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Mon, 26 Sep 2016
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Biohazard

Transgenic wars: GMO crops are destroying the health of both humans and livestock around the globe

© Antara Foto / Reuters
"Transgenic Wars," an award-winning film by French investigative journalist Paul Moreira, takes us on a journey through Europe and Latin America, looking at the effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops, both on livestock and human health.

It also delves into tangential concerns, such as the increased use of glyphosate-based herbicides, atrazine and 2,4-D, the latter of which was an ingredient in the devastating defoliant Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War.

Coincidentally, Monsanto was a leading producer of Agent Orange during the war, and its war contributions, which began with its involvement in the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb, help explain how Monsanto has managed to secure such staunch allegiance from the U.S. government.

It's a destructive and often incomprehensible allegiance that continues to this day, with the U.S. government's support of and involvement in spreading Monsanto's genetically engineered (GE) crops and toxic chemicals around the world — now repackaged as "necessary" for agriculture.

Sherlock

Is Psychiatry Bullsh*t? Some psychiatrists view the chemical-imbalance theory as a well-meaning lie

© Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock
In the current issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Australian dissident psychiatrist Niall McLaren titles his article, "Psychiatry as Bullshit" and makes a case for just that.

The great controversies in psychiatry are no longer about its chemical-imbalance theory of mental illness or its DSM diagnostic system, both of which have now been declared invalid even by the pillars of the psychiatry establishment.

In 2011, Ronald Pies, editor-in-chief emeritus of the Psychiatric Times, stated,
"In truth, the 'chemical imbalance' notion was always a kind of urban legend—never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists." And in 2013, Thomas Insel, then director of the National Institute of Mental Health, offered a harsh rebuke of the DSM, announcing that because the DSM diagnostic system lacks validity, the "NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories."
So, the great controversy today has now become just how psychiatry can be most fairly characterized given its record of being proven wrong about virtually all of its assertions, most notably its classifications of behaviors, theories of "mental illness" and treatment effectiveness/adverse effects.

Bulb

A system of food production for human need, not corporate greed: Agroecology versus GMO agribusiness

© canwefeedtheworld.wordpress.com
There has been an adverse trend in the food and agriculture sector in recent times with the control of seeds and chemical inputs being consolidated through various proposed mergers. If these mergers go through, it would mean that three companies would dominate the commercial agricultural seeds and chemicals sector. Over the past couple of decades, there has already been a restriction of choice with the squeezing out of competitors, resulting in higher costs for farmers, who are increasingly reliant on corporate seeds (and their chemical inputs).

Big agribusiness players like Monsanto rely on massive taxpayer handouts to keep their business models on track; highly profitable models that have immense social, health and environmental costs to be paid for by the public. Across the globe healthy, sustainable agriculture has been uprooted and transformed to suit the profit margins of transnational agribusiness concerns. The major players in the global agribusiness sector fuel a geo-politicised, globalized system of food production that result in numerous negative outcomes for both farmers and consumers alike (listed here: 4th paragraph from the end).

Health

Fungus has been identified as key factor in development of Crohn's disease

© vaakim / Fotolia
Crohn's disease is a debilitating inflammatory bowel disease, which causes severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue.
A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine-led team of international researchers has for the first time identified a fungus as a key factor in the development of Crohn's disease. The researchers also linked a new bacterium to the previous bacteria associated with Crohn's. The groundbreaking findings, published on September 20th in mBio, could lead to potential new treatments and ultimately, cures for the debilitating inflammatory bowel disease, which causes severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue.

"We already know that bacteria, in addition to genetic and dietary factors, play a major role in causing Crohn's disease," said the study's senior and corresponding author, Mahmoud A Ghannoum, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center "Essentially, patients with Crohn's have abnormal immune responses to these bacteria, which inhabit the intestines of all people. While most researchers focus their investigations on these bacteria, few have examined the role of fungi, which are also present in everyone's intestines. Our study adds significant new information to understanding why some people develop Crohn's disease. Equally important, it can result in a new generation of treatments, including medications and probiotics, which hold the potential for making qualitative and quantitative differences in the lives of people suffering from Crohn's."

Comment: Read more about the ways that hidden fungal infections contribute to illnesses and how best to combat them: See also:


Donut

Cancer cells are sugar addicts

The science is undeniable: preventing and even reversing cancer could be as simple as altering your diet and depriving the cancer of its favorite food - sugar.
In 1924, Otto Warburg, Ph.D., a Nobel Prize winning biochemist, proposed the hypothesis that cancer is a metabolic disease, that affects the way cells use food to make energy. Warburg believed that cancer cells exhibit a preference for using sugar to fuel themselves, even when the oxygen needed for normal cellular energy processes is available.1,2,3,4 He wrote:
"Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar."1
Until recently, Warburg's hypothesis had been marginalized by the persistent belief in the oncology world that cancer is a genetic disease. However, in his new book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer, Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D., has put Warburg's work back in the medical limelight.5

In his book, Seyfried argues that cancer is not a genetic disorder, but is, indeed, a metabolic disease. He suggests that the focus on genetic causes is why so little progress in curing or even treating cancer has been made. This is evident when we look at the milestones for cancer research. For the last forty years, the oncology research community has been focusing on genetic causes and drug-based treatments, and the results for the patients have been dismal.

Comment: See also:
  • Cancer as a metabolic disease: Why having a fat-burning metabolism reduces your risk



Health

Fecal Transplantation: Ancient remedy used to restore gut bacteria and treat clostridium difficile infection

© Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post
Fecal transplant in capsule form
Modern medicine is taking a new look at an ancient remedy for severe diarrhea as a novel approach to treat a serious gastrointestinal infection.

Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, is a common bacterium that can take advantage of an imbalance of intestinal microbiota, most commonly triggered by antibiotic use. The imbalance leads to C. diff overgrowth and infection, which can lead to multiple complications.

Comment: For more information on the various benefits of fecal transplantation, see the following articles:


Pills

German psychologists declare "the drugs don't work"

Jürgen Margraf and Silvia Schneider, both well-known psychologists at the University of Bochum in Germany, claim that psychotropic drugs are no solution to mental health issues in an editorial for the latest issue of the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine. They argue that the effects of psychiatric drugs for depression, anxiety, and 'ADHD' are short-lived and may have negative long-term consequences.


Silvia Schneider and Jürgen Margraf, Mental Health Research and Treatment Center, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany

2 + 2 = 4

Study shows that some, but not all, premenstrual symptoms are linked with inflammation

Certain premenstrual symptoms, such as mood changes, breast pain and abdominal cramps, are linked with inflammation, but headache is not, according to new research from UC Davis Health System.

Published in the current issue of the Journal of Women's Health, the results suggest that anti-inflammatory medications may be appropriate for some but not all symptoms associated with menstruation.

The study is a rare look at inflammation and its association with premenstrual symptoms, which can disrupt the lives of many women.

Beaker

Occupational & Environmental Medicine study warns: Enzymes used in cleaning products & food 'are potent allergens'

© Monkey Business Images/Rex
The authors add that commercial secrecy hampered research, and independent studies in the future are needed.
Research says genetically modified enzymes, which allow products to be still labelled as 'natural', should be tested like potentially hazardous chemicals

Genetically modified enzymes used in food, perfumes, medicine and cleaning products are "potent allergens" and should be tested like other potentially hazardous chemicals, experts have said.

There has been an explosion in the use of enzymes to boost flavors and aromas, including in low-fat foods, helping to create a sector worth about $10bn (£7.7bn), according to a study published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Pills

No stopping the beast: Big Pharma spent nearly 1 billion dollars lobbying for opioid access

The pharmaceutical industry is often the target of relentless criticism. But while the concerns brought up by said Big Pharma critics are often legitimate and unsettling, they are also the product of heavy government intervention.

Because misdiagnosing the disease — in this case, Big Pharma's influence and its consequence — has been the standard approach among reformists, proposed medical solutions continue to kill patients. In other words, as reformists propose still more regulation and government involvement, Americans who fall victim to the cozy relationship between Big Pharma and government continue to suffer.

Digging deeper and finding the root of the problem is the best approach — but only if your goal is to truly solve the problem. When honest doctors see a problem, they let their patients know, whether the truth hurts or not. As a nation, we must have a difficult conversation on this topic, and unfortunately, some of what we'll learn will be upsetting.

Comment: Victims continue to suffer as Big Pharma laughs all the way to the bank.