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Tue, 22 May 2018
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Health & Wellness


CDC warns infections from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas surging in US

infections ticks mosquitoes

The U.S. CDC said that some 96,075 diseases caused by bites by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas were reported in 2016, up from 27,388 in 2004.
The number of Americans sickened each year by bites from infected mosquitoes, ticks or fleas tripled from 2004 through 2016, with infection rates spiking sharply in 2016 as a result of a Zika outbreak, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that some 96,075 diseases caused by bites by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas were reported in 2016, up from 27,388 in 2004, in an analysis of data from the CDC's National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.

Infections in 2016 went up 73 percent from 2015, reflecting the emergence of Zika, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause severe birth defects. Zika was the most common disease borne by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas reported in 2016, with 41,680 cases reported, followed by Lyme disease, with 36,429 cases, almost double the number in 2004.

Comment: More panic inducing hysteria - Zika does not cause birth defects as it is by and large harmless, but the pesticides used to fight it probably do.

Comment: Sounds like the 'health authorities' are planning to roll out some new vaccines or are planning a release of GM mosquitoes and need to prime the populace.

What is the Zika Virus epidemic really covering up? GM Mosquitoes, herbicide, pesticide & vaccine harm


Bill Gates estimates coming pandemic could kill 30 million in 6 months - says we should prepare as if for war

Bill Gates
© Jack Taylor/Getty Images
  • The next deadly disease that will cause a global pandemic is coming, Bill Gates said on Friday at a discussion of epidemics.
  • We're not ready.
  • An illness like the pandemic 1918 influenza could kill 30 million people within six months, Gates said, adding that the next disease might not even be a flu, but something we've never seen.
  • The world should prepare as it does for war, Gates said.
If there's one thing that we know from history, it's that a deadly new disease will arise and spread around the globe.

That could happen easily within the next decade. And as Bill Gates told listeners on Friday at a discussion about epidemics hosted by the Massachusetts Medical Society and the New England Journal of Medicine, we're not ready.

Gates acknowledged that he's usually the optimist in the room, reminding people that we're lifting children out of poverty around the globe and getting better at eliminating diseases like polio and malaria.

But "there's one area though where the world isn't making much progress," Gates said, "and that's pandemic preparedness."

Comment: Not to minimize the possibility of a pandemic, but Bill and Melinda Gates do seem to have a thing for vaccinating the world:


Big Pharma pays universities for most medical research in the U.S.

drugs medicine
In the past, collaboration between scientists in academia and pharmaceutical companies was relatively uncommon. However, lately there has been a growing interest in developing financial partnerships between these two sectors. The drug industry's funding patterns for academic research has shifted from handpicked projects on investigation of the biology of disease to large integrated programs, with an emphasis on the development of therapeutic drugs and vaccines. In the last few years, pharmaceutical companies have also formed "science hubs" in bigger academic institutions to promote biomedical innovation.1

Some of these partnerships include GlaxoSmithKline at Harvard University, Pfizer at University of California, and AstraZeneca at University of Washington, etc.1 In fact, with the increasing financial ties between academia and the pharmaceutical industry, many drug companies have formed specialized divisions that are solely responsible for seeking research and development relationships with academic institutions.2


New study calls into question the 'high cholesterol myth' and the need for Statin drugs

A recent study in the BMJ Open Journal may be the final nail in the coffin for industry-recommended treatment of high cholesterol-indeed, with the very contention that high cholesterol is a health problem at all. The study concluded the following about LDL-C (the supposed 'bad' cholesterol):
High LDL-C is inversely associated with mortality in most people over 60 years. This finding is inconsistent with the cholesterol hypothesis (ie, that cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, is inherently atherogenic). Since elderly people with high LDL-C live as long or longer than those with low LDL-C, our analysis provides reason to question the validity of the cholesterol hypothesis.
As noted, the study refers to claims that 'high cholesterol causes plaque buildup in arteries (atherogenisis) that lead to an increased risk of heart disease' as a hypothesis. One can wonder how often a doctor has told his patient "I recommend that you take Lipitor because there is an unproven hypothesis out there that says high cholesterol is bad for you?"

Comment: Read more about Statin madness:


Journal of the American Osteopathic Association Review: Magnesium-deficient diet makes Vitamin D ineffective

Osteopathic Association
Vitamin D can't be metabolized without sufficient magnesium levels, meaning Vitamin D remains stored and inactive for as many as 50% of Americans, according to a review of previous studies, published in the March 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

"People are taking Vitamin D supplements but don't realize how it gets metabolized. Without magnesium, Vitamin D is not really useful or safe," said Professor Mohammed Razzaque, from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pensylvania.

"Consumption of Vitamin D supplements can increase a person's calcium and phosphate levels even if they remain Vitamin D deficient."

Wine n Glass

Is Obamacare driving people to drink? Study suggests yes

© Christian Charisius/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Do you want a case of vodka with your ObamaCare this year? Or perhaps a barrel of brandy?

More people do than used to be the case, and it ain't pretty.

Only a few years into Obama's signature healthcare law, also known as the Affordable Care Act, and more Americans have taken to the bottle, according to new research.

"We find relatively robust evidence that the ACA increased risky drinking," states the report, "The Affordable Care Act on Health Behaviors After Three Years," published by the National Bureau of Economic Research earlier this month. The paper was written by researchers from Georgia State University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Kentucky, and Maryland-based analysis firm Impaq International.

The idea behind the research was to look at the impact of the ACA and the expansion of Medicaid on behavior related to future health risks, both those that increased the likelihood of future problems and those that decreased the chance.

For each year of the analysis, which ran from 2011 through 2016, the researchers collected data on more than 300,000 adults aged 19-64 years. That covered the three years before the full implementation of the ObamaCare program and three years after the kickoff date when buying insurance became mandatory.

What they found was that risky drinking behavior was trending downward during the data sample's first three years, which was the before-ObamaCare period. After the ACA was implemented, things changed for the worse.


How your diet could influence the age of menopause onset

high carb meal
© Getty Images

A diet high in carbs could bring on an earlier menopause, a study suggests.

Eating lots of pasta and rice was associated with reaching menopause one-and-a-half years earlier than the average age of women in the UK of 51.

However, the University of Leeds study of 914 UK women, also found that a diet rich in oily fish and peas and beans may delay natural menopause.

But experts say many other factors, including genes, influence timing of the menopause.

Comment: There is likely a very real connection between the diet and the age at which menopause begins. But this observational study, unfortunately, isn't good for much other than grabbing headlines. It's a very complicated picture, with many contributing factors. Changing to a low-carb diet, ditching the refined sugar, is certainly a good start which will help with overall health, including menopause.

See also:


Ten harmful hygiene habits to avoid

showering man
An article featured in Reader's Digest1 called out a number of so-called "healthy" hygiene practices that actually do more harm than good. Given the condensed nature of their commentary and the many misconceptions involved with these particular areas of hygiene, I would like to elaborate on some of them. You are probably aware that many commercial personal care products, such as bubble bath and hand sanitizer, are laced with harmful chemicals that can potentially damage your health.

But, what's your view on brushing your teeth right after a meal, cleaning your ears, douching or exfoliating? Are those widespread practices helping or hurting you? If you're not sure, let's take a closer look at popular hygiene routines that may be wreaking havoc on your health. Below are 10 hygiene habits that do more harm than good.

Harmful Hygiene Habit No. 1: Applying Hand Sanitizer


Making sense of the activated charcoal craze

activated charcoal
A London eatery called Coco di Mama is jumping on the charcoal bandwagon with its offer of a charcoal-laced croissant they describe as a "vegan delight." Below is an excerpt from their website:1
"We are so excited to bring you a charcoal-activated vegan croissant! It's quite an unusual looking item, but we can promise you it ... tastes better than it looks. Unlike a regular croissant, there is no butter. The key ingredients are sunflower margarine, soy and barley flour, activated charcoal, sugar and lemon. The alkaline properties of charcoal in the croissant help to detoxify any poisons in your body by neutralizing excess stomach acid."
They go on to suggest this blackened bakery item can help with hangovers and bloating, two claims that are not scientifically founded.2 Activated charcoal aside, the other ingredients in the croissant, such as margarine, soy and sugar - all well-known to damage your health - more than make this menu item and other foods like it not only undesirable, but also something to avoid.

The Guardian suggests this faddish food item is just one of many charcoal-influenced products hitting the market recently. They make mention of "charcoal bagels, ice cream, burger buns, smoothies and pizzas ... plus charcoal toothpaste and face masks."3 Before you join the charcoal craze and rush out to buy any of these products, let's take a closer look at the effects - positive or negative - activated charcoal may have on your health.

Evil Rays

Italian study links cell phone radiation to brain and heart tumors

cell phone
© weeksmd.com
Laboratory animals exposed to cellphone radiation developed heart and brain tumors similar to the types seen in some studies of human cellphone users, according to an Italian study published today. EWG said the findings reinforce the need for people, especially children, to exercise caution when using cellphones and other radiation-emitting devices.

The study by the Ramazzini Institute, published in the journal Environmental Research, supports the findings of the federal National Toxicology Program. Last month, the NTP reported that male rats exposed to radio-frequency radiation at levels including those emitted by cellphones had a greater chance of developing malignant brain cancer, and tumors in the heart and other organs.

Comment: What 15 minutes on your cell phone actually does to your brain