Worker Bees’ Daily Bites
We’re feeling feisty. Something about Tuesdays…
Wait, what are we talking about – we’re feisty every day.
Sisson’s top picks are downright controversial today, so dig in:
You may have heard the news yesterday that carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by genes, not overuse (then why do so many office assistants get…sigh…who are we to question a study). Well, evidently, you can blame your happiness – or lack of it – on your parents, too. So, parents, on top of being lame, nerdy, totally not cool, a dorky dresser, using slang – like – so wrong, and just generally being out of it, you are also responsible for your child’s future grumpy reaction to the Tivo being broken.
Look, genes clearly play a big role in who we are – they’re literally…well…who we are. But how productive or empowering it is to hand over responsibility for your emotions and choices to the past, which is out of your control? While this kind of news is interesting, it can also be emotionally limiting, especially when one tiny study gets sensationalized by the media, as with this week’s stories.
We’re all for genetic research, but when it starts getting into the “blame game” territory the media love so much, we sure wish we could push it back into the “cure disease” territory.
We Have to Smerck
Poor little Merck. After what can only be described as “mad aggressive” lobbying tactics for their HPV vaccine, Gardasil, Merck announced this week that they’re giving up for now to focus on preventing cervical cancer instead. (Isn’t that what vaccinating with Gardasil would be doing? Sounds like Pharma spin to us).
Human papilloma virus, if untreated, can lead to deadly cervical cancer. Enter Gardasil, a vaccine to stop HPV. Merck began lobbying politicians way back, before the Feckless Death Association (that’s FDA) had even approved Gardasil. Merck, and many state governments, weren’t expecting the overwhelming controversy that ensued, largely fueled by conservative groups concerned that inoculating against cervical cancer might send a message to girls that premarital sexual activity is O.K.
We welcome differing opinions on this one. While we’re no friends of Merck, and we’re all for abstinence and parental rights, it is a little unclear to us how inoculating a twelve-year-old against potential cancer would actually encourage said child to begin having, um, relations. (In our view, the apparent widespread social acceptance of inappropriate advertising is what is really causing problems with many children’s healthy emotional development, particularly for girls – and we hope you’ll write your senator and make him or her do something about it.)
(Jean Scheijen photo.)
Ultimately, the bigger concern – for the health hipsters, anyway – was this speedy FDA approval yet another wise decision for public health on the part of Uncle Sam? How safe is this vaccine to begin with? The idea of preventing cancer is pretty appealing, but this is Merck we’re dealing with. We’ll look into it and report back soon.
Your thoughts, Apples? Apples with young seedlings?
Wow. Just, wow. 1 in 3?
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
Peanut butter isn’t the ideal food anyway (it’s fine in sauces and on fresh fruit, but a PB&J sandwich is no healthier than a donut). Girls still smell better. As far as Donald is concerned, we think his hair would make a great nest.
Here’s the breaking clickativity:
1) Restless Legs Are Not News
Restless legs have a cure: movement. Restless leg syndrome is a modern phenomenon borne of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. It is NOT a disease needing a cure. The cure is to move around once in a while.
Here’s an incredible expose on how pharmaceutical companies literally create diseases so you’ll take their drugs – and how the media are complicit in spinning the lies.
2) Expect Plenty of Bad Leno Jokes Tonight
So Kentucky and West Virginia are overweight, heart-disease-ridden states. Before you gloat (or feel bad if you hail from these states), keep in mind that all 50 of our states are a giant collective embarrassment.
We are the fattest, sickest, soonest-dying, most diseased industrialized nation. Pretty pathetic, considering we’re leaders in medical research, have no shortage of nutritious food, and are the richest nation…on earth. But the media are covering this non-news like white on rice. Basically, we’re preschoolers comparing the size of our crayon boxes while everybody else has moved on to markers.
This is the kind of irritating health news we have to draw attention to, simply because it’s so stupid. It’s a good example of how the media alternately scares the living daylights out of people and reports frivolous non-news as “news”. Will anyone care about this in two weeks (or two days)? Will anything be done? Where are the investigative pieces and exposes that actually produce some change?
3) Bees Dying
This makes us very sad. And it could actually be a huge problem for crop production this year.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
All the news links you want to click! Mark’s favorite articles from the world of health:
1) Take heart!
Women, like men, are at risk for heart disease and heart attacks. But according to the following link, about one in five women who have heart attacks show no signs of heart trouble before the attack. The usual diagnostics and symptoms just don’t send up any red flags. The Boston Globe‘s online news source, Boston.com, reports:
“For the last 40 years, doctors have relied on five factors to evaluate a patient’s risk of heart disease: their age, whether they smoke, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and levels of good cholesterol, known as HDL.”
The news that doctors want to add inflammation – hello, a no-brainer! – to the list of red flags is a great step in the right direction for heart health, and one that is long overdue. Inflammation can be a factor in many health conditions and diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Stress, sugar, and plain old sloth all contribute to inflammation, as do smoking, alcohol, and other free-radical sources like trans fat in fried foods.
2) Oh, FDA, what will you goof on next?
More FDA shenanigans. This time, infants are affected. This is an important article if you are a new parent (or know someone who is).
3) Real men eat lettuce…
Men, if you care about your prostate, it’s time to make vegetables your best friend. Like Mark always says, it’s not like they meow – so get over the veggie aversion already!
4) The worst health advice, ever!
According to this article, eating carbs – and not just any carbs, but starchy carbs – is a great way to assure yourself a good night’s sleep. It’s also a great way to put yourself at an increased risk for depression, obesity, and diabetes. The article cites a study which found that carbs stimulate tryptophan and serotonin, the body’s natural sleep aids. However, exercise and fruits and vegetables also have this effect, and they won’t sabotage your health!
Here are a few quick, healthy ways to fall asleep fast, and they won’t spike your blood sugar:
- eat a tablespoon of peanut butter before bed – the natural chemicals help soothe your racing mind.
- drink a little warm organic milk – it really does help!
- try 5 minutes of deep breathing or some light stretches.
- wash your hands and face in warm water, wear socks, and keep your room nice and cool!
I’m sure you’ve heard the headlines about Orlistat, the obesity drug, being approved for OTC use. What you may not have heard about are the side effects of this fat-blocking drug. Orlistat, which will still be distributed by Rx as Xenical for morbidly obese patients, will now be sold as Alli in drugstores nationwide.
A magic pill it ain’t, Apples. I have a big (pardon the pun) problem with this drug, for several reasons.
1. How It Works
I have no doubt that Alli is going to fly off the shelves faster than bananas in a monkey farm. People want to lose weight without making changes, and that’s the unfortunate truth. Some of us are lazy; some are depressed; some don’t have the information; and like children believing in Santa, many simply want to believe in a magic cure. These folks are the ones GlaxoSmithKline is banking on. Drug companies love a sucker.
Alli “works” (and even this is highly debatable) by blocking fat absorption. This is problematic, to put it lightly.
First of all, fat does not make you fat. The human body was meant to operate in a fat-burning metabolic state. Whether you believe in God or cite Darwin or both, there’s absolutely no disputing this fact.
The advent of grain agriculture is a new thing for humans, relatively speaking, and the transition from a flesh-and-vegetable diet to a grain-and-sugar diet has humans suffering in a glucose-burning state.
The side effects of this high-sugar diet are horrendous: inflammation, heart disease, depression, insomnia, diabetes, mental degeneration, aging, obesity and cancer. Do you still really want to block fat? People I coach are shocked when I put them on a higher-fat diet because mainstream wisdom still worships at the altar of low-fat. Know what happens? Infections clear, cholesterol drops, energy increases, anxiety dissipates, skin glows, and the pounds melt away.
Second, reducing fat deprives your body of vital nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, which all need fat to metabolize. Blocking fat means you can’t properly absorb critical nutrients, which is why Alli has to be taken with a multivitamin to offset some of the damage.
2. The Law of Unintended Consequences: Oily Stools?
Alli is available under conditional approval. This is the same FDA approval stamp that got us into the HRT and Cox-2 disasters. How many thousands of women suffered from breast cancer and how many people had heart attacks as a result of these reckless approvals? Conditional approval.
As I mentioned the other day in an update on the FDA’s drug woes, conditional approval is a process by which the FDA essentially allows the burden of safety to rest with drug companies. (Yes: more often than you want to know, the FDA lets pharmaceutical companies begin marketing and selling a drug before lengthy testing has been conducted.)
This tacit trust is just super-duper for drug companies eager to sop up years of product development costs with fast cash, but I’m stumped as to how this is beneficial for actual human beings. Can you imagine if farmers, restaurants or vitamin manufacturers like yours truly just up and sold products that knowingly caused serious health issues and thousands of deaths? We’re not talking one or two or even a dozen. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of serious – often fatal – drug reactions every single year. Some estimates go into the millions.
Just who is the FDA supposed to be looking out for?
Alli, among other issues, causes incontinence and oily stools.
And this is the deal-breaker, folks. Anal leakage? Oily spotting? I don’t think so! Alli can also lead to kidney stones, gall stones, breast cancer, and hepatitis. Every time a new drug scandal hits, I think, surely, surely the FDA will make changes. It never happens. This is the definition of insanity: doing the same thing you’ve always done and expecting different results.
There’s a better way to lose weight, but it does take some work – though not nearly as much as you’d think. You can eat fat and drop pounds simultaneously. You can enjoy flavor. You don’t have to be a slave to the treadmill. Stay tuned for tips every day on how to lose weight and feel better – sensibly, enjoyably, without any suffering at all. No spotting, either. We have a strict no-spotting rule around here.
Most Popular Posts
Several Apples have written in wondering about MBT and other supposed jiggle-reducing shoe brands, so in the interest of truth and avoidance of unattractive footwear, let’s set the record straight. Do anti-cellulite shoes work?
No, no, and no. Here’s a great article that debunks this ridiculous shoe trend. Not only are the numerous health and figure-fix claims about cellulite shoes total baloney, these kicks are expensive and super-ugly.
MBT, the main anti-cellulite shoe maker, even has an African myth of sorts to complete the marketing lure (check out Mark’s post on hoodia for another example of emotional bait).
These sneakers will make you wobble, feel dizzy, and possibly fall (so you can have a big bruise in addition to cellulite). What they will not do is cure cellulite.
Unfortunately, there’s just not really a “cure” for cellulite. It’s genetic, like bone density, skin tone and hair color. Of course, you can lift weights to build bones, fry in a tanning bed, and dye your hair, right? Ah, modern technology. There are things you can do to reduce the appearance of cellulite – but it will never go away with a magic cream or a funky pair of shoes.
If you’re really in angst come bikini season, these things can help:
- My personal theory: lay off the sugar, processed foods and trans fat, and make real fat your friend. Fat does not cause cellulite, but eating weird, unhealthy and processed foods does do weird things to our cells. I’m not saying sugar causes cellulite, but it certainly doesn’t help, either. Enough with the fat-free dairy, ladies (which just has sugar in place of fat). Sugar stores itself as fat and expands existing fat cells. Aha!
- The appearance of cellulite can be reduced if you have good, lean muscle tone and less flabby fat. So yes, you need to work out once in a while. Plenty of muscle tissue on that booty of yours will help “smooth” the external layer of skin and fat cells a little bit. Men don’t tend to have cellulite because they have more lean muscle mass, and their fat cells tend to be smaller and more flexible. So, reducing your overall body fat and increasing muscle mass will help in your quest to be as smooth as a baby’s behind.
- Increase circulation. This is where those creams and gels come in. Most of them “work” by temporarily stimulating circulation to fat cells that go so long without seeing so much as a blood platelet, they wouldn’t know what to do if one stopped by. (Okay, my doctor friends are rolling their eyes right now, but you get the idea.) If you can increase your circulation – often a problem with women (cold feet, anyone?) – you can potentially help nourish and smooth those outer cells a bit more. But no amount of cardio is going to totally eliminate cellulite.
Two things to remember:
1) If you’re reasonably fit and healthy, just revel in that figure. Do what you can, and don’t stress the rest. Guys really don’t care as much as we think they do. Seriously, they don’t – men’s eyeballs are wired differently, and detail is not a strong suit (they have better depth perception, while women see certain colors and details better). Whew.
2) As Cindy Crawford once famously said, “Even I don’t look like Cindy Crawford in the morning.” There are very few photographs that are not airbrushed to perfection these days. Women on the covers of magazines are beautiful, yes, but perfect? Nope.
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