Healthy Bed and Bath

COVID-19 Resources Guide

I have had an idea for a guide for the past few weeks. I have taken the time to put some of it together. The timeline is missing a lot of key pieces I hope to fill in later. The focus of the guide is to collect more scientific and public policy resources, including places to get accurate data about the spread of COVID-19. My hope is that it is informative and helpful.

COVID-19 Resources Guide

Organic and non-GMO Fraud

I’ve long suspected there is quite a lot of fraud involved in the organic food market.

Missouri charmer led double life, masterminded one of the biggest frauds in farm history

You’d never have guessed that the father of three, grandfather of five was a liar, cheat and serial philanderer who masterminded one of the biggest and longest-running frauds in the history of American agriculture.

Actually, I might have guessed that.

A clever and unethical seller can successfully pass off cheaper conventionally grown grain for the more expensive organic kind and make a huge profit, if they sell a lot of it…

[Randy Constant] scammed grain buyers, meat producers and millions of American consumers for a decade or more. The organic beef and poultry countless Americans were eating during those years wasn’t organic after all…

“I know Randy was deeply ashamed of his conduct,” his widow said soon after his passing.

Ashamed he was caught, perhaps. If he was ashamed of his conduct it wasn’t enough for him to change that conduct.

Constant had sold the [purported organic soybeans] to Nevada Soy Product, which turned them into soybean oil. One of Nevada Soy’s customers canceled the sale after their tests showed the soybeans had come from genetically modified plants…

The USDA’s Office of Inspector General issued a searing 2010 audit faulting the organic program’s oversight efforts. Complaints were rarely followed up on, and when they were it sometimes took years to resolve them…

Those who make their living farming organically say it’s important that consumers be confident that they are getting what they pay for when they buy certified organic food.



The hidden world of human herpes viruses

I really enjoyed this talk and I believe this hints at some fantastic resources we are likely to gain in the near future. If people can have their immune cells analyzed, not just counted, but detecting functional response to particular infections, that may tell us a lot about immunology and human health in response to infections, especially latent infections.

Levin Lab’s Cancer Research

Although these lectures discuss cancer they are also important to the larger topics of cell differentiation and morphogenesis. The Levin Lab is accumulating evidence suggests that voltage gradients across cell membranes determine gene expression (epigenetics) and morphophology/anatomy. The definition of cancer, in the present-day US at least, tends to emphasize the hypothesis that genetic changes lead to cancer. However, this hypothesis is challenged by evidence involving the transplanting of cancer nuclei into non-cancer cells and vice versa. Several features of cancer cells have been identified, and the key will creating a hypothesis that can link them all together.

From 2016:

From 2013:


Standard Process 2018 Formula Changes

  • Multizyme – removing maltodextrin
  • Zymex II – removing maltodextrin
  • Diaplex – removing maltodextrin
  • Cellular Vitality – removing maltodextrin
  • Zypan – removing dairy
  • Betaine Hydrochloride – removing dairy
  • Okra Pepsin E3 – removing dairy
  • Zymex Capsules – removing wheat and dairy
  • Betacol – removing wheat and soy
  • Livaplex – removing wheat and soy
  • Prolamine Iodine – drastically reduced Iodine (from 3000 mcg to 600 mcg)
  • Gastrex – removing bentonite and increasing okra
  • Organically Bound Minerals – USA Organic, more kelp

Surgery versus Placebo

I believe one of the important research revelations of the early 21st century is that some but not all surgical procedures may not offer any benefit beyond placebo. With 2 new papers being released recently on surgery for meniscus tears and tennis elbow I wanted to document a few of the studies that have been done comparing a surgical procedure to a “sham surgery”.

Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy versus placebo surgery for a degenerative meniscus tear: a 2-year follow-up of the randomised controlled trial (2018 Feb):

In this 2-year follow-up of patients without knee osteoarthritis but with symptoms of a degenerative medial meniscus tear, the outcomes after APM [Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy] were no better than those after placebo surgery. No evidence could be found to support the prevailing ideas that patients with presence of mechanical symptoms or certain meniscus tear characteristics or those who have failed initial conservative treatment are more likely to benefit from APM.

Surgical Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. (2018 Mar):

With the number of available participants, this study failed to show additional benefit of the surgical excision of the degenerative portion of the ECRB [extensor carpi radialis brevis, a muscle in the forearm that attaches to a ligament in the elbow] over placebo surgery for the management of chronic tennis elbow.

Effects of perceived treatment on quality of life and medical outcomes in a double-blind placebo surgery trial. (2004 Apr):

This study was part of a large double-blind sham surgery-controlled trial designed to determine the effectiveness of transplantation of human embryonic dopamine neurons into the brains of persons with advanced Parkinson’s disease. This portion of the study investigated the quality of life (QOL) of participants during the 1 year of double-blind follow-up…

The placebo effect was very strong in this study, demonstrating the value of placebo-controlled surgical trials.

A controlled trial of arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee. (2002 Jul):

In this controlled trial involving patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, the outcomes after arthroscopic lavage or arthroscopic débridement were no better than those after a placebo procedure.

This study was often cited in relevant meta-analyses:

Not all surgeries are showing a lack of benefit. Here is a trial on laparoscopic excision of endometriosis that shows a benefit compared with placebo.

Laparoscopic excision of endometriosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. (2004 Oct):

Laparoscopic excision of endometriosis is more effective than placebo at reducing pain and improving quality of life. Surgery is associated with a 30% placebo response rate that is not dependent on severity of disease. Approximately 20% of women do not report an improvement after surgery for endometriosis.

This difference highlights the importance of continuing to pursue research evaluating surgical procedures with placebo controls.

Healthy Lifestyle Shopping

I decided rather than a lot of small posts about individual items I would write a list of some of the things I’ve been shopping for with some recommendations. I am still working on a larger buying guide to help people find healthier products. This list is not just new things, but also some things which I continue to find work well. I have no financial connection to any of these products of companies.

  • Countertop Water Filter: Multipure Aquadome
    • I’ve been using this in my home for years and continue to be pleased. I have not yet been convinced that anything else in this price range ($260 for the unit with filter, $75 for replacement filters once a year or so) is as good.
  • Shower Filter: Aquasana AQ-4105
    • I need the extra height provided by the one with the handheld wand but this is now only $60. Like the filter above I’ve been using this for years though I’ve actually tried a few other options but have not found anything I’ve liked as much.
  • Pillows: Organic kapok stuffed
    • A while back I did a lot of searching for reasonably priced healthy pillows. The downside of kapok is that it can compact easily. I have decided to remedy this by buying extra organic kapok fill, but that should be considered in the pricing. I believe this is still cheaper than organic wool but that would be another option.
  • Socks: Organic merino wool socks from Maggie’s Organics
    • This was a recent find. I decided it was important to take better care of my feet and thus worth $15 per pair of socks (Organic Wool Dress Crew). I started with 6 pairs, and after a 1 week trial I was so satisfied I bought another 9 pairs (in less expensive 3 packs). These are currently my everyday socks of choice.
  • Phone Headset – AIRCOM A1 Stereo Headset
    • I’ve tried a number of headsets and these are the best comfort and sound quality I have found so far. Although there are more expensive models, the basic model (which is what I have) is about $30 and a huge step up from the headsets that have come included with my phones and others I have tried.


Organic Sheets

I believe in buying high quality products, and linens are no exception. However, when recently searching for sheets I found a variety of options and a wide range of price points. I wanted to document this as a reference for my clients and others who are looking for some high quality sheets or other linens. The price points are based on a queen size sheet set. These are all organic cotton sheets.