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Wed, 21 Nov 2018
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Health & Wellness


'Distinct whiff of snake oil' - The truth about DNA fitness tests

Fitness and DNA
© liulolo/iStock/Getty Images Plus
The sales pitch is compelling: By revealing the secrets locked inside your DNA, genetic testing can optimize your workout gains while reducing your risk for injury. "Remove the guesswork from training," claims one company. "Take your exercise choices to the next level," says another.

The companies selling these services (often for hundreds of dollars) say they're backed by hard science. But take a close look at the research undergirding these products and you'll catch a distinct whiff of snake oil.

"There are some companies out there who are just making stuff up or exaggerating to the point of fraud, but even the companies that aren't making fraudulent claims are utilizing the scientific aura surrounding DNA to imply that there's more evidence than there really is," says Robert Green, MD, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Genomes2People Research Program based at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Green says there are some genetic markers associated with the activity of fast twitch muscle fibers. These genes may play a minor role in a person's response to different types of resistance training. Using this kernel of genetic science as a foundation, companies are constructing whole training programs that are purportedly tailored to a person's unique genetic blueprint.

But Green says the genetic markers these testing companies look at are only single pieces of a very complicated puzzle. How (and how much) they matter remains to be seen and probably depends on hundreds of other variables. "It's very easy for these companies to misrepresent the connection between your DNA and your desired outcome," Green says.

Others agree. When it comes to fitness-focused genetic testing, "These products are going out on a limb in terms of interpretation of the science," says Jason Vassy, MD, a genetic science researcher and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard.


New report reveals US water suppliers cover up spikes in hormone-disrupting herbicide contamination

weed sprayer
© Reuters / Ilya Naymushin
Taking advantage of regulatory loopholes, US water suppliers may be concealing alarmingly high concentrations of toxic herbicides in Americans' drinking water, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group.

The report found more than 30 million Americans' drinking water is contaminated with atrazine, a known endocrine and reproductive disruptor linked to increased risk of preterm births and fetal deformities. Worse, discrepancies between reported federal and state measurements of the contamination suggest that local water utilities are gaming the regulatory system to avoid reporting "spikes" in contamination from the increase in herbicide usage during the farming season.

EPA regulations permit water utilities to report annual averages for drinking water contaminants, allowing them to mask spikes in runoff during the growing season by averaging them with the low levels found during the winter - or even not to measure during the high season at all.

EWG senior science advisor Olga Naidenko accused the utilities of "playing the dates game," covering up illegal levels of atrazine contamination by cleverly timing their measurements, and the report found 70 percent of utilities had sampled contamination outside of high usage periods or reported lower contamination levels than the EPA.

Comment: Revealed: How Syngenta Investigated the Press and Shaped the News About its Controversial Weed-Killer Atrazine


The evidence against carbohydrates gets stronger

© digifoodstock.com / Global Look Press
As anyone who's gone on a diet knows, once you lose some weight, it gets harder to lose more. The "eat less, move more" mantra, as simple as it sounds, doesn't help us deal with our bodies' metabolic reality: As we shed pounds, we get even hungrier and our metabolism slows down.

But findings from a new study I led with my colleague Cara Ebbeling suggest that what we eat - not just how much - has a substantial effect on our metabolism and thus how much weight we gain or lose.

People have a hard time believing that weight control isn't just a matter of calories eaten and calories burned. But there is an alternate hypothesis about obesity, which is what my group studies. The carbohydrate-insulin model argues that overeating isn't the underlying cause of long-term weight gain. Instead, it's the biological process of gaining weight that causes us to overeat.

Comment: Encouraging to see mainstream science catching up to what "fringe" researchers have been saying for years. But how much more proof will be needed to alter its paradigm? And how much pushback will come from powerful lobbies who get rich peddling 'healthy grains' and sugar-rich junk food.

It's a serious question. To adopt the diet changes the research indicates would cause serious dislocation in our current food supply structure. Whole state economies are based on grain-growing. They will not change their practices without a fight.


The Endocannabinoid system: Most medical schools don't train students about the second largest neurotransmitter system

Endocannabinoid system
When will more medical schools include the second largest neurotransmitter system, the endocannabinoid system (ECS), into medical school curriculum? In 2013, Cardiologist Dr. David Allen did a preliminary survey to determine which schools teach the ECS and found that only a total of 13 percent of U.S. medical schools even mentioned it. Now, we're not talking about cannabis here, but a neurotransmitter system that was discovered in the late 1980s, almost 30 years ago. We know that it is critical for homeostasis, yet few medical schools have seen fit to train medical students about it.

If a physician is unaware of the ECS, its constituents such as the neurotransmitters anandamide, 2AG and dopamine and/or the role of dopamine in retrograde inhibition, how will doctors ever understand how and why cannabis treats migraines, seizure disorder, Crohn's Disease, arthritis, and the myriad of other conditions cannabis has been shown to treat?

Comment: Cannabis as Medicine


Barbara Loe Fisher: Pediatricians turn Well Baby Checkups into vaccine battlegrounds

well baby checkup
I remember when I took my first-born baby to the pediatrician for his first checkup 40 years ago. Like most young Moms, I looked up to my pediatrician and completely trusted him. I did everything he told me to do, never questioning his expertise or doubting him, believing that he would never recommend or do anything that would put my baby in harm's way.

Much has changed since 1978. Back then infants and children were getting half as many vaccines as they do today.1 Parents had no information at all about vaccine risks and failures. We just followed the doctor's orders.

Today, the subject of vaccination is the most often discussed health topic in America. Not a day goes by without mothers and fathers being reminded that the health of the nation depends upon making sure their children get every one of the 69 doses of 16 CDC recommended vaccines exactly on schedule. 2, 3, 4

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The Health & Wellness Show: The Importance of Vitamin B1: Thiamine

Today we interview Health and Wellness Show co-host Elliot about the deep dive he's done recently on the topic of vitamin B1: Thiamine. In the mainstream health paradigm, thiamine deficiency is a thing of the past. The manifestations of vitamin B1 deficiency are termed 'beriberi' and it was widespread in Japan in the 19th century when people had switched to polished rice (white rice) for aesthetic reasons, removing the bran from the rice that contained B vitamins, which lead to deficiency. By fortifying foods with vitamin B1, the problem was thought to be solved.

However, low grade thiamine deficiency may not lead to overt beriberi symptoms, and is a vastly under-recognized problem. According to the work of Dr Derrick Lonsdale and Chandler Marrs, in their book "Thiamine Deficiency Disease, Dysautonomia, and High Calorie Malnutrition", thiamine deficiency is extremely common in a whole host of people who suffer from a wide variety of diseases - so many, in fact, that the deficiency is often referred to as "the great imitator". As a result, thiamine therapy has proven very effective in the authors 40 years of clinical work for a wide variety of conditions including cases of nervous system disorder, dysautonomias, insomnia, depression, schizophrenia, along with cardiovascular disease, excessive vomiting, gut issues, and many more.

Join us for this episode of the Health and Wellness Show, as Elliot tells us all about this important and vastly underrated nutrient.

And stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment, where she shares important information about anemia in cats.

Running Time: 00:53:32

Download: OGG, MP3

Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!


Veganism backlash? These women swear by a meat-based diet

meat-based ladies
A beautiful woman in her 40s sits in a restaurant. It's a late summer evening, and the air is scented with garlic and herbs.

Suddenly, there is a commotion in the kitchen, as staff jostle at the door to peer at her. Surprisingly, it's not for her striking looks, but her food order. A huge steak and nothing else 'for the lady' is surely one of the strangest requests they've had.

But for Jill Gardner, 44, the lady in question - a petite, size 10 one at that - it's something she's grown used to over the past year. She shrugs off raised eyebrows from waiters and amused comments from dining companions over her unorthodox eating habits.

Comment: When mainstream media publications start to at least give some airtime to the benefits of meat-eating, one has to wonder if a backlash against veganism is gaining momentum. Of course, there's always the requisite parade of 'experts' offering their uninformed opinions, parroting "studies" with tenuous correlations. But if someone reading these articles is inspired to do some more research to get to the bottom of a serious health condition, it's worth the smear.

See also:

Evil Rays

Britain's first court case against 5G wireless technology — And the people won

5G protest court case
Mark Steele, a 5G campaigner, has been highlighting the dangers of a secret 5G rollout by Gateshead council where residents are complaining of increased illness and Cancer in the affected area.

There's enough evidence to conclude the new smart 5G arrays on the top of new LED lampposts emit Class 1 Radiation frequencies and should be treated as a danger to the Public.

Gateshead council ignorantly rebutted clear evidence and created false allegations on social media posts and printed leaflets stating that Mark Steele is spreading Pseudo Science and that the arrays are not dangerous or 5G: "Please be assured that there is no scientific basis or credible evidence for any of these scare stories about street lights causing cancer and other illnesses."

Comment: The mega-5G rollout is truly problematic when one starts to look into the health effects. If half of what the alarmists are saying is true, we'll likely see massive increases in disease as a result of 5Gs widespread adoption.

See also:


Despite opioid epidemic intensifying, FDA approves painkiller 1,000X more powerful than morphine

Rx drug overdose

In an extremely irresponsible move,* the FDA just approved a painkiller 1,000 times stronger than morphine, despite the fact that the U.S. is already experiencing a deadly opioid drug crisis that takes over 100 lives a day.

On Friday, Nov. 2nd, U.S regulators approved a fast-acting, extremely potent opioid tablet 10 times more powerful than Fentanyl called Dsuvia, developed as an alternative to IV painkillers. This decision comes with a backdrop of reports of tens of thousands of annual deaths caused by overdoses from pharmaceutical opioid-type painkillers throughout the United States. According to a NY Daily News article, "The drug's manufacturer, AcelRx, said the drug will be marketed with the name Dsuvia and cost between $50 and $60 per dose."

Lawmakers and consumer advocacy groups have expressed deep concern about this decision. For instance, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., released the following statement on Friday: "There was no public health need to approve this formulation of supercharged fentanyl in the face of these questions, opposition from one FDA advisory committee chair, and without the full participation of another advisory committee devoted to drug safety."

On the same day Public Citizen released a statement titled, "FDA Makes Wrong Call; Super-Strong Opioid Medication Will Be Abused and Kill People," which describes how the FDA rigged the committee vote to ensure a positive recommendation.

Comment: As if the public really needs an opioid even more powerful than the already extremely addictive fentanyl. This pretty much proves the FDA has absolutely no care for the American public and only wishes to profit (as if we needed more proof on that front).

See also:


Canola oil acts like battery acid on your heart - Here are some good alternatives

canola oil
Canola oil is a popular food ingredient used mostly for frying and baking that doesn't belong on anyone's plate or in any snack bags. It's an ingredient not meant for human consumption and shouldn't be in any preppers' pantries! Yet, this cooking oil is touted as a healthy alternative to saturated fats. Sadly, most health food stores are soaked in this oil.

Nope, it's not the new enemy of mainstream, coconut oil!


We're talking about...

Canola oil.

Canola oil is the darling of the medical community, fast food industry, Big Food and sadly, even health advocates.

Not only is Canola a genetically engineered crop, but it is known to be sprayed with glyphosate - the active ingredient in Monsanto's toxic weedkiller - as a pre-harvest desiccant. That is, a glyphosate formula to dry crops faster for harvest.

But even if the Canola crops weren't sprayed with glyphosate, it would still be far too toxic to eat. Even if it weren't a GE food, you'd want it banished from your diet forever. (By the way, most Canola is genetically engineered.)

Here's why you should banish canola oil forever...

Canola oil is like battery acid to your heart.

There is no such thing as a "Canola" plant or seed, per se. It's actually a variety of rapeseed that was manmade. The name is actually this acronym: Can-O-LA.

It stands for Canada Oil Low (erucic) Acid. Another source says the "ola" part of the name was based on similar oils like Mazola brand ("maize oil").

Comment: Much more on the ubiquitous and highly detrimental Canola oil: