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Fri, 28 Oct 2016
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Health & Wellness


Regulatory failures are allowing superbug-infected pigs to contaminate the food chain in Britain

Regulatory failures are allowing Danish pigs infected with lethal antibiotic-resistant bacteria into British farms, writes Andrew Wasley, with contaminated pork found in UK supermarkets, and three human infections recorded. The official response? Deny there's a problem, take no action, and hope for the best. Six people may have died from the bug in Denmark, but the UK is safe, surely?

Pigs infected with the superbug MRSA can be freely imported into the UK due to regulatory loopholes.

An investigation has established that there is no mandatory screening for live breeding pigs leaving Denmark - where MRSA is rife throughout the country's herd - and entering the UK.

Experts are warning that if no action is taken, the UK's pig herd could rapidly become infected. Such an epidemic could have a serious impact on human health, according to leading Danish microbiologist and MRSA expert, Professor Hans Jørn Kolmos.

Thousands of people have contracted the livestock-associated strain of MRSA in Denmark and six have died from it in the last five years. At least one regular Danish supplier of pigs to England was contaminated with the bug in 2014. This supplier exported 41 pigs to England in the last three months.


Blue hazard: LED lighting may compromise your vision and health

Can light affect your health? In this interview, Dr. Alexander Wunsch, a world class expert on photobiology, shares the hidden dangers of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting that most people are completely unaware of.

In fact, this could potentially be one of the most important video interviews I've done, as it has enormous impacts — not only on preventing blindness as you age but it is also a pervasive hidden risk factor for sabotaging your health.

Largely as a result of energy efficiency, there's been a major transition to using LED as a primary indoor light source. In this regard, it worked like a charm, reducing energy requirements by as much as 95 percent compared to incandescent thermal analog sources of lighting.

However, the heat generated by incandescent light bulbs, which is infrared radiation, is actually beneficial to your health, and hence worth the extra cost.

There are major downsides to LEDs that are not fully appreciated. LED lighting may actually be one of the most important, non-native EMF radiation exposures you're exposed to on a daily basis.

If you chose to ignore these new insights, it can have very serious long-term ramifications. It could lead to age-related macular degeneration(AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and elsewhere.

Other health problems rooted in mitochondrial dysfunction may also be exacerbated, and these run the gamut from metabolic disorder to cancer.

Comment: For more information on the impact of light on our physical and mental health, see:

Alarm Clock

Malnutrition is often called 'hidden hunger' - 1 in 6 Americans go to bed hungry

Do a search for images of malnutrition on any search engine and you will most likely come up with pictures of wide-eyed, big-bellied babies from some part of the developing world.

Rarely will you see a child from California, Sydney or London in those images, yet increasingly there are people in the first world suffering from malnutrition. They may not be suffering to the same extent as their African counterparts but inadequate food intake leads to starvation wherever you happen to live, and ultimately the outcome will be the same.

Malnutrition is rising alarmingly in the United States. In real terms workers wages are going down, it's becoming more and more difficult to put food on the table. For many, particularly the low paid this means two things: fuel and food poverty.

Comment: According to new study: American hunger-related healthcare costs exceeded $160 billion in 2014
Currently about 50 million Americans meet the USDA criteria for food insecurity. About 15 million of them are children. In 2014, 19.2 percent of U.S. households with children were food insecure - about a third higher than households without. The Boston University research team found if the costs of special education for children whose learning abilities are aversely affected by food insecurity are factored in along with related education impacts for high-schoolers, the $160 billion rose by an additional nearly $18 billion. This brings a total estimate of direct and indirect health care costs of U.S. food insecurity in 2014 to $178.93 billion.


Study suggests: Migraines could be caused by gut bacteria

© Garo/Phanie/REX
The findings raise the possibility that migraines could be triggered when nitrates in food are broken down more efficiently, causing vessels in the brain and scalp to dilate.
Research shows sufferers have higher levels of bacteria involved in processing nitrates, and could explain why some foods appear to act as migraine triggers.

Migraine sufferers have a different mix of gut bacteria that could make them more sensitive to certain foods, scientists have found.

The study offers a potential explanation for why some people are more susceptible to debilitating headaches and why some foods appear to act as triggers for migraines.

The research showed that migraine sufferers had higher levels of bacteria that are known to be involved in processing nitrates, which are typically found in processed meats, leafy vegetables and some wines.

The latest findings raise the possibility that migraines could be triggered when nitrates in food are broken down more efficiently, causing vessels in the brain and scalp to dilate.

Comment: 7 Things you had no idea gut bacteria could do


Medical malpractice case testimony by vaccine whistleblower is being blocked by the CDC

Thomas Frieden, the director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), has blocked CDC whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson, from testifying on scientific fraud and destruction of evidence by senior CDC officials in critical vaccine safety studies regarding the causative relationship between childhood vaccines and autism.

Attorneys Bryan Smith and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., of Morgan & Morgan, have been seeking to have Dr. Thompson testify in a medical malpractice case to explain how the CDC committed scientific fraud in a series of studies, which found no link between vaccines and autism.

In denying the request, Dr. Frieden said, "Dr. William Thompson's deposition testimony would not substantially promote the objectives of CDC or HHS [Health and Human Services]."

Dr. Thompson, a 19-year veteran at the CDC and former senior vaccine safety scientist at the agency's Immunology Safety Office, is the co-author of four key studies that the CDC widely touts to exonerate the MMR vaccine and vaccines containing the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, from being linked to autism. Thompson is currently employed at the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.


How to reverse heart disease

The AHA (American Heart Association) has denied for years that Coronary Calcium Scoring is a valid marker for heart disease risk. Well guess what? They have recanted, and finally admitted the coronary calcium score reliably predicts heart attack risk.(1)
© Nonnakrit / Shutterstock
UCLA cardiologist, Dr. Matt Budoff, a long-time champion of the Coronary Calcium Scan, and author of the AHA paper says:
"The total amount of coronary calcium (Agatston score) predicts coronary disease events beyond standard risk factors."(1)
Dr. Detrano, in a recent article in NEJM (New England of Medicine), says:
"The coronary calcium score is a strong predictor of incident coronary heart disease and provides predictive information beyond that provided by standard risk factors". (31)
The Coronary Calcium Score is a precise quantitative tool for measuring and tracking heart disease risk, and is more valuable and accurate than other traditional markers, such as total cholesterol, which is practically worthless as a predictor of heart disease risk.

Snakes in Suits

This is why they protest: Pipeline owned by people behind DAPL just spilled 55,000 gallons of gasoline into pristine river

© Casey Kreider
On Friday, a broken pipeline in Pennsyvlvania dumped 55,000 gallons of gasoline into the Susquehanna River.

Charlotte Katzenmoyer, director of public works for Lancaster said in a statement that it is unclear whether or not the local drinking water supplies have been contaminated.

"With the amount that spilled, we certainly could see some impact on our intake along the Susquehanna River, We'll continue to monitor it," Katzenmoyer said.

Randy Gockley, director of the Lancaster Emergency Management Agency added that, "Certainly it's something to be concerned about. We don't know yet the speed it will travel down the river."

"I'm sure they're dealing with high velocity water flows because of the flooding. My gut tells me it will take a few days to reach us, but I can't say that for sure. This far downstream, it's hard to know," he said.


Are menopausal symptoms all in your genes?

© Phovoir/Shutterstock.com
The reason one woman gets hot flashes while another woman stays cool and comfortable through menopause may come down to differences between their genes, a new study finds.

Researchers have identified several genetic variations that increase the likelihood that a woman will experience hot flashes and night sweats during or after menopause, the study said.

More than 70 percent of women experience hot flashes and night sweats, according to the study, published today (Oct. 19) in the journal Menopause.

"If we can better identify what genetic variants are associated with hot flashes, this could lead to novel treatments to relieve them," Dr. Carolyn Crandall, a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Comment: Forget often promised but never delivered gene-based treatments. Take matters into your own hands.


Researchers find pain can be transferred socially

Are other people making you feel their pain? That's one possible upshot of experiments that seem to show sensitivity to pain can be transferred socially, at least in mice.

If the same is true for people, it may help explain conditions such as fibromyalgia, where people feel pain in the absence of an obvious medical cause.

"We've shown for the first time that you don't need an injury or inflammation to develop a pain state," says team leader Andrey Ryabinin from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. "Pain can develop simply because of social cues."

Ryabinin and his colleagues discovered the phenomenon in mice isolated from direct physical contact with other mice made to feel pain. The team found that the "bystander" mice became as hypersensitive to pain as the mice that were actually subjected to it. All the mice were in the same room, but the cages were at least 1 to 2 metres apart, and the animals couldn't see each other.

Comment: More on empathic pain:


Lots of food producers profited from the demonization of fat

© Tony Dejak / Associated Press
Consumption of vegetable oils, which were invented in the early 1900s, exploded during the 20th century. Above, a shopper walks past an aisle featuring Crisco products in a grocery store in Cleveland, Ohio in 2007.
The recent revelation that Harvard scientists were paid off to downplay sugar's harms in the 1960s shows how the food industry shockingly manipulated nutrition science for decades. Yet the news media has given the sugar industry too much credit. The real story about how sugar got a pass — while dietary fat and cholesterol were blamed for heart disease — reveals that other industries played a role, as did, surprisingly, many of the country's leading scientists.

According to an article published Sept. 12 by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the sugar industry formulated a game plan in the mid-1950s to capitalize upon an idea gaining traction "among leading nutritionists" that dietary fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. There are only three macronutrients: fat, protein and carbohydrates. Sugar executives recognized that if Americans could be persuaded to adopt a low-fat diet, they would invariably eat more carbs. Think cereal instead of eggs for breakfast, or cookies rather than cheese as a snack. Predicting that some 20% of calories would shift towards carbohydrates — a windfall to all the "carbohydrate industries" — sugar executives paid Harvard scientists to water down a 1967 review of sugar's potential harms and instead pin the blame for heart disease on fat and cholesterol.

Commentators in the past two weeks have seen this as proof that "Big Sugar" is the equivalent of "Big Tobacco," undermining good science to cover up the evils of a dangerous product. Yes, sugar executives used similar tactics, but the results were hardly so clear-cut.

Comment: It is good to see the Sugar Industry exposed, but inflammatory vegetable oils are still sold in the market as "heart healthy" when the complete opposite is the truth.

See also:

Nina Teicholz: The Big Fat Surprise! (Video)