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The Arrow #137
Greetings from San Diego.
MD and I drove down yesterday with her at the wheel while I put the finishing touches on the slides for my upcoming presentation at LowcarbUSA. Because I’ve been working on these slides, I haven’t had the time I usually do to put together a long Arrow; this one will be a bit shorter and in a little different format. It’s going to be more like a Quiver (which we haven’t seen a lot of lately due to time constraints) and be link heavy instead of prose heavy.
Interesting Times In Which We’re Living
I just saw this chart of the latest iTunes top twenty. Since I don’t keep up with the hits or the charts, I don’t have a clue as to where iTunes stands relative to the entirety of the music downloaded, but I would suspect it’s fairly representative. If so, then this guy came out of nowhere and blew the board away.
Oliver Anthony has ten out of the top 20 songs on the chart. I’m not sure the Beatles or Elvis ever did that. Those of us who were alive back in the day had our own protest songs. I don’t think any artist ever had any number of them on the top 20. Of course, this guy sings a different kind of protest song. I had never heard of him till I saw this chart, which made me look him up. You can find him on YouTube if you are interested.
Take a look at the two I’ve circled in red.
Taylor Swift is just on the board once, and she’s at #4 and dropping. I just clipped this out of a news piece I came across yesterday.
And she’s a distant 4th to Anthony.
As to Luke Combs and his song Fast Car, which is a cover of a song Tracy Chapman wrote and recorded back in the 1990s. Tracy Chapman is a black, female, lesbian. Luke Combs is a white, male country music singer. As you might imagine, many people are crying foul. They say Luke Combs is culturally appropriating the music of blacks, females, and lesbians or some combination thereof.
You know who’s not crying foul? Tracy Chapman. Tracy Chapman is happier than a hog in slop. She’s making a fortune. She not only wrote the song, she published it as well. So she gets all the juice from it.
I learned a ton about the music business from a friend of mine over countless rounds of golf and dinners. He was in the rock and roll music biz forever. He worked with the Beach Boys, and a bunch of others. He managed Mike Love, the lead singer for the Beach Boys, and he knows just about everyone in the business.
I’ll tell you how it works in a week or two after my talk is finished, delivered, and I’m back to my desk.
Here is a teaser, though, just to show you my buddy’s access.
One day about a dozen years ago, we were playing golf and he asked me if I wanted to go see Willie Nelson in concert. My friend said Willie’s road manager had given him a couple of tickets. If you’ve been reading The Arrow for any length of time, you’ll know that I would drag my naked body over five miles of broken glass to avoid going to a concert. My lovely wife, MD, however, would do the same or more to attend a concert. So, I suggested my friend take MD. Then I could stay home and read.
They went to the concert, got there early, and a bit before it started my friend took MD round to the back of the venue. They went into Willie’s bus and hung out with him a bit. MD said he was as nice and friendly as could be. Here is a photo.
My friend is front and center. I’ll let you figure out which one is MD and which is Willie.
She said the concert was terrific. I’m sure whatever I was reading was great, too. Now if only I could remember what it was…
In a week or two, I’ll fill you in on why Tracy Chapman is over the moon.
Doctors and Covid Misinformation
I had gotten wind of a letter set to appear in the current JAMA Network Open about how drug companies are getting new drugs pushed through with very little oversight. In looking for the letter, I came across an entire article on how doctors spread misinformation during Covid.
Right off the bat, the authors tee the whole thing up with a falsehood. Two, in fact.
Approximately one-third of the more than 1 100 000 confirmed COVID-19–related deaths as of January 18, 2023, were considered preventable if public health recommendations had been followed.
I guess what they’re calling “COVID-19-related deaths” include those who died with Covid. Which is a fairly large number. The second falsehood is very few of real Covid deaths (or even deaths with Covid) could have been prevented by following the public health recommendations we miscreant doctors wrote, tweeted or posted on social media about.
They go on.
Using US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection during the study window to define misinformation, structured searches of high-use social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Parler, and YouTube) and news sources (The New York Times, National Public Radio) were conducted to identify COVID-19 misinformation communicated by US-based physicians between January 2021 and December 2022. Physicians’ state of licensure and medical specialty were identified. The number of followers for each physician on 4 major platforms was extracted to estimate reach and qualitative content analysis of the messages was performed.
They go on to detail in total schoolmarmish fashion how many physicians gave misinformation on the various platforms.
What was the misinformation these doctors spread?
Major themes identified included (1) disputing vaccine safety and effectiveness, (2) promoting medical treatments lacking scientific evidence and/or US Food and Drug Administration approval, (3) disputing mask-wearing effectiveness, and (4) other (unsubstantiated claims, eg, virus origin, government lies, and other conspiracy theories).
Okay then. Well, guilty as charged.
The vaccines were neither safe nor effective. By promoting medical treatments I’m sure they mean advocating for hydroxychloroquine and/or ivermectin. Neither of which is FDA approved for Covid. But doctors use drugs off label all the time—what’s so different about these? The FDA has just been sued over this, and their lawyer said, Hey, these doctors can prescribe whatever they want. The FDA didn’t stop them. (Here is the FDA warning on Ivermectin.) As to masks, no legitimate studies have ever shown them to be effective against aerosols, which is what the Covid virus travels as. And, as to the other so-called unsubstantiated claims as to the origins of the virus… Both the FBI and the Dept of Energy have gone on record saying the odds are it came from the Wuhan lab.
I suspect it’s not the doctors who are spreading misinformation, but instead it is people such as those who wrote this ignorant article.
In the introduction to the article, they write
As of December 2022, estimated death rates for unvaccinated persons in the US were 271 per 100 000 compared with 82 per 100 000 for those fully vaccinated,…
As a reference for this statement, they link to the CDC Covid Data Tracker site. I scoured the site and couldn’t come up with these statistics. Which, by the way, I don’t believe to start with. If someone reading this wants to dive in, I’ll be happy to change my mind if you can find the valid data for the claim.
If you want to take a look at a list of some of the comments these folks found to be misinformation, go to Table 4 in the article. You’ll find some statements close to many things I’ve written in this newsletter.
When I first saw this list, I was sure I was one of the docs fingered, but in looking at the map of where all these malefactors come from, I realized I had escaped. The states in which I have medical licenses are not listed. Not that I would have cared one whit. The truth is the truth. Facts are facts.
The authors of this article remind me of all the kids (mainly little girls) in elementary school who took down names of those who talked when the teacher left the room.
Drug Approval Process Is Worse Than I Thought
The article I was alerted to in JAMA Network Open is a letter from Stanford professor Robert Kaplan about how the FDA drug-approval process has been streamlined to the point of almost non-existence. Which, of course, is exactly what the pharmaceutical industry that has captured the various regulatory bodies (mainly the FDA) in Washington wants.
According to my source
Stanford researcher Robert Kaplan finds that 65% of the drugs approved by the FDA in 2022 were done so based on a single study. Kaplan also found that the majority of the 413 total studies related to the 37 new drugs were sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry, with only 55% of the studies evaluating the drugs in a randomized controlled trial. Much of the decline of regulatory thoroughness can be traced to the 2016 passes of the 21st Century Cures Act, say researchers at the National Center for Health Research. The act, they write, “allows anecdotal/unreliable and easily manipulated sources of health data to be used to approve new drugs.”
When you consider this new laxity in the approval process in light of a study from six years ago showing a third of approved drugs end up with safety issues, it becomes extremely worrisome.
Nearly one out of every three drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have a new safety issue detected in the years after approval, says a Yale-led study.
Other than in my earliest days of practice (before I was scarred by bad patient outcomes), I have never been one to jump on and start prescribing (or taking) the new drugs. Now I’ll be even less eager to use them. You should be, too.
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Big Pharma Never Misses a Trick
Let’s say you have some kind of joint pain issue that’s bad enough to make you go to the doctor. After an exam and maybe an X-ray, the doc diagnoses a strain and tells you to take an OTC anti-inflammatory drug (an NSAID) for the pain and inflammation and another common drug to prevent stomach issues that sometime arise from taking NSAIDs. When you go to the pharmacy to pick up your meds, the cost is about $40 for both of them.
That’s one option.
What if your doc instead recommended a pill that was the combo of these two common drugs. The only difference is that it costs almost a hundred times as much. So instead of paying forty bucks, you would be shelling out a little over $3,000.
That’s the latest gambit by Big Pharma. Combining two common drugs that have gone off patent into one pill, a combo they can patent and for which they can charge an exorbitant fee. Nice work if you can get it. And Big Pharma can.
Here is one person’s story.
Everything happened so fast as I walked out of the doctor’s exam room. I was tucking in my shirt and wondering if I’d asked all my questions about my injured shoulder when one of the doctor’s assistants handed me two small boxes of pills.
“These will hold you over until your prescription arrives in the mail,” she said, pointing to the drug samples.
Strange, I thought to myself, the doctor didn’t mention giving me any drugs.
I must have looked puzzled because she tried to reassure me.
“Don’t worry,” she said. “It won’t cost you any more than $10.”
I was glad whatever was coming wouldn’t break my budget, but I didn’t understand why I needed the drugs in the first place. And why wasn’t I picking them up at my local CVS?
He goes on to discuss his exam by the doctor, who diagnoses him with a frozen shoulder. And basically sends him away with a prescription for Vivomo, a drug he had never heard of.
(As an aside, I can tell you that Vivomo won’t do squat for his frozen shoulder. I’ve had a frozen shoulder, and it is absolutely miserable. By a quirk of fate, I ended up getting IV colchicine, which fixed it almost immediately. Since then, I’ve treated dozens of patients with similar issues the same way with 100 percent success. In the doctor’s defense, until I had my own bout with frozen shoulder and my own epiphany, I would have treated this patient almost the same, though probably not with the high dollar combo.)
The guy who wrote the article is a journalist, so when he gets home from the doc, he looks Vivomo up to see what it is. Here’s what he found.
Vimovo was created using two readily and cheaply available generic, or over-the-counter, medicines: naproxen, also known by the brand Aleve, and esomeprazole magnesium, also known as Nexium. The Aleve handles your pain and the Nexium helps with the upset stomach that’s sometimes caused by the pain reliever. The key selling point of this new “convenience drug”? It’s easier to take one pill than two.
Then there is the issue of whether or not the Nexium is even necessary. You would need it only if the Aleve bothered your stomach.
Years ago the FDA started demanding that OTC meds NOT be combination drugs. As a consequence, I started writing prescriptions for my own med combination cough medicines and a couple of others. I wrote old-timey prescriptions telling the pharmacists how to mix several liquid components. Apparently now the FDA is encouraging combination drugs. At least patentable ones. But the FDA has also been captured by the pharmaceutical industry, so it makes sense.
Now they can profit from the drugs by charging sky high prices while they’re under patent, then do the same by combining them when the individual drugs go off patent. As I said, it’s a nice gig if you can get it.
Back to our journalist.
You can walk into your local drugstore and buy a month’s supply of Aleve and Nexium for about $40. For Vimovo, the pharmacy billed my insurance company $3,252. This doesn’t mean the drug company ultimately gets paid that much. The pharmaceutical world is rife with rebates and side deals — all designed to elbow ahead of the competition. But apparently the price of convenience comes at a steep mark-up.
He goes on to make a clever comparison…
Think about it another way. Let’s say you want to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for a month. You could buy a big jar of peanut butter and a jar of grape jelly for less than 10 bucks. Or you could buy some of that stuff where they combine the peanut butter and grape jelly into the same jar. Smucker’s makes it. It’s called Goober. Except in this scenario, instead of its usual $3.50 price tag, Smucker’s is charging $565 for the jar of Goober. [Link in the original]
He then describes Vivomo and other such meds as the Goober of drugs.
Meat Diet Enhances Longevity
A reader sent me this article from The Epoch Times on a study showing those who eat meat have increased longevity. I know Sally Morrell, the author. Years ago she and I and MD butchered hogs together. You can read about it here in a blog post I wrote years ago (this is one of the many I haven’t had time to reformat, but I will after my talk).
The study titled “Total Meat Intake is Associated with Life Expectancy: A Cross-Sectional Data Analysis of 175 Contemporary Populations” is just what it says it is: an association. An association means it was an observational study, which can’t show causality. We’ll never have a study that shows causality because such a study would be virtually impossible to do. Unless you lived in North Korea, maybe.
You would have to randomize people into two groups, then feed one larger portions of meat than the other while keeping the rest of the diet the same. You would have to follow the subjects until they all died. If those eating more meat lived significantly longer, then you could say eating meat engenders longevity.
We humans are animals, so when we eat other animals, we’re getting pretty much everything we need nutritionally. People who follow vegetarian diets don’t. Unless the diets are carefully constructed or have supplements added.
In The Epoch Times article, Sally describes a number of studies showing that folks in the so-called Blue Zones (areas of high longevity) eat a lot more meat than they are given credit for in all the articles and books about the Blue Zones. Strangely, I’m familiar with all these studies, but hadn’t seen the main one the article was about (linked above). Still, all these are observational studies.
There are noticeable differences in childhood development and meat consumption.
I am reminded of an important study, described in The Guardian, carried out almost twenty years ago—also ignored by the media—which showed just how important meat is for growing children.
Professor Lindsay Allen from the University of California at Davis (and recently inducted into the USDA ARS Science Hall of Fame) found that adding just two ounces of meat to the diet of poverty-stricken children in Africa “transformed them both physically and mentally.” Over a period of two years and compared to those who received a cup of milk, an oil supplement, or a fourth group that received no supplement, those who received meat “almost doubled their muscle development, and showed dramatic improvements in mental skills. They also became more active, talkative and playful at school … and showed more leadership skills.”
“Test scores for mental skills improved by 35 points for the meat group, 14 for the milk, and remained unchanged for the children who received no [animal-based] supplements,” she said.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington DC, Ms. Allen said:
“Animal source foods have some nutrients which are not found anywhere else. If you’re talking about feeding young children and pregnant women and lactating women I would go as far as to say it is unethical to withhold these foods during that period of life … Adding either meat or milk to the diets also almost completely eliminated the very high rates of vitamin B12 deficiency previously seen in the children.
“It’s important to know that these important benefits to human function and human capital were seen in just two years. Had these children received these foods earlier in life or their mothers received them when they had been pregnant, or people could receive them throughout their lives, we think that the improvements in human capital development would be even more dramatic.” [Links in the original]
The moral to this story is Mamas don’t let your babies grow up vegetarian. Unless you supplement the heck out of them.
Not to beat this subject to death, but…
Vegetarian Diets Increase Hip Fracture By 50%
Like the meat study above, this is an observational study. But the findings make perfect sense. Most people tend to think of bones as being made of calcium, which they are to a degree. But the calcium sits on a protein scaffolding. Bones contain a lot of protein, and just like with muscle, if you don’t eat a good amount of quality protein, your bones will suffer.
Processed Meat Can Harm Your Health
I hate to write those words, but, as this article shows, in some cases it is true. Prosciutto, especially, can be dangerous.
A husband and wife from New Hampshire are suing Eataly in Boston after one of them fractured their ankle from slipping on a prosciutto slice while walking around the store last year, according to a lawsuit filed by the couple.
The lawsuit states that Alice and Richard Cohen were shopping at the store, located in the Prudential Center in Boston, when Alice “slipped and fell on a piece of prosciutto” as she walked up to a stand offering free samples. [Links in the original.]
The last sentence uses a word choice that drives me nuts. “Free samples.” It sets my teeth on edge in the same way “free gift” does. If they’re samples, they’re free. Who ever heard of paying for a gift? AAARRRGGGHHH…
Anyway, don’t say I didn’t warn you about the dangers of prosciutto. Don’t be like Alice and succumb to its temptations. Just send me any you come across, and I’ll take the risk so you don’t have to.
Lithium Shortage? Arkansas to the Rescue
A small, quiet Arkansas town, home to just 11,100 people is set to become the epicenter of the US 'white gold' boom.
Magnolia, a blue-collar town in the state's southern region, was once a locus for oil but is on track to become a major producer of lithium, dubbed 'white gold' because of its soft, silvery-white look and the fact it powers most modern tech - from cellphones to laptops and electric cars.
Exxon Mobil is planning to build one of the world’s largest lithium processing facilities near the town, with a capacity to produce 75,000 to 100,000 metric tons of lithium a year, sources say, which would be 15 percent of the world's lithium production. [Links in the original.]
Apparently, Exxon Mobil purchased 120,000 acres earlier in the year. I wonder if they informed the sellers as to why they wanted those particular 120,000 acres? And I wonder how many sellers there are.
Magnolia is really a small town. According to the article, the town has one grocery store. A Piggly Wiggly, of which there are many scattered throughout the South. In one of the great understatements of all time, the mayor of Magnolia, Parnell Vann, said that the town will probably need another market to accommodate the population influx once the facilities are up and operating.
Exxon Mobil predicts it could produce up to 110,000 tons of lithium annually, enough to power 50 million electric vehicles.
That’s a lot of lithium. All I can say for sure is that if this all comes to pass, Magnolia will change markedly. If Exxon can pull this off without despoiling the surrounding environment it would be great. And just another way of weaning ourselves off China.
Do Acid Reflux Meds Cause Dementia?
Here is yet another article from Medical News Today discussing a study showing a relationship between the use of proton pump inhibitors (common drugs to prevent acid reflux and the accompanying heartburn) and dementia.
I read this article aloud to MD, and she responded with, “Well, it might not be the drugs directly. It could well be all the stuff the drugs allow people to eat.”
Like me, she is a fan of Frédéric Bastiat, who is famous for his That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen way of looking at things.
In this case, That Which Is Seen is the fact that people who take reflux meds (PPI’s specifically) end up with more dementia than people who don’t. Consequently, the first thing that jumps to mind is that these drugs might be a direct cause.
But doing a little second order thinking, as MD did, asks the question why are people taking these drugs? Usually it’s so they can eat whatever they want without experiencing acid reflux. Pop a pill and keep eating the burritos. It’s well known that a low-carb diet gets rid of acid reflux pretty quickly. And that going back on a high-carb diet brings it back on.
If you want to be able to eat spaghetti, pizza, (these are the ones I’ve seen on ads for reflux meds) and other high-carb foods, then take your PPI and have at it. No reflux. But what else might be happening?
Another name for dementia is diabetes of the brain. So, just maybe as MD was speculating, it’s not the drugs but the years’ worth of high-carb, processed foods the drugs allow people to eat that brings on the disorder.
It might be comparable to coming up with a drug that prevents all the symptoms of smoking—nasty breath, cough, periodontitis, increased rate of URIs, and shortness of breath—then saying the drug caused an increase in lung cancer in those who used it.
MD’s guess is probably as valid a premise as the one blaming the drugs.
GLP-1 Agonists in the News
All kinds of articles are popping up everywhere about Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, and other GLP-1 agonists on the way down the pipe.
One of the latest to hit the news is that Wegovy, Novo Nordisk’s weight-loss drug was shown to reduce the rate of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent.
According to Reuters
Novo said the eagerly-awaited study results, which have not been peer reviewed, showed that patients on Wegovy had a 20% lower incidence of heart attack, stroke or death from heart disease compared to those on a placebo. [My bold.]
This is big news not just because of the direct findings, but because this may well mean the biggest prize of all for the drug companies: Insurance companies being forced to pay for weight loss treatments.
Heretofore most insurance companies have deemed obesity a life-style disorder, and have refused to pay for weight loss treatment. Now with this new study—assuming it survives peer review, which I’m sure it will—doctors can say they are treating risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and early death. Insurance companies pay for statins, high-blood-pressure meds, blood-sugar meds, and others because they prevent heart disease and strokes.
Obesity is also a major risk factor for heart disease, but most insurance companies don’t fork over for its treatment because it’s ‘under the control of the patient’. But so is blood pressure to an extent and blood sugar, yet they belly up to pay for those. I suspect these will be the biggest selling drugs of all time. Once the money floodgates are opened by this study and the many others in various stages of planning or even ongoing, Big Pharma will really get fat. And all of our insurance premiums will skyrocket.
The Wall Street Journal—which, sad to say is one of Big Pharma’s biggest flaks— published an article a couple of days ago that is almost mind boggling in its relation to facts. And it’s not even in the opinion pages. It was a front page story. At least in my hard copy. I looked it up online in the Print version so I could post a screenshot. Now it’s been moved to page 5. I wonder…
Anyway, let’s look at just a few issues this article brings up. I’m sure they brought tears of joy to the eyes of those owning Big Pharma stocks.
The success of the powerful new class of diabetes and weight-loss drugs shows how important chemistry is to determining a person’s weight. The brain is the body’s chief chemist, regulating appetite and making it difficult for many people to shed pounds and keep them off. The brain determines how much fat it wants people to carry, according to years of research bolstered by the new drugs. [All links will be from the original.][My bold for emphasis]
See the effort to remove any personal responsibility from the equation.
The amount is like a setting on a dial, or what many researchers call a “set point” or “defended fat mass.” The brain maintains the dial setting or set point by regulating how much a person eats. Ozempic, its sister drug Wegovy and another, Mounjaro, lower the dial setting, or set point, in effect by acting on the brain to reduce hunger and make a person feel full sooner, some obesity researchers say.
The set-point theory has been ridiculed by obesity researchers for years. Until now. When it serves the purposes of the drug companies.
The new set point lasts as long as a patient is on the drug, they say. Patients who ate a lot before they started taking one of the drugs feel less hungry and fill up more quickly—sometimes after one slice of pizza when they once ate the whole pie.
“This is not about willpower or personal choice,” said Dr. Florencia Halperin, an endocrinologist and chief medical officer of Form, a virtual medical weight-loss clinic. “This is about your brain driving behaviors.”
They are singing Big Pharma’s tune here.
The drugs and their insights into biology have arrived at a precarious point in the losing battle against obesity. Although Americans spend billions of dollars a year to shed pounds, growing numbers are overweight. Nearly 42% of U.S. adults have obesity, according to the latest government statistics, up from 31% in 1999. So do one in five children.
People with obesity are more likely to develop heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Treating them is driving more than $170 billion in yearly costs. Wegovy has been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk, and Mounjaro is being studied for additional health benefits.
The new medicines have put some long-held assumptions about weight and health on the chopping block. “What these drugs have proven is that patients are right: It’s not their fault,” said Dr. Louis Aronne, an obesity treatment specialist and professor of metabolic research at Weill Cornell Medical College.
I beg to differ. We may not have much control over most of what we encounter in life, but we have 100 percent total control over what we put in our mouths. Unless someone tied you down and force fed you with a funnel, you had a choice as to what you ate.
Granted, hunger is a strong force, but you can get unhungry by eating the foods that don’t drive glucose and insulin up. When glucose goes up, insulin ultimately drives it down. And a falling glucose—not simply a low-glucose—is one of the strongest stimuli to eat that there is. It can all be avoided with the proper diet. And you don’t have to be hungry.
[Dr. Aronne mentioned above] and many other specialists who study obesity or prescribe the new drugs have advised or conducted studies for the companies making them.
I’ll bet they have.
Here is an individual story that is what amounts to basically a testimonial for the drugs. If this weren’t a prescription drug under the aegis of the FDA, the FTC would be all over it for unsubstantiated claims. (One study! One study does not a substantiated claim make in the eyes of the FTC.)
Jon Weisman was about 300 pounds, prediabetic and at risk of heart disease when he sought help losing weight in 2020. The 46-year-old, who works in mortgage banking and real estate in Boston, had tried restricting food but always then felt hungrier. “I’m not wired for 2,000 calories a day,” he said. “I’m probably wired for 4,000.”
He went back on an earlier-generation weight-loss drug, Saxenda, that he had tried before. He lost about 30 pounds, but then hit a plateau.
In September 2021 he conferred with Dr. Halperin, who prescribed Wegovy. His hunger quickly abated. He no longer craved onion rings, mac and cheese and other heavy foods that he once chowed down in marathon dinners with friends, now preferring greens and proteins.
He reached his goal weight of 180 pounds a couple of months ago, and is staying on the drug, which he sometimes has to call around to a few pharmacies to find. “This is something I am going to have to have treated for the rest of my life,” he said. He is off the two blood pressure medications he was on, has switched to a low dose of a cholesterol-lowering drug and is no longer prediabetic. He eats a little more now, to maintain rather than lose weight.
The man in this article could have had 4,000 calories of the right foods and would have probably still lost weight. He could have had a steak or pork chop with friends instead of the mac and cheese and all the rest. He had 100 percent control over what he ate. He may not have thought so, but he did.
He has no idea what the long-term effects of these drugs are. No one does. They haven’t been tested for that long. Years ago fen-phen was the big weight-loss drug everyone was clamoring for until all kinds of people developed valvular issues and pulmonary hypertension with it. Then the lawsuits started flying.
Remember what I wrote about above. A third of drugs that make it through approval end up with safety issues over time.
You can read the rest of the article yourself. It truly is an advertorial for these drugs.
My biggest issue with these drugs is that they work by making people less hungry. When you’re not hungry, you’re not particularly driven to eat the right kinds of foods. You can always eat carbs if you’re not hungry, but it’s more difficult to force yourself to eat protein if you’re not hungry. And if you don’t get enough protein, you don’t maintain your muscle mass, and you are headed for trouble sooner or later.
Instead of spending $1,300 (or whatever it is for these drugs now) and accepting the unknown risk for future problems, wouldn’t it make more sense to simply go on a ketogenic or even low-carb non-ketogenic diet? You can eat a lot. And never have to go hungry. And build or at least maintain muscle mass.
Okay, it wouldn’t be an Arrow if I didn’t at least bash Fauci a bit, so here goes.
Fauci, Fauci, Fauci
Investigative reporter David Zweig wrote a wonderful piece for Bari Weiss’s The Free Press late last week. Here it is in full below (click read more). I love the photo he leads with for obvious reasons, so I’ll use it as the intro. I encourage you to read the article in its entirety.
What Does It Mean To Trust The Science?
Here’s a link to an excellent article asking and answering that very question. Below is the lead quote. Read the short piece via this link.
And this, my children, is why we do not say things like “I believe in science”. I mean, don’t get me wrong, science definitely exists—I’ve seen it. But not everything that calls itself science is science, and even good science sometimes gets wrong results. –Megan McArdle
It ends up with a short video of Richard Feyman and what he thinks it means. It’s one of my favorites and only a bit over a minute long.
Video of the Week
Here is a short video of John Stossel interviewing a former climate activist who wrote a paper that The World As We Know It Is Ending crowd didn’t like. Her fate awaits all academics these days who don’t support the narrative. Whatever that may be of the moment.
I’ve noticed a bunch of people who write newsletters posting polls asking readers to rate what they think of a particular issue. I’m going to give it a try.
That’s about it for this week. Keep in good cheer, and I’ll be back next Thursday.
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