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Mon, 19 Nov 2018
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Health & Wellness


Fast Food: For every meal?

© Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Younger adults and those with higher incomes are more likely to eat fast food, researchers reported.
On any given day in America, about one-third of adults will eat fast food, according to the C.D.C.

More than a third of adults in the United States patronize fast-food restaurants and pizza parlors on any given day. And the higher their income, the more likely they are to do so.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released data on fast food consumption gathered from 2013 to 2016 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or Nhanes, a program that continuously monitors the health and nutritional status of Americans.

The Nhanes analysis relies on physical examinations and in-person interviews to produce demographic, socioeconomic and health data, including dietary information from a representative sample of about 10,000 adults over the four years.

Comment: America the fast food nation: Over a third of children and teens eat fast food daily


Canadian hospital releases assisted suicide plan for kids, may not even inform parents

© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A group of medics from a Toronto children's hospital have released a shocking paper which outlines its controversial position on child euthanasia. In the paper, published at the British Medical Journal, Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children revealed that in some cases, the young person's parents will not be notified of the intention to end their own lives until after the death is confirmed.

"Usually, the family is intimately involved in this (end-of-life) decision-making process," the pediatric doctors, administrators and ethicists noted in a Sept. 21 paper published in the BMJ.
"If, however, a capable patient explicitly indicates that they do not want their family members involved in their decision-making, although health care providers may encourage the patient to reconsider and involve their family, ultimately the wishes of capable patients with respect to confidentiality must be respected."
In the east-central Canadian province of Ontario, parents are not required to be involved in any "capable" child's decision to end their own life.


You can die of a broken heart! Study finds grief may cause deadly inflammation

© Arizona Health & Education
We see stories covered by local news outlets time and time again featuring elderly couples who spent nearly their entire lives together, only to pass away hours or days apart. Now a new study may explain why.

Researchers from Rice University say that people who struggle to overcome grief caused by loss of a loved one are at greater risk of suffering from potentially deadly levels of inflammation. Conversely, those who have an easier time dealing with a spouse's death are prone to healthier outcomes.

"Previous research has shown that inflammation contributes to almost every disease in older adulthood," notes lead author of the study, Chris Fagundes, an assistant professor of psychological sciences, in a statement.
"We also know that depression is linked to higher levels of inflammation, and those who lose a spouse are at considerably higher risk of major depression, heart attack, stroke and premature mortality. However, this is the first study to confirm that grief - regardless of people's levels of depressive symptoms - can promote inflammation, which in turn can cause negative health outcomes."

Comment: See also:

Red Flag

Study finds: The military's obsession with energy drinks is contributing to PTSD

energy drinks
© J.D. Simkins/Staff
A recent study found a significant association between energy drink use and mental health problems, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Getting adequate sleep is increasingly rare among the active duty military population, as frequent deviations from the body's natural circadian rhythms due to a demanding operational tempo pit personnel in an ongoing struggle against the ever-persistent sandman.

To combat the sleep deprivation unique to this demographic, service members often turn to energy drinks, a prominent component of combat deployments that has become as paramount to mission success as any piece of protective gear or weaponry.

The prevalence of energy drink use in these settings is extraordinary. The life blood is virtually everywhere - and tends to cost nothing - resulting in an environment in which nearly half of deployed troops down at least one readily available crack can per day.

Wine n Glass

New study shows alcohol affects a gene making your brain forget the bad times, remember the good ones

Man drinking
© Shutterstock/millas1987
Just one glass of wine could be enough for you to dismiss your bad memories and focus only on the good times, a new study suggests.

Researchers say that alcohol 'hijacks' the pathway that forms memory on a fundamental, molecular level.

It affects a gene involved with encoding whether a memory is pleasing or unpleasant and changes a protein the gene makes, which in turn makes you form 'craving memories'.

One drink only changes the pathway for an hour, but three can change the pathway for 24 hours - which could explain why we forget being sick or stumbling home.

The team, led by Brown University in Rhode Island, says its findings may help explain why recovering alcoholics find it hard to stay on the wagon and that this could lead to forms of treatment that help decrease how long the craving memories last, or how intense they are.


Almost two-thirds of appendectomies are unnecessary

appendix scar
© TaraPatta/Shutterstock.com
You've probably heard that your appendix is a useless organ, an artifact from our ancient past when early humans had to digest tree bark and other fibrous materials.1 However, modern medical science has again proven your body does not contain superfluous organs that serve no useful function.

Unfortunately, the idea that your appendix is little more than a nuisance and potential health risk has led to the routine removal of this organ. Many doctors will even suggest prophylactic removal of the appendix when you're having some other abdominal surgery done. As noted in a 2017 paper:2
"Appendectomy is the most common emergency surgery performed in the USA. Removal of a noninflamed appendix during unrelated abdominal surgery (prophylactic or incidental appendectomy) can prevent the downstream risks and costs of appendicitis. It is unknown whether such a strategy could be cost saving for the health system."
Based on hypothetical patient cohorts aged 18 to 80, the researchers concluded that people under the age of 30 could save about $130 over their lifetime by undergoing prophylactic appendectomy during other elective abdominal surgery. However, considering the potential benefits of keeping your appendix, saving $130 over a lifetime doesn't seem very good value proposition.

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The Health & Wellness Show: Pill Poppers: Why are we taking all these supplements again?

The FDA defines a supplement as any vitamin, enzyme, botanical, amino acid, or mineral that is not intended to cure or prevent a disease. It's estimated that 50 to 70% of Americans take a dietary supplement and we would venture to guess that most consumers purposely intend to cure or prevent a disease by taking supplements or, at the very least, correct a perceived or actual deficiency. Whether it is a genuine effort to enhance an already healthy lifestyle or a futile attempt to out-supplement a bad diet, the consumption -- or over-consumption in some cases -- of supplements begs the question: Are these pills as efficacious as their proponents would have you believe? Are people treating supplements like magic pills and popping them willy-nilly just because they're "natural"?

There are plenty of supplement haters out there who try to warn people away from supplementing citing their danger or uselessness. So what's a person to do? Join us for this episode of The Health and Wellness Show as we try to balance the anti-supplement hype with legitimate questions that every consumer should consider before randomly shoving pills down their throats.

Stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment where the topic will be Canine Stress Syndrome.

Running Time: 01:29:57

Download: OGG, MP3

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


Shroom for improvement: FDA lists psilocybin as 'breakthrough therapy' for depression

© Wikipedia
Psychedelic drug researchers can now begin providing psychiatric patients with psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, as part of their therapy in a landmark approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression, which covers roughly 50 percent of patients diagnosed with clinical depression in the US, has been granted a "Breakthrough Therapy designation" by the FDA in a landmark decision, essentially admitting that the drug has shown significant potential in early clinical evidence.

"The Breakthrough Therapy designation is a strong endorsement for the potential of psilocybin therapy," Robin Carhart-Harris, head of the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London said in a press release.

The Breakthrough Therapy designation was created in 2012 to expedite approvals for drugs that display a clear advantage over a currently available alternatives used to treat serious or life-threatening conditions. While it does not necessarily guarantee that a drug will make it to market, it does indicate that the administration believes further research would be beneficial.

Comment: See also: FDA approves psilocybin for treating depression


There are 271 new vaccines in Big Pharma's pipeline

new vaccination legislation
No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable...for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death." - President Ronald Wilson Reagan, as he signed The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986, absolving drug companies from all medico-legal liability when children die, become chronically ill with vaccine-induced autoimmune disorders or are otherwise disabled from vaccine injuries. That law has led directly to an expected reckless, liability-free development of scores of new, over-priced, potential block-buster vaccines, now numbering over 250. The question that must be asked of Big Medicine's practitioners: How will the CDC, the AMA, the AAFP and the American Academy of Pediatrics fit any more potentially neurotoxic vaccines into the current well-baby over-vaccination schedule?

Comment: See also:


Cardiologist: Want a healthier heart? Eat a steak

Tomahawk steak
© Landry's / Landry's
I'm a cardiologist - and I encourage patients to eat red meat.

This advice defies conventional wisdom. For decades, nutritionists and physicians have urged people to limit consumption of red meat and other fatty foods, which were thought to cause heart disease.

But new studies debunk this conventional wisdom. Indeed, it now looks like low-quality carbohydrates - not saturated fats - are driving America's heart disease epidemic. It's time to stop demonizing steak.

Comment: The case against meat in terms of causing health problems has always been on very shaky ground. It remains to be seen if articles like the above, written by credible professionals, will manage to crack the seemingly impenetrable wall of ignorance surrounding the subject. Don't hold your breath.

See also: