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Sun, 23 Apr 2017
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Popcorn

Low-calorie sweeteners promote fat accumulation and inflammation

Low-calorie, artificial sweeteners appear to play havoc with the body's metabolism, and large consumption of these sugar substitutes could promote fat accumulation, especially in people who are already obese, preliminary research suggests. The study results will be presented Monday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

"Many health-conscious individuals like to consume low-calorie sweeteners as an alternative to sugar. However, there is increasing scientific evidence that these sweeteners promote metabolic dysfunction," said Sabyasachi Sen, M.D., an Associate Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and the study's principal investigator.

Sen and his colleagues tested sucralose, a popular low-calorie sweetener, on stem cells -- cells that could change into mature fat, muscle, cartilage or bone cells--taken from human fat tissue. They placed these cells in Petri dishes for 12 days in media that promotes fat production. At a 0.2-millimolar sucralose dose similar to the concentration found in the blood of people with high consumption of low-calorie sweeteners -- equal to four cans of diet soda per day -- the researchers said they observed increased expression of genes that are markers of fat production and inflammation. There also was increased accumulation of fat droplets in cells, particularly at a larger dose (1 millimolar), Sen reported.

Comment: See also:


Extinguisher

Commonly used organophosphates are making people 'flame retardant'

In 1973, the U.S. government passed a law requiring that all children's sleepwear must be fire resistant. Legislators may have believed they were preserving public health, believing such laws help keep citizens safe. But, to borrow a phrase, the medicine is sometimes worse than the disease.

Here's why: Fewer than five years later, scientists discovered that the chemical used to make those flame-retardant fabrics — brominated Tris — was responsible for rising incidences of cancer. Brominated Tris was then banned in kids' pajamas.

By 1977, other chemicals were being used to render such articles as baby toys, clothing, carpeting, sofas, draperies and even crib mattresses flame resistant. Growing realization that the chemicals were causing even more health problems led to widespread concern. Consumer Reports noted:
"In 2004, such concerns led to one of the most commonly used flame-retardant mixtures, called pentaBDE, being voluntarily phased out after it was linked to health problems and was detected in alarming levels in people's bodies. Many manufacturers began to use organophosphates in their place."1
But a new, comprehensive study led by Duke University2 revealed that two flame-retardant chemicals in a class called organophosphates are showing up in peoples' urine. Worse, the two most commonly used organophosphates, TDCIPP and TPHP, have risen steadily in urine samples collected between 2002 and 2015.

Experts say the reason this is an issue is because these substances cause not just cancer, but fertility problems, hormonal changes, thyroid regulation, neurological disorders and endocrine disruption.

Comment: Are Flame Retardants Safe? Growing Evidence Says 'No'


Info

A new poll finds Americans' fears about water pollution hit a 16-year high

© KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS
Drinking-water scares like the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, appear to have had a lingering impact on Americans’ concerns with their drinking-water supplies.
The U.S. population appears to be more concerned with polluted water than it has been in over a decade, just as the Trump administration is rolling back water protections.

According to a new Gallup poll, 63 percent of respondents said they worried "a great deal" about pollution of drinking water, while 57 percent of overall respondents also said they were concerned about pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

The percentage of respondents with water concerns is at its highest level recorded in Gallup's annual environmental poll since 2001. That number also surpasses the percentage of respondents who are concerned with the four other environmental issues included in the poll — air pollution, climate change, the loss of tropical rainforests and the extinction of plant and animal species.

The pollsters say respondents' water pollution concerns are likely linked to the high-profile drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which has elevated an issue that is often out of sight and out of mind.

It appears that is particularly the case for lower-income and minority Americans who live in communities like Flint.

Comment: Drinking water is becoming increasing scarce and toxic


Syringe

Top vaccine maker? GlaxoSmithKline


GSK’s business strategy is based on selling “lots of vaccines.”
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Merck & Co., Pfizer, and Sanofi account for 80 percent of global vaccine revenues. Although these "big four" vary significantly by portfolio and pipeline size, GSK of the United Kingdom ranked first in terms of research and development, pricing strategy and registration, and manufacturing and supply, according to a report released by the Access to Medicine Foundation.1,2

The Access to Vaccines Index report on the vaccine industry evaluated and compared eight companies: GSK; Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co. and Pfizer of the United States; Sanofi of France; Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and Daiichi Sankyo Co. of Japan; and Serum Institute of India. It "mapped" how these companies are "responding to global calls to increase immunisation coverage." It found that the companies measured approach access to vaccines in different ways, which were "generally linked to whether their businesses are focused more on developing new vaccines or on marketing existing ones, or on both."1, 2

Comment: Scandal rocks Big Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline - firm faces bribery & wrongful death charges


Chalkboard

Fourteen lies taught in medical school and the rise of a society addicted to psychotropic drugs

© Unknown
Lie # 1:

"The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) tests all new psychiatric drugs"

Lie # 2:

"FDA approval means that a psychotropic drug is effective long-term"

Lie # 3:

"FDA approval means that a psychotropic drug is safe long-term"

Comment: Countless films and documentaries have been made on this horrible situation. Here's one:




Pills

Over-the-counter drugs that should be avoided

Most people assume that over the counter drugs are very safe. After all, why would they be available for sale without a prescription if they weren't safe? And for the most part they're right. With the exception of a few people who use them recreationally, are allergic, or are more susceptible to the side effects, these drugs are safe.

For ordinary consumers however, serious problems arise when these drugs are taken for long periods of time; often in an attempt to treat chronic conditions. Given their accessibility they may seem safe for long-term use, but these drugs are anything but, and there's plenty of evidence to prove it. The drugs below in particular, are among the most dangerous over the counter medications.

Comment: Before reaching for an OTC pain reliever consider natural alternatives:


Headphones

Modern life and hidden hearing loss

Noise exposure is the main cause of preventable hearing loss worldwide. It now accounts for more than a third of all cases of hearing loss in developed countries - and city dwellers are most at risk. A study published recently in The Lancet revealed that living in a noisy city increases your risk of hearing damage by 64%.

Noise is measured in decibels (dB). Zero decibels is almost complete silence. It is the quietest thing someone with healthy hearing can hear above absolute silence (which is -9 dB). A typical conversation is around 60dB, and anything you need to raise your voice to be heard over is probably above 87dB. Prolonged exposure to anything above 85dB, without adequate ear protection, is assumed to be potentially damaging.


People can be exposed to noise at work, such as a construction site (up to 96dB), or socially, such as a music festival or nightclub (up to 110dB). But you might be exposed to loud noises so constantly throughout the day that you don't even realise they are there, perhaps from road works (75 - 105dB) or a noisy pub (around 90dB).

Health

Dust mites in your pillow and other bedding hazards

© Getty Images/gokhan ilgaz
Dust mites are curious tiny creatures that feed off your dead skin cells and thrive in warm, humid environments. They don't bite, and they don't spread disease, but they are responsible for allergic symptoms and have been linked to the development of asthma in children.1

An estimated 10 percent of the population are allergic to the dust mite's fecal pellets and body parts. Your pillow is one of the more common places to find large numbers of mites, as the environment is exactly what they need to grow and multiply.

In fact, pillows and down comforters can become a dust mite reservoir. And, though you may think you've finally found the perfect pillow for a great night of sleep, it may be time to pitch the one you have and get a new one.

Ideally, your pillow should fill the gap between your head and shoulders when you lie down. Your pillow will serve two functions — support for your neck and upper back and provide a level of comfort you wouldn't experience without a pillow.

Support is the more important function as your spine is naturally curved at the neck and a well-placed pillow will maintain proper alignment. Although comfort is slightly more subjective, support plays a role in the comfort factor as a lack of support reduces comfort.

For those with a spinal disorder, the proper support is essential to sleep quality and musculoskeletal comfort.2 One study found orthopedic pillows kept spinal alignment best, while feather pillows were the worst; individual support is the deciding factor in your pillow choice.

Syringe

Court forces UK mum to vaccinate her children

This is a true story. As crazy as it may seem, this actually happened. A vegan mother who chose not to vaccinate, based on animal-based vaccine ingredients, was ordered by the UK High Court recently to have her two sons vaccinated.

This is not a first for the High Court. In 2013, in a very similar incident, and mother was forced to vaccinate her two daughters with an MMR shot.

How did this happen?

Judge Mark Rogers sided with the father's petition, when he bent the court's ear about the mother's beliefs.

IFL Science reported:
[...]the father applied for a court order to get his sons vaccinated, citing the safety of his children first and calling the mother "obsessive, overprotective and narrow in her views."

He told the court she had "a suspicion of all conventional medicine" and used an example of her not allowing the children to take paracetamol-based medicine, like Calpol [like Tylenol], specifically designed for children.

Comment: A vegan mother, a pro-vaccine father and a medical nanny state that has them under its thumb -- those kids are in for a triple dose of health woes. What a shame.


Coffee

Does caffeine really make you dehydrated?

For a long time people have been told that caffeine is a diuretic. For some, this translates into advice to avoid or remove caffeinated beverages from the diet of people at risk of dehydration, or during periods of extreme summer heat.

While possibly well meaning, this advice is wrong.

By definition, a diuretic is a product that increases the body's production of urine. Hence water, or any drink consumed in large volumes, is a diuretic. Importantly, urinating more does not inevitably lead to dehydration (excessive loss of body water).

Drinking simultaneously provides the body with fluid for absorption (avoiding dehydration) and initiates urine production. Depending on the urine losses that occur following drinking, a beverage might be more accurately described as a "poor _re_hydrator" if large fluid losses result.

Caffeine is a weak diuretic, and tolerance to this effect is acquired rapidly (in four to five days) with regular caffeine intake. What's somewhat concerning is that this has been known for almost 100 years!