Sunday, October 15, 2006

LSD helps alcoholics put down the botttle: "A single dose of the hallucinogenic drug LSD is an effective treatment for alcoholism -- according to research led by a British doctor more than 40 years ago. Studies on thousands of alcoholics treated with the drug in the early 1960s -- before it became popular as a psychedelic street drug -- showed it helped trigger a change in mental attitude leading drinkers to quit. But, in spite of its promise, the therapeutic potential of the drug has been ignored since it was banned worldwide in the late 1960s as a threat to public safety. Now a historian who unearthed the research, led by British psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond and carried out in Canada, has interviewed the participants four decades on and says the results are dramatic."

Apples now bad for you: "An apple a day may not always keep the doctor away. An Australian researcher has found foods high in fructose, like apples, pears, mangoes, watermelon, pawpaw and honey, can trigger irritable bowel syndrome in some people. Patients with the often debilitating condition complain of symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating, gas, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation or a combination of both. Dietitian Sue Shepherd, of Melbourne's Box Hill Hospital, said she had scientifically shown some people with irritable bowel syndrome suffered from fructose malabsorption, which could be treated by eliminating certain foods from their diet. She presented her findings this week at the Australian Gastroenterology Week conference in Adelaide."

Low birth weight has permanent ill-effects: "Birth weight could affect more than the pain of labour - new research in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine shows that low-birthweight infants are more likely to have mental and physical problems as adolescents compared to their normal-birthweight counterparts. Researchers studied 474 non-disabled adolescents who were born between 1984 and 1987 and weighed less than 2kg at birth. Participants had an average age of 16 at the time of the study, and underwent intelligence and physical tests in their homes. Compared to a reference group of normal birth weight adolescents, those born small had more problems with their motor skills. Their IQ scores were within the normal range, but were significantly lower than the average for their age group. Motor difficulties were more likely in boys, and in those who spent more time on a mechanical ventilator as an infant. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2006;160:1040-1046 (Whitaker AH, et al)

Prostate differences: "Prostate cancer becomes even more life-threatening when it spreads to other parts of the body, and now researchers at the Garvan Institute in Sydney have discovered a new marker that could identify which prostate cancers are most likely to spread. Led by associate professor Susan Henshall, researchers examined prostate biopsies from 228 prostate cancer patients, looking for a protein called zinc-alpha2-glycoprotein (AZGP1). They found that men who have low levels of AZGP1 in the prostate when it's removed have a 4.8-fold increased chance of their cancer spreading, compared to those with higher levels. Those with low levels of AZGP1 could benefit from more aggressive treatment such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy at the time of surgery, say the authors. And men with higher levels of the marker may be able to delay further treatments that could have a negative impact on their quality of life. J Natl Cancer Inst 2006;98:1420-1424 (Henshall SM, et al)


Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? [/sarcasm].


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