If I lived in London I'd be buying milk from Selfridges. - That's because, as the Guardian reports here, they are selling raw milk, i.e. milk that has not been pasteurised. Unfortunately, the Food Standards Agency is trying to put a stop to this, because of supposed risks of poor hygiene and microbial contamination. In actual fact, this raw milk is much more hygienically produced than is pasteurised milk, and the taste and nutritional content is far superior to the degraded pasteurised product. I've written more fully on the subject of raw milk before. There is an English dairy farm which produces and sells Raw Milk: Hook & Son.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Freudian Slip by the Dept of Health: see the Guardian article Matthew Freud picks up £1m-a-year contract with Department of Health. The contract is intended to improve public health, e.g. reduce obesity.
Freud is a PR guy whose agency (Freud Communications) works for clients that include Pepsi, KFC, Walkers Crisps and the premium drinks company, Diageo. They are companies whose products could never be accused of being remotely good for public health. And remember Change4Life? - Freud handled that anti-obesity campaign, notable for its spectacular lack of success in reducing the nation's growing obesity problem. Well if Freud and his company have as little success at improving public health as they have so far demonstrated, at least their other clients will feel the benefit in their swelling profits. - Anyone noticed the old enemy, Conflicts of Interest, rearing its ugly head again?
Thursday, December 15, 2011
See today's article about Tylenol by Dr Mercola. Many people tend to think of painkillers as pretty harmless, perhaps because they are so easy to obtain, both as prescribed medications and as OTC (over-the-counter) drugs. But they are by no means harmless in themselves and also many kinds of painkiller too often tend to cause addiction, and addiction can easily lead to overdose. So I'd say it's best to try to avoid taking painkillers regularly, and better still, to avoid taking them at all. If you would like to experience a safe, drug-free way to reduce pain, I suggest you try seriously cutting down on salt and salty food. This reduces most chronic (long-standing) pain, e.g. arthritis and back pain. Salt reduction also benefits your health in a great many other ways, including lowering high blood pressure and reducing excess weight. - Why not try it? - It costs nothing and is completely safe. - You have nothing to lose by trying it - nothing but some pain and risk and ill-health and excess weight...
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Fresh sardines make a healthy, nutritious, economical meal. Yes indeed. The big drawback to tinned sardines is the added salt, but if you buy fresh and cook them yourself you can avoid adding salt. If you've not cooked sardines before, there are many internet sites that give good instructions about this. One site I thought extremely clear to follow is this one. I bought half a kilo of fresh sardines with my last supermarket order and that cost only £1.50.
When I was a child I was always being told that fish is good for the brain and I'm sure that's as true today as it was then. Being small fish at the bottom of the food chain, they do not carry the mercury contamination dangers that bigger fish do. They are oily fish, packed with healthy nutrients: protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, vitamin E and calcium. They don't contain carbohydrate. And of course they cook very quickly. - Why not give them a try? They are very tasty and they are good for you - and good for your brain!
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Saturday, December 03, 2011
In people with low blood levels of vitamin D, boosting them with supplements more than halved a person's risk of dying from any cause compared to someone who remained deficient, in a large new study.
Read article in The Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Note:Vitamin D3 is the best version of Vitamin D.
Friday, December 02, 2011
Study finds both high and low levels of salt consumption are linked to higher risk of heart attack, stroke and congestive heart failure
Consumption of too much, and too little, salt may be linked to a higher risk of heart-related hospitalisations and deaths, according to a new study.
Read article at foodnavigator-usa.com
But the researchers seem to me to be confusing association with causation. - When consumers know themselves to be sensitive to salt/sodium and/or know themselves to have high blood pressure, for example, they are likely to reduce their salt intake as a sensible precautionary measure. - Thus their low salt intake is not the cause of their increased risk of cardiovascular events, but the intentional consequence of knowing themselves to be vulnerable to adverse consequences if they were to eat more salt. I myself would certainly have died years ago, had I not reduced, and gradually eliminated, my consumption of any food containing added salt, thereby reducing both my extremely high blood pressure back to 'normal', and my obesity due to fluid retention. See my Mensa article about this.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
A paralysed man wants the law to be changed so that doctor-assisted suicide would not be classified as murder.
Tony Nicklinson is the man in question, and Fergus Walsh has written an article about this on the BBC News website. My sympathy is entirely with Tony Nicklinson. His life sounds intolerable to me and I'm sure it would seem so to most people. There are always other people, however, who object to the law about this being changed. They often invoke 'the thin end of the wedge' idea or the 'opening the floodgates' analogy to support a cruel, absolutist viewpoint. Thus, if the law were to be changed as Mr Nicklinson desires, the world and his wife would be pressing their grandmothers to clamour for doctor-assisted suicide in order that they would inherit her property sooner than otherwise. - And so, for the sake of those hypothetical grandmothers with their hypothetical, grasping relatives, real people in Mr Nicklinson's position should be compelled to continue to bear the unbearable, without respite, without hope, until the cruel God, in whom I venture to suppose Mr Nicklinson does not believe, finally releases him (and his loved ones) from his torment.
Friday, November 25, 2011
The meds that result in salt sensitivity don't just cause obesity; they damage every system in your body: heart, kidneys, liver, blood vessels, etc.
The many prescription drugs that result in salt sensitivity don't just cause morbid obesity, they damage every system in your body: heart, kidneys, liver, skin, blood vessels, metabolism, etc.
Drugs like tricyclic antidepressants, and like HRT and corticosteroids, and many other drugs, including anti-psychotics and anti-convulsants, cause relaxation of the muscles of the blood vessel walls, with sodium retention as a side-effect. This in turn leads to water retention because extra sodium/salt attracts water to itself. The relaxed state of the blood vessel walls and the impaired kidney function permit a greater blood volume, i.e. permit the incursion of more salt and its accompanying water. If the drugs are taken for long enough, the extra fluid in the body (salt water/fluid retention in the veins = extra blood volume) results both in higher blood pressure (because of the extra pressure on the walls of the blood vessels) and, obviously, in weight gain from the extra volume of blood. The blood vessel walls become weakened and the kidney function impaired by the extra blood volume to have to deal with. A general term for this sort of problem (not always caused by prescription drugs) is salt sensitivity. Since more and more drugs are being prescribed by the drug-oriented medical profession, more and more people are becoming sensitive to salt, and therefore gaining weight, especially if they eat a lot of processed food, well-known to contain a lot of added salt. (I’ve never understood or agreed with the usual claim that relaxation of the blood vessels lowers blood pressure. Maybe this is with people who are not sensitive to salt. – I don’t know.)
Extract from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sodium/NU00284
“Your kidneys naturally balance the amount of sodium stored in your body for optimal health. When your sodium levels are low, your kidneys essentially hold on to the sodium. When sodium levels are high, your kidneys excrete the excess in urine.
But if for some reason your kidneys can’t eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to accumulate in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases. Increased blood volume makes your heart work harder to move more blood through your blood vessels, which increases pressure in your arteries. Such diseases as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease can make it hard for your kidneys to keep sodium levels balanced.
Some people’s bodies are more sensitive to the effects of sodium than are others. If you’re sodium sensitive, you retain sodium more easily, leading to fluid retention and increased blood pressure. The extra sodium can even lead to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and congestive heart failure.”
Although the Mayo Clinic mentions arteries rather than veins, people who are extremely sensitive to salt, like me, are far more aware of swollen veins and the problems and pain they cause, since the changes are very obvious and visible, rather than problems with arteries, even if these are possibly more dangerous than the over-stretched, fragile, agonisingly painful veins.
In a devastating blow to Novartis, a federal judge denied a bid to overturn a verdict in which a jury decided the drugmaker failed to adequately warn about the risks that its Zometa and Aredia bone-strengthening meds caused severe jaw bone damage. And in making his decision, he writes that the jury was shown sufficient evidence to conclude a cover-up was undertaken with “the knowledge and approval of high-ranking officials.”
Read article at pharmalot.com
He was accused of faking research for a dozen years in published studies suggesting after-surgery benefits from Vioxx and Celebrex. Last year, he was sentenced to six months in jail plus three years supervised release after pleading guilty to fraud. The former chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center received grants from various drugmakers but never performed the studies, fabricated patient data and submitted info to journals that was unwittingly published. Now, the FDA has permanently debarring [sic] him from providing services in any capacity to a person that has an approved or pending drug product application, according to the debarment order, which was published today in The Federal Register.
Read article at pharmalot.com
Personally, I favour avoiding painkillers. - I've had two major operations and I refused painkillers for both of them. Yes, it hurts a lot when you come round from the anaesthetic, but you know the pain will gradually get less severe and you can steel yourself to cope with it. But with painkillers - especially the 'strong' ones - there are always adverse side-effects. And, as in this case, you cannot be sure that you have been given the facts about drugs. Drug companies indulge in criminality, including bribing key opinion leaders such as Scott Reuben was, to recommend their drugs, falsifying drug trial data, corrupting medical journals, etc. Painkiller drugs in particular seem to be problematic. The most recently publicised settlement for criminality of a drug company of which I am aware is the Merck/Vioxx scandal reported on the BBC News website last Tuesday. (Vioxx was a prescription painkiller.) Sadly, although Merck have had to pay almost $1bn (£640m) in settlement, this will not deter them from their criminal practices. That huge sum is insignificant in comparison to the colossal profits they garner from the sales of their dangerous products. Criminals, in my opinion - criminals whose crimes destroy the lives and health and happiness of millions of innocent people the world over - should be punished with the utmost rigour of the law, and that should, of course, mean imprisonment for the people at the top of the company, the people who instigate, fund and perpetuate the criminality.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Illiterate patients say they never agreed to take part in trials run by industry worth £189m
Western pharmaceutical companies have seized on India over the past five years as a testing ground for drugs – making the most of a huge population and loose regulations which help dramatically cut research costs for lucrative products to be sold in the West. The relationship is so exploitative that some believe it represents a new colonialism.
Read article in The Independent (UK)
The 2009 EU report on pesticide residues, published today by EFSA, shows food on the European market is still heavily contaminated with cocktails of pesticides. The percentage of EU food in shops and markets with multiple residues remains at a high level of 25.1%, meaning only a slight improvement in the last 5 years of reporting. The highest reported number of pesticide residues in one food item remains at 26: One sample analysed in the Netherlands (raisins from Turkey) with 26 different pesticides!
Read press release at pan-europe.info
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
You point to bread as containing additives of calcium, iron and B vitamins making it extra nutritious! - Shame on you, RSC! - This is not a nutritious meal! - At an estimated cost of 7½p, this is a cheap travesty of a meal and a cheap way of damaging your health, endorsed and promoted by a respected institution that should know better!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
A couple of weeks ago I watched a very interesting TV programme but found that I was at times distracted by the presenter's face. Such a crumpled face! This was an older man, but by no means an old man. I felt sorry for the owner of the face, as I always do feel sorry for people with crumpled, 'quilted' faces. I think how difficult it must be to wash the face, to clean each wrinkle and furrow, each soft, wobbling line. I wondered why the fellow's face was so crumpled: it could not simply be that he had been out in the sun too much most of his life.
A few days later, by strange coincidence, I came across a possible explanation. Strange, because in all my life I had never heard about it before. The likely answer seems to be GLYCATION. - Go on! - Look it up using your favourite search engine! - It seems that glycation can occur when protein and sugar combine in the body. The Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) that result are undesirable signs of accelerated ageing, which can include wrinkles, cataracts, peripheral nerve damage and many more. So if your poor face has started to look crumpled, or you'd rather like to prevent it ever starting to look crumpled, perhaps you'd like to cut down on the sugar and sugary stuff you eat. Stay as sweet (and young and beautiful) as you are by avoiding the sweet stuff! And reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes...
Monday, November 14, 2011
Today, November 14th 2011, is World Diabetes Day. November 14th was the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, the Nobel Laureate who, in 1922, discovered insulin. If you have diabetes, I believe you would find the following articles interesting:
Paleolithic diet much better for diabetics than conventional ‘diabetes diet’
Vitamin D has potential to combat Type 2 diabetes
Conflicts of interest rife in those setting diabetes and cholesterol guidelines
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Monday, November 07, 2011
The Telegraph reports on the latest statistics about thousands of deaths caused by clinical negligence in the NHS. "The figures cover some of Britain’s worst hospital scandals including up to 1,200 people dying because Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust put Whitehall targets and cost-cutting ahead of care."
Until death because of negligence by NHS staff is appropriately punished, after trial of the negligent individuals in a criminal court, clinical negligence will continue as a prominent feature of NHS 'care'. The present scandalous unaccountability of NHS healthcare professionals naturally does nothing to discourage negligence.
Pringles and other stackable chips/crisps are not good for your health. They contain carbohydrates processed at high heat and this processing creates Acrylamide, a cancer-causing and potentially neurotoxic chemical, which you ingest when you eat these snacks. Read what Dr Mercola has to say about this. The more natural and less processed your food is, the better for your health.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
The Gates Foundation prioritises GM development projects and promotes fertilisers, pesticides and hybrid seeds to small African farmers through bodies such as African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and projects like Harvest Plus that benefit big business rather than promoting proven, low-cost solutions to tackling hunger by sustainable farming.
"As the world population reaches 7 billion GM Freeze says in a new report published today that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s policy on agricultural development to tackle hunger is “swimming against a tide of informed opinion”. The report reveals the Gates Foundation has allocated over 40% of its committed research expenditure from 2005 to 2011 on projects involving risky “silver bullet” GM technology."
Read news release at GM Freeze.
Friday, November 04, 2011
Fancy a Free, Safe Face Lift? - If your face seems to be sagging, with heavy, hanging folds of flesh, don't curse gravity and start to think about surgery to stretch and lift the skin and cut off excess. After all, lots of things can go wrong with surgery and it causes pain and costs a lot of money.
I invite you to consider this instead. - The heaviness of the hanging folds of skin on your face is principally because of excess fluid retention. This excess fluid is in the blood vessels - the veins or the tiny capillaries that are largely invisible except for some reddening of the skin. The excess fluid is excess water held there by some sodium retention/salt sensitivity.
If you seriously cut down on salt and salty food this will reduce the amount of excess water held in your blood vessels. (It just gets excreted in the urine.) So there will be less weight pulling your skin down. - An easy, completely safe face lift! - You will look younger and fitter, and you will feel so much better! - And as well as the 'face lift', you will have lost some of the excess fluid elsewhere on your body too, and so you will have lost some excess/surplus weight. - What's not to like!? - Lose excess weight by eating less salt! - Go on! - Try it!
U.S. deaths from painkiller overdose surge
Nearly 15,000 Americans died from an overdose of prescription painkillers in 2008, a record rate that has outstripped fatalities from illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin combined, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday.
Read article in the Montreal Gazette (Canada)
Painkillers are not harmless. And many of them are addictive. And just because a drug is prescribed by a doctor, it doesn't mean it's safe.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Artificial transfats damage our sewers as well as our health! Read this excellent Guardian blog article.
Artificial transfats are such an insidious poison. They shouldn't be there in food, of course. They are not necessary for our bodies; they are damaging, of course, and the cumulative damage results in degenerative disease. This degeneration causes personal suffering and public expense in dealing with the avoidable illnesses that result. It's interesting to read in this article how as well as clogging up our blood vessels, these toxins also clog up our sewers and cause nuisance and expense there too.
Are you wondering why poisons are added to food products like biscuits, cakes, fast foods, processed meals, takeaways, etc? It's because transfats increase the shelf life of these products, and thereby add to the profits of the Food Industry. And the government (and, indeed previous administrations too) favours food company profits over public health. - It's the same with salt added to manufactured food, but that's another shameful story.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
BBC News reports that trainee surgeon, Mark Frame's plastic bones idea could save the NHS a lot of money. "Mark Frame realised he could help the NHS cut costs by using freely available software programmes and the internet to create models of bones. A company in the Netherlands transforms 3D CT scan images into plastic models. The bones are used before complex operations to give surgeons a clearer idea of what to expect. The first model of a child's forearm cost £77, and arrived by post in a week."
There is a saving both of cash and time. And it was very good to hear on the radio that Mark Frame is providing this new idea free. He has written a guide so that other surgeons can make their own bones. The guide is being considered for publication by the World Journal of Science and Technology. He is also contactable via twitter: @3Dbones
Friday, October 28, 2011
Super weeds 'run rampant in fields near GM crops'.
GM crops have failed to deliver higher food yields but have created dangerous super weeds, a report warns. Health and conservation groups from Africa, Asia and Latin America say that the fast-growing weeds smother other crops planted in fields near where GM crops have been grown.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Screening for lung cancer by routine chest X-rays gets the thumbs down from the American Cancer Society. See this CBS News report. - Well that's another bit of good news today! - The fewer damaging doses of ionising radiation people get, the better. I am not in favour of screening by X-rays.
"The 13-year study tracked more than 150,000 Americans between the ages of 55 and 74 and found those who had four annual chest X-ray screenings were just as likely to die of lung cancer as those who didn't get screened. Whether they smoked didn't matter. Screening refers to routine tests in people without symptoms. Doctors still support chest X-rays for diagnosing people with lung cancer symptoms, including coughing up blood and a persistent cough."
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I've just been listening to Evan Davis chairing The Bottom Line on Radio 4. "With protests continuing around the world against the financial sector, three guests from that industry swap candid thoughts about it. Evan puts to them a fundamental question: is their industry creating genuine wealth, or is it essentially parasitic, finding clever ways of distributing other people's wealth to its own workers? Joining Evan in the studio are Ken Olisa, chairman of boutique technology merchant bank Restoration Partners; Ian Gorham, chief executive of financial advisory firm Hargreaves Lansdown; Julian Roberts, chief executive of savings and investment group Old Mutual".
Well, give him his due, Evan Davis really homed in, again and again, on the key outrage of the rôle of the bankers in the worldwide financial woes of recent years - namely their lack of accountability. Try as he might, however, and despite his repeatedly drawing attention to the great suffering endured by so many innocent people who were taken for a ride by being allowed/persuaded/conned to borrow money they could not pay back, he could not obtain much sympathy/understanding for the victims. He pointed out that 'Heads we win, tails you (i.e. the taxpayers) lose' was not right or fair, but it was largely a dialogue with the deaf. He was informed that it was a matter of 'Caveat Emptor!' (Let the buyer beware!') and if people were stupid enough to fall for dodgy deals, they must take the consequences.
"In 1996, shortly after we began tracking the pharmaceutical industry, we spent time looking at obesity research and the latest diet pills. In doing so, we noticed that a panel that was assembled by the government to develop a guideline for the overweight known as the Body Mass Index. And it was populated by experts, nearly all of whom had a financial tie to a drugmaker selling or developing such pills. The finding, of course, was not all that new, but the practice continues, according to a new study in BMJ, which examined panels responsible for generating clinical practice guidelines on screening and/or treatment for high cholesterol or diabetes in the US and Canada between 2000 and 2010. A good many of the panelists - and panel chairs - had conflicts of interest. But not all were disclosed."
Read article at pharmalot.com
See also Dr Briffa's recent article on conflicts of interest.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Ex-president should be arrested, activists say
Lawyers Against War, the Canadian Centre for International Justice, and the Centre for Constitutional Rights have sent a letter to the attorney general of Canada urging him to open a criminal investigation against the former U.S. president for his administration’s alleged use of torture on detainees.
Read article at metronews.ca (Canada)
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The Daily Mail reports that patients are being struck off GPs' lists just for daring to make a complaint
The Daily Mail reports that patients are being struck off GPs' lists just for daring to make a complaint. The article is commenting on a report by Health Service Ombudsman Ann Abraham.
"In one case, an elderly woman and her husband were removed after she wrote to the practice manager to complain that receptionists did not answer the phone while she was trying to book an appointment for their seasonal flu jabs. In a telephone call the practice manager warned them he would ‘get you struck off for this’. Shortly afterwards they were removed from the surgery’s list."
So making a complaint is punishable by being removed from the doctor's list... I invite you to compare this mean-spirited injustice with the way that complaints are dealt with in the commercial world. If you were to complain to Sainsburys or Tesco or M & S, I think you could be pretty sure that the complaint would be investigated and that you would receive a prompt, polite response with a detailed explanation for what had gone wrong, together with thanks for drawing the matter to their attention, apology for your inconvenience and very probably a voucher as recompense. And you could be absolutely sure that you would not be threatened with being banned from their stores! Decent businesses use complaints to improve their service to the public. Not so the NHS.
GPs are, as near as dammit, unaccountable to the public who pay their bloated salaries. (UK doctors are the highest-paid in Europe.) Even extremely grave errors routinely incur neither censure nor penalty. - Read Can you trust your doctor? The non-accountability of doctors encourages arrogance and increasing careless professional negligence. - Here is my own dreadful experience of the NHS Complaints Procedures. Why do so many doctors give such poor service? - Because they can.
Our present government claims that it is seeking to provide greater patient choice. What nonsense! Patient choice in the UK is, as ever, Like it or Lump it!
Update, Wed 19th October 2011: also see today's Daily Mail follow-up article on this subject.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Study suggests promising results for epilepsy surgery as you can read in this BBC News report. "The most common type of surgery undertaken on people in the study was temporal lobe surgery, which focuses on the area of the brain behind the forehead between the ear and the eye, where most seizures originate. Researchers who carried out the study, published in The Lancet, reported that 63% of all patients were free of seizures two years after surgery (excluding simple partial seizures), 52% after five years and 47% after 10 years." - I can't say I'd consider these percentages very 'promising' myself...
But you may be very hesitant about embarking on brain surgery - and I'd certainly be with you on that! - and you probably wish there could be a third option, i.e. not surgery and not drugs either. - I'd be with you about avoiding anti-epilepsy drugs too because they tend to have undesirable side-effects, don't they? (Though some of the serious side-effects, e.g. weight gain, from anti-epileptics such as Epilim, can be greatly reduced by cutting down on salt and salty food. See amitriptyline and other drugs.)
Well there is indeed a third option, and it has much to commend it. - Maybe you have already heard of it? - The ketogenic diet? - The ketogenic diet is a high fat, adequate protein, low carbohydrate diet. Maybe you have heard of it but been advised that it is a difficult diet to stick to, and so you haven't given it further thought. - But compared with brain surgery! - Surely it's a no-brainer as an option to brain surgery!? - Check out this excellent, reassuring article about this kind of diet. As a matter of fact, although I do not suffer from epilepsy, I nevertheless eat a ketogenic diet and have done so for many months now and it suits me very well. You may like to consider it and discuss it with your medical adviser and read further about it on the internet.
Friday, October 14, 2011
You think that painkillers are relatively harmless? Then I think you may be wrong. See these most recent reports about harm caused by painkillers:
J&J To Pay $48M To Man Hurt By Motrin
A Los Angeles jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson and its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit to pay $48.2 million to a man who developed a severe skin disorder and blood blisters in his mouth after taking the Motrin over-the-counter pain reliever.
Read article at pharmalot.com
Diclofenac Deaths May Dwarf Vioxx Disaster: Health Agencies Helped It Happen
The world was shocked by the number of deaths caused Vioxx, but that number may be dwarfed by another NSAID, diclofenac. Vioxx was sold only by prescription. Diclofenac is sold both by prescription and over the counter.
Read article at gaia-health.com
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Medical Xpress reports that Vitamin D is crucial in human immune response to tuberculosis. The researchers "found that T-cells, which are white blood cells that play a central role in immunity, release a protein called interferon-gamma that triggers communication between cells and directs the infected immune cells to attack the invading tuberculosis bacteria. However, this activation requires sufficient levels of vitamin D to be effective."
This important finding stirs very mixed emotions in me. In childhood and adolescence I suffered repeated bouts of pulmonary tuberculosis, after which time I was advised by health professionals to avoid exposing my skin to sunshine in case it reawakened the dormant TB germs. Vitamin D is known as the 'sunshine vitamin'. Clearly, in the light of this research finding (published online today,Oct. 12, in the peer-reviewed journal, Science Translational Medicine) the advice that I was given was completely wrong, and since I followed that advice for a long time, it cannot but have compromised my health. More and more, researchers are reporting the many health benefits that vitamin D bestows on us, and the many disbenefits that are caused by inadequate levels of vitamin D.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Friday, October 07, 2011
Taking sleeping pills or medication for anxiety is linked to an increased risk of death, according to a study by a University of Laval researcher in Quebec City.
Psychologist Geneviève Belleville found a rise of 36 per cent in the mortality rate among Canadians who reported having used anxiolytic and hypnotic medication to treat insomnia or anxiety at least once in the previous month.
Read article on the CBC News website (Canada)
Years ago I took prescribed sleeping pills and experienced many adverse side-effects, the most harmful and distressing of which was probably memory loss. I also found they were extremely addictive and it took me about 8 months of great struggle to get off them. Some months ago I started to take melatonin and have found these helpful and without any side-effects.
More than three-quarters of cancer patients have insufficient levels of vitamin D (25-hydroxy-vitamin D) and the lowest levels are associated with more advanced cancer, according to a study presented on October 2, 2011, at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
Read article at medicalxpress.com
Monday, October 03, 2011
People taking oral steroids are twice as likely as the general population to have severe vitamin D deficiency, according to a study of more than 31,000 children and adults by scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Their findings, in the September 28 online edition of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggest that physicians should more diligently monitor vitamin D levels in patients being treated with oral steroids. Read this Medical Xpress report.
""When doctors write that prescription for steroids and they're sending the patients for lab tests, they should also get the vitamin D level measured," said study lead author Amy Skversky, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of pediatrics at Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein."
And remember, steroids include HRT and other oestrogen-containing drugs. And remember also that research in recent years has found that low vitamin D levels are very common indeed. And children are at even higher risk than adults are from adverse steroid side-effects.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Is the unaccountability of NHS staff the greatest threat to the health of UK citizens? - Certainly many people would be of that opinion - especially if they have had personal experience of serious NHS negligence or a member of their family has suffered because of it. - Until you experience the NHS Complaints Procedures for yourself you can have no conception of how useless, evil and corrupt they are: how the NHS routinely and literally gets away with murder. Read in today's Telegraph report how despite presiding over the avoidable suffering and deaths of around 400 patients at that infamous, inhuman Stafford hospital between January 2005 and March 2009, Martin Yeates is not even going to appear at the public inquiry into the scandal. Like many another overpaid apology for a public servant he is claiming to be too ill to be questioned. - That 'illness' is Cowardice.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
It was good to hear Ann Widdecombe, former Conservative politician, in conversation with Richard Bacon on Radio 5 this afternoon. It is uncommon these days for someone in public life to have unambiguous principles and to have the moral courage to state them unambiguously and to defend them. Ann Widdecombe does this and it is admirable. You know where you are with such a person. I don't agree with all her opinions, or even, perhaps, many of them. But I definitely like and admire her straightforwardness and honesty, and her attention to detail. She does not hold her views in any lazy sort of way. She has definitely given them a lot of thought.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Added later: I forgot to draw attention once again to the need for a legal ban on food manufacturers adding transfats to so many of their products. Transfats have been linked to breast cancer risk, as well as to many other health problems. So these cancer experts may like to consider pressing Andrew Lansley, the 'Health' Secretary, to get transfats banned pdq, instead of leaving it to the food industry to go at their own, s-l-o-w, voluntary rate of reduction.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Vitamin D has emerged as the nutrient of the decade. Numerous studies have found benefits for nearly 100 types of health conditions. These health benefits include reduced risk of bone diseases, many types of cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus, bacterial and viral infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, neurological conditions such as cognitive dysfunction, and improved athletic and physical performance.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org
Sunday, September 18, 2011
The Los Angeles Times reports: "Propelled by an increase in prescription narcotic overdoses, drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States, a Times analysis of government data has found. Drugs exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing at least 37,485 people nationwide, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.""
A big part of the problem is that so many of these drugs are highly addictive. And of course when drugs are 'legal' drugs, and when it is legal to advertise them, people are more likely to think of them as 'safe'. But these powerful pharmaceutical drugs, which include OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma, are very clearly not safe. Pharmaceutical drugs have adverse effects/side-effects, one of which can be addiction, and another of which is premature death.
It is best to avoid prescription drugs as far as you can, and if you feel you must take them, then take them at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest necessary time. Always check out the possible side-effects and cautions and look out for these side-effects. Obesity and degenerative health conditions are often side-effects of prescription drugs: see HRT and other prescribed steroids and amitriptyline and other antidepressants.
A safe, drug-free way to reduce pain and anxiety is to optimise your nutrition and, as far as you reasonably can, cut down on salt and salty food. You will feel so much better. - Dieting is a frequent cause of ill-health, pain and depression, so avoid dieting. If you are overweight, lose excess weight the safe, easy way, without drugs or dieting.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that honey contaminated with genetically engineered pollen cannot be sold on the market.
Read article on the Greenpeace International website
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Read Dr LeFanu's article in the Telegraph. You will see that brand advertising techniques have been the main driver in increasing the prescribing of antidepressants. I remind you that antidepressants work no better than dummy pills but unlike dummy pills, antidepressants can and do cause many harmful side-effects, including weight gain and breast tenderness. It shocks me that bearing all these facts in mind doctors still prescribe this pharmaceutical junk and, indeed, that they are allowed still to prescribe antidepressants. The health service could save a lot of money by no longer prescribing these pills and by no longer having the consequent adverse side-effects on health to have to deal with. More importantly, if these harmful pills were no longer prescribed it would save a lot of avoidable illness and suffering.
MIND, the mental health charity, recommends a walk in the country as being helpful in lifting depression. I personally would also recommend avoiding salt and salty food and optimising nutrition. And very importantly, if you are dieting by eating less food than your body requires, I urge you to give it up! - Dieting is harmful to your health. It is a frequent cause of depression and does not reduce obesity.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Friday, September 09, 2011
I used to know a disabled Irish lady called Marie. I used to call on her on Saturday mornings to do a bit of shopping for her. She had been a nurse, I think, but her life had changed utterly one day. As she was coming down the stairs on a bus that fateful day, the bus had lurched and she had lost her footing and fallen down the rest of the curved stairwell. The damage to one of her feet entailed surgery. Then further surgery. Then more. A complicated bone problem developed. She couldn't walk much and was in pain and often lost her balance and so spent most of her days in her flat. When she fell down, she would, as she put it, 'say a little prayer and get up again'.
She asked me once to make a phone call for her. I did so and during the call I explained to the person on the phone, that Marie was a cripple. It was a crass expression to use and not one I would use these days, but I knew no better at that time. - Marie quietly interrupted me: "Say that I'm disabled, dear, not crippled."
Monday, September 05, 2011
People whose feet are swollen, rather than just naturally large, do not need shoes with just extra length and width, they need extra depth too, especially in the toes region. Otherwise the already painful swollen veins will be squashed and become even more painful and damaged. There are special shoes, etc for painful, swollen feet. Cosyfeet is one such supplier. And Ecco and Hotter make shoes with very well-cushioned insoles. I'm sure there are many other good makes too. It is very important to get shoes that are big enough. It is better to shop for shoes later on in the day because swollen feet become more swollen as the day wears on and gravity sends more fluid to the feet.
Friday, September 02, 2011
BBC News reports that Consensus Action on Salt & Health (CASH) campaigners are warning again about the high salt content of bread. "A third of breads contain more salt than recommended under guidelines being introduced next year, a survey found. Most breads were within the current guidelines of 1.1g of salt per 100g - but this is being cut to 1g per 100g. Campaign for Action on Salt and Health (Cash), which looked at 300 breads, said it was "outrageous" that bread contained even the current level."
These are the groups of people who are vulnerable to salt. If you are vulnerable to salt you may like to consider cutting down on the amount of bread you eat. At any rate, you could benefit your health by choosing a lower salt bread, using the information given on the CASH website.
The Department of Health remains complacent: "The Department of Health said "considerable" salt reductions had already been made." - That's as in 'considerable' salt reductions from the scandalously high levels of salt most bread has contained for many years. The bread industry has assuredly played a major part in the distressingly high incidence of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and obesity in modern times. It has also helped to cause most people in our country to develop a taste for salt - like an addiction - such that food with little or no added salt tastes too 'bland' to them.
"British Retail Consortium food director Andrew Opie said retailers and manufacturers are to fund independent research to look for ways of meeting the 2012 target - "while still making foods which consumers want to buy"." - I'll translate that for you. - It means that they are doing their damnedest, by means of additives and technology, to lower the salt content by the minimum they can get away with, while retaining the same degree of salty taste in order to keep their customers addicted to salty bread.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Just say No! to GMO: like Hungary, India, Poland
Some 400 hectares of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar said. The GMO maize has been ploughed under, but pollen has not spread from the maize, he added. Unlike several EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary.
Read article at allaboutfeed.net
Citizens say no to GM food and multinational seed corporations promoting them
NEW DELHI: On Quit India day, Greenpeace projected “Monsanto Quit India” on the India Gate highlighting the national opposition to the multinational seed companies like Monsanto.
Read press release at greenpeace.org
India Sues Monsanto Over Genetically-Modified Eggplant
Read article at forbes.com
Polish president vetoes bill allowing GMO seeds
Read news report at reuters.com
Low vitamin D link to earlier first menstruation, a risk factor for health problems throughout life
A study links low vitamin D in young girls with early menstruation, which is a risk factor for a host of health problems for teen girls as well as women later in life.
Read article at medicalxpress.com
Saturday, August 27, 2011
BBC News reports that in the matter of Nurofen Plus recall of stock, sabotage is suspected in some packets. "Four packs were found to contain Seroquel XL 50mg. The packs were bought in Victoria, Bromley and Beckenham in south London. Another tampered pack, containing a prescription medicine for epilepsy, was uncovered in Northern Ireland." Seroquel is an antipsychotic drug. "Most people who take one Seroquel will just experience sleepiness, but those on sedatives could feel stronger effects."
So there are dangers, hopefully small, if anyone mistakenly takes Seroquel or possibly an anti-epilepsy drug, and this prudent, well-publicised product recall will minimise those dangers. - But I would like to point out that Nurofen Plus is itself a dangerous drug, despite being an OTC (over-the-counter) medication. - It is a highly addictive painkiller, which should not be taken for more than 3 days because of this highly addictive quality. In overdose, it can also cause serious liver damage and death. It is a mistake to assume that painkillers are harmless drugs. They are not.
UK hospitals still cover up poor standards and neglect and still give complaints scant regard. See this Telegraph report. I strongly suggest reading the comments beneath the report too. Unaccountability shames our health service and ensures that its many failings continue. I know from horrifying personal experience the cruel futility of complaining about NHS treatment.
Friday, August 26, 2011
The Independent has a report on massive overprescribing of powerful painkillers by UK GPs, leading to addiction and to death by overdose among their unfortunate patients. It is, or ought to be, well-known by doctors that chronic pain is often unresponsive to painkillers. When patients return for more and more pills in order to take a higher dose it should be obvious that the pills are not working and should be gradually discontinued. - A safe, non-drug way to reduce chronic pain is to lower sodium intake, i.e. eat less salt and salty food.
A Canadian study links high salt intake by elderly people with increased risk of dementia, as the Daily Mail reports. So salt can impair brain power and memory, as well as increasing blood pressure, risk of stroke, heart attack, heart disease, diabetes, depression, arthritis, asthma, kidney damage, liver damage, most cancers, osteoporosis, increased risk of fractures and many other degenerative health conditions.
The good news is that if you have had your health damaged by eating too much salt, you can immediately, dramatically and safely improve every aspect of your health and every organ of your body by seriously cutting down on salt and salty food. - And if you are overweight or obese you will also lose weight when you reduce your salt intake. - Go on! - Try cutting down on salt and salty food! - You will feel sooo much better...(o:
Monday, August 22, 2011
BBC2's Horizon programme tonight at 9pm is about the crucial importance of those nine months in the womb. Those months may well be the most important time of life, may critically determine the destiny, especially the health, of the unborn baby.
"Horizon explores the secrets of what makes a long, healthy and happy life. It turns out that a time you can't remember - the nine months you spend in the womb - could have more lasting effects on you today than your lifestyle or genes. It is one of the most powerful and provocative new ideas in human science, and it was pioneered by a British scientist, Professor David Barker. His theory has inspired a field of study that is revealing how our time in the womb could affect your health, personality, and even the lives of your children."
Friday, August 19, 2011
Fat and fed up of feeling hungry and tired but still not getting slimmer? It's not fair, is it? - It's definitely not fair!
Now what to do about it, you're wondering? - Well I've some suggestions to make which I truthfully think you will find helpful. - Give up the dieting! - Give up the strenuous exercise you've been (vainly) hoping would 'burn off' some fat! - In other words, give up the deliberate and unhelpful hunger and exhaustion, and instead try seriously cutting down on salt.
I think you'll find that by eating less salt and salty food you will lose weight easily, safely and quickly. I have a webpage that tells you about which foods are high and which are low in salt/sodium. And I promise you that however much or little weight you lose this way, you will certainly feel a lot better and will be in better health. It won't make you hungry and it won't make you tired, but it will give you a very good chance of becoming slimmer and fitter. - What's not to like? - Go on! - Give it a try!