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Sun, 04 Dec 2016
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Should we defend the scientific consensus?

Vaccine Brain Damage?
Earlier this week, Frontiers in Public Health published the abstract of a paper called 'Vaccination and Health Outcomes: A Survey of 6- to 12-year-old Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children based on Mothers' Reports'. Based on an online survey of 415 mothers involved in the homeschool movement, Mississippi-based researchers Mawson et al. reported that vaccination is associated with a much higher rate of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

Hoo boy.

Evil Rays

93% of 'patient advocacy' groups funded by drug & medical giants - report

© Alexandra Beier / Reuters
US patient advocacy groups are seen as unbiased and independent authorities championing the public interest with regard to drug and medical issues before the FDA. However, a new study has shown that almost all are funded and led by the drug industry.

It turns out that at least 39 of 42 patient advocacy groups - or 93 percent - received funds from pharmaceutical companies, while at least 15 have drug company reps on their governing boards, according to research by David Hilzenrath at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO).

Patient advocacy groups add a lot to drug-related legislation in the Congress. A study from 2014 showed that 43 percent of public comments on the House version of a bill came from patient advocacy groups.

However, as the latest report by POGO suggests, their comments are far from being independent.


Will personalized probiotics become the wave of the future?

© Custom Medical Stock Photo/SPL

Intestinal bacteria play a key role in causing and preventing many diseases. Consequently, giving personalised gut health advice will be routine medical practice in five years, predicts the researcher behind the new start-up Map My Gut and big gut data projects British Gut and Kings College London's TwinsUK Registry.

There are over 400 species of bacteria in your belly right now that can be the key to health or disease.

Probiotic supplements of exceptional quality and effectiveness that contains at least 10 billion CPU (colony-forming units) of several human strains of "friendly" intestinal micro-flora can actively prevent illness.

The genomes of the bacteria and viruses of the human gut alone are thought to encode 3.3 million genes.

Professor Tim Spector of the genetic epidemiology department at Kings College London has had a busy few years with his continuing work on the TwinsUK Registry -- the world's richest collection of genotypic and phenotypic information tracking 13,000 twins over two decades -- and the launch of the crowdfunded British Gut Project.

Comment: The human microbiome: Gut Bacteria quickly being cast as culprits or saviors for a diverse array of ailments


Nature's Xanax: The one nutrient that can treat anxiety naturally without side effects

Black tea in cup
According to National Institute of Mental Health anxiety disorders are currently the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. Furthermore, anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country's $148 billion total mental health bill, according to "The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders," a study commissioned by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.(1)

How many times have you turned to Xanax in times when you felt anxious? For many people, this has become an everyday option, but many are unaware of the serious short term and long term side effects of Xanax. Benzodiazepines are a common prescription drug used to treat anxiety and depression. Alprazolam (aka Xanax) was number 8 on the list of the most prescribed medications in 2010 according to Data from SDI Health.


Man 'cured' of prostate cancer after doctors shock tumour to death with testosterone

A man diagnosed with prostate cancer
A man with advanced prostate cancer is believed to be cured after doctors 'shocked' his tumour to death with huge amounts of testosterone.

The result has been described as 'unexpected' and 'exciting' because most prostate cancer therapies work by depriving tumours of testosterone, because cancer uses it as a fuel.

Other seriously ill men taking part in the same trial showed responses that astounded scientists, with tumours shrinking and the progress of their disease halted.

Levels of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), a blood marker used to monitor prostate cancer, also fell in the majority of the 47 participants.

One individual whose PSA levels dropped to zero after three months and shows no remaining trace of the disease after 22 cycles of treatment appears to be cured, said the researchers.

Professor Sam Denmeade, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, US, who led the study, said: ""Our goal is to shock the cancer cells by exposing them rapidly to very high followed by very low levels of testosterone in the blood. The results are unexpected and exciting.

"We are still in the early stages of figuring out how this works and how to incorporate it into the treatment paradigm for prostate cancer.

"Many of the men have stable disease that has not progressed for more than 12 months.

"I think we may have cured one man whose PSA dropped to zero after three months and has remained so now for 22 cycles. His disease has all disappeared."

Microscope 2

The gut brain connection: How microbes control our minds

The enteric nervous system (ENS) had been regarded as a digestive organ till; the remarkable discovery made by Michael Gershon that 90% of the body's serotonin is located within the walls of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

This ignited interests of various neuroscientists, including psychiatrists, about the GI nervous system (1) The enteric nervous system is composed of neuronal plexuses like the Meissners and Auerbach's plexus, surrounded by a pool of more than 30 neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, norephinephrine and nitric oxide, and other chemical mediators like neuropeptides and enkephalins.

It also contains glia-like supportive cells, and together contains nearly 100 million neurons as that in the spinal cord (2,3) The Gut-Brain Axis describes the bi‐directional neural pathways linking cognitive and emotional centers in the brain to the neuroendocrine centers, the enteric nervous system, and the immune system of the body (4).

Emotional states such as depression and behavioral dispositions, ranging from hostility to psychosocial stress, can directly influence both physiologic function and health outcomes in different ways (5). One such example is the Gut Brain Connection. The gut brain connection is intimately involved in explaining how the psychosocial stress - induced inflammatory response in the gut - is modulated by the bidirectional communication between the neuroendocrine and immune system of the gut with brain. Many lines of research have established multiple pathways by which the immune system and the enteric nervous system communicate bidirectionally with the brain (6).

Comment: Read more about the gut brain connection


Jon Rappoport: CIA MKULTRA - drugs to ruin the nation

Drugs to transform individuals...and even, by implication, society.

Drug research going far beyond the usual brief descriptions of MKULTRA.

The intention is there, in the record:

A CIA document was included in the transcript of the 1977 US Senate Hearings on MKULTRA, the CIA's mind-control program.

The document is found in Appendix C, starting on page 166. It's simply labeled "Draft," dated 5 May 1955 (note: scroll down to #123-125 in the document).

It states: "A portion of the Research and Development Program of [CIA's] TSS/Chemical Division is devoted to the discovery of the following materials and methods:"

What followed was a list of hoped-for drugs and their uses.


Substitution: Internet porn creates men desensitized to real life sex

© TopNews
A masculinity expert says he fears heavy internet porn usage may have left up to one in 10 young men with erection problems. Dr. Andrew Smiler said that easy access to endless streaming porn is leaving healthy young men with the sexual problem. He told The Independent: "The guys I see, most of them are between 13 and 25. The vast majority are, for the most part, the picture of physical health.


Circadian rhythms and the microbiome: Disrupting daily routine of gut microbes can be bad news for whole body

© Darryl Leja, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, CC BY-NC
Micro changes have macro results.
We've known that bacteria live in our intestines as far back as the 1680s, when Leeuwenhoek first looked through his microscope. Yogurt companies use that information in the sales pitch for their product, claiming it can help keep your gut bacteria happy. The bacteria growing on our skin have also been effectively exploited to sell the underarm deodorants without which we can become, ahem, malodorous. Until fairly recently our various microbes were thought of as freeloaders without any meaningful benefit to our functioning as healthy human beings.

However, that view has changed in a big way over the last couple of decades.

Interest in, and knowledge about, the microbiota has recently exploded. These highly diverse communities of microbes live in and on us in staggering numbers; researchers now estimate that a typical human body is made up of about 30 trillion human cells and 39 trillion bacteria.

We now recognize they're essential to our health, participating in many important physiological functions such as digestion and metabolism of foods, and immune responses and inflammation; disruption of the gut microbiota might then contribute to a variety of conditions including childhood asthma, obesity, colitis and colon cancer.

New research is beginning to show that the composition and activity of the microbiota exhibits a daily, or circadian, rhythmicity, just like we do. This offers one pathway to explain a Pandora's box of possible adverse health effects from aspects of modern life, such as eating late at night or too much electric light after sunset.

Comment: For some tips on how to take care of your microbiome, listen to our The Health & Wellness Show: Some of my best friends are germs.


Australian schoolkids recreate Martin Shkreli's $750 malaria drug for $1.50, 'Pharma Bro' launches Twitter tirade and livestreams Q&A rant (VIDEO)

© Martin Shkreli / YouTube
Pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has posted a video response to Australian schoolkids who recreated his company's malaria pill for a tiny fraction of its price, as well as launching into a Twitter tirade over their project.

Shkreli shot to infamy last year when he jacked up the price of anti-parasitic drug Daraprim from US$13 to US$750.

Earlier this week he was back in the headlines after a group of Sydney high school students recreated the medicine in their school lab for only $1.50.

The 33 year old took to Youtube on Thursday to congratulate the budding scientists. "We should congratulate these students for their interest in chemistry and all be excited about what is to come in the stem-focused 21st century," he said.

Comment: Those Australian high school students, whether intentionally or not, have highlighted something that people in the pharmaceutical industry, such as the slimeball Shkreli, don't want the masses to know: the large price tags attached to many prescriptions and medications are based more on the greed of the company executives than the cost of drug production or research.