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Sun, 30 Apr 2017
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Cloud Grey

California ranks #1 for most air-polluted state...again, but doing better

© Fred Prouser/Reuters
Los Angeles on a smoggy day.
Nearly 125 million Americans live in counties with dangerous levels of air pollution, with Californian cities dominating the list, according to a report from the American Lung Association, citing data from 2013-2015.

"California has dominated the top 10 list every year. In fact, a California city has been number one every year since the report began in 2000," Will Barrett, Senior Policy Analyst for the American Lung Association in California. "For ozone pollution, Los Angeles has topped the list the past 17 or 18 reports."

The report did find evidence of cleaner air. While 125 million Americans are still living with high rates of pollution, the report found it was a drop of 41 million from the 2016 report, based on earlier data. The progress in cleaner air has come in part due to cleaner power plants and increased use of cleaner vehicles and engines, leading to fewer days of high ozone levels and lower levels of year-round particle pollution.

Comment: Basins, especially with surrounding mountains, keep smog contained where it accumulates and increases density without winds to help it escape. Droughts and fires also exacerbate the problem by keeping particles in the air rather than propelling them to the ground via dew, fog or rain.


Christmas Tree

Cannabinoids may be a useful treatment for inflammatory skin disorders

You'd have to be a sufferer of immune-related psoriasis or eczema to know the extent of suffering it causes. The fear of unsightly disease being seen - the questioning from onlookers, the scaling and the ensuing repulsion, the money spent on creams, the special clothing to cover up. And perhaps missing events like weddings and swimming outings too... Special diets are cumbersome and are not a guarantee of healing - that's why it brings me absolute joy to bring you the following news.

According to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, cannabinoids contain anti-inflammatory properties that could make them useful to medically treat a wide-range of skin diseases.

The new study, published online recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, is a summary of current literature about it and concludes that treatments containing cannabinoids may be effective against eczema, psoriasis, atopic and contact dermatitis.

Health

Intermittent fasting: The perfect treatment for diabetes and weight loss

"Everyone has a physician inside him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food. But to eat when you are sick is to feed your sickness." - Hippocrates

Fasting has not received as much attention as it should when it comes to the world of health and medicine. That's because you can't really make any money off of it. The 'pharmaceutical science' studies used in medical schools to teach doctors about human health simply don't focus enough on fasting for doctors to be knowledgable in the subject. Doctors also learn very little about nutrition and are trained to prescribe drugs as a result.

Dr. Jason Fung is trying to change all that. A Toronto based nephrologist, he completed medical school and internal medicine at the University of Toronto before finishing his nephrology fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles at the Cedars-Sinai hospital. He joined Scarborough General Hospital in 2001 where he continues to practice and change peoples lives.

He is one of a growing number of scientists and doctors to create awareness about the tremendous health benefits that can be achieved from fasting. It's one of the oldest dietary interventions in the world and has been practiced for thousands of years. If properly practiced fasting was bad or harmful in any way, as some doctors suggest, it would have been known by now, and studies would not be emerging showing the health benefits that can be achieved from fasting regularly.

Comment: More on the health benefits of intermittent fasting:


Eye 1

Look to your eyes for clues to your health

Our bodies have a knack for telling us when something is wrong - but that only works if we catch the signals. Fortunately, we're here to explain what your eyes may be trying to tell you.

1. Stye that persists

Styes that persist or return repeatedly to the same location may be a sign of sebaceous gland carcoma, a rare cancer. Seek immediate medical attention.

2. Eyebrow thinning or loss

Losses of eyebrow hair - especially to the outer edges of your eyebrow - may be a sign of thyroid disease.

3. Blurred vision

Blurry vision and burning eyes may be symptoms of computer vision syndrome - the result of extra attention spent focusing on pixels and strain as a result of lacking contrast. You may need to spend less time staring at screens.

Dollar

Expiration dates are responsible for billions of dollars in food waste

Norbert Wilson who joined the Friedman School as a professor of food policy, has been investigating food waste, building on his past research on food choice, domestic hunger, food banking and the international trade of food products. What motivates people to spend good money on food they don't intend to eat?

According to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, a staggering 1.3 billion tons -- is lost or wasted every year.

The impact of food waste is not just financial. Environmentally, food waste leads to an exaggerated use of chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides; more fuel used for transportation; and more rotting food.

When Wilson turned his attention to issues related to food waste, he theorized that consumers buy food even when they're aware they may not finish it. It's a concept that anyone who has purchased a container of sour cream can understand--we buy it knowing we may toss the container with a hefty portion still clinging to the sides.

Alarm Clock

Despite the EPA's own evidence of risk it decides not to ban chlorpyrifos pesticides

© Jim West/Science Source
Pesticide warning sign in an orange grove. The sign, in English and Spanish, warns that the pesticide chlorpyrifos, or Lorsban, has been applied to these orange trees.
The EPA says it's reversing course and keeping chlorpyrifos on the market.

That's despite the agency's earlier conclusion, reached during the Obama administration, that this pesticide could pose risks to consumers. It's a signal that toxic chemicals will face less restrictive regulation by the Trump administration.

In its decision, the EPA didn't exactly repudiate its earlier scientific findings. But the agency did say that there's still a lot of scientific uncertainty about the risks of chlorpyrifos, and it said that because of that uncertainty, the court had no right to set a firm deadline for a decision. A federal court had ordered the EPA to decide by midnight on Friday whether to ban chlorpyrifos. The Obama administration proposed this ban back in 2015.

The EPA says it will keep studying the chemical.

Patti Goldman, from the environmental group Earth Justice, calls the decision "unconscionable," and says that her group will fight it in court.

New EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt made his reputation opposing the agency's regulations, and many farm organizations expected him to renounce the proposed ban. But doing so would mean disregarding a substantial pile of scientific evidence that his agency has assembled on the risks of this chemical.

Comment: EPA won't ban pesticide chlorpyrifos


Bulb

The food you eat directly affects your brain

Food is the best medicine. All your cells, bones, signaling molecules, and tissues are built from what you eat. For example, dietary fats are the building blocks of brain tissue and help balance hormones, and muscles are built from protein. Different vitamins and minerals are used to create energy and send electrical impulses along neurons so that we can move, think, and feel. A nourishing diet is the best strategy against depression.

The food we eat affects both our human and microbial cells. Numerous studies have shown that food changes the collection of trillions of beneficial bacteria in our guts, called the microbiome (1). In the name of convenience, flavor, or simply habit, so many of us consume inflammatory foods on a daily basis that increase intestinal permeability (leaky gut), harm the microbiome, and create chronic inflammation that can lead to depression.

Many studies have shown that people who eat an anti-inflammatory diet have significantly lower risks of depression (2-5). A recent study that tracked about 6,500 women over 12 years showed that women eating an anti-inflammatory diet had a 20% lower risk of developing depression than their peers (6). These anti-inflammatory diets consist of healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants, and plenty of high-quality protein. On the other hand, many foods in the Standard American Diet (SAD) create chronic inflammation. These five inflammatory foods are the most frequent offenders I see when treating patients for depression.

Comment: Are you inflamed? How to stop the body from attacking itself


Syringe

Vaccines and the rise in chronic diseases in children: A link?

Is there a "cause and correlation" effect relative to children's chronic health issues surrounding the overwhelmingly accelerating negative health demographics seemingly related following the inordinate mandated number of multi-valent vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as administered by pediatricians since the 1990s?

That's a unique and valid question apparently no one in federal health agencies, specifically the CDC and FDA, wants neither to investigate nor find statistically valid data and answers either to substantiate or disprove using science-based methods.

Since the introduction of CDC's hyper-vaccine schedule, which saw children's vaccines schedules increase from 10 to 69 vaccines after the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was passed into law, very young children are contracting chronic "old age type" diseases early in life—an anomaly heretofore not experienced demographically.

Health

800 British women go to court over 'barbaric' vaginal mesh implants

© dukehealth.org
Over 800 women are taking the makers of a vaginal mesh implant and the National Health Service (NHS) to court after the contraption left them with chronic pain, as well as being unable to walk or have sex.

The implants, which are used to treat incontinence and pelvic prolapse, lifting the organ and anchoring it back in place, are made of polypropylene, a plastic substance also used in water bottles and food containers.

The mesh, which is often used as a recovery procedure for childbirth incontinence, can however pierce through the vagina, causing serious distress.

The BBC Victoria Derbyshire show found that several women had to give up their jobs due to the discomfort and pain caused by the malfunctioning implants. Other women recounted how the cuts had been so deep their partners injured themselves during sex.

Childminder Kate Langley told the program that the first surgeon to examine her after she complained "could see the [mesh] tape had come through my vagina - protruding through.

Attention

Garda$ell: Snake oil with a bite


Gardasil (HPV vaccine) has never been proven to prevent a single case of cervical cancer, but as the most profitable vaccine ever created it is increasingly being mandated despite having an atrocious safety record.


At the present time, there are over 100 bills in play around the country which seek to mandate or eliminate exemptions for vaccines. In NY state, there is a bill to mandate HPV vaccine for all students entering the 6th grade. HPV vaccination is already mandated in Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Our children are sicker than they have ever been, plagued by immune dysfunction and neurodevelopmental disorders. Meanwhile, in the name of stamping out infectious diseases, which has succeeded exactly once in over 80 years of trying, the CDC is recommending that all children be protected against viruses that might cause a very few of them to get cancer in 30 or 40 years. In the process, they must get 3 injections containing a big slug of an aluminum adjuvant, plus foreign DNA.