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Social media use linked to inflammation levels, study finds

social media
In a newly published study from the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, researchers have uncovered a surprising connection: Individuals with higher levels of inflammation, as evidenced by a marker known as C-reactive protein, tend to use social media more frequently.

Historically, inflammation has been linked to numerous health conditions, ranging from heart disease to rheumatoid arthritis. On a psychological level, prior research has suggested that systemic inflammation might influence behavior — particularly social affiliations, which makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. When our ancestors faced infections, they might have been compelled to seek out social connections to increase their chances of survival. However, in today's digitized world, social media platforms serve as a significant outlet for these affiliations.

For researchers David Lee, Tao Jiang, Jennifer Crocker, and Baldwin Way the relationship between inflammation and our modern-day social interactions held more to unpack. Drawing on recent evidence, the present research posited that higher inflammation levels might be associated with increased social media usage. This is based on the theory that inflammation can enhance motivations to seek out social connections — in a modern context, this is done namely through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

To investigate this theory, the researchers conducted three studies with a combined total of 524 undergraduate students from three different Canadian universities. These students provided blood samples to measure C-reactive protein levels, an established indicator of systemic inflammation. They also filled out questionnaires about their social media habits, capturing details such as the frequency, type, and duration of their usage. This approach allowed the scientists to gauge if there was a direct link between inflammation markers and online social behavior.


I reversed my type 2 diabetes. Here's how I did it

© Carlos Osorio/AP‘I am not a worrier by nature, but I suddenly had the dreaded sensation that my life was about to be shortened. In reality, my education about the dysfunctional state of American diet and nutrition was just beginning.’
Modern medicine makes it seem as if drugs are the only way to deal with diabetes. But what if diet can be a solution?

One gray Sunday in the middle of the Covid lockdown, I received an unwelcome call from my family doctor. Until then, for virtually my entire life, I had managed to stay out of a doctor's office, except for routine checkups. My luck had run out.

"I am sorry to disturb you on a weekend," she said. "But your tests just came back and your blood sugar levels are alarming. I am pretty sure you have diabetes."

During the lockdown, I experienced symptoms I now understand to be warning signs for type 2 diabetes, the disease - along with its precursor pre-diabetes - that, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, afflicts nearly half of all adult Americans. I was always thirsty, and had taken to drinking pitchers of sweet apple cider. I was urinating more than usual, and my urine had an orange hue. When my doctor gave me a blood test, she found my A1C, a measurement of blood sugar over a three-month period, was 11.8%, a level commonly known as "through the roof". Anything over 5.7% is considered pre-diabetic. Above, 6.4%, you're diabetic.

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Aspirin inhibits metastatic cancer spread, reducing mortality by 21 percent: Study

© Freepik
Additionally, a comprehensive review indicated that patients who take aspirin have a relatively lower risk of developing various types of cancer.

Aspirin is a long-established and widely used medication with a rich history. In addition to its well-known uses for pain relief and its anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties, a recent study indicates that cancer patients who take low-dose aspirin daily experience a 21 percent reduction in mortality. Furthermore, there is evidence of aspirin's role in preventing cancer metastasis.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of global mortality. In 2020 alone, there were approximately 19.3 million new cancer cases worldwide and nearly 10 million deaths. According to statistics, 1 in 6 reported deaths are attributed to cancer. The most common types of cancer include breast, lung, colorectal, prostate, and stomach.

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Paxlovid does not reduce risk of Long COVID, potentially linked to rebound symptoms: Study

© Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters/Illustration
Researchers found little difference in outcomes between Paxlovid users and nonusers. They also found 1 in 5 users experienced rebound symptoms.

Paxlovid, an antiviral medication prescribed to treat symptoms associated with COVID-19, does not reduce the risk of developing long COVID in vaccinated people recovering at home.

The report comes from a new study published in the Journal of Medical Virology on Thursday. Conducted by a team of researchers from the University of California-San Francisco, the study also found that more people are experiencing rebounds of their COVID symptoms after taking Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir-ritonavir) than previously reported.

Comment: In other words, you may be worse off taking Paxlovid than you would be just suffering through Covid, letting your body develop natural immunity and relying on your native immune function to take care of the disease. Not at all surprising.

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Bizarro Earth

Why are so many Californians dying?

headstone grave
Covid has claimed about 105,000 lives in California since 2020.

In that same time period, 82,000 more Californians died from everything else than is typical.

Adjusted for the decline in population, that non-Covid 'excess death' figure becomes even more concerning as the state has seen its population drop to about the same as it was in 2015.

In 2015 - obviously there was no Covid - 260,000 of the then 39 million Californians died. In 2023, not including November and December, 240,000 people died not from Covid (6,000 additional people died of Covid).

Extrapolating the year-to-date figures for 2023 creates a final year-end figure of 280,000 - 20,000 more people than died in 2015. That's a non-Covid, population-neutral jump of 8%.

In other words, despite the protestations of certain officials, the state's death rate has not returned to 'pre-Covid' levels - in 2019 the year before the pandemic, 270,000 people died with a population at least 400,000 greater than today.



Chemicals that may cause cancer, infertility 'widespread' in packaged products like Cheerios: report

CR logo
Potentially dangerous levels of plastic chemicals have become "widespread" in popular grocery products including Cheerios, Coca-Cola and Gerber cereals, according to a report.

Consumer Reports, the non-profit advocacy group, tested 85 food items sold at supermarkets and by fast food chains — finding some level of plastic chemicals in 84 of them.

The chemicals, called "plasticizers" or phthalates, seep in mainly through packaging materials and can cause cancer, infertility, birth defects, obesity and other significant health problems, the report said.

The group is calling on the feds to ban the use of phthalates.

Products that had among the highest levels of plastics were Yoplait's Original Low Fat French Vanilla; Ben & Jerry's vanilla ice cream; Wendy's crispy chicken nuggets; Burger King's Whopper; General Mills' original Cheerios; Perdue ground chicken breast and Del Monte sliced peaches, according to the report.
food items
© Consumer Reports Sheilaf2002/'s Homegrown/Del MonteSample items with plastic chemicals
None of the levels exceeded US limits deemed unsafe by regulators, but scientists say any level of plastics in food can be dangerous, according to the report.


Deaths tied to 'fake Xanax' street drug are increasing

medical doctors
Three twenty-somethings in Chicago took a street drug they thought was a harmless form of Xanax. All three were found collapsed and unresponsive eight hours later by one of their mothers, who had them rushed to the hospital. After multiple seizures, fever and heart damage, all three are thought to have recovered, but not before spending many days hospitalized.

According to a new report, the drug they actually took was an unapproved benzodiazepine sedative called bromazolam, with street names like "fake Xanax" and "dope." It's increasingly being distributed illicitly online or on the street, and when mixed with fentanyl, is also fueling a rising number of deaths.

Law enforcement drug seizures in the United States involving bromazolam have soared from only a handful in 2018 to more than 2,900 by 2023, according to researchers led by Dr. Paul Ehlers, a toxicologist at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.


Best of the Web: The borax conspiracy: How the arthritis cure has been stopped

You may not be able to imagine that borax, this humble insecticide and laundry detergent, has the potential of singlehandedly bringing down our entire economic system. But you do not need to worry, the danger has been recognised and the necessary steps are already being taken to defuse the situation. I will start with the basics and you will understand what I mean as the story unfolds.

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral commonly mined from dried salt lakes, and is the source of other manufactured boron compounds. The main deposits are in California and Turkey. Chemical names are sodium tetraborate decahydrate, disodium tetraborate decahydrate, or simply sodium borate. This means it contains four atoms of boron as its central feature combined with two sodium atoms and ten molecules (or sometimes less) of crystallisation water - decahydrate means 10 water molecules, pentahydrate 5, and anhydrate or anhydrous borax means no crystallisation water; chemically it is all the same.

Comment: It seems like borax is just another in the long list of natural cures that end up unfairly maligned by health agencies due to the threat they pose to the bottom line of pharmaceutical companies. While it's frustrating, it's completely unsurprising.

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Bad Guys

Bill Gates finally tells the truth about COVID vaccine inneffectiveness, after selling BioNTech mRNA shares for 10x profit

Bill Gates
© Lowy Institute
Bill Gates, long recognized as one of the world's foremost proponents of vaccines, raised some eyebrows at a recent talk in Australia when he admitted there are "problems" with current COVID-19 vaccines.

Speaking at Australia's Lowy Institute as part of a talk entitled "Preparing for Global Challenges: In Conversation with Bill Gates," the Microsoft founder made the following admission:

"We also need to fix the three problems of [COVID-19] vaccines. The current vaccines are not infection-blocking. They're not broad, so when new variants come up you lose protection, and they have very short duration, particularly in the people who matter, which are old people."

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New FOIA'ed data reveal NY vaccine clinics called ambulances to be "on standby"

Right before the recent Christmas holiday, I received a call from a friend and colleague named Louis Conte regarding a "contact" of his with knowledge of the inner workings of Emergency Medical Services in Westchester County, New York.

Louis's contact had been monitoring EMS dispatches in Westchester County and saw, subsequent to the jab rollout in early 2021, what he felt was a frightening number of calls from vaccine clinics or homes where general or specific "vaccine reactions" were cited as the cause of the need for an ambulance.

Last year, the contact decided to submit a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request — similar to a FOIA — to the Westchester County EMS (and the adjoining Dutchess County EMS) asking for a record of all calls whose transcripts mentioned either the word "vaccine" or "Covid-19 vaccine" in 2021.

Louis asked me to look at the documents. As difficult as it is at this point to further distress me with data on the toxicity and lethality of the mRNA platform, this dataset still managed to do this.

Before I review the data, let's review what we know about ambulance calls timed with the rollout of the vaccination campaign, because this issue is NOT new.

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