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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

💀 ☠ Rampant Vitamin B12 Deficiencies │ Coffee Benefits │ Specious Study Claims Benefits of Statins Far Outweigh Risks

Loathsome engagement kept me up last night until perhaps 2:30 a.m.

After my usual break in initial sleep, I was too troubled to find the peace for much more sleep ─ badly as I may have needed the escape.

I doubt that I tried any longer than 7:20 a.m., but I was unusually tired after getting up.

I got to work on the post I began on Monday at my Omatsu Okiya website, but I only accomplished half the effort that I should have.

I felt so badly that I needed to return to bed.  But instead, after breaking away from my work, I submitted to my demon for the remainder of the morning until finally bested well into the first half of the noon-hour.

My youngest step-son Pote had parted around 7:00 a.m. with his overnighted girlfriend, and then at some point around 10:30 a.m. he left to catch his bus to work.  Or have I lost track, and it may have been nearer noon?

It matters not at all.

Upon quitting my computer, I felt so physically crumbled that bed was almost irresistible, but I came to realize that it was a perfectly sunny day ─ how could I turn my back on this rare weather and sleep it away?

And so at exactly 1:01 p.m., I sat out in a chair in the backyard; and while wearing naught but a pair of cut-offs, I spent just over 40 minutes out there while facing into that Sun.

The peculiar thing is that I never felt at all sleepy.

So why was the urge for bed almost overwhelming earlier?  Can a tortured conscience do that?

Whatever the case, the sunshine definitely improved me.  Despite my self-recriminations, I again feel some hope.

I want to drop all further discussion of my day and post the following photo ─ the brief description beneath is from the Google album where I have the image filed:

This is my older maternal half-sister Phyllis back in 1974 or 1975.

The photo was scanned from within the album into which it had been glued back then, and where it still remains.

Phyllis was a beautiful young woman.

I remember seeing her in a bikini a few years before this when she had been sunning, and I certainly had my attention arrested.

About a dozen years before this photo was taken, she did a term as Miss Richmond.

I remember back in the latter 1960s when my friend Philip David Prince influenced me to begin taking nutritional supplements and to read books on nutrition, I learned of pernicious anemia, the intrinsic factor, and cyanocobalamin ─ terms I have all but forgotten.

They all came flooding back to me as I read the following article detailing how many seniors with diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease are probably lacking in vitamin B12, and have been deficient for many, many years:

It is a darned good article, but I had the webpage freeze up in both Explorer and Opera ─ it was perfectly okay in Firefox, however.

I found this opening portion of a study being reported upon in that article to be very informative:
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble essential vitamin. A member of vitamin B complex, vitamin B12 is also called cobalamin because it contains the metal cobalt. Vitamin B12 is synthesized by bacteria and is found mainly in meat, egg, and dairy products but lacks a reliable plant source. It is essential for the formation of red blood cells and maintenance of a healthy nervous system as well as for the rapid synthesis of DNA during cell division. It is believed that B12 along with folic acid may help prevent disorders of central nervous system development, mood disorders, and dementias. Megaloblastic anemia is the common and serious illness associated with B12 deficiency, but it is believed that a mild decrease in the B12 level is associated with neurologic and psychiatric problems such as ataxia or mood disturbances.

A common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is poor intake or absorption. The protein-bound vitamin B12 is released by hydrochloric acid in the stomach during digestion. Once released, B12 combines with the gastric intrinsic factor, and this complex is absorbed in the intestinal tract. Although vitamin deficiencies are relatively uncommon in the Western world, it is estimated that 10% to 15% of individuals over the age of 60 years may suffer from B12 deficiency and it is believed that atrophic gastritis type B, which may afflict 20% to 50% of the elderly, may lead to poor absorption of B12 and folate. As the population ages, nutrition and its impact on the health of the elderly become increasingly important in health maintenance of the elderly.
The Times article gets into discussing recommended dosages for supplementation.

I do have a bottle of B12 supplements that I take very seldom ─ they are 1,200 microgrammes a tablet.  I daily take a B complex capsule that contains 10 microgrammes of B12, however.



Do you drink coffee?

If you do, then you ought to appreciate an article by Dr. Marc Micozzi detailing six reasons why it is a good idea to be drinking the beverage.

I'll list the reasons for you, and then  provide the link to the article:
  1. Drinking coffee = lower colon cancer risk
  2. Sip your way to healthy, cancer-free skin
  3. Older coffee drinkers have more physical energy
  4. Coffee drinking linked to better cardiovascular health
  5. Caffeine eases all kinds of pain
  6. Brew up better brain health


I cannot imagine anything at all ever getting me to take any sort of statin medication.  I have read too much of their harm.

Yet a study in the The Lancet is being heralded as proving that these drugs are more beneficial than they are harmful:


The article certainly does sound rosy on behalf of the study.

But just who were involved in the study, which was really an overview of many past studies?

Eight of the researchers involved  "work in the Clinical Trial Service Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU) at the University of Oxford."

Note this concerning the study review:
Asked to comment, Dr Aseem Malhotra (Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK), who has been a vocal critic of the review and author of one of the 2013 BMJ papers, told heartwire that the Clinical Trials Service Unit at Oxford has received hundreds of millions of pounds in funding from statin manufacturers and that Collins's group has not released raw data on the major statin randomized controlled trials for independent scrutiny.

"Using predominantly industry-sponsored trials designed for the purpose of determining the benefits of statins to assess side effects, which is what this review has done, simply adds false precision to biased estimates," he said.

He noted that Pfizer's own patient leaflet on atorvastatin states "common side effects [that] may affect up to one in 10 people" include sore throat, nausea, digestive problems, and muscle and joint pains.

A recent systematic review coauthored by Malhotra also reveals that in those over age 60, LDL-C is not associated with CVD and is inversely correlated with all-cause mortality[5].

"I have no doubt that statins have a benefit, but focusing on LDL lowering as if this was the end in itself is counterproductive, especially when insulin resistance is a more important risk factor for myocardial infarction," Malhotra said.

He added, "In my view the Lancet review is a total whitewash. The editor in chief of the BMJ Fiona Godlee has described this as 'the trialists marking their own homework,' and I completely agree."
That's strong language from a published researcher in his own right.  

I quoted it from an article in medscape.com here.

Here is another respected authority speaking out extensively on the review:
Sherif Sultan, president elect of the International Society for Vascular Surgery, is critical of the Lancet paper. "It does not encompass any substantial new information or data and it lacks independence," says Sultan, professor of vascular surgery at the University of Ireland.

"It is a review by the triallists who published all these data before, with the long declaration of interests and whose research is paid generously by the drug industry."

The Oxford clinical trials unit receives "hundreds of millions of pounds of support from the pharmaceutical industry", he says.

Statins’ harmfulness is "clear and data-driven", says Sultan.

The authors have downplayed their harm and do not make clear "when there is an absence of evidence and evidence of absence".

Several independent researchers have documented that the number of side effects are much higher than the Lancet paper describes, says Sultan. For example, the risk of myopathy (muscle damage) is shown to be at least 10% to 20%, not 0.01% as described in the Lancet.

Muscular side effects are not "benign phenomena", he says.

"They may have a deleterious effect on elderly people, because the least expensive and the least risky way to prevent heart disease is regular exercise."

Several studies have shown that the risk of diabetes is at least 25 times higher than the 0.1%-0.2% averred in the Lancet, he says.

Data on statin benefits derives from an analysis based on individual patient data by the cholesterol treatment triallists’ collaboration, which Collins leads.

Despite numerous requests, this has not been published — or included in the Lancet paper, says Sultan. This means the evidence on statin harm is "not as rigorous as the evidence for statin benefits".

"Ideally, all clinical trial data should be available for third-party scrutiny and published for public scrutiny," Sultan says.

The need for independent review is "especially pressing in this case, given the public health implications of the call for widespread use of statins for primary prevention".

Sultan’s prescription for a healthy heart is primary prevention: a Mediterranean-style diet, regular physical activity, no smoking, no alcohol, lots of "good water" daily, no refined sugar, no heavy meal after 7pm, and lots of "good love".
That was taken from this article in bdlive.co.zaStudy fails to close divide on statins.

I am tempted to quote the study's Declaration of interests concerning the study authors or researchers, but it is a huge amount of text and very boring, partly because it only lists the authors initials ─ you would have to scroll back and forth to the study's list of authors or contributors just beneath the study title.   

But I think I have wasted enough time with this as it is.


I close now with a 41-year-old entry from my journal, back when I was 25 years old, and living in a housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting the small unit in a house located on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.

I had not gotten to bed the night before until 4:30 a.m.
SUNDAY, September 28, 1975

The day of the Olympic Lottery, which I so badly must win.

I arose about 11:00 a.m.

My meal was of pancakes, 1 cup of flour's worth.

I typed a letter contesting Terri's view on Mantis (in Avengers #142) to be sent to Marvel; I shall mail it when I go to Bill's place to watch the draw at 6:00 p.m. on channel 8.

I finished the boring MALCOLM X SPEAKS.

Well, my letter didn't get posted until after the draw; Bill came here just prior to 5:00 p.m. and drove me to his place.

During the lottery, he shared a can of mixed nuts with me.

I won absolutely nothing.

But the Western is coming Hallowe'en!  I have 2 tickets for it.

Bill also drove me home, stopping at Mac's and buying me a diet Pepsi.

I feel completely normal.

Bed at 8:35 p.m.
I'm not sure now what I meant about feeling "completely normal" ─ maybe that I was not devastated for not winning big on the Olympic Lottery?  I had long been looking forward to it.

I always made my pancakes from scratch ─ no packaged crap for me!  But this was about a third of the amount of flour that I often used.

And note that I just grabbed a cup from out of the cupboard ─ this was not an official measuring cup, which would have contained less flour. 

Terri Martin was a U.S. pen-pal I had recently begun corresponding with ─ we both loved Marvel super-hero comics.

My old friend William Alan Gill was the best friend I ever could have had.  I had known him since at least as far back as 1962.

Unfortunately, I have not seen him since the latter 1990s, I believe.  He moved over to the Victoria area of Vancouver Island, and has since had his health deteriorate so direly that he is in an extended care facility.  

I understand that he cannot even get out of bed and rise to his feet unassisted, and he wears a catheter full-time.

How the dear man has lived to make the age of 70 defies logic ─ he has been ill since undergoing some sort of stomach-reduction surgery in the latter 1970s to help him lose weight.

It was to ruin his health, cost him his job, and put him onto a disability pension for life while only entering his 30s.  

I wish that he had never moved to the Island ─ it was a mistake.  A big one.

I do not drive.  And with my limited pension, I cannot afford a hotel room over in Victoria ─ I would be unable to spend the night with Bill in the care facility if I ever went over to visit him. 

And going there for just a few hours ─ it would take hours to get there from here where I live in Surrey, and the same situation would be faced returning.

Sandy, a lady-friend of his who lives in Vancouver, sometimes pays him a visit.  I think they have known one another since the mid-1980s.  

She has gotten to know Bill's cousin (Darlene?) over on the Island and sometimes stays with her for a night or two.

Sandy occasionally gives me a call to update me on Bill ─ perhaps I will give her a call after I publish this post.
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