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Tue, 06 Dec 2016
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


'Thunderstorm asthma'? 5 people die in Kuwait following storm

© Getty Images
Five expatriates had died from severe asthma attacks as torrential rains hit Kuwait last Friday. The phenomenon is said to be similar with the one that killed eight people in Australia a few days ago.
Last November, a freak illness called "thunderstorm asthma" had hit the Australian city of Melbourne, killing at least eight people.

A week later, the same phenomenon had had the Middle-Eastern country of Kuwait, when a torrential rain hit the country. Five expatriate workers had reportedly died from severe asthma attacks and breathing difficulties following the freak storm, the Kuwait Times reports.

According to Kuwait's local media, casualties included two Egyptians aged 46 and 34, and an Indian immigrant aged 35 who all passed away at Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital from asthma attacks during the storm. Two other expatriates also died of asthma after reporting to a health center in the district of Al-Farwaniya.

Seven other expatriates were kept in the intensive care unit at Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital, while 15 others have been discharged after receiving treatment.

"Hospitals received 844 emergency cases in two days, five of them died, three in Mumbarak Hospital and two in the Amiri Hospital," Khaled Al-Sahlawi, health ministry undersecretary, said in the report. "Twenty-six cases were admitted to intensive care units and 45 to rooms. The rest received treatments."

Comment: What is "Thunderstorm Asthma"?


Can intermittent fasting boost your metabolism?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves periods of food restriction (fasting) followed by normal eating.

This pattern of eating could help you lose weight, reduce your risk of disease and increase your lifespan (1, 2).

Some experts even claim that its beneficial effects on metabolism make it a healthier way to lose weight than standard calorie restriction (3).

Comment: More helpful information on intermittent fasting:


Understanding the mind-body link is crucial in preventing dementia

© geralt/Pixabay
A study published by the University of Glasgow shows that preventing high blood pressure, diabetes or coronary heart disease (CHD) may delay cognitive decline and even dementia.

The study

Researchers found that people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or CHD perform worse on mental tasks of reasoning, memory and reaction time. Authors also highlight that:
...having two diseases was worse and three worse still, particularly for reaction times and reasoning.
Previous research has made the link between these diseases and cognitive decline. But the effect of having more than one disease on cognitive skills had not been properly examined until now.

The implications of this study are far-reaching. After all, multi-morbidity (where people are living with more than one chronic disease) is common. 6.75 million people in the UK have more than one long-term condition.


'Seriously mentally ill' dying 25 years prematurely: Is society or psychiatry to blame?

The uncomfortable fact is that many of us don't care about the seriously mentally ill.

"Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions," according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This is not controversial, as establishment psychiatry and its critics agree.

What is controversial is who is to blame—society, psychiatry, or the victims themselves? And what is too taboo for the mainstream media to even discuss is whether many of us, privately, don't care—or may even want this population to disappear.

If we could admit that our society's entire way of thinking about people diagnosed with "serious mental illness" has failed, we might become curious about other societies that view this population very differently—and have gotten very different results.


Back pain may raise risk of mental health problems

© unknown
According to recent findings, back pain and mental health are deeply linked.
A study, involving almost 200,000 participants, finds that individuals who have back pain are more likely to also experience a range of mental health issues. Knowing about these links could form a more successful treatment plan for both sets of conditions.

Back pain is a leading cause of disability across the globe. In fact, it causes more global disability than any other condition.

According to the Global Burden of Disease study, lower back pain affects almost 1 in 10 people.

There is also a wealth of evidence that back pain negatively impacts quality of life and heightens the risk of other physical health problems. Additionally, it comes with substantial healthcare cost.

One earlier study of note used data from the World Mental Health Survey and found that chronic back or neck pain was associated with increased risk for mood disorders, alcohol abuse, and anxiety disorders.

Comment: See also:


Circadian rhythms: Disrupting daily routine of gut microbes can be bad news for whole body

© Darryl Leja, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health
Micro changes have macro results
We've known that bacteria live in our intestines as far back as the 1680s, when Leeuwenhoek first looked through his microscope. Yogurt companies use that information in the sales pitch for their product, claiming it can help keep your gut bacteria happy. The bacteria growing on our skin have also been effectively exploited to sell the underarm deodorants without which we can become, ahem, malodorous. Until fairly recently our various microbes were thought of as freeloaders without any meaningful benefit to our functioning as healthy human beings.

However, that view has changed in a big way over the last couple of decades.


New evidence suggests Parkinson's might start in the gut, not the brain

© ktsdesign/Shutterstock.com
A new study adds to a growing body of research that suggests we might have been thinking about Parkinson's disease wrong this whole time.

Instead of being isolated to the brain, new evidence in mice suggests that the condition might actually start in the gut. And it could explain some of the strange coincidences seen in the disease, such as why most Parkinson's patients complain of constipation up to a decade before other symptoms arise.

Parkinson's disease is most commonly associated with tremors, stiffness, and difficulty moving, caused by neurons deep in the brain being killed off.

Although there are treatments to slow the progress of the condition, there's no way to prevent or cure it, and researchers still don't really understand what causes it and how it progresses.

Comment: See this article also:

Can Parkinson's disease be connected to bacteria in the gut?

Light Saber

Victory in battle of butter

US investigative journalist Nina Teicholz calls it "a victory for science." South African scientist Tim Noakes says it proves that one person can "change the world." I say it's a decisive defeat for medical, scientific and dietetic establishments in their ongoing war against the critics.

The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) has announced that it will not retract the peer-reviewed investigation it published by Teicholz in September 2015. The feature documents in detail how the US Dietary Guidelines (DGAs) have ignored vast amounts of rigorous scientific evidence. This evidence is on key issues such as saturated fats and low-carbohydrate diets.

Teicholz's article has been the target of an unprecedented retraction effort that was organized by an advocacy group that has long defended those guidelines. The BMJ stance is becoming a lesson in unintended consequences for those attempting to stifle debate on the topic. It raises fundamental questions about who was behind the retraction effort and their motivation.

Comment: For more background on this battle, read: 'Nutrition Heretic' Gary Taubes on the Long Road Back From a Big, Fat Public Shaming


More reasons NOT to trust the Feds on GMOs, pesticides & chemicals

The chemical epidemic that is rife in the US is at a dangerous level, and it shows no signs of stopping soon.

The US regulatory agencies have systematically avoided and delayed the testing of thousands of chemicals in order to satisfy the big corporations in which they have secret monopolized deals.

". . . new chemicals come from our laboratories in an endless stream; almost 500 annually find their way into actual use in the United States alone...500 new chemicals to which the bodies of men and animals are required somehow to adapt each year, chemicals totally outside the limits of biologic experience." These are the words of Rachel Carson, from Silent Spring (1962). She died of breast cancer two years later. This stark warning 50 years ago predicted the situation we find ourselves in now, where our food is saturated with chemicals and the government seem unwilling to do anything about it.

Monsanto's Roundup and Syngenta's atrazine are two chemicals which have attracted unwanted attention due to their known harmful toxic content and the fact they keep finding their way into our food.

Comment: 'A vicious cycle of the most cynical order'

Life Preserver

Combat aging, disease & cancer with Lingzhi mushrooms

For years, I have wanted to include something from Chinese Medicine into my protocol, something universal and not needing a Chinese herbalist to prescribe it. Finally, I have found the perfect answer. Lingzhi mushrooms has literally hundreds of unique bio-active compounds that have life extending[1] properties,[2] stimulates brain neurons,[3] searches out and destroys cancer cells[4] and prevents the development of new fat cells in obese individuals.[5] In terms of life span extension it has been shown to increase life in studies by 9% to more than 20% in animal studies.

Ganoderma lucidum, an oriental fungus, has a long history of use for promoting health and longevity in China, Japan, and other Asian countries. It is a large, dark mushroom with a glossy exterior and a woody texture. The Latin word lucidus means "shiny" or "brilliant" and refers to the varnished appearance of the surface of the mushroom. The iconic mushroom commonly known as Reishi (in Japanese) or Ling Zhi (靈芝 in Chinese) is probably the most respected medicinal mushroom in Asia.

While mushrooms such as shitake, maitake, and cordyceps, all share similar immune boosting properties, Red Reishi has also the longest history and has been known to be effective in the treatment of the widest range of health conditions. Unlike other mushrooms, only Lingzhi has many important compounds such as triterpenes (ganoderic acid) that gives them a unique characteristic of being bitter in taste.