After telling us to get our flu shots this past season, flu experts are now admitting that they could not - and still can not - predict what strain of the virus will be predominant in any coming season. So composing the vaccine is somewhat like trying to hit the winning lottery ticket.

"We were unable to demonstrate vaccine effectiveness against influenza-like illness," said the CDC's Dr. Carolyn Bridges, who studied how well the vaccine worked.

What's more, there apparently are no co-ordinated efforts to collect observations about the effectiveness of the vaccines that everyone does get, or about the side effects of the shots. "We really need to have a system in place year to year that tracks the efficacy of the vaccine", says Dr. Bruce Gellin, Director of the HHS National Vaccine Program Office.

What kind of 'science' is that? Belief in medical dogma unfortunately will not protect us from widespread adverse effects and the death toll of the pharma-based medical system, but it certainly helps keep the pharma-medical industry afloat.

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Zinc cuts diarrhoea deaths

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Article found on BBC News

Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 14:35 GMT
Zinc cuts diarrhoea deaths

Zinc was tested on Bangladeshi children


From Waliur Rahman
In Dhaka

An international study has found that zinc supplementation during diarrhoea reduces illness and death from the disease in Bangladeshi children.

Researchers, led by Abdullah Baqui, associate professor at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, examined the impact of combining zinc therapy with an oral rehydration solution (ORS) in a study of more than 8,000 children who had diarrhoea.

They found the combination significantly cut rates of death, illness and hospitalisation among the children.

Despite medical advances, diarrhoeal diseases and the resulting dehydration are still responsible for about two million child deaths every year across the world.

Most cases occur in developing, resource-poor countries where children suffer from malnutrition and access to clean water, safe sanitation and health facilities are limited.

The children in the zinc areas received 20 mg zinc daily for seven days during each episode of diarrhoea in addition to ORS.

Antibiotics cut

Not only did zinc therapy help the children, its use led to a signficant cut in the use of antibiotics.

Lead researcher Dr Abdullah Baqui, a Bangladeshi scientist, said: "The lower rates of child morbidity and mortality with zinc therapy represent substantial benefits from a simple and inexpensive intervention that can be incorporated within existing diarrhoeal disease control efforts and which should significantly improve child health and survival."

A recent meeting of the World Health Organisation (WHO) reviewed the findings and concluded that zinc supplements are efficacious in reducing the severity and duration of diarrhoea.

However, it said further research was required to ascertain whether the use of zinc was practical in the developing world.

The research is published in the British Medical Journal.

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Antioxidants in Prevention of Diabetes

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Source: Nutraingredients.com

Antioxidants may fight type 2 diabetes

- 17/02/2004 - A high intake of dietary antioxidants appears to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study by Finnish researchers.

People with a diet rich in vitamin E and certain carotenoids were significantly less likely to develop the disease, writes the team in this month’s issue of Diabetes Care (27:362-366).

While the results are not conclusive, they are an important indication of potential for prevention of diabetes, set to cause major public health problems in the future. There are currently more than 194 million people with diabetes worldwide but if nothing is done to slow the epidemic, the number will exceed 333 million by 2025, according to the International Diabetes Federation.

Diabetes has already increased by one-third during the 1990s, due to the prevalence of obesity and an ageing population.

The team from Finland’s National Public Health Institute used a cohort of 2,285 men and 2,019 women aged between 40–69 years of age and free of diabetes at baseline to assess diabetes risk in comparison with intake of different kinds of antioxidants.

Food consumption during the previous year was estimated using a dietary history interview and researchers calculated intake of vitamin C, four tocopherols, four tocotrienols, and six carotenoids.
During a 23-year follow-up, 164 men and 219 women developed the disease.

Vitamin E intake was significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Those in the highest quartile of the vitamin had a 30 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes than those with the lowest intake.

The carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin, found in citrus fruits, was also significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, cutting chances of developing the disease by more than 40 per cent. However there was no association between intake of vitamin C and type 2 diabetes risk.

The findings support advice to increase intake of fruits and vegetables, high in antioxidants, to reduce many of the risk factors associated with diabetes, including obesity.

Previous research has shown vitamin E and other antioxidants to protect against type 2 diabetes but the researchers said there was not enough evidence to support taking antioxidant supplements, based on a study that examined food intake.

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Lipitor - The Dangers of Statin Drugs

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Lipitor, a cholesterol lowering drug made by Pfizer and sold to millions of health conscious but ill informed patients, is one of the most profitable drugs the pharmaceutical industry has ever come up with. Sales account for a quarter of Pfizer's $ 32 billion annual sales. Expected to gross more than $ 10 billion this year, Lipitor is poised to become the largest-selling pharmaceutical in history, surpassing Pfizer's other wonder drug, Viagra.

But the price to society is much higher than a mere 8 to 10 billion dollars. Lipitor and other drugs in the statin class, such as Bayer's version Baycol - removed from the market by its maker - are not only lowering cholesterol. These drugs apparently ruin perfectly good lives with "side effects" that lead to slow degradation into physical disability. The story of Doug Peterson and other residents of Tahoe City may be coldly dismissed as "anecdotal evidence", but there is no excuse for scientific statistical sofistry. Every tragedy is real - when it happens to you, the risk is 100%.

Let's look at the pharmaceutical profit model for a moment. Drugs are developed and they have to be sold, otherwise - no profit. In the case of Lipitor and its similars, that means a market has to be created. Cholesterol, a beneficial substance in the human body, is targetted as a bad sign of impending heart disease. Drugs are promoted to "lower cholesterol". Mind you, not to prevent heart disease but to turn off the blinking warning lights. Billions are made, a huge empire of multinational corporations is built to "take care of our health" - by selling us drugs. National economies are all but bankrupted by the costs of health care, most of it to pay for drugs. What's more, national and personal economies are also bearing the cost - sometimes vastly greater than the mere cost of a prescription - of these drugs' side effects, the cost of drug induced illness and disability.

Who is responsible? The drug barons? The medical researchers? The media which never told us?Or none of them?

I like what Karla, Doug's wife, has to say: "We are hoping he is going to get better. That's our number one goal. Anger is a waste of energy at this point. We are trying to recover and get the word out."

Also Doug is taking the matter with a good deal of philosophy: "At this point, I consider myself lucky I'm not in a wheelchair," says Doug, who is currently in phsyical therapy. "There are no guarantees in life. Your birth certificate doesn't come with a warranty."

In other words: Do it yourself. The responsibility is ours. if you think you can help get the word out about what is really happening.

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Pharma makers withhold suicide data in drug studies

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According to an article in the Washington Post, the makers of popular antidepressants such as Paxil, Zoloft and Effexor have refused to disclose the details of most clinical trials involving depressed children, denying doctors and parents crucial evidence as they weigh fresh fears that such medicines may cause some children to become suicidal.

Apparently the drug makers are free to keep data hidden contravening, if not the letter of the law, the spirit of scientific transparency. Negative findings have a much harder time making it into the public record than those that are "favourable", meaning those that cover up negative effects of the drugs.

"Conflicts of interest and the company control of the data have thrown out the scientific method," said Vera Hassner Sharav, a critic of the drugs and a patients' rights advocate. "If hundreds of trials don't work out, they don't publish them, they don't talk about them."

"We need a journal of negative findings," agrees Darrel Regier, director of the American Psychiatric Association's division of research, who believes the drugs save children's lives. "The probability of those negative findings being published is far less than the chances of positive studies -- even journals are not interested in negative studies."

Of course there are alternatives to the controversial SSRI antidepressants. The currently ongoing Optimum Nutrition for the Mind conference in London is all about using nutritional intervention instead of drugs. It should prove interesting, and I hope to have a further report on it soon. La Leva di Archimede has a delegation attending.

Jon Rappoport of www.nomorefakenews.com made some pertinent comments to the Washington Post story, which I would like to offer here as a little stimulous to start looking....

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CDC Knew: Mercury in Vaccines Induces Autism

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It is quite clear that mercury is a potent neurotoxin and actually kills developing nerve cells. The serious thing is that mercury has been injected into children with numerous vaccines and it still is - with the majority of flu vaccines. This danger was apparently clear to the CDC since some time in the '90s. The problem was discussed by the CDC, the FDA and representatives of the vaccine industry four years ago - in February 2000, only to be ... hushed up.

Firstcoastnews reports the story.

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