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American Airlines STRIPPING Pilots of Medical Freedom: Captain Saliba Files Lawsuit in Response

When will pilots stand up and say “enough is enough.”? Captain Bahig Saliba is here to detail his lawsuit and fight for medical freedom.

Wearing a mask made it harder for pilots to focus and breath clean air.

The masks endangered lives and Bahig Saliba refused to wear a mask.

He also refused to take the vaccine bioweapon.

Bahig Saliba has now sued American Airlines and their union because its new collective bargaining agreement would forbid pilots from settling their complaints inside a courtroom. According to reports, airplanes are being restocked with masks in preparation for new mandates.

The FAA never regulated the masks which means the Airlines were operating outside of their certificates.

The Airlines forced pilots to get the clot shot and some have died. Others can no longer fly because they have damaged hearts.
Some pilots are hiding their vaccine induced heart defects in order to keep their jobs.
This means some pilots are flying planes full of passengers at a great risk of death.

For more information on this story go to

Estimated Lifetime Gained with Cancer Screening Tests

JAMA Intern Med. Published online August 28, 2023.

A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials

Michael Bretthauer, MD, PhD1; Paulina Wieszczy, MSc, PhD1,2; Magnus Løberg, MD, PhD1; et al Michal F. Kaminski, MD, PhD1,2,3; Tarjei Fiskergård Werner, MSc4; Lise M. Helsingen, MD, PhD1; Yuichi Mori, MD, PhD1,5; Øyvind Holme, MD, PhD1; Hans-Olov Adami, MD, PhD1,6,7; Mette Kalager, MD, PhD1

Author Affiliations

Full Text

Key Points

Question: Cancer screening tests are promoted to save lives, but how much is life extended due to commonly used cancer screening tests?

Findings: In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 long-term randomized clinical trials involving 2.1 million individuals, colorectal cancer screening with sigmoidoscopy prolonged lifetime by 110 days, while fecal testing and mammography screening did not prolong life. An extension of 37 days was noted for prostate cancer screening with prostate-specific antigen testing and 107 days with lung cancer screening using computed tomography, but estimates are uncertain.

Meaning: The findings of this meta-analysis suggest that colorectal cancer screening with sigmoidoscopy may extend life by approximately 3 months; lifetime gain for other screening tests appears to be unlikely or uncertain.


Importance: Cancer screening tests are promoted to save life by increasing longevity, but it is unknown whether people will live longer with commonly used cancer screening tests.

Objective: To estimate lifetime gained with cancer screening.

Data Sources: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted of randomized clinical trials with more than 9 years of follow-up reporting all-cause mortality and estimated lifetime gained for 6 commonly used cancer screening tests, comparing screening with no screening. The analysis included the general population. MEDLINE and the Cochrane library databases were searched, and the last search was performed October 12, 2022.

Study Selection: Mammography screening for breast cancer; colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) for colorectal cancer; computed tomography screening for lung cancer in smokers and former smokers; or prostate-specific antigen testing for prostate cancer.

Data Extraction and Synthesis: Searches and selection criteria followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) reporting guideline. Data were independently extracted by a single observer, and pooled analysis of clinical trials was used for analyses.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Life-years gained by screening was calculated as the difference in observed lifetime in the screening vs the no screening groups and computed absolute lifetime gained in days with 95% CIs for each screening test from meta-analyses or single randomized clinical trials.

Results: In total, 2 111 958 individuals enrolled in randomized clinical trials comparing screening with no screening using 6 different tests were eligible. Median follow-up was 10 years for computed tomography, prostate-specific antigen testing, and colonoscopy; 13 years for mammography; and 15 years for sigmoidoscopy and FOBT. The only screening test with a significant lifetime gain was sigmoidoscopy (110 days; 95% CI, 0-274 days). There was no significant difference following mammography (0 days: 95% CI, −190 to 237 days), prostate cancer screening (37 days; 95% CI, −37 to 73 days), colonoscopy (37 days; 95% CI, −146 to 146 days), FOBT screening every year or every other year (0 days; 95% CI, −70.7 to 70.7 days), and lung cancer screening (107 days; 95% CI, −286 days to 430 days).

Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this meta-analysis suggest that current evidence does not substantiate the claim that common cancer screening tests save lives by extending lifetime, except possibly for colorectal cancer screening with sigmoidoscopy.

I’m curious how comparing a handful of screening programs to all-cause mortality is approved? The ONLY comparison should be screening programs vs death due to THAT disease. So, a person either had a screen or they didn’t, and they died from that disease, or they didn’t. PERIOD. Every time I see a publication like this, I think wow, someone is getting paid to create a specific “study” for a specified outcome.

What’s in Your Salt?

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Risk Drinking Common Among Cancer Survivors

August 23, 2023 – by Megan Brooks

Alcohol consumption, including risky drinking behaviors, is common among adult cancer survivors, even people currently receiving cancer treatment, new research shows.

An analysis of more than 15,000 adults with a cancer diagnosis revealed that nearly 80% were current drinkers. Among current drinkers, 13% consumed a moderate amount of alcohol in a typical day, while close to 40% engaged in hazardous drinking.

The numbers are “staggering,” Yin Cao, ScD, MPH, of Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, told Medscape Medical News. “Most concerning,” said Cao, “is that those on cancer treatment are engaged in a similar level of risky drinking.”

The study was published online August 10 in JAMA Network Open.

Drinking alcohol can increase a person’s risk for a variety of cancers, including oral and pharyngeal cancer as well as esophageal, colorectal, liver, and female breast cancers.

Consuming alcohol is also associated with numerous risks among people diagnosed with cancer. In the short term, alcohol consumption can worsen post-surgical outcomes as well as impair cognition and amplify cardiotoxicity in patients undergoing chemotherapy. In the long term, drinking alcohol can elevate a person’s risk of recurrence, secondary tumors, and mortality.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently issued a statement reinforcing the need to prioritize alcohol consumption as a key modifiable behavioral factor in the cancer control research agenda.

The current American Cancer Society guidelines indicate that it’s best to avoid or, at least, minimize alcohol consumption. Men should limit their intake to no more than two drinks per day and women should have no more than one drink per day.

Statins and Causal Risks

Hydrophilic or Lipophilic Statins?

Drugs can be classified as hydrophilic or lipophilic depending on their ability to dissolve in water or in lipid-containing media. The predominantly lipophilic statins (simvastatin, fluvastatin, pitavastatin, lovastatin and atorvastatin)

  • Lipitor/Ator-vast-atin
  • Zocor/Sim-vador
  • Lescol/Fluvastin
  • Mevacor/Altoprev.
  • Livalo

Lipophilic Statins in Subjects with Early Mild Cognitive Impairment: Associations with Conversion to Dementia and Decline in Posterior Cingulate Brain Metabolism in a Long-term Prospective Longitudinal Multi-Center Study

Journal of Nuclear Medicine May 2021,  62 (supplement 1) 102;

by Prasanna Padmanabham, Stephen Liu and Daniel Silverman


Objectives: Studies of the relationship between use of statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) and subsequent cognitive performance have been variously reported to demonstrate beneficial, harmful, or no significant effects. We aimed to help clarify the relationship between statin use and subjects’ long-term cognitive trajectory in subpopulations prospectively and longitudinally examined, as stratified by 1) neuropsychological status at baseline, 2) relatively high vs. low serum cholesterol levels at baseline, 3) statin use vs. non-use and, among users, type of statin used. The present analysis focuses upon outcomes of subjects with early mild cognitive impairment (eMCI), comparing users of statins with known moderate (atorvastatin) or high (simvastatin) lipophilicity and blood-brain barrier penetrance (LS), to non-users (nonS), or users of other statins (OS).

Methods: Subjects were drawn from a consecutive series enrolled in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative at over 50 North American sites. Of a total of 392 eMCI subjects, 303 had cholesterol levels available at baseline. Subjects were then grouped into those above (n=103) or below (n=200) the median cholesterol level of the nonS subjects (206 mg/dl). The significance of differential dementia conversion rates of eMCI subjects was assessed by Chi-Squared tests. Statistical parametric mapping of FDG PET scan data was used to perform paired t-test analyses to identify any regions of declining cerebral metabolism within each statin group.

Results: While serum cholesterol levels at baseline ranged widely (101-358 mg/dl), among all eMCI subjects the average baseline cholesterol levels did not significantly differ between those who did convert to dementia within 96 months vs. those who did not; after excluding statin users with less than 96 months of use, the below-median cholesterol group consisted of 157 subjects (67 nonS, 72 LS, 18 OS), and within this group, average serum levels again did not differ between those who did (166 mg/dl) and did not (171 mg/dl) convert to dementia. There was, however, a significant difference observed in conversion rates within this group according to statin use: among LS, 24% converted to dementia, vs. only 10% of nonS (p=0.04) in the ensuing 96 months, while conversion rate of OS did not significantly differ from nonS subjects (11%, p=0.94). Moreover, posterior cingulate metabolic decline was identified among LS users, (p<0.0005, highly significant after statistical correction for multiple comparisons), while no significant decline occurred among OS and nonS subjects. Finally, in the above-median cholesterol stratum, the difference in conversion rates of statin users and non-users was not significant (p=0.72).

Conclusions: Among subjects with early mild cognitive impairment and low to moderate serum cholesterol levels at baseline, lipophilic statin use was associated with more than double the risk of converting to dementia over eight years of follow-up compared with statin non-use, and with highly significant decline in metabolism of posterior cingulate cortex — the region of the brain known to decline the most significantly in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, no such clinical or metabolic decline was found for users of other statins, nor statin users having higher baseline serum cholesterol levels.

Walnut Consumption to Lower Depression Scores

April 30, 2021 – International Nutritional Immunology Association

It is well known by the Chinese that walnuts are good for the human brain. Over the past decade, a strong correlation was found between the intake of nuts, especially walnuts, and fewer and less severe depressive symptoms in a representative sample of the US population.

This relationship was consistent in all genders, but it was consistently greater in women than in men.

Depression scores were significantly lower among nut consumers and particularly walnut consumers as compared to non-nut consumers.

Tree nuts in ways that can influence the gut–brain axis and serotonin synthesis.

Walnuts have also been linked to improvements in cognition.

Sources: Lower Depression Scores among Walnut Consumers in NHANES – PMC (

5 Nutrient Deficiencies That Make You Overeat

By Power of Positivity – Published on August 11, 2016

Have you ever thought that maybe the cause of your snacking and overeating could be that you are trying to make up for the nutrient deficiencies that you have from not eating the right things?

It’s possible that your body has cravings because it’s trying to tell you to eat more of the essential nutrients that it needs to be healthy.

Overeating can lead to weight gain, which is something that most of us are trying to avoid. Your binge snacking or continuous grazing throughout the day is hurting your health, so let’s examine the 5 nutrient deficiencies that might be making you overeat.

Believe it or not, a nutrient rich diet allows you to practically eat as much as you want, without the kind of overeating that leads to gaining weight. The National Bariatric Center says that a 2004 study found that individuals who ate a nutrient rich diet were able to lose weight without reducing the total amount of calories consumed.

Study participants were placed on a nutritionally balanced diet of 2100 calories per day divided into seven equal servings. The participants were encouraged to eat all of the portions and even more if they were still hungry. Even with the additional food intake, they lost significant amounts of weight and also lost fat around the waist.

5 Nutrient Deficiencies That Make You Overeat

  1. Iron

Some vegetarians are surprised to find that they may occasionally experience meat cravings, and this is likely a result of an iron deficiency. Women who are going through certain phases of their menstruation cycle or pre-menopausal women also have these cravings.

Your best bet for when you crave iron to avoid overeating is to fill your plate with cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, beans, or legumes. Iron is best absorbed when you add vitamin C to your plate.

  1. Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids are very important to our overall health, and when you don’t get enough, your body sends signals of cravings that may make you overeat. If you do not include high-quality fish in your diet, add seaweed sources to get this important nutrient and keep yourself from overeating. Flaxseed, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds, chickpeas, and Brussels sprouts are all additional vegan ways to get Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

  1. B Vitamins

There are many different B Vitamins and sources of them, and lacking these nutrients could send your body into an overeating binge mode. Your essential B Vitamins are B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin). The good news is that seeds, nuts, avocado, and yeast can cover almost all of your body’s nutrient deficiencies while maintaining a healthy vegan diet and not overeating.

  1. Magnesium and calcium

Magnesium is a mood booster that is almost as effective as lithium in many people. As a result of not getting enough magnesium, which is filtered out of most bottled and filtered waters, our moods are depressed or unstable and we binge eat to try to make up for our less than happy mood.

When you binge eat, you might crave sugar, but avoid this non-nutrient food additive because it can cause your levels of magnesium and calcium to be even lower. Stress has a similar effect on reducing your body’s natural levels of the nutrients magnesium and calcium, resulting in a deficiency that leads you to overeat.

  1. Zinc

A deficiency in the nutrient zinc can cause your digestive system to not function properly, resulting in the discomfort of diarrhea. Other signs of zinc deficiency include foggy thinking, thinning hair, poor immune system function, and skin rashes. Your body may be craving this essential nutrient, and a deficiency in zinc may make you overeat just to get what your body needs. Cooked oatmeal and tofu are excellent sources of zinc that will not make you overeat.

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‘Healthy’ doctor, 32, died after rare severe reaction to AstraZeneca Covid jab

Yahoo News – by Helen William, PA Media UK – April 19, 2023

A “fit and healthy” doctor died from the “unintended consequences of vaccination” after a rare reaction to the AstraZeneca Covid jab, a coroner has concluded.

As an NHS clinical psychologist and frontline health worker, Dr. Stephen Wright, 32, of Sevenoaks, Kent, was among the earliest groups of people to be given the vaccine during the pandemic. He died 10 days after the jab.

His widow, Charlotte, is considering taking legal action against AstraZeneca, which had its Covid vaccine approved in December 2020, a month before Dr. Wright was given his dose.

A small group of people, Dr. Wright included, have had a severe reaction to the jab and health authorities are investigating, an inquest at London’s Southwark Coroner’s Court heard on Wednesday. Dr. Wright suffered from a combination of a brainstem infarction, bleed on the brain and “vaccine-induced thrombosis”. He was taken to Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington and moved to King’s College Hospital as his condition rapidly worsened but the nature of the bleed meant he was unfit for surgery.

Coroner Andrew Harris described a “very unusual and deeply tragic case”. Outlining the facts, he said: “Dr. Wright was a fit and healthy man who had the AstraZeneca vaccine on January 16, 2021, awoke with a headache on January 25 and later developed left arm numbness.” Mr Harris said it is “very important to record as fact that it is the AstraZeneca vaccine – but that is different from blaming AstraZeneca”.

Dr. Wright attended an A&E department just after midnight and was found to have high blood pressure and a sagittal sinus thrombosis, Mr. Harris said. He added: “He was transferred to King’s College Hospital at 6.39am but, due to the extent of the bleed and very low platelets, was unfit for surgery…”

After the inquest, Mrs. Wright said: “It was made clear that Stephen was fit and healthy and that his death was by vaccination of AstraZeneca. “For us, it allows us to be able to continue our litigation against AstraZeneca. This is the written proof.”

Work is under way to try to understand why severe reactions to the jabs can happen, the inquest was told.

Mr. Harris said: “My understanding is that this condition is rare. “Causes are being examined by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency). It seems to me that there is not an action one can take at the moment. It is being looked at and there are reports being given to the Government from the MHRA and there is advice on the matter.”

Medical experts told the court nothing could be done to save Dr. Wright as his condition deteriorated.

Consultant neurosurgeon, Francesco Vergani, said platelets provide the body’s first response to try and stop bleeding and are important for clotting. He said: “There was nothing that could have been done to have a successful operation. When you have someone with critically low platelets who is bleeding in the brain, the surgery is a disaster.”

Dr. Mark Howard, a consultant pathologist and medical examiner at King’s College Hospital, said scientists and medical experts were not aware of the vaccine’s possible deadly side effects because Dr. Wright’s case happened so early in its rollout.

He said: “Stephen was a very fit, young and healthy man in January 2021. It is a truly tragic and very rare complication of a well-meant vaccination. We had no knowledge that this was a potential side effect at this time. It’s not fully understood why this happens. It’s an idiosyncratic reaction. The circumstances arise in a very small number of people. There was no way of knowing that Stephen would have this consequence. It was a rare and unintended consequence.”

An AstraZeneca spokesman said: “We are very saddened by Stephen Wright’s death and extend our deepest sympathies to his family for their loss. Patient safety is our highest priority and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines. From the body of evidence in clinical trials and real-world data, Vaxzevria (the brand name for AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine) has continuously been shown to have an acceptable safety profile and regulators around the world consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority granted conditional marketing approval for Vaxzevria for the UK based on the safety profile and efficacy of the vaccine.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “More than 144 million Covid vaccines have been given in England, which has helped the country to live with Covid and saved thousands of lives. All vaccines being used in the UK have undergone robust clinical trials and have met the MHRA’s strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality. The vaccine damage payments scheme provides financial support to help ease the burden on individuals who have, in extremely rare circumstances, been severely disabled or died due to receiving a government-recommended vaccine.”

The Miracle That Inspired the Movie, “Breakthrough”

Heather Finn – Good Housekeeping Magazine

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John and Joyce Smith – People Magazine

“Breakthrough” centers around the true story of teenager John Smith, a young man from St. Charles, Missouri. Just like any other kid his age, John — who was adopted by his parents, Joyce and Brian, when he was just a baby — attended middle school and played sports … until tragedy struck.

On January 19, 2015, then-14-year-old John and two of his friends were messing around on frozen Lake St. Louise when the ice broke open beneath their feet and they plummeted down into the brutally cold water. One boy was able to climb his way out, and another was quickly rescued. John, however, became trapped and sank down to the lake’s floor.

After 15 minutes underwater, the teenager was finally pulled to the surface by first responders and taken to the nearby St. Joseph Hospital West. His body was cold and lifeless, and doctors tried to administer CPR for 43 minutes with no success. Emergency room doctor Kent Sutterer was preparing to deliver the tragic news to John’s mother, Joyce, when she entered her son’s hospital room and quickly said a desperate prayer: “Holy Spirit, please come and give me back my son!” she prayed aloud, according to People.

As the story goes, that was the moment that everything changed: Immediately after Joyce uttered those words, her son’s heart began beating once again. And he just kept continuing to defy the odds from there — although his doctors had told Joyce and Brian that he would likely never regain neurological function, John was awake and answering questions within 48 hours of his rescue.

“The very moment that I needed God, he was there instantly.”

What life is like for John and Joyce today

In an unprecedented turn of events, John not only recovered fully from his brush with death, but he also did so with remarkable speed: Just three weeks after his lifeless body had been admitted to the hospital, John walked out the front door on his own two feet. He had to attend outpatient therapy for several weeks following his release, but it was a recovery that doctors had never seen the likes of before.


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Medical experts have since theorized that the extremely cold temperature of the water that day was what redistributed John’s blood flow and kept his organs functioning, but the Smith family believes there was also something else at play: a true, God-given miracle. It’s what Joyce wrote about in her book about the incident, The Impossible, and what new movie “Breakthrough” is all about.

“I have always believed that God’s going to do what he says he does because I’ve seen it all my life,” Joyce told People earlier this month. “But this is like the Oscars of faith. The very moment that I needed God, he was there instantly. And when John’s heartbeat started right up it was like, ‘Thank you, Lord, for being so merciful for me,’ which just set my faith forever in bedrock.”

John has appeared at events for the movie’s release alongside his mother, Joyce, and the actors that portray them in the film.

You can find “Breakthrough” streaming on Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, Direct TV, YouTube and others.

Working from Home is Less Healthy Than You Think

March 14, 2023

The New York Times Opinion by Jordan D. Metzl

As companies struggle to find the right balance between in-person and remote work and workers fight for autonomy, the debate about returning to in-person work has largely focused on productivity. If employees are equally productive in remote settings, why ask them to return to the office? All things being equal, remote work is cheaper and more convenient than commuting.

Although productivity is important, we haven’t given sufficient consideration to the potential negative health effects of remote work for some people. Those who have the luxury of working from home might end up realizing that remote work is disadvantageous to their mental and physical well-being.

A recent compilation of evidenced-based studies investigating the mental and physical effects of remote work found mixed results. Some workers thrived in the remote environment, citing more time for healthy behaviors, including exercising and bonding with family, while others became less active, gained weight and reported feelings of isolation and depression.

Much of this seems to relate to evolutionary biology. Despite the changes happening around us, our bodies remain the same.

Human bodies have been in their current form for roughly 300,000 years. Humans need to move. Strong evidence correlates increased movement with a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension and high cholesterol, chronic diseases such as diabetes and certain types of cancer, and mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety.

The more we move, the healthier we are. Moving every day doesn’t just make us feel better; it’s among the most far-reaching and effective forms of preventive medicine. Furthermore, sedentary activity is strongly linked to disease. More sitting time and less movement throughout the day can make a person less healthy. Both life expectancy (life span) and health profile (health span) are negatively affected by prolonged inactivity.

Despite incredible technological advances, the human body has basically required the same amount of movement for preventive health for more than 100,000 years. Unfortunately, technology and convenience often work against our health. With each technological victory, from the horse and buggy to the car, the airplane, the computer and now the smartphone, we move less. In today’s world, one can order meals, conduct relationships and even work while never taking a step. Studies of age-matched skeletons exhumed from before the Industrial Revolution — when people walked and moved more — show less knee arthritis than knees of today.

The past three years have rapidly accelerated this trend. Data on step counts during the pandemic have shown a decrease in NEAT behavior (nonexercise activity thermogenesis), daily steps from everyday living. These aren’t steps from exercise; they are steps from walking to lunch, taking the stairs at work and walking to the subway or through the parking lot. While much attention is paid to exercise as a way of staving off aging and disease, NEAT behaviors are also linked to disease prevention. Background steps add up over days, weeks and months. Although daily exercise is part of a healthy movement profile, the NEAT activities are the coals that keep the metabolic fire warm.

Right now, many of us aren’t getting enough. If you want to prove this to yourself, find a way to measure your steps such as using the health app on your smartphone. If you work in a hybrid environment, check your steps on the days you commute. They’re likely much greater than the days you’re working from home while sitting next to your primary food source, the refrigerator.

Inactivity can translate into disease. In the United States, we spend $4.3 trillion, 18 percent of our G.D.P., on health care. Despite spending almost twice as much, on average, as other high-income countries, we are consistently ranked in the second tier of life expectancy among Western nations. As a nation, we aren’t especially healthy. Our two most expensive conditions, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, cost more than $500 billion per year (including health care spending and lost productivity) and are largely preventable with a healthy diet and regular movement. We’re spending the most and moving the least. A recent survey found working from home in the United States still is the norm for roughly 50 percent of the work force but is less common in Europe and Asia, where 75 percent to 80 percent of workers are back in the office. As we move less, the associated health care costs will rise.

Another important consideration of remote work is mental health. Humans are social animals. Much like our biological imperative to move is our need to interact. Despite advances in technology, our brains thrive with in-person relationships. When in person, we learn to read body language, understand unstated nuances in communication and work more effectively with others. Studies have shown increased rates of depression and anxiety during remote work. Even if it’s easier, there is a sense of isolation that develops when real, in-person communication is substituted with virtual interaction. EEG studies of the brain found that face-to-face interactions produced stronger and longer-lasting psychological connections than virtual ones.

This is not to say that everyone who works from home is facing a health crisis. There are many people who are thriving in the remote work world. Parents with children have more time to spend with their families; people have more time to walk their dogs and sometimes even go to exercise classes.

In my office, I’ve treated patients who are making the most of their increased time at home and living more active and healthier lifestyles. But I also see patients who have developed back and neck pain and become less healthy over the past few years. National trends back this up.

In some form, remote work is here to stay. Data from the past three years shows that there are both benefits and pitfalls to working from home. The best way forward might be a hybrid of in-person and remote work to ensure socialization and daily movement. If you’re working fully remote, set up specific meetings and times to exercise that will keep you accountable and plugged in. If your company calls for a return to in-person work at least part time, recognize this as favorable for your long-term health.

Employee Health Matters. How to Help Keep Your Team Well

Better employee health leads to better outcomes for both employees and employers.

Inc. by Larry Alton

When your employees are healthy, they’re happier, more productive, and less likely to miss work because of illness. But many employers still neglect employee health as a strategy. What steps can employers take to improve and support employee health, and how can you make this approach cost-effective?

The Value of Employee Health

Let’s start by taking a closer look at the true value of improving employee health.

  • Productivity and attendance. Healthier employees are going to be more productive and less absent. If they’re in better health, and they’re getting sick less often, they’re going to miss fewer days, and they’re going to be much more efficient (and happier) when present. According to Nathan Jones, CEO of proactive health company Xlear, “every year, people in the United States collectively suffer millions of illnesses, most of which could be prevented by being more proactive in your hygiene and health routine. If you can prevent just a few of those in your business, both you and your employees will be better off.” Jones continues, “In my opinion, the reason Haven (the Buffett-Bezos-Dimon health care venture) failed is that the focus was on treatment and not on prevention. If you really want to save money, don’t get sick in the first place. Motivate your team to be proactive, work out, and have access to better hygiene tools.”
  • Morale and confidence. When you genuinely care about employee health and take active measures to preserve it, your employees are going to have higher morale and more confidence in their positions. You’ll benefit from higher employee retention and more employee referrals.
  • Cost savings. Protecting employee health can save you money in the long run. Though it requires an upfront investment, its effects on productivity, employee retention, and insurance costs should speak for themselves. It’s also important to note that proactive health management is almost always less expensive than reactive health management. Investing in preventative screenings, regular exercise, and even prophylactic products can help employees avoid ridiculously expensive interventions later on. The importance of good oral and nasal hygiene cannot be overemphasized.
  • Reputational value. With healthier, happier employees, your organization will benefit from a reputational boost. You’ll naturally attract more employees, and you might even make a better impression with prospective vendors, clients, and partners.

Health Insurance and Benefits

One of the most straightforward ways to support employee health is to offer a health insurance package that focuses heavily on prevention. The right benefits package can provide your team with numerous options, like preventative screenings, that can keep them healthy indefinitely. It can also help you recruit better talent.

If you can’t afford health insurance for your employees, consider offering alternative benefits meant to support health, such as subsidized gym memberships.

Infectious Disease Management

If your employees work together in a physical environment, it’s your responsibility to proactively manage the potential spread of infectious diseases. At the time of this article’s writing, there are two especially big concerns for employers with regard to infectious disease management and employee health: Covid-19 and the onset of winter. Though Covid is past its initial peak, it’s still a potentially devastating disease that we need to take seriously — and winter is always associated with higher rates of infectious disease spread.

These are some of the ways you can prepare your workplace to prevent your employees from getting unnecessarily sick.

  • Increase physical distance. Many infectious diseases travel via the air, jumping from one person to another when they’re in close physical proximity. Accordingly, one of the best ways to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases is to increase the physical distance between people. Separate them using office partitions, glass barriers, or other physical obstructions, and facilitate meetings with greater distance between participants. It’s also a good idea to avoid handshakes or substitute some other greeting for them (like a fist bump).
  • Encourage sick days. Make employees feel comfortable with taking sick days when they need them. Some of your workers may be inclined to “tough it out” by coming into work even when they feel ill, but doing so could accelerate the spread of the disease and cause more people to become sick. It’s usually better for a person to stay home, even if their symptoms are minimal.
  • Make it easy to maintain good hygiene. Make it easy for everyone to maintain good hygiene in the office. Post instructions on proper hand washing procedures in the bathroom and make hand sanitizer widely available. It’s also important to practice routine cleaning in the office so that all commonly touched surfaces are disinfected regularly. Also, create a memo authored by a licensed hygienist with suggestions or recommendations on which oral and nasal care products work best and why.
  • Practice effective air circulation. Better ventilation is associated with a mitigated spread of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. Opening the windows is an easy way to accomplish this, though it’s not exactly ideal in winter. Alternatively, you can use air circulators and filters to help keep your internal air clean.

Wellness and Overall Health

These are a few other ways you can support better overall health in your employees:

  • Facilitate physical exercise. Physical exercise keeps you in shape, reduces stress, and is associated with extremely positive health outcomes. Some businesses evenlet their employees exercise while on the clock.
  • Distribute water and healthy snacks. Make it easy for employees to stay hydrated and give them healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, and nuts to snack on throughout the day.
  • Make it easy for employees to attend preventative appointments. Preventative medicine is ideal for maintaining health, so encourage employees to attend their appointments.

Keeping employee health as one of your top priorities isn’t cheap, but it does offer a promising return on investment. With healthier, more productive employees, you’ll have a more consistent and happier workforce, and your organization will benefit from much greater efficiency, especially over time.

The Microbiome Theory of Aging (MTA)

by Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN

This article is protected by copyright. Dr. Ross Pelton has been provided approval to share this article.


The Microbiome Theory of Aging (MTA) explains how microbial imbalance in the intestinal tract, which is also referred to as dysbiosis, causes health problems that accelerate biological aging. The underlying mechanisms involved include increased inflammation, elevated levels of zonulin, destruction of intestinal tight junctions, and intestinal permeability, which allow lipopolysaccharides (LPS) to leak into systemic circulation. LPS is a powerful endotoxin that causes chronic inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation is associated with chronic diseases and the acceleration of biological aging. Postbiotic metabolites are compounds that are created by probiotic bacteria in the colon. Postbiotic metabolites have been called the new frontier in microbiome science due to their key roles in regulating the structure and function of the gut microbiome and many aspects of human health.

Revolutionary advancements in technology, especially next-generation gene sequencing (NGS), have resulted in a new understanding of the structure and function of the human gut microbiome and its fundamental role in regulating health and aging.1

#1 Game Changer

The Cleveland Clinic is a highly respected medical institution. It was ranked the second hospital in the nation and the first hospital for heart care in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-22 Best Hospitals rankings.2

In 2016, the Cleveland Clinic assembled a panel of top doctors and scientific researchers to create a list of medical innovations that they expect to be major game changers in the coming years. When the panel of medical and scientific experts announced their list of the top 10 medical innovations that are most likely to transform healthcare in 2017 and beyond, topping the list as the #1 Game Changer expected to transform healthcare was using the microbiome to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.3

A wide range of diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors influence the aging process, and over time, numerous theories of aging have been proposed. The microbiome theory of aging (MTA) isn’t intended to dislodge or negate previous theories. The theory’s purpose is to emphasize the critical role that the gut microbiome plays in regulating many aspects of human health, which directly influence people’s rate of physical decline and biological aging. Read more.

WHO urges ‘immediate action’ after cough syrup deaths

LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters)

The World Health Organization has called for “immediate and concerted action” to protect children from contaminated medicines after a spate of child deaths linked to cough syrups last year.

In 2022, more than 300 children – mainly aged under 5 – in Gambia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan died of acute kidney injury, in deaths that were associated with contaminated medicines, the WHO said in a statement on Monday.

The medicines, over-the-counter cough syrups, had high levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol.

“These contaminants are toxic chemicals used as industrial solvents and antifreeze agents that can be fatal even taken in small amounts, and should never be found in medicines,” the WHO said.

As well as the countries above, the WHO told Reuters on Monday that the Philippines, Timor Leste, Senegal and Cambodia may potentially be impacted because they may have the medicines on sale. It called for action across its 194 member states to prevent more deaths.

“Since these are not isolated incidents, WHO calls on various key stakeholders engaged in the medical supply chain to take immediate and coordinated action,” WHO said.

The WHO has already sent specific product alerts in October and earlier this month, asking for the medicines to be removed from the shelves, for cough syrups made by India’s Maiden Pharmaceuticals and Marion Biotech, which are linked with deaths in Gambia and Uzbekistan respectively.

It also issued a warning last year for cough syrups made by four Indonesian manufacturers, PT Yarindo Farmatama, PT Universal Pharmaceutical, PT Konimex and PT AFI Pharma, that were sold domestically.

The companies involved have either denied that their products have been contaminated or declined to comment while investigations are ongoing.

The WHO reiterated its call for the products flagged above to be removed from circulation, and called more widely for countries to ensure that any medicines for sale are approved by competent authorities. It also asked governments and regulators to assign resources to inspect manufacturers, increase market surveillance and take action where required.

It called on manufacturers to only buy raw ingredients from qualified suppliers, test their products more thoroughly and keep records of the process. Suppliers and distributors should check for signs of falsification and only distribute or sell medicines authorised for use, the WHO added.

Trader Joe’s is sued over lead, cadmium levels in dark chocolate

NEW YORK, Jan 4 (Reuters)

Trader Joe’s was sued on Wednesday by a consumer who accused the grocery chain of misleading and endangering shoppers by selling dark chocolate that contains harmful levels of lead and cadmium.

The proposed class action was filed in the federal court in Central Islip, New York, one week after a similar lawsuit was filed there by the same four law firms against Hershey Co (HSY.N).

Both lawsuits were filed after Consumer Reports last month said 23 of the 28 dark chocolate bars it tested contained potentially harmful levels of lead, cadmium or both heavy metals for people who eat more than one ounce of chocolate a day.

Consumer Reports said it found Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao high in lead, and Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate 85% Cacao high in lead and cadmium.

In Wednesday’s lawsuit, the plaintiff Thomas Ferrante said he bought both products after reading their labels and would not have done so or would have paid less had he known their contents.

“High levels of lead and cadmium in food products is material to reasonable consumers, because these chemicals pose serious health risk, even in small dosages,” he said.

Trader Joe’s, based in Monrovia, California, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Some studies suggest that the antioxidants and relatively low levels of sugar in dark chocolate could help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Ferrante lives in Nassau County, New York, as does the plaintiff in the Hershey case.

Both lawsuits seek at least $5 million of damages, including at least $500 per transaction under New York law.

The FAA has very quietly tacitly admitted that the EKGs of pilots are no longer normal. We should be concerned.

January 18, 2023  – by Steve Kirsch – Steve Kirsch Newsletter

After the vaccine rolled out, the FAA secretly widened the EKG parameter range for pilots so they wouldn’t be grounded. It looks like the vax gave at least 50M Americans heart damage.

In the October 2022 version of the FAA Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners, the FAA quietly widened the EKG parameters beyond the normal range (from a PR max of .2 to unlimited). And they didn’t widen the range by a little. They widened it by a lot. It was done after the vaccine rollout.

This is extraordinary. They did it hoping nobody would notice. It worked for a while. Nobody caught it.

But you can’t hide these things for long.

This is a tacit admission from the US government that the COVID vaccine has damaged the hearts of our pilots. Not just a few pilots. A lot of pilots and a lot of damage.

The cardiac harm of course is not limited to pilots.

My best guess right now is that over 50M Americans sustained some amount of heart damage from the shot.

That’s a lot of people who will be very upset when they realize the vaccine they took to reduce their chance of dying from COVID actually worked in reverse making it:

  1. More likely that people will get COVID
  2. Be hospitalized from COVID and other diseases
  3. Die from COVID (and other diseases)
  4. You also have an excellent chance of getting a lifetime of heart damage for no extra charge.

But don’t worry; you can’t sue them. They fixed the law so none of them aren’t liable (the doctors, the drug companies, the government). After all, you took the vaccine of your own free will. It’s not like you were forced (or coerced) to take it or anything like that! And there were plenty of people warning you not to take the shots (even though they censored most of them).

In this article, I will explain the evidence and thinking behind all my claims.

As I learn more, I will refine the estimate.


On October 24, 2022, the FAA quietly, without any announcement at all, widened the EKG requirements necessary for pilots to be able to fly.

The PR (a measure of heart function) used to be in the range of .12 to .2.

It is now: .12 to .3 and potentially even higher.

This is a very wide range; it accommodates people who have cardiac injury. Cardiologist Thomas Levy is appalled at this change:

Why did they make the change?

Why would they do that?

I’ll take an educated guess as to why they did that. I believe it is because they knew if they kept the original range, too many pilots would have to be grounded. That would be extremely problematic; commercial aviation in the US would be severely disrupted.

And why did they do that quietly without notifying the public or the mainstream media?

I’m pretty sure they won’t tell me, so I’ll speculate: it’s because they didn’t want anyone to know.

In other words, the COVID vaccine has seriously injured a lot of pilots and the FAA knows it and said nothing because that would tip off the country that the vaccines are unsafe. And you aren’t allowed to do that.

Why we sure it was the vaccine that did it

There are several clues that are consistent with “it was the vaccine and not COVID”:

  1. They were quiet about it. If it was COVID, you can be public. But the vaccine is supposed to be safe.
  2. The timing. October 2022 is late for COVID. If it was due to COVID, it would have happened well before now. They can make changes every month.
  3. The vaccine creates far more injury to the heart than COVID (which creates NO added risk per this large-scale Israeli study of 196,992 unvaccinated adults after Covid infection).
  4. Anecdotally, cardiologists only started to notice the damage post-vaccine.
  5. All the sudden deaths started post-vaccine.

The data supporting my 20% damage estimate.

I know from a study of 177 people in Puerto Rico (97% of whom were vaccinated) ages 8 to 84, that 70% of those people, when screened for cardiac injury using an FDA-approved testing device (from Heart Care Corp), exhibited objective signs of cardiac injury.

There was a study done on pilots. It will be published in The Epoch Times later this week. That indicated heart damage in over 20% of pilots screened (The Epoch Times will release the exact number).

The Thailand study showed nearly 30% of kids were injured. But kids are indestructible so a 30% injury rate in kids translates into a higher rate for adults.

VAERS shows that cardiac damage happens at all ages, not just the young:

Bottom line: The most logical conclusion is that the FAA knows the hearts of our nation’s pilots have been injured by the COVID vaccine that they were coerced into taking, the number of pilots affected is huge, the cardiac damage is extensive, and passenger safety is being compromised by the lowering of the standards to enable pilots to fly.

The right thing would be for the FAA to come clean and admit to the American public that the COVID vaccine has injured 20% or more of the pilots (based on their limited EKG screening), but I doubt that they will ever do that.

Health News & Science: Man Found Alive at the Bottom of the Sea, 3 Days After Boat Sank

January 14, 2023 – MSN – story by Jess Thomson

On May 23, it will be 10 years since a man named Harrison Okene survived three days at the bottom of the sea in the wreck of a ship.

The 29-year-old had been trapped in the freezing cold and pitch-black darkness 100 feet beneath the ocean surface for 60 hours. He is believed to have been just hours from death when he was found.

“It was very unexpected and a total shock to find someone alive after the vessel sank days before,” Nico van Heerden, the diver who found Okene, told Newsweek. “He was not the first person we came across, though. Before we found him, we found and recovered the bodies of three of his colleagues that perished during the incident. Very tragic indeed.”

He went on: “Vessels do sink and people die, but to find someone alive after so long does not happen. I’ve never heard of it happening before.”

Okene was a cook on a tugboat named the Jascon-4. The small boat was on its way to a nearby oil tanker, about 19 miles off the west coast of Nigeria, when a large wave suddenly capsized the vessel.

“Before we knew, we were sinking,” Okene told Nine News Australia. “We had been sailing for many years, we knew the sea, we had never had any issue before.”

Okene began rushing through the ship but found many of the doors were locked to prevent pirates from entering. He became trapped inside a toilet in the officers’ cabins as water poured into the ship and could not escape as the ship began to sink to the bottom of the sea.

By some stroke of luck, an air pocket stayed intact inside the toilet. He could breathe but was in total darkness and aching cold. “Underwater it was so, so, so, cold,” he said. “I was struggling to stay alive, wondering how long [the air pocket] would last me. I was thinking about my family, my wife, what would happen, how would she live, how can I get out, thinking about my life as well.”

Okene tried to find his way out of the underwater maze but to no avail, using a rope to find his way back to his air pocket when he ran out of breath. “I was praying a lot,” he said.

Being trapped in the cold in only his underwear, with dwindling air and no food or water, Okene was in huge danger of carbon dioxide toxicity as well as facing thirst, hunger and hypothermia.

“Mr. Okene is lucky to have survived,” Paul Schumacker, a pediatrics professor and hypoxia expert at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, told Newsweek.

He continued: “The temperature of the water at a 30-meter depth can lower one’s body temperature to lethal levels within minutes to hours. Divers always wear insulated suits to retain body heat in cold water. Since he was trapped in an air pocket, it’s possible he was able to lift himself partially out of the water. If only his legs were submerged, this would greatly prolong his ability to maintain body temperature in that environment.”

After approximately 60 hours spent waiting, Okene said, he heard knocking on the side of the boat and saw a beam of light in the darkness. A team of divers had descended 100 feet to the wreck to recover the bodies inside.

Okene reached out and gently tapped one of the divers, van Heerden, on the arm, attempting to not scare him.

“When he came, I was just crying,” Okene said.

At the point he was found, he likely had only a few hours left to live, estimated Eric Hexdall, a nurse and clinical director of diving medicine at the Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology.

Hexdall told National Geographic that in an area the size of the air pocket, about 13.5 cubic meters, it takes about 56 hours for carbon dioxide toxicity to set in. Okene had been down there for around 60 hours. It would have taken about 79 hours for him to become unconscious from carbon dioxide, Hexdall said.

“Contrary to popular belief, when people are trapped in confined spaces it is not the oxygen running out that will kill you. It is your own exhaled breath causing a buildup of CO2,” Alex Gibbs, a life support technician on duty on the surface at the time, told Nine News.

He went on: “By the time he had been found, this was at a clearly high level. You can see him panting in the video and his slightly glazed eyes caused by this. We immediately put down an air hose and literally blew fresh air over him. Another concern was he had been saturated by air, so we now had to switch him onto an oxygen and helium mix, which is not standard practice.”

Ten bodies were recovered from the boat during the dive, and one missing person’s body was never found. Okene was the only survivor.

Because of the depth of the wreck, Okene was at risk of decompression sickness, or the bends, if he returned to the surface too quickly, especially with the increased level of nitrogen in his blood from being down so deep for so long. This is a condition often risked by divers and is caused by nitrogen dissolved in the body’s blood and tissues. This can lead to muscle and joint pain, dizziness, paralysis and even death.

“A dive at 30 meters certainly can give you the bends. That is why he was evacuated in a bell, to keep the same pressure and rise it slowly,” Alicia Kowaltowski, a professor of biochemistry at the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil, told Newsweek.

Okene was guided into the diving bell by the divers before being placed in a decompression chamber at the surface, where he remained for three days.

“At 30 meters depth, the pressure in the air pocket would have been about three times the atmospheric pressure at sea level,” Schumacker said. “Over 60 hours, his body would have absorbed a large quantity of nitrogen gas. Upon return to the surface, it would take hours to exhale all that extra nitrogen gas.”

He continued: “To prevent the gas from forming bubbles in his blood, like you see when opening a bottle of sparkling water, they would need to put him in a hyperbaric chamber pressurized to the same level as in the air pocket. They would then lower the pressure gradually, to allow the trapped nitrogen to be released slowly.”

Despite his ordeal, Okene returned to the depths a few years later. Now a commercial air diver, he worked alongside Gibbs on a diving job last year. He dives to depths of up to 164 feet.

“I’m enjoying diving, it’s life for me, it’s fun,” Okene told Nine News. “I believe the ocean is my world. I feel more comfortable, relaxed there.”

“It’s an incredible rescue, really, and very complicated physiologically,” Kevin Fong, a professor in extreme environment physiology at University College London and a consultant anesthetist, told Newsweek. “Hats off to that team.”

15 Most Advanced Countries in Medicine

January 8, 2023 – Inside Monkey by Habib Ur Rehman

The recent pandemic was the best reflection of the advancements in the field of medicine. Vaccines were developed at a lightning-fast pace, with the first vaccine for Covid-19 approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) only a year after the outbreak.

It was developed by a joint effort of two of the most advanced pharmaceutical companies when it comes to R&D – Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX). The former is an American company while the latter is German.

Other top pharma companies include names like Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI), Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN) and Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN).

Due to the medicine industry’s role in the improvement of human well-being, it leads to GDP growth through labor productivity and personal spending. The correlation coefficients for this are demonstrable.

The US, Switzerland and Norway are some of the most advanced countries when it comes to the field of medicine, with huge healthcare spending, numerous pharmaceutical companies and sophisticated academia.


Medicine is one of the fastest growing fields in the world. It encompasses the pharmaceutical industry, medical schools and hospitals. The demand for healthcare is expected to increase due to a variety of factors, such as an aging population and advances in medical technology.

According to the Pharma Outlook 2030 by KPMG, many trends are shaping the pharma industry for 2030. For instance, the free-for-service payment model is increasingly being challenged by the end-users, hospitals and insurance agencies. They want the pricing model to be designed around the success and the quality of the product.

One of the most prominent results of this is Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI)’s 2016 value-based contracts with Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN) and Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) for cholesterol drugs, with the insurance agencies receiving discounts if their therapies do not reduce cholesterol levels enough.

Advances in big data and machine learning are also likely to allow for the pre-emptive measures against the onset of diseases instead of just treating them. Further, machine learning is also set to play a pivotal role in drug discovery.

A recent example is the AlphaFold, a deep learning model by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s subsidiary – DeepMind. It has solved 98.5% of human proteins’ structures, an important leap in drug discovery. Priorly, it had been a challenge that had puzzled molecular biologists for half a century.

Major advances are primarily happening on the academic front of medicine, and AI in the field is pervasive. For instance, Harvard University researchers have come up with an automated cancer detection system, which uses AI to find breast cancer by examining lymph node cells.

Given the trends, AI is largely going to be an integral field to medicine. Another field that is likely to augment the pharma industry by 2030 is nanotechnology. In this regard, Novartis, in partnership with Proteus, has developed a smart pill that can be swallowed for diagnostics purposes.

The pharmaceutical manufacturing market is one of the fastest growing in the world. It was worth $358 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach a valuation of $1.2 trillion by 2030, growing at a solid CAGR of 13%, as reported by Precedence Research.

On the other hand, the drug-discovery industry was valued at $75 billion in 2021, and is projected to grow with a CAGR of 9%, to $162 billion in 2030.

Lastly, the hospital industry is projected to be valued at $2 trillion by 2028, after a growth with a CAGR of 12.5% during the forecast period of 2021-2028. It was valued at $820 billion in 2021.

Let’s now move to the 15 most advanced countries in medicine.

Deprived of Sleep, Many Turn to Melatonin Despite Risks


Can’t sleep? When slumber doesn’t come naturally, some are turning to melatonin, an over-the-counter sleep aid that often is mistaken for a supplement. This powerful hormone plays an important role in human biology, and specialists are questioning whether increasing levels could be doing more harm than good.

A new investigation launched by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine is looking into the safety of melatonin. And while the health advisory checking the evidence is underway, the academy is recommending that melatonin not be used for insomnia in adults or children.

But what is insomnia, and how is it different from a few bad nights of sleep? Insomnia disturbs sleep at least three times a week for more than 3 months, often causing people to feel tired during the day as well.

Production of melatonin (dubbed the “vampire hormone”) begins at night, when it starts getting dark outside. Melatonin release is scheduled by the small but mighty pineal gland at the back of the head. Melatonin signals to the body that it’s time to sleep. And as the sun rises and light shines, melatonin levels decline again to help the body wake.

Sometimes packaged in gummy bear fruit flavors, melatonin can have an alluring appeal to sleep-deprived parents looking for relief for themselves and their children.

Muhammad Adeel Rishi, MD, vice chair of the Public Safety Committee for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, says he has a doctor colleague who started taking melatonin to help him during the pandemic when he was having trouble falling asleep at night. His doctor friend started giving the hormone to his own children, who were also having sleep issues.

But Rishi says there are important reasons to not use melatonin for insomnia until more information is available.

Melatonin affects sleep, but this hormone also influences other functions in the body.

“It has an impact on body temperature, blood sugar, and even the tone of blood vessels,” Rishi says.

And because melatonin is available over the counter in the United States, it hasn’t been approved as a medicine under the FDA.

A previous study of melatonin products, for instance, flagged problems with inconsistent doses, which make it hard for people to know exactly how much they are getting and prompted calls for more FDA oversight.

Imprecise Doses

While melatonin doses typically range from 1 to 5 milligrams, bottles examined have been off target with much more or less hormone in the product than listed on the label.

Researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, tested 30 commercially available formulas and found the melatonin content varied from the ingredients labeled on the bottles by more than 10%.

In addition to melatonin, the researchers found other substances in the bottles too: In about a quarter of the products, they also identified another chemical messenger called serotonin.


While melatonin plays a role in setting the body’s biological clock and the sleep and wake cycle, serotonin is also at work. Occurring naturally in our bodies, serotonin is involved in mood and helps with deep REM sleep. But adding serotonin in unknown amounts could be unhealthy.

Rishi says it can be dangerous to use a product as a medication when doses can be so off and there are unknown byproducts in it.

Serotonin can influence the heart, blood vessels, and brain, so it’s not something Rishi wants to see people taking without paying attention. People taking medication for mood disorders could be especially affected by the serotonin in their sleep aid, he warns.

For anyone taking melatonin, Rishi recommends they check the bottle to see whether they are using a product with a USP verified check mark, which indicates that the product meets the standards of the U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention.

The risk of impurities is a good reason for kids to not be given the hormone, but another worry is whether melatonin interferes with puberty in children – which is also a question researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, Canada, are asking.

Disrupting Puberty

While short-term melatonin use is considered safe, the researchers report, concerns that long-term use might delay children’s sexual maturation require more study. One theory is that nightly melatonin use might interrupt the decline of natural hormone levels and interfere with the start of puberty.

Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit also reported an uptick in accidental ingestion of melatonin in children. Kids got their hands on melatonin and swallowed too many capsules more often than other pill-related mishaps during the pandemic, they reported in the journal Pediatrics.

Rishi says more research is needed to assess the safe use of melatonin in children. He points out that the hormone can treat circadian rhythm disorders in adults.

While specialists weigh the benefits and risks of melatonin use and where it is safest to try, Rishi says the hormone does have a role in medicine.

Melatonin will probably need to be regulated by the FDA as a medication – especially for children – Rishi points out. And what place, if any, it will have for managing chronic insomnia is “a big question mark.”

Results of the investigation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine will be published on its website in a few months.

10 Celtic Sea Salt Benefits

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Humans cannot survive without salt because it helps regulate the water content in the body. Most people think they should eliminate salt from their diet, which is not a complete truth. While table salt or refined salt is toxic and unhealthy, your body needs natural pure salt to complete several processes. It means you should avoid the wrong type of salt but look for a better alternative such as Celtic Sea salt, harvested through the Celtic method that uses wooden rakes to prevent exposure to metals.

Celtic Sea Salt Benefits

Benefits of Celtic Sea salt come from the way it’s harvested. Celtic Sea salt is sun-dried and aired in clay ponds. It is then gathered with the help of wooden tool to ensure its living enzymes are intact. As it is unrefined salt, it provides you with 84 beneficial live elements, without the addition of any preservatives or chemicals.

  1. It Is High in Sodium

Sodium is an essential mineral needed by the body to control blood pressure and volume. It is extremely important for proper nerve and muscle function. Healthy adults should consume at least 2,300mg of sodium a day, whereas people with a history of heart disease should limit their sodium intake to 1,500mg. Celtic Sea salt helps you get your recommended daily intake of sodium.

  1. It Has Healing Properties

One of the many Celtic Sea salt benefits is that it balances out the minerals in the body and offers healing benefits. Regular consumption may help eliminate excess mucus, which in turn reduces congestion in your nasal passages and lungs. It improves your immune system and gives your body the power to recover from injuries. It actually enhances your cells’ ability to resist infections and bacterial diseases, which not only prevents infections but also heals your body quicker. You may also consider taking a bath after dissolving sea salt in your bathwater to promote wound healing. Gargling with pure salt water may also help ease sore throats.

  1. It Improves Your Cardiovascular Health

Unlike refined salt, Celtic Sea salt is actually good for your cardiovascular health. Consuming Celtic Sea salt with adequate amount of water actually helps stabilize irregular heartbeats. It also normalizes your blood pressure and is quite beneficial for people with high blood pressure.

  1. It Promotes Brain Function

Regular consumption of sea salt improves the health of nerve cells. This makes it easier for them to communicate and process information. It also plays a role in extracting toxins and excess acidity from your brain cells, which in turn promotes better brain function.

  1. It Alkalizes the Body

You suffer from serious health complications when your body is acidic. Sea salt helps extract excess acidity in the body and make it more alkaline. It removes excess acid wastes from your cells and helps maintain a healthy acid-alkaline balance. At the same time, it prevents water retention – it helps maintain an electrolyte balance and eliminate the retained water from your system.

  1. It Stabilizes Blood Sugars

Celtic Sea salt benefits also include its ability to stabilize blood sugar. People with diabetes have a hard time maintaining their blood sugar levels, and that is when Celtic Sea salt can be of great help. Replacing refined salt with unrefined salt may actually help to balance blood sugars.

  1. It Improves Energy

You are going to feel tired when your body does not have enough sodium and trace minerals. The solution is to include Celtic Sea salt in your diet, which helps regenerate hydroelectric energy in the cells. Moreover, the abundance of trace minerals in your diet will help calm your nervous system, which enables you to have a restful sleep. Getting enough sleep at night is important to feel energetic during the day. Just take sea salt with warm water before bedtime to promote a deeper sleep – it also keeps you from waking up in the middle of the night with an urge to urinate.

  1. It Prevents Muscle Cramps

Your body will start cramping up when there is an electrolyte imbalance. In other words, you experience muscle cramps when your body loses sodium. You can refuel your body quickly by consuming Celtic Sea salt. It provides you with the right amount of trace minerals and relieves muscle cramps.

  1. It Helps with Kidney Stones

If you have been dealing with kidney stones for a while now, consider replacing refined salt with Celtic Sea salt. Many people have confirmed how effective sea salt is in terms of dissolving kidney stones. Regular consumption may also help prevent and dissolve gallbladder stones.

  1. It Helps Control Saliva

Drooling in your sleep can be quite embarrassing and troublesome too. It sometimes means you do not have the right kind of salt in your body or you are dehydrating. Leaving it untreated increases your chance of developing double chin, which is the result of your saliva glands working hard to lubricate your throat and mouth. You should increase your water intake and consume Celtic Sea salt to treat this condition.

Types and Usages of Celtic Salt

It is important to find unrefined Celtic salt to enjoy the amazing Celtic Sea salt benefits. Natural sea salt is light grey in color, which is mainly due to a mix of clay and sea minerals. The clay helps ionize the minerals in the sea salt and makes it even more beneficial. Celtic sea salt is a bit moist to the touch and retains its moisture even when you store it in a cool place.

You can find light grey Celtic Sea salt and fine ground Celtic Sea salt with ease.

  • Light grey sea salt means it has been dried by the summer wind and sun – no processing is involved here. It is great for cooking, and you can use it on the table after grinding with a ceramic salt grinder. You should avoid metal grinders though.
  • Fine ground Celtic Sea salt is the same light grey salt but is ground for convenience. It does not contain any chemicals though. It may clump easily, so you may consider adding a few grains of rice to the shaker to prevent the problem.

No matter what type of Celtic Sea salt you use, just make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated while using the salt.

Sperm counts worldwide have plunged 62% in under 50 years: study

New York Post

by Yaron Steinbuch – November 15, 2022

Get ready for a baby bust.

Sperm counts globally have fallen at an alarming rate – dropping by more than 62% between 1973 and 2018 – and could lead to a reproductive crisis, new research has found.

During the same period, the concentration of sperm among men dropped by more than 51%, from 101.2 million to 49 million sperm per milliliter of semen, according to the peer-reviewed study published Tuesday in the journal Human Reproduction Update.

That number is still above the World Health Organization’s cutoff, namely 15 million per milliliter, below which men are deemed to have a low sperm concentration, The Times of Israel reported.

But the drop is still alarming, according to Prof. Hagai Levine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who led the study along with Prof. Shanna Swan at New York’s Icahn School of Medicine.

“We have a serious problem on our hands that, if not mitigated, could threaten mankind’s survival,” the epidemiologist said in a statement, adding that the findings serve as “a canary in a coal mine.”

The Israeli and American team, joined by researchers in Denmark, Brazil, and Spain, studied sperm count trends in areas that had not been reviewed previously.

Levine noted that the news doesn’t address what is causing the declines, but other researchers have tied falling sperm counts to obesity, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, exposure to certain chemicals and pesticides, among other factors.

In 2017, the same team had already reported about an alarming decline in sperm counts across the Western world, according to Euronews.

It reported that sperm counts in America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand plummeted by more than 50% between 1973 and 2011.

The new study — which includes seven more years of statistics — is far wider in geographical reach, covering 53 countries, and its meta-analysis looked at 223 studies based on sperm samples from more than 57,000 men.

The concentration of sperm among men dropped by more than 51%, from 101.2 million to 49 million sperm per milliliter of semen, between 1973 and 2018.

The research also sounds alarm bells for both male fertility and for men’s health in general because low sperm counts are associated with increased risk of chronic disease, testicular cancer and a decreased lifespan, the researchers noted.

“We should be amazed and worried by the finding,” Levine told The Times of Israel.

“The trend of decline is very clear. This is a remarkable finding and I feel responsible to deliver it to the world. The decline is both very real and appears to be accelerating,” he told the news outlet.

Levine cited research that suggests fertility begins to drop when sperm concentration goes under 40 million per milliliter.

He said that at the rate of current decline, that number is expected to be the global average within a decade.

“What is more, we’re looking at averages, and if men are today averaging 50 million sperm per milliliter, there are large numbers of men who today have under 40 million sperm per milliliter — in other words, fertility that is actually suboptimal,” he told the Times of Israel.

Swan, of the New York’s Icahn School of Medicine, said that plummeting sperm counts are part of a wider decline in men’s health.

“The troubling declines in men’s sperm concentration and total sperm counts at over 1% each year as reported in our paper are consistent with adverse trends in other men’s health outcomes,” she said.

“These include testicular cancer, hormonal disruption, and genital birth defects, as well as declines in female reproductive health. This clearly cannot continue unchecked,” Swan added.

We Are Rebranding Suboptimal Care as Real-World Practice

Medscape – October 25, 2022

by H. Jack West MD

When the press release for KEYNOTE-091 came out in mid-January, it was only logical to compare the outcomes for patients with those of the 2021 IMpower010 trial — both trials were looking at adjuvant immunotherapy following surgery for early-stage non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The KEYNOTE-091 trial announced an improvement in disease-free survival for patients with resected stage IB-IIIA NSCLC after receiving a year of adjuvant pembrolizumab.

The IMpower010 trial reported similarly promising results: A year of adjuvant atezolizumab led to significant improvement in disease-free survival in the same patient population. This finding prompted the recent FDA approval of adjuvant atezolizumab in this setting.

While we await the formal publication of KEYNOTE-091, one distinction in the design of these two studies is the positioning of adjuvant chemotherapy — an established standard of care for patients with resected stage IB-IIIA NSCLC that is associated with a modest but consistent survival benefit. Specifically, the IMpower010 trial randomly assigned patients only after they had received adjuvant chemotherapy, while KEYNOTE-091 did not require it, an approach that may be framed as reflecting “real-world practice.”

KEYNOTE-091 is not the only recent clinical trial to forgo adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy in its design. Take the randomized trial of gefitinib vs adjuvant chemotherapy in EGFR mutation–positive Chinese patients with resected stage IB-IIIA NSCLC. The trial omitted adjuvant chemotherapy in the investigational arm, even though chemotherapy has been shown to confer a significant improvement in overall survival — a benefit we have not yet seen from adjuvant EGFR inhibitors. The same logic applies to the 2020 ADAURA trial of adjuvant Osimertinib.

This shift away from adjuvant chemotherapy in clinical trials reflects real-world practice. Studies show considerable geographic variation in the use of adjuvant chemotherapy across the United States, with carboplatin-based doublets often selected instead of cisplatin-based regimens.

However, these practices do not reflect evidence-based guidelines. The clinical practice guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the European Society for Medical Oncology have unequivocally directed eligible patients with resected stage IB-IIIA NSCLC to first pursue cisplatin-based chemotherapy on the basis of a decade’s worth of trials demonstrating a consistent benefit. And comparator arms in studies like the Intergroup-run ECOG 1505 trial use cisplatin-based doublet chemotherapy for four cycles, not best supportive care.

I think the growing tendency to omit adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy in clinical trials is troubling. The danger is that patients will miss out on adjuvant chemotherapy in this setting because their oncologists have assumed from clinical trials that an alternative can effectively replace chemotherapy. A central characteristic of clinical trials is that they define optimal practice, as much in their design and control arms as in the novel practices introduced. My concern is that we are justifying and exonerating suboptimal practice as normal when we run clinical trials that don’t include adjuvant chemotherapy in these settings.

Those who defend this shift away from adjuvant chemotherapy cite the fact that many patients in the real world are not fit enough to pursue the rigors of adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy. They also argue that clinical trial populations do not reflect the variability in performance status, comorbidities, and diversity of patients seen in the clinic, and thus having clinical data that support the decision to deviate from guidelines is important.

I am not saying that patients and their physicians cannot deviate from standard-of-care treatments when it’s an informed decision. It is critical to decide on the goals of care with patients and discuss the sometimes-marginal benefits associated with guideline-recommended treatments, and these discussions should be appropriately individualized.

But individual patient characteristics don’t explain the tremendous variability in the use of adjuvant chemo across health systems and geographical regions. In other words, the range of patients and their tumor biology is far more constant than oncologists’ commitment to optimal, evidence-based care. It seems as though many patients aren’t getting adjuvant chemotherapy simply because they or their oncologist just don’t feel like it.

And my point is that we should not excuse suboptimal care by rebranding it “real-world practice” and ratifying it in the control arms of landmark clinical trials.

There is definitely value in running trials specifically for patients with marginal performance status, poor renal function, and other real-world characteristics that render these patients ineligible for many of our clinical trials. However, their inclusion in trials that define optimal standards of care shouldn’t redefine and lower our standards. Personally, I’d have far more validating visits with my primary care physician if we just relaxed our body mass index and cholesterol goals to accommodate real-world findings in the US, but that wouldn’t be good for our health. If we don’t aim higher, we’re apt to be complacent or even aim lower.

In a previous column, I highlighted another deviation from recommended practice: low levels of molecular marker testing for patients with advanced NSCLC across community-based practice in the US. Fewer than half of these patients are getting next-generation sequencing, even though it is clearly recommended by the NCCN.

Yet, experts aren’t arguing that we should stop trying to increase molecular marker testing rates, or that we should stop sequencing tumors in trials simply because comprehensive testing doesn’t represent real-world practice.

That would be inane. It is also not in the corporate interest of pharmaceutical companies trying to identify every eligible patient for their targeted therapies.

Likewise, it should also be considered inane to lower our standards for early lung cancer patients receiving adjuvant therapies — yet, in this instance we are willing to rebrand suboptimal care as “real-world practice” for the sake of broadening clinical trial eligibility and finishing trials faster.

Doing this not only reduces the quality of clinical trials, but it also lowers our expectations of what should be standard and optimal care for our patients.

95 Percent of Corpses Had Received COVID Vaccination within 2 Weeks of Death: Funeral Director

The Epoch Times – October 20, 2022

by Enrico Trigoso

A funeral director from New Zealand says that 95 percent of the corpses he has been seeing had received a COVID-19 vaccine within two weeks of their passing away.

“Ninety-five percent of the people who have passed away through the work that I’ve done have been vaccinated within two weeks,” Brenton Faithfull said.

Faithfull has been working as a funeral director for the last 41 years and has been running his own mortuary business for the last 26 years. He recently spoke out about the apparent relationship between the COVID-19 vaccines and the deaths he has been observing.

“It’s very obvious, they die within two weeks of receiving the vaccination, a lot of them … almost appear to have died from anaphylaxis, almost a reaction straight away to the booster.”

Anaphylaxis is an acute reaction of the body to an antigen, such as that of a bee sting, or an injection.

“They die the same day, the following day after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. This isn’t a one-off case, this is the majority of cases that have come through our facility,” Faithfull said in an interview.

UK Funeral Director

Similar data has been discussed by funeral director John O’Looney in the UK and Richard Hirschman from Alabama, previously reported by The Epoch Times.

“From the very moment these injections went into arms, the death rate soared beyond belief. They labeled them all as COVID deaths, but the reality is they were almost exclusively the people who were vaccinated,” O’Looney told The Epoch Times.

“We now see record numbers of deaths in the vaccinated and in record numbers of young people. They die from a mixture of sudden very aggressive cancers or blood clots, which cause heart attack and stroke,” he added.

Doctors Comment

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, who has been informing the public on the dangers of vaccines for over two decades, weighed in on Faithfull’s testimony:

“On Dec. 2, 2020, UK regulators granted emergency-use authorization (EUA) to Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot. Within a week, MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency] Chief Executive Officer June Raine said in a statement that ‘Any person with a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine, medicine or food should not receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.’ She went on to say that ‘allergic reactions had not been a feature of Pfizer’s clinical trials,’” Dr. Tenpenny told The Epoch Times.

However, Tenpenny further noted that anaphylaxis was the “first identified risk.”

“Pfizer was forced to release their findings by a Texas federal judge in January 2022. Within that first tranche of documents, you will find Table 3–Safety Concerns–on page 10 of this document [pdf]. The first identified risk is anaphylaxis. In a risk survey … conducted between Dec. 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021, a mere three months, 1,833 cases of anaphylaxis had been observed and four individuals died from anaphylaxis on the same,” she said.

The Epoch Times reached out to Pfizer for comment.

In certain cases, Faithfull and his staff try to get the coroner involved.

Faithfull shared one instance where a man insisted that his father should not get the vaccine, but his sister pressured their father. When the father conceded and took the shot, he died four days later.

“When I started counting in August of last year, it was one after the other, after the other, after the other, and when I got to 20, it was 19 who had died within two weeks [of getting the vaccine],” Faithfull said.

“So, the first 20 days, I counted 19 of them—that’s 95 percent,” the funeral director explained. “The next number was 100 percent of the people who died had been vaccinated within two weeks.”

Dr. Sanjay Verma is a cardiologist practicing in California who has been seeing a dramatic increase in heart problems since the rollout of the vaccines.

“Previous work by Dr. Gundry demonstrated an increase in cardiac inflammatory markers after COVID-19 vaccination. Interestingly, from Dec 2021 thru Jun 2022, 100 percent of the patients needing urgent cardiac catheterization for heart attack had been vaccinated, many of them with booster doses. More than half had been recently vaccinated (within a few weeks). In a county where 60 percent of the population is vaccinated, this trend was worrisome,” Verma told The Epoch Times.

“There have been 31,470 deaths after COVID-19 vaccination reported in VAERS. The vast majority of them are clustered within seven days after vaccination. Additionally, there are some other worrisome trends. Data from CDC indicate there were 60,000 deaths in Sept 2019 and Sept 2020. However, in Sept 2021 that number surged to 90,000. We also have numerous social media posts on people, especially athletes, who ‘died suddenly’ with no apparent cause,” Verma said.

Verma believes that any unexplained death within a few weeks or even months after vaccination should be “investigated with a thorough autopsy,” specifically evaluated for spike protein in the brain, major blood vessels, and heart.

“We know the spike protein is toxic to blood vessels, causing endothelial dysfunction. The spike protein is also toxic to heart muscle, causing myocardial injury. There are also case reports of autopsy proven vaccine-mediated encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), myocarditis, and vasculitis, all of which can cause death,” Verma added.

Deprived of Sleep, Many Turn to Melatonin Despite Risks

Medscape – WebMD – by Laura Lillie

April 19, 2022

A previous study of melatonin products, for instance, flagged problems with inconsistent doses, which make it hard for people to know exactly how much they are getting and prompted calls for more FDA oversight.

Imprecise Doses

While melatonin doses typically range from 1 to 5 milligrams, bottles examined have been off target with much more or less hormone in the product than listed on the label.

Researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, tested 30 commercially available formulas and found the melatonin content varied from the ingredients labeled on the bottles by more than 10%.

In addition to melatonin, the researchers found other substances in the bottles too: In about a quarter of the products, they also identified another chemical messenger called serotonin.


While melatonin plays a role in setting the body’s biological clock and the sleep and wake cycle, serotonin is also at work. Occurring naturally in our bodies, serotonin is involved in mood and helps with deep REM sleep. But adding serotonin in unknown amounts could be unhealthy.

Muhammad Adeel Rishi, MD, vice chair, Public Safety Committee, American Academy of Sleep Medicine says, it can be dangerous to use a product as a medication when doses can be so off and there are unknown byproducts in it.

Serotonin can influence the heart, blood vessels, and brain, so it’s not something Rishi wants to see people taking without paying attention. People taking medication for mood disorders could be especially affected by the serotonin in their sleep aid, he warns.

For anyone taking melatonin, Rishi recommends they check the bottle to see whether they are using a product with a USP verified check mark, which indicates that the product meets the standards of the U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention.

The risk of impurities is a good reason for kids to not be given the hormone, but another worry is whether melatonin interferes with puberty in children – which is also a question researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, Canada, are asking.

Disrupting Puberty

While short-term melatonin use is considered safe, the researchers report, concerns that long-term use might delay children’s sexual maturation require more study. One theory is that nightly melatonin use might interrupt the decline of natural hormone levels and interfere with the start of puberty.

Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit also reported an uptick in accidental ingestion of melatonin in children. Kids got their hands on melatonin and swallowed too many capsules more often than other pill-related mishaps during the pandemic, they reported in the journal Pediatrics.

Rishi says more research is needed to assess the safe use of melatonin in children. He points out that the hormone can treat circadian rhythm disorders in adults.

While specialists weigh the benefits and risks of melatonin use and where it is safest to try, Rishi says the hormone does have a role in medicine.

Melatonin will probably need to be regulated by the FDA as a medication – especially for children – Rishi points out. And what place, if any, it will have for managing chronic insomnia is “a big question mark.”

Results of the investigation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine will be published on its website in a few months.


The Journal of the American Medical Association: “Trends in Use of Melatonin Supplements Among US Adults, 1999-2018.”

Muhammad Adeel Rishi, MD, vice chair, Public Safety Committee, American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine: “Melatonin Natural Health Products and Supplements: Presence of Serotonin and Significant Variability of Melatonin Content.”

Nature and Science of Sleep: “Could long-term administration of melatonin to prepubertal children affect timing of puberty? A clinician’s perspective.”

Pediatrics: “COVID-19 and Pediatric Ingestions.”

The High Risk of Toothpaste

Have you seen the “Warnings” on toothpaste boxes?

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Investigation into Lucky Charms after more than 100 customer complaints of sickness

ABC News – April 19, 2022by Kelly McCarthy

The cereal marketed as “magically delicious” is under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration after more than 100 customers claimed the cereal made them sick.

On Saturday, as first reported by The Associated Press, the agency said it had received over 100 complaints related to Lucky Charms so far this year.

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Boxes of General Mills Lucky Charms cereal are displayed at a grocery store. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The FDA confirmed the investigation to ABC News and said it’s “aware of consumer complaints regarding illnesses associated with Lucky Charms cereal.”

“The FDA takes seriously any reports of possible adulteration of a food that may also cause illnesses or injury. Complaints of a less serious nature or those that appear to be isolated incidents are monitored and the information may be used during a future inspection of a company to help the FDA identify problem areas in a production plant,” an FDA official told ABC News. “The complaints are also discussed with company management during these inspections.”

Questions about a possible link between the cases of reported illness and the cereal after hundreds of consumers posted on a food safety website called, iwaspoisoned, with complaints of nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. According to the platform, over 3,000 posted complaints as of Monday.

General Mills Inc., the Minneapolis-based company that makes Lucky Charms and other cereals, said its own investigation has not found any evidence of consumer illness linked to Lucky Charms.

“We encourage consumers to please share any concerns directly with General Mills,” a spokeswoman said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A hundred complaints were initially found on the FDA’s reporting site, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Adverse Event Reporting System (CFSAN). The database contains information on adverse event and product complaint reports submitted by consumers and others to FDA for foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. As of time of publication the program had received over 100 reports related to Lucky Charms in 2022, all being reviewed and investigated.

ABC News has reached out to General Mills, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But the company told the WSJ on Sunday that it’s working with the FDA.

British Pilot Trainee Dies from Mosquito Bite

New York Post – By David Propper – July 6, 2022

A British woman training to become an airline pilot was killed after being bitten by a mosquito in Belgium, a report said Wednesday.

Oriana Pepper was bitten by the insect while in Antwerp in July 2021 and suffered an infection that moved to her brain, according to the BBC.

The 21-year-old went to the emergency room after the bite near her right eye appeared swollen and infected, according to a judicial inquiry obtained by the outlet.

The Suffolk native was prescribed antibiotics and sent home. However, she was rushed back to the hospital two days later by her boyfriend after she collapsed.

She died on July 12, 2021 — five days after she was bitten. The cause of death was septic emboli in the brain.

Nigel Parsley, Suffolk’s senior coroner, explained in the inquiry that the woman died “as a result of a serious infection caused by an insect bite to the forehead.”

“I’ve never seen a case like this before,” Parsely said in a recorded narrative.

“It’s just one of those things that’s just such an unfortunate tragedy for a young lady who clearly had a wonderful career and life ahead of her.”

The BBC reported that Pepper had easily passed her theory exams on the EasyJet and then went to Belgium to begin further training.

Her boyfriend, James, said the couple was bitten multiple times since arriving in Belgium in May but was told by locals it was “normal for the area and time of year,” the Sun reported.

Pepper’s father Tristan said his daughter loved to fly with him and her brother who was also a trainee commercial pilot.

“She had met someone she loved, she was training to be a commercial pilot and was fulfilling her dreams,” he reportedly said during the hearing.

Why most Americans are losing the battle of getting into pre-COVID shape

New York Times – by Erin Kelly – June 1, 2022

Squeezing back into a pair of jeans bought before March 2020 is a challenge for lots of Americans — and a new study found that injury may be to blame. The study of 2,000 adults, by OnePoll in partnership with CURAD, found that seven out of 10 respondents said they stopped working out during the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eighty-eight percent said they had every intention of getting back to their pre-pandemic bod, but 56 percent have since sustained an injury. Of them, 64 percent of people admitted they jumped back into their normal routine too quickly after sitting on the couch for a year and some change. Others — 56 percent, to be exact — said they got back into their competitive sports too soon, and 45 percent either pulled a muscle or “moved too quickly.”

Where respondents received their injuries:

  • Knees: 37%
  • Hands/feet: 36%
  • Torn muscles: 36%
  • Ankles: 35%

“It’s important to ease back into your old workout routine, especially if you’ve been away for a while,” NCAA Team Physician and Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Gloria Beim said. “Jumping back in too quickly can put you at risk of pulling muscles or even more serious injuries.”

Overall, 85 percent of respondents said their injuries have stopped them from getting back into shape, with 90 percent saying they had to switch up their routines because of their ouchie.

Beim suggested easing back into a routine. “Give your body a chance to build up its endurance and muscle memory,” Beim continued. “Using the proper fitness gear, including supports, wraps, kinesiology tape, bandages and cooling sprays can also help you get back into the game.”

Still, 46 percent of respondents fear that their injury will impact their future fitness plans. That would be a great setback to the 83 percent of participants who would love to get back to their “peak performance days.” Those days, by the way, averaged out to be when they were just 28 years old.

Participants also cited having to wear a mask at the gym (60%), catching COVID (58%) and changing up their normal workout routine (57%) as reasons they didn’t stay active during the coronavirus pandemic. The other 41 percent still blame the pandemic itself for the weight gain.

What are Americans using to recover?

  • Therapy oils/lotions: 43%
    Orthopedic braces: 42%
    Massage/Foam roller: 41%
    Stretching/yoga: 40%
    Ice baths or analgesics: 38%
    Hot/Cold pack: 37%
    Tapes/Wraps: 35%
    Kinesiology tape: 34%
    Barre: 31%

Dairy Consumption Increases Risk of Cancer

Health and Nutrition News – May 12, 2022

Dairy consumption increases the risk for cancer, according to a study published in BMC Medicine. Researchers compared dairy consumption and cancer risk for over half a million participants in China for 11 years. For every 50 grams (less than a 1/4 cup) of milk and other dairy products consumed per day, overall, liver, and female breast cancer risk increased by 7%, 12%, and 17%, respectively. As more people in China drink milk regularly, intake of saturated fat and hormones associated with cancer development also increase.

Read the full BMC Medicine Journal article.

Can Cancer Blood Tests Live Up to Promise of Saving Lives?

Associate Press – By Carla K. Johnson – April 15, 2022

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Joyce Ares of Canby, Ore. She had volunteered to take a blood test that is being billed as a new frontier in cancer screening for healthy people. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

Joyce Ares had just turned 74 and was feeling fine when she agreed to give a blood sample for research. So, she was surprised when the screening test came back positive for signs of cancer.

After a repeat blood test, a PET scan and a needle biopsy, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.

“I cried,” the retired real estate broker said. “Just a couple of tears and thought, ‘OK, now what do we do?’”

The Canby, Oregon, resident had volunteered to take a blood test that is being billed as a new frontier in cancer screening for healthy people. It looks for cancer by checking for DNA fragments shed by tumor cells.

Such blood tests, called liquid biopsies, are already used in patients with cancer to tailor their treatment and check to see if tumors come back.

Now, one company is promoting its blood test to people with no signs of cancer as a way to detect tumors in the pancreas, ovaries and other sites that have no recommended screening method.

It’s an open question whether such cancer blood tests — if added to routine care — could improve Americans’ health or help meet the White House’s goal of cutting the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years.

With advances in DNA sequencing and data science making the blood tests possible, California-based Grail and other companies are racing to commercialize them.

And U.S. government researchers are planning a large experiment — with 200,000 participants and possibly lasting seven years — to see if the blood tests can live up to the promise of catching more cancers earlier and saving lives.

“They sound wonderful, but we don’t have enough information,” said Dr. Lori Minasian of the National Cancer Institute, who is involved in planning the research. “We don’t have definitive data that shows that they will reduce the risk of dying from cancer.”

Grail is far ahead of other companies with 2,000 doctors willing to prescribe the $949 test. Most insurance plans don’t cover the cost. The tests are being marketed without endorsements from medical groups or a recommendation from U.S. health authorities.

FDA authorization, clearance or approval of such tests is required by law, but the agency historically has not enforced most regulatory requirements for ones – like Grail’s – that are designed, manufactured and used within a single laboratory. The agency is working with Congress on legislation to update the regulatory framework, which would include active oversight for such tests, said FDA spokesman Jim McKinney.

“For a drug, the FDA demands that there is a substantial high likelihood that the benefits not only are proven, but they outweigh the harms. That’s not the case for devices like blood tests,” said Dr. Barry Kramer of the Lisa Schwartz Foundation for Truth in Medicine.

Grail plans to seek approval from the FDA but is marketing its test as it submits data to the agency.

The history of cancer screening has taught caution. In 2004, Japan halted mass screening of infants for a childhood cancer after studies found it didn’t save lives. Last year, a 16-year study in 200,000 women in the United Kingdom found regular screening for ovarian cancer didn’t make any difference in deaths.

Cases like these have uncovered some surprises: Screening finds some cancers that don’t need to be cured. The flip side? Many dangerous cancers grow so fast they elude screening and prove deadly anyway.

And screening can do more harm than good. Anxiety from false positives. Unnecessary costs. And serious side effects from cancer care: PSA tests for men can lead to treatment complications such as incontinence or impotence, even when some slow-growing prostate cancers would never have caused trouble.

The evidence is strongest for screening tests for cancers of the breast, cervix and colon. For some smokers, lung cancer screening is recommended.

The recommended tests — mammography, PAP tests, colonoscopy — look for one cancer at a time. The new blood tests look for many cancers at once. That’s an advantage, according to Grail executive Dr. Joshua Ofman.

“We screen for four or five cancers in this country, but (many) cancer deaths are coming from cancers that we’re not looking for at all,” Ofman said.

Dr. Tomasz Beer of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland led the company-sponsored study that Joyce Ares joined in 2020. After a miserable winter of chemotherapy and radiation, doctors told her the treatment was a success.

Her case isn’t an outlier, “but it is the sort of hoped-for ideal outcome, and not everyone is going to have that,” Beer said.

While there were other early cancers detected among study participants, some had less clear-cut experiences. For some, blood tests led to scans that never located a cancer, which could mean the result was a false positive, or it could mean there’s a mystery cancer that will show up later. For others, blood tests detected cancer that turned out to be advanced and aggressive, Beer said. One older participant with a bad case declined treatment.

Grail continues to update its test as it learns from these studies, and is sponsoring a trial with Britain’s National Health Service in 140,000 people to see if the blood test can reduce the number of cancers caught in late stages.

Although Ares feels lucky, it’s impossible to know whether her test added healthy years to her life or made no real difference, said Kramer, former director of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Prevention.

“I sincerely hope that Joyce benefited from having this test,” Kramer said when told of her experience. “But unfortunately, we can’t know, at the individual Joyce level, whether that’s the case.”

Cancer treatments can have long-term side effects, he said, “and we don’t know how fast the tumor would have grown.” Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma is so effective that delaying therapy until she felt symptoms might have achieved the same happy outcome.

For now, health experts stress the Grail blood test is not a cancer diagnosis; a positive result triggers further scans and biopsies.

“This is a path in diagnostic testing that has never been tried before,” Kramer said. “Our ultimate destination is a test that has a clear net benefit. If we don’t do it carefully, we’ll go way off the path.”

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

This story was first published on April 11, 2022. It was updated on April 14, 2022, to make clear that FDA approval of some tests is required by law but the agency historically has not enforced regulatory requirements on certain tests.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Calcium Supplementation

Dove Press JournalClinical Interventions in Aging – 2018

A Review of Calcium Intake on Human Health

Calcium is an important integrative component of the human body and critical for human health. It has been well established that calcium intake is helpful in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, which has become one of the most serious public health problems across the world.

However, community-dwelling adults with and without osteoporosis are rarely concerned or even not aware of the potential side effects of high or inappropriate doses of calcium intake. Some recent studies have revealed that excessive calcium intake might increase the risks of cardiovascular diseases.

The purpose of this article was to review the health benefits, costs, and consequences of calcium supplementation on osteoporosis/osteoporotic fractures, cardiovascular events, kidney stones, gastrointestinal diseases, and other important diseases. In the end, we suggest that calcium supplementation should be prescribed and taken cautiously, accounting for individual patients’ risks and benefits.

Clearly, further studies are needed to examine the health effects of calcium supplementation to make any solid recommendations for people of different genders, ages, and ethnicities.

Read full article.

Vitamin C, Doxycycline and Cancer Stem Cells – Alex Speers ND, MS

Within a single tumor, there are a variety of different cell types. One type, called cancer stem cells, or CSCs, are unique because when they divide, they can produce a variety of different cell types in addition to producing more stem cells. This is important because it means that if CSCs are present within a tumor, that tumor has a potential source for any cell type it needs to sustain itself and grow.

Now consider what happens when we try to kill a growing tumor. Even if a treatment successfully kills a significant number of cancer cells, that tumor may still be able to regrow if CSCs remain alive. Think of cancer like a weed, growing wildly inside the body. CSCs are the root, and as any good gardener knows, if you don’t kill the root, there’s a good chance that weed will eventually grow back.

Some researchers have theorized that this small subgroup of cancer cells are the primary culprits behind cancer growth, cancer metastasis (spread of cancer throughout the body), cancer recurrence after treatment, and the development of treatment resistance, whereby a tumor no longer responds to treatment. Clearly, CSCs are a significant obstacle in the fight against cancer and as a result, targeting these cells has become a focus in the development of new cancer therapies.

Recently, researchers found that CSCs could be identified and distinguished from other cancer cells by their high mitochondrial mass. Mitrochondria are found within every cell in our body (except red blood cells) and are responsible for producing the energy our cells need to function. Discovering this, these same researchers set out to investigate whether they could kill CSCs by targeting their mitochondria.

What they found was that CSCs could effectively be killed using an integrative approach. First, they treated cancer cells with the antibiotic doxycycline, which acts by disrupting normal mitochondrial function. Initially, the researchers found that they could kill CSCs from several cancer types (ovarian, prostate, lung, breast, pancreatic, melanoma, glioblastoma) using only doxycycline. With continued use of doxycycline however, the researchers noticed that some CSCs began to develop resistance to doxycycline, escaping its anti-cancer effects.

Next, the researchers treated doxycycline-resistant CSCs with ascorbic acid, otherwise known as vitamin C. What they found was that adding vitamin C resulted in the death of 90-100% of the doxycycline-resistant CSCs. Furthermore, the doxycycline-resistant CSCs were 4-10 times more susceptible to vitamin C compared to normal CSCs, suggesting a synergy between the two agents.

With any cell study, it’s important to remember that the results don’t always translate to humans because we’re talking about isolated cells in a laboratory, far removed from a living, breathing human being. It is worth noting, however, that this combination has been studied in humans before, albeit for a different condition. A previous study of women with chlamydial cervicitis infections found that combining vitamin C with doxycycline and TMP-sulfa (another antibiotic) resulted in a cure rate that was 5 times higher than using antibiotics alone. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence on the safe use of high-dose intravenous vitamin C in patients with cancer (which will be discussed in a future blog). The present cell study suggests a potential new integrative approach to target CSCs and future research is warranted to validate these findings.

De Francesco EM, Bonuccelli G, Maggiolini M, Sotgia F, and Lisanti MP. Vitamin c and doxycycline: a synthetic lethal combination therapy targeting metabolic flexibility in cancer stem cells (CSCs). Oncotarget. 2017;8(40):67269-67286.

DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. There are no financial ties to any supplement companies, pharmaceutical companies, or to any of the products mentioned in this post. This post is not meant to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose conditions or diseases and is meant for educational purposes. As always, please consult your doctor before trying any new treatments or supplements.

Young Man and the Seal

SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL, Calif. (KABC) — February 15, 2022

Consistent with the classic novel, “The Old Man and the Sea”, it’s a modern-day true tale.

Lost at sea, with no land in sight, a Southern California boater fell into the ocean and thought he was spending his final moments on earth. “I thought to myself, great, this is how I’m going to die,” boater Scott Thompson said. “Today is the day I’m going to die.”

Thompson accidentally fell out of his boat and into the water last month. He wore only shorts and a T-shirt in the middle of the frigid Santa Barbara Channel at night, miles away from land.

Panic set in as he watched his boat motor on without him.

“That’s when I realized, like, okay, we got problems,” Thompson said. “And I just started swimming as hard as I could, towards the boat, and it really didn’t take too long to realize like, it’s getting farther, I’m not getting closer.”

Despite being an expert diver and experienced swimmer, Thompson felt the icy chill of the ocean and certain death creeping in.

“The panic set in it was like, wow, this is a pretty heavy situation,” he said.

Thomspon needed a miracle to survive against overwhelming odds. With no land in sight, he leaned on the love for his family to inspire the fight to live.

“Just keep swimming, you gotta get home to your family.” Thompson kept telling himself. “I was devastating myself, through my mind, just picturing my girls and my son growing up without me, and my wife, you know, not having a husband to support her…I wasn’t thinking about sharks or anything like that, until I hear this splash?”

To Thompson, that splash felt like an angel summoned to help him.

“It was a medium sized harbor seal,” Thompson said. “The seal would go underwater, and he came up and nudged me. like a dog comes up and nudges your leg.”

Thompson saw that as a divine sign that against all odds he could make it.

“Did it know, like hey, this human is in trouble, hey keep going dude?” he said.

After his interaction with the seal, Thompson felt determined to swim to the nearest oil platform, which was far but closer than land.

“You gotta make it to the platform because you have no choice,” Thompson said. Freezing and exhausted, he kept swimming some five hours — finally reaching the platform.

“It started getting brighter and I’m just like, I’m crying. And I’m like, shouting at the sky.” he said.

Crews aboard the oil platform rendered aid. The coast guard got him to a hospital where Thompson got treated for hypothermia, and more.

A tow boat crew that recovered the floating vessel and say they can’t believe Thompson survived.

“Even putting on a wet suit, being prepared, getting in that water, and swimming to the platform was horrendous,” Channel Watch Marine Paul Amaral said. “I can’t imagine being in the water with shorts and a T-shirt at night. There was no moon, I mean it was pitch black.”

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.

COVID Brain Fog a ‘True Neurological Condition’

Medscape – by Pauline Anderson – January 24, 2022

Impaired cognition associated with COVID-19 appears to have a biological vs psychological basis, early research suggests.

Investigators found abnormalities in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and other risk factors, including diabetes and hypertension, present in individuals with mild COVID-19 experiencing persistent cognitive problems, often referred to as “brain fog.”

“We’re seeing changes to the [CSF] in the brain of most people who report cognitive changes,” Joanna Hellmuth, MD, assistant professor of neurology, Memory and Aging Center, University of California, San Francisco, told Medscape Medical News.

“We’re just in the beginning stages, but I hope this study will provide some legitimacy to this being a true neurologic condition.” The study was published online January 18 in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

There is currently no guidance on how to identify patients with COVID-related cognitive changes, said Hellmuth. “The term ‘brain fog’ is not based in science or medicine, but that’s the most common term we use to describe this.”

The analysis included adults with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection not requiring hospitalization who were enrolled in the Long-term Impact of Infection with Novel Coronavirus (LIINC) study.

Participants underwent a structured interview that covered COVID-19 illness, past medical history, preexisting cognitive risk factors, medications, and cognitive symptoms following onset of COVID-19. They also completed an in-person battery of cognitive tests.

The analysis included 22 participants with at least one new cognitive symptom who had cognitive post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC). Ten cognitive controls reported no new cognitive symptoms after acute infection.

Participants had a median age of 41 years old, a median of 16 years of education, and were assessed a median of 10.1 months from their first COVID-19 symptom. There were no group differences in terms of age, gender, years of education, or distribution of race/ethnicity (all P > .05).

Among those with cognitive PASC, 43% reported cognitive symptoms starting 1 or more months after the first COVID symptom. About 29% reported cognitive changes started 2 or more months after their first COVID symptom.

“The immune system could be altered in some way after the infection, and perhaps that’s what’s contributing to these delayed onset cognitive changes,” said Hellmuth.

Compared to controls, participants with cognitive PASC had more preexisting cognitive risk factors (a median of 2.5 vs 0; P = .03). These included hypertension and diabetes, which increase the risk of stroke, mild cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, traumatic brain injury (TBI), learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, stimulant use, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, which may make the brain more vulnerable to executive functioning problems.

Hellmuth noted the study wasn’t powered to determine whether any individual risk factor was associated with risk of cognitive changes.

As there are no published neuropsychological testing criteria for cognitive PASC, researchers applied the equivalent criteria for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND), a similar, virally associated cognitive disorder.

Only 59% of those with cognitive PASC met equivalent HAND criteria for objective cognitive impairment, vs 70% of cognitive controls. This, the investigators note, highlights “the challenges and incongruities of using subjective, versus objective cognitive assessments for diagnosis.”

Is Self-report Enough?

While there is currently “nothing objective doctors can hang their hats on to say, ‘you do’ or ‘you don’t’ have cognitive changes related to COVID,” using the HAND criteria is “not particularly helpful,” said Hellmuth.

“Comparing an individual to a population-based norm in this case is really nuanced, and we shouldn’t rely on this solely to determine whether they do, or don’t, have cognitive changes.”

Perhaps self-reports in this case are “enough” said Hellmuth. “People know their brains better than anyone else, better than any doctor will.”

Thirteen in the cognitive PASC group and four in the control group consented to a lumbar puncture. Cognitive PASC participants were older than controls (median of 47 vs 28 years, = .03) with no other between-group differences.

Overall, 77% of participants with cognitive PASC had a CSF abnormality compared with 0% of cognitive controls (P = .01).

CSF abnormalities included elevated protein levels with no other explainable cause in 2 of the 13 subjects with PASC, which Hellmuth said is typically a marker of inflammation.

Researchers also noted abnormal oligoclonal banding, a collection of antibodies, in the blood or brain fluid. These were identified in 69% of participants with cognitive PASC compared to 0% of cognitive controls (P = .03).

“When we find this pattern in both blood and brain, it suggests a systemic inflammatory disorder,” although “we have no idea what these antibodies are targeting,” said Hellmuth.

The study represents “the very beginning stages” of PASC becoming a medical diagnosis “where doctors know what to call it, how to treat it, and how to do blood and cerebrospinal fluid tests to diagnose it,” said Hellmuth.

She hopes PASC will receive medical legitimacy just as TBI has. In years past, a player was hit on the head or had their “bell rung,” simply returned to the field. “Now that we understand the science, we call it a mild TBI or concussion, and we have a very different medical approach to it.”

A limitation of the study was the small sample size, which may hinder the results’ validity. In addition, the study demographics may not reflect the broader population of those impacted by PASC.

“A First Substantial Step”

Commenting on the research for Medscape Medical News, William Schaffner, MD, professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, said the new results represent “a first substantial step on the road to trying to find out what’s going on” with COVID patients dealing with cognitive issues.

Schaffner noted elevated protein levels, identified in some study subjects, “is usually a consequence of previous inflammation” and is “a very interesting” finding.

“In people who are otherwise normal, if you do a lumbar puncture, you don’t find elevated proteins.”

However, he noted the “diversity of results” from CSF examinations. “A single pattern does not leap out.”

What the researchers are observing “is not just a phenomenon of the mind or just something psychological,” said Schaffner. “Something physical is going on here.”

The study was funded by grants from NIMH and NINDS. Hellmuth received grant support from the National Institutes of Health/NIMH supporting this work and personal fees for medical-legal consultation outside of the submitted work. Schaffner has disclosed not relevant financial relationships.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol. Published online January 18, 2022. Abstract.

Man Dies of Hypothermia in an Unplugged Freezer

Claim: A man locked in an unplugged freezer imagined himself freezing to death and died as a result.

by David Mikkelson – Snopes

A man finds himself locked in a walk-in freezer. He is convinced he will die and begins writing letters. His letters end with a final passage where he is saying he cannot write anymore because his fingers are beginning to freeze. When they find him dead, not only do they find the letters, but they discover that the freezer’s temperature never dropped below 50 degrees. Thus, the man pretty much psyched himself to death.

[Van Ekeren, 1988] – The expression “worried to death” has more truth to it than you might think.

There is a story about Nick Sitzman, a strong, young bull-of-a-man, who worked on a train crew. It seemed Nick had everything: a strong healthy body, ambition, a wife and two children, and many friends. However, Nick had one fault. He was a notorious worrier. He worried about everything and usually feared the worst.

One midsummer day, the train crew were informed that they could quit an hour early in honor of the foreman’s birthday. Accidentally, Nick was locked in a refrigerator boxcar, and the rest of the workmen left the site. Nice panicked.

He banged and shouted until his fists were bloody and his voice was hoarse. No one heard him. “If I can’t get out, I’ll freeze to death in here,” he thought. Wanting to let his wife and family know exactly what had happened to him, Nick found a knife and began to etch words on the wooden floor. He wrote, “It’s so cold, my body is getting numb. If I could just go to sleep. These may be my last words.”

The next morning the crew slid open the heavy doors of the boxcar and found Nick dead. An autopsy revealed that every physical sign of his body indicated he had frozen to death. And yet the refrigeration unit of the car was inoperative, and the temperature inside indicated fifty-five degrees. Nick had killed himself by the power of worry.

Origins:   Can someone really think himself to death? That is the point of this legend: the mind is a powerful thing; so powerful that it can kill. This story has often been passed along by motivational speakers as an example of the power of one’s mind.

We’ve been hearing versions of this story for years, tales in which the details change but the theme remains that of an unfortunate man who dies after he is trapped in a situation which he presumes to be dangerous but is later revealed not to have posed any real threat to his well-being: The air-tight room he’s locked in turns out to have a vent to the outside which brings a steady supply of fresh air but the man suffocates because he believes he’s used up all the oxygen; the cooling unit on the refrigerated boxcar he’s trapped in isn’t turned on, but the man stuck inside the car slowly succumbs to hypothermia nonetheless.

Because this type of story involves a death caused by something contradictory to the physical evidence, a search of the deceased’s pockets or a quick glance at the floor or walls will inevitably turn up a note detailing the final hours of his life. The note is a necessary plot element in this sort of tale, as the victim’s thoughts just prior to his death are key to the story, and those are details we couldn’t know without his conveniently having left a written record of what he’d been thinking.

The theme of a physically unharmed victim who passes away only because he believes himself to be dying underpins another urban legend. In “Lethal Indirection,” a fellow who believes himself to have been executed dies of a heart attack.

Could someone really think himself to death? The jury may still be out on that concept, but we’ve yet to find any documentation for the claim that someone once died because his power of thought turned him into a corpsicle.

Woman Wakes Up From Covid-19 Coma on Her Last Day on Life Support

New York Post – by Yaron Steinbuch

November 19, 2021 

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Bettina Lerman suffered no organ failure and is seemingly mentally sharp after waking up, according to her son. Courtesy Andrew Lerman

A comatose Florida woman on a ventilator with COVID-19 stunned her family when she suddenly woke up more than a month later — on the day she was expected to be taken off life support.

Florida resident Bettina Lerman, 69, who was not vaccinated, was visiting Maine with her son Andrew Lerman to help care for his cancer-stricken father, who also contracted COVID-19 but has recovered, CNN reported.

After getting infected with the deadly bug, Lerman was hospitalized at Maine Medical Center in Portland on Sept. 12 and was placed on a ventilator nine days later, according to the network.

Doctors told the family they didn’t expect her to make it as her condition worsened.

“We had a family meeting with the hospital because my mother wasn’t waking up. No matter what they (did), they couldn’t get her to wake up,” Andrew told CNN. “They said that her lungs are completely destroyed. There’s irreversible damage — that it’s just not going to happen.”

Bettina, who had planned to get the jab when she became ill, has multiple underlying medical conditions, including diabetes. She had also suffered a heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery two years ago, her son said.

The family picked out her casket and headstone as they prepared to say goodbye, he said, adding that he and his siblings flew down to Tavares, Florida, to cancel their mom’s lease and donate many of her possessions, the Washington Post reported.

“It was the end of the line,” Andrew told the paper.

But on Oct. 29, the day they planned to remove her from life support, one of her doctors called.

“He’s like, ‘Well, I need you to come here right away.’ I was like, ‘OK, what’s wrong?’” Andrew told CNN. “He goes, ‘Well, there’s nothing wrong. Your mother woke up.’”

He told the Washington Post he was “completely beside myself,” adding: “I dropped the phone because I was going to be terminating life support that day.”

A hospital spokeswoman told CNN that Bettina remains in serious condition but she could not release any additional information due to privacy laws.

Andrew said she didn’t suffer any organ failure and that no one really understands how she’s doing so well.

“My mother is very religious and so are a lot of her friends, and church, and everything else and they’ve all been praying for her,” he told CNN. “So they can’t explain it on the medical side. Maybe it’s on the religious side. I’m not that religious, but I’m starting to believe that there’s something that helped her. I don’t know.”

Andrew said his mother can breathe on her own for a few hours at a time with some oxygen support, instead of a ventilator.

“She knows where she is, who she is — she’s as sharp as a tack,” he said. “Usually, when somebody comes out of a coma like that, they say that the patients have delirium where they’re very confused. From day one, she hasn’t experienced any of that.”

More than 768,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the US since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Andrew told WMTW that his mom plans to get vaccinated after her recovery.

I think the right thing to do is to get vaccinated, so if one of our family members gets it again, it won’t be that bad,” he told the outlet. “We give her words of encouragement every day. We tell her to keep on fighting.”

FDA Drugs Approved on Fraudulent Research Stay on Market

In 2010, the FDA uncovered violations it later called “egregious” and “pervasive” at a major pharmaceutical testing lab. But even though the agency no longer knew for sure that drugs tested at the lab were safe, it allowed them to remain on pharmacy shelves with no new testing — in some cases until now. And the FDA won’t name the drugs.

by ProPublica – April 15, 2013

Key Points

  • In 2011, the FDA announced years’ worth of studies from a major drug research lab were potentially worthless.
  • About 100 drugs were on the U.S. market based in part on these tests.
  • The FDA let the drugs stay on pharmacy shelves with no new testing (in some cases until now).
  • As the FDA investigated and ordered re-tests, its European equivalent pulled seven drugs from the market.
  • The FDA says it has no evidence that any of the drugs were unsafe or that any patient has been harmed.

The FDA has never named the drugs, saying to do so would reveal trade secrets. On the morning of May 3, 2010, three agents of the Food and Drug Administration descended upon the Houston office of Cetero Research, a firm that conducted research for drug companies worldwide.

Lead agent Patrick Stone, now retired from the FDA, had visited the Houston lab many times over the previous decade for routine inspections. This time was different. His team was there to investigate a former employee’s allegation that the company had tampered with records and manipulated test data.

When Stone explained the gravity of the inquiry to Chinna Pamidi, the testing facility’s president, the Cetero executive made a brief phone call. Moments later, employees rolled in eight flatbed carts, each double-stacked with file boxes. The documents represented five years of data from some 1,400 drug trials.

Pamidi bluntly acknowledged that much of the lab’s work was fraudulent, Stone said. “You got us,” Stone recalled him saying.

Based partly on records in the file boxes, the FDA eventually concluded that the lab’s violations were so “egregious” and pervasive that studies conducted there between April 2005 and August 2009 might be worthless.

The health threat was potentially serious: About 100 drugs, including sophisticated chemotherapy compounds and addictive prescription painkillers, had been approved for sale in the United States at least in part on the strength of Cetero Houston’s tainted tests. The vast majority, 81, were generic versions of brand-name drugs on which Cetero scientists had often run critical tests to determine whether the copies did, in fact, act the same in the body as the originals. For example, one of these generic drugs was ibuprofen, sold as gelatin capsules by one of the nation’s largest grocery-store chains for months before the FDA received assurance they were safe.

The rest were new medications that required so much research to win approval that the FDA says Cetero’s tests were rarely crucial.

Stone said he expected the FDA to move swiftly to compel new testing and to publicly warn patients and doctors.

Instead, the agency decided to handle the matter quietly, evaluating the medicines with virtually no public disclosure of what it had discovered. It pulled none of the drugs from the market, even temporarily, letting consumers take the ibuprofen and other medicines it no longer knew for sure were safe and effective. To this day, some drugs remain on the market despite the FDA having no additional scientific evidence to back up the safety and efficacy of these drugs.

Nasal Spray Company Pushes CDC, FDA to Accept Its Claims to Help Treat COVID

September 10, 2021

Newsweek – Bill PowellWith his job approval rating plunging and the Delta variant of Covid19 still raging, President Biden this evening laid out new directives—including vaccine mandates for companies with 100 or more employees—to try to get the virus under control.

For a group of companies and medical researchers scattered around the world, the speech was yet another disappointment in what has been a year full of them. To them, Biden’s speech represented a missed opportunity to promote a simple, inexpensive and widely available tool for dealing with the virus: nasal sprays.

How can nasal sprays help combat COVID 19? The virus and its variants infect patients primarily by adhering to the nasal membrane as the original source of infection, explains Nathan Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Xlear, the American Fork, Utah-based maker of nasal sprays as well as an array of dental care products.

Researchers who have studied the matter say that any spray that works by blocking adhesion of the virus to the nasal membrane, and by physically washing the virus from the nose, will likely be equally effective with the Delta variant. Sanotize, a Vancouver, Canada-based biotech firm, began phase three trials across several countries of its spray to gauge its effectiveness against Delta. Preliminary trials have been promising, the company says, and it has already received interim approval for sale from public health agencies in Israel and

As Biden’s speech Thursday evening illustrated, the U.S. approach to COVID has been vaccine-centric. That has been immensely frustrating to a company such as Xlear, which has been in a year-long dialogue with the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration, seeking emergency use authorization for its nasal spray as a COVID treatment. (In order to make antiviral claims in its advertising and marketing, a company needs an EUA from the FDA.) It has also tried to prod the Centers for Disease Control to issue guidance on the use of nasal sprays to blunt the coronavirus’s impact.

So far both the FDA and the CDC have resisted those entreaties. In a lengthy letter to the company sent this summer and seen by Newsweek, Sandra Cashman, executive secretary in the office of the Chief of Staff at the CDC, dismisses one of the independent studies on nasal spray’s effectiveness as “small,” says it discusses nasal spray’s efficacy only in terms of treating symptoms, and “presents no hard evidence …in terms of viral load reduction.”

The company submitted multiple studies that it says demonstrate that its spray does help “destroy the virus,” as Jones puts it. Other researchers point to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine which shows that the viral load is concentrated in the nose and upper airways, something, Jones says, ”we have known since February of 2020, and we still are not talking about it.”

But for the CDC, it hasn’t been enough. “If further data is released [on viral load reduction] CDC will consider this additional scientific evidence to…determine updates to our recommendations,” Cashman wrote. A CDC staffer, not authorized to speak on the record, says this sort of give and take is fairly standard, and that ”if the agency doesn’t feel it has seen enough hard data, it won’t update its guidance. But when it does, it will.”

Despite the brush off from the CDC, Xlear’s dialogue with the FDA continued throughout the summer, leading to some optimism that an EUA might come at some point. A recent letter laid out some steps the company needed to take in order to move toward an EUA, and stressed that it was always open to dialogue. “So that at least was a positive,” says an attorney for Xlear working on the matter.

But that’s about all that was positive. The FDA made requests that seemed outlandish to some people associated with Xlear. For example, the spray Xlear produces is made from grapefruit seed extract. The FDA wanted to know the origin of the grapefruits the company uses, the sources said—down to the fields they were grown in and the day they were harvested. But the company buys from a supplier, who in turn buys the grapefruits from another company. Establishing where and when specific grapefruits were harvested is going to be a nightmare.

The FDA also asked for a safety trial. But over-the-counter nasal sprays have been on the market for years with almost no serious safety concerns. “It just makes no sense,” says a source familiar with the company’s communications with the agency. ”They want mountains from us and a molehill from the drug makers.”

Jones gave voice to the frustration. ”We aren’t a fringe group of people just looking at simple solutions via a nasal spray. We know we’re not a magic bullet. But we can be a weapon in this fight,” he says—and a cost-effective one at that: ”nasal spray solutions are $6 a month or even less.”

Six months ago, hoping to understand the agency’s internal deliberations about nasal sprays and their potential to combat COVID, Xlear filed a freedom of information request to the CDC. It got the results earlier this month. The CDC turned over 558 pages, three of which were redacted. “There is literally nothing there,” says an attorney familiar with the case. “We had asked them to look at the use of nasal sprays, but there was no research, no studies discussed. No one was even assigned anyone to it.”

CDC says it was responsive and will remain so, and that it awaits the FDA’s response on the EUA before issuing any guidance.

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12 Foods That Are Ruining Your Smile

Healthfully – written by Maressa Brown

When it comes to caring for your well-being, dental health may not rank as high as other concerns, like cardiovascular and digestive health. Yet, when something goes wrong with your chompers — think bleeding gums or a cavity — figuring out how to improve your dental hygiene quickly becomes top of mind.

Besides keeping up with regular visits to your dentist, brushing and flossing, one of the best ways to maintain dental health is by steering clear of certain foods and drinks that can chip away at your mouth’s wellness.

“Certain ingredients may not only be damaging to your waistline but to your teeth as well,” says Sarah Jebreil, D.D.S. **, a dentist in Newport Beach, Calif. Here are seven foods that dentists are quick to sideline for the sake of dental health. **

  1. Red Wine

Red wine may be delicious and full of wonderful flavonoids, well-known antioxidants that can help with inflammation and protect cell structure, but when it comes to your teeth you might want to be careful.

The good news is you don’t have to drink your cab or pinot noir out of a straw to keep your smile bright and shiny — simply rinse your mouth with water after drinking it. Phew!

  1. Lemons

Lemons may be low in calories, packed with fiber and high in vitamin C, but don’t ever think about sucking on a whole lemon or drinking undiluted lemon juice. “Lemons erode your enamel due to acidity,” says Dr. Apa, who advises against letting your teeth come into contact with any sort of lemon concentrate. Luckily you don’t have to avoid the tart citrus altogether. Adding lemon juice to your favorite foods is totally fine, as is drinking water with as much lemon squeezed into it as you please.

  1. Sticky Candies

Candies that aren’t only sweet but also sticky — think Sour Patch Kids or Laffy Taffy — may serve as a throwback to childhood and offer a pleasant sugar rush, but they’re bad news for your teeth, says Maricelle Abayon, D.M.D. , dentist and faculty member with Eastman Institute for Oral Health, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“Gummy candy and taffy stick to the tooth surface and can be difficult to clean off,” Dr. Abayon says. The risk? When residual sugar is left on the surface of the tooth, it can up your risk of developing cavities.

  1. Fruit Juice

Whether you love grabbing a glass of orange juice with your breakfast, a green juice on the way home from the gym or lemonade on a hot summer day, overdoing consumption of fruit juice — especially apple and orange juice — is a no-no if you want to keep your teeth healthy.

“It breaks down into acids that demineralize the tooth surface, also increasing the risk for developing cavities,” says Dr. Abayon. Tooth erosion — loss of tooth enamel from acidic foods and beverages — is a potential issue, as well.

A 2015 study published in PLoS One compared various beverages for their effect on tooth erosion and found that apple juice and orange juice were about five times more erosive than light cola, and lemon juice was significantly erosive, as well.

  1. Coffee

You already know that ordering a frothy, sugar-packed coffee drink is the fast track to consuming empty calories.

“While these drinks are so tasty and comforting, the acid from coffee combined with the sugar can really be damaging to the enamel and cause tooth decay,” she says.

“In addition, coffee is a diuretic, causing the mouth to become dry after consumption.” A dry mouth lays the groundwork for buildup of plaque and harmful bacteria.

“If you slip and do consume any of these offenders, don’t stress, just be sure to drink plenty of water and swish it around your mouth to remove and residual film from these ingredients,” she says. “Of course, if you can, brushing your teeth would be best.”

  1. Soda

Much like juice, frequent guzzling of soda is frowned upon by dental health care providers, given its propensity to promote cavities and tooth erosion.

“Besides being sugary, soda is acidic,” says Steven Freeman, D.D.S. , owner of Elite Smiles, a dental office located in St. Augustine, Fl.

“Enamel begins to dissolve at a pH of 5.5 and under,” says Dr. Freeman. And most sodas come in well below that — under the 3.0 mark — meaning they’re highly acidic and erosive.

If you must drink soda, Dr. Freeman advises drinking versus sipping.

“Sipping causes the pH in your mouth to stay lower longer,” he says. “And do not brush immediately after drinking from a can, this can damage the already softened enamel further.”

  1. Dried Fruit

When you’re suffering from a sweet tooth, you might think it’s OK to gravitate to nature’s candy — a.k.a. fruit — instead of candy. But you’ll do well to reach for fresh fruit over dried options, like highly-acidic prunes, apricots, and raisins.

“Dried fruits can act like a sticky caramel in your mouth,” says Mark Burhenne, D.D.S. , founder of “The gumminess clings to teeth just like candy and traps cavity-causing bacteria and sugars on the teeth.”

That said, a 2016 study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition notes that dried fruit does have significantly more nutritional benefits than candy (duh! ), including being high in fiber, low in fat and containing useful levels of micronutrients. So if your choices are between candy and dried fruit, go for the fruit.

  1. Pistachios

Snapping pistachio shells in your mouth is even kinda fun, right?

Unfortunately, by using your teeth to crack them you may be chipping them and not even know it. Instead of opting for the shell-on version, Dr. Apa suggests buying your nuts shelled — unless you want to end up in his office.

  1. Turmeric

Prized for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric — a plant related to ginger that’s grown throughout India and other parts of Asia and Central America — has been popping up in supplements, juices and sauces galore. But it’s important not to overdo it on this healthy spice if you’re concerned about maintaining your pearly whites.

“While the health benefits are astounding, so is the stain that it leaves,” says Dr. Jebreil. That said, the concern may be more for people who have had certain cosmetic work done on their teeth.

“Do not consume turmeric if you have bonding or temporaries or are wearing clear aligners,” she says. “Turmeric stains everything a nice golden brown, including your tongue.”

  1. Green Juice

Green juice is pretty much the holy grail of health, as it is typically made with a bevy of raw fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals. But the greenish hue isn’t quite kosher for your cuspids.

According to Dr. Apa, the green pigmentation can stain them. However, you shouldn’t quit consuming your daily greens — just don’t chug them straight from the bottle if you want to keep your teeth white instead of tinted to match your paper folding money. “Sip your green juice through a straw,” he suggests.

  1. Beets

Beets are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals and are low in calories, fat and sodium. Whether you prefer adding them to salads or juicing them to drink, they can sweeten your day without using up too much of your daily recommended amount of sugar.

But Dr. Apa warns that their gorgeous reddish hue can cling to your canines and tint them that beautiful shade of beet red. Not so pretty, right? Whether sipping them in a smoothie or chomping them on their own, just make sure to brush your teeth after eating.

  1. Saltine Crackers

Sugary foods and drinks tend to get the worst rap when it comes to damaging your teeth, but some salty snacks aren’t that great either. Refined carbohydrates — like the ones in saltine crackers, Goldfish crackers, even gluten-free crackers — are fermentable and highly-processed starches, Dr. Burnhenne says.

The sugars in these types of high-glycemic snacks mix with naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth, fermenting and creating lactic acid, which is linked to erosion of tooth enamel. What’s more, many processed carbohydrates contain genetically engineered ingredients, which make the food more cariogenic, or cavity-causing, says Dr. Burhenne.

Are Fruit Juices Just as Unhealthy as Sugar-Sweetened Beverages?

JAMA Network Open

In the past few years, the health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) have been a matter of scientific and public interest. Sugar-sweetened beverages include any beverage with added sugar or other sweetener, such as carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks, fruit punch, fruit juice concentrates, powdered drink mixes, and energy drinks. Sugar-sweetened beverages typically contain 140 to 150 kcal and 35 to 37.5 g of sugar per 12-oz serving, and they are the largest source of added sugars in the US diet.1 Substantial efforts have been devoted to discourage the consumption of SSBs, including policies for taxation and restrictions on marketing to children.

Fruit juices are still widely perceived as a healthier option than SSBs. However, they often contain as much sugar and as many calories as SSBs. Although the sugar in 100% fruit juices is naturally occurring rather than added, once metabolized, the biological response is essentially the same.

It is widely accepted that SSBs are implicated in weight gain and adverse cardiometabolic health, but the evidence regarding fruit juices is less abundant. Using findings from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, Collin et al2 evaluated the associations of SSBs and 100% fruit juices with coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality and all-cause mortality.2 Among a cohort of 13 440 US adults (4174 black adults and 9266 white adults), 168 died of CHD and 1000 died of any cause after 6 years of follow-up. Compared with participants who consumed less than 5% of their daily calories as sugary beverages (ie, SSBs and fruit juices), participants who consumed 10% or more of their daily calories as sugary beverages had a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.44 (95% CI, 0.97-2.15) for CHD mortality and 1.14 (95% CI, 0.97-1.33) for all-cause mortality after adjusting the models for cardiovascular risk factors. With each additional 12 oz of sugary beverages or of fruit juice alone, risk-adjusted all-cause mortality HRs were 1.11 (95% CI, 1.03-1.19) and 1.24 (95% CI, 1.09-1.42), respectively. Collin et al2 concluded that fruit juice consumption contributed to the association of increased risk of all-cause mortality with sugary beverage consumption in the study population and suggested that well-powered and longer-term studies are needed to evaluate the associations of fruit juice consumption with CHD mortality risk. In addition to the small number of CHD-related deaths, another limitation of this study was that the analyses used self-reported intake only at baseline, which did not reflect long-term dietary intakes.

This is one of the first studies examining the associations of SSBs and 100% fruit juices with mortality outcomes in a multiethnic cohort, to our knowledge. Although the evidence from the REGARDS study is only suggestive, the study by Collins et al2 brings attention to potential adverse effects of SSB vs fruit juice consumption on health. There is compelling evidence that higher intakes of SSBs are associated with a wide range of health consequences, including tooth decay, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and cardiovascular disease. In a 2014 prospective analysis using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,3 higher intake of added sugar and SSBs was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular mortality among US adults after a median 14.6 years of follow-up. These findings were consistent with a 2019 study4 that included 36 436 deaths. Comparing extreme categories of SSBs intake, the relative risk of cardiovascular mortality was 31% (95% CI, 15%-49%) higher in participants who consumed more than 2 servings of SSBs per day after adjusting for major diet and lifestyle factors.4

The evidence for an association of intake of fruit juices with health outcomes is much less abundant and consistent. Results from a 2013 prospective cohort study5 that included 187 382 participants who were observed for up to 24 years (dietary intake information was updated every 4 years) showed that greater whole-fruit consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas greater consumption of fruit juices was associated with a higher type 2 diabetes risk.5 In a 2015 meta-analysis of 17 prospective cohort studies,6 each additional daily serving of SSBs was associated with 13% (95% CI, 6%-21%) greater risk of diabetes, while each additional daily serving of fruit juices was associated with 7% (95% CI, 1%-14%) greater risk.

There is some evidence that moderate consumption of fruit juices is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, especially stroke, and cognitive decline.7,8 Findings from the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition-Netherlands study7 showed that moderate consumption of 100% fruit juice (≤7 five-oz glasses per week) was associated with 17% (95% CI, 5%-27%) lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 24% (95% CI, 6%-39%) lower risk of stroke. In a 2019 study,8 compared with less than 1 serving per month, daily consumption of orange juice was associated with substantially lower odds of poor subjective cognitive function among men middle-aged and older (odds ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.43-0.67). The potential underlying mechanisms for the observed inverse associations may be related to the high antioxidant and bioactive substance (including vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols) content in some 100% fruit juices. These nutrients are hypothesized to reduce oxidative stress and improve inflammatory markers, endothelial function, and cognitive performance.7,8 However, the question is whether polyphenols and other phytochemicals in fruit juices can counteract the effects of sugars on weight and type 2 diabetes. The same polyphenols can also be obtained from whole fruits, which have higher amounts of dietary fiber and more satiating effects; thus, consumption of whole fruit is preferable because the evidence for their health benefits is strong.5 In addition, other beverages, such as coffee and tea, that are high in antioxidants and may have cardiometabolic benefits should be considered as healthier options.9 Finally, the amount of polyphenols and sugars differs greatly depending on the type of fruit juice, eg, apple juice vs orange juice, and their effects on health outcomes may also vary. Clearly, more research is needed to examine the association of consumption of fruit juices with risk of cardiovascular disease and with cognitive function.

What are the practical recommendations for fruit juice consumption? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommendations for children aged 1 to 6 years are to limit fruit juice consumption to a maximum of 4 to 6 oz per day, and for children 7 years and older, adolescents, and adults to limit fruit juice consumption to 8 oz per day. If juices are consumed, they should be 100% fruit juices, not other fruit drinks with added sugar (eg, fruit punch or juice cocktail). Other popular beverages such as fruit-based smoothies are commonly perceived as healthier options; however, their ingredients can vary substantially, and there is limited research on their health effects. Unless made with blended whole fruit, they are lower than whole fruits in dietary fiber and can contribute extra calories and sugars when consumed in excess.

In summary, the deleterious effects of SSBs are well established, and individual efforts and policy solutions are needed to reduce consumption levels. Although fruit juices may not be as deleterious as SSBs, their consumption should be moderated in children and adults, especially for individuals who wish to control their body weight. Further research is needed to examine the health risks and potential benefits of specific fruit juices.

Marta Guasch-Ferré1,2; Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD1,2

Author Affiliations Article Information

JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(5):e193109. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.3109


1. World Health Organization.  Guideline: sugars intake for adults and children. Accessed March 12, 2019.

2. Collin  LJ, Judd  S, Safford  M, Vaccarino  V, Welsh  JA.  Association of sugary beverage consumption with mortality risk in US adults: a secondary analysis of data from the REGARDS study.  JAMA Netw Open. 2016;2(5):e193121. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.3121
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3. Yang  Q, Zhang  Z, Gregg  EW, Flanders  WD, Merritt  R, Hu  FB.  Added sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases mortality among US adults.  JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(4):516-524. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13563
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4. Malik  VS, Li  Y, Pan  A,  et al.  Long-term consumption of sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages and risk of mortality in US adults  [published online March 18, 2019].  Circulation. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.037401PubMedGoogle Scholar

5. Muraki  I, Imamura  F, Manson  JE,  et al.  Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies.  BMJ. 2013;347:f5001. doi:10.1136/bmj.f5001PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

6. Imamura  F, O’Connor  L, Ye  Z,  et al.  Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice and incidence of type 2 diabetes: systematic review, meta-analysis, and estimation of population attributable fraction.  BMJ. 2015;351:h3576. doi:10.1136/bmj.h3576PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

7. Scheffers  FR, Boer  JMA, Verschuren  WMM,  et al.  Pure fruit juice and fruit consumption and the risk of CVD: the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition-Netherlands (EPIC-NL) study.  Br J Nutr. 2019;121(3):351-359. doi:10.1017/S0007114518003380PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

8. Yuan  C, Fondell  E, Bhushan  A,  et al.  Long-term intake of vegetables and fruits and subjective cognitive function in US men.  Neurology. 2019;92(1):e63-e75. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000006684PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

9. Ding  M, Bhupathiraju  SN, Satija  A, van Dam  RM, Hu  FB.  Long-term coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.  Circulation. 2014;129(6):643-659. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.005925PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

Don’t buy the hysteria: the Delta variant is actually less dangerous

New York Post by the Post Editorial Board – On Wednesday, the Delta variant became America’s dominant COVID strain. Yet it’s no cause for panic: The numbers — especially in Britain, which Delta hit hard — show it causes far fewer hospitalizations and deaths, while vaccines remain highly effective against it.

Most media hype the fear: “Americans should be more concerned about the Delta variant,” a Forbes piece declares. “Scientists have good reasons to sound the alarm,” New York magazine insists. “It’s hard to understand how worried to be,” a CNN analysis claims.

No, actually, the numbers are clear. Yes, Delta, first found in India, does appear more contagious than the Alpha variant first found in Britain — about 50 percent more transmissible, which is why it’s outpaced Alpha there.

Rising cases even prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay the end of restrictions. But the huge case spike didn’t lead to similar hospitalization or death spikes, so Britain’s back on track to lift regulations July 19.

The seven-day average of new UK cases is above 25,000, the highest since late January, when the weekly average had just dropped from a peak of 50,000. But only 2,000 COVID cases are hospitalized, vs. nearly 40,000 in January. Daily deaths average under 20, vs. more than 1,000 in January.

Similarly: Israel, despite a spike in Delta cases, is seeing deaths in the single digits over the last month.

In other words, Delta looks to be less lethal than previous variants, despite media scare stories.

This makes sound scientific sense: Evolution favors variants that are more contagious — but also ones that are less deadly because killing the host reduces the chances for spread.

And the vaccines still work well. Public Health England found Pfizer’s vax was 96 percent effective at preventing hospitalization from the Delta variant. An Israeli study found it was 94 percent effective at preventing severe illness.

Yes, Australia extended a two-week lockdown into three in the face of its Delta spike. But its vaccination rate isn’t even 10 percent. While America didn’t meet President Biden’s goal of 70 percent of adults with at least one shot by July 4, we’ll be there any day now.

US cases are rising mainly in areas lax with the vax. States with below-average jab rates have triple the number of new cases compared with above-average states. Arkansas has five times the national average of new cases — because not even 35 percent of its residents are fully vaccinated, vs. nearly 60 percent nationwide.

And while Delta caused a 10 percent rise in daily US cases late last month, COVID hospital admissions actually dropped.

Overcautious health bureaucrats miss the forest for the trees: Dr. Anthony Fauci is now urging even the vaccinated to still mask in areas of high transmission. Los Angeles County wants everyone to mask up again indoors, following the World Health Organization’s recommendation. Worse, education officials across the country are questioning school reopening plans as Delta cases rise.

Wrong: The only rational response is to work harder to get the holdouts jabbed. Biden announced Tuesday he’ll send “COVID-19 Surge Response teams” to get more shots to primary-care doctors and pediatricians, expand mobile clinics and even go door to door. That’s the smart way to keep the country on the road to normalcy, even as the fearmongers try to hold us back.

Half of Health Care Workers Refuse the Covid Vaccine

UndercurrentsWhat do frontline health care workers and first responders know about COVID-19 vaccines that politicians and their public health advisers don’t?

According to a January analysis by Gallup, 51 percent of health care workers and first responders polled in December were unconvinced of the merits of getting vaccinated, even if the vaccine “was free, available, FDA approved and 90% effective.”

Gallup found these results especially concerning since those at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 were the likeliest to refuse vaccination (34 percent).

In California, over half of Tehama County’s hospital workers at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital, an estimated 50 percent of frontline workers in Riverside County, and 20 percent to 40 percent in L.A. County refused the vaccine, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

In Georgia, according to an estimate in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, only 30 percent of health care workers have been inoculated. In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine reported that 60 percent of nursing-home workers refused the vaccine. In Texas, the Texas Tribune reported in February that home-health and assisted-living agencies may not be able to service their clients because so many caregivers are refusing to be vaccinated. A CDC survey of skilled-nursing facilities published in early February found that fewer than 40 percent of staff took at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Outside the United States, frontline workers are likewise skeptical. On March 2, Reuters reported that at most half of the nursing staff in Switzerland’s medical sector, only 30 percent of the staff at Germany’s BeneVit Group care-home operator, and about half of the health workers in French care homes were willing to be vaccinated.

PBS on the same day reported that since “India started administering the second vaccine dose two weeks ago, half of the frontline workers and nearly 40 percent of health care workers have not shown up.” In Canada, CTV provided an anecdotal report that many long-term-care workers in Montreal are “flat-out refusing” to be inoculated.

For health care workers around the world, their dilemma is who to believe. Their government employers and the pharmaceutical companies, who insist the vaccines’ benefits far outweigh the risks? Or their own eyes?

Many frontline workers see first-hand those who fall sick or die after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, and in the absence of independent analyses judge for themselves whether the vaccine is implicated. They noted 23 nursing-home deaths in Norway and hundreds of hospitalizations in Israelfollowing vaccination.

Frontline workers also suffer from vaccinations themselves. As Reuters reported in February in an article entitled “AstraZeneca Vaccine Faces Resistance in Europe After Health Workers Suffer Side-Effects,” the adverse effects hitting health care workers have unexpectedly left large numbers unable to work, forcing hospitals to scramble to maintain services.

In France, the safety agency advised hospitals to stagger the inoculation of team members, to avoid disabling team functions.

In Sweden, two of the country’s 21 health care regions paused vaccinatingtheir staff after 25 percent of the vaccinated suffered fever or flu-like symptoms.

In Austria, inoculations with a batch of vaccines were suspended after one vaccinated nurses died and another required hospitalization.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, to avoid getting vaccinated, half of the health professionals scheduled in the German state of Saarland failed to show up for their appointment.

In response to the many concerns raised by frontline workers, the vaccine manufacturers, care-home operators, and the public-health authorities in all these countries offer bland reassurances, such as AstraZeneca’s statementthat “the reactions reported are as we would expect” and the German Health Minister’s claim that “I would be vaccinated with it immediately.”

They also plan a plethora of public education campaigns. Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care, an industry advocacy group, launched a “Be Wise, Immunize” campaign to educate its workforce.

And all urge media and social media to be more vigilant in policing negative vaccination news. In offering pointers on how to debunk critics, the Columbia Journalism Review on March 5, told media companies that “The first rule of reporting on mis/disinformation [is] don’t talk about the mis/disinformation” and suggested they “consider the practice of ‘pre-bunking’—that is, actively debunking or anticipating public questions and concerns rather than only reacting once false narratives have been popularized.”

Although studies show that such assurances and public-education campaigns—also known as propaganda—can reduce vaccine hesitancy, Gallup finds their effect is marginal: “The limited COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates among all occupation groups show little movement since November 2020.”

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis agrees, and concludes that barriers to “staff member vaccination need to be overcome with continued development and implementation of focused communication and outreach strategies.”

Yet the CDC doesn’t explain why continued focused communication and outreach—i.e., more of the same—would overcome worker hesitancy, when workers don’t fully trust the data, or those who deliver the data. To overcome that trust barrier and win over the frontline workers—people who have every incentive to protect themselves—the media would need to lift the censorship, industry would need to subject its studies to independent scrutiny, and all would need to engage in reasoned debate rather than “trust-us” assurances.

Lawrence Solomon is a columnist, author, and executive director of the Toronto-based Consumer Policy Institute. @LSolomonTweets

Confirmed: Diet Influences Colorectal Cancer Risk

Medscape Medical NewsIt’s now confirmed: What you eat does affect your risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC).

An umbrella review of studies and meta-analyses found “convincing evidence of an association between a lower CRC risk and higher intakes of dietary fiber, dietary calcium, and yogurt and lower intakes of alcohol and red meat.”

However, more research is needed to address the link between CRC and other foods, including dairy products, whole grains, processed meat, and specific dietary patterns, the authors conclude.

“We can say that the existing recommendations for diet in the primary prevention of colorectal cancer is confirmed,” commented lead author Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk, PharmD, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy, Salt Lake City, Utah.

“It makes sense to encourage healthy diet, including those rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and low-fat dairy, and reducing red meat and alcohol intake,” he told Medscape Medical News. “However, some of them may not yet have convincing evidence to fully support the claim.”

Other lifestyle factors, including excess weight and physical inactivity, also play a role in cancer risk. Chaiyakunapruk pointed out that their review was focused only on diet and that they had set out to confirm factors for which there was strong and convincing evidence.

The review was published online in JAMA Network Open.

The umbrella review of 45 meta-analyses found 109 associations. Overall, 35 of these 109 associations (32.1%) were nominally statistically significant, as determined on the basis of random-effects meta-analysis models, the researchers explain.

Convincing evidence was found for an increase in the risk for CRC with higher vs lower red meat consumption and with heavy alcohol intake (defined as more than four drinks per day, compared with no drinks per day or occasional drinks).

In addition, convincing evidence was found for three inverse associations: a decrease in the risk for CRC was associated with higher vs lower intake of total dietary fiber, calcium, and yogurt.

The researchers note that, although not completely convincing, there was highly suggestive evidence for another association: a link between diet and CRC incidence. A higher intake of total dairy products (eg, milk, cheese, and yogurt) was associated with significant risk reduction, in comparison with lower intake. A moderate intake of alcohol (from one to three drinks but not more than four per day) was associated with an increase in incidence in comparison with no drinks or an occasional drink.

Evidence suggested a reduced risk in association with several lifestyle behaviors, including adherence to a Mediterranean diet, a healthy diet, a pesco-vegetarian or semivegetarian diet, and the intake of whole grains, nonfermented milk, and supplemental calcium.

The evidence suggested that adherence to a Western diet and intake of processed meat were associated with an increased risk for CRC.

There was weak or no evidence for the remaining associations.

Existing Cancer Prevention Guidelines

The findings support the existing cancer prevention dietary guidance and recommendations from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), commented the institute’s director of nutrition programs, Sheena Swanner Patel, MS, RDN. The study confirms that dietary factors play a strong role in lowering CRC risk, she added.

“AICR’s report found strong evidence for whole grains, foods containing dietary fiber, dairy products, and calcium supplements decreasing risk for colorectal cancer,” she said. “Specifically, eating 90 g or three servings of whole grains per day is associated with a 17% decrease in colorectal cancer risk.”

Patel added that the AICR’s report also indicated that there was strong evidence that eating large amounts of red and processed meat, drinking alcohol excessively, and carrying extra body weight increased the risk for CRC.

Many previous studies have suggested a link between diet and CRC risk. One recent study suggested that among all cancers, CRC has the highest proportion of diet-related cases (38.3%). The next highest were cancers of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx, for which almost 26% of cases were linked to diet, followed by endometrial cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, and cancers of the kidney, stomach, liver, pancreas, and esophagus.

Roxanne Nelson, RN, BSN

March 04, 2021

Chaiyakunapruk and co-authors and Patel have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

JAMA Netw Open. Published online February 16, 2021. Full text

Just a one week binge of junk food is enough to damage your brain AND more

By Vanessa Chalmers Health Reporter for MAILONLINE and Colin Fernandez Science Reporter for THE DAILY MAIL

• Study participants ate an abundance of fast food and milkshakes for a week
• They performed worse on brain tests suggesting the hippocampus was impaired
• The hippocampus normally stops us from gorging on more food when full
• When it’s not working properly, we feel unable to resist food, researchers say

Eating a diet of junk food for just one week was enough to damage part of the brain that stops us eating more when we are already full, research suggests.

Study participants who ate an abundance of fast food and high-fat milkshakes had increased cravings for more after seven days.

They performed worse on cognitive tests, with results suggesting an area of the brain called the hippocampus was impaired.

The hippocampus normally stops us from gorging on more food when we are full by suppressing memories of how tasty it is.

When it’s not working properly, the memories are more powerful and we are left unable to resist more cake, chocolates and crisps in front of us, the researchers believe.

The discovery sheds light on why people reach for the biscuit tin out of habit – rather than due to being hungry – and why it’s so hard to get out a cycle of bad eating.

Experiments on animals have shown poor diets rapidly mar the hippocampus – an area of grey matter that regulates memory and appetite.

Now the phenomenon has been demonstrated for the first time in humans.

Lead author Professor Richard Stevenson, of Macquarie University in Australia, said: ‘When we see cake, chocolate or crisps, for example, we remember how nice they are to eat.

‘When we are full the hippocampus normally suppresses these memories, reducing our desire to eat.

‘We found lean healthy young people exposed to one week of a junk food diet developed impaired hippocampal function and relatively greater desire to eat junk food when full.’

He explained: ‘Junk food may then act to undermine self-control by increasing desire.’

In the study 110 male and female undergraduates from the campus were split into two groups – half of whom were randomly selected to gorge on a western style diet for seven days.

They began by receiving a laboratory breakfast of a toasted sandwich and a milk shake, high in saturated fat and added sugar.

Their daily diet then included waffles and a main meal, dessert and drink from a popular fast food restaurant amounting to an intake of more than 4,000 calories. They were handed cash to pay for it.

The others acted as a control, beginning with a breakfast of a toasted sandwich and a milk shake, low in saturated fat and added sugar. They continued on their normal diet.

Before and afterwards, the participants rated their liking and wanting of tasty sugary cereals such as Coco pops and Frosties in milk and snack foods like Vegemite and Nutella on toast.

Rankings went up among those who had been eating the junk food – even when presented with the images having been sated.

They also performed worse in memory and learning tests targeted to the hippocampus.

Interestingly, when these were repeated three weeks later after they returned to their regular eating pattern these abilities returned to normal – suggesting the damage can be reversed.

Because the damaged part of the brain is also involved in memory, researchers say it adds to evidence that an unhealthy diet raises the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Stevenson, a food psychologist, said a number of studies have found the hippocampus is especially vulnerable to environmental risks – such as unhealthy diets.

He said: ‘It may be for this reason that a Western style diet – along with other factors – are known correlates of Alzheimer’s disease.

‘In conclusion, a large animal literature demonstrates a Western style diet adversely affects the hippocampus.

‘The current study suggests something similar occurs in humans, in that one week’s exposure causes a reduction in memory and learning performance, in addition to alterations in appetitive control, as measured by the wanting and liking test.’

The study, published in the Royal Society’s journal Open Science, follows research that found rats fed a diet containing 25 per cent sugar were thrown into a state of anxiety when it was removed.

Their symptoms included chattering teeth and the shakes – similar to those seen in people withdrawing from nicotine or morphine, said the US team.

Other studies in rodents have shown sweet foods stimulate opioids or ‘pleasure chemicals’ in the brain – suggesting people can become overly dependent on them.

This is the maximum age humans can physically reach, scientists say

By Hannah Frishberg 

Researchers believe they have identified the upper limit of human mortality: 150 years old.

This would top the current record for oldest human — Jeanne Calment, who passed away in 1997 at 122 years — but it sure does put a damper on efforts to live forever.

Using an iPhone app and a huge amount of medical data from volunteers in the UK and US, scientists think they’ve confirmed the maximum age people can anticipate ever living to, the researchers wrote in a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

Artificial intelligence analyzed the health- and fitness-related information, and researchers determined that the human lifespan is most significantly based on two data points: biological age (associated with stress, lifestyle and chronic diseases) and resilience (how quickly the person returns to normal after responding to a stressor).

Using these findings and related trends, researchers reckoned that, at around 120 to 150 years old, the human body shows “a complete loss” of resilience, resulting in an inability to recover, according to a press release.

“As we age, more and more time is required to recover after a perturbation, and on average we spend less and less time close to the optimal physiological state,” study author Timothy V. Pyrkov said.

Professor Andrei Gudkov — who works at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, which collaborated on the study — further commented that the finding is “a conceptual breakthrough, because it determines and separates the roles of fundamental factors in human longevity … It explains why even most effective prevention and treatment of age-related diseases could only improve the average, but not the maximal, lifespan, unless true anti-aging therapies have been developed.”

This comes amid a rising trend of biohacking, or using trendy, age-defying practices to lengthen a lifespan. Biohackers have tried everything from fasting to injecting themselves with untested herpes medication.

Last week, real estate tycoon Ari Rastegar, 39, claimed his routine use of things like stem cell therapy and meditation inside a hyperbaric chamber have resulted in him having the biological age of a 5-year-old.

Antibiotics Aimed at Covid-19 are Escalating Another Threat

Marcia FrellickIn the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a twin threat looms, affecting someone in the United States every 11 seconds and leading to a death every 15 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Antibiotic-resistant infections are on the rise, although they pale in comparison to COVID-19 deaths, which have now hit 535,000 in the United States. But the fear is that what has, in some cases, been overtreatment of COVID-19 might make the problem of antibiotic resistance even worse.

Public awareness of the urgency of the antibiotic-resistance threat is low, says Paul Auwaerter, MD, clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Although a large number of Americans have experienced a COVID-19 death in their circle of family and friends or have seen reports of suffering in the media, few have witnessed a death that happened because there was no drug to treat someone’s infection.

“What we most fear is that routine things that we take for granted now — giving chemotherapy to cancer patients, replacing knee joints, having a cesarean section, and not having that complicated by infection — will become much harder or perhaps impossible to manage,” Auwaerter says.

Worldwide, superbugs could kill 10 million people annually by 2050 if better treatments aren’t developed, according to a United Nations report. The World Health Organization has declared antimicrobial resistance to be among the 10 top threats facing humanity.

The pandemic came on top of an already troubling trend. Even before case counts started to rise, one in three antibiotic prescriptions was found to be unnecessary, according to the CDC.

And then COVID-19 created the “perfect storm” for antibiotic-resistant infections in healthcare settings, another CDC report shows, with prolonged hospital stays, increased antibiotic use, crowding, and severe sickness.

In the early days of the pandemic, amid symptom confusion and desperation with mounting deaths, clinicians were prescribing broad-spectrum antibiotics at unnecessarily high rates, according to Christine Kubin, PharmD, clinical pharmacy manager and lead for infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and her colleagues.

When cases surged in New York City in late March and early April last year, about 1700 people were hospitalized each day and approximately 70% of patients with COVID-19 received an antibiotic, the team writes in their recent report, published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy

Chinese rocket to tumble back to Earth in uncontrolled re-entry

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© Ju Zhenhua/Xinhua/AP – A large segment of China’s Long March-5B rocket, pictured here during launch on April 29, is expected to make an uncontrolled reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Phys.orgA large segment of a Chinese rocket is expected to make an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere on the weekend, but Beijing has downplayed fears and said there is a very low risk of any damage.

A Long March-5B rocket launched the first module of China’s new space station into Earth’s orbit on April 29. Its 18-tonne main segment is now in freefall and experts have said it is difficult to say precisely where and when it will re-enter the atmosphere.

Re-entry is expected to be around 2300 GMT on Saturday, according to the Pentagon, with a window of nine hours either side.

Chinese authorities have said most of the rocket components would likely be destroyed on re-entry.

“The probability of causing harm… on the ground is extremely low,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters on Friday.

Although there has been fevered speculation over exactly where the rocket—or parts of it—will land, there is a good chance any debris that does not burn up will just splash down into the ocean, given that the planet is 70 percent water.

“We’re hopeful that it will land in a place where it won’t harm anyone,” said Pentagon spokesman Mike Howard.

Howard said the United States was tracking the rocket segment but “its exact entry point into the Earth’s atmosphere cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its re-entry”.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier said that the US military had no plans to shoot it down, and suggested that China had been negligent in letting it fall out of orbit.

“Given the size of the object, there will necessarily be big pieces left over,” said Florent Delefie, an astronomer at the Paris-PSL Observatory.

“The chances of debris landing on an inhabited zone are tiny, probably one in a million.”
In 2020, debris from another Long March rocket fell on villages in the Ivory Coast, causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths.

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said that although there was no need to worry “too much”, the rocket’s design needed a re-think to stop such a scenario happening again.

“There is a real chance of damage to whatever it hits and the outside chance of a casualty,” he said.

“Having a ton of metal shards flying into the Earth at hundreds of kilometres per hour is not good practice, and China should redesign the Long-March 5B missions to avoid this.”

Report: Pregnant Women Show Strong Immune Response to Covid-19 Vaccines

By Lynn Allison

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NewsMax Health – A new report discovered pregnant and breastfeeding women enjoy a robust immune response to COVID-19 vaccines. Researchers found the mothers’ antibodies were present in their umbilical cord blood and breast milk, suggesting that immunity is passed on from moms to their offspring.

According to NBC News, the study, which was published Thursday in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is of utmost clinical importance since pregnant women were excluded from the trials of vaccines now available and there is little data on their efficacy in this population.

Dr. Andrea Edlow, one of the study authors, and a maternal-fetal specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, says that her study found evidence of maternal antibodies in breast milk and in the umbilical cord.

“So all the information that we have so far suggests that the COVID-19 vaccine, similar to other vaccines, can help protect babies by passing into breast milk and passing into the umbilical cord as well,” she said, according to an interview that aired on CBS News.

“This study is one of the pieces of the puzzle that’s essential to try and give pregnant and lactating women evidence-based counseling around the vaccine,” said Edlow, adding that her research proved that the babies do receive protection from vaccinated moms, although she does not know how long that immunity will last.

Recently, a frontline healthcare worker who received her first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine 3 weeks before she gave birth delivered a baby that had antibodies against the virus.

According to The Hill, doctors detected the antibodies from the vaccine in the newborn’s cord blood. It is the first known case of its kind and was reported in a preprint publication posted in February by 2 doctors in Boca Raton, Florida.

“A vigorous, healthy, full-term female was born to a COVID-19 naïve mother who had received a single dose of mRNA vaccine three weeks prior to delivery,” wrote the pediatricians. “Cord blood antibodies were detected to the S-protein of SARS-CoV-2 at time of delivery.”

Dr. Chad Rudnick, one of the doctors involved, said: “This is one small case in what will be thousands and thousands of babies born to mothers who have been vaccinated over the next several months,” according to The Hill.

According to NBC News, Dr. Iffath Hoskins, president-elect of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said the findings are “very reassuring.” The expert noted  a woman’s immune response is suppressed during pregnancy so that she does not reject her baby; consequently, there has been some debate about what effect a vaccine would have on the neonate.

“What this study shows us is that the mother does mount a robust response,” said Hoskins.

Another reason that pregnant women should get the COVID-19 vaccine is that they are at an increased risk of severe disease and complications during pregnancy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an update on the increased risk of pregnant women with symptomatic, confirmed cases of COVID-19. Two studies found that pregnant women with the virus are significantly more likely than non-pregnant women to be admitted into intensive care units and require oxygen. They are also more likely to die from the disease.

According to The National Interest, researchers said that pregnant women were three times more apt to need invasive ventilation to help with breathing. While pregnant women were found to be slightly more at risk of dying than women who are not pregnant, certain ethnic groups such as pregnant Hispanic women had more than twice the odds of dying from the virus.

According to The New York Times, British researchers reported a “high rate of preterm birth and Caesarean delivery in women with SARS-CoV-2 infection.” They also found an increase in stillborn and preterm delivery rates during the pandemic, according to JAMA.

Edlow cautioned that her study did not address the safety issues regarding pregnant women and the COVID-19 vaccine. Experts believe, based on animal model research, they are safe, and should be offered to pregnant women, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Both Edlow and Hoskins recommend any COVID-19 vaccine to pregnant women when they become eligible to receive them and urge them to make their own decisions, according to NBC News.

“We can tell them with complete surety that getting COVID-19 in pregnancy is potentially very dangerous,” Edlow said.

© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved

In US, Lockdowns Added Two Pounds Per Month

By Carolyn Crist

Medscape.comAmericans gained nearly 2 pounds per month under COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders in 2020, according to a new study published Monday in JAMA Network Open.

Those who kept the same lockdown habits could have gained 20 pounds during the past year, the study authors said.

“We know that weight gain is a public health problem in the U.S. already, so anything making it worse is definitely concerning, and shelter-in-place orders are so ubiquitous that the sheer number of people affected by this makes it extremely relevant,” Gregory Marcus, MD, the senior author and a cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told The New York Times.

Marcus and colleagues analyzed more than 7,000 weight measurements from 269 people in 37 states who used Bluetooth-connected scales from Feb. 1 through June 1, 2020. Among the participants, about 52% were women, 77% were white, and they had an average age of 52.

The research team found that participants had a steady weight gain of more than half a pound every 10 days. That equals about 1.5 to 2 pounds per month.

Many of the participants were losing weight before the shelter-in-place orders went into effect, Marcus told The Times. The lockdown effects could be even greater for those who weren’t losing weight before.

“It’s reasonable to assume these individuals are more engaged with their health in general, and more disciplined and on top of things,” he said. “That suggests we could be underestimating — that this is the tip of the iceberg.”

The small study doesn’t represent all of the nation and can’t be generalized to the U.S. population, the study authors noted, but it’s an indicator of what happened during the pandemic. The participants’ weight increased regardless of their location and chronic medical conditions.

Overall, people don’t move around as much during lockdowns, the UCSF researchers reported in another study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in November 2020. According to smartphone data, daily step counts decreased by 27% in March 2020. The step counts increased again throughout the summer but still remained lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The detrimental health outcomes suggested by these data demonstrate a need to identify concurrent strategies to mitigate weight gain,” the authors wrote in the latest JAMA Network Open study, “such as encouraging healthy diets and exploring ways to enhance physical activity, as local governments consider new constraints in response to SARS-CoV-2 and potential future pandemics.”

WebMD Health News © 2021 

Disease is Predacious

By Dr. David Kolbaba

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PHOTOGRAPH BY Laurent Renaud and Dominique Haution

Interesting that throughout my natural healthcare practice as well as my radio career, I have continued to preach on some very basic principles, with this one I’d like to share with you now: I believe that all diseases/conditions and infections are all predacious, picking on the young, old, weak and slow, with the “old and weak” playing a large part of this current coronavirus outbreak.

It’s also my strong belief that every one of us, as individuals must be more motivated to get ourselves healthy… and stay healthy.

Vaccines Are Not Vaccines but are “Synthetic-Pathogens”

by Brian Shilhavy

The World We Live In – Recently Sasha Stone hosted a 2 hour live stream event called “Focus on Fauci.” Participating in the event were Dr. Rocco Galati, Dr. David Martin, Dr. Judy Mikovits, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.


Dr. Martin has made tidal waves in the Alternative Media since this event, by explaining that the experimental mRNA COVID vaccines are not even vaccines, and legally cannot be called “vaccines,” because they are really medical devices.

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Dr. David Martine

Dr. David Martin







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Dr. Judy Mikovits

Dr. Judy Mikovits 

Year of COVID: Everything We Thought We Knew Was Wrong

By Brenda Goodman, MA

Medscape Medical News – One of the things that makes influenza so tough to stop is that people begin to shed virus before they show symptoms (sound familiar?). When you don’t know you’re sick, it’s hard to stay away from other people.

In the past, diseases caused by coronaviruses like SARS and MERS, while severe, proved to be manageable. They could be controlled.

“What we saw with these other coronavirus infections, people are not really highly infectious until day 5 or 6 of their illness, and you can identify them, isolate them, and you could really shut down ongoing coronavirus transmission of either SARS or MERS,” says Michael Osterholm, PhD, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. Read Full Article

Daylight saving time bill reintroduced in push to end ‘antiquated practice’

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Photo credit: Elise Amendola/AP A group of senators want to make changing the clocks biannually a practice of the past.

By Jesse O’Neill

New York PostA group of bipartisan senators has reintroduced a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent, as most of the country prepares to spring ahead Saturday.

The Sunshine Protection Act, introduced Tuesday, would make it unnecessary for Americans to switch their clocks twice a year.

Both Florida senators were joined by four Democratic and Republican lawmakers from the South, Midwest and New England to expand a 2018 Sunshine State measure that does away with Standard Time, which is observed from November to March. The bill was passed in Tallahassee, but requires federal approval before it can be enacted.

Fifteen other states have passed similar initiatives, according to the legislative sponsors.

“The call to end the antiquated practice of clock changing is gaining momentum throughout the nation,” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said.

“Extra sunshine in the evenings not only puts a spring in our step and offers the perfect reason to get outside, but it also positively impacts consumer spending and shifts energy consumption,” Sen. Ed Markey said.

“Studies have found year-round Daylight Saving Time would improve public health, public safety, and mental health — especially important during this cold and dark COVID winter,” the Massachusetts Democrat added.

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VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images – A “Get Your Hoe Ready!” government poster from 1918 shows Uncle Sam turning the clock to daylight saving time, back when the practice was introduced.

Daylight saving time was introduced during World War I. Critics say the policy is now obsolete, and claim increased daylight in the winter evening hours would reduce traffic accidents and robberies, while promoting wellness and economic growth.

A 2019 study in JAMA Neurology found evidence that people are at higher risk of heart attack, stroke and other harmful effects of sleep deprivation around the time of the biannual clock shifts.

In 2005, the US extended daylight saving time by four weeks, a move that actually saved about 0.5 percent in electricity use, according to the Department of Energy.A poster from circa 1917 touting the positives of daylight saving time.

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Photo credit – David Pollack/Corbis via Getty Images – A poster from circa 1917 touting the positives of daylight saving time.

Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have opted out of participating in daylight saving time, meaning they see darker evenings all year round than the rest of the country.

“Americans’ lifestyles are very different than they were when Daylight Saving Time began more than a century ago,” Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said.

“Making Daylight Saving Time permanent will end the biannual disruptions to daily life and give families more daylight hours to enjoy after work and school.”

I’m outraged by United Airlines’ COVID policy after a jam-packed flight

By Paul McPolin

New York PostI knew going on vacation during a pandemic wasn’t the smartest thing to do. I risked coming into close contact with strangers on TSA lines and baggage carousels. I understood Florida restaurants could be overcrowded and under-regulated, the golf courses lawless, the pools too populated, the casinos virtual coronavirus petri dishes.

What I didn’t realize was how a greedy airline would exponentially increase my risk of dying from COVID-19, with the full blessing of my government.

I had originally booked a vacation to a Caribbean beach and golf resort. The Bahamian government seemed to be effectively mitigating risk by having all travelers produce a negative COVID test result before flying there and get tested again upon arrival at the resort. But the CDC still listed the country as a Level 3 risk — nonessential travel not recommended — so I canceled.

There was always Florida, just left of the Bahamas and with fewer conch fritters.

The CDC and FAA had little to say about air travel to the Sunshine State; no negative test results or even temperature-taking were required. Just sign an easy form on your phone saying you don’t have symptoms, promise to social distance and to quarantine once you’re back, yadda yadda. The complete lack of urgency was almost comforting.

But clues that the skies would not be so friendly began arriving in text messages from the airline saying it expected a “fuller flight” and that I could change to “other flight options” at no extra charge.

The airline text didn’t actually point to, or give data on, these less-crowded flights. And I would have to cancel my weekend flights to presumably book a midweek nighttime route. I’m sure people back at the hedge fund wouldn’t mind me taking a few extra days with no notice. If I worked at a hedge fund.

So onward I marched through Newark-Liberty’s Terminal C.

The waiting area was my first warning to turn back. No chairs were roped off for social distancing and my friend was immediately asked by an older woman if she could sit next to him. Nice that she was polite, but couldn’t Typhoid Mary see the row of empty seats across the way?

Common sense eroded further once we boarded the Embraer aircraft, with its 24 rows of four seats, two on each side of a center aisle.

Every seat was filled. 

Apparently, six feet of social distancing is a foreign concept in the deadly skies. You had people sitting, at most, two feet in front of you, two feet in back of you and one person inches to the side of you. You would have had more room on a rush-hour rickshaw in downtown Mumbai.

In New York City right now, you can’t stand at a bar, and restaurants must operate at only 35 percent of capacity. Madison Square Garden, with its 150-foot-high rafters, can fill only 10 percent of its seats — and every fan must have proof of a negative COVID test. Even cavernous outdoor stadiums are being held to a 10-percent (or less) limit right now.

But in this flying aluminum beer can, where non-screened passengers would be breathing the same communal air for three hours, seemingly not a thought was given to cutting capacity. With a plane half full, they could have alternated rows of empty seats and doubled the space between passengers.

Maybe I’ve been living in Cuomo-land too long, but I was stunned to learn the government allows this. It’s every airline for themselves. A few have limited capacity. But many, like United, fully book flights. I understand the airlines are bleeding money and need customers. I also know they are about to get another $14 billion in taxpayer cash in the latest COVID bill, their third bailout in a year. They can afford to fly with fewer fannies in the seats for a little while longer.

United says blocking off seats is only a “public relations strategy — not a safety strategy,” and it is instead focused on enforcing mask-wearing and disinfecting planes with “hospital-grade” cleaners.

That didn’t improve passengers’ peace of mind. We sat in our casket-like seats, afraid to move about the cabin, scared to cough, terrified to hear a sneeze, and eyeing each other suspiciously. Is that girl’s mask slipping under her nostrils? The guy with the goatee doesn’t seem to have a proper seal. You could practically hear the Xanax bottles popping.

The good news is that most commercial jets have pretty good air filtering and circulation systems. Powerful fans and high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters “are 99.9 percent effective” in removing particulate contaminants such as COVID-19, experts say.

The bad news: That filter won’t do much when Mike from Massapequa sneezes, his sagging Metallica mask failing to catch all of the 30,000 droplets — potentially carrying 200 million virus particles, traveling at 200 mph — from his nose to your neck.

Demi Lovato has “three strokes” and a heart attack after overdose

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(YouTube Photo) Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil,” directed by Michael D. Ratner.

New York Post – “I had three strokes. I had a heart attack. My doctors said that I had five to 10 more minutes [to live].”

Demi Lovato reveals that her near-fatal drug overdose was much more serious than fans ever knew in a trailer for her upcoming four-part YouTube docuseries, “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil,” directed by Michael D. Ratner.

The 28-year-old pop star said she hopes to “set the record straight” about what really happened when she was hospitalized for a heroin overdose in 2018.

“For the past couple years, I’ve heard a lot of stories about my life and what people think has happened, and I wanted to set the record straight,” Lovato says in the teaser. “If it can help you, I hope that it can. That was ultimately my purpose to putting this out: To help people on this path.”

Recalling her overdose on July 24, 2018, Lovato says she “snapped” despite her skyrocketing success at the time — with two songs topping the charts and having just been nominated for a Grammy.

“Demi’s good at making you believe that she’s OK,” says her stepdad, Eddie De La Garza. “Demi is very good at hiding what she needs to hide,” her sister Madison De La Garza joins in.

“She should be dead,” adds a friend.

The trailer, which shares a snippet of her forthcoming song “Dancing With the Devil,” debuted Wednesday at the Television Critics Association’s winter 2021 press tour. The series will apparently leave no stone unturned, as Lovato even discusses her now-failed engagement to Max Ehrich — flashing her diamond ring before the next scene shows her scowling and ringless.

“I don’t even know why I’m sober anymore,” she declares at one point, later in the trailer adding that she’s “really struggling” while in recovery.

(YouTube Video) Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil,” directed by Michael D. Ratner.

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Viral Trial….A Message from Dr. David Kolbaba

Dr. Kolbaba shares his “take” on the latest Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) turned pandemic. (video link).

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Colon: Before and After

These dramatic images depict the colon of one of our patient’s diagnosed with diverticulosis, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome. After 13 weeks of treatment with Dr. Kolbaba, you can see how clean the colon has become under his care. Call our HealthQuest Radio Hotline at 800-794-1855 with questions.

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