Fish, flu, backfires, and more…

FSM Friends News and Articles

ACIP vaccine recommendations – updates for HPV, HepA, MenB, flu: ACIP meets three times a year to review and update vaccine schedules, determine if a new vaccine should be included in the schedule, and other issues. The members use an evidence-based approach, called Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE), to analyze data for vaccines. “There is an extensive amount of data provided in the meeting … The data are directed at the experts, though there were clear efforts by many of the presenters to make them accessible to lay people.” The analyses do not include bad research in poor journals, memes, and tropes, often preferred by anti-vaccine activists. In fact, it is difficult, complicated scientific data that is reviewed and analyzed by experts in the field.


Walking shoes and fish suppers are better than supplements that claim to boost brain health, experts say: The recent Global Council on Brain Health made recommendations for people in middle or older age to avoid supplements which claim to boost brain health – this money would be much better spent on a healthy diet including oily fish and regular exercise is also important to maintaining brain health through older age. “For the handful that have been researched, several well-designed studies of supplements for brain health found no benefit in people with normal nutrient levels,” they state.

Yes, science is self-correcting“Scientific thinking is being inquisitive, skeptical, and taking nothing for granted. Prestige, fame, success are irrelevant. Perfect theories are irrelevant. The smallest piece of contradictory evidence can refute your grand unifying theory. And science encompasses all that. It is an emergent concept. And this is what is self-correcting.”

10 findings that contradict medical wisdom. Doctors, take note... Medicine informed by science must change as the science changes. We do not know everything about medicine – we are still discovering new pathways, diseases and treatments every day, and as such medicine will change with our knowledge (one that is often cited is recommended sleeping positions for infants, which has changed a few times in recent decades). This article covers recent findings that contradict current medical beliefs.

You can’t get influenza from a flu shot – here’s how it works: There are several reasons why you might feel a bit off after getting your flu shot:

First, your flu shot only protects you against influenza and not other respiratory illness which might causes similar cold or flu symptoms. This includes RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), which is common in late autumn and early winter.
Second, stimulating the immune system can result in symptoms similar to that of influenza, although much milder and short-lived. These include local inflammation (redness, pain or swelling at the site of the vaccine) and more general symptoms (fever, aches and pains, tiredness).
Third, vaccine-induced protection isn’t complete. In some years, the vaccine is not well matched to circulating strains. Usually this is due to mutations that may develop in circulating strains after the vaccine strains are selected.

The flu vaccine also doesn’t “kick in” for two weeks after vaccine administration. In some people, particularly those who are older and those who have weakened immune systems, antibody production is not as strong, and the level of protection is lower. Despite this, studies have consistently shown that vaccinated people are less likely to get influenza or complications from the flu than those who aren’t vaccinated.

The World Health Organization’s decision about traditional Chinese medicine could backfire: Traditional therapies have been included in a global diagnostic compendium. That comes with risks.

Kids and teens are experiencing such severe side effects from weight loss and sexual function pills, they’re ending up in the hospital: “Many supplement labels feature ingredients that don’t match what’s in the actual products. This goes for both vitamin supplements and supplements used for energy, sexual function, and weight loss. The reliance of an honor system expecting [supplement] manufacturers to ensure safety of their products before launching them on the market has been utterly insufficient and ineffective in protecting the consumers from these preventable adverse events.”

Great Moments in Health and Science

 Thrombectomy: What is an endovascular thrombectomy? Using a wire inserted into the artery, blood clots can be removed to restore blood flow in situations such as some strokes.

Abused Concepts

Balanced skin pH: It is very common for products and diets to market themselves by creating worry about achieving the ‘perfect’ or natural skin pH. When looking at claims like these, perhaps one should ask:
• How do they even know what a ‘good’ skin pH SHOULD be?
• What does ‘balanced pH’ even mean?
• If pH is controlled by breathing, how is the product even going to make a difference?
• Do the claims have a practical relationship to science and evidence, or do they merely make assertions and focus on creating worry?