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Nov 22, 2014 | science.slashdot.org
An anonymous reader writes: A new study by researchers at Ohio State University found that dramatically increasing the amount of saturated fat in a person's diet did not increase the amount of saturated fat found in their blood. Professor Jeff Volek, the study's senior author, said it "challenges the conventional wisdom that has demonized saturated fat and extends our knowledge of why dietary saturated fat doesn't correlate with disease."
The study also showed that increasing carbohydrates in the diet led to an increase in a particular fatty acid previous studies have linked to heart disease. Volek continued, "People believe 'you are what you eat,' but in reality, you are what you save from what you eat.
The point is you don't necessarily save the saturated fat that you eat. And the primary regulator of what you save in terms of fat is the carbohydrate in your diet. Since more than half of Americans show some signs of carb intolerance, it makes more sense to focus on carb restriction than fat restriction."
The Scientist Magazine
Pattern recognition tasks, such as identifying a new face or finding one's car in a parking lot, become more difficult as people age. These declines are associated with the weakening of the dentate gyrus (DG), a region of the brain's hippocampus. According to a study published yesterday (October 26) in Nature Neuroscience, DG functioning may be partially restored by consuming epicatechin and other flavanol molecules found in cocoa.
Researchers at Columbia University assessed the pattern recognition abilities of 37 participants between the ages of 50 and 69. Two groups of participants drank mixtures containing low (10 mg) or high (900 mg) amounts of cocoa flavanols every day for three months. At the end of the study, the high-flavanol group did about 25 percent better on the memory assessment than the low-flavanol group-the equivalent of regaining the memory abilities of someone two or three decades younger.
"Boy, this is really interesting to see it in three months," Steven DeKosky, a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh who was not involved in the study, told The New York Times.
"They got this really remarkable increase in a place in the brain that we know is related to age-related memory change."
Science edged closer on Sunday to showing that an antioxidant in chocolate appears to improve some memory skills that people lose with age.
In a small study in the journal Nature Neuroscience, healthy people, ages 50 to 69, who drank a mixture high in antioxidants called cocoa flavanols for three months performed better on a memory test than people who drank a low-flavanol mixture.
On average, the improvement of high-flavanol drinkers meant they performed like people two to three decades younger on the study's memory task, said Dr. Scott A. Small, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center and the study's senior author. They performed about 25 percent better than the low-flavanol group.
"An exciting result," said Craig Stark, a neurobiologist at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the research. "It's an initial study, and I sort of view this as the opening salvo."
He added, "And look, it's chocolate. Who's going to complain about chocolate?"
The findings support recent research linking flavanols, especially epicatechin, to improved blood circulation, heart health and memory in mice, snails and humans. But experts said the new study, although involving only 37 participants and partly funded by Mars Inc., the chocolate company, goes further and was a well-controlled, randomized trial led by experienced researchers.
Besides improvements on the memory test - a pattern recognition test involving the kind of skill used in remembering where you parked the car or recalling the face of someone you just met - researchers found increased function in an area of the brain's hippocampus called the dentate gyrus, which has been linked to this type of memory.
"Boy, this is really interesting to see it in three months," said Dr. Steven DeKosky, a neurologist and visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh. "They got this really remarkable increase in a place in the brain that we know is related to age-related memory change."
There was no increased activity in another hippocampal region, the entorhinal cortex, which is impaired early in Alzheimer's disease. That reinforces the idea that age-related memory decline is different and suggests that flavanols might not help Alzheimer's, even though they might delay normal memory loss.
But unless you are stocking up for Halloween, do not rush to buy Milky Way or Snickers bars. To consume the high-flavanol group's daily dose of epicatechin, 138 milligrams, would take eating at least 300 grams of dark chocolate a day - about seven average-sized bars. Or possibly about 100 grams of baking chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder, but concentrations vary widely depending on the processing. Milk chocolate has most epicatechin processed out of it.
"You would have to eat a large amount of chocolate," along with its fat and calories, said Hagen Schroeter, director of fundamental health and nutrition research for Mars, which funds many flavanol studies and approached Dr. Small for this one. ("I nearly threw them out," said Dr. Small, who added that he later concluded that the company employed serious scientists who would not bias the research.) Mars financed about half the study; other funders were the National Institutes of Health and two research foundations.
"Candy bars don't even have a lot of chocolate in them," Dr. Schroeter said. And "most chocolate uses a process called dutching and alkalization. That's like poison for flavanol."
Mars already sells a supplement, CocoaVia, which it says promotes healthy circulation, including for the heart and brain. It contains 20 to 25 milligrams of epicatechin per packet of powder or capsule serving, Dr. Schroeter said; 30 packets cost $34.95. Epicatechin is also in foods like tea and apples, although may be less absorbable.
The Columbia study had important limitations. For example, the only daily dietary requirements were either 900 milligrams of flavanols with 138 milligrams of epicatechin or 10 milligrams of flavanols with less than two milligrams of epicatechin, so participants could have eaten other things that played a role.
And while researchers also had half of the healthy but sedentary participants in each group exercise four days a week, surprisingly, the exercise had no effects on memory or brain effects.
Dr. Small, whose research previously found that exercise helped hippocampal function in younger people, suggested maybe more vigorous exercise is needed to affect older brains.
"It's a very clever, interesting study, but there are some caveats," said Dr. Kenneth S. Kosik, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "People are going to say, 'It looks like I can have a lot of candy bars and not exercise.' So it needs replication on a much larger scale."
More extensive research is planned. As for why flavanols would help memory, one theory is that they improve brain blood flow; another, favored by Dr. Small, is that they cause dendrites, message-receiving branches of neurons, to grow.
"Everybody's cautious about antioxidants, but this is a horse of a different color, a really elegant study," Dr. DeKosky said.
Asked if he would eat more chocolate, he said, "Yeah, but the bar for me to do that is darn low."
ACID REFLUX is an epidemic affecting as many as 40 percent of Americans. In addition to heartburn and indigestion, reflux symptoms may include postnasal drip, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, chronic throat clearing, coughing and asthma. Taken together, sales of prescribed and over-the-counter anti-reflux medications exceed $13 billion per year.
The number of people with acid reflux has grown significantly in recent decades. Reflux can lead to esophageal cancer, which has increased by about 500 percent since the 1970s. And anti-reflux medication alone does not appear to control reflux disease. A Danish study published this year concluded that there were no cancer-protective effects from using the common anti-reflux medications, called proton pump inhibitors, and that regular long-term use was actually associated with an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.
What is responsible for these disturbing developments? The answer is our poor diet, with its huge increases in the consumption of sugar, soft drinks, fat and processed foods. But there is another important variable that has been underappreciated and overlooked: our dinnertime.
I specialize in the diagnosis and management of acid reflux, especially airway reflux, which affects the throat, sinuses and lungs. Airway reflux is often "silent," occurring without telltale digestive symptoms, like heartburn and indigestion. Most of the tens of thousands of reflux patients that I have seen over the last 35 years are well today because I treat reflux by modifying my patients' diets and lifestyles.
Over the past two decades, I've noticed that the time of the evening meal has been trending later and later among my patients. The after-work meal - already later because of longer work hours - is often further delayed by activities such as shopping and exercise.
Typical was the restaurateur who came to see me with symptoms of postnasal drip, sinus disease, hoarseness, heartburn and a chronic cough. He reported that he always left his restaurant at 11 p.m., and after arriving home would eat dinner and then go to bed. There was no medical treatment for this patient, no pills or even surgery to fix his condition. The drugs we are using to treat reflux don't always work, and even when they do, they can have dangerous side effects. My patient's reflux was a lifestyle problem. I told him he had to eat dinner before 7 p.m., and not eat at all after work. Within six weeks, his reflux was gone.
In my experience, the single most important intervention is to eliminate late eating, which in the United States is often combined with portions of large, over-processed, fatty food. Europeans have fewer cases of reflux than we do, even though many of them eat late. That's most likely from portion control. In France, for example, a serving of ice cream is typically a single modest scoop, while in America, it's often three gargantuan scoops.
For my patients, eating late is often accompanied by overeating, because many skip breakfast and eat only a sandwich at lunch. Thus the evening meal becomes the largest meal of the day. After that heavy meal, it's off to the sofa to watch television. After eating, it's important to stay upright because gravity helps keep the contents in the stomach. Reflux is the result of acid spilling out of the stomach, and lying down with a full stomach makes reflux much more likely.
And if you add an after-dinner dessert or bedtime snack? Again, reflux is a natural consequence. In a healthy young person, the stomach normally takes a few hours to empty after a moderate-size meal. In older people or those who have reflux, gastric emptying is often delayed. Further, those dessert calories tend to be high in carbohydrates and fat, and high-fat foods often create reflux by slowing digestion and relaxing the stomach valve that normally prevents reflux. Other popular but notoriously bad-for-nighttime-reflux foods and beverages are mints, chocolate, soft drinks and alcohol.
Many of my patients find that eating earlier alleviates their allergies, sinusitis, asthma, sleep apnea and diabetes symptoms. Although these conditions may not seem linked, postnasal drip and a cough are typical reflux symptoms that can easily be mistaken for something else.
Some of my patients who arrive complaining of reflux already eat healthfully. For them, dining too late is often the sole cause of their problem. And yet, hearing that they need to change the timing of their meals is sometimes a challenge they cannot meet.
A New Yorker with reflux came to see me because both her father and uncle died of esophageal cancer and she was afraid of getting it, too. This patient was a prominent businesswoman and her nightly routine included a 9 p.m. dinner at an elegant restaurant with at least two bottles of good red wine for the table. Her reflux was serious, and I explained that changes were needed.
She listened, then left and did not come back to see me for a year. When I saw her again, she explained what had happened. "For the first two months I just hated you," she told me, "and then for the next two months - I was having some trouble swallowing - I figured I was going to die of esophageal cancer." Then she nudged me and added, "You know, we're the reason that it's not so easy to get 6 p.m. reservations at the good restaurants anymore."
To stop the remarkable increase in reflux disease, we have to stop eating by 8 p.m., or whatever time falls at least three hours before bed. For many people, eating dinner early represents a significant lifestyle shift. It will require eating well-planned breakfasts, lunches and snacks, with healthy food and beverage choices.
Oct 10, 2014 | The Washington Post
Derived from human stem cells, these insulin-producers had functionally cured a mouse of diabetes in only two weeks.(Douglas Melton)
Scientists announced a breakthrough that could one day free millions of diabetes sufferers from a lifetime of insulin injections.
The discovery described in the journal Cell on Thursday and led by stem cell researcher Douglas Melton is a method of growing billions of precious insulin-secreting cells en masse using human stem cells. Patients could receive a single transplant with the newly generated cells, which would have the ability to read out the amount of sugar in the blood and squirt out just the right amount of the hormone insulin.
Melton, a co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute whose son and daughter have Type 1 diabetes, said the resulting cells were "exquisitely accurate" in producing the amount of insulin a patient needed.
Cell therapy has become one of the most promising areas of diabetes treatment in those with Type 1 of the disease, in which the body is missing insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In recent years, a growing number of patients have been successfully treated through transplanted cells from cadavers.
The roadblock has been the supply of cells. They have proved incredibly tricky to produce artificially. And they are so difficult to collect from cadavers that less than 1,000 patients are estimated to have undergone this procedure so far.
While Melton's work involved transplanting human cells into mice and much has to be done before they can be tested on actual patients, diabetes researchers said they believed that the hurdles were surmountable and on Thursday were already talking about what needed to happen after they reached that next milestone.
"You'll be able to create buckets and buckets of cells. Numbers will no longer be a limitation," said Albert Hwa, a scientist at JDRF, a New York-based advocacy group focused on diabetes that partially funded the Harvard research.
Susan Solomon, chief executive of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, said the discovery is so significant that it would shift the direction of diabetes research. "It's a new game," she said.
Solomon said scientists at the stem cell foundation have already begun trying to replicate Melton's work and are using robotics to see if the process can be scaled. She said she also expects more resources to be shifted in the coming months to the question of how to keep the body from rejecting the transplanted cells. Patients transplanted with cadaver cells have to take immunosuppressants, which can have severe side effects, to prevent their bodies from fighting off the foreign cells. "If you don't solve the autoimmune attack that killed those cells in the first place you are basically doing stupid mouse tricks as they say," she explained.
The process of mass producing the cells involves coaxing human stem cells to turn into the beta cells of the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin. Melton described the work, which took 15 years, as akin to creating a new recipe for a "very fancy" raspberry chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. In a conference call with reporters, he said that it was clear what components needed to go in the mix but it took a very long time to perfect the order and timing.
"These cells respond to multiple glucose challenges," Melton said. "You can think of it as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each time we gave them a sugar challenge they secreted the right amount of insulin."
Jose Olberholzer, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois whose research is focused on diabetes, described the treatment as akin to creating a new "mini-organ" in a patient's body.
"It would be a functional cure for a patient," Olberholzer said. "The underlying disease would still be present but the fact that these insulin-producing cells are there would mean that they would effectively have normal lives."
Ariana Eunjung Cha is a national reporter for the Post. She has previously served as the newspaper's bureau chief in Beijing, Shanghai and San Francisco, a correspondent in Baghdad and as a tech reporter based in Washington.
This sugary drink neither quenches thirst nor increases energy. It damages teeth, thickens waistlines and lightens purses
Strummered, 26 September 2014 2:59pm
There's 39g of sugar in a can of Coke, vile stuff.
splodgeness, 26 September 2014 3:05pm
Farmers in India use it for pest control.
bailliegillies -> splodgeness, 26 September 2014 3:34pm
Used it to clean metal recovered from the seabed, better by far than vinegar.
AdamsP, 26 September 2014 3:06pm
I can't think of a single redeeming feature of Coke to drink but it does have it's uses - an elderly relative of mine uses it to clean stubborn stains off her silverware! (makes you wonder what that secret ingredient is they put in it!)
JockJimmy -> AdamsP, 26 September 2014 3:21pm
I used to use it to clean the filthy gas-parts in my rifle when I was in the army.
andywilkinson -> AdamsP, 26 September 2014 3:22pm
A splash of coke helps your homebrew along as well as the yeast needs a bit of phosphorus to perform at its best.
themanlikedave JockJimmy, 27 September 2014 12:01am
As a child I used to watch dad use it to clean his brasses the night before he was due on the parade ground, he'd say that if it did that to metal, imagine what it was doing to my insides. Never been near the stuff since.
Wyn Richards, 26 September 2014 3:21pm
Ever heard of sugar free variety? Besides, if you banned Coke for a day, people would just drink Pepsi for a day instead.
Timmy Bill -> Wyn Richards, 26 September 2014 4:32pm
Try re-reading the column.
And I would ban sugar free varieties before I banned the regular ones.
siff -> Wyn Richards, 26 September 2014 6:49pm
''Ever heard of sugar free variety ?''
Oh yes. One of the chemicals used as a sweetener is aspartame. When its inventors tried to get it passed for human consumption the American Food and Drug agency examined it and said, basically, 'get lost, we are not letting you feed that stuff to anybody, its crap. It took ten years of constant lobbying but they got their permission in the end.
You eat it if you want to, I would not touch it with a barge pole.
Treviscoe -> siff, 26 September 2014 7:33pmCharlesII , 26 September 2014 3:21pm
I believe that even now, the US Air Force won't let their pilots drink anything containing it because so many of them were having blackouts and petit mal seizures at the controls.
One image was common to them all – the Coca-Cola sign hanging off the corner of a ramshackle shop. Whether it was a Peruvian city or a clearing somewhere in Africa, that white lettering on a red background was ubiquitous.
Coca-Cola is a marvellous example of the power of capitalism to reach the parts that a state controlled economy does not seem able to. Why is Coke in these shops but not, for example, rehydration salts that could cheaply save the lives of infants?
That's the thinking that led to Coke's distribution network being piggybacked on for social good:
(27352) , Thursday July 24, 2014 @04:28PM (#47525099) Homepage JournalYep. My dad's an ophthalmologist, and he doesn't recommend LASIK for anyone over 30 because of this (except in a handful of unusual circumstances).
You're trading off future reading vision for distance vision now, and the older you get the closer "now" becomes.
I'll gladly keep my ability to read without holding things at arm's length or putting on reading glasses for as long as possible, though admittedly my distance vision isn't that bad (I wear my contacts if I'm going to a movie or something, but I don't need to wear them for normal daily life) and I was already pushing 30 by the time LASIK really matured (about 10 years ago)
If you're, say, 26 now (so you'll get a good 14-20 years of fully corrected vision) and have terrible distance vision, LASIK may make a lot more sense.
Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score:4, Informative) by (1538833)
That's what happened to me. I got the surgery when I was around 23 or 24, and yeah I had 20/15 vision for at least a year, but my eyes kept changing.
After about 7 years I went back for glasses and to talk about doing the surgery again. I was advised that 7 years between surgeries is risky, because the original cut portion would have healed and they would need to cut it back again.
Additionally, the possibility of complications had risen, I had something like a 20% chance of things going wrong like my lens collapsing from being too thin after 2 surgeries, things that would be fairly serious for my vision. 20% is a fairly low chance, but I considered it unacceptably high when dealing with my vision. My doctor also said that, as my eyes are now, I won't need reading glasses when I'm older.
I opted to just get contacts and glasses again. I went back for contacts again recently and my eyes had only barely changed from the previous prescription. If I had waited until around 32 or 34 to get it done the first time then it probably would have stuck around a lot longer. It was really great while it lasted though.
popoutman #47524625)(1875462) , Thursday July 24, 2014 @03:54PM (#47524763)
Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score:5, Insightful)
Given that I have a few telescopes and I have been stargazing for ~30 years, I really value my night sight. Knowing that the majority of the laser surgeries have a significant proportion of post-operation aberrations that would directly affect my stargazing abilities is a real hindrance to my taking up the eye surgery.
Halos and diffraction spikes around bright objects, increased glare at night, are all relatively common issues to be dealt with afterwards. Most people aren't bothered by this as they rarely come across the situations where these aberrations would show up (exception being night-time driving).
If the surgeries were able to correct higher-order aberrations and a proper wavefront restoration across a portion of the eye that would be larger than the relaxed iris, then it might be a possibility for me. However, the tech is not yet mature for this, for my use cases.
Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score:5, Insightful)
Also the fact that it won't prevent future changes to vision. I'm thirty now, and my vision still continues to slowly get worse. I fear I'd be paying for a 5 year reprieve from glasses and then be back to wearing them with side effects I also have to live with for the rest of my life.
Re: Astronomy, and general poor night-time results (Score:5, Informative)
Halos are caused by the correction area being smaller that the dilated pupil size, has nothing to do with the type of LASIK.
More info: http://www.usaeyes.org/lasik/f... [usaeyes.org]
The most common post LASIK problem is actually dry eyes, 50% of patients.
It is certainly not a perfected surgery IMHO.
Nimey (114278) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @03:46PM (#47524659) Homepage Journal
I can get glasses that last for 5+ years for a couple hundred dollars, vs. lots more for surgery with its inherent risks. My glasses are generally only annoying when I work outside & get sweaty.
Austerity Empowers (669817) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @03:51PM (#47524739)
Also, having worn glasses for so long I've gotten used to the built in "objects flying at my eye" protection they offer. My glasses have caught more than a few flying objects and/or children's fingers.
Then there's reality:
1) Something might go wrong
2) My eyes are unbelievably important to what i do for a living and how I entertain myself, I'm not sure I'd want to live without them
3) I don't like the idea of being concious while someone/thing is cutting on me, especially my eyes
forgottenusername (1495209) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @03:49PM (#47524711)
I don't have enough material in my cornea. If they mess it up, there's not much they can do for adjustments.
As long as your eyeball remains parabolic, they can correct your vision more or less indefinetly assuming there's no other issues going on. Once you get lasik, your cornea becomes flattened so they can't really correct stuff with optics so well anymore.
I'd rather be safe and be able to have my vision correctable by contacts and glasses than take a chance at having really terrible vision that is then uncorrectable.
I feel like that's something people need to be made more aware of - lasik flattens your cornea so corrective lenses won't really work as well.
hguorbray (967940) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @03:49PM (#47524713)
not a permanent fix (Score:4, Interesting)
my gf got it about 7-8 years ago and is very annoyed that it has 'worn out' (of course that's just macular degeneration or whatever) and assuming it could be done again it would still cost her another few thousand...
I don't know if they didn't know how long the Lasik would last, but they certainly didn't tell her that it could wear off in less than a decade....
So now she has gone back to wearing glasses, which are covered by healthcare
-I'm just sayin'
Tempest_2084 (605915) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @03:52PM (#47524751)
Fear (Score:4, Insightful)
Plain old fear and nothing more. My contacts are rarely a hassle and I've been told that I look really good in my glasses, so I'm loathe to do anything to my eye that could harm it in any way. I still wonder what the long term (30 years+) consequences are and if a better procedure will eventually be developed. Until I can't wear my contacts anymore, I'm inclined to wait.
by ledow (319597) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @03:56PM (#47524787) Homepage
Because (Score:5, Interesting)
In Britain the DVLA are looking at their policies.
Drivers who have had eye surgery are generally marked as never requiring corrective lenses. But the DVLA have found numerous instances of drivers eyesight falling below minimum standards after laser eye surgery.
This laser eye surgery is not, in all people at least, permanent.
Obviously, in the DVLA's case, their answer is "We don't care... if you're below minimum standard - whatever the reason - you need to report it to us and wear some kind of corrective lens until you can prove otherwise". Which is sensible.
As a glasses wearer all my life, my eyes have stabilised. But laser-eye surgery is not only vastly oversold by marketers posing as doctors, but also not permanent. I could spend several thousand pounds and risk my eyesight (no surgery is without risk) in order to get out of a habit I've been in for the last 20 years that doesn't actually affect my life often at all (my prescription is unchanged for 10+ years, I've had the same three sets of glasses - including sunglasses - for 10+ years, I rarely break things like that, and the microsecond it takes to put them on in the morning and take them off at night is negligible).
MSN Healthy Living
Dr. David Katz is director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He said: "We have long known that medical care, while pledged to avoid harm above all, actually imposes quite a bit of it. Medical injury is all too common, and adverse effects of treatment are common, even in the absence of error."
But, he added, a process of continuous assessment and systems-level reform is needed to reduce medical errors to the minimum.
"There is also need to cultivate more health by living well," he said. "Medical injuries occurred in the context of treatment, and were more common with more serious conditions. That older patients with several chronic diseases and on multiple medications are more prone to adverse medical events is less than shocking."
Submitted by Michael Snyder of The American Dream blog,
The American people are the most drugged people in the history of the planet. Illegal drugs get most of the headlines, but the truth is that the number of Americans that are addicted to legal drugs is far greater than the number of Americans that are addicted to illegal drugs. As you will see below, close to 70 percent of all Americans are currently on at least one prescription drug. In addition, there are 60 million Americans that "abuse alcohol" and 22 million Americans that use illegal drugs. What that means is that almost everyone that you meet is going to be on something. That sounds absolutely crazy but it is true.
We are literally being drugged out of our minds. In fact, as you will read about below, there are 70 million Americans that are taking "mind-altering drugs" right now.
If it seems like most people cannot think clearly these days, it is because they can't. We love our legal drugs and it is getting worse with each passing year. And considering the fact that big corporations are making tens of billions of dollars peddling their drugs to the rest of us, don't expect things to change any time soon. The following are 19 statistics about the drugging of America that are almost too crazy to believe…
- #1 An astounding 70 million Americans are taking legal mind-altering drugs right now.
- #2 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctors wrote more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants during 2010.
- #3 According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, nearly 70 percent of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug. An astounding 20 percent of all Americans are on at least five prescription drugs.
- #4 Americans spent more than 280 billion dollars on prescription drugs during 2013.
- #5 According to the CDC, approximately 9 out of every 10 Americans that are at least 60 years old say that they have taken at least one prescription drug within the last month.
- #6 There are 60 million Americans that "abuse alcohol".
- #7 According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 22 million Americans use illegal drugs.
- #8 Incredibly, more than 11 percent of all Americans that are 12 years of age or older admit that they have driven home under the influence of alcohol at least once during the past year.
- #9 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is an unintentional drug overdose death in the United States every 19 minutes.
- #10 In the United States today, prescription painkillers kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.
- #11 According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.
- #12 According to Alternet, "11 of the 12 new-to-market drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration were priced above $100,000 per-patient per-year" in 2012.
- #13 The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.
- #14 Many of these antidepressants contain warnings that "suicidal thoughts" are one of the side effects that should be expected. The suicide rate for Americans between the ages of 35 and 64 rose by close to 30 percent between 1999 and 2010. The number of Americans that are killed by suicide now exceeds the number of Americans that die as a result of car accidents every year.
- #15 In 2010, the average teen in the United States was taking 1.2 central nervous system drugs. Those are the kinds of drugs which treat conditions such as ADHD and depression.
- #16 Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants as children in Europe are.
- #17 A shocking Government Accountability Office report discovered that approximately one-third of all foster children in the United States are on at least one psychiatric drug.
- #18 A survey conducted for the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that more than 15 percent of all U.S. high school seniors abuse prescription drugs.
- #19 It turns out that dealing drugs is extremely profitable. The 11 largest pharmaceutical companies combined to rake in approximately $85,000,000,000 in profits in 2012.
In America today, doctors are trained that there are just two potential solutions to any problem. Either you prescribe a pill or you cut someone open. Surgery and drugs are pretty much the only alternatives they offer us.
And an endless barrage of television commercials have trained all of us to think that there is a "pill for every problem".
- Are you in pain?
- Just take a pill.
- Are you feeling blue?
- Just take a pill.
- Do you need a spark in your marriage?
- Just take a pill.
And most Americans assume that all of these pills are perfectly safe. After all, the government would never approve something that wasn't safe, right?
Sadly, what most Americans don't realize is that there is a revolving door between big pharmaceutical corporations and the government agencies that supposedly "regulate" them. Many of those that are now in charge of our "safety" have spent their entire careers peddling legal drugs to all of us.
We have become a nation of drugged out zombies, and it is all perfectly legal. The funny thing is that many of these "legal drugs" have just slightly different formulations from their "illegal" counterparts.
If more Americans understood what they were actually taking, would that cause them to stop?
Perhaps some would, but for the most part Americans are totally in love with their drugs and giving them up would not be easy.
Just ask anyone that has tried.
Brave New World or Afraid New World?
"There's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. " Aldous Huxley
It all fits.
It all fits.
These are all signs exclusive nation's, with exclusive role in the world.
And the Corporatocracy will not allow anything to change. Big Pharma's dirty little secret is that 80%+ of all profits accrue from just one market: The US, which comprises 4% of the world's total population. This is, of course, just one of the fundamental healthcare cost issues that Obamacre did nothing to address, largely because it was written by Big Pharma and The Health Insurance Industry, both of which had (incorrectly as it turns out), assumed that Governemnt would be competent enough to implement a law which would compel all to enroll, thereby increasing their consumers by up to 30 Million.
Title: Answers To Correspondents
Author: Mark Twain [More Titles by Twain]
[Written about 1865.]
"MORAL STATISTICIAN."--I don't want any of your statistics; I took your whole batch and lit my pipe with it. I hate your kind of people. You are always ciphering out how much a man's health is injured, and how much his intellect is impaired, and how many pitiful dollars and cents he wastes in the course of ninety-two years' indulgence in the fatal practice of smoking; and in the equally fatal practice of drinking coffee; and in playing billiards occasionally; and in taking a glass of wine at dinner, etc., etc., etc. And you are always figuring out how many women have been burned to death because of the dangerous fashion of wearing expansive hoops, etc., etc., etc. You never see more than one side of the question. You are blind to the fact that most old men in America smoke and drink coffee, although, according to your theory, they ought to have died young; and that hearty old Englishmen drink wine and survive it, and portly old Dutchmen both drink and smoke freely, and yet grow older and fatter all the time. And you never by to find out how much solid comfort, relaxation, and enjoyment a man derives from smoking in the course of a lifetime (which is worth ten times the money he would save by letting it alone), nor the appalling aggregate of happiness lost in a lifetime your kind of people from not smoking. Of course you can save money by denying yourself all the little vicious enjoyments for fifty years; but then what can you do with it? What use can you put it to? Money can't save your infinitesimal soul. All the use that money can be put to is to purchase comfort and enjoyment in this life; therefore, as you are an enemy to comfort and enjoyment, where is the use of accumulating cash? It won't do for you say that you can use it to better purpose in furnishing a good table, and in charities, and in supporting tract societies, because you know yourself that you people who have no petty vices are never known to give away a cent, and that you stint yourselves so in the matter of food that you are always feeble and hungry. And you never dare to laugh in the daytime for fear some poor wretch, seeing you in a good humor, will try to borrow a dollar of you; and in church you are always down on your knees, with your eyes buried in the cushion, when the contribution-box comes around; and you never give the revenue officer: full statement of your income. Now you know these things yourself, don't you? Very well, then what is the use of your stringing out your miserable lives to a lean and withered old age? What is the use of your saving money that is so utterly worthless to you? In a word, why don't you go off somewhere and die, and not be always trying to seduce people into becoming as "ornery" and unlovable as you are yourselves, by your villainous "moral statistics"? Now I don't approve of dissipation, and I don't indulge in it, either; but I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices, and so I don't want to hear from you any more. I think you are the very same man who read me a long lecture last week about the degrading vice of smoking cigars, and then came back, in my absence, with your reprehensible fireproof gloves on, and carried off my beautiful parlor stove.
A former paediatrician in the US state of Delaware has been found of guilty of waterboarding his 11-year-old stepdaughter by holding her head under a kitchen tap.
Melvin Morse, 60, was convicted of one felony count and five misdemeanours.
Morse had styled himself an expert on near-death experiences among children, writing books and appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
He was arrested in 2012 after the girl ran away and reported the abuse.
His medical licence was suspended following his arrest. He faces up to several years in prison.
Waterboarding is a term for the simulated drowning technique used by US interrogators on terrorist suspects during the Bush-era "war on terror". Critics say it is a form of torture.
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