Tuesday, May 18

Naomi Campbell, at 50, gives birth

It was a surprise pregnancy -- her first pregnancy. Mother and baby, a girl, seem to be in good health. The pregnancy was kept secret until Naomi made the birth announcement today  -- not surprising given she is very private about her personal life. 

On May 3, I published a post about Naomi's incredible nutritional regimen to protect the immune system.  She released the information, which was quite detailed, as a public service last year because of the Covid pandemic.  

I didn't know until just now, when I looked up her page at Wikipedia, that Naomi had been a cocaine and alcohol addict for five years. She also smoked cigarettes, which she also gave up.

She certainly got herself straightened out, and the nutritional regimen would have been a big help.

In any case, a healthy birth when the mother is at an age when many females have already gone into menopause is really something.  

All the best to Naomi and baby. 


Tuesday, May 11

"WHO elevates Indian coronavirus strain to 'variant of concern' "

[Pundita Note: The following Fox News report, headlined above, missed a key point about the WHO decision but RT noticed: WHO is designating the Indian strain as one of global concern.  Meanwhile, the UK had already upped the variant to one of "concern."  Today India’s seven-day average case count for Covid-19 reached a record high of 390,995.  Wakey, wakey, WHO.  Wakey, wakey, Fox News]

By Kayla Rivis
May 10, 2021
Fox News

A top official at the World Health Organization on Monday announced the agency is elevating a coronavirus variant first identified in India from a 'variant to interest,' to a 'variant to concern,' citing early studies suggesting increased transmissibility.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's COVID-19 technical lead, said during a press conference that the B.1.617 variant appeared to spread more readily in preliminary studies released ahead of peer review. But there are still many unknowns around the impact on diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, she noted.

Kerkhove said the agency needs much more information around the variant and its three sublineages, such as neutralization and any increased severity, through targeted sequencing. This information could help scientists understand the degree to which the variant is circulating in India and other countries.

Additional information is expected to be released Tuesday, she said.

Kerkhove urged the already-established public health measures like distancing, hand hygiene, mask use, avoiding crowded spaces and improving ventilation to prevent against infection from all strains of the virus.

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently lists the Indian variant and its sublineages as a "variant of interest," U.K. health officials have already moved to classify the Indian virus variant as a "variant of concern" in the country following an uptick in cases and "evidence of community transmission."

Public Health England cited evidence suggesting the variant is "at least as transmissible" as the U.K. B.1.1.7 variant, which is believed to spread 50% more easily than the ancestral strain.

"There is currently insufficient evidence to indicate that any of the variants recently detected in India cause more severe disease or render the vaccines currently deployed any less effective," PHE wrote in a statement posted Friday. "PHE is carrying out laboratory testing, in collaboration with academic and international partners to better understand the impact of the mutations on the behaviour of the virus."


"America's STD rate hits record high for 6th year in a row"

An editor at RT screwed up; a news report, published today and headlined above is datelined April 15. I've never seen that mistake happen before, and I check RT reports at least twice a day, every day. Anyhow, the report is about very disturbing news -- and one part of it is that the Covid pandemic has overwhelmed STD screening services in the USA. That's probably the case all over the world where the pandemic has hit hard. 

I doubt the crushing backlogs are limited to STD screening. It looks to me that a secondary major health crisis is emerging as  Covid has hogged medical/testing resources, across the board. 

Not only non-Covid resources are collateral damage. In the desperate war against Covid, doctors have gone berserk with antibiotics. Very, very dangerous ramifications. See the RT report I link to at the end of their April 11 one.  

All this noted, the April 11 report details that the STD crisis in America emerged years before Covid appeared.    

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a grim new report confirming that sexually transmitted disease rates have hit a record high for the sixth straight year.

A whopping 2.5 million Americans had either chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis infections in 2019, according to the latest available data. Preliminary 2020 data indicates the trend continued last year as well.

Racial and ethnic minorities, gay and bisexual men, and the country’s youth were the hardest hit, according to the CDC data.

Black people had STD rates of between five and eight times higher than white people, while the rate of STDs among hispanics was one to two times higher than white people.

Gonorrhea rates were 42 times higher than average among heterosexual men in some areas of the US, while gay and bisexual men accounted for nearly half of the primary and secondary syphilis infections.

Chlamydia cases jumped 61% and gonorrhoea cases spiked 42% among young people aged 15 to 24, while syphilis infections among newborn babies quadrupled between 2015 and 2019.

"Less than 20 years ago, gonorrhea rates in the U.S. were at historic lows, syphilis was close to elimination, and advances in chlamydia diagnostics made it easier to detect infections," said researcher Dr. Raul Romaguera, acting director for CDC's Division of STD Prevention, noting an almost 30% increase in these STDs between 2015 and 2019.

Romaguera added that historical gains made in thwarting the spread of STDs have "unraveled” in recent years.

To add insult to injury, or infection as the case may be, experts fear STDs may spike due to a lack of testing as a result of the coronavirus.

With staff redeployed to tackle the pandemic, STD screening services are now under-resourced, meaning infections will likely go unchecked, especially given that patients are often asymptomatic at least initially.

Untreated infections can lead to increased risk of pelvic inflammatory pain, chronic pain, infertility and severe complications with future pregnancies, among other potentially disastrous consequences.

"These new data should create a sense of urgency and mobilize the resources needed, so that future reports can tell a different story," Romaguera said, adding that, "we must rise to the challenge now."


See also:


Wednesday, May 5

What is hip music?

It's associated with jazz, but it's indescribable. You know it when you hear it, that's all. Here, soaring across the decades, "Pounding at my heart" from Ryuichi Sakamoto's 1994 Sweet Revenge tour, the essence of hip:


Monday, May 3

Is Naomi Campbell's urine the best Covid-19 vaccine?

April 11, 2020:

The remark in the title of this post harks to a comment from viewer Tress Braga at supermodel Naomi Campbell's YouTube video My Personal Vitamin & Supplement Routine. The video, posted on March 20, has already garnered close to 500,00 views and 3,184 comments, several of those quite critical. But Naomi, who is 49 years old and clearly in great health despite a high-stress globetrotting job, is intent on persuading that it's possible to strengthen the immune system with natural supplements to better defend against the Covid-19 virus. In this quest she can't be faulted. However, while her urine may not be the best Covid vaccine, I think without question it would be the most expensive.    

You'll appreciate the humor in Braga's remark when you get a load of what Naomi takes for breakfast. Another viewer, Natalie P (who at some point replaced her name with a screen name) undertook the task of listing for YouTube viewers the ingredients Naomi reels off as she plugs stuff into a blender. (Natalie might have missed one, if the powder shown in the video and labeled "insulin" was used.)  She also copied down the supplements Naomi said she takes in addition to the breakfast shake.

I'd never heard of three of the supplements on the list (EHB, NAC, Humacel). Same for some of the food powders. 

I have a few cautions and questions about Naomi's choices, which might have been compiled with the help of a nutritional consultant, but first here are the lists:
Morning shake recipe:
1 cup almond milk 1 tbsp cacao powder 1 tbsp matcha powder 1 tbsp baobab powder 1 tbsp collagen powder 1 tbsp artichoke powder 1 tbsp moringa powder 1 tbsp greens protein powder 1 tbsp vitamin C 2 tbsp pomegranate liquid 1/2 banana Ice Then blend!
Vitamins and supplements: Goldenseal drops into smoothie Elderberry syrup Zinc EHB (2 a day) [Pundita Note: EHB stands for Echinacosides, Hydrastine, Berberine; here's one formula.from Integrative Therapeutics, available at Amazon] Vitamin C liquid Papaya seeds NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) Vitamin D (50,000 IU a week) Vitamin B12 chewable Black seed Probiotics Multivitamin Humacel Pine Bark Extract Oregano Oil (carry it always) Turmeric Lavender Oil Pills (calming effect) Only natural supplements!

April 12, 2021

All right. Here we are a year later; Naomi is now 50 years old, doesn't seem to have contracted Covid, and when last I checked was on a grueling photo shoot in Kenya. Like the great football player Tom Brady, staying at the top of her profession demands almost superhuman stamina, which doesn't leave room for being incapacitated by illness. So Naomi Campbell's nutritional regimen makes sense for her. Does it make sense for the rest of us?

That was my question last year. So I decided to wait and see how the Covid pandemic unfolded before discussing Naomi's recommendations.  Given the severity of the pandemic during the past year, the expense of Naomi's nutritional regimen starts to look like a bargain if it can indeed greatly strengthen the immune system.  The bottom line, however, is that many people would not be able to afford the regimen.  

Just one of the supplements on the list, Humacel, costs $49.95 for a bottle of 60. But if the manufacturer isn't blowing smoke or simply wrong, Humacel (and I suppose similar preparations) could be a powerful aid for the immune system. Go to the Humacel website and read the product description.

I wouldn't attempt to add up the cost of just the breakfast ingredients, and I note that the list doesn't say what type of vitamin supplement Naomi takes, but the 'natural' brands can run into serious money.

It's all a judgment call; deciding which ingredients and supplements are best for you, and pruning ones that you think you can do without. 

Another concern:  While I've never used it, I do have a caution about pine bark extract. Years ago I'd heard such great things about it that I was on the verge of purchasing it when I decided to redouble my research into the extract, given its expense. I found one source, which unfortunately I've misplaced, that claimed pine bark extract blocks the body's ability to absorb Vitamin C.  

It's possible the source is wrong, or that the blocking effect is temporary, so that if one takes Vitamin C a few hours after the extract, it's no problem. But until I come across more scientific research about the extract and its effect on C, I wouldn't take it.  

I also raise an eyebrow about lavender oil pills. As herbalists always caution, essential oils are very powerful, and so they can have powerful negative effects if used in excess or in the wrong way. Naomi uses the pills against anxiety. There are plenty of supplements that can calm without fooling around blindfolded in territory that only professional herbalists should trod. 

From all I have learned over the years, my belief is that essential oils should not be used on a routine basis unless under the supervision of a licensed herbalist, and preferably one with a medical degree and/or degree in biochemistry. 

As to taking a 50,000 IU pill of Vitamin D once a week -- I wouldn't do it. Maybe Naomi knows more than I do in this regard. All I know is that the daily recommended dose for D was increased to 5,000/day a few years ago, and you'd have to factor in all daily nutritional sources (e.g., multivitamin) to be sure you're not taking too much. 
I think that even with 'natural' supplements, it's wise to look carefully before leaping. I take several supplements, and I am willing to play guinea pig. But I try to learn as much as I can, as a layperson, about a supplement before I take it.

Another point is reactions to ingredients. I'll assume that Naomi's regimen was worked out over a period of years, during which she added ingredients one or a few at a time. But the large number of combined ingredients in the morning shake would make it impossible for a person new to the ingredients to know which one could be causing a bad reaction.  So the best course would be to proceed slowly with the ingredients, gradually building the shake.

All right. I may have a few more comments later but right now I invite you to watch the video and ponder the list.