Health & Wellness
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Health

Where the Black Death is most common in the U.S.

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© CDC
One dot placed in the county of exposure for each plague case.
A second case of suspected plague has been reported in Yosemite, California, barely more than a week after a child contracted the disease after visiting the park.

Also known as the Black Death, this is the same bacterium (Yersinia pestis) that wiped out millions of people in the 14th century. While the disease is rare in the U.S., it's not defunct. On average, we'll see seven cases per year:
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© CDC
The reason for the 1983 spike you see in the chart above could have been a result of cool moist weather in the western US, which may have allowed fleas to survive for longer and extended the length of the plague season in some areas.

You can get infected from a flea bite or contact with infected tissues or fluids from handling an animal — such as a squirrel, chipmunk, or other rodent — that is sick with or died from the disease. You can also get it from inhaling droplets in the breath of infected cats or humans.

Most of the cases tend to crop up in the rural West, especially in southern Colorado, northern New Mexico, northern Arizona, California, southern Oregon, and western Nevada — places that rodents that carry the disease call home.


Comment: Rodents probably had very little to do with the spread of the Black Death. There is a growing body of evidence that the plague has a cosmic connection:

An infection causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin.

Comment: See also:


Pills

Over the counter drugs: What are they doing to your brain?

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© health.howstuffworks.com
Are you an OTC drug junkie? Frankly, most folks today are because they are dealing with some sort of ailment or even a chronic condition. Do you think because you can purchase OTC drugs in pharmacies that they don't cause harm to your body? Well, maybe trusting healthcare consumers need to think twice before picking up another OTC pharmaceutical.

There's a classification of drugs called anticholinergics, which included numerous OTC products such as antihistamines, antidepressants, and even bladder control drugs. Anticholinergics include bronchodilators. They also affect senior citizens, which may not be a well-known side effect:
"In fact, even small increases in so-called anticholinergic burden or load increase the risk of morbidity and mortality in older individuals." [1]

Comment: Cocktail of Popular Drugs May Cloud Brain
The difficulty for patients is that the effect of anticholinergic drugs is cumulative. Doctors are not always aware of all of the medications their patients take, and they do not always think to review the anticholinergic properties of the ones they prescribe. It's a particular problem for older patients, who are more vulnerable to the effects of these drugs and who tend to take more medicines over all.

Of the 36 million Americans 65 and older, at least 20 percent take at least one anticholinergic medication. A study by Dr. Boustani of nearly 4,000 older adults in Indianapolis found that those who had been using three or more possibly anticholinergic drugs consistently for 90 days or longer were nearly three times as likely to receive a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment as those who had not taken anticholinergics.



Megaphone

France is thumbing it's nose at vaccines

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The French people are no fools. As a culture, France seems to see through clever marketing ploys concocted by abusive corporations intent on perverting the laws of honest capitalism for their own profit. And, the French people seem to catch on long before most other countries raise a collective eyebrow.

In 1992, for example, more than two decades before Americans finally started to turn their backs on fast food, French citizens were protesting in the streets against McDonalds. The activism spilled into violent confrontation as protesters lit a bonfire outside a McDonald's and again in 1999 when José Bové dismantled a McDonald's under construction in South France with the help of a group of fellow farmers.

Comment: Shawn Siegel from the Activist Post stated back in 2013 'Conscious denial of critical information is disinformation.' Read more critical information about the serious concerns regarding vaccines and their alleged safety:


Health

Probiotics may be beneficial in treating chronic sinusitis

Almost 40 million Americans suffer from chronic sinusitis. Unfortunately, most conventional treatments are not effective and don't address the underlying cause. Find out why probiotics may represent the future of treating chronic sinus problems.

Chronic sinusitis (also known as chronic rhinosinusitis, or CRS) is one of the most common human diseases, affecting 1 in 7 American adults. And like many other modern, chronic conditions, its prevalence appears to be increasing.

CRS is a debilitating and often intractable disease. Over 20 percent of patients are unresponsive to drug therapy, and up to 40 percent of patients do not respond to surgery.

The conventional viewpoint is that CRS is caused by the presence of certain harmful species of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. (1) In other cases, CRS may result from an immunologic reaction to fungi that colonize the sinuses. (2) Fungal species associated with this syndrome include Bipolaris specifera and Aspergillus, Curvularia, and Fusarium.

Comment: See the following for other remedies that might help treat sinus infections:


Eye 1

Time spent outdoors reduces risk of childhood myopia

When I was growing up, I was always led to believe that needing glasses was just something that happened to people. You were simply born to be nearsighted or farsighted, and that was all there was to it. To some extent this idea is true. Scientists have found genes that can be linked to these visual ailments, which are widely known to be passed down in certain families; but does that tell the whole story?

When you really think about it, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Conditions like myopia are incredibly common. Everybody knows somebody who needs glasses or corrective surgery. So you have to ask yourself, if vision problems are mostly genetic, and they're so common in children all over the world, why didn't natural selection weed this trait out of the gene pool?

You have to imagine that not being able to see properly would be so much more hazardous for our ancestors than it is for us. How could hundreds of millions of people be suffering from a genetic disease that just a few centuries ago, would have nearly been a death sentence? Honestly, this totally defies our notions of evolution.

Comment: See also: The Modern Assault on Eyesight
As is so often the case, living as close as we can to our genetic expectations goes a long way toward countering the strains of modern patterns and supporting our inherent functioning. Eating Primal, getting sunlight, staying active, and enjoying a visual life of distant, outdoor scope all become part of a more natural, Primal kind of prescription for maintaining the best eye health we can.



Hearts

The connection between your mental-emotional health & physical illness

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© crowonthewire.com
How often is it that we get to understand our bodies on a deeper level? A lot of the time we ignore the messages our bodies are sending us, or dampen them with drugs (both prescription and illicit) rather than addressing the underlying problem. But when sickness comes knocking, we usually find ourselves forced to listen.

That's what happened to Olivia Omitrano, better known as Organic Olivia. She says her poor and negative thoughts about herself helped bring on a long list of body issues, from IBS and liver deficiency to depression, eating disorders, and eventually parasites.

Pills

Study demonstrates anti-aging effects of dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid

In human cells, shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, are both a sign of aging and contribute to it. Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have found that the dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can stimulate telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres, with positive effects in a mouse model of atherosclerosis.

The discovery highlights a potential avenue for the treatment for chronic diseases.

The results were published in Cell Reports.

"Alpha-lipoic acid has an essential role in mitochondria, the energy-generating elements of the cell," says senior author Wayne Alexander, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. "It is widely available and has been called a 'natural antioxidant'. Yet ALA's effects in human clinical studies have been a mixed bag."

Comment: Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) has many functions, but it's one of the most effective free radical scavengers, and the only one known to easily get into the brain. It also has the ability to regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, and glutathione. Alpha lipoic acid is a great modifier of gene expression to reduce inflammation, it's a very potent heavy metal chelator and enhances insulin sensitivity.


Pills

FDA: Killer of freedom and destroyer of health

Waking up to the cynical truth about the corrupt, backscratching, revolving door relationships between the FDA (and other agencies) and the Big Pharma and Big Agra industries has been difficult to face, as the problem is so pervasive as to affect the lives of nearly everyone in this country, and beyond throughout the world.

As such, I felt the need to respond to Jon Rappoport's article, "A Message to Libertarians About the FDA," because it is an issue I have also thought about quite often.

Is it in the interest of a free society who desires limited government and maximum rights to have a tough watchdog who can protect people? After all, even the average citizen is likely familiar with the deadly mistakes and misdeeds of the food and drug industries...

People don't want dangerous pharmaceuticals being prescribed to them because proper testing wasn't done; people don't want their food contaminated with salmonella or e. Coli; many people don't want GMOs to be allowed at all, and damn sure want a label on food packages in order to know which foods contain them.

Health

Depressed? We've got an app for that. Researchers monitor behavioral patterns with smartphone data and biomarkers

© Stanford School of Medicine
Updated research into predictive medicine combined with apps to achieve “mental health intervention.”
Predictive technology is exploding. The arrival of Big Data initiatives by government, as well as a massive industry of data brokers is not only putting privacy at risk, but is offering those with access to the information unprecedented ways to micromanage our lives.

Most people now seem resigned to the surveillance of our communications devices, which have become so intertwined with modern efficiency, economics and knowledge that there are real tradeoffs when choosing a fully opt-out lifestyle. Wearable gadgets add a new layer still, and are being bought into at record pace, thus donating the information that isn't already being stolen.

However, it might be our health information that is the most tempting, offering up potentially the most intrusive window yet into our everyday lives.

In July of last year I covered a development by researchers at Tel Aviv University with the announcement that a "Smartphone App May Revolutionize Mental Health Treatment." The following excerpts from the press release were highlighted as some very stark writing on the wall.

Comment: A new gadget in the war on free-roaming humans.


Health

Leaves of European chestnut tree can disarm staph bacteria without boosting drug resistance

© Marco Caputo
Emory University's Cassandra Quave researches the interactions of people and plants -- a specialty known as ethnobotany.
Leaves of the European chestnut tree contain ingredients with the power to disarm dangerous staph bacteria without boosting its drug resistance, scientists have found.

PLOS ONE is publishing the study of a chestnut leaf extract, rich in ursene and oleanene derivatives, that blocks Staphlococcus aureus virulence and pathogenesis without detectable resistance.

The use of chestnut leaves in traditional folk remedies inspired the research, led by Cassandra Quave, an ethnobotanist at Emory University.

"We've identified a family of compounds from this plant that have an interesting medicinal mechanism," Quave says. "Rather than killing staph, this botanical extract works by taking away staph's weapons, essentially shutting off the ability of the bacteria to create toxins that cause tissue damage. In other words, it takes the teeth out of the bacteria's bite."

Comment: Because the pharmaceutical industry is more intent on finding patent-able medicines that can enhance their revenues, they tend to dismiss folk remedies. Fortunately there are some researchers, who are rediscovering this ancient wisdom and finding that herbs and essential oils often work just as well and are sometimes even more efficient at combating infections.