

I have sought to validate my intuition around the hubris of our efforts to outsmart nature, through the available scientific literature. We are suffering from our dualistic perspectives: human vs germs, body vs. disease, I vs me.


New study confirms cranberry extract safe and effective in treating urinary tract infections in very young children

Researchers from the universities of Granada (Spain) and Kvopio (Finland) have confirmed that cranberry extract helps fighting urinary tract infections (UTIs) in breastfed babies under one year of age. Their work has demonstrated that this compound prevents the prescription of antibiotics in the prophylaxis for recurrent urinary tract infections in infants with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), so preventing the risk of increasing the bacterial antibiotic resistance.

This research, published in Anales de Pediatría (Annals of Pediatrics) magazine, has been funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III institute. It has counted with the collaboration of the university's Department of Analytical Chemistry and the Research and Development of Functional Food Centre (CIDAF, for its initials in Spanish), through professor Antonio Segura Carretero, and that of the University of Kvopio, Finland, through professor Tarja Nurmi.

The research involved the participation of 85 children under one year of age and 107 over that age, all of them affected by a recurrent urinary infection. 75 children were administered cranberry extract, while the other 117 were administered trimethoprim, a bacteriostatic antibiotic derived from trimethoxybenzyl pyrimidine, used almost exclusively to treat urinary infections.



Sleeping in on weekends may help increase insulin sensitivity

Getting too little sleep during the week can increase some risk factors for diabetes, but sleeping late on weekends might help improve the picture, a small U.S. study suggests.

Researchers conducted a sleep experiment with 19 healthy young men and found just four nights of sleep deprivation were linked to changes in their blood suggesting their bodies weren't handling sugar as well as usual.

But then, when they let the men get extra sleep for the next two nights, their blood tests returned to normal, countering the effect of the short-term sleep deprivation.

"It gives us some hope that if there is no way to extend sleep during the week, people should try very hard to protect their sleep when they do get an opportunity to sleep in and sleep as much as possible to pay back the sleep debt," said lead study author Josaine Broussard of the University of Colorado Boulder.

The study doesn't prove sleeping late every weekend can counter the ill effects of insufficient rest every other night of the week, Broussard cautioned.

And it doesn't prove that catching up on sleep will prevent diabetes.

"We don't know if people can recover if the behavior is repeated every week," Broussard added by email. "It is likely though that if any group of people suffer from sleep loss, getting extra sleep will be beneficial."

Comment: Proper sleep is essential to human health.