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Shaking the foundation of medical research: Half of failed peer reviewed papers "spun" as success

© www.skepticalraptor.com
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick reports on a new study that he says should "shake the foundations of medical research" but laments that it almost certainly won't.

In the year 2000, the US National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) insisted that all researchers register their "primary aim" and then later their "primary outcome" with clinicaltrials.gov. This one small change in the way medical studies were reported transformed the "success" rates in peer reviewed papers.

Before 2000, fully 57% of studies found the success they said they were testing for, but after that, their success rate fell to to a dismal 8%. When people didn't have to declare what their aim was, they could fish through their results to find some positive, perhaps tangential association, and report that as if they had been investigating that effect all along. The negative results became invisible. If a diet, drug or treatment showed no benefit at all, or turned up bad results, nobody had to know.

The world of peer reviewed climate research: like a universe of dark matter

It's not like climate science suffers from unpublished "negative results" — no, it's more like it's built on them: like all the model runs that ran off the ranch and disappeared, and the hot spot that never went missing, but keeps being "found". The infamous Pause in the Climate barely existed until a forest of explanations for it appeared.

Then there are the strange missing proxies — like the tree rings from the last 30 years. Did no one look, have all the trees gone, or were those awkward results dropped down the memory hole? Or is it because when someone did, the proxy turns out to be useless like the Sheep Mountain hockey-stick tree rings did?

Health

10 health tips for anyone with a MTHFR gene mutation...

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If you haven't seen the popular blog on MTHFR Gene Mutations... What's the big deal about Methylation?, you might want to start by familiarizing yourself with this common genetic mutation that can affect everything from depression and anxiety to risk of heart attack or stroke.


Comment: You might actually prefer to listen to our radio show on this subject:

Health and Wellness Show - 10 July 2015 - MTHFR Gene with Dr. Andrew Rostenberg


In light of the amount of questions and comments I've gotten, it's about time I write a follow-up blog giving you some helpful hints in dealing with this common genetic SNP that can affect your health in so many various ways.

A little background to bring you up to speed on methylation...

First, I suggest going back to re-read the previous blog article before moving on. For a quick review.... let's define methylation. Methylation is the act of a carbon and three hydrogens (namely a methyl group) attaching itself to an enzyme in your body. When this methyl group attaches to an enzyme, the enzyme performs a specific action. One thing you might not realize is that methylation is responsible for is the breakdown of histamine. A methyl group is made and then floats around until it finds a specific binding site. In this case, the methyl group binds to histamine. When a methyl group binds to histamine, histamine breaks apart and goes away. Many patients who have one or more methylation SNPs, like MTHFR have a hard time breaking down histamine, which can wreak havoc on the body in many ways!

Red Flag

Heinous behavior modification program: Drugging children for "Social Justice"

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© Anthony Freda Art
"Pillage"
It's the latest thing. Psychiatrists are giving children in poor neighborhoods Adderall, a dangerous stimulant, by making false diagnoses of ADHD, or no diagnoses at all. Their aim? To "promote social justice," to improve academic performance in school.

Leading the way is Dr. Michael Anderson, a pediatrician in the Atlanta area. Incredibly, Anderson told the New York Times ("Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School") his diagnoses of ADHD are "made up," "an excuse" to hand out the drugs.

"We've decided as a society that it's too expensive to modify the kid's environment. So we have to modify the kid," Anderson said.

It would be hard to find a clearer mission statement from a psychiatrist: mind control.

Comment: Turning classrooms into labs: ADHD diagnosis and the drugging of kids


Nuke

Turmeric protects against the Post-Industrial 'Chemical Apocalypse'

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Living in a post-industrial world awash in toxic chemicals this ancient healing spice may be the ultimate answer to regaining your health.

In a world increasingly saturated through with known cancer-causing toxicants, folks are understandably growing despondent. Thousands of petrochemicals are now found not only in our body care products, foods, and water and air, but also our bodies where they accumulate over time. Some of these chemicals are potent endocrine disrupters and even in exceedingly small concentrations can alter and disrupt a wide range of hormonally driven processes within our bodies.

An accumulating body of research now indicates that this class of chemicals - endocrine disrupters - challenges the conventional toxicological view that 'the dose makes the poison,' with smaller concentrations having disproportionately higher toxicity than was first anticipated when pre-approval toxicological risk assessments were first performed on them.

Comment: Read more about the numerous Health Benefits of Turmeric:


Sun

Study: Vitamin D supplementation in asthmatic children reduces risk of asthma exacerbation

The effect of vitamin D is strongest among people with asthma and other lung diseases who are predisposed to respiratory infections. Published in the British Journal of Nutrition, a review found in children previously diagnosed with asthma, vitamin D supplementation resulted in a 74% reduction in the risk of asthma exacerbation.

According to previous research published in the journal Allergy, people with a vitamin D deficiency were 25% more likely than other asthmatics to have had at least one flare-up in the recent past. "Vitamin D has significant immunomodulatory effects and, as such, was believed to have an effect on asthma -- an immunologically mediated disease," said Confino-Cohen. "But most of the existing data regarding vitamin D and asthma came from the pediatric population and was inconsistent. Our present study is unique because the study population of young adults is very large and 'uncontaminated' by other diseases," stated Dr Ronit Confino-Cohen.

People with the worst vitamin D deficiency were 36 percent more likely to suffer respiratory infections than those with sufficient levels, according to the research in this week's Archives of Internal Medicine. Among asthmatics, those who were vitamin D deficient were five times more likely to get sick than their counterparts with healthy levels. And the risk of respiratory infection was twice as high among vitamin D-deficient patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than in lung patients with normal levels of the vitamin.

Comment: Research has shown that over a billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D3 deficiency can lead to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis, and neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. Be aware the government guidelines for supplemental Vitamin D intake may be underestimated by at least 10 times what is necessary to optimize your levels. While sunshine is helpful, it is not always possible to get enough, so supplemental Vitamin D3 may be necessary. It is also important to know that if you have a low vitamin D level in spite of taking vitamin D supplements, a magnesium deficiency can be one of the reasons you can't correct it. Be aware that it is quite difficult to obtain enough magnesium from food sources as our soils have been deficient in magnesium for decades, so supplementation may be necessary.


Pills

Anti-psychotics inappropriately prescribed to people with intellectual disabilities, yet no history of mental illness

© Reuters / Srdjan Zivulovic
Large numbers of people with intellectual disabilities in the UK are being inappropriately prescribed antipsychotic drugs, finds a new UCL study.

Intellectual disability is a lifelong condition that begins before the age of 18 and is characterised by limitations in intellectual functioning (generally indicated by an IQ under 70) and difficulties with one or more life skills. Around 1% of the population has an intellectual disability.

The new study, published in The BMJ, looked at anonymised GP records of 33,016 UK adults with intellectual disabilities between 1999 and 2013. It found that over one-quarter had been prescribed antipsychotic drugs, of whom 71% had no record of severe mental illness.

Comment: Antipsychotic drugs cause brain shrinkage. The use of antipsychotic drugs long has been referred to as a "chemical lobotomy" because they actually can disable normal brain function. Along with brain shrinkage, antipsychotics also can cause obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Of course, considerations such as these have never stopped the pharmaceutical industry from promoting such off-label uses of dangerous drugs.

Big Pharma alert: America's most popular drug is an antipsychotic and no one really knows how it works


Info

Study finds extract of wild blueberry can inhibit bacteria associated with gum disease

"Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) Polyphenols Target Fusobacterium nucleatum and the Host Inflammatory Response: Potential Innovative Molecules for Treating Periodontal Diseases"
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Gum disease is a common condition among adults that occurs when bacteria form biofilms or plaques on teeth, and consequently the gums become inflamed. Some severe cases, called periodontitis, call for antibiotics. But now scientists have discovered that wild blueberry extract could help prevent dental plaque formation. Their report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry could lead to a new therapy for periodontitis and a reduced need for antibiotics.

Ladybug

Joel Salatin's secrets to reconnecting with your food

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© Jason Hoekema/AP/File
A farmer plows his recently harvested field as the hot summer sun beats down on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015.
Joel Salatin is the owner and Farmer of Polyface Farms in Swoope, Virginia. In 1961, the Salatins bought and restored an old farm in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. Mr. Salatin is a third generation farmer whose farm helps to support three thousand families, fifty restaurants, and ten retail outlets through various programs and buying clubs. He is the author of several books about sustainable farming including Folks, this Ain't Normal and is featured on documentaries such as Food Inc.

FT: Joel, can you tell me more about permaculture and some examples of how you use it on your farm?

JS: I use the concept of stacking enterprises such as the grazers followed by the egg mobiles. The grazers and the egg mobiles run on the same acre during a single season. We allow the animals to do the work here and do what they do best. The "pig-ness "of the pig, the "cow-ness" of the cow and the "chicken-ness" of the chicken. Because the animals do the work, I have no need for herbicides, fungicides, pesticides or antibiotics. The chickens are my pasture sanitizers - they eat all the worms and flies in the cow pats and disperse it, so the pasture is ready to grow more grass. Everything is based on grass. We also use a water system that is highly integrated. We have ponds up in the hills that capture snow melt and rain water and then we use gravity to water our animals and grow our crops. This is all based on permaculture.

Comment: The following is a much more extensive interview with the lunatic farmer Joel Salatin. Also check out this great article: Joel Salatin: How to eat animals and respect them, too


Magnify

Study finds obesity related to neural changes similar to substance addiction

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© David Gray / Reuters
The popular assumption that obesity is simply the result of a lack of willpower could be contested by new international research. It posits that obese people's brains are predisposed to food addiction in much the same way a drug addict's are to substance abuse.

It all has to do with different brain networks being activated in those suffering the condition and those who don't.

Scientists with the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) believe new doors to obesity treatment could be open as humanity gains a better understanding of the cause of the problem.

It's no wonder, say the researchers, that repeated attempts to manage the problem or cure it have been fruitless - apart from bariatric surgery. They believe treatment should address the addiction mechanisms that play a key role.

Bug

New wasp study finds sting in the tail for cancer cells

© pakistantribe.com
Brazilian Wasp
Research has found a Brazilian wasp's venom could destroy tumours of leukaemia, prostate and bladder cancer without harming healthy tissue. The venom of the Brazilian wasp Polybia paulista contains a powerful "smart" drug that selectively targets and destroys tumour cells without harming normal cells, a study has shown. In laboratory tests, the poison has been shown to suppress the growth of prostate and bladder cancer cells, as well as leukaemia cells resistant to a range of drugs.
New research has now revealed the secret of the venom toxin, known as MP1. Scientists found that it blows gaping holes in the protective membranes surrounding tumour cells by interacting with fatty molecules called lipids.
Dr Paul Beales, a researcher from Leeds University, said: "Cancer therapies that attack the lipid composition of the cell membrane would be an entirely new class of anti-cancer drugs. This could be useful in developing new combination therapies, where multiple drugs are used simultaneously to treat a cancer by attacking different parts of the cancer cells at the same time."

Comment: Once again, humans look to other creatures to solve their avoidable health problems. Complementary nature always pays a price. With cancer being a top money maker, how long will They let this research unfold before hauling out the bug spray?