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Thu, 27 Jul 2017
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Top cardiologist blasts nutrition guidelines

One of the world's top cardiologists says that many of the major nutrition guidelines have no good basis in science.
"I'm not a nutrition scientist and that may be an advantage because every week in the newspaper we read something is good for you and the same thing the next week is bad for you," said Salim Yusuf, MD, DPhil, (McMaster University), at Cardiology Update 2017, a symposium presented by the European Society of Cardiology and the Zurich Heart House.
Yusuf presented evidence that many of the most significant and impactful nutrition recommendations regarding dietary fats, salt, carbohydrates, and even vegetables are not supported by evidence.

Yusuf's talk relied heavily on findings from the PURE study, a large ongoing epidemiological study of 140,000 people in 17 countries. Though PURE is an observational study,
"its design and extensive data collection are geared toward addressing major questions on causation and development of the underlying determinants of cardiovascular disease."

Comment: See also: Saturated Fats and CVD: AHA Convicts, We Say Acquit


Mulberry leaf: A traditional treatment for psychiatric conditions?

Mulberry Leaf Tea
Here's some new and interesting research recently published in The International Journal of Pharmacy.

The researchers were interested in the effects of Mulberry Leaf on a variety of psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, migraine, and impulsivity. All of these psychiatric illnesses have been linked to an excess of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Modern treatments for these illnesses have many unwanted side effects, which often include weight gain and increased risk for diabetes.

Mulberry Leaf is a traditional treatment for psychiatric conditions. Given that Mulberry Leaf is also known for its benefits to weight loss and diabetes, researchers wondered if an extract from Mulberry leaves might be a safer, less expensive treatment option.


Medical miracles that have been observed in the field of medicine

Remarkable and incomprehensible phenomena have been observed throughout human history - phenomena which, without any logical explanation, can only be described as miracles. Surprisingly, a majority of the human population believes in the concept of miracles, but rarely are these occurrences discussed openly in public forums. Yet this type of mysticism is embedded into various cultures throughout the world, in all stages of human history. Buddhism is a great example, a faith that is abundant with scriptures of human beings with superpowers, the power of human consciousness, distant healing, etc. Even today, when it comes to the power of human consciousness and parapsychological manifestations like distant health or telepathy, there is substantial evidence confirming that at least some of these phenomena are, without a doubt, real. Just because we cannot develop a sound scientific theory to explain these types of occurrences does not mean they do not exist.


What's the difference between Vitamins D2 and D3?

It's something I've been encouraging for several years now — making sure you're getting adequate levels of vitamin D, not only because it's a crucial nutrient, but because so many people are deficient and don't realize it. But a new study has emerged dispelling the idea many scientists and health care providers have had for many years, the upshot being that there is a vast difference between vitamin D2, which is plant-based (notably from mushrooms), and vitamin D3, which is derived from animal products.

The two do not, as some have believed, have a similar nutritional value. Health authorities are calling for official recommendations for vitamin D intake to be changed in accordance with the "new" information, which is not actually new, as we've related this important distinction for some time. The "groundbreaking" study from the University of Surrey was conducted to determine, between vitamins D2 and D3, which was more effective in raising levels in the body.

The trial was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) — "the largest U.K. public funder of nonmedical bioscience" — and the Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC). Susan Lanham-New, principal investigator of the trial, called the results a "very exciting discovery which will revolutionize how the health and retail sector views vitamin D," EurekAlert! reported.1

She added, "Vitamin D deficiency is a serious matter, but this will help people make a more informed choice about what they can eat or drink to raise their levels through their diet." Serious is right: one study shows that more than 40 percent of the American population is deficient in vitamin D,2 and some experts say the problem is serious enough to call it a pandemic.3


Scientists conclude artificial sweeteners have no benefit to health but may cause plenty of harm

© SpeedKingz/Shutterstock
Two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and those who diet sometimes turn to alternative sweeteners — including aspartame, sucralose and stevioside — to cut calories.

Now, a new review of many studies suggests that doing so might not be the best idea.

The scientists took a comprehensive look at more than 11,000 studies and found that, for overweight individuals or those with high blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes, the benefits of consuming zero-calorie, "non-nutritive sweeteners" were modest to nil. For other people, there was an increased risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke and heart disease.

Comment: You can't outsmart Mother Nature. Fooling your brain into thinking you are getting something sweet plays dirty tricks on your metabolism. Highly addictive artificial sweeteners disrupt the normal hormonal and neurological signals that control hunger and satiety. They actually rewire your brain chemistry, slow your metabolism and cause you to crave even more sugar and starchy carbs.


Much more than "ageing"

The recent Orthomolecular Medicine News Service publication about iodine [1] reminded me of the wealth of knowledge among the contributors to OMNS. Many are capable of doing a detailed research that uncovers every nuance of nutritional deficiencies or excesses as they relate to disease, while backing statements with citations from the nutrition literature.

As I read about the signs and symptoms of iodine deficiency, I was struck by the fact that many of them were also similar to those of what we call "ageing." Like passing off a death as "due to natural causes," I am afraid that "ageing" is another convenient category to collect conditions for which we have little curiosity about their true cause.[2-6] Chronological age doesn't describe an older person justly. An improvement might be a description of the different aspects of ageing, much like the way we recognize different types of genius. An older person may have a lousy body along with a brilliant mind, or the opposite may be true. There may be several overlapping causes that do not originate directly from ageing. Let us compare the signs and symptoms of iodine deficiency with those of ageing. Since there is such an overlap, I fear that the older reader will conclude that their symptoms suggest a diagnosis of iodine deficiency.

Comment: See also:


The need for iodine supplementation

Feeling tired, having low energy or depression, gaining weight, memory problems, having dry skin, dry mouth or immune system issues? There is good chance your body needs iodine supplementation. Why iodine? Because this essential to human health element has been singled out as dangerous, for several obscure reasons, and it has been gradually eliminated from our diet, and even worse, replaced by its antagonist, bromine. This trend has been termed, iodophobia (1). It is a cause of widely occurring hypothyroidism in many developed countries. 

Comment: Don't miss: What you didn't know about iodine, but could save your life (VIDEO)


Over 1,000 antidepressant users describe how their personal life has been affected

Survey examines adverse personal and interpersonal effects of antidepressants and the impact of polypharmacy

© Flickr
“Holding onto sanity” by Autumn
New research, published in Psychiatry Research, features personal accounts of antidepressant users and their experiences of negative side effects related to sex, work, socializing, and physical health. John Read and a team of researchers in the U.K. further explored informed consent and the impact of polypharmacy.

Staggeringly high rates of antidepressant prescriptions continue to climb. In England, prescriptions have doubled since 2005. Similarly, antidepressant use doubled in Australia between 2000 and 2014 becoming the most commonly used medication taken by 1 in 10 Australians each day. By 2005, antidepressants were the most widely prescribed drug in the United States, and by 2012, one in eight adults had incorporated their usage into their daily routine.


Stressful life experiences can age brain 'by years'

© Design Pics/Rex
Child's death, divorce or job loss linked to poorer cognition in later life, study finds, with African Americans more susceptible.

Stressful life experiences can age the brain by several years, new research suggests. Experts led by a team from Wisconsin University's school of medicine and public health in the US found that even one major stressful event early in life may have an impact on later brain health.

The team examined data for 1,320 people who reported stressful experiences over their lifetime and underwent tests in areas such as thinking and memory. The subjects' average age was 58 and included 1,232 white Americans and 82 African Americans. A series of neuropsychological tests examined several areas, including four memory scores (immediate memory, verbal learning and memory, visual learning and memory, and story recall).

Stressful life experiences included things such as losing a job, the death of a child, divorce or growing up with a parent who abused alcohol or drugs. The results showed that a larger number of stressful events was linked to poorer cognitive function in later life.



Most boxed mac and cheese contains chemical used to soften plastic

Lovers of boxed mac and cheese, prepare to take a hit. According to a recent test conducted in a lab in Belgium, if you're eating the powdered cheese that comes in the box, you're probably also eating a group of chemicals called phthalates that are used to soften plastics.

The Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging bought 30 different cheese products from store shelves in the U.S. — 10 different kinds of mac and cheese with cheese powder, five different types of processed sliced cheeses, and 15 varieties of natural cheese — then shipped the package to the Flemish Institute for Technological Research. The institute did not list the brand names of the products they studied.

Nevertheless, they tested each sample and found significant levels of phthalates in all but one of the products. On average, phthalate levels in the powdered cheeses were found to be twice that found in sliced cheeses and four times found in the natural varieties.

Unlike the European Union and countries like Japan and Argentina, which have banned phthalates entirely, U.S. restrictions on the use of the chemicals are limited. As such, phthalates are in the plastic materials, like tubes and pipes, used to process the cheese, and are found again in the product's packaging. The phthalates simply leech into the food.