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Monthly Archives: February 2013


New data concerning the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine

By |February 22, 2013|Vaccination|

Source Huffington Post

Flu vaccine is not as effective as public health messaging traditionally has claimed, says a new report that suggests overselling of flu shots is getting in the way of developing more effective and longer lasting vaccines.

The project that led to the report was called the CIDRAP Comprehensive Influenza Vaccine Initiative, and it involved mining more than 12,000 documents, articles and meeting transcripts as well as more than 5,700 peer-reviewed vaccine studies published from 1936 through April 2012. The full report can be found here.

In recent years studies by a variety of research groups  have shown that the long-quoted claims that flu shots offered 70 to 90 per cent protection against influenza have been off the mark.

Somewhere in the order of 50 to 60 per cent, in healthy adults, is more accurate, the newer studies suggest. Efficacy rates are lower in the elderly or people in poor health. Vaccine effectiveness in those 65 and older against both influenza A and B was 27% (95% CI, -31% to 59%), and against H3N2 it was 9% (95% CI, -84% to 55%), but both numbers are statistically not significant.

The report suggests that the higher numbers came from old studies done on vaccines that were not formulated the way current shots are. It also suggests that the belief that universal vaccination for flu would be useful and desirable, rather than solid scientific evidence, was what drove decisions to recommend flu shots for all in the U.S. (The study did not look at decisions made in Canada or elsewhere.)

Even the vaccine used in the U.S. during the 2009 pandemic — where there was a perfect match between the virus in the vaccine and the strain infecting people — didn’t offer better protection. Studies cited in the report pegged the U.S. vaccine’s effectiveness at 56 per cent.

A key argument of the report is the fact that the current vaccine that offers moderate protection is actually getting in the way of developing long-lasting flu vaccines that offer more effective protection — vaccines, for example, that might require a shot every five or 10 years. Currently flu shots are reformulated every year to try to keep up with the evolution of flu viruses.

Even though a flu shot is a relatively inexpensive vaccine, manufacturers sell hundreds of millions of doses of them a year. In fact, the report notes that the global market for flu vaccine is estimated at US$2.8 billion — a decent chunk of the estimated US$20 billion annual market for all vaccines combined.

For an interesting article of influenza and the protectiveness of Vitamin D please read On the epidemiology of influenza

Is sunlight good for our heart?

By |February 18, 2013|Research|

Source European Heart Journal

Humans evolved being exposed for about half of the day to the light of the sun. Nowadays, exposure to sunlight is actively discouraged for fear of skin cancer, and contemporary lifestyles are associated with long hours spent under artificial light indoors. Besides an increasing appreciation for the adverse effects of these life-style-related behavioural changes on our chronobiology, the balance between the beneficial and harmful effects of sunlight on human health is the subject of considerable debate, in both the scientific and popular press, and the latter is of major public health significance. While there is incontrovertible evidence that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in the form of sunlight is a significant predisposing factor for non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers in pale skinned people,  a growing body of data suggest general health benefits brought about by sunlight.

The researchers propose that many of the beneficial effects of sunlight, particularly those related to cardiovascular health, are mediated by mechanisms that are independent of melatonin, vitamin D, and exposure to UVB alone. Specifically, they suggest that the skin is a significant store of nitric oxide (NO)-related species that can be mobilized by sunlight and delivered to the systemic circulation to exert coronary vasodilator and cardioprotective as well as antihypertensive effects. They further hypothesize that this dermal NO reservoir is a product of local production and dietary supply with nitrate-rich foods.

The full article (pdf) is available on the European Heart Journal website.

Posturing for Wellness: Good Health Begins with Good Posture

By |February 13, 2013|Backpacks, Chiropractic Care, Posture|

Posturing for Wellness: Good Health Begins with Good Posture

The Chiro.Org Blog


Doctors of chiropractic have long emphasized the importance of posture and other lifestyle factors in the body’s ability to function optimally. In a broad sense, good posture can be considered an ongoing battle against bad habits. “The body endures hundreds of insults each day,” says Scott W. Donkin, DC, DACBOH, “but we have the choice of controlling how they affect us. Once destructive habits are identified, people can change, prevent, and relieve both present and future physical problems. The quality of our later years can be enhanced and many physical problems prevented if we understand and deal early on with the underlying issues.” Dr. Donkin is the author of Sitting on the Job. [1]

Lifetime Regimen

What most people don’t know is that the following should be a lifetime regimen-for everyone-and not just when the back hurts. ACA Council on Chiropractic Orthopedics vice president Gary L. Carver, DC, DABCO, says that when they first get up in the morning, “People should use their hands and arms for support to get into a seated position. Next, they should swing their legs to the floor and stand up-using the hinge of the hips, rather than the back.”

But once the body is upright, is it up right? In other words, are the muscles, joints, and skeleton in a balanced posture? Too often, the answer is “no.” “As long as our body is performing, we take it for granted. We don’t concentrate on what we need to do to maintain good posture habits,” says Leo Bronston, DC, DABCO, DACAN, CCSP, and secretary of the ACA Council on Chiropractic Orthopedics. “Generally, we tend to hunch forward when we should be rolling our shoulders back and opening up the chest wall. That is something we need to practice-activating the proper postural muscles. We see many patients who simply don’t know how to achieve a more balanced trunk and neutral spine. Just as we learned to eat with a fork and that became automatic, we can train our muscles for good posture and balance, whether we’re standing, rising from a seated position, or getting out of bed.”

There are many more articles like this in our:

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