Health & Wellness


U.S. Amish gene trait may inspire heart protection

A rare genetic abnormality found in people in an insular Amish community protects them from heart disease, a discovery that could lead to new drugs to prevent heart ailments, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

About 5 percent of Old Order Amish people in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County have only one working copy rather than the normal two of a gene that makes a protein that slows the breakdown of triglycerides, a type of fat that circulates in the blood, the researchers wrote in the journal Science.

"People who have the mutation all have low triglycerides," said Toni Pollin of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, who led the study.

"This gives us clues that ultimately could develop future treatments."

Triglycerides naturally disappear more quickly in these people than in people without this gene mutation.


Many Americans turning to alternative medicine

About four in 10 U.S. adults and one in nine children are turning to unconventional medical approaches for chronic pain and other health problems, health officials said on Wednesday.

Back pain was the leading reason that Americans reported using complementary and alternative medicine techniques, followed by neck and joint pain as well as arthritis, according to the survey by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 38 percent of adults used some form of complementary and alternative medicine in 2007, compared to 36 percent in 2002, the last time the government tracked at the matter.

For the first time, the survey looked at use of such medicine by children under age 18, finding that about 12 percent used it, officials said. The reasons included back pain, colds, anxiety, stress and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to the survey.

Comment: Have you listened to the latest SOTT Podcast Toxic World, Toxic Bodies?


Methadone Fueling Prescription Drug Addiction Deaths Across America

Deaths and addictions involving the opioid painkiller methadone are rising faster than those from all other prescription narcotics, says the National Drug Intelligence Center, surpassing even OxyContin and Vicodin, which are major players in America's epidemic of prescription drug addiction.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), methadone prescriptions increased 715% between 2001 to 2006. And in November 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Public Health Advisory about the dangers of methadone, following the CDC's release of abuse and death statistics.


Brain cell hope for hearing loss

Scientists believe a transplant of brain cells may one day be able to reverse a common form of hearing loss.

Damage to hair cells in the inner ear due to ageing and overstimulation causes hearing problems in 10% of people worldwide.

The cell loss is irreversible, but US scientists believe it may be possible to replace them with stem cells from a region of the brain.


Ooga Ooga! Men Overspend to Attract Mates

Men are hardwired after eons of evolution to overspend, a new study suggests. Their maxed-out credit cards and mega-purchases have been tied to their desire to attract mates.

The biggest male spenders in the survey were found to have the highest number of reported past partners and desired the most future partners.

The finding, detailed in the current issue of the journal Evolutionary Psychology, did not hold with women.


Bug genes are the key to human digestion

Without the "good" bacteria in our guts, we could not digest food. You might expect that we would all have the same set of bacteria to provide the chemical machinery that does the job. But this turns out to be only half true.

Knowing that gut bacteria are key to digestion and metabolism, Jeffrey Gordon of Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, and his colleagues went in search of a core group of bacterial species that aid digestion. They expected to find these species living in the guts of most healthy people.

When the researchers analysed faeces from 154 people this turned out not to be so. The subjects did, however, all possess the same core group of bacterial genes needed for digestion, albeit from different species (Nature, DOI: link).


Blatant Lies and Propaganda! Cancer to be world's top killer by 2010, WHO says

Comment: While it is true that cancer is increasing in the population, as reported in this article, what is NOT true is that it is due to an increase use of tobacco. Nearly all of the researchers in the field (excluding some of those funded by pharmaceutical companies) state unequivocally that nearly ALL cancers are caused by environmental toxins, NOT by smoking tobacco!

Cancer will overtake heart disease as the world's top killer by 2010, part of a trend that should more than double global cancer cases and deaths by 2030, international health experts said in a report released Tuesday.

Rising tobacco use in developing countries is believed to be a huge reason for the shift, particularly in China and India, where 40 percent of the world's smokers now live.

So is better diagnosing of cancer, along with the downward trend in infectious diseases that used to be the world's leading killers.

Comment: According to this article, the increase in cancer has nothing to do with chronic stress, diet, industrial pollution such as pesticides, heavy metals, DDT, cadmium, styrene, dioxin, xylene, mercury, aluminum, fungicides, formaldehyde, dioxins, just to name a few. No, contrary to all available evidence, it must be that these very poor people simply smoke too many cigarettes.


Avoid Flu Shots, Take Vitamin D Instead

Another influenza season is beginning in the northern temperate zone, and our government's Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will strongly urge Americans to get a flu shot. Health officials will say that every winter 5 - 20 percent of the population catches the flu, 200,000 people are hospitalized, and 36,000 people will die from it.

Arrow Up

Broad Use of Brain Boosters?

Use of drugs to enhance memory and concentration should be permitted, experts say.

Off-label use of stimulants, such as Ritalin, is on the rise among college students. Studies show that 5 percent to 15 percent of students use prescription drugs as study aids, and surveys suggest the practice may be common among academics as well. The trend has sparked debates over how and when these cognitive enhancers should be used. Military personnel routinely use stimulants while on active duty, but should that practice also be permitted among surgeons working long shifts? What about scientists working late nights in the lab? Or students taking exams?


Flu Vaccination: Docs Talk the Talk Without Walking the Walk

Every fall, the public is barraged by messages from doctors, nurses and other health care providers to get a flu vaccination to protect against the influenza virus. But the truth is, some doctors and nurses might talk the talk without walking the walk.

According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a significant chunk of health care professionals declined to get vaccinated against the influenza virus during the 2006-07 flu season, with only about 40 percent opting for a jab. It's an "abysmal and profoundly sad" statistic, according to Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt Medical School in Nashville, Tenn.

Comment: All the propaganda and damage control in this article cannot hide the fact that the doctors and nurses know that the flu vaccine is poison. That's why they decline to have it injected in their veins.