Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fluoride can carry health risks

Most Americans aren't aware that there's controversy over whether or not fluoride should be added to the public water supply; it rarely gets discussed in the mainstream media. Most first world countries no longer add the substance. In Western Europe this figure is well over 90%. This contrasts America where approximately 73.9% of Americans are “served” fluoridated water. Compared to other states, a high proportion of Minnesota residents, approximately 98.8%, are provided fluoridated water.  

Proponents of adding fluoride say it fights tooth decay and is safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 
Water fluoridation prevents tooth decay mainly by providing teeth with frequent contact with low levels of fluoride throughout each day and throughout life. Even today, with other available sources of fluoride, studies show that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by about 25 percent over a person's lifetime.
Community water fluoridation is not only safe and effective, but it is also cost-saving and the least expensive way to deliver the benefits of fluoride to all residents of a community. For larger communities of more than 20,000 people, it costs about 50 cents per person to fluoridate the water. It is also cost-effective because every $1 invested in this preventive measure yields approximately $38 savings in dental treatment costs.
It's pretty much undisputed that fluoride can help prevent tooth decay but there’s mounting evidence that fluoride can cause some serious harm including depressing children's IQ. From the Harvard School of Public Health: 
For years health experts have been unable to agree on whether fluoride in the drinking water may be toxic to the developing human brain. Extremely high levels of fluoride are known to cause neurotoxicity in adults, and negative impacts on memory and learning have been reported in rodent studies, but little is known about the substance’s impact on children’s neurodevelopment. In a meta-analysis, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and China Medical University in Shenyang for the first time combined 27 studies and found strong indications that fluoride may adversely affect cognitive development in children. Based on the findings, the authors say that this risk should not be ignored, and that more research on fluoride’s impact on the developing brain is warranted.
It seems obvious that the risks of water fluoridation outweigh any benefits and that the practice should be discontinued immediately.  

There's a number of ways people can avoid consuming fluoridated water. Purchasing an appropriate water filter appears to be the most practical. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Swiss voters approve immigration referendum

Swiss voters approved a very moderate and sensible referendum to curtail continued mass immigration. The mainstream media is behaving as if the sky is falling.

Switzerland is introducing what could be one of the most dangerous experiments in the history of immigration reform.
Swiss voters approved a plan in referendum on Sunday that will set new limits on the number of foreigners who can settle and work in their country. Details haven’t been worked out yet, but strict curbs would be catastrophic for major Swiss industries such as pharmaceuticals, where 45 percent of employees—mainly skilled professionals—come from outside the country.

If there is a shortage of labor in Switzerland in a particular industry, such as pharmaceuticals—and there is not a genuine shortage, by the way, despite big businesses pleas for cheap labor—this simply means that businesses should raise their wages to attract the talent that already exists in the country.

The referendum barely passed despite strong lobbying from the high echelons of business, government, and the prestige press. It’s quite amazing to see the stark divide between the voters and most of the people who run things. Switzerland is a packed country. The last thing the typical citizen wants is more congestion, environmental degradation, depressed wages, cultural conflict, and strains on welfare programs.

Comcast wants to purchase Time Warner Cable

Many people are taking to Twitter to air their complaints about Comcast’s desire to purchase Time Warner Cable.

I have a negative Comcast customer service story. I've long had my own cable modem yet Comcast was convinced that I was renting one of theirs, so, I had incorrect charges associated with my account. After talking to customer service representatives for hours over the course of a year or so, they seem to have finally realized that I am not renting one of their modems and have removed those incorrect charges.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Leg strength strength reduction, age, and exercise in active older adults

Leg Strength Declines With Advancing Age Despite Habitual Endurance Exercise in Active Older Adults
Abstract: Marcell, TJ, Hawkins, SA, and Wiswell, RA. Leg strength declines with advancing age despite habitual endurance exercise in active older adults. J Strength Cond Res 28(2): 504–513, 2014—Age-associated loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) and strength (dynapenia) is associated with a loss of independence that contributes to falls, fractures, and nursing home admissions, whereas regular physical activity has been suggested to offset these losses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of habitual endurance exercise on muscle mass and strength in active older adults. A longitudinal analysis of muscle strength (≈4.8 years apart) was performed on 59 men (age at start of study: 58.6 ± 7.3 years) and 35 women (56.9 ± 8.2 years) who used endurance running as their primary mode of exercise. There were no changes in fat-free mass although body fat increased minimally (1.0–1.5%). Training volume (km·wk−1, d·wk−1) decreased in both the men and women. There was a significant loss of both isometric knee extension (≈5% per year) and knee flexion (≈3.6% per year) strength in both the men and women. However, there was no significant change in either isokinetic concentric or eccentric torque of the knee extensors. Our data demonstrated a significant decline in isometric knee extensor and knee flexor strength although there were no changes in body mass in this group of very active older men and women. Our data support newer exercise guidelines for older Americans suggesting resistance training be an integral component of a fitness program and that running alone was not sufficient to prevent the loss in muscle strength (dynapenia) with aging. [Emphasis added]