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Wed, 28 Sep 2016
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Artificial sweetener's sketchy science hits a sour note

Study casts doubt on artificial sweeteners' health claims

University of Sydney researchers have confirmed widespread bias in industry-funded research into artificial sweeteners, which is potentially misleading millions by overstating their health benefits.

In the same week that the sugar industry came under fire for influencing the integrity of scientific research, this new comprehensive review of artificial sweetener studies reveals that reviews funded by artificial sweetener companies were nearly 17 times more likely to have favourable results.

The review, published in the latest edition of PLOS ONE journal, analyzed 31 studies into artificial sweeteners between 1978 and 2014. The reviews considered both the potentially beneficial effects of artificial sweeteners, such as weight loss, as well as harmful effects like diabetes.

Comment: Surprised?! Artificial Sweeteners are Continually Found to be Unsafe and Toxic:


Top French chefs condemn $66bn Bayer & Monsanto merger

© Yuya Shino / Reuters
Top French chefs have slammed the upcoming Monsanto takeover by the chemical giant Bayer as a "danger for our dinner plates."

"Without a healthy and quality product, without diversity, a chef can't express his creative talent,"the open letter from over 100 chefs read.

"This agrochemical rapprochement is a danger to our plates, but it is also a concern for farmers who see their freedom to plant and grow a particular seed limited," the letter, published on the gastronomy news website Atabula, added.

Comment: See also:

Book 2

Mara Kahn: "Vegan betrayal: Love, lies, and hunger in a plants-only world"

An estimated 6 million Americans are vegans, which is typically considered to be a healthy choice. However, there are drawbacks to strict veganism that need careful consideration.

Mara Kahn, author of Vegan Betrayal: Love, Lies, and Hunger in a Plants-Only World, delves deep into the history and science of veganism, revealing many oft-ignored facts about this strictly plant-based diet.

She's put together a compelling story, covering her personal journey from being a vegan and vegetarian to exploring diet and health and finding out the truth behind the hype. It's really the best book I've ever read on this topic, as it covers the vegan issues in their entirety.
"Even though my book is titled Vegan Betrayal, I do respect vegans and what they're trying to do. My own journey led me back to vegetarianism. I know that many ... vegetarians that became vegans ... are suffering from diminished strength and faltering health.
I think this is a topic which has been swept under the rug and it's not being openly discussed in the vegan community. I think it's very important that we start this discussion. I hope this book will help kick-start that really important dialogue," Kahn says.

Comment: The Vegetarian Myth is an excellent book that covers the topic of veganism, ethical vegetarians and much more. Check out the interview with author Lierre Keith - Why vegetarianism and high-carb diets have destroyed the health of people and planet.

Additional 'food for thought':


Misophonia: A recognized disorder for people hypersensitive to sound

© Mary Smith
Miren Edelstein hooked up electrodes to volunteers’ hands to verify that their aversion to certain sounds was real.
For many of us, a giant holiday dinner is a bonding experience where family and friends break bread and share stories while stuffing ourselves silly with special food and drink. It's the one time where sheer gluttony is more or less expected.

But for those with a rare, newly recognized disorder called misophonia, the mere thought of such a meal inspires only anxiety and dread. People with misophonia hate certain noises — termed "trigger sounds" — and respond with stress, anger, irritation and, in extreme cases, violent rage. Common triggers include eating noises, lip-smacking, pen clicking, tapping and typing.

All that chewing, chomping, slurping and clinking of silverware can drive a person with misophonia to avoid family gatherings altogether. And worse, feelings of aggression tend to be amplified if the sounds are coming from those with emotional ties to the sufferer, such as family members or significant others.

"I haven't eaten with my parents, at least without earplugs, in over a decade," said Meredith Rosol, a 25-year-old elementary school teacher from Baltimore who was diagnosed with misophonia two years ago after years of hypersensitivity to sound.

"I was 6 years old, and it started with my parents chewing at the dinner table," she recalled. Her list of triggers grew longer with every year: chewing (especially foods with crunch), tapping, typing, heavy breathing, silverware clinking, foot shuffling. Even certain sights started bugging her, such as foot-shaking and fidgeting. At school, typical classroom noises — like that of chalk scraping against the blackboard or the hum of a radiator — made her skin crawl.


The anti-anxiety effects of nicotine

© RIA Novosti/Alexandr Kryazhev
Could cigarettes contain the latest clue to an anti-ageing drug?
Nicotine could help to protect the brain from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, new research finds.

The substance — when given independently from tobacco — could help to protect the ageing brain.

The neuroprotective effect of nicotine could be down to its well-known quality of reducing appetite.

For the study, the researchers gave varying levels of nicotine to mice in their drinking water.

There was no evidence, though, that it caused anxiety, which the researchers were concerned would be the case.

Comment: These scientists are a bit behind on the research on the benefits of tobacco and nicotine. Nicotine can do much more than prevent anxiety.


California doctor Bob Sears under review for putting 'conscience before career'

Capistrano Beach pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears has come under review from the California Medical Board. He now joins a long list of modern-day medical professionals targeted and persecuted for standing by their training, medical ethics, common sense and unwavering beliefs. Regardless of what is going through the mind and heart of Dr. Sears at this moment, he now joins the spiritually conscious company of fellow healers Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D, Dr. Jack Wolfson, Dr. Kalb and many others who have publicly and privately put their careers second to their conscience.

Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste

From the early reporting and local news articles, Dr. Sears case might have been prompted by unintentionally being caught between a family's legal and medical disagreements. However, the high-profile status of Dr. Sears as an outspoken member of the California medical community towards California's Senate Bill 277 (SB277) and the Center's for Disease Control and Prevention's untested vaccine schedule casts doubt that his medical board review case was pure coincidence. At this point, how and when Dr. Sears became caught up in the system may matter little in California's SB277-charged environment. It will be the treatment he receives and the ultimate ruling bestowed upon him that the nation will be watching.

According to local reports, the California Medical Board appears to have a somewhat weak case with historically dangerous implications and accusations. The board is accusing Dr. Sears of committing "gross negligence" for a medical exemption he wrote in 2014 after the child's mother described an adverse reaction as an infant.

Comment: When does crony medicine become fascist medicine - when the attorney general of California tries to stop medical exemptions for vaccines

Heart - Black

Cold-hearted: Obese patients aren't getting adequate healthcare as doctors won't look past the fat

© Lexey Swall for The New York Times
Patty Nece of Alexandria, Va., saw a doctor who attributed her hip pain to obesity without examining her, she said. She later learned she had progressive scoliosis, a condition not caused by obesity.
You must lose weight, a doctor told Sarah Bramblette, advising a 1,200-calorie-a-day diet. But Ms. Bramblette had a basic question: How much do I weigh?

The doctor's scale went up to 350 pounds, and she was heavier than that. If she did not know the number, how would she know if the diet was working?

The doctor had no answer. So Ms. Bramblette, 39, who lived in Ohio at the time, resorted to a solution that made her burn with shame. She drove to a nearby junkyard that had a scale that could weigh her. She was 502 pounds.

One in three Americans is obese, a rate that has been steadily growing for more than two decades, but the health care system — in its attitudes, equipment and common practices — is ill prepared, and its practitioners are often unwilling, to treat the rising population of fat patients.

The difficulties range from scales and scanners, like M.R.I. machines that are not built big enough for very heavy people, to surgeons who categorically refuse to give knee or hip replacements to the obese, to drug doses that have not been calibrated for obese patients. The situation is particularly thorny for the more than 15 million Americans who have extreme obesity — a body mass index of 40 or higher — and face a wide range of health concerns.

Comment: UK health officials to bar routine operations for obese people and smokers


Transgenic wars: GMO crops are destroying the health of both humans and livestock around the globe

© Antara Foto / Reuters
"Transgenic Wars," an award-winning film by French investigative journalist Paul Moreira, takes us on a journey through Europe and Latin America, looking at the effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops, both on livestock and human health.

It also delves into tangential concerns, such as the increased use of glyphosate-based herbicides, atrazine and 2,4-D, the latter of which was an ingredient in the devastating defoliant Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War.

Coincidentally, Monsanto was a leading producer of Agent Orange during the war, and its war contributions, which began with its involvement in the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb, help explain how Monsanto has managed to secure such staunch allegiance from the U.S. government.

It's a destructive and often incomprehensible allegiance that continues to this day, with the U.S. government's support of and involvement in spreading Monsanto's genetically engineered (GE) crops and toxic chemicals around the world — now repackaged as "necessary" for agriculture.


Is Psychiatry bullsh*t? Some psychiatrists view the chemical-imbalance theory as a well-meaning lie

© Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock
In the current issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Australian dissident psychiatrist Niall McLaren titles his article, "Psychiatry as Bullshit" and makes a case for just that.

The great controversies in psychiatry are no longer about its chemical-imbalance theory of mental illness or its DSM diagnostic system, both of which have now been declared invalid even by the pillars of the psychiatry establishment.

In 2011, Ronald Pies, editor-in-chief emeritus of the Psychiatric Times, stated,
"In truth, the 'chemical imbalance' notion was always a kind of urban legend—never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists." And in 2013, Thomas Insel, then director of the National Institute of Mental Health, offered a harsh rebuke of the DSM, announcing that because the DSM diagnostic system lacks validity, the "NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories."
So, the great controversy today has now become just how psychiatry can be most fairly characterized given its record of being proven wrong about virtually all of its assertions, most notably its classifications of behaviors, theories of "mental illness" and treatment effectiveness/adverse effects.


A system of food production for human need, not corporate greed: Agroecology versus GMO agribusiness

© canwefeedtheworld.wordpress.com
There has been an adverse trend in the food and agriculture sector in recent times with the control of seeds and chemical inputs being consolidated through various proposed mergers. If these mergers go through, it would mean that three companies would dominate the commercial agricultural seeds and chemicals sector. Over the past couple of decades, there has already been a restriction of choice with the squeezing out of competitors, resulting in higher costs for farmers, who are increasingly reliant on corporate seeds (and their chemical inputs).

Big agribusiness players like Monsanto rely on massive taxpayer handouts to keep their business models on track; highly profitable models that have immense social, health and environmental costs to be paid for by the public. Across the globe healthy, sustainable agriculture has been uprooted and transformed to suit the profit margins of transnational agribusiness concerns. The major players in the global agribusiness sector fuel a geo-politicised, globalized system of food production that result in numerous negative outcomes for both farmers and consumers alike (listed here: 4th paragraph from the end).