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Sun, 24 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


The food industry pays 'influencer' dietitians to shape your eating habits

tiktok influencers, aspartame
© The Washington Post
As the World Health Organization raised questions this summer about the risks of a popular artificial sweetener, a new hashtag began spreading on the social media accounts of health professionals: #safetyofaspartame.

Steph Grasso, a registered dietitian from Oakton, Va., used the hashtag and told her 2.2 million followers on TikTok that the WHO warnings about artificial sweeteners were "clickbait" based on "low-quality science."

Another dietitian, Cara Harbstreet of Kansas City, reassured her Instagram followers not to worry about "fear mongering headlines" about aspartame because "the evidence doesn't suggest there's a reason for concern."

In a third video, Mary Ellen Phipps, a Houston-area dietitian who specializes in diabetes care, sipped from a glass of soda and told her Instagram viewers that artificial sweeteners "satisfy the desire for sweetness" without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels.

What these dietitians didn't make clear was that they were paid to post the videos by American Beverage, a trade and lobbying group representing Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and other companies.

In all, at least 35 posts from a dozen health professionals were part of the coordinated campaign by American Beverage. The trade group paid an undisclosed amount to 10 registered dietitians, as well as a physician and a fitness influencer, to use their social media accounts to help blunt the WHO's claims that aspartame, a mainstay of Diet Coke and other sodas, is ineffective for weight loss and "possibly carcinogenic."


WHO's 'take over' of Youtube portends Orwellian medical dystopia

Their tube
The World Health Organization and YouTube merge into a dystopian one-size-fits-all medical misinformation paradigm where "prevention" equals vaccination or mammography, but step away from your vitamin cabinet or using food as medicine because that's no longer acceptable according to their new policies.

On August 15th, Youtube announced it is adopting WHO's medical misinformation policies, ushering in a 'one world, one narrative' digital governance structure which will render free speech, and by implication - informed medical choice - non-existent for users on its already heavily censorship prone platform.

From this point onward, any content that contradicts or diverges from the WHO's official health guidance may be deemed "harmful content" in violation of Youtube's "Community Guidelines" and will now be subject to censorship or removal.

In a post titled, "A long term vision for YouTube's medical misinformation policies," Youtube shared its "thinking about the future of medical misinformation policies, including removing cancer misinformation."


The original 'asymptomatic spreader' was NOT asymptomatic: she took paracetamol

As flagged by Will Jones here on the Daily Sceptic, a recent Lancet study shows that asymptomatic people are only responsible for a small fraction of SARS-CoV-2 viral emissions, thus exploding the myth of extensive asymptomatic transmission, which was one of the central tenets of the COVID-19 response. But what about the original 'asymptomatic spreader' whose case was widely reported in the medical literature and the international media? Well, it turns out she was precisely not asymptomatic. She was sick and took medication.

On January 30th 2020, the New England Journal of Medicine published a letter from a group of German doctors and scientists documenting the case of a Chinese businesswoman from Shanghai who had recently travelled to Germany, where she was at the origin of Germany's first cluster of infections despite the fact that she had not yet developed symptoms herself. See the below screen shot from the NEJM homepage circa the following day (courtesy of the Wayback Machine).


Cancer cases in under-50s up worldwide by nearly 80% in three decades, study finds

© da-kuk/Getty Images
An MRI scan for lung cancer. The researchers say poor diets, alcohol and tobacco use, physical inactivity and obesity are likely to be among the factors in the rise.
The number of under-50s worldwide being diagnosed with cancer has risen by nearly 80% in three decades, according to the largest study of its kind.

Global cases of early onset cancer increased from 1.82 million in 1990 to 3.26 million in 2019, while cancer deaths of adults in their 40s, 30s or younger grew by 27%. More than a million under-50s a year are now dying of cancer, the research reveals.

Experts are still in the early stages of understanding the reasons behind the rise in cases. The authors of the study, published in BMJ Oncology, say poor diets, alcohol and tobacco use, physical inactivity and obesity are likely to be among the factors.

Comment: Less people smoke than ever before, and alcohol use may have increased, but only slightly, so it seems unlikely that the soaring cancer rates can be attributed to those. However, the kinds of food people eat, in addition to the food itself has change radically - GMOs, as just one example - and, indeed, a great many more people live sedentary lives; although it's unlikely these issues are solely to blame either, because active people who are 'healthy' eaters suffer from cancer too.

"Since 1990, the incidence and deaths of early onset cancers have substantially increased globally," the report says. "Encouraging a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, the restriction of tobacco and alcohol consumption and appropriate outdoor activity, could reduce the burden of early onset cancer."

Comment: Notably there's no mention of the significant increase in vaccines children in the developed world suffer; nor is there any thought given to society, family, people's mental health, and living standards. all of which are likely to have a significant impact on one's health, and have, overall, deteriorated rapidly in the last few decades.


Can we go from "a variant of no concern" to "the largest vaccination rollout in the UK?"

expose vaccine
The rollout of flu and COVID-19 vaccines has been brought forward to September 11th due to the emergence of what is being termed "a new variant" that apparently came to light on 18th August. At the moment there has been little incitement of fear, yet, at the beginning of the year, the UK Health Security Agency said they "expected the largest vaccination programme in the UK."

Not a "Variant of Concern"

"NHS officials have indicated the BA.2.86 - which "came to light" on 18th August - "is the most concerning since the arrival of Omicron." Yet scientists also say it has mutated but has not been classed as a "variant of concern," reported Sky News.

Nevertheless, they added that the "Vaccination efforts aimed at care home residents and those who are immunocompromised will now start on 11 September rather than the initial October date. This group will be followed by carers, pregnant women, social care personnel, and individuals aged 65 and above, all of whom will receive booster shots this upcoming winter."


Half of vaccinated people never stop producing spike protein, study found

spike protein study

Remember how we were told that "the vaccine stays in the arm" and that "harmless spike protein is only produced for a couple of days." They said they were sure of that, despite no data to confirm their statements.

Well, sadly, it turns out that they lied to us. The data is now in, and it proves such claims wrong!

A clever scientific study by Brogna et al., just published, detected the presence of spike protein in COVID-vaccinated people six MONTHS after vaccination - and excluded the possibility of cross-contamination of experimental data with wild-circulating COVID infections.

What the Scientists Did

The study's authors used a sensitive test, called mass-spectrometry to detect a specific amino-acid sequence that exists only in the vaccine-induced spike protein.

To remind my readers, mRNA COVID vaccines contain genetic code to produce the so-called "spike protein," a component of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that allows the virus to penetrate and infect human cells. During the penetration process, called "fusion," the viral spike protein changes shape, becoming a spear of sorts, penetrating the cell surface.

Comment: See also:


Australian study warns over parasitic infections after roundworm found in woman's brain

© EPA-EFE/Australia National University
Magnetic resonance image • Live third-stage larval roundworm • Right frontal lobe
Surgeons in Australia pulled a live 3-inch-long parasitic worm from the front of a woman's brain in what is believed to be the first time this type of infection has been found in humans.

Doctors in Canberra found the light red worm during a biopsy they were carrying out on the patient in a bid to diagnose an unusual set of symptoms including stomach pain, diarrhea, cough, night sweats and cognitive and mental health issues, according to a study published Tuesday in the CDC journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The light red worm pulled from the frontal lobe of the 64-year-old woman's brain last year turned out to be an Ophidascaris robertsi roundworm which is endemic in carpet python snakes, common across much of Australia.

Canberra Hospital's Dr. Sanjaya Senanayake told the BBC:
"Everyone in that operating theatre got the shock of their life when the surgeon took some forceps to pick up an abnormality and the abnormality turned out to be a wriggling, live 8cm light red worm. Even if you take away the yuck factor, this is a new infection never documented before in a human being,"


Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study

© file
Paper Straws
Paper straws contain potentially toxic chemicals which could pose a risk to people, wildlife and the environment, a study has found.

Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are long-lasting and potentially destructive to human health over time, were discovered in the majority of paper and bamboo straws tested. The straws are considered "eco-friendly" compared to their plastic counterparts, which have been banned in the UK since 2020.

The groundbreaking European study analysed straws made from a range of materials from shops and fast-food restaurants and found 18 out of 20 brands of paper straws contained PFAS, with a lower frequency of detection in plastic and glass versions. The research did not look at whether PFAS leaked out of the straws into the liquids.

The most commonly found PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has been prohibited worldwide since 2020.

No PFAS traces were detected in any of the steel straws tested.

PFAS concentrations were found to be low and since straw use is seldom, the Belgian researchers said they posed a limited risk to human health. However, they warned the chemicals could accumulate in the body over many years.

The chemicals have been associated with a number of health problems, including lower response to vaccines, lower birth weight, thyroid disease, increased cholesterol levels, liver damage, kidney cancer and testicular cancer.


What your hands say about your health

© RooM the Agency/Alamy Stock Photo
Your hands reveal a lot about the state of your health. This is something that has been recognised since at least the time of Hippocrates - the father of modern medicine.

The ancient Greek physician first described "clubbing" in a patient with empyema (where pus fills the space between the lungs and the membrane around it) in the fifth century BC. Clubbing is where the nail looks like an upside-down spoon, and it is still recognised as a sign of disease.
Typical ground glass appearance of Terry’s nails.
© Hojasmuertas/Wikimedia commons, CC BY-SA
Typical ground glass appearance of Terry’s nails.
Although nowadays, clubbing is linked to more than just empyema. It is also linked to cystic fibrosis, cirrhosis of the liver and thyroid conditions.

Another nail change that can signal disease is Lindsay's nails. This is where one or more nails are half white and half reddish brown. Around 50% of people with chronic kidney disease have nails like this. But it can also be a sign of cirrhosis of the liver and Behcet's disease, a rare condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels.

Terry's nails, where one or more fingernails have a ground-glass appearance, can also be a sign of cirrhosis of the liver, but they are also associated with type 2 diabetes, kidney failure and HIV.

And sounding a bit more medical and a bit less like a high street nail bar is Muehrcke's nails, which is where one or more horizontal lines run across the fingernails. This nail pattern indicates a decrease in the most abundant protein in the blood: albumin. These nail markings can be an indicator of kidney disease.

But sometimes changes in nail colour and pattern are not sinister and are merely signs of ageing. Neapolitan nails, so called because of their three distinct colour zones, are often seen in people over the age of 70 and are nothing to worry about.


Individuals feel sex-specific symptoms before impending cardiac arrest, study finds

heart monitor
© Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain
Investigators from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai are one step closer to helping individuals catch a sudden cardiac arrest before it happens, thanks to a study published today in The Lancet Digital Health journal.

The study, led by sudden cardiac arrest expert Sumeet Chugh, MD, found that 50% of individuals who experienced a sudden cardiac arrest also experienced a telling symptom 24 hours before their loss of heart function.

Smidt Heart Institute investigators also learned that this warning symptom was different for women than it was for men. For women, the most prominent symptom of an impending sudden cardiac arrest was shortness of breath, whereas men experienced chest pain.