Tests could be key to unlocking lockdown but how accurate are they?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended testing facilities be set up as part of strategies to deal with the coronavirus outbreak early on into the outbreak. Testing programmes vary from country to country, but are the tests being used any good? The UK government crows about the number of tests being done, but it turns out the figures are not what they seem. So what about antibody tests? Three manufacturers, Abbott, Roche and Ortho Clinical Diagnostics have all received a CE Mark for their tests, but this doesn’t guarantee efficacy. In his latest article, Health journalist Jerome Burne, digs deep into the realm of the unknowns of antibody tests with the help of independent expert in 21st century global infections, David Crowe. The truth, it seems, is not what we believe it to be. Positives that aren’t positives or even more worrying positive results that haven’t been created by antibodies to Covid-19. Is this just another huge uncertain experiment or the real key to moving forward? Read the full article.
Social distancing in schools is #NotOK
A new campaign has been launched calling for children in the UK to be allowed to return to school at the earliest opportunity. The campaign also asks that precautions to reduce the spread of Covid-19 are proportionate and do not rely on the 2m distancing rule saying, “…we must not deprive our children of social interactions that are vital for their development and health”. What we do next for our children could have a lasting and profound effect on their future health and prospects. The team behind the campaign are parents and guardians of children who are speaking out on behalf of their children, and others, who are unable to vote or be represented by a union to prevent further damage to their physical and mental welfare. In our latest video Rob Verkerk PhD discusses why and how we think schools should reopen, based as always, on the latest available science. Read the petition and sign and share if it resonates with you.
Antitrust case to be filed against Google
The US Justice Department is reported to be getting ready to file an antitrust case against Google. Following the announcement, shares in its parent company, Alphabet, fell. Google is being investigated along with Apple, Amazon and Facebook for using their might to oust smaller players and unfairly grab market share. The current probe into Google is focusing on its handling of its android system. In 2013 an antitrust investigation of Google by the US Federal Trade Commission resulted in a slap on the wrist and promise by Google to change its business practices, which has in no way seemed to have curbed its activities. The current pandemic is being used as a vehicle to promote the need for the services of Big Tech companies and as a way of giving them a pat on the back for their ‘leadership’ during the crisis. Such news makes no mention of the hammer being used to smash through dissenting voices as efforts to censor pushback against mainstream propaganda continues apace and citizens’ human rights are trampled underfoot.
Post Covid battle of the bulge
Following his close shave with death due to Covid-19 along with the realisation that his weight was a major contributing factor to his stay in intensive care, UK prime minister Boris Johnson has vowed to tackle the obesity epidemic in the UK. The announcement comes as figures released by the UK’s NHS revealed 26% of those who have died due to Covid-19 in the UK were diagnosed with diabetes and 95% had at least one pre-existing health condition. As UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed how he lost 2 stone in weight using a low carb approach, leading anti-obesity expert, Dr Aseem Malhotra, has written to the Health Secretary calling on the Government to launch a “public health revolution”. Despite several recent consultations the UK Government has flatly ignored current science and steadfastly refused to change out of date guidelines that are no longer fit for purpose. In the US, the Dept of Agriculture has excluded nearly every study on low carb diets from a review designed to inform the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The pandemic has highlighted the significant danger obesity and associated chronic disease puts individuals at of dying from complications of infectious disease. Moving forward, it’s imperative that governments and public health authorities learn lessons and focus on interventions that will truly promote health to reduce the impact of future outbreaks and reduce the burden of chronic disease based on the most up to date and current science.
Talking of the UK Prime Minister, news that Boris Johnson has had a phone call with Bill and Melinda Gates along with Kate Bingham, chair of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce, is being widely shared by the UK Government. Discussions centred around the UK’s contribution to coronavirus efforts, however, the focus was solely on vaccine development. Regretfully it once again highlights the disproportionate influence, power and control wielded by one private citizen— albeit one with billions at his fingertips — over governments around the world.
Healthy gut microbiome protects against infectious disease
In a statement sent to the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Human Microbiome calls on the UK Government to evaluate the role of gut health on disease susceptibility and recovery from acute infectious disease such as Covid-19. The APPG’s call highlights the importance of a healthy gut microbiome in reducing the immune system over-reaction that has been seen so often in response to infectious disease such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The statement recommends dietary approaches to support immune system resilience and help it deal with pathogens should someone become infected. Eating a diverse range of nutrient dense wholefoods nourishes not only your body, but the microbial community in your gut as well as helping to educate and regulate the immune system.
Healthy diet, healthy brain
Diets rich in flavonoid-containing vegetables and fruit are associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A 20-year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by researchers from Tufts University’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, has found those who ate the least amount of vegetables and fruit were two to four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who included a wide range of plant foods. Further evidence of the impact of what we eat on our brain health comes from a study linking poor gut health with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Published in Nature, the new mouse study found changing the make-up of the gut microbiome (using antibiotics or faecal transplants) in mice with a common genetic mutation, improved symptoms or prevented disease occurring. Eating a low carb, plant-based diet containing plenty of prebiotic and probiotic foods provides the food our gut microbiome needs to be healthy, which in turn provides the nutrients you need for a healthy, happy brain. Check our recent Health Hack video for more ways to improve your gut health.
Teacher, health practitioner and founder of The New School, Lucy Stephens, shares her concerns about the impact the new proposals for schools could have on child development, emotional health and wellbeing