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Fri, 13 Dec 2019
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Cheeseburger

The dark side of plant-based food - it's more about money than you may think

veggie burger
© Nina Firsova/Shutterstock.com
There’s more behind that vegan burger than it seems.
If you were to believe newspapers and dietary advice leaflets, you'd probably think that doctors and nutritionists are the people guiding us through the thicket of what to believe when it comes to food. But food trends are far more political - and economically motivated - than it seems.

From ancient Rome, where Cura Annonae - the provision of bread to the citizens - was the central measure of good government, to 18th-century Britain, where the economist Adam Smith identified a link between wages and the price of corn, food has been at the centre of the economy. Politicians have long had their eye on food policy as a way to shape society.

That's why tariffs and other trade restrictions on imported food and grain were enforced in Britain between 1815 and 1846. These "corn laws" enhanced the profits and political power of the landowners, at the cost of raising food prices and hampering growth in other economic sectors.

Comment: As much as it may be disguised as a grassroots movement, the vegan putsch is a big business enterprise that cares little about the consequences on the population at large. It's a push for greater and greater dominance of the entire food system, an industrialization of food that will keep the plebes strong enough to work the machines, but sick enough to prevent rebellion. Resisting the putsch is fundamental to the health of the individual.


Cow

300 medical students complete first mandated plant-based nutrition program in the US

plant-based medical students
The Wayne State University School of Medicine recently hosted its first mandated plant-based nutrition instruction for 300 first-year medical students.

Created in conjunction with the school's medical student-led plant-based advocacy group, the Plant Based Nutrition Group (PBNG), the month-long curriculum consisted of videos, lectures, and multiple-choice quizzes relating to evidence-based science behind a whole-foods plant-based diet and how to integrate the nutrition knowledge into clinical practice.

Students received comprehensive educational materials created by both PBNG and medical group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine detailing the connection between their basic science curriculum and plant-based nutrition.

Comment: While it's nothing new to have medical students go through an indoctrination of propaganda rather than an actual health education, this is still quite alarming. Soon doctors will have not only a pill for every occasion, but a pill and a radical dietary change. As if the US could afford to get any less healthy.

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Health

Addiction medicine: Ibogaine-based wonder drug due to start human trials

ibogaine shrub
© Sipa/Rex/shutterstock
The root of the ibogaine shrub provided the chemicals which were refined to form 18-MC. Unlike the plant root, 18-MC is not believed to be hallucinogenic.
A psychedelic drug with the potential to cure addiction is set to undergo human trials in America next year.

Psychedelics have long been known to inhibit cravings and help fight addiction, but a litany of ethical, health and legal issues have made them unsuitable as a treatment.

18-MC is made from an intense African shrub called ibogaine which can induce intense trips - including hallucinations and visions - lasting several days.

But the version being used in labs has been adapted to not produce hallucinations or comedowns, offering the tantalising possibility of a treatment without side-effects.

Micro-dosing is a growing phenomenon that sees people use tiny amounts of drugs such as LSD to keep their addictions at bay during day-to-day life.

This is illegal and can often lead to inadvertent trips.

But the developers of 18-MC claim the modified drug has the ability to manipulate a person's brain into hitting the reset button and turning off the sections responsible for cravings without these side-effects.

Comment: See also: How Psychedelics Saved My Life


Health

Obesity is an epidemic — why haven't we responded accordingly?

heart rate check
© Getty Images
The term "epidemic" derives from the Greek "epi" meaning "about" or "upon," and "demos," meaning "of the people." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines an epidemic as "an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of disease above what is normally expected in that population in that area."

The characteristic of urgency has also been attached to the term. For example, Dorland's Medical Dictionary defines an epidemic as "an urgent or pressing need."

Historically, epidemics have been caused by infectious agents. For example, Ebola and influenza are classic epidemics caused by viruses. But the opioid epidemic is caused by a medication, and the epidemic of lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan was caused by a heavy metal.

Comment: It's unfortunate that the above author feels like the solution to the obesity epidemic is to throw more money at it. While it's true that any implemented solution will require funding, what really needs to be done about the problem would involve a fundamental shift in multiple avenues from the very ground up. Promoting exercise, taxing sugary drinks and forcing kids to eat government mandated lunches are unlikely to have anything more than a marginal effect (if any).

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Heart

Surgeons withdraw support for heart disease advice after unpublished data and conflicts of interest come to light

heart scan
European clinical guidelines on how to treat a major form of heart disease are under review following a BBC Newsnight investigation.

Europe's professional body for heart surgeons has withdrawn support for the guidelines, saying it was "a matter of serious concern" that some patients may have had the wrong advice.

Guidelines recommended both stents and heart surgery for low-risk patients.

Comment: The sad truth is that the advice given to patients about their best health choices are always tainted by conflicts of interest and big money. Patients believe their doctors are giving them the treatments with the best scientific evidence behind them, and often the doctors believe the same. But a quick peek behind the curtain reveals the treatments offered are usually the ones that get the right people the most money and have little if anything to do with what would be best for the patient.

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Cow

Former vegan influencer gets savaged by fans after revealing new carnivore diet improved her health

vegan alyse parker

I swallowed my pride + decided I’d give it a shot. Full onnn carnivore. I woke up the next morning feeling more mentally clear, focused, wholesome, and healthy than I had felt in years.⁣
Well, that's a big change.

A formerly vegan influencer revealed to her fans that she spent 30 days eating nothing but meat and animal products. She also revealed that the new diet had some surprisingly positive effects on her health.


Comment: Vegan ideologues are frothing at the mouth with outrage as more and more of their compatriots bail from this ship of fools after discovering the benefits of eating meat:


Pills

'Cannot be trusted ... causing harm': Top medical journal takes on big pharma

Dr Anna Stavdal
© RHETT WYMAN
Dr Anna Stavdal, president-elect of the World Organisation of Family Doctors, Assistant Professor Ray Moynihan and Dr Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of The BMJ, in Sydney before the campaign launch
A leading medical journal is launching a global campaign to separate medicine from big pharma, linking industry influence to the pelvic mesh scandal that injured hundreds of women.

The BMJ says doctors are being unduly influenced by industry-sponsored education events and industry-funded trials for major drugs.

Those trials cannot be trusted, the journal's editor and a team of global healthcare leaders write in a scathing editorial published on Wednesday.

The "endemic financial entanglement with industry is distorting the production and use of healthcare evidence, causing harm to individuals and waste for health systems", they write.

Nebula

Man's DNA changes after bone marrow transplant, replaced by German donor following treatment for leukemia

Chris Long

Chris Long
A Nevada man discovered his DNA had changed after a bone marrow transplant and had been replaced, in part, by that of his German donor.

Chris Long, from Reno, found that not only had his blood swapped, but his semen was also changed, following his treatment for leukemia.

Long, who works at Washoe County Sheriff's Department, told The New York Times: 'I thought that it was pretty incredible that I can disappear and someone else can appear.'

Now his police colleagues are looking into how such changes could affect criminal cases and forensic work.

Long, who is in remission from acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes, had agreed to have swabs collected to monitor any changes.

Comment: It's worth remembering that our understanding of DNA, genetics, and all it entails, is still in its infancy, so one would hope researchers are proceeding with caution:


Shoe

Playing sports may play a role in the brain's ability to hear properly

football
© CC0
There have been many headlines in recent years about the potentially negative impacts contact sports can have on athletes' brains. But a new Northwestern University study shows that, in the absence of injury, athletes across a variety of sports — including football, soccer and hockey — have healthier brains than non-athletes.

"No one would argue against the fact that sports lead to better physically fitness, but we don't always think of brain fitness and sports," said senior author Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology and director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory (Brainvolts). "We're saying that playing sports can tune the brain to better understand one's sensory environment."

Athletes have an enhanced ability to tamp down background electrical noise in their brain to better process external sounds, such as a teammate yelling a play or a coach calling to them from the sidelines, according to the study of nearly 1,000 participants, including approximately 500 Northwestern Division I athletes.

Kraus likens the phenomenon to listening to a DJ on the radio.

"Think of background electrical noise in the brain like static on the radio," Kraus said. "There are two ways to hear the DJ better: minimize the static or boost the DJ's voice. We found that athlete brains minimize the background 'static' to hear the 'DJ' better."

Comment: See also,


Health

How myofascial release therapy can reduce pain, improve posture and flexibility

Myofascial Release Therapy

Myofascial release (or MFR) is a type of hands-on treatment that is used to reduce tightness and pain in the body’s connective tissue system. It’s intended to improve range of motion, flexibility, stability, strength, performance and recovery.
Whether you're an athlete looking to improve your training and performance, or someone trying to reduce pain and achieve better alignment, myofascial release therapy can likely help.

This type of manipulative therapy targets hard knots and trigger points in the muscle tissue that can elicit tenderness, pain, stiffness and even twitching.

While it's still considered an "alternative treatment," one that has been studied significantly less than similar approaches, there's evidence that it may be beneficial for those dealing with pain or inflexibility even after trying surgery, medication and stretching.

What Is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial release (or MFR) is a type of hands-on treatment that is used to reduce tightness and pain in the body's connective tissue system. It's intended to improve range of motion, flexibility, stability, strength, performance and recovery.

The purpose of MFR is to detect fascial restrictions — areas of connective tissue that are tight, painful or inflamed — and then to apply sustained pressure to that area in order to release the fascia.

Comment: For a more in-depth discussion of methods to release tension and stored emotions in the body, see: More on Fascia: