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August 2017

July 2017

Good news for e-cigarettes

This HND piece once again covers e-cigs,and this time the good news is that a large study indicates that the devices do help people to quit smoking. Amazingly, officialdom has ignored the obvious for years, still clinging to its love of tobacco tax revenue—and in the case of NGOs—Pharma money.

The harm reduction community hopes that this new study will be the beginning of the end of official resistance. Even the so-called public health agencies cannot deny science forever.

Read the complete article.

Summer sampler: quick takes on some interesting stories

This HND piece covers three healthcare stories...

The first one gets into some techie, but compelling evidence as to the origin of deadly infections linked to operating room heater-cooler units. Surprisingly few investigators have employed DNA forensics to elucidate important details on hospital-acquired infections, perhaps worrying about proving what they don't want to prove. Ironically, in this case, the bugs' origins seem to be outside the hospital.

The second vignette is about a full-on scandal at the University of Southern California's med school. Not only was their former dean a serious druggie, but the higher-ups knew about it. And, they covered up for him, since he was so good at bringing in big donations.

The third tale gives us great advice on how to live a longer and healthier life, from an ER doc, who has seen it all. You'll love his description of an ideal ER patient.

Read the complete article.

Tampering with tamiflu

This HND piece goes into the sordid tale of how a mediocre antiviral got stockpiled to the tune of billions of dollars, during the past flu scares. What's more, it was added to, and then removed from, the WHO Essential Medicines core list.

Credit the BMJ for keeping up the pressure to get the facts out. The only trouble is that it took several years to persuade Roche to come clean with its "hidden" clinical trials.

Read the complete article.

ACSH and the little black book of junk science

This HND piece gives a shout-out to our friends at the American Council on Science and Health, regarding their release of the wonderful (and free) Little Black Book Of Junk Science.

Arguably, junk science has been around longer than fake news, but just does not seem to get the publicity it deserves. Among other things, it caused the public to get scared of BPA--to the point that it has been removed form many products. Never mind that no indication of harm has EVER been found, and more than 6,000 studies have been run on this compound. Absolutely outrageous.

More than 200 entries, with dozens of references. Read the complete article for more information.

The salt fix: a book review

We have covered the low-salt diet mythology before, but in this review, we shine the spotlight on the first full-length book on the subject. Research scientist James J. DiNicolantonio has done a bravura job in presenting the case against low salt diets.

Sadly, the low salt meme seems to have at least as much staying power as the thousands of times disproved, but still active cholesterol theory of coronary heart disease.

While there are any number of wonderful pull quotes from the book, here's one of my favorites: "The American Heart Association [low-salters] tells everyone to exercise every day, and we lose a ton of salt in our sweat. It's just so counterintuitive, it doesn't make any sense. We can lose a teaspoon of salt every single hour when working out in the heat."

Read the complete article.

Distracted: a book review

We do a review of Dr. Matthew Hahn's new book over at HND. Hahn is a modern day country doctor who knows a thing or two about the difficulties of practicing good medicine in a era of so many...distractions. Naturally, the lion's share of these distractions are directly related to onerous government regulation of healthcare, along with having to deal with private insurance companies.

Among other things, Hahn eviscerates the hated electronic health records (EHRs), acknowledging that a good EHR system could revolutionize healthcare.   In fact, EHRs will ultimately be a key component in fixing the current mess. Hahn is a true voice of reason in the current mostly idiotic debate which thinks that the answer to all of our problems is simply to get every one insured.

Read the complete article.