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Fri, 06 Dec 2019
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Health & Wellness


Fatty liver isn't just the result of too much alcohol. Here's how to prevent it

healthy liver fatty liver
Fatty liver is exactly what it sounds like.

Fat is supposed to be carried in fat cells (adipocytes) not liver cells, says Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist at Scarborough Health Network in Toronto.

"When the liver has too much fat, it may cause inflammation and over many years, usually decades, it may destroy the liver and cause cirrhosis."

Comment: One of the worst things about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is that it's a silent killer. There are often few if any symptoms before the disease has already reached critical stages. Doctors are able to run tests to detect it in the early stages, which may be a good precaution for all.

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Snakes in Suits

CDC petitioned to admit they accept corporate money

CDC corprate sign logo
According to a recent news release posted by the U.S. Right to Know, public health groups petitioned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday in an effort to stop the agency from making claims that it does not accept corporate money. Specifically, the CDC has claimed that it "does not accept commercial support" and has "no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products." The public interest groups behind the petition believes the CDC's claims are false.

The US RTK news release explains, "The CDC makes such disclaimers hundreds of times in its publications and on its website, despite that the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has accepted for it nearly $80 million from drug companies and other commercial manufacturers during fiscal years 2014-2018."

Gary Ruskin, co-director of US RTK, said, "It's time for the CDC to be truthful with health professionals and all Americans, and to stop denying that it takes corporate money. The CDC is violating the public trust by misleading us in this way."

Comment: The history of the CDC is a case study in corruption and villainy. Claiming they take no corporate money, when they clearly do, is in all honesty the least of their crimes.

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Does Jordan Peterson's carnivore diet work?

jordan peterson caricature
Jordan Peterson has spent much of the past few years eloquently torpedoing all that the liberal progressives hold dear, and he's not done yet. Citing a profound health transformation, the bolshy Canadian psychologist is now piling into the opinion-saturated arena of diet, and the vegans aren't happy.

But Peterson's latest revelation is not about culture wars or the eroding of free speech. This is about his own mental health, which has at times been unspeakably grim. Controversial as ever, Peterson is now claiming to have beaten away his regimen of antidepressants through the excessive consumption of a rather more rudimentary substance: meat.

A sworn 'carnivore diet' convert, he was first introduced to the beef-only regime by his daughter, Mikhaila, who spent years suffering from a serious autoimmune disease.

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Cloud Grey

Deep sleep can rewire the anxious brain

© CC0 Public Domain
When it comes to managing anxiety disorders, William Shakespeare's Macbeth had it right when he referred to sleep as the "balm of hurt minds." While a full night of slumber stabilizes emotions, a sleepless night can trigger up to a 30% rise in anxiety levels, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.

UC Berkeley researchers have found that the type of sleep most apt to calm and reset the anxious brain is deep sleep, also known as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) slow-wave sleep, a state in which neural oscillations become highly synchronized, and heart rates and blood pressure drop.

"We have identified a new function of deep sleep, one that decreases anxiety overnight by reorganizing connections in the brain," said study senior author Matthew Walker, a UC Berkeley professor of neuroscience and psychology. "Deep sleep seems to be a natural anxiolytic (anxiety inhibitor), so long as we get it each and every night."

Comment: Science is only just beginning to understand just what happens when we sleep, what is clear is that if we are sleep deprived a cascade of negative effects follow.

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Several reasons why a low-carb or ketogenic diet can improve your mental health

brain power
Benefits for neurotransmitters, inflammation, and more.

Interest in low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets continues to rise as people discover their potential to help with stubborn physical health problems, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes — but could this same strategy help with mental health problems as well?

Low-carbohydrate diets have tremendous potential in the prevention and management of psychiatric disorders. The field of nutritional psychiatry is admittedly in its infancy, and rigorous clinical trials exploring the effect of dietary changes on mental health are few and far between, but a tremendous amount of science already exists detailing how high-sugar diets jeopardize brain health, and how low-carbohydrate diets support brain health.

For people with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, psychotic disorders, PTSD, autism spectrum disorders, and other psychiatric disorders who prefer not to take medication, don't improve with medication, can't tolerate or afford medication, only partially benefit from medication, or have bothersome side effects from medication, trying a simple, low-carbohydrate diet (or even a stricter ketogenic diet, particularly in cases of more serious or stubborn chronic symptoms) is well worth trying, with very few exceptions. This statement is based on my study of the science in combination with my clinical experience with patients in the real world.

Comment: Here are even more reasons why a ketogenic or low carb diet can be beneficial:


Counterfeit prescription pills made of fentanyl are killing Americans

© Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images
Tablets believed to be laced with fentanyl are displayed at the Drug Enforcement Administration Northeast Regional Laboratory on Oct. 8, 2019 in New York.
The Drug Enforcement Administration issued a warning on Monday about counterfeit prescription pills, saying the pills are "killing Americans."

"Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing mass quantities of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl," according to a press release from the DEA.

Twenty-seven percent of counterfeit pills seized by the DEA contain "potentially lethal doses of fentanyl," according to the government agency.

"Capitalizing on the opioid epidemic and prescription drug abuse in the United States, drug trafficking organizations are now sending counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in bulk to the United States for distribution," said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon in a statement. "Counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl and fentanyl-laced heroin are responsible for thousands of opioid-related deaths in the United States each year."


Yes, you can catch insanity

© Adam McCune
A LAST SHOT: At first, Isak’s parents had no idea where their son’s violent tics and terrifying visions came from. Right around the time he snapped this photo, says his father, Adam McCune, Isak “stopped letting us take his picture. He would scream at the sight of seeing us raise our phones.”Adam McCune
A controversial disease revives the debate about the immune system and mental illness.

One day in March 2010, Isak McCune started clearing his throat with a forceful, violent sound. The New Hampshire toddler was 3, with a Beatles mop of blonde hair and a cuddly, loving personality. His parents had no idea where the guttural tic came from. They figured it was springtime allergies.

Soon after, Isak began to scream as if in pain and grunt at his parents and peers. When he wasn't throwing hours-long tantrums, he stared vacantly into space. By the time he was 5, he was plagued by insistent, terrifying thoughts of death. "He would smash his head into windows and glass whenever the word 'dead' came into his head. He was trying to drown out the thoughts," says his mother, Robin McCune, a baker in Goffstown, a small town outside Manchester, New Hampshire's largest city.

Isak's parents took him to pediatricians, therapy appointments, and psychiatrists. He was diagnosed with a host of disorders: sensory processing disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). At 5, he spent a year on Prozac, "and seemed to get worse on it," says Robin McCune.

The McCunes tried to make peace with the idea that their son might never come back. In kindergarten, he grunted and screamed, frightening his teachers and classmates. "He started hearing voices, thought he saw things, he couldn't go to the bathroom alone," Robin McCune says. "His fear was immense and paralyzing."


Massive hummus recall in UK over salmonella fears

A massive recall of hummus from UK supermarkets has been extended and now includes some 80 products potentially contaminated with Salmonella the country's Food Safety Authority has warned.

Dip maker Zorba Delicacies raised the alarm after discovering potential contamination in its products in the last week of October. Zorba supplies major retailers like Aldi, Lidl, Sainsbury's, John Lewis and Iceland among others.

The initial recall affected goods with a use-by date up to and including November 7 but that has now been extended by ten days to include products expiring on November 17.

The full list of recalled products can be found here.

Comment: We're seeing a disturbing rise in cheap food substitutes being passed off as something they're not (like horse meat being sold as beef), a worrying trend of food contamination and poisonings, as well as an uptick in infectious diseases, and one can't help but wonder whether they're in some way connected:


Lard rated one of the top 10 healthiest foods

For decades, saturated fats like butter, lard and tallow were said to cause heart disease. Responding to such health concerns, the food industry replaced saturated fats with hydrogenated oils that are loaded with trans fats, giving rise to a whole new market of low-fat (but high-sugar) foods.

Americans' health plummeted in tandem with this systemwide change, and millions have been prematurely killed by it. As it turns out, trans fat, found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, acts as a pro-oxidant, contributing to oxidative stress that causes cellular damage.

Trans fat is also a major contributor to insulin resistance, currently affecting an estimated 8 in 10 Americans,1,2 and many researchers agree that there is no threshold at which trans fats are safe.

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Cancer cases in India spike by over 300% in 1 year, new govt data shows

Indian Cancer Patients
© REUTERS/Munish Sharma
The number of Indians diagnosed with cancer more than tripled between 2017 and 2018, according to a new government report. The increase is attributed to a rise in unhealthy lifestyles, as well as better detection.

Of the 65 million patients who visited state-run NCD (non-communicable disease) clinics in 2018, 160,000 were treated for common cancer - including cervical, oral, and breast cancer. Revealed in India's 2019 National Health Profile, the figure represents a nearly 324-percent increase from the previous year.

Cancer distribution in India
© cancerindia.org
Geographic distribution and burden of cancers in India - 2018
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