Brain injury and crimes

BBC News reports: “Young people who sustain brain injuries are more likely to commit crimes and end up in prison, research suggests.”

“…A survey of 200 adult male prisoners in Britain found 60% claimed to have suffered a head injury, it notes.”

“…It says a large number of young people in custody in England tend to have a significant degree of neurodevelopmental disorders, and problems related to such issues, compared to the general population.

This could lead to communication and learning difficulties and emotional and behavioural problems, it says.

Many young offenders are said to have a reading age below that of criminal responsibility, which is aged 10 in England and Wales.

Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England, calls on government, the judiciary and others in the youth justice system to identify neurodevelopmental conditions in young people more rapidly.”

In my book I have outlined the connection between brain development and crime and how it also accounts for racial disparities.

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Don’t kill the badgers!: Bovine TB and vitamin D

Various local (UK) media, including The Independent, have informed us that the government is planning a badger cull in order to reduce TB infection in British cattle. Not only will this be done at the expense of the tax payer, it also seems that the cost-benefit is poor.

While this is certainly one possible – offensive – way of limiting the spread of TB to cattle, I don’t think it’s a great long-term solution; not to mention it being a bloody one. The best approach,  I think, is defensive, and I hope somehow DEFRA read this.

Cattle are not indigenous to Britain. They were imported here to serve our meat and dairy needs. Furthermore, confinement prevents these animals from making vitamin D via sunlight; this is echoed in the fact that their milk needs to be fortified for the supermarket. Badgers themselves probably come out less during the day partly because of human control of the landscape. Thus both animals will lack vitamin D and are susceptible to carry the TB mycobacterium for that reason.

Now, I don’t think that the government, in this recession, would care much for ensuring badgers get enough daylight exposure, but an acceptable cost-effective way of preventing TB in cattle would be to take them out of confinement, or better, to install UVB lighting where they reside. There are some papers in the medical literature from over a decade ago, this being one example, that hint that a healthy vitamin D status can fight bovine TB. No animals are harmed in this way and the public purse is deflated less.

We have to wonder: If bovine TB is so devastating, it must be a fairly recent major concern else all our cattle would’ve died out long before their import. TB mycobacterium didn’t just appear recently; what made it more of a worry? The vitamin D hypothesis sheds light on that.

The more cattle get confined, the more we will see immune system challenges passed on to their offspring.

TB amongst humans has sometimes been blamed on non-white immigrants to the UK, the belief being that they bring the illness with them. But no, TB is everywhere. The fact that those immigrants suffer more in a different climate is because of poor adaptation to the climate. TB amongst whites means that they have some vitamin D challenge as well.

See the comparison? Only the far-right would cull immigrants.

If this awoke something in you check out my book.

Latinos

I’ve got a 2-piece puzzle for you; put them together and decide for yourself what picture emerges:

Piece 1: Latino’s proven to be more Vitamin D deficient than other races

“…Dr. Mangoo showed that 90 percent of Hispanics were Vitamin D deficient compared to 50 percent of Caucasians.”

Piece 2: Today is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

“The rates of new infections among Latino men were more than double that of white men. The rate of HIV infection among Latino women was nearly four times that of white women.”

Just to make the puzzle more stimulating, let’s add in a third piece. How about a AIDS-defining illness that affects Latinos commonly?

“In 2010, 11,182 TB cases were reported to CDC from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. That same year, as in previous years, Hispanics or Latinos exceeded all other racial or ethnic groups with the largest percentage (29%) of total number of reported TB cases in the United States. Overall, 84% of all reported TB cases occurred in racial and ethnic minorities in 2010.” 

British Asians like myself have a high risk of acquiring TB, but due to positive discrimination – that is, due to perceived stereotypical notions of Asians being less likely to be promiscuous and use drugs etc. – it is more likely to be blamed on anything but HIV.

“These results indicate that a vegetarian diet is an independent risk factor for tuberculosis in immigrant Asians. The mechanism is unexplained. However, vitamin D deficiency, common among vegetarian Asians in south London, is known to affect immunological competence. Decreased immunocompetence associated with a vegetarian diet might result in increased mycobacterial reactivation among Asians from the Indian subcontinent.

When the outcomes of vitamin D deficiency and HIV-positivity overlap, some serious questions arise.

Simvastatin & MS

Today’s news is relayed courtesy of Shine On Scotland:

“High-dose simvastatin (Zocor) significantly reduced brain atrophy and slowed advancement of disability for 2 years in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, researchers said here…

On the other hand, differences between the treatment groups in specific functional outcomes, such as walking ability and hand dexterity, did not reach statistical significance…

Because statin drugs have a range of anti-inflammatory effects, apart from their cholesterol-lowering activity, they have attracted attention as a possible therapy for MS.”

The overlap between the benefits of statins and vitamin D is abundantly clear as detailed in my book. However, statins do not appear to do a highly effective job.

Testing by force

The New York Post had an interesting article today.

“A Harlem woman who didn’t want to know whether she had HIV is suing the Brooklyn doctor who tested her anyway in 2011 and learned she was infected, thus boosting her chances for survival.”

You read that paragraph and you think ‘that woman’s absurd’. However, everyone has the right to refuse medical testing and/or treatment.

When I read further, this paragraph stood out to me:

“The woman had first been referred to Yutsis’ Lifex Medical Care offices in Sheepshead Bay last year, when she suffered a Vitamin B12 deficiency after gastric-bypass surgery.”

If you read my book you’ll learn about intestinal dysbiosis, HIV-positivity and AIDS. This all seems linked. Some vitamin B12 deficiency conditions are AIDS-defining conditions.

“She also told [Dr.] Yutsis her surgeon had warned that she might experience vitamin deficiencies after her operation, the suit said.”

So, the woman had been told to expect multiple vitamin deficiencies and yet was still cajoled into a non-specific test that was likely to simply re-confirm this indirectly.

A few years ago the CDC of America quietly removed HIV from the list of communicable diseases of public health significance. This should have been headline news:

“The CDC determined that while HIV infection is a serious health condition, it is not a communicable disease that is a significant public health risk for introduction, transmission, and spread through casual contact.”

…So, why is it such a risk in sub-Saharan Africa then? As I said before, in believing the classic HIV/AIDS hypothesis you believe that all Africans are reckless and highly promiscuous. I don’t believe that one bit. Something else is wrong in Africa. Vitamin D plays a story in AIDS but probably not with HIV.

Study on colds

BBC News (among many other media outlets) reported about a study that “can find no convincing evidence to show that taking vitamin D supplements will fend off a cold”.

However, a UK cold expert they quoted said:
“There is sufficient information to indicate that vitamin D is a vital vitamin for the immune system.”

Unarguably, there’s not a mountain of evidence to support vitamin D for colds yet (much is anecdotal), but neither can we take this study as that valid.

The study itself is free to read here and in most respects it looks quite well done; but the 100,000 IU of D3 taken monthly for 18 months equates to less than 4000 IU a day. While that isn’t a bad average dose, it might not be enough for many people due to various variables. Furthermore, the average vitamin D level recorded was a not-bad 48 ng/mL – but current suggested figures suggest 60-80 ng/mL is better. The level is of more importance than the dose required to achieve it.

If I had the luxury of overseeing this study I would have observed what happens to people when they take 10,000 IU daily, or in some cases more, so that everyone at least reaches 60 ng/mL.
I don’t believe that vitamin D will totally eradicate the cold, but I do think it will make the frequency decrease statistically significant, and make it more manageable.