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Sun, 15 Jul 2018
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Health & Wellness

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Researchers find a 'strong link' between air pollution and diabetes

smoggy city
Air pollution contributed to 3.2 million new cases of diabetes globally in 2016, the study found.
Air pollution caused one in seven new cases of diabetes in 2016, according to a US study, which found even low levels raised the chances of developing the chronic disease.

Diabetes has primarily been associated with lifestyle factors like diet and a sedentary lifestyle, but research by the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis said pollution also plays a major role.

The study estimated that pollution contributed to 3.2 million new diabetes cases globally in 2016 -- or around 14 percent of all new diabetes cases globally that year.

"Our research shows a significant link between air pollution and diabetes globally," said Ziyad Al-Aly, the study's senior author.

Pollution is thought to reduce the body's insulin production, "preventing the body from converting blood glucose into energy that the body needs to maintain health," according to the research.

Comment: This all just speculation and estimates. Hard data would be nice.


Bioengineered: Proposed labels for genetically engineered foods aim to put smiley face & sunshine on bad technology

In early May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its draft proposal for labeling foods containing genetically engineered ingredients, and the 106-page document was met with criticism and many unanswered questions.

The 106-page proposed National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard resulted after legislation requiring labeling of GMO foods was passed by US Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2016. The legislation required that the law come into effect by July 29, 2018.

One of the biggest criticisms of the labeling standard was its terminology. Instead of using highly recognizable terms like "GMO," "genetically modified" or "genetically engineered," the standard uses the term "bioengineered." Proposed labels feature the acronym "BE" with cartoonish smiley faces and sunshine.

Comment: G.M.O. foods will soon require labels - but what will the labels say?


The problem with Big Food? We think we can do better than nature

The problem with our food industry and big agriculture goes far beyond foods which are genetically modified, irradiated, pasteurized, homogenized, enriched, refined, toxically preserved, or grown with antimicrobials, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or any other "cide." The problem is actually in our minds and how we think about food and nature itself. We are filled with knowledge but no wisdom. We think we can do better than nature. We think we can outsmart nature. Most of all, we think there will never be consequences to our superiority complexes in how we treat nature. Nature just waits patiently, until the day comes when she opens the door and decides to cleanse the earth and show the human species who is the smartest one of all. Nature is knocking...can you hear her?

If you don't go back to sleep, you may wake up one day to the shocking reality of what we have done to this planet. However, if you are informed and receptive to what our species has done to nature, and if you have become complacent about it, then you too may be in for a rude awakening as you are not positively contributing to a resolution to help Mother Earth.

Alarm Clock

Boys Adrift: The boys are not alright

boys adrift
Over the past decade or so, the term "gender gap" has taken on a new and heretofore unimaginable usage. Instead of signaling pay gaps or gender differentials in voting patterns, "gender gap" now seems to be shorthand for male decline and weakness in domains as varied as education, employment and health. Referring to the novel Atlas Shrugged and its focus on "the motor of the world," physician-author Leonard Sax suggests that "we may be living in...a time when the motor that drives the world is running down or stuck in neutral - but only for boys."

As children's exposure to potent environmental toxicants has increased, boys appear to be shouldering a disproportionate share of the consequences.

Bad Guys

Harvest of Greed: The Bayer and Monsanto Merger

monsanto merger
The Bayer-Monsanto entity is now the largest seed and pesticide company in the world, controlling more than 25 percent of the global seed and pesticide supply. Farmers are concerned about what the merger might do to prices and quality - since less competition inevitably tends to lead to price hikes while reducing incentive for innovation - the merger will also give the subsequent entity even more power to pressure and manipulate governments into accepting the unacceptable risks posed by GMOs and toxic pesticides.

The documentary, Harvest of Greed investigates a number of the many issues brought about by the merger of Monsanto and Bayer AG. The merger was initially announced in May 2016, when Monsanto accepted Bayer's $66 billion takeover offer - the largest all-cash buyout on record.1,2,3


20% of Americans think vaccines may be unsafe and 45% are not sure

A survey of 1,004 individuals in the United States conducted by Zogby Analytics in May 2018 found that 18 percent of the people were not confident about the safety of vaccines, including twelve percent who said they were "not too confident" and six percent who said they were "not at all confident." Forty-five percent of those polled said they were "somewhat confident" of the safety of vaccines, while 32 percent described themselves as being "very confident."1, 2

Comment: Ignoring vaccine safety questions - are doctors being trained to manipulate patients?
But no parent should be emotionally manipulated. Educated parents who research vaccine safety on a deeper level conclude that vaccines have more risks than they are being told by their doctors. And many parents just don't trust much of the vaccine safety research anymore due to conflicts of interest in the pharmaceutical industry. Parents now know that many of the doctors and researchers (including the former head of the CDC) who determine vaccine policy receive funding from vaccine manufacturers.

The Pro-Mandate agenda now advises doctors to ignore these vaccine safety questions and focus on the fear of disease to manipulate parents into compliance. But compliance isn't a real solution. Improved vaccine safety is a solution. A less aggressive vaccine schedule is a solution. Giving fewer combination shots and less doses per visit are solutions. And that should be the goal of these medical conferences.

Asking questions about whether or not vaccines are safe enough doesn't make you anti-vaccine. It makes you pro informed consent.

Bacon n Eggs

Interview with Denise Minger: A critical look at diet, from 'The China Study' to ketogenic diet plans

denise minger
Denise Minger is perhaps most noted for her comprehensive rebuttal of "The China Study" some eight years ago. She's heavily vested in the vegan versus omnivore battle, having cycled through vegetarianism and raw veganism, finally coming full circle to being an omnivore.

Minger took to vegetarianism when she was just 7 years old. "I was eating steak one night at dinner and almost choked on it. I developed some kind of phobia surrounding things with meat textures and went vegetarian overnight," she explains.

Comment: Much food for thought in the above interview. While it's tempting to look at any one diet plan as a panacea, usually based on ideology, it's people like Minger who are really digging in to find out what works and what doesn't. And the emphasis on individual needs, as well as environmental factors, make one realize the true complexity of the issue of diet.

See also:


Fines are now in effect for Australian parents who refuse to vaccinate their children

enforced vaccine
Australia's Minister for Social Service, Dan Tehan, announced July 1st, the Australian Government will monetarily penalize any citizen whose children are not up to date on their vaccinations. The penalty, in the form of a reduction of government payments, amounts to $56 (AUD) monthly.

Called the "No Jab No Pay" program, Australia aims to increase compliance with government mandated vaccination programs by taking money away from its citizens. Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children may continue to do so under religious or medical grounds, but will not be allowed to keep the money they were previously receiving from the government.

No Jab No Pay appears to be working. According to Tehan's press release:
Since the Turnbull Government introduced No Jab, No Pay in 2016 about 246,000 children and their families have taken action to ensure they meet the immunisation requirements.
Reasons for financially penalizing its citizens are for safety, according to the Minister of Social Service. Tehan writes:
Immunization is the safest way to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Comment: See also:

Bacon n Eggs

Oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee to study the effects of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet on cancer drugs

© Graeme Robertson for the Guardian
Siddhartha Mukherjee, physician, biologist, oncologist and author best known for his Pulitzer-winning 2010 book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.
Siddhartha Mukherjee says trial is first in a series on 'rethinking human diets for cancer'

A groundbreaking clinical trial on whether diet could boost the effectiveness of cancer drugs is set to be launched by one of the world's leading oncologists.

The work, led by Siddhartha Mukherjee at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, will investigate whether a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet could improve outcomes for patients with lymphoma and endometrial cancer.

The trial, which is initially recruiting 40 patients, is the first in a series of similar interventions being planned at other centres in the US and Europe by members of a new international working group focused on "rethinking human diets for cancer", said Mukherjee, who is best known for writing the Pulitzer prize-winning book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.

Comment: Low-carbohydrate Diets Look Good for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer

Life Preserver

Physical therapy could lower need for opioids

back pain
© Maria Belen Farias, UF Health Photography, CC BY-SA
Physical therapists Steven Hunter and Laura Hayes teach an unidentified patient lumbar stabilization exercises at the Equal Access Clinic in Gainesville, Florida.
Physical therapists help people walk again after a stroke and recover after injury or surgery, but did you know they also prevent exposure to opioids? This is timely, given we are in a public health emergency related to an opioid crisis.

Many people addicted to opioids are first exposed through a medical prescription for pain. Opiate-based drugs provide relief for acute conditions, such as post-surgical pain.

Unfortunately, the effectiveness of opioids decreases after time, requiring higher doses of the drug for the same effects and, perhaps counter-intuitively, worsening pain in some people. Many people progress from this prescription to other opiate derivatives, including heroin and fentanyl. As a result, a growing emphasis has been placed on nonpharmacological alternatives to opioids.

Comment: Avoiding opioids: More doctors prescribe holistic treatment for chronic pain