Flashback Friday: Effect of Sucralose (Splenda) on the Microbiome

Flashback Friday: Effect of Sucralose (Splenda) on the Microbiome
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What effect do artificial sweeteners such as sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet & Low), aspartame (Nutrasweet), and acesulfame K (Sweet One) have on our gut bacteria?

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On April Fool’s Day, 1998, the FDA approved the artificial sweetener sucralose, aka one-six-dichloro-one-six-di-deoxy-beta-D-fructo-furanosyl-four-chloro-four-deoxy-alpha-D-galacto-pyranoside, but despite its scary name, the worst it seemed to do was just be a rare migraine trigger in susceptible individuals. To which the manufacturer of sucralose replied that you have to weigh whatever risk there may be against its broader health benefits, helping to mitigate the health risks associated with our national epidemic of obesity.

That’s what the hope was, to provide a healthy sugar substitute to provide a sweet taste without the calories or spikes in blood sugar. However, that’s not how it appears to have turned out, with population studies tying consumption of artificial sweeteners, mainly in diet sodas, with increased risk of developing obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. But an association is not causation. You’ve got to put it to the test. If you give obese individuals the amount of sucralose found in like a can of diet soda, they get a significantly higher blood sugar spike in response to a sugar challenge, requiring significantly more insulin – 20% higher insulin levels in the blood – suggesting sucralose causes insulin resistance, potentially helping to explain the links between artificial sweetener consumption and the development of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. So, sucralose is not like some inert substance, but affects the blood sugar response. But how?

The Splenda company emphasizes that sucralose is hardly even absorbed into the body and, so, stays in the digestive tract to be quickly eliminated from the body. But the fact that it’s not absorbed in the small intestine means it makes it down to the large intestine and may affect our gut flora. There had been studies done on artificial sweeteners and the gut bacteria of rats going back years, but there had never been any human studies… until now. They tested saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame, the artificial sweeteners in Sweet & Low, Splenda, and NutraSweet, and found that non-caloric artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the microbes in the gut. The human studies were limited, but after a few days on saccharin, for example, some people got exaggerated blood sugar responses tied to changes over just one week to the type of bacteria they had in their gut.

Acesulfame K, another common artificial sweetener, was also found subsequently to be associated with changes in gut bacteria. So, all this time, artificial sweeteners were meant to stave off chronic diseases but may actually have been contributing to the problem due to microbial alterations. Some in the scientific community were surprised that even minor concentrations of a sweetener—they’re talking about aspartame here—are sufficient to cause substantial changes in gut inhabitants. Others were less surprised. Each molecule of aspartame is metabolized into formaldehyde. That may be why some people who are allergic to formaldehyde have such bad reactions to the stuff. Therefore, it’s not unexpected that even small amounts might modify bacterial communities.  There are mixed reports about the safety of aspartame. All of the studies funded by the industry vouch for its safety, whereas 90% of independently funded studies report that aspartame can cause adverse health effects. That should tell you something.

Undoubtedly, consumers of these food additives, which are otherwise perceived as safe, are unaware that these substances may influence their gut bacteria. This may be of particular importance to patients with diseases correlated with modifications of the gut bacteria, such as inflammatory bowel diseases, like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These individuals may not realize artificial sweeteners may be affecting their gut. Might the effect be large enough to actually cause changes in the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease? Canada was the first country to approve the use of sucralose—what happened to their rates of IBD? Rates did seem to double after the approval of sucralose. What about in the United States? After decades of stable rates of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, rates started to go up. In China, after the approval of sucralose, IBD rates rose 12-fold. Again, these could just be total flukes, but such correlations were also found on two other continents as well.  The more graphs that you see like this, the harder it is to dismiss a possible connection.

The good news, though, is that after stopping artificial sweeteners, the original balance of gut bacteria may be restored within weeks. Now, of course, the negative consequences of artificial sweeteners should not be interpreted to suggest that we should all go back to sugar and high fructose corn syrup. For optimal health, it is recommended that we all try to cut down on both.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Dave Crosby via Flickr.

On April Fool’s Day, 1998, the FDA approved the artificial sweetener sucralose, aka one-six-dichloro-one-six-di-deoxy-beta-D-fructo-furanosyl-four-chloro-four-deoxy-alpha-D-galacto-pyranoside, but despite its scary name, the worst it seemed to do was just be a rare migraine trigger in susceptible individuals. To which the manufacturer of sucralose replied that you have to weigh whatever risk there may be against its broader health benefits, helping to mitigate the health risks associated with our national epidemic of obesity.

That’s what the hope was, to provide a healthy sugar substitute to provide a sweet taste without the calories or spikes in blood sugar. However, that’s not how it appears to have turned out, with population studies tying consumption of artificial sweeteners, mainly in diet sodas, with increased risk of developing obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. But an association is not causation. You’ve got to put it to the test. If you give obese individuals the amount of sucralose found in like a can of diet soda, they get a significantly higher blood sugar spike in response to a sugar challenge, requiring significantly more insulin – 20% higher insulin levels in the blood – suggesting sucralose causes insulin resistance, potentially helping to explain the links between artificial sweetener consumption and the development of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. So, sucralose is not like some inert substance, but affects the blood sugar response. But how?

The Splenda company emphasizes that sucralose is hardly even absorbed into the body and, so, stays in the digestive tract to be quickly eliminated from the body. But the fact that it’s not absorbed in the small intestine means it makes it down to the large intestine and may affect our gut flora. There had been studies done on artificial sweeteners and the gut bacteria of rats going back years, but there had never been any human studies… until now. They tested saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame, the artificial sweeteners in Sweet & Low, Splenda, and NutraSweet, and found that non-caloric artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the microbes in the gut. The human studies were limited, but after a few days on saccharin, for example, some people got exaggerated blood sugar responses tied to changes over just one week to the type of bacteria they had in their gut.

Acesulfame K, another common artificial sweetener, was also found subsequently to be associated with changes in gut bacteria. So, all this time, artificial sweeteners were meant to stave off chronic diseases but may actually have been contributing to the problem due to microbial alterations. Some in the scientific community were surprised that even minor concentrations of a sweetener—they’re talking about aspartame here—are sufficient to cause substantial changes in gut inhabitants. Others were less surprised. Each molecule of aspartame is metabolized into formaldehyde. That may be why some people who are allergic to formaldehyde have such bad reactions to the stuff. Therefore, it’s not unexpected that even small amounts might modify bacterial communities.  There are mixed reports about the safety of aspartame. All of the studies funded by the industry vouch for its safety, whereas 90% of independently funded studies report that aspartame can cause adverse health effects. That should tell you something.

Undoubtedly, consumers of these food additives, which are otherwise perceived as safe, are unaware that these substances may influence their gut bacteria. This may be of particular importance to patients with diseases correlated with modifications of the gut bacteria, such as inflammatory bowel diseases, like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These individuals may not realize artificial sweeteners may be affecting their gut. Might the effect be large enough to actually cause changes in the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease? Canada was the first country to approve the use of sucralose—what happened to their rates of IBD? Rates did seem to double after the approval of sucralose. What about in the United States? After decades of stable rates of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, rates started to go up. In China, after the approval of sucralose, IBD rates rose 12-fold. Again, these could just be total flukes, but such correlations were also found on two other continents as well.  The more graphs that you see like this, the harder it is to dismiss a possible connection.

The good news, though, is that after stopping artificial sweeteners, the original balance of gut bacteria may be restored within weeks. Now, of course, the negative consequences of artificial sweeteners should not be interpreted to suggest that we should all go back to sugar and high fructose corn syrup. For optimal health, it is recommended that we all try to cut down on both.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Dave Crosby via Flickr.

106 responses to “Flashback Friday: Effect of Sucralose (Splenda) on the Microbiome

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  1. Just to start with, artificial sweeteners are chemicals, of which, none of them belong in our body to begin with. We have not evolved to be able to absorb chemicals with no reaction ! Sorry chemical manufacturers, your products never ever belong in the human digestive tract, taken from foods, water, and in fact the air we breathe !

        1. Marilyn,
          Easier said than done. I love my morning cup of coffee but have never been able to drink it black. And while I am careful about my food choices I simply cannot get used to unsweetened coffee or tea.

          1. Mmmmmm….black and unsweetened is the ONLY way to drink coffee or tea, IMO. I’ve never used any of those sweeteners with the strange-sounding names. Never wanted to even try one of them.

  2. Any idea how stevia compares to other artificial sweeteners mentioned in this video? Most people seem to think Stevia is safe since it a natural substance, though some such as Truvia seem to use chemical extraction. I am curious if there is research on the relative safety of Stevia

  3. Dr. Greger, your title seems to indicate a discussion of Splenda, but many of the references you make within the video are to Nutrasweet.

    Would you please provide us with the list of studies you mentioned in the video?

    Please list them either here on your site or on the youtube description page (you’ve got a lot of links on the youtube page, but they aren’t links to the studies you discuss in the video.)

  4. What are the effects of “natural” sweeteners like monkfruit and Stevia on our enteric microbiome? In the past Dr. Greger introduced me to erythritol? Is that harmful? I have been cooking and baking with it.

  5. Everyone seems to have the same question…do stevia products have the same effect on the microbiom and insulin sensitivity?

  6. I don’t eat artificial sweeteners; I never liked the way they tasted.

    And, even though I have a sweet tooth, I try to limit the amount of added sugar I eat. When I cook or bake, I try to use chopped dates or raisins or chopped apples or applesauce, etc, as sweetener — and boy, can they be sweet!! And my sweet tooth is growing smaller — whew!

  7. I’ve been using Splenda, but had always wanted to cut it out. I don’t use much, but it typically helps to get rid of bitterness in most coffees. I tried Stevia, but found it to have a bitter aftertaste. I just finished with monk fruit, which also failed, both for bitterness and expense. Next up is erythritol, from Dr. Greger’s first book. If that fails, I either go cold turkey or go back to using a little honey when needed.

  8. Nutritionfacts team: for Flashback Friday videos, is it possible to note the date the video was originally posted somewhere? That is really helpful for context. Thanks for considering! :)

    1. Patricia,
      If you type (or copy) the title of the Flashback video into the Search box at the top of the NF page, the drop-down menu should list the original video and clicking on it brings up the original video with the date. This one was March 14th 2016.

  9. All Dr.Greger´s info on erythritol seems to be dated 2012 and 2013. I believe it is time for an update as new analysis may have found some fowl business about erythritol. One never knows…

  10. I appreciate this.

    My Keto friends love Stevia and I have stayed the course because of the gut microbiome.

    One of them who has lost a lot of weight tried to go off of her weekly injectable and her oral meds again – yes, during a pandemic, and, yes, her blood sugar went back to record highs. Her doctor hasn’t been doing office visits, but she knew exactly how to get one.

  11. Oh yeah, I forgot, another Keto friend and I did the carb versus fat diabetes discussion again and she is teaching groups of people not to eat starches and is now an official keto mentor and someone was struggling with the concept of going off starch and for the hundredth time, I did The Starch Solution logic and did the Mastering Diabetes concept where Type 1 Diabetics needed less insulin when they went way up on carbs and we had such a nice talk this time. What a difference 2 years made. I think she might have listened to some of the videos I sent to her and I think she may tell people both ways to get off insulin and that made me happy. Usually, she would argue based on her own doctor’s logic, but this time she listened and I said, “I don’t want to confuse you. I know you have worked hard to lose weight and get off insulin” and she, rather than arguing with me about starch said, “So which form of it do you lean toward?” and I said, “I lean toward the concept of Whole Food Plant-Based, rather than Nutritarian, Fruitarian, The Starch Solution, The Daily Dozen, or any other program.

    Her husband hasn’t got his insulin under control and she thinks it is because he likes potatoes and she might secretly lower some of his fat and see if that works. It is opposite of what she wants to do, but she is worried about him during this pandemic and if he won’t lower his carbs, the concept of getting his fats down to 15% is something else to try.

    It felt like such a good conversation.

    1. Deb, You have a good heart and want to genuinely help people. But advising a high carb diet for type 1’s is not good advice.

      Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have totally opposite causes. Type 2’s, in general, make a lot of insulin. It is not used properly due to insulin resistance.
      But many type 1’s, and certainly all who have been diabetic for a long time, make No insulin at all.
      They cannot metabolize carbohydrates, including starches. Even 1 gram of carbs can raise their blood sugar 8-10 points in some of them.
      Please do not tell them to do a high starch diet. It will force them to use a lot more insulin to cover the carbs. The added insulin will make them hungrier and they will gain weight. It sets up a detrimental cycle, of blood sugars going too high, then too low. That has been found to cause great damage to the body, and will set them up for heart disease, blindness, amputations etc.
      A lot of this Mastering Diabetes stuff on the internet is flat wrong. These claims are not peer reviewed studies.
      Whole food, plant base is fine, but it needs to be fairly low carb.

      1. People constantly compare keto and whole food plant based. But that is wrong. Keto just means a lower carb diet. Keto is bad when people load up on saturated fats, omega 6 oils, and animal proteins.
        But, it can certainly be done whole food plant based, as some type1’s, and type 2’s do effectively.

        That means consuming lower carb veggies, more of them raw, berries only fruit allowed, legumes, nuts, seeds.
        Some type 2’s can add other fruits, bean pastas, breads made with almond flour, chickpea flour etc.
        If not vegan, low mercury fish like sardines can also be added once or twice a week.
        For diabetics that is far less harmful than starches.
        HgA1c needs to be kept below 6 to avoid heart attacks. You cannot do that on a high carb diet.

        1. Marilyn Kaye,

          I mentioned this many times before; my brother was diagnosed with T2 diabetes; I think his A1c was 11 or 12 or even higher. He was taking metformin, I believe. Then he had a heart attack at age 66; afterward, he saw a billboard ad for a chiphealth program (Lifestyle Medicine) and changed his eating habits from vegetarian to whole plant foods. And he also started to exercise more. He eventually lost about 70 lbs, and went off all but one of his meds (he’s on the lowest does for high BP) — including his med for T2 diabetes. And his A1c is now about 5.7 or slightly lower without meds. I’m pretty sure he eats what you might consider a high starch diet; he eats whole grains, beans, veggies and fruits, and he limits added oil, salt, and sugar. Especially sugar. He’s very careful about what he eats.

          In view of what you wrote, how is that possible?

          1. Dr. J, note- I was speaking of type 1’s. Not the same disease at all.
            Same symptoms, totally different cause. Have to address the cause, not just the symptoms.
            My comments on keto apply to type 1’s and slim type 2’s who, like type 1’s, do not produce enough insulin.

            You state your brother was type 2 and overweight. If he lost 70 lbs., and is now normal weight he was obese.
            When a patient loses a lot of weight they become less insulin resistant. And many times no longer diabetic at all.
            So your brother is now able to eat normally which is wonderful! His diabetes was caused by his diet and excess weight, maybe plus a sedentary lifestyle.

            But not all type 2’s can eat a high carb diet. People are individuals, the same diet does not work for all patients.
            Genetics matter, and we are finding that out more and more.
            That’s why diabetics should be treated one on one, not with some standard formula. It’s not one size fits all.

            Congrats to your brother for taking control of his health. :)

  12. I have been listening to the back and forth logic between Dr. Popper, Dr. Lisle, and Dr. Barnard about COVID-19.

    Today, Dr. Barnard did a good job explaining the difference between people who are on the record being counted as dying from the worst flu year versus how many have officially been counted as dying from COVID-19.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srR2U_QFgXU

    The logic is flying all over the place, but I love Dr. Barnard.

    The whole concept of how rhetoric is used and how statistics are used and how logic is used is in overdrive right now.

    I am genuinely fascinated.

    1. And, by that, I don’t mean that Dr. Barnard’s logic is flying anywhere.

      He is another force to be reckoned with.

      What I mean is that Dr. Popper is very anti-lockdowns and anti-masks and anti-violation of privacy in trying to screen things and she is very pro-social-resistance and she is giving the math from that direction.

      It is obviously a complex system that we live in and we are obviously not going to agree on what to do or how to do it.

      I guess we are lucky that we got to shut down long enough to flatten the curve for a while.

      But Dr. Barnard was the first person to challenge the real numbers of flu versus COVID-19.

      1. Deb,

        I highly recommend to you and other commenters here this article by Dr. Atul Gawande, who is a doctor and researcher, and excellent science writer:

        Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, a Regimen for Reëntry

        https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/amid-the-coronavirus-crisis-a-regimen-for-reentry?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_051320&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9d87b3f92a40469e76b75&cndid=38069041&hasha=e487b14792cfe015eb372568f3e3fd54&hashb=a49ae2c8a41b7e44ad528da22fe6fb51d53dfce4&hashc=5f524cd13a30f5d50321bea80732c5d75a7f4e1fd7092f31b3ed51cb65c5aa0c&esrc=AUTO_PRINT&utm_term=TNY_Daily

        The part about the masks alone is worth reading. But the whole article is outstanding. I sent it to my siblings, and my daughter the hospital nurse, and they all agree with my assessment. In fact, they are sharing it with others.

        1. Dr. J.,

          Thank you so much. I will enjoy it immensely.

          I was just checking to see if anything happened with the Healight UV at Cedar Sinai yet and I came across this remembrance of old studies with UV that had been promising. I found it very interesting. We lose a lot of science, I think. We gain a lot, but we spend a lot of time re-inventing the same old wheels.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4783265/

        2. Dr. J.

          The wash your hands 10 times per day decreased the risk by more than half is already something I can use.

          I am not using Happy Birthday because I found that I like doing the ABC song better and that I don’t “rush” the ABC song where I think by a certain part of the Happy Birthday song I speed up. The ABC song has perfect pauses and it is something I can teach my 9-year-old and I think it is comforting.

          In some odd ways, I think birthdays have a lot of self-reflection and that is good, except when you are going to spend months and months in a pandemic. The ABC song makes me think of children rather than thinking of myself and rather than trying to figure out someone else’s name to sing that day. I guess I could look up whose birthday it is and add in some trivia.

          I have added in a few “lighter” YouTube channels. For one, all of the singers are singing usually lame versions of their hits, but some have been seriously funny.

          I also found a man who does his own personal Myth-Busters type YouTube channel and he is friends with the Myth Busters and he tested so many strange things. For one, he tried to test whether sharks smell blood a mile away and Myth-Busters debunked it in a small test space, but he went to water teaming with sharks and he made a contraption that dropped blood into the water and he had a hard time getting the sharks interested.

          At one point, some fish showed up and they were slightly more curious and they attracted the attention of the sharks and 40 sharks did end up checking out the surfboard, but when he re-did the challenge to see if more versus less blood attracted them more, he couldn’t get any of the sharks to check it out at all. I think sharks are onto researchers.

      2. Dr Popper is also extremely anti-vaccine. What are peoples thoughts in this chat about getting the Covid vaccine once it comes out? I stopped getting regular flu vaccines a few years ago and have not had the flu since then…
        Sorry for digressing from the topic.

        1. Personally I would not get the c-19 vaccine until enough people had received it to find out what the side effects and effectiveness are. That will take time. I’ve never had a flu vaccine at age 75 and never will.

          1. Thanks CP. I think I’d rather skip it if possible too. Anyway, by the time the vaccine comes out, there will be mutant strains that probably won’t be affected by the vaccine.

        2. I believe that “Dr” Popper isn’t an MD. She may have some kind of mail order ‘doctor of naturopathy’ certificate but she appears very shy about revealing the details of her professional qualifications.

          I’d be wary about taking medical advice, or indeed health advice generally, from someone without appropriate medical or scientific qualifications from an accredited institution.

    1. Lonie,

      Sorry to hear that you have been having a bout with something. Good news about the weight loss though.

      If you were trying to lose weight.

      Are you okay?

      Dare I ask the C-o V- i- D question?

      Yes, that is a health question and you have the right to remain silent, but I just do care.

  13. If you were trying to lose weight.
    ——————————————
    Heh, no, wasn’t trying… I had managed my weight down to the point where I was wearing 30 year old jeans.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Are you okay?

    Dare I ask the C-o V- i- D question?

    Yes, that is a health question and you have the right to remain silent, but I just do care.
    ————————————————————————————————————————
    Deb, don’t mind answering the CoVid-19 question… If it were a Co-VD question, well, maybe not so willing to share. ‘-)

    As for the CoVid-19, I suspect that is my problem. Extreme weakness, especially in my legs. (i.e., I squatted down to pick up 3 kittens to move inside the garage ahead of a storm moving in. Once down, I could not get up… (and didn’t have my phone with me so I could call saying “Help, I’ve squatted and I can’t get up!” Finally, rolled onto one knee and pulled myself up.) I hadn’t eaten all day, after drinking some ketone powder which had helped a lot to give me some energy. I’ve since eaten and have regained some more of my strength.

    As for the strength, my mailbox is just across the road that runs in front of my house. A few days ago I struggled across the road to the mailbox and labored to the point I feared I couldn’t make it back to the house. That’s just one reason I’m thinking Co-Vid-19.

    And the pain, especially in more lower extremities at night. Pain moves up my left leg, calf to thigh to hip to small of back, then sometimes down to my right foot. Strangely, I am more pain free during the day and can get a few hours of sleep then.

    Possible good news… Other than the kitten pickup problem, I’ve been pretty pain free today. Hoping that is the case tonight as I’m getting tired (literally) of being tired. I don’t have the noticeable bad taste in my mouth and occasionally my sense of smell shows up. Fingers crossed… on the mend.

    I had a swab done late last week but haven’t heard the results yet.

    I’ve even considered a psycho somatic explanation as in the early days (3 to 4 weeks ago) I felt sharp pains on my feet and legs. And while feeling down at times, still I’m ruling out depression… ’cause when watching some YouTube movie or another, I’l catch myself laughing out loud when surprised by a funny. ‘-)

    I became a little worried yesterday when my gallon glass jug where I pee was light red from bottom to top and somewhat cloudy. I drank beet root juice a couple of times yesterday and hoped that was the cause, rather than blood in my urine. Sure enough, today my pee is back to straw colored and clear.

    Early on I entertained the possibility that gout was the cause of my leg and foot pain. Some other things, such as the tiny crimson dots occasionally and randomly appearing on my skin, has caused me to rule out gout.

    Looks like Co-Vid-19 it is.

    Anyway, daily Vitamin D and some Brazil Nut butter will hopefully fend off any cytokine storm in the lungs. I’m also continuing to take Sylimarin daily to help protect them (Colorado University has research showing that Sylimarin can be lung canter protective… maybe it will do the same for Co-Vid-19.

    1. Forgot to mention… 5 hour energy has been helpful to increase energy during the day. Didn’t take any today as I’m about out and Walmart won’t deliver my usual 6 pack size… but if I buy the $35 dollar size they’ll deliver. :-(

      I won’t be held-up!

      1. All those symptoms don’t bode very well, Lonie. At first I thought “Ah, taking all those many strange supplements and concoctions finally caught up with him.”

        And remember, within the past few weeks I suggested you might be going through “ascension symptoms,” and you poo-poohed that idea…..

        Every hour “they” claim there are additional symptoms of this annoying little critter. Never has such a subject had so much thinking about. From: https://www.aol.com/article/lifestyle/2020/05/15/why-you-always-feel-tired-even-if-youre-moving-less-than-ever/24315958/:

        “The long-term stress we may feel as a result of COVID-19 and the constant flow of news about it is not to be underestimated, and it can exact wear and tear on the body.” (I for one am sick t’death of hearing about it, and that’s an understatement. :-(

        Lonie, hopefully by Monday you’ll get the results of your snot swab. https://www.heraldnet.com/news/new-self-swab-covid-19-test-is-just-as-accurate-study-finds/

        Crossing fingers and toes for you! :-)

        1. Not sure if Lonie is going to find this talk of ‘Ascension’ very comforting. I wouldn’t

          Isn’t ‘Ascension’ the New Age equivalent of the Salvation Army’s ‘promotion to Glory’?

          Get well soon Lonie

          1. Get well soon Lonie
            ———————————
            Thank you Tom.

            I think of you every time I read of news out of the Philippines.

            Stay safe… a good foil for debate is hard to find. ‘-)

        2. YR, A little off topic here, but I thought of you when I read this article about Venus being in retrograde now. Have you been following this topic?

          https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/05/13/venus-retrograde-in-gemini-social-reorientation/

          “Venus is retrograde in Gemini from May 13th until June 25th. Its themes have been building up since April 9th, when Venus entered the part of the sky it will be retrograding back to. When a planet goes retrograde, it appears to be moving backwards in zodiacal position from our perspective here on Earth. This is due to the positioning of its orbit around the Sun relative to Earth’s orbit.

          Unlike Mercury Retrograde, Venus Retrogrades occur less frequently, every 19 months, but they last about twice as long. Although both retrogrades have some similarities in regards to how they might affect your social life, Venus still presents a much different vibe.

          This is a time of adjustments, reflections, revisitation, and reconnection in areas represented by Venus. It rules over love, intimate relationships, friendships, values, money, worth, aesthetics, and overall attractability. It is associated with passions, creativity, pleasures, and tastes.”

          1. Darwin, yes, retrograde planets ….when they come a-rolling around….can be a time of challenge. We have a bunch of them in 2020, and boy, have we been challenged so far!

            https://www.wemystic.com/retrograde-planets-2020/

            If a person is BORN with various retrograde planets in their horoscope, they have challenges to take on all their lives….until they finally figure out what they came down to “figure out.” :-)

            https://www.wemystic.com/retrograde-planets-2020/

            1. YR, Gosh, I have never even checked whether I was born during a planetary retrograde event. I’ll have to check that out.

              It’s interesting that so many retrogrades are happening when we are all definitely living with numerous challenges right now!

      2. Lonie,

        You made me laugh with “I’ve squatted and I can’t get up.”

        I bought a people lifter for my cousin who started being to slippery to sit in reclining chairs or to stay in bed.

        It will be mine someday.

        He always has his phone with him but one morning he slid off the bed 5 times.

        A lot of his kin wanted him to go into a nursing home which he had just gotten out of but I will say that so many people have died at that nursing home that we would have lost him.

        This virus will cause more of my relatives to make sure their parents don’t end up in one.

        1. You made me laugh with “I’ve squatted and I can’t get up.”
          ———————————————————————————
          Thanks Deb, at least I got one laugh. ‘-)

          Outside of Greger, this place seems devoid of humor. ‘-)

    2. Lonie,
      I hope you get to feeling better. Illness can be a mystery. I had leg weakness last fall from a herniated lumbar vertebra. I was driving my van to my mailbox and back. Then I had the idea to get a stroller with wheels. Big difference in comfort level and mobility. Healing can take time.

      1. I hope you get to feeling better. Illness can be a mystery. I had leg weakness last fall from a herniated lumbar vertebra. I was driving my van to my mailbox and back.
        ————————————————————————————-
        Thanks Dan,

        Although I don’t remember any sort of lifting (other than a 40 lb. sack of cat food ‘-) that might cause an injury, still I rule nothing out.

        On the other hand, I have had and still have a shortness of breath. I don’t notice it so much as I am a shallow breather through the nose. (I’ve actually read it is better to be a shallow breather, and agree with that as I don’t panic or even notice the shortness of breath.)

        I do occasionally try to take a deep breath and that’s when I notice the difficulty of completely filling my lungs. (Dammit! just talking about it has caused me to try and take deep breaths which seem to hit a wall somewhere past shallow breathing.)

        But anyway, this being a symptom of Co-Vid-19 and taste and smell being affected, which are also symptoms, still has me leaning to the Co-Vid-19 outcome… but it could be a dual ailment.

        1. Lonie,
          A harmless thing to try is getting a bit of sunshine. If nothing else, it might improve your mood. Corvid-19 may not like Vitamin D.

          1. A harmless thing to try is getting a bit of sunshine.
            —————————————————————-
            Agreed. At least half an hour per day as weather permits.

            Shorts, no shirt, and no shoes so I can be grounded on the concrete apron to my garage.

    3. Glad things are getting directionally better.

      It must have been scary.

      Before my cousin went on dialysis, he had something related to mono. I know the name but not how to spell it, but WebMD symptom checker would have it. It caused serious weakness for months. Similar to how mono can cause tiredness for a very long time.

      1. Before my cousin went on dialysis, he had something related to mono. I know the name but not how to spell it, but WebMD symptom checker would have it. It caused serious weakness for months. Similar to how mono can cause tiredness for a very long time.
        ———————————————————————————————————————————
        Interesting. If I don’t recover my strength (and honestly, today is better than yesterday, so….) I’ll be watchful. My last lab test my EGFR (some sort of kidney performance measure) numbers were slightly lower than the previous 6 month numbers but no where near the danger zone.

  14. All those symptoms don’t bode very well, Lonie. At first I thought “Ah, taking all those many strange supplements and concoctions finally caught up with him.”

    And remember, within the past few weeks I suggested you might be going through “ascension symptoms,” and you poo-poohed that idea…..

    Every hour “they” claim there are additional symptoms of this annoying little critter. Never has such a subject had so much thinking about. From: https://www.aol.com/article/lifestyle/2020/05/15/why-you-always-feel-tired-even-if-youre-moving-less-than-ever/24315958/:
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Hey YR, It’s ~ 4 am here and my leg pain has reached the point of being just above the threshold for staying asleep so I’ll pass the time by sharing my thoughts on your fine post.

    In re: the “ascension symptoms” IIRC I didn’t poo-pooh the idea, rather said something to the effect that I didn’t understand that line of thinking… I rarely accept thinking that I don’t understand. ‘-)

    You are so right about new symptoms being reported almost daily. For the longest I thought some of my symptoms pointed to something other than Co-Vid-19. But then I would read about them actually being symptoms reported elsewhere which actually made me feel better as the Co-Vid answer meant that my strange supplements and concoctions hadn’t caught up with me.

    My main concern in re: the Co-Vid-19 is progressing to a cytokine storm in the lungs. I am somewhat confident I have addressed that with the Vitamin D and selenium via the Brazil Nut butter. But there is even a suggestion that one may have changes that come about from collateral damage to the system. I’m hoping I am addressing any such changes by providing my system with all the nutrition needed to prevent such lasting damage.

    Your linking to the Huff Post article suggests you may be thinking I am a victim of being in “house arrest.” No, my symptoms are real.

    You should understand that I have acres around me to roam. When the weather permits, I sit outside in a lawn chair and watch the many kittens play that 3 mother cats have thrust upon me to feed. (One mother cat only had one kitten… I love that cat for her infertility ‘-) One cat had a couple of kittens that are black in the face but then, like a gradient color change, slowly becomes grey fur. I’ve never seen this type of color change before… usually such a large change happens immediately.

    But anyway, the lifestyle I describe isn’t that different from my normal one, except for a weekly trip to town for coffee with a friend and or visits from brothers that have to be put on hold until I’m sure I can’t infect anyone.
    ——————————————————————————–
    “The long-term stress we may feel as a result of COVID-19 and the constant flow of news about it is not to be underestimated, and it can exact wear and tear on the body.” (I for one am sick t’death of hearing about it, and that’s an understatement. :-(
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    Let me just say that i’m getting the feeling that there may be things afoot that are connected and that we just don’t understand. I mean, here we have Co-Vid-19 and at the same time, the North Pole is shifting from the Arctic to Siberia. (Doesn’t worry me ’cause the North Pole has always been shifting and not in a locked in place. ‘-)

    I’m just sayin’ we live in a connected world and disparate things may have an effect on each other that can’t be rationalized. Some may think it is hoodoo magic when in effect is just physics.

    In closing, YR, I want to thank you for your post. It has caused me to concentrate and think about what you’ve said, leading me to lower my pain level. Well, that and the ketone powder I took before I started this post. ‘-)

    I think I’m past the point of being in danger of dying from whatever I have, but if I’m wrong, I’ll let you know I’m dead if there is something going on after death that allows contact. ‘-)

    1. Lonie, yes by all means….DO contact me from The Other Side if you make it over there! I got a lot of light blinks in my bathroom soon after my brother died last August — and not at an appropriate time, either. ;-( Many “signs” since then. We go when it’s our time to go, and not a moment sooner. We play our role and then we go!

      I envy you all your adorable kitties. i can’t remember if you find them homes; it seems to me you don’t have them “fixed.” ???

      I doubt if this is one of the many concoctions you take, but if it is, be forewarned:

      https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2020/05/spain-links-death-to-food-supplement-made-in-the-us/

        1. YR, I know you meant that link as encouragement but!… if longevity looks like that I think I’ll opt out. ‘-)

          On the other hand, I recently posted a story about how Epicatechins can block Myostatins and allow muscle to grow, especially in tandem with Follistatins. That’s what I see as the basis for the longevity I’m looking forward to. That is, things that are known now and things to come we don’t even know about.

          The link below tells how we can do that with foods available now.

          https://blog.daveasprey.com/follistatin-muscle-growth-fat-loss-fertility/

          1. Lonie,

            I am not going to say watch Dr Greger’s video about Keto making it harder to build muscle.

            Instead, I will read the article you posted and I will watch the Keto and muscle video myself because I like learning things from multiple directions.

            I genuinely wish you strength and health and peace.

            Do you know where you would have been exposed to it?

            1. Deb, I don’t think we’ll know the final verdict until we get his test result. Which he says he’s still waiting for.

              I’ll betcha big bucks he doesn’t have it. He’s just one of those-thar’ hypochondriacs. :-) I had an uncle like that.

              1. “Quarantine’ is when you restrict the movement of sick people.
                ‘Tyranny’ is when you restrict the movement of healthy people.”

                Q

                1. YR, That’s a great quote! Some of these governors are really getting carried away. No regard for the misery and death a ruined economy causes. We started out having the best economy in 60 years and they had to ruin it.

              2. I’ll betcha big bucks he doesn’t have it. He’s just one of those-thar’ hypochondriacs. :-)
                ———————————————————————————————————————–
                YR, if that be true, then the pain I have conjured up in my mind means I have a mind with super powers. I get it that you think I’m caught up in an “Ascencion vortex” of some kind. I don’t know… maybe you are right.

                Just so you know, I’m not Jonesing to HAVE Co-Vid-19. I’m just trying to assess my situation analytically, while hopefully providing something useful to anyone else here who may contract the virus.

                You are not alone in questioning my situation… one of my brothers can’t understand why I haven’t received results back from my swab. I’ve wondered that too and being an amateur conspiracy theorist, my county only listed one confirmed case and one death for like a month. Then suddenly they listed 6 confirmed and still just the one death. I think it is conducive to having businesses reopen if there are fewer confirmed cases… and the hospital where the testing was done is a part of that business community (privately owned.) Many more cases in the surrounding towns and cities, which are admittedly, larger populations, but my town has disproportionately fewer cases.

                All I can say is I posted my symptoms in my VA records as an information of record only, saying I was not asking for or expecting treatment as I was getting along just fine. (I would actually refuse treatment, even if they insisted on it… no throat pipes for me thank you)

                Still, after reading my symptoms, the person in charge of this sort of emergency at my local VA called me and asked if I would agree to be tested. They immediately wrote me orders which were handed me while still in my car. I went from there to my local hospital where I was taken inside an indoor tent with an air purifying machine running and was swabbed deep inside my left nostril.

                But as you say, I may not have Co-Vid-19. On the other hand, being labeled a hypochondriac is a little out of line.

                I haven’t been to a hospital in over 50 years (I passed out with a fever in an Army Mess Hall after marching in the cold and then going to the heated mess hall in a line for breakfast) and only started seeing a Dr after being required to have insurance under Obama care (I chose joining the VA for free care as my right as a veteran.)

                To be clear, I think you were just joking. Still, others may not get the joke. ‘-)

                1. “On the other hand, being labeled a hypochondriac is a little out of line.”
                  – – – – – –

                  Yeah, you’re right. But if I were you, I’d definitely call them on Monday and ask for the test results — ’cause it seems to me if you were positive they would let you know by know.

                  (I agree with you about doctor-seeing.)

              3. ‘I’ll betcha big bucks he doesn’t have it. He’s just one of those-thar’ hypochondriacs. :-) I had an uncle like that.’

                Do you have a crystal ball YR or is that just a guess?

                It’s mostly women who buy crystal balls but I knew a man once who had one. He had to be very careful about how he sat down.

            2. I am not going to say watch Dr Greger’s video about Keto making it harder to build muscle.
              ————————————————————————————————————————-
              Below is the original article that addressed the subject. It suggests a pill solution somewhere down the line.

              I’ve since learned that body builders are way ahead of this information and at least one supplement company (I won’t name it here because I cannot verify if it is trustworthy) offers natural catechins (like found in green tea, dark chocolate and cacao powder) along with a couple of other unfamiliar ingredients.

              All reference to natural any Myostatin inhibitor and Follistatin upregulator claim fat burning and muscle and strength improvements.

              The solution in the link below is a genetic change which causes a myostatin free condition. Sounds like it may not be reversible if they go that route. The natural way, the myostatin cancelling effect stops if you stop the inhibitor mechanism.

              Interesting side note… this was discovered doing research on a breed of huge Blue Bulls in the Netherlands, I think it was. It occurred to me that may be where the Paul Bunyan and his Babe the Blue Ox story came from.

              https://singularityhub.com/2020/05/15/forget-exercise-these-mice-got-ripped-with-gene-therapy/?

            3. I am not going to say watch Dr Greger’s video about Keto making it harder to build muscle.

              Instead, I will read the article you posted and I will watch the Keto and muscle video myself because I like learning things from multiple directions.

              I genuinely wish you strength and health and peace.

              Do you know where you would have been exposed to it?
              ————————————————————————————-
              Deb, to be clear, I’m doing the keto powder for energy at the moment. There is no relation to keto and the articles about building muscle. Besides, I am not in actual ketosis… just using the powder for fuel during this trying time.

              As for when I may have been exposed, we didn’t go into shelter in place when hotspots did; therefore, it could have happened in a grocery store or other place of business I attended. But if so, probably from someone who showed no symptoms hence the low number of confirmed cases in my county.

              Although, Fedex delivery driver came from a town a hundred miles away and I would always meet him at the truck and take delivery of my package directly from him. They didn’t even wear masks back then. I received a pkg. today and the delivery guy had a mask on and set my delivery outside and quickly returned to his truck. I gave him instructions on where to put it through an open window.

              1. Thanks, Lonie, and you didn’t have to explain. I understand that you are very sincere in your process.

                Thank you for sharing about your level of exposure pre-symptoms. Let us know if you test positive.

                NY, the most recent statistics were that 66% of the newest cases were of people who were sheltering in place, so it is something my mind is working on. It matters if people are getting it from packages or from grocery stores. My state is opening very soon and we have tens of thousands of cases, so being able to understand level of risk becomes way more important. Plus, it is heading into summer and my father is going to come back into town and with him will be social gatherings. I will go, I think. But only because I work with so many of the people who would be there and I haven’t seen my father in a very long time and he is the one I am most likely to get it from.

                I watched a man who tested all of the MLB players recently and I know that society has to open up soon and he said that because the baseball players are such wealthy, important people, they have very, very, very few cases. Much fewer than the study he did in California. He said that poor people test way more for it and wealthy people don’t but he said that eventually people have to come out of their homes because this is going to last a very long time and it isn’t realistic to wait for it to be gone, so it is more of when do you want to risk exposure.

                I understand what he is saying and I think I am going to get a blood sugar meter and I already have a blood pressure cuff and, Barb, I saw your comment before answering Lonie and I have gained a few pounds. Not horrible, but the fact that I was trying to lose weight pre-COVID-19 and now I am further away from the goal and further into the risk factors, I have to come off of the processed food and start over before I end up going to the next birthday party or family gathering.

                Processed food causes weight gain is not headline news.

                I have also been watching more about various masks, and I love this doctor who shows how to add an electrostatic charge to your masks.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q37qdWUQXBI

                Remember to not touch the mask while your hands are wet with hand sanitizer or we might hear about the fire thing. Hearing that, my brother took a torch and tried to set our hand sanitizer on fire and it wouldn’t light, but there was an arrest during COVID-19 of a woman who sold her own hand-made hand-sanitizer and somebody did have their hands start on fire and Dr. Greger had announced that warning back in his Bird Flu book. My brother is skeptical. But maybe he needed to try a flintstone or something.

                I have to lower my hummus intake, too, but hummus never caused me to gain weight. Processed food did. Though I have already lost 3 pounds in the 2 days since I weighed myself just going off the processed food.

                Almost all of the vegan transition food has oil and when I put my glasses on in the store and read one today it listed the oils and/or with another oil as the next one on the ingredient list.

                Yes, I am doing better since then.

                I have to do better before going out into the risky world.

                Before any family gatherings, I want to go see my 90-year old relatives. I know that I am not going to want to wait a year to see them and I have only been going to the grocery store once a week and I did one delivery last week – with masks and gloves

                I wore gloves pumping gas. I feel pretty confident that I have been diligent and that I won’t kill my precious just-about-favorite living relatives.

                I want to see them before my father comes back because he is out getting hair cuts and his toenails clipped and all sorts of things.

                1. The logic from the “open society side” is that closing things down will not eradicate the disease and that it was about slowing things down, but now, the hospitals have some more masks and strategies for how to manage COVID-19 and we are a very, very long way from herd immunity or vaccines as concepts.

                  Both of those are more likely to be a year from now even if we do figure out how to make a vaccine.

                  I am not saying this as if I am going to stop socially isolating when society opens which will start soon near me. I will be waiting to see what happens, but he was right that it isn’t realistic to not interact for a whole year and the summer is when there was a reprieve for both 1918 and Swine flu and if that is likely to happen here, what I know is that in the fall, it might even be more likely to have people close to me die.

                  Now, after a few months of socially isolating is when I will be most likely to be able to visit my vulnerable relatives.

                  The math keeps running through my brain, but I look at the 1918 and Swine Flu graphs and for both of those it was the next fall when things got worse. We don’t know whether that will happen with this, but it seems like the months of June, July, and August is the most likely time to be able to take my sweet relatives outside and sit and talk.

                  I listened to that man or someone else say, “No, COVID-19 is with us forever now.” It isn’t going to be going back into Pandora’s box. We have to learn to adapt to it until there are therapeutics and vaccinations.

                  That is what the experts are thinking about and we have to think about it, too.

                2. Deb, you may already have one of these… that is, one of those fingertip oxygen monitors. I believe it was Dr. Oz that suggest that anyone should get one and that they are inexpensive. And he also suggested if your oxygen level drops suddenly, take an aspirin.

                  I can’t remember the reason for the aspirin but I suppose it helps with platelet problems that can clog blood vessels which would starve the body of oxygen.

                  1. Lonie,

                    I have a talking one. (Because the visiting nurses tended to read it upside down and I did not like accidental ER visits.)

                    Make sure your hands are warm and that you are not dehydrated and use it on a finger that doesn’t have arthritis if possible.

                    To avoid ER visits.

  15. Hey Lonie, hope you are feeling better very soon! I was sick at Christmas and a month later. I had that very sore muscles/joints suddenly appear at the beginning of those illnesses. Horrible. Couldn’t climb a flight of stairs.
    Anywho, do try to eat some real food alongside your potions! Wish you the best!

    On another note, did anyone hear a shreaking scream a while back? Could have been me. I really had a craving for something sweet and delicious, but dodged that impulse and bought a bathroom scale instead. LOL well, I can only say after weigh-in that lockdown hasn’t done me any favors ! Going to have to review the fasting videos….

    1. Hey Lonie, hope you are feeling better very soon! I was sick at Christmas and a month later. I had that very sore muscles/joints suddenly appear at the beginning of those illnesses. Horrible. Couldn’t climb a flight of stairs.
      Anywho, do try to eat some real food alongside your potions! Wish you the best!
      —————————————————————————————————————
      Thanks Barb, Went back to bed later in the day and managed to get a few hours more sleep and was rested enough I just awoke without being awakened.

      Your affliction sounds a lot like mine except mine isn’t about sore muscles or joints… once the pain leaves they feel fine.

      Yeah to eating real food. Problem has been I’m too weak and unmoved to fix any thing other than out of a can.

      Plus, appetite is pretty non-existent so there isn’t that hunger driven food intake. One good thing about whatever I’ve got… we’ve had some near hundred degree days some time ago and tolerated those just fine. ‘-)

      Checked my temperature a few days ago and it was ~ 97 degrees. If I do have Co-Vid-19, it is probably a pretty mild case.

        1. Whatever they (finally) tell you may not be accurate.
          ———————————————————————-
          You are right of course, which begs the question… does it really matter what results I get?

          That is, am I going to change anything based on a potentially flawed test result? The answer is no. I’m only essential as a consumer of the $1200 CARES payment. I can spend that over the Internet. In fact, I’ve already earmarked that money.

          I think to be sure I’ll wait for a time when some of the anti-body tests that are purported to be more accurate, become available. But even then, 5 sailors on the USN Carrier, the Teddy Roosevelt have tested positive again and have been removed from the ship as the crew was being let back on.

          I’m starting to think that it is going to be a couple of years before the newer tech stuff like anti-body testing and even anti-body treatment will reach me. The cities are the front lines of this battle so defense should be strongest there.

          I’ll still wander out into the public once it is established the virus is seasonal… but when it returns, I’ll go back into torpor mode.

          I’ve just been reading the safety restrictions laid out for the return of playing live baseball games… such games will barely resemble the baseball we are used to. I fear before this whole pandemic is over, our adaptive thinking will become the new normal.

          On the one hand, I regret this is happening. On the other hand, I am a spectator to a sea change in how we live our lives… and possibly, how we un-soil our nest.

          Personal Update: Still awoke during the night with discomfort in my lower body, but more annoying rather than extremely painful as before.

          Some Voodoo Dr that has it in for me must have removed a few of the pins sticking in my Quantum Entanglement doll. ‘-)

          1. “Still awoke during the night with discomfort in my lower body, but more annoying rather than extremely painful as before.”
            – – – – – –

            Yes, the drama we’re creating for ourselves is interesting, isn’t it!

            I noticed I was having lower back pain during the night lately and figured it must be time to buy a new (twin-size) bed mattress. And to pay a little more money for one this time. But then yesterday morning I decided to switch the thing around instead. (I used to have the kind you could flip over, which I’d rather have).

            Don’t know if there’s any connection, but what a difference in sleeping last night! No back pain at all. When it’s time to switch it again — don’t they suggest every six months or so? — I’ll invest in a new one. I’m not getting a “MyPillow” though. (That guy must a billionaire.) I like a very small, barely-there pillow.

            I’m looking forward to eating out in restaurants again. And, when the Galleria reopens, I gotta get some specs repaired and a new battery put in one of my wristwatches — for starters. Bring it on! Enuf of this nonsense.

    2. I thought I heard the scream coming from my own head.

      Good for you that you dodged the impulse and bought a bathroom scale instead.

    3. Barb,

      I lost another pound and a half today.

      So I guess even though I gained quickly, I am going quickly down to my set point. (Which is too high, but my body isn’t greedily asking for a higher set point. It is content with the old one.)

      1. That’s really good news Deb! I’m sure you will quickly get back to where you were … we both will – if we can stay mindful and motivated. I am definitly scrutinizing my menu plans from here on in. I have been under such stress in recent months, (like possible homeless-ness type stress) but not fitting into clothes doesn’t help any situation!
        I did add some extra exercise in daily, and will focus more on the gbomb type foods.

  16. I think the being able to interact outside will be the key factor for me.

    The other factor will be the mutations. If they are getting milder, that might cause me to wait.

    They said that 16 of the vaccines looked promising so far.

    So maybe they will find things.

    It seems like we already need 200.

  17. I am going to ask the math perspective people.

    Seems like “risk” will have layers.

    Right now, lots of people had socially isolated so risk will go up. But there should be at least 5 days of less risk before society opens.

  18. It isn’t going to be simple math.

    It will be each person in society that goes back will change the risk and heading toward warmer weather may change the risk in the other direction.

  19. Even Erythritol may induce changes in the GI tract (increase of SCFA)(same goes for Xylitol and probably stevia) . Cinnamaldehyde and other substances found in herbs also have found to have effects on gut microbiota. Almost everything we eat affects the microbiome. Extrapolating effects from aspartame and saccharin to sucralose is just not good practice since differences in the effect of these substances on the gut have been found. Also I fail to see how the presented studies show a causation between IBS and sucralose consumption.

  20. Off topic post,

    Plain old-fashioned influenza and pneumonia haven’t gone away during the covid-19 pandemic. There may well-be a knee-jerk rejection of statins and influenza vaccines on the part of those who know The Truth about these things but studies continue to provide evidence that they prevent adverse effects. Like this Taiwanese study

    ‘We found that, among persons ≥65 years of age, vaccinated statin users and nonusers had lower risks of in-hospital death and severe complications of influenza infections compared with unvaccinated groups. In further analyses, we found no statistically significant difference and interaction between statin use and hospitalization for pneumonia, influenza, or circulatory conditions. However, vaccine effectiveness against critical illness slightly increased in statin users compared with nonusers, suggesting that the context of benefits of statins for cardiovascular outcomes could play a role for critically ill patients[34].’
    https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/929865?src=wnl_tpal_200516_mscpedu&impID=2383893

    A 30% (relative) reduction in both hospitalisations and in-hospital deaths seems to suggest that the influenza vaccine is worth considering, especially in places like Australia where it is free for the 65+ population. And statins for those with stubbornly high cholesterol.

    1. Thanks Tom! I do get the flu vaccine every year, and wondered if it was effective for something. Coincidentally or not, I also got the flu every year, but maybe it would have been worse illness without the vaccine.

        1. YR,

          I am the same. I am thinking I last had one about then maybe.

          Never did get a flu shot.

          It will become an issue with COVID. I will probably not be first in line for their vaccine but if one comes out, I might get that, a flu shot and finally get the shingles vaccine.

          1. ‘Vaccines are especially important for older adults. As you get older, your immune system weakens and it can be more difficult to fight off infections. You’re more likely to get diseases like the flu, pneumonia, and shingles — and to have complications that can lead to long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death.

            If you have an ongoing health condition — like diabetes or heart disease — getting vaccinated is especially important. Vaccines can protect you from serious diseases (and related complications) so you can stay healthy as you age.’
            https://www.vaccines.gov/who_and_when/adults/seniors

    2. Tom,

      That is very interesting.

      Since we are from this time forward likely to have flu and COVID seasons it will be even more valuable to know what helps.

      I have to acknowledge that I don’t generally get flu shots because I don’t generally get the flu but the concept of asymptomatic spreaders in COVID has me wondering whether I should be getting flu shots to protect other people.

      The concept of getting the shots for other people’s sake came up in a video recently but I was trying to follow the logic, are there asymptomatic spreaders of flu or is it that they are saying if I get the flu, I will spread it.

      I just haven’t been prone to getting it for so long that I just maybe do socially isolate and wash my hands and clean all of the handles when it is around and that is generally enough.

      1. Deb

        I never used to get the flu shot either.

        The Cochrane Collaboration reviews found no significant benefit in healthy adults. And not much in older adults for that matter. I think that’s pretty much the same now.
        https://www.cochrane.org/news/featured-review-three-updated-cochrane-reviews-assessing-effectiveness-influenza-vaccines

        However, now I’m an ‘older adult’, I reckon every little helps so I now get the shot when I get back to Oz (and that Taiwanese study suggests that it can make a positive difference).

    1. YR,

      They called the cases COVID-19 if the people tested positive for it, even if they drank themselves to death.

      They could have drank themselves to death because of the diagnosis.

      The researcher who I listened to yesterday said that often it is hard to decide cause of death particularly if there are co-morbidities.

      For instance, COVID can cause heart damage and kidney problems and stroke but so can diabetes.

      He said that he would accept the COVID cause if they tested positive and there are so many people who were sent home untested and there will be false under-reporting in that end because there still aren’t tests enough for everybody everywhere.

  21. They used the example of dying from alcohol poisoning with COVID as it was ridiculous to assign it to COVID but I have an alcoholic worker who tested positive and it if diagnosis causes people to do risky behaviors, I would count it.

  22. What about fresh Stevia leaves right off the plant? Are there any negative effects other than possible diarrhea if you have too much? Thank you.

  23. If the people in this study were using packet sweeteners, they were consuming maltodextrin, an artificial starch filler. Maltodextrin causes a greater spike in insulin, 100/100 on the insulin index, than table sugar, which is 63/100. Could this filler ingredient be the real problem in the artificial sweetener packets?

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