Famous Parachute Study

http://www.bmj.com/content/327/7429/1459.full

A call to (broken) arms

Only two options exist. The first is that we accept that, under exceptional circumstances, common sense might be applied when considering the potential risks and benefits of interventions. The second is that we continue our quest for the holy grail of exclusively evidence based interventions and preclude parachute use outside the context of a properly conducted trial. The dependency we have created in our population may make recruitment of the unenlightened masses to such a trial difficult. If so, we feel assured that those who advocate evidence based medicine and criticise use of interventions that lack an evidence base will not hesitate to demonstrate their commitment by volunteering for a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial.


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AANP 2011 CE credits

I had to post this somewhere and I thought, why not my brand new website.  Its not much of an article, but maybe an interesting read for those interested in Naturopathy and the convention.  Contrary to possible popular believe, there is a strong focus on presenting research in our conventions.  Lots of great information here.–much of which I have notes on–some of which I’ll write about later for this website!  Also, many talks didn’t give CE credit, so some of the best talks aren’t listed here.

Continuing Education Course Attendance for Michael Dunbar

How to use Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) in clinical practice: 1 credit

General Session: Feasibility to Implementation: Development of an Integrative Cancer Care and Research Centre: 1 credit

The Structural Functionality of the Foot: 1.25 credit

General Session: Achieving Wellness ‚A Hierarchy of What is Important: 1.5credit

General Session: Controversies in Nutrition: 1.5 credit

Treating People with Cancer 1: Basic Advice and Information: 1.5 credit

General Session: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Modified Foods‚ Overwhelming Evidence of Harm: 1.5 credit

General Session: Composing Effective Homeopathic Care: 25 years of refining practice and teaching what we know 1.5credit: 1.5 credit

Twelve Useful Prescriptions: 1.5RX

Homeopathic Research & Treatment of ADHD: 1RX credit

Treating pregnant women from the 1st trimester to delivery: clinical pearls based on the best scientific evidence available in 2011: 1RX or OB credit

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Healthy Mayonnaise? Healthy Fats?


Vodpod videos no longer available.

Video beginner power!  note: I say pasture raised eggs not Pasteurized eggs, also, I know I repeat myself and am quite slow, but hey, first try without editing, not so bad, and now I know it takes about 5 minutes for me to make mayo.

Its true!  You have to make it yourself though. No commercial mayonnaise products have fully met my criteria thus far to be deemed healthy sans reservations.

Approximated ingredients: 2 free range eggs, mostly yolk, 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard with apple cider vinegar, 1 splash/1/2 teaspoon of braggs raw apple cider vinegar &/or lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, ~3/4ths of a cup of extra virgin olive oil and any other dry herb you’d like to add in.

I mix everything but the oil then add the oil slowly or with a stick blender.

Again some important health aspects are: the eggs, free range eggs are higher in health-giving nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids and natural vitamin A and they are happy, which helps with the morality of the issue.  From a beyond-our-time standpoint, chickens without stress likely have nutrients in their eggs which we don’t even know about at this point, the knowledge of what makes true health is low from a scientific standpoint in that all we really know is what we needwhich we can’t make ourselves, we have little idea what little bits and pieces might be essential for health even if they aren’t technically vitamins.  So, the fact that these chickens are happy and eating their natural diet outdoors is a great thing, the benefits of which our nutrition science isn’t quite advanced enough to completely grasp.

We are, however, able to know about the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil.  The monounsaturates have been found to be a “healthy fat” for some time now.  Additionally, when one can find truly cold-pressed, non-chemically treated oils, we have all of the nutrients inherent in the natural oil without molecular damage or toxins.

The raw apple cider vinegar is a well known folk remedy for most everything, webMD isn’t quite as excited about it as the rest of us, but then again, very few studies ever assess use of a food over an extended period of time.  Also, I think that the risks mentioned are more theoretical and incidental and provide unnecessary discouragement from moderate use.  Anyway, good to give all relevant sides of an issue.  If you type in “Bragg” to google you’ll find a much more positive viewpoint I’m sure.

I’d be amiss if I didn’t go back and mention, the evidence linking total fat intake and even saturated fat intake to health is riddled with methodological issues and many studies coming up inconclusive or in favor of high fat diets.  Trans fats are the only fats truly proven to be dangerous.  If you eat the saturated fat in the twinkie or the industrial steak, it might likely make you sick, if you eat the same saturated fat from coconut oil or a healthy naturally-living animal, I think you’ll be just fine.  I do have some research on this stuff if someone wants me to stir it up, but some of these points are made best as common sense mixed with a broad knowledge of the available research.

If you’d like more information: on healthy fatty diets, check out Sally Fallon’s  Nourishing Traditions and http://www.westonaprice.org/.

For some information on fats and healthy oil processing, check out Udo Erasmus’s Fats that heal, fats that kill.

For some more info on mayo, check out Alton Brown’s Mayo Clinic and this guy’s video about making mayo with a stick blender.

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GMOs Proven Dangerous

http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/why-should-i-avoid-gmos.html

We are confused as a nation about the risks and benefits of genetically modified foods.  Are they safe? Are they beneficial?  If so, why have so many other countries banned them, including many European countries?

Jeffrey M. Smith, leading researcher of this issue, spoke at the AANP convention recently and made it clear that GMOs are neither safe nor beneficial.  What is important about his claim is that it is based on well documented research, which can be found in his book Genetic roulette: the documented health risks of genetically engineered foods.

The worldcat.org description reads: “Provides information for an understanding of the health risks of GM food. This book presents nearly forty health risks of the foods that Americans eat every day…”

Interested readers might also check out: Seeds of Deception.

Research has shown that despite assertions to the contrary, engineered genes from GMOs can survive digestion and recombine with human gut bacteria–which becomes especially concerning with the knowledge that all inserted genes have an antibiotic resistant gene coded in to help select out correctly modified DNA during the modification process.

In addition, gene modification is not very specific.  Often genes are turned on which were not intended, some which produce allergens and others producing proteins causing immune reaction and inflammation in mammals.

In addition, without sweetening agents, animals generally will leave a GM crop alone while eating another crop, ex: two bags of corn left side by side in a shed, one is eaten completely by rats, the GMO bag isn’t touched.  When animals are made to eat GM foods, increased rates of death and infertility have been documented.  Possible mechanisms include greatly increased use of pesticides/herbicides on GM crops (more later), and production of proteins that were not intended by scientists.

This brings me to a conclusion point I’d like to go ahead and make here: genetic engineering is an infantile science.  There is nothing wrong with infantile science just as there is nothing wrong with an infant.  However, when you know so little about the world you’re living in, maybe you shouldn’t be changing the food supply just yet.

Even if everything goes as planned, the round-up-ready crops (one GM product), will obviously have tons more herbacide residues on them than crops which are organically farmed using non-GM seed.  Links between herbicide/pesticide exposure and health problems are also well documented.  The problem is, there is a lot of money going into convincing people that this stuff is safe, and very little going into real education and spread of the pre-existing research about their danger.  In fact, some of the research in Jeffrey’s book comes straight from the companies themselves, however, with misleading abstracts and quiet publication such research is easily overlooked. Very few people have the money and interest to publicize the problems with GMO foods.

If you have questions about the benefits of GMO and the possibility of needing them to feed the world, I’d recommend you read the Fresh article and watch that documentary.  The simple answer is that so far, intelligent utilization of natural systems far outproduces more industrialized, chemical-dependent approaches.  Even if the GMOs actually did allow for more food production, to my knowledge, world hunger is an issue of distribution of food, not of general lack.

If you’re concerned and would like to avoid these foods, go check out: http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/. Thanks for reading.

Edit: It is important that I mention that the above article represents merely the bits that I remember from Jeffrey Smith’s talk, and is not at all representative of even a significant portion of his research and subsequent assertions.  I recommend you consult the source for more information.

Another addition: “The American Academy of Environmental Medicine reported, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.  They ask physicians to advise patients to avoid GM food.

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Homeopathy Studies

Homeopathy consists of medicines which are diagnosed based on a very specific symptom picture matched to substances (plant, mineral, etc.) which cause the same condition (physically/mentally/emotionally) in a healthy person.  These medicines are often given in amounts so small that they no longer contain a molecule of the original substance but instead seem to leave some sort of energetic signature in the medium (usually water or milk sugar pellets).

It is my understanding that homeopathic has enough research to prove unequivocally that it has significant effects beyond placebo.  However, many clinically trained homeopaths will agree that good research is in short supply. As with many alternative medicines, there is a great need for more research funding and research methodology that reflects the way the medicine is actually prescribed and used.  Homeopathy has been subject to various studies which either use medicines prepared incorrectly or attempt to prescribe them based solely on conventional diagnostic criteria.  Such studies are doomed to failure from the beginning. Despite this, research has been conducted, the best of which is compiled in the book: Impossible Cure by Amy Lansky.  The book gets into homeopathy as a whole from various angles and is recommended reading as a proper introduction to homeopathy.

Here are two of those studies:

1997 meta-analysis resulting in an odds ratio of 2.45 in favor of homeopathy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9310601

Acute Diarrhea study in Nicaraguan Children:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/93/5/719.abstract

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Fresh

FRESH the movie

The “Fresh” documentary is an encouraging expose about food production.  The movie is quite entertaining and inspiring, I encourage you to watch it.  Some primary points that the movie makes very well:

1) industrial food production is less sustainable–literally less feasible to sustain–than medium-sized free-range, organic farming operations.

In the film, free-range organic polyphasic farmer, Joel Salatin, explains how various animals grazing on a piece of land at different times yields high quality ecosystems of microorganisms in subsequently nutrient-dense soil.  This biodiversity reduces disease and increases nutrient density of the animals raised on it.  The farmer makes more money per acre, partially by spending nothing on fertilizer, antibiotic, pesticide, and little on feed.

From the side of science, Andrew Kimbrell relates that research proves that these “medium-sized organic farms” are more sustainable and more capable of feeding the world than “any-sized industrial farm”, primarily due to the farms ability to thrive without any external input of herbicides, chemical fertilizers, etc.

2) organic food is healthier

Journalist and researcher Michael Pollan quotes in the film a 40% decrease in nutrients found in fresh produce today than in 1950.  This, with the knowledge that organic foods contain more nutrients, less harmful chemicals, hormones and antibiotics make means that the decrease is likely due to industrial food production methods.

3) Animals and farmers are happier given a non-industrial system

The conditions of industrial food preparation are both physically and psychologically stressful for animals and workers.  This point is simply made by the pictures themselves–this third truth isn’t one necessarily for placebo controlled trials–if you watch the movie, you’ll know that the above statement is true.

In summation, organic, free-range farming betters the health and happiness of animals, farmers, and consumers.  This health is not merely physical, but psychological and moral.  I greatly recommend you watch the movie and encourage you to pay an extra buck on produce and save yourself money in the long run.

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