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Parasite-schizophrenia connection: One-fifth of schizophrenia cases may involve the parasite T. gondii

© University of Pennsylvania
The parasite T. gondii has been shown to alter behavior in rodents. Smith's study supports a link to schizophrenia in humans.
Many factors, both genetic and environmental, have been blamed for increasing the risk of a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Some, such as a family history of schizophrenia, are widely accepted. Others, such as infection with Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite transmitted by soil, undercooked meat and cat feces, are still viewed with skepticism.

A new study by Gary Smith, professor of population biology and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, used epidemiological modeling methods to determine the proportion of schizophrenia cases that may be attributable to T. gondii infection. The work, published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine, suggests that about one-fifth of cases may involve the parasite.

"Infection with Toxoplasma is very common, so, even if only a small percentage of people suffer adverse consequences, we could be talking about problems that affect thousands and thousands of people," Smith said.

In the United States, just over a fifth of the population is infected with T. gondii. The vast majority aren't aware of it. But there are some populations that need to be concerned. For example, if a woman becomes infected for the first time during pregnancy, her fetus can die or suffer serious developmental problems. People with HIV or other diseases that weaken the immune system are susceptible to a complication of T. gondii infection called toxoplasmic encephalitis, which can be deadly.

Though the medical community has long believed that most healthy people suffer no adverse effects from a T. gondii infection, recent studies have found evidence of worrisome impacts, including an association with schizophrenia because the parasite is found in in the brain as well as in muscles. Other work has shown that some antipsychotic drugs can stop the parasite from reproducing. In addition, field and laboratory studies in mice, rats and people have shown that infection with T. gondii triggers changes in behavior and personality.

Comment: Read more:

Toxoplasmosis Parasite May Trigger Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorders

Brain parasite hosted by cats linked to increased suicidal behaviour threat: study

Scientists claim 40% of population infected with "mind control parasite"

You are what you're infected with?

Question

How dangerous is fluoride to your health?

Fluorine is an element. It is a gas, never occurring in its free state. In microscopic amounts complexed with other minerals, it is often listed as a trace mineral, a nutrient for human nutrition.

The fluoride added to 90% of drinking water is hydrofluoric acid which is a compound of fluorine that is a chemical byproduct of aluminum, steel, cement, phosphate, and nuclear weapons manufacturing.

Such fluoride is manmade. In this form, fluoride has no nutrient value whatsoever. It is one of the most caustic of industrial chemicals. Fluoride is the active toxin in rat poisons and cockroach powder.

Hydrofluoric acid is used to refine high octane gasoline, to make fluorocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons for freezers and air conditioners, and to manufacture computer screens, fluorescent light bulbs, semiconductors, plastics, herbicides, - and toothpaste.

It also has the ability to burn flesh to the bone, destroy eyes, and sear lungs so that victims drown in their own body fluid.

Once in the body, fluoride is a destroyer of human enzymes. It does this by changing their shapes. In human biochemistry, thousands of enzymes are necessary for various essential cell reactions that take place every second we're alive. Without enzymes, we'd die instantaneously.
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Asthma attacks can be controlled by Vitamin D

© Zee Media Bureau
An Israeli research has found that asthma flare ups can be helpped by boosting the level of Vitamin D in deficients asthmatics.

Dr Ronit Confino-Cohen from University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, said that Vitamin D has significant immunomodulatory effects and is believed to have an effect on asthma - an immunologically mediated disease.

Between 2008 and 2012, 307,900 people were measured with levels of Vitamin D.

In Israel out of some 21,000 asthma pateients studied, 25 percent were those with a Vitamin D deficiency were more likely than other asthmatics to have had at least one flare-up in the recent past.

The medical records of nearly four million members of Clalit Health Services, Israel's largest health care provider, were analysed by Dr Confino-Cohen and her team.
Info

Wheat & cow's milk disrupt DNA expression & antioxidant status

Could two of the Western world's most popular foods - wheat and cow's dairy - be depleting you of your antioxidants and altering your DNA expression in a harmful way?

A fascinating new study sheds much needed light on the topic of why a diet free of wheat gluten and the cow's milk protein known as casein have commonly been reported to have such a wide range of health benefits, particularly when it comes to gastrointestinal distress and neurological disorders; Or, said oppositely, the study reveals why the centerpiece of the Western dietary pattern - a gluten and casein-rich diet - may participate in an extraordinarily wide range of health problems, many of which we have been documenting extensively on our open access database: gluten harms and casein harms. We also featured the neurotoxicity of gluten and casein in three previous articles you can review below for a more in depth perspective on their intrinsically harmful nature:
Snakes in Suits

Think your insurance company will cover you for Ebola? Think again

ebola
Remember the promise of universal health care with Obamacare, with no refusal for 'pre-existing conditions'? It looks like your insurance company may not have to cover you if you get Ebola. U.S. and British insurance companies have begun writing Ebola exclusions into standard policies to cover hospitals, event organizers, and other businesses vulnerable to local disruptions.

While it is estimated that expenditures to treat the original Dallas Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, were approximately $100,000 an hour (though he passed anyway), it looks like insurance companies won't be footing the bill.

President Obama originally refused to set up travel restrictions in and out of West Africa, too, even though the governments latest scare tactics and the CDC's ineptitude have resulted in insurance companies creating new policies which exclude Ebola care. Renewals will also become costlier for companies opting to insure business travel to West Africa or to cover the risk of losses from quarantine shutdowns at home.

Comment: Wouldn't it be better to avoid Ebola altogether? See:

Are you prepping your diet?

The Ketogenic Diet - An Overview

Vitamin C - A cure for Ebola

Scientists stumble across the obvious treatment for Ebola: tobacco

Syringe

All of the profits, none of the risk: Big Pharma seeks legal immunity from damage due to emergency Ebola vaccines

syringes pills
The same drug manufacturers that stand to profit immensely from the sale of Ebola vaccines say they require full legal immunity from any potential lawsuits that might arise when people are harmed by various adverse effects from these "emergency" drugs.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) CEO Andrew Witty told World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan that his corporation, which is currently leading the way in producing Ebola vaccines, shouldn't have to shoulder any of the burden of responsibility for their safety.

Witty maintains, in other words, that GSK should be allowed full access to the financial benefits associated with selling Ebola vaccines to the public, but with absolutely none of the risk. And his company and others will likely get what they want, since they hold remarkable sway in the political realm.
Cow

Study finds milk consumption linked to bone fractures and increased mortality

milk
© www.bluewaikiki.com
Researchers find link between high milk consumption and increased mortality risk.
A recent report from Sweden has not only added proof to the growing consensus that drinking milk doesn't help our bone strength at all but also suggested that it may be compromising our lives. The study even found a correlation between high milk consumption, bone fracture occurrences, and increased mortality risk. Although at this point cause and effect cannot yet be proven, the findings may still be enough to get you to decrease your daily milk consumption.

Mankind's relationship with milk post-infancy is still relatively new. In fact, two-thirds of the human population still lack the enzyme needed to break down the lactose in milk and will most surely end up with the monster of all stomach aches if they drink too much. Still, for those of us who are able to drink milk without too much of a discomfort, we've drank with the idea that we were somewhat improving our bone health.

However, many scholars have noticed that when it comes to osteoporosis and milk consumption, the numbers just don't add up. The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis, such as the United States and countries in the European Union, are some of the biggest global milk consumers, Slate reported. Could it be that milk actually doesn't do all that much for bone health after all?

Comment: Studies have shown that countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis. In addition, studies of calcium supplementation have showed no benefit in reducing fracture risk. Vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures. Dairy products - including all milk products, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, kefir, ice-cream, etc. - are related to all kinds of diseases including cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, cancer, allergies, asthma, digestive diseases, thyroid problems, neurological diseases among others.

Why Milk Is So Evil

6 reasons why you should avoid milk at all costs...

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Low carb, high fat diets may reduce seizures in tough-to-treat epilepsy

© thehealthage.com
Diets high in fat and low in carbohydrates, such as the ketogenic or modified Atkins diet, may reduce seizures in adults with tough-to-treat epilepsy, according to a review of the research published in the October 29, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Epilepsy is a nervous system disorder in which the nerve cells in the brain work abnormally, causing seizures. About 50 million people have epilepsy worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

"We need new treatments for the 35 percent of people with epilepsy whose seizures are not stopped by medications," said study author Pavel Klein, M.B.,B. Chir., of the Mid-Atlantic Epilepsy and Sleep Center in Bethesda, Md., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "The ketogenic diet is often used in children, but little research has been done on how effective it is in adults."

The ketogenic and modified Atkins diets include items such as bacon, eggs, heavy cream, butter, leafy green vegetables and fish. The ketogenic diet consists of a ratio of fat to protein/carbohydrates of three or four to one by weight. The modified Atkins diet has a one-to-one fat to carbohydrate/protein ratio by weight.

Scientists reviewed five studies on the ketogenic diet with a total of 47 people included in the analysis and five studies on the modified Atkins diet with 85 people included.
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Beauty myths: The 'Certified Organic' deception

Natural and organic cosmetics and skin care products are becoming more and more popular, as more of us are addressing our state of wellbeing. Whilst I feel this is a wonderful shift in culture, it can also be quite confronting, confusing and deceiving. If you have recently jumped on the wellness train, and gone through the process of detoxing your bathroom cabinet, then it's highly likely you've come across words such as organic, natural, biodynamic, certified organic, vegan, wild crafted and naturally derived.

But, what do all these words mean?

And then there's the BDIH, ECOCERT, USDA, ACO (Australian Certified Organic), OFC (Organic Food Chain), NATRUE, Soil Association and many more. Which certification stamp is the best?

It's no wonder you may be confused, reading contradictory information on the internet, and wondering which beauty product is best. If you've been hoodwinked in to thinking that your certified organic brand is better (in terms of purity and performance) than the non certified organic brand that you were contemplating, you're not alone. But please take a moment to think about what your deciding factor was. Was it the certification stamp that gave you instant assurance? Or did you do your research?

Perhaps your certified organic product is better. But then again, it may not be. Those certification stamps are not as straightforward or trustworthy as you've been led to believe.

Comment: Know Thyself: Skin care products can be more toxic than food:

Life Preserver

Virus might be the cure for deadly honeybee disease

honeybees
© phys.org
Honeybees lives may depend on a beneficial virus.
For honeybees losing their babies to a deadly disease, help may soon be on the way in the form of a virus that attacks bacteria and self-replicates until the job is done.

The disease is called American Foulbrood, a bacteria that kills bee larvae and is highly contagious. Its presence in a hive doesn't harm adult bees, but they can still spread it from hive to hive. Over time, as larvae die and bee populations can't replenish themselves, the whole colony can collapse.

Losses to the beekeeping industry to this disease can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars and its presence drastically cuts the number of bees that are able to pollinate plants.

beekeeper
© news.nationalgeographic.com
There may be no choice but to destroy the hive.
Beekeepers can try to cure the hive with antibiotics, but that's not a perfect solution: The bacteria can and often do come back stronger, more resistant to the treatment. When that happens, the beekeepers have to seal up the hive and burn it.

Or, they may be able to try sending phages on search and destroy missions to eradicate American Foulbrood.

The bacteriophage, or phage, is a virus that tracks down specific bacteria. Bryan Merrill, an undergraduate at BYU, got the idea to treat American Foulbrood using phages after enrolling in a class that dealt with phage identification exclusively.
phage and bacterium
© Lee D. Simon, photo researchers
Phages (orange) prey on a lone bacterium.
He approached Sandra Burnett, BYU professor of microbiology and molecular biology, who agreed to supervise Merrill on his research into a natural way to get rid of American Foulbrood.

"Phages are the most abundant life form on the planet and each phage has a unique bacteria that it will attack," explained Burnett in a release. "This makes phage an ideal treatment for bacterial disease because it can target specific bacteria while leaving all other cells alone."

Comment: What viruses are beneficial to humans? Certainly we must be able to utilize phages for some of the "illnesses" to which we are afflicted.

Phages are the most abundant organisms on Earth and thrive wherever bacteria grow, constantly evolving to keep up with mutating bacteria strains. They are a normal part of the human environment and are commonly consumed via foods and drinking water. Phage therapy applications (in research and development) will include food safety, vet applications for bacterial infections that cause animal morbidity/mortality, environmental sanitation especially for hospitals, and human therapeutics for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Phage therapy was first used in Paris 90 years ago but abandoned by Western medicine for antibiotics. The advantages to phages are: specificity, exclusive locality, no side effects, bacterial resistance is futile, and the development process is rapid. Antibiotics target all microorganisms, do not concentrate at the site of infection, produce multiple side effects, have multi-resistant strains with no effect, and development of new antibiotics is expensive and takes several years.

Only six clinics in 5 different countries offer phage therapy. Hopefully it will make its way into mainstream treatment, but big pharma is running the show and they will squeeze every penny out of the antibiotic cash cow for as long as possible.

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