Health & Wellness

2 + 2 = 4

Telltale mouth microbes

The composition of the plaque microbiome can reveal a child's risk of dental caries months before the decay appears, according to a study.

When the human body changes as a result of disease, age, or other factors, site-specific microbiomes are also altered. Now, researchers report that changes in the oral microbial community can be used to predict the onset of dental caries in young children months before clinical signs of disease appear. The results, published today (September 9) in Cell Host & Microbe, suggest that changes to the oral microbiome can be used as an indicator of disease risk for some conditions.

The work is a "great contribution" to understanding how the oral microbiome develops in young children with and without caries, according to Elisabeth Bik, a microbiologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine who was not involved in the study.

Evil Rays

Is your wireless router putting you in danger?

© One News
Broadband Wireless Router.
The debate surrounding the relative dangers of electromagnetic radiation has raged on for years. As technology has become more and more advanced, and more electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, are created, the fact that electromagnetic radiation can be harmful cannot be ignored. Wireless routers, one of the most convenient products in homes across the world, can actually contribute high levels of EMF exposure to your home.

What Are EMFs?

When any kind of electronic device is used, it often creates its own EMF. The structure of the EMF varies, depending upon the frequency and intensity of the electricity; however, all EMFs have the power to become harmful if you are exposed to them too often or for long periods of time.

Comment: For more on the hazards of EMF and how to decrease its impact listen to this episode of the Health and Wellness Show.

Cupcake Choco

Our unhealthy addiction to sugar is harming the poor and making the rich richer

The production of sugar is poverty-inducing, health-damaging and unequal throughout the world.

The following is written by Ben Richardson, based on his new book Sugar (Polity Books, 2015):

Class, gender, nationality and race structure sugar's unequal production, exchange and consumption across the world. This can be seen most vividly in the corporeal effects of sugar: the new type of chronic kidney disease striking down sugarcane field workers in Central America, the high rate of prostitution and HIV in sugar towns in Zambia, and the disproportionate level of tooth decay among poor and Hispanic children in Colorado, US. The circulation of sugar is also embodied in the landscape with unequal effects on wildlife. Fertilizer run-off from sugar farming has contributed to the degradation of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and the destruction of fisheries in the Indus delta (by contrast, the sugarcane plantations have provided welcoming habitats for rats and snakes). Yet these environmental changes are also social. In the case of water pollution, those worst affected have tended to be indigenous people and artisanal fisherfolk traditionally dependent on communal resources for drinking and fishing.

So to really get at the global politics of sugar, the essential question for me was "why does it harm some more than others?"

Comment: Sugar High: The Dark History and Nasty Methods Used to Feed Our Sweet Tooth


Quiet is crucial to your health: The dangers of noise pollution

The noise is so loud, Kollyn Zeder often doesn't let the children in her home daycare play outside, worried it might damage their hearing. Windows stay shut, even though she wants fresh air. Often she can't hear her own TV.

"They fly so low over the homes, you can wave to the pilots and they wave back," she said. " It's roaring, roaring, roaring."

The noise from Naval Air Station Oceana, a master jet base in Virginia Beach, Virginia, dominates almost every aspect of her life. And new studies say it may be affecting her health in ways she doesn't realize. While her situation is extreme, her plight typifies what many Americans in urban settings endure: constant loud noise with little recourse for stopping it and few policies for controlling it in the first place.

Comment: Living near highways may be hazardous to your health

Eye 1

Orwellian Nightmare: Congress may block States from requiring GMO labeling

The SAFE Act sounds like it promises accurate labeling of GM foods. But it likely guarantees that no such thing will ever happen.

As the vitriol intensifies in what passes for debate over the safety of genetically modified foods, scientific inquiry, thankfully, continues. A Tufts researcher, Sheldon Krimsky, recently published his assessment of the last seven years of peer-reviewed evidence, finding 26 studies that "reported adverse effects or uncertainties of GMOs fed to animals."

If recent history is any indication, Sheldon Krimsky should expect to be slammed as a "science denier."

Comment: New bill would give Monsanto immunity and squash GMO labeling
Forget all the progress that non-GMO advocates have made so far, too, if this bill receives enough support in Congress to actually pass. With its passing, it would preempt any local or state requirement thus overturning existing laws in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine - a direct attack to state sovereignty.

This is sad, news, concerning the fact that most Americans want GMOs to be labeled (at least). Polls show that a whopping 92% of US citizens are asking their government to label GE foods.

Despite this landslide request, Monsanto, Bayer, and Syngenta have infiltrated our governments to such an extent that nothing short of firing all of Congress, the FDA, the EPA, and the Senate would give us a chance to slay the biotech dragon that has its hold over us.


Researchers elucidate role of enzyme in signalling the immune system

A volume rendering of mitochondria
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered a new role for an enzyme involved in cell death. Their study shows how the enzyme, called RIPK3, relays signals between the cell's mitochondria "powerhouses" and the immune system.

The new study shows that this crosstalk is important not only for launching immune responses against tumors, but also for regulating the inflammatory responses that may result in autoimmune diseases.

"This finding could be helpful for developing strategies to target cancer and inflammatory diseases," said TSRI Assistant Professor of Immunology Young Jun Kang, who collaborated on the study with the lab of TSRI Institute Professor Richard A. Lerner, who is also Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Immunochemistry.

The study was published September 18, 2015 in the journal Nature Communications.

Comment: For more on improving mitochondrial function and its signalling see: Three major ways to improve your mitochondrial function


Antidepressant claimed to be safely used for adolescent depression actually ineffective, associated with serious side effects

© Justin Jureidini
A University of Adelaide led study has found that a psychiatric drug claimed to be a safe and effective treatment for depression in adolescents is actually ineffective and associated with serious side effects.

Professor Jon Jureidini, from the University of Adelaide's newly created Critical and Ethical Mental Health Research Group (CEMH) at the Robinson Research Institute, led a team of international researchers who re-examined Study 329, a randomised controlled trial which evaluated the efficacy and safety of paroxetine (Aropax, Paxil, Seroxat) compared with a placebo for adolescents diagnosed with major depression.

Comment: The corrupt practices of the pharmaceutical industry and their research have become so common, that any study funded by the industry should be suspect and investigated thoroughly before dosing an unsuspecting public with dangerous drugs. Unfortunately, industry watchdogs who are supposed to be protecting people from these depredations are for the most part in league with BigPharma, hence drugs are approved with little oversight.


Detoxing with lemon and ginger tea

Your body's ability to detox is key to maintaining good health, preventing illness and healing diseases.

There is a long list of toxins and pollutants that you can find in your water, food and air that inevitably gets into your body. Even with this happening, you can still maintain great health by keeping your kidneys, digestive system, liver and lymphatic system clean and healthy.

We have found an incredibly powerful recipe that is extremely inexpensive and effective at keeping your immune system healthy and ready for anything. Before we go over how to make this delicious tea though, let's quickly go over why it is so effective in healing your body by breaking down the ingredients.

Comment: For more information on the health benefits of lemon and ginger, see:

Bacon n Eggs

Paradigm change: People increasingly avoiding carbohydrates in favor of fat and protein

Consumers are increasingly eschewing bread in favor of butter and red meat as carbohydrates take a back seat to fat and protein, a worldwide shift underpinned by a changing medical consensus that promises to transform the food industry.

Global demand for fat will rise 43 percent by 2030 with per-capita consumption jumping almost a quarter, according to a report released Thursday by the Credit Suisse Research Institute. Demand is seen gaining 23 percent for red meat and falling 8.3 percent for carbohydrates.

Comment: It seems that finally the demonization of healthy fats is coming to an end, after over 50 years that have seen skyrocketing rates of disease related to the consumption of high carbohydrate/ low fat diets and the promotion of deadly statin drugs.


Parkinson's may be cased by stomach pathogen entering the brain via the vagus nerve

A major epidemiological registry-based study from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital indicates that Parkinson's disease begins in the gastrointestinal tract; the study is the largest in the field so far.

The chronic neurodegenerative Parkinson's disease affects an increasing number of people. However, scientists still do not know why some people develop Parkinson's disease. Now researchers from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital have taken an important step towards a better understanding of the disease.

New research indicates that Parkinson's disease may begin in the gastrointestinal tract and spread through the vagus nerve to the brain.

"We have conducted a registry study of almost 15,000 patients who have had the vagus nerve in their stomach severed. Between approximately 1970-1995 this procedure was a very common method of ulcer treatment. If it really is correct that Parkinson's starts in the gut and spreads through the vagus nerve, then these vagotomy patients should naturally be protected against developing Parkinson's disease," explains postdoc at Aarhus University Elisabeth Svensson on the hypothesis behind the study.

Comment: If a full disconnection of the vagus nerve from the stomach reduced the risk by about half, that might suggest that either there are other factors and pathways involved in the development of Parkinson's, or that the damage was already done before the vagotomy. Either way, this is a fascinating find. But remember, the vagus nerve isn't evil. It's involved in several important digestive functions, which vagotomy can disrupt in various ways. It's also the nerve that helps us relax and form bonds with the people we're close to!