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Sat, 27 May 2017
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Brain

Surprising link discovered between blood sugar and glioma brain cancer

© Mikhail Kalinin
Summary: Diabetes and high blood sugar appears to lower a person's risk of developing glioma brain cancer, a new study suggests

Diabetes raises risk for many cancers, but not most common malignant brain tumor.

New research further illuminates the surprising relationship between blood sugar and brain tumors and could begin to shed light on how certain cancers develop.

While many cancers are more common among those with diabetes, cancerous brain tumors called gliomas are less common among those with elevated blood sugar and diabetes, a study from The Ohio State University has found.

The discovery builds on previous Ohio State research showing that high blood sugar appears to reduce a person's risk of a noncancerous brain tumor called meningioma. Both studies were led by Judith Schwartzbaum, an associate professor of epidemiology and a researcher in Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center. The new glioma study appears in the journal Scientific Reports.

Water

US facing 'nationwide drinking water crisis' with 77mn exposed to unsafe water in 2015 - study

© Eric Thayer / Reuters
Up to 77 million Americans were serviced in 2015 by unsafe drinking water systems, with 18 million people exposed to excessive levels of lead and copper, a new study found, adding that penalties for violations are "virtually nonexistent."

"The actual number of violations and systems breaking the law is likely substantially higher because of probable widespread underreporting," the authors of the study by the environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) say.

According to the research, entitled "Threats on Tap: Widespread Violations Highlight Need for Investment in Water Infrastructure and Protections," violations were reported in all 50 states in 2015, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other territories covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

The top five states with SDWA violations by population proved to be Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia.

Texas saw the lion's share of health-based violations, affecting more than 4.9 million people. Puerto Rico came in second, with more than 2.4 million, followed by Ohio, Maryland, and Kentucky. When ranked by percentage of total population served, Puerto Rico had "the highest percentage of any state or territory, with 69.4 percent of its population served by community water systems with health-based SDWA violations," according to the study.

Bacon n Eggs

Cholesterol myth busted again: 40-year-old previously unpublished trial shows lowered cholesterol increases mortality

For the past four decades, the U.S. government has warned that eating cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs would raise your LDL cholesterol (inappropriately referred to as "bad" cholesterol) and promote heart disease.

Alas, decades' worth of research utterly failed to demonstrate this correlation, and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans1,2,3,4,5 finally addressed this scientific shortcoming, announcing "cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption."6

This is good news, since dietary cholesterol plays an important role in brain health and memory formation, and is indispensable for the building of cells and the production of stress and sex hormones, as well as vitamin D. (When sunlight strikes your bare skin, the cholesterol in your skin is converted into vitamin D.)

Unfortunately, the dietary guidelines still cling to outdated misinformation about saturated fat, wrongly accusing it of raising LDL and contributing to heart disease. Here, science has shown that saturated fat only raises the safe, fluffy LDL particles. It also increases HDL, which is beneficial for your heart.

The guidelines became and are still confusing because the basic premise was wrong. Dietary fat is indeed associated with heart disease, but it's the processed vegetable oils, which are loaded with trans fats and oxidized omega-6 fats, that are the problem, not saturated fats.

The introduction of industrialized, highly processed and frequently heated omega-6 vegetable oils distorted the vitally important omega 6-to-3 ratio, causing metabolic catastrophes. The problem was further exacerbated by replacing saturated fat with refined carbohydrates, which were incorrectly viewed as a healthier option, thanks to misinformation created and spread by the sugar industry.

Brain

UK researchers investigating potential of cannabidiol to shrink brain tumors

© denali healthcare
In a world first, scientists at Nottingham University, UK, are investigating whether cannabidiol - a non-psychoactive chemical in marijuana - could be used to shrink brain tumors, prompted by a growing number of parents administering it to their children for the purpose.

The team is led by Professor Richard Grundy of Nottingham University's children's brain tumor center, who said there had been a sizeable surge in parents administering it without medical advice in the belief it might help in 2017. Products containing cannabidiol can be bought online legally, as they do not contain THC, the ingredient in cannabis which induces the high.

In 2016, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Agency declared the compound had a "restoring, correcting or modifying" effect on "physiological functions." Still, the ruling meant companies must acquire a licence to sell them — they are officially classified as medicinal, and as such must meet safety, quality and efficacy standards.

Comment: The ability of cannabis to kill 'incurable' brain cancer has been known for years. The primary obstacle to it's wider use and acceptance is the intransigence of the revenue driven pharmaceutical industry capitalizing on the suffering of humanity.


Evil Rays

Smart phone usage worsens mental health conditions in teens

© Helmut Meyer zur Capellen / Global Look Press
Digital technology overuse could worsen mental health issues for at-risk teenagers, even though the gadgets can make adolescents happier, a new study finds.

Excessive usage of smartphones correlates with an increase in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder (CD) symptoms among teenagers, according to a new study published in the journal Child Development.

"Adolescents are spending an unprecedented amount of time using digital technologies (especially mobile technologies), and there are concerns that adolescents' constant connectivity is associated with poor mental health, particularly among at-risk adolescents," the study reads.

The research team from Duke University in North Carolina, US, led by Ph.D. candidate Madeleine J. George, surveyed a group of 151 teenagers aged between 11 and 15.

Life Preserver

Researchers find protein in blood that could be the first effective treatment for age-related heart failure


“We are excited because it opens a new window on the most common form of heart failure.”
Two Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have identified a protein in the blood of mice and humans shaping up to be the first effective treatment for age-related heart failure affecting millions of Americans.

The protein, called GDF-11, was injected into old mice. Old mice, much like humans, develop thickened heart walls as they grow older. The heart was reduced in size and thickness, resembling the healthy hearts of younger mice.

A finding by Richard T. Lee, a Harvard Medical School professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Amy Wagers, a professor in Harvard's Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, ultimately may rewrite our understanding of aging.

Pirates

Monsanto caught funding an army of genetically modified trolls

Biotech giant Monsanto is being accused of hiring, through third parties, an army of Internet trolls to counter negative comments, while citing positive "ghost-written" pseudo-scientific reports which downplay the potential risks of their products.

The documents emerged during pre-trials on 50 lawsuits against Monsanto which were pending in the US District Court in San Francisco. The plaintiffs allege that exposure to the biotech giant's flagship product, the herbicide Roundup, caused them or their relatives to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, while Monsanto concealed the potential risks.

In March, a judge ruled, despite Monsanto's objections, that the documents obtained by the plaintiffs could be released. The court papers are being gathered at the website of food-safety whistleblower organization US Right to Know.

The plaintiffs alleged that Monsanto targeted all online materials and even social media comments that indicate potential dangers of its products, according to one document released late in April.

Comment: Monsanto has no credibility. Any counter 'arguments' coming from them (and their trolls) is just plain worthless.


Biohazard

At least 8 different drugs are likely to be found in your tap water

Think you need to go to your local drugstore to get prescription medication? A new study finds that all you need to do is turn on your faucet.

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency tested water from 25 drinking water treatment plants across the U.S.

They found 47 different pharmaceuticals in the supposedly clean water being sent to homes. One sample alone contained an incredible 41 different drugs. They detected an average of 8 pharmaceuticals across all samples.

Not a single sample was drug-free.1

Comment: See also:



Health

Ebola ruled out as 'strange disease' hits southeastern Liberia; 11 dead

© gnnliberia.com
Liberia Health Minister Bernice Dahn
The outbreak of what medical authorities considered as 'Strange Disease' in Greenville, southeastern Liberia, Sinoe County, has reportedly taken the lives of eleven person and several being placed on critical list has reportedly crept in the populated City of Monrovia with one been pronounced dead by health authorities in Monrovia on Friday evening, and several quarantined in an undisclosed location.

According to health authorities in Monrovia those infected with the "strange" disease showed symptoms of severe stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and headaches, Liberia's chief medical officer, Francis Kateh, said on national radio.

Initial tests showed that the disease was not Ebola, said Dr. Francis Kateh, the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia during an interview with reporters in Monrovia recently.

Liberia, as well as neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, were the three countries most affected by an outbreak of Ebola, which killed more than 11 000 people between December 2013 and mid-2016.

Pills

Big Pharma influence: How would you feel if your doctor were bribed to give you a drug?

© The People's Chemist
Hello, Novartis. The pharmaceutical giant has just been fined $50 million by the government of South Korea for bribing doctors to prescribe the company's drugs.

FiercePharma reports: "Last year, prosecutors in the country [Korea] raided Novartis offices to gather documents and account books. South Korean officials later indicted a half-dozen Novartis execs, as well as more than a dozen doctors and five medical journal heads...The Korea Times says the criminal trial is now underway."

A Novartis spokesperson called the crime "in violation of our policies and inconsistent with our culture..."

Really? There's more.

FiercePharma continues: "Outside of Korea, Novartis faces separate bribery claims in Greece, where an official earlier this month said 'thousands' of people could be implicated."

Comment: Conflicts of interest in the medical field: New law aims to expose Big Pharma influence on physicians