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Mon, 24 Oct 2016
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness

Red Flag

A shadow epidemic: The rising problem of Benzodiazapine addiction

An epidemic growing silently in the shadow of the opioid crisis.
Headlines about opioid addiction and overdose have obscured a prescription-driven "shadow epidemic" of benzodiazepine misuse and addiction.

Although opioid addiction and overdoses are getting most of the headlines, a parallel process is underway with a sharp rise in benzodiazepine prescribing, with significantly higher numbers of prescriptions and dosages being written in recent years. A shared dynamic is connected to the fact that the evaluation of pain, for which opioids might be prescribed, and anxiety, for which benzodiazapines might be prescribed, are both based on the self-report of the patient as opposed to objective measures. This makes it very difficult for physicians to ascertain the risk/benefit ratio when prescribing. Charles Sigler highlights the issues providers are facing...Richard Juman, PsyD

I once knew a woman who had an anxiety disorder. She also abused benzodiazepines. She was able to conjure up a panic attack in a doctor's office and walk out with a prescription for the benzo of her choice. At one time, she had four concurrent prescriptions for these anti-anxiety medications. Another person I know of has a 10-year history of using benzodiazepines, at close to the maximum recommended dose. When he had an unexpected short-term hospital stay, the treating physicians were reluctant to continue prescribing benzodiazepines at such a high level while he was in the hospital. When he returned home, in case his medical issue resulted in another unexpected stay, he put together an emergency hospital kit with various things—including extra benzodiazepines.

Comment: Read more about the dangers of benzodiazepines:

Black Magic

'Big soda' caught funding 96 health groups including govt - no wonder US is #1 in obesity

© The Free Thought Project
Ever since former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg failed in 2014 to implement a city-wide ban on large and extra-large soft drink sizes, the national spotlight has been on soda companies, thanks to the progressives. And the nation's thought police have targeted soda companies in what appears to be a witch-hunt to tax and regulate the nearly 80 billion dollar soft-drink industry.

Take, for example, California. The state wanted to force soda companies to place warning labels on soda, just like the federal government did to cigarettes. And we know how that went. It resulted in a windfall of taxes pouring into the federal coffers that continue even to this day.

Critics contend the consumption of soda pop leads to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. And they may be right. But that hasn't stopped the soda industry from fighting back in the court of public perception. And one of the ways they're doing so is by funding health groups and organizations. That seems hypocritical to researchers who sought to uncover Coca-Cola and PepsiCo's philanthropic contributions.

Comment: If you value your health, avoid soda like the plague:


Just two weeks at high altitude can change your blood for months

© Scott Cramer/iStockphoto
New findings on how the body adapts to high altitude could lead to reductions in altitude sickness among vacationers to mountain destinations around the world.
When Lauren Earthman signed up for a research project studying the effects of altitude on the human body, she thought she knew what to expect. It would be tough, but Earthman—a freshman at the University of Oregon in Eugene—was a competitive 1500-meter runner, after all. Then, she climbed out of the oxygen-equipped bus that had carried her to an elevation of 5260 meters in the Bolivian Andes. She felt OK—until she had to walk up a set of stairs. Suddenly, even that simple action, she says, was "immensely more difficult" than what she was expecting.

A few weeks later, however, Earthman was speeding up a 3.2-kilometer hill with 20 other young participants in a study, called AltitudeOmics, that has now produced a dozen publications. The most recent finding: Even short exposures to high elevation can unleash a complex cascade of changes within red blood cells that make it easier for them to cope with low-oxygen conditions. What's more, these changes persist for weeks and possibly months, even after descending to lower elevations. That finding may be a boon for medical researchers and also for hikers, skiers, and distance runners who don't have time for extended altitude training.


Conventional medicine's monumentally false claims about health

The grossly deceptive world we live in couldn't be better exemplified than by conventional medicine. More and more people are expressing their distrust. They see right through conventional medicine's crooked corporate greed-driven hidden ulterior motives.

It starts with a deliberate narrow corporate sponsored curriculum in medicals schools.

This essentially mechanistic, pharmaceutical drug-based approach to health takes the focus of attention away from other alternative health practices to reduce competition.

In research institutions, ulterior motives find their way into corporate sponsored bad science to favour desired experimental outcomes related to profit. Crooked approval bodies then turn a blind eye to a new product's potential harm while there are agendized political self-interests from corrupt politicians having their hand in allowing the product to get into the market.

Then there's the paid off mainstream media to repetitively spread the related lies, deception and cover-ups...

In short, money is stronger than truth.

The health care system is a dismal failure because of these greed-driven corporations, governments and related crooked institutions. Indeed, they don't have our best interest at heart and are capable of doing far more harm than good.

Comment: More helpful research on choosing 'alternative health' over conventional medicine:


Thousands descend upon the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta - demanding an end to CDC corruption

William E. Gladstone once said, "Justice delayed is justice denied." Martin Luther King, Jr. later used a form of this quote in his letter from the Birmingham Jail written to fellow clergy who opposed his actions in Birmingham and his beliefs regarding what non-violent action meant and why it was important. Approaching rapidly in modern-day Atlanta, Georgia the people are taking to the streets with their demands in the spirit of great leaders and movements past.

Instead of ignoring, marginalizing and targeting specific ethnicities or religious beliefs, an overreaching medical industrial complex is waging war on us all with impunity. This war is being financially led by pharmaceutical companies posing as humanitarian saviors for their bastardized version of a for-profit sick-care paradigm. Using the healthcare system, politicians lobbied to infinity and the corporate-funded mainstream media, this collective war has served only to unite communities around the world where many historically significant and socially conscious movements in the past have fallen short.

Bacon n Eggs

New study finds wheat and carbs biggest risk for heart disease, red meat and saturated fat has no direct effect

Potatoes and cereals increase the risk of heart disease while high fat dairy products cut the risk, according to a new study which rejects accepted wisdom on a healthy diet.

The research, which looked at dietary habits in 42 European countries over 16 years, conflicts with current government nutrition guidance and has led to calls for new advice to be issued.

The work, published in the journal of Food and Nutrition Research, examined food consumption, heart disease and cholesterol levels in the most up-to-date international statistics and raised questions about the reliability of traditional data, much of which was carried out decades ago.

Dr Pavel Grasgruber, a sports scientist and lead author of the study, from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, called for current dietary advice to be overturned.

He said: "Current heart disease risk is based on flawed data. This study flies in the face of accepted wisdom on diet. It is quite clear consumption of dairy products and meat is not linked with heart disease risk, as was traditionally believed.


Legitimate medical research or Big Pharma advertisment?

In 2015 the editor of the Lancet study admitted that pharmaceutical marketing is supported by deceitful research. Now, a new report issued by a distinguished doctor provides more insight into how drug companies manipulate scientific research in order to advance corporate interests in the realms of health and medicine.

A meta-analysis is an overarching view of several previously conducted scientific studies which measures both qualitative and quantitative evidence to come to a conclusion about a premise proposed by a scientist - except when that study is paid for by the very companies whom conduct the 'analysis' in order to sway data in their interests.

Though the tool of meta-analysis is used in every branch of science, it has become an important device for doctors when trying to determine the best method of treating disease. They've become essential, in fact, because of the sheer onslaught of medical studies coming out every year.

Comment: The corruption of science is so endemic it's difficult for the lay researcher or a time-strapped doctor to tell what is real from what is fake. Big Pharma counts on this very thing.


The 'Swiss Agent': Long-forgotten research unearths new mystery about Lyme disease

A page from Willy Burgdorfer's archive shows elements of the research process he used to find infectious agents and study their properties. (English translation of the German: “Different Working Branches of Rocky Mountain Laboratories” )
The tick hunter was hopeful he had found the cause of the disabling illness, recently named Lyme disease, that was spreading anxiety through leafy communities east of New York City. At a government lab in Montana, Willy Burgdorfer typed a letter to a colleague, reporting that blood from Lyme patients showed "very strong reactions" on a test for an obscure, tick-borne bacterium. He called it the "Swiss Agent."

But further studies raised doubts about whether he had the right culprit, and 18 months later, in 1981, Burgdorfer instead pinned Lyme on another microbe. The Swiss Agent test results were forgotten.

Now STAT has obtained those documents, including some discovered in boxes of Burgdorfer's personal papers found in his garage after his death in 2014. The papers — including letters to collaborators, lab records, and blood test results — indicate that the Swiss Agent was infecting people in Connecticut and Long Island in the late 1970s.

And scientists who worked with Burgdorfer, and reviewed key portions of the documents at STAT's request, said the bacteria might still be sickening an unknown number of Americans today.

While the evidence is hardly conclusive, patients and doctors might be mistaking under-the-radar Swiss Agent infections for Lyme, the infectious disease specialists said. Or the bacteria could be co-infecting some Lyme patients, exacerbating symptoms and complicating their treatment — and even stoking a bitter debate about whether Lyme often becomes a persistent and serious illness.

Swiss Agent, now called Rickettsia helvetica, is likely not a major health risk in the United States, in part because such bacteria typically respond to antibiotics. Still, several of Burgdorfer's former colleagues called for infectious disease researchers to mount a search for the bacterium.

Comment: More information on Lyme disease:

Autism and Lyme Disease are Connected, Lyme-Induced Autism Study Finds
Lyme Disease - Why Lyme is the Mystery Disease
Doctors to reassess antibiotics for 'chronic Lyme' disease


Systematic review finds antidepressants double the risk for suicidality and violence in healthy volunteers

© iStock
The Nordic Cochrane Center conducted a systematic review of existing research trials on antidepressants and found that the drugs doubled the risk of feelings associated with violence and suicidality in healthy study volunteers.

"Antidepressants double the occurrence of events in adult healthy volunteers that can lead to suicide and violence," the authors write. "We consider it likely that antidepressants increase suicides at all ages."

The connection between antidepressants and violence and suicidality has been a subject of a great deal of debate in the research literature. Previous studies suggest that antidepressants can cause an extreme state called "akathisia," characterized by feelings of extreme agitation, restlessness, and thoughts of violence and suicidality. It is generally accepted that there is an increased risk for suicidality for children, teens, and young adults when taking antidepressants and in 2007 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added a black box warning for teenagers.

Similarly, last year, researchers in Sweden published a study finding that individuals were more likely to commit a violent crime when taking an antidepressant compared to when they were not. These results and others have often been criticized or dismissed by those who point out that anxiety and suicidality are often symptoms associated with the conditions being treated. To explore this explanation, this study attempts to disentangle the symptoms from side-effects by looking only at the drug effects on healthy study volunteers who showed no signs of 'mental disorder' prior to drug exposure.

Comment: This is only the tip of the iceberg. To get a better idea, listen to our radio show: Big Pharma Karma - Magic bullets and the astonishing rise of mental illness

Bacon n Eggs

Protein sources and why variety matters

Sometimes the simple story is good enough. I'd venture to say that simple is usually good enough, particularly when it comes to health. A good diet? Eat lots of plants and animals, don't eat so many carbs, and stop being scared of natural fat. Training? Lift heavy things, move around a lot at a slow pace (constantly, if you can swing it), go really fast once in awhile, and enjoy what you do. Lifestyle in general? Get some sun, be with your tribe, get into nature as often as possible, inject meaning, laugh, love, and live. There—that gets you most of the way. Simple, right?

Another common piece of advice is "eat protein." And yeah, that's true. We need protein to survive. It's probably the most essential nutrient in existence because we can't make it ourselves. But sometimes digging a little deeper pays off.

Not all protein is created equally. Protein is composed of up to 20 different amino acids. Every protein source contains some or all of those amino acids in different proportions, so each source of protein really is different. When we digest protein, what our body actually absorbs and utilizes are those amino acids. Each one plays a different role in the body, from building and repairing various tissues, performing vital metabolic processes, acting as progenitor for essential compounds, and even regulating gene expression. We need amino acids to live.