Health & Wellness


Is 'vitamania' making Americans less healthy?

© Niloo/Shutterstock
A, C, D, E, K and the eight Bs: There's a lot that can go wrong when we don't get sufficient amounts of these 13 chemicals in our diets. Things like pellagra, caused by a B3 deficiency and characterized by delusions, diarrhea and "scaly skin sores," or beriberi, which occurs in the dearth of B1 and can affect either the nervous or cardiovascular system, depending on which type you've got.

But in North America, vitamin deficiencies are a rarity. The nutrition-related health problems we do have to worry about are a lot different: obesity comes to mind, as does diabetes and hypertension. Incredibly enough, argues science writer Catherine Price, it's the fact that we've solved the former that's contributing to the latter: food companies add synthetic vitamins to otherwise unhealthy fare, preventing us from developing scurvy but also, at the same time, from following truly nutritious diets. "We use vitamins as insurance policies against whatever else we might (or might not) be eating," Price writes in "Vitamania: Our Obsessive Quest for Nutritional Perfection," "as if by atoning for our other nutritional sins, vitamins can save us from ourselves."

"The irony of our vitamin obsession," Price argues, is that "by encouraging the idea that isolated dietary chemicals hold the key to good health, our vitamania is making us less healthy."

Comment: It's true: you can't out-supplement a bad diet. Adopt a protective diet like the low-carb, moderate protein, high fat ketogenic diet and supplement with high quality vitamins, minerals and herbs from a reputable supplier for the best health results. Listen to this episode of the Sott Talk Radio Network's Health and Wellness Show for more on the ketogenic diet.


Cancer is becoming harder to avoid and treat

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In recent years, statistical cancer death rates have been showing decreases for some cancers in some parts of the world, which has led some people to optimistically report that cancer is getting easier to beat. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Cancer is actually getting harder to beat as a result of three primary culprits: 1) Our world is becoming increasingly toxic, 2) We are beset by existing and increasing radiation, and 3) Our food is becoming increasingly less nutritious.

As noted in "Hiding the Truth about Losing the War on Cancer", statistics can be manipulated and often have been by those with vested interests in maintaining the illusion that we are turning the corner, or that a cure is just around that elusive corner, in the decades long and mostly failed war on cancer.

The statistics which tell the real story are those which clearly show that the incidence of cancer continues to grow alarmingly, as does the expected worldwide cancer deaths. Between one in two and one in three people are now expected to encounter cancer in their lifetimes.

According to the WHO's World Cancer Report, considered to be the most comprehensive global examination of the disease to date, cancer rates could further increase by 50% to 15 million new cases in the year 2020.

Comment: For more on a dietary approach to both preventing and treating cancer see:

Alarm Clock

Horror on top of horror: Parents trying to reverse kids' autism by 'flushing out' vaccines with bogus 'miracle' bleach enemas

unhappy child
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Parents seeking help with children with autism are turning to a "miracle" cure that involves giving the children enemas, using a dangerous industrial solution used for bleaching wood pulp.

According to If You Only News, parents have turned to Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), containing sodium chlorite which is mixed with citric acid (i.e. orange juice) to make chlorine dioxide. According to the promoters, the solution, which can be taken orally or administered via an enema, can cure HIV, malaria, hepatitis, autism, acne, and cancer.

Miracle Mineral Solution is the brainchild of Jim Humble, who quit the Church of Scientology to form the Genesis II Church of Health & Healing in order to promote his "miracle" cure in Africa and Mexico.

The Food and Drug Administration disagrees with Humble's claims and has posted a warning on their website calling the product "dangerous" and "potentially life threatening," advising "drinking the amount recommended on product labels can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration."

Comment: One tragedy after another. For more information on the dangers of MMS:
MMS: Miracle Mineral Solution or Trojan Horse? Your Body and DNA

Black Cat 2

SOTT Exclusive: Natural Pet Health: Top 10 issues facing pet owners when it comes to your pets' well-being

Hello, and welcome to the first article in a new series on natural pet health (as featured on SOTT Radio Network's Health and Wellness Show). My name is Zoya, and I am a 4th-year veterinary student. During my studies, I have had the opportunity to observe and learn about various practices, recommendations, medicines and foods that aren't particularly beneficial or right for our pets' well-being.

So in this introduction to the series I'll briefly cover what I think are the 10 main lies told to us by the mainstream veterinary community, or in other words the 10 main issues misrepresented or presented to us incorrectly. These are lies that contribute to the development of various diseases and prevent your pets from having long, healthy and happy lives. Unsurprisingly, many of the issues are similar to the lies told by human doctors, and in many cases if you educate yourself on better nutrition and a better way of life in general, this knowledge can be applied to your pet as well. Of course, with some modifications.

Dry vs. Raw food

Pet owners are often told that kibble or dry food is good for pets, particularly if it's a special diet, for example, some sort of metabolic bland or dry food for cats with kidney disease. Well, the reality is that it isn't true. My favorite counter-argument is - how would you feel after eating croutons all your life, no matter how tasty the croutons are? We are going to expand on this in further articles, but for now let me just say that as it turns out, dry food is one of the main reasons for many metabolic and hormonal diseases in the first place, and in many cases it also very expensive! So you end up paying twice, the first time for buying bad food and then for visit to a veterinarian. The solution - feed your pets with a natural, species-appropriate diet. This will be the subject of my next article.

Comment: Listen to the entire Health and Wellness show on the SOTT Radio Network, that covers topics of health, diet, science, homeopathy, wellness culture, and more.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Gift from Mom's bacteria, not DNA

mom and newborn
Your mother's DNA may have determined your eye color, but some traits that you thought came from her may instead have come from the DNA of bacteria she passed on to you soon after birth, a new study finds.

The study found that a mother mouse can pass along to her offspring a susceptibility to intestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, by way of a gut-residing bacterium called Sutterella, the researchers reported in the journal Nature.

Scientists have long speculated that a mother can transfer beneficial bacteria to her offspring through the birthing process and then through breast-feeding and kissing. These myriad bacteria species quickly spread and cover an infant's skin, mouth and digestive tract.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease
This new finding, however, is the first identification of a specific trait that an offspring can inherit — in this case, a deficiency of a blood protein called immunoglobulin A, or IgA, which is the source of the bowel condition — caused by a specific bacterium that can be transferred from the mother to her offspring. IgA helps the body fight infection.

"The implications for mouse experiments are profound, and could help us cut through some persistent sources of confusion," in genetic research, said Dr. Thaddeus Stappenbeck, an immunologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a co-author of the new study.

Until now, most doctors have thought that IgA deficiency, seen in people with diseases such as chronic diarrhea, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, is primarily hereditary, meaning the deficiency is inherited through one's genes. The new finding suggests that bacterial forces transmitted from mother to infant also are at play, perhaps to a significant extent.

Comment: The colon harbors one of the densest microbial communities on the planet. For every human cell in your body, there are roughly 10 single-celled microbes, most of which live in the digestive tract. There are upwards of 5,600 separate species or strains feeding off the food we send to our stomachs, fine-tuning our immune systems, producing nutrients such as vitamin K and eating up our waste to prevent pathogens from taking over. When we take antibiotics, we reduce the resident beneficial bacterial population and increase out chances of gaining antibiotic-resistant strains of harmful bacteria.


Statin scandal: More doctors reveal their dangerous side-effects and failure to improve outcomes

© Randy Glasbergen
The benefits of taking statins have been exaggerated, two leading experts claim.

They say the cholesterol-lowering medicines - hailed as miracle drugs when they hit the market 20 years ago - are not as safe or effective at preventing heart attacks as patients have been led to believe.

Although they can dramatically cut cholesterol levels, they have 'failed to substantially improve cardiovascular outcomes', says an analysis of data in clinical trials.

It was carried out by Dr David Diamond, a professor of molecular pharmacology at the University of South Florida, and expert in cardiovascular disease Dr Uffe Ravnskov.

They say many studies touting statins' efficacy have failed to note serious side effects. They also claim 'statistical deception' has been used to make inflated claims about their effectiveness, which has misled the public.

The two authors say in the analysis, published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology: 'The adverse effects suffered by people taking statins are more common than reported in the media and at medical conferences.

Comment: It is encouraging that more doctors are exposing this fraud and that the information is finally getting traction in the mainstream press. This coupled with the recent acknowledgements that the demonization of cholesterol has been completely unjustified, may finally dispel the myths that have persisted for decades. However, don't expect BigPharma to roll over without a fight. As with the vaccine madness, the industry will use every tactic necessary to protect their profits. Don't be fooled:

Red Flag

Decline in ebola leveling off according to WHO

The steep decline in Ebola case numbers has leveled off over the past month and the development is a cause for concern, the official leading the World Health Organization's response to the outbreak said on Friday.

Dr. Bruce Aylward told reporters "today is the first time we have the data to demonstrate this" flattening of the curve.

The United Nations has said 10 times fewer people are being diagnosed with Ebola each week than in September. Over the past four weeks, however, the line of the graph has flattened out, with the rate around 120 to 150 new cases a week.

"It's what keeps me up at night right now," Aylward said. "This is not what you want to see with Ebola."

Health officials have expressed optimism in recent weeks that the tide seems to be turning in the fight against the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. The presidents of the three worst affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, this week said they hope to reduce the number of new cases to zero by April 15.

But Aylward said that goal will be difficult to achieve.

Kansas man dies from newly discovered 'Bourbon' virus - never before seen in America

'Bourbon' virus
A Kansas man who fell sick after a tick bite and died 11 days later was killed by the newly discovered 'Bourbon' virus, which has never before been seen in America
A Kansas man who fell sick after a tick bite and died 11 days later was killed by a newly discovered virus that has never before been seen in America.

The man, who was previously healthy and in his 50s, became ill after receiving a tick bite while doing work on his property outdoors. Although he was treated with antibiotics, his organs eventually failed and he lost the ability to breathe on his own.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated the man's blood and found he had been infected by a previously unidentified virus that belonged to the thogotoviruses group, which had never before caused human illness in the U.S.

The CDC has named the virus 'Bourbon', after the man's county, according to USA Today.

Before the Kansas man, there had only been eight incidents in which a strain of the thogotovirus had caused symptoms in humans - and they all occurred in Europe, Asia or Africa.

This is the first time the CDC has seen a thogotovirus affect blood cells.

When he was initially tested, the Kansas man's symptoms were similar to a bacterial illness transmitted by ticks. His white blood cells and platelets, which respectively fight infections and help the blood clot, were in decline.

In contrast, thogotoviruses are known to cause meningitis.

Lyssavirus bat infections: Spike in sick and dying bats in Broome, Western Australia

purple bat
Sick bats invade Broome.
A spike in cases of a deadly bat virus in some parts of Australia's north has sparked concern, with dying animals being found in the streets close to schools and childcare centres.

Australian bat lyssavirus is similar to rabies, causing a rapid death if passed from an animal to a human. In recent months, it has been detected in 11 bats in the West Australian town of Broome in the Kimberley region. Prior to that, there had been only two cases identified in Western Australia in a decade. There has also been an increase in sick bats being found in Queensland.

sick bat
Broome wildlife carer holds bat after rash of bats showed up with Lyssavirus.

Comment: The Lyssavirus is classified as a zoonotic infection. Zoonnoses are diseases that normally exist in animals but have the potential to transmit to humans. They can be caused by many different infectious agents including bacteria, fungi and viruses. Examples include anthrax, tuberculosis, plague, yellow fever and influenza. SARS virus, Hendra virus, Ebola and Marburg viruses and the SARI virus emerged from bats to humans. For viruses like Rabies and West Nile virus, humans are "dead-end" hosts (no human-to human transmission).

Senior Public Health nurse Ashley Eastwood is based in Broome and has been monitoring the numbers. "In 2014, we became aware that something was happening in the bat colony with these cases popping up," she said.

"We don't know exactly what's caused it. There are investigations going on through the Department of Parks and Wildlife, and the Department of Agriculture, wondering what's actually going on in the colony. There's been speculation perhaps lots of fires around last year, there's a particularly hot season, and that could be disturbing that colony."

Human infections occurred in Australia in 1996, 1998, and 2013 and proved fatal.

Comment: The newly emerging Australian Bat Lyssavirus in a captive juvenile black flying fox exhibited progressive neurologic signs, including sudden aggression, vocalization, dysphagia, and paresis over 9 days and then died. This virus is considered endemic in Australian bat populations and causes a neurological disease in people indistinguishable from clinical rabies. There are two distant variants of ABLV, one that circulates in frugivorous bats (genus Pteropus) and the other in insectivorous microbats (genus Saccolaimus). Three fatal human cases of ABLV infection have been reported and each manifested as acute encephalitis but with variable incubation periods. Importantly, two equine cases arose in 2013, the first occurrence of ABLV in a species other than bats or humans.


Klonopin: The deadliest prescription drug in America

Doctors are doling Klonopin out like candy, causing a surge of hellish withdrawals, overdoses and deaths.

You could argue that the deadliest "drug" in the world is the venom from a jellyfish known as the Sea Wasp, whose sting can kill a human being in four minutes—up to 100 humans at a time. Potassium chloride, which is used to trigger cardiac arrest and death in the 38 states of the U.S. that enforce the death penalty is also pretty deadly . But when it comes to prescription drugs that are not only able to kill you but can drag out the final reckoning for years on end, with worsening misery at every step of the way, it is hard to top the benzodiazepines. And no "benzo" has been more lethal to millions of Americans than a popular prescription drug called Klonopin.

Klonopin is the brand name for the pill known as clonazepam, which was originally brought to market in 1975 as a medication for epileptic seizures. Since then, Klonopin, along with the other drugs in this class, has become a prescription of choice for drug abusers from Hollywood to Wall Street. In the process, these Schedule III and IV substances have also earned the dubious distinction of being second only to opioid painkillers like OxyContin as our nation's most widely abused class of drug.