Health & Wellness


Antibiotic-resistant intestinal superbug has spread to majority of US states

© Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Publich Health Image Library
Shigella stool
The intestinal bug shigella sonnei has spread via international travelers to 32 states and Puerto Rico, US health officials say. The bacteria has largely resisted the main drugs used to combat it.

Between May 2014 and February 2015, a drug-resistant strain of shigella has infected 243 people across the US, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC's findings were first published in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The CDC found that 90 percent of cases of the shigellosis infection analyzed in Massachusetts, California, and Pennsylvania were resistant to ciprofloxacin (Cipro), the top shigellosis antibiotic in the US.

Comment: Humans have destroyed the natural way of things so nature has to respond.


(Un) Informed Consent: A few things parents don't know about the Measles, Mumps & Rubella Vaccine

I've been dismayed by the national brouhaha characterized by the Four "Astroturf" Horsemen of Vaccine Hysteria: Fear, Anger, Blame, Hatred.
  • The unvaccinated must be hunted down and punished
  • Measles is deadly
  • We need a federal mandate for the measles vaccine
  • No exemptions for anyone
There's nary a mainstream outlet that hasn't jumped in and piled on. For a group of investigative journalists, health reporters, seasoned writers, and popular bloggers that claims to wrap themselves in the cloak of modern science, there's precious little scientific or even analytic thinking, let alone responsible, measured discussion. It remains to be seen whether mainstream journalism will grow a spine.

Comment: Additional information on the "national brouhaha" and "Vaccine Hysteria"

Pro-Vaxxers are the new pro-lifers: Religious hysteria trumps rational discussion in the vaccine debate

Arrow Up

Never too late: Regular strength training shown to enable elderly to live more independently

In Austria, around ten per cent of over-65-year-olds are frail, while a further 40 per cent are in a preliminary stage of frailty. The Healthy For Life project, with the MedUni Vienna as the academic lead, aims to raise fitness levels and quality of life for older people whose nutritional condition is inadequate. The first results show that regular strength training is particularly beneficial for increasing hand strength, and thus enabling people to live independently, says Thomas Dorner of the MedUni Vienna's Centre for Public Health to mark World Health Day on April 7.

The Healthy For Life project is a collaboration between the MedUni Vienna, Wiener Hilfswerk and Sportunion Österreich and is sponsored by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund. It involves volunteer "buddies" (aged at least 50) making weekly home visits to motivate older people to do strength training. Other nutritional issues are also discussed and it also boosts social support. It's a win-win situation: "it is not only beneficial to the elderly people's health, but also does the younger buddies good."

Comment: Research also shows that exercise is as important for brain function as it is for the rest of the body. In fact, it may play a large role in staying mentally alert into old age. The increased blood flow allows the brain to function better and exercising regularly will prompt the growth of new brain cells. In the hippocampus, these new brain cells help boost memory and learning.


Big surprise! Research shows Corexit damages epithelium cells within lungs of humans and marine creatures

© rufous / Fotolia
Crude oil spill on a beach.
New research from investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests that Corexit EC9500A, an oil-dispersal agent widely used in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, contributes to damage to epithelium cells within the lungs of humans and gills of marine creatures. The study also identifies an enzyme that is expressed in epithelial cells across species that has protective properties against Corexit-induced damage.

The investigators say that finding a way to boost or enhance that enzyme, heme oxygenase-1 or HO-1, could prevent lung damage in cases of exposure to oil dispersal agents in future. The study, published in PLOS ONE on April 2, 2015, looked at epithelium cells -- the cells lining the airways of humans and the gills of certain marine species, in particular zebrafish and blue crabs.

The Deepwater Horizon spill, which began April 20, 2010, involved 205.8 million gallons of crude oil that spilled from a well head blow-out during the next three months. A dispersant, Corexit EC9500A, was used to degrade and break down the oil. A total of 1.84 million gallons of chemical dispersant was sprayed on the water or applied below the surface of the water.

Comment: The use of this highly toxic dispersant, that is actually less effective than other dispersants was completely irresponsible and is one of the reasons why the human and marine inhabitants of the Gulf of Mexico are still suffering today. It is beyond belief that these scientists are suggesting the use of some 'novel therapeutic approach' to be able to continue using this dangerous toxin.

Corexit "Ruptures Red Blood Cells, Causes Internal Bleeding", Allows Crude Oil to Penetrate "Into the Cells" and "Every Organ System"
Corexit: Deadly dispersant in oil spill cleanup
Must See! BP and Corexit: Truth and Lies
Less Toxic Dispersants Lose Out in BP Oil Spill Cleanup


Is your memory shaky? Might not be your age, but all that sugar ruining your liver


How sugar affects the brain - Nicole Avena
A quarter of the U.S. population suffers from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease caused by dietary sugar.

We know foods like donuts and soda can make you fat, but the effects of sugar on the liver and brain are less well-known. Dietary sugar can fry your liver in much the same way alcohol can. This in turn can hurt your brain, leaving you with dementia-like symptoms decades too soon.

Most people associate liver disease with alcohol abuse or hepatitis. But another type, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which barely existed three decades ago, has quickly become the most common liver disease in America. NAFLD isn't caused by booze or a nasty virus, but dietary sugar, which causes a buildup of fat in your liver. Overweight people are likely candidates for NAFLD. Memory loss and diminished cognitive function are often the first symptoms, as the liver loses its ability to filter toxins that compromise the brain.

Comment: Learn more about the evils of sugar and what it does to your body and your brain! Listen to the The Health and Wellness Show - 9 March 2015


Study reveals how much processed food we really buy

© Natural Society
There is no doubt that as a nation we have embraced processed foods, with the junk food stockpiling in nearly every grocery store and restaurant. In fact, a new report reveals that a whopping 60% of the food we purchase comes in the form of processed junk. But thankfully the last few years don't help make up the stats.

The study took place between 2000 and 2012, where researchers asked 157,142 households to use barcode scanners to record every food item purchased for at least a year. According to the multi-year analysis of U.S. grocery store purchases, "highly processed" foods were found to make up 60% of the calories in the foods purchased. What's more, and not surprisingly, these foods are often loaded with sugar, salt, and harmful fats.

For the study, "highly processed" foods were defined as those containing multi-ingredient, industrially prepared mixtures, such as:
  • Soda
  • Cookies
  • Chips
  • White bread
  • Candy
  • And prepared meals.
Foods such as fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, dried beans, and fresh meat were considered "unprocessed" or minimally processed.

Life Preserver

Heal your thyroid by getting out of adrenal survival mode

It's dark and it's late. You're coming out of a club in the city heading back to your car, which is parked on a poorly lit side street. About 50 yards from your car door, you notice a man crossing the street toward you. Nobody is on the street.

Your heart is racing, and your muscles tighten. You are on red alert. Should you run? Prepare to fight? Your keys are already in your hand - you could use them to defend yourself. Your fingers clench so tightly around the keys that you feel them digging into your palm. You recognize this feeling. It's terror.

Now closer to you, you hear the man's footsteps stop and from the corner of your eye you catch light coming from an open apartment building door. You hear laughter. You turn your head slightly and see a woman step out of the building. She embraces that man. More laughter...

Your shoulders drop, your breathing relaxes after a huge exhale accompanied by a nervous and relieved chuckle. You release the grip on those keys clenched in your hand. You're safe.

Threat, perceived threat, and the HPA axis

This man never was an actual threat to you. But your nervous system's fight or flight response, the primitive survival mechanisms that start in your brain and quickly extend into your entire hormonal system through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (simply say HPA axis and you'll still sound wicked smart!) didn't know this. Your brain is so exquisitely tuned to protecting you that it just responds to your perception of danger and there you go - fasten your seat belt because you're going on a stress-hormone ride!

Comment: The ketogenic diet is the best solution to successfully regulate your blood sugar levels: And don't miss our favorite "stress decompression" practice:

Face life with Éiriú Eolas, a stress relief program


Polio-like virus, enterovirus D68, culprit in partial paralysis of children

This photo shows an electron micrograph of a thin section of numerous, spherical EV-D68 viral particles.
More than 100 children in 34 states developed polio-like paralysis in an arm or a leg since a respiratory outbreak last August. A study published in The Lancet medical journal said a strain of enterovirus D68 is probably the leading culprit.

Between August and October 2014, reports began to surface of an increasing number of children admitted to hospitals in a number of states, all involving a respiratory illness with neurological complications. In the end, as many as 115 children from 34 states were infected. The illness was identified as being caused by enterovirus D68, but the neurological complaints leading to partial paralysis was new.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco used genetic sequences obtained from the virus, which were cultured from 25 children with limb paralysis in Colorado and California between November 2013 and October 2014. They found the viruses were genetically very similar, sharing mutations founded in the polio virus genome, but they also identified a novel strain of enterovirus D68 which they called B1 and identified as emerging four years ago

Comment: Interestingly, it seems that only vaccinated kids are getting infected with d68.


India is making the US look like 'the world's fools' when it comes to prescription drugs

© Jim Young/Reuters
There may be a long trip to India in your future if you have hepatitis C. That's because the Indian Patent Office recently rejected Gilead Sciences' application for a patent on Sovaldi.You may remember Sovaldi, the nearly miraculous "cure" for hep C that was approved by the FDA a little more than a year ago. Gilead decided to market the drug at a nice round number — $1,000 per pill — and that decision has been controversial ever since. A 12-week course of treatment runs about $84,000.

Gilead offered to sell the drug in India for a whopping 99% discount, but apparently that wasn't enough. If an Indian generic drugmaker can replicate the treatment, says a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, a full course of treatment should cost about $136. A generic drugmaker in Bangladesh just days ago issued a copy of the drug it intends to sell in countries where Gilead has no patent protection.

Comment: For more on hepatitis C and its treatment listen to the latest episode of Sott's Health and Wellness Show.


Vaccine injury: First the gut, then the brain

© Hundertwasser
Vase Tree Man, 1974
When we think about vaccine injuries such as autism and epilepsy, we generally consider a direct assault on the brain. But the reality may be far different where injury begins in the gut, leading to brain damage. This article will explore potential mechanisms of gut-brain injuries by vaccination.

As with Parts 1 and 2, we'll consider individual microbial predisposition as crucial to susceptibility to intestinal injury. The theory is that protective microbes such as Bifidobacteria are why some people appear to escape injury while others are not so fortunate.

Neurodegenerative diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's and Alzheimer's are strongly associated with gut dysbiosis where these problems are now thought to begin in the gut. Diabetes and obesity are associated with brain inflammation. Gut-brain is known to be a two-way street, so diabetes and obesity are improved by reversing brain inflammation. In fact, 90% of fibers in the vagus nerve travel from gut to brain, not brain to gut, surprising and unsettling.

Comment: Read more about Brain, heart and gut minds: