Health

Planned Parenthood Sues to Stop Health Inspections: ‘Unconstitutional’

Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit against Indiana over the state’s law that requires abortion clinics to be inspected annually for health and safety issues. “Once again Indiana politicians are barging into the exam room with irrational demands and intrusive requirements,” said Jane Henegar, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana, which filed the suit on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK), reports the Associated Press. In addition to a provision requiring annual health inspections of abortion clinics, the Indiana law also requires medical providers who treat women for complications due to abortion procedures to report patient information to the state. The provision “imposes unique and burdensome obligations,” Planned Parenthood argued in the lawsuit, claiming such complications “are both extremely rare for abortions and are more likely to occur after other medical procedures.” Planned Parenthood took in nearly $544 million in taxpayer funding last year, according to its latest annual report, and claims to be a “women’s healthcare” provider, though the number of many of its non-abortion services has been in decline. The abortion vendor also boosted its profits by $21 million – 27 percent – from the previous year. Christie Gillespie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said in a statement that the new law “is not about patient safety.” She said abortion “is already incredibly safe.” Gillespie added the law’s provisions are “yet another attempt by politicians to shame and stigmatize pregnant Hoosiers and spread the myth that abortion is dangerous.” However, in 2016, Americans United for Life (AUL) provided a 200-page report titled Unsafe: The Public Health Crisis in America’s Abortion Clinics Endangers Women. The report echoes the case of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell who, in 2013 was found guilty of murdering babies born alive during abortion and in the death of one of his patients. The AUL report also challenges the narrative put forward by abortion advocates that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Texas case of Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt prevents state legislatures from requiring health and safety standards in abortion clinics. “This report is the tip of the iceberg as too many state officials are turning a blind eye to this red-light district of medicine,” said AUL’s then-vice president of legal affairs Denise Burke and the author of the report. “The abortion industry willingly sacrifices women’s health and safety in their ‘back alley’ clinics, prioritizing mere access to abortion over women’s health and safety,” she said..

For more on this eye-opening piece by Dr. Susan Berry, click on the text above.

Bathroom hand dryers spraying poop on your hands, study finds

A recent study found bathroom hand dryers are pretty gross. A study by the scientists at the University of Connecticut found hand dryers in men’s and women’s bathrooms blew bacteria onto hands including fecal matter. The study, published in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology Journal, stated scientists came to the conclusion after they placed data-gathering plates under hand dryers at 36 bathrooms on the University of Connecticut’s campus. The researchers said they placed the plates under the dryers for about 30 seconds and found “between 18 and 60 different colonies of bacteria on each plate.” “These results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers,” the study said. The scientists wrote it was not immediately clear what “organisms” are “dispersed by hand dryers” and if “hand dryers provide a reservoir of bacteria or simply blow large amounts of bacterially contaminated air, and whether bacterial spores are deposited on surfaces by hand dryers.” The researchers noted the hand dryers did not have the HEPA [high-efficiency particulate air] filters that come in most Dyson models. Researchers said the HEPA filters helped decrease but not eliminate the bacteria. The study said it was possible hand dryers are “responsible for spreading pathogenic bacteria, including bacterial spores” through an entire building as well. Researchers also noted Bacillus subtilis PS533 was discovered in every bathroom they tested. Peter Setlow, one of the study’s lead authors, told Newsweek the bacteria will not potentially affect human health but it shows how easy the bacteria spread. He said the bathrooms they tested now offer paper towels.

Disturbing…

 

 

EATING PASTA LINKED TO WEIGHT LOSS IN NEW STUDY

Thanks to the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets such as keto and paleo, foods like pasta are widely seen as enemy number one when it comes to weight loss. But a study linking pasta to weight loss suggests the Italian staple has been wrongly vilified. It all comes down to pasta’s low glycemic index (GI), according to researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada. GI is a system used to rate how quickly a food affects blood sugar levels. The sugar in high GI foods such as white rice, white bread and potatoes are digested and absorbed quickly by the body, while low GI foods such as green vegetables and lentils are burned slowly. Researchers investigated the supposed link between pasta and weight gain by assessing 30 randomized control trials with almost 2,500 participants who followed what was regarded as a healthy low GI diet, and ate pasta instead of other forms of carbohydrate. Study participants ate 3.3 servings of around a half cup of pasta on average each week. By analyzing participants’ body weight, BMI, body fat, and waist measurements, the researchers behind the study published in the BMJ Open journal found that pasta did not contribute to weight gain or increased fat levels. Over 12 weeks, they lost half a kilo on average. The results could be explained by the fact that lower GI foods satiate hunger better, and therefore prevented people from consuming more food, according to the authors. The researchers noted that while there are many types of pasta, they all generally have a lower GI status than other starchy foods such as white bread. The study emphasized that the inclusion of whole grains does not significantly affect pasta’s GI status. And while it is relatively low in fiber, pasta has a similar GI rating to fiber-rich foods such as barley, legumes and steel cut oats, and a lower rating than wholewheat bread, breakfast cereals like bran flakes and potatoes with skin. On average, white pasta also has a higher micronutrient content than other white wheat products. “These results are important given the negative messages with which the public has been inundated regarding carbohydrates, messages which appear to be influencing their food choices, as evidenced by recent reductions in carbohydrate intake, especially in pasta intake,” the authors wrote. “So contrary to concerns, perhaps pasta can be part of a healthy diet such as a low GI diet,” lead author Dr John Sievenpiper, a clinician scientist with the hospital’s Clinical Nutrition and Risk Modification Centre, said in a statement. “In weighing the evidence, we can now say with some confidence that pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight outcomes when it is consumed as part of a healthy dietary pattern.” The authors said that the overall weight loss was likely down to eating pasta alongside other low GI foods. Further research is now needed to assess whether the same effects of eating pasta would occur in other healthy eating patterns, such as Mediterranean and vegetarian patterns, which may not be primarily focused on low GI.

Fake weed in Illinois leaves 2 dead, dozens with ‘severe bleeding’

Emergency rooms in Illinois are noticing a spike in synthetic pot users suffering from “severe bleeding,” and state health officials are warning the public to remain vigilant. The Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) issued a statement on last week announcing that at least six people in northeastern Illinois had been hospitalized after using the man-made substance — also known as “fake weed,” “K2” or “spice.” On Monday, the number of cases climbed to 56, including two deaths, the health department reported. “All cases have required hospitalization for symptoms such as coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose, and/or bleeding gums,” the IDPH said. “Nine of these cases have tested positive for brodifacoum, a lethal anticoagulant often used as a rodenticide, or rat poison.” There are now cases in at least nine Chicago-area communities including Cook County, Dupage County, Kane County, Kankakee County, McLean County, Peoria County, Tazewell County and Will County. But officials believe that number will grow, as it’s possible contaminated products have been sold across the state. “Despite the perception that synthetic cannabinoids are safe and a legal alternative to marijuana, many are illegal and can cause severe illness,” IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah said in a statement last week. “The recent cases of severe bleeding are evidence of the harm synthetic cannabinoids can cause.” Synthetic pot is made up of hundreds of different chemicals — and their effect on the human body is unpredictable. “These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they act on the same brain cell receptors as the main active ingredient in marijuana,” IDPH explained, warning that the drug’s impact can be life-threatening. “Synthetic cannabinoid products are unsafe. It is difficult to know what’s in them or what your reaction to them will be.” Users have reported a wide range of symptoms, from bleeding gums and bloody noses to blood in the urine. Women who are menstruating have also experienced a higher than average flow. Bleeding from the eyes and ears is also possible after use, IDPH said. The bleeding that doctors have seen in recent days has been severe. “This bleeding is not expected, at least in such a significant population so quickly,” Dr. Melissa Millewich, an emergency room physician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, told the Chicago Tribune. Health officials urge those who have purchased synthetic cannabinoid products within the past month — whether it was from a convenience store or a dealer — to not use the product. IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold told the Chicago newspaper that the product is banned for sale across the state, but some manufacturers alter the “molecular makeup of the products” to “get around” the law. Anyone who starts experiencing symptoms, including severe bleeding or bruising, should be taken to the hospital immediately, the IDPH said.

Or.. How about just not trying/using this so-called “fake weed” to begin with?  Just sayin’…

 

Are There Risks From Secondhand Marijuana Smoke? Early Science Says Yes.

The inspiration arrived in a haze at a Paul McCartney concert a few years ago in San Francisco. “People in front of me started lighting up and then other people started lighting up,” said Matthew Springer, a biologist and professor in the division of cardiology at the University of California-San Francisco. “And for a few naive split seconds I was thinking to myself, ‘Hey, they can’t smoke in AT&T Park! I’m sure that’s not allowed.’ And then I realized that it was all marijuana.” Recreational pot was not legal yet in the state, but that stopped no one. “Paul McCartney actually stopped between numbers and sniffed the air and said, ‘There’s something in the air — must be San Francisco!’” Springer recalled. As the visible cloud of pot smoke took shape, so did Springer’s idea to study the effects of secondhand marijuana smoke. He started thinking: San Franciscans would never tolerate those levels of cigarette smoke in a public place anymore. So why were they OK with pot smoke? Did people just assume that cannabis smoke isn’t harmful the way tobacco smoke is? Springer was already researching the health effects of secondhand tobacco smoke on rats at his lab at UCSF. He decided to run the same tests using joints. “By the time I left the concert, I was resolved to at least try to make this happen,” he said. He knew it would be difficult. Marijuana is still an illegal drug under federal law, and Springer’s research uses federal funds; so he has to purchase specially approved government cannabis for study. He also can’t test it on humans; hence, the rats. In the lab, Springer puts a cigarette or a joint in a plexiglass box, lights it and lets the chamber fill with smoke. Then he vents out most of the smoke to the point that it is hardly visible, to simulate being around a smoker. Then an anesthetized rat is exposed to the smoke for one minute. So far, Springer and his colleagues have published research demonstrating that just this one minute of exposure to secondhand smoke makes it harder for the rats’ arteries to expand and allow a healthy flow of blood. With tobacco products, this effect lasts about 30 minutes, and then the arteries recover their normal function. But if it happens over and over, the arterial walls can become permanently damaged, and that damage can cause blood clots, heart attack or stroke. Springer demonstrated that, at least in rats, the same physiological effect occurs after inhaling secondhand smoke from marijuana. And, the arteries take 90 minutes to recover compared with the 30 minutes with cigarette smoke. Springer’s discovery about the effect on blood vessels describes just one harmful impact for nonsmokers who are exposed to marijuana. Statewide sampling surveys of cannabis products sold in marijuana dispensaries have shown that the items may contain dangerous bacteria or mold, or residue from pesticides and solvents. California law requires testing for these contaminants, and those regulations are being initiated in three phases over the course of 2018. Because much of the marijuana being sold now was harvested in 2017, consumers will have to wait until early 2019 before they can purchase products that have been fully tested according to state standards. “People think cannabis is fine because it’s ‘natural,’” Springer said. “I hear this a lot. I don’t know what it means.” He concedes that tightly regulated marijuana, which has been fully tested, would not have as many chemical additives as cigarettes. But even if the cannabis tests clean, Springer said, smoke itself is bad for the lungs, heart and blood vessels. Other researchers are exploring the possible relationship between marijuana smoke and long-term cancer risk. Certainly, living with a smoker is worse for your health than just going to a smoky concert hall. But, Springer said, the less you inhale any kind of smoke, the better. “People should think of this not as an anti-THC conclusion,” he said, referencing the active ingredient in marijuana, “but an anti-smoke conclusion.”

For more, click on the text above.

Well-done meat may be bad for your blood pressure

You might think twice about how you want that steak cooked. People who like their steak well-done instead of rare might face a slightly increased risk of high blood pressure, a preliminary study suggests. The study, of more than 100,000 U.S. adults, found the odds of high blood pressure were a bit higher among people who liked their meat grilled, broiled or roasted, versus those who favored more temperate cooking methods. The same was true of people who were partial to well-done meat. Compared with fans of rarer meat, they were 15 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure over 12 to 16 years. The findings do not prove cause and effect, researchers said. But they do add to evidence suggesting people should not only limit the amount of meat in their diets — but also pay attention to how they cook it. “Our results imply that both reducing the amount of meat — especially red meat — and avoiding the use of open-flame or high-temperature cooking methods may potentially aid in [high blood pressure] prevention,” said lead researcher Gang Liu, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. What’s wrong with a grilled steak? Research suggests that cooking to the point of “charring” is the main issue, said Linda Van Horn, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association who was not involved in the study. The process produces chemicals that are not normally present in the body, explained Van Horn, who is also a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Those chemicals include heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). According to Liu, lab studies suggest the chemicals can trigger inflammation within the body, which could contribute to high blood pressure and other health problems. Meanwhile, studies have found that people who eat a lot of well-done meat tend to face increased risks of certain cancers, as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The new study is the first to look for a connection to high blood pressure, Liu said. High blood pressure can lead to stroke.

As someone who likes his steaks medium rare, this is great news!!     🙂

 

The Who’s Roger Daltrey says he is ‘very, very deaf,’ urges fans to use earplugs

The Who’s frontman Roger Daltrey has a message for kids who are looking to pursue long-lasting careers in rock and roll. During a recent Vegas concert, Daltrey revealed to the rock and roll crowd that after years in the industry, the sounds of rock have made him “very, very deaf.” And as a word to the wise, the rock and roll crooner offered some advice to those looking to follow his career path and yelled to the crowd, “I advise you all – all you rock-and-roll fans – take your f—ing earplugs with you to the gigs.” He then added that he wished earplugs were something that he had used more often when it came to playing rowdy gigs. “If only we had known when we were young… we are lip-reading,” the singer admitted. But despite his hearing issues, Daltrey vowed to keep performing “for a long time.” “I am lucky to be doing what I do – so thank you,” he said. The singer also added that he now uses in-ear monitors and has become very good at reading lips.