Vitamin B6 and B12 Supplements Appear to Cause Cancer in Men

Stephan:  This report completely caught me off-guard. On the advice of a physician I have been taking B-6 and B-12 supplements for some time. I have stopped. If you take these supplements I suggest you read this, print it out, take it into your physician, and have a conversation about it.

A spoonful of red caviar
Caviar, a non-supplemental source of vitamin B12
Credit: The Atlantic

Energy. If you’re not taking vitamin B12, forget about having energy. As The Dr. Oz Show has recommended, “End your energy crisis with Vitamin B12.” The nice thing about sublingual pills is “you don’t need a doctor, you don’t need a prescription.”

And don’t get me started on metabolism. If you want to “supercharge your metabolism and energy levels,” Amazon can deliver you a tall bottle of B12 supplements by the end of the day. Your metabolic processes will be the envy of the neighborhood. (“Is Janice … on something?” “Yes—B12!”)

These are the sort of vague marketing claims that have propelled the cobalt-based compounds sold as B12 into American hearts and minds and blood in ever-growing quantities. They are extrapolations from the fact that B12 deficiency causes anemia, and correcting that deficiency will alleviate symptoms of fatigue and weakness. But as the National Institutes of Health notes, “Vitamin B12 supplementation appears to have no beneficial effect on performance in the […]

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Walnuts may promote health by changing gut bacteria

Stephan:  There was a French longitudinal study of a community of nuns done several years ago that reported on health benefits arising from eating a handful of nuts every day. After reading it I began eating a handful of almonds and a handful of walnuts each day as a snack. The research on nuts has continued; this is the latest, and it confirms the earlier work, as well as adding new information. I suggest you consider eating a small amount of nuts daily as a discipline. Citation: Lauri O. Byerley, Derrick Samuelson, Eugene Blanchard, Meng Luo, Brittany N. Lorenzen, Shelia Banks, Monica A. Ponder, David A Welsh, Christopher M. Taylor. Changes in the Gut Microbial Communities Following Addition of Walnuts to the DietThe Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.07.001

Research led by Lauri Byerley, PhD, RD, Research Associate Professor of Physiology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, has found that walnuts in the diet change the makeup of bacteria in the gut, which suggests a new way walnuts may contribute to better health. The findings are published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry available online.

“Walnuts have been called a ‘superfood’ because they are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linoleic acid and fiber, and they contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants,” notes Dr. Byerley. “Now, an additional superfood benefit of walnuts may be their beneficial changes to the gut microbiota.”

Working in a rodent model, the research team added walnuts to the diet of one group. The diet of the other group contained no walnuts. They then measured the types and numbers of gut bacteria in the descending colon and compared the results. They found that there were two distinct communities of bacteria in the groups. In the walnut-eating group, the numbers and types of bacteria changed, as did the bacteria’s functional capacity. The researchers […]

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Electroceuticals: the ‘bonkers’ gamble that could pay off for GlaxoSmithKline

Stephan:  Another major development in what I have come to think of as the emerging post-antibiotic era of medicine.

An artist’s impression of a bioelectronic implant ‘cuff’ wrapped around a bundle of nerves.
Credit: GSK/PA

Britain’s biggest drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline, under pressure to improve its development pipeline and financial performance, is pinning its hopes on a radical new approach: “electroceuticals”.

Also called bioelectronics, the idea is that tiny electronic implants will be able to treat a vast range of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), arthritis, hypertension and other heart conditions, and gastrointestinal diseases.

A year after GSK teamed up with Google’s parent company, Alphabet, to set up Galvani Bioelectronics, Kris Famm, who runs the venture, is confident that an implantable device capable of altering electrical impulses in the body is within reach.

Several teams of academics are competing for a $1m (£770,000) prize promised by Galvani by racing to develop an implant that can record, stimulate and block neural signals, and are testing prototypes in animals. Galvani has struck more than 50 partnerships to speed up the development of bioelectronics, but is also working […]

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The UN Warns the US Over Its Response to Charlottesville

Stephan:  Burundi, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, and now the US have all been admonished by the United Nations for being racist societies. Well now, isn't that fine. And just to emphasis the racism the President of the United States just slapped away American jurisprudence in order to pardon a sadistic racist sheriff. Just the way you want people to think of your country.

White nationalist demonstrators walk through town after their rally was declared illegal near Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.
Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) called on the US to unequivocally condemn the racism and hate speech on Wednesday.

“We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred,” Anastasia Crickley, the Chairperson of CERD, said in a news release.

The committee urged the US “to address the root causes of the proliferation of such racist manifestations,” and called on the government “to investigate thoroughly the phenomenon of racial discrimination targeting, in particular, people of African descent, ethnic or ethno-religious minorities, and migrants.”

CERD is made up of independent human rights experts and is responsible for monitoring countries’ compliance with and implementation of the UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which the US ratified in […]

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Is Anybody Home at HUD?

Stephan:  If you read SR regularly you know I have been focusing on the operational  management level of the agencies and departments of government, to which Trump has appointed men and women as incompetent as he is. I do this because it is at this level that the regulations and programs that affect the day-to-day lives of Americans are determined. Ben Carson is one such appointee and this is what he is doing almost without media attention. It's disgusting and is going to severely damage the quality of life of millions of people in the country.

Ben Carson and his patron Donald Trump
Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

In mid-May, Steve Preston, who served as the secretary of housing and urban development in the final two years of the George W. Bush administration, organized a dinner at the Metropolitan Club in Washington, D.C., for the new chief of that department, Ben Carson, and five other former secretaries whose joint tenure stretched all the way back to Gerald Ford. It was an event with no recent precedent within the department, and it had the distinct feel of an intervention.

HUD has long been something of an overlooked stepchild within the federal government. Founded in 1965 in a burst of Great Society resolve to confront the “urban crisis,” it has seen its manpower slide by more than half since the Reagan Revolution. (The HUD headquarters is now so eerily underpopulated that it can’t even support a cafeteria; it sits vacant on the first floor.) But HUD still serves a function that millions of low-income Americans depend on — it funds 3,300 […]

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