The Top Three Health Breakthroughs

Following is a summary statement regarding the top three health breakthroughs that we feel you should EXPLORE.

Healthy Skeptics Subscribers have access to complete texts, including references and citations, as well as access to a an interactive forum where one can ask questions and compare notes with other members.

PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) treatments are now  – finally – hitting mainstream medicine, from orthopedics (treating connective tissue and joint injuries) to dental practices, where PRP is showing great promise in restoring gum tissue.  To get an idea how important and far-reaching this breakthrough is, we need to explain a little about what platelets are and what they do. This will be a recurring Healthy Skeptics theme, remembering the mantra, “if people KNEW better, they’d DO better.”

Stem cells are different, and there is a lot of confusion regarding this difference because PRP injections are likely to contain some stem cells, and may also recruit stem cells to the point of injury. So if a treatment center is advertising stem cell therapy and only providing PRP injections, they’re not lying; just exaggerating; and you might reconsider using them.

Real stem cell therapy uses mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) and requires that a trained physician, usually an orthopedic specialist, remove cells from your hip or fatty tissue. But that’s only step one. While a PRP injection can be made in a simple centrifuge right there in the physician’s office, MSC’s are isolated and grown in a sophisticated cell culture lab by cell biologists, usually over a over two week period. We’ll explain these procedures in more detail AND provide reliable references when available. This is an area of health care that you really need to EXPLORE.

The Nutrition Detective Course

by Stephen Cherniske

In pursuit of a healthy body, the most valuable possession is an open mind. A cynical attitude is an obstacle to learning, but blind acceptance is just as bad. It leads ultimately to confusion, error and disappointment.

The purpose of this course is to give you the information and tools you need to reap the rewards of optimum nutrition without being taken for a ride or endangering your health.

The Nutrition Detective Introduction

How to be a Nutrition Detective: A Lesson in Critical Thinking Stephen Cherniske, M.S. Introduction In pursuit of a healthy body, the most valuable possession is an open mind. A cynical attitude is an obstacle to learning, but blind acceptance is just as bad. It leads ultimately to confusion, error and disappointment.  The purpose of this [...]

The Nutrition Detective Part 1

Part I: Using Science to filter out hype “The most important thing about science is the scientific method – a way of thinking systematically; a way of assembling evidence and appraising it; a way of conducting experiments so as to predict accurately what will happen under given circumstances; a way of ascertaining and recognizing one’s errors; [...]

The Nutrition Detective Part 2

Part II : Statistics “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Benjamin Disraeli       Unfortunately, even when statements are backed up with “facts and figures”, you must still be skeptical. Remember, you’re a detective looking for the truth, trying to solve the “crime” of illness. And although it’s very much like a game, winning [...]

The Nutrition Detective Part 3

Part III : The Paradox of perception Anyone witnessing the alternative health care field in the last 30 years could not help but notice that literally thousands of miracle cures have come and gone.  This remarkable fact prompts a number of important questions. For example, does it all come down to PT Barnum’s cynical observation that [...]

Metabolic Makeover Shopping List
from The Healthy Skeptics

In our book “The Metabolic Makeover: It’s All About Energy“, we discuss many options to get all of the nutrition that your body needs. Here is a great place to start where we find many of our items right on Amazon.

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18-METAMODIFIERS[1]

All functions of the human body are controlled or influenced by the nervous system. Some movement and sensory functions (vision, touch) are voluntary. Everything else is regulated by the autonomic nervous system (ANS), including circulation (heart and blood vessels) temperature regulation, digestion and metabolism. The ANS is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches.

As Stephen explained in The Metabolic Plan, the sympathetic nervous system drives catabolic activity associated with the fight or flight response. Sympathetic output increases heart rate, breathing, liver functions related to energy needs as well as glucose release. Parasympathetic activity is generally anabolic, associated with repair and restore functions. As you can imagine, optimum health requires a balanced coordination of these activities and that can now be measured with a sophisticated technology known as ANSHSA.

The ANSHA test is a non-invasive, painless way to evaluate cardiovascular health at the earliest stage, when diet, lifestyle and natural products can provide the greatest benefit. It gives the clinician information about heart rate variability, blood vessel elasticity, arterial stiffness and overall health. Because of its ability to predict pathology, often years before the first sign or symptom, the technology is FDA approved and insurance reimbursable.

What is CRISPR gene editing?

Stephen Cherniske

In the short (roughly 50 year) history of genetics, I have always thought that there must be a lot we can learn from bacteria. These genetically simple organisms conduct incredibly complex feats in order to survive and proliferate. Bacteria have been conducting genetic modifications (aka mutation) since the beginning of time; one recent example being the ease by which pathogenic bacteria evade or inactivate our antibiotic drugs. These are purposeful, not random mutations. Pretty cool for a single cell.

In the late 1980’s scientists were surprised to find repeating sequences of bacterial DNA without an obvious task assignment. That sent molecular biologists running to their labs, and in 2002, it was learned that these sequences were part of the bacterial immune system. The segments were called Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats or CRISPR.

We have to be careful using words like “system,” since that conjures up the complex activity of organs, blood cells and tissues. In this case, the system is purely genetic, and that, to say the least was rather intriguing.

Intrigue attracts brilliant minds, and scientists soon learned how this mechanism worked. Interspersed in the repeated sequences were “spacers” that matched pieces of DNA from viral invaders. Some bacteria, it turns out, have an adaptive immune system that can be passed to future generations. If the bacterium is invaded by the same virus, DNA in the spacers is converted to RNA, forming a structure that binds to strands of DNA in the invading virus, literally slicing into the helix and destroying the virus’ ability to proliferate. Cool!

You have to know that the inability to slice specific sequences of DNA has been a stumbling block for geneticists. Gene editing tools have been time consuming, expensive and far from perfect, as evidenced by the fact that not a single genetic disease has been cured.

CRISPR provides the perfect tool because this cellular defense system can be used to edit genomes, not just kill viruses. Scientists are now creating “guide RNA” to attach to virtually any point on the genome, and CRISPR protein scissors remove the DNA at that spot. These segments of DNA can be deleted or added, just as a film editor might cut a film and splice in new frames.

If you’re not feeling a bit uneasy about this yet, here’s the headline from a CRISPR ad I received this morning from Sigma-aldrich, a major provider of laboratory supplies.

“Access affordable targeted genome editing for mouse, human, and rat.”

Yeah… labs now have the ability to edit heritable DNA. And if this technology is usable by a small biotech team like mine, imagine what is going on in sophisticated privately held (unregulated) facilities around the world.

Bottom line, This is the proverbial double-edged sword. In March, 2017 the first human was cured of an inherited DNA defect that causes sickle cell anemia. This portends the quick (in our lifetime) end to genetic disorders including cystic fibrosis, hemochromatosis, Tay–Sachs disease and hemophilia.

And it also opens up a Pandora’s box of ethical and moral dilemmas for which we are woefully unprepared. If scientists can eliminate inherited defects, that means they can manipulate any region of the human genome. And as many have noted, “If it can be done, it will be done,” Welcome to the brave new world. Fasten your seat belts.

For scientists who want the details, go to https://phys.org/news/2017-04-accurate-dna-method.html#jCp.

The Top three health fallacies

Following is a summary statement regarding the top three health fallacies that have confused, deluded and scammed millions of health-seekers for nearly half a century.  Healthy Skeptics Subscribers have access to complete texts, including references and citations, as well as an interactive forum where one can ask questions and challenge the Healthy Skeptics position.

Please come to the discussion with reliable evidence; that is published biomedical literature.

This delusion relies on the romantic – and absurd – notion that plants contain enzymes that are important in human physiology. It has persisted for two reasons.

1. It is the foundation principle for the raw food movement.

2. A lot of people make money promoting this fallacy.

 

Key points:

A. Healthy Skeptics believe that most fruits and vegetables should be consumed in their raw, natural state. But this has nothing to do with enzymes.

B. Edward Howell, author of the enzyme bible was a well-meaning crank who just made stuff up. By the way, no one knows where he got his medical degree. That could also be made up.

IGNORE!

The pH Hustle

This delusion is perpetuated by a core misunderstanding of human physiology, and is driven by lots of people making lots of money. Acid and alkaline chemistry has been used to sell books, gizmos, expensive water filters, pills, potions and a vast array of products purported to restore your acid alkaline balance.  We will show you how to do this for free.

 

Key points:

A. A husband and wife team have created an empire with this hustle, reportedly making tens of millions of dollars selling books, programs, pH cruises and running treatment centers. On that last note, the husband is now in jail for practicing medicine without a license, but the myth lives on.

B. A related fallacy known as “food combining” has also made a ton of money for a lot of people.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors (Episode #242)

Ultracrepidarianism (Episode #241)

Truth About Low Carb Diets (Episode #240)

Bad Reporting & Fake News (Episode #239)

CBD & 2018 Farm Bill (Episode #238)

CBD Update (Episode #237)

Ban This Product NOW! (Episode #236)

JAMA & Probiotics (Episode #235)

Tead’s Advertising Scam? (Episode #234)

IGNORE!

The Water Hustle

This delusion appears to be scientific, as promoters of magic water use words like molecular structure, ionization and oxygenated. But what really drives this hustle is economics. After all, if your raw material cost is close to zero (as water is almost free) your profit margin can be huge, especially if you can spin a convincing story. And the stories are often so far-fetched, it seems like the promoters are just trying to figure out how far they can push the limits of credibility. You can buy Living Water, as opposed to the dead water that other people drink. You can buy Miracle Healing Water, developed through “Platonic Solid Inversion Geometry” for only $39. And if that sounds rather expensive, they have an answer. It’s concentrated!

Key points:

A. Water is at the core of all life. We’ll discuss the science, and it does get rather mysterious, but that doesn’t mean that every whacky story is true.

B. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and you will find none. Promoters often talk of “clinical studies” but never provide a link. Or if a link is provided, it has nothing to do with the stated claims. This is the definition of flim flam or sleight-of-hand.

Who is Active Stem?

Another marketing company blanketing social media with hype and webaloney.

LCR Health operating as scienceasasolution combines a handful of anti-aging compounds in a “proprietary blend” (in order to hide the actual amounts) and sells it for $46.99. This is a quote from their site, accessed on 04/13/17 at: http://scienceasasolution.com/#tid#

“What makes Active Stem different from other anti-aging supplements?

Active Stem works on a cellular level by boosting the proliferation of adult stem cells – or “master cells” – in your body. This repairs damage to your muscles, organs, skin, and brain.”

Now, healthy skeptics, repeat after me: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

What evidence does LCR Health provide to demonstrate that taking their product will increase stem cells and brain repair? NONE. ZERO. ZIP.

Yeah, it’s that bad. And getting worse. Someone oughta do something about that.