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Sun, 23 Oct 2016
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Health & Wellness

Bacon n Eggs

New study finds wheat and carbs biggest risk for heart disease, red meat and saturated fat has no direct effect

Potatoes and cereals increase the risk of heart disease while high fat dairy products cut the risk, according to a new study which rejects accepted wisdom on a healthy diet.

The research, which looked at dietary habits in 42 European countries over 16 years, conflicts with current government nutrition guidance and has led to calls for new advice to be issued.

The work, published in the journal of Food and Nutrition Research, examined food consumption, heart disease and cholesterol levels in the most up-to-date international statistics and raised questions about the reliability of traditional data, much of which was carried out decades ago.

Dr Pavel Grasgruber, a sports scientist and lead author of the study, from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, called for current dietary advice to be overturned.

He said: "Current heart disease risk is based on flawed data. This study flies in the face of accepted wisdom on diet. It is quite clear consumption of dairy products and meat is not linked with heart disease risk, as was traditionally believed.


Legitimate medical research or Big Pharma advertisment?

In 2015 the editor of the Lancet study admitted that pharmaceutical marketing is supported by deceitful research. Now, a new report issued by a distinguished doctor provides more insight into how drug companies manipulate scientific research in order to advance corporate interests in the realms of health and medicine.

A meta-analysis is an overarching view of several previously conducted scientific studies which measures both qualitative and quantitative evidence to come to a conclusion about a premise proposed by a scientist - except when that study is paid for by the very companies whom conduct the 'analysis' in order to sway data in their interests.

Though the tool of meta-analysis is used in every branch of science, it has become an important device for doctors when trying to determine the best method of treating disease. They've become essential, in fact, because of the sheer onslaught of medical studies coming out every year.

Comment: The corruption of science is so endemic it's difficult for the lay researcher or a time-strapped doctor to tell what is real from what is fake. Big Pharma counts on this very thing.


The 'Swiss Agent': Long-forgotten research unearths new mystery about Lyme disease

A page from Willy Burgdorfer's archive shows elements of the research process he used to find infectious agents and study their properties. (English translation of the German: “Different Working Branches of Rocky Mountain Laboratories” )
The tick hunter was hopeful he had found the cause of the disabling illness, recently named Lyme disease, that was spreading anxiety through leafy communities east of New York City. At a government lab in Montana, Willy Burgdorfer typed a letter to a colleague, reporting that blood from Lyme patients showed "very strong reactions" on a test for an obscure, tick-borne bacterium. He called it the "Swiss Agent."

But further studies raised doubts about whether he had the right culprit, and 18 months later, in 1981, Burgdorfer instead pinned Lyme on another microbe. The Swiss Agent test results were forgotten.

Now STAT has obtained those documents, including some discovered in boxes of Burgdorfer's personal papers found in his garage after his death in 2014. The papers — including letters to collaborators, lab records, and blood test results — indicate that the Swiss Agent was infecting people in Connecticut and Long Island in the late 1970s.

And scientists who worked with Burgdorfer, and reviewed key portions of the documents at STAT's request, said the bacteria might still be sickening an unknown number of Americans today.

While the evidence is hardly conclusive, patients and doctors might be mistaking under-the-radar Swiss Agent infections for Lyme, the infectious disease specialists said. Or the bacteria could be co-infecting some Lyme patients, exacerbating symptoms and complicating their treatment — and even stoking a bitter debate about whether Lyme often becomes a persistent and serious illness.

Swiss Agent, now called Rickettsia helvetica, is likely not a major health risk in the United States, in part because such bacteria typically respond to antibiotics. Still, several of Burgdorfer's former colleagues called for infectious disease researchers to mount a search for the bacterium.

Comment: More information on Lyme disease:

Autism and Lyme Disease are Connected, Lyme-Induced Autism Study Finds
Lyme Disease - Why Lyme is the Mystery Disease
Doctors to reassess antibiotics for 'chronic Lyme' disease


Systematic review finds antidepressants double the risk for suicidality and violence in healthy volunteers

© iStock
The Nordic Cochrane Center conducted a systematic review of existing research trials on antidepressants and found that the drugs doubled the risk of feelings associated with violence and suicidality in healthy study volunteers.

"Antidepressants double the occurrence of events in adult healthy volunteers that can lead to suicide and violence," the authors write. "We consider it likely that antidepressants increase suicides at all ages."

The connection between antidepressants and violence and suicidality has been a subject of a great deal of debate in the research literature. Previous studies suggest that antidepressants can cause an extreme state called "akathisia," characterized by feelings of extreme agitation, restlessness, and thoughts of violence and suicidality. It is generally accepted that there is an increased risk for suicidality for children, teens, and young adults when taking antidepressants and in 2007 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added a black box warning for teenagers.

Similarly, last year, researchers in Sweden published a study finding that individuals were more likely to commit a violent crime when taking an antidepressant compared to when they were not. These results and others have often been criticized or dismissed by those who point out that anxiety and suicidality are often symptoms associated with the conditions being treated. To explore this explanation, this study attempts to disentangle the symptoms from side-effects by looking only at the drug effects on healthy study volunteers who showed no signs of 'mental disorder' prior to drug exposure.

Comment: This is only the tip of the iceberg. To get a better idea, listen to our radio show: Big Pharma Karma - Magic bullets and the astonishing rise of mental illness

Bacon n Eggs

Protein sources and why variety matters

Sometimes the simple story is good enough. I'd venture to say that simple is usually good enough, particularly when it comes to health. A good diet? Eat lots of plants and animals, don't eat so many carbs, and stop being scared of natural fat. Training? Lift heavy things, move around a lot at a slow pace (constantly, if you can swing it), go really fast once in awhile, and enjoy what you do. Lifestyle in general? Get some sun, be with your tribe, get into nature as often as possible, inject meaning, laugh, love, and live. There—that gets you most of the way. Simple, right?

Another common piece of advice is "eat protein." And yeah, that's true. We need protein to survive. It's probably the most essential nutrient in existence because we can't make it ourselves. But sometimes digging a little deeper pays off.

Not all protein is created equally. Protein is composed of up to 20 different amino acids. Every protein source contains some or all of those amino acids in different proportions, so each source of protein really is different. When we digest protein, what our body actually absorbs and utilizes are those amino acids. Each one plays a different role in the body, from building and repairing various tissues, performing vital metabolic processes, acting as progenitor for essential compounds, and even regulating gene expression. We need amino acids to live.

Microscope 1

Researchers identify chemical with potential to postpone aging and neurodegeneration

© www.alamy.com
Researchers have identified a key factor in the aging process they say could one day lead to longer lives. In a new study on mice and roundworms, researchers found that adding a chemical known as coenzyme NAD+ postponed physical aging and extend the subjects' lives. It's thought that these effects will be seen in humans as well, and could even help to prevent illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

The study from the University of Copenhagen's Center for Healthy Aging and the American National Institute of Health examined the effects on mice and roundworms bred with the illness Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T). This is a neurodegenerative illness which hinders DNA repairs and leads to symptoms that are typically associated with early aging.

Adding NAD+, however, was found to delay the aging process of the cells and halt mitochondrial damage. And, it extended the subjects' lives for both the mice and worms. According to the researchers, the study has major implications for human aging, and links two leading theories - DNA damage accumulation and mitochondrial dysfunction.


A shot in the dark: Where is the science supporting the childhood vaccine schedule?

© CDC Vaccine Schedule 1983 vs. Present
Americans have been carefully taught to fully trust the recommendations made by medical doctors and public health officials, and many do trust without questioning. After all, we expect and want to believe that the recommendations being made by the "medical experts" are evidence-based and thoroughly tested for safety.

In the case of the childhood vaccine schedule recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the general assumption is that the safety of giving infants and children 49 doses of 14 vaccines between day of birth and age six has been thoroughly researched and proven safe. Many parents (and perhaps many pediatricians) would be surprised to learn there are a number of important unanswered questions about the number of vaccines, timing, the order and the ages at which recommended vaccines are given to babies and young children.

Comment: And yet the CDC adds more vaccines to the childhood immunization schedule!


Online pornography and the corruption of young minds

© Anna Parini
Just a few weeks earlier, Jesse was excited to start grade five and share with his friends all the good stories he had from summer camp and playing baseball. But this past week, Jesse's father noticed his son's behavior was changing quite dramatically. Usually eager to share what he was learning in math and science, Jesse gave a simple shrug of his shoulders and said, "It was pretty boring to be honest, Mom," when asked how the class science experiment went.

Figuring he was just in a bad mood that evening, Jesse's father waited until the weekend to ask how he was enjoying getting to know his new classmates. Even more telling that something was seriously wrong, Jesse responded, "Michael acts like a $#*&!!"

This withdrawn attitude and profanity came as a complete to shock to Jesse's parents. Where had their son heard this kind of language? Why was he disengaging from the class? Were his peers the problem? Conscious of not wanting to over-react, they agreed that closely monitoring the situation was the best course of action for the time being.

Then the family iPad started going missing from the usual spot on the kitchen counter. They searched high and low one night, only to find it back on its stand in the morning.

Comment: For a more in depth look at the effects porn has on the brain watch the following video series: This Is Your Brain On Porn
This presentation is not an argument against pornography. It was created for anyone who has a porn addiction, or wants to understand pornography addiction.

Science teacher Gary Wilson explains the evolutionary forces behind porn's appeal, how the brain changes in response to super-normal stimulation, what makes today's porn different from static porn of the past, and what you need to know to regain your sense of direction if you're hooked on porn.
Also listen to The Health & Wellness Show: The Death of Intimacy: Porn and the Ponerization of Sex


Big Pharma presses factory farm antibiotics even as deadly superbugs rise

The U.S. wants to fight superbugs by targeting one of the world's biggest markets for antibiotics: farms.

Big pharma has other ideas.

Even as the industry prepares to comply with new U.S. Food and Drug Administration efforts to limit antibiotic use in American livestock, it is marketing the drugs to U.S. veterinarians while continuing to expand sales elsewhere around the world. Bacteria resistant to antibiotic drugs, or superbugs, are a growing problem particularly in hospitals and claim an estimated 700,000 lives annually. Scientists say there is an intimate link between the health of the planet's livestock and that of the human population.

"If some of the biggest responsible parties - namely the companies making the products - are still selling the antibiotics in other countries, it just underscores that this has to be a change that happens across the entire world," said David Wallinga, senior health official and physician at the National Resources Defense Council. "And the companies bear a big responsibility for that approach."

Comment: Read more about the abuse of antibiotics in factory farmed animals and the rise of 'super bugs':


Possible explanations for why you feel tired all the time

You're in bed by 11, having had a busy, productive day. After a full night's sleep you wake up naturally and feel exhausted. If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. According to a recent survey of over 20,000 people by researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands, about 30 percent of visits to doctors involve complaints about being tired all the time. But what are really behind the problems associated with fatigue?

Some 20 percent of people in the US report having experienced fatigue intense enough to interfere with living a normal life. This hits us in our pockets, too: workers who are unproductive because of fatigue cost US employers more than $100 billion a year.

It's perhaps surprising, then, that we are only now beginning to work out what fatigue actually is. Until recently, daytime tiredness was presumed to be nothing more mysterious than simple physical exhaustion or feeling the need to sleep -- the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 35 percent of people are short on sleep. Combine that with the fact that tiredness is subjective and therefore difficult to measure, plus the subject falls somewhere between studies of the body and mind, and it's small wonder fatigue has largely escaped scientific scrutiny.

Comment: There may be more to adrenal fatigue than the author acknowledges: The science of adrenal fatigue & how to overcome it