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Mon, 21 Oct 2019
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Records found in dusty basement undermine decades of dietary advice promoting vegetable fats over animal fats

If biology has an Indiana Jones, it is Christopher Ramsden: he specializes in excavating lost studies, particularly those with the potential to challenge mainstream, government-sanctioned health advice.

His latest excavation — made possible by the pack-rat habits of a deceased scientist, the help of the scientist's sons, and computer technicians who turned punch cards and magnetic tape into formats readable by today's computers — undercuts a pillar of nutrition science.

Ramsden, of the National Institutes of Health, unearthed raw data from a 40-year-old study, which challenges the dogma that eating vegetable fats instead of animal fats is good for the heart. The study, the largest gold-standard experiment testing that idea, found the opposite, Ramsden and his colleagues reported on Tuesday in BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal).

Although the study is more than just another entry in the long-running nutrition wars — it is more rigorous than the vast majority of research on the topic — Ramsden makes no claims that it settles the question. Instead, he said, his discovery and analysis of long-lost data underline how the failure to publish the results of clinical trials can undermine truth.


Nicotine is not the culprit: Vaping crisis ignores oil-based additives in cannabis products

vape flavors
© DabConnection.com
According to a new report on patients in Illinois and Wisconsin who experienced severe respiratory illnesses after vaping, 83 percent admitted using black-market cannabis products. While 17 percent said they had used nicotine only, some of them may have been reluctant to admit using illegal drugs, and it's not clear that any of them were using standard e-cigarettes.

These findings cast further doubt on the wisdom of general warnings about "vaping" and "e-cigarettes," which imply that legal nicotine products are implicated in these cases. Such warnings may encourage former smokers who are now vaping to start smoking again, a decision that exposes them to much greater health risks.

The new study, reported Friday in The New England Journal of Medicine, focused on 53 patients who had vaped within 90 days of their symptoms, typically within the previous week. Their median age was 19, and nearly a third were younger than 18. Among the 41 patients who were "extensively interviewed," 80 percent reported using THC products, 7 percent mentioned CBD products, and 17 percent said they had vaped nicotine only. The authors note that "information on product use is based on reports by the patients, and patients may be reluctant to report illicit drug use."

Heart - Black

Why Americans are so deathly afraid of going to the hospital...

deathly afraid
What you are about to read in this article is likely to make you very angry. Once upon a time, the primary mission of our hospitals was to help people, but today they have become vicious financial predators. Many Americans try very hard to avoid visiting the hospital because of what it might cost, but if an emergency happens there is no choice. They often get us when we are at our most vulnerable, and they never explain to us in advance how much their services will actually cost. And then eventually when the bills start arriving we discover that they have charged us 30 dollars for a single aspirin or "$2,000 for a $20 feeding tube". It is a giant scam, but they have been getting away with it for decades, and so they just keep on doing it. And many hospitals go after those that are not able to pay their ridiculous bills extremely aggressively. Just consider the following example which comes to us from USA Today...
Heather Waldron and John Hawley are losing their four-bedroom house in the hills above Blacksburg, Virginia. A teenage daughter, one of their five children, sold her clothes for spending money. They worried about paying the electric bill. Financial disaster, they said, contributed to their divorce, finalized in April.

Their money problems began when the University of Virginia Health System pursued the couple with a lawsuit and a lien on their home to recoup $164,000 in charges for Waldron's emergency surgery in 2017.
I can't imagine any surgery that should ever cost $164,000. You can buy an entire house for that amount of money. It is highway robbery, and those that are engaged in this sort of predatory pricing are literally crooks.


Bees suffer dementia due to metal pollution: Aluminium contamination may be behind insect decline


Biologists at Keele University and the University of Sussex found aluminium contamination in bumblebee pupae at levels that would cause brain damage in humans. The insects have been found to not avoid flowers that are contaminated with aluminium when foraging for nectar, like in the photograph of a bumblebee above
Bees may be declining because they are suffering dementia compared to Alzheimer's caused by eating large amounts of aluminium.

A scientific study found high amounts of aluminium contamination in bees at levels that would cause brain damage in humans.

Bees rely on their tiny brains to navigate to flowers to collect pollen and nectar to eat.

Comment: See also:


Montreal moves to ban glyphosate pesticide amid health and environmental concerns

montreal Mount Royal
The City of Montreal announced on Thursday that it will ban the use of the pesticide glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup.

Mayor Valérie Plante tweeted Thursday morning, "Our administration is taking a new, strong environmental step to protect the health of Montrealers. We are banning the use of a major agricultural pesticide, glyphosate, on our territory."

Glyphosate is a herbicide and crop drying agent used in the retail product Roundup, which is available at stores such as Réno-Dépôt and The Home Depot.

Comment: Nice to see Montreal taking matters into its own hands, even if Health Canada is firmly in the pocket of Monsanto/Bayer.



Commonly prescribed antibiotics may lead to heart problems

© czoborraul/shutterstock
Scientists have shown for the first time a link between two types of heart problems and one of the most commonly prescribed classes of antibiotics.

In a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in partnership with the Provincial Health Services Authority's (PHSA) Therapeutic Evaluation Unit found that current users of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as Ciprofloxacin or Cipro, face a 2.4 times greater risk of developing aortic and mitral regurgitation, where the blood backflows into the heart, compared to patients who take amoxicillin, a different type of antibiotic. The greatest risk is within 30 days of use.

Recent studies have also linked the same class of antibiotics to other heart problems.

Some physicians favour fluoroquinolones over other antibiotics for their broad spectrum of antibacterial activity and high oral absorption, which is as effective as intravenous, or IV, treatment.

"You can send patients home with a once-a-day pill," said Mahyar Etminan, lead author and associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences in the faculty of medicine at UBC. "This class of antibiotics is very convenient, but for the majority of cases, especially community-related infections, they're not really needed. The inappropriate prescribing may cause both antibiotic resistance as well as serious heart problems."

Microscope 1

Crack team of scientists discovers secret weapon to neutralize HIV... by accident

© Belova59 from Pixabay
A multinational team of scientists have made a startling, world-first discovery in Russia which could change the lives of tens of millions of people: they accidentally identified a mechanism to neutralize the HIV virus.

Originally, the team of Russian, Swiss, British, American and Finnish scientists was developing polysulfur heterocycles to tackle cancer when they suddenly realized the implications of the drug's mechanism were much bigger than anticipated.

"From the very beginning, the most promising direction of the study seemed to us to study the anticancer activity of this class of compounds, but it unexpectedly turned out that such compounds can also have high and selective activity against feline immunodeficiency virus, which is the closest analogue of the human immunodeficiency virus," Rakitin said.

A press release from South Ural State University (SUSU) claims the discovery could pave the way for a whole new class of antiviral drugs which could be used for numerous diseases.

Wine n Glass

The Australia-first study: Alcohol causes most overall harm of any drug

© Nic Walker
Thousands die from alcohol-related harm each year.
In the grips of his alcohol addiction, David Reichmann was told by his doctor that he would be dead within a year.

"I'd suffered two minor strokes, but it didn't stop me from going to hotels every night and drinking until stumps. Then I'd take a bottle of bourbon home with me," the 53-year-old Victorian father of two said.

He would keep a bottle of whiskey next to his bed, but if he couldn't afford spirits that week, he'd mix methylated spirits with soft drink.

"I couldn't keep down a morning coffee," he said. "I'd have to have alcohol to settle me for the day."

Alcohol causes the most overall harm to the Australian community, surpassing crystal methamphetamine (ice) and heroin, a new national study suggests.


Destructive farming is the issue — not whether you eat meat or vegetables

Growing grain for cattle — who eat grass, not grain — is one of the worst idea humans have had.
The ongoing destruction of the globe's rainforests has been brought into devastating focus by the Amazonian blazes. One of the chief mainstream responses has been: "Stop eating meat."

On the face of it, that's an understandable response. Much forest destruction is caused by agriculture, mostly livestock farming. About 80% of Amazonian soya grown is for cattle feed. About 60% of the cleared land is used for pasture. Horrendous. But "Stop eating meat" is a simplistic response that ignores the bigger problem: destructive agriculture.

We've been increasingly dividing diets into plant vs animal. It's a split that fits nicely into social media virtue-signaling and current (insanely misguided) nutritional advice. It's an ideological division. Viewing this sort of compartmentalising through the prism of rainforest concerns highlights its unhelpfulness.

Comment: Objective:Health #29 - Drop That Burger! The Amazon is on Fire!
Starting last week, pictures of the burning Amazon rain forest flooded social media as people were lead to believe the 'lungs of the planet' were in jeopardy. News headlines were quick to point the finger at you, as usual, because you eat too much meat.

But it was rather quickly discovered that everything being reported on the nature of the Amazon fires was wrong: they aren't at a record-setting levels, they aren't caused by people eating too much meat and the Amazon isn't even 'the lungs of the planet'. Many of the pictures featured in widely shared memes, shared by the likes of celebrities from Leonardo DiCaprio to Emmanuel Macron, aren't even recent photos, and some of them aren't even of the Amazon.

Why is such a seemingly carefully constructed disinformation campaign coming out now and why is it getting so much traction? And why pin it on meat-eating?

Join us on this episode of Objective:Health as we dig in to the great Amazon fire disinformation campaign, debunking some of the widely spread rumors and examining what's really going on here.

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Unexplained disease kills dozens of dogs across Norway

Mystery illness kills dogs in Norway
© Shutterstock
A mystery disease is estimated to have killed dozens of dogs in Norway in the last few days - with officials unsure what is causing the spread of the illness.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority confirmed another six cases of dogs falling ill on Saturday, of which two had already died.

The illness has struck pets across the country from the northern province of Nordland to cities like Trondheim Bergen and Oslo, where the majority of cases have been reported.

All of those to have died experienced the same symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Autopsies of the first three dogs to have died is yet to prove what is causing the sickness, with veterinarians considering the potential for viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic causes.