June 17, 2017

Statins Can Cause Disabling Muscle Disease

It seems that Big Pharma just won’t give up.  I expect all sorts of comments about thisarticle and studies to disprove what it says. 

Statin medications, such as Crestor, Lipitor, and other lipid-lowering medications, have been prescribed increasingly in recent years to reduce cardiovascular disease and mortality in high risk individuals. Many doctors now recommend these medications even for patients who have never demonstrated a cardiac risk.

One of the side effects of these drugs, however, is muscle pain and weakness, a general condition called “myositis.” In the great majority of patients, this side effect goes away when they stop taking the medication. For some, however, especially those who test positive for anti-HMGCR antibodies in their blood, this myositis can be a much more serious complication, one that can have a devastating impact on the patient’s health for the rest of their lives.

For some patients, statins cause necrotizing myopathy, a form of the rare idiopathic inflammatory myopathy, also known as myositis. Myositis is a chronic, debilitating condition that includes dermatomyositis, polymyositis, inclusion-body myositis, and juvenile forms of the disease. Necrotizing myopathy does not resolve after the statin is stopped, leaving patients with life-long challenges doing even simple things like standing from a seated position, climbing stairs, and even lifting their arms over their heads.

Myositis patients, including those with necrotizing myopathy, face other life-threatening disorders, including interstitial lung disease, antisynthetase syndrome, and a higher risk of cancer and other diseases. While there is no cure for this chronic, disabling condition, many patients can successfully be treated with anti-inflammatory medications.

That’s why other treatments other than statins must be considered for those who may be at risk for developing necrotizing myopathy. According to UCLA rheumatologist and myositis specialist Christina Charles-Schoeman, MD, those who have “statin” myositis should never take statins. “They need immune treatment for their myositis, and they usually improve greatly,” she says. “Luckily, this is a very rare disease and does not occur for the vast majority of patients taking statins.”

The Myositis Association is an international nonprofit organization committed to support and education for myositis patients and caregivers, increasing awareness of myositis throughout the community and among physicians, and funding for myositis-related research.

Hopefully, researchers will not bend to the will of Big Pharma. Read my blogs here and here about the problems of statins.

June 16, 2017

Rice Industry Angry

Like the corn and sugar industries battle, we now have the cauliflower and rice industries in a battle.  The rice industry should lose this as people are opting for a more nutritious food in cauliflower. 

The rice industry in the United States is up in arms over the naming of what is known as the "cauliflower rice", the latest food craze sweeping the United States.

Cauliflower rice is made by briefly pulsing the vegetable in a food processer.  Unlike rice, which needs at least 10 minutes to cook, cauliflower rice can be cooked in just three minutes.  Furthermore, with health trends extolling the values of cutting down on carbohydrates - rice has up to 25.5 times as much carbohydrates as the same amount of cauliflower rice - health-conscious folk are eagerly chasing this new trend.

An online search shows that the product is unavailable in major Singapore supermarkets such as Sheng Siong, Cold Storage and NTUC Fair Price.

The US rice industry, as can be expected, is not too happy with anything that threatens their market share.  And a rice lobby group said in a May 11 statement: "Vegetables that have gone through a ricer are still vegetables, just in a different form."

It continued: "Only rice is rice, and calling 'riced vegetables', 'rice', is misleading and confusing to consumers."  Unfortunately for the rice lobby, there is little confusion for people in the know.

But as Quartz reported, some within the rice industry benefit precisely because of lax definitions.  Plant-based food companies that produce milk alternatives, such as soy, almond and, yes, rice, have drawn the anger of milk farmers who think they should be banned from marketing their products as milk.

Requesting the US Food and Drug Administration to tighten the definition of rice could therefore hit the rice milk producers.

This has the unfortunate side-effect of making the rice industry appear mildly schizophrenic.

While the battle over rice's identity continues to rage, players in the cauliflower rice market appear unfazed.  US judges have already dismissed at least two cases that tried to prevent companies from using the word "milk" when advertising soy milk, reported Quartz.

Said Plant Based Foods Association executive director Michele Simon to the publication: "Just as with milk, no one owns the word 'rice'."

June 15, 2017

My Computer Quit Operating

I had my computer stop working and at first I felt it was the video card, but the fellow that works on my computers discovered that was not the case.  Further tests showed that the only thing working was the power supply.  The motherboard was dead and there was no hope for the computer.

After the purchase of a new computer, I could not get back into my programs or the blogs.  I started a new email account hoping to get to Google, but everything was "no Reply" and every attempt ended in failure.  Finally on the 14th I took the hard drive and my new computer to the service person and he was able to recover the material and passwords that finally allowed me to get back into the blogs, email, and several programs.

I am very upset with Google and their lack of caring when someone has problems.  Google would not allow me to reset passwords and kept telling me I could not prove the email and blogs were mine.

Whether I will have more blogs will depend on Google and if I am allowed to keep using my blogs. 

Thank you to all my loyal readers and I ask for your patience.