Welcome to Sott.net
Sun, 23 Oct 2016
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness

Alarm Clock

Another Drug War failure: Thanks to DEA protecting Big Pharma more babies born addicted to opioids than ever

© arcticcompass.blogspot.com
Over the past two decades, an opioid epidemic has emerged in the U.S., with prescription pain pills and heroin topping the list of the fastest rising addictions. Between 1999 and 2010, "sales for prescription painkillers to hospitals, doctors and pharmacies increased fourfold."

While companies like Purdue Pharmaceuticals pushed their infamous OxyContin pills through doctors and sales reps - despite complaints about addiction and withdrawal symptoms - overdose deaths from prescription painkillers increased 300 percent.

Purdue made $31 billion playing its part in getting America hooked on opioids, under the guise of "effective pain treatment." When people could no longer afford OxyContin or other patented painkillers, they turn to its close cousin heroin, which is far cheaper and relatively easy to obtain through the black market.

The problem is a truly American one, as the vast majority of the world's opioids are consumed in the U.S. Part of the lure of opioids is that they are more effective at numbing emotional pain than they are at managing physical pain in the long-term.


Atherosclerotic plaque as infected biofilm

The main failing in most of Western Medicine is misdiagnosis. You cannot successfully fight what you do not successfully understand.

I first met Stephen Fry M.D. a couple of years ago at his booth at the ACAM meeting at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, and enjoyed an interesting conversation about his work. We met a second time last month again at his booth at a medical meeting. Dr. Stephen Fry runs his own microbiology lab where he examines high powered views of biofilms in atherosclerotic plaque material obtained from surgical specimens.(1-2) These biofilms are colonized by multiple bacterial, fungal and protozoal organisms identified by DNA and ribosomal RNA sequencing. A true pioneer in the field, Dr. Fry has identified a new organism not listed in the gene databank, which he named "Protomyxzoa Rheumatica."

Leaky Gut and LPS

With the recent revelations of Allesio Fasano et al about the increased permeability of the gut wall called "Leaky Gut" which allows bacterial organisms, and undigested food particles into the blood stream, the next logical thought in this sequence is: What happens to all these micro-organisms which are leaking into the blood stream?


Joint pain: New research links heavy cannabis use to brittle bones

© Mark Blinch/Reuters
Heavy cannabis smokers are twice as likely to suffer broken bones than people who use the drug moderately or not at all, new research has found.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine have discovered people who smoke cannabis frequently develop lower bone density as a result of using the drug, which means they are more likely to suffer fractures.

Researchers believe this could mean heavy smokers are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis in later life.

Comment: This in in contrast to research on the benefits of CBD oil in healing bone fractures:
The researchers had previously found that cannabinoid receptors can stimulate bone formation. In the new study, the team injected rats that had broken thighbones with either CBD alone, or a combination of CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the hallucinogenic ingredient in marijuana).

The researchers found that CBD enhanced bone healing by strengthening the cartilage "bridge" that forms when a bone is on the mend. This bridge is called the fracture callus; it's made of collagen, which then gradually mineralizes and hardens into new bone.

In rats treated with CBD, this collagen tissue was stronger, and the collagen molecules more tightly cross-linked with one another, compared to rats not treated with the marijuana compound. What this means, researchers wrote online May 10 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, is that the healed bone in CBD-treated rats is less likely to break in the future compared to the healed bone in untreated rats. In fact, the treated bone is between 35 percent and 50 percent stronger.

THC was not necessary to get this bone boost, the researchers also found.

SOTT Logo Radio

The Health & Wellness Show: The medical and social implications of gender multiplicity

He, her, ze, zer, gender queer, androgynous, person of transgender experience, two-spirited. It seems that, while gender was once such a simple non-issue, in our crumbling world it's become ridiculously complicated. Phrases like "boys and girls" no longer accepted in classrooms, "men" getting pregnant, $250000 fines for calling someone the wrong gender pronoun and toddlers transitioning to the opposite sex - it's never been more confusing to use a bathroom than in the 21st century. On the other hand, violence, bullying, suicides and even murder of transgendered people is at an all time high. Has political correctness gone too far? Are transgendered people being unfairly discriminated against? Is there a physiological component to gender dysphoria or is it a result of childhood trauma?

Join us as we explore the social, psychological and medical issues surrounding gender fluidity.

And, as always, stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment where the topic will be animal reproduction.

Running Time: 01:10:12

Download: OGG, MP3

Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!


Global TB epidemic: WHO reports tuberculosis remains one of top-ten causes of death worldwide, beating HIV and malaria

© Finbarr O'Reilly / Reuters
A patient with tuberculosis sits on a bed in "Tuberculosis Village," a separate health facility at a clinic run by the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), in the town of Nasir in southeastern Sudan
The global tuberculosis epidemic is significantly more serious than previously thought, according to a new World Health Organization (WHO) report that urges nations to "move much faster to prevent, detect, and treat the disease."

The WHO which published its "Global Tuberculosis Report 2016" on Thursday. According to its findings, in 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million new cases of tuberculosis worldwide, while only 6.1 million were detected and officially registered. The gap of 4.3 million appeared due to the underreporting and under-diagnosing of TB cases in countries with "large unregulated private sectors" and poor healthcare.

Comment: As TB becomes more virulent and almost untreatable with conventional antibiotics; alternative medicine may offer a ray of hope:


Calcium supplementation is neither good for bones nor arteries

© sasimoto / Fotolia
More than half of women over 60 take calcium supplements -- many without the oversight of a physician -- because they believe it will reduce their risk of osteoporosis, researchers estimate.
After analyzing 10 years of medical tests on more than 2,700 people in a federally funded heart disease study, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and elsewhere conclude that taking calcium in the form of supplements may raise the risk of plaque buildup in arteries and heart damage, although a diet high in calcium-rich foods appears be protective.

In a report on the research, published Oct. 10 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the researchers caution that their work only documents an association between calcium supplements and atherosclerosis, and does not prove cause and effect.

But they say the results add to growing scientific concerns about the potential harms of supplements, and they urge a consultation with a knowledgeable physician before using calcium supplements. An estimated 43 percent of American adult men and women take a supplement that includes calcium, according the National Institutes of Health.



Rethinking the links between genes and disease

The ExAC database has shown that many mutations thought to be harmful are benign.

One of the major findings of the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC), the largest-ever catalog of genetic variation in the protein-coding regions of the human genome, is that many genetic mutations have been misclassified as harmful (M. Lek et al.Nature 536, 285 - 291; 2016). Authors of that study estimate that each person has lurking in their genome an average of 54 mutations that are currently considered pathogenic — but that about 41 of these occur so frequently in the human population that they aren't in fact likely to cause severe disease. That finding is having major consequences for some people with such variants, lifting the equivalent of genetic death sentences.

Comment: Because it is not just our genes and DNA which determines our health, but also environmental factors such as diet, stresses, and lifestyle choices.
See also:
  • The epigenetics of stress


Neem oil component found effective in reducing prostate tumors

Neem leaves
Neem oil has been valued for centuries for its huge range of medicinal uses. Now Singapore academics have stated that active compounds in the neem plant reduce the size of prostate tumours by up to 70 percent and suppress its spread or metastasis by half.

A team of international researchers led by Associate Professor Gautam Sethi from the Department of Pharmacology at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS) reported the findings following a 12-week study on mice.

Nimbolide, a bioactive terpenoid compound derived from Azadirachta indica, more commonly known as the neem plant have a direct effect on cancer cells.

Leaf pastes and extracts from the neem plant are used in skin care products, hair treatment, toothpastes, insect repellants, mouth wash, and many other medicinal uses. Many herbalists recommend chewing the leaves, taking capsules of dried leaf, or drinking the bitter tea. The leaves cleanse the blood, help the gastrointestinal system, support the liver, and strengthen the immune system, to name just some of the most popular benefits.

Comment: See also:


Video breakthrough opens door to study hallucinations scientifically

© Shutterstock
Although commonly associated with psychiatric disorders, healthy people can also have visual hallucinations after taking drugs, being sleep deprived or suffering migraines.
A new method for inducing, modelling and measuring visual hallucinations in healthy individuals suggests these complex experiences share a common underlying mechanism with normal visual perception, UNSW researchers say.

Although commonly associated with psychiatric disorders, healthy people can also have visual hallucinations after taking drugs, being sleep deprived or suffering migraines. These involuntary experiences are thought to arise when spontaneous changes in the brain temporarily hijack visual function, but the exact causes and underlying mechanisms aren't fully understood.

"We have known for more than 100 years that flickering light can cause almost anyone to experience a hallucination," says UNSW Associate Professor Joel Pearson from the School of Psychology.

"However, the unpredictability, complexity and personal nature of these hallucinations make them difficult to measure scientifically," he says.
Nobody has been able to do this before, because they haven't been able to overcome this key challenge.


U.S. kids are among the least fit in the world according to British study

© Lev Dolgachov/IStock Photo
U.S. kids would come in near the back of the pack in a global race, research shows.
Cue the sad trombone. America's kids ranked 47 out of 50 countries measuring aerobic fitness — a key factor for overall health — in a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. By comparison, Tanzania, Iceland, Estonia, Norway and Japan raced away with the top five slots. The least fit country: Mexico.

Research teams from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the University of North Dakota analyzed data on more than 1.1 million kids aged 9 to 17. Subjects were evaluated using a multi-stage fitness test also known as the "beep" test. How it works: You run back and forth between two points 66 feet apart to synchronized beeps. The point where you can't reach the line before the beep, that's your level.

Comment: It seems that income inequality has all kinds of detrimental effects on children:

Being poor can change your genes and increase chances of depression, mental illness and drug abuse