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Tue, 27 Jun 2017
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Megaphone

New claims against Monsanto in consumer lawsuit over Roundup herbicide

Another day, another lawsuit against global seed and chemical giant Monsanto Co. In a complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Wisconsin, six consumers alleged that the company's top-selling Roundup herbicide has been falsely promoted as uniquely safe when it actually can have profound harmful impacts on human gut bacteria critical to good health.

The lawsuit, which also names Roundup distributor Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. as a defendant, specifically alleges that consumers are being deceived by inaccurate and misleading statements made by Monsanto regarding glyphosate, the active weed-killing ingredient in Roundup. Plaintiffs include residents of Wisconsin, Illinois, California, New York, New Jersey and Florida.

Glyphosate, which Monsanto introduced as an herbicide in 1974 and is widely used in growing food crops, has been promoted for years as a chemical that kills plants by targeting an enzyme that is not found in people or pets. The lawsuit claims that assertion is false, however, and argues that research shows glyphosate can target an enzyme found in gut bacteria in people and animals, disrupting the immune system, digestion, and "even brain function."

Comment: One has to wonder how many more lawsuits against Monsanto will come to light in the coming years, especially when the following health effects have been documented from the overuse of Roundup in the environment:


Brain

Brain drain: The mere presence of your smartphone reduces brain power

© ZME Science
Exerting self-control impairs your capacity to form memories
Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach—even if it's off. That's the takeaway finding from a new study from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

McCombs Assistant Professor Adrian Ward and co-authors conducted experiments with nearly 800 smartphone users in an attempt to measure, for the first time, how well people can complete tasks when they have their smartphones nearby even when they're not using them.

In one experiment, the researchers asked study participants to sit at a computer and take a series of tests that required full concentration in order to score well. The tests were geared to measure participants' available cognitive capacity—that is, the brain's ability to hold and process data at any given time. Before beginning, participants were randomly instructed to place their smartphones either on the desk face down, in their pocket or personal bag, or in another room. All participants were instructed to turn their phones to silent.

Comment: The real Zombie Apocalypse? People check their Smart Phones 85 times a day!


Sun

Study: Nearly three-quarters of sunscreens don't work as advertised

© Nashville Green Magazine
The official start of summer is almost here, pushing sunscreen to the top of many shopping lists.

But even people who stay well-stocked and diligently lathered in sun block may still find themselves inadequately protected. That's because nearly three-quarters of all sunscreens on the market don't work as well as they claim to, or they contain potentially harmful ingredients, according to a recent study from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Last month, the EWG released its 11th annual sunscreen guide, which analyzed more than 880 beach and sport sunscreens, as well as 480 moisturizers and 120 lip products containing SPF. The Washington, D.C.-based research group found that roughly 73% of the products it tested either contained "worrisome" products or they did offer the level of UV protection they advertised. EWG said those worrisome products can include oxybenzone, which is known to be a hormone disruptor, and retinyl palminate, a form of vitamin A that EWG says can sometimes actually heighten sensitivity to the sun.

Comment: Read more about debunking the myths surrounding sun exposure and sunscreen:


Sun

Sun's rays could be a cure for eczema: Nitric oxide released while sunbathing can reduce inflammation that causes the itches


Shedding light on cure: University of Edinburgh scientists say their findings pave the way for new therapies for the skin condition (pictured) which mimic the effects of the sun's rays
Exposure to sunlight releases a compound from the skin that can alleviate symptoms of eczema, research has found.

The molecule, called nitric oxide, works by dampening inflammation, which causes itchy skin associated with the condition.

Scientists say their findings pave the way for new therapies which mimic the effects of the sun's rays and could help patients avoid light therapy, which can have damaging side effects on the skin such as raising cancer risk.

Lead researcher Dr Anne Astier, of the Medical Research Council Centre for Inflammation Research at the University of Edinburgh, said: 'Our findings suggest that nitric oxide has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and could offer an alternative drug target for people with eczema.'

Tests on healthy volunteers found that exposing a small patch of skin to UV light triggers a release of nitric oxide into the blood stream.

Ambulance

Opioid related hospital visits in the U.S. top one million a year

A report issued Tuesday by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shows that there were 1.27 million emergency room visits or inpatient stays for opioid-related issues in 2014, the latest year for which there is sufficient data. This represents a 64 percent increase for inpatient care and a 99 percent hike in emergency room treatment compared to figures from 2005.

Aside from the overall skyrocketing of hospital visits, the report found that the previous discrepancy between males and females in the rate of opioid-related inpatient stays in 2005 has disappeared. The rate of female hospital visits has now caught up to that of males.

Another significant finding is that from 2005 to 2014, the age groups with the highest rate of opioid-related inpatient stays nationally were 25 - 44 and 45 - 64 years—in other words, adults in their prime working years, not adolescents. The highest rate of opioid-related Emergency Department (ED) visits was among those aged 25 - 44 years.

This mirrors another recent report, which found that death rates have risen among the same age group, 25 - 44, in every racial and ethnic group and almost all states since 2010, likely driven in part by the opioid epidemic.

Comment: Communities in the U.S. are crumbling under an evolving opioid addiction crisis


Roses

Aromatherapy: Scents to uplift, balance and calm

Bath and beauty companies have led most people to believe that aromatherapy is beneficial for relaxation, skin care and bathing. While it definitely helps in these regards, medical aromatherapy—a scientific approach to aromatherapy that uses the potent natural chemical constituents found in key essential oils—can also dramatically affect pain, inflammation, boost energy, improve sleep and improve healing.

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of natural oils from flowers, plants, trees, resins and other elements in nature that have healing properties. Aromatherapy is as old as nature itself, but humans have been using the art and science of aromatherapy therapeutically for at least 6000 years. There is plenty of archaeological evidence to suggest that aromatherapy oils were regularly used in the ancient temples of Egypt, Greece and Rome. Our ancient ancestors must have observed that the scents of flowers, trees and other plants had an impact on their stress levels, anxiety, sleep, mood, pain and more.

Comment: Additional articles about the healing properties of Aromatherapy:


Book

Lynne Farrow: My medical mystery solved - Iodine deficiency

Iodine deficiency wrecked my life.

How did this happen?

No, I didn't live in a Third World Country where iodine deficiency is the leading cause of mental retardation. I grew up in New Jersey eating plenty of seafood and vegetables sprinkled with iodized salt. Still, for years I endured daily headaches and bouts of brain fog so bad that I lost my driver's license for speeding through stop signs without being aware. I slept so much my family called me Rip Van Winkle. Eventually I could no longer drag myself to work even with caffeine and Darvocet, a prescription painkiller.

I moved from teaching college full time to working as a journalist part time. To make things worse, pounds began to pad my middle. What was wrong with me? At least fifty doctors reviewed my case and ran tests. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, adrenal exhaustion, epilepsy, ovarian cysts, TMJ, candida, and multiple chemical sensitivities. They prescribed remedies but nothing worked. Did I have a disorder? A disease? And how did I finally land on iodine deficiency — the correct culprit?

The last doctor on my medical mystery tour shrugged. "There are things worse than brain fog."

Turned out he was right. I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

Through what sounded like a metal tunnel, I heard these word: "After surgery you need to see an oncologist for chemotherapy and a doctor who will perform radiation."

Comment: The Health & Wellness Show: The Iodine Crisis - Interview with Lynne Farrow


Hearts

Researchers discover link between noisy cities heartbeat disruption

© Jack Taylor/ Getty Images
Busy high streets like London Oxford Street affect heart rhythm scientists found.
The cacophony of noise town centres could trigger heart problems, a new study suggests, after scientists found that fluctuating sounds on busy high streets disturb normal cardiac rhythms.

Researchers from Nottingham Trent University found that constant changes in noise - even at low levels - had an immediate and disruptive effect on the patterns of participants' normal heart rates.

The team says their findings add to a growing body of research which shows how our everyday surroundings could have wider implications for long-term health.

For the study, shoppers were asked to wear mobile body sensors to monitor their heart rates as they moved about Nottingham city centre for 45 minutes.
"We found that rapid changes in noise resulted in rapid disturbance to the normal rhythm of participants' hearts," said researcher Dr Eiman Kanjo of Nottingham Trent's School of Science and Technology.

"If this pattern is repeated regularly then there is a danger it might lead to cardiovascular problems."

Comment: See also:


Arrow Up

Successful dog bone implant paves way for human bone implants generated by a 3D printer

© Sergio Perez / Reuters
New bone regeneration technology that successfully implanted a bone in a dog's leg could pave the way for a revolutionary treatment that would see human bone implants generated by a 3D printer.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland successfully saved a dog's leg from amputation by using medical technology funded by the landmine charity, Find A Better Way.‌

The dog, Eva, broke her leg during a car accident and was close to needing an amputation when her vet contacted the synthetic bone research project.

Although patient trials were not due to start for a few more years, the researchers agreed to treat Eva using a combination of a naturally-occurring protein called BMP-2, combined with PEA, a common household ingredient found in paint and nail polish.

While BMP-2 is recognized as effective for stimulating the growth of bone tissue, scientists have had difficulty containing it in the relevant area.

Comment: See also: Stem cell therapy: The innovations and potential to help repair and regenerate your body


Take 2

Could doctor John E. Sarno's 'Mind-Body' approach be the answer to chronic pain?


John E. Sarno
A new documentary examines the revolutionary methods of The Divided Mind author John E. Sarno.

John E. Sarno has been dubbed America's best doctor, by Forbes. But despite garnering the celebrity endorsements of Howard Stern and Bernie Sanders, his "mind-body" approach to solving chronic pain has drawn skepticism from the medical establishment.

Now a new documentary, All the Rage (2016), aims to validate his methods.
"Most physicians in the western world are not knowledgeable about psychosomatic illness and do not know what to do about it," Sarno explained in his 2006 book, The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mind-body Disorders.

"Sometimes they will tell the patient that it is all in the mind and may refer them to a psychiatrist or psychotherapist, which makes them angry because they feel that their doctor has not been really listening to them," he added. "Their pain may originate in the mind or psychic pain might greatly exacerbate the pain of a physical disorder. But in any case, it is not all in the mind. It is in the mind-brain-body. It is psychosomatic."