Vitamin D, aluminium, illegal pills, and more…

FSM Friends news & articles

Vitamin D supplements do not reduce the risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease: This new trial answers important questions that had been raised in previous reviews. The US Preventive Services Task Force has previous concluded that there was insufficient evidence to evaluate vitamin D for the prevention of cancer or cardiovascular disease. The Institute of Medicine reached a similar conclusion. This new trial used a larger dose of vitamin D, and also included a substantial number of black participants, for whom the self-synthesis of vitamin D is lower than other ethnic groups. From this study we can conclude that for healthy adults, supplementing with 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D is not effective for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer. 

If you’re taking vitamin D with the hope of preventing cardiovascular disease or cancer, this study doesn’t suggest that you need to stop supplementing. But neither does it suggest that your supplementing is doing anything beneficial. Given the totality of evidence for vitamin D, supplementation may be appropriate in some circumstances, such as the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis. But there is now convincing evidence that supplementing to prevent against cancer or cardiovascular disease is not warranted.


Aluminium, metals and dementiaThe anti-vaccine community like to contend the aluminium in vaccines can cause Alzheimer’s disease or autism (I wish they would make up their minds). Choosing the former condition, this article from the Alzheimer’s Society UK refutes any connection between Alzheimer’s and aluminium absorbed through food, water, vaccines or any other source. Yes, injecting animals with huge amounts of aluminium can cause tau tangles and contribute to formation of amyloid plaques. But nobody takes on an equivalent dose of aluminium and you certainly don’t get that dose from vaccines. The cause of Alzheimer’s is still a mystery, but at least we can wipe vaccines off the list and move on.

Here’s why doctors are backing pill testing at music festivals across Australia: Each of these programs had to overcome vigorous and sustained hostility from opponents who argued they would do more harm than good. But in all cases the pessimists were proved wrong. Safety measures on the roads did not cause car drivers and bike riders to behave more recklessly. The availability of clean needles did not increase intravenous drug use. Easier access to condoms did not lead to greater risk taking and more cases of AIDS. We believe — along with many other experts in the field — that as was the case for these earlier programs, the evidence presently available is sufficient to justify the careful introduction of trials of pill testing around Australia.

Specifically, we support the availability of facilities to allow young people at venues or events where drug taking is acknowledged to be likely to seek advice about the substances they’re considering ingesting. These facilities should include tests for the presence of known toxins or contaminants to help avert the dangerous effects they may produce. Such a program should be undertaken in addition to, and not instead of, other strategies to discourage or deter young people from taking illicit drugs. Although pill testing has been widely and successfully applied in many European countries over a twenty year period, it has to be admitted the evidence about the degree of its effectiveness remains incomplete. That’s why any program in Australia should be linked to a rigorously designed data collection process to assess its impact and consequences.

Why you shouldn’t follow the health regimes of these ‘peak zen’ people: “Gray says that “life is too short not to enjoy the world and the people in it” and I agree with him. But life is also too short to spend it following dodgy nutrition advice that prevents you actually enjoying it, that at best will waste your money and at worst could have long-lasting detrimental effects on your health.”

Should babies have eggs, nuts? Australian doctors say yes: I know that this has been a point of stress for a lot of parents. Many avoided giving their children allergenic foods in the hope of not causing problems. Some guidelines also played it safe in a similar way. However evidence is mounting up that non-avoidance may be more helpful, and Australian guidelines now reflect this.

Today’s Abused Health Concept

Frequency Specific Microcurrent: Frequency Specific Microcurrent, is just another ‘Black Box’ therapy that seeks to mystify unwary patients and impress them with science-y sounding words that make no sense. This has been going on since Mesmer, and since the chiropractors had their boxes confiscated (and ironically sold to scientologists who used them as ‘e-meters’ to detect souls). In general, one should always be wary of anyone that tells you they have a magic box that will give you easy solutions. Be skeptical, and stick to evidence based medicine.

Great Moments in Health and Science

The history of the IV catheter: Contrary to common belief, IV treatments are almost never given through a needle. A cannula is a hollow plastic tube that is inserted into a vein using a needle which is then withdrawn, leaving only the plastic cannula.