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Thu, 26 Apr 2018
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Health & Wellness


The legal future of homeopathics and CBD

tincture medicine
Todd Harrison is a partner in the legal firm, Venable LLP - one of the "white hat" legal firms that helps defend us and many other companies against overreaches by federal regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In this interview, he discusses the latest legal developments involving cannabidiol (CBD) and homeopathy, both of which have come under recent serious attack.

Venable is a full-service law firm founded in Baltimore City in the 1800s. In the 1980s, the firm decided to develop a regulatory practice, which led to the opening of a Washington D.C. office. In the 2000s, offices were added in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. "We do everything from intellectual property work to contracts and distribution agreements, to general corporate work," Harrison says.

Harrison's expertise is Food and Drug Law and advertising law, and many of his clients are companies that market nutritional supplements and cosmetics. Venable also has a number of lawyers who used to work for federal regulatory agencies and have had an inside view of their workings.
"For instance, in our New York office, we have Leonard Gordon [who] came out of the FTC. He was an East Coast regional director of the FTC. We recently brought in Michael Bloom, who was at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). While at DOJ, he oversaw not only FDA cases but also the FTC cases."


FDA Panel just recommended an epilepsy drug - Epidiolex - made from Cannabis


An FDA expert panel unanimously recommended the approval of Epidiolex.
This year, the Food and Drug Administration is joining stoners the world over in celebrating 4/20.

Just kidding. But on Thursday, an expert panel did unanimously recommend that the agency approve a new drug made from cannabis to treat two severe and rare forms of epilepsy. If approved, the drug, called Epidiolex and made by GW Pharmaceuticals, would be the country's first medication derived from pot.

Comment: Big Pharma making moves to monopolize CBD oil market
This past summer, lobbyists for GW Pharmaceuticals and its U.S. subsidiary, Greenwich BioSciences, fought for an amendment to the bill that would have limited CBD rescheduling to products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - in other words, they wanted only CBD drugs to be legally obtainable.
"Not surprisingly, GW Pharmaceuticals has just such a drug in the pipeline.Epidiolex, a 'proprietary oral solution of pure plant-derived cannabidiol,' has already been given to epileptic children in the U.S. as part of a federal investigative study documented recently in the New England Journal of Medicine." Motherboard writes. Epidiolex is currently under FDA review for approval.

"Since no other pharmaceutical company has a CBD drug anywhere close to market, and the wide range of CBD products already available in medical marijuana states lack FDA approval, if the bill had passed with that amendment intact, patients in South Dakota would have been subjected to a virtual CBD monopoly ...


The painful truth about last year's failed flu vaccine

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Mark Twain
"...most 'flu' appears to have nothing to do with influenza. Every year, hundreds of thousands of respiratory specimens are tested across the US. Of those tested, on average 16% are found to be influenza positive." - From the British Medical Journal editor, Peter Doshi, MD
"71 people would need to be treated with the flu vaccine to prevent one case. In other words, the flu vaccine did nothing for 70 out of 71 who received it. That means this study found the flu vaccine failed 99% (70/71)." - Dr David Brownstein
"Under ideal conditions (when the vaccine actually matches the main viruses circulating that season) you need to vaccinate 33 healthy adults to avoid one set of influenza symptoms. 33 is what is called the NNV (Number Needed to Vaccinate)." - Dr Tom Jefferson of the Cochrane Collaboration (Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. 2018. Feb. 1,2:CD001269)

Comment: The Health & Wellness Show: Flu Season: Don't believe the hype

Life Preserver

Epsom Salt: A potent mineral compound

epsom salt
© Health Tap
Epsom salt is a potent mineral compound comprised of magnesium and sulfate. It is widely used to relieve many minor health issues. Soaking in a bath with Epsom salt can relieve achy feet and soothe sore muscles. Epsom salt is used in skin cleansers and hair care products to help naturally exfoliate skin and give hair more volume and shine. Many people also turn to Epsom salt as a remedy for occasional constipation as ingesting food grade Epsom salt flushes the gastrointestinal tract and encourages detoxification.


Legal speed? 16 million US adults use, misuse, & abuse prescription stimulants

legal speed
Despite the heavy media scrutiny on the opioid crisis, opioids are not the only prescription medication being misused in the United States.

A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that about 5 million Americans are illegally taking prescription stimulants in hopes of increasing concentration and mental stamina.

Stimulants are a class of drugs "associated with heightened dopamine release, which can result in a powerful sense of well-being, increased energy, attention, and alertness," according to DrugAbuse.com.

Comment: The Adderall generation


Essential oils for medicinal use

essential oils
© Wild earth apothecary
Not many people are aware that essential oils can be used medicinally both externally (via diffusers, massages, and baths) as well as internally (via food and drink). When we think of cooking with herbs and spices we usually reach for the fresh or dry versions of those ingredients to add flavor and depth to our culinary dishes. Now imagine enjoying those herbs and spices in a concentrated medicinal form that not only provides an intense spectrum of flavor but is packed with different compounds (some of which cross the blood-brain barrier because of their small molecular size) and medicinal properties in which their usage in your cooking will take your food to new healing heights.

Comment: The best essential oils for your survival kit


Natural Causes‌: Your body is a teeming battleground

© Jules Julien
It's time to rethink the quest to control aging, death, and disease-and the fear of mortality that fuels it.

I went to medical school, at least in part, to get to know death and perhaps to make my peace with it. So did many of my doctor friends, as I would find out. One day-usually when you're young, though sometimes later-the thought hits you: You really are going to die. That moment is shocking, frightening, terrible. You try to pretend it hasn't happened (it's only a thought, after all), and you go about your business, worrying about this or that, until the day you put your hand to your neck-in the shower, say-and ... What is that? Those hard lumps that you know, at first touch, should not be there? But there they are, and they mean death. Your death, and you can't pretend anymore.


Fascinated by fungus: How the mushroom is becoming a nutritional star

© Subbatina Anna/Shutterstock.com
Fungi are now gaining a reputation for their nutrients.
Mushrooms are often considered only for their culinary use because they are packed with flavor-enhancers and have gourmet appeal. That is probably why they are the second most popular pizza topping, next to pepperoni.

In the past, food scientists like me often praised mushrooms as healthy because of what they don't contribute to the diet; they contain no cholesterol and gluten and are low in fat, sugars, sodium and calories. But that was selling mushrooms short. They are very healthy foods and could have medicinal properties, because they are good sources of protein, B-vitamins, fiber, immune-enhancing sugars found in the cell walls called beta-glucans, and other bioactive compounds.

Comment: More fascinating facts about fungi:

Life Preserver

Stronger muscles lead to more highly functioning brains

brain function weight training, brain function strength training
A study of nearly half a million people has revealed that muscular strength, measured by handgrip, is an indication of how healthy our brains are.

Dr. Joseph Firth, an Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Manchester and Research Fellow at NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University, crunched the numbers using UK Biobank data.

Using data from the 475,397 participants from all around the U.K., the new study showed that on average, stronger people performed better across every test of brain functioning used.

Tests included reaction speed, logical problem solving, and multiple tests of memory.

The study shows the relationships were consistently strong in both people aged under 55 and those aged over 55. Previous studies have only shown this applies in elderly people

"When taking multiple factors into account such as age, gender, bodyweight and education, our study confirms that people who are stronger do indeed tend to have better functioning brains," said Dr. Firth.

Comment: A safe way to reap the benefits of strength training is through once a week super-slow training that can be done in as little as 12 minutes: See the Body by Science method by Dr. Doug McGuff

See also:


Fascinating insights your tongue can reveal about your health

tongue health
For many illnesses and diseases there are recognizable symptoms. In some cases those symptoms are not evident until late in the disease process, while in others they appear immediately. Recognizing symptoms and associating them with specific conditions no longer relies on the memory of a diagnostician. Using the computer, you can check your own symptoms and end up with a list of possible conditions.

In some cases a symptom is just a sign of another condition, while in others it may be the condition itself. It is important to pay attention to changes in your physical appearance and in how you feel each day. These observations are important to maintaining your health and wellness.

The appearance of your tongue is one such indicator. Being able to recognize changes will help you to make lifestyle choices, enabling you to enjoy better health. However, before discussing what changes may appear on your tongue, it's helpful to know what your tongue should look like.

Comment: Further reading: