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Wed, 21 Aug 2019
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


"Medical common sense is full of lies": The best selling book by a Japanese physicist who cured his cataracts and lived to 95

Iwao Mitsuishi

Truth and lies: Iwao Mitsuishi claimed CT scans are too "scientific" in a book titled "Medical Common Sense is Full of Lies."
"Lies!" "Nonsense!" What's true? What's not true? What's fake news? What's real?

It's not just politics. Politics is at least comprehensible. We may err, misunderstand and misjudge, but politics speaks our language and invites our participation. Not so medicine. Healthy, we want nothing to do with it. Ill, we turn to it with blind, ignorant, sometimes desperate faith.

What else can we do? Our bodies are strangers to us — sometimes hostile strangers. We wouldn't recognize our internal organs if we saw them. When a politician says, "Trust me," we instinctively do the opposite. When a doctor says "Trust me," we put ourselves and our organs in his or her hands — the sicker we are, the more eagerly.

Comment: It appears Iwao Mitsuishi's books are only available in Japanese but one can hope that, eventually, any of his worthwhile findings will come to light: And check out SOTT radio's:

Cell Phone

New study reveals frequent use of social media negatively affects teen girls more than boys, leading to higher psychological stress

girl using phone
© Getty Images
Teenage girls are affected by social media use more than boys, with the harmful effects being driven by three factors, according to a new study.

In girls, frequent use of social media harmed their health by leading to inadequate sleep, inadequate physical activity and exposing them to cyberbullying, according to the study published Tuesday in the journal Lancet. The same did not hold true for boys who frequently use social media.

Researchers from University College London tracked the social media use of nearly 13,000 teens in the U.K. from when they were 13 to 16-years-old. They also evaluated the teens' own reports about their well-being, exposure to cyberbullying and time spent sleeping or being physically active.

The study found that 27% of the teens who were frequent users of social media reported high psychological stress. Among the teens who were infrequent users, only 17% reported high psychological stress.


Modern medicine declares war on loneliness with drugs and bots - introverts threatened with extinction

© Pixabay / Skitterphoto
With pharmaceutical and even robotic "cures" in the works for loneliness - a condition once considered part of the normal human emotional range but now framed as a health risk - we risk losing the ability to be alone at all.

The pathologization of emotion has been on the march for decades, especially in the US, where fully one sixth of the adult population takes an antidepressant or other psychiatric drug. Now the mental-health industry has a new target - loneliness.

Nearly half of Americans polled last year by health insurer Cigna said they lacked meaningful relationships or companionship. A solutions-based society might examine why so many people feel alienated from their peers despite the constant connectivity of smartphones and internet. A symptom-focused model, however, simply looks to stop them from feeling that way by any means necessary.

Loneliness is "worse than obesity," according to a raft of studies that have emerged linking the emotion to increased risk of premature death, and even rivals smoking. And like obesity - big business for Big Pharma, gastric bypass surgeons and weight-loss gurus - it requires medical intervention.


Pesticides + Poison gases = Cheap, year-round strawberries

The average American eats about eight pounds of fresh strawberries a year - and with them, dozens of pesticides, including chemicals that have been linked to cancer and reproductive damage, or that are banned in Europe.

Conventionally grown strawberries tested by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2015 and 2016 contained an average of 7.8 different pesticides per sample, compared to 2.2 pesticides per sample for all other produce, according to EWG's analysis.

What's worse, strawberry growers use jaw-dropping volumes of poisonous gases to sterilize their fields before planting, killing every pest, weed and other living thing in the soil.

Comment: See also:


Is grass-fed beef really better for the planet? Here's the science

cows grazing
© John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images
Cows graze on a grass field at a farm in Schaghticoke, N.Y. The grass-fed movement is based on the idea of regenerative agriculture.
For the environmentally minded carnivore, meat poses a culinary conundrum. Producing it requires a great deal of land and water resources, and ruminants such as cows and sheep are responsible for half of all greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture, according to the World Resources Institute.

Comment: A dodgy figure, on many levels, but let's hear them out. See: Even if CO2 caused climate change, it would be the cars, not the cows

That's why many researchers are now calling for the world to cut back on its meat consumption. But some advocates say there is a way to eat meat that's better for the planet and better for the animals: grass-fed beef.

But is grass-fed beef really greener than feedlot-finished beef? Let's parse the science.

Comment: As long as these 'experts' continue to reduce everything down to 'carbon emissions' they'll be woefully out of touch with what a growing contingent of consumers is looking for. Many who are seeking grass-fed beef aren't buying the anthropogenic global warming narrative and are not basing their buying decisions on this narrative.

See also:


EPA defies California rules over Monsanto Roundup; still insists the herbicide is safe

Monsanto sign headquarters
© Bill Greenblatt/UPI
The Environmental Protection Agency told companies Thursday they would not approve labels which abide by California requirements to warn customers that glyphosate in Monsanto Roundup has been linked to cancer.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has defied California regulators by no longer approving labels claiming Monsanto Roundup is known to cause cancer.

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has listed glyphosate, a chemical compound-base for Monsanto Roundup herbicide weed killer, as causing cancer since July 2017. Furthermore, glyphosate was added to the state's Proposition 65 list, which requires businesses to warn customers about chemicals known to cause cancer.

The EPA defied that regulation Thursday by saying it will no longer approve product labels claiming glyphosate is known to cause cancer.

Comment: The EPA is absolutely shameless in their insistence that a known carcinogen is not carcinogenic. For them to state their 'independent evaluation' was more 'extensive and relevant' than the IARC finding is laughable. It is so obvious they've been paid off its pathetic.

See also:


Want to protect the planet? Eat more beef, not less

cow standing out from the crowd
© David Cheskin/PA Archive
The key is to educate people about where their food comes from and to encourage responsible consumption of beef and dairy produced to the highest standards.
If students and staff at Goldsmiths University really want to help the environment, they should end their ban on selling beef on campus. Far from being the bogeymen portrayed by environmental campaigners, sustainably farmed beef and dairy cattle are integral to maintaining our green and pleasant land, keeping our waterways free of chemicals and feeding our population in the most efficient manner possible.

Two thirds of UK farmland is under grass and in most cases cannot be used for other crops. The only responsible way to convert this into food is to feed it to cattle, which are capable of deriving 100 per cent of their nutrition from grass and therefore are more efficient on such land than chickens or pigs. Even on grassland where crops could be grown, ploughing it up to create arable farms would release huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and require the use of pesticides, herbicides and fertiliser, all of which can devastate biodiversity.

Comment: See also:


Corporate free speech precedents allow corporations to legally put carcinogens in our food without warning labels

spraying pesticides
© Getty/Bogdanhoda
Cheerios has so much glyphosate in it, it should be labeled as toxic. Corporate free speech precedents prevent that

A recent study by the Environmental Working Group revealed something horrifying: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller Roundup, was present in 17 of the 21 oat-based cereal and snack products at levels considered unsafe for children. That includes six different brands of Cheerios, one of the most popular American cereals.

I've written before about the limits of corporate free speech when it comes to public safety, but on that occasion I discussed this insofar as it involved corporate-sponsored climate change denialism. Yet here we have something more tangible, more direct: The safe glyphosate limit for children is 160 parts per billion (ppb), yet Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch has 833 parts per billion and regular Cheerios has 729 ppb. While the potential risks of glyphosate are fiercely debated, many scientists believe that it is linked to cancer.

Comment: The idea that corporations have constitutional rights is extremely harmful in many ways, the above article outlining only one of them. The idea that a fictional entity has 'rights' is absurd, yet it's used to allow corporations to get away with murder.

See also:


Dengue fever death toll continues to rise in Bangladesh

The government says 40 people have died of dengue so far in Bangladesh, while the unofficial death toll is over 82
Dengue tent
© Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune
File photo of a mother-child pair with dengue sits inside a protective net in this photo taken at Bangladesh Shishu Hospital.
Three people, including two children, have died of dengue in Dhaka, Lakshmipur and Khulna districts.

In Dhaka, an eight-year-old girl, named Samia, died of dengue at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday morning, reports UNB.

Professor Dr Uttam Kumar Barua, director of the hospital, said Samia was admitted to the hospital on Saturday. She died around 6:30am on Tuesday.

Currently, 407 dengue patients, 165 of them children, are being treated at the hospital. Two patients are at the ICU.

In Lakshmipur, Parash, aged four, died of dengue on Monday night on the way to Noakhali General Hospital. He was the son of Kamruzzaman of Daspara area in Kamalnagar upazila.

Blue Planet

Nature cure: Natural stimuli can play a profound role in the regulation of our autonomic nervous system

nature cure
© pcsearle.com
People who love to spend time in nature can tell you plenty about the positive impact it has on their mental health.
Thirty-five years ago, a young researcher at the University of Delaware conducted a remarkable study. Having spent his childhood sick with kidney disease, in and out of "gloomy, sometimes brutal" hospitals, Roger Ulrich was interested in finding ways to improve "the environments where patients are treated." So he sought to test the potential influence of an old friend that had brought him comfort as a child: a solitary pine that he could view through the window by his sickbed. "I think seeing that tree helped my emotional state," he recalled in an interview decades later.

That small study would give birth to thousands of replications and expansions — and an entire movement in architecture. Ulrich managed to find a hospital ward where, for years, patients had recovered from gallbladder surgery in identical rooms that overlooked either a small stand of deciduous trees or a brick wall. After pouring through nearly ten years' worth of ward records, Ulrich found that patients with a view of the trees fared far better than the miserable patients with nothing but a wall to look at, even if their cases were identical. Those with a view took fewer painkillers, were rated by their nurses as being in better spirits, and, on average, left the hospital nearly a day earlier than those without a view. What was going on?

Comment: Seeing green: Your brain on nature
Healers within various medical systems, from India's Ayurvedic medicine to traditional Chinese medicine, have long advocated for the importance of nature. Indeed, in many cultures, it's regarded as a form of medicine. But the notion that trees and flowers can influence psychological well-being remained largely untested in a scientific way until 1979, when behavioral scientist Roger S. Ulrich examined the mental influence of nature scenes on stressed students. His psychological testing showed differences in mental states and outlooks after the students viewed various environmental scenes. The nature scenes increased positive feelings of affection, playfulness, friendliness and elation. Urban views, on the other hand, significantly cultivated one emotion in these students: sadness. Viewing nature tended to reduce feelings of anger and aggression, and urban scenes tended to increase these feelings.

Encouraged by his findings, Ulrich set up a similar experiment to measure brain activity in unstressed, healthy adults. His team discovered that seeing natural landscapes was associated with increased production of serotonin, a chemical that operates within the nervous system. Almost all antidepressant medications are thought to work by enhancing the availability of serotonin for use in nerve cell communication, hence its moniker, "the happy chemical." A follow-up study showed that green spaces acted as a sort of visual Valium: The nature scenes fostered positive thoughts, and lowered post-stress anger and aggression.

Many other contemporary researchers have used objective testing to support Ulrich's pioneering work:
  • In one study, older adults in a residential care center in Texas engaged in the same mental activities in two contexts — once in a garden setting and again in an indoor classroom. The participants were shown to produce lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol while in the garden.
  • The presence of plants in a room, particularly flowering plants, can enhance recovery from the stress induced by an emotional video, quickly bringing brain wave activity back to normal, researchers at Kansas State University found.
  • A research group from Taiwan reported that rural farm scenes are associated with higher alpha-wave activity, particularly in the right part of the brain, which has been linked with creativity. Forest scenes and natural water scenes promote alpha-wave activity and decrease heart rate. Conversely, an increase in muscular tension has been associated with city scenes.