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Fri, 23 Aug 2019
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Google is taking censorship of health websites to the next level

censor
Something interesting happened in the health world recently, and I haven't seen any news stories about it.

Google is deliberately censoring all "non-mainstream" health websites that have gained any kind of serious traction, without exception.

They're not showing information that users want to see, or respecting what they're searching for. Instead, Google is taking it on themselves to decide what health information you're allowed to see, and changing your search results from behind the scenes.

I know what you're probably thinking: this sounds like a conspiracy theory.

Microscope 2

Have we found the true cause of diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer's?

Porphyromonas gingivalis microbe
© Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library
Does this one microbe cause heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, diabetes, Parkinson's, pre-term birth, pancreatic cancer and kidney disease... and does that mean we can beat them?
For decades, health experts have been lecturing us about our bad habits, blaming them for the surge in "lifestyle diseases". These often come on as we age and include heart disease, Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Worldwide, 70 per cent of all deaths are now attributed to these conditions. In the UK, it is a whopping 90 per cent.

Too much red meat, too little fruit and veg, smoking, drinking, obesity and not enough exercise appear to make all these diseases more likely - and having any of them makes getting the others more likely. But no one really knows why, and we still haven't worked out what causes any of them. Alzheimer's is now one of the UK's biggest killers, yet the main hypothesis for how it originates imploded this year after drugs based on it repeatedly failed. High blood cholesterol is blamed for heart attacks, except most people who have heart attacks don't have it.

What we do know is that these conditions usually start causing symptoms later in life, and their prevalence is skyrocketing as we live longer. They all turn inflammation, the method our immune system uses to kill invaders, against us. And, by definition, these diseases aren't communicable. They are down to bad habits and unlucky genes, not germs. Right?

Shoe

Lifting weights as you age cuts your risk of early death by 46%

weight training seniors
Great news, fellow lifters. Your training will not only improve your overall health and provide you with incredible strength and mass gains - it will give you a longer lifetime to enjoy those benefits as well!

In the modern society, most of the people tend to lack the skills of aging well - the unhappy mix of bad food choices, sedentary office jobs and piles of mismanaged emotional stress comes with an awful price that is usually felt a lot stronger in the later decades of life. A general life dissatisfaction and a number of painful chronic conditions are just the tip of the iceberg. What about the risk of developing life-threatening diseases that are known to lurk around unhealthy lifestyles, year by year, day by day? If you spend a lifetime treating your body poorly, don't be surprised when it stabs you in the back at old age. Actually, you should thank it for not giving up on you a lot earlier.

A new longitudinal study from Penn State College of Medicine informs us that strength training can increase your longevity, especially if you keep continually practising it as you age. The researchers examined people in their 60's about their exercise habits and preferences and then tracked them for the next 15 years - thus losing nearly a third of the original number of participants, who died in that period of time. That being said, the almost 10 percent of subjects who did strenght training were 46% less likely to die during the study. Additionally, this study has shown that strength training can reduce the risk of death by 19% even among a population of subjects with common health risk factors like drinking and smoking, and suffering from chronic conditions such as hypertension.

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Health

Broccoli is dying. Corn is toxic. Long live microbiomes!

regenerative skyhill farm
© Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
Regenerative farmer Louise Maher-Johnson at her Skyhill Farm, with free-range heritage chickens and microbiomes.
Let's move past the green and gene revolutions to a microbiome renaissance

As food writer Mark Bittman recently remarked, since food is defined as "a substance that provides nutrition and promotes growth" and poison is "a substance that promotes illness," then "much of what is produced by industrial agriculture is, quite literally, not food but poison." Of course, it doesn't have to be this way. Eliminating pesticides and transitioning to organic regenerative farming can get us back on track to nutritious food, restore microbiomes and protect our health. Let's break all this down, and then talk solutions.

"You would have to eat twice as much broccoli today to get the same nutrients as a generation ago." That is according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, from 1975 to 2010, as reported by Planetary Health/Amberwaves. So much chewing! And in fact, the situation may be even more dire. Data going back to 1940, as reported by Eco Farming Daily, shows: "The level of every nutrient in almost every kind of food has fallen between 10 and 100 percent. An individual today would need to consume twice as much meat, three times as much fruit, and four to five times as many vegetables to obtain the same amount of minerals and trace elements available in those same foods in 1940." Thank goodness for multivitamins, but we've also got to fix this.

Comment: It's encouraging to see a mainstream publication like Scientific American actually getting it. Despite the acceptance of the 'carbon effects climate' propaganda, the authors illustrate the dire need for us to move away from the dead paradigm of chemical agriculture to regenerative agriculture. Whether it be for our own microbiomes or the microbiomes of the soil, we need to embrace this new (or very old) system - our future depends on it.

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Shoe

Is it more important to run faster or run longer?

running
© Scott Markewitz/Gallery Stock
Scientists debate the physiological benefits of ramping up your training intensity or your training volume

Despite the apparent complexity of modern exercise programs, you really have only two options if you want to get fitter: you can train harder than you're currently training, or you can train more. Those two variables, intensity and volume, are the basic levers that all training plans fiddle with in various ways. But let's be honest: two variables is still too many. We all secretly want to know which one is really the master switch that controls our fitness.

That's the debate that showed up in a recent issue of the Journal of Physiology, in which two groups of researchers offered contrasting takes on the claim that "Exercise training intensity is more important than volume to promote increases in human skeletal muscle mitochondrial content." The amount of mitochondria in your muscles is the most important adaptation that occurs in response to endurance training, so the debate was effectively about whether running faster or running longer is the best way to boost your endurance.

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Health

Sugary western diets fuel newly evolving superbug

superbug bacteria
© Shutterstock
And it's becoming increasingly resistant to disinfectants.

A diarrhea-causing bacterium is evolving into a new species, one that thrives on your sugar-rich Western diet, according to a new study.

The Clostridium difficile bacteria produce spores that spread through contact with feces, and so can commonly be found in bathrooms or on surfaces that people touch without properly washing their hands. What's more, this bacterium is becoming increasingly resistant to disinfectants used in hospitals, said study lead author Nitin Kumar, a senior bioinformatician at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Syringe

DTP vaccine associated with increased rate of total mortality in low-income countries - report

DPT vaccine
DTP is one of the most common vaccines used in the world. In 2012, SAGE requested that the WHO review the evidence concerning the possible effects of DTP vaccines on mortality1. In a new expert report, Peter C. Gøtzsche, Professor, DrMedSci, MSc analyzed the WHO systematic review as well as any studies published after the WHO report that assessed the effect of DTP vaccine on total mortality. This new expert report concludes that the "evidence tells us that it is likely that the DTP vaccine increases total mortality in low-income countries." 2

This echoes the conclusion by Peter Aaby - a highly acclaimed scientist renowned for studying and promoting vaccines in Africa - that "all currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis. Though a vaccine protects children against the target disease it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infections." 3 Dr. Aaby's recent study, the first ever naturally randomized comparison of mortality between children receiving DTP and those that are unvaccinated, found that children vaccinated with DTP were 10 times more likely to die in the first 6 months of life than the unvaccinated.3

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Hearts

Pig hearts could be used in human transplants 'within just three years' says surgeon who performed first ever op 40 years ago

piglet doctor
© Getty
Pig hearts could be used for human transplants within just three years, according to the surgeon who performed the first op in Britain 40 years ago.

Sir Terence English said his protege from the UK's first successful heart transplant in 1979 will first try to replace a human kidney with a pig's this year.

And the pioneer believes this could pave the way for more complicated animal-human organ transplants - a process called "xenotransplantation".

Sir Terence, 87, told the Sunday Telegraph: "If the result of xenotransplantation is satisfactory with porcine kidneys to humans then it is likely that hearts would be used with good effects in humans within a few years.

Water

Triage: What happens when you run life until the tank is empty

SUNLIGHT
© Jasper Boer on Unsplash
AM sunlight is my drug of choice
How do you know you are sick? We call the manifestations of disease "signs and symptoms." We know them by their hallmarks of pain, swelling, redness, and heat. These signs and symptoms are synonymous with what we call "inflammation." The signs and symptoms of disease can be debilitating, and life must quickly recover, or die.

How does life maintain its functions in the face of the stresses of our external environment? Life triages resources to meet threats and counter stress, in order to prevent signs and symptoms of disease from manifesting. Life does this until it exhausts all available resources.

Comment: While it surely is preferable to obtain what we need from nature and to aim for relative equilibrium with our environment, it's simply not possible for the majority of people, which is why supplementation and a number of other health protocols are required in our attempt to alleviate the damage modern life inflicts upon us. With that said, it is still a goal worth working towards: Also check out SOTT radio's: The Health & Wellness Show: Seeing the Light with Dr. Alexander Wunsch


Brain

Remember the conspiracy theory that fluoride makes you docile and stupid? Well, it's official now


Comment: We never imagined we'd see this in the WaPo...


pregnant woman drinking water
© iStock
A study of young children in Canada suggests those whose mothers drank fluoridated tap water while pregnant had slightly lower IQ scores than children whose mothers lived in non-fluoridated cities. But don't dash for the nearest bottled water yet. Health experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association cautioned that public policy and drinking water consumption should not change on the basis of this study.

"I still stand by the weight of the best available evidence, from 70 years of study, that community water fluoridation is safe and effective," said Brittany Seymour, a dentist and spokeswoman for the American Dental Association. "If we're able to replicate findings and continue to see outcomes, that would compel us to revisit our recommendation. We're just not there yet."

The American Academy of Pediatrics, likewise, recommends fluoride in toothpastes and tooth varnishes for children because the mineral prevents tooth decay. In drinking water, "fluoridation has been incredibly protective," said Aparna Bole, a pediatrician who chairs the Council on Environmental Health at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Fluoridation reduces the prevalence of cavities by about one-fourth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC considers water fluoridation one of the 10 top health achievements of the past century, on par with vaccines and antismoking campaigns.

Comment: Perhaps none of the scientists dismissing this study out of hand have heard of the precautionary principle. The fact is that if there is a chance that water fluoridation causes harm and that harm is more detrimental than the benefit provided, water fluoridation should be halted. There are fluoride treatments that can be implemented - there's no reason to think of water fluoridation as the only option. And fluoride itself is a questionable response to tooth decay, ignoring the root cause of the problem. Our ancestors, eating a traditional diet, were not bothered by tooth decay to the extent of modern populations. This is, more than likely, where the solution actually lies.

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