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Wolves living by Chernobyl nuclear plant develop cancer-resistant genes

The Telegraph by Sarah Knapton

Fri, February 9, 2024

Wolves living near the Chernobyl nuclear plant have evolved to withstand cancer-causing radiation, scientists believe.

The Chernobyl wolves are exposed to about 11.28 millirem of radiation every day, which is more than six times the legal safety limit for the average human worker.

Evolutionary biologists from Princeton University have been studying blood samples from wolves inside and outside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) – a 1,000sqm area cleared of human activity after the disaster.

The team found that wolves living in the CEZ had altered immune systems, similar to cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment, as well as genetic changes which seem to protect against cancer.

The team is hoping that the study will eventually identify proactive mutations which could increase the odds of fighting cancer in humans.

The Chernobyl disaster occurred on April 26, 1986, with the explosion of reactor number four at the nuclear power plant causing an updraft of radioactivity which spread across Europe.

Two people died immediately and 29 within the coming days of acute radiation syndrome, while the United Nations estimated some 4,000 more died from the fallout.

Many women also aborted their babies for fear they would be affected by radiation poisoning.

However, in recent years, researchers have found that closing off surrounding land to humans has allowed wildlife to flourish, with the area now a haven for lynx, bison, brown bear, wolves, boar and deer as well as 60 rare plant species.

Wolves in the Chernobyl exclusion zone which researchers find is a haven for wildlife.

The exclusion zone currently represents the third-largest nature reserve in mainland Europe and is often considered an accidental experiment in rewilding.

Previous studies showed that exposure to radiation speeds up the genetic mutation rate among plants, with some species evolving new chemistry that makes them more resistant to radiation damage and protects their DNA.

Scientists have pointed out that in the past when early plants were evolving, levels of natural radiation on Earth were far higher than now, so species may be able to switch on dormant traits to survive.

However, it was unknown whether the same protective adaptations would be seen in larger animals.

The study was presented at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology’s annual meeting in Seattle.

Handwriting and the Brain Connection

SCIENCE NEWS

JANUARY 26, 2024 – By Claudia López Lloreda

The evidence of handwriting’s benefits

Writing out the same word again and again in cursive may bring back bad memories for some, but handwriting can boost connectivity across brain regions, some of which are implicated in learning and memory, a new study shows.

When asked to handwrite words, college students showed increased connectivity across the brain, particularly in brain waves associated with memory formation, compared with when they typed those words instead, researchers report January 26 in Frontiers in Psychology. The finding adds to growing evidence of handwriting’s benefits and could give fodder to laws that implement handwriting curricula, such as the recently enacted California law requiring the teaching of cursive in grades 1 through 6.

The new study shows that “there is a fundamental difference in brain organization for handwriting as opposed to typing,” says Ramesh Balasubramaniam, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Merced who was not involved with the study.

Plenty of previous research has shown that handwriting improves spelling accuracy, memory recall and conceptual understanding. Scientists think that the slow process of tracing out letters and words gives individuals more time to process the material and learn.

In the new study, psychologists Audrey van der Meer and Ruud van der Weel, both at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, recruited students from the university and stuck electrodes on their heads. The researchers asked the students to type out or handwrite in cursive with a digital pen a word that appeared on a computer screen. Sensors in a cap recorded electrical brain activity while participants carried out each task.

Then the scientists looked for coherence, which is when two brain areas are active with the same frequency of electrical waves at the same time. This parameter can reveal the strength of functional connectivity among different regions across the brain.

With handwriting, the researchers saw increased activity, specifically in low frequency bands called alpha and theta, not only in the expected motor areas due to the movement but also in others associated with learning. These low frequency bands have previously been shown to support memory processes. When the team compared the two tasks, they realized that handwriting — but not typing — increased the connectivity across parietal brain regions, which are involved in sensory and motor processing, and central ones, many of which are involved in memory. These findings suggest that there are distinct processes of brain activation happening while a person types or writes.

“Even when the movements are very similar, the activation seems much, much higher in handwriting,” Balasubramaniam says. “It shows that there’s more involvement of these brain regions when you’re handwriting, which might give you some specific advantages.”

The researchers posit that this boost of stimulation facilitates learning because these particular waves between these areas are implicated in memory formation and encoding.

Because the team did not test whether participants remembered the words, it’s not yet clear how exactly the increased activity impacts learning, says psychologist Kathleen Arnold of Radford University in Virginia. “[The study] warrants some follow up to see what exactly is causing those connectivity differences and whether or not they reflect learning outcomes.”

Balasubramaniam also notes that it’s possible the differences in brain activation are merely due to the unique movement required to type or write. “But that said, we’ve got to start somewhere, and these are the first results to actually show that these two things have different brain activation patterns.”

And although handwriting may help with learning processes, typing is often easier, faster and more practical. Students and teachers alike should therefore consider the task at hand to inform their decision to handwrite or type, van der Meer says. For example, using handwriting to take notes might help retain information better while typing out an essay may be easier.

Despite the need for more studies to determine the optimal learning strategy, experts say that handwriting shouldn’t be left behind in the digital age. “[Schools] need to bring in more writing into curriculum design,” Balasubramaniam says.

Van der Meer agrees. “[Writing is] so good for [young] brains, so we shouldn’t use [this generation] as guinea pigs to see how their brains end up without any handwriting,” she says. “And it’s important for them to be able to at least write a grocery list or a love letter. I really think that that is important for us humans.”

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.

Abstract

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.

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 http://www.pilotgateway.com/

Sleeping Beats Sitting? What a New Study Means for Patients

The European Heart Journal – November 16, 2023

By Kristin Canning

Sit less, move more. Or stand more. Or sleep more.

Replacing 30 minutes of sitting a day with equal time standing or even sleeping could improve obesity markers like body weight and waist circumference, according to a new cross-sectional study investigating the impact of movement behavior on cardiometabolic health.

The findings suggest that, while higher-intensity activity may offer benefits sooner, [ physical fitness and so..]

Adding more light activity or more standing, or even going to bed earlier, could improve heart health measures over time.

When I am asked…what is the best exercise to do for the average person?….. and I say… [with shocking looks from the patients ]….”well…. Walking……Casual walking….No power walking… jogging/running/hopping…!!!

Quote from the study…

“Replacing sedentary behavior with any other behavior can be beneficial,” said study author Joanna M. Blodgett, PhD, a researcher at University College London’s Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health, and department of targeted intervention.

The study builds on a large and growing body of evidence that movement behaviors impact cardiometabolic health. Increasing physical activity to 150 minutes a week has been shown to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease by 17% and type 2 diabetes by 26%.

Other studies suggest that even modest increases in physical activity can be beneficial. A prospective study published in October found that even short activity bouts of a few minutes a day may lower risks for heart attack, stroke, and early death.

In the new study, researchers analyzed data from six studies and more than 15,000 participants, ranking behaviors according to their association with heart health. Moderate-to-vigorous activity was linked to the greatest benefit, followed by light activity, standing, sleeping, and finally – dead last on the list – sitting.

A thigh-worn device tracked participants’ activity throughout the day, and six measures gauged heart health: body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, HDL cholesterol, total-cholesterol-to-HDL ratio, triglycerides, and glycated hemoglobin.

Researchers modeled what would happen if people swapped various amounts of one activity for another every day for a week. Replacing just 4-13 minutes of sitting with moderate to vigorous activity improved heart health markers.

The cardiovascular demands of regular intense activity like running, cycling, dancing, or playing sports – even in small bouts – strengthen the heart and improve blood flow throughout the body, Dr. Blodgett said. “This can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and resting heart rate.”

Even if adding moderate to vigorous activity is not an option, the findings suggest that people can still see benefits by replacing sitting with virtually any other activity – walking, standing, even sleeping.

Limitations

Because the study was observational, results can’t be used to infer causality.

“We cannot directly lean on the study results to guide prescriptions for particular exercise or lifestyle changes,” said Matthew Tomey, MD, a cardiologist with the Mount Sinai Health System, New York, who was not involved with the study. An interventional trial would be needed to confirm the findings.

The finding that sleep was better for participants than sitting is a good example. The benefits of replacing sitting with sleep were “clear” for adiposity measures like BMI and waist circumference, but negligible for blood markers such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose, Dr. Blodgett said.

One explanation: “The negative impact of sitting on these obesity measures is likely due to related unhealthy behaviors like snacking rather than the physiological benefits of sleep itself,” Dr. Blodgett said.

What’s more, study participants were relatively young, healthy, and active. The average age was 54, and they averaged nearly 8 hours of sleep, 10 hours of sitting, 3 hours of standing, 1.5 hours of light activity, and more than an hour of moderate to vigorous activity per day. So it’s difficult to draw conclusions about patients who don’t fit those metrics.

That said, the results could help tailor recommendations for patients, Dr. Blodgett said.

If a patient is struggling to exercise or is unable to exercise because of health or ability restrictions, you could help them find ways to add a lighter activity to their day, such as taking the stairs or walking briskly to catch the bus. Even swapping a regular desk for a standing one, or going to bed 30 minutes earlier, could be a more practical and effective suggestion.

More than that: The research could be used to educate patients on the power of small changes. It shows that shifting daily habits even in small ways can make a difference, and people who are the least active stand to benefit the most.

You can also remind patients that moderate or vigorous activity doesn’t need to happen at the gym. It could be lawn work, taking a walk, or moving heavy boxes. In fact, many activities can be “moderate” or even “vigorous” depending on the effort put into them.

Share this rule of thumb: “An activity is classified as moderate intensity if you can talk but not sing while doing it, and an activity is generally considered vigorous intensity if you can’t say more than a few words withou­­­­­t stopping to breathe,” Dr. Blodgett said.

The study also has implications for the potential of wearable activity trackers to monitor progress. Combining objective activity data with results from studies like this, and longer prospective studies, could help inform more helpful advice.

“Ultimately, this research helps move us closer to more personalized guidance of how changing behaviors can improve your health,” Dr. Blodgett said.

Adult Obesity Prevalence Remains High; Support for Prevention and Treatment Needed

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Press Release: Thursday, September 21, 2023

New population data from 2022 show 22 states have an adult obesity prevalence at or above 35%, compared to 19 states in 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Just ten years ago, no state had an adult obesity prevalence at or above 35%. The 2022 Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps highlight the need for population-based interventions to ensure that all people have access to healthy foods, safe places for physical activity, stigma-free obesity prevention and treatment programs, and evidence-based health care services such as medication and surgery.

The 22 states with an adult obesity prevalence at or above 35% include: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The 2022 maps show that obesity impacts some groups more than others. There are notable differences by race and ethnicity, as shown by combined data from 2020–2022. Among geographic groups (states, territories, or DC) with enough data, the number with an adult obesity prevalence of 35% or higher, by race/ethnicity, is:

  • American Indian or Alaska Native adults: 33 (among 47 states)
  • Asian adults: 0 (among 37 states, 1 territory, and DC)
  • Black adults: 38 (among 48 states and DC)
  • Hispanic adults: 32 (among 49 states, 2 territories, and DC)
  • White adults: 14 (among 49 states, 1 territory, and DC)

State-based adult obesity prevalence by race, ethnicity, and location is based on self-reported height and weight data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Adults with obesity are at increased risk for many other serious health conditions, including as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, severe outcomes from COVID-19, and poor mental health. Additionally, people with obesity report being stigmatized because of their weight.

To make progress, everyone – from the federal, state, and local governments; communities; providers; and public health partners—can work together to provide comprehensive support for obesity prevention and treatment.

CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity carries out proven strategies to improve health, prevent chronic diseases, support optimal early life growth and development, and reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with the highest risk, or burden, of chronic disease. These strategies include food service and nutrition guidelines, fruit and vegetable vouchers and produce prescriptions, safe and accessible physical activity family healthy weight programs, continuity of care in breastfeeding support, early care and education settings.

Please attribute the following quote to Karen Hacker, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

“Our updated maps send a clear message that additional support for obesity prevention and treatment is an urgent priority. Obesity is a disease caused by many factors, including eating patterns, physical activity levels, sleep routines, genetics, and certain medications. This means that there is no one size fits all approach. However, we know the key strategies that work include addressing the underlying social determinants of health such as access to healthcare, healthy and affordable food, and safe places for physical activity.”

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

Abstract

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.

What’s in Your Salt?

Hot Topics - BlogsHot Topics - Blogs

Risky Drinking Common in 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.

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 (nih.gov)

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.

Abstract

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.

Introduction

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.

Outlook

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

WebMD

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.

Impurities

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 sleepeducation.org website in a few months.

10 Celtic Sea Salt Benefits

New Health Advisor

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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.

Impurities

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 sleepeducation.org website in a few months.

Sources

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

Hot Topics - Blogs

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

Sagecancercare.com – 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.

Visit Xlear.com for products and information.

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