Safe, effective & cheap – 2 potential treatments for COVID-19 but 0 profit for pharma

The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe. Governments and health authorities ably assisted by the media are wringing their hands in despair over the supposed lack of treatments for the new COVID-19 virus. In his latest blog, health journalist, Jerome Burne, once again grasps the nettle with both hands pointing out there are not one but two potential treatments readily available. Both of which are, “…cheap, old and unpatentable but very safe treatments, each of which has promising evidence that they could improve your protection and reduce your time in intensive care”. In other words, they could be extremely effective, they don’t cost very much, they’re unlikely to cause any harm from nasty side-effects, but they’re also not likely to net billions for Pharma either. The first is humble old vitamin C [LINK TO ARTICLE] and the other a very cheap heart drug called Dipyridamole, which has largely been sidelined medically. Not only does vitamin C make it harder for viruses to infect cells it speeds up the work of the immune system, cutting the amount of time patients need to be in hospital. Dipyridamole is an old anti-viral drug that can reduce the rate at which viruses replicate themselves, reducing the viral load and lessening the chance of patients experiencing a cytokine storm that can overwhelm their system resulting in multi-organ failure. The question now should be not what can we do to treat COVID-19, but why aren’t we using these treatments on the frontline now! Read Jerome’s full blog here.

Stealth app for COVID-19 could herald major loss of freedoms!

It’s the stuff of science fiction writers most fervent of imaginings. A tracking app for COVID-19! This is not an April Fool‘s joke though, it’s only too real. Dr Daniel Kraft, Singularity University’s Chair for Medicine is proposing just such an app. He has spent the last few weeks bringing together tech innovators from around the world to develop a ‘Waze’ style app that will allow people to share a wide range of data ostensibly to allow authorities to track the spread of the disease, but that could also take us a giant leap closer to a police state. Contact tracing through mobile phone signals has already been used in Singapore and is set to be rolled out across Europe as part of the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) project. Under the guise of protecting citizens health, this is one genie that’s unlikely to be put back in its box. Are we ready for the level of surveillance that will now be unleashed on us and the basic rights and freedoms it may curtail?

US children’s diets nutritionally inadequate

Children in the US are eating low nutrient diets. According to a new study from researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University based on data from nine National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cycles (1999-2016) 56% of American children continue to lack nutritionally adequate diets. Adolescents (aged 12-19 years old) were found to have the worst diets (67%) compared with those aged 6-11 (53%) and children under the age of 5 (40%). Children are still eating approximately 18 teaspoons of added sugar every day, but just under 2 servings of vegetables and fruit. Given the increased risk of serious effects from COVID-19 to those who’re overweight, obese and metabolically dysregulated, action is needed now to turn the tide of chronic disease by focusing on creating good health rather than accepting the twin epidemics of obesity and chronic disease threatening to cripple health systems.

Acupuncture reduces migraine frequency

Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for those who suffer from migraines. A new Chinese study has found treating migraine sufferers with traditional manual acupuncture compared to sham acupuncture (using non-acupuncture points) or usual care, "…resulted in a significantly higher reduction in the frequency of migraine days and migraine attacks". Patients received either 20 sessions of manual acupuncture or non-penetrating sham acupuncture or usual care including diet and lifestyle advice over an eight-week period. Compared with the sham acupuncture those receiving manual acupuncture experienced the greatest reduction in migraines. The study provides good evidence of acupuncture as a non-drug option for the treatment for migraines.

Mother’s microbiome influences child’s allergy risk

The bacterial composition of a pregnant woman’s microbiome can influence whether or not her child develops allergies. Publishing in Nature researchers found that mothers with abundant Prevotella copri bacteria were less likely to have children that developed allergies during their first year of life. P. copri is far less abundant in western populations than traditional, non-industrial communities due to our preoccupation with cleanliness and diets low in vegetables and fruit. In non-COVID-19 times, being less focused on living in a sterile environment, getting outdoors daily and eating a wide range of minimally-processed, nutrient-dense foods allows both our immune systems to adapt and tolerate a wide range of bacteria and viruses. Creating this tolerance creates a lower lower risk of developing allergies and other chronic diseases.

Monsanto & BASF cover-up revealed

A damning new investigation from journalist Carey Gillam, has revealed just how far Monsanto and BASF are prepared to go in order to profit, regardless of the harm wreaked by their products. Documents brought to light as part of a recent lawsuit show how risks were downplayed and testing was opposed in order to stop the production of data that could have alerted regulators to the risks of their products. The full impact of such blatant lies and manipulation of facts and data is now becoming apparent in the damage to the environment and people’s lives that cannot be undone. All in the name of profit.