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Wed, 23 Jan 2019
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Tylenol damages the brains of children, research reveals


Millions use Tylenol on a daily basis without concern, but it has a wide range of toxic side effects you should be aware of, especially if you are pregnant or use it with your children.

A number of non-peer-reviewed articles have been written and published on the web claiming that there is literally nothing to fear from acetaminophen during pregnancy. There are two types of articles that fall into this category. First, reputable watchdog organizations have weighed in on the issue, declaring acetaminophen use during pregnancy and during childhood to be proven safe. In particular, the National Health Service of the UK and the Center for Accountability in Science have both strongly criticized the Spanish study from 2016 showing a link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and ADHD/autism.

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Vegans take 'twice as many sick days' as their carnivore colleagues

vegan protest toronto
© Jenny Henry
Animal rights activists protest the inauguration of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's new president, in Toronto on January 1, 2019.
Vegans have twice as many sick days as their meat-eating colleagues in the UK, according to a new report.

The study found that vegans had almost five days off a year for the likes of flu, cold and minor ailments - well above the national average.

They were also three times more likely to visit the GP.

Comment: Also see:

Microscope 2

Researchers successfully turn breast cancer cells into fat to stop them from spreading

Design Cells
© iStock
Researchers have been able to coax human breast cancer cells to turn into fat cells in a new proof-of-concept study in mice.

To achieve this feat, the team exploited a weird pathway that metastasising cancer cells have; their results are just a first step, but it's a truly promising approach.

When you cut your finger, or when a foetus grows organs, the epithelium cells begin to look less like themselves, and more 'fluid' - changing into a type of stem cell called a mesenchyme and then reforming into whatever cells the body needs.

Comment: Very promising new treatment, indeed! It would be interesting to see if this therapy would work on other types of cancer. Nothing is mentioned in the article about side effects, which would be nice to know for measuring risk versus reward. As with all promising therapies, however, it's unknown when, or indeed if, these treatments will ever be available to the public. We're sure it will need to be ensured that the treatment wouldn't eat into chemotherapy profits in order to see the light of day.

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Is sunscreen the new margarine?

meditating sun
Current guidelines for sun exposure are unhealthy and unscientific, controversial new research suggests - and quite possibly even racist. How did we get it so wrong?

These are dark days for supplements. Although they are a $30-plus billion market in the United States alone, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene, glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil have now flopped in study after study.

If there was one supplement that seemed sure to survive the rigorous tests, it was vitamin D. People with low levels of vitamin D in their blood have significantly higher rates of virtually every disease and disorder you can think of: cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, heart attack, stroke, depression, cognitive impairment, autoimmune conditions, and more. The vitamin is required for calcium absorption and is thus essential for bone health, but as evidence mounted that lower levels of vitamin D were associated with so many diseases, health experts began suspecting that it was involved in many other biological processes as well.

And they believed that most of us weren't getting enough of it. This made sense. Vitamin D is a hormone manufactured by the skin with the help of sunlight. It's difficult to obtain in sufficient quantities through diet. When our ancestors lived outdoors in tropical regions and ran around half naked, this wasn't a problem. We produced all the vitamin D we needed from the sun.

Comment: The advice to avoid all sun exposure is a result of black and white thinking and has always been extreme. A more moderate approach is obviously what's called for, and the fact that the 'experts' are so unwilling to dial back their advice would be comical if it weren't so typical.

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Arrow Up

Almost no children in France are medicated for ADHD: Here's how they identify & treat it taking a holistic approach

Boy holding meds
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11% of American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as of 2011. However, if you ask the American Psychiatric Association (APA), they maintain that even though only 5% of American children suffer from the disorder, the diagnosis is actually given to around 15% of American children. This number has been steadily rising, jumping from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007.

Big Pharma has played a significant role in manufacturing the ADHD epidemic in the U.S., convincing parents and doctors that ADHD is a common problem amongst children and one that should be medicated. However, many countries disagree with the American stance on ADHD, so much so that they have entirely different structures for defining, diagnosing, and treating it. For example, the percentage of children in France that have been diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than 0.5%. This is largely because French doctors don't consider ADHD a biological disorder with biological causes, but rather a medical condition caused by psycho-social and situational factors.

Why France Defines ADHD Differently

French child psychiatrists use a different system than American psychiatrists to classify emotional problems in childhood. Instead of using the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the French use an alternative classification system produced by the French Federation of Psychiatry called Classification Française des Troubles Mentaux de L'Enfant et de L'Adolescent(CFTMEA). Not only does this significantly differ from the APA's system, but it was actually created with the intention to "offer French child psychiatrists an alternative to DSM-III" because it didn't complement French psychiatric practices. The CFTMEA encourages psychiatrists to identify the underlying issues that cause a child's symptoms and to address them using a psychopathological approach.

France defines ADHD as a sociological disorder that's caused by a set of social situations, whereas the U.S. sees ADHD as a neurological disorder whose symptoms are the result of biological disfunction or a chemical imbalance in the brain. France's definition of ADHD drastically differs from that of the U.S., which is in part because the pharmaceutical industry helped define ADHD in the U.S. (you can read more about that here). France's treatment methods, therefore, also greatly differ from those practiced in the U.S.

Apple Red

Health dangers of eating fruit

health dangers eating fruit
© kevinstock.io
In the exploration of the Health Dangers of a Plant-based Diet fruit plays an interesting role. Most people think fruit is healthy because they are high in antioxidants, they are a good source of fiber, and they contain essential vitamins and minerals. And unlike other plant parts (roots, seeds, stems, and leaves) which the plant desperately wants to protect for survival, the plant actually wants predators to eat its fruit and spread their seeds. So here we'll explore if there are any health dangers of eating fruit.

Spreading Seed

Some plants don't want predators to spread their seeds (naked seeds). Others depend on animals to do so.

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Shocker: Vegans 'take twice as many sick days' as meat eating colleagues, report says

vegan feast salad

Vegans take the most sick days off work due to cold, flu and minor ailments, according to a new report
Vegans take the most sick days off work due to cold, flu and minor ailments, according to a new report.

The study found that they are absent through illness for almost five days a year, which is twice the annual total of the average Briton.

And while the reasons for the high sick-day count are unclear, two-thirds of vegans admitted to taking more time off work due to minor illness in 2018 than in previous years.

Comment: Well knock us over with a feather! How could the wonder-diet that is veganism possibly lead to more illness?!

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Scientists confirm elderberry beats the flu, prevents colds & strengthens immunity

Scientists have discovered that elderberry has been known to man since the prehistoric era, and elderberry recipes were commonly used as natural medicines in ancient Egypt.

Hippocrates, the "father of medicine" from ancient Greece depicted it as his "medicine chest" because of its numerous health benefits.

The elderberry juice has been used as hair dye by the Romans, and the wood of the elderberry tree has been used to make combs, toys, pegs for shoemakers, needles for weaving musical instruments, and skewers for butchers. The Native Americans used this plant as a natural cure, body paint, ink, for jewelry and musical instruments, hunting whistles, and much more.

During the 1995 Panama flu epidemic, the government used it as a natural way to fight the flu, and it reduced its severity and thus helped to end the epidemic.

Comment: See video to learn how to identify the elderberry plant:


The great cholesterol deception

Millions of Australians are prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs - statins like Pravachol®, Zocor® and Lipitor® - each year at a cost of more than $1 billion dollars with very little, if any, benefit. In the US, some 40 million people currently take statins at a cost of more than $3.00 per pill, more than $1,000 per year, totalling more than $40 billion a year.

While there are many exaggerated claims and a lot of hype about the benefits of statins, there are also many studies showing no benefits at all. The pro-statin hype is based on the misuse and abuse of statistics.

Various independent studies in prestigious, peer-reviewed journals have shown that statin use in primary prevention - that is, to save lives - has minimal or no value in reducing mortality and certainly nothing that is considered anywhere near clinically significant to warrant their widespread use. It does not matter how one manipulates the statistics, the results just aren't there.

Comment: Dr. Jonny Bowden - The Great Cholesterol Myth


Is marijuana as safe as we think?

© Illustration by Javier Jaén
Legalization invites debate about how the drug will be dosed and marketed.
Permitting pot is one thing; promoting its use is another.

A few years ago, the National Academy of Medicine convened a panel of sixteen leading medical experts to analyze the scientific literature on cannabis. The report they prepared, which came out in January of 2017, runs to four hundred and sixty-eight pages. It contains no bombshells or surprises, which perhaps explains why it went largely unnoticed. It simply stated, over and over again, that a drug North Americans have become enthusiastic about remains a mystery.

For example, smoking pot is widely supposed to diminish the nausea associated with chemotherapy. But, the panel pointed out, "there are no good-quality randomized trials investigating this option." We have evidence for marijuana as a treatment for pain, but "very little is known about the efficacy, dose, routes of administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis products in the United States." The caveats continue. Is it good for epilepsy? "Insufficient evidence." Tourette's syndrome? Limited evidence. A.L.S., Huntington's, and Parkinson's? Insufficient evidence. Irritable-bowel syndrome? Insufficient evidence. Dementia and glaucoma? Probably not. Anxiety? Maybe. Depression? Probably not.