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Find The Agenda: Health Research Edition

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Let's play Find The Agenda, shall we?

Item 1:  Painkillers raise blood pressure.

Men who took 15 or more NSAID pills a week were 48 percent more likely than non-users to have high blood pressure. The drugs can affect the ability of blood vessels to expand, and may also cause sodium retention -- two factors that can both raise blood pressure.

Being overweight reduced the risk from acetaminophen, but raised the risk from NSAIDS, the researchers found.

Of course, the news story does not discount the possibility that men who are prone to high blood pressure feel more pain than normal, and hence take more pain-killers (i.e. confusing cause and effect).

Item 2:  Garlic doesn't lower cholesterol.

Participants were randomly assigned to eat the equivalent of an average clove of garlic in either raw form or garlic pills, or dummy pills, six days weekly for six months.

Raw garlic was mixed into salsa, fat-free mayonnaise or other condiments spread on portobello mushroom sandwiches, chicken quesadillas and other specialty sandwiches. Participants in the garlic pill and dummy pill groups also got sandwiches, but without garlic.

Bad breath and body odor were reported by more than half the raw garlic eaters, and a handful of people in the supplement groups reported flatulence, but there were no major side effects. There also was virtually no effect on cholesterol levels in any of the groups.

And the answer is:  The anti-asprin-and-garlic-omelet lobby is hard at work once again.  Bastards.