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Fri, 26 May 2017
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Propaganda

No common sense allowed: The idiocy of medical public relations

Warning: don't use common sense in judging medical pronouncements. You'll lapse from The Holy Order of Mystical Research.

Medical public-relations people keep a steady stream of stories flowing to the press, day after day.

Aside from filling space, their main function is to assure the public that "advances are always being made" and "good things are right around the corner." It's much better, for example, than, "Well, this month we didn't discover a single important datum. Here's hoping for better luck in June."

A brief examination of medical-story headlines reveals that these stories are lacking in a little thing called reality; or they announce something so obvious it hardly merits mention, much less a full-blown study to establish what any person with a few working brain cells already knows.

Here are a few such headlines from a popular medical site (medicalnewstoday). They represent a mere few days' worth of vital...baloney:

Bacon n Eggs

The important health benefits of family meal time

Finding time to eat meals together as a family is a simple way to improve your family bond and, beyond that, reap significant benefits to your health and quality of life. Contrary to popular belief, many American families do make the time for family meals. A Gallup Poll revealed that 53 percent of adults with children younger than 18 years say they eat dinner together at home six or seven nights a week. This averages out to 5.1 dinners together as a family per week.1

If your schedule or lifestyle currently does not allow for family meal times (remember that the benefits are gleaned by eating together at any time of day, even breakfast or lunch), tweaking your activities, work schedule and meal planning to do so will pay off in spades.

Why Eat Together as a Family?

Writing in the Archives of Iranian Medicine, researchers described family dinner as a "proxy of family connectedness," one that may influence mental health.2 In fact, children who ate dinner together five or more times a week were less likely to suffer from mental disorders as well as obesity.

"Such simple recommendations for consuming family dinner for families may be feasible, sustainable and effective for health promotion and disease prevention," they wrote. Indeed, it's not the first time such significant effects have been linked to dining together.3

Comment: Eat together: Have a healthier family


Arrow Down

Vaccine tyranny: German kindergartens forced to report parents who refuse vaccination advice

© Andres Stapff / Reuters
German kindergartens must notify health authorities about parents who fail to prove they have been counselled on child vaccination, the Health Ministry says, ahead of a law set to be passed next week. The move comes amid a measles outbreak in Europe.

Parents not complying will face fines of up to €2,500 (US$2,800). The authorities can already fine parents who allow children to skip vaccination, which is mandatory for attending kindergartens. However, it was previously up to nurseries to decide whether to report such parents.

Health Minister Hermann Grohe said it was necessary to tighten the regulations due to a measles outbreak in Germany and across Europe. "Nobody can be indifferent to the fact that people are still dying of measles," he told Bild newspaper.

Comment: Measles: A rash of misinformation
The fear surrounding measles stems from ignorance. In a well-nourished child with a properly functioning immune system, viral infections are typically subclinical or exceedingly mild. Certain infections, such as measles, even appear to provide long-term health and immune system benefits.
See also:


SOTT Logo Radio

The Health & Wellness Show: Healing Hugs and Therapeutic Touch

From the day you're born until the day you die, touch is a vital component of humans' emotional and physical health. Touch is a means of communicating compassion and trust. It recharges the immune system, aids in babies' growth, reduces stress, stimulates oxytocin and dopamine, and lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Plus, as an added bonus, it feels great! Yet many of us suffer from a touch deficit and are deprived of the essential contact that helps us bond with others.

On this episode of the Health and Wellness Show we'll discuss the importance of platonic touch, including hugs, cuddles, massages and Reiki. A wise psychologist once said, "We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." Hopefully, this show will help you meet your touch quota!

Stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment where the topic will be the benefits of having a pet.

Running Time: 01:32:36

Download: OGG, MP3


Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!

Ambulance

CDC: Death rate for Alzheimer's patients has increased by 55% in the past 15 years

© Nacho Doce / Reuters
Federal researchers have found the death rate for those with Alzheimer's disease rose significantly since 1999, especially among certain ethnicities over 85 years old or those in the south-east region of the US.

On Thursday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that showed the number of deaths caused by Alzheimer's rose by 54.5 percent from 1999 to 2014.

Using data from the National Vital Statistics System, the CDC reported that 93,541 people died in 2014 from Alzheimer's disease. Adjusting for a rising population of senior citizens, the death rate in 2014 was 25.4 deaths per 100,000 people, a 54.5 percent increase compared to the death rate in 1999.

Without adjusting for age and population, the rate would have increased by 83.8 percent.

While the adjusted rates increased for all age groups over 65, the rate for those over 85 years old increased by 67.4 percent.

Comment: Alzheimer's, low fat diets and lowering cholesterol drugs
Something in our current lifestyle is increasing the likelihood that we will succumb to Alzheimer's. My belief is that two major contributors are our current obsession with low-fat diet, combined with the ever expanding use of statin drugs. I have argued elsewhere that low-fat diet may be a major factor in the alarming increase in autism and adhd in children. I have also argued that the obesity epidemic and the associated metabolic syndrome can be traced to excessive low-fat diet. Statins are likely contributing to an increase in many serious health issues besides Alzheimer's, such as sepsis, heart failure, fetal damage, and cancer, as I have argued here. I believe the trends will only get worse in the future, unless we substantially alter our current view of "healthy living."
See also:


Brain

Recreational cocaine users are much closer to becoming hooked than they think

© Global Look Press
Folks who snort lines of cocaine "only recreationally," to socialize and have fun with friends, are actually much closer to becoming hooked than they think, say researchers, who found that just watching someone using cocaine can bring on cravings.

Even among non-dependent cocaine users, cues associated with cocaine consumption trigger the release of dopamine, the so called "pleasure chemical," in an area of the brain believed to promote compulsive use, scientists at McGill University in Canada say.

This means that people that refer to themselves as modest, recreational users, who think they can give up at any time, could be much closer to being addicted than they think.

The study provides evidence that some of the characteristic brain signals in people who have developed addictions are also present much earlier than most of us would have imagined," Marco Leyton, an expert on neurobiology drug use and addiction and professor in McGill's Department of Psychiatry, said in a statement.

Biohazard

World Bank preparedness group: Next pandemic could cost 'millions of lives, trillions of dollars'

© Baz Ratner / Reuters
In the wake of the deadly Zika and Ebola virus outbreaks, most countries are still completely unprepared for another potential pandemic, a new study has found, warning that a serious outbreak could result in "millions of deaths and cost trillions of dollars."

"We know that it is only a matter of time before the next pandemic hits us. We also know that there is a good chance that it will be severe," said a 131-page report by the International Working Group on Financing Preparedness (IWG), established by the World Bank.

It may mean death on a slow fuse, spreading insidiously through populations, unrecognized for years, like HIV in the 1980s. Or it may strike people down with stark violence and lightning speed, plunging national economies abruptly into chaos, like Ebola in West Africa in 2014-15. Whatever its mode of attack, the next largescale, lethal pandemic is at most only decades away," the report warned.

Comment: A few questions come to mind with this report. Is the groundwork for "preparedness" another way of introducing and mandating the use of unproven and dangerous vaccines on whole populaces? Does an investment in "preparedness" facilitate the establishment of large-scale quarantine areas that can be enforced arbitrarily and politically at the point of a gun? Do the proponents of "preparedness" know of some disease that will either be "introduced" to populations of people intentionally - or as a result of, say, cometary bombardment - or something else?

Whatever the case, it would seem to be helpful to work on building up one's own natural defenses and strength via diet, supplementation and detoxification among other things.


Health

Marijuana extract helps some kids with epilepsy

A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot's possible health benefits.

"This is the first solid, rigorously obtained scientific data" that a marijuana compound is safe and effective for this problem, said one study leader, Dr. Orrin Devinsky of NYU Langone Medical Center.

He said research into promising medical uses has been hampered by requiring scientists to get special licenses, plus legal constraints and false notions of how risky marijuana is.

"Opiates kill over 30,000 Americans a year, alcohol kills over 80,000 a year. And marijuana, as best we know, probably kills less than 50 people a year," Devinsky said.

Microscope 1

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:


Brain

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