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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pharmaceutical 'Reps' Now Proven to Influence Physicians │ Digestion Impairment Arises Quickly with Miniscule Zinc Deficiency

How the heck did I manage to accrue $1 in AdSense income today?  

For Pete's sake, I sometimes feel fortunate just to see 1¢ show up in the balance for an entire day, for that's better than the goose-egg that too-often shows as my earnings!

It's been a gloriously sunny day, but I never took advantage at all.

I had planned to go shopping this morning if my wife Jack hadn't come last evening to stay the night, but she did.  She had said that she would arrive sometime around 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and she was true to her word, arriving around 6:20p.m.

And to my surprise, she retired quite early ─ before 10:00 p.m., I believe.

I remained up until something like 11:40 p.m. before trying to sneak into bed without disturbing her.

I actually slept rather well overall, and I held off rising until nearly 8:30 a.m.

And although Jack rose no more than an hour later, I was able to get more work done on the new post I started yesterday at my Siam-Longings website than I thought I might.

However, that was mostly because Jack had some errands to run, and was not long in driving off to tend to them.

Had she not spent the night, I had considered that I would try to see some of Surrey's first-ever 'Gay' parade and follow-up celebration at Holland Park ─ the whole thing was largely made possible by the efforts of Surrey Pride Society.

The route of the parade was only going to be a couple of blocks long, from what I understand.  It was the event at Holland Park that was the bigger deal, in all likelihood.

But I never got the chance to hike over and see any of it.

Before Jack left to do whatever errands she had in mind, my younger brother Mark had come home from his girlfriend Bev's home where he had spent the night, and he was still here when Jack got back.

He finally headed off for the afternoon around 12:20 p.m., claiming that he was going to get in a good walk over at Bear Creek Park before hooking up with his girlfriend and his drinking pals. 

Jack and I didn't talk much once she was back.  Of course, that was the case last evening and earlier this morning, too.  I never saw her even remotely attempt a smile.

When she's withdrawn, I become so, too.

I learned one happy (for me) thing, though ─ her youngest step-son and his girlfriend have gone with friends to Kelowna and are not due back until Wednesday. 

They left very early this morning ─ in fact, Jack said that she got up at 4:00 a.m. to see them off.  I was entirely unaware she had risen ─ I must have been sleeping well.

Her eldest son Tho has not been home since Jack got here early last evening; and when she left today at just about 2:30 p.m., his total absence was something of an annoyance to her.

Jack would likely have paid her next visit home from Vancouver on Tuesday evening, but the Pattullo Bridge is to be closed for upgrading both Monday and Tuesday nights, so she said that she would likely hold off until Wednesday evening.

The only other bridge convenient for her ─ the Port Mann ─ has a heavy toll for casual users.  A round-trip would cost in total just about $11 ─ utterly ludicrous!

Well, provided Tho goes to work on time this week, I am going to have a few sunny days in total privacy here at home and will ensure that I get in some needed sunning.

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I have a photo that I would like to post ─ the description beneath it is from the Google album where I have it stored:

This photo from January 2003 shows me ─ probably with a can of beer ─ at the Million Years Stone Park & Pattaya Crocodile Farm in Thailand.

That is Jack (Supranee) with me ─ the woman who is now my wife.

She and I were growing very close on this ─ my first-ever ─ visit to her country.

Note that I was not dressed as I am deliberately.  Or that is to say, I had no idea that I would be out in the public like this.

Another Thai gal ─ Tukta ─ had fooled me into leaving the hotel room by just suggesting that we would nip out for something to eat and drink, and that I needn't bother changing from the 'lounge' wear I had on in the room.


Tukta was driving her own car.


So off I went with Tukta, Tumma, and Jack, never imagining that I was being taken of a sightseeing excursion!
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You must surely be aware that pharmaceutical companies send their people to visit physicians and try to win them over with small 'favours' ─ that is, gifts of one kind or another.

Maybe the pharmaceutical representative is an especially 'hot' young woman ─ this can easily influence a hetero-male.  

These tactics work, and influence physicians to accept medication samples and to prescribe the company's brand-name products.

Now American research has proven just how effective this ploy is: 

It's an old saying, but the latest research finds it's true when it comes to your doctor... because he can be bought for the price of lunch!

We're not even talking steak tartare at the Four Seasons, either. Just a Grand Slamwich at Denny's might be enough to do the trick, because the new study finds that a single low-cost meal -- even if the value is less than $20, like sending some pizza to the doctor's office -- is enough to influence their prescribing habits.

Docs who feed at the Big Pharma trough are TWICE as likely to push pricey name-brand drugs over cheap generics when compared to physicians who don't bite the bait.

The more they eat on Big Pharma's dime, the more they'll prescribe name-brand drugs. And docs who get multiple meals are THREE TIMES more likely, the researchers reported in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

And the more expensive the meals, the more prone docs are to pushing those meds, according to the study of Medicare data.

No wonder Big Pharma spends nearly a quarter BILLION bucks on meals for docs every year.

It works!

This isn't just more profit for Big Pharma. It means more money out of your pocket -- because while generic copays are as low as $1 a pop, name-brand drugs can cost $40 or more.

And if you're a senior trying to squeeze by on a limited income, and you're taking multiple meds, it adds up fast. Soon, you might have to make cuts to your personal budget to pay for pills.

That means more food in your doc's mouth could mean less food in yours!

The researchers say this is more proof Big Pharma should be blocked from buying off docs, even for little things like meals.

Of course docs and the industry are fighting tooth and nail against any effort to stop or even limit this shameless petty bribery.

Fortunately, you can take matters into your own hands here, because it's easier than ever to check on your doc to see if he's on the take.

First, you can look around the office. If everything from the clocks to the wastebasket have some kind of drug branding on them, odds are he's playing "Wheel of Fortune" with Big Pharma.

And second, you can look around online. Big Pharma is now required to report all payments to docs, and there are databases where you can check on your own physician to see how much he takes and from who.

A great place to start is Pro Publica's Dollars for Docs website, which you can find right here.

Paying my own way....
Here are a couple of other reports about this unsurprising revelation ─ the first is from Pro Publica itself:



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I feel no concern that I am zinc-deficient, for I am not a vegetarian, and I also take a zinc supplement that is presently 10 milligrams per tablet.

But there are people who are unknowingly deficient in this essential mineral:

When was the last time your doc checked your zinc levels? Here's a guess: never.

Docs won't even bother with zinc unless you've got the obvious signs of a deficiency.

If your hair's falling out of your head, or if you're tired and on the brink of collapse most of the time, he might check -- although he'll probably look everywhere else first.

But even if you've got a full head of hair... even if you have no other outward warning signs of a zinc deficiency at all... you could be missing out.

And the latest research shows how falling even just a little short can punch you right in the gut.

Levels that wouldn't be considered a true deficiency -- levels your own doc would be perfectly happy with if he ever bothered to test you -- can set the stage for problems with digestion.

Your pancreas squeezes zinc out of your food and pumps it into your body. When your levels plunge, it can't do the job... and you don't just miss out on zinc.

The study -- done on piglets, but our own digestive system works the same way -- shows how essential digestive enzymes in the pancreas plunge faster than Hillary's approval ratings even at zinc levels that fall just a LITTLE short over a short period of time.

That, in turn, can slow your digestion so that the food you eat starts to pile up in your gut and intestines like trash during a garbage strike.

On the plus side, you might be a little less hungry.

On the minus side, your inner workings are slowing down -- and that's not good for your gut, your nutrition, or your body.

Along with digestion problems, low levels of zinc -- even if they're not low enough for a "true" deficiency -- can lead to everything from low energy to sex problems in men and women alike.

More importantly, low zinc can also screw up your immune system, leaving you exposed to infection risk and chronic health problems.

Don't go crazy with zinc, because it's definitely possible to have too much of a good thing.

In most cases, you won't even need a separate zinc supplement, just a decent multivitamin. Check yours today -- and if it doesn't have zinc and other essential minerals, it's time to shop around for a new blend.

And don't forget to get some zinc from diet.

The best source is oysters, but most folks only eat them a couple times a year. The best COMMON source is beef, but you have to be picky about it: Honest-to-goodness grass-fed cow contains far more zinc than the nasty factory-processed supermarket cuts.

You'll also find it in all the other foods you've been told NOT to eat: eggs (especially the yolk), dark-meat poultry, and fresh dairy.

Thinking zinc....
Only the abstract of the study is available for free to the general public:  Subclinical zinc deficiency impairs pancreatic digestive enzyme activity and digestive capacity of weaned piglets (DOI: 10.1017/S0007114516002105). 

If anyone wanted the full study badly enough, it can be accessed at Sci-Hub.ac with a bit of a search s a nine-page .pdf document.

Regardless, here are a couple of other reports about the study ─ the first from Technical University of Munich where the study was conducted:



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I have felt unusually well today ─ even my eyes are not affecting me adversely as much as they would otherwise do.

Maybe I really did sleep exceptionally well?

That's rarely the case when my wife Jack stays overnight anymore.

I am going to close today's post with this entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 25 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting my room in a house located on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.

I had recently received a letter from New Westminster social services declaring that until I had made and kept an appointment with my social worker (Russ Jeffs), there would be no further allowance.

I was only working a day per week, and that was thanks to an employment incentive or initiatives programme in place between my employer and New Westminster social services.

So the day just prior to the journal entry, I had gone to social services and made the appointment for this day in 1975.
THURSDAY, June 26, 1975

I awoke shortly after 5:00 a.m.

It was pouring when I went to the Bluebird to find the price and address for the 6 Frazetta posters I want; I then proceeded to Woodward's where I mailed for Mark's lottery tickets, and for my posters bought a $16.25 money order (I think the $17.15 I paid was a rip-off).  I'll mail for these on my way to see Jeffs.

Of all the free money I've had this month, I now have $2; and after Jeffs, I plan to go to Safeway.

I spent $1.61 there, including my first eggplant.

I waited for my discussion a long while; when I saw him, he said there was no authorization calling me in; it was done routinely.

He said I might get a month's work if I consult Sally at the Sa-sha Club; working at a People's Farm, I believe he called it, for $450.

There is now just a drizzle.

By 12:15 p.m. I should be on my way to dad's (I left a door-note saying I went to Burnaby in case Mark calls) with a boiling chicken.

I had some sunshine just after departing; when I reached the recreation centre at the far end of the lake, it commenced showering. 

Anyway, next Wednesday dad & Marie are to treat me to a beef heart feed.

I didn't overeat finally.

There were sunny spots on my walk home from 7:20 p.m.

Bill left a message promising to call tonight or tomorrow 10:15 p.m.?
I mentioned "the Bluebird" another time just recently in a journal entry, yet I have no memory of any such business.  I apparently went to it this day to get the mailing details so that I could order six Frank Frazetta posters ─ there must surely have been a magazine in which I had seen the advertisement.

Woodward's department store used to be located on Sixth Avenue where Royal City Centre Mall is now located.  They must have had a postal depot or something similar, for it seems to have been there that I mailed off an order for two lottery tickets as a birthday gift for my younger brother Mark; and I bought the money order for the Frazetta posters.

I would have returned to my room to fill it out.  

My journal entries were usually written piecemeal over the course of a day, so sometimes I might be writing of something I planned to do...and then the next sentence tells of having done that deed.

The "free money" I spoke of was $50 I had won as my share of a lottery win, thanks to an Olympic Lottery ticket that my mother Irene Dorosh and I had chipped in on.  

When I finally got to see my social worker Russ Jeffs, he disavowed having been behind the threatening letter ─ it was just a type of letter routinely sent out. 

I've never been certain of the precise name of the Sasha Club, but it was something Russ Jeffs had set up for the troubled and isolated youth of New Westminster to gather at and socialize.

I certainly never spent a month working at anyone's farm, so I probably didn't go to look up "Sally" about the short employment opportunity.

But I did go shopping with my $2 at Safeway.  Whatever I bought included the first eggplant that I had ever purchased. 

Upon returning to my room, my next venture ─ after leaving a note on the door for my brother Mark, should he happen to come by ─ was the long walk out to visit my father Hector and his girlfriend Maria Fadden at their apartment in Burnaby.  

Oddly enough, I don't remember their apartment.  However, it was located on Sunset Street, roughly between Boundary Road and the Burnaby Hospital, as this Google map shows.

What perplexes me is my mention of a lake.  For the life of me, I am thinking that I was referring to Burnaby Lake, for quite often I would hike out to it from where I lived and circle around its far side, returning home.

I was a crazy walker back then, but it certainly seems ambitious to me now to have hiked to my father's apartment via that route.

Anyway, Maria probably stewed up the chicken I brought; and I was invited for a beef-heart meal the following week.

I am fairly sure that I would have walked directly home that evening after my visit, and not meandered out to any lakes! 

I got back to find a note from my old friend William Alan Gill.  His handwriting was abominable, so I mustn't have been able to tell if he was going to try and drop by that evening...or the next.

I had no phone.
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