What Really Happens When You Take Antibiotics?

Antibiotics: One of the most prescribed drug in the modern world! The evidence that proves how harmful this practice can be has been available for a while now. Taking a routine course of antibiotics and moreover pouring them into our food has been leading to serious and dangerous side effects, which greatly affect everybody’s health and well being. There are instances when antibiotics can save lives, so they have their place. But switching from specific, well determined and occasional use to a broad use and even worse, to a  ”preventive” measure, in humans and animals, is totally insane and looks like extermination.

Below you have strong evidence which confirms my statements:

Antibiotics As Prescription Drugs

People became so uncomfortable these days whenever they have a sniffle or infection. They all want it to go away, right away, at any cost! Immediate relief for a life of damaged health.

But common infection doesn’t equal antibiotics!  Our body simply doesn’t work like that.

The whole length of our digestive tract is coated with a bacterial layer providing a natural barrier against invaders, undigested food, toxins and parasites. If this “coating” (mucosal barrier) gets damaged, well….you get the picture! These beneficial bacteria protecting the gut wall also work against invasive pathogenic micro-organisms by producing antibiotic-like substances, anti-fungal volatiles, anti-viral substances. They engage the immune system to respond appropriately to invaders.Our healthy indigenous flora has a good ability to neutralise toxic substances from our food and environment, inactivate histamine and chelate heavy metals and other poisons. Again, this is all possible IF the “barrier” is intact…Without a well functioning gut flora, the gut wall not only becomes unprotected, but also malnourished.

The variety of functions and the essential role of an intact mucosal barrier, a healthy gut flora, make this the root of our health. We simply can not thrive without a healthy digestive system.

What is the clinical reality these days? A vast majority of people have a damaged gut flora and a major culprit to this is: ANTIBIOTICS!

Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride offers a well researched summary of the most common disastrous health effects which directly involve antibiotics :

  • destroy beneficial bacteria in the human body, not only in the gut but in other organs and tissues
  • they change bacteria, viruses and fungi from benign to pathogenic, giving them an ability to invade tissues and cause disease
  • they make bacteria resistant to antibiotics, so the industry has to work on more and more powerful new antibiotics to attack these new changed bacteria. A good example is tuberculosis, where wide use of antibiotics has created new varieties of the Mycobacterium Tuberculosis resistant to all existing antibiotics
  • they have  a direct damaging effect on the immune system, making us more vulnerable to infections, which leads to a vicious cycle of more antibiotics and more infections

Since babies are born with a sterile gut flora, the mother esentially “downloads” her gut health / flora into the baby through breastfeeding. No wonder why digestive problems are usually shown to get worse with each generation, considering the mother’s poor gut health and bottle feeding.

Penicillins and other antibiotics with “-cillin” at the end of their name have a damaging effect on tow major groups of our resident bacteria: Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. This group of antibiotics allow bacteria normally found only in the bowel to travel to the intestines, which predisposes the person to development of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and other digestive disorders.

Tetracyclines and other “-cyclines” have a particular toxic effect on the gut wall by altering protein structure in the mucous membranes, making it vulnerable to invasion by pathogenic microbes and alerting the immune system to attack the changed proteins, starting an auto-immune reaction in the body against its own gut. They also stimulate the growth of pathogenic Candida, Staphylococci and Clostridia.

Aminoglycosides (Gentamycin, Kanamycin, Erythromicin) have a devastating effect on beneficial bacteria such as physiological E.coli and Enterococci. A prolonged course of treatment with these type of antibiotics can completely eliminate such beneficial bacteria from the digestive system, leaving it open to invasion by pathogenic species of E.coli and other microbes.

Antibiotics In Food

The problem of antibiotics overuse actually grew to proportions because it comes not only from prescription drugs, but from conventional food everywhere as well! This way, we are exposed indirectly to antibiotics since we are born and their negative effects are real.

Farm animals and poultry are routinely given antibiotics, so all the products made out of these (meat, milk, eggs) will also provide us with a constant supply of antibiotics AND antibiotic resistant bacteria, developed by the animals in their bodies, together with the toxins these bacteria produce.

Many large producers of meat and poultry feed antibiotics to their healthy food animals simply to offset the effects of overcrowding and poor sanitation, as well as to promote faster growth. Every year, nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics are sold for use in food animals. In fact, up to 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States go to healthy food animals.

Farmed fish and shellfish have antibiotics added, as well as a lot of fruits, vegetables and grains, legumes and nuts, which are sprayed with antibiotics to control disease.

antibiotics infographic 503x1024 What Really Happens When You Take Antibiotics?

Anti-bacterial Cleaners

Germs do not cause disease! Nature never surrounded her children with enemies. It is the individual himself who makes disease possible in his own body because of poor living habits… Do mosquitoes make the water stagnant; or does stagnant water attract the mosquitoes? We should all be taught that germs are friends and scavengers attracted by disease, rather than enemies causing disease… As their internal environment is, so will be the attraction for any specific micro-organism… The germ theory and vaccination are kept going by commercialism. Dr. Robert R. Gross

Modern times brought along the common belief that everything has to be disinfected and sterilized. But it’s been proven by numerous studies that constant use of conventional sanitizers and antibacterial soaps is also killing the beneficial bacteria existent on our hands, that is meant to actually protect ourselves from disease. In other words, resistant bacteria – “superbugs” – will develop, and a former common cold will morph into a much more virulent and harder to treat infection.

Facts Of Antibiotic Overuse And Solutions To An Imminent Global Danger

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently announced the new CDC statistics on the advance of the highly drug-resistant bacteria known as CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae). The reports are frightening:

  • Healthcare institutions in 42 states have now identified at least one case of CRE.
  • The occurrence of this resistance in the overall family of bacteria has risen at least four-fold over 10 years.
  • In the CDC’s surveillance networks, 4.6 percent of hospitals and 17.8 percent of long-term care facilities diagnosed this bug in the first half of 2012.

The U.K.’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies released a report in which she calls resistance a “catastrophic threat” which poses a national security risk as serious as terrorism. She warns that unless resistance is curbed, “We will find ourselves in a health system not dissimilar to the early 19th century” in which organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy, joint replacements and even minor surgeries become life-threatening.

In March 2012, researchers published a report drawing a link between bacteria on chicken and antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infections (UTIs). They compared E. coli samples from animals in processing plants to the strain of E. coli that causes urinary tract infections and found chicken to be the source of the bacteria. Last summer, the story gained major traction with the release of a related study by some of the same researchers who found that retail chickens had very high levels of antibiotic-resistant E. coli; about 85 percent of UTI infections came from this E. Coli strain.

Another published study from Germany concluded that methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is rarely found in pigs that are raised without antibiotics. Similarly, the farmers who live and work with these pigs were less likely to have the strain of MRSA commonly associated with livestock than farmers who worked with pigs who were regularly administered antibiotics. As one of the most notorious multidrug-resistant superbugs, MRSA is responsible for an estimated 19,000 deaths and 360,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States alone.

In September 2012, researchers at Stanford University concluded that consumers eating meat and poultry raised without antibiotics are 33 percent less likely to contract antibiotic-resistant infections than those who eat products raised conventionally.

Considering all this, how can YOU actively participate in the change of these serious events?

…STOP taking antibiotics with the first infection, rely on NATURAL, effective, safe and powerful antibiotics with NO side effects. My favorites are raw propolis, grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil, echinacea, Manuka honey.When you really need to take a course of antibiotics, always follow with a course of probiotics, to counteract the negative effects and maintain a healthy gut flora.

…buy and eat only ORGANIC meat, eggs and dairy or at least which hasn’t had antibiotics added (you can find this on many product labels now)

…stay clean using natural, green cleaners for your body and house, and avoid anti-bacterial soaps, as well as harsh, toxic chemicals.

…live a healthy life, eat whole food and take responsibility of your own precious health, so you don’t end up in hospitals and long-term care facilities, which are the most exposed to never ending disease.

Updated August 2014

Article Resources

Dr. Campbel McBride, Natasha. Gut And Physiology Syndrome










Border Doctor Fears Ebola May Have Mutated Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!

A doctor working in south Texas is raising concerns that the Ebola strain recently contracted by a Dallas nurse may have undergone a mutation.

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Michael Jelenik says he’s troubled by the circumstances surrounding Dallas Presbyterian Hospital nurse Nina Pham’s recent contraction of the Ebola virus.

Pham, 26, was one of a team of medical staff tending to Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan before his death last week.

On Sunday, Texas health officials announced Pham had tested positive for the Ebola virus, even though she was careful to wear protective gear when she came in contact with the infected patient.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims a “breach in protocol” may have contributed to the disease spread, however Dr. Jelinek says Ebola research is still in its infancy and therefore the chance that it has possibly mutated cannot entirely be ruled out.

“My biggest concern is that we don’t have enough knowledge about the virus and this outbreak and whether it’s mutated or not,” Dr. Jelinek told ABC affiliate KRGV, echoing anxieties voiced by other high level health professionals.

The doctor adds that from an infectious disease standpoint, Ebola is still a bit of a mystery.

“We know how to stop the transmission of HIV, that’s very simple. We know how to stop the transmission of influenza, that’s also very simple, but I don’t think it’s been fully defined how to stop the transmission of Ebola,” Jelinek says.Like many Americans, Jelinek says he’s not placing complete faith in the assurances of “powers that be” government officials who are merely working to suppress public panic.

“I just kind of object to the powers that be telling us, ‘Well we don’t need to worry about this because we have it all under control,’” Jelinek says. “Well, under control means nobody else is gonna get it.”

Speaking to the chance that illegal immigrants from Ebola-stricken countries may penetrate the southern US border with Mexico, Dr. Jelinek did not completely rule out the possibility of an outbreak impacting the Rio Grande Valley, but instead labeled that risk “extremely small.”

Earlier this month, a health official with the United Nations raised the “doomsday” prospect that the virus could possibly mutate to have infectious airborne properties, an unlikely “nightmare scenario” which he said “can’t be ruled out.”

On Sunday another health professional also came forward with the startling claim that Ebola was “primed to have respiratory transmission.”

“It can enter the lung from the airway side,” Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Purdue University Dr. David Sanders said. “So this argues that Ebola is primed to have respiratory transmission.”

“We need to be taking this into consideration,” Sanders added. “What if? This is not a crazy, ‘What if?’ This is not a wild, ‘What if?’”

Fears of an airborne mutation are exacerbated by a previous mutated Ebola strain in a Reston, Va., medical lab in 1989, where researchers had to euthanize over 55 monkeys each being held in separate cages after they contracted the disease, proving that infection did not require direct contact with contaminated bodily fluids.

Despite attempts by federal officials to tamp down speculation, the fact that numerous health professionals are now raising concerns over a potential airborne spread should be of great concern to the general public.

Decaf Coffee Supports Liver Health With Protective, Enzyme-Killing Compounds

You won’t feel any more alert, but at least your liver will thank you: A newstudy finds decaffeinated coffee may protect liver health due to the beverage’s interaction with harmful enzymes.

Scientists have already validated coffee’s health benefits. In addition to stemming diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it’s been found to lower people’s risks for several liver-related ailments, including cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver disease, and cancer. However, these studies have largely failed to determine the role caffeine plays in this process.

“Prior research found that drinking coffee may have a possible protective effect on the liver,” said lead researcher Dr. Qian Xiao from the National Cancer Institute in astatement. “However, the evidence is not clear if that benefit may extend to decaffeinated coffee.”

Xiao and her colleagues at NCI looked at data from 27,793 participants, 20 years of age or older, who provided coffee intake in a 24-hour period as part of the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The team analyzed blood samples for key markers of liver health, including alkaline phosphatase, glutamyl transaminase, and two aminotransferase enzymes. Elevated levels of these markers have been found in previous studies to signal poor liver function.

Those who had reported drinking three or more cups of coffee a day — a practice common to more than half the American population 18 years and older — had lower levels of all four enzymes. Caffeine levels had no effect on the markers’ levels, as those who reported drinking exclusively decaf showed similar results.


“Our findings link total and decaffeinated coffee intake to lower liver enzyme levels,” Xiao said. “These data suggest that ingredients in coffee, other than caffeine, may promote liver health.”

Each day, more than 2.5 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide. Though most people drink it for the stimulating effects of caffeine, science has shown even a cup can help cut diabetes risk, prevent eye damage, and delay bone loss. Prior research has suggested caffeine is the mediating factor in lowering people’s risk for liver damage, particularly hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer.

A 2013 study, for instance, found caffeine’s effect on lowering cancer risk was due to its ancillary effect on minimizing the risk of diabetes, a disease many experts cite as a precursor to liver cancer. But the latest study throws something of a wrench in the gears, suggesting caffeine could be having some help in cutting these cancer risks.

“Further studies are needed to identify these components,” Xiao said. If verified in separate tests, the findings could mean the most popular drug in the world may, in fact, be just a helpful pick-me-up.

Source: Xiao G, Sinha R, Graubard B. Inverse associations of total and decaffeinated coffee with liver enzyme levels in NHANES 1999-2010. Hepatology. 2014.

Huh? Ebola vaccine not being tested against Ebola

Before long, we are all going to be inundated with a mainstream media propaganda campaign that demands we all accept an Ebola vaccine. Right now, a vaccine has already entered human trials in Africa, reports NBC News. [1] The vaccine was developed by the NIH, and the clinical trial is being run by the University of Maryland.

But there’s huge problem in all this: the vaccine won’t be tested against Ebola. It will be “approved” by the FDA in record time without ever being shown to be effective, in other words.

You might find this strange… and it is. Drugs are typically tested against people who have the disease the drug claims to treat. For example, high blood pressure drugs are tested in people who have high blood pressure to determine whether the drug “works” to lower their blood pressure. These results are typically compared to a control group which also has high blood pressure but received a placebo. The difference in results across these two groups is attributed to the drug.

A properly-constructed Ebola vaccine trial, then, would also have to use two groups of people: a control group which receives no vaccine and then gets exposed to Ebola, and a treated group that receives the vaccine and then gets exposed to Ebola. The difference in the outcomes of the two groups would be attributed to the vaccine. Obviously, no vaccine clinical trial is going to intentionally expose anyone to Ebola. Thus, the question of whether the vaccine even works against Ebola won’t be answered even when the vaccine is “approved” for use in the population.

Clinical trials won’t test vaccine’s efficacy against Ebola

Instead of testing whether the vaccine works against Ebola, the clinical trials are only trying to determine whether the vaccine causes side effects and produces an immune response. As Dr. Myron Levine, director of the Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) at the University of Maryland, explains:

This research will give us crucial information about whether the vaccine is safe, well tolerated and capable of stimulating adequate immune responses in the highest priority target population, health care workers in West Africa.

Note carefully that he does not say the clinical trial will tell them whether the vaccine actually halts Ebola transmission. What they are looking for in this trial is whether the vaccine causes side effects and whether it produces an “immune response” of antibodies.

These antibodies, it turns out, are not Ebola antibodies. They are antibodies to a tiny chain of proteins (that resemble one part of Ebola) attached to an adenovirus (a common cold virus). The hope among vaccine developers is that the antibodies which appear in response to this artificially engineered protein structure will also work against Ebola. But there will be no proof of this. It will simply be a “best guess” and may not work at all.

Once the experimental, unproven vaccine is deployed, two things will happen

Regardless of the fact that the Ebola vaccine won’t be tested against Ebola, there are two things that will immediately happen following the deployment of the vaccine:

1) All progress in containing the Ebola outbreak will be immediately and exclusively credited to the Ebola vaccine.

2) All failures in containing the Ebola outbreak will be immediately and exclusively blamed on people refusing the Ebola vaccine.

Such is the dogma of the vaccine religion: Even without any scientific proof whatsoever, every event that takes place will be interpreted as confirming the absolute infallibility of the vaccine. Those who dare question the efficacy or safety of the vaccine will be labeled as “killers” while those who blindly accept the leap-of-faith worshipping of the vaccine will be labeled “saviors.”

Even if the Ebola vaccine were pure saline solution with no viral fragments whatsoever — i.e. “placebo” — the above two points would still hold true. The mere fact that it is a vaccine causes once-scientific minds to be overwhelmed with religious fervor and abandon all rational skepticism. No questioning of the Ebola vaccine will be tolerated anywhere, and any who dare raise questions of safety, efficacy or ingredient formulation will be viciously blamed for the worsening outbreak, almost as if they had run around with a syringe full of Ebola, deliberately injecting people at shopping malls and airports.

Because in today’s scientific dictatorship run by pharmaceutical corporations, the only sin worse than being an Ebola carrier who infects others is being a vaccine skeptic who asks scientific questions about vaccine ingredients, manufacturing quality control and vaccine efficacy. In the religion of scientism, there is zero tolerance for those who lack blind faith in vaccines. You either worship the vaccine and its proponents, or you will be condemned as a hazard to public safety.

In today’s politicized medical climate, you see, whether the vaccine actually “works” is irrelevant. That’s why colloidal silver will never be tested against Ebola by health authorities. They don’t want to know whether it works. This entire western system of medicine is not at all interested in what works. It is only interested in what earns a profit.

And it looks like Ebola is about to create a windfall of profits for them all, even if their vaccine product doesn’t actually work. But who’s got time for actual science when there’s a pandemic under way, right?

Sources for this story include:
[1] http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/047253_ebola_vaccine_clinical_trials_outbreak.html?utm_content=buffer099d6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer#ixzz3GVK2qwBW

Amaranth: a gluten-free grain rich in protein and minerals


From the desk of Zedie.

Ebola pandemic spreading across Europe is ‘unavoidable,’ WHO warns

Most of the attention surrounding Ebola has thus far centered on its spread in West Africa, and now in the U.S. But at least four individuals in Europe, Spain to be specific, are being closely monitored after one of them, a nurse, tested positive for the viral disease.

The 40-year-old healthcare worker is the first, but probably not the last, person in Europe to contract the disease during this current outbreak, reports Boston.com. And the World Health Organization’s (WHO) European director, Zsuzsanna Jakab, says its continued spread across Europe is inevitable.

The woman who contracted the virus, her husband and two others have been admitted to a hospital for monitoring, and others will likely join them in the coming days.

“Such imported cases and similar events as have happened in Spain will happen also in the future, most likely,” stated Jakab to Reuters. “It is quite unavoidable… that such incidents will happen in the future because of the extensive travel both from Europe to the affected countries and the other way around.”

Europe’s health workers at highest risk of Ebola

In Jakab’s view, health workers in general are most prone to contracting Ebola, as they come into direct contact with individuals from all over the world. The virus has clearly breached the regional borders of West Africa and is now slowly making its way from country to country, and from continent to continent.

“The most important thing in our view is that Europe is still at low risk and that the western part of the European region particularly is the best prepared in the world to respond to viral haemorrhagic fevers including Ebola,” she added, as quoted by The Independent.

22 additional people who came into contact with nurse now being monitored

According to reports, the nurse began to develop symptoms not long after treating two Spanish missionaries who had previously been serving in West Africa. About one week before she was officially diagnosed as having Ebola, she reportedly fell ill, the symptoms of which included a low-grade fever.

When the nurse checked herself into a hospital, care workers tested her for Ebola and arrived at a positive diagnosis. At least one other health worker she came into contact with has also reportedly developed Ebola symptoms — diarrhea, but no fever — prompting health officials to include another 22 individuals for monitoring.

“[These 22 individuals] have not been isolated but they are having their temperature taken twice a day to check for signs of infection,” explains The Independent.

We don’t know how nurse got infected, say officials

How the nurse actually caught Ebola is still unknown, however. Experts say that infection should not have occurred at all, since the hospital is supposedly equipped with all the proper tools for protection. This particular strain, in other words, must have the ability to transmit in other ways.

“It will be crucial to find out what went wrong in this case so necessary measures can be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” stated Jonathan Ball, a professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, noting that containment and control measures should have been an effective safeguard.

Elsewhere in Europe, a Norwegian doctor is now being treated for Ebola after having contracted it while working in Sierra Leone. The man recently arrived in Norway for treatment and is staying in an isolation ward at Oslo University Hospital.

Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com






Why You Should Pay Attention to Chronic Inflammation .

f you read health sites or follow celebrity doctors, you’ve probably heard the buzzword “inflammation.” You may even have heard people touting miracle cures such as the “anti-inflammatory diet.”

Are you confused?

Many people think of inflammation in terms of external signs: swelling, bruising and so on. But in truth, uncontrolled inflammation plays a role in almost every major disease, including cancer, heart disease,diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and even depression.

Inflammation occurs naturally in your body. But when it goes wrong or goes on too long, it can trigger disease processes. That’s why researchers spend so much time trying to understand it — and developing ways to counteract it.

“Inflammation occurs naturally in your body. But when it goes wrong or goes on too long, it can trigger disease processes.”

Paul DiCorleto

Paul DiCorleto, PhD

Too much of a good thing

Inflammation is your body’s first line of defense against toxins, infections and injuries.

When your cells are in distress, they release chemicals to alert the immune system. The immune system sends its first responders — inflammatory cells — to trap the offending substance or heal the tissue. As this complex chain of events unfolds, blood vessels leak fluid into the site of the injury, causing the telltale swelling, redness and pain. These symptoms might be uncomfortable, but they are essential for the healing process.

Here’s the problem with inflammation: Over time, you can end up with too much of a good thing. With chronic inflammation, your body is on high alert all the time.

This prolonged state of emergency can cause lasting damage to your heart, brain and other organs. For example, when inflammatory cells hang around too long in blood vessels, they promote the buildup of dangerous plaque. The body sees this plaque as foreign and sends more of its first responders. As the plaque continues to build, the arteries can thicken, making a heart attack or stroke much more likely.

Similarly, inflammation in the brain may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.  For many years the brain was thought to be off-limits to inflammation because of the blood-brain barrier — a sort of built-in security system — but scientists have proved that immune cells can and do infiltrate the brain during times of distress.  Their role in disease progression is not yet clear, however.

Why researchers focus on inflammation

Add these disease processes — and many others — together, and it’s easy to understand why inflammation is a hot research topic. Understanding exactly how it causes disease could lead to better interventions and treatments to stop it.

The science of obesity offers an example. We’re learning more about how obesity triggers a cascade of inflammation that leads to metabolic conditions such as insulin resistance. Understanding exactly how that cascade works could lead to treatments for such conditions.

For example, Xiaoxia Li, PhD, of the Lerner Research Institute recently discovered that a protein called MyD88 helps coordinate the inflammatory cascade in obesity. Dr. Li’s research showed that making changes to MyD88 could reduce inflammation and insulin resistance in mice fed a high-fat diet. Future research to back up these findings could lead to better understanding, and even targeted therapy.

What you can do now

You’re going to have occasional inflammation from minor infections, allergies or injuries. This is normal. And every bump and bruise does not require an anti-inflammatory medication.

However, you can focus on lifestyle choices that reduce your risk of chronic inflammation — the kind that leads to disease. Many lifestyle factors have been shown to play a part in cellular inflammation: smoking, obesity, chronic stress and drinking alcohol excessively, for example. Fortunately, you can control these factors. And if you need help from a medical professional to do so, it’s available.

Work on a smoking cessation plan with your doctor, and know that many people need multiple attempts to find success quitting tobacco. Ask about a weight-loss plan through healthier diet and exercise, and know that medications and surgical options are available for more serious cases. Be wary of miracle claims about diets, but do seek nutrition advice from your doctor and a registered dietitian if needed. Talk to your doctor about stress-management techniques if work or home life are overwhelming you.

Researchers are learning more about the missing links between inflammation and disease every day. But until we have more answers, your best defense against inflammation is to control the factors you canchoose to control.

9 Myths About Statins.

While statins are often prescribed, they are also often misunderstood – especially when it comes to their safety.

Here are 9 common myths about statins and the truth about them:

  • Myth 1: Statins will hurt your ability to exercise

    Statins and exercise are both good for heart health. Most people are not affected by statins when they exercise. However, there are up to 10 percent of patients who do have some muscle pain and weakness with statins. If you think you are part of this group and that your statins are making you more achy than usual after a workout, ask your doctor about changing the type of statin you are taking.

  • Myth 2: Statins will cause muscle damage and hurt your heart

    Statins have been tested in over 1 million patients and have not been found to cause heart damage. While they don’t damage your heart, statins can affect the large muscles in your body and cause mild muscle ache, which is found in up to 10 percent of people who take statins and, they can, even more rarely, cause more severe muscle pain — which is a sign to talk to your doctor, who will have you stop your statins immediately. In either case, you should tell your doctor if you are feeling muscle pain or weakness.

  • Myth 3: You should avoid statins if you have diabetes

    People with diabetes benefit the most from statins, which reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke and death. While statins may increase blood sugars, this does not offset the overall benefit that statins provide. If you take statins, be sure to monitor your sugars, watch your diet and include regular exercise in your routine.

  • Myth 4: Statins cause cognitive dysfunction or dementia

    On the contrary, recent studies show that statins create a protective effect from cognitive dysfunction or dementia with long-term use.

    However, in 2012, the FDA changed the drug label for statins to include a warning: Memory loss and confusion have been reported with statin use. These reported events were generally not serious and went away once the drug was no longer being taken but there is lingering confusion. More recent studies have looked at dementia and cognitive changes and actually found that statins may be beneficial and can prevent dementia – especially with long term use.

  • Myth 5: Natural supplements like red yeast rice are safer than taking a statin

    Doctors don’t prescribe supplements in place of statins because there are no controlled or reliable studies about the efficacy of supplements and heart disease prevention. While statins have to prove their efficacy, supplements do not, and are not regulated and tested the way drugs are before they can be prescribed. Their strength varies greatly in non-prescription preparations and they can contain ingredients that are not listed in the label. Remember: Don’t mistake “natural” for safe..

  • Myth 6: Being statin-intolerant means you will never be able to take a statin

    Research conducted by Cleveland Clinic’s Preventive Cardiology Department has found that most people can tolerate statins either by changing the medication type or by staggering their doses. You need to work with a specialist to find the best dose for you.

  • Myth 7: Statins cause cataracts and liver damage

    There is very little chance that statins could damage your liver. This rare side effect occurs in less than 1 percent of the population. An observational study showed increased risk of cataracts, but more studies are needed. There is no definitive proof that statins cause cataracts but there is ample proof that statins help prevent heart disease. It’s important to note there are possible side effects and risks with every medication you take. You need to follow up and work with your doctor to achieve the best results.

  • Myth 8: Everyone should take statins

    Statins are the treatment of choice for people with high cholesterol and those with coronary heart disease. You should only take statins if you need them. Statins also benefit the blood vessel lining, reduce cell damage from oxidation and keep blood platelets from clumping, which reduces the risk of a blood clot.

  • Myth 9: The elderly do not benefit from statins

    Statins can also benefit the elderly depending on their life expectancy and the likelihood of achieving a true benefit with statin therapy. Diet and exercise are important parts of risk factor management and should be continued while on statin therapy. While some people are able to achieve their goals through strict diet alone, many will need to take a statin to meet their LDL goals and reduce the risk of progression of heart disease.

Bioinspired coating for medical devices repels blood, bacteria .

Medical devices implanted in the body or in contact with flowing blood present two critical, life-threatening challenges for doctors treating their patients: blood clotting and bacterial infection. A team of scientists and engineers has developed a new surface coating for medical devices using FDA-approved materials. The coating repelled blood from more than 20 medically relevant substrates the team tested — made of plastic to glass and metal — and also suppressed biofilm formation.

This Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image shows how red blood cells coagulate to form a blood clot, which is a common and life-threatening risk associated with the use of implanted medical devices.

From joint replacements to cardiac implants and dialysis machines, medical devices enhance or save lives on a daily basis. However, any device implanted in the body or in contact with flowing blood faces two critical challenges that can threaten the life of the patient the device is meant to help: blood clotting and bacterial infection.

A team of Harvard scientists and engineers may have a solution. They developed a new surface coating for medical devices using materials already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The coating repelled blood from more than 20 medically relevant substrates the team tested — made of plastic to glass and metal — and also suppressed biofilm formation in a study reported in Nature Biotechnology. But that’s not all.

The team implanted medical-grade tubing and catheters coated with the material in large blood vessels in pigs, and it prevented blood from clotting for at least eight hours without the use of blood thinners such as heparin. Heparin is notorious for causing potentially lethal side-effects like excessive bleeding but is often a necessary evil in medical treatments where clotting is a risk.

“Devising a way to prevent blood clotting without using anticoagulants is one of the holy grails in medicine,” said Don Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Director of Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and senior author of the study. Ingber is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as professor of bioengineering at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

The idea for the coating evolved from SLIPS, a pioneering surface technology developed by coauthor Joanna Aizenberg, Ph.D., who is a Wyss Institute Core Faculty member and the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science at Harvard SEAS. SLIPS stands for Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces. Inspired by the slippery surface of the carnivorous pitcher plant, which enables the plant to capture insects, SLIPS repels nearly any material it contacts. The liquid layer on the surface provides a barrier to everything from ice to crude oil and blood.

“Traditional SLIPS uses porous, textured surface substrates to immobilize the liquid layer whereas medical surfaces are mostly flat and smooth — so we further adapted our approach by capitalizing on the natural roughness of chemically modified surfaces of medical devices,” said Aizenberg, who leads the Wyss Institute’s Adaptive Materials platform. “This is yet another incarnation of the highly customizable SLIPS platform that can be designed to create slippery, non-adhesive surfaces on any material.”

The Wyss team developed a super-repellent coating that can be adhered to existing, approved medical devices. In a two-step surface-coating process, they chemically attached a monolayer of perfluorocarbon, which is similar to Teflon. Then they added a layer of liquid perfluorocarbon, which is widely used in medicine for applications such as liquid ventilation for infants with breathing challenges, blood substitution, eye surgery, and more. The team calls the tethered perfluorocarbon plus the liquid layer a Tethered-Liquid Perfluorocarbon surface, or TLP for short.

In addition to working seamlessly when coated on more than 20 different medical surfaces and lasting for more than eight hours to prevent clots in a pig under relatively high blood flow rates without the use of heparin, the TLP coating achieved the following results:

  • TLP-treated medical tubing was stored for more than a year under normal temperature and humidity conditions and still prevented clot formation
  • The TLP surface remained stable under the full range of clinically relevant physiological shear stresses, or rates of blood flow seen in catheters and central lines, all the way up to dialysis machines
  • It repelled the components of blood that cause clotting (fibrin and platelets)
  • When bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa were grown in TLP-coated medical tubing for more than six weeks, less than one in a billion bacteria were able to adhere. Central lines coated with TLP significantly reduce sepsis from Central-Line Mediated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI). (Sepsis is a life-threatening blood infection caused by bacteria, and a significant risk for patients with implanted medical devices.)

Out of sheer curiosity, the researchers even tested a TLP-coated surface with a gecko — the superstar of sticking whose footpads contain many thousands of hairlike structures with tremendous adhesive strength. The gecko was unable to hold on.

“We were wonderfully surprised by how well the TLP coating worked, particularly in vivo without heparin,” said one of the co-lead authors, Anna Waterhouse, Ph.D., a Wyss Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. “Usually the blood will start to clot within an hour in the extracorporeal circuit, so our experiments really demonstrate the clinical relevance of this new coating.”

While most of the team’s demonstrations were performed on medical devices such as catheters and perfusion tubing using relatively simple setups, they say there is a lot more on the horizon.

“We feel this is just the beginning of how we might test this for use in the clinic,” said co-lead author Daniel Leslie, Ph.D., a Wyss Institute Staff Scientist, who aims to test it on more complex systems such as dialysis machines and ECMO, a machine used in the intensive care unit to help critically ill patients breathe.

Reflecting the strong collaborative model of the Wyss Institute, the cross-disciplinary team included researchers representing the Wyss Institute, SEAS, Harvard Medical School, and Boston Children’s Hospital whose specialties range from hematology to immunology, surface chemistry and materials science.

“This really could only happen in a place like the Wyss Institute,” Ingber said. “The magic happened when physicians and scientists in my group started brainstorming with the SLIPS engineering team who are experts in super-repellency. What emerged could become a new paradigm for implantable medical devices, extracorporeal circuits, and more.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel C Leslie, Anna Waterhouse, Julia B Berthet, Thomas M Valentin, Alexander L Watters, Abhishek Jain, Philseok Kim, Benjamin D Hatton, Arthur Nedder, Kathryn Donovan, Elana H Super, Caitlin Howell, Christopher P Johnson, Thy L Vu, Dana E Bolgen, Sami Rifai, Anne R Hansen, Michael Aizenberg, Michael Super, Joanna Aizenberg, Donald E Ingber. A bioinspired omniphobic surface coating on medical devices prevents thrombosis and biofouling. Nature Biotechnology, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nbt.3020

What Everyone Should Know About Blood Clots .

Just like a traffic jam on the highway, blood clots impede normal circulation in your body and can be dangerous. Here are some blood clot basics and information on steps you can take to help avoid the problem.

Signs of a serious blood clot

Thrombosis is a medical term for blood clot. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs in one of the large veins, usually in your legs. DVT can cause pain and swelling in the area where blood clots form. The area might also be reddened and feel warm to the touch.

The most common complication from DVT is pulmonary embolism (blockage), which occurs when a clot or part of a clot breaks off and lodges in the lungs. Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include shortness of breath and sudden pain in the chest that gets worse when you breathe deeply.

Risk factors and ways to avoid DVT

Anybody can get DVT, but surgery or injury increases your risk, as does increasing age and weight gain. Some people have clotting disorders that increase their risk for DVT.

Ways to avoid DVT include:

Quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.
If you are hospitalized, ask your healthcare providers about available DVT prevention, such as mechanical devices to aid circulation.
If you are on a long flight, or if you sit for hours, wear compression stockings and get up and move around or perform stretching exercises.
“As many as 60 percent of all people who suffer an episode of deep vein thrombosis will also develop post-thrombotic syndrome,” says vascular medicine specialist Natalie Evans, MD.

This syndrome can cause long-term pain, swelling and even ulcers.

Blood thinners and what not to eat

Physicians prescribe blood thinners to some DVT patients to prevent future clotting. Warfarin or Coumadin is a type of blood thinner that has been used for decades, but frequent blood tests are needed to monitor dosage.

Dr. Evans adds, “Patients should talk with their doctor or pharmacist…to learn about potential interactions with foods and drugs.”

The Vitamin K found in greens and other foods can interfere with Coumadin’s effects. There’s a long list of foods that you should eat only in moderation while you are on the drug.

Cranberries and cranberry products like cranberry juice can intensify Coumadin’s effect, so it’s best to avoid them while you are on the drug.

Pros and cons of new medications

Newer blood-thinner medications, including rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis) and dabigatran (Pradaxa), can be used for DVT prevention and do not require frequent blood tests, making them more convenient.

These new-generation blood thinners also may have fewer negative interactions with foods and other drugs. However, they are also more expensive than warfarin, and a specific antidote, in cases of bleeding, is not available. Patients should talk to their physician about the risks and benefits of taking these medications.

Beware of high impact sports

If you’re taking blood thinners, participating in high-impact sports can lead to potentially dangerous bleeding. Dr. Evans says that during exercise, “people who’ve had DVT and PE in the past need to be aware of the symptoms of recurrent clots, that is, leg pain and swelling, shortness of breath, chest pain that’s worse with deep breathing.”

While you are on blood thinners, there’s always a danger from cuts or bruising, even in going about your everyday activities like shaving or gardening.

Keep a medical card in your wallet that says you are on blood thinners, and never take any prescription or non-prescription medications without talking with your doctor first.