URGENT call to action for herbalists and herb lovers in the Netherlands

The Dutch government is planning to amend the Opium Act that aims to prevent sale of synthetic street drugs like fentanyl and associated harms. However, there's a risk that unless there is a clear exemption for herbs and substances derived from plants that are used for health purposes these could be caught by a broadening of the scope of the law. Members of the public need to respond by 20 April 2020 at the following link: https://www.internetconsultatie.nl/opiumwet_nps. Please call on the government to exclude herbs and substances derived from plants that have a safe history of use as foods or food supplements. Thank you.

New non-lab 1-hour blood test for Covid-19?

A potential new blood test designed to detect Covid-19 infection claims to be able to deliver results in just over an hour without the need for a lab. The new Lab-in-Cartridge test from DnaNudge is reported to have undergone a successful initial trial on Covid-19 patients and will now undergo large-scale testing as part of UK efforts to ‘test, test, test’ during the pandemic. Key to the new test is a miniature analyser known as a “NudgeBox’ into which a swab is placed so that no sample handling is required. Results are then provided outside of a laboratory setting. The test is based on an existing DnaNudge DNA testing service launched last year, from which results are used to hopefully ‘nudge’ consumers into making healthier food choices. If successful, the new test has the potential to replace current PCR tests, the accuracy of which are being called into question. Along with making the detection of coronavirus infection simple, effective and quick, data collected could provide a more accurate picture of the levels of infection in order that death rates can be more accurately calculated.

MHRA announces new funding from Gates Foundation

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced the award of £980,000 GB funding as part of a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The collaboration will allow new medicines and vaccines to be pushed into low and middle-income countries where such treatments don’t currently exist, under the guise of gathering data to monitor their safety and effectiveness. This begs two questions: firstly, whether a government agency should be availing itself of such funding and how this may affect future decisions in regards to medicine regulation and authorisation; and secondly, whether this is part of the softening process for the US to cosy up to the UK post Brexit. Whichever way you answer those questions, we urge continued vigilance.

Call for citizen scientists to aid Covid-19 research efforts

The Microsetta Initiative, which includes the research team behind the American Gut Project, are calling for citizen scientists to help them collect data to map the spread of SARs-CoV-2. Participants will be sent a test kit to allow them to collect a sample of faeces and blood to check for antibodies to help better understand how the virus spreads. Once analysed, individuals receive a report, however the samples will only be used for research purposes and not for diagnosis. If you live in the US or UK, find out more about how you can become a citizen scientist (note there is a fee) and assist researchers in gaining a better understanding of Covid-19.

A level playing field for therapeutics - including vitamin C!

The stampede to find a treatment for Covid-19 infection continues with Big Pharma falling over itself to be the first to find the Princess’s Pea. Meanwhile we’re told lockdowns can’t be lifted until a vaccine is found – which is months away. So what about vitamin C? Google vitamin C and the mainstream media will tell you that its ability to fight viruses, reduce risk and severity of disease is nonsense. Labelling anyone who says otherwise as a purveyor of ‘fake news’ despite a multitude of evidence supporting its safety and efficacy in treating viral infections of all types, including coronaviruses. Journalists who show an interest in promoting its use are flatly ignored. Reports from China show the use of high dose IV vitamin C can cut ICU stays by up to 5 days and time spent on ventilators by 25%. Patrick Holford, author of a new book Flu Fighters has started a petition on Change.org called VitaminC4UK calling for all NHS workers to be given vitamin C to reduce their risk of succumbing to Covid-19. See Caduceus magazine for a up to date information on the use of high dose intravenous vitamin C used therapeutically in China and South Korea during this Covid-19 pandemic. Join your voice with ours and many other experts campaigning for a level playing field for all possible therapeutics during the covid-19 pandemic, including vitamin C!

Low carb diets reverse type 2 diabetes

A low carb diet should be recommended to prevent and reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes. Irish researchers publishing in the International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health describe the relevance of low carb diets in reducing levels of chronic disease in the modern world. The researchers advise that early de-prescription is an important part of any intervention and offer five points for consideration in the utilisation of low carb diets. In those with more advanced disease states specialist supervision is recommended. At ANH we have long recognised the efficacy and suitability of adopting a low carb diet to put type 2 diabetes into permanent remission if caught early. Our Food4Health guidelines give you all the information, guidance and help you need to adopt a low carb diet full of nutrient dense wholefoods and natural fats to promote health and reverse chronic disease.

Rise in autoimmune disease in the US

Levels of autoimmune disease are increasing globally. Whilst this new study is on US citizens, the exponential rise is not limited to North America. A new study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology highlights a significant increase in the prevalence of the most common marker of autoimmune disease, antinuclear antibodies (ANA). Traditionally it has been women who are more likely to suffer from autoimmune disease, but the research found particular increases in men, adults older than 50 years and adolescents. ANA prevalence was found to have increased from 11% (1988-1991) to 15.9% (2011-2012). Of most concern was the increase found in the 12-19-year old age group. The researchers point to lifestyle and environmental factors as the main drivers for this increase as genetic makeup takes tens of thousands of years to change. If you’re concerned about autoimmune disease Meleni Aldridge’s recent presentation at The Get Well Show explains the autoimmune trifactor, offers reasons for why your body may be attacking itself and shares her protocol to help you beat autoimmune disease and get you back on the path to wellness.

Habitat and biodiversity loss impacts

If climate change is not tackled to limit global warming, biodiversity loss could be abrupt and sudden. That’s the warning of a new study published in Nature. Seeking to determine the impact of warming temperatures on the environment, researchers found that rather than there being a gradual impact, there is likely to be a series of cliff edges occurring at different times. In a worse-case scenario, researchers estimate that 15% of ecosystems could lose more than 20% of their key species with as little as a rise of 4 degrees in temperature. However, they say that if the goals of the Paris agreement are maintained this could be limited to 2%. The links between habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity on the emergence of new diseases such as Covid-19 has been brought to the fore by the World Economic Forum. As we start to recover from the current pandemic, the need to address environmental as well as health recovery is paramount for the survival of not just humans but all life on Earth.

Fish oil reduces CVD mortality

Taking fish oil supplements can reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD). There have been conflicting results over the years from studies into whether or not fish oil supplements can reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease leading to widespread confusion over their use. What is accepted is the essentiality of omega-3 oils for our health. A recent Chinese prospective cohort study published in The BMJ followed 427,678 men and women aged between 40 and 69 without pre-existing disease from the UK Biobank. Participants completed a questionnaire on supplement use, including fish oil. A large proportion (31.2%) of participants reported supplementing with fish oil at the start of the study. The researchers found that those who took fish oil supplements regularly had a 16% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who didn’t supplement with fish oil. Due to the nature of the study the researchers were unable to evaluate dose-response associations between supplementation and health outcomes. The results are potentially bad news for those who push the use of statins for CVD prevention. Will we now see the publication of yet more supplement bashing studies to counter this endorsement of the health benefits of omega-3 fish oils?