kidney

  1. The secret ingredient that could rot your brain

    The secret ingredient that could rot your brain

    The food industry is rushing full steam ahead with plans to use microscopic nanoparticles in just about every aisle of the supermarket -- even if those new "nanofoods" might leave your brain looking like a piece of Swiss cheese.

    And that's not just a figure of speech.

    A new study on fish finds that the same titanium oxide particles being readied for use in food -- and already widely used in meds, paints, and cosmetics -- can actually POKE HOLES in the brain and KILL essential nerve cells.

    Now, I'm not one to hit the panic button over a single study on fish brains -- but the research confirms the worst fears of earlier in vitro studies, leading the author to compare titanium oxide nanoparticles to something you don't want anywhere near your dinner table.

    "The effects on the fish brain caused by these nanoparticles have some parallels with other substances like mercury poisoning," says Prof. Richard Handy of the University of Plymouth. (The words are his, the bolding is mine.)

    Prof. Handy also says these nanoparticles might not enter and leave the body like so many other substances.

    Instead, they could build up inside you -- until the day you feel the breeze going in one ear… and out the other.

    If that's not bad enough, a second new study finds that another common nanoparticle -- carbon nanoparticles, or CNPs -- can smash the cellular barriers in the parts of the kidney that produce urine.

    This allows toxins that are supposed to be flushed out in your urine to slip into your bloodstream, while at the same time allowing essential nutrients from your blood to leak into your urine, according to the study in the journal Nanotoxicology.

    These CNPs are in everything from electronics to medications. In fact, they could even be floating around in the air you're breathing, right now.

    If you're holding your breath, I don't blame you. After all, since the feds refuse to regulate or even demand more study on these particles, it's about the only way to avoid them.

    For more on the hidden dangers of the nanoparticles -- and their secret use in everyday products -- read this.

  2. Bayer drug pulled off the market

    Bayer drug pulled off the market

    THE FDA HAS DONE IT AGAIN!

    In November, the FDA pressured the Bayer Pharmaceutical Company to halt the sale of the anti-bleeding drug Traysol after a Canadian clinical study determined that it could be linked to a higher risk of death than other drugs. But don't for a minute believe that the FDA is as pure as the proverbial driven snow in this situation. They're not.

    The FDA's announcement that it "cannot identify a specific patient population where we believe the benefits of using Traysol outweighs the risk" came ONE MONTH after FDA advisors recommended that Traysol REMAIN on the market - in spite of its known links to an increased risk of death and other serious side effects.

    Whoops.

    This is a disturbing item that should, once again, shake your confidence in the FDA - assuming you have any left to shake. Once again, our "saviors" at the FDA gave a drug promoted by Big Pharma the benefit of the doubt - in spite of the fact that studies had suggested the drug was dangerous.

    Why did this happen? Well, call me crazy, but I believe that it might have had a little something to do with money. Worldwide sales of Traysol were roughly $135 million for just the nine months between January and September of 2007. U.S. sales accounted for $91 million of that total - nearly 68%. Are you hearing the same alarm bells in your head that I am?

    With so much money at stake, it's hardly surprising that the FDA was slow-footed when the initial results from the Canadian study suggested the potential dangers of Traysol. The FDA's advisory committee did not find the concerns "compelling enough to recommend a withdrawal from the market." Before such a drastic (and, may I say, costly) measure, the committee was interested in "obtaining additional data."

    Worse still, the FDA had begun re-evaluations on Traysol's safety in January 2006, after a different study suggested serious side effects like kidney problems, heart attack, and strokes. During this time, Traysol remained on the market.

    Want more? How about this sickening little gem: Other recent studies also suggested the potential deadly effects of Traysol BEFORE the Canadian study - and one of those studies was WITHHELD from the FDA by Bayer! Why? It was written off as "regrettable human error." Yeah, right. Want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn?

    In spite of this error - THE DRUG REMAINED ON THE MARKET. Ask yourself this: Why are you hearing about this for the first time from ME? How is it that this story wasn't plastered all over the newspaper, the evening news, and the Internet!? We've all heard of the scandalous wrongdoings of Enron - but at least they never put anyone's life at risk!

    Are you shocked? Are you outraged? Are you spitting mad? Well, you oughta be. How long will it be before the money-minded decision making of our FDA guardians allow a 21st century Thalidomide tragedy to occur here in the U.S.?

    In case you're not old enough to remember this nightmare, Thalidomide was a sedative that was widely prescribed in the late 1950s and early 1960s to pregnant women to help combat morning sickness. The drug was inadequately tested, and the results were catastrophic. Approximately 10,000 children (mostly in Europe) were born with severe and gruesome birth defects, such as flippers for hands and feet, and extra appendages. In 1962, the FDA stepped in to tighten testing restrictions on this and other drugs.

    But if this Traysol story proves anything, it shows how far the FDA has fallen from its one-time status as White Knight to seedy, anything-for-a-buck business partner. It's a sobering reminder that, in spite of the hundreds of government checks and balances put into effect to ostensibly keep us safe, we're still very much on our own. And our well- being is often in the hands of the highest bidder.

  3. Run with it

    A new study, reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, shows that ginger's benefits could extend beyond nausea relief - and can work on even the toughest-to-treat diarrhea.

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