Category Archives: Uncategorized

Animal Fat Is A Natural Reservoir For Environmental Pollutants (Repost)

A repost from 2014. I’ve changed a lot since 2014. Not about this, though.

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BaconFat3With all the debate about weather fat in the diet is good or bad, one morsel getting lost in the discussion is that animal fat is a natural reservoir for environmental pollutants. Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are largely hydrophobic, meaning they don’t dissolve well in water but they dissolve easily in fat. They also bioaccumulate, meaning they are found in higher, more concentrated amounts in animals higher in the food chain (such as tuna, salmon, fish-eating fowl, and farmed animals fed fish meal and other animal products), and, of course, ourselves:

“POPs are lipophilic chemicals that can pass through biological phospholipid membranes and bio-accumulate in fatty rich tissues of humans.”

Consumption of fat and cholesterol has been repeatedly linked to weight gain, arterial plaque buildup, blood glucose abnormalities, even cancer progression. Could it be the chemicals dissolved in that animal fat that are contributing to these ailments? Yes, says researcher Jerome Ruzzin from the University of Bergen in Norway:

Public Health Concern Behind The Exposure To Persistent Organic Pollutants And The Risk Of Metabolic Diseases, BMC Public Health, April 2012

There is now solid evidence demonstrating the contribution of POPs, at environmental levels, to metabolic disorders. Thus, human exposure to POPs might have, for decades, been sufficient and enough to participate to the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

“The general population is exposed to sufficient POPs, both in term of concentration and diversity, to induce metabolic disorders. This situation should attract the greatest attention from the public health and governmental authorities.”

No mincing of words there!

What are POPs?

“Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including dioxins, furans, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organochlorine pesticides, are chemicals mainly created by industrial activities, either intentionally or as by-products [13]. Because of their ability to resist environmental degradation, these substances are omnipresent in food products, and found all around the world, even in areas where they have never been used like Antarctica [14]. Thus, virtually all humans are daily exposed to POPs.”

What foods contain the most POPs?

“In the general population, exposure to POPs comes primarily from the consumption of animal fat like fatty fish, meat and milk products; the highest POP concentrations being commonly found in fatty fish [15–26].”

Some diseases linked to POPs (from a variety of studies: humans, animals, cell models):

Bio-accumulation of PCBs has been linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and elevated blood pressure.

Animals exposed to environmental levels of POP mixtures through the intake of non-decontaminated fish oil (obtained from farmed Atlantic salmon) exhibited insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, abdominal obesity and NAFLD [44]. In rats fed decontaminated crude salmon oil, which contained very low levels of POPs, these metabolic disturbances were almost absent.

The presence of POPs in farmed Atlantic salmon fillet was found to accelerate the development of visceral obesity and insulin resistance in mice.

Another important issue is the regulation of organochlorine pesticides, which are chemicals strongly linked to type 2 diabetes [29, 32, 33, 37, 44, 45] as well as breast and prostate cancer [94] and Parkinson disease [95]

It looks like we can’t get away from DDT, even though it was banned here in 1972:

“Not surprisingly, a recent US monitoring study revealed that DDT and its metabolites as well as endosulfan and aldrin, are still largely present in food, and daily consumed by humans.”

Children are at greater risk of exposure:

“Because of their high food intake per kilogram body weight required to maintain whole-body homeostasis and growth, children are likely to be at higher risk for environmental pollutant exposure. Not surprisingly, many scientific studies have highlighted that children are over-exposed to dioxins and dl-PCBs, and exceed the TDI of 2 pg/kg body weight.”

SalmonFillet3Finally, here’s a list of limits set by the European Union:

  • Ruminants: 4.5 pg/g fat
  • Poultry and farmed game: 4.0 pg/g fat
  • Pigs: 1.5 pg/g fat
  • Marine oils: 10 pg/g fat

You can see that the limit for marine oils is double that for fat from land animals. Why? They need to get together on this and create standards that apply across the board, and are based on public health, not commerce. Speaking of salmon, he says that “eating 1 g of fat from a fatty fish fillet could induce an exposure to 70 pg.”

What are Paleos eating? I mean, you can’t be Paleo and vegan at the same time. How do you avoid all these dissolved POPs?

Regulating vehicle emissions, pesticides, and industrial wastes is at odds with economic growth. Which is why I think pollution and its attendant chronic disease load is here to stay.

Cyborg Cockroaches?

Would you call this animal abuse? I would.

The video above is today’s updated model of this more basic one from 2013:

Cyborg Cockroach Sparks Ethics Debate, Science, October 2013
Does remote-controlled living insect teach students about neuroscience—or turn them into psychopaths?

The newer articles gloss over what’s being done to the animal:

To attach the device to the insect, students are instructed to douse the insect in ice water to “anesthetize” it, sand a patch of shell on its head so that the superglue and electrodes will stick, and then insert a groundwire into the insect’s thorax. Next, they must carefully trim the insect’s antennae, and insert silver electrodes into them. Ultimately, these wires receive electrical impulses from a circuit affixed to the insect’s back.

The notion that the insects aren’t seriously harmed by having body parts cut off is “disingenuous,” says animal behavior scientist Jonathan Balcombe

You could buy a “kit”, cockroach included, for your children:

The company will, for $99, begin shipping live cockroaches across the nation, accompanied by microelectronic hardware and surgical kits geared toward students as young as 10 years old.

But some critics say the project is sending the wrong message. “They encourage amateurs to operate invasively on living organisms” and “encourage thinking of complex living organisms as mere machines or tools.”

The RoboRoach “gives you a way of playing with living things.”

Playing with living things? (The cockroaches apparently feel pain from the shocks given to direct them.)

What is it about some animals that allow us to have fun dismembering and controlling them but not others? Is it size? So, dogs no, birds maybe, cockroaches not a problem? Or is it how human-like they are? So, chimpanzees no, but fish ok? Or maybe there isn’t an ethical filter at all. Maybe any animal will do as a plaything. Pick up a rescue dog and superglue a robosuit onto it, insert a groundwire into its belly, maybe cut off its ears and nose so we can insert electrodes (which is what we do when we cut off antennae*) Then what? After we’re done playing?

* Insect Antennae, Science Learning Hub

Imagine being able to smell your dinner from the other side of a sports field. Insects do this with the pair of antennae on their heads. But insects don’t only use their antennae to smell. They can also use them to feel the surface of an object, sense hot and cold, listen to sounds or detect the movement of air or wind.

Insects have paired antennae so they can smell in stereo.

Electron microscope photo of the tip of an insect antenna. Insect antennae have individual sensilla – the long straw-like structures – which can detect small amounts of scent like sex pheromones.

I wasn’t going to post this because it sounds so morbid but I realized that’s probably why no one talks about it. We need to talk about how we treat living things.

KD Lang’s Ad-Libbed Performance Of Orbison’s “Crying”

I’ve been a fan of KD Lang for years. Had a couple of her albums. Just an incredible voice.

I always liked her cover of Roy Orbison’s “Crying.” I just saw this ad-lib performance of it by her, early in her career. She said:

I didn’t warm up, I haven’t sang for a long time, I’ve never rehearsed with this band, you’re putting me on the spot…

One of the commenters said:

Geoff Geoff, 5 years ago
In those days I worked in the music department of the show. As I recall the band completely ad-libbed the backing and did a masterful job. Normally the band had all the music in front of them and they and the artist had nine rehearsals. KD didn’t have any at all. Her performance was one of the most pivotal in the many years I worked on the show. She is a real star.

I mean…

Case Study: mRNA-Generated Spike Proteins Found In Shingles Lesions 3 Months After Vaccination

Background:

mRNA is short for messenger RiboNucleic Acid. It is a single-stranded molecule of RNA. It is transcribed from a DNA template. The role of mRNA is to make proteins:

The role of mRNA is to carry protein information from the DNA in a cell’s nucleus to the cell’s cytoplasm (watery interior), where the protein-making machinery reads the mRNA sequence and translates each three-base codon into its corresponding amino acid in a growing protein chain.

Pfizer’s and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines make spike proteins. The body will see those spike proteins as foreign and mount an immune response. That immune response is subsequently enlisted if the body ever meets the spike protein on the actual Sars-CoV-2 virus.

For some reason (see below*) the vaccinated person’s body keeps producing spike protein long after it’s necessary. That may be a problem because scientists are finding the spike protein itself can be toxic. Here’s a case where the spike protein was found in shingles lesions months after vaccination:

Persistent Varicella Zoster Virus Infection Following mRNA Covid-19 Vaccination Was Associated With The Presence Of Encoded Spike Protein In The Lesion, Cutaneous Immunology and Allergy, 25 August 2022

Since the campaign of vaccination against COVID-19 was started, a wide variety of cutaneous adverse effects after vaccination has been documented worldwide. Varicella zoster virus (VZV) reactivation was reportedly the most frequent cutaneous reaction in men after administration of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, especially BNT162b2.

A patient, who had persistent skin lesions after BNT162b2 vaccination for such a long duration over 3 months, was investigated for VZV virus and any involvement of vaccine-derived spike protein.

The diagnosis of VZV infection was made for these lesions using PCR analyses and immunohistochemistry. Strikingly, the vaccine-encoded spike protein of the COVID-19 virus was expressed in the vesicular keratinocytes and endothelial cells in the dermis.

Endothelial cells are blood-vessel-lining cells. What is the spike protein doing in blood vessels and skin, far from the injection site, 3 months later?  (Indeed, this man suffered from vasculitis or inflamed blood vessels also.) The CDC assured us that the body gets rid of the mRNA in a few days and the spike in a few weeks.

Also curious is why anyone would experience a reactivation of herpes zoster or shingles after a vaccine:

VZV reactivation frequently arises under immune-exhaustion, such as aging, or immunocompromised conditions caused by immunosuppressive drugs, HIV infection, or malignancies.

Does the vaccine suppress the immune response? Yes, if this study is anything to go by:
Innate immune suppression by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccinations: The role of G-quadruplexes, exosomes, and MicroRNAs, Food and Chemical Toxicology, June 2022

The authors of this shingles study suggest that the spike protein itself may be responsible for immunosuppression:

The SP [spike protein] could be the culprit for immunosuppression that allowed VZV reactivation and its persistence, as well as skin vasculopathy and thrombosis.

* Finally, why does the body continue making spike? Three months is a long time, especially given the CDC’s claim that all spike is cleared after a week or two. Here’s one hypothesis:

A plausible hypothesis was that the stabilization of RNA by substituting methyl-pseudouridine for all the uridine nucleotides for BNT162b2 [Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine] might result in long-time production of the encoded SP from any cells.

By the way, this was a Japanese study. Physicians in this country don’t as a rule study or discuss the effects of the covid vaccine (or at least don’t let on). They risk losing their medical licenses if they do.

No one knows how long the body will continue manufacturing spike protein from the injected mRNA. This man may be dealing with these painful lesions for an indefinite amount of time.

“Clinical manifestations and histopathology. (A) Clinical features at the first visit (the day 10 of disease onset, 2 days after the second dose of BNT162b2). Painful necrotic nodules and vesicopapules in the extremities.”

Shingles is just one side effect of the mRNA vaccines. Effects differ depending upon where the mRNA travels, where the spike protein travels. (We were told it didn’t travel.) Skin cells regenerate, fortunately. Cardiac cells not so much. I feel for the young people who are experiencing heart inflammation (myocarditis) from the vaccine. That will be an injury that will follow them into adulthood.

Thanks to Alex Berenson for reporting on this: mRNA Shots Are The Gift That Keeps On Giving.

A Great Story Beats The Truth

It’s probably not the tennis helping people live longer, it’s the socioeconomic class people who play tennis belong to. Source: The Best Sport for a Longer Life? Try Tennis

The article below is one in a series at that site about the degradation of journalism (which they term “churnalism”):

Exercise Churnalism Part 1, Sensible Medicine, 30 August 2022

They’re using this story in the New York Times as an example: The Best Sport for a Longer Life? Try Tennis. The great story, the one that news articles seize upon, which is probably not true, but who cares, it will garner clicks, is that: playing tennis makes you live years longer than doing other forms of exercise.

The truth:

The researchers tried to account for socioeconomic factors, but it remains possible, he says, that people who have sufficient money and leisure time to play tennis live longer because they have sufficient money and leisure time, not because they play tennis.

The NYTs journalists didn’t play up that socioeconomic part. It won’t get clicks. But it’s more likely the truth.

A great story beats the truth:

Human beings are great at dreaming up stories. If you believe a finding is credible, there is no shortage of rationalizations that you can make up. Medical school is especially good at training aspiring doctors to think this way, to explain any finding based on known human physiology. It is the inductive reasoning we all learned about in middle school science. But remember, these explanations are just stories. Real science treats these stories as hypotheses and then tests them. Our problem, and the problem propagated by churnalism, is that researchers often accept a plausible story as the truth.

The benefit of playing tennis over swimming, or of swimming over jogging, or of jogging over going to the gym doesn’t matter as much as the benefit of doing *something* over doing *nothing*. (No one will write about that because no one will click it.) An analogy I like … your chances of winning the lottery are improved by orders of magnitude when you buy one ticket; buying two or ten or a thousand tickets hardly changes that calculus.

A great story beats the truth. It’s all around us. You can’t get away from them anymore. Great false stories.

Iron Deficiency May Curb Production of Active Forms Of Vitamin D

How about that. You need to be iron replete for your vitamin D to work:

The Effect Of Iron Dextran On Vitamin D3 Metabolism In SD Rats, Nutrition and Metabolism, 16 July 2022

Our study found that iron deficiency may affect the metabolic level of vitamin D3. It is suggested that iron may play a role in 25 hydroxylation by regulating CYP2R1 and CYP27A1 enzymes, and 1α-hydroxylation by regulating CYP27B1 and CYP 24A1 enzymes, thus affecting the levels of 25-(OH)D3 and 1,25-(OH)2D3.

Conclusion: Iron may be involved in the metabolism of VD3 by regulating the expression of VD3 hydroxylase, suggesting that appropriate iron supplementation might promote the activation of VD3.

Chris MacAskill, Also Known As PlantChompers

I just discovered Chris MacAskill. He authors a YouTube channel called Plant Chompers, which he describes as:

Fabulously entertaining and informative stories about plant dominant diets.

I’m watching this video he did a year ago defending plant-based, low-saturated-fat diets.

Saturated Fat: Debunking Nina Teicholz and Denise Minger, Chris MacAskill/PlantChompers, 21 August 2021

Here’s a little more about him. He really is enteratining and does a fantastic job of arguing for plant-based:
YouTuber Makes Veganism Cool, Ruth Stroud

Chris MacAskill – a 68-year-old Stanford-educated geophysicist, former tech exec at NeXT (the computer company founded by Steve Jobs after he was forced out of Apple), cofounder of the popular SmugMug photo sharing site – points lens at family, nutritional experts and scientists for the answers.

A Great Argument For Not Taking Vitamin Supplements

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

An oldie-but-goodie from Dr. McDougall:

Just To Be On The Safe Side: Don’t Take Vitamins, John McDougall, MD, 24 February 2022

The only supplement he advises taking is vitamin B12. Even if someone eats meat they can be low, especially if they are older, owing to less efficient absorption. Eating meat won’t cure a vitamin B12 deficiency, you have to supplement.

Anyway, I like this exerpt:

In an effort to improve on Mother Nature’s creations, and to make big fat profits, scientists and entrepreneurs have developed thousands of products based on isolated concentrated nutrients. The enterprise begins by finding a pharmacologically active ingredient in a common food. Through science and manufacturing technology this substance is purified, then replicated into large quantities, and sold to the customer as a “potent, but natural remedy.” Familiar examples of such concentrates include isolates of soy and whey proteins, omega-3 fish and flaxseed oils, and vitamins and minerals. These magic bullets are delivered to the consumer in the form of pills, powders, liquids, nutrition bars, “health” drinks, and fortified foods. They are supposed to offset the effects of destructive habits and fix the customers’ bad health, naturally (like with no side effects) and almost effortlessly.

Tens of thousands of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, minerals and other phyto (plant)-chemicals are present in proper amounts, kinds, and physical positions within each food. If not for the exact correctness then you would not have a green kiwi fruit.

He’s right. There are tens of thousands of substances, one might say nutrients, in foods. We pull out 20 or so, purify them, and swallow them in concentrations we’d never experience in nature – outside of the food matrix our bodies evolved to recognize them in, and absorb them from. What happens when we do that? He gives the example of one nutrient, beta carotene:

Beta-carotene is one of about 50 similar naturally occurring active substances in our diet classified as carotenoids. They are all especially abundant in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. After nutrients enter cells they float around in the cell’s fluids (cytoplasm) until they attach themselves to the cellular machinery through a specific receptor, like a key fits into a lock. Beta-carotene and all of the other biologically active carotenoids must attach to these specific carotenoid receptors before they can function.

When a cell is flooded with one kind of carotenoid, in this case beta-carotene after vitamin supplementation, then there is an overwhelming competition for the carotenoid receptor sites. The other 50 functional carotenoids are displaced by the beta-carotene from their cellular connections.

He says we risk imbalances when we take supplements. He’s not wrong:

  • Too much zinc can reduce magnesium and copper absorption.
  • Too much iron can reduce zinc absorption.
  • Too much calcium can reduce magnesium absorption.
  • Too much vitamin E or vitamin A can interfere with activity of vitamin K.

And on…

I think there are a few supplements that some people can benefit from. But the whole supplement business is mostly about making money. It’s a scam.