Low Salt May Be Dangerous – 5/20/16 The prestigious British journal Lancet reports here that low salt intake is more dangerous than high intake. This is heresy, of course, and the article, the magazine, and the authors have already been condemned and will be burnt at the stake. The QM view is that high salt intake is a fairly minor factor. In this article, high intake is worse only for those with high blood pressure, whereas low salt intake is dangerous to those with high blood pressure, and those with normal blood pressure. Again, standard-practice medicine has been making things worse.
JAMA Discovers QM – 5/19/16 The prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports here that secession of of smoking, non-heavy drinking, and exercise reduce cancer. Now while it’s wonderful that they have now seen the light, or at least are circling around it, hasn’t this been obvious for the last 50 years? They studied only white males. Are they setting us up for a sequel? Let’s spoil that one: it works for everybody.
Calcium/Vitamin D Causes a Stroke or Heart Attack for Each Fracture prevented – 5/12/16 From a Norwegian study reported here, “Our analysis shows that if 100,000 65-year-old women take 1000 mg calcium every day, 5890 hip fractures and 3820 other fractures would be prevented. On the other hand, as many as 5917 heart attacks and 4373 strokes could be caused.” A horrid tradeoff made worse by the fact that osteoporosis is easily prevented and reversed with no supplements needed. See posts here, here, and here
Medical Error Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S. – 5/3/16 This is not news. As a leading cause of death in hospitals,medical error has been a focal area for almost 20 years. However, findings published here in the British Medical Journal.indicate the the problem is far from solved. Deaths due to medical error represent around 10% of deaths, some 250,000. One problem, according to the article, is that adequate records aren’t kept: the deaths are often attributed to something else. Best strategy: stay out of hospitals.
Big Pharma to World: Take Something! – 4/21/16 From JAMA, here, a trial was conducted for patients who couldn’t tolerate stains.(42%, in fact). The “solution” was to give them ezetimibe, a drug with no known benefit and some probably harm, a drug currently approved for a very, very narrow cohort of off-the-charts high cholesterol. Only 27% could not stand this drug, so the trial was considered a success. The drug industry seems insistent on cramming ezetimibe down our throats. To even embark on this strange experiment shows a callousness and disregard for patient benefit that surprises even us.
Is Fructose Highly Dangerous? – 4/21/16 Maybe. From UCLA we have a finding that fructose is linked to detrimental changes to hundreds of brain genes. Press release here. Scary stuff, and it makes some sense. The body goes to a lot of trouble to keep dietary fructose out of circulation, converting most of it to a concentrated form of glucose called glycogen, and rapidly removing any excess that does get into circulation. The reason for this aversion to fructose is not known, but the research sited above may provide a significant clue. Besides a major sugar component of fruit, table sugar is a 50-50 mix of fructose and glucose, as is high-fructose corn syrup, a ubiquitous food additive.
Are Proton Pump Inhibitors Overprescribed? – 4/15/16 A new report In the Journal of the American Society of Nephrolog seems to indicate that long term use of proton pump inhibitors, which significant reduce stomach acidity, causes increased kidney disease. Such drugs are widely prescribed and are also available over-the-counter. Though likely safe for short-term use, longer term consumption seems to have problems.
FDA Pulls Plug on Combo Drug – 4/15/16 In a rare glimmer of sanity, the FDA has withdrawn approval on a drug called Niaspan, which is a combination of statins and niacin. The approval was made in 1997. Given that is know that statins are practically useless, and that niacin actually increases heart problems, you may wonder what they were waiting for. So do we.Might they now consider the rest of the dangerous drugs out there? Details here.
Interesting Alzheimer’s-Insulin Result – 4/13/16 An NYU business school researcher has connected some interesting dots. It is well know that high insulin is involved in Alzheimers, but the connection wasn’t clear. It seems that the enzyme that breaks down insulin is the same one that breaks down amyloid-beta plaque, the tangled mess that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Schiller’s idea is that perhaps the all the enzyme resources are spent on the high insulin, and the amyoid-beta doesn’t get removed. Details here.
Another Early Cancer Detection Breakthrough – 4/8/16 Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, have created an optical biosensor for cancer detection that is a million times more sensitive than previous versions, pointing the way toward an effective early detection system for cancer and other illnesses.This might greatly improve early detection, which is ket to fighting cancer.Details here.
Choral Singing May Reduce Cancer – 4/5/16 Researchers in Wales have determined that choral group singing improves levels of several anti-cancer hormones and biochemicals. Paper can be found here. In view of the next news item, the song Java Jive should probably be included in the repertoire.
Coffee Reduces Colorectal Cancer 50% – 4/1/16 Researchers at USC report “We found that drinking coffee is associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer, and the more coffee consumed, the lower the risk.” The press release is here. Dramatics reductions of up to 50% were seen. This area has been controversial for 20 years. The mechanism of cancer prevention is unknown, though it doesn’t seem to be caffeine, as decaf works as well.
Early Cancer Detection Breakthrough – 3/29/16 Researchers at UCLA have developed a PET probe capable of producing far better images in certain types of cancers. With cancer, early detection is key. Clinical trials of the procedure may begin this year. Further info here.
Blonds Found to Be Non-Dumb – 3/23/16 A study here has found that blonds have a slightly higher IQ that non-blond people.Quoting,”Blonde women have a higher mean IQ than women with brown, red and black hair. Blondes are more likely classified as geniuses and less likely to have extremely low IQ.” It is hard to predict what researchers will think of to do research on. How about: “Do Blonds Have More Fun?”
Meal Time More Important Than Previously Thought – 3/17/16 Every traveler know that disrupting the circadian rhythm—the sleep cycle— is no picnic. New research from the Weizmann Institute indicates that not only is the body locked into this cycle, but even our mitochondria are. Mitochondria are tiny bacterial like cells found within almost all our own cells that convert the food we eat to energy. They apparently have time-driven hungry states, wherein they are ready and willing to convert the food to energy, and sleepy state as well. This means having meals at a regular time is more critical than previously thought.
Alzheimer’s and Brain Research – 3/17/16 There are almost daily reports of discoveries or possible breakthroughs involving Alzheimer’s and the brain. Just today, there are three such reports, all on mice, and so it is unknown if the results would carry over. There are reports of new neurons grown from stem cells, lost memories reactivate through light flashes, and increasing available neural energy by injecting pyruvate, an intermediate of glucose metabolism. A very active area.
Antidepressants Increase Mortality – 3/16/16 A study from Auburn and University of Alabama show a slight increase in mortality with uses of second generation anti-depressants.Report here. Knowledge of this will likely offset any anti-depression benefit as well. I much stronger anti-depressant that features a very strong reduction of mortality is exercise.
Canadian Medicine Discovers Exercise – 3/14/16 Canadian Medical Association announces: “Many doctors and their patients aren’t aware that exercise is a treatment for these chronic conditions and can provide as much benefit as drugs or surgery, and typically with fewer harms.” Not really. It actually provides A LOT MORE benefit. Bit it’s a step for organized medicine. Next week: hot water.
Exercise Reduces Alzheimer’s 50% – 3/11/16 No surprise at our end. But here, another study demonstrates the most effect way to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Caused By Microbes? – 3/10/16 Researchers have reported that a virus and two types of bacteria are a major cause of Alzheimers. A microbial connection has been (and probably will remain) controversial. However, the causes of Alzheimer’s are not known.
Magic Pill Announced – 3/4/16 Drug companies adore lifelong drugs, and the latest “breakthrough” combines statins, blood pressure reducers, aspirin, and adult onset diabetes medication, and is called a Polypill. However none of these four have shown any mortality benefit, and all of them have serious side effects. But in combination, they are suddenly magical? The idea seems to be to get rid of screening and blood testa altogether, and put everyone over 50 on this pill. This idea is so bad, it would be praising it to call it crazy.
Breast Cancer Breakthrough – 3/3/16 A new drug combo is very effective against the HER-2 variant of breast cancer. A fourth of those treated saw dramatic reduction in tumor size, while in an additional 11% the tumor completely disappeared, in under two weeks. Details here.
Television Exposure Directly Linked To A Thin Body Ideal In Women – 2/22/16 The only real question here is: Are they paying grown-ups to come up with this? It’s a real study. Details here. What will they study next? How about: Driving Blindfolded May Increase Accident Risk.