Tag: Big Pharma
The Definitive Guide: Part 1 Get sick and die. You know you need to. The government, dietitians and health experts remind us constantly – you simply can’t get sick and die if you don’t take the appropriate steps! That means logging plenty of hours on the sofa, eating your fill of fast food, and engaging in risky behaviors. But finding the motivation and discipline to get sick and die isn’t easy. You’re not a celebrity with a posse of trainers, chefs and surgeons – you’re one of the millions of Americans desperate to experience your worst, look flabby and feel terrible. You’ve seen the news: tens of millions of Americans are already well on their way to getting sick and dying, yet you’re left out in the cold. What’s their secret? How are you supposed to wade through the avalanche of information to find the absolute worst, sickest, most disgusting lifestyle possible? With a tight budget and busy schedule, I know that’s not always easy – but it can be! You may not be aware, but thousands of restaurants, stores and companies already offer convenient, inexpensive products and services that can help you get sick and die. Why haven’t you heard about this before, you ask? Search no more. Here in this series, for the first time, you’ll get the real information you need, all in easy, clear terms. In fact, you may be surprised at how little you actually have to change in order to get sick and die. It’s really not so hard. No sacrifice. No uncomfortable physical activity, because that would be stressful. No strange pills or healthy supplements – only drugs approved by our government. And of course, no deprivation or starvation. I’ve employed a team of researchers to find the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel, guaranteed-to-sicken recipes, tips and techniques for minimum health results. No guesswork. In fact, no work, period. Here are five clicks to get you started on your way to getting sick and dying in no time! Now before you say, “Gosh, Mark, you must really love me; I too want to get sick and die!” don’t go giving me all the credit. I’m just telling you facts about food, fitness and health that everybody already follows! It’s not just chain restaurants. Even our FDA, federal government and health organizations like the American Diabetes Association support drug use, soda and refined sweets “in moderation”. But what I like most is that these leaders support a sensible, healthy weight range of 30 pounds per inch (Awesome metrics, BMI! It’s genius, is it not?). This is just no-brainer stuff that you will discover you may already know about. Isn’t it a relief to know you can get sick and die with little change to the standard American lifestyle? Obviously we are doing everything right, or we would not be getting sick and dying faster than most other nations! You can help make us #1! 1. Get your omega-3’s! Everyone knows avocados are healthy. Duh. Eat them this … Continue reading “How to Get Sick and Die”
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
Here’s your daily dose of the latest and greatest from the world of health! We skip the sensational stories (please, no more Anna Nicole DNA testing news! There is stuff going on in the world!). Today, we bring you the most compelling, useful…and, yes, bizarre health news.
To wit: evidently, furniture may be making people obese. You’ll want to click it out, kids.
Big Pharma and Thailand: Smackdown
Abbott Labs (the same folks who proudly market unhealthy junk food to children and lie to parents about it) is furious with Thailand for having the gall to look out for its impoverished, AIDS-wracked population. If you think the situation in Africa is bad, take a look at what Abbott is doing in Thailand. Seriously, between happily creating a nation of tiny diabetics at home and knowingly keeping medicine from poverty-stricken human beings abroad, just how do these guys sleep at night? Even bees know that’s wrong.
Is Your Couch Making You Fat?
It gives new meaning to the term “couch potato”. It appears that the flame retardants used in many fabrics and furniture cushions may be contributing to insulin resistance and obesity. Click it out!
The Law of Unintended Consequences
Sometimes putting out one fire creates another. That’s certainly the case with many drug therapies. Kindergarten teachers everywhere groan: the chickenpox vaccine is losing its effectiveness.
Studiously Avoiding Vegetables? We Ace That Test!
All right! We’re #1…in avoiding fruits and vegetables. Unlike the U.K., which, despite being the country that invented fried fish and chips and such breakfast treats as canned beans on toast, manages to meet its health goals, we still vehemently refuse to eat enough salad. Well, except you, Apples. Right?
“The measures reflect a growing body of research about discrepancies between journal articles and the full results of the studies behind them. Journal editors are also responding to the escalating debate in Washington on ensuring drug side effects are properly disclosed. In the wake of the withdrawal of Merck & Co.’s painkiller Vioxx over cardiovascular side effects, some legislators are calling for tougher safety scrutiny of drugs on the market. The JAMA study last year said articles often cherry-picked strong results to report, even if those results were in a different area than the study was designed to test. Typically scientists set up clinical trials to answer one or two primary questions — for example, whether a drug reduces the risk of a heart attack and stroke. These are called the primary outcomes. The JAMA study found that 62% of trials had at least one primary outcome that was changed, added or omitted.” (Source: the Wall Street Journal) UPDATE 3/25/07: We have removed our spoof image of JAMA’s cover because some of our readers have alerted us that, upon closer inspection, the thumbnail of the JAMA issue, which depicts a cartoon examination scene, contains nudity. This was a complete, unintentional oops on our part! No offense was intended. (Though we have to wonder…why on earth is JAMA putting these sorts of depictions in their cover art in the first place?) It’s no surprise anymore that the major medical journals are plastered with pharmaceutical advertisements – after all, when was the last time you visited a doctor’s office that wasn’t drowning in pharmaceutical marketing widgets? Nor is it a surprise that the very studies in medical journals (not the advertisements) are deceptively skewed in Big Pharma’s favor about two-thirds of the time. I would think physicians and researchers would be appalled by the replete corruption. But when your own federal government spends more time telling you that vitamins are deadly – because a handful of terminally ill patients weren’t able to stave off inevitable death with a dose of knowingly worthless synthetic E – than it does being concerned about 60,000+ deaths from one drug alone, is it any wonder? That’s a lot of people – that’s more than many entire cities! For decent people, it’s just a natural inclination to trust authorities claiming to be both knowledgeable and ethical. After all, that’s what we’re paying them for. The problem is, the pharmaceutical companies are paying them more – to the tune of 19 billion dollars. I have no doubt that many people working in the pharmaceutical industry are there with the best of intentions. I am not against drugs necessary to improve and save lives, of which there are many successes. But I do have a problem with an overly-lenient and largely voluntary drug approval process that is a mockery of ethical standards. Because we trust journals and doctors so implicitly, we forget that, like any business, pharmaceuticals are in it for the money. It’s just business. Sometimes, the business … Continue reading “From Pharma, with Love”
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites Today’s news includes the return of a psuedo-scandal, proof that the FDA doesn’t care about women, and…donuts. No, Vitamins Will not Kill You It’s all over the news: vitamins will kill you! This is the same old scare that gets trucked out whenever there’s an FDA or Big Pharma scandal (it happened during the Vioxx debacle and again when the FDA got slammed last month). In fact, Elliott notes that there was a virtually identical story in January, and several last year…and the year before that. Each time, the same studies are brought up. Honestly, the deja vu is annoying, so we don’t want to spend a lot of time on this pseudo scandal, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to shoot the Big Guy (that’s Sisson) a line. Simply click up yonder. In short: Here’s a more reasonable analysis. And another one. Vitamin A: it’s not an antioxidant, but people often misunderstand it to be one. No one thinks high levels of pure A is a good idea, and most high-potency vitamins that include high levels of A are giving you beta carotene, not pure A (the best multis will give you mixed carotenoids). For the record, the study that showed risk was done on smokers who were very, very sick. In fact, this “news” out today is bandying the same old meta-analysis of many studies. Um, huh? you ask. A quick lesson: “meta-analysis” is just a fancy way of saying “we looked at a bunch of different studies and here’s our opinion.” It’s not the best way to conduct a study, because it’s not really a study, per se – it’s an analysis of many studies which, in this case, were all conducted via different methodologies. What’s more, in this particular case, many of the studies were based on questionnaires. If you’ve ever filled out a form detailing your caloric intake, exercise habits or sex life, you know these things aren’t exactly 100% accurate. Here’s the sting: the majority of the studies included in ole Dansk’s report are outdated, ignore other, better studies, and generally involved really sick, elderly, even terminally ill patients. As far as vitamin E is concerned, scientists continually scratch their heads at this Denmark meta-baloney (yeah, Denmark again…). We already know that the E in question isn’t the best for you. That’s been known for a long time. E, like the B vitamins, is really a spectrum supplement – there are eight different E’s, known collectively as tocotrienols and tocopherols. Taking one tocopherol – the kind you’ll find in those cheap gel caps everywhere – is not a good idea and this has been known for quite a while now (and any multivitamin that uses this single form is not a multi you want to buy). The full spectrum E? Hundreds of rigorously conducted studies show proven benefits. In short, don’t buy into the vitamin hype. The study is not news. It’s a review of studies that … Continue reading “Clickativity”
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
This is a low-fat blog post, Apples. Here’s the daily roundup:
1) Hypothetically, Of Course!
Answers to the Top 10 Embarrassing Health Questions. Hey, we know, it’s for your friend.
2) Go On, Get Fresh!
We’ve talked before about big cities like Chicago and New York hopping in the anti-trans-fat fryer. Massachusetts will be the first entire state to do so (of course it’s Massachusetts). And Starbucks recently volunteered outright. McDonald’s hasn’t been able to perfect their beloved heart attack sticks (a.k.a. french fries), but they keep trying to get rid of trans fat, by golly.
Unfortunately, our investigative vigilantes over at Mercola’s blog inform us that food companies are finding a sneaky way around this whole trans fat ruckus. They’re just switching the deadly trans fat for another, equally terrible fat. Doing so allows them to get away with saying “0 grams trans fat” on food labels.
You know, there are days when we want to think highly of our fellow food-manufacturing humans. And then we remember – oh yeah, we’re bees! We don’t have to think good thoughts about these greedy “it’s just the free market” milquetoasts! You don’t, either.
Selling. Deadly. Food. Is. Wrong.
End of story. Spread the word, Apples.
Here are some facts about why trans fat (a.k.a. Frankenfat) is so important to avoid. Thanks, Beacon!
3) Thanks for Smoking. No, Seriously.
In a grand gesture of love and thanks for customer loyalty, Harvard finds that death merchants tobacco makers have steadily increased nicotine levels in cigarettes since 1998. Harvard even took a second look after the death merchants industry whined about it, and still came up with pretty convincing proof. Gravity is more controversial. Thanks to the Urban Hermit for this news.
Help a Loved One Quit for Good
Lung Cancer News
And around the web:
Fascinating brain discovery!
Also on the table:
Export junk food to poor countries. Export subsequent obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Solution? According to the New England Journal of Medicineyness, we need to…export drugs to cure it all!
How about we save everyone, rich and poor alike, by demanding an end to the mass production of Frankenfoods? Does guacamole really need 27 ingredients plus three layers of packaging that no one but a two-year-old with a case of the mad molars can get into?
Sara here. My Danish grandmother will be horrified by this post, but in my selfless devotion to you Apples, I’m taking that risk. And so, I have to ask: What is up with Denmark? (Huh? you ask. Just go with me on this.) I’ve noticed a strange trend over the last decade. This could be my own erroneous inductive research here – in fact, I actually hope so – but the Land of Lutefisk seems strangely supportive of Big Pharma and the status quo (sorry, Grams). First, two years ago, I heard about some “landmark” studies that came out of Old Dansk announcing that there is absolutely no link between autism and vaccinations containing thimerosal (a form of mercury). Nevermind that autism rates sharply increased around the same time that vaccines started being preserved with thimerosal. Nevermind that mercury poisoning symptoms and autism symptoms are virtually indistinguishable. Now, to be fair, the mercury/autism debate is hugely controversial precisely because we don’t have a definitive answer yet. I suspect the eventual conclusion may implicate thimerosal, at least as part of the equation. But, then, there was the fish study. Once again, researchers in Denmark came up with – er, concluded – that fish oil does not help those interested in reducing their heart disease risk. The study was a review, which is right up there with questionnaires in terms of scientific accuracy. Even worse, it was a review of cohort studies (cohort studies can have major problems with causation vs. correlation). Moreover, reading the fine print (not just the abstract), what the study essentially “discovered” was that people who are at a high risk for heart problems do benefit from fish oil, while people who are at a low risk do not. Now, think about that. In other words, people who don’t have a problem will not benefit from a solution. Kind of like how my grease-cutting counter disinfectant won’t do a great job of cleaning my freshly-scrubbed counters, either. But after this study was reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, amazingly, what got media attention was that fish consumption just doesn’t help heart issues. No one got excited about the additional finding that high-risk people can help their hearts with fish oil – just 40 to 60 mg a day can help! (That’s actually okay, since there are already hundreds of rigorously-conducted studies proving fish oil is good for reducing your heart disease risk.) The lesson: Apparently, 1) Create a study following less-than-ideal methodology, 2) determine absolutely nothing from it, and 3) leave out the important part and splash the meaningless part all over the news. Hey, if it looks like a duck…it might be a Danish study. Now, since then, there have been some pro-fish studies, so I’m willing to give the motherland the benefit of the doubt. Although I have seen several other pro-dairy, pro-drug, pro-status quo studies from Denmark, I will withhold judgment until more evidence presents itself. Except, now, hot off the presses, an … Continue reading “What’s Up with Denmark?”
Lying, Twisting and Manipulating: The Statistics Game Drug Companies Play Faced with high insurance rates, long hours, endless paperwork, and high-pressure demands, doctors don’t have an easy time of it. If you’re blessed enough to have a thoughtful, proactive, cautious M.D., let them know, by all means. Doctors are inundated with free drug samples, bonuses and perks from Big Pharma, and even the most well-intentioned practitioner can face dilemmas. Case in point: even the most careful doctors are getting misleading information from many medical journals. It’s one of the most serious problems facing healthcare and medicine today. Scientists and medical experts are expressing increasingly loud concerns about the ethical standards of medical publications. Some journals and publications have essentially become an extended limb of advertising for drug companies. The problem isn’t just in the expensive pharmaceutical ads that provide a means of financial survival for scientific and medical news publications. Many of the studies themselves are funded directly by pharmaceutical companies, making the journals de facto supporters of such companies. Or, doctors participating in the studies also serve positions in various companies. It’s troubling enough that independent news sources, supposedly impartial and peer-reviewed by other scientists and medical experts, are vulnerable. But even government agencies aren’t immune. The CDC, FDA and NIH have all faced huge criticism in recent years for obvious conflicts of interest. How is Big Pharma getting away with this? Simple: we let them. Here is what frequently occurs: For starters, when companies fund studies of their own drugs – big shock – there are almost never unfavorable results. When there are, they’re simply omitted, or a new study is funded. A fairly recent review found that when a study is funded by the company producing the drug, positive results happen four times more often than when impartial studies by independent researchers are conducted. According to the Public Library of Science, an impartial public access resource (check it out in my Daily Reads at right), “between two-thirds and three-quarters” of the studies reported in the top journals are paid for by pharmaceutical companies. According to the Library, companies aren’t bold enough (or unwitting enough) to skew the results. They simply ask questions they know will yield the “right” results. How convenient. Another problem: even though journals are usually reviewed by colleagues, if companies are using the same study again and again, but presenting it in different ways, editors have no way of knowing. Editors try to maintain strict ethical integrity, but it can be next to impossible to know the origin, conflicts or “right questions” involved in some studies. Before I started Primal Nutrition, I served a stint as an editor of a large national health magazine, and I certainly empathize with editors – as my staff knows all too well, information is always changing and getting to the truth is a ceaseless quest that demands constant vigilance. Of course, the truth is worth it. The stakes – Americans’ health – are too high. Clearly, this is … Continue reading “Bite Me, Big Pharma”