Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 10 Dec 2019
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness

Microscope 1

Ketogenic diet helps tame flu virus

influenza virus microscopy
Electron microscopy of influenza virus.
A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet like the Keto regimen has its fans, but influenza apparently isn't one of them.

Mice fed a ketogenic diet were better able to combat the flu virus than mice fed food high in carbohydrates, according to a new Yale University study published Nov. 15 in the journal Science Immunology.

The ketogenic diet — which for people includes meat, fish, poultry, and non-starchy vegetables — activates a subset of T cells in the lungs not previously associated with the immune system's response to influenza, enhancing mucus production from airway cells that can effectively trap the virus, the researchers report.

Comment: Is there nothing the ketogenic diet can't do?

See also:


Urgent warning as syphilis cases soar in New Zealand

Syphilis ulcers on the tongue

Syphilis ulcers on the tongue
Cases of syphilis in New Zealand have soared in the past decade with Māori men and women most at risk, shocking government data has revealed.

According to figures from the Ministry of Health there were 82 reported cases of syphilis in 2013 but that number rose to 548 in the past 12 months to March.

Researchers found that cases of syphilis were most common among men aged 20 to 39 years.

The groups most affected by syphilis are Asian and Māori men, and Māori women. Around 70 per cent of cases affected homosexual men.

The majority of recent cases have been in recorded in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

Comment: See also:


Study says: Falling asleep, staying asleep growing more difficult for Americans each year

© Photographee.eu - stock.adobe.com
Do you find yourself staring at your bedroom ceiling most nights? Most people don't think twice about the occasional sleepless night, but a new set of research finds that the ability to sleep peacefully throughout the night is becoming an increasingly rare skill in the United States.

Each year, more and more Americans are finding it difficult to fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly through the night, and even those who are able to get enough shut-eye often report poor overall sleep quality. According to the research team at Iowa State University, these changes are largely independent of sleep duration. In fact, problems falling and staying asleep were found to be most prevalent among people with generally healthy sleep length on most nights.

So, while many Americans may still technically be getting their recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night, it may take upwards of an hour for them to initially fall asleep, and waking up multiple times throughout the night is common.

Comment: See also:

Life Preserver

The curious bidirectional link between gut health and sleep

Sleep plays an integral role in your immune function, and one of the surprising mechanisms behind this link has to do with how sleep impacts your gut microbiome. Two recent studies shed light on this connection between sleep and your gut health.

The first, published in the December 2018 issue of Frontiers in Psychiatry,1 focused on the microbiome's role in insomnia and depression. As noted by the authors:
Numerous studies have suggested that the incidence of insomnia and depressive disorder are linked to biological rhythms, immune function, and nutrient metabolism, but the exact mechanism is not yet clear.

There is considerable evidence showing that the gut microbiome not only affects the digestive, metabolic, and immune functions of the host but also regulates host sleep and mental states through the microbiome-gut-brain axis.

Preliminary evidence indicates that microorganisms and circadian genes can interact with each other. The characteristics of the gastrointestinal microbiome and metabolism are related to the host's sleep and circadian rhythm.

Comment: See also:


Alfred Nobel and the Vaccine Apocalypse


The plague of vaccines will be eradicated when the truth about vaccines goes viral

Today we remember Alfred Nobel as the eponymous founder of the Nobel Prize, given to those who excel in various fields of endeavor. Most notably, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to those who make the greatest contributions to the brotherhood of man. It may come as a shock to some that Nobel made his fortune with the invention of dynamite, gelignite and other explosives. By the time of his death he had established almost 90 armaments factories. He did not see any contradiction between his profiteering as a successful merchant of death and a fervent desire for peace that would render his business interests worthless. In fact, he justified the manufacture and sale of munitions of mass murder with a blatantly self-serving prophecy. "Perhaps my dynamite plants will put an end to war sooner than your peace congresses. On the day two army corps can annihilate each other in one second all civilized nations will recoil from war in horror."

Nobel was definitely onto something. Some things are so horrifying that no sane society would put up with them. Nuclear war is one of them. Atom bombs are far more destructive than dynamite, and nothing should lead to the banning of all warfare more than the apocalyptic prospect of the world's capital cities reduced to radioactive rubble. Why hasn't it happened yet?

Microscope 1

CDC raises alarm over surge of drug-resistant superbugs infecting 3 million Americans annually, killing 4 people every hour

Colonies of E. coli bacteria
© Reuters/CDC Handout (file photo)
Colonies of E. coli bacteria grown on an agar plate are seen in a microscopic image.
Resilient "superbug" pathogens are seeing a boom in the United States, with lethal infections on the rise even as health officials take "aggressive" steps to rein them in, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said in a new report.

In its latest "Antibiotic Resistance Threats" assessment, the CDC found an alarming rise in drug-resilient infections, surging from 2 to nearly 3 million per year since its last report in 2013. Those infections now kill 35,000 people each year, adding 12,000 annual fatalities to the CDC's previous assessment.

"Germs continue to spread and develop new types of resistance, and progress may be undermined by some community-associated infections that are on the rise," the report says, adding that "more action is needed to address antibiotic resistance."

Comment: For a deeper understanding of germs and infections, read Paul W. Ewald's groundbreaking book, "Plague Time: The New Germ Theory of Disease".


Are there benefits to collagen supplements?

collagen powder
© Photo Illustration by The New York Times; Shutterstock
It will make your skin look dewy and fresh, your bones and nails strong, and your joints pain-free. These are the claims made by the countless manufacturers of collagen supplements that come in the form of powders, pills and creams. For that reason, it's no surprise that collagen has become a widely sought-after ingredient in the wellness and beauty communities. But collagen's efficacy is still pretty up in the air. Frustrated? Here's what we know.

What is collagen?

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body. In fact, collagen is "the main structural protein that forms the connective tissue throughout our body, from skin to bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments," said Dr. Shari Marchbein, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York. It's no wonder that the bottled up version of this protein (usually made of animal collagen) is in high demand.

Comment: It's understandable that the author would have a skeptical take, given the fact that supplement companies tend to over-hype the benefits of their products. The fact of the matter is, when you're taking a raw material like collagen, you can't be sure the body is going to use it the way you intend. The amino acids in collagen are used for so many processes in the body, there's really no guarantee you're going to see it reflected in the skin. But it's still really good for you - it's a great source of glycine!

See also:


Pneumonic plague diagnosed in two people in China

pneumonic plague
© AP
Yersinia pestis bacteria, the cause of plague.
Two people in China have been diagnosed with plague, the latest cases of a disease more commonly associated with historical catastrophe.

Plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and can arise in three forms - a lung infection, known as pneumonic plague; a blood infection, known as septicemic plague; and a form that affects the lymph nodes, called bubonic plague.

The latter form is perhaps the most famous, and was behind several pandemics including the Black Death of the late middle ages, which is estimated to have killed up to 60% of the European population.

The two new cases being treated at a hospital in Beijing are of the pneumonic form, which is even more serious than bubonic plague.

Comment: See also:


Air pollution nanoparticles linked to brain cancer for first time

air pollution

Tiny particles produced by motor traffic can invade the brain and carry carcinogens
New research has linked air pollution nanoparticles to brain cancer for the first time.

The ultra-fine particles (UFPs) are produced by fuel burning, particularly in diesel vehicles, and higher exposures significantly increase people's chances of getting the deadly cancer. Previous work has shown that nanoparticles can get into the brain and that they can carry carcinogenic chemicals.

Brain cancers are rare, and the scientists have calculated that an increase in pollution exposure roughly equivalent to moving from a quiet city street to a busy one leads to one extra case of brain cancer for every 100,000 people exposed.

"Environmental risks like air pollution are not large in magnitude - their importance comes because everyone in the population is exposed," said Scott Weichenthal, at McGill University in Canada, who led the study. "So when you multiply these small risks by lots of people, all of sudden there can be lots of cases. In a large city, it could be a meaningful number, particularly given the fact that these tumours are often fatal."

The research analysed the medical records and pollution exposure of 1.9 million adult Canadians from 1991 to 2016. Such large studies provide strong evidence, though not a causal link. Weichenthal said the correlation seen between brain cancer and nanoparticles was "surprisingly consistent", but as this is the first study, it is important that other researchers replicate it.

The discovery of abundant toxic nanoparticles from air pollution in human brains was made in 2016. A comprehensive global review earlier in 2019 concluded that air pollution may be damaging every organ and virtually every cell in the human body.

Comment: Read also,

Alarm Clock

Understanding Your Circadian Rhythm and Body Clock

You may imagine your body clock works to wake you up at the same time each day. True, many people can set their body clocks to wake at a specific time, with a bit of practice that is! However, there's a lot more to the body clock and circadian rhythm than that.

In fact, the body clock and circadian rhythm pretty much determine the quality of your sleep. That means that if your body clock is out of sync, you may suffer sleep disturbances. But there are ways to reset your circadian rhythm.

In this article, we take an in-depth look at the body clock and circadian rhythm, providing a definition and outlining their function and role. Furthermore, you'll find out about body clock irregularities and how to reset your circadian rhythm to get a better night's sleep. All in all, you'll get a detailed insight into all aspects of your body clock and circadian rhythm. Their impact on your overall health is significant, so read on and learn more!