Search

As if our never-ending war on drugs hasn't already done enough damage (1), children are now in the cross-hairs. Counterfeit tablets of Adderall, a drug typically used to treat ADHD, containing high doses of pure methamphetamine are being seized in the Northeast, primarily in New Hampshire. Since children and teens primarily use Adderall, the manufacture of "Meth Adderall" pills is especially ghoulish.

Feel free to blame the DEA for this latest debacle (2). The agency is responsible for the passage of a...

 

The COVID-19 vaccines are on everyone's minds these days and there is a huge amount of information to wade through, some of it conflicting and confusing. That is exactly why Dr. Joe, as he is also known, decided to go through each of them, one by one. He explains the facts, the fears, and most importantly, why every one of the vaccines is the key to saving lives and is worth taking.

ACSH friend Dr. Schwarcz also addresses the recent concerns...

AstraZeneca’s (AZ) COVID-19 vaccine was once again a topic of conversation around our writer’s table and perhaps in more than a few executive suites. Not 24 hours after AZ presented their initial data regarding their vaccine efficacy in US trials and a new problem arose. The trials data safety and management board (DSMB) notified the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases that the data being released might have included outdated data. 

“The DSMB expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data.”

AstraZeneca, for their part, promised all the information would be made available in the next 48 hours. Data in...

I was thinking about how the thinkers and the doers came together in medicine’s distant past, and I realized that there was really no distinction between doing and thinking in our origin stories. The origin story of surgeons is neatly summarized in the phrase barber-surgeons. We were an outgrowth of a craft. There is a large body of literature showing that artisans are a combination of thought and hand. Repetitive practice with our hands makes actions less conscious but not less mindful. The moment wielding the knife, clamp, or needle is a bit off is when the craftsperson subtly alters how the hands are applied. You cannot use your hands well in doing unless you are a thinker. But what about my internal medicine colleagues?

Their roots are among the alchemists and botanists, the...

 

 

The researchers looked at labels for sunscreen, an over-the-counter product widely use to protect your skin from the sun – it generates roughly $1.2 billion in sales in 2019 [1]. The FDA wants to require listing the active ingredient on the main panel of the product. Here is the current and proposed re-design.

 

Rather than make the consumer search for this “vital” safety information, the FDA wants to put it upfront where it can be found. Certainly not an unreasonable idea. But the researchers asked a different question, were the active ingredients helpful information for the consumer in deciding upon a product? 

...

# Reprinted with permission. The original article can be found on the InsideSources website.

The time has come for us to think about incremental, evolutionary, and targeted changes to the healthcare system to reduce costs rather than focusing on grand bargains. It is time for practical solutions that will likely have broad consensus amongst patients, providers, employers, and policymakers.

While the debate over the merits of private sector healthcare solutions versus government control of healthcare continues, a group of policy experts with support from the Arnold Ventures and Tobin Center for Economic Policy has proposed an important set of policy solutions...

As we age, our abilities inevitably decline. The activities of daily livings (ADLs) capture those skills we need to remain living an independent life – primarily getting dressed, bathing and toileting, and eating meals. Bathing and hygiene are particularly crucial – simply put, if you cannot bathe and use the toilet where you are, you need to be somewhere else. Simple home modifications, a grab bar in the shower or tub, an elevated toilet seat, a shower seat all are inexpensive additions that 

“reduce injury, enable independence, preserve dignity, and improve quality of life in older people with irreversible disability for complex multifactorial reasons.”

Those simple modifications can reduce falls by 19% and...

The researchers analyzed the contents of 35 samples from 17 brands of over-the-counter supplements – half targeted for weight loss, a third for “energy/sports.” 

What does this study report? 

  • Nine prohibited stimulants and eight different combinations of banned stimulants were detected. None of these stimulants have been approved by the FDA for oral use.
  • Seven of the nine stimulants have previously been subject to FDA regulatory actions, including product seizures, warning letters, and public notices. 

This is a fact-based study utilizing sound scientific procedures in reaching their conclusions. Stimulants (drugs that stimulate the brain and central nervous system) were only reported as...

Disclaimers first – the research involves mice, not humans, so we are on firm ground discussing the research results, but the ground gets shaky when we apply the findings to our lives. Consider the following, more speculative thoughts than settled science.

The bacteria that live within us are responsible for providing us with a host of nutrients, the off casts of their metabolic activity. In exchange, we give them shelter and, to be fair, a steady stream of nutrients. The digestive microbiome has been a popular area of research regarding our nutrition and response to diseases. Even in the face of COVID-19, most of us think of the microbiome as housing bacteria, but it turns out that we can also support fungus – the mycobiome. 

The researchers wanted to see how the...

When my wife and I found out she was pregnant with our first child, our thinking about food safety seemed to shift overnight. Fears that we once disregarded suddenly morphed into potential threats we had to assess for our son's sake. Previously, for example, it was easy for me to write articles explaining why parents should ignore “The Dirty Dozen” and quit worrying about pesticides. And my wife, a science teacher with little tolerance for scaremongering, was equally dismissive of such concerns. 

But that was before we had skin in the game. For the first time ever, we had to answer a surprisingly difficult question: were we harming our unborn baby by eating food...