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Mon, 30 Mar 2020
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Objective:Health - When Placebos Aren't Placebos

O:H header
The 'gold standard' in nutritional and medical studies is the random controlled trial (RTC) which relies on the fact that neither the experimenters nor the subjects are aware of which subjects are getting the actual intervention or are receiving a placebo (an inert preparation that is indistinguishable from the real substance being tested, be it a pill, an injection, etc.). The idea is that this will control for the bias of both the experimenters and the subjects so that their preconceived notions don't affect the results of the trial.

But a recent controversy has lead many to question the validity of many these studies. It turns out unscrupulous scientists have figured out a way to manipulate the results by using placebos that aren't actually inert substances. The ingredients of the placebos used in trials are often not disclosed (the information being carefully protected, as some researchers and reporters have discovered). It seems that placebo tampering is yet another way for some scientists to manipulate the data to show their drugs are more effective and have less side effects than they actually do.

Join us on this episode of Objective:Health as we look into the implications of placebo tampering. Can we trust any science at all at this point?

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Running Time: 00:27:39

Download: MP3 — 24.9 MB

Mr. Potato

Why cockroach milk is the new health obsession

Cockroach milk
Our health is of great value and we are always on the look-out for the product that will provide us with numerous health benefits. Well, there is something new in Nature and that is the milk of the Pacific Beetle cockroach. Believe it or not, this milk is packed with valuable nutrients.

The cockroach species recognized under the name of Diploptera punctata produces this super healthy milk. Its valuable content was acknowledged by a research team based at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India and its findings were released in the Journal of the International Union of Crystallography.

Diploptera punctata is native to India, Australia, China, Hawaii, and Fiji. The milk of this species is high in calories and fats containing plenty of essential lips, and all 9 essential amino acids highly needed for human cell growth. This milk is being secreted in the cockroach's brood sac (uterus) and imbibed by the embryo thus quickly developing pharyngeal muscles.

A 40-day-old female secretes a pale yellow liquid that nourishes the offspring containing crystalloid protein molecules. These crystals are a complete food, being full of fats, proteins, and sugars according to the findings of the researcher Sanchari Banerjee. According to the analysis, this milk has in its content 45% protein, 5% free amino acids, 22% lipids, and 25% carbs. This milk contains three times more the energy of an equivalent mass of dairy milk.


The weighted blanket that scientifically puts you to sleep, helps with anxiety and depression

Weighted blanket
The weighted blankets are very popular recently, especially on social media as they offer a lot aside the needed comfort.

They are called weighted as they weigh more than the standard blankets, in the range of 4 to 30 pounds. The reason for that is that they are filled with natural substances such ashemp, buckwheat, and hypo-allergenic fillers like glass beads. All these substances bring many benefits for the body, but the additional weight does something even more it offers a deep touch pressure therapy (DTP).


The sensory processing disorders benefit a lot from this therapy so its implementation will be very helpful in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder, Alzheimer's dementia, depression attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD), and sensory processing disorder (SPD). All these disorders are commonly related to anxiety, depression, chronic stress, restlessness, poor attention spans, and irregular sleeping patterns.

The weighted blankets are very popular recently, especially on social media as they offer a lot aside the needed comfort.

Comment: See also: Weighted blankets might ease insomnia and anxiety, here's what to know before purchasing one

Wine n Glass

Alcohol: The deadliest drug

alcohol addiction
Opioids are taking the news headlines by storm, and rightfully so, as we are living amongst a deadly opioid overdose epidemic here in the U.S. People are dying from prescription pills every day, and we cannot do enough to reduce the number of these deaths. However, what we don't hear enough about is alcohol and how deadly it is. Alcohol is the most socially acceptable drug on the market and the most easily accessible. Even with this knowledge, the general public still has a tendency to believe alcohol is ok, not dangerous, and an acceptable form of relaxation. Science tells us something different. Alcohol is the deadliest drug of all. Let's look at why this is true.

Comment: The Australia-first study: Alcohol causes most overall harm of any drug

Monkey Wrench

Genetically Engineered Food - The lie that won't die

Genetically engineered foods
© The Nation
Promises, promises, promises. The toxic world of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and industrial agriculture is built on false promises. For nearly 30 years we have been listening to the propaganda of the big biotech companies like Monsanto/Bayer, Syngenta, DuPont/Pioneer, BASF and others about how genetic engineering will transform farming and food production.

We've heard how it will reduce the environmental impact of farming by lowering pesticide use. We've been promised that it will increase the nutritional content of food. We've been told how it will boost farmers' profits by increasing yields, and that those increased yields will help "feed the world."

As the problem of man-made climate change has moved to the top of the global agenda, new promises have emerged about how GMOs will fight climate change and how genetic engineering will make plants more resilient to drought and flooding. The huckster promises keep on coming, but what has the biotech industry actually delivered over nearly three decades?


The unintended consequences of fake meat

fake meat

Fake meat - Real concerns
Consumers are currently being bombarded with commercials and ads for various forms of what I term "fake meat." Curiously, many who are manufacturing and selling these products, as well as their supporters, prefer to call them "clean proteins." The ads appear to be almost everywhere - on the TV, in magazines, radio, billboards, store signs, newspaper and any place imaginable. It's pretty much impossible not to see, hear, or read about fake meats. Not only are there direct ads, but there have been, and continue to be, numerous stories about "clean proteins" and their benefits for human health, animal welfare, the environment, and climate change.

Comment: A massive backlash is building against fake meat products like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods

Shopping Bag

Mushrooms are the new grocery aisle celebrities

mushroom farm

Gale Ferranto's mushroom farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania produces 5 million pounds of mushrooms annually.
Move over, kale. There's a new celebrity in the produce aisle: mushrooms.

People are scooping up mushrooms so quickly that producers are scrambling to keep pace with burgeoning demand."We haven't run out as yet, but we're definitely trying hard to keep up," said Gale Ferranto, who helps run her family's third-generation business, Bella Mushroom Farms, in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Chester County, about a two-hour drive southwest from New York City, is the epicenter of mushroom production in the United States.

"We call it the Mushroom Mecca," said Ferranto. The area accounts for more than 60% of all domestic mushroom production coming from more than 50 local family-owned farms.

Comment: Read more about the healing power of mushrooms:


The manufacturing of bone diseases: The story of Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

bone density

The present-day definitions of Osteopenia and Osteoporosis were arbitrarily conceived by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the early 90's and then projected upon millions of women's bodies seemingly in order to convince them they had a drug-treatable, though symptomless, disease

Osteopenia (1992)[i] and Osteoporosis (1994)[ii] were formally identified as skeletal diseases by the World Health Organization (HTO) as bone mineral densities (BMD) 1 and 2.5 standard deviations, respectively, below the peak bone mass of an average young adult Caucasian female, as measured by an x-ray device known as Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA, or DEXA). This technical definition, now used widely around the world as the gold standard, is disturbingly inept, and as we shall see, likely conceals an agenda that has nothing to do with the promotion of health.

Comment: Natural ways to safeguard bone health


Birthweight is declining — are c-sections to blame?

baby incubator infant newborn
Birthweight for babies born in the United States has been declining for about three decades, and scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder set out to discover why.

To conduct the study, the researchers examined more than 23 million birth records, reported from 1990 to 2013, to the National Vital Statistics System. They looked at birthweight, as well as method of delivery and number of weeks into pregnancy at delivery. Senior study author, Ryan Masters, explained, "Our data indicate that there has been a dramatic shift in birth timing in this country. It is resulting in birthweight decline, and it is almost entirely due to changes in obstetric practices."

Using the data they had, the researchers attempted to predict what may have have changed if induction and cesarean rates had not increased between 1990 and 2013. Lead study author, Andrea Tilstra, explained, "We found that the decline in birthweight would not have happened if it were not for the rapid increase in these obstetric interventions. In fact, birthweights would have gone up."


Better sleep? Prebiotics could help

woman sleeping
Think dietary fiber is just for digestive health? Think again.

Specific fibers known as prebiotics can improve sleep and boost stress resilience by influencing gut bacteria and the potent biologically active molecules, or metabolites, they produce, new CU Boulder research shows.

The research could ultimately lead to new approaches to treating sleep problems, which affect 70 million Americans.

"The biggest takeaway here is that this type of fiber is not just there to bulk up the stool and pass through the digestive system," said Robert Thompson, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Physiology and lead author of the study, published March 2, in the journal Scientific Reports. "It is feeding the bugs that live in our gut and creating a symbiotic relationship with us that has powerful effects on our brain and behavior."

Comment: See also: