15 September 2012

Fluoride and Human Intelligence


In July, a team of Harvard and Chinese scientists published a study that warned of fluoride’s potential to reduce human intelligence.  The researchers issued their warning after reviewing dozens of studies from the past two decades that have linked elevated fluoride exposure to reduced IQ in children. Although the National Research Council issued a similar warning in 2006, advocates of fluoridation continue to push ahead with plans to fluoridate yet more water supplies in what is already the most fluoridated nation on Earth: the United States.
Fluoridation advocates — including both scientists and city officials — are seriously misrepresenting, and in some cases making outright false statements, about the Harvard team’s study. To help remedy this situation, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) is releasing the results of its six-month investigation into fluoride’s effects on the brain, and thyroid gland. In the course of this investigation, FAN has located, obtained, and — in many cases — translated dozens of studies on all facets of fluoride’s neurotoxicity, including studies detailing fluoride’s effects on the thyroid gland. In total, FAN has identified 34 studies which detected an association between fluoride and reduced IQ in human populations. FAN has also identified dozens of other studies which correlate fluoride exposure with impaired learning and memory, altered neurobehavioral function, fetal brain damage, and altered thyroid hormone levels.
Legislators who continue to mandate the addition of fluoride to public water without fully apprising themselves of this research are doing a profound disservice to the health and welfare of their constituents. Click here for more ...

08 September 2012

Yet Another Cure for Cancer


Sitting in a refrigerator in a Swedish laboratory is what promises to be a cheap and effective cancer treatment. So why are the trials to bring it to market not going ahead?

On the snow-clotted plains of central Sweden where Wotan and Thor, the clamorous gods of magic and death, once held sway, a young, self-deprecating gene therapist has invented a virus that eliminates the type of cancer that killed Steve Jobs.
‘Not “eliminates”! Not “invented”, no!’ interrupts Professor Magnus Essand, panicked, when I Skype him to ask about this explosive achievement.
‘Our results are only in the lab so far, not in humans, and many treatments that work in the lab can turn out to be not so effective in humans. However, adenovirus serotype 5 is a common virus in which we have achieved transcriptional targeting by replacing an endogenous viral promoter sequence by…’
It sounds too kindly of the gods to be true: a virus that eats cancer.
‘I sometimes use the phrase “an assassin who kills all the bad guys”,’ Prof Essand agrees contentedly.
Cheap to produce, the virus is exquisitely precise, with only mild, flu-like side-effects in humans. Photographs in research reports show tumours in test mice melting away.
‘It is amazing,’ Prof Essand gleams in wonder. ‘It’s better than anything else. Tumour cell lines that are resistant to every other drug, it kills them in these animals.’
Yet as things stand, Ad5[CgA-E1A-miR122]PTD – to give it the full gush of its most up-to-date scientific name – is never going to be tested to see if it might also save humans. Since 2010 it has been kept in a bedsit-sized mini freezer in a busy lobby outside Prof Essand’s office, gathering frost. (‘Would you like to see?’ He raises his laptop computer and turns, so its camera picks out a table-top Electrolux next to the lab’s main corridor.)

02 September 2012

Great News for Coffee Drinkers!

A massive study by NIH on hundreds of thousands of men and women over 13 years shows that drinking lots of coffee radically reduces cognitive decline, aggressive prostate cancer, and other diseases leading to about a 10% reduction in overall risk of death. For those who don't like drinking coffee, supplements with the active ingredient are available at lef.org. You should already be taking these anyway before meals to reduce insulin spikes from eating. This normalizes blood sugar, reduces the risk of diabetes, and entends life.

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BACKGROUND

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages, but the association between coffee consumption and the risk of death remains unclear.

METHODS

We examined the association of coffee drinking with subsequent total and cause-specific mortality among 229,119 men and 173,141 women in the National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Study who were 50 to 71 years of age at baseline. Participants with cancer, heart disease, and stroke were excluded. Coffee consumption was assessed once at baseline.

RESULTS

During 5,148,760 person-years of follow-up between 1995 and 2008, a total of 33,731 men and 18,784 women died. In age-adjusted models, the risk of death was increased among coffee drinkers. However, coffee drinkers were also more likely to smoke, and, after adjustment for tobacco-smoking status and other potential confounders, there was a significant inverse association between coffee consumption and mortality. Adjusted hazard ratios for death among men who drank coffee as compared with those who did not were as follows: 0.99 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 1.04) for drinking less than 1 cup per day, 0.94 (95% CI, 0.90 to 0.99) for 1 cup, 0.90 (95% CI, 0.86 to 0.93) for 2 or 3 cups, 0.88 (95% CI, 0.84 to 0.93) for 4 or 5 cups, and 0.90 (95% CI, 0.85 to 0.96) for 6 or more cups of coffee per day (P<0.001 for trend); the respective hazard ratios among women were 1.01 (95% CI, 0.96 to 1.07), 0.95 (95% CI, 0.90 to 1.01), 0.87 (95% CI, 0.83 to 0.92), 0.84 (95% CI, 0.79 to 0.90), and 0.85 (95% CI, 0.78 to 0.93) (P<0.001 for trend). Inverse associations were observed for deaths due to heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections, but not for deaths due to cancer. Results were similar in subgroups, including persons who had never smoked and persons who reported very good to excellent health at baseline.