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Tue, 18 Feb 2020
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Health & Wellness


Sometimes a placebo is not a placebo

Placebos are used in clinical trials to demonstrate that an experimental drug is superior to the control or "inactive" pill (1). A placebo is usually defined as an "inert substance" (no effect), given to trial participants with the aim of making it impossible for them, and usually the researchers themselves, to know who is receiving an active or inactive therapy.

The exact contents of a placebo pill are often unknown; the "recipe" is not disclosed to the trial subjects, nor is it published in the peer-reviewed literature. Recently, the editor-in-chief of Clinical Therapeutics, Dr. Robert Shader, raised concerns when a 2017 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine injected one group of people with a monoclonal antibody (ocrelizumab) and the other group with a "matching placebo."

But what was in the placebo? "Was it saline? Was it the same vehicle in which the monoclonal antibody was dissolved?" Shader rightly questioned. Researchers should provide the public with the exact ingredients contained within a placebo, but this is rarely the case.

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CBC office tries veganism for a month to find out if it's healthy. It's not

Dr. Raj Attariwala
© Christian Amundson/CBC
Dr. Raj Attariwala looks at the results of an MRI scan on Jan. 6, 2019 in his Vancouver office.

7 of 8 employees at AIM Medical Imaging Services completed the 30-day vegan challenge

After a month of plant-based eating, it's finally time to order pizza.

This celebration requires cheese. Lots of cheese.

"It's been a hard month," Sean Jensen said between gigantic bites of pizza. "But this is delicious."

Comment: 'Lost muscle, gained fat, but I'm going to cut down on meat anyway.' Makes perfect sense.

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Herd immunity: A false rationale for vaccine mandates

pedestrians sidewalk crowd
Herd immunity is a largely theoretical concept, yet for decades, it has furnished one of the key underpinnings for vaccine mandates in the United States. The public health establishment borrowed the herd immunity concept from pre-vaccine observations of natural disease outbreaks. Then, without any apparent supporting science, officials applied the concept to vaccination, using it not only to justify mass vaccination but to guilt-trip anyone objecting to the nation's increasingly onerous vaccine mandates.

Apparently, herd immunity bullying sometimes works: A review of 29 studies showed that "willingness to immunize children for the benefit of the community" was a "motivating reason" for about a third of parents. There is one problem with using herd immunity as a motivator, however — the theory of herd immunity relies on numerous flawed assumptions that, in the real world, do not and cannot justify compulsory vaccination policies. In a 2014 analysis in the Oregon Law Review by New York University (NYU) legal scholars Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary (who also has a Princeton-conferred doctorate in chemistry), the authors show that 60 years of compulsory vaccine policies "have not attained herd immunity for any childhood disease." It is time, they suggest, to cast aside coercion in favor of voluntary choice.

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Ebola may help fight against brain tumors - study

© jarun011 - stock.adobe.com
The Ebola virus is indisputably one of the deadliest viruses known to man, but according to Yale scientists, it may actually do some good for a change. Researchers say certain parts of the Ebola virus have shown promise in treating and fighting glioblastomas, or very hard to treat and often fatal brain tumors.

"The irony is that one of the world's deadliest viruses may be useful in treating one of the deadliest of brain cancers," comments Yale's Anthony van den Pol, professor of neurosurgery, in a release.

This unlikely medical collaboration takes advantage of a fundamental weakness in cancerous tumors. Most cancer cells are unable to defend themselves with an immune response against viruses. This fact has caused researchers to test out the use of viruses in the fight against cancer. Of course, using viruses for medical purposes carries some inherent risk; viruses can potentially lead to dangerous infections in cancer patients.

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Scientists discover protein that stimulates development of lung cancer and melanoma

Cancer protein
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS
Scientists from Russia's Far Eastern Federal University, University of Geneva and Fuzhou University have discovered a protein that takes part in development of lung cancer and melanoma. This discovery opens new possibilities for effective cure for metastases of these two types of cancer by targeted therapy medicine, the Far Eastern Federal University told TASS Friday.

"Scientists from Far Eastern Federal University, University of Geneva and Fuzhou University have disclosed that WDR74 protein plays an important role in development of the primary tumor and metastases of melanoma and lung cancer. When the scientists artificially increased the amount of this protein in cancer cells, they observed the cells' increased activity. When the amount of protein was reduced, however, the cells have lost their ability to produce metastases and have become vulnerable to chemotherapy," the press service said, adding that the full text of the research is published in Cancer Letters and Oncogene journals.

In most types of cancers, the patients die not from the main tumor, but from the metastases that affect the vital organs. They appear at a certain stage of tumor development, when the tumor starts losing cells that get into the bloodstream. Such cells are called circulating cancer cells; they spark metastases, or secondary tumors, which appear at random body parts. Only a small amount of circulating cancer cells - one tenth or even one hundredth per cent - can create metastases.

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Water, the essential nutrient

Water is a basic necessity, needed to maintain a healthy body, a clear mind, and a good balance within your tissues. About 60 percent of your body is water, and you must constantly replenish the supply, as it's used continuously in the processes of life. Many people fail to drink enough of it. The standard recommendation is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day. I'm not sure you need to force that much down, but do try to drink as much as you can, and more than you think you need. While you're doing all this drinking, however, make sure you're not adding new toxins to your body.

Drinking Water

I have always recommended drinking high-quality bottled water or, if possible, getting a water-purification system for your home. However, before you spend any money on a filtration system, find out what's in your water - have your tap water tested for contaminants such as fecal-coliform bacteria, lead, fluoride, chlorine, arsenic and nitrates, as well as parasites, other microorganisms, sulfates, herbicides, and pesticides. (Don't rely on the free testing offered by companies selling water purifiers - they're not thorough enough. Instead, use an independent lab - you may find you don't need a home purifying system). State and local health departments often do free tests for bacterial contamination, but to find out about toxic substances, you'll need the services of a private testing lab. Testing for a range of common contaminants can cost more than $100, but the investment is certainly worthwhile it if saves you the cost of a purifying system.

Chlorine and lead are two of the most common contaminants in water. Chlorine is a strong oxidizing agent that may increase the risk of heart disease and is linked to certain types of cancer. Water containing more than 10 parts per billion of lead is a health risk, especially for infants, children and pregnant women - and probably for everyone else, as well. Even small amounts may result in organ damage and stunt the nervous system. If you are using tap water for drinking or cooking, I suggest that you get in the habit of flushing your kitchen faucet daily by letting water run for three to five minutes in the morning (or after periods of disuse).

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PCRM urge FDA to promote plant-based diet on Viagra labels

Package labels for Viagra, Cialis, and other erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs should inform patients that ED is a sign of potentially fatal artery disease, according to a petition the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine filed with the Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 10. Between 18 and 30 million men in the United States have ED.

The petition, filed during American Heart Month, recommends the following wording: "Erectile dysfunction is caused by artery disease, a condition that this drug will not improve. Artery disease can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and early death. A plant-based diet, moderate exercise, stress management, and lack of smoking can, in combination, improve and often reverse artery disease."

"A prescription for Viagra should include a lifesaving wake-up call for men with ED to adopt a heart-healthy diet," says Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and author of Your Body in Balance, which explains the science behind a plant-based diet's ability to fight ED. "Erectile dysfunction is a sign of narrowed arteries throughout a man's body, including the arteries to his heart and brain, putting him at high risk for heart attack, stroke, and death."

Comment: Animal products do not clog arteries and plant-based diets don't unclog them. Furthermore, plant-based diets lead to lower levels of sex hormones which regulate sexual function. A plant-based diet is a pretty good way to decrease libido, making it less likely that you'll care that your junk isn't working. Not the greatest strategy, but if that's what floats your boat...

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How to prevent coronavirus? Start smoking

chinese men smoking
Great find by Joe L:

...new study ... claims that of the 1099 Chinese people who contracted 2019-nCoV which were studied, 85.4% (927 people) were never-smokers, while only 12.6% (137 people) were current smokers and only 1.9% (21 people) were ex-smokers.

Here's a link to the pdf study. And here's part of Table 1 from the study (click to enlarge):

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Football star goes vegan after watching 'Game Changers,' goes back to eating meat and dairy; plant-based diet left him unable to train properly

Darius Boyd

Former Broncos captain Darius Boyd (pictured with wife Kayla), who went vegan after watching a Netflix documentary, has reverted to eating meat after struggling during pre-season training.
An NRL star who went vegan after watching a Netflix documentary has reverted to eating meat after struggling during pre-season training.

Former Broncos captain Darius Boyd adopted the plant-based diet at the end of last year's season after watching The Game Changers.

The documentary, produced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, follows high-performance athletes who decided to give up meat and go vegan.

Boyd was such a fan of his new diet he encouraged fellow teammates to make the switch in November.

Comment: This could probably win the award for least surprising headline of 2020. Despite what propaganda pieces like 'The Game Changers' will tell you, athletic performance does not improve for the vast majority of people when they remove animal products from their diet. Most will suffer from the lack of proper nutrition, especially athletes.

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Coronavirus Expert in Leaked Analysis: 'This is Just a Severe, Localized Common Cold'

Comment: Everyone can stop freaking out now...

john nicholls hong kong coronavirus

John Nicholls and colleagues at the University of Hong Kong
With the death toll climbing each day, fear and uncertainty have spread farther and farther around the globe as coronavirus continues to captivate the world's attention. However, John Nicholls, a pathology professor at the University of Hong Kong, says he knows when the virus will become inactive.

In a private conference call organized last week by CLSA, a brokerage firm based in Hong Kong, investment analysts had a chance to ask Nicholls, one of the world's foremost experts on the topic, questions about the novel coronavirus. News of the private conference call was first reported by The Financial Times, and in the days since the call, more details of Nicholls' analysis have surfaced on social media and elsewhere online, including a transcript of the call.

The transcript of the call showed Nicholls believes weather conditions will be a key factor in the demise of the novel coronavirus. Referencing the SARS outbreak from 2002 and 2003, Nicholls said he thinks similar weather factors will also shut down the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Comment: And that - setting a 'vaccine date' - is WHO's primary interest in spreading this contagion of fear: they chiefly represent Big Pharma's vested interest in maintaining the party line about vaccines 'saving people' from common colds - all the while, for the most part, their fiddling with viruses they don't understand is often causing outbreaks.

Quite why China went full-on in politically supporting this contagion of fear with massive containment efforts, we don't know. Perhaps the BSL-4 biolab in Wuhan was indeed a partial or significant causal factor - namely that some experimental virus for vaccine/biowarfare research escaped the lab there. Assuming human/state complicity, the Chinese govt then 'guiltily' responded out of an abundance of caution by putting 60 million people under lockdown.

However, if it is just a severe cold, and only in the immediate vicinity of Wuhan at that, then we start wondering if Xi Jinping's government isn't up to something... strategic? Maybe we're reaching though. It's hard to imagine what China's leadership could gain by voluntarily hurting the country's economy - and the CCP's political standing - by unnecessarily feeding domestic and global panic.

Of course, conspiracy theorists are sure they know that there is a 'hidden strategy', and what that strategy is: China is 'hiding the real death toll' because the COVID-19 outbreak is actually 'completely out of control' and 'we're all gonna die' if we don't...

Well, they never articulate what the 'or else' is, but implicit in their chicken little routine is that they're recommending their Western audience strictly isolate themselves from all interaction - trade, cultural, everything - with 1.5 billion of the planet's population, and that they see the Chinese leadership as pathological liars about everything.

The spooks at Langley and GCHQ couldn't have dreamed up better sockpuppets.

If, after learning all that, you're still after more 'freak-out feels', go watch this Hollywood movie:
contagion virus outbreak