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Thu, 22 Jun 2017
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Health & Wellness


Mountain Dew mouth and the U.S.'s insane approach to dental care

© Savelov Maksim
Mountain Dew, the carbonated fluorescent-green soda that Willy the Hillbilly declared "will tickle your innards" in a 1966 commercial, has long been a staple of Appalachia. It was officially developed in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the mid-1900s, but it has ties to the wheat and rye distilled by Irish immigrants who settled in the region as coal miners during the previous century. Today, coal has left Appalachia, as have a host of other industries that brought economic opportunity. Mountain Dew, however, remains culturally significant. Sarah Baird, a writer who grew up in Eastern Kentucky, recently wrote about the importance of the drink to her sense of identity, saying, "It's not just a beverage—it's a portable sense of home."

In a region long undergoing a cultural and economic crisis, Appalachia's thirst for Mountain Dew is perhaps the lesser of many evils. Opioid addiction, smoking, chewing tobacco, lack of access to municipal water systems, and the necessary preoccupation with getting food on the table over worrying about nutritional value are also having an enormous effect on people's teeth. The soda is ruining teeth, in an epidemic known as "Mountain Dew-mouth." The acid causes erosion and the sugar abets decay.

Light Saber

Recovering from burnout: How to rebalance your life

Burnout is becoming a more common problem in the United States and around the world. How can you avoid it or recover from it if you've already hit the proverbial wall? Dr. Joseph Maroon, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has written a book that addresses these very questions.

"Square One: A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life" grew out of his own struggles with burnout, setbacks and depression after he'd become a world-class neurosurgeon before the age of 40.
"I've had rather impressive success [and] cataclysmic failure personally," Maroon says. "I was intent on becoming the very best that I could in terms of my profession, neurosurgery. I worked extremely diligently. It became an all-encompassing pursuit for me in my life ... with success, societal approval, writing papers, going to national meetings ...
Soon after becoming chief of neurosurgery at a major university hospital, I [cracked]. My father died, my wife and children left me, I had to quit my profession as a neurosurgeon due to the overwhelming stress ... all within one week ... The next week, I [was] helping my mother run a rather dilapidated truck stop left to her by my father in Wheeling, West Virginia, living on a farm.
One day I was doing brain surgery and [the next] literally filling up 18-wheelers and flipping hamburgers in a rundown truck stop. It was a great fall. It was kind of like an Icarian metaphor of flying too near the sun. I got scorched and I plummeted into the sea — a sea of depression."

Comment: See also: Burnout: How to recover your emotional and physical vitality


Cold water just as effective as hot in handwashing

If you've ever been in a place or circumstance where hot running water wasn't available for some reason, perhaps you had a vague sense when washing your hands in the only water available — cold — that they weren't really getting clean. That's probably because most of us learned in kindergarten that washing with hot, soapy water is imperative to kill germs. The belief is so ingrained that it's been written in government regulations (at least in the U.S.) for years.

Even using soap with cold water may seem as if using hot water would do a better job, but is there any actual scientific evidence this is true? Here's your answer: New research shows that if the water you're using to wash your hands is lukewarm or even cold, it does just as well as hot to remove bacteria. It's the length of time and the method that make all the difference.

The study, conducted at Rutgers University and published in the Journal of Food Protection,1 involved 21 participants and ended with an interesting conclusion: Whether they washed their hands in 60-, 79- or 100-degree (Fahrenheit) water, there was no difference in the "clean" they attained when they lathered their hands and washed them for 10 seconds.

But here's the kicker: Every one of those individuals had high levels of E. coli bacteria "applied" to their hands. Although the scientists in charge used a "nonpathogenic" strain of the bacteria, each subject was asked to wash their hands using several different water temperatures and for varying lengths of washing time.

They used cold, warm or hot water, between half a milliliter and 2 milliliters (ml) of soap and washed for anywhere from five to 40 seconds. They repeated the experiment 20 times over a six-month period. Time added:


Syrian children get Polio from oral Polio vaccine

Syrian authorities conducted polio vaccination campaigns in Deir-Ez-Zor in March and April 2017 using “bivalent oral polio vaccine.”
Three children in the Deir-Ez-Zor eastern region of Syria have contracted polio during the past three months. The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on June 8, 2017 that a polio virus strain designated as vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) was found in a healthy Syrian child and two other children diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP)—an acute form of paralysis. The children with AFP experienced the onset of paralysis on March 5 and May 6.1, 2

The cVDPV2 strain is a "mutated version of the [polio]virus in some vaccines rather than a wild polio strain." This vaccine-derived poliovirus is caused by the oral polio vaccine (OPV), which uses an attenuated (weakened but still alive) form of the poliovirus.2

AFP, also known as Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) or non-polio AFP (NPAFP), has been reported by the media since 2014 as a "mysterious polio-like illness"3 and some researchers believe it is caused by enterovirus-68 (EV68)3,4 A recent animal study found that the EV-D68 strain associated with a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus respiratory disease in 2014 can cause paralysis in mice.5

Comment: Are Polio Vaccines Increasing The Rate of Polio Paralysis?
Polio underscores the need for a change in the way we look at so-called "vaccine preventable" diseases as a whole. In most people with a healthy immune system, a poliovirus infection does not even generate symptoms. Only rarely does the infection produce minor symptoms, e.g. sore throat, fever, gastrointestinal disturbances, and influenza-like illness. In only 3% of infections does virus gain entry to the central nervous system, and then, in only 1-5 in 1000 cases does the infection progress to paralytic disease.

Due to the fact that polio spreads through the fecal-oral route (i.e. the virus is transmitted from the stool of an infected person to the mouth of another person through a contaminated object, e.g. utensil) focusing on hygiene, sanitation and proper nutrition (to support innate immunity) is a logical way to prevent transmission in the first place, as well as reducing morbidity associated with an infection when it does occur.

Instead, a large portion of the world's vaccines are given to the third world as "charity," when the underlying conditions of economic impoverishment, poor nutrition, chemical exposures, and socio-political unrest are never addressed. You simply can't vaccinate people out of these conditions, and as India's new epidemic of vaccine-induced polio cases clearly demonstrates, the "cure" may be far worse than the disease itself.


The parallels between synthetic opiates and high fructose corn syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup and synthetic opiates have many similarities in metabolism, marketing, and impact on the epidemics of obesity and addiction.
Like corn syrup, is the structure of synthetic opioids as much to blame for their consequences as the large-scale promotions behind them?

Over the last three decades, two health crises have simultaneously overwhelmed modern America: obesity and addiction. The rise of both and a driving factor of each - opioids for addiction, and sugar for obesity - can be traced to two similar inventions, the creation and proliferation of synthetic opiates, and the promulgation of high fructose corn syrup. However, these two products are not only similar in how they have been marketed to consumers, but in how their chemical architecture metabolizes in the human body.

Additionally, much of modern medicine is saying the same thing about both, but the message is a bit misleading. Many experts now argue that there are no health differences between corn syrup and table sugar. Similarly, most addiction researchers also claim that there are no health differences between natural and synthetic opiates. The one truth all agree on are that sugar and opium can be dangerous for your health, no matter whether they are found in nature or manufactured in a lab. However, the synthetic substances were both developed to decrease costs and to increase customer satisfaction. The only flaw in both of these goals was that they simply work too well.


Cannabinoids can kill leukemia cells, says new research

Leukemia cells
A new study has confirmed yet another positive use for cannabis. A new study has revealed that cannabinoids can successfully kill leukemia cells.

Cannabis has long been known as having the ability to kill cancer, but the new revelation regarding leukemia is important because the disease is a cancer of bone marrow and other blood forming organs.

The study which was led by Dr. Wailiu at St. George's University of London in the UK. The team studied cancer cells and tested a variety of combinations of chemotherapy drugs and cannabinoids in order to find the most effective grouping.

The test was designed to discover not only the effect of cannabinoids on leukemia, but whether or not the order that the chemicals were given would result in any difference of results or success rates.

What they found was that cannabidiol and THC killed leukemia cells when they were used alone. Even more so when used together, their potency was significantly improved.


'Chronic Lyme disease' treatments can be risky, scathing CDC report finds

© Tami Chappell / Reuters
Many may recognize the term "chronic Lyme disease," but the treatments may be lesser known and dangerous, according to a new report issued by the CDC.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest Morbidity and Mortality report released Friday describes negative, harmful and even deadly treatments for five patients diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease, according to the report.

A diagnosis for chronic Lyme disease does not require any hard evidence. "Patients and their healthcare providers need to be aware of the risks associated with treatments for chronic Lyme disease," the doctors warned in the report.

The different diagnosis of simply "Lyme disease" is based on hard evidence. It is caused by infection with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, according to the CDC report. Shockingly, however, doctors sometimes come to the conclusion of chronic Lyme disease without any FDA cleared lab testing, or even a negative test for the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection.

Comment: More information on Lyme disease:


NYC: 6 sickened, 1 dead from Legionnaires' disease

© Shutterstock
One person on the Upper East Side died of Legionnaires' disease and six others were sickened by the bacteria-borne illness, officials said Friday.

The Health Department said the person who died was over 90 years old and had "significant underlying health conditions."

Four people were recovering in hospitals and two others were discharged.

"There are no common sources of exposure among these patients other than living in the same area of the city," said Demetre Daskalakis, the Health Department's deputy commissioner for disease control, in an alert to health providers.

All the cases were diagnosed between May 22 and June 8 in Lenox Hill, which covers 60th to 77th Streets between Lexington and Fifth avenues.


Does Parkinson's disease begin in the gut?

© chombosan/Shutterstock
Parkinson's disease, which involves the malfunction and death of nerve cells in the brain, may originate in the gut, new research suggests, adding to a growing body of evidence supporting the idea.

The new study shows that a protein in nerve cells that becomes corrupted and then forms clumps in the brains of people with Parkinson's can also be found in cells that line the small intestine. The research was done in both mice and human cells.

The finding supports the idea that this protein first becomes altered in the gut and then travels to the brain, where it causes the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease is a progressive movement disorder, affecting as many as 1 million people in the United States and 7 million to 10 million people worldwide, according to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.

The protein, called alpha-synuclein, is abundant in the brain. And in healthy nerve cells, it dissolves in the fluid within the cell. But in Parkinson's patients, alpha-synuclein folds abnormally. The misfolded protein can then spread through the nervous system to the brain as a prion, or infectious protein. In the brain, the misfolded protein molecules stick to each other and clump up, damaging neurons.

Comment: A low carb, ketogenic diet has been shown to be effective in decreasing the symptoms of Parkinson's disease:
In a small, uncontrolled study, five out of seven people with Parkinson's disease who completed a four-week ketogenic diet experienced a 43% improvement in self-reported symptoms
See also: Ketogenic Diet (high-fat, low-carb) Has Neuroprotective and Disease-modifying Effects


Detox your mouth for whole body health

So many of us who are interested in health completely disregard our teeth and our mouths. We forget that our bodies are a holistic and interconnected system, one that can only function optimally if everything is running smoothly. If your liver wasn't working properly, it would affect your entire body. Well, the same could be said about your mouth.

Your mouth is the gateway to your body, which you use to either nourish it with healthy foods or destroy it with toxins. Whatever you put in your mouth ends up affecting your entire body drastically. A cleaner mouth isn't just aesthetically pleasing, it's crucial for your overall health, as it can play a key role in disease prevention. Poor oral health has been linked to inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.

Risks of Poor Dental Health

More than 500 species of bacteria can be found in the oral cavity of a healthy mouth, and they can be beneficial or harmful for the health of your mouth. The "good" bacteria, also referred to as probiotics, can aid in digestion, synthesize vitamins, and protect our mouths from the "bad" bacteria. The bad bacteria is often what causes disease and various mouth-related health problems such as bad breath, gingivitis, periodontitis, cavities, and plaque build-up.

Comment: The Health & Wellness Show: Minding your mouth and natural ways to keep your teeth