Supplement supplements, lolly vitamins, vinegar, and more…

FSM Friends news & articles

From 60 Minutes: Health supplements could contain heavy metals, arsenic and even snow leopard: Seven out of ten Australians take some form of vitamin or supplement regularly. But is our obsession with DIY wellness and the pursuit of a quick fix making us sick.


Health supplements do nothing but damage your wallet: Clinical expert: “These products are being sold by companies who don’t really know what they are selling, and being bought by customers don’t really know what they’re buying. But it doesn’t really matter with nutritional supplements because they don’t really do anything anyway – only to the consumer’s wallet”.

Hawaii may increase legal smoking age to 100: “Dr Creagan, who was an emergency room physician before he was elected as state representative in 2014, calls the cigarette “the deadliest artefact in human history” in the bill. In January 2017, Hawaii became the first US state to raise its smoking age to 21. In other US states the legal age is usually 18 or 19. The new bill, HB 1509, suggests that the smoking age should go up to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022, and 60 in 2023 – until finally, in 2024, people would need to be 100 years old to buy cigarettes.”

Rare blood donor found in Australia for Zainab: Are you of Indian, Pakistani or Iranian descent? Then you might be a match for a very rare blood group that includes little Zainab. For Zainab, who needs regular transfusions during her cancer treatment, one donor match has been found – but more are needed to ensure there can be a supply for her and others like her. If both your parents are of Indian, Pakistani or Iranian descent (and you aren’t too afraid of needles) then consider giving blood at the Australian red cross blood service – and mentioning that you might be a match for Zainab.

Apple cider vinegar diet: does it really work? Apple cider vinegar (with the mother) is one of today’s big fads. But does it actually do you any good? Well, there is some very scanty evidence of benefits to some people, but there’s a downside too. Read on to find the benefits and harms of apple cider vinegar.

Today’s Abused Health Concept

‘Lolly’ vitamins for kids do them more harm than good: (Featuring Dr Ken Harvey) “Most of the products are crap. There is a small number of useful product but the vast majority of the 14000 out there are just rubbish…. Not only are these not good for you, they are actually bad for you. You may feel that it is good to have a cup of green tea. If you start putting these things in to multivitamins at [higher concentrations], then you start to get people with liver damage, requiring liver transplants, …and an association with cancer…. The whole thing is driven by multi million dollars of promotion. Celebrities, misleading claims etc. So it is not surprising that 8 million people take this stuff EVEN THOUGH IT DOESN’T WORK”

Great moments in Health and Science

Wilhelm His and the invention of the microtome: One of the challenges of looking at cells under a microscope (such as to diagnose cancer, as an example) is cutting a thin enough slice from an organ so that the light from the microscope can pass through the specimen. Modern microtomes can cut slices thinner than the thickness of a single cell!

Thanks to Science

Over 109,000 people died from measles in 2017 — needlessly: Thanks to science and specifically the measles vaccine we ALMOST eradicated measles worldwide. Thanks to the ‘vaccine hesitancy’ movement, measles is back with renewed force. “We have the tools, knowledge and know-how to stop this avoidable disease. To build on this success and continue to move toward the elimination of measles, we must close immunity gaps around the world by reaching every child with lifesaving vaccines and detecting and responding quickly to stop every measles infection from spreading.”

Kidney organoid breakthrough: An alternative to the difficulties of ‘in vitro’ tissue engineering to grow new organs is the idea to implant mini ‘organoids’ into a patient’s body, allowing the organ to develop and grow supported by normal body functions. This idea has been advanced by the discovery that exposing organoids to fluid flows may be an important cue for tissue development.