The Arrow #104
Greetings from Dallas.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas or other holiday of choice. MD and I had a great one with our kids and grandkids in Montecito.
Flew back to Dallas a couple of days ago and got a bit caught up in the havoc caused by bad weather and the staffing disaster at Southwest. We didn’t fly Southwest, but its problems spilled over to all the airlines. Our flight was delayed for a little over three hours, and when we got in at 10:30, it took us almost an hour and a half to get our baggage. While we sat by the baggage carousel at DFW, I had to endure—for the thousandth time—MD’s customary harangue about how baggage collecting works—or doesn’t—in the US.
MD and I have flown into and out of the airport in Oslo, Norway many times. In the Oslo airport—and I’ve seen this only there—a wide yellow line is on the floor about six feet away from the baggage carousel. There is a sign telling those waiting for baggage to remain behind the line until their bag comes down the line.
The system works perfectly.
In the USA, when the carousel starts moving and the bags start coming out, everyone charges the carousel, plastering their legs to the thing, crowding around it, jockeying for space, waiting for their bags. In Oslo, everyone stands just outside the yellow stripe. When people see their bag(s) coming down the way, they step up to the carousel, grab it/them, and leave. Unlike the US, where you can’t even see your bag coming unless you’re bellied up to the carousel, everyone can see, and there is no pushing in between people to try to wrestle a bag through the crowd. It’s incredibly civilized. And every airport should adopt the practice.
Above is a photo I found of the other airport in Oslo. It apparently has a red stripe as opposed to the yellow stripe in the international airport.
Since we’ve had the Oslo experience multiple times, the way the baggage collection system works in the US has become a sore point with MD. It’s all she can do when people charge the carousel to not scream “Stand back, you fools. It makes it so much easier for everyone if you just stand back.” [The bride admits that she may have actually vocalized those words at some point.]
But, alas, they know no better. Unfortunately, I have to hear about it again and again how stupid US airports are for not adopting the Oslo yellow line.
A Big Ask
In our years together, MD and I have traveled a lot. In our globe trotting, we’ve concluded that the friendliest people we’ve ever come across are the Irish. They’re so friendly it’s almost unbelievable. Even those in positions of power. Let me give you an example.
One time we were flying out of the airport in Shannon, Ireland to the US. We had bought a bunch of stuff while in Ireland, including our allotment of Irish whiskey, and MD was worried that one of our bags might be overweight. There was a scale in the airport that charged a euro to weigh a bag. When we weighed the one she feared was too heavy, it was indeed overweight to the tune of about a pound. She opened the bag and transferred some stuff to one of the other bags, then, without thinking, she grabbed her cosmetics bag—filled with many little bottles of this and that, which she figured alone weighed close to a pound—and asked me to put it in my carry on. Which, I without thinking, did.
As we went through the scanner, the Irish guy who worked for their equivalent of the TSA asked me if I had any liquids in my carry on. I told him no, I didn’t think so. He asked if he could open it, and I said, Sure.
When he opened it, right there on top was MD’s cosmetic bag filled with a zillion dollar’s worth of lotions and potions [Erno Laszlo skin care products, not 'make up make up’ which she hardly uses any of] that I had totally forgotten about. We both realized immediately that we had screwed up. MD almost started to blubber, because our other bags were already checked, and there was no other way we could get her cosmetics back. She explained what happened, and the Irish TSA guy said he could fix it. He got a bunch of little ziplock bags of the approved size, and he and MD set about taking out all the little bottles and putting them in the bags. She ended up with all her cosmetics and the day was saved. Can anyone imagine a US TSA agent doing that? It would be, Sorry ma’am, but you’re going to have to throw that away.
Next to the Irish, our second favorite people are the Italians. We both love them. Along with being friendly, they are so…Italian. That’s the only descriptor I can think of. When you try to speak Italian they love it. When you get your hands involved, they really love it. They appreciate that you’re trying to speak their language. They become more Italian the farther south you go. They are fairly buttoned up in Milan, but totally Italian in Naples, one of our favorite places.
Even in Florence, the tourist capital of the country, they are fun. I had a great experience there once that shows just how Italian Italians are. We were with some friends who wanted to buy some fixtures for their house. We were shopping in a hardware store on the outskirts of Florence. I had had my fill of looking at fixtures and haggling over prices, so I went outside while they finalized their deal.
Across the street there was some kind of office building. An elderly guy walks up holding a big box with both hands. He oonches the box around so he can free up a finger to push the intercom. I can hear someone speaking to him through the intercom. He answers. The person inside says something back. The guy with the box is starting to get pissed. He sets the box down and replies to the voice over the intercom while waving his hands. That’s when I realized Italians just can’t speak proper Italian without using their hands.
Watch any video of Georgia Meloni, the new prime minister, and you’ll see what I mean. Here’s one, for example. The more excited they get, the more Italians resort to their hands for emphasis.
Since we love Italians and all things Italian, a friend recommended a TV series to us. It’s called Paradise in English, but Il Paridiso della Signore in Italian. It’s basically an Italian soap opera about a Sicilian women who comes to Milan in the mid-1950s. It has all kinds of plot lines, including, of course, multiple love stories. There are three seasons (we thought), so we figured all the plot lines would come together and be resolved by the end of the series. Instead, it stops right in the middle of everything at the end of season three. We were dumbstruck.
So, I get on IMDB and find out there are seven seasons, not just three. So…
Here’s the big ask. Does anyone know how we can get the other four seasons? I’ve tried finding them, but, admittedly, I’m terrible at searching for stuff like this. If anyone reading this has a clue as to how to get the other three seasons, I’m all ears. Thanks in advance.
Stanford and the Tar Baby
In last week’s Arrow I brought up a few examples of the latest woke idiocy being inflicted upon all of us, this time by Stanford University. Apparently the nabobs at Stanford, having nothing better to do, decided to create a document listing every way possible that a word or phrase could be found offensive by some snowflake somewhere. Not only did they list all the words anyone might find offensive, they generated a list of words or phrases that one could substitute for those they deemed offensive.
Those who wrote this document titled Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative obviously had neither my mother nor my grandmother nor any of the other relatives I had who, when I whined that someone said something mean to me, recited to me : “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
I’m sure many readers of this newsletter heard variations of these same words.
It’s obvious that those who put this document together do think words can harm. In fact, they have what we have all come to call a trigger warning to those who might actually read the thing. But they don’t call it a trigger warning, because, unbelievable though it may sound, “trigger warning” is one of the harmful phrases they encourage people not to use.
Here is why they don’t approve of “trigger warning:”
The phrase can cause stress about what's to follow. Additionally, one can never know what may or may not trigger a particular person.
Instead, they prefer: Content warning.
But if “content warning” takes the place of “trigger warning,” why wouldn’t “content warning” ultimately “cause [just as much] stress about what is to follow” as trigger warning now does?
The whole thing is insane.
When I read the Stanford document, I can understand—which doesn’t mean I agree, because I don’t—why certain highly delicate people might find certain words or phrases insensitive. But not all of them.
And some of them are out and out wrong. And some even show the inherent racism of those who put this dopey thing together.
Take for example “tar baby.” Here’s what they have to say about that perfect expression.
First, they say what they believe the expression means in general usage: “A difficult problem.” And then they put forward “difficult problem” as an acceptable substitute.
Second, they say why the phrase is offensive: “This is a dismissive term for a Black person.”
They are wrong on both counts.
Tar baby is an expression in English like the word “schadenfreude” is in German. It summarizes a particular situation in one word, or one two-word phrase in the case of tar baby. Schadenfreude, of course, means the frisson of joy you experience when you learn something bad has happened to someone you dislike.
Tar baby doesn’t just mean a difficult problem or situation. It means a difficult problem or situation you can’t get out of, and that by trying to get out of it, you make it worse. That’s a tar baby.
The expression comes from one of the slave stories gathered by Joel Chandler Harris and attributed to a slave named Uncle Remus, who featured in many of his tales. Uncle Remus typically outwitted the plantation owners and used his characters Brer Bear, Brer Fox, and Brer Rabbit to explain how.
In 1946 Walt Disney made a movie about Uncle Remus and his tales titled Song of the South. It won all kinds of awards (including the Academy Award in 1947 for best song in a movie) as it was the first motion picture to combine live actors with animated characters. It was one of those Disney movies that surfaced year after year until it didn’t. We took our kids to see it in the theater in the early 1980s, so it was still around then. As far as I know, you can’t even purchase it today in the US.
Here are a couple of clips explaining the tar baby.
These lead to the briar patch scene, which has also become part of the English lexicon. You say, Please don’t throw me in the briar patch when exactly what you want to happen is to be thrown in the briar patch.
I was much surprise to see all these clips on YouTube. Who knew? I even found the entire movie, but it has to be watched one small clip after another. But YouTube forwards you through them automatically.
As you can see from the clips above, tar baby is not “a dismissive term for a Black person,” but rather a problem you can’t get out of, and trying to get out just makes it worse.
I suppose the innate racism of the folks at Stanford made them assume that because a tar baby is made of tar, which is black, it means it’s a derogatory term for a Black person. I’ve spent most of life in the South, and I’ve heard every derogatory term you might imagine, but I’ve never heard tar baby as a term, derogatory or otherwise, for a Black person.
Tar baby is the perfect description for a particular ‘sticky’ situation, and I’ll continue to use it, the wokesters at Stanford be damned.
While we’re on the subject of Stanford…
New Paper on Covid Death Rate
Dr. John Ioannidis and his group at Stanford just published their extensive review of the infection fatality rate (IFR) in people under the age of 70. This paper has been in prepub for a few months, but now has gone through the useless process (in my opinion) of peer review and appears in the journal Environmental Research, which is not a top tier journal. Which in itself is telling in that Dr. Ioannidis is one of the most cited authors alive, but is telling a tale the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t want to hear, thus the relegation to less than top tier.
As these authors point out in the introduction
The largest burden of COVID-19 is carried by the elderly, and persons living in nursing homes are particularly vulnerable. However, 94% of the global population is younger than 70 years and 86% is younger than 60 years.
These figures would be a little different in the US where the elderly make up a slightly larger percentage of the population, but that doesn’t detract from the findings of the paper.
In a large, international database of people under the age of 70, the authors of the paper discovered the pre-vaccine infection fatality rate was minimal. The IFR is exactly what is says it is: The rate of fatality among those who actually got Covid. Not the death rate of the overall population, most of whom did not contract Covid. So the IFR will always be higher than any other rate, because it pertains only to those infected.
And what was the IFR?
Well, in those 59 or younger is was 0.03 percent. This isn’t 3 percent, or even 0.3 percent. It is 0.03 percent, which means three hundredths of one percent. Which calculates to 3 people out of 10,000. And those weren’t 10,000 people grabbed at random; those were 10,000 people who were infected with Covid. Out of 10,000 people who got Covid, 3 died with it.
The paper says that of those 69 or under, the IFR was 0.07 percent. That represents 7 people out of 10,000 who got Covid died from the disease.
As the age brackets get younger, the disease is much less fatal. Here is a graphic showing the IFR as a function of age.
As you can see, the IFR of those under age 20 are at max about 0.001 percent. That’s not even one fatality in 10,000 kids. The flu kills more than that. And I can just about guarantee you that the one kid out of 10,000+ who died was either immunocompromised or morbidly obese and diabetic.
And for this, we closed down schools and colleges.
What’s even worse is that the data dumps Elon released from Twitter show that the experts who were recommending the elderly be protected, the schools be opened and the lockdowns undone were shadow banned or had their accounts suspended. Most of this was fomented by our own government twisting arms at Twitter for absolute certain and doubtless at other Big Tech companies as well.
We had our own government in violation of the first amendment restricting the speech of the very people who ended up being correct.
Don’t think it was just Twitter and other Big Tech companies. My bet is that it was all legacy media. The government just didn’t have to work all that hard to get CNN, NBC, ABC, MSNBC to come along for the ride.
One of the things that Tucker does so well is show how the legacy media operate in lockstep.
Here is one example I’ve got queued up for you.
Here is another:
What do you think the odds are that all those people would use exactly the same words and even intonation to describe a given situation? What are the odds they had all been given talking points? Given what I’ve now seen from Twitter, I’m sure they were instructed as to what to say.
Talk about losing our democracy, which is a stupid phrase in and of itself, nothing can make us lose it faster than having any political regime and the main news sources for the country to be accomplices. The press’s job is to see through all this and expose it, not acquiesce.
Forget about Twitter for a moment and look back at what happened to Parler.
Remember Parler? Parler was an upstart version of Twitter. All the folks, let’s call them the leadership elites, said when those they didn’t like got suspended from Twitter and Facebook, let them form their own companies. Twitter and Facebook are private companies—they can do what they want, they said. If you don’t like the way they operate, form your own damn Twitter.
Well, they did form their own damn Twitter. It was called Parler. And the leadership elite tolerated it…until they didn’t. When the New York Post broke the Hunter Biden laptop story, all the legacy media went dark on it. Facebook removed all posts about it. Twitter did the same. Twitter even prevented those on Twitter from forwarding the story via the message system. It was a total blackout.
But Parler didn’t black it out. Parler was full of whatever the Parler equivalent of tweets are about the laptop story.
Here’s how Glen Greenwald tells the story on a recent episode of his podcast:
Now, let's remember something that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did -- because she was one of the people who told Elon Musk that he should turn off his phone, stop playing with proto-fascism and stop banning journalists. But it was in December or January of 2021 when a free speech app called Parler listened to the arguments of liberal censorship advocates, who always said: ‘If you don't like how Twitter's censoring, they’re a private company, they have the right to censor whomever they want, go start your own platform’. Parler did that. They gave much more free speech rights to their users, and as a result, they became the most popular app and most downloaded app on Apple and Google stores in the country, following Twitter and Facebook’s banning of Donald Trump.
Parler was wildly popular and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was enraged that it was even allowed to exist. And so, knowing she was a member of the party that possesses majoritarian power in Congress, at the time the Democrats were about to take over the White House and executive branch and had control of both the Senate and the House, she went on Twitter, to her 13 million followers and demanded that Apple and Google, two of the Silicon Valley monopoly companies, according to the Democratic Party, she demanded that they use their monopoly power to take Parler off of the Internet and banned them from existing by kicking them out of their stores.
Once Apple immediately complied and announced they would no longer allow Parler, the number one most downloaded app, to be in their store any longer, AOC returned to Twitter that day. She gave a head pat to Apple – “Good to see this development from Apple” -- and then demanded again that Google follows suit. And then once Google followed suit, there was no more Parler because nobody could download Parler in the future. That meant they had no more users, and even current users could no longer receive updates that allowed it to function. Within 24 hours, other Democrats demanded that Amazon, the dominant hosting service, terminate their account with Parler, which it did. And that had the effect of removing Parler not just from the play store, as in your phones, but also from the Internet and crippled Parler for months. And they never recovered.
These are the people who are now pretending to be free speech advocates to be offended by the idea that Elon Musk censored or temporarily banned a handful of liberal journalists that the Democratic Party likes.
You can see, given the control they heretofore had, why Dems are going crazy about the data dumps at Twitter. And at the fact that they’re now the ones being de-platformed from time to time.
Getting back to the Ioannidis paper, as you might imagine, it has gotten no coverage from the legacy press, because, obviously, they don’t like the message.
The Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece a few days ago by Ezekial Emanuel, physician brother to Rahm Emanuel, bred in the bone Clintonista and former mayor of Chicago. After decrying China for unlocking down, Emanuel listed the things the Chinese government could do to ease the pain of Xi’s let-it-rip removal of restrictions.
Among other things, that would involve buying Pfizer and Moderna bivalent vaccines [which don’t work] and administering them to the elderly and other high-risk people, and purchasing Paxlovid and molnupiravir [neither of which work, and both cost a fortune] to treat those who test positive. Supplies of these products are ample [because they don’t work and no one wants them]. Authorities could continue mask mandates to reduce transmission. [Jesus wept]. [bracketed commentary mine]
That lets you know the mindset of those in charge, so don’t be surprised if, should Covid happen to bloom this winter, the hew and cry doesn’t go out to lockdown, mandate vaccines, and insist on mask wearing.
The above WSJ article and its mention of the next-to-worthless and highly expensive Paxlovid and molnupiravir reminds me that the statistics presented in the Ioannidis paper discussed above represent people who were not treated for Covid until they developed breathing problems and were admitted to the hospital. Where many were put on respirators, which was almost a death sentence.
The IFR stats for people are tiny as it is. Think of what they would have been had people been treated appropriately when they got ill instead of being sent home and told to come back if they got worse.
It’s hard to believe, but that’s what hospital ERs did back then.
People would get sick and couldn’t go to their regular doctors, because most doctor’s offices were closed during the early days of the Covid pandemic. ERs were about the only place sick people could be seen and tested.
When they came in, they were tested. If positive for Covid, they were told to go home, isolate, take OTC meds for symptoms, drink plenty of fluids, and come back if they developed difficulty breathing.
This lack of treatment is what got under the skin of Dr. Peter McCullough. In his book, which, as I’ve mentioned before, is the best of the lot about the Covid disaster, he writes of how he brainstormed with other physicians on how to best treat patients with the virus. He felt the job of the physician is to help people get well, not send them home to get worse.
One of the videos he mentioned that he watched to bring himself up to speed was the one below. I watched it, too, back in the day. In fact, I may have posted it in The Arrow at some point. I just don’t remember.
It is pretty technical, but it does lay out the rationale for treatment with chloroquine.
I’ve written about studies funded by the CDC that showed chloroquine to be effective against SARS-CoV-1. Hydroxychloroquine is a variant of chloroquine that works the same but has very few side effects. It has been used for other purposes in tens of millions of people, so it’s just about as safe as a drug can be.
But no one gave it for Covid. Dr. McCullough reached out to numerous physicians who were successfully treating Covid with various regimens. He started doing the same and ended up creating a protocol for early treatment with, among other things, hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin, which he ended up publishing. And that paper and an updated version are what destroyed his academic career. His book tells the story.
When MD and I got Covid, we took ivermectin and were over it in two days.
The work of Dr. McCullough and others along with my own study and my own experience with the disease makes me wonder what the statistics in Dr. Ioannidis’s paper would have looked like had the medical profession actually provided early treatment for patients. I strongly suspect the minuscule IFR that the paper reports would have been even smaller.
A lot of people have a lot to answer for.
Low Carb USA in Boca
If you having nothing going on from the 13-15 of January 2023, come meet with us at the big low-carb meeting in Boca Raton. It is not for physicians only. Everyone with an interest in low-carb (and even those who are just curious) are invited. I’m speaking late Saturday afternoon. MD and I would love to meet you.
Learn all the details here. Florida is nice and balmy in January.
How to Treat Yourself During Cold & Flu Season
I read an article in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago about how physicians treat their own colds and flus, so I thought I would provide some advice about how MD and I treat ourselves and our patients.
I began reading the WSJ article and came to this paragraph:
All the doctors said that rest and fluids are key. And everyone said it’s important to be up-to-date on flu shots and Covid vaccinations, including boosters.
As you might imagine, being fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid would not be my first recommendation. Unless, of course, you want to further inhibit your immune system and almost guarantee you’ll get Covid one or more times. Same with the flu shots. The recent data I’ve seen does not look good for those, either.
Almost all the infections you are going to get during cold and flu season will be viral. Consequently, antibiotics will not be protective. Unfortunately, however, many upper respiratory viruses will weaken your immune system and allow a bacterial infection to set in. These kinds of infections will respond to antibiotic treatment. If you follow all the recommendations I’m about to lay out, and you still have fever, or develop fever, a week later, it’s probably worth a trip to the doctor’s office to get an antibiotic. Especially if the fever is associated with green snot (sorry, but that’s the technical term) or sputum — e.g., the stuff you cough up.
When you get a cold, typically the symptoms are a runny (or stopped up) nose, itchy eyes, cough, sneezing, and aches and pains. No fun, indeed.
Here are a couple of things you need to know to get the right stuff to get yourself fixed up.
First, you want to avoid antihistamines. Antihistamines are allergy medications. If you’ve got a runny nose and sneezing because it’s allergy season, then an antihistamine such as Claritin, my favorite, is the drug for you. I prefer the melt-in-your mouth version (called RediTabs) versus the tablets you take. The melt in your mouth ones absorb quickly through your oral mucosa. Another great medication for allergies that also works for colds is Flonase. Flonase is a small dose steroid that used to be prescription. You squirt in up each nostril as directed, and it is a great drug for allergies. My favorite, in fact. I used to prescribe it all the time. Now it is OTC. It will help with a runny nose due to a cold. And, unlike Afrin, it has no rebound super congestion effect.
You don’t want an antihistamine when you’ve got a cold, and here’s why. Antihistamines tend to make your mucosal secretions thick and stickier. What you want with a cold is a decongestant. In my opinion, the best one is pseudoephedrine, sold as Sudafed. Nowadays you’ll have to ask the pharmacist for it; no prescription needed, but you do have to sign for it. Pseudoephedrine can be cooked into meth, so they’re always on the lookout for people buying a bunch of Sudafed.
Make sure you get plain Sudafed and nothing else. And be careful you don’t get Sudafed PE, which is phenylephrine. Get the real stuff from the pharmacist. It isn’t prescription, but you may have to sign for it. In an effort to combat the use of the drug for cooking meth, manufacturers often mix it with an antihistamine, which defeats the purpose or with other OTC drugs. Get the pure stuff.
Don’t take it late in the day unless you don’t want to sleep. It is a pseudo amphetamine, so it can keep you awake. But it does work like a charm to relieve a runny or congested nose. I like to combine it with Flonase.
There are other decongestants called phenylpropanolamine and phenylephrine. Of the two, phenylephrine is my choice. I would avoid phenylpropanolamine. I have taken care of two young women—women in their late 20s—who went into congestive heart failure from taking too much phenylpropanolamine. For a while, it was touted as a weight-loss drug, because it runs the metabolic rate up, which is why the two young women I treated were taking it. Stick with Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Many different products contain a handful of drugs, so be careful what you buy. Read the labels and get a combination product that has the medications you need.
A big favorite of mine is guaifenesin, which is a mucolytic. Meaning it breaks down mucus. If you have a cough with sticky stuff you can’t clear, then get some guaifenesin, which is sold under the trade name Mucinex or Robitussin. Be careful, though, because both of those products are made with other drugs in them. Make sure you’re getting just the pure guaifenesin without added antihistamine or other stuff. A decongestant is okay, but make sure it’s pseudoephedrine and not one of the others.
Guaifenesin — plus plenty of water/tea — liquifies the mucus in your sinuses and bronchial tubes, so you can bring it up and get rid of it more easily.
One more thing you can do to feel better is irrigate your nose with saline solution. That will also open it and let you breath more easily. I would avoid Afrin. It works, but it has a rebound effect, which ends up making you need to use it all the time.
Another staple in your cold and flu armamentarium is dextromethorphan, which is a cough suppressant. You’ll often find it mixed with guaifenesin in multiple products. The dextromethorphan suppresses the cough while the guaifenesin liquifies the mucus.
Now that you know these different OTC drugs, you can mix and match to relieve whatever symptoms you have.
One other little trick I’ll pass along about coughing…
Something pressing on the eardrum can trigger the cough reflex. I’ve seen a number of patients who had chronic coughs. When I look in their ear canals, I found a hair pressing against their eardrum. Irrigating it away solved the problem. So if your cough lasts long beyond the time you’re sick, think about irrigating your ears or getting them irrigated at your doc’s office. That might well be the cause.
Another issue some people have with a cold or the flu is itchy, watery eyes. If you develop this symptom, don’t purchase a big bottle of eye-irrigating fluid. These multi-dose bottles contain preservatives that often inflame the eye with continued use. Get single-use artificial tears. They’re much more soothing. You can carry them around with you. And, since the don’t contain preservatives, they won’t further inflame your eyes.
Finally, and this is the big gun in our OTC armamentarium, get some Umcka.
What is Umcka? It’s technical name is umckaloabo. It’s an extract from the African plant Pelargonium sidoides.
The P sidoides extract is used extensively in Europe, especially in Germany, to treat colds and other respiratory illnesses. And the product is not used on a wing and a prayer like most of our OTC remedies are; it is used based on sound science. There have been multiple double-blind, placebo-controlled studies showing that umckaloabo works significantly better than placebo to treat bronchitis. P. Sidoides works in several ways to restore health: it has some direct antibacterial and antiviral activity, but it works primarily by increasing the activity of the immune system and by releasing interferon, a potent antiviral substance.
Since there has been so much scientific data showing the efficacy of the P sidoides extract in treating bronchitis, a group of researchers in Ukraine decided to test it to see if it would reduce the duration and severity of the common cold. A multicenter, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial was designed and 207 patients recruited. All patients were tested for strep to ensure that their symptoms didn’t have a bacterial cause.
The primary endpoint of the study was the reduction in severity as measured by the Cold Intensity Score (CIS), which is a scale derived from the sum of scores for 10 cold-related symptoms: sore throat, nasal drainage, nasal congestion, scratchy throat, sneezing, cough, headache, muscle aches, hoarseness and fever. At the start of the study the CIS was the same in both the treatment and placebo groups. After five days the CIS had decreased by 10.4 in the treatment group and only 5.6 in the placebo group.
A secondary endpoint of the trial was the duration of symptoms. The number of patients cured (a CIS less than or equal to 1) by day 10 was 78.8 percent in the treatment group as compared to 31.4 percent in the placebo group. Days absent from work were less in the treatment group as were the number of days with less than 100 percent usual activity level.
Umcka is the trade name of the most commonly found product in the US. You can find it in whole food grocers and often in pharmacies in the OTC section. It comes in multiple forms. There is a syrup, chewables, a tea, and in fast dissolving sprinkles you can toss back.
MD and I use it (as do all our kids, who know if they call with a URI, our first question will be, Did you take Umcka?) all the time. It works well and has no side effects. The earlier you use it in the course of your cold, the better it works. We keep it at hand all the time, and even travel with it.
That’s about it on the cold remedies. I hope they hold you in good stead should you get a bad cold with winter. And of course, if you eat a sound low carb diet and take vitamin D3 and zinc you’ll have a better chance of being passed over by the cold viruses.
Videos of the Week.
I haven’t put up an old video in a long time. I used to put them up regularly. I love these videos from the old days before half the population was overweight. Here is one from San Francisco in 1906 when stick people strode the earth. Compare to what you see around you today.
And, at MD’s insistence, here is a great video by the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin singing Auld Lang Syne. Beautiful! Truly a gorgeous rendition.
Wishing you and yours the happiest most prosperous New Year.
Keep in good cheer. Don’t celebrate too hard on Saturday night. And I’ll be back next Thursday.
I hope some of you can make it to LowcarbUSA in Boca. If you do, track us down and say Hi.
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