Jimi's Daily Health Articles

Discussion in 'Vaping Health Related' started by Jimi, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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  8. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    You're welcome Sandi, just had my second eye surgery and everything is going well, thank you for asking my friend. How are you and hubby doing?
     
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  9. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    There was another one on autoimmune I posted too a few days ago
     
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  10. inspects

    inspects Squonkamaniac Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    The eyes getting better, Jimi?
     
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  11. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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  12. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Hi Dale, yes they are the last one is doing much better than the first one did:)
     
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    inspects Squonkamaniac Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    inspects Squonkamaniac Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Good to hear that my friend....!
     
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  15. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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  18. Jimi

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  20. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    I had to post this one in two posts because there was more than it would let me post in one

    The Cancer Blame Game:
    The Truth about Glyphosate in Your Food

    I’m sure that none of us, if we had the choice, would voluntarily swallow a toxin that increases the risk of cancer. I know I wouldn’t.

    But in the real world, our daily choices aren’t so clear cut. Our world is saturated in chemicals, and you can’t avoid them all. In my opinion, you have to choose your battles.

    Glyphosate is in the news lately because a California court awarded $289 million in damages to a man who says the herbicide caused his cancer. He frequently handled the chemical as part of his job as a groundskeeper, so his exposure was probably much higher than you and I would ever ingest in food.

    The case is on appeal, and meanwhile thousands of other lawsuits are pending. Originally glyphosate was only available under the brand name Roundup, but the patent has expired, and now many different companies market the chemical under different names. Under any name, it’s long been a target of activist groups.

    But how real is the threat this chemical poses? I recently asked one of my best researchers to take an intense, open-minded look at the evidence...

    Continued below. . .

    Are You “Full of It?”

    A medical study recently has confirmed what you may have always suspected: that most people are full of … well, poop.

    In a study of autopsies, examiners found that 90% of the cadavers’ colons held an average of 5 to 20 pounds of hardened, decayed feces which were encrusted on the intestine walls.

    This means a staggering number of adults (including you) are walking around with a backed-up bowel that holds pounds of old, impacted feces that is protruding their bellies and secretly making them ill.

    This was confirmed by a European medical study which found that a whopping 62% of adults whom doctors examined had an average of 10-12 pounds of residual fecal matter buildup in their large intestines and rectums.

    But when the doctors gave these poor people a treatment of a special all-natural colon-cleansing substance (not a laxative!), their bowel mass was reduced from 42% to 17%.

    Not only were they able to completely empty their bowels, but this do-it-yourself treatment re-established their natural bowel rhythm so they remained “clean and regular” afterward.

    .

    I think we need to better understand what the research tells us about glyphosate.

    But before I get started discussing the problems linked to the herbicide, I want to make it clear that I am not in favor of the huge amounts that are being sprayed onto farm fields across the US.

    There are plenty of less harmful methods farmers can implement that would control weeds while using less glyphosate. We need to be more prudent about how much of it we use, but at the same time I don’t think we need to panic and ban it altogether.

    In the eyes of many critics, the worst thing about glyphosate is that it goes hand in hand with genetically modified crops. These crops are engineered to survive being sprayed with glyphosate, so the net result is that the herbicide just kills the weeds while it spares the crops.

    How much does glyphosate add to a person’s risk of cancer? According to Arthur Lambert, a researcher at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “even if one accepts the high end of the reported risks (for cancer) the effects (of glyphosate) are, at best, modest.”1

    As Dr. Lambert points out, while smoking increases your cancer risk by up to 2,000 percent (i.e. by a factor of 20), the highest estimate of glyphosate’s increased risk from exposure is about 30 percent. That’s too much for me – I sure don’t want to eat it -- but it’s lower than what’s caused by other common toxins.

    Amount we’re eating has soared

    It’s hard to estimate the impact of glyphosate on cancer risk for many reasons. One of them is that our national use of this toxin has been increasing. Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have found that since farmers began growing genetically modified (GMO) foods in the 1990s, human exposure to glyphosate – from food residues – has gone up on average by around 500 percent.2

    Because cancer takes decades to develop, in most cases, we haven’t yet seen the impact on cancer rates that may result from the recent, massive increase in consumption.

    The California scientists have measured levels of glyphosates by analyzing chemicals excreted in people’s urine since 1993 when farmers first started raising GMO crops. Many GMO crops that are now in our food have been genetically modified to survive the glyphosate exposure that kills weeds.

    "Our exposure to these chemicals has increased significantly over the years but most people are unaware that they are consuming them through their diet,” warns researcher Paul J. Mills.

    "What we saw (in our research) was that prior to the introduction of genetically modified foods, very few people had detectable levels of glyphosate," says Dr. Mills.

    Now, however, 70 percent of us have the chemical in our bodies, he warns. He adds that use of the herbicide has gone up about 15-fold during the past 25 years, because farmers have increasingly planted the GMO crops designed to survive being sprayed. Glyphosate is applied most often to GMO soy and corn, but it’s also applied to wheat and oats grown in the US.

    Inactive ingredients – or not?

    Researchers have also focused on questions about how herbicides are formulated: The other chemicals that are mixed into glyphosate-based herbicides can also affect health.

    Although glyphosate is allegedly the only “active” ingredient in many herbicide products, researchers in England point out that the “adjuvant” ingredients that are combined with glyphosate, and which are considered “inactive,” can pose health difficulties that get overlooked when herbicides and pesticides are studied for their physiological effects.3

    "Exposure to environmental levels of some of these adjuvant mixtures can affect non-target organisms -- and even can cause chronic human disease," warns researcher Robin Mesnage of King's College London. "Despite this, adjuvants are not currently subject to an acceptable daily intake and are not included in the health risk assessment of dietary exposures to pesticide residues."

    Another concern: Studies show that an increased cancer risk isn’t the only health issue linked to glyphosate.

    For example, researchers at the University of California – San Diego have also found the herbicide may be linked to liver problems.4 When they looked at people suffering what’s called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), it turned out that their levels of glyphosate were significantly higher than in people with healthy livers.

    And, these California researchers note, lab studies have similarly indicated that glyphosate can give your liver a hard time.

    "There have been a handful of studies, all of which we cited in our paper, where animals either were or weren't fed Roundup or glyphosate directly, and they all point to the same thing: the development of liver pathology," says Dr. Mills.

    Problems can be passed down to children

    Meanwhile, tests at Washington State University raise the possibility that health issues caused by glyphosate may be inter-generational – your exposure to glyphosate may affect your children and grandchildren.5

    These lab studies, done on rodents, found that glyphosate exposure during pregnancy may cause prostate, kidney and ovarian problems in offspring and later generations. They also found the herbicide is statistically linked to a bigger risk of being obese and suffering birth abnormalities.

    The researchers conclude that we need to take the risk to future generations into account when analyzing the safety of glyphosate and other toxins. "The ability of glyphosate and other environmental toxicants to impact our future generations needs to be considered and is potentially as important as the direct exposure toxicology done today for risk assessment."
     
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  21. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Here's the rest
    The Cancer Blame Game:
    The Truth about Glyphosate in Your Food

    I’m sure that none of us, if we had the choice, would voluntarily swallow a toxin that increases the risk of cancer. I know I wouldn’t.

    But in the real world, our daily choices aren’t so clear cut. Our world is saturated in chemicals, and you can’t avoid them all. In my opinion, you have to choose your battles.

    Glyphosate is in the news lately because a California court awarded $289 million in damages to a man who says the herbicide caused his cancer. He frequently handled the chemical as part of his job as a groundskeeper, so his exposure was probably much higher than you and I would ever ingest in food.

    The case is on appeal, and meanwhile thousands of other lawsuits are pending. Originally glyphosate was only available under the brand name Roundup, but the patent has expired, and now many different companies market the chemical under different names. Under any name, it’s long been a target of activist groups.

    But how real is the threat this chemical poses? I recently asked one of my best researchers to take an intense, open-minded look at the evidence...

    Continued below. . .

    Are You “Full of It?”

    A medical study recently has confirmed what you may have always suspected: that most people are full of … well, poop.

    In a study of autopsies, examiners found that 90% of the cadavers’ colons held an average of 5 to 20 pounds of hardened, decayed feces which were encrusted on the intestine walls.

    This means a staggering number of adults (including you) are walking around with a backed-up bowel that holds pounds of old, impacted feces that is protruding their bellies and secretly making them ill.

    This was confirmed by a European medical study which found that a whopping 62% of adults whom doctors examined had an average of 10-12 pounds of residual fecal matter buildup in their large intestines and rectums.

    But when the doctors gave these poor people a treatment of a special all-natural colon-cleansing substance (not a laxative!), their bowel mass was reduced from 42% to 17%.

    Not only were they able to completely empty their bowels, but this do-it-yourself treatment re-established their natural bowel rhythm so they remained “clean and regular” afterward.

    Click here to read about the powerful “colon cleanser” that’s so gentle, you can use it every day until you’re “naturally regular” again.

    I think we need to better understand what the research tells us about glyphosate.

    But before I get started discussing the problems linked to the herbicide, I want to make it clear that I am not in favor of the huge amounts that are being sprayed onto farm fields across the US.

    There are plenty of less harmful methods farmers can implement that would control weeds while using less glyphosate. We need to be more prudent about how much of it we use, but at the same time I don’t think we need to panic and ban it altogether.

    In the eyes of many critics, the worst thing about glyphosate is that it goes hand in hand with genetically modified crops. These crops are engineered to survive being sprayed with glyphosate, so the net result is that the herbicide just kills the weeds while it spares the crops.

    How much does glyphosate add to a person’s risk of cancer? According to Arthur Lambert, a researcher at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “even if one accepts the high end of the reported risks (for cancer) the effects (of glyphosate) are, at best, modest.”1

    As Dr. Lambert points out, while smoking increases your cancer risk by up to 2,000 percent (i.e. by a factor of 20), the highest estimate of glyphosate’s increased risk from exposure is about 30 percent. That’s too much for me – I sure don’t want to eat it -- but it’s lower than what’s caused by other common toxins.

    Amount we’re eating has soared

    It’s hard to estimate the impact of glyphosate on cancer risk for many reasons. One of them is that our national use of this toxin has been increasing. Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have found that since farmers began growing genetically modified (GMO) foods in the 1990s, human exposure to glyphosate – from food residues – has gone up on average by around 500 percent.2

    Because cancer takes decades to develop, in most cases, we haven’t yet seen the impact on cancer rates that may result from the recent, massive increase in consumption.

    The California scientists have measured levels of glyphosates by analyzing chemicals excreted in people’s urine since 1993 when farmers first started raising GMO crops. Many GMO crops that are now in our food have been genetically modified to survive the glyphosate exposure that kills weeds.

    "Our exposure to these chemicals has increased significantly over the years but most people are unaware that they are consuming them through their diet,” warns researcher Paul J. Mills.

    "What we saw (in our research) was that prior to the introduction of genetically modified foods, very few people had detectable levels of glyphosate," says Dr. Mills.

    Now, however, 70 percent of us have the chemical in our bodies, he warns. He adds that use of the herbicide has gone up about 15-fold during the past 25 years, because farmers have increasingly planted the GMO crops designed to survive being sprayed. Glyphosate is applied most often to GMO soy and corn, but it’s also applied to wheat and oats grown in the US.

    Inactive ingredients – or not?

    Researchers have also focused on questions about how herbicides are formulated: The other chemicals that are mixed into glyphosate-based herbicides can also affect health.

    Although glyphosate is allegedly the only “active” ingredient in many herbicide products, researchers in England point out that the “adjuvant” ingredients that are combined with glyphosate, and which are considered “inactive,” can pose health difficulties that get overlooked when herbicides and pesticides are studied for their physiological effects.3

    "Exposure to environmental levels of some of these adjuvant mixtures can affect non-target organisms -- and even can cause chronic human disease," warns researcher Robin Mesnage of King's College London. "Despite this, adjuvants are not currently subject to an acceptable daily intake and are not included in the health risk assessment of dietary exposures to pesticide residues."

    Another concern: Studies show that an increased cancer risk isn’t the only health issue linked to glyphosate.

    For example, researchers at the University of California – San Diego have also found the herbicide may be linked to liver problems.4 When they looked at people suffering what’s called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), it turned out that their levels of glyphosate were significantly higher than in people with healthy livers.

    And, these California researchers note, lab studies have similarly indicated that glyphosate can give your liver a hard time.

    "There have been a handful of studies, all of which we cited in our paper, where animals either were or weren't fed Roundup or glyphosate directly, and they all point to the same thing: the development of liver pathology," says Dr. Mills.

    Problems can be passed down to children

    Meanwhile, tests at Washington State University raise the possibility that health issues caused by glyphosate may be inter-generational – your exposure to glyphosate may affect your children and grandchildren.5

    These lab studies, done on rodents, found that glyphosate exposure during pregnancy may cause prostate, kidney and ovarian problems in offspring and later generations. They also found the herbicide is statistically linked to a bigger risk of being obese and suffering birth abnormalities.

    The researchers conclude that we need to take the risk to future generations into account when analyzing the safety of glyphosate and other toxins. "The ability of glyphosate and other environmental toxicants to impact our future generations needs to be considered and is potentially as important as the direct exposure toxicology done today for risk assessment."

    Eat organic when possible

    When it comes to my own concerns about glyphosate and other agricultural chemicals, I try to eat organic food – which is grown without pesticides and herbicides – whenever I can. But I don’t obsess about it.

    I figure that occasionally some exposure to low levels of a chemical like glyphosate won’t be a significant factor in affecting my health. And in light of how our food supply is grown and produced, some exposure to glyphosate is probably unavoidable, anyway.

    I think the damage awards in the large lawsuits against firms that produce glyphosate products have gone too far. Cancer has many, many possible causes, and most of us have been exposed to a large number of them. Probably each and every one of us has been exposed to dozens of deadly toxins.

     
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  22. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Still wouldn't take it all
    part 3
    For most of these toxins, the exposure has to be pretty high, and last for a long time, to “cause” someone’s cancer. And even then the cancer will likely take decades to develop. So if you have cancer it’s next to impossible to put your finger on one cause and say, “This is it, this is what gave me cancer.”

    Little is known about the interactions among all the different causes of cancer. For example, it’s known that the combination of asbestos exposure AND a smoking habit is lethal. Studies likewise suggest that drinking alcohol regularly PLUS smoking is much more risky than either one by itself.

    But in general we don’t know much about the lethal synergies of all these carcinogens.

    My life in the toxic world

    A partial list of my own exposure to toxins would include: eating non-organic foods most of my life, until about 15 years ago; eating massive amounts of sugar when I was a child and young adult; growing up in farm country where the groundwater was likely contaminated with huge amounts of pesticides and herbicides; living in homes and apartments that were sprayed every month for insects; growing up in the era of leaded gasoline and living in cities with heavy air pollution; having mercury fillings in my teeth until about 25 years ago; taking tons of antibiotics when I was young...

    When I was a kid, the whole town was sometimes sprayed at dusk by aircraft, with the aim of killing mosquitoes.

    I could go on and on. I think a person can make himself crazy worrying about these things. I just do the best I can, and move on. There’s a great deal you can do detoxify yourself and get all the accumulated junk out of your body.

    That seems like a more practical strategy than singling out one corporation to blame for cancer.

    I ask myself, “What can I do to protect myself and become healthier?” Not, “Who can I sue?”

    Do I eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, keep my weight down, take advantage of the many great supplements that are available? A smoker or obese person who complains about Roundup needs to reorder their priorities.

    That doesn’t mean we should carelessly accept glyphosate in our food. We need systemic changes to our agricultural system to bring the use of glyphosate and other pesticides down.

    It’s also clear the regulatory authorities are worse than useless at identifying carcinogens and denying corporations the right to put them in products. In that sense, the folks who campaign against glyphosate – and other activists who wage war against other toxins – are doing good work.



     
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  23. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    He has some good info
     
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  24. Artemis

    Artemis Gold Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Hi Jimi! Happy to hear you are doing better. Hubs and I are doing fine. I have a liver doctor appointment this week. Hubs is having some problems at work with ageism. I hate it when they try to force a older person out of their job because they are older. I told him not to fall for this young persons trap. Of course, more to the story but I won't bore ya with details. Still working. I figure I will have to work till I die to pay the taxes and insurance.
     
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  25. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    I am glad to hear you and hubby are doing well my friend. I hope your doctor appointment goes well. It's truly shameful how they discriminate on age and most time it can never be proven, I guess they don't realize that they will get this old too someday:rolleyes:. It's a shame but more and more people are finding themselves in that boat:(,
     
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  26. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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  27. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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  28. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Good morning, everybody.

    There's a new study making the rounds. Researchers had a group of 100 or so people try different diets across a period of several years. The only variables they changed were the source of protein and the amount of saturated fat in the diet. Everything else—saturated fat source, carb intake, PUFA intake, total protein intake, etc.—remained as consistent as you can get it in a real world context. Most of the food was provided for the subjects, so they could actually verify that people were eating what they were supposed to eat.

    People either ate diets high in red meat protein, white meat protein, or plant protein. They also tested the effects of low saturated fat and high saturated fat intakes. In effect, everyone tried out 6 versions of the diets.

    • Red meat with high saturated fat.
    • Red meat with low saturated fat.
    • White meat with high saturated fat.
    • White meat with low saturated fat.
    • Plant protein with high saturated fat.
    • Plant protein with low saturated fat.
    The meat they used was very lean, with the saturated fat provided by "high-fat dairy and butter." They didn't go any further, but I imagine it was mostly butter as that's the easiest thing to use.

    Red meat and white meat had the same effect on cholesterol: they raised total LDL particle number via large LDL particles but had no effect on medium or small LDL particles.

    Saturated fat also increased total LDL particle number via large LDL particle number and left smaller LDL particles unchanged. Both white and red meat groups had the same response to saturated fat.

    The highest increase in LDL particles and large LDL particles occurred in the high saturated fat red and white meat groups.

    Is this bad? Possibly. Possibly not.

    Although the data on the large LDL/small LDL question isn't consistent, with different studies getting different results, the authors suggest that large LDL particles may be less problematic than the smaller LDL particles:

    "...large LDL particles, measured by several different methodologies, have not been associated with CVD in multiple population cohorts in contrast to the associations observed for concentrations of medium, small, and/or very small LDL... Thus, the estimated impact of red meat, white meat, and dairy-derived SFA on CVD risk as reflected by their effects on LDL cholesterol and apoB concentrations may be attenuated by the lack of their effects on smaller LDL particles that are most strongly associated with CVD."

    It's still up in the air. As they mention, some other researchers contend that large LDL particles are less likely to oxidize and trigger atherosclerosis. It may be that the increase in large LDL is a problem. Even still, I'm not sure the experimental diets in this study are relevant for most of you guys. After all, carbs were pretty high in the study—nearly 50% of calories. It may be that most people living in modern, mostly sedentary societies have no business eating high-carb diets with a significant amount of saturated fat (from butter) and meat. That maybe you should go low-carb if you're going to eat a lot of meat and saturated fat. And that maybe you should go low-fat if you're going to eat a lot of carbs.

    But no, that kind of nuance can't be, it must be:

    "White Meat No Better Than Red Meat"

    "Whether White or Red, You'll Still Be Dead"

    "There's No Escape: Even Chicken Kills"

    What do you think, folks?

    Let me know in the comment section of this week's Weekly Link Love.

    And enjoy your Sunday.

    Best,
     
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  29. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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  30. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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  31. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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  32. Jimi

    Jimi Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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  33. Jimi

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  34. Jimi

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    You’ll Never Believe You’ve
    Been Eating This for Dinner

    Imagine going to a fish market by the sea, where you can buy fresh-caught marine life at bargain prices. You purchase a few different types of fish and a pound of shrimp and look forward to feasting on them for a week…

    Now imagine sitting at dinner, ready to bite into your carefully-seasoned shrimp scampi, and instead chewing on a mouthful of plastic.

    It’s happening all over the world – a new threat to our health. And don’t imagine it’s just fish that pose a danger. Fortunately, there are some worthwhile precautions you can take right now…


    We’ve outpaced the universe with our waste

    “Microplastics” is a term you’re going to hear more often in the coming years, and probably most often from consumer health warnings. It’s the result of a world addicted to convenience. After all, plastic makes everything easier, from bagging up school lunches to containing products of all kinds, to providing casings for almost every electronic device.

    For a long time, people assumed that plastics are okay, because there was no evidence to the contrary. But we once believed the same thing about tobacco, asbestos, and mercury. A mounting pile of evidence suggests, once again, we’re wrong.

    Part of what we know is that there’s a massive pollution problem resulting from plastic overuse… right now, around 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year.

    This goes beyond previous concerns about food packaging that allows tiny plastic fragments to migrate into foods from the containers that hold them. To be clear, those concerns remain valid – food from plastic containers comes into contact with a range of over 4,000 chemical substances, including carcinogens like formaldehyde and BPA.

    But today I’m talking about a different concern on top of that. It’s now clear that humans are ingesting plastic particles in microplastic form.

    Plastic, plastic everywhere

    Microplastics are pieces of plastic under five millimeters in length. They come from plastics that break down from their original state, such as microbeads. These are commonly found in health and beauty products, and synthetic fibers in clothing, which, according to a study from Plymouth University, can release over 700,000 particles after a single wash.

    Most of these particles are so small they can pass through our water filtration systems and into bodies of fresh water, the ocean, and our drinking water. It’s estimated that more than 51 trillion microplastic particles litter our seas and threaten marine life – that’s far greater than the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

    Which brings us back to the case of shrimp for dinner. To plankton, shrimp, fish, and even whales, microplastic particles broken down by the wind and waves look like food. The sea creatures eat the microplastics, in some cases filling up on the trash and then dying of malnutrition.

    If they survive that, they’re often harvested by fishing boats, sold to consumers, and voila – you wind up eating a plate of plastic without knowing it.

    Researchers studying the effect of this plastic ingestion on marine creatures have observed heavy liver damage, infertility, and brain damage. In other tests, some of the compounds that cling to plastics can cause birth defects or even cancer.

    Bad news in plastic bottles

    Bottled drinks are perhaps the biggest source of this pollution. It’s an unsettling fact that U.S. residents love drinking stuff from plastic bottles. In fact, in 2015, Americans bought roughly 346 bottles per person – which adds up to 111 billion plastic beverage bottles.

    And around the world, nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute!

    But for those bottles that contain water, you’re not getting what you think. It’s become a strange American phenomenon to buy bottled water, to the point where it has surpassed soda as Americans’ favorite drink (we bought 13.7 billion gallons of bottled water in 2017 alone).

    More than 90% of those bottles of water marketed with phrases like “pure spring water” actually contain tiny pieces of plastic. In the study that revealed this, researchers examined 259 bottles from nine countries spanning 11 different brands; they found an average of 325 plastic particles for every liter of water sold.

    You’re not necessarily protected if you drink from the tap instead, as a previous study found high levels of microplastics in tap water. However, roughly twice as many plastic particles were found in bottled water than in tap water.

    Big little changes that make a difference

    A big part of the reason microplastics are taking over our world is the high number of plastic-producing factories. Roughly 448 million tons of plastic are produced every year at the global level. And plastic microfibers are easily airborne, potentially entering the environment from factory fans that push it outward.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) describes these studies on microplastics as an emerging area of concern, although there’s not yet clear evidence of the impact on human health.

    It’s hard to carry out human studies on this type of exposure, because you need to compare a population of people who consumed the pollutant over a long period of time to a control population that didn’t (hard to find in today’s world), and then look for statistical differences in the health of the two groups, across a whole range of diseases.

    And of course the diseases may show up only decades later.

    To reach a conclusion that the pollutant caused the health problem decades later, the researchers have to depend on a daisy chain of inferences and linkages, all while a chorus of industry-paid “experts” and government hacks claim there’s no problem.

    And I need to add that not all plastics are evil. Hospitals use plastic products for an array of life-saving procedures.

    But it’s the single-use plastics and disposable plastics that are causing the greatest harm, and it’s our cultural practices that perpetuate the problem. In the U.S. alone, shoppers use an average of one plastic bag per day. In Denmark, shoppers use an average of four plastic bags per year.

    As we wait for answers and further studies, there are at least a few things you can do to limit your plastic exposure. Never reheat food in the microwave when it’s in any kind of a plastic container. Put it on a plate, then reheat.

    Store your leftovers in glass containers, not plastic. Reuse paper bags or canvas bags for your grocery store trips. Buy plastic-free products when you can. And steer clear of single-use plastics, like straws.
     
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    New Body Structure Might Explain
    How Cancer Spreads

    It seems incredible that scientists have discovered a new human organ. I mean, they cut people open right and left (living and dead). How could they miss anything?

    Well, they did. A new organ has been identified. Actually, two. Plus a new “structure” that is not quite an organ.

    First, the “structure”: In 2017, an elaborate system of drainage vessels was seen in the brain for the first time. Until then their existence was suspected, but not certain.

    And then there’s the mesentery. Thought to be just a few fragmented structures in the digestive system, the mesentery was found to be a single structure and has now been officially reclassified as an organ

    But the third and last is the most important: Last year another suspected new organ was discovered called the interstitium (pronounced interSTISHum.)

    It may be a big factor in cancer. . .

    Remarkably, if confirmed, the interstitium will become the largest organ in the human body by volume. This previously unseen structure may change our understanding of many body processes affecting both health and disease, and the reason some forms of alternative medicine work the way they do.

    It might also explain how cancer spreads throughout the body.

    A fluid-filled three-dimensional latticework

    Dr. Neil Theise, a distinguished pathologist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, and New York University School of Medicine, went to work on a routine day, several years ago.

    Two of his colleagues, David Carr-Locke and Petros Benias, part of an interdisciplinary research team, approached him with an unusual image they’d seen with the help of a new instrument called a probe-based confocal laser endomicroscope. This device allows scientists to view living tissue in detail within the body.

    To study what they'd seen under a microscope, tissue samples were removed from the patient, quick frozen, cut into thin slices and amplified with a green dye, so differences in microscopic structures could be seen clearly.

    Viewing the large duct that drains bile from the liver, they could see dark bands separating a strangely shaped, bright, fluid-filled three-dimensional latticework of proteins, connective tissue (bundles of I am a spammer ban me and elastin) and unknown cells. No one had ever seen this phenomenon before.

    In further research, scientists uncovered the mysterious latticework everywhere they looked. Under the skin; lining the gastro-intestinal tract, urinary system and lungs; in the fascia between muscles; and in connective tissue surrounding arteries and veins. The structure makes up one-fifth of all fluids in the body - a huge 10 liters.

    A pre-lymphatic highway

    To Dr. Carr-Locke "it became clear that this was a previously unrecognized universal system throughout the body that connected certain organs with each other."

    The three scientists together with eight other colleagues published their findings in Scientific Reports last year. Whether this can be classified as a new organ, as they suggest, will have to be confirmed by other research groups.

    Although their existence was known, these fluid-filled spaces – making up the interstitium (from the Latin meaning the space between) -- had never been seen because, under normal circumstances, tissue samples are fixed in formalin before they’re observed under a microscope.

    Formalin is a solution of formaldehyde, which kills living cells. Its use clears the fluid from the interstitium sample and collapses the spaces so they appear solid on biopsy slides.

    This caused the, ahem, still living scientist on the other end of a conventional microscope to assume he was just looking at a dense wall of I am a spammer ban me alone. Sometimes faint little white cracks could be seen in it, but these were thought to be tears in the tissue. Now they know these are remnants of former interstitial spaces.

    The researchers described the interstitium as a pre-lymphatic highway of moving fluid that drains into the lymphatic system and ends up in the lymph nodes.

    The lymphatic system is an extensive network of vessels that helps rid the body of waste and transports fluid containing white blood cells -- lymph -- throughout the body.

    The researchers believe the interstitium serves as a shock absorber for tissues because it can be compressed, stretched and expanded, and is seen in all moving parts of the body. They also think it plays a role in edema – an unhealthy condition in which excess fluid accumulates in body tissues.

    But the effects of the interstitium could be more far reaching.

    A potentially important diagnostic tool

    Commenting on the implications of their discovery, Dr. Theise said, "If this organ is present in every tissue and other organ the way the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems are, then we have an incomplete understanding of the entire body.

    "This is basic anatomy, basic physiology. I don’t think there’s anything that doesn’t get changed by this." For example, he suggests that maybe fibromyalgia has been such a medical mystery "because we haven’t recognized the compartment of the body that’s affected."

    Dr. Michael Nathanson, head of digestive diseases at Yale University School of Medicine, agrees that the New York team seems to have uncovered "a completely new concept" which could become altered in disease or play a role in driving disease.

    Dr. Theise and colleagues think that as the cells and I am a spammer ban me bundles in the interstitium change with the aging process, they may contribute to skin wrinkling, limb stiffening, and the progression of fibrotic, sclerotic and inflammatory diseases.

    Although the cells in the interstitium cannot be identified as yet, the scientists believe they could be mesenchymal (adult) stem cells, which can contribute to the formation of scar tissue seen in inflammatory diseases.

    Dr. Theise added that their findings have the "potential to drive dramatic advances in medicine, including the possibility that the direct sampling of interstitial fluid may become a powerful diagnostic tool."

    This is all speculative, but the possibilities are exciting.

    Increases understanding of alternative medicine

    Surprisingly for an orthodox scientist, he said the protein bundles seen in the space are likely to generate electrical current as they bend with the movements of organs and muscles around them, and may play a role in techniques like acupuncture.

    In an interview he added, "And this is where people who are interested in fascia, such as osteopaths or some people who do body work like Rolfing or cranial-sacral practices have been saying, that fascia also has fluid.

    "But allopathic trained doctors like me and conservative anatomists of the world say, 'No, when you look at it under the microscope, fascia is just dense connective tissue. What do you mean there's fluid there? There's no fluid there.' "

    Dr. Theise said one of his hopes from publishing this paper is that the osteopathic community would now have an anatomic explanation for their practices.

    As you can see, Dr. Theise is no ordinary pathologist. For the last 30 years he's practiced Zen Buddhism and yoga, and has given talks on theories regarding acupuncture and the seven chakra points, and how yogic practices influence cellular and molecular biology.

    The cancer link

    As part of their research, the New York scientists examined tissue from five patients with cancer of the stomach and skin (melanoma) to see if cancer cells were present in the interstitium. And that's exactly what they found.

    If cancers are able to invade the interstitium and extend into the lymph nodes, this could explain how tumors spread, especially those in the GI tract, they believe.

    "This makes perfect sense when you consider the classic pattern of bile duct metastases," Dr. Carr-Locke explained. "This tissue plane of the interstitium is very loose, which would make it easy for the cancer to spread up and down the duct before spreading outward."

    If this is a first step to how cancer spreads, it could lead to new ways of preventing it.

    Dr. Carr-Locke continued, “It certainly would have implications for how we treat a tumor surgically.

    "We know that manipulating a cancer can often spread cells from exposed surfaces; you can often see metastatic disease occur fairly soon after a tumor is resected. Maybe that happens through the interstitium, and maybe targeting that is an important step in oncology.”

    Professor James Williams at the Department of Cell & Molecular Medicine, Rush University in Chicago, agrees that the interstitium likely plays a key role in spreading cancers of the GI tract and possibly other cancers, and could change the way doctors treat cancer and other diseases.
     
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