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By OnTheRopes ·
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The FDA has been...

by TechExec2 In reply to Edited out

The FDA has been losing credibility with me in recent years. After "extensive" testing, it has approved just too many exotic new drugs that have hurt too many people. This is another iteration of that.

I'd like to see what nurse Tigger thinks about this.

P.S. I wonder if this might be related to "homeland security". Is this some kind of proactive preventive defense against bacterial contamination of food by terrorists? Not paranoid. Just thinking out loud...

P.P.S. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. :-)

edit: grammar

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by neilb@uk In reply to The FDA has been...

No. Listeria is one of those annoying bugs that continues to multiply even in the fridge. It's really quite widespread and, if you succumb to an infection, pretty nasty. In pregnant women it often results in a miscarriage. Mortality is upto 20% as it attacks the vulnerable.

It's killed by cooking but that doesn't help you if you're eating pate or soft blue cheese which usually have lots. In the UK, pregnant women and the old are warned not to eat either.

The phage spray is an interesting ideea. I've found some European biotech pushing for something similar although initially for treatment of the manufacturing equipment. Only a matter of time, though. You'd have to mix it in with the milk when you make cheese, I guess.

Phages are particularly specific, attaching to a particular bacterium coat structure so they shouldn't mutate any more than the shed-loads of phages we've already got everywhere.

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Edited out

by OnTheRopes In reply to Terrorists
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It's bedtime here

by neilb@uk In reply to Edited out

but I'm interested so I'll see what i can dig up tomorrow or Sunday - it's the weekend so it will almost certainly rain!

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Edited out

by OnTheRopes In reply to The FDA has been...
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I have to go with Neil on this

by Tig2 In reply to Edited out

I read the article twice. One thing that jumped out at me was that the writer seems to have an agenda as well. I am not saying that he is wrong, just that it seemed to be fraught with alarmism.

My experience of the FDA is that they tend to be a show stopper when it comes to testing and approving new treatments for life threatening disease. It seems like no matter how much work is done on the front end, they have endless checks and balances to get a product to market. When a Vioxx gets through and causes problems, it is always the FDAs fault- even though it is provable that many of those issues are self inflicted.

I have never heard of a phage mutating in the manner described. That is out of my direct knowledge so I really need to do some research and will eagerly look forward to Neil's research. I do know this- e. coli kills people. To me, this should result in a hard look at food processing in general and protien foods in particular. Having heard this morning that bagged spinich was being recalled due to e.coli, I have the strong sense that we need to be looking at points of manufacture first.

The thing that caught my attention was the belief on the part of the writer that purchasing only free range, grown in America products was some kind of answer. I have to question that as free range has its problems as well.

I guess it all comes back to needing to do some study around this before I can post an intellegent response. We have to go up north tomorrow so it will be tomorrow afternoon/evening at the earliest that I can provide a result. I hope that Neil has additional information before then.

This is interesting. I am interested in seeing what the science yields.

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Avoid Like Plague

by gadgetgirl In reply to I have to go with Neil on ...

- the e-Coli, I mean.

That is what started all the tummy trouble for me. Caught it on a caravan site, 20 years ago last month. Dropped 21 lbs weight in 10 days, had to be ambulanced home, lived on black coffee and dry toast for a month and it left me with IBS. (reason I've been off sick 3 days this week)

Seen Listeria at work too - extremely unpleasant, especially in kids. Leaves them open to other infections too, as it's so draining on their little systems.

Question for Neil - need your opinion on the likes of Activia/Actimel - I've read up on some of these; some sites are now promoting daily use in the treatment of IBS. Willing to try anything, but would like your opinion first? Most of the "technical" side of how they work is waaaaaaaaaay beyond me (especially after a week long IBS spasm....pain frazzles the brain.....)

Incidentally - it is specifically PROCESSED FOOD that I cannot tolerate. From peas to cheese, ready meals and more - if it has been processed, I can't digest it. So I agree with Tig - look at the point of manufacture. What the **** are they doing with the stuff??

Ok, I'm stepping down from the soapbox now. Sorry, but this one was a personalised soapbox, as I think you realise....


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Mmmmmmmm, Danone...

by neilb@uk In reply to Avoid Like Plague

This is my own personal feelings with (relatively) little science involved.

In a normal healthy adult, I'd say that you're sitting there with a nice balance of whatever bugs you should have - those bloody twee "friendly bacteria" - and that this stuff is just an expensive yoghurty drink. For our American chums, the 'o' in yoghurt rhymes with 'dog' and NOT the 'o' in D'Oh!

I don't have anything like IBS - babe, you have my sincerest sympathy - so the only time I take a week's worth of strawberry Actimel is any time I've taken a course of antibiotics as they upset the gut flora and I like to give myself a helping hand. Does it work? I've no idea but it's a few quid and tastes nice and I certainly feel no worse.

What I would suggest is that you keep a comprehensive "IBS Diary". Start taking Actimel or an equivalent and record what you eat and try to tie it in with flare-ups and how you're feeling tummy-wise on a scale of one to ten on a daily basis. (If you're not keeping a diary already, that is). If after a few months, subjectively, you feel it's a waste of time then stop but continue the diary and you'll get an objective assessment. If you feel that it is doing you good, carry on as subjective - how you feel - is what it's all about!

Then write a scientific paper. I'll co-author.


Hmmm, looks like I've some more bug research to do. Phages for Busted and now L. casei for you.

p.s The first Google hit that I read wasn't encouraging but I have to include it for the particular strain of L. casei that they tested!

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Further to Neil's post

by Tig2 In reply to Mmmmmmmm, Danone...

Hey GG-

Actimel may help with a chronic IBS condition. Taking an antioxidant such as Green Tea capsules may also help. If you can tolerate buttermilk, that may also help.

Neil's suggestion will also come in handy as it may point out precursor events to a bout. Share your results with your physician. Also be certain to record stress producing events and the extent of stress you feel. Consider adding a B Complex vitamin to your daily regime. B Complex will help your body to deal with the effect of stress.

Let me know how it works out. I will be interested in knowing your results.

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Tig - on day 2

by gadgetgirl In reply to Further to Neil's post

Thought it was best to start this at the weekend, so that if it all went to h*ll, I wouldn't have to take any more time off work.

Day 1 was ok, but I was expecting that. It's normally the 2nd try of anything that is telling. Had the last bottle 3 hours ago, and up to now I'm only suffering from a noisy stomach!

Always kept a food diary since this started; also helps if I have to go back to the scratch (exclusion) diet, which happens once in around every three years.

My GP is an idiot (well, the latest one is) so I'm going to move GP's. According to this one I saw first last week, there is no such thing as IBS. Walked out, went to see my usual guy, who upped the meds. Not putting up with that again, so I'm changing.

Tried B complex, but have trouble with what they use for a coating on those tablets. Need to try and find some enterically (sp?) coated ones, I think.

I know exactly when stress is going to hit me most of the time (re: pm) so make doubly sure to update the diary. It's relatively easy: I don't snack, I never have. Don't have a sweet tooth, so don't have a problem avoiding all the sweets at work (now, if it was Cornish Pasties, I'd be in REAL trouble....! )

I'll keep making notes, and keep you in the loop.


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