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Mon, 11 Dec 2023
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Health & Wellness


Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study

© file
Paper Straws
Paper straws contain potentially toxic chemicals which could pose a risk to people, wildlife and the environment, a study has found.

Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are long-lasting and potentially destructive to human health over time, were discovered in the majority of paper and bamboo straws tested. The straws are considered "eco-friendly" compared to their plastic counterparts, which have been banned in the UK since 2020.

The groundbreaking European study analysed straws made from a range of materials from shops and fast-food restaurants and found 18 out of 20 brands of paper straws contained PFAS, with a lower frequency of detection in plastic and glass versions. The research did not look at whether PFAS leaked out of the straws into the liquids.

The most commonly found PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has been prohibited worldwide since 2020.

No PFAS traces were detected in any of the steel straws tested.

PFAS concentrations were found to be low and since straw use is seldom, the Belgian researchers said they posed a limited risk to human health. However, they warned the chemicals could accumulate in the body over many years.

The chemicals have been associated with a number of health problems, including lower response to vaccines, lower birth weight, thyroid disease, increased cholesterol levels, liver damage, kidney cancer and testicular cancer.


What your hands say about your health

© RooM the Agency/Alamy Stock Photo
Your hands reveal a lot about the state of your health. This is something that has been recognised since at least the time of Hippocrates - the father of modern medicine.

The ancient Greek physician first described "clubbing" in a patient with empyema (where pus fills the space between the lungs and the membrane around it) in the fifth century BC. Clubbing is where the nail looks like an upside-down spoon, and it is still recognised as a sign of disease.
Typical ground glass appearance of Terry’s nails.
© Hojasmuertas/Wikimedia commons, CC BY-SA
Typical ground glass appearance of Terry’s nails.
Although nowadays, clubbing is linked to more than just empyema. It is also linked to cystic fibrosis, cirrhosis of the liver and thyroid conditions.

Another nail change that can signal disease is Lindsay's nails. This is where one or more nails are half white and half reddish brown. Around 50% of people with chronic kidney disease have nails like this. But it can also be a sign of cirrhosis of the liver and Behcet's disease, a rare condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels.

Terry's nails, where one or more fingernails have a ground-glass appearance, can also be a sign of cirrhosis of the liver, but they are also associated with type 2 diabetes, kidney failure and HIV.

And sounding a bit more medical and a bit less like a high street nail bar is Muehrcke's nails, which is where one or more horizontal lines run across the fingernails. This nail pattern indicates a decrease in the most abundant protein in the blood: albumin. These nail markings can be an indicator of kidney disease.

But sometimes changes in nail colour and pattern are not sinister and are merely signs of ageing. Neapolitan nails, so called because of their three distinct colour zones, are often seen in people over the age of 70 and are nothing to worry about.


Individuals feel sex-specific symptoms before impending cardiac arrest, study finds

heart monitor
© Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain
Investigators from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai are one step closer to helping individuals catch a sudden cardiac arrest before it happens, thanks to a study published today in The Lancet Digital Health journal.

The study, led by sudden cardiac arrest expert Sumeet Chugh, MD, found that 50% of individuals who experienced a sudden cardiac arrest also experienced a telling symptom 24 hours before their loss of heart function.

Smidt Heart Institute investigators also learned that this warning symptom was different for women than it was for men. For women, the most prominent symptom of an impending sudden cardiac arrest was shortness of breath, whereas men experienced chest pain.

Bizarro Earth

UK carries out first-ever womb transplant as sister donates uterus

Churchill Hospital operation
© Reuters
The United Kingdom has made medical history with doctors carrying out the country's first womb transplant.

Surgeons at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford successfully transplanted a sister's womb to her 34-year-old sibling in an operation that lasted nine hours and 20 minutes on Sunday, according to local media reports.

The operation to remove the donor's womb lasted more than eight hours.

"It was incredible. I think it was probably the most stressful week in my surgical career but also unbelievably positive," Richard Smith, the lead surgeon for the operation, told the UK's Press Association.

Comment: It's perhaps a sign of how deep into dystopia our planet has gone that, rather than seeing this as some kind of stellar achievement, one's mind, instead, can't help but dread how it will be used in the decaying West for sinister purposes:


USDA is not your friend

© Unknown
Meat packing plant
"Who controls the food supply controls the people"
Attributed to Henry Kissinger (disputed)

"I'm with the government, and I am here to help": WEF, Big Ag and Corporate food processors...

As we head into the weekend of August 26, 2023, I turn back to one of the key themes of this substack- the family farm. We previously published an essay titled "The Harvest of Deception" by Texas Slim, which provides an introductory overview of current trends in American (and western) food agriculture. Here is a quote from that essay which gets to the heart of the matter:
The world's food supply is controlled by just a handful of companies, and the concentration of power in the food industry has increased over time. In the United States, less than 1% of the population is employed in agriculture, and most of the food sold in the country is controlled by a few large corporations.

The food cartel exercises a significant degree of control over domestic agricultural economies, especially in the processing industries. This includes the milling and packing/slaughtering industries, which are controlled by a few large companies. For example, in the case of grains and soybeans, the top four millers controlled 41% of the industry in 1979, and they now control 92%. In addition, four of the six leading grain cartel companies own 64% of America's grain elevator storage capacity, which means that farmers must sell their grain to these companies, and these firms collude to set the price to the farmer at the lowest possible level.

The food cartel's power must be broken, as they control the supply of raw materials, and above all, food. The food cartel apparently seeks to turn back the clock of history, and reduce mankind from the 7 billion population it currently enjoys to the state of a few hundred million semi-literate souls scratching out a bare existence. The full truth about the food cartel must be known, and the extreme globalization of the food chain must be eliminated. Nations have been forced into dependence on food from hundreds and thousands of miles away, and this is not sustainable in the long term.

In conclusion, the food industry's concentration of power has led to a lack of transparency and control over the world's food supply. The top seed companies account for two-thirds of the global proprietary seed market, and the top three seed companies control 65% of the proprietary maize (corn) seed market worldwide, and over half of the proprietary soybean seed market. The food cartel exercises significant control over the domestic agricultural economies of nations, and the extreme globalization of the food chain must be eliminated to ensure food security in the long term.

Microscope 2

Functions of mysterious human embryo sac discovered

Human yolk sac
© Goh et al., Science, 2023
Human yolk sac (purple) with blood vessels (yellow).
Isolated from its mother's body, a chicken embryo's only source of food is a golden-yellow dollop of nutrients known simply as yolk.

Sustained by the placenta, mammals like ourselves have no need for a personal snack-pack to keep us going. Still, within a week or so of fertilization, our developing bundles of cells spend precious resources making the sac yolk would go into.

By the end of the first trimester, the temporary organ has already begun to atrophy without ever holding a drop of food, until by 14 weeks it's no longer detectable.

Now a large team of researchers led by the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the UK has uncovered a good reason for holding onto this seemingly useless relic of our deep evolutionary past. A few good reasons, in fact.

Comment: Evidently we still have so much to learn about the human body: Also check out SOTT radio's: Objective:Health #25 - Fascia - The Body's "Fiber Optic" Crystalline Matrix

Eye 1

Will scientific evidence ever silence the pro-mask cult?

mask man
It is a long-established conclusion from the scientific world that face masks achieve no appreciable reduction in viral transmission. We knew this in 2015-16 with regard to surgeons and their patients (here and here). We knew this in 2020 from a gold-standard Cochrane review, an analysis of 14 studies on influenza and a healthcare investigation that concluded that masks "may paradoxically lead to more transmissions". We knew this in 2021 based on the Danish mask study and two comprehensive evidence reviews (here and here). We knew this in 2022 in relation to primary schools and universities, and a debunking of premature pro-mask conclusions drawn from the Bangladesh study. And - as if more evidence was needed - at the start of 2023 we had the latest Cochrane review, yet again concluding that covering our faces with cloth and plastic does not significantly reduce the likelihood of contracting respiratory viral infections. Yet, despite this collective scream from the scientific community that the 'MASKS DON'T WORK', it seems that nothing will muzzle the strident protestations of the mask disciples, such as those at Independent SAGE.

A recent article in the Daily Mail led with the scary headline: 'Scientists raise alarm over new Covid variant and call for return of face masks.' Two of the scientists raising concerns were Professors Trish Greenhalgh and Stephen Griffin, the former announcing, "It's, once again, time to mask up", while the latter concurs - albeit more cryptically - with his recommendation of the re-imposition of a "mitigation-based approach". Both Greenhalgh and Griffin are members of Independent SAGE.


Why we shouldn't worry about the new Covid strains - according to a top virologist

covid antigen test

The guidance for what to do if you think you have the new variant remains the same: stay home and manage the symptoms with paracetamol
A new, multiply-mutated form of Covid has popped up, spawning some alarming, clickbait headlines. But I'm not overly concerned, and I'll certainly be off to wish my 102-year-old grandmother "happy birthday" shortly. Here's why.

Dubbed BA2.86, the new Omicron spin-off comes hot on the heels of the EG5.1 "Eris" variant - named after the Greek goddess of strife - which first elbowed itself onto the Covid scene in July. Eris is accounting for about 15 per cent of the Covid-19 cases we're seeing at the moment. Some have suggested that, combined with summer travel, bad weather keeping people indoors, and waning population immunity, Eris might be behind the recent uptick in cases.

BA2.86, on the other hand, has been detected in only a few countries so far, including Israel, the US and Denmark. Last week, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed one case in this country. This new variant doesn't earn itself a Greek letter for a name, but instead scientists have nicknamed it "Pirola", a moniker allegedly adopted from social media after an asteroid that loiters between Mars and Jupiter.


Florida officials report five deaths from 'flesh-eating' bacteria in Tampa Bay since January

© Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images
Tampa Bay Beach
Five people are confirmed dead in the Tampa Bay area because of a flesh-eating bacterium known to lurk at beaches, Florida officials reported.

According to Florida Health, the vibrio vulnificus bacterium's natural habitat is in warm, brackish seawater because it requires salt to live. The bacteria typically grow more quickly in warmer months.

Infections are rare, but health officials say those with open wounds, cuts or scrapes should stay out of the water.

Five people have died this year from reported bacterial infections, including two in Hilsborough County and one each in Pasco, Polk and Sarasota counties. There have been 26 reported cases of vibrio vulnificus infections in Florida since January, officials said.

In 2022, there were 74 total cases and 17 deaths. Those numbers were abnormally high that year because Hurricane Ian spilled sewage into the ocean, increasing bacteria levels.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some Vibrio vulnificus infections lead to necrotizing fasciitis, a severe infection in which the flesh around an open wound dies. Necrotizing fasciitis can be caused by more than one type of bacteria.
© Mark Lennihan/AP/BSIP/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Oysters and deadly bacteria


Meat allergies caused by tick bites: Should you be worried?

meat allergy tick
© Children's Health Defense
Editor's note: This article is part 1 in a three-part series on alpha-gal syndrome, more commonly known as red meat allergy.

Mainstream news outlets have been reporting on a new, mysterious health threat with no treatment or cure: alpha-gal syndrome (AGS), or red meat allergy.

Individuals with AGS experience mild-to-severe symptoms several hours after eating red meat. AGS has no cure and the only "treatment" is to avoid certain meats and animal products.

According to the latest consensus, the lone star tick is the main transmission vector for AGS. This creature previously was known to transmit several rare bacterial and viral infections, including such exotic-sounding ailments as southern tick-associated rash illness, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, heartland virus and Bourbon virus disease.