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The birth control trap

Blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks: the serious negative side effects of hormonal contraceptives are undeniable.

Last month saw the release of a new study that makes the connection, not for the first time, between newer birth control pills and the risk of serious injury or death. Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom revealed that a woman using a brand of oral contraceptive with a more recently created formulation has 4 times the risk of developing a blood clot when compared to a woman who is not taking any brand of birth control pills. These pills contain newer synthetic progestins with the names drospirenone, desogestrel, gestodene, and cyproterone. Women using older formulations with older progestins still have a risk that is 2.5 times the risk of non-users. Even when the researchers took into account other contributing factors such as obesity and smoking, the connection was still stark.

New formulations of the birth control pill are created partly in response to the side effects experienced with older types, but also partly so that new patents can be purchased, allowing for the higher profits of bringing "new," "improved," and often more expensive products, to the market. This study may be new evidence, but it's not exactly "news". The makers of the drospirenone-containing Yaz and Yasmin brands, which were the top selling oral contraceptives for some time, have had to settle thousands of cases of women injured or killed by deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, strokes and heart attacks out of court, with a cost of $1.7 billion dollars.

Those in the media that report these findings are often accused of scare mongering. Women are encouraged to keep taking the pills, consult with their doctor, and then ask about switching brands to lower, but not remove, the risk. These days we also see the suggestion that women should instead use the hormonal IUD device, implant or the shot. However, all of these other delivery systems hold their own set of side effects and risks. The blood clot risk might not be as high, but the danger to a woman's health and wellbeing does not disappear when we replace one hormonal contraceptive with another.

Comment:

Bigpharma collateral damage: Yaz birth control pills blamed for 23 deaths from blood clots

The Dark Side of Birth Control: The Pill Still Has Many Adverse Affects Glossed Over By Big Pharma


Hotdog

Emulsifiers: Colitis for breakfast

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After sweeteners last year ended up being the suspects as the possible cause of glucose intolerance, now the evidence is piling up that emulsifiers have a role of partial responsibility in the huge increase in inflammatory diseases in recent decades.

Scientists were able to show in a recent study on mice that emulsifiers can promote metabolic syndrome, obesity and chronic inflammation in the intestine. Doctors working under Andrew Gewirtz and Benoit Chassaing of Georgia State University suspect that the increasing use of emulsifiers in the food industry and the increase of inflammatory diseases in recent decades are closely linked, as they write in the journal Nature. This is because both metabolic syndrome and chronic inflammatory bowel disease accompany change in the composition of intestinal flora.

"Despite the human genome's unchanging state these diseases have increased dramatically. The suspicion that an environmental factor is very likely instrumental in it acquires probability", says Chassaing. He adds: "What we eat has a direct impact on our intestinal flora, therefore we examined whether modern food additives alter intestinal bacteria such that they increasingly promote inflammation".

In their experiments, the scientists tested the effects of two common emulsifiers, polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) on the intestinal flora of mice. They added the substances to the drinking water of mice at a concentration at which they also occur in food (1%).

Magnify

Reasons why gluten intolerance may be even more serious than celiac disease

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Recent news stories have downplayed the significance of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, even going as far as suggesting that it doesn't exist. But a growing body of evidence has proven that gluten intolerance is not only real, but is potentially a much larger problem than celiac disease.

About a year ago I wrote an article called "Is Gluten Sensitivity Real" which critiqued a spate of news reports suggesting that nonceliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) doesn't exist. These news stories referred to a study indicating that some people who believed they were reacting to gluten were actually reacting to a class of poorly absorbed carbohydrates (which include wheat, among many other foods) called FODMAPs.

You can read the full article above for details, but the takeaway was that the study those stories were based on in no way disproved the existence of NCGS, nor did it overturn the large body of evidence that links it to a variety of health problems ranging from type 1 diabetes, to allergies, to schizophrenia, to autism spectrum disorders. There is little doubt among those who are familiar with the scientific literature that NCGS is a real condition.

Comment: For more on this slow and quiet destroyer of good health see:

Stop eating gluten immediately if you exhibit these ten signs

The long list of hidden gluten: Unsafe ingredients for gluten sensitivity

Sensitivity To Gluten May Result In Neurological Dysfunction; Independent Of Symptoms

Book Review: Gluten Toxicity - The Mysterious Symptoms of Celiac Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance




Donut

FDA to ban trans fats by 2018

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© Reuters/Yves Herman

Comment: One has to wonder what took the government this long to realize the harmful effects of hydrogenated oils? If, as the FDA says, they are "committed to the heart health of all Americans", why did it take decades before they finally realized how harmful vegetable oils are? It's unlikely their scientific methods suddenly took a leap forward in 2013, when the FDA declared partially hydrogenated oils unsafe for consumption.


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced its final decision to outlaw partially hydrogenated oils, the primary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, by June 2018.

The agency said that its decision is based on scientific review of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) which has indicated that they are not "generally recognized as safe" for human food consumption.

"The FDA's action on this major source of artificial trans fat demonstrates the agency's commitment to the heart health of all Americans," said Stephen Ostroff, the FDA's acting commissioner. "This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year."

Trans fats boost risk of coronary disease given they raise "bad" cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Removing PHOs from processed foods could prevent up to 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 coronary deaths a year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heart - Black

Hiding the truth: Health authorities tell Gardasil victims their problems are coincidental, psychosomatic

Are HPV vaccines the number one cause of coincidence around the globe? Are we facing one of the worst epidemics of mass hysteria the world has ever seen? Apparently, health authorities around the world would like us to believe one of these two scenarios.

Almost without exception, survivors of new medical conditions after the administration of Gardasil or Cervarix are told their problems are coincidental, psychosomatic, mass hysteria, conversion disorder, and so on...ad nauseam. The health authorities in one country (Colombia) even went so far as to attribute new medical conditions after Gardasil to the overuse of Ouija boards.

If all of the above fail, the next step is to try and blame the new symptoms on the parents with phrases like Munchausen by proxy, factitious disorder, fabricated or induced illness, attention seeking, simply out for money, and so on.

The first problem with all of these theories is they are usually put forth after little or no medical investigation. This leaves parents who believed their health authorities and had their daughters injected with the newest miracle vaccine feeling confused, abandoned and betrayed by the very people they trusted to protect their children's health and well-being.

Comment: The fact that more women are choosing to avoid this deadly vaccine gives some hope that the truth is finally reaching the public, despite industry and government attempts to squelch information that would save many lives. Fortunately, there are doctors and scientists who are bravely countering the propaganda. One of those is Dr. Bernard Dalbergue, a former pharmaceutical industry physician with Gardasil manufacturer Merck. This is what he had to say about Gardasil:
"The full extent of the Gardasil scandal needs to be assessed: everyone knew when this vaccine was released on the American market that it would prove to be worthless. Diane Harper, a major opinion leader in the United States, was one of the first to blow the whistle, pointing out the fraud and scam of it all. I predict that Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all time because at some point in time, the evidence will add up to prove that this vaccine, technical and scientific feat that it may be, has absolutely no effect on cervical cancer and that all the very many adverse effects which destroy lives and even kill, serve no other purpose than to generate profit for the manufacturers. Gardasil is useless and costs a fortune! In addition, decision-makers at all levels are aware of it! Cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, paralysis of the lower limbs, vaccine-induced MS and vaccine-induced encephalitis can be found, whatever the vaccine."



Magnify

Researchers make surprising connection between solar storms and incidences of rheumatoid arthritis and giant cell arteritis

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© DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
What began as a chat between husband and wife has evolved into an intriguing scientific discovery. The results, published in May in BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal) Open, show a "highly significant" correlation between periodic solar storms and incidences of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and giant cell arteritis (GCA), two potentially debilitating autoimmune diseases. The findings by a rare collaboration of physicists and medical researchers suggest a relationship between the solar outbursts and the incidence of these diseases that could lead to preventive measures if a causal link can be established.

RA and GCA are autoimmune conditions in which the body mistakenly attacks its own organs and tissues. RA inflames and swells joints and can cause crippling damage if left untreated. In GCA, the autoimmune disease results in inflammation of the wall of arteries, leading to headaches, jaw pain, vision problems and even blindness in severe cases.

Inspiring this study were conversations between Simon Wing, a Johns Hopkins University physicist and first author of the paper, and his wife, Lisa Rider, deputy unit chief of the Environmental Autoimmunity Group at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the National Institutes of Health, and a coauthor. Rider spotted data from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, showing that cases of RA and GCA followed close to 10-year cycles. "That got me curious," Wing recalled. "Only a few things in nature have a periodicity of about 10-11 years and the solar cycle is one of them."

Health

Women under chronic stress have significantly lower levels of klotho, a hormone that regulates aging and enhances cognition

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Women under chronic stress have significantly lower levels of klotho, a hormone that regulates aging and enhances cognition, researchers at UC San Francisco have found in a study comparing mothers of children on the autism spectrum to low-stress controls.

The researchers found that the women in their study with clinically significant depressive symptoms had even lower levels of klotho in their blood than those who were under stress but not experiencing such symptoms.

The study, published June 16, in Translational Psychiatry, is the first to show a relationship between psychological influences and klotho, which performs a wide variety of functions in the body.

"Our findings suggest that klotho, which we now know is very important to health, could be a link between chronic stress and premature disease and death," said lead author, Aric Prather, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at UCSF. "Since our study is observational, we cannot say that chronic stress directly caused lower klotho levels, but the new connection opens avenues of research that converge upon aging, mental health, and age-related diseases."

Comment: As numerous studies show, stress negatively impacts health in a variety of ways. One of the best methods of helping to reduce stress, calm and focus the mind, thus improving your overall quality of life is the Éiriú Eolas technique of breathing and meditation. It will help you to have improved overall health, a stronger immune system, better impulse control, reduced inflammation and will also help you to heal emotional wounds. The program can be learned online here free of charge.


Footprints

How exercise can be BAD for you: Ultra-marathons and endurance events 'can trigger blood poisoning', scientists warn

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Extreme endurance events like ultramarathons and multi-stage marathons can causes intestinal bacteria to leak into the bloodstream, triggering blood poisoning, a study has found
Too much exercise can trigger blood poisoning, scientists have warned.

Taking part in extreme endurance events causes intestinal bacteria to leak into the bloodstream, leading to serious infection, a new study revealed.

Researchers said their findings came after analysing people who participated in fitness events, including ultra-marathons, and multi-stage marathons which span consecutive days.

Dr Ricardo Costa, of the University of Monash, said: 'Blood samples taken before and after the events, compared with a control group, proved that exercise over a prolonged period of time causes the gut wall to change.

'This allows the naturally present bacteria, known as endotoxins, in the gut to leak into the bloodstream.'


This then triggers an inflammatory response throughout the body from it's immune cells, similar to a serious infection, he added.

As part of the study, Dr Costa and his team examined people taking part in a 24-hour ultra-marathon and multi-stage ultra-marathons.

Health

Study finds eating chocolate lowers risk of heart disease, strokes, and reduces heart pressure

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© Reuters/Thomas Mukoya
A new study has found that chocolate can lower the risk of heart disease and strokes as well as reduce blood pressure and help people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, but the results are not definitive.

The research published in the journal Heart Monday used a wide sample of 25,000 volunteers who ate about 15-100 grams of chocolate a day in the form of all types, including dark, milk and hot cocoa.

This is the equivalent to about two Alpen Gold bars or about 500 calories.

"The main message is that you don't need to worry too much if you are only moderately eating chocolate," Phyo Myint, a professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and one of the study's lead authors, said in an interview with the Washington Post.

Health

Gluten intolerance and asthma

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The incidence of people suffering with asthma in the U.S. continues to grow. Interestingly enough, so does the incidence of people being diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Because asthma can be an autoimmune reaction, the next question is - Are the two related?

According to a new study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, there is a strong correlation.

Source: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 127, Issue 4, April 2011, Pages 1071-1073.


Comment: For more information, see Opening Pandora's Bread Box: The Critical Role of Wheat Lectin in Human Disease