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#200517 - 04/19/10 05:04 PM Re: Home-grown insulin [Re: paramedicpete]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
The only thing that prevents Sue from being 100% accurately correct is the fact that there still is funding (governmental as well as other sources) for medical research elsewhere than just the pill companies....


Nothing wrong with being a major corporation. But don't let them be the dominating source of information. You want to make sure they stay within their playing field and go by the rules. That's why you want to fund some independent institutions that are capable of calling any bluff the corporations care to make. Otherwise things get ugly pretty fast.


As Sue said, follow the money. Corporate money gives you research that is designed to meet corporate needs. You need to balance that with independent institutions.

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#200519 - 04/19/10 05:37 PM Re: Home-grown insulin [Re: paramedicpete]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: paramedicpete
...NCI has a major program which as been around for many years looking for and developing treatments from natural products

Interesting. I had never heard of this agency before. However, I don't really see how it really promotes natural remedies in any significant way. These lab services are only step 1 or so of the typical "drug discovery" process. Even if some herb shows promise, it's still many years and many hundreds of millions of dollars away from being approved by the FDA as a sanctioned "cure" or "treatment", and what natural remedy company can afford that? Pretty much no one because they'd never make their money back with some non-patentable product.

Without researching further, I would suspect that an agency like this primarily serves to help discover biologically active substances or new targets for therapy, but what eventually results from that information is going to be some synthetic drug under patent protection. Not some wonderful, inexpensive natural remedy you can buy at the health food store. Pete, if you're aware of any natural products like that that came from this lab, I would love to know about it so I can tell people.

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#200528 - 04/19/10 06:19 PM Re: Home-grown insulin [Re: Arney]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Arney,

You are correct in your analysis of this particular program. The lab (since the early 80ís) screens samples (soil, marine, plants, etc.) from around the world to find a potential agent/chemical contained within the natural product, which can then be identified and synthetically reproduced for therapeutic applications. Not all agents can be synthetically reproduced, but many have. A good example of the use of a natural product is Taxol in fighting breast cancer. It is derived from yew trees.

The type of research utilizing herbal medicine to which you are referring is through the NIH- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine which lists the potential health benefits of numerous herb supplements and also links to other NIH Institutes which are investigating treatments/health benifts with respect to herbal/alternative medicine.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine


Pete

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#200540 - 04/19/10 10:58 PM Re: Home-grown insulin [Re: Compugeek]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Originally Posted By: Compugeek

How long can you keep it cold if the power goes out?

(I'm not being snarky. I'm honestly interested.)


Keeping it cold is a problem. It's delicate stuff.
For most power outtages, the generators (1 + 1 backup) are the first line.

Second line are the freezer packs and the real thick styrofoam coolers they send the frozen steaks in (these keep things cold about 2x longer than other coolers). I also have 2 12 volt mini-fridges; I can use these in the car or any place I can get 12 volt. I'd like to find a way to power these with solar cells-- its on my list of things to do.

Next, (and I have never tried it) is evaporation cooling. You take cotton towels etc, wet them down and put the vials inside the towels. Natural evaporation will cool it down below the critical temperature. This is a time when cotton=cool can be a good thing.

Finally, if you can keep it at around 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, most insulin will keep for 30 days. Your wine cellar perhaps?

Every brand is different, and other things like too much agitation and exposure to light can reduce its lifetime.

_________________________
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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#200546 - 04/20/10 12:00 AM Re: Home-grown insulin [Re: bws48]
roberttheiii Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Connecticut, USA
You can get insulin from the pancreas of dogs and pigs by tying a string around the pancreatic duct(I just checked the wall of my time machine, but you can look here: http://www.topatoco.com/graphics/qw-cheatsheet-print-zoom.jpg).

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#200556 - 04/20/10 02:19 AM Re: Home-grown insulin [Re: roberttheiii]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
bws, have you seen this article on a Solar Powered Cooler ?

Sue

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#200565 - 04/20/10 03:19 AM Re: Home-grown insulin [Re: Susan]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Originally Posted By: Susan
"...most of the stuff on 'natural food', 'herbal medicine' sites is not science based. Most are far more interested in selling you herbs, seeds, 'treatments' than staying strictly science and reality based."

Mostly true, with a double-whammy attached: the people with the money for the science are the drug companies who don't do work on natural ingredients because there isn't enough money in them, and the universities subsidized by the drug companies, who will pull their donations if they try (like the agricultural colleges).

In fact, many folk remedies are found to be fact-based, like digitalis for the heart, and spiderwebs as an anticoagulant. But without the work and some money being put into them, natural meds will remain the black sheep of medicine.

If some backroom scientist found a cure for cancer or even the common cold in a plant, he would be bought out or laughed into oblivion.

MONEY IS ALL.

Sue


Fine except for one small point: you're wrong.

There is a name for herbal medicines that work; medicine.

Spider webs are not an anti-coagulant but a coagulant. When examined for medical use the effect was found to small compare to other materials and spider webs are quite difficult and expensive to collect, package, use. There are simply much better materials.

One good topical coagulant is made from shells of shrimp and it works quite well, if not without issues. Clearly medical science has no difficulty with cheap materials. Shrimp shells are typically considered a waste product. People pay to them removed. So much for the mythology about not being able to make money off cheap materials.

Digitalis is used. But typically not in herbal form. Herbs have issues in absorption, standardizing dose and purity. Most modern medicines are based on natural materials but purified and in standardized doses. The problem is that many herbs have little to no effect>

The effect is easy to see in Aspirin and willow bark. Willow bark works because it contain salicylic acid you could, in theory boil up a few cups of willow bark tea to get an equivalent dose. But implementing it is where it all falls apart. The amount and bioavailability of the salicylic acid in willow bark is not consistent. So how many cups do you make? Do you just guess?

The way it went down is how it should have. Recognizing the effect of willow bark tea the active ingredient was isolated and synthesized. It was found that salicylic acid is easier to manufacture from synthetic materials than extract it from bark. Now you can get the proper dose by simply unscrewing a cap and popping a few pills. Unlike boiling up tea with bark you have a very good idea of what is in each pill.

There is no chance that anyone who develops a cure for cancer will suppress any cure. Come up with a cure that stands up to testing, with a demonstrable and repeatable effect,and people will beat a track to your door. Funding will not be an issue.

Yes, there will always be more money available for research in popular diseases. Rare diseases will always struggle for money. On the other end of the scale we have three very reliable drugs to give guys an erection. Millions of men are willing to pay fifteen dollars a dose to get their little fellow to stand at attention.

It is also easy to overestimate how effective drug companies are. Drugs and disease are international. When the drug companies demanded more money than Brazil and China wanted to pay the drugs were simply reverse engineered them. Both nations produce their own supply of anti-HIV drugs. Yes the drug companies are rich, politically powerful, and they have a lot of influence. But they weren't going to invade Brazil.

The idea that there is a vast water tight conspiracy of all the drug researchers, all the producers, all the employees, in every nation is just silly. Humans just aren't that good at keeping secrets.

I don't like drug companies much. They are manipulative, greedy, conniving, power hungry and heartless. They aren't going to do anything they can't make a profit on. That is capitalism.

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#200576 - 04/20/10 09:56 AM Re: Home-grown insulin [Re: Susan]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Originally Posted By: Susan
bws, have you seen this article on a Solar Powered Cooler ?

Sue


Cool!grin
It seems to be an engineered version of the wet towel method I mentioned-- same principle at work. Evaporating water removes heat.

I might be able to cobble this together with a coffee can for the inner canister.....hmmm...
_________________________
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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#200583 - 04/20/10 01:23 PM Re: Home-grown insulin [Re: Arney]
speedemon Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 98
Originally Posted By: Arney
Originally Posted By: paramedicpete
...NCI has a major program which as been around for many years looking for and developing treatments from natural products

Interesting. I had never heard of this agency before. However, I don't really see how it really promotes natural remedies in any significant way. These lab services are only step 1 or so of the typical "drug discovery" process. Even if some herb shows promise, it's still many years and many hundreds of millions of dollars away from being approved by the FDA as a sanctioned "cure" or "treatment", and what natural remedy company can afford that? Pretty much no one because they'd never make their money back with some non-patentable product.

Without researching further, I would suspect that an agency like this primarily serves to help discover biologically active substances or new targets for therapy, but what eventually results from that information is going to be some synthetic drug under patent protection. Not some wonderful, inexpensive natural remedy you can buy at the health food store. Pete, if you're aware of any natural products like that that came from this lab, I would love to know about it so I can tell people.

This pretty much hit the nail on the head. Most other people's replies are somewhere in the ballpark though.

Friends of mine since high school run a natural medicine company (Chisolm Biological Laboratory), and have for years. There is a good bit of scientific research out there on a good deal of natural medicines, more than most people might realize. However, good bit of it doesn't come from the US.

That's where our friends the FDA and the drug companies come in. First, for anything to be able to treat or cure a disease, it must be a drug. Which means it has to go through the FDA approval process, and whatever it is treating/curing must be a disease (that's why it seems like everything is a disease these days. Get it defined as a disease, now you can manufacture drugs to treat it). This makes it extremely hard to promote any natural remedy, since you can't say that it treats or cures anything (also why so many natural medicines are said to promote the immune response).
The large drug companies do plenty of research on natural medicines, but if they can't synthesize the active ingredients they can't patent anything. Without a patent they can't make money to cover the costs of bringing a drug to market (not to mention profit). So basically they stop research on something once they find they can't synthesize it, and they don't release their research.

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#200601 - 04/20/10 04:23 PM Re: Home-grown insulin [Re: speedemon]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: speedemon
So basically they stop research on something once they find they can't synthesize it, and they don't release their research.

Thanks for that interesting comment, speedemon, from someone with some perspective from the natural treatment side.

In response to Art's comment that a cancer cure would never be buried, I think you summed up my opinion, speedemon. Especially considering what we've all seen and maybe even experienced firsthand, with the finance companies, banks, realtors, real estate appraisers, mortgage lenders, etc., I certainly don't dismiss the ability of many basically decent people to make business decisions that common sense would call illogical, immoral, and harmful to the welfare of certain people or society at large. Oh, and let's not forget tobacco companies, too.

Why bite the hand that feeds you? It reminds me of the guy, Harry Markopolos, who ran the numbers a long time ago and figured out that Bernie Madoff had to be running a Ponzi scheme. He tried warning the SEC and heads of large hedge funds in Europe that he personally met with but the response? Absolutely nothing. Why spoil a good thing? Bernie was making milliions for these guys. Of course, when Bernie was out'd, everyone claims that they were fooled and that they were victims.

There is a massive multi-billion dollar industry revolving around cancer. It's not in "their" financial best interest to cure cancer. Sure, a single company could reap a windfall for a certain number of years while under patent protection, but then what? What if the company has no more cancer blockbuster drugs in the pipeline? If they were already making money from chemo therapy drugs, anti-nausea drugs, drugs for anemia, for pain, and all the other things that cancer patients need, that revenue could be gone, or at least signficantly diminshed--forever. Only if the pharmas could somehow release different cures for different cancers, and therefore keep the money flowing in for a long time, could I see this happening.

Pharmas are very secretive and guard their proprietary information closely. They don't release their results "for the good of humanity". Almost certainly, during their drug discovery process, there are a number of natural substances that their own labs have shown to be effective at actually killing/curing cancer, at least in the lab. But for reasons like not being able to isolate the active ingredient or not being able to synthesize it or whatever, it's not financially viable so the substance is shelved. Some variation on this process happens all the time.

There's only one non-profit pharmaceutical company that I'm aware of--OneWorldHealth in San Francisco. Their business model is based on this exact scenario--a big pharma finds a substance that kills some parasite that afflicts millions in the Third World, but they decide that they can't make much money so they shelve it. OneWorldHealth licenses those substances from the big pharma, develops them, and finally brings them to market so that those people in Third World can be helped.

What wouldn't happen is that some pharma goes through the trouble of doing very expensive clinical trials on some cancer treatment, and when they find that it works wonderfully, bury it. It would make no financial sense for them to even start the trial if a positive result meant burying the drug. It's kind of scary to think that the "war on cancer" could already have been "won" if not for the profit motive of private industry. (I say "could" and not "should" since I can't say for sure.) For those of you who sport pink breast cancer ribbons and go to Find a Cure walks to raise money for research, it makes you think.

Sorry, way off the Fenugreek track.

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