Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 24 May 2017
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness
Map

Attention

18,000 lawsuits pile up against Big Pharma blockbuster drug, Xarelto

Welcome to the circus, boys and girls. Parades, animals, acrobats, clowns, all colluding to approve lethal drugs for public use! Watch people take the drugs and fall down, watch them carted off in colorful cars to hospitals, where the doctors will have no idea what's causing the life-threatening injuries! It's wild, it's crazy, and it's brought to you by drug companies and their enablers at the FDA! It's all covered by insurance. We've got cotton candy, popcorn, ice cream for the kiddies, and everybody can get in under the big tent! It's the biggest game and the biggest hustle in town!

Recently, I wrote about the 18,000 lawsuits against Xarelto. Here is a quick recap:
The first court test of Bayer/J&J's billion-dollar bonanza, blood-thinner, Xarelto, is coming up in New Orleans next week. The outcome will influence how the 18,000 lawsuits behind it will be handled.

The plaintiff in the first suit is Joseph Boudreaux. "While Xarelto was supposed to help cut his stroke risk, Boudreaux says it instead caused internal bleeding that required a week-long hospital stay in the intensive-care unit, several blood transfusions and multiple heart procedures. 'I don't want anybody else to suffer like I have from that drug,' the part-time security guard says," reports the Chicago Tribune.

Lawyers for Bayer and J&J will argue, in the main, that Xarelto was approved by the FDA as safe and effective.

This is the normal front-line strategy. "Well, the government says our drug is safe and effective, so what else do you want from us? We've done our duty. We're off the hook."

Health

Antioxidants in Ginkgo Biloba protect the nervous system from heavy metal damage

Ginkgo biloba, one of the oldest living tree species and best selling herbs, also protects the brain from the toxic effects of aluminium chloride exposure, which has been linked to diseases such as Alzheimer's and other cognitive impairments.

Solid research has been performed on extracts of ginkgo biloba, which contain antioxidant compounds that protect cells from free radical damage within the nervous and circulatory systems. The protective effects of Ginkgo biloba was clearly observed, said researchers.

Ancient Chinese medical manuscripts indicate that at least 5000 years ago, extracts of the leaves of the ginkgo tree were being used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including asthma, Raynaud's syndrome (a circulatory disorder affecting the hands and feet), and age-related memory loss.

Even though the well-designed German studies showed that ginkgo had significant positive effects on the mental functioning of Alzheimer's patients, many physicians in the United States were still skeptical of ginkgo's usefulness, perhaps because of the long tradition in Europe of being more open to alternative therapies.

Comment: More about Gingko Biloba:


Health

The link between gut bacteria, chronic fatigue and Parkinson's

Hardly a week passes without another revelation of how your gut microbiome is intimately related to your overall health. A complete understanding of how a complex microbial community in your intestinal tract may be related to your emotions, mood, energy and neurological condition — to name just a few — is still out of reach.

However, science does know your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is home to one of the most complex microbial ecosystems on the Earth. Your microbial community is even more complex as it is unique to you, based on your diet, geographical location, chemical exposure, hygiene and other environmental factors.

It is becoming increasingly clear that a negative impact on your gut flora from antibiotics, toxic chemicals, sugars and other toxic food products is a primary risk factor in the rising rates of disease. In fact, a modern lifestyle is depleting your gut microbiome and raising your risk of developing long-term chronic or fatal illnesses.

Chronic Fatigue Changes Your Gut Microbiome

Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) usually causes debilitating symptoms. Sufferers may experience unrelenting fatigue, no matter how much rest they get, along with pain and inflammation throughout the body. Without an ability to pinpoint an exact cause, many physicians in the past attributed the condition to a psychological origin, leaving patients without real hope for improvement.

Comment: See also:


Dollars

Vaccine injury payouts for 2017 released

Yet another shocking blow has been delivered to people who still ardently claim that vaccines are "safe and effective," and that the only complications they can cause are "mild." The US government department for Health Resources and Services Administration has recently released the running tally of the just-past-half-way-complete US Fiscal Year (FY) of 2017 for compensable vaccine injuries. It currently stands at over $142 million dollars. You read that right. That covers the 377 cases that were thus far successful in obtaining compensation in fiscal year 2017 through the heavily biased (to put it politely) system allegedly in place to redress damage done by vaccines in the USA.

At the rate things are going, we might expect the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to pay out around $220 million or more by the close of FY 2017. To clarify, US Fiscal Year 2017 runs from October 1st, 2016 to September 30th, 2017 - there's still over four months remaining to rack up more carnage.
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 was created to "reduce liability and respond to public health concerns." It granted immunity to pharmaceutical companies and prevented parents from suing vaccine makers for vaccine injuries or death. What other industry has such exceptional standards applied to it? Why the special privilege a.k.a. license to injure and kill with impunity?

Question

Will it work for humans?: Scientists cure type 1 diabetes (in mice) using gene transfer

The discovery, made at The University of Texas Health Science Center, increases the types of pancreatic cells that secrete insulin.

In Type 1 diabetes, people must theoretically take daily insulin shots because their bodies don't produce any insulin, and is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. This makes up less than 10 per cent of all diabetic cases.

A study published in Diabetologia found a correlation between serum levels of vitamin D3 and subsequent incidence of Type 1 diabetes. They found that deficiency in vitamin D may be associated with an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes. The risk of insulin-requiring diabetes was 3.5 times higher in individuals with the lowest Vitamin D concentrations compared with those with the highest.

The scientists received a U.S. patent in January, and UT Health San Antonio is spinning out a company to begin commercialization.

The strategy has cured diabetes in mice.

"It worked perfectly," Dr. Doiron, assistant professor of medicine at UT Health, said. "We cured mice for one year without any side effects. That's never been seen. But it's a mouse model, so caution is needed. We want to bring this to large animals that are closer to humans in physiology of the endocrine system."

Health

Improve memory and cognitive function with ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an herb from India used for centuries as a body tonic for general health of the body and mind. Adults supplemented with ashwagandha root extract had improved memory test scores, researchers in India found.

Ashwagandha has been used as an herbal remedy for hundreds of years to help the body deal with stress. It has also been used traditionally for pain relief and to treat skin diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy and many other conditions naturally.

Ashwagandha also known commonly as Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry is a plant that flourishes in India and North America. The roots of the ashwagandha plant have been employed for millennia by Ayurvedic healers. Ashwagandha has many beneficial elements, including flavonoids and members of the withanolide class. Numerous modern studies have found that ashwagandha shows great promise for being effective in reducing inflammation, decreasing stress, increasing mental activity, invigorating the body, and as an antioxidant. It is even known to relieve arthritis better than medication.

Comment: See also:
Ancient herb proven to be a potential cure for Alzheimer's
Ashwagandha: The flagship herb of Ayurveda


Blue Planet

Study: Daily dose of cannabis extract could help memory in old age

© Rafael Marchante / Reuters
Tests with low doses of cannabis on mice led to some surprising results, with stoned elderly mice matching their sober teenage counterparts in a series of cognitive tests
It's a simple fact of life, with old age comes cognitive decline.

However, a group of German researchers believes a daily dose of cannabis extract could help boost memory and learning potential in elderly people.

In a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers from the University of Bonn, Germany, found that regular doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, boosted memory and learning in elderly mice.

The findings are counter intuitive, given that heavy cannabis use is known to impair both memory and learning ability in adolescent humans.

Magnify

The world looks the other way while Big Pharma's pollution creates deadly superbugs

© NIAID
Industrial pollution from Indian pharmaceutical companies making medicines for nearly all the world's major drug companies is fueling the creation of deadly superbugs, suggests new research. Global health authorities have no regulations in place to stop this happening.

A major study published Saturday in the prestigious scientific journal Infection found "excessively high" levels of antibiotic and antifungal drug residue in water sources in and around a major drug production hub in the Indian city of Hyderabad, as well as high levels of bacteria and fungi resistant to those drugs. Scientists told the Bureau the quantities found meant they believe the drug residues must have originated from pharmaceutical factories.

The presence of drug residues in the natural environment allows the microbes living there to build up resistance to the ingredients in the medicines that are supposed to kill them, turning them into what we call superbugs. The resistant microbes travel easily and have multiplied in huge numbers all over the world, creating a grave public health emergency that is already thought to kill hundreds of thousands of people a year.

Comment: Read more about pharmaceutical companies exploiting weak links in global supply chains, in places where there is little or no enforcement of vital environmental standards:
Changing Markets tested water samples collected at 36 locations across India - including sites adjacent to drug manufacturing plants as well as rivers and wastewater treatment plants - and found 16 contained antibiotic resistant E.coli bacteria...

Freedom of Information requests reveal Aurobindo, through its UK subsidiary Milpharm Ltd, has supplied antibiotics to NHS trusts across England during the past three years - including the UK's biggest, Barts Health NHS Trust in East London. Aurobindo also has a £450,000-a-year contract supplying every NHS health region in Scotland with antibiotics including flucloxacillin, metronidazole and meropenem.

The company exports to more than 150 countries around the globe and 87% of its profits - which last year totalled about £200 million - are made from international operations, according to its most recent annual report.

Analysis of water originating inside the perimeter of the company's plant near the Indian city of Hyderabad found that 70% of E.coli bacteria present were resistant to fluoroquinolones - a class of antibiotics classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as being critically important to human medicine.

Fluoroquinolones are manufactured at the plant and despatched all over the world - though the Bureau does not know if drugs made at this particular factory are exported to Britain. However the factory was inspected and certified as meeting the EU's GMP standards in 2013 - meaning it is authorised to supply the UK.

Various studies have found "high levels of hazardous waste" and "large volumes of effluent waste" being dumped into the environment surrounding factories in India and China, where most of the world's antibiotics are produced. Active ingredients used in antibiotics get into the local soil and water systems, leading to bacteria in the environment becoming resistant to the drugs.



Health

How to boost your collagen to improve skin and muscle repair

Whether or not they'll admit it, both men and women may catch a reflection of themselves and notice with dismay that their skin looks dull and tired, and see lines or sagging skin they weren't aware of before. They might purchase creams or lotions in an effort to minimize these and other telltale signs of too much sun, not enough sleep, inadequate nutrients and other factors.

One of the biggest contributors to these and other signs of aging is the loss of collagen, an important protein you need to keep your skin looking youthful and vibrant. As an essential amino acid, there's only one way to get collagen; your body can't produce it, so you must attain it through your diet.

Further, collagen is the most common and abundant of your body's proteins, found only in human and animal tissue, specifically the connective tissues throughout your body, from your muscles, bones and tendons to your blood vessels and digestive system.

While most have heard of it in terms of skin elasticity, collagen benefits many areas of your body, including your hair and nails. One study shows that this protein comprises 30 percent of the total protein in your body, and a whopping 70 percent of the protein for your skin. Wellness Mama notes:
"While collagen is beneficial to the entire body, it is most noticeably beneficial to the skin. This is because as a person ages, the epidermic (outer layer of skin) thins and loses elasticity in a process known as elastosis. As this happens, a person tends to show more signs of aging and acquire more wrinkles."1
Better Nutrition2 notes that your body contains more than 20 different types of collagen, but by your mid-20s, it begins to wane. By the time you reach your 80s, you have about four times less, which brings about the skin issues. But it's not a given. There are ways to slow the rate of diminishing collagen levels and even build them back up.

Comment: More on the benefits of collagen: Collagen: What it is and why you need it!


Attention

The more time children spend using handheld devices, the more likely they are to delay speaking


New research being presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting suggests the more time children under 2 years old spend playing with smartphones, tablets and other handheld screens, the more likely they are to begin talking later
As the number of smart phones, tablets, electronic games and other handheld screens in U.S. homes continues to grow, some children begin using these devices before beginning to talk. New research being presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting suggests these children may be at higher risk for speech delays.

Researchers will present the abstract, "Is handheld screen time use associated with language delay in infants?" on Saturday, May 6 at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. The study included 894 children between ages 6 months and 2 years participating in TARGet Kids!, a practice-based research network in Toronto between 2011 and 2015.

By their 18-month check-ups, 20 percent of the children had daily average handheld device use of 28 minutes, according to their parents. Based on a screening tool for language delay, researchers found that the more handheld screen time a child's parent reported, the more likely the child was to have delays in expressive speech. For each 30-minute increase in handheld screen time, researchers found a 49 percent increased risk of expressive speech delay. There was no apparent link between handheld device screen time and other communications delays, such as social interactions, body language or gestures.

Comment: Delayed speech is only the tip of the iceberg. Excessive screen exposure can neurologically damage a child's brain much in the same way that a cocaine addiction can - kids who are continuously exposed to tech screens have higher rates of substance abuse, stress, poor academics and depression.