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Objective:Health #43 - Diet Dogma - When What We Eat Becomes Our Identity

O:H header
Diet dogma. Everyone wants to avoid it and generally we all think that we are. But it seems no dietary regimen comes without adherents that get a little too fundamentalist and authoritarian. While it's so common as to become a trope within the vegan community, Keto, Paleo and Carnivore diet communities seem to have their fair share of fundies, too.

Apparently no one is entirely free of this tendency of the human condition toward tribalism and in-group bias. It's an uglier side of human psychology, but it seems that even something as innocuous as what we choose to eat can bring out this inherent "us vs. them" mentality.

Join us on this episode of Objective:Health as we look into the phenomenon of diet dogmatism, exploring the psychology of identifying (too strongly) with what we choose to eat.


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Running Time: 00:28:42

Download: MP3 — 25.8 MB


Eye 1

The overdiagnosis of cancer

X-ray
For years, GreenMedInfo has been reporting on the overdiagnosis of cancer. Cancer overdiagnosis is one of the most serious and dangerous problems in medicine today. The over diagnosed cancer poses no threat. But the unnecessary chemotherapy and radiation, while offering no help, do pose the significant threat of stress, discomfort, illness and even possibly causing real cancers.

Background

As that earlier reporting made clear, most studies indicate that cancer screening does not reduce the risk of dying from the cancer it is screening for (1). But it does introduce the risk of the harms caused by screening, false positives and overdiagnosis.

Perhaps the most serious story of overdiagnosis is thyroid cancer. For women, the risk of thyroid cancer overdiagnosis ranges from 50% to as high as 70-80% in the U.S., France, Italy and Australia. For men, the fear is not much lessened with overdiagnosis climbing to 45% in the U.S. and as high as 70% in some other countries (2).

Breast cancer is an almost equally terrifying concern. A systematic review of the research found that the risk of overdiagnosis of breast cancer is an incredible 52% (3). More recent research shows no improvement. In fact, the picture is getting worse. A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that ten years or more of regular mammograms leads to a false positive in over 60% of women (4).

Men face similar problems with prostate cancer. Though PSA screening for prostate cancer provides no benefit, since it does not reduce the rate of death, it does result in false positives in 12-13% of men who undergo the test three to four times (5).

Heart

Honey reduces risk of heart disease

Honey
Got a sweet tooth that you just can't squash? Relax! Nature has provided a healthy way to satisfy your sugar cravings. Put down the toxic white stuff and pick up a jar of pure, raw honey. Your heart will thank you for it

In a cooperative effort between researchers at the medical sciences departments of Iran's Isfahan University and Mashhad University, honey has been shown to aid the body in healthy processing of fats by decreasing the overall amount of cholesterol and fats in the bloodstream.[i] The study was published in August 2018 in the journal of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN), Clinical Nutrition ESPEN.

Researchers were inspired by previous studies that demonstrated honey's beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease symptoms. Their chief aim was to investigate whether the effect of honey consumption on overall lipids in the blood was markedly different than the effects of sucrose, or table sugar, on the blood lipid profiles of 60 young, healthy male subjects.

Good Fats Are Key to Heart Health

A lipid profile, also called a coronary risk panel, is a blood test that measures total blood triglycerides including high-density lipoproteins (HDL), often referred to as "good cholesterol," and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), commonly known as "bad cholesterol." In truth, there is only one "type" of cholesterol, a molecule that is incapable of dissolving in blood. In order to transport cholesterol to the various cells throughout the body, lipoproteins such as LDLs and HDLs act as cholesterol carriers.

Attention

Navigating viral storms and avoiding death

Boy in bed
It started with a light cough. He burped constantly, and complained of shortness of breath. Family members thought it was no big deal. The doctor said he seemed to have heart problems and suggested him to stay in the hospital. He appeared healthy except for a minor infection in one lung area.

Two weeks later, he was dead, with both lungs infected and organ failure. His doctors at the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital determined the cause of death as "unknown pneumonia." It was days before Chinese health authorities identified the cause of the new viral pneumonia as 2019-nCoV, a coronavirus that first emerged in December in the commercial city of Wuhan, his home city.

This is a deadly virus, more deadly so far than the worst viral threats to date and they are locking people up in their own homes in China. For all the latest information see this video. Things are moving fast and events are looking to overtake the world's health officials, who this time are being aggressive in trying to control it, at least in China.

Brandon Smith writes, "I would not be surprised if we discover in the next two weeks that the death tally is in the thousands, and the sickness rate is actually in the hundreds of thousands. The fact that China has now quarantined over 50 million people in 16 cities suggests the danger is much higher than they have admitted. If this is the case, then at the very least, the Chinese economy is about to take a massive hit. If the virus doesn't spread, the economic damage will."

Comment: Read more about the benefits of Iodine:


Pills

Statins trigger brain changes with devastating effects

brain in pill
Data from the CDC1 in 2017 show heart disease causes one death every 37 seconds in America and that it is the leading cause of death in the U.S. It created a financial burden of $219 billion in 2014 and 2015. Every 40 seconds someone has a heart attack. Those at higher risk are smokers and those who have high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and/or diabetes.2

Since researchers believed cholesterol levels contribute greatly to heart disease, pharmaceutical companies focused on developing a drug that might be marketed to millions when they first began searching for a "cure" to what is known as "hardening of the arteries." After a historical journey beginning in the mid-20th century,3 the first statin drug was released in 1987 — lovastatin.

Comment: See also:


Bacon n Eggs

American Diabetes Association CEO manages her diabetes with a low-carb diet

diabetes
Here's some highly encouraging news: the influential CEO of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is on the record as a low-carb eater.

In a recent podcast interview that is setting the low-carb world abuzz, ADA CEO Tracy Brown said she successfully manages her own type 2 diabetes, and has come off all her insulin and three other medications, by avoiding sugar and carbs.

Commentators are calling it a pivotal "tipping point" and hugely significant milestone in the acceptance for low-carb eating for diabetes. It marks the first time a high-placed ADA official has described personal success with a low-carb diet.

Comment: This truly could be a major turn-around in the official advice given by the American Diabetes Association. To actually have the CEO giving merit to low carb diets for the management (cure?) of diabetes is nothing short of revolutionary.

See also:


Book 2

Dyslexia related to brain's plasticity

waves
© iStock
Dyslexia is not just about reading, or even language. It's about something more fundamental: How much can the brain adapt to what it has just observed? People with dyslexia typically have less brain plasticity than those without dyslexia, two recent studies have found.

Though the studies measured people's brain activity in two different ways and while performing different tasks, researchers at the Hebrew University of Israel, reporting in eLife, and researchers from MIT, reporting in Neuron, both found that dyslexics' brains did not adapt as much to repeated stimuli, including spoken words, musical notes, and faces.

Both sets of researchers found that people with dyslexia more quickly forget recent events. This type of memory is called incidental or implicit memory, and includes anything you didn't know you needed to remember when it happened. Because of how quickly their implicit memory fades, dyslexics' brains don't adapt as much after reading or hearing something repeatedly — which is perhaps why it is harder for their brains to process the words they read.

Comment: See also:


Ice Cube

The Chinese coronavirus outbreak is not the zombie apocalypse

It's time to take a deep breath and dial down the hysteria.
stock markets coronavirus

Confirmation bias in action
I am not downplaying the seriousness of the new Coronavirus that has been spreading around the world. People are dying and every death is a tragedy, but it is not the end of civilization as we know it, contrary to some media outlets which risk causing undue alarm and panic. The headlines are ominous: "Wuhan is Ground Zero for Deadly Coronavirus." "Situation in China is Grave." One paper carried an image of a Wuhan medic breaking down in tears. Another showing a pile of corpses was fake. The Daily Mail quoted a researcher as saying, "'This time I am scared,' expert who helped tackle SARS warns." Another scientist reportedly simulated a similar epidemic that he projected would kill 65 million people. What the headline didn't say is that it was a worst-case scenario for a virus deadlier than SARS and easier to catch than the flu, an extremely unlikely scenario.

It's important to put the risk into perspective. The Coronavirus does not appear any worse than the annual flu. The key difference is that there is no vaccine, and one will likely take months to develop. It sounds even more daunting and sinister because it's new, mysterious, and originates from a foreign country. Adding the mystique is its suspected origin: a snake at an exotic animal market in the city of Wuhan, which sold everything from cow's heads to camels, foxes, badgers, and an array of rats and reptiles.

Comment: The reason why "the new Information Age is rife with misinformation, disinformation, rumors, fake news, political agendas, conspiracy theories, deep fakes, and photoshopped images that can spread panic faster than any virus..." is because officialdom - especially in the West, though not exclusively - lies so much of the time.

When they keep pushing paranoid conspiracy theories about 'Russian meddling' and 'Kremlin influence operations' onto people - to say nothing of straight-up lies to justify wars of aggression and lining Big Pharma's pockets - major public distrust and mass social hysteria about anything and everything is the natural result.

So in a sense the real virus at work here isn't even the coronavirus; it's the mind virus spread down and out by psychopaths in power. Having said that, the fear of the threat of mass casualties posed by the coronavirus is very real in parts of East Asia.


Microscope 1

Research paper finds HIV like insertions in 2019-nCoV not found in any other coronavirus, "unlikely to be fortuitous in nature"

hiv coronavirus
Over the past few days, the mainstream press has vigorously pushed back against a theory about the origins of the coronavirus that has now infected as many as 70,000+ people in Wuhan alone (depending on whom you believe). The theory is that China obtained the coronavirus via a Canadian research program, and started molding it into a bioweapon at the Institute of Virology in Wuhan. Politifact pointed the finger at Zero Hedge, in particular, though the story was widely shared across independent-leaning media.

The theory is that the virus, which was developed by infectious disease experts to function as a bio-weapon, originated in the Wuhan-based lab of Dr. Peng Zhou, China's preeminent researcher of bat immune systems, specifically in how their immune systems adapt to the presence of viruses like coronavirus and other destructive viruses. Somehow, the virus escaped from the lab, and the Hunan fish market where the virus supposedly originated is merely a ruse.

Now, a respected epidemiologist who recently caught flack for claiming in a twitter thread that the virus appeared to be much more contagious than initially believed is pointing out irregularities in the virus's genome that suggests it might have been genetically engineered for the purposes of a weapon, and not just any weapon but the deadliest one of all.

In "Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag", Indian researchers are baffled by segments of the virus's RNA that have no relation to other coronaviruses like SARS, and instead appear to be closer to HIV. The virus even responds to treatment by HIV medications.

Comment: ZeroHedge has been suspended on Twitter after BuzzFeed accuses it of a coronavirus conspiracy and 'doxxing' a Chinese scientist:
The popular news blog ZeroHedge has been suspended from Twitter. While no reason was given, their last tweet referred to speculation the coronavirus could be a bioweapon and BuzzFeed had just accused them of doxxing.

The site's last tweet before the suspension referenced a paper by Indian scientists pointing to uncanny similarities between the 2019-nCoV virus and HIV, which internet researcher Christopher Torres Lugo described as "conspiracy theories claiming that 2019-nCoV is a bioweapon."

Twitter does not comment on reasons for suspending or banning any particular account, leaving ZeroHedge's 673,000 or so followers in the dark on Friday afternoon, until the site itself said it received noticed it had engaged in "abuse or harassment."

About two hours before the suspension, BuzzFeed published a story accusing ZeroHedge - which it refers to as "a popular pro-Trump website" - of revealing personal information of a scientist from Wuhan, China and "falsely accusing them of creating the coronavirus as a bioweapon."

Release of personal information, or doxxing, would be a violation of Twitter rules. However, the BuzzFeed story purports to identify by name the proprietor of ZeroHedge, who writes under the pseudonym Tyler Durden.


BuzzFeed was outraged by the "rumors and lies" allegedly pushed by ZeroHedge about the origins and characteristics of the coronavirus, which causes a respiratory infection that has so far sickened almost 10,000 people across the world, and killed over 200 - mainly in China.

The first patient was reported in the city of Wuhan, in Hebei province, just a month ago. The WHO has declared a global health emergency due to the rapid spread of the virus.

ZeroHedge's most recent article included the tweets of several scientists who were alarmed by a pre-publication paper authored by a team of Indian virologists, noticing the "uncanny similarity" between the 2019-nCoV and HIV-1 and finding it "unlikely to be fortuitous."


Commenting on the suspension, ZeroHedge wondered, "Are we then to understand that we have now reached a point the mere gathering of information, which our colleagues in the media may want to eventually do as thousands of people are afflicted daily by the Coronavirus, is now synonymous with 'abuse and harassment'? According to Twitter, and certainly our competitors in the media, the answer is yes."
See also:


Life Preserver

Russian ministry of health identifies trio of existing drugs that can fight new Chinese coronavirus

vaccine, coronavirus
© Global Look Press / Christophe Gateau / dpa
While experts across the world search for a vaccine to tackle the dangerous new infection, Russian health bosses have identified a trio of existing medicines to combat 2019-nCoV in adults.

The new coronavirus can be fought with ribavirin, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon beta-1b, they believe. These drugs are typically used to treat hepatitis C, HIV and multiple sclerosis respectively.

The Ministry of Health advisory not only offers recommendations, but also describes how the treatments work and in what quantities they should be prescribed. The guidelines are intended for doctors in hospitals throughout the country.

Comment: There are a number of preventive interventions that can help to improve immunity and to insure that you aren't undone by any flu virus: