Supplements and Safety

supplements_and_safety_1It’s estimated there are 85,000 dietary supplements for sale in the United States today. You might assume that some government agency has approved them before allowing them onto the market. Though the FDA does not do any review of dietary supplements before they come onto the market.

“It almost takes a sacrificial lamb to die of liver injury or some other injury before the Food and Drug Administration can take any action” – Herbert Bonkovsky, M.D.

People with health problems may need additional nutrients. But for most Americans, researchers don’t know for sure whether extra doses really help — and caution that in some cases, they might hurt. It’s incredibly hard to quantify the current problem, how much harm are supplements are doing. There’s no effective system to detect the harm.

It wasn’t until a major league pitcher, 23-year-old Steve Bechler died after taking a weight loss supplements containing an ingredient called ephedra, that sales were halted. By then, more than 160 deaths had been linked to the supplement. In another instance, the FDA has linked dietary supplement OxyElite Pro to more than 70 cases of liver damage. Are you safe?

Frontline

The Trumpian Side of Pope Francis

As a conservative columnist at the New York Times, Ross Douthat fills the post once held by no less a figure than William Kristol. A devout Catholic, Douthat opposes the progressive direction in which Pope Francis is leading the Church—to prioritize caring for poor people and migrants over opposing abortion and the culture of sexual revolution—even though he acknowledges to David Remnick that this puts him at odds with the Church’s emphasis on mercy. In his new book, “To Change the Church: Pope Francis of the Future of Catholicism,” Douthat provocatively compares Francis to Donald Trump, painting him as a disruptive figure who is determined to bring change fast and damn the consequences.

The New Yorker: Politics and More

 

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s Hardest Year, and What Comes Next

Has Facebook become too big to manage, and too dangerous when it fails? Should the social infrastructure of the global community be managed by a corporation headquartered in Northern California? What’s Zuckerberg’s reply to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who says the social media giant’s business model is at odds with its users’ interests? And how has all this changed Zuckerberg’s ambitions for Facebook’s future, and confidence in its mission?

Mark Zuckerberg has long held that the company’s mission is to make the world more open and connected — with the assumption being that a more open and connected world is a better world. But a more open world can make it easier for governments to undermine each other’s elections from afar; a more connected world can make it easier to spread hatred and incite violence.

The Ezra Klein Show

Is Talent a Thing?

Is the concept of talent so ill-defined as to be useless, when hiring people? Entrepreneur and author Margaret Heffernan argues that we need something new, as good grades and top degrees have proved no guarantee of high performance in the workplace. She talks to the recent head of HR (or “people operations”) at Google, the pioneer of the concept of a “growth mindset”, and the academic who found people’s intelligence increased over the course of the 20th century. She also speaks about other measures like “grit”, “cultural fit” and how to interview people to find the candidate who is best for the job and the company, rather than the one you like.

Analysis – BBC Radio 4

The Madhouse Effect

In this episode, Clay and Grant sit down with renowned Climate Scientist Michael Mann to discuss his new book The Madhouse Effect. The conversation covers not only the book but how do we engage with those with differing viewpoints? How do we find common ground?

Dr. Mann is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and has published three books including Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, and most recently, The Madhouse Effect.

The Prism Podcast

Utopias in History and an Environmental Disaster

Ideas of opening of all boarders, universal basic income and 15 hour workweek apparently have a remarkable history. Writer and thinker Rutger Bregman in his book Utopia for Realists reasons that the time has come to propose them again. He is our guest in this episode. Meanwhile, BBC radio producer Julian May talks about the aftermath of the Torrey Canyon disaster, when a huge oil tanker ran aground in 1967.

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History extra

Why Worry about Social Class?

Do people lucky enough to have been raised in middle class families, owe obligations to those less fortunate? Research shows that in Britain life chances are determined, to a large degree, by the circumstances into which you’re born, such as your race, or class.
David Edmonds speaks to Holly Lawford Smith who teaches Political Philosophy at the University of Sheffield.

Philosophy 247

Malcolm Gladwell (left) and Dave Reid coming into the finish at an Ontario school race in 1978. Malcolm Gladwell (left) and Dave Reid coming into the finish at an Ontario school race in 1978.

Malcolm Gladwell Argues for Mediocrity

Malcolm Gladwell in a conversation on running fast, satire as a weapon, Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden, Harvard’s under-theorized endowment, why early childhood intervention is overrated, long-distance running, and Malcolm’s happy risk-averse career going from one “fur-lined rat hole to the next.”

Conversations with Tyler

Henry Ford sat in the first auto he built circa 1898 Henry Ford sat in the first auto he built circa 1898

Ford’s Jungle Utopia: Fordlandia

Henry Ford didn’t just want to be a maker of cars — he wanted to be a maker of men. He thought he could perfect society by building model factories and pristine villages to go with them. It was 1927. Ford wanted his own supply of rubber — and he decided to get it by carving a plantation and a miniature Midwest factory town out of the Amazon jungle. It was called “Fordlandia.” The project didn’t start out well.

 

All Things Considered