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Tue, 25 Apr 2017
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Health & Wellness


Dissolvable stents create arterial thrombosis

In a New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) editorial published last week, Debabrata Mukherjee, M.D., provides expert commentary on bioresorbable stents, an alternative to the traditional stents used in patients with cardiac conditions. In his editorial, Dr. Mukherjee encourages cardiologists to continue using conventional drug-eluting stents, instead of the newer bioresorbable option.

Conventional stents have had their drawbacks for years. Made of stiff metal, the round, tubular structure is inserted into a narrowed artery to open up the pathway and improve blood flow. The drug-eluting stent is a step above this bare-metal structure; it's a device coated in an anti-tissue growth medication that's slowly released into the bloodstream upon insertion, preventing any recurrence of blockage.

"If you think about it, stents are pieces of metal that are permanently placed into the heart and people were not born with metal in their hearts; it's not normal and it may sometimes cause problems," Dr. Mukherjee explains. "Just by being there, the stent will affect the blood vessel lining."

Blood clots and scar tissue are more likely to form where a stent has been placed. There's also a possibility that the stent will fail and the artery will become blocked again at the same location, an effect known as restenosis.


Hawaii confirms nine cases of rat lungworm infections; researchers call it 'epidemic'

Researchers are calling it an epidemic: a big spike in the number of people infected with rat lungworm disease in Hawaii.

The Department of Health says so far there are nine confirmed cases of the disease. Four are Maui residents, two are visitors who contracted it on Maui, and three live on Hawaii Island.

State officials are also looking into three possible cases on Maui, and one on Hawaii Island.

The Department of Health adds 11 cases were confirmed on Hawaii Island in 2016.

The disease starts out as a parasitic worm that invades the human brain. The worm is carried by rats, then spread through snails or slugs that crawl onto fruits or vegetables.


The amazing benefits of cold water therapy

Cold splashes, showers, and baths apparently can be anti-inflammatory, majorly mood boosting, and all-round wonderful. When practiced on a regular basis, immersion in cold water benefits are numerous for your body's immune, digestive circulatory, and lymphatic systems. In fact, it enhances the overall quality of your life.

Conditioning your body and your brain to accept, embrace and endure immersion in cold water may be challenging, but the cold water benefits in both the short- and long-run are really worth it.

By turning the temperature down to freezing cold at the end of your shower you will be able to activate the natural healing powers of your body, to properly support your mental and physiological state of being, and perhaps begin to simply feel happier and healthier.

So, the results can be dramatic even if you begin with a quick, cold shower.

Comment: See also:


The Primal approach to skin care

© Primal Blueprint 101
By next year, Americans are expected to spend nearly 11 billion dollars on skin care annually. By some estimates anyway, the biggest share of this market goes to "anti-aging" products. Anti-aging... As I noted in an offhand way a few years back, there's a certain enjoyment in looking good naked (or just looking good), and there's nothing wrong with that. Looking "good" is largely a reflection of optimum inner health—nothing un-Primal about that. Great health is what we're all here for. The "extra" rewards that come with it aren't anything to shake a stick at—or to be sheepish about.

But the health ambition isn't really what's behind the statistics above. At their best, anti-aging products boost the body's natural processes (or at least don't undermine them with toxins). At their worst, these products promise a way to cheat effort as well as time. While taking care of your skin is part of basic hygiene, too often the claims have more in common with a hat trick than genuine wellness. But which is which?


Gluten allergy in coeliac disease may be provoked by virus

Intestine under attack
Infection with a common, symptomless virus could be one of the first steps towards developing coeliac disease, a painful autoimmune condition that damages the gut.

Coeliac disease involves the immune system treating gluten as an antigen and attacking it and has generally been thought to be a genetic disease. However, there is some evidence that the onset of the condition may be linked to people experiencing viral infections. These may include infection by adenoviruses, which cause colds, rotaviruses, which can cause diarrhoea, and the hepatitis C virus.

Now there is experimental evidence that some viruses may indeed prompt the onset of coeliac disease. Bana Jabri at the University of Chicago, Illinois, and her team have found that exposing mice to a common reovirus called T1L breaks their tolerance of gluten.

When the team fed small groups of mice gliadin - a component of gluten - they found that mice produced two to three times as many antibodies against the compound over the next two days if they were also infected with reovirus.

"The reovirus changes the way the immune system sees gluten," says Jabri. Normally, the body's immune system learns to tolerate the wide range of substances in our food, including gluten - a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. But the team's findings suggest that infection with a reovirus interferes with this, leading the body to mistakenly attack gluten.

"Our experiments are the first to demonstrate that a virus can induce loss of tolerance to dietary antigens," says Jabri.


Looking for a 2nd opinion? Mayo Clinic says 88% of patients get a different diagnosis with a 2nd opinion

That's the message the Mayo Clinic is hoping to send by releasing a new study that points to the high importance of another physician's opinion.

The new study, which was published Tuesday, states 88 percent of those who came to the Mayo go home with a new or refined diagnosis - one that changed their plan for care and "potentially their lives." They say only 12 percent of patients receive confirmation that the original diagnosis was complete and correct.

The Mayo study was based on the records of 286 patients who were referred to the clinic's General Internal Medicine Division over a two-year period. In each case, the patient's referring diagnosis was compared to the final diagnosis to determine any consistencies or errors.

In 21 percent of the cases, the diagnosis was changed completely.

In 66 percent of the cases, the diagnosis was modified or refined.


Is meat glue gluten-free?

Do you find yourself at the grocery store staring at different cuts of meat trying to find the perfect piece to buy? You look at the color, marbling, and for the overall freshness of the meat. Little do you know; the meat industry could be using a pink slime meat glue enzyme to create that perfect piece of meat. This enzyme is called microbial transglutaminase, and it has been used secretly by the food industry for decades. Although this enzyme is technically gluten free, it has been shown to create intestinal damage that can mimic celiac disease (CD)

What is mTG (Microbial Transglutaminase) - AKA Meat Glue

Microbial transglutaminase (mTG), is produced from a bacterial strain, Streptoverticillium1. Over the decades, it was isolated from the livers of guinea pigs for commercial use. Today, it can be sourced from the blood plasma of cows or pigs, at a cheaper cost. It is cultivated and dried into a powder. mTG is sprinkled on any type of meat or fish where it forms the protein cross links (pink slime), binding small scraps of meat together to form seamless large chunks of meat. The meat is then rolled, wrapped and refrigerated. A few hours later, you have a "brand new steak". The process is done so well that even butchers can't tell a fake steak from a real steak. It is also used in manufacturing cheese, dairy products, gelatin, edible films, and in baked goods. mTG improves the solubility, emulsifying capacity, foaming properties, and gelation in proteins. It also improves the texture and volumes of bread. Basically, mTG is used to make food look more attractive and appealing to consumers.

Comment: Watch how pieces of meat are glued together to create a more valuable 'joint' of meat:

Comment: See also: Dr. Peter Osborne: Why you should go grain-free


Evidence found of popular farm pesticides - neonictinoids - in drinking water

Of the many pesticides that American farmers have embraced in their war on bugs, neonicotinoids are among the most popular. One of them, called imidacloprid, is among the world's best-selling insecticides, boasting sales of over $1 billion a year. But with their widespread use comes a notorious reputation — that neonics, as they are nicknamed, are a bee killer. A 2016 study suggested a link between neonicotinoid use and local pollinator extinctions, though other agricultural researchers contested the pesticides' bad rap.

As the bee debate raged, scientists studying the country's waterways started to detect neonicotinoid pollutants. In 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey collected water samples from streams throughout the United States and discovered neonicotinoids in more than half of the samples.

And on Wednesday, a team of chemists and engineers at the USGS and University of Iowa reported that they found neonicotinoids in treated drinking water. It marks the first time that anyone has identified this class of pesticide in tap water, the researchers write in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

Gregory LeFevre, a study author and U of Iowa environmental engineer, told The Washington Post that the find was important but not immediate cause for alarm.

Comment: While the 'dose makes the poison' argument is given by the author, what is conveniently overlooked is the effects neonicotinoids have on the bee population (a keystone species in the food chain):
It's often said that we have bees to thank for one out of every three bites we take of food. In addition to producing honey, honeybees literally criss-cross the United States, pollinating almonds, oranges, melons, blueberries, pumpkins, apples, and more. And while carrots are a biennial root crop that are harvested long before they flower, all carrots are planted from seed, and honeybees pollinate the carrot flowers that produce the seeds. Other species of bees, both social and solitary bees, pollinate other crops. And the populations of all these species of bees are in decline...


The 5 Strangest Reasons You're Not Losing Weight and What to Do

An interview with "First Lady of Nutrition" Ann Louise Gittleman reveals five hidden causes of weight gain that might shock you.

I sat down with New York Times bestselling author and creator of the Fat Flush diet, Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS to learn more about her latest book, The New Fat Flush Plan. Here's what I learned.

The classic Fat Flush was first published more than 15 years ago and was really the book that launched the diet/detox revolution. What gives Fat Flush such longevity? The book challenged all the weight loss rules with unique protocols that produced faster and longer lasting results than any other diet book on the market. Fat Flush introduced the idea that the right fats can make you lean and trim, and how you can harness the fat burning power of the liver to supercharge healing, regardless of age and hormonal challenges. It's a health book masquerading as a diet book!

Dr. Gittleman recently expanded and updated her bestseller to include, among other things, the latest science about 10 hidden weight gain factors that can sabotage even the most conscientious eaters. Below, she highlights five of these factors along with simple steps you can take to overcome them.


KFC hatches plan to serve antibiotic-free chicken by 2018 to meet new requirements

© Carlo Allegri / Reuters
The fried chicken giant, KFC, said it will curb the use of "medically important" antibiotics in its chicken supply. Poultry suppliers who supply the company's 4,200 restaurants have until the end of 2018 to meet the new requirements.

Kentucky Fried Chicken was the last holdout of the big three chicken restaurants, after McDonald's and Chick-fil-A, to join the fight against the dangerous rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs and decide to drop their use.

"We recognize that it's a growing public health concern,"Kevin Hochman, KFC president told Reuters. "This is something that's important to many of our customers and it's something we need to do to show relevance and modernity within our brand."

The policy only applies to its fried chicken in the US, supplied by 2,000 domestic chicken farms, and the restriction applies to whole of the bird's life from hatchery to dinner plate.