Medicating normalness: saying “know” to drugs

Are we over-medicating ourselves and our children?
Video with Alan Cassels 4/6

Are we over-medicating ourselves and our children? Drug policy researcher Alan Cassels discusses the drug industry; the methods and practices on how they operate and he questions whether or not we need to take as many prescription drugs as we are lead to believe for that ‘quick fix’ in our lives.

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Health apps benefits and disadvantages for healthy people

Can healthy people benefit from health apps?

cell-phone-wth-apps
Some apps have the potential to encourage healthier habits and are accessible to most people, writes Iltifat Husain, but Des Spence notes the lack of any evidence of effectiveness and the potential for encouraging unnecessary anxiety.

What is the harm in health apps – none, right? And surely they can only be good at enhancing healthy behaviors? Or:

  • are there too many apps of too little value?
  • are there lots of potential for otherwise healthy people to get unhealthily worried – obsessed even – about their normal health?.

Press Play > to listen to the recording.

Sources and more information

  • Can healthy people benefit from health apps?, BMJ 2015;350:h1887, 14 April 2015.
  • What is the point of health apps when we are healthy?, medicalnewstoday, Wednesday 15 April 2015.
  • Report Questions Whether Health Apps Benefit Healthy People, nytimes, APRIL 14, 2015.
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In feed Stilbosol best for my market cattle

Stilbosol 1957 advert, FFA National Future Farmer, IUPUI archives

stilbosol-ad image
Stilbosol patenting turned the cattle feed industry upside down in the mid fifties with its phenomenal use by the farmers.
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More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Medicating normalness: saying “know” to drugs

Are we over-medicating ourselves and our children?
Video with Alan Cassels 3/6

Are we over-medicating ourselves and our children? Drug policy researcher Alan Cassels discusses the drug industry; the methods and practices on how they operate and he questions whether or not we need to take as many prescription drugs as we are lead to believe for that ‘quick fix’ in our lives.

More information

Can some plastics and chemicals like BPA and BPS be unsafe at any dose?

In the debate on plastics and endocrine disruptor chemicals safety, policy lags behind science

woman-and-child
In the debate on plastics and endocrine disruptor chemicals safety, policy lags behind science. Image by Lucas Hermann.

… ” the regulatory and industry approach to determine chemical safety has been to determine whether chemicals act like poisons – and generally not whether they act like hormones. And some scientists are concerned that this could lead to false conclusions of safety.” …

… ” A trillionth of a gram of a hormone in a milliliter of blood …is enough to alter the course of development of tissue in the fetus and lead to disease later on in life, Until plastics are tested at such minute levels, he says, we are in the dark about what levels of exposure are safe — especially for babies developing in the womb. ” …

Sept 2014 Study Abstract

Here we demonstrate that Bisphenol A  (BPA) exposure during a time point analogous to the second trimester in humans has real and measurable effects on brain development and behavior. Furthermore, our study is the first, to our knowledge, to show that bisphenol S, a replacement used in BPA-free products, equally affects neurodevelopment. These findings suggest that BPA-free products are not necessarily safe and support a societal push to remove all structurally similar bisphenol analogues and other compounds with endocrine-disruptive activity from consumer goods. Our data here, combined with over a dozen physiological and behavioral human studies that begin to point to the prenatal period as a BPA window of vulnerability, suggest that pregnant mothers limit exposure to plastics and receipts.

Jan 2014 Study Abstract

We measured serum dBPA in non-pregnant and pregnant female rhesus monkeys, fetuses and amniotic fluid. dBPA was administered by a daily oral bolus or sc implantation of Silastic capsules; both resulted in daily average serum unconjugated dBPA concentrations of <1ng/ml. We observed lower serum concentrations of unconjugated dBPA in pregnant females relative to pre-pregnancy values, and generally lower concentrations in fetal serum than in maternal serum. Differences in pharmacokinetics of dBPA were evident between pre-pregnancy, early and late pregnancy, likely reflecting changes in maternal, fetal and placental physiology. The serum ratio of conjugated to unconjugated dBPA after continuous sc release of dBPA was similar to values reported in human biomonitoring studies and markedly lower than with oral administration, suggesting oral bolus exposure is not an appropriate human exposure model. We report elsewhere that there were numerous adverse effects on fetuses exposed to very low serum dBPA in these studies.

Sources and more information
  • Very easy to read and very well documented, full of link studies links, read In The Debate On Plastics Safety, Policy Lags Behind Science, SoundMedicine, APR 13, 2015.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) pharmacokinetics with daily oral bolus or continuous exposure via silastic capsules in pregnant rhesus monkeys: Relevance for human exposures, NCBI PMID:24582107, 2014 Jun;45:105-16 , sciencedirect, doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2014.01.007, Reproductive Toxicology, Volume 45, June 2014.
  • Low-dose exposure to bisphenol A and replacement bisphenol S induces precocious hypothalamic neurogenesis in embryonic zebrafish, pnas, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1417731112, September 16, 2014.

Social egg freezing: risk, benefits and other considerations

Listen to Angel Petropanagos interview

egg on image image
Family physicians have an important role in advising women about the benefits and risks of egg freezing, argues an analysis in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Doctors are being warned not to encourage young women to freeze their eggs as a way to avoid “future regret,” says a just-published article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that argues egg freezing risks perpetuating expectations that being a mother is central to being a woman.
Press Play > to listen to the recording.

Sources and more information

  • Social egg freezing: risk, benefits and other considerations, cmaj, April 13, 2015.
  • Family doctors important in advising young women on egg freezing for future fertility, eurekalert, 13-APR-2015.
  • Doctors warned not to encourage young women to freeze their eggs in new medical journal article, nationalpost, April 14, 2015.
  • Egg freezing not a fertility panacea, Metro Canada, April 14, 2015.
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Medicating normalness: saying “know” to drugs

Are we over-medicating ourselves and our children?
Video with Alan Cassels 2/6

Are we over-medicating ourselves and our children? Drug policy researcher Alan Cassels discusses the drug industry; the methods and practices on how they operate and he questions whether or not we need to take as many prescription drugs as we are lead to believe for that ‘quick fix’ in our lives.

More information

Le Distilbène et Stilboestrol en France, 1961

Le DES a des conséquences pour les futures générations

DES-Distilbene-Stilboestrol
Notice et boites de comprimés Distilbène® et comprimés Stilboestrol® de 1961, prescrits en France jusqu’en 1977…
Image via Réseau DES France.
Sur Flickr®
Le Distilbène DES, en savoir plus

Antimicrobial resistance strategy: will the U.K. be ready on time in case of superbug outbreak?

British superbug outbreak ‘could kill 80,000’

UK-Antimicrobial-Resistance
A Government report warns that tens of thousands could die because of new strains of bacteria and viruses resistant to drugs. The report describes some of the actions being taken.

An increasingly serious issue is the development and spread of AMR, which occurs when drugs are no longer effective in treating infections caused by microorganisms. Without effective antibiotics, even minor surgery and routine operations could become high-risk procedures, leading to increased duration of illness and ultimately
premature mortality. Much of modern medicine (for example, organ transplantation, bowel surgery and some cancer treatments) may become unsafe due to the risk of infection. In addition, influenza pandemics would become more serious without effective treatments.

The numbers of infections complicated by AMR are expected to increase markedly over the next 20 years. If a widespread outbreak were to occur, we could expect around 200,000 people to be affected by a bacterial blood infection that could not be treated effectively with existing drugs, and around 80,000 of these people might die. High numbers of deaths could also be expected from other forms of antimicrobial resistant infection.

AMR is a global problem and the UK Government, in conjunction with the devolved administrations, is leading work with international partners to secure support for concerted action at a global level. Coordinated international action is needed to tackle AMR as a priority issue through the World Health Organization (WHO) and other UN bodies.

The Department of Health, the NHS, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate are working together with other partners to lead the implementation of the UK five-year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy, published in September 2013. This work is overseen by a cross-government highlevel steering group comprising government departments and agencies and the devolved administrations. In June 2014 it published the measures which are being used to assess the impact of the actions being taken across the UK to reduce the spread of AMR and improve antibiotic prescribing. The high-level steering group’s Progress report and implementation plan was published on 11 December 2014.

In addition, in July 2014, the Prime Minister commissioned a review of AMR. The review, chaired by Jim O’Neil, is independent of government and is international in focus. It will explore how the development of new antibiotics can be stimulated and will also examine how best to encourage innovative thinking and research in order to change methods for treating infectious diseases. The review has already produced two reports. The first of these – Antimicrobial resistance: Tackling a crisis for the health and wealth of nations – appeared in December. It quantifies the likely global economic burden of AMR between now and 2050. The second – Tackling a global health crisis: Initial steps – was published on 5 February. It describes steps the reivew believes could and should be taken now in the international effort to tackle AMR. Further reports are expected to be published during 2015. By the summer of 2016, the review will recommend a set of actions to be agreed on at an international level in order to deal with the challenge of AMR.

Sources and more information
Media releases
  • Superbug ‘could kill 80,000 people’ experts warn, nursingtimes, 14 April, 2015.
  • UK Government Warns Possible Death Of Thousands Due To Superbug Infection Outbreak, au.ibtimes, 07 April, 2015.
  • Superflu pandemic is biggest danger to UK apart from a terrorist attack – and could kill 80,000 people, The Independent, 06 April 2015.
  • British superbug outbreak ‘could kill 80,000’, The Telegraph, 05 April 2015.

Medicating normalness: saying “know” to drugs

Are we over-medicating ourselves and our children?
Video with Alan Cassels 1/6

Are we over-medicating ourselves and our children? Drug policy researcher Alan Cassels discusses the drug industry; the methods and practices on how they operate and he questions whether or not we need to take as many prescription drugs as we are lead to believe for that ‘quick fix’ in our lives.

More information