Health & Wellness


The polio vaccine: A worthless and carcinogenic threat to humanity

© unknown
During the past several months as a slew of draconian vaccine bills have been aggressively pushed upon state legislators to legally enforce vaccination against Americans freedom of choice, I have had the opportunity to debate publicly pro-vaccine advocates on a number of occasions. When faced with a barrage of peer-reviewed scientific facts confirming vaccine failures, and its lack of efficacy and safety, representatives of the vaccine establishment will inevitably raise the issue of the eradication of polio and smallpox from the US as case examples of two vaccine miracles. Yet neither case, has their been scientifically sound confirmation that the demise of these two infectious diseases were the result of mass population vaccine campaigns.

Furthermore, this horribly simplistic belief that polio and smallpox are exemplary models for all other vaccines is both naïve and dangerous. Vaccinology does not follow a one-size-fits-all theory as the pro-vaccine industry propagates to the public. For any coherent public debate, it is necessary for each vaccine to be critically discerned upon its own terms with respect to its rate of efficacy, the properties of viral infection and immune response, vaccine adverse effects, and the long term risks that may not present symptoms until years after inoculation.

This article is the first part of a two part series to deconstruct the false claims of polio and smallpox as modern medical success stories and put each in its historical and scientific perspective. In this first part, the legacy of the polio vaccine and its ongoing track record of failure, particularly in developing nations, will be presented.

It is a very dangerous assumption to believe that any new vaccine or drug to fight an infectious disease or life-threatening disease will be safe once released upon an uninformed public. The history of pharmaceutical science is largely a story of failures as well as successes. Numerous drugs over the decades have been approved and found more dangerous than the condition being targeted, but only after hundreds of thousands of people were turned into guinea pigs by the medical establishment. In the case of vaccines, both the first human papilloma vaccine (Gardasil) and Paul Offit's vaccine for rotavirus (Rotateq) were disasters. Both were fast tracked through the FDA and both failed to live up to their promises.

Comment: See also:

Red Flag

Fracking region in Texas shows 'incredibly alarming' levels of water pollution

© Flickr/ WildEarth Guardians
Even as US environmental regulators are reluctant to declare fracking a widespread water pollutant, a new study of water in Texas' Barnett Shale area reveals "incredibly alarming" levels of contamination, with fracking the prime suspect.

The University of Texas at Arlington's study of the groundwater near the Barnett Shale — which underlies about 5,000 square miles of North Texas, including Fort Worth — is being called one of the most comprehensive of its kind.

While the study does not claim to definitively establish fracking as the source of groundwater contamination, it does document a strong association, and says the findings should "be an impetus for further monitoring and analysis of groundwater quality."

The results of two years of tests, published Wednesday in the trade journal Environmental Science and Technology, show groundwater contamination with "multiple volatile organic carbon compounds throughout the region, including various alcohols, the BTEX family of compounds and several chlorinated compounds."


Study finds DDT exposure in utero resulted in daughters with nearly four times the rate of breast cancer

© Reuters / Stringer
Blood samples taken from pregnant mothers showed that exposure to high levels of the pesticide DDT resulted in daughters with nearly four times the rate of breast cancer, according to a new study.

Researchers followed 9,300 women born between 1959 to 1967, when the insecticide DDT was widely sprayed on lands and agriculture. When taking into account the history of these women's mothers, the study found that they had a 3.7 times higher risk of breast cancer if they had been exposed to the insecticide in utero.

"It has long been suspected that environmental chemicals that interfere with hormone systems could be connected to risk of breast cancer. Here we found the first direct connection for measured levels of DDT in mothers' pregnancy blood," the study's lead author, Barbara Cohn, director of child health and development studies at the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California, told Reuters.

DDT behaves like a synthetic estrogen hormone, and when in contact with insects it cause seizures, leading to death. In humans, the estrogen hormone is involved in signaling breast cells to grow and divide. The current study reviewed blood tests for DDT levels in 20,754 women who had given birth in Oakland, California during the 50s and 60s.


Study suggests sedentary lifestyles linked to anxiety disorders

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Sitting in front of a TV, laptop, or computer all day is certainly bad for your physical health; but it's also detrimental to your mental health.
We already know that sitting is bad for pretty much every aspect of your health: It weakens your muscles, impairs blood circulation, and increases your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and obesity. But it turns out that sitting all day at work, then sitting all night at home in front of the TV, are detrimental to your mental health, too.

A new study examines how a sedentary lifestyle can increase your anxiety. Researchers out of Deakin University's Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research in Australia found that low-energy activities and sitting down likely makes your anxiety worse. Working at a computer all day, watching TV, playing video games, or simply crouching over your phone or laptop in bed are all considered low-energy activities that are eating away at your mental acuity.

Megan Teychenne, the lead researcher of the study, notes that modern society has seen a huge surge of anxiety disorders in recent years. In the U.S., anxiety affects some 40 million adults, or 18 percent of the population, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. While this increase in anxiety might result from several factors, such as more frequent use of distracting technology and social media or increased urban sprawl and air pollution, the researchers wanted to investigate the link between anxiety and sedentary living.

"[W]e are seeing an increase in anxiety symptoms in our modern society, which seems to parallel the increase in sedentary behavior," Teychenne said in a press release. "Thus, we were interested to see whether these two factors were in fact linked."

Comment: Most people now understand that sedentary lifestyles are unhealthy for the body, but more evidence is showing that it also negatively impacts our mental health as well. We need to take frequent breaks throughout the day to engage in low level activity as well as intermittent bursts of intense exercise, rather than just set aside a few days a week for exercise.


Air pollution kills 3.2 million people around the world every year


A new study has estimated that outdoor particulate air pollution (pictured, Shanghai shrouded in smog) results in around 3.2 million premature deaths from heart attack, stroke, lung cancer and other illnesses, each year
Air pollution kills more people every year than Aids and malaria combined, warns new research.

Scientists say meeting global air quality guidelines could prevent 2.1 million deaths per year.

They developed a global model of how changes in outdoor air pollution could reduce health problems, including heart attack, stroke and lung cancer.

And their findings reveal outdoor particulate air pollution results in 3.2 million premature deaths each year - more than the combined impact of HIV-Aids and malaria.

By meeting the World Health Organisation's (WHO) particulate air quality guidelines, the team of environmental engineering and public health researchers estimate 2.1 million early deaths could be prevented.


Glycine - Improving sleep quality

© Unknown

Sleeping can be complicated business! Those individuals with no difficulty achieving healthy, regular sleep would think it the simplest of physiologic phenomena. Roughly 30% of the population suffers from insomnia, however,[1] which has real and important health consequences, in addition to affecting quality of life. Even short-term sleep disruption is associated with metabolic problems, insulin insensitivity, poor bloodsugar control, increased body mass index (BMI), increased pain and inflammation levels, and even increased mortality.[2] And pathogenic sleep disruption may be a hallmark of or contribute to both psychiatric [3] and neurodegenerative disorders.[4]

If you're among the thousands of individuals who suffer from sleep difficulties, you might be aware that modern science still has a relatively tenuous grasp on the complicated relationships between diet, hydration, emotional/spiritual health, environmental contributors, and brain chemistry related to sleep. This is an area that is receiving considerable attention in scientific study at present, and the findings are having far-reaching implications. Glycine's role in sleep regulation is an excellent example.

Comment: See also: Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin

Blue Planet

Green spaces make kids smarter

A new study finds that vegetation around schools cuts down on air pollution and boosts memory and attention.

When I lived in L.A., I reported on a school near Long Beach in which nearly a fifth of the students had asthma. One culprit seemed to be the school's unfortunate geography: About 500 trucks passed by its grounds every hour, and according to a study released at the time, at least 9 percent of childhood-asthma cases in the area were attributable to road traffic. The air near the school, which sometimes smelled rotten or rubbery, contained nearly twice the normal level of elemental carbon, a marker of diesel particles.

Asthma is just one of the health problems linked to air pollution exposure. Sniffing exhaust all day also contributes to everything from stroke to premature death.

Comment: Green space is an important factor in childhood and an excellent way to relieve stress for both parents and kids!
"Nature stimulates that sense of wonder," says UW Health psychologist Katie Watermolen. "When kids are outside, they are less anxious, more creative, more relaxed. All that leads to improved mental health."

Alarm Clock

Synchronizing all the body's circadian clocks important for normalizing metabolism

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If you struggle with excess weight, insulin resistance, and/or diabetes, getting more sleep may be of significant importance.

According to recent research,1,2 poor sleep and/or lack of sleep can have a significant bearing on metabolic disorders such as these, and addressing your sleeping habits may be key for both the prevention and treatment of them.

The answer as to why sleep is so important for normalizing your metabolism has to do with its effects on your body's circadian clocks—and yes; you have a number of circadian clocks, not just one. As noted in the featured report by NPR:3
"[I]n recent years, scientists have made a cool discovery: We have different clocks in virtually every organ of our bodies — from our pancreas to our stomach to our fat cells.

'Yes, there are clocks in all the cells of your body,' explains Fred Turek, a circadian scientist at Northwestern University. "'It was a discovery that surprised many of us.'

We humans are time-keeping machines. And it seems we need regular sleeping and eating schedules to keep all of our clocks in sync."

Comment: The importance of obtaining adequate quality sleep cannot be overemphasized. Your brain's ability to function, your overall health as well as your emotional well-being depends on it.

See also:


How to survive a swarm of angry bees

Even though bee colonies have been collapsing in droves in recent years, people still manage to disturb their hives on a frequent basis. Whether you're on a hike in the wilderness, or just clearing brush on your property, running into a bee hive can prove disastrous for your health, or at the very least, ruin your day.

Just last week a man from Kingman Arizona was nearly killed by a swarm of bees as he was working in his yard. He managed to run to his car, but in that short distance he was stung between 500 and 1000 times. He had to be rushed to the hospital, but is in stable condition. It just goes to show you how fast you have to think and act if you ever raise the ire of these insects. And just like dealing with any other type of dangerous animal, there's a few things you should know ahead of time before you encounter them.


Antibiotic use linked to diabetes

Antibiotics can kill infectious bacteria and have helped to a certain extent save lives. But now there is disturbing evidence that they may be contributing to the disease--in other words, certain antibiotics may increase the risk of developing diabetes.

The connection is the ecosystem of bacteria in our gut that scientists call the microbiome. It affects digestion and immunity, and an unhealthy microbiome has been linked to diseases as diverse as obesity, certain cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and...diabetes. Several studies have shown that type 2 diabetes, the kind that affects most people, is more common in people who have microbiomes with altered or low bacteria diversity. What we eat and drink changes the composition of the bacteria, and so can the medication we take...especially antibiotics.

Trillions of bacteria are hostile and can cause disease, while many others are friendly and have established a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship with us over the millennia. These friendly bacteria have also been referred to as "probiotics" and are being used increasingly by mainstream clinicians for both preventive and therapeutic purposes.

Comment: See also:

Repeatedly taking antibiotics may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes

Antibiotics Promote Obesity, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome