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Thu, 25 May 2017
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Health & Wellness

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New study links intestinal fungus to alcoholic liver disease

© Africa Studio/Shutterstock
Liver cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of mortality worldwide and approximately half of those deaths are due to alcohol abuse. Yet apart from alcohol abstinence, there are no specific treatments to reduce the severity of alcohol-associated liver disease. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) have linked intestinal fungi to increased risk of death for patients with alcohol-related liver disease. They also found that antifungal treatment protects mice from alcohol-related liver disease progression.

The study is published May 22 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

"Not only is this the first study to associate fungi and liver disease," said senior author Bernd Schnabl, MD, associate professor of gastroenterology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, "we might be able to to slow the progression of alcoholic liver disease by manipulating the balance of fungal species living in a patient's intestine."

Alcoholism is associated with bacterial overgrowth in the intestines, as well as a shift in the types of bacteria found there, but little was known about the role of intestinal fungi in alcoholic liver disease.

Comment: Unpatentable iodine can kill fungi, bacteria, viruses and detoxify the body of heavy metals, halides and other dangerous toxins. You can read more about this miracle mineral below:


Burning the midnight oil might also burn out your brain

© Thanasis Zovoilis/Getty
Burning the midnight oil may well burn out your brain - a chronic lack of sleep puts people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders
Sleep loss in mice sends the brain's immune cells into overdrive. This might be helpful in the short term, but could increase the risk of dementia in the long run

Burning the midnight oil may well burn out your brain. The brain cells that destroy and digest worn-out cells and debris go into overdrive in mice that are chronically sleep-deprived.

In the short term, this might be beneficial - clearing potentially harmful debris and rebuilding worn circuitry might protect healthy brain connections. But it may cause harm in the long term, and could explain why a chronic lack of sleep puts people at risk of Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders, says Michele Bellesi of the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy.

Bellesi reached this conclusion after studying the effects of sleep deprivation in mice. His team compared the brains of mice that had either been allowed to sleep for as long as they wanted or had been kept awake for a further eight hours. Another group of mice were kept awake for five days in a row - mimicking the effects of chronic sleep loss.

The team specifically looked at glial cells, which form the brain's housekeeping system. Earlier research had found that a gene that regulates the activity of these cells is more active after a period of sleep deprivation.

Comment: Are you sleep deprived? Test yourself

Black Magic

Study finds "magic" mushrooms safer than ecstasy, LSD or cocaine

© Richard Becker / Global Look Press
Magic mushrooms are "the safest drugs to take," with people who consume them seeking less medical help that those who have used ecstasy, LSD or cocaine, according to a new report from the Global Drug Survey.

The study, released on Wednesday, used data from about 120,000 people from more than 25 countries in 2016.

According to the results of the survey, out of almost 10,000 magic mushroom consumers "only 0.2 percent reported seeking emergency medical treatment."

"Magic mushrooms were the safest drugs to take in terms of needing to see emergency medical treatment," the report said.

Magic mushrooms' "intrinsic safety" - which means the greatest risk you take is picking the wrong type, and the relatively small doses involved - can explain why they are "the safest," according to researchers.


Children of the State: Texas legislators argue over vaccinating children in foster care

Legislators in Texas have been working toward passing a host of laws to reform the state's Child Protective Services agency. New legislation has been crafted to improve the agency which has seen multiple dilemmas resulting in detrimental safety problems for children in the state. There have been several bills introduced this year aimed at improving the agency. One bill, in particular, House Bill 39, seeks in part to require medical exams to be performed more quickly on children who have been newly placed into the foster care system.

HB 39, introduced by Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston), would mandate that the state's Department of Family Protective Services schedule a medical examination for children who have been in temporary state custody for longer than three business days. Children in rural locations would be required to receive a medical exam within seven business days.

While the bill was originally centered around hastening medical exams for new foster children, questions arose regarding whether vaccines would be included as part of these medical exams. Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington), the vice chairman of the Texas Freedom Caucus, introduced an amendment to HB 39 to make vaccinations exempt from the required medical treatments. The bill saw a turbulent debate upon Zedler's amendment as the discussion turned to childhood vaccines and who should be responsible for crucial medical decisions when custody is obscured.

Apple Red

Pediatricians recommending parents avoid feeding children under age of 1 fruit juice

© KathyDewar/Getty Images
Kids under the age of 1 should avoid fruit juice, older kids should drink it only sparingly and all children should focus, instead, on eating whole fruit, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The pediatricians' group previously advised against giving fruit juice to infants under 6 months, but expanded that recommendation given evidence linking juice consumption to tooth decay and to gaining too much or too little weight.

For older kids who are at a healthy weight, 100 percent juice is fine in moderation, but should make up less than half of the recommended fruit servings per day, the AAP says.

"We want to reinforce that the most recent evidence supports that fruit juice should be a limited part of the diet of children," says Steven Abrams, a professor of pediatrics at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, and an author of the guidelines, which were published Monday in Pediatrics.


The science is not settled and there's no such thing as a safe vaccine

Vaccines are not "safe and effective." There is no such thing as a safe vaccine.

But you wouldn't know it to listen to the narrative being reported in the media. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency appointed to hold the final word on health and safety says, "Vaccines are safe and effective. The science is settled."

However, when asked for proof showing that vaccinated children are healthier than unvaccinated children, the so-called science-based CDC offers none, claiming that it would be immoral to do such a study, to withhold 'life-saving" preventatives from the population. "Trust us. Case closed."

But curious minds do not close and do not trust opinion without proof as infectious and chronic disease rates skyrocket in children. Concerned individuals who live by the Precautionary Principle want answers. They refuse to be the guinea pigs who offer up their bodies for experimentation.


Is this new Ebola outbreak just more hype?

News outlets are reporting a new Ebola outbreak in Africa. Here is a quick summary of the basic mainstream story—

The Huffington Post cites a World Health Organization (WHO) statement: four people are believed to have died from Ebola in the Congo.

There are 37 more "suspected cases."

Discussions are underway about using an "experimental vaccine" in the Congo.

WHO has declared the Ebola outbreak an epidemic.

There is an effort to find 400 people believed to have come into contact with the "suspected cases." Residents in the affected area of the Congo, the remote Bas-Uele province, are fleeing in fear.

That's it so far.

I've been around the block on the Ebola story a dozen times. Here are the issues the press isn't reporting—

Comment: For more on blaming the virus see: The Health & Wellness Show: Interview with Virus Mania author Dr. Claus Köehnlein

Wine n Glass

Study finds risk of breast cancer increased from drinking small amounts of wine or beer

© Monika Skolimowska / Global Look Press 45
Women who enjoy beer or wine may want to reconsider ordering a second round - or even their first one - the next time they're at the bar, according to a new report which found that a small alcoholic beverage is all it takes to raise the risk of breast cancer.

The report from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, released Tuesday, found that drinking just 10 grams of alcohol per day - equivalent to one small glass of wine, an 8oz beer, or 1oz of hard liquor - raises the risk of breast cancer.

The increased risk was more profound in postmenopausal women (9 percent increase) than in premenopausal women (5 percent increase).

However, any risk posed by just 10 grams of alcohol is big news, as the average alcoholic beverage (like a 12oz beer can) typically contains around 14 grams.

Comment: The problem with these studies is that they are all full of weasel words like "could, might, may". In other words nothing conclusive has been proven and no causal link has been established. Take the time to track down the actual studies and read the section called "Discussion", where the researchers bare their souls and tell the truth about what they actually found.

HRC Blue

Transgender mania: Demand for gender reassignment surgeries is skyrocketing in US

Dr. Loren Schechter says he's seen a dramatic increase in the number of transgender patients seeking surgery in the past few years. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported the number of gender confirmation surgeries for the first time, and found more than 3,200 procedures were performed in 2016
The first ever data on gender reassignment surgeries in the United States shows demand is skyrocketing.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons found a nearly 20 percent increase in vaginoplasties, phalloplasties, top surgery and contouring operations in just the first year of reporting.

In 2016, more than 3,200 surgeries were performed to help transgender patients feel more like themselves.

Surgeons in the field claim that figure is a conservative estimate - and would likely three times higher if all hospitals had a uniform way of documenting such surgeries.

And they believe celebrity transitions have been a driving force in this shift.

'It's only in the last couple of years that we've seen this dramatic increase in demand for procedures, it's certainly a subject that's more talked about,' Dr Loren Schechter a board-certified plastic surgeon who's been practicing gender-reassignment surgery for two decades, told Daily Mail Online.

Comment: Feminist Camille Paglia: 'Transgender mania is a symptom of West's cultural collapse'

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


Legal limbo: The uncertain future of marijuana's medicinal molecule - Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol (CBD) is widely touted for its health benefits, but its legal status is murky, and sometimes, the police come knocking at the door.

It began when U.S. postal workers in Alaska spotted an unidentified substance oozing from several packages. Upon inspection they found 1,000 leaky vials, some labeled, others not, of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil. A call went out to Alaska's Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board.

Concerned about the quality of unregulated products intended for human consumption and the potential risk to public safety, the Control Board came down hard on Alaska's fledgling network of marijuana dispensaries that retailed CBD hemp oil products. On February 9, 2017, law enforcement officers raided every cannabis storefront in Alaska — seven in the Anchorage area, one in Kenai, and two in Wasilla — seizing an assortment of hemp-derived CBD merchandise, including chocolate bars, chewing gum, and syringe-style applicators filled with dark, viscous oil.

Two G-men paid an uninvited visit to a shop called the Green Jar in Wasilla and cleared the shelves of $1000 worth of Charlotte's Web CBD hemp oil. "They took our product. They didn't give me any paperwork for anything they took," said Caleb Saunders, co-owner of the Green Jar, which had been selling CBD hemp oil for half a year without government interference.

Some 1,500 CBD products were seized during the multicity anti-drug dragnet. The problem, according to state officials, is that these CBD oil products ran afoul of state law, which requires that all cannabis commodities be manufactured, tested, and marketed in accordance with seed-to-sale tracking rules as stipulated under Alaska regulations. The hemp-derived CBD came from out of state and was not packaged or labeled correctly.

Comment: Read more about the applications of medical cannabis: