Monday, October 26, 2009

Cell Phone use linked to Brain tumors

We all know there's probably SOMETHING up with cellphones and brain tumors, but here's another study. And check out this comment that was on it:


24.10.09, 8:28pm

This is very important to know. When I was pregnant with my son Skyler, I had a cell phone in my pocket for a lot of the pregnancy. I didn't know it was dangerous at the time, as it was 6 years ago. He died last year of a rapid brain stem tumor. He was 4 years old. Here is his website:

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Children Can Greatly Reduce Abdominal Pain by Using Their Imagination

I read somewhere that lots of powerful pharma drugs (esp. SSRIs/antidepressants) work largely on the placebo effect, but their side effects are unfortunately quite biologically real. Maybe physicians should start with sugar pills, first. The mind is a powerful thing. This study was conducted at UNC Chapel Hill, published in the journal Pediatrics, and comes to us via Newswise, the journalists'-only site:

Newswise — Children with functional abdominal pain who used audio recordings of guided imagery at home in addition to standard medical treatment were almost three times as likely to improve their pain problem, compared to children who received standard treatment alone.

And those benefits were maintained six months after treatment ended, a new study by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University Medical Center researchers has found.

The study is published in the November 2009 issue of the journal Pediatrics. The lead author is Miranda van Tilburg, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the UNC School of Medicine and a member of the UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders.

“What is especially exciting about our study is that children can clearly reduce their abdominal pain a lot on their own with guidance from audio recordings, and they get much better results that way than from medical care alone,” said van Tilburg. “Such self-administered treatment is, of course, very inexpensive and can be used in addition to other treatments, which potentially opens the door for easily enhancing treatment outcomes for a lot of children suffering from frequent stomach aches.”

Friday, October 23, 2009

Prenatal SSRIs Linked to Problems in Newborns

Ok, I'm supposed to be working on my novel, but there's some news too important not to post. Given that so many people are on SSRIs, if you're planning to try to get pregnant, you shoudl read this. From Medscape:

October 7, 2009 — Infants of mothers who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy are at greater risk for preterm birth, a low 5-minute Apgar score, and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), according to a report in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Whether these risks outweigh the risks to the developing infant of a mother's untreated depression during gestation is unknown, as are the long-term implications for the child's health and development. The research team was led by Najaaraq Lund, MD, from the Bandim Health Project, Indepth Network, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, and Aarhus University, Denmark.

Dr. Lund told Medscape Psychiatry that his group's most important findings were that prenatal exposure to SSRIs was associated with increased risk for preterm delivery, low 5-minute Apgar score, and increased chance of NICU admission (which was not explained by either Apgar score or gestational age).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Heat Forms Potentially Harmful Substance in High-fructose Corn Syrup

Ack! HFCS fed to bees? Another reason to ONLY BUY ORGANIC:

Released: 10/15/2009 9:00 PM EDT
Source: American Chemical Society (ACS)
Newswise — Researchers have established the conditions that foster formation of potentially dangerous levels of a toxic substance in the high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) often fed to honey bees. Their study, which appears in ACS’ bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, could also help keep the substance out of soft drinks and dozens of other human foods that contain HFCS. The substance, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), forms mainly from heating fructose.

In the new study, Blaise LeBlanc and Gillian Eggleston and colleagues note HFCS’s ubiquitous usage as a sweetener in beverages and processed foods. Some commercial beekeepers also feed it to bees to increase reproduction and honey production. When exposed to warm temperatures, HFCS can form HMF and kill honeybees. Some researchers believe that HMF may be a factor in Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious disease that has killed at least one-third of the honeybee population in the United States.

The scientists measured levels of HMF in HFCS products from different manufacturers over a period of 35 days at different temperatures. As temperatures rose, levels of HMF increased steadily. Levels jumped dramatically at about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. “The data are important for commercial beekeepers, for manufacturers of HFCS, and for purposes of food storage. Because HFCS is incorporated as a sweetener in many processed foods, the data from this study are important for human health as well,” the report states. It adds that studies have linked HMF to DNA damage in humans. In addition, HMF breaks down in the body to other substances potentially more harmful than HMF.

I'm also happy to quote, from the longer article: There appears to be a dearth of knowledge on the thermal effects of the kinetics of HMF formation in HFCS. Published research in the area appears to be limited to a single paper reported by Korean investigators (11)

read more here:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Friday, October 09, 2009

WSJ: Canada Halting Swine Flu Vaxxing

I haven't been following this issue all too closely as I plan not to get a swine flu or any kind of flu vax (n.b. we haven't had the flu in the house for years, don't see too much difference--if any--from when MAN FERTILITY and I used to get flu shots every year through school), but I seem to recall the OTHER swine flu vax from the 70s killed all these people or gave them awful things like Guillame-Barre. The big problem is, we don't know anything about long-term safety until...well, the long term.

Also, as I wrote in my Slate article about medical marijuana, I have been observing that many pharma drugs seem to give you what you're trying to cure--i.e., the anti inflammatories we gave out son for his autoimmune gut condition eventually gave him stomach cramps.

I'm not a medical professional making any recommendations, but I'm just sayin'.

From the Wall Street Journal:

TORONTO -- An unpublished Canadian study that suggests getting an annual flu shot may make it easier to contract swine flu has caused most provincial governments in Canada to postpone or limit seasonal-flu vaccination programs.

The study remains a mystery in many ways. It is being reviewed for potential publication in a scientific journal, but the authors won't say which one. Few people have seen the data, and some experts have expressed skepticism of the results.

read more here.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Cover Story on Slate!

Sorry, a bit tardy. I wrote the second part of my installment on organic medical marijuana and autism/inflammation/pain, etc. Cover story!

Read it here.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Iodine for fertility and health

Iodine is so important for the healthy functioning of the thyroid, but soils are often depleted of this nutrient and chemicals such as flouride and bromine and chlorine can displace iodine in the body. Without a health thyroid, which controls so many hormones, fertility is sure to be compromised.

Iodine is also generally good for health. At the turn of the century, doctors gave people who seemed generally unwell, infertile, etc. iodine as a matter of course. I just read an old book called Vermont Folk Medicine that talks about using a simple iodine solution called Lugol's for better health, and Lugol's is making a comeback for everything from thyroid issues to cancer healing--lack of iodine may be a factor in developing certain cancers such as breast cancer.

It's also interested to note that the Japanese and Okinawans have the best longevity stats (as anyone following the healthcare debate will find), and the Japanese diet probably has about the most natural iodine with all the seafood and seaweed. And, interestingly, Japanese women have the lowest rates of breast cancer in the world.

In order to make up for our lousy iodine intake, the government iodizes salt. But I don't like/trust bleached table salt read more here) and would like to get my iodine another way.

Food sources of iodine include seaweeds (although the popular sushi seaweed, nori, probably has the least) and seafood. Many fish unfortunately are contaminated with mercury, which kind of negates the benefits, but smaller fish like sardines can fill the bill.

But even so, it's difficult to get enough iodine. Our family probably gets more natural iodine than most families as we eat seaweed fairly regularly. It turned out our son even had a sluggish thyroid, and I used a potassium iodine product called Ioderal, which helped bring his hormone levels back to normal. I have thryoid issues myself and used this product but didn't find any help for my fatigue, etc.

But I tried this "nascent iodine," which is supposed to be a particularly bio-available source of iodine, a few drops in a glass of water three times a day and noticed slightly more energy. And more proof, my thyroid hormone levels were improved as well. I felt it was helping enough that I even brought the bottle with me on a recent trip to NORTH KOREA, and I kept up with a bunch of students on what was a very physically demanding trip. It was also handy knowing that I could put 15 drops in a glass of water to sterilize it if I needed to.

The taste is not great, but the results are worth it. Again, I am not a medical professional but only recounting my experience with this product. Get it here.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) could increase risks of obesity and dementia in adulthood

In a natural conception, the egg is surrounded by all these sperm...but only one (sometimes two at the same time) gets in. If you watch the real time movies of the process, it's not a race to see which sperm gets there first. The egg sits there like this for a while, almost as if deciding which sperm to let in.

The successful sperm has to have many factors: it can't be weirdly shaped so it can't swim, it has to be fast enough to stay with the crowd, it has to secrete a special enzyme that dissolves the outer layer of the egg.

Nature builds in its own protection, and thus lame-o sperm, which is also likely to have DNA damage, get left by the wayside. But there is a way that doctors can FORCE the egg to accept a sperm, by ICSP, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, where they pierce the egg with a needle and push the sperm in. Nor surprisingly, they are finding kids born of this procedure often have genetic or other anomalies.

So one other IVF procedure they often add to this is PGD, pre implantation genetic diagnosis, where they "steal" a call from from a new multicelled fertilized egg and examine the DNA. As you can imagine, when the blastocyst is only made up of a few cells, it kinda needs them. Amazingly, the long term effects on children born to PGD haven't been studied, until now:

From Natural News:

(NaturalNews) Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has become an important part of the booming infertility and baby-making medical industry. This example of unnatural selection allows for the chromosomes of an embryo created through in vitro fertilization (IVF)to be analyzed. If there's a problem, the embryo can be discarded or, at the very least, frozen away. PGD has helped many couples conceive children believed to be totally healthy and the procedure is promoted as a widely used and safe medical test -- at least, until now. A new long-term analysis of PGD suggests that this procedure may hold serious long-term risks for humans subjected to this test while they were embryos. Animal tests have come up with worrisome evidence PGD could increase risks of obesity and dementia in adulthood.

read more.