Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hot Flashes Ladies? This Japanese Herb is a FAIL

Ei yi yi. Every supplement maker on earth is selling some kind of all-natural-miracle-cure in a bottle with smiling, peaceful, slender women sitting in lotus position in a Japanese monastery, with sunlight slanting through the bamboo forest
But if you actually check to see if this product is, I don't know, effective, then you are totally off-script.  
That's what just happened with keishi-bukuryo-gan (great name, by the way ... I can just SEE this marketing piece on a supplement bottle), a mix of cinnamon bark, peach pit and several other botanicals -- also known as TU-025.

What The Study Studied
These scientists randomly assigned 178 postmenopausal women to take either keishi-bukuryo-gan tablets or a placebo every day for three months. 
In the end, the researchers found that while women on the herb saw improvements in hot flashes, sleep problems and other symptoms, so did women on the placebo. So there was no clear advantage of the herbal product, the team reports in the journal Menopause.

Here's the Data 
Of women in the placebo group, hot flash frequency and severity dropped by a significant degree in 34 percent. The same was true of 40 percent of women taking a lower dose of keishi-bukuryo-gan (7.5 grams per day) and 38 percent using a higher dose (12.5 grams).
The differences among the three groups were not statistically meaningful, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Gregory A. Plotnikoff, who directs the Institute for Health and Healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.
What's more, 20 percent of the women using keishi-bukuryo-gan reported diarrhea as a side effect. Now THAT's a picture you never see in the "health food" section of your grocery store. Wouldn't that be great? Instead of sitting on the sacred stone table of some Asian Monastery, the people on this supplement bottle would be shown ... hmm, not sure how effective that marketing message would be. 
To Be Fair 
It may be that this herb was not given within the context of traditional Japanese medicine, which is a system known as Kampo, which considers each individual patient's "constitution." Based on that system, the researchers note, keishi-bukuryo-gan is best for women who normally tend to feel cold (when they're not having hot flashes or night sweats), and are deemed to have stagnant qi (pronounced "chee"). Qi is a concept in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine that refers to the flow of energy through the body.
But supplement makers are NOT trying to sell this herb within the context of traditional Japanese medicine. PLUS, keishi-bukuryo-gan is a prescription drug in Japan, but it's available as an unregulated supplement in the U.S. -- generally as a capsule or a powder to make tea. 

Japanese herb for hot flashes fails in U.S. trial | Reuters

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This Summer's Recipe? Baking Your Own Organs In This Heat

To avoid heatstroke, avoid strenuous physical activity outside during the hottest time of the day, if possible.

I'm just really glad that global warming is a hoax! Whew! 

Because if the melting ice caps that aren't really melting, and the receding mountain ice packs that aren't really receding, and the increasing average temperatures that aren't really increasing ... were really real ... can you imagine how hot it WOULD be then?  

Even as it is, under the fake warming conditions, this summer's turning out to be dangerously hot. And the outcome for you is that your INTERNAL temperature can ramp up, which essentially bakes your organs. 

I don't eat internal organs ... eww. Just can't do it. Baked, fried, stewed, whatever. Gross. 

In any case, a normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but heatstroke can turn your body temp up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher ... in just 10 to 15 minutes. That's like spiking a massive, time-to-go-to-the-hospital fever, just by stepping outside. 

So what happens when you bake your brain and other organs? 
Well there is that whole death or permanent disability thing (if not treated immediately). "When you have the kind of heat wave that we're having now, we start to get worried," said Dr. Janyce Sanford, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

They worry because of the data
Between 1999 and 2003, there were 3,442 reported deaths resulting from exposure to extreme heat, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During that time (as you might expect) Arizona had the highest number of deaths related to baked organs, followed by Nevada and Missouri. 

Old people, young people, and sick people are obviously at highest risk of heatstroke. 

FYI: There are a few different forms of heat-related illnesses. 
Heat cramps are usually considered mild, and can be treated with liquids and going into a cool environment. 
Heat Exhaustion is more severe, and involves elevation of body temperature, headaches, nausea and vomiting.

And then there is heatstroke, which is the most life-threatening. Heatstroke resembles heat exhaustion but may additionally involve neurological symptoms such as confusion and dizziness, or even coma. The body can no longer sweat, and internal temperature skyrockets. 

Bottom line? Don't bake your own organs. They are much better when stored at normal body temperature.  

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Over 1,000 cows fed nuclear-contaminated feed shipped in Japan | Reuters

Hey maybe there's an upside! 

Does this mean that the hamburger (from the cows that ate radioactive feed) comes pre-cooked? 

Will that kill the e-coli that somehow always ends up going from cow pies to hamburger patties?  

Maybe we could have cow sushi? I sense a new market opening up!! You could get a Spicy Bessie Roll


More than 1,000 beef cattle that ate feed contaminated with radioactive cesium have been shipped all over Japan from Fukushima and other prefectures, Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday, adding to anxiety after the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.
The report comes a day after Tokyo ordered the suspension of all shipments of beef cattle from Fukushima prefecture after discovering that cattle fed rice straw contaminated with high levels of radioactive cesium had been shipped nationwide
Japanese consumers have become increasingly worried about food safety following cases of contaminated vegetables, tea, milk, seafood and water due to radiation leaks at the tsunami-hit nuclear plant in Fukushima, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.
A total of 1,235 cattle that ate straw containing radioactive cesium have been shipped from Fukushima and seven other prefectures to other parts of Japan, Kyodo reported, up from the 500 reported Tuesday.
The straw, which was left in rice paddies even as the Fukushima plant leaked radiation after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, contained cesium up to 500 times the levels considered safe.
The government is still conducting tests to determine whether the meat itself was contaminated. Experts say the health implications for consumers from cow feed contamination were not immediately clear.

Over 1,000 cows fed nuclear-contaminated feed shipped in Japan | Reuters

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Teenagers Without Brains

A man smokes outside the Taipei railway station January 13, 2010. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

Get this ... a new study showed that more and more teenagers don't think heavy cigarette smoking is a high-risk activity. 
So. Sucking in benzene?? ... and tar?? ... and formaldehyde?? is not seen as a high risk activity?? Really??
I know, I know ... their brains have not fully grown in yet. We know there's a kernel in that skull because they do rattle a bit when they shake their heads. But whatever is bumping around in that bean, has obviously not filled the space yet. 
As parents, we call this the "teen gene", which makes them know EVERYTHING and you, by the way, are an ALIEN. But actually, the issue is less about genetics than neurology ... what you are seeing, dear parents and family members, indicates a medical condition known as kid-osis, which is Latin for "brainless". 

Here's the data
According to a U.S. study on substance abuse and mental health, the perceived risks of smoking one or more packs of cigarettes a day dropped between 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 in 14 states among youths aged 12 to 17, and in 31 states among those aged 18 to 25.

How do we address this problem?
It may be a global epidemic of brain-free children. But what's amazing is that they are living a brain-free life, and still walking around among us. Oh sure, they can feed themselves and many of them can go to the bathroom by themselves, although getting them OUT of the bathroom can require a crowbar -- all with their quasi-brain matter stuck in "failure to launch" mode. But brains just don't seem to be very important for this demographic. 
You might be of the naive opinion that education can be an effective approach for this particular species of young person. But, if you have been a parent, you know that speaking to walls, teenagers, or any other inert object can produce the very same blank effect. 
Remember, their brains just haven't grown in yet. It's not their fault. 
The best we can do is to keep cigarettes away from them and hope that they're not totally addicted to this ridiculous carcinogen by the time their brains grow in. 

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Poor Soda Makers. Pooooor Soda Makers.

It makes me want to cry. 

These defenseless soda makers feel like they're being unfairly singled out for promoting a high sugar, low nutrient, calcium sucking soft drink. 

And NOW, they are being absolutely forced against their will to resort to old Tobacco Company strategies: (according to this article, below, the Beverage Association is suing local childhood obesity efforts in order to out spend them into submission).   

This is SO unfair to the soda makers. 

  • Just because a small 12 oz coke has whopping 12 teaspoons of sugar doesn't mean that kids drinking several 20 oz versions of those, daily, contributes to them be fat and diabetic. 
  • Just because colas are made tart by adding phosphoric acid, and drinking phosphoric acid ([really?? you're drinking phosphoric acid?? ewww!!] ... sorry ... back in character) speeds bone loss in women so that it's easier to break your head and shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes doesn't mean that it is BAD for you bones. 
  • Just because children who drink these sodas tend to get fat doesn't mean that the sodas and their bolus of HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP have anything to do with that.  

Poor maligned soda makers. Well, I for one am GLAD they're fighting back against this injustice of data and common sense. 

Plus, you don't have to drink sodas with mountains of sugar in them. You can choose zero calorie options that have synthetics in them ... like Aspartame ... which is a zero calorie neurotoxin. Honestly, no calories at all!! 

And just because the Harvard School of Public Health showed that the people who drink zero calorie neurotoxin sodas actually gain more weight than those people who drink sugar-choked soft drinks, is also plainly, plainly not the soda's fault. 

So, stand with us to oppose this unwarranted common sense. If we do, we'll all be bigger people for it. 

Exclusive: Soda makers escalate attacks over obesity | Reuters

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How To Know If You Are Getting "Heat Stoke" ... or "Heat Exhaustion"

Do not take this lightly. 

Listen, I grew up in Alabama ... in SOUTH Alabama where the outdoor temperatures were "like an oven on broil," every summer.  

As a kid, running around in my bare feet, HOPING for an afternoon thunderstorm so that I could dance around in the deluge that poured off my house, I had no idea about how bad the heat could be for you, when you essentially bake your brain like a loaf of bread in your skull!! 

But today, we do know about the dangers. And, while we shouldn't be freaked out about the heat, we shouldn't be clueless either. The best solution is to be educated. 

So, below is a reference guide for you, to show us the difference between "Heat Exhaustion" and "Heat Stroke", and to know the signs/symptoms of each. 

Heat Exhaustion 
Heat Exhaustion comes from dehydration and can lead to the potentially fatal heat stroke. When you get too hot the body's reaction is to sweat for temperature control. Not replenishing these lost fluids properly can lead to more extreme heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion 
Pale moist cool skin
Rapid breathing, panting
Profuse sweating 
Muscle cramps
If you suspect someone has heat exhaustion have them get into the shade or into an air conditioned location and elevate their feet a bit. Try to cool them down via cool compresses, especially on neck and armpits. Replenishing water without gorging is the key so have them drink cup water every 15 minutes. If they continue to show signs of heat exhaustion and aren't improving, seek a doctor's help.
Heat Stroke 
Heat Stroke is where the body's ability to cool itself by sweating is shut down. All temperature control is removed and the body overheats. Much like a car overheating the body can not work properly without a proper cooling system. Heat stroke can be fatal, and can make its sufferer slip into a coma if not treated speedily.
Signs of Heat Stroke 
Dry hot red skin
No longer sweating
Rapid but shallow breathing
Rapid but weak pulse 

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Monday, July 18, 2011

VIDEO: Clower Clarifies the Cellphone Cancer Connection

Some people talk as if putting a cellphone to your head is the same as putting a gun to your head. In this KDKA-TV spot, Dr Clower clears the airwaves for us.  

Check it out and let us know your thoughts!!

Are you going to NOT use a cell phone? Are you going to take precautions and practice "Safe Cellphoning"? Or do you think it's a whole lot of hoo hah over nothing? 

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Should we BAN smoking in public places?

Most Americans seem to think so. 59 percent, in fact, want to ban all smoking in public places. 

This is a big change! 
Only ten years ago, 39 percent were in favor, a percentage that was about the same when Gallup did a similar poll on the subject in 2007.

"A majority of Americans now support the concept of a full smoking ban in all public places, marking a significant change from four years ago, when Gallup last measured this attitude," the pollster said.
What about an outright ban?
Well, only 19% thought that this addictive carcinogen should be illegal -- up from 14% at the last survey. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps because selling lethal chemicals that addict you, then kill you and your family (by breathing your 2nd hand smoke) has been a part of our culture for so long that it will take a while to change sentiment.

Or maybe there is a Tobacco lobby that pays congressmen to protect their deadly industry. Either way ... 

"Relatively few Americans support the idea of making all smoking illegal across the country, perhaps partly in recognition of the practical difficulties involved in enforcing such a ban."
Right. Well, at least the movement is going in the right direction. Who knows, maybe in the next 10 years, we'll be able to push public sentiment far enough to even override a lobbyist veto.  
The results of the poll are based on a random sample of 1,016 people aged 18 and older living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Gallup said the maximum margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Most in U.S. want ban on smoking in public: poll | Reuters

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Should Gov Be Able To "Repossess" Obese Children?

Unbelievable. This Boston area pediatrician wrote that the State should be able to swoop in and take a child away from their parents and put that child into foster care ... if that child is obese.

CLICK HERE to see the article that the Journal of the American Medical Association has made available for free for a week.  the He has  

In this article, the baby doc tries to walk back his opinion that we should be able to repossess people's children when they are too fat, by saying that we shouldn't freak out ... but when kids are too fat, and nothing else works, they should be taken away from their parents. 

This effectively puts "childhood obesity" into the category of "abuse". 

But hey, doesn't that mean that adult obesity of also a form of abuse? Like self-abuse? Doesn't that mean that this self-inflicted condition should be treated as a form of mental instability? 

I know, I know, I'm gleefully sliding down the slippery slope of "reductio ad absurdum", but since this pediatrician started an absurd commentary with an absurd solution, I figured that I was in good company.   

Of course, the whole notion is just silly and will quickly go away ... in the mean time, realistic approaches to fix childhood obesity should be what we focus on. However, I think the reason we see crazy proposals like these is precisely because we have run out of options and just don't have any solid solutions on the table. 

U.S. pediatrician feels heat over child obesity idea | Reuters

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