Thursday, May 21, 2020

Potential for off label drugs in treatment of active covid-19 infection

I heard from a friend that the active ingredient in Pepsid, a chemical named Famotidine, may be effective in treatment of Corona Virus cases. I did a search and found this summation By Dr. Roger Seheult, board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary, and Critical Care. Dr. Seheult is good at putting the technically complex within an easily understood context. In this fascinating discussion he explains why the more effective approach finding Covid-19 treatments may be among so called "off label" drugs (not yet approved by the FDA for that particular use).

He ends by concluding a better understanding of oxidative stress could be critically important, what it is, how the epithelium is impacted, and how we can mitigate oxidative stress.

Here's a helpful article, "What is oxidative stress?"

New York Times - The End of Meat is Here

OK I didn't say it, don't blame it on me. Well, to be fair I've been saying "it's coming" since my 4 "Tipping Point" posts late 2015. But no less than the New York Times is saying it now.

Why now? The article addresses that point nicely:

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of “Eating Animals” and “We Are the Weather.

Is any panic more primitive than the one prompted by the thought of empty grocery store shelves? Is any relief more primitive than the one provided by comfort food?

Most everyone has been doing more cooking these days, more documenting of the cooking, and more thinking about food in general. The combination of meat shortages and President Trump’s decision to order slaughterhouses open despite the protestations of endangered workers has inspired many Americans to consider just how essential meat is.

Is it more essential than the lives of the working poor who labor to produce it? It seems so. An astonishing six out of 10 counties that the White House itself identified as coronavirus hot spots are home to the very slaughterhouses the president ordered open.

In Sioux Falls, S.D., the Smithfield pork plant, which produces some 5 percent of the country’s pork, is one of the largest hot spots in the nation. A Tyson plant in Perry, Iowa, had 730 cases of the coronavirus — nearly 60 percent of its employees. At another Tyson plant, in Waterloo, Iowa, there were 1,031 reported cases among about 2,800 workers.

Sick workers mean plant shutdowns, which has led to a backlog of animals. Some farmers are injecting pregnant sows to cause abortions. Others are forced to euthanize their animals, often by gassing or shooting them. It’s gotten bad enough that Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, has asked the Trump administration to provide mental health resources to hog farmers.

Despite this grisly reality — and the widely reported effects of the factory-farm industry on America’s lands, communities, animals and human health long before this pandemic hit — only around half of Americans say they are trying to reduce their meat consumption. Meat is embedded in our culture and personal histories in ways that matter too much, from the Thanksgiving turkey to the ballpark hot dog. Meat comes with uniquely wonderful smells and tastes, with satisfactions that can almost feel like home itself. And what, if not the feeling of home, is essential?

And yet, an increasing number of people sense the inevitability of impending change.

Animal agriculture is now recognized as a leading cause of global warming. According to The Economist, a quarter of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 say they are vegetarians or vegans, which is perhaps one reason sales of plant-based “meats” have skyrocketed, with Impossible and Beyond Burgers available everywhere from Whole Foods to White Castle.

Our hand has been reaching for the doorknob for the last few years. Covid-19 has kicked open the door.

At the very least it has forced us to look. When it comes to a subject as inconvenient as meat, it is tempting to pretend unambiguous science is advocacy, to find solace in exceptions that could never be scaled and to speak about our world as if it were theoretical.

Some of the most thoughtful people I know find ways not to give the problems of animal agriculture any thought, just as I find ways to avoid thinking about climate change and income inequality, not to mention the paradoxes in my own eating life. One of the unexpected side effects of these months of sheltering in place is that it’s hard not to think about the things that are essential to who we are.

We cannot protect our environment while continuing to eat meat regularly. This is not a refutable perspective, but a banal truism. Whether they become Whoppers or boutique grass-fed steaks, cows produce an enormous amount of greenhouse gas. If cows were a country, they would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.

According to the research director of Project Drawdown — a nonprofit organization dedicated to modeling solutions to address climate change — eating a plant-based diet is “the most important contribution every individual can make to reversing global warming.”

Americans overwhelmingly accept the science of climate change. A majority of both Republicans and Democrats say that the United States should have remained in the Paris climate accord. We don’t need new information, and we don’t need new values. We only need to walk through the open door.

We cannot claim to care about the humane treatment of animals while continuing to eat meat regularly. The farming system we rely on is woven through with misery. Modern chickens have been so genetically modified that their very bodies have become prisons of pain even if we open their cages. Turkeys are bred to be so obese that they are incapable of reproducing without artificial insemination. Mother cows have their calves ripped from them before weaning, resulting in acute distress we can hear in their wails and empirically measure through the cortisol in their bodies.

No label or certification can avoid these kinds of cruelty. We don’t need any animal rights activist waving a finger at us. We don’t need to be convinced of anything we don’t already know. We need to listen to ourselves.

We cannot protect against pandemics while continuing to eat meat regularly. Much attention has been paid to wet markets, but factory farms, specifically poultry farms, are a more important breeding ground for pandemics. Further, the C.D.C. reports that three out of four new or emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic — the result of our broken relationship with animals.

It goes without saying that we want to be safe. We know how to make ourselves safer. But wanting and knowing are not enough.

These are not my or anyone’s opinions, despite a tendency to publish this information in opinion sections. And the answers to the most common responses raised by any serious questioning of animal agriculture aren’t opinions.

Don’t we need animal protein? No.

We can live longer, healthier lives without it. Most American adults eat roughly twice the recommended intake of protein — including vegetarians, who consume 70 percent more than they need. People who eat diets high in animal protein are more likely to die of heart disease, diabetes and kidney failure. Of course, meat, like cake, can be part of a healthy diet. But no sound nutritionist would recommend eating cake too often.

If we let the factory-farm system collapse, won’t farmers suffer? No.

The corporations that speak in their name while exploiting them will. There are fewer American farmers today than there were during the Civil War, despite America’s population being nearly 11 times greater. This is not an accident, but a business model. The ultimate dream of the animal-agriculture industrial complex is for “farms” to be fully automated. Transitioning toward plant-based foods and sustainable farming practices would create many more jobs than it would end.

Don’t take my word for it. Ask a farmer if he or she would be happy to see the end of factory farming.

Isn’t a movement away from meat elitist? No.

A 2015 study found that a vegetarian diet is $750 a year cheaper than a meat-based diet. People of color disproportionately self-identify as vegetarian and disproportionately are victims of factory farming’s brutality. The slaughterhouse employees currently being put at risk to satisfy our taste for meat are overwhelmingly brown and black. Suggesting that a cheaper, healthier, less exploitative way of farming is elitist is in fact a piece of industry propaganda.

Can’t we work with factory-farming corporations to improve the food system? No.

Well, unless you believe that those made powerful through exploitation will voluntarily destroy the vehicles that have granted them spectacular wealth. Factory farming is to actual farming what criminal monopolies are to entrepreneurship. If for a single year the government removed its $38-billion-plus in props and bailouts, and required meat and dairy corporations to play by normal capitalist rules, it would destroy them forever. The industry could not survive in the free market.

Perhaps more than any other food, meat inspires both comfort and discomfort. That can make it difficult to act on what we know and want. Can we really displace meat from the center of our plates? This is the question that brings us to the threshold of the impossible. On the other side is the inevitable.

With the horror of pandemic pressing from behind, and the new questioning of what is essential, we can now see the door that was always there. As in a dream where our homes have rooms unknown to our waking selves, we can sense there is a better way of eating, a life closer to our values. On the other side is not something new, but something that calls from the past — a world in which farmers were not myths, tortured bodies were not food and the planet was not the bill at the end of the meal.

One meal in front of the other, it’s time to cross the threshold. On the other side is home.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Dr Doug Graham - Stress Reduction #10

Dr Doug has been posting a series on stress reduction, this one on gardening is 10th in the series. An abundance of suggestions how to reduce stress in these stressful times may be just what the doctor ordered!

And the entire series can be seen here, they're all great:

Friday, May 8, 2020

Remember Kevin "Cosmo" Rogers? Our Natural Birthright: Superb Health

Kevin "Cosmo" Rogers in a brief vid on the cause of superb health, which adheres to basic common sense principles that unfortunately were not taught to us as children. What we learned instead is misinformation based on wishful thinking. It's never too late to reclaim our health, watch, and enjoy:

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Three Models of Healthcare (which do you choose?)

Keven "Cosmo" Rogers presents in a very succinct way the key perspective on health, and how one goes about causing vibrant and durable health to come about in their own life.

I was raised to think health pretty much took care of itself, and when you get sick you go to the doctor for diagnosis and medicine to treat that condition. Let's see what Kevin has to say about the three health models in this brief video:

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Robert Kennedy Jr has a lot to say about Big Pharma

This has to be the most corrupt period in our nation's history, in so many ways and on so many levels as to be nearly incomprehensible. Robert Kennedy Jr has spent much of his career protecting watersheds and rivers from industrial damage, and is now speaking out about what he's learned about the gargantuan Pharma Industry. If you thought big oil was big, listen to what Robert Kennedy Jr has to say.

And please think twice, and then again, before putting anything in your body that is not a whole food close to it's natural state.

Nobel prize winning scientist Prof Michael Levitt: lockdown is a “huge mistake”

A growing number of scientists are taking issue with and speaking out on the approach taken to dealing with the Corona virus pandemic. Prof Michael Levitt's perspective is close to that of Dr David Katz which I blogged previously under the title An unusually intelligent perspective on "total harm" of Covid-19 by Dr. David Katz of Yale. That approach in a nutshell might be called measured lock down (as opposed to universal), where the highest risk populations are locked down in "silos". Then the lowest risk among us proceeds but with certain restrictions. The net benefit of this approach, according to this perspective, will be a shorter period of "virulence", a more rapid achievement of herd immunity, and economic restrictions as opposed to complete shutdown. And most surprisingly perhaps, an approximately equal number of deaths from the virus.

For a detailed discussion, the interview with Dr Levitt: