The institute of Medicine reported that each year we waste $765 Billion on Health Care, a figure disturbingly similar to the Corporate Bailout of 2008. These are heady figures, especially while we are debating whether to implement Health Care reforms. It seems to me that as a society we tolerate “Corporate Welfare” a lot more than “Social Welfare.” In my opinion, the former impoverishes our society, while the latter is more often than not an investment in it, considering that a big portion of it goes to needy women and children who are often left to fend for themselves after their families break down.
Much of the waste mentioned above could be avoided, especially if we were to apply the cheaper, less harmful and more efficient concepts that are routinely highlighted in this newsletter. Of course, if Big Pharma has your ear, as is the case with some doctors and patients, your view of health care would be greatly influenced towards the more expensive disease management, not towards healing. Hugo Rodier, MD
WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST
Or, perhaps the camels should go first?
In the mid 90’s I found myself in a refugee camp for displaced Somalians where I sat under an Acacia tree to see about 150 patients a day. I may have been of some help, at least in some relief of their temporal suffering, since the deeper issues that trouble that country will likely go unattended for generations to come. With that depressing thought in the background, I welcomed a delegation of Somalian Elders who begged our NGO to stick around until after their camels had calved. They did not bring up any concerns about their women or their children at that time.
After they left, our team unkindly criticized the old men for being insensitive and out of touch. Imagine! Being more worried about their camels than their own people!
But, as you may have already surmised, it was we, the mighty Americans toting high tech solutions who were out of touch with Nature and the Somalians’ ancient balance with it. After some reflection we were able to understand their point of view and see through our ignorance: the old men were attuned to their society’s needs and their environment, having lived with it for generations. They know that without their camels they are dead in their hot, sandy deserts..
Are we as attuned to our environment as more primordial societies? Probably not, in fact, some argue that our “civilized” ways have brought much grief, social inequalities and pollution with concomitant negative consequences on our health. Watch the movie “The Gods Must Be Crazy,” or read the book “Future Primitive Revisited.” Here is some of the recent evidence:
“Altered Carcinogenesis and Proteome in Mammary Glands of Rats after Prepubertal Exposures to the Hormonally Active Chemicals Bisphenol A (plastics, dental sealants, can lining) and Genistein,”
“Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer and Radiation From Medical Imaging Findings From the Institute of Medicine Report,”
“Particulate Matter, DNA Methylation in Nitric Oxide Synthase, and Childhood Respiratory Disease.” Translation: air pollution increases lung inflammation at genetic level. See below
“Gestational exposure to air pollution linked to vitamin D deficiency.” Vitamin D tested lower in cord blood.
“Association between Urinary Bisphenol A concentration and obesity prevalence in children and adolescents.” See “obesogens” in previous issues.
“Antibiotics in early life alter the murine colonic microbiome and adiposity;” and not just in mice.
“Early-Life Antibiotics Affect the Microbiota and Body Mass.” Maybe we ought to stop the cavalier and often unnecessary prescriptions of antibiotics for children.>
But the worst issues threatening the health of our women and children are psychological. The rampant materialism in our society leaves us impoverished and dissatisfied, and at times traumatized from the emotional and sexual abuse it frequently generates.
Men Don’t Get A Pass
For years we have documented how environmental toxins (endocrine disruptors) are causing our sperm count to drop. At this rate we will soon be shooting blanks. We just learned that lower sperm quality is also a problem, especially when eating high fat diets. Yeah, that hurts (mostly below the belt;) but, don’t turn to opioids to alleviate the pain: they have been show to lower testosterone. Oh, well, you could assuage the pain with a little Viagra (wink).. But, wait, men who use erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs recreationally may be more likely to develop psychogenic ED!
What can you do about these issues? As always, eat plant-based foods, hopefully as organic as possible. Eat walnuts; 75 mg a day will improve your sperm count. Avoid the toxins outlined herein and fight for a cleaner environment. Exercise if you are inactive. Get your testosterone levels checked; replacing it if low will help you in many ways, including slimming down. But, most of all eschew materialism and put the women and children in your life first. It will do our society, our economy, and your heart a lot of good; it too is under siege:
“Perfluorooctanoic Acid Exposure and Cardiovascular Disease,” : Potential Role and Preventive Measures
“Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Is Associated With Atherosclerosis in Middle-Aged and Elderly Chinese.” It does happen to Americans, too, and it is associated with a pre diabetic condition, and/or the metabolic syndrome.
So, another thing you could do for your heart is to eat more grapes: “Grape Polyphenols Reduce Blood Pressure and Increase Flow-Mediated Vasodilation in Men with Metabolic Syndrome.”
 Huffingtonpost.com, September 6th 2012
 “Pharmaceutical Industry Influences Practice and Guidelines;” physicians should be discouraged from meeting with drug company representatives, according to an article published in the September/October issue of the J. Annals of Family Medicine
 John Zerzan; Feral House 2012. Only recommended for intellectuals; no offence.
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