Your Health Page
Last week, the NHS started to change. The laws which the government pushed through last year came into force. The changes would probably be even more alarming if it wasn't for all the campaigning we've done together. But it's all still pretty worrying.
With the changes now in force, we need to decide what we want to do next. What's the priority? How can we best work together to defend the idea of a decent public health service we can rely on to look after us when we need it?
You can help us decide where the NHS campaign goes next. Please take two minutes to vote in a poll:
When the government finally got its changes through last year, 38 Degrees members were disappointed. But we voted to keep the campaign going. And since then, by working together, we've made a huge difference:
- Thousands of 38 Degrees members across the country have asked their local GPs to put patients first and keep the NHS public. We’ve already signed up groups of local GPs in the Midlands, south-west and London. 
- We moved fast when we heard that the government was looking at a new tax dodge for the private health industry. Thousands of us wrote in to complain. The plan was dropped within hours! 
- There's been big problems with privatised GP out-of-hours care in places like Cornwall. So hundreds of thousands of us demanded an investigation into what happened there. An inquiry has now been launched by the influential Public Accounts Committee of MPs. 
- Just last month, the government announced new rules which could force GPs to hand almost all health contracts to private companies. Over 350,000 of us signed the petition and wrote to our MPs. This helped force the government to withdraw the rules - a big win, though there's still more to do. 
It works because we all work together. So please help decide what we do next:
Should we be focusing on protecting the NHS from budget cuts? Stopping further privatisation? Supporting local campaigns like those against hospital closures? Or making sure that when managers fail to protect patient care, like in Mid Staffs, they’re held properly responsible?
We can do a lot, but we can’t do everything. So please vote to say what you think is most important:
Thanks for being involved,
Ian, Travis, Belinda and the 38 Degrees team
 38 Degrees blog - NHS: Local Campaign Success in Bristol: http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2013/03/27/nhs-local-campaign-success-in-bristol/
38 Degrees blog - NHS: Local Campaign Success in Haringey: http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2013/03/04/nhs-local-campaign-success-in-haringey/
 38 Degrees blog - You couldn't make it up! http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2013/01/15/you-couldnt-make-it-up/
 Parliament website - PAC Chair statement on out-of-hours GP service in Cornwall: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/news/out-of-ours-gp-service-in-cornwall/
 38 Degrees blog - Meeting with health minister Norman Lamb: http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2013/03/22/meeting-with-health-minister-norman-lamb/
Follow 38 Degrees on Facebook and Twitter.
38 DEGREES Registered Company No. 6642193
LINK BETWEEN CELL PHONES AND BRAIN TUMOURS
The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that there is a
causal link between mobile phone use & brain tumours.
The ruling sets a legal precedent that could potentially
trigger a deluge of lawsuits.
Innocente Marcolini, a 60-year-old retired businessperson
argued that excessive use of his mobile phone for around
six hours every day for 12 years caused a benign brain
tumour that left his face partially paralyzed.
The Italian court ruled in the businessperson’s favour,
conceding that there is a “causal link” between phone
use and the development of the tumour.
"This is significant for very many people. I wanted this
problem to become public because many people still do
not know the risks,” said Marcolini to Corriere della Sera.
“I was always on the phone for at least five or six hours
a day. Always with a mobile pressed to my ear.”
Marcolini’s tumour was on the trigeminal nerve, close
to where his cellphone touched his head. Although the
tumour was non-cancerous, it endangered his life, as
it could have spread to the carotid artery and blocked
one of the main blood vessels to the brain.
He argued that the electromagnetic radiation emitted
by cellphones can damage cells, making tumours
more likely to occur.
Oncologist and professor of environmental mutagenesis
Angelo Gino Levis, who gave evidence during the court
hearing, says the ruling is “extremely important.”
“Finally a correlation has been officially recognized
between electromagnetic waves and the development
of tumours, in spite of the anti-alarmist propaganda and
research financed by mobile phone manufacturers,”
Levis told the Corriere. He stressed that after working
on several case studies the relationship between the
use of mobile phones and the increased risk of brain
tumours, is proven.
"It'll open, not a road, but a motorway to legal actions
by victims. We're considering a class action,” Levis
told UK newspaper The Sun.
Currently the World Health Organization classifies
mobile phones as “carcinogens” and places them
in the same category as pesticides.
Silicon-rich mineral water prevents cognitive decline
in those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, a study
by UK researchers at Keele University shows.
UK researchers suggest that drinking silicon-rich
mineral water can reduce the levels of neurotoxin
aluminium in the body, which is linked to dementia.
Their study reveals that the majority of patients
who consumed at least one litre of mineral water
every day for 13 weeks showed no further signs
of cognitive decline; an improved mental health
condition was also noted in some patients.
Aluminium levels have long been linked with
Alzheimer’s-related mental damage, but the relationship
has never been conclusively proven scientifically.
“When you drink silicon-rich mineral water, aluminium
throughout the body is gathered up into the blood and
then excreted through the urine,” says Professor
Christopher Exley, Keele University, research leader.
“The most interesting thing was that we did see this
potential relationship between the removal of aluminium
and the positive improvement in cognitive function.”
Aluminium levels were reduced by as much as 70% in
some patients, which gives hope to those struggling
with the devastating disease.
HEADING FOOTBALL CAUSES BRAIN DAMAGE
Heading football frequently may cause brain
damage leading to subtle but serious declines
in thinking & coordination, a new study suggests.
Researchers used an advanced MRI (Magnetic
Resonance Imaging) technique to analyse changes
in the brain's white matter of 32 adult amateur
soccer players who head balls 436 times a year,
on average, and found that players who head
footballs frequently - 1,000 or more a year -
show abnormalities similar to traumatic brain
injuries suffered in car accidents.
"This is the first study to look at the effects
of heading on the brain using sophisticated
diffusion tensor imaging," says Dr. Michael
Lipton, a leading researcher and associate
director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance
Research Center at the Albert Einstein College
of Medicine in New York City.
"We found the real implication for players isn't
from hitting headers once in a while, but
repetitively, which can lead to degeneration of
brain cells," he adds.
The researchers compared neurological images of
study participants, whose average age was 31,
and found those with the highest volume of
headers had abnormalities in five areas of the
brain, responsible for attention, memory,
physical mobility & high-level visual functions.
The findings come in the wake of mixed reports
on the so-called "cognitive" consequences of
frequently heading soccer balls at practice.
Dr. Chris Koutures, a pediatrician and sports
medicine specialist in Anaheim Hills, California,
says the imaging study is fascinating, but needs
more data to effectively determine safe header
limits, especially for younger players.
Dr. Lipton agrees that neuropsychological damage
from headers is hard for a coach or physician to
notice, as cognitive problems develop gradually,
& even players might not be aware of memory loss.
"We can't tell an individual today not to head
a ball, but caution is a good thing," Lipton
says. "We need more research for definitive
answers, and we have the advanced imaging tools
to do it."
SO YOU'RE A STOCK TRADER? CRAZY!
Der Spiegel reports that two researchers at the
University of St Gallen in Switzerland, in
comparing the profiles of 28 successful stock
market traders with an equal number of
diagnosed psychopaths, found that the brokers
easily outperformed the crazies in terms of
reckless manipulation. Even at the risk of
hurting their own profit margins, according to
Dr Thomas Noll, a prison administrator, they
spent a lot of energy trying to damage their opponents.
WHITE FRUIT FLESH LOWERS STROKE RISK
Daily consumption of white-fleshed fruits and
vegetables - such as apples and pears - can
significantly reduce the risk of developing a stroke.
During a 10 year study and follow up of 20,069
healthy adults aged between 20 and 65, Dutch
researchers analyzed the effects of the daily
eating of fruits and vegetables of various
colours in lowering the risk of developing a stroke.
Results show that the risk of a stroke is 52%
lower for people who ate a lot of white-fleshed
fruits and vegetables.
Every 25 grams per day of white fruits and
vegetables such as apples, pears, bananas,
cauliflower, chicory, cucumber and mushrooms,
led to a 9% decrease in the risk of stroke,
say Wageningen University scientists.
According to the report published in Stroke:
Journal of the American Heart Association,
the colour of the edible portions of fruits
and vegetables shows the presence of beneficial
phytochemicals (plant compounds), such as
carotenoids and flavonoids.
Green, orange/yellow and red/purple fruits and
vegetables weren't related to stroke. However,
the risk of stroke incidence was 52% lower for
people with a high intake of white fruits and
vegetables, compared to people with a low
intake, says lead author Linda M. Oude Greip.
To prevent strokes, it may be useful to consume
considerable amounts of white fruits and
vegetables, she adds, saying an apple a day,
which weighs approximately 120 grams, is an
easy way to increase white fruit & vegetable intake.
"However, other fruit & vegetable colour groups
may protect against other chronic diseases.
Therefore, it remains of importance to consume
a LOT of fruit and vegetables."
A=PLUS FOR CHILDREN
Giving vitamin A supplements to children under
the age of five can save the lives of 600,000
in low and middle-income countries every year!
A review of 43 trials shows that vitamin A
supplements reduced child mortality by 24%
in developing countries by preventing many
deadly infections in children.
A team of researchers from the UK and Pakistan
studied over 200,000 children aged 6 months to
5 years, and found that taking vitamin A can
also reduce disabilities such as severe visual
impairment, blindness and complications caused
by severe infections.
According to the World Health organization (WHO),
vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is the leading cause
of preventable blindness in children, and
increases the risk of disease and death from
severe infections such as diarrhea and measles.
About 190 million children under the age of five
might have vitamin A deficiency, especially in
Africa and South-East Asia, a condition that
hits young children and pregnant women in many
Supplements are already distributed twice a year
in at least 60 countries, but about 20% of the
target population is not covered.
"I've never really seen something that works so
clearly," says author of the study, Evan Mayo-
Wilson. "From the 1970s through to today, the
picture hasn't changed. It's striking because
the evidence of a really big reduction in
mortality is very consistent."
"Until other sources are available, supplements
should be given to all children who are at risk
of vitamin A deficiency, he recommends.
Researchers from the University of Oxford and
Aga Khan University, emphasize that the findings
are so compelling and clear that further trials
of vitamin A with placebos would be unethical.
USING UK LEGAL DRUGS "LIKE TOSSING A COIN"
The UK pharmaceutical industry is in crisis,
and UK scientists are finally raising their
worries about the growing number of ineffective
medicines with their adverse drug reactions,
named as "side effects" by the industry's chiefs.
The clinicians express their worries in a letter
to PM David Cameron & Health Sec Andrew Lansley,
urging a rethink of the way new medicines are tested.
The signatories say in The Lancet that currently
epidemic proportions of drugs cause adverse
reactions, while patients have to pay increasing
sums of money for their prescriptions.
Figures show that some 197,000 citizens of the EU
die of an adverse reaction to drugs every year.
The letter calls for a change of approach to
drugs testing, as testing on animals produces
results that are not the same for humans.
"Our reliance on animals to establish safety
results in the exposure of clinical volunteers
and patients to many treatments, are at best
ineffective & at worst dangerous," the letter says.
Tony Dexter, one of the signatories, and head of
a research lab in Cheshire, describes trying
drugs on animals and assuming they are safe for
humans as; really the toss of a coin."
"A fundamental problem is that a rat is not a
human. They are different sizes, have different
metabolisms and have different diets; so using
animals to predict effects on humans is difficult.
"50% of compounds that prove to be safe in rats
prove not to be safe in humans, so it really is
the toss of a coin," Dexter tells Sky News.
The signatories of the letter urge new procedures
in favour of testing medicines on human cells,
before issuing certificates for any new drugs.
They also voice concerns about the soaring costs
of most new drugs, that make them unsustainable,
as high prices are creating an ever-increasing
burden on the National Health Service.
A lack of adequate treatment for diseases like
Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, many cancers,
and strokes, is another source of concern for
the scientists and clinicians.
"The UK pharmaceutical industry is in crisis.
Likewise, health care is in a web of crises,
many of which are intimately linked to the
pharmaceutical industry's major problems,"
the scientists' letter cautions.
READ AND SHARE, PLEASE !!
Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a 4th
Indicator, the Tongue.
STROKE: Remember the 1st 3 Letters;- S. T. R.
During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little
fall - she assured everyone that she was fine
(they offered to call paramedics). She said she'd
just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.
They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate
of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up,
Jane enjoyed herself for the rest of the evening.
Jane's husband called later telling everyone that
his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6pm
Jane passed away.) She'd suffered a stroke at the
BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of
a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today.
Some don't die. They end up in a helpless,
hopeless condition instead.
It only takes a minute to read this.
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke
victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the
effects of a stroke ....totally. He says the
trick is getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed,
and then getting the patient medically cared for
within 3 hours, which is tough.
RECOGNIZING A STROKE
Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps,
STR. Read and Learn!
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to
identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness
spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer
severe brain damage, when people nearby fail to
recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke
by asking three simple questions:
S *Ask the individual to SMILE.
T *Ask the person to TALK
and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. It is sunny out today.)
R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these
tasks, call the emergency number immediately
and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
New Sign of a Stroke --- Stick out Your Tongue
NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this:
Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue.
If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one
side or the other, that's also an indication
of a stroke.
A cardiologist says if everyone who reads this
passes it on by email to 10 people; you can bet
that at least one life will be saved.
I have done my part. Will you?
TO SEE - VITAMIN D !
The University at Cardiff, Wales, headlined research
last year that vitamin D is a major health boost.
Now new research indicates that taking vitamin D
can ward off vision loss from age-related
macular degeneration (AMD), in women younger
than 75, according to media reports today.
In the research, women under 75 who consumed
sufficient vitamin D, cut their risk of
developing early age-related AMD, a leading
cause of vision loss and blindness, by 59%,
when compared to women with vitamin D-poor diets.
Researchers found that vitamin D levels among
patients in the study were most affected by
the amount of vitamin D they consumed, through
certain fish, dairy, eggs, and leafy greens,
NOT by the amount of outdoor exposure they had.
Considering that many in the West are deficient
in vitamin D, this study may offer one more
reason for women to include vitamin D-rich foods
in the diet, says the lead author on the study,
Amy Millen of the University of Buffalo.
TAKE IN VITAMIN D - OR DIE !!!
A fresh study at the University of Eastern Finland
shows that vitamin D deficiencies can increase
a person's risk of death, Finnish media report.
Researchers studied the effects of vitamin D on
over 1,000 people aged from 53 to 73 who didn't
suffer from cancer or vascular diseases, but
65% of the subjects were found to have low
levels of vitamin D. The subjects were monitored
for an average of nine years. A total of 87 of
the participants died in the course of the study.
The study confirms that a lack of vitamin D
increases the risk of chronic diseases.
Individuals with low levels of vitamin D
are about twice as likely to die early
compared to those with higher levels.
During the summer months in Finland, people
are able to obtain vitamin D from exposure
to the sun. However, persons living in Finland
must rely on vitamin D from food or supplements
during the darker months of the year.
Oily fish & eggs are major sources of vitamin D.
As, of course, is sunlight. The Cardiff study
highlighted exposure for "at least" half an hour
per day as vital for health and wellbeing.
MEDITATE ON THIS...
Meditation has REAL pain relieving effects,
a study in the Journal of Neuroscience says now.
In the study, researchers mildly burned 15 men
and women in a lab on two separate occasions,
before and after the volunteers attended four
20-minute meditation training sessions in 4 days.
The second time, after the participants were
instructed to meditate, they rated the same
pain stimulus - 120-degree heat on their calves -
as being 57% less unpleasant & 40% less intense.
"This is the first study to show that only a
little over an hour of meditation training
can dramatically reduce both the experience
of pain and pain-related brain activation,"
says Fadel Zeidan, lead author of the study and
a post-doctoral research fellow at Wake Forest
Baptist Medical Centre, in North Carolina.
The reduction in pain ratings was substantially
greater than those seen in similar studies
involving placebo pills, hypnosis, and even
morphine and other painkilling drugs, he adds.
Past research has found that Buddhist-style
meditation - known as mindfulness meditation -
can help people cope with pain, anxiety, and
a number of other physical and mental health
problems. But in most cases the training takes
weeks, not days (as in this study).
DON'T LAUGH - MEDITATORS ARE GROWING THEIR BRAINS
Eight weeks of meditation can trigger measurable
changes in the brain, contributing to increases
in the amount of grey matter in areas associated
with learning and awareness.
A study of 16 volunteers who took the eight-week
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program,
shows that meditation can actually alter the
brain's structure, report scientists from Mass.
General Hospital, & Giessen University, Germany.
A comparison between the brain MRI scan of
meditators and non-meditators, two weeks prior
to the study, and 8 weeks after the meditation
program, shows that the practice can increase
grey-matter density in the hippocampus, the part
of the brain related to learning and memory, and
in brain areas associated with self-awareness.
The program included weekly meetings to practice
mindfulness meditation and audio recordings for
guided meditation practice. The participants
were asked to keep track of the time they spent
practicing each day.
The meditation group spent an average of 27 mins
per day doing mindfulness meditation exercises
which focused on nonjudgmental awareness of
one's feelings, sensations and state of mind.
According to the study published in Psychiatry
Research: "Neuro-imaging", participants reported
reduced stress after 8 weeks of meditation.
"It is fascinating to see the brain's plasticity
and that, by practicing meditation, we can play
an active role in changing the brain, and can
increase our well-being and quality of life,"
says the main author, Britta Holzel.
While previous studies have found structural
differences between meditators and other non-
meditating individuals, they couldn't prove
that meditation had caused this effect.
"Other studies in different patient populations
have shown that meditation can make significant
improvements in a variety of symptoms, and we
are now investigating the underlying mechanisms
in the brain that facilitate this change," she adds.
JUST FOR A LAUGH
They say laughter is the best medicine,
so perhaps this news item will make you smile!
Neuroscientists are examining whether political
allegiances are hard-wired into people, after
finding evidence that the brains of Tories are
a different shape to those of left-wingers.
Scans of 90 students' brains at University
College London (UCL) uncovered a "strong
correlation" between the thickness of two
particular areas of grey matter and an
individual's views, reports The Independent.
Self-proclaimed right-wingers had a more
pronounced amygdala - a primitive part of
the brain associated with emotion - while
their political opponents from the opposite end
of the spectrum had thicker anterior cingulates.
The research was carried out by Geraint Rees,
director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive
Neuroscience, who says he is "very surprised"
by the finding, which is being peer reviewed
before publication this year.
It was commissioned as a light-hearted experiment
by actor Colin Firth as part of his turn guest
editing BBC Radio 4's Today program, but has now
developed into a serious effort to discover if
we're programmed with a particular political view.
Professor Rees says that, although it's not
precise enough to be able to predict someone's
stance simply from a scan, there is a strong
correlation that reaches all our scientific
tests of significance.
STOP FOLLOWING THE US NIGHTMARE!!!
Even Santa wasn't feeling too good last year,
as Lady Gaga decapitated him in public!
It seems the US culture of slaughter is reaching
out to our children from a US dream gone wrong.
The received wisdom is that whatever happens in
the US, the UK will soon do too. Time, perhaps,
for our physical and mental health, to change
and stop following the US to fat & ruin now?
Take a look at US "Health"... if you live there.
Most of the beef you eat, has been exposed to
excrement during processing. Your poultry is
infected with salmonella. Your stock animals and
poultry are overdosed with hormones & antibiotics.
In most countries, governments try to protect
their citizens against all this, but in the US
the government's increasingly bribed by companies
to avoid regulations and proper inspections.
In a few years, the majority of all the produce
for sale in the US will be from genetically
modified crops, thanks to the cozy relationship
between Monsanto Corp and the US government.
Worse, due to the vast quantities of high-fructose
syrup US people consume, fully one-third of
US children born today, will be diagnosed with
Type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives.
And it's not just the food that's killing you,
it's the drugs. If you show any sign of life
when you're young, they'll put you on Ritalin.
Then, when you get old enough to take a good
look around, you'll get depressed, so they'll
give you Prozac. If you're a man, this will
render you chemically impotent, so you'll need
Viagra to get it up. Meanwhile, your steady diet
of trans-fat-laden food is guaranteed to give
you high cholesterol, so you'll be given Lipitor.
Finally, at the end of the day, you'll lay awake
at night worrying about losing your health plan,
so you'll need Lunesta to go to sleep...
Is this the way you want for you & your children?
And it all started in the good ole US, where ten
years ago they started diagnosing lively children
with little respect for authority as "sick"....
"Hyperactivity" and "Attention Deficit Disorder"
are now being misdiagnosed to control OUR kids,
yet they ARE exposed to extreme violence on TV,
in their US created video games, and can watch
a so-called superstar publically decapitate Santa.
Good Health !?!
There is, surely, a better, brighter way.
NO MORE PAIN FOR UK DIABETICS?
Urtica dioica, a herbaceous perennial flowering
plant also known as stinging nettles, has long
been known for its numerous medical properties.
The herb is reported to be effective in treating
prostate disorders, respiratory problems,
stomach Catarrh and anemia.
The high content of secretin in the plant makes
Urtica dioica an effective herb for treating
several gastrointestinal-related conditions.
Now scientists have succeeded in producing the
world's first oral vaccine from stinging nettles
to fight diabetes and high blood sugar levels.
Its "discoverer" says that a peptide cycle found
in Urtica dioica improves the entrance of blood
sugar into the cells, a process believed to be
impaired in diabetic patients.
Shabani Domala, the researcher, says the drug has
successfully finished its trials and is expected
to enter the market by next year. He says the
best benefit is that the new oral drug, unlike
injecting insulin, is completely pain free.
I started the project 15 years ago in Tehran
University of Medical Sciences for my diabetic
nephew, who was forced to inject insulin on a
daily basis, the lead researcher, says.
So perhaps we in Wales won't get any benefit
from this at all... since we're slaves to the
UK's pharmaceutical monopolies, and "our" UK
coalition, for its own reasons, doesn't want
"its" subjects to be friends with Iran.
Mind, if Wales got off its ***e and produced its
own biotechnology, that would be true liberation.
An economy for Wales - is good for yewer health!!!
CHANGE OR DIE: IT REALLY IS NECESSARY!
A new study suggests that cancer was extremely
rare in antiquity and is therefore a modern,
manmade disease caused by environmental factors.
Researchers at Manchester's KNH Centre for
Biomedical Egyptology Cancer studied mummified
remains and literary evidence from ancient Egypt,
literary evidence from ancient Greece, & medical
studies of human and animal remains from earlier
periods, going back to the age of the dinosaurs.
According to the study published in Nature
Reviews Cancer, cancer is the result of diet
and pollution in the modern age. Only one case
of cancer was found among hundreds of Egyptian
mummies, with few written references to it.
One unnamed mummy was diagnosed with rectal cancer
by Professor Michael Zimmerman, a visiting
Professor at the KNH Centre, PhysOrg reports.
The rate of cancer, especially childhood cancer,
has exploded since the Industrial Revolution,
showing that old age is not the main reason
behind cancer, scientists say.
In industrialized societies, cancer is second
only to cardiovascular disease as a cause of
death. But in ancient times, it was extremely
rare, says Professor Rosalie David, of the
Faculty of Life Sciences.
There is nothing in the natural environment
that can cause cancer. So it has to be a man-
made disease, down to pollution and changes
to our diet and lifestyle.
Scientists believe that the short life span of
the ancients precluded the development of cancer,
but people of ancient Egypt and Greece did live
long enough to develop cancer, having diseases
such as atherosclerosis, Paget's & osteoporosis.
The team found the first descriptions of cancer
operations in the 17th century, and the first
reports in scientific literature of distinctive
tumors, within the past 200 years.
YOU CAN CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!!!
In a new study, Australian behavioral scientists
explode the theory that happiness is linked solely
to genetics, in a study viewed as a breakthrough
in psychological research.
The results of a 25-year study on 60,000 Germans
show very strongly that long-term happiness IS
determined by lifestyle decisions;- including
partner choice, love for others, work & religion.
The study discovers that people who put their
relationship with their partner & children first
are happier than those interested in careers or
material success, as are those who help others
through social or political activities.
Working less hours doesn't necessarily lead to
happiness, but working a lot more or less than
they want, makes people VERY unhappy.
"Other things that matter are social activities,
getting involved in social and community things
with friends in an active kind of way,"
Professor Headey, team leader, says.
He adds that a link between religion and
happiness is also quite evident.
"Religion seems to work for people - people who
regularly attend church or mosque are a bit
happier on average, than people who are non-
religious or non-attenders...
"So having some kind of belief system that gives you
a sense of meaning or purpose is important for happiness."
"People who select or happen to be selected by
partners with relatively benign personalities,
with low levels of neuroticism, and who are
reasonably extroverted and outgoing, tend to
be happier than average, and happier than they
would be just on the basis of their own
personality traits," adds Professor Headey.
Professor Headey says these findings are the
first of their kind on such a large scale.
"It is, I think, something of a breakthrough," Professor Headey says.
"People want to be happy, they want to know what
they can do to make a difference, and this gives
some indication of the kinds of choices that matter.
"So we don't have to be stuck with the idea that
happiness is set, like disease or height or genes."
Study leader and Associate Professor at the
University of Melbourne, Australia, Bruce Headey,
says the study turns the idea of happiness being
linked to personality firmly on its head.
"Happiness isn't just a matter of heredity;
it isn't just in the genes," he says.
"Genes might be about 50% of the story,
but the rest depends on lifestyle choices:
choices relating to your partner, and also
relating to your work life."
The study is being published in the official
journal of the US National Academy of Sciences,
& based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel,
conducted by scientists partly from Australia.
It analyzed responses from a representative sample
of people aged 16 & over, who answered questions
every single year from 1984 to 2008.
PLASTIC KETTLES KILL!
Plastic dishes or packaging were very rare
in the Soviet Union. Soviet food stores did
not use polyethylene film and fresh groceries
would be wrapped in fresh clean packing paper.
Now it's considered normal to have foodstuffs
packed in various plastic containers, bags,
with fizzy reactive drinks in plastic bottles
and even plastic kettles are used to boil water !
Disposable plastic kitchenware appeared first in
the USA at the beginning of the 20th century.
Mass production started at the end of the 1950s,
and paper was gradually replaced with plastic.
Yet plastic kitchen utensils can be dangerous,
because as they're heated in a microwave oven
or filled with hot water, they discharge toxins
into both food and drinks.
Drinks in plastic bottles can be very dangerous
for children. When such bottles are heated, they
emit bisphenol A. This substance can trigger the
development of various cancers, heart ailments,
obesity, diabetes, etc. Bisphenol A is dangerous,
and especially for boys: it can often affect the
reproductive system of a male embryo in the womb.
Baby bottles containing bisphenol are banned in
the US. US companies now manufacture plastic
bottles without the chemical. Nothing has been
changed for other countries, though.
Phthalate is another extremely toxic substance
used in the production of plastic kitchenware.
Phthalates are used as plasticizers - they make
plastic materials flexible and soft. They are
contained in polyethylene films that are used
for packing meat, sausages and other foodstuffs.
Phthalates can most easily penetrate into fats.
Therefore, specialists recommend that people
keep food in glass, metal or ceramic containers.
It's best to use plastic just for cold food & drinks.
Dmitry Zykov, a food technologies specialist:
"For hot food and water, you should only use
materials that have been exposed to the process
of being burnt in a furnace. Surfaces become
inert as a result of this process, and no toxins
can penetrate from such dishes or containers into
your food. Tableware made of glass or stainless
steel doesn't react chemically with hot food.
If you have a plastic electric kettle at home,
I would recommend that you replace it with a
metal one. It's more expensive, but it's a lot
better for your health."
EAT WHOLEMEAL BREAD & GREEN VEG TO AVOID DIABETES
For the Welsh, cursed with a high incidence of
diabetes, here's some welcome research...
Following a diet rich in whole grains, which are
high in magnesium, lowers the risk of developing
diabetes in the long run, AND mitigates further
complications for diabetics, a new study finds.
Previous studies have reported that adopting a
healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits
lowers the risk of developing diabetes, coronary
heart disease, strokes, and some cancers.
According to a study published in Diabetes Care,
individuals who receive about 200 milligrams of
magnesium from foods and vitamin supplements
for every 1,000 calories they consume, are at
a 47% lower risk of developing diabetes over
the next 20 years.
The higher magnesium an individual receives,
the lower would be the blood levels of several
markers of inflammation. High blood levels of
magnesium are linked to low insulin resistance.
"Increasing magnesium intake may be important for
improving insulin sensitivity, reducing systemic
inflammation, and decreasing diabetes risk,"
says lead researcher Ka He, at the University
of North Carolina.
Magnesium is needed for the proper functioning
of several enzymes responsible for the precise
process of glucose in the body, the study finds.
Scientists therefore are urging both diabetics
& individuals at risk of developing the condition
to follow a healthy diet rich in magnesium in
order to lower the risk of developing diabetes
and avoiding wosening its complications.
THE HEALTH-ENHANCING POWER OF FAITH & LOVE
IMAGINE YOU'RE TOLD YOUR BABY IS DEAD !
A mother saved her premature baby's life recently,
after being told by doctors "Sorry, we couldn't
save him". Read what happened next here...
WANT TO LIVE LONGER? EAT LESS ANIMALS
Following a low-carbohydrate diet in which plants,
rather than animals, are the main source of fat
and protein, can lower the overall risk of death.
Previous studies all report that low-carbohydrate
diets can promote weight loss and improve blood
cholesterol levels. According to a new study,
published in the Annals of Internal Medicine,
adopting a higher-vegetable low-carbohydrate
diet, can lead to a 20% lower risk of death.
A low-carbohydrate diet rich in meat? -
this increases mortality rates by 23%.
A diet rich in meat is linked with a higher risk
of dying from cardiovascular diseases. It also
increases the risk of a cancer-related death,
albeit not "significantly".
Following the "Eco-Atkins" diet, which is rich
in vegetable-derived fats and proteins, lowers
the overall risk of death and the heart disease-
related mortality rate, by about 20%.
Lack of unsaturated fats, dietary fibre, vitamins,
minerals and phytochemicals in meat-based diets
may be responsible for the high death rate in
individuals following a meat-rich diet.
"These results suggest that the health effects of
a low-carbohydrate diet may depend on the type of
protein and fat, and a diet that includes mostly
vegetable sources of protein & fat is preferable
to a diet with mostly animal sources of protein
and fat," says lead researcher, Frank B. Hu.
FOLLOWING THE US HEALTH WAY?
As we now see Health insurance company salesmen
on our streets, pretending to be "legal advisors"
and watch helplessly as the UK's health "industry"
is touted to more and more "experts" - by bribing
GPs to front the smashing of the UK's once world-
famous National Health Service; take a good look
at the US way... and see the dark abyss loom!
1 - Even as the rest of the US economy deeply
struggles, US health insurance companies
increased their profits by 56 percent in 2009.
2 - According to a report by Health Care for
America Now, the US's five biggest for-profit
health insurers ended 2009 with a combined
profit of $12.2 billion.
3 - The top executives at the five largest for-
profit health insurance companies in the US
received $200 million in "compensation" in 2009.
4 - According to an article on the Mother Jones
website, health insurance premiums for small
US employers increased 180% between 1999 and 2009.
5 - Health insurance premium increases are
getting totally out of control. For example,
the 39% increase in health insurance premiums
Anthem Blue Cross imposed on some California
customers last year, made national headlines.
6 - Since 2003, health insurance companies have
given $42 million in state election contributions.
7 - More than two dozen pharmaceutical companies
made over a billion dollars in profits in 2008.
8 - Each year, tens of billions of dollars is
spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the US alone.
9 - Nearly half of all US citizens now use
prescription drugs on a regular basis, according
to a CDC report that was just released.
According to the report, approximately one-third
of all US citizens use 2 or more pharmaceutical
drugs, and more than ten% of all US citizens
use 5 or more prescription drugs, regularly.
10 - According to the CDC, approximately three
quarters of a million people a year are rushed
to emergency rooms in the US because of adverse
reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.
11 - According to a very surprising new study,
85% of new pharmaceutical drugs are "lemons"
and pose serious health risks to their users.
12 - The Food and Drug Administration reported
1,742 prescription drug recalls in 2009, which
was an increase from 426 drug recalls in 2008.
13 - Shocking new research has found that
expectant mothers taking antidepressants
have an astounding 68% increase in the
overall risk of miscarriage. Yet pharmaceutical
companies are doing nothing to stop this.
14 - The use of psychiatric medications among 18
to 34 yr old members of the US military & their
wives, increased by 42% between 2005 and 2009.
15 - There are new medical studies that suggest
that many of the most popular anti-depressant
drugs are no more effective than a placebo.
16 - Pharmaceutical companies continue to rake in
billions of dollars from selling vaccines and
are encouraging even pregnant women to take them,
even though there is mounting evidence that
taking vaccines while pregnant, dramatically
increases the rate of miscarriage.
17 - One woman in New Hampshire is seeking more
than $24 million in damages from the manufacturer
of a prescription drug that she took for shoulder
pain. It turns out that as a result of taking
the drug, she is now blind and has been left
scarred by internal and external burns.
18 - According to a study, the medical liability
system in the US added approximately $55.6
billion to the cost of health care in 2008.
19 - Pharmaceutical companies have become so
greedy that now they are even attempting to
patent our genes. It is being reported that
over three million gene patent applications
have been filed with the US government so far.
Tens of thousands of gene patents have already
been granted at this point. It is estimated
that companies hold approximately 40,000 patents
on sections of the human genome right now. Those
patents cover approximately 20% of our genes.
20 - According to a recent report, US citizens
spend about twice as much as residents of other
developed countries on health care, but get much
lower quality and far less efficiency in return.
... and the "new" Obama health care plan?
that depends upon exactly the same system,
but extends it to more people!
GHOULS OF UK's BODY PARTS
There is a massive campaign in Wales to make
people have to carry an "I don't want my organs
donated" card, in order to be able to opt out
from having body parts taken at death, but beware!
If the current system (of only donor card carriers
having organs removed automatically) is changed,
the ghouls will have carte blanche to steal organ
parts in a country where they are stealing them
illegally already... !!!
An inquiry has found that organs and bones from
the bodies of dead British nuclear industry
workers at Sellafield were illegally harvested
without their consent over a period of 30 years.
The inquiry's findings reveal that relatives of
64 staff discovered that their loved ones had
been stripped of livers, tongues and even legs,
decades after they were buried, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
The findings also prove the existence of an old
boys' club among pathologists, coroners and
scientists around Sellafield prior to 1992,
which prioritized the needs of the nuclear
industry above those of grieving family members.
Representatives of the workers told the inquiry's
Chair, Michael Redfern QC, that they felt as if
bodies had been mutilated and treated as
commodities to assist in research on behalf of
the industry to try to disprove the link between
cancers and radiation at Sellafield & elsewhere.
Some missing bones had been replaced with
broomsticks for deceased workers' funerals.
Redfern says the families have been wronged.
In most cases considered by the inquiry,
relatives were let down at the time when they
were most vulnerable, by those in whom they
were entitled to place an absolute trust," he says.
In the Commons, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne
has apologized to the families, and says that
the practice has now "been stopped".
The 650-page report, following a three-year
inquiry, which also examined three other studies
involving the nuclear industry, in which 6,500
bodies, including children, were used, says the
removal of organs and tissue was unnecessary
and inappropriate in a majority of Sellafield cases.
DID YOU KNOW...
that microwaves were originally developed
as a weapon of war to destroy human flesh?
that ALL microwave cookers were banned in
Russia - until the collapse of the USSR?
that research shows that microwave cooking
mutates molecules and is probably responsible
for stomach cancers, according to Russian research?
BINGE DRINKERS HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE: & DON'T KNOW IT!
Meyerhoff, group leader of new research, says that
the alcohol consumption among the heavy drinkers
his team studied, was only 60% of that typically
found among alcoholics in clinics...
These are the ONLY group normally ever studied.
But his team studied - for the first time - heavy
drinkers living among the general population.
Even in these "binge" drinkers, they found that
frontal white matter NAA was much lower in heavy
drinkers than light drinkers, and was associated
with lower executive & working memory functions.
In other words, binge drinkers are brain-damaged!
"Although the men and women who drank heavily for
many years demonstrated fewer changes in brain
metabolites than do alcoholics in treatment,"
Meyerhoff says, "the abnormalities we found, are
nonetheless associated with lower brain function."
Lower cognitive functioning, he says, can affect
daily living routines in not-so-obvious ways
the changes may be too gradual or too weak to be
noticeable but they may still interfere with
basic cognitive processes, such as: decision
making; planning; regulation of emotion and
motivation; memory; and motor control.
"These deficits may have an affect on the heavy
drinkers' ability to judge his/her drinking as
adversely affecting his/her life," he adds,
"and can also interfere with the drinker's decision
to seek treatment or reduce drinking,
thus perpetuating drinking behavior."
Meyerhoff says some of the behaviors associated
with these metabolite changes, include the
inability to apply consequences from past actions;
difficulties with abstract concepts of time and money;
difficulties with storing and retrieving information;
and frequently needing external motivators.
Both Martin & Meyerhoff say the study's findings
of chemical abnormalities in the brains of heavy
social drinkers provide evidence of brain damage,
even if the drinkers cannot see it themselves.
"Our major aim was to detect early adverse effects
of alcohol drinking on brain function, and to
provide useful information to the heavy alcohol
drinker, family practitioners, and society,"
says Meyerhoff. "Our message is: 'Drink in moderation!
Heavy drinking damages your brain ever so slightly,
reducing your cognitive functioning in ways that
may not be readily noticeable. To be safe...
don't overdue it.'"