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Today, Kevin abolishes all rumors and gives you the truth behind inflation, the TSA and the government. Plus, Dr. Bob Marshall gives you the facts behind the dangers of Magnesium Stearate & Stearic Acid!
Video: The TSA Is Out Of Control
Full Frontal Nudity Doesn’t Make Us Safer
TSA Screener Terrorizes 3 Year Old Girl
Pilots & Passengers Angry Over New Airport Pat Downs
Body Searching Children A ‘No’ For Army, ‘Yes’ For TSA
Backlash Over TSA’s Naked Strip Searches
TSA Rage Hitting All Age Demographics Now
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November 15th, 2010
By: Rebecca Smith
The disease, caused by low levels of vitamin D generated in the body from sunshine and certain foods, had died out around 80 years ago but is now coming back.
Cases of rickets in children have occurred in northern England and Scotland where there are fewer months of the year with sufficient sunshine to obtain enough vitamin D but now doctors are seeing it on the South coast as well.
It is thought extensive use of sunscreen, children playing more time on computer games and TV rather than playing outside and a poor diet are to blame.
Professor Nicholas Clarke, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Southampton General Hospital and professor of paediatric orthopaedic surgery at the University of Southampton, said: “The return of rickets in northern parts of the UK came as a surprise despite the colder climate and lower levels of sunshine in the north, but what has developed in Southampton is quite astonishing.”
Children from all backgrounds are being affected now and the disease is not limited to the poor as it was in Victorian times.
He added: “In my 22 years at Southampton General Hospital, this is a completely new occurrence in the south that has evolved over the last 12 to 24 months and we are seeing cases across the board, from areas of deprivation up to the middle classes, so there is a real need to get national attention focused on the dangers this presents.”
Professor Clarke says he and colleague Dr Justin Davies, a consultant paediatric endocrinologist, have checked over 200 children for bone problems and more than 20 per cent of them have significant deficiencies.
“A lot of the children we’ve seen have got low vitamin D and require treatment,” he said.
“This is almost certainly a combination of the modern lifestyle, which involves a lack of exposure to sunlight, but also covering up in sunshine, and we’re seeing cases that are very reminiscent of 17th century England.”
He added: “We are facing the daunting prospect of an area like Southampton, where it is high income, middle class and leafy in its surroundings, seeing increasing numbers of children with rickets, which would have been inconceivable only a year or so ago.”
Professor Clarke says vitamin D supplements should be more widely adopted to halt the rise in cases.
Vitamin D is found in oily fish and eggs and margarine, cereals and milk can be fortified with it.
The vitamin is vital for the absorption of calcium needed for strong bones and teeth.
November 1st, 2010
By: David Gutierrez
Rickets, a disease formerly considered vanquished in most of the world, is now undergoing a resurgence, doctors are warning.
Rickets is a childhood disease caused by deficiency in vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bone growth and maintenance. In children, deficiency can produce stunted growth, ill-health and softened bones leading to bowed legs and other deformities. The disease was common in northern Europe during the Victorian era, but was largely vanquished when vitamin D supplementation began in the mid-twentieth century.
Now the disease has returned across England and other northern countries, particularly among people of African and Asian descent, whose darker skin protects them from the damaging effects of too much sunlight but also is less efficient at producing vitamin D. In addition, people from many such communities also traditionally wear more covering clothing, blocking even more sunlight.
“We thought that this was a disease that had been eradicated,” said consultant pediatrician Sudhir Sethi, “but now I frequently see small children walking into my office with bowed legs and sometimes older children coming to me to complain of severe aches and pains. It’s very frustrating because the disorder is entirely preventable.”
According to figures from the Leicester Royal Infirmary, more than 200 children are treated for rickets every year at that hospital alone. But according to rickets expert James Greening, the true numbers are probably even higher.
“Only the very extreme cases of rickets in the area are referred to me,” he said, “as most of the cases are seen by local general practitioners and pediatricians.”
‘There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence to suggest that this is a growing problem, especially within the Asian and ethnic minority communities,” Sethi agreed. “I am really shocked and saddened by the worrying trend we are seeing.”
The BBC recounts the story of Rommi Rifibakhit, who was diagnosed with rickets at the age of two when his parents became worried about his slow development and other symptoms.
“He hadn’t started walking or even crawling,” his father Osman said. “He wasn’t very active and he would just sit very quietly in one place.
“We also noticed that his wrists had started widening and eventually we took him to the doctors. We were shocked and really worried when we found out that he had rickets – we didn’t even know what it was.”
Although rickets is easy to cure with vitamin D supplementation, its physical and psychological effects can be long-term, doctors warn.
“Even once the child has been diagnosed, it can take a good few years for the legs to straighten,” Sethi said. “This can have a significant impact on the early years of a child’s life.”
“There was a little boy that came to my clinic with bow legs and his mother told me that she had stopped taking him to any public gatherings,” he said. “And, whenever she took him out she would dress him in very loose clothing so no one could see his legs. This is very sad that parents often feel ashamed that their child has developed the disorder and try to hide it.”
Aware of the growing rickets problem, the U.K. Department of Health issued guidelines two years ago urging all pregnant and breastfeeding women to take a daily vitamin D supplement. Minoo Irani, a pediatrician specializing in rickets, goes even farther, suggesting that all dark-skinned pregnant women be screened for deficiency.
“If women have low levels of vitamin D then their baby can also be born with a deficiency,” he said, “which can put it at risk of developing rickets. All women from a high-risk background, who are thinking of getting pregnant, should be tested and, if they are found to be deficient, then they can be adequately treated.”
April 29, 2010
by Alicia Chang
People with a common, obesity-related liver disease that has no known treatment got a surprising benefit from vitamin E pills, researchers reported Wednesday.
It appears to be the first time that a vitamin supplement has been shown to help treat a major ailment not caused by a nutrient deficiency. However, doctors warned that this does not mean people should automatically take vitamin E since some research suggests it might raise the risk of other problems.
The latest study tested it for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Fat buildup can cause the liver to become inflamed and scarred over time and in severe cases, to fail.
The disease usually develops in people who are middle-aged and overweight or obese. Up to 5 percent of Americans have the most serious form of it, and as many as 20 percent have fat in their livers but no organ damage.
In the study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, 247 adults with advanced fatty liver disease were randomly assigned to take a high dose of vitamin E (800 international units), the diabetes drug Actos or dummy pills for nearly two years.
The vitamin and drug were tested because earlier research suggested liver cell deterioration and insulin resistance might be involved in the development of the disease.
Biopsies before and after treatment showed that liver function improved in 43 percent of those in the vitamin E group compared with 19 percent in the placebo group.
“In all honesty, I was surprised,” said the lead researcher, Dr. Arun Sanyal of Virginia Commonwealth University. “A vitamin has not been previously used to cure a serious disease” that is not caused by a deficiency.
Vitamin deficiency has been blamed for a range of health problems from rickets and osteoporosis from a lack of vitamin D to scurvy from not enough vitamin C.
Study participants on the diabetes drug Actos also improved, but to a lesser degree and with a drawback: gaining 10 pounds on average, which remained even after they stopped taking the drug. Four people who took vitamin E developed diabetes, but the study was too small to determine if the vitamin played any role.
The National Institutes of Health was the study’s main sponsor. A U.S. subsidiary of Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical provided the drug and California-based supplement maker Pharmavite supplied the vitamin E capsules. Sanyal, the lead researcher, has received consulting fees from Takeda and other drug companies.
Liver expert Dr. Sammy Saab at the University of California, Los Angeles, believes vitamin E could potentially become the initial treatment for advanced cases of the liver problem.
“For patients who are really at risk of progressive liver disease, I think it’s worthwhile. For the vast majority who just have fatty liver, I’m not sure it will help them at all,” said Saab, who had no role in the study.
Dr. Zobair Younossi, executive director of research at the nonprofit Inova Health System in Virginia, said people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease at the very least should make lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and exercising to shed the pounds.
While vitamin E may help certain people with obesity-related liver disease, “I wouldn’t get started on high-dose vitamin E without discussing it first with a doctor,” said Younossi, who has no connection to the research.
In recent years, hype over vitamin supplements in treating major diseases has not panned out. A 2008 study found that vitamins C and E pills do not ward off heart disease in men and vitamin E even appeared to raise the risk of bleeding strokes. Another study found the same supplements do not help prevent cancer in men.
By E. Huff
A clinical review paper published in the British Medical Journal is warning the public that widespread vitamin D deficiency is resurrecting the once-obsolete disease called rickets. According to Professor Simon Pearce and Dr. Time Cheetham, authors of the paper, people are getting far too little sunlight exposure which is necessary for the body to produce adequate levels of vitamin D.
Nowadays, children spend most of their time indoors staring at computer and television screens rather than playing outside in the sunlight. On the rare occasion that they venture outside, zealous parents are quick to apply UV-blocking sunscreen that prevents the sun’s useful UVB rays from penetrating their skin and producing vitamin D. The result is an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency that is leading to all sorts of illness and disease.
Rickets, a disease in which a person’s bones do not properly develop and harden, results when a person is getting too little vitamin D and most likely not enough calcium. The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is a mere 400 IU, an amount that is said to be adequate for preventing rickets.
To put this amount into perspective, however, exposure to the summer sun for about 20 minutes is enough to produce up to 20,000 IU of vitamin D in the body. At this level, far more optimal health can be achieved. Yet the fact that children are beginning to develop rickets suggests that they are not even getting 400 IU a day, an amount that should be relatively easy to attain through a moderately healthy diet or a few minutes in the sun every day.
In the U.K., there are several hundred cases of rickets reported every year. According to statistics, more than 50 percent of the adult population in the U.K. is deficient in vitamin D as well. During the winter and spring months, more than 15 percent experience severe deficiency.
Researchers suggest that people with darker skin pigmentation are at a higher risk for rickets because they do not assimilate vitamin D from the sun’s UVB rays as easily as those with lighter skin do. Some experts believe that the changing ethnic profile of the U.K. may play a significant role in the onset of rickets while others point primarily to an overall lack of vitamin D among all ethnic groups.
Either way, the changing lifestyles among all people are partially to blame as people are not spending enough time outside and, when they do they are using too much sunscreen to obtain any sort of benefit from the sun. Overuse of sunscreen can be blamed on government health authorities, regulatory agencies, medical professionals, and mainstream media outlets that continually exaggerate the threat of developing skin cancer from sunlight exposure to the point that some people are afraid of getting any at all.
January 22nd, 2010
By Owen Bowcott
Computer-obsessed children who spend too long indoors and over-anxious parents who slap on excessive sunscreen are contributing to a sharp rise in cases of the bone disease rickets, doctors are warning.
Vitamin D deficiency, which causes the condition, could be rectified by adding supplements to milk and other food, a research team at Newcastle University suggests.
There are several hundred cases of the preventable condition among children in the UK every year, according to a clinical review paper in the British Medical Journal by Professor Simon Pearce and Dr Tim Cheetham.
“More than 50% of the adult population [in the UK] have insufficient levels of vitamin D and 16% have severe deficiency during winter and spring,” they say. “The highest rates are in Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England. People with pigmented skin are at high risk as are the elderly, obese individuals and those with malabsorption.”
Most vitamin D is synthesised in the body by absorption of sunlight. Some comes from foods such as fish oil. People with darker skins need more sunlight to top up their vitamin D levels.
One of the main reasons for the reappearance of rickets – once considered a disease of the industrial poor in 19th-century cities – is the changing ethnic makeup of the population, Pearce explained.
The most commonly affected are people of Asian or African descent who live in northern cities. He has examined cases among young Somali speakers who live in east Newcastle. But changing lifestyles are also contributing to lowering vitamin D levels in the general population.
“Some people are taking the safe sun message too far,” Pearce said. “It’s good to have 20 to 30 minutes of exposure to the sun two to three times a week, after which you can put on a hat or sunscreen.
“Vitamin D levels in parts of the population are precarious. The average worker nowadays is in a call centre, not out in the field. People tend to stay at home rather than going outside to kick a ball around. They stay at home on computer games.”
Pearce has written to the Department of Health proposing that vitamin D is added to milk. It is already added as a supplement to artificial baby milk. He has also asked the Royal College of Paediatrics to record cases of rickets but said figures were not being collected.
“A more robust approach to statutory food supplementation with vitamin D (for example in milk) is needed in the UK,” the paper concludes.
Meanwhile, figures obtained by the Tories show the number of patients leaving hospital with malnutrition has hit record levels in the last year. Those affected are primarily elderly people. The NHS figures show that last year 175,000 people were malnourished on entry to hospital but nearly 185,500 were in a similar condition on discharge, meaning more than 10,000 patients were more malnourished after medical treatment.
January 21, 2010
by Erin Allday
As recently as a decade ago, vitamin D was mostly thought of as a helper-nutrient – it allowed the body to absorb and use calcium for strong bones. With a diet of fortified foods and a little bit of sunshine every day, most people got plenty of it.
But that was years ago. Today, research suggests that vitamin D does much more than help build strong bones, and the findings come at a time when a high number of people are no longer getting enough of the nutrient, doctors say.
“We’ve become a culture that shuns the sunshine and doesn’t drink milk,” said Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of hematology-oncology at San Francisco General Hospital.
As a result, doctors are seeing a small resurgence of rickets and are concerned about osteoporosis in adults over age 50, especially as Baby Boomers get older.
Known for causing bowed legs, fractured bones and poor growth primarily in children, rickets all but disappeared in the United States decades ago as diets improved and vitamin D was added to certain dairy products like milk.
Vitamin D’s moment
To remedy the low vitamin D levels they are seeing, doctors are beginning to recommend supplements to their patients, and more of the vitamin than recommended by national guidelines. That is largely because research over the past decade has increasingly suggested that vitamin D plays a far bigger role in overall health than previously believed.
Aside from its well-known reputation for building and maintaining strong bones, vitamin D could be tied to cancer prevention and cardiovascular health, and some researchers are looking into a connection between vitamin D deficiency and gum disease, said Dr. Mark Ryder, chair of the division of periodontology at the UCSF School of Dentistry.
“It helps boost your ability to fight infection, and it also reduces some destructive inflammation in your body, including inflammation with periodontal disease,” Ryder said. “Every five or 10 years, a new vitamin becomes the vitamin of the moment. The hot one right now is probably vitamin D, and so far all of the evidence looks encouraging.”
If, in fact, vitamin D is more important than believed, people probably need more of it than they’re getting – and more than doctors have recommended in the past, Ryder said.
More D is better
National guidelines recommend between 200 and 600 international units of vitamin D a day. Doctors say it’s unclear exactly how much vitamin D people should be getting, but 1,000 international units a day is a good place to start. It is possible, but unlikely, to get too much vitamin D – some studies say people can safely take 10,000 units a day and suffer no ill effects.
“I recommend to my patients who are older that they take between 800 and 1,200 units a day, unless they have certain diseases that cause poor absorption, and then they may need more,” said Dr. Jerry Minkoff, an endocrinologist with Kaiser Permanente in Santa Rosa. “I don’t own stock in Nature’s Blend, but yes, people should just take a supplement. It’s very cheap, and it’s very safe.”
National studies suggest that about two-thirds of Americans currently meet vitamin D recommendations, but many doctors say those guidelines are outdated. Abrams, the hematology-oncology expert at San Francisco General, said vitamin D deficiency has become so common in his patients that he routinely recommends a supplement, even without a test to confirm whether they’re getting enough of the nutrient.
There often are no symptoms from low vitamin D levels except in cases where the deficiency is so great that rickets or osteoporosis result. Some people may feel tired or sluggish and find they have more energy when they take a vitamin D supplement, but there are no clinical trials to prove those effects.
The supplement typically comes in pill form, but people can get vitamin D naturally from sun exposure and by eating certain foods. Both of those options are problematic, however.
It might only take a few minutes of sun exposure every day to create enough vitamin D, but doctors are wary to recommend spending time in the sun because of the risk of skin cancer. Wearing sunblock prevents vitamin D production.
Cod liver oil is the best source of vitamin D – it has 1,360 units in a tablespoon. But it tastes awful.
Most other foods with vitamin D just don’t have enough of it to be practical sources. Salmon and some other fish have a few hundred units of vitamin D per serving, but most people don’t eat enough fish to reliably get the nutrients they need every day. Two cups of fortified milk a day would meet the current vitamin D recommendations – but few Americans drink that much.