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Vitamin D Supplement Is Useless

We have just celebrated our Independence Day. I always say that what we got on that day is only political independence; we are still intellectual slaves of the West, more so of America. For over two decades, ever since vitamin D became a money spinner, I have been telling patients that we do not need vitamin D in India; and, even if we do, we do not get any benefit from exogenous vitamin D. The common man, and his doctor, used to laugh at me behind my back. Now comes a bombshell from the intellectuals!
“Vitamin D is no better than a placebo for boosting bone mineral density, muscle function, and muscle mass, or reducing falls in postmenopausal women,” according a study published in the 3rd August issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. “High-dose vitamin D offers no muscoloskeletal benefit and no protection against falls in postmenopausal women, a new study found.”
I hope and pray that, at least, now our wise doctors listen to the voice of sanity.

Stem Cell Deception

Right from day one, I was sceptical of the stem cell story. We have been working on endogenous stem cells produced by our own body; for example, in bone healing after a fracture. The RBC (red blood cells) inside a blood clot at the site of the bone fracture, if carefully studied, undergoes changes slowly but steadily to become a pluripotent stem cell which helps heal all parts of the fracture site. We also have been seeing powerful stem cells produced by the body when we try to use electromagnetic energy to heal large wounds where the body produces its own stem cells to heal the wound. That said, I must add that any in vitro stem cell (stem cells made in the laboratory by a human being) introduced into the patient’s system finds itself like a fish out of water. Nowhere, so far, has stem cell therapy succeeded! Occasionally, when it has done so, it has given rise another deadly disease. 
What went wrong is that the stem cells injected into the system eventually die out; but before that, they should be able to give birth to daughter stem cells for doing the job. Till date, researchers have no clue about why the daughters are not born, and, if born, do not thrive! Of course, if they had used their brains, they would have known that in a holistic system, reductionist ideas like introducing a man-made stem cell from outside to direct it to do what man wants, is like asking for the sky! 
Epigenetics teaches us that what the artificial stem cell does cannot be dictated by the scientist, but by its environment! The latter is basically the human mind.
Currently, there is fresh excitement in the stem cell research field. Unless stem cells perform, the funds for research will dry up: Science thrives on ‘research funds’. The latter thrive on scientific papers published. So it is a vicious cycle where most publications—even in the so-called prestigious journals—can be termed as frauds! A group of researchers has seen a new communication method between stem cells and their daughters in the form of a new nanotube from the mother cell to the daughter. The enthusiasm has been getting greater by the day when another researcher found such tubes were there in existence even earlier which were misinterpreted. So back to the square one!
So where are we in reductionist research? We keep coming back to where we started! Stem-cellers do not get excited as yet!

Granny’s Treatment for Sore Throat

When I was a child, I had to sip as much hot water as possible for my sore throat and it went away. Today’s children get antibiotics for what’s mostly a viral sore throat. Now, research shows that hot water sips, that raise the throat temperature by just a degree centigrade, are the best treatment for 90% of sore throats. 


The Human Reasons Why Athletes Who Dope Get Away With It
The logistics of drug testing, and the reliance on the competence and thoroughness of each country’s efforts, makes catching cheaters extra difficult
Last week, we examined reasons why the very nature of drug testing technology — which cannot eliminate false positives and false negatives at the same time — means it will never be a perfect mechanism for catching cheaters. This may come as no big to surprise to anyone who remembers the famous Nike commercial featuring video of Lance Armstrong taking a drug test. “What am I on?” Armstrong asks rhetorically. “I’m on my bike, busting my ass six hours a day.” He was also on a raft of drugs, yet passed hundreds of tests. Certainly, testing technologically has progressed since then and will continue to do so. But even if technological holes are closed, logistical loopholes may remain. Here are four holes large enough for Lance to ride a bike through:

1. The Dog Was Eating My Homework...While My Doorbell Was Broken

When athletes take small doses of synthetic hormones, the window during which they might fail a test is very short — often just hours. So it’s critical that athletes don’t know when the tests will occur. To facilitate year-round, unannounced testing of a limited number of top athletes, the World Anti-Doping Agency calls for “whereabouts requirements.” Beginning in 2009, potential Olympians had to fill out forms letting anti-doping authorities know where they would be for at least one hour each day — between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. — for the next few months. (An athlete’s whereabouts calendar can be altered, and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency even has a mobile whereabouts app.) Still, athletes can miss three tests in 12 months before they face a sanction. It’s only fair to give some wiggle room — any idea where you’ll be three Tuesdays from now? — but it means athletes can sometimes avoid the testers by claiming to have stepped out briefly or that they didn’t hear the doorbell. Or, as retired professional cyclist Tyler Hamilton — and admitted former doper — once succinctly summarized a low-tech method of chicanery: “We hid.” 

2. Testing Infrastructure? What Testing Infrastructure?

The World Anti-Doping Agency itself is not — as is commonly misunderstood — set up to drug test athletes around the world. WADA was launched just before the turn of the millennium to coordinate anti-doping efforts and rules around the world. The agency conducts research to better detect ever-more advanced doping, accredits labs that want to become certified for drug testing (and strips accreditations if labs don’t maintain certain standards), and keeps the World Anti-Doping Code. The Code, includes the list of banned substances and the methods and rules for how anti-doping efforts should be conducted by sports federations and countries. It was implemented before the 2004 Olympics and has been updated several times. So WADA simply keeps the Code; it’s up to the Olympic committees, national and international sports federations, and anti-doping bodies in each individual country to actually implement it. Typically glacial bureaucratic movement has ensued. In one prominent instance, Renee Anne Shirley, former executive director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission, pointed out that limited staff and expired testing kits led to a total halt to JADCO’s out-of-competition testing in the three months before the 2012 London Olympics. (Athletes were still subject to testing by international governing bodies.) Implementing agreed upon anti-doping practices is still a fairly new and definitely evolving venture for plenty of countries and sports organizations, and it’s still a global patchwork. 

3. TUE

It’s an abbreviation for “Tuesday” to you, but any athlete who sees those letters immediately thinks “therapeutic use exemption.” Athletes have to be allowed to care for their health, and the TUE system allows them to apply for permission to use substances or medical procedures that would normally be restricted, ranging from corticosteroids and stimulants to IVs. The trouble is that any process by which athletes can gain permission to use potentially performance enhancing drugs also provides a possible anti-doping loophole. Perhaps the most stunning recent TUE revelation was that Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez was actually given permission at one point to use synthetic testosterone, and then to use the drug clomiphene citrate, meant to boost testosterone in men who are not producing enough naturally. The Ultimate Fighting Championship also gave out a rash of exemptions for testosterone, with most athletes claiming they needed it because they had low testosterone for their age. In Olympic sports, an exemption for testosterone would be extraordinarily hard to come by. Simply low testosterone levels do not suffice; a rare condition — like being born without testicles or having them removed — would have to be present. But the prevalence of certain medications among athletes — like corticosteroids, both injected for pain and inhaled for asthma — has led some of the pros themselves to call for removal of the TUE process altogether, so that there would be no exemptions for otherwise restricted medication. As American distance runner Ben True recently put it: “I have a hard time with the idea that if you’re that sick and need certain drugs that you’re able to be at the top of the sport and race at the highest level. Maybe you just need to go home and rest and recover for a while.”

4. Henhouse, Meet Fox

Officials at IAAF — track and field’s international governing body — were understandably a tad defensive after a recent report by London’s Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD that a review of 12,000 leaked biological passport tests for track athletes from 2001 to 2012 found that around 15 percent of them were doping. The governing body has a lot to lose from the perception that cheating is rife and that many athletes get away with it. It falls in line with a host of recent scandals in pro sports in which the agency charged with rooting out cheaters was unsurprisingly “surprised.” You didn’t expect Sepp Blatter to lead the charge against corruption in World Cup soccer, did you? Or the UCI — cycling’s governing body — to take down Lance Armstrong? Of course you didn’t, just like you didn’t expect Major League Baseball to interrupt the steroid-fueled home run chase — which propelled baseball back to relevance after a devastating strike — in order to bring you an important message about performance enhancing drugs… Continue Reading…
Courtesy: ProPublica


Nifty, Sensex look weak again - Monday closing report
As long as Nifty closes below 7,980, the trend is down
We had mentioned that we suspect that the market will struggle to rally and may suffer a further dip later in the coming week. On Monday, the market witnessed a downtrend and suffered marginal losses. Despite hopes of healthy economic expansion data, the slide in Asian bourses and a weaker rupee dented the Indian equity markets during the mid-afternoon trade session on Monday.
As a consequence of a slide in the Asian markets, the rupee ended weaker by 35 paisa at Rs66.50 from its previous close of Rs66.15 on Friday.
Bearish sentiments due to negative Asian cues dampened trade leading to a fall by 109.29 points or 0.41% on the S&P BSE Sensex. The S&P BSE Sensex, which opened at 26,469.42 points, closed at 26,283.09 points, down 109.29 points or 0.41% from the previous day's close at 26,392.38 points. The S&P BSE Sensex touched a high of 26,504.73 points and a low of 26,215.16 points in the intra-day trade.
Weak sentiments were also witnessed at the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE). The CNX Nifty of the NSE declined by 30.65 points or 0.38% to 7,971.30 points.
Analysts pointed out that the negative cues emanating out of Asian markets, especially due to the slide in the Chinese markets, made investors reluctant to chase higher prices.
Sector-wise, capital goods, automobile, banks, consumer durables and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) came under heavy selling pressure.
The S&P BSE capital goods index plunged by 176.07 points, the automobile index receded by 138.23 points, the banks contracted by 66.27 points, the consumer durables index declined by 53.94 points and FMCG index tumbled by 31.29 points.
On the other hand, healthcare index augmented by 316.06 points, metal index gained by 44.35 points and oil and gas sector was higher by 24.31 points.
Major Sensex gainers during Monday's trade were: Lupin, up 3.55% at Rs.1,928.85; Cipla, up 3.30% at Rs681.50; Dr.Reddy's Lab, up 3.15% at Rs4,310.15; Coal India, up 2.50% at Rs366.35; and Vedanta, up 2.34% at Rs.98.60.
The major Sensex losers were: BHEL, down 3.45% at Rs226.50; Bharti Airtel, down 2.14% at Rs354.50; Hindalco Industries, down 2.08% at Rs80.05; ICICI Bank, down 1.92% at Rs278.10; and Reliance Industries, down 1.65% at Rs856.80.
Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei tumbled by 1.28%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained by 0.27%. China's Shanghai Composite Index dropped by 0.78%.
In Europe, French CAC 40 tumbled by 0.50% and Germany's DAX Index slipped by 0.43% at close of trading here.
The top gainers and top losers of major indices are given in the table below:
The closing values of major Asian indices are given below:


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