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Monday, June 30, 2008

Oprah can have an impact on this health issue

I've been writing on the HIV/AIDS issue for some time. My interest has been to get Bill Gates to come forward with enough funding to run a study to show the effectiveness of four simple and inexpensive supplements that may stop the progression of HIV to AIDS.

I've posed this because Gates is caught up in the vaccine folly and so far has been unwilling to consider that there may be a much more effective and useful approach to this major manufactured global health concern.

Surely this effort can be assisted by Ms. Winfrey. Her interest may not be so constrained by formality and status quo pressures as Mr. Gates.

Isn't this one of those "Just Do It" moments?
HIV increase most among young black men, June 30, 2008

ATLANTA, June 30 (UPI) -- The number of HIV/AIDS diagnoses from 2001 to 2006 among men who have sex with men increased 8.6 percent, U.S. health officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta conducted an analysis of trends in diagnoses of HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men in the 33 states that have had confidential, name-based HIV case reporting since at least 2001.

From 2001-06, an estimated 214,379 people had HIV/AIDS diagnosed in the 33 states. Of these diagnoses, 46 percent were in men who have sex with men and 4 percent were in men who have sex with men who engaged in illicit injection-drug use, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said.

Among males, men who have sex with men accounted for 97,577, or 63 percent of cases. Men ages 25 to 44 years accounted for 64 percent of cases among men who have sex with men. From 2001-06, a 12.40percent increase in the number of HIV/AIDS diagnoses among all black men who have sex with men was observed; however, an increase of 93.1 percent was observed among black men who have sex with men ages 13 to 24 years.

Now that Bill's retired, here's something good he can spend money on

Top Economists List Vitamins for Children as World's Top Priority
Posted Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The Copenhagen Consensus Conference, a gathering of some of the world’s top economists, ranked supplying millions of malnourished children with vitamin A and zinc the number one world priority, beating out issues related to global warming, terrorism, AIDS and others.

It was estimated that supplying the world’s 140 million undernourished children with vitamin A and zinc would cost just $60 million, but would create benefits of $1 billion through better health, fewer deaths and increased future earnings.

The Copenhagen Consensus Conference, which meets every fourth year, is a gathering of 55 of the world’s top economists and specialists in the ten key challenges. A roundtable analysis of the issues is followed by a ranking of these issues by priority. The list is designed “to be an eye-opener for policy-makers all over the world, and to act as a vehicle for improving decision-making on spending on global issues.”

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Submit to Coercion or Else

It is a sad state of affairs when the day comes that parents who have every right to question their child's pediatrician, as well as their own chosen health care provider, are being subjected to a philosophy and culture of coercion, just because they are exercising that right.

In case the AAP forgot, their position on vaccines is blatantly in violation of informed consent rules.
AAP Leadership Fights Informed Vaccine Choices
by Barbara Loe Fisher (NVIC)

In another fit of pique aimed at the growing number of vaccine-educated parents questioning pediatricians about the safety of vaccines, the largest private medical organization representing medical doctors treating children - the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) - recently announced to its membership that it will fight doubting parents in their offices, in the media, on the internet and through a partnership with other wealthy and powerful organizations funded by a pharmaceutical industry committed to doing the same thing.

On May 30, the AAP leadership reports that it met with the leaders of 15 allied organizations in Elk Grove, Illinois to discuss the growing refusal of parents to vaccinate their children according to recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and AAP. A recent letter to AAP members stated:

"The group agreed that recent attacks on vaccines have left parents confused. The rates of exemptions are climbing, and the protection of communities from vaccine preventable diseases is in jeopardy. Participants identified several factors that promote anti-vaccine information:

· Parent-to-parent spread of myths,
· A public that does not understand the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases,
· Internet and media exposure that is not balanced,
· Decreased trust in the government and health care providers,
· Slow response to negative news coverage, and · Increasing calls for philosophical exemptions.

The group recognized strategies that have worked in the past to address these drivers, agreed to jointly promote the positive value of vaccines, and will come together again in July to develop a cohesive message for dissemination. This message will be disseminated in mainstream media, through professional organizations, and via Internet tools. Materials are expected to be available by fall 2008. The group will formally be known as the Immunization Alliance."

Information on the AAP website gives pediatricians instructions about what to do with parents who refuse to obey the doctor's orders, including a sample letter that states:

"By not vaccinating your child you are taking selfish advantage of thousands of others who do vaccinate their children, which decreases the likelihood that your child will contract one of these diseases. We feel such an attitude to be self-centered and unacceptable. We are making you aware of these facts not to scare you or coerce you, but to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child. We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. We will do everything we can to convince you that vaccinating according to the schedule is the right thing to do.

However, should you have doubts, please discuss these with your health care provider in advance of your visit. In some cases, we may alter the schedule to accommodate parental concerns or reservations. Please be advised, however, that delaying or "breaking up the vaccines" to give one or two at a time over two or more visits goes against expert recommendations, and can put your child at risk for serious illness (or even death) and goes against our medical advice as providers....such additional visits will require additional co-pays on your part. Furthermore, please realize that you will be required to sign a "Refusal to Vaccinate" acknowledgement in the event of lengthy delays.

Finally, if you should absolutely refuse to vaccinate your child despite all our efforts, we will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your views. We do not keep a list of such providers nor would we recommend any such physician."

Educated parents of America attempting to make informed, voluntary vaccination decisions for your children be warned: your pediatrician is out to change your mind about vaccination or teach you a lesson you will never forget.

Hang on to your child because the doctor you have trusted with your child's life might just try to make you out to be a bad parent and not only throw you out of the office but notify state officials to charge you with child medical abuse if you don't agree to give your child every one of those 69 doses of 16 vaccines that doctors working for the Centers for Disease Control say all children from birth to age 18 must get.

Be prepared that the doctor, who you pay to keep your child well, may dutifully obey recent orders given by the AAP leadership to implement one-size- fits-all government vaccine policies: no questions asked. The next time you visit your pediatrician and attempt to ask a question about vaccine reactions or suggest your child get fewer or no vaccines (especially if your child has already suffered serious vaccine reactions your doctor refuses to recognize) be prepared to be humiliated, harassed, threatened and thrown out of the office.

The message from the AAP leadership to vaccine-educated parents is: you WILL give your children every vaccine that industry produces even it brain damages or kills them. You DO NOT have the human right to protect your child from vaccine injury and death because you MUST sacrifice your child for what AAP and government officials have decided is the "greater good." Your child does NOT belong to you and if you don't agree to do exactly what we say, we will make sure your family is denied medical care.

Sounds like a smart plan to me, pediatricians of America, if you want to fatally compromise the last remaining shred of trust that mothers and fathers have in your knowledge about vaccine risks and how to minimize them for the children they love more than anyone in the world.

In the words of Jim Carrey: "How stupid do you think we are?"

Twenty-six years ago, the co-founders of the National Vaccine Information Center came to the table with the AAP leadership to talk about compensating children injured by mandated vaccines because the AAP said it was a matter of "simple justice for children." We believed the AAP leadership really cared about minimizing vaccine risks for the individual child rather than just wanting to pass the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 for the purpose of protecting drug companies and pediatricians from liability for vaccine injuries and deaths so they could continue to implement one-size-fits-all vaccine policies. Time and time again over the past quarter century, the AAP leadership has demonstrated that they betrayed the trust of parents then and now by refusing to work with parents to minimize vaccine risks.

In 1982, it was far easier to sweep vaccine injured children under the carpet because 1 in 6 American child was not becoming learning disabled and 1 in 150 child was not regressing into autism. Today, there are so many highly vaccinated children who are sick and disabled that there is no place to run and no place to hide.

The vaccine safety and informed consent movement has been led by educated middle class mothers and fathers who DO know how to tell a bad scientific study from a good one; who DO know how to calculate the amount of mercury or aluminum in a vaccine; and who DO know the difference between being told a lie and being told the truth about vaccine risks.

AAP: we are not stupid. We will not stand by and watch our children and grandchildren become vaccine damaged because you are obsessed with forcing every child to use every vaccine that Pharma produces with no concern for protecting the children who cannot use every vaccine safely. You can deny us medical care and try to take away our human right to voluntary, informed consent to vaccination but you will never win the war you have declared on millions of vaccine-educated parents in America.

Big Pharma Spends Big for Favors From Congress

Pharmaceutical Lobby Spent Big in 2007
Overall, 374 out of 435 members of the House and 91 out of 100 senators received donations from the pharmaceutical and health products industry.

By Todd Neale, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
June 25, 2008

WASHINGTON, June 25 -- The pharmaceutical lobby, Washington's largest, increased its spending by almost a third -- to $168 million -- from 2006 to 2007, an analysis showed.

Pharmaceutical companies and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) have spent more than $1 billion over the past decade on lobbying activity, according to an analysis conducted by the Center for Public Integrity.

Add on another $21.1 million from medical device and other health product companies and their associations -- the Biotechnology Organization and the Advanced Medical Technology Association -- and the total came to $189.1 million on lobbying last year, up from $146.1 million in 2006.

The jump in spending most likely reflects the shift in political leadership as Democrats took control of both houses of Congress following the 2006 mid-term elections.

"Clearly our companies were faced with a lot of challenges on a lot of different fronts," said Ken Johnson, senior vice president of PhRMA. "That happens any time there's a change in the leadership in Washington."

He said that when new people with new goals take over leadership positions, "it takes time to educate them about a lot of our issues."

PhRMA was the single biggest spender in the big-spending group, pumping $22.7 million into that educational effort. Amgen was second at $16.3 million.

The additional spending appeared to be effective, according to the report, because congressional efforts to restrict direct-to-consumer advertising failed and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act and the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act -- both favored by the drug industry -- were reauthorized in the FDA Amendment Act of 2007.

The Prescription Drug User Fee Act "allows the FDA to collect funds -- so-called 'user fees' -- from the industry to employ additional drug reviewers and bring medicines faster to the market," the report said.

According to Johnson, "the increased fees under [the act] will allow the agency to expand drug safety monitoring, hire additional staff for post-marketing surveillance, and to generally modernize its information technology systems."

The Center for Public Integrity report stated that, according to a 2009 budget request, the FDA will collect $628 million in user fees, an increase of $79 million from this year.

Johnson denied that such a system creates a conflict of interest for the FDA.

"[The act] has allowed for the timely review of new medicines without compromising the FDA's strict and objective review process," he said.

"There are people that I like to refer to as professional critics," he continued, "but when those people find themselves ill they're glad that there's a medicine out there to help save their lives."

Overall, $6.8 million went to members of three committees responsible for regulating the industry, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

The pharmaceutical and health products industry is also pumping money into the presidential campaigns. And this year, for the first time ever, they're giving more money to Democrats than Republicans.

Information from the Federal Election Commission showed that the industry donated $7.4 million to Democrats and $7 million to Republicans through April 28.

The presumptive presidential nominees Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) received $639,124 and $168,300, respectively, from the pharmaceuticals and health products industry through April 28.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), ($136,986), chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, received $136,986 from the industry and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Committee on Ways on Means, got $134,250.

Overall, 374 out of 435 members of the House and 91 out of 100 senators received donations from the pharmaceutical and health products industry.

The CPI report was funded by the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

WI-FI and WI-MAX Risk Your Health

A number of years ago, at least four, I presented a program to health care professionals on the risk of EMF to health. My topic was more about the inability to diagnos many health problems because the mainstream medical field had not inkling that EMF would be a cause.

I developed my presentation from a proven fact that doctor's cell phone were transitting infection and interfering with medical equipment. Interference with medical equipment also came from Cellular and Digital antennae, some located on hospital and health care buildings.

Personal cell phone, Blue Tooth, WI-FI, hot spots and other EMF (microwave ovens) uses are a major contributor in this discussion.

Now more science comes to my rescue.
"Even the most seductive technology will interact in the tightly-coupled healthcare world in ways physicians and other members of the healthcare team had better understand, or they and their patients may pay a dear price."
Dr Donald Berwick, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Lifesaving equipment in hospitals may be switched off by radio-frequency devices used to track people and machines, Dutch scientists claim.

Radio frequency identification devices (RFIDs) are on the rise in healthcare, helping identify patients, and reveal the location of equipment.

The Journal of the American Medical Association study found they could interfere with machines.

But NHS computer specialists said RFIDs could eventually make patients safer.

There are two types of RFID, one which transmits information, and another, "passive", device which can be "read" by a powered machine when it is held nearby.

They are small and cheap enough to be in everyday use in society, in everything from security and travel cards - such as London Transport's Oystercard, to anti-theft devices on goods in shops, and hospitals are starting to become aware of their potential.

At Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham, patients heading for the operating theatre wear an RFID wristband, so that even when anaesthetised, their full identity, including a picture, can be downloaded into a PDA held nearby.

Turned off

The latest research, conducted at Vrije University in Amsterdam, tested the effect of holding both "passive" and powered RFIDs close to 41 medical devices, including ventilators, syringe pumps, dialysis machines and pacemakers.

A total of 123 tests, three on each machine, were carried out, and 34 produced an "incident" in which the RFID appeared to have an effect - 24 of which were deemed either "significant" or "hazardous".

In some tests, RFIDs either switched off or changed the settings on mechanical ventilators, completely stopped the working of syringe pumps, caused external pacemakers to malfunction, and halted dialysis machines.

The device did not have to be held right up to the machine to make this happen - some "hazardous" incidents happened when the RFID was more than 10 inches away.

Patient safety

Dr Donald Berwick, from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said: "Design in isolation is risky - even the most seductive technology will interact in the tightly-coupled healthcare world in ways physicians and other members of the healthcare team had better understand, or they and their patients may pay a dear price."

A spokesman for NHS Connecting for Health, which manages various IT projects across the health service, said that RFIDs had the potential to deliver big improvements in patient safety, reducing mistakes caused by the wrong identification of patients.

She said: "Any product such as this which is for use in a healthcare setting has to meet a standard which means it is very unlikely to interfere with medical equipment.

"This risk is more likely to come from RFID tags from other sources - such as a travel card, a tag on clothing, or on another retail item."

A spokesman for the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said that, as for mobile phone use, individual Trusts needed to make risk assessments about the use of RFIDs.

He said: "Despite much debate in the literature on the subject of electromagnetic interference (EMI) of medical devices by mobile telephones and other sources of radiofrequency transmission, the MHRA has received very few reports of adverse events caused by this problem over the last seven years or so.

"Of those incidents reported, only a very small number have been proven to be as a direct result of EMI."

Fourteen percent of people admitted to hospital have addiction problems

Taking an extremely in-depth continuing education program some years ago I commented to my mentor that I believed in every case of chemical addiction there is a very serious spiritual issue not being addressed.

I suggested that in every 12 Step program the focus should shift to working Step 12.

Of course this is the toughest one of all and that's why most never get there. Not only are the counselors unable to deal with this but the system petpetuates itself by keeping affected people about Step 4. In reality this is undermining the issue for the sake of keeping a job or a program alive.

I come by my comments honestly. I worked in chemical dependency programs for both children and adults.

The worst was a program for adolescents where the woman in charge of delivering nursing care was complicit in abuse of the patients and in the insurance fraud that was on-going as well as sexually harassing minor children, manufacturing chart data and supporting drug dealing by the staff as examples. Much of her activities were focused on keeping her job. Her actions were protected by the state because whe had an "in" with certain members of the state nurses' association. She now is offering family and marital therapy as an "advanced practice nurse" in the Mt. Vernon-Bellingham area of Washington state.

As far as health, drugs and alcohol deplete many key nutrients that set you up for severe health problems and even more severe durgs that lead to more severe side effects and more nutrient depletions.

Don't you wish someone in your health care system was providing you with this information?
Alcohol, drug abuse impairs treatment - June 26, 2008

Fourteen percent of patients admitted to the hospital have alcohol, drug abuse and addiction disorders, U.S. researchers said. Patricia B. Santora and Heidi E. Hutton of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore analyzed 43,000 patients with alcohol/drug abuse and addiction disorders -- mainly in addition to other medical diagnoses -- who were admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1994 to 2002. About one-half of the patients used a combination of two or more drugs, one-fourth used alcohol only, and the rest used opioids such as heroin or cocaine only.

The number of opioid abusers rose sharply during the period studied, reflecting the recent resurgence of heroin in Baltimore. Patients on Medicaid/Medicare and uninsured patients were more likely to have drug addictions, while patients with private insurance were more likely to abuse alcohol only, the researchers said.

However, the study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, said about 1 percent of patients had an alcohol/drug abuse and addiction disorders as their only diagnosis -- the remaining 99 percent had other medical problems as well. The researchers said healthcare providers should screen for alcohol and drug abuse and provide intervention because it increases the likelihood that patients will not follow their prescribed care.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This Puzzles Me

I just wonder how Gardasil can be just fine if you are age 11 to 26, but can't be used if you are 27 to 45.

But then I don't beleive Gardsil is safe or sane for ANY woman, young or old. The risks are just too high and the beenfits are just too low.
Merck's Gardasil not cleared for older women Wed Jun 25, 2008

U.S. regulators have told Merck & Co they cannot yet approve Merck's application to expand marketing of its cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil to an older group of women, the drugmaker said on Wednesday.

Merck had applied for the use of Gardasil in women ages 27 through 45. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a letter regarding the application that it has completed its review and there are "issues" that preclude approval within the expected review time frame, Merck said.

"It's hard to get a feel for if this is a dead issue or if this is delayed," said Linda Bannister, an analyst for Edward Jones. "At the minimum, it's going to be delayed."

Merck said it also failed to win FDA approval to expand Gardasil to protect against more strains of the Human Papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer. The company for now is dropping plans to pursue that expansion, a spokeswoman said.

Shares of the New Jersey-based drug maker, which also reiterated its long-term revenue and earnings targets, fell 1.6 percent.

Gardasil, approved in June 2006 for preventing cervical cancer and genital warts in females ages 9-26, has been one of Merck's most successful newer products and has helped the company recover after the 2004 withdrawal of its Vioxx arthritis treatment.

The Gardasil setbacks could raise concerns about the degree of growth that Merck can hope to achieve with the product, which is the world's first vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.

A Merck spokeswoman said the agency has specific questions regarding Gardasil's effectiveness in this older age group.

The company said it had already discussed the questions with the FDA and expects to respond to the agency in July.

"Once we go back to the FDA, we'll have a better sense of what the review timing looks like," spokeswoman Amy Rose said.

The agency's response on the application for the older group does not affect Gardasil's current approval for females ages 9 to 26, Merck said.

Global sales of Gardasil rose 7 percent in the first quarter to $390 million. Cowen and Co has predicted annual sales of the vaccine would reach $1.9 billion in 2008 and jump to $3 billion by 2012.

Edward Jones' Bannister said she had expected Gardasil sales to reach $2.6 billion by 2012, with about one-third to come from that older age group.

Gardasil has benefited from lengthy delays in approval of GlaxoSmithKline's rival Cervarix vaccine. The FDA in December issued a complete response letter for Cervarix, meaning it had completed its review of the product but had further questions about it.

Bannister said the Gardasil delay reflects broader challenges facing drug makers with the U.S. regulatory environment.

"It's not specific to Merck," Bannister said. "This is an industry-wide issue."

Merck shares fell 59 cents to $36.44 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, Ransdell Pierson and Deepa Seetharaman, editing by Maureen Bavdek)
Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cheers for Vitamin B 12

I read hundreds of scientific and medical articles each week. It is kind of the routine I have when I start off work days. Sometimes the information is valuable, sometimes not.

This item caught my eye this morning. I am a proponent of B vitamins, and especially B12 for various health reasons. And I am a hold out for B12 shots even though in today's cookie cutter approach to health care it is almost taboo to even ask for B12 shots from your health care provider.

People need this vitamin. The shots aren't painful and you only have to get them weekly, bi-monthly or monthly unless you have some extreme health condition.

I think that now B12 is needed even more because of the overload of EMF and fluoride in the environment, but this is a futuristic idea that most can't entertain.

The rub now with B12 is that your health care provider won't give it too you unless you have a lab test. Somehow diagnosing by symptoms is not a standard these days.

The lab test is a Serum B12, and it is the wrong one. Who cares how much B12 is swimming around in your blood. I want to know how much is in your cells.

This means that you must get an intracellular B12 level.

And if you are taking Rx, especially GERD drugs or Avandia, it should be an automatic added prescription.

B12 shots do help women lower high blood pressure and B12, along with some Folic acid, seems to be a help for fat loss.

I use the tablets and take 3000 mcg. daily. This amount is an old medical standard, especially as we age, have serious health concerns, or might be pregnant or nursing.

Surely your health care provider could be enlightened through older medical texts and journal articles, and do better care by skipping the drug company propaganda.

New Technology May Prevent Vitamin B12 Deficient Seniors And Vegetarians From Needing Injections

ScienceDaily (2008-06-22) -- For those patients who receive the nearly 40 million intramuscular injections per year to treat their B12 deficiency, a new oral option may soon exist. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to a wide spectrum of conditions, such as anemia, dementia and reduced cognitive functioning. ... > read full article

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Importance of Honoring Agreements

The article included here about Keeping Agreements is one I believe everyone should read. This author shares many things I believe are correct and which support personal integrity.

In this line of work one is subject to attacks. It requires courage to take a stand on many of the topics I write about, and in things I do in my every day life.

One such attack, which finally has reached partial resolution involves a "20 something" person for whose company I developed an outstanding extrme sports supplement. He and his business associates are not knowledgable in health matters so they relied on my expertise. He refers to me as a "walking encyclopaedia" except when it seems it doesn't foster his ego.

The supplement is successful for its purpose, even in the altered form he has manufactured,. However it does have issues over which I have no control. I have brought all of my concerns to his attention, including some claims he is making that are not allowed by current FDA rules.

This group of people has tried to sabotage me in a number of ways through numerous attempts at retaliation for my speaking out about their unwillingness to keep agreements and related issues. Even one of them who writes on a blog seems to focus extensively on retaliation and revenge realted issues.

Sadly, I think many "20 and 30 somethings" have a problem in this area. It's not only where self esteem is involved, but in their "me first" mentality, and inability to accept responsibility for their own errors.

Unfortunately it has taken some legal action to make them acknowledge their lack of attention to keeping with the agreement between us. Now they have to.

Sometimes we get lessons, but then to learn from the experience, we need to pay attention.

And what is sad as well is that they seem to be unaware that they still have to face some related issues that may make life more difficult.

I hope at least one of them is ready.
I have been thinking about how I was going to write this piece for a month, on keeping agreements. I don't plan what I'm going to write in the newsletters until I sit down and start writing. This month however, I had a strong inkling that what was coming up over and over and over again was going to be written about this month. It's called "Keeping Agreements." I was awakened at 4:00AM several days ago to write this.

In this past month I and many others close to me have noticed a seeming pandemic of agreement breaking. One agreement after the next being broken.... and broken in cavalier manners leaving people reeling as to what just happened.

I questioned whether it was a current mirror experience or whether it was an up to be healed from all time experience? I discussed "agreements" with friends, family, and a deeply respected psychologist and author. Pondering, discussing and writing I realized it didn't matter the issue was from now or later, it was blasting up all over the place because we haven't deeply and properly taken care of this agreement breaking business, or incompletions with ourselves or each other. The alarm has gone off. It's a wake-up call to take a deeper look at agreements... our keeping them and our breaking them. And I for one am paying attention to my part in it all and taking responsibility to correct my part in it all.

This agreement breaking has to be healed once and for all in every single one of us because it's creating a deepened decline in humanity. In my awareness of this I realized that this issue seems to be off our radar as we busy ourselves with things like learning to love ourselves in ways that are not all inclusive of all aspects of Soul and Self, being in the moment, (and forgetting agreements made two moments ago) discovering our passions, finding our purpose or perfect relationship outside of ourselves, helping those less fortunate than ourselves with strings attached, or a litany of other things on our list to seemingly raise consciousness.

I sense that if we take care of this 'agreement breaking business', other things will take care of themselves. This appears to be a "big give" (thank you Oprah) we would be wise to give to each other and ourselves. Keeping our agreements is one of the biggest gives we've got to give. We don't reach into our pockets for this one, yet we must reach into our hearts of consciousness.

All month as I watched agreements being broken all over the place and watching the hurt and chaos it caused, I thought, is there any wonder why hearts are broken, psyches are bleeding and the walls to protect ourselves are being constructed quicker than usual? We've been duped or dismissed over and over and over again and not just by another but also by ourselves. We've done it in big and small ways and it's got to stop.

We humans have made "little white lies" acceptable, giant incongruencies tolerable and agreement breaking a matter of "oh I forgot" or "oh well things change." We are creating confusion, distortion, power outages and chaos in the minds and lives of others and ourselves when we break agreements. We are supposed to be living up to ourselves not stripping down ourselves or another because we don't have the consciousness of follow-through. (We do tend to have Master Degrees in excuses don't we?)

When we don't keep agreements we live in a state of incompletion and leak energy all over the place. Psychologist Gay Hendricks shared with me "when we make complete agreements the power of phenomena cannot be overstated." In the same conversation I said to him "and when we don't keep agreements that low level of consciousness goes into the planetary grid and into mass consciousness and creates a ripple of fear and mistrust. On some level everybody suffers," I said... as I felt my own constriction and sadness of where I have contributed.

It is time for each of us to understand at the deepest and highest levels how impeccable we must become with our agreements whether it's to call when you say you will, send a person something you said you were going to, follow through on a business agreement, work out 3 times a week, honor what you promised your friends or your lovers and do so when you say you will. We need to take oaths of impeccability starting this day.

There is power in agreement completion. Agreements kept establish our true Divine identity and enrich every relationship we have. They create a solid platform where others feel safe to stand next to us and it creates a place where we feel safe to be with ourselves!

Broken agreements establish weakness and mistrust, not just in the minds of others, but in ourselves as well. When we don't keep agreements with ourselves we can go to the bank on the fact that if asked if we trusted ourselves, our answer would be NO. Once we don't trust ourselves it is impossible to accept ourselves. Another pitfall of human nature. We don't need any further setbacks in consciousness. We need every reason to love ourselves back into wholeness.

Once we commit to no further agreement breaking there can be no hypocrisy, no contradictions in thought, word or deed. Once we say we will, we must unless there is a reason so big that it's created an impossible hurdle. Then we are responsible to talk about it and work something out that feels right for each.

Keeping agreements elevates the human spirit into Divine Spirit. When we make our agreements big or small with ourselves or with another we would each be wise to take them as sacred vows or say nothing at all.

Keep in mind any agreement left open in this incarnation will be recreated in another. I don't know about you, but I no longer have any plans to deal with unfinished business here or somewhere else. It's been a long haul and I choose to create a clean slate with myself here. I sense my soul (and all soul's) will be relieved.

So here's the action I have created. Perhaps you would like to entertain this for yourself.

Write down every single agreement or incompletion that you can remember (this is not to judge yourself,) it is to become aware of what's left hanging open that's energetically taking you or another down. WARNING: Your ego will start to give you a thousand and one reasons to either not acknowledge something as an incomplete agreement, or make excuses for why you didn't follow through. DON'T PAY ATTENTION. Move forward.

Once you've written each incomplete agreement go back through your list (it will most likely be pages) and just be with each one. Feel what you feel like when you notice each agreement that you didn't close which includes ones you made to yourself. For me, this was like what I believe a life review would be like. It was very painful and it was quite impactful. Ask yourself if I could do this over (each one) what would I do to have kept this agreement?

One by one, if it's possible contact any person you have made agreements with and let them know you have come to realize that it is important for you to first acknowledge and take responsibility for an incomplete agreement and then ask them if there is something you can do now to close the circle of the agreement. And then DO IT! You will be surprised at some of the responses you will get in a pleasant way.

If you absolutely can't contact the person (NO EXCUSES) then create a sacred ceremony of completion around each one. Remember you can always speak to another's soul.

When you are complete with the above (it will take awhile, but it's worth every bit of it) please write yourself a letter of forgiveness. Then write yourself another letter of commitment. The second letter will be easier. "I promise that from this day forward every agreement I make will be met with completion at the time I agree to do so. And so be it."

In closing, I would just like to say this. I have come to learn that from now on I will not make any agreements with another until I have given myself 24 hours to be with whatever I am going to make an agreement about. And, I will not make any agreements or promises based on fear. (Fear is the number one reason we make erroneous agreements to begin with that we can't follow through on.)

I have also decided that when anyone makes an agreement with me, I am going to ask them to give themselves a day to make certain it's something that really feels good and they feel certain they will follow through on it. As for agreements with myself, they must now be made from sacredness to my God Self regardless of their size. Copyright Maureen Moss 2008

Why so many errors?

This is the opening paragraph of an excellent article reprinted from Health Beat on Alternet.

"Despite all of the talk about medical errors and patient safety, almost no one likes to talk about diagnostic errors. Yet doctors misdiagnose patients more often than we would like to think. Sometimes they diagnose patients with illnesses they don't have. Other times, the true condition is missed. All in all, diagnostic errors account for 17 percent of adverse events in hospitals, according to the Harvard Medical Practice Study, a landmark study that looks at medical errors."

I have written on this topic before and find it still an unaddressed issue even with "knee-jerk" conferences popping up on the topic.

I draw on my experience of learning by osmosis from my physician father who was routinely contacted by other doctors for consults on their patients because of his outstanding diagnostic skills.

Today, everything seems to be based on lab tests, yet the results of the lab tests are not understood in terms on human physiology. Everything seems to be based on rote medicine, that it, if you present with A, B, or C and/or have certain lab results, then it seems to follow that you have a certain "disease".

I see this frequently in people who contact me for the consultations I provide.

My consultations are educational. I offer my service to help educate a client so they can better mediate within mainstream medicine (MSM) to advocate for their health.

I do not diagnose, I just help you try to get the best diagnosis possible from your health care provider, so you can get the best care; even if you don't have Carte Blanche insurance like Members of Congress.

I can cite many examples of this but one is very recent.

I work on occasion with a person who has me review their lab work. I have a very unique system of eliciting nutritional deficiencies and weaknesses in body systems that I can determine from lab results.

Lab results are tricky in some ways, but one of the key issues today is that labs are not adjusting to the most current results in the tests.

For example, the Clinical Endocrinologists changed the range for TSH testing in 2003 and then again in 2006. The current upper limit in the range is considered to be 2.7

A report I reviewed recently for this client showed the TSH above 4. The local hospital lab relies on a range up to 5.

Additionally, the report showed mild cholesterol elevation and elevated triglycerides.

I am a proponent of the Cholesterol Myth. I am also a proponent of the fact that elevated triglycerides can be deadly.

I am also a proponent of healthy thyroid function, which you do not achieve with Synthroid.

The optimal range for a well functioning thyroid is between 1 and 2.5. I like 2 as a personal choice. If you are below this to a great degree then it is likely you do have hyperthyroid. If you are above this, it is likely you have hypothyroid. In both cases you may have low adrenal function, but with hypothyroid you will have elevated cholesterol more than 80 percent of the time.

This person's licensed "health care professional" wanted only to offer cholesterol lowering prescriptions.

Not only was this the wrong diagnosis, it was blatant inability to understand what was actually going on ion their patent's body, and disregard for a very risky situation related to elevated triglycerides and low thyroid function (a heart risk in the making).

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are in the midst of a health care crisis. Universal insurance is not the single answer.

Insurance creates a serious risk to your health. When your health care provider can use only the cookie cutter approach to health so that your insurance will pay them, there is no incentive to do good diagnostic work.

These things need correction, and they are needed now!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Need we say more!

Our view on drug safety: FDA vet tracks dog deaths, gets smeared in the process

Tale of ProHeart 6 raises questions about who calls the shots at agency.

ProHeart 6 — a controversial heartworm drug for dogs — came back on the market last week, almost four years after it was pulled when hundreds of dogs died and thousands more suffered adverse reactions. Ordinarily, this might be of interest mainly to pet owners and veterinarians. But this is much more than a dog story.

(Photo - Hampshire: Questioned heartworm shot / Leslie E. Kossoff, AP)

During the process that took ProHeart 6 off the market, the drug's maker investigated and denounced a Food and Drug Administration scientist who gathered the damning data. And instead of protecting its scientist, the FDA booted her off the case and tried to have her criminally prosecuted.

It's a disturbing tale for anyone who relies on pharmaceutical companies and the FDA to ensure that medicines for animals and humans are safe, one that raises questions about the conduct of a major corporation and its federal regulator.

The story begins in 2001, when ProHeart 6 came on the U.S. market. It was regarded as a breakthrough. Veterinarians could inject it once every six months, replacing the once-a-month pill people gave — or often forgot to give — their dogs to ward off potentially deadly heartworms. Though many dogs did fine on ProHeart 6, others had dangerous complications. Eventually, the FDA says, 500 to 600 dogs died and there were "adverse" reactions, including seizures and uncontrolled bleeding, in 5,500 to 6,000.

In 2004, the FDA pushed ProHeart 6 manufacturer Fort Dodge Animal Health, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Wyeth, to remove the drug from the market. Wyeth argued that the drug was safe but agreed to remove it. Then it fought back.

The company targeted Victoria Hampshire, a veterinarian and FDA safety officer who collected and analyzed the adverse drug reports on ProHeart 6. Wyeth hired investigators who dug up information on Hampshire's home, her tax records and a veterinary website where a handful of her friends and veterinary clients could buy drugs and pet supplies. (It's not uncommon for FDA's vets to practice medicine part-time in their off hours.) Wyeth executives then alleged that Hampshire had a conflict of interest.

Without telling Hampshire what was going on, the FDA took her off the ProHeart 6 case and began an internal investigation that culminated when FDA investigators asked the U.S. attorney in Maryland to criminally prosecute her. It took one day for the U.S. attorney to sort through the flimsy referral and refuse to press charges. The FDA eventually exonerated Hampshire, and she now works at the agency in a different job.

ProHeart 6, meanwhile, is back on the market. The manufacturer and the FDA say the drug is safe, free of the solvent residue thought to have caused the earlier problems. But the drug is being administered under a strict "risk minimization" plan that applies to only a small number of FDA-approved drugs for animals and humans.

We know much of this story not because Wyeth or the FDA disclosed it voluntarily, but because a persistent investigation by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, dragged it out of them. The probe revealed that Wyeth officials had easy, undocumented access to the FDA to lobby for ProHeart 6 and attack Hampshire. FDA managers seemed more interested in placating Wyeth than in dealing fairly with one of its scientists.

The most troubling aspect of this is the effect it will inevitably have on other FDA safety officers. After seeing what can happen when someone gathers evidence that a drug is unsafe, what safety officers wouldn't think twice about risking their careers by antagonizing powerful companies?

That's a terribly dangerous way to run a drug safety process that can ultimately mean life or death to animals and humans alike.

Posted at 12:22 AM/ET, June 17, 2008 in Animals - Editorial, Drug abuse - Editorial, USA TODAY editorial

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Chantix File Expands

Beginning in late 2007 I began posting reports on the very real dangere os the drug Chantix or varenicline, we now find more damaging repots on the extreme dangers of the drug.

Yes, Chantix is associated with a large number of suicides, but what is more devastating is the recruiting of our already abused soldiers to test the drug, and just for thirty pieces of almost worthless paper.


'Disposable Heroes': Veterans Used To Test Suicide-Linked Drugs
An ABC News and Washington Times Investigation Reveals Vets Are Being Recruited for Government Tests on Drugs with Violent Side Effects


2008: February and May posts

A Fox was in the Chicken Coop: Disgraced Former FDA Official Now Marketing Lilly Drug 12/28/07

“His on-to-Wall-Street approach succeeded in rushing Chantix, Pfizer’s stop smoking drug, varenicline, to market but a string of 2006 suicides and the violent death of Dallas musician Carter Albrecht leave many asking if that was such a good thing.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tim Russert

Since I wrote this piece I have noticed many other commentaries on this particular event. We are a trange people on that we wish so desperately to peer into the lives of those we have been led to believe are celebrities. Russert is no different than any of us, he just had different circumstances.

I looked at the 'search results' for articles about Mr. Russert. Our post is in the Top 10. Another in this same group is reporting diabetes. A third provided lab results and in terms of the A1C results, Russert is quite well below the range for diabetes. He did not have diabetes as many self-agrandizing 'health pundits' have alleged.

What he did have is elevated triglycerides.

Regardless of other markers, the most serious risk to your health is elevated triglycerides. Cholesterol issues are generally mythical, and are just another "condition" created to sell a drug.

In mainstream medicine today it is the insurance carriers and the pharmaceutical companies that manage the end users through people that are classified as licensed health care providers.

What I hope this event brings is that my readers and others will wake up to the fact that you MUST be involved in your own health, and you must question authority: Your life depends on it.

It amazed me that so many people rushed to comment on Tim Russert's sudden death. I am sure it was an extreme shock to those who were with him at work and his family. Traumatic loss is always very difficult to face.

More trauma ensues when commentators with little background in health care make such glib comments as that from another "health writer". Telling all his gullible readers that he could tell Russert was not "controlling anything with exercise" just by looking at him, this writer showed his ignorance. He also commented in such a way as to make you believe Russert "was relying primarily on medication to solve his coronary heart disease problems...".

I work from an old fashioned paradigm, it is called ethics.

Whether a health care professional or a writer, ethics should apply, however in many cases today it's just a valuable guide not often present.

Having studied pharmacology and biochemistry in depth as an undergraduate and graduate student, as well as through continuing professional education, I have a much better understanding of the most likely drugs prescribed to Russert. If in fact he was prescribed a statin drug, readers of Natural Health News should know that the statin class of drugs is known to cause sudden death.

Russert could have been prescribed calcium channel blockers. This is another drug class that was almost removed from the market by the FDA some years ago because of the risk of sudden death.

No one knows the list of his prescription drugs except his physician and pharmacist, and probably his family, and the medical examiner.

Riskier is to think that a drug interaction profile was not developed for Mr. Russert which would indicate issue that may have promoted the incident causing his death. Also a risk would be not to have developed a nutrient depletion profile related to the prescribed drugs. Many of the commonly prescribed drugs in the standards of care for cardiovascular disease actually deplete nutrients essential to heart health. Our office has a specific service that provides this information, which we offer to physicians and the public.

This clearly is an example of why people who seek medical care in the mainstream or any other system MUST question the "authority". Your life may depend on it.

And you know, maybe Mr. Russert had taken up walking. I noticed he had looked much better in recent weeks than in the past, but then I have a trained eye.

What I also noticed that might be missed by an untrained eye is a facial feature of Russert's that might have indicated a reason for the cardiomyopathy or 'enlarged heart' a news article stated he had. This might indicate, if in fact this was diagnosed, that he might have suffered with hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can lead a person to develop an enlarged heart, and too often, mainstream medicine, relying only on lineal thinking, often fails to look at the correlation between thyroid function (hyper and hypo) and heart health.

And I do recommend magnesium (one specific form) as it improves many health concerns.

Tim Russert’s Death a Warning for Millions
Monday, June 16, 2008
By: Sylvia Booth Hubbard

The death of NBC's Tim Russert on Friday at the age of 58 is shining the national spotlight on sudden cardiac arrest.

In the week when the government announced that life expectancy in the United States had risen to an all-time high of 78 and deaths from heart disease were declining, Russert’s death, which occurred when he collapsed at the network’s Washington office, was a sad warning that fatal heart attacks can – and often do – strike without warning. Many victims of sudden cardiac arrest, like Russert, cannot be resuscitated.

Even though Russert’s death was shocking and sudden, there were ominous signs. Russert had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease and diabetes. Both are risk factors for a sudden heart attack. In addition, he was overweight and in a high-stress job, two additional factors that raised his risk. And although Russert may not have known, an autopsy revealed he also suffered from an enlarged heart.

Russert didn’t die alone. About 850 people in the U.S. also died Friday of sudden cardiac arrest, and 310,000 die each year. Their disease didn’t occur overnight. Fat deposits (plaque) and inflammation had been building for decades. The plaque cracked or tore, and the body’s efforts to repair the damage caused a clot which blocked an artery and caused sudden heart attack. Dr. Michael Newman, Russert’s personal physician, confirmed Russert died of a massive heart attack that occurred when a clot ruptured in his left anterior descending coronary artery and caused the fatal heart attack.

Russert probably believed he was taking good care of himself. He had no obvious symptoms of heart disease, and he was taking medication and exercising. He also easily passed a stress test two months ago.

But what Russert didn’t know was what probably killed him, says acclaimed neurosurgeon and health advocate Dr. Russell Blaylock. “Chances are the medicines he was taking to reduce his chances of having a life-ending heart attack – probably statins – weren’t helping him at all. Statins don’t protect against heart attacks. And he didn’t know that the lack of one nutrient could have cost him his life.

“The number one cause of sudden cardiac death is magnesium deficiency,” Blaylock says. “Cardiac patients and those with diabetes have the lowest magnesium levels of all. Since Russert had both heart disease and diabetes, he was probably deficient in magnesium. A bad diet and stress would have further depleted the magnesium in his body.

“People who are deficient in magnesium are most likely to have sudden cardiac arrest, and when they do arrest, and they are harder to resuscitate. Many simply can’t be resuscitated.”

To avoid a fate similar to Russert’s, Dr. Blaylock advises a magnesium supplement every day “Magnesium reduces inflammation in the walls of the arteries and veins and it slightly thins blood,” he says. “If you do have a clot, magnesium prevents the heart from going into spasm. About half of the people who die from sudden cardiac arrest die from arrhythmia and magnesium prevents that. It is also essential that diabetics control their sugar levels.

“If Russert was low in magnesium, an inexpensive supplement could have saved his life.”

© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Good Help from Ginger

Ginger is one of my favorite herbs and essential oils. For years I have taught people how to make fresh ginger tea for things like indigestion, nausea and even warming up a cold constitution. In winter I like using pure essential oil of ginger with another essential oil as a warming bath, especially on those damp NW nights.
Ginger is also commonly used in Oriental Medicine. It can be used to tenderize meat and may help reduce the risk of parasites. It is one of those essential herbs to keep in your Herbal Medicine Chest.
Ginger—A Spicy Way to Stimulate Healthy Digestion
By Maureen Williams, ND

Healthnotes Newswire (June 12, 2008)—A cup of ginger tea is often just the thing to settle an upset stomach—but little is known about how it actually works. A new study, published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, found that ginger stimulates digestion by speeding up the movement of food from the stomach into the upper small intestine.

Soothing to the stomach

After having nothing to eat or drink for eight hours, the 24 healthy men in the study were given either 1,200 mg of ginger or placebo, and then ate a bowl of soup. They answered questions about their digestive comfort, and digestive activity was measured by ultrasound. One week later, they repeated the test, but the ginger and placebo groups were reversed.

Muscle contractions in the stomach, which help to move food into the upper small intestine, were more frequent and the stomach emptied more quickly after ginger than placebo. After eating the soup, mild digestive discomfort was reported in those who had placebo but not ginger.

From the kitchen to your medicine cabinet

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is popular as a culinary spice and as a medicinal herb. It is used all over the world to treat indigestion, gas and bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. A well-known remedy for nausea during pregnancy and motion sickness, ginger has also has anti-inflammatory effects that make it a good choice for treating arthritis.

“Since low gastric motility has been associated with the digestive symptoms for which ginger is frequently used, if ginger improves the movement of food through the upper digestive tract in people with digestive problems, this could help to explain how it exerts its benefits,” said Dr. Rebecca Chollet.

Ginger is often taken as tea, prepared by simmering the cut root in a covered pot. It can also be used as tincture (an alcohol-based extract), in capsules (as in this study), or added to common gas-producing foods like beans and lentils to prevent gas. At times when nausea makes eating or drinking difficult, crystallized ginger can be used like a lozenge.

A multifaceted approach may help your digestion

Other methods for preventing indigestion include eating slowly and being careful not to overeat. Like ginger, caraway, cumin, and fennel can be added to foods to reduce the chance of developing gas after eating. Digestive enzyme supplements are sometimes helpful when these measures are not enough.

(Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2008;20:436–40)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wake up and enjoy an aroma of health

I do have to admit that I love the aroma of coffee and the many varieties of coffee beans. I get attacked for my position, just as I have been attacked for my position on chocolate. However, it is good to know that the science is catching up with my philosophy.
Coffee Beans May Be A Stress Buster
FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Just sniffing that first hot cup of coffee in the morning may help ease some stresses you might be feeling, a South Korean trial indicates.
When rats inhaled the aroma of roasted coffee beans, a number of genes were activated, including some that produce proteins with healthful antioxidant activity, the researchers reported.
"The meaning of it is not totally clear yet," said Dr. Peter R. Martin, director of the Institute of Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University. "What it does show is that coffee smells do change the brain to some degree, and it behooves us to understand why that is happening."
The findings, from a team led by Han-Seok Seo at Seoul National University in South Korea, were expected to be published in the June 25 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The experiment was done with laboratory rats, some of whom were stressed by being deprived of sleep. The researchers did detailed genetic studies that showed the activity of 11 genes was increased and the activity of two genes was decreased in the rats that smelled the coffee, compared to those who did not. In effect, the aroma of the coffee beans helped ease the stress of the sleep-deprived rodents.
The experiment provides "for the first time, clues to the potential antioxidant or stress-relaxation activities of the coffee bean aroma," the researchers wrote.
And they added, "These results indirectly explain why so many people use coffee for staying up all night, although the volatile compounds of coffee beans are not fully consistent with those of the coffee extracts. In other words, the stress caused by sleep loss via caffeine may be alleviated through smelling the coffee aroma."
"They used the latest in technology to see how brain expression of RNA changed," Martin said. RNA is the molecule that carries out the instructions encoded in genes. "This is just the beginning of a very interesting line of investigation," he added.
The aromatic compounds responsible for coffee's odor may be antioxidants, "but they are not the same as the major antioxidants that are in the drink," said Joe A. Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.
Chemically, the antioxidants in liquid coffee are polyphenols, Vinson said. Those in the aroma are heterocycle compounds containing sulfur or nitrogen atoms.
"There are two ways to get things into your system, and the quickest way is to smell them," Vinson said. "Caffeine gets into the brain via the blood stream. Here, aromatic molecules get into the brain through the olfactory system. The levels in the air are parts per million, so obviously these are minor components in the air. But they are doing something."
Previous studies have shown that coffee consumption can reduce depression and suicide risk, as well as relieve stress, effects generally attributed to the caffeine in coffee, the researchers noted. But while some 900 compounds that float away from the bean have been identified, this is the first study to assay their possible effects, they added.
It's too early to recommend that people feeling stress sniff coffee to ease their way, Martin said. But, he added, "people who don't even drink coffee are fascinated by the odor of it. Ever since my little boy was two years old, he has loved the odor of coffee. I have always thought that coffee has some mystic quality, and there is some deep historical basis for it."
More information: The latest on coffee health research is available from the Coffee Science Information Centre.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tragedy strikes people with AIDS

This is indeed a travesty of justice. There are at least four known supplements that do block the progess of HIV to AIDS. This gives much more weight to the use of genetically engineered drugs that are very costly and often are not accessable to people of low income or in underdeveloped areas. It also gives more profit to BigPharma. Shame on S. Africa.
S Africa bans Aids vitamin trials
A South African court has banned unauthorised trials of vitamin therapies for Aids, which some say are a health risk.

The High Court in Cape Town ruled against German physician Matthias Rath and US doctor David Rasnick, a former adviser to President Thabo Mbeki.

The case was brought by the pressure group the Treatment Action Campaign and the South African Medical Association.

They accused Dr Rath of conducting illegal trials among poor communities.

"It is declared that the clinical trials conducted in South Africa are unlawful," Judge Dumisani Zondi said in his ruling.

Matthias Rath and his Rath Foundation promote vitamin pills and minerals which they say can reverse the development of HIV/Aids.

But critics say such trials had led to unnecessary deaths when HIV-positive people stopped using anti-retroviral drugs.

TAC and SAMA accused the South African government of not doing enough to stop the trials and failing in its duty of care to the public.

Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who has controversially advocated garlic and beetroot instead of anti-retroviral drugs, denied the allegations.

Nathan Geffen of the Treatment Action Campaign hailed the judgment as a victory for scientific governance, which he said had been contested by the health minister and president.

South Africa has one of the world's highest incidences of HIV. One in five adults are reported to be infected and an estimated 500,000 people are infected each year.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/06/13 © BBC MMVIII

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ask for nutritional support as firstline treatment in depression -

And question your medical provider about just what might be wrong with you, really. Don't accept a knee-jerk response and trying to fit your symptoms into a category where they might not belong.
From the London (UK) Daily Mail 10 June.08

Prof. Jane Plant of University College, London, & Janet Stephenson, a psychologist at a London Hospital say that doctors often mistake physical illness for depression. A study by an American psychiatrist found that over 10% of patients diagnosed with mental illness actually suffer an underlying physical condition such as thyroid problems or a mineral deficiency of calcium or magnesium etc.

Another study found that over 40% of patients diagnosed as depressed at one medical practice were found to have been given medication that causes depression as a side-effect.

"Asthma treatments, for example, can cause depression, but some doctors don't know this", says Prof. Plant. "If a doctor does prescribe a drug, they should ascertain if the patient has low levels of neurotransmitters - brain chemicals such as serotonin that influence mood - and which one is low. This can be checked by a urine or blood test in a private clinic. The problem is most NHS doctors aren't even aware such tests exist. This leads to doctors randomly trying drugs before they find the right combination."

The book "Beating Stress, Anxiety & Depression" by Prof. Jane Plant & Janel Stephenson. (Piatkuson, 2008. Tel: 0845 606 4206.

Shame on Bastyr U

Having had the great pleasure of knowing John Bastyr, I am again amazed at a researcher at the Seattle area scool named for him.

Bastyr U, of course, in its master plan wants to have control over all of "natural" health care. It current approach is about as far away from the life and work of Dr. John as one can get, but then the public fails to know the history of real naturopathy as opposed to"the new definition of "naturopathic medicine".

Since Carla Johnson fails to identify in her article exactly what type of St. John's Wort capsules were utilized in this study, it leads to a lot of speculation.

The speculation may include whether or not Wendy Weber specified a "standardized" form of St. John's Wort or used a whole herb blend or complete concentrate.

Another question I would ask is why was this particular herb chosen.

Considering that Bastyr U beleives itself to be the penultimate source of herbal information, Weber might have considered the fact that SJW is a sedative-nervine herb and anti-viral that is generally considered - as a result of a large amount of research - used primarily for things besides the manufactured diagnosis of ADHD.

Certainly, based on research and herbal knowledge, a much better choice for the disease that was designed for the Ritalin like drugs, Passionflower would have been my choice. I would have chosen liquid herbal extract above capsuled dried herbs too.

And I would have considered that sometimes a blend of several appropriate herbs might be used, mainly primary herbs combined with secondary choices such as SJW.

This might also be a way to spin the best function of herbs off and away from the basic rules of choosing drugs in therapy - The right drug, for the right person, at the right time on the right form and for the right use.

Perhaps Carla doesn't know this rule, and perhaps Bastyr students haven't heard of it either.

So if you are looking for non-drug approaches to ADD or ADHD, contact us for more information and more appropriate choices.
St. John's wort fails to help kids with ADHD
By CARLA K. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jun 10, 2008
Children and teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder fared no better on St. John's wort than they did on dummy pills in a government study, another blow for herbal supplements.

St. John's wort, pine bark extract and blue-green algae are among commonly used herbal treatments for children with ADHD. They appeal to parents who want to avoid stimulants like Ritalin and other drugs used to help children control their behavior.

But unlike prescription drugs, supplements are only loosely regulated by the government and their makers don't have to prove they are safe or effective.

"Do an Internet search and you'll find a wide variety of herbal products marketed for ADHD," said lead author Wendy Weber of Bastyr University's School of Naturopathic Medicine in suburban Seattle. "I've found there is very little research on the majority of products out there."

Weber, working with colleagues at Harvard University and University of Washington, focused on St. John's wort because studies in rats found it increases brain chemicals like norepinephrine, which is thought to help focus attention.

Weber reasoned St. John's wort might work the same way as the prescription drug Strattera, approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat ADHD. Strattera makes norepinephrine more available in the brain.

In the study, appearing in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, 54 children with ADHD were randomly assigned to take either St. John's wort capsules three times a day or placebos. They ranged in age from 6 to 17 years old.

Symptoms were measured at the start of the study and four other times. After eight weeks, the two groups showed no difference in symptoms or side effects.

Adriana Arjona, a 15-year-old diagnosed with ADHD several years earlier, took part in the study in the Seattle area. She has never taken standard prescription medication for the condition because her mother, Aracelly Salazar, believes the potential side effects of nervousness, agitation and insomnia are worse than her daughter's symptoms.

St. John's wort didn't seem to have much effect, both mother and daughter agreed. The teenager learned after the study ended that she had taken the supplement, not the dummy pill.

The study's results should give pause to parents who have avoided well researched prescription medicines in favor of herbal remedies, said Dr. Eugenia Chan of Children's Hospital Boston, who was not involved in the new research.

Earlier this year, the American Heart Association recommended that children should be screened for heart problems before getting drugs like Ritalin. That increased parents' anxieties about the drugs, Chan said.

But "natural" doesn't mean risk-free. St. John's wort can increase sensitivity to the sun and reduces the effectiveness of some medications, including birth control pills.

ADHD affects more than 4.4 million children, according to government estimates.

Chan, who has studied the use of alternative medicines in ADHD, found that more than half of parents of ADHD children had tried alternative treatments and special diets, but only 11 percent had told their children's doctors about those strategies. She wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal.

The research follows other studies with disappointing results for alternative remedies such as echinacea for the common cold, saw palmetto for prostate problems and glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis pain.

It was funded by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health.
On the Net:
National Resource Center on ADHD:
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.

Later this morning a second mesaage quoted another report on this issue. This ones refers to a standardised dried herb capsule made from a single component of SJW.

Weber and co-workers recruited 54 children with ADHD aged between six and 17, and randomly assigned them to receive a daily supplement of 300 mg of H. perforatum standardised to 0.3 per cent hypericin (Vital Nutrients Inc, Connecticut) or placebo for eight weeks. The participants were not allowed to take other ADHD medications during the trial.
"The product used for this study was not one of the newly marketed "high-hyperforin" products that range from three to five per cent hyperforin," wrote Weber. "The product used in this trial was tested for hypericin and hyperforin content at the end of the trialandcontained only 0.13 per cent hypericin and 0.14 per cent hyperforin."

This is a study of very short duration and a limited number of participants, things that often skew negatively the outcome of the study.

In addition, see

and from one of my articles -
"Dr. Hyla Cass, a psychiatrist who works with natural treatments for mood disorders, recommends St. John's wort to promote restful sleep and enhance dreaming.

A study in 1993 shows that St. John's wort improved the condition of those who regularly experience winter depression. The extract has been thoroughly researched as a natural anti-depressant. A total of 1,592 patients have been studied in 25 double-blind controlled studies. The studies show St. John's wort reduces anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances, without side effects. Use organic, whole herb extracts for the best results."

also from another of my articles, " a talk presented by world class scientists, ...demonstrated to me that standardization for hypericin content alone is at least misguided. ...even after .. plucking the plant apart into all its varied constituents, it is the whole herb that does the work, and this still holds true." Richo Cech, Horizon Herbs

more here

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Red Rice Yeast is a Statin

Lovastatin is the active substance in red rice yeast that acts similarly to Lipitor et al yet with more subtle effect.

It can still produce side effects including but not limited to rhabdomyolysis, a debilitating side effect of the drugs that may lead to kidney failure.

In the US the FDA is blocking sales of OTC RRY.
From The Times June 10, 2008

Red yeast rice extract XZK cuts risk of dying after heart attack
Nigel Hawkes, Health Editor

A form of fermented rice used as a herbal remedy and a colouring agent in food has shown remarkable results in patients who have suffered heart attacks.

Red yeast rice cut the risk of dying from a second heart attack by almost a third, and the risk of a non-fatal heart attack by almost two thirds, a trial in 5,000 people in China showed.

The results sound incredible but the trial was well-conducted and large, and the findings highly statistically significant.

They are less hard to believe when it is remembered that red yeast rice was the source of the first statin drug, lovastatin. So, in effect, the patients treated with red yeast rice were being given a statin in raw form.

Red yeast rice is made by fermenting rice with a yeast called Monascus purpureus. The result is a purple form of rice, known throughout the Far East under different names and sold in markets. It is also used to colour food.

In the trial, published online in the American Journal of Cardiology, 5,000 patients of both sexes who had already had a heart attack were divided into two groups and randomly allocated to be treated either with an extract of the red yeast rice, called XZK, or a placebo. They were then followed for an average of four and a half years.

The research team, led by Dr Daniel Capuzzi of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, counted how many patients in each group suffered a serious second heart attack (including those who died from one). They found that the risk was reduced by almost half in the group given XZK.

There was also a dramatic drop in the number of cancer deaths, but the numbers were too small to draw any real conclusions — 29 cancer deaths in those on placebo, 13 in those on XZK.

Dr Capuzzi said that the health benefits from red yeast rice even exceeded those of statins, the acclaimed cholesterol-lowering drugs.“I think it is surprising that a natural product like XZK would have this great an effect” he said.

“If further testing and study prove true, my hope is that XZK becomes an important therapeutic agent to treat cardiovascular disorders and in the prevention of disease whether someone has had a heart attack or not.

“But it is important to recognise that we do not know exactly how Chinese red yeast rice works. The exact ingredients from the XZK capsules have not been isolated and studied yet. Still, the results were so profound, even outperforming statins prescribed in numerous Western populations, that further study should certainly be investigated.”

Red yeast rice has been used in China for thousands of years as a food preservative, colorant and seasoning and herbal medicine. It is the ingredient that gives Peking duck its red colour.

Dr Capuzzi, who led the study together with Dr Zonliang Lu, from the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in Beijing, pointed out that the capsules used in the study were carefully prepared for the research and were not the same as red yeast rice supplements available in health food stores.

“Those over-the-counter supplements are not regulated, so exact amounts of active ingredient are unknown and their efficacy has not been studied yet,” he said.

Alcohol treatment: Risky Rx or Helpful Herbs

For many years we have offered a comprehensive herbal formula for help with alcohol abstinance and loss of desire. We call it Chalmer's Choice, named after a supporter of our work who had a longtime history of alcohol abuse. We also know that nutritional support and dietary change is critical.

We introduced this in the college communities in 2004 to help combat increased probelms assocaited with campus drinking. Our reports showed wide acceptance and benefits to use.

Additionally we supplied our "recovery" drink to taverns and clubs, as well as frat houses in an effort to reduce DUI or other serious accidents related to driving while intoxicated.
Alcohol craving reduced by drugs

Twin research projects have offered both present and future hope to people suffering from alcohol addiction.

US researchers say that epilepsy drug topiramate boosts general health as well as cutting the craving for drink.

A UK specialist said the potential side-effects of topiramate still merited caution.

A separate project showed that a single injection of a protein into the brains of rats almost immediately stopped them wanting alcohol.

Topiramate treats the alcohol addiction, not just the 'symptom' of drinking
Bankole Johnson, University of Virginia

Topiramate is not licensed in the UK for the treatment of alcohol addiction, although doctors are allowed to prescribe it if they wish, and occasionally do.
The latest study results, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, could increase the number of doctors willing to do this.

Researchers from the University of Virginia analysed the results of the US-wide trial, which took 371 people with a heavy drinking problem, and gave them either topiramate or a placebo "dummy" drug.

They found, that over 14 weeks, those taking topiramate not only had fewer obsessive thoughts and compulsions about using alcohol, but had generally improving health.

Their weight, cholesterol and blood pressure dropped, and levels of liver enzymes linked to "fatty liver" disease, the forerunner of cirrhosis, also fell away.

Lead researcher Professor Bankole Johnson said: "What we've found is that topiramate treats the alcohol addiction, not just the 'symptom' of drinking."

Side effects

Dr Jonathan Chick, a specialist in the psychiatry of addiction, welcomed the results, particularly the figures which proved better health, rather than relying on an estimate of reduced drinking levels, which could prove misleading.

He said: "There are other drugs which were originally developed to prevent epileptic seizures, which have also shown promise in reducing relapse in alcoholism, but topiramate is so far the most convincing."

However, he said that his own limited use of topiramate had been very carefully monitored to minimise the powerful side-effects of the drug.

In the other study, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal reported on a study in rats carried out at the University of California at San Francisco.

The scientists injected a brain protein called GDNF directly into a part of the brain called the ventral tegmental area, which is thought to be heavily involved in "drug-seeking" behaviour.

The rats were placed in an environment designed to mimic human social drinking, with a lever that could be pushed to deliver an alcoholic drink.

Rat rehab

The protein began working almost immediately, with effects noticed within 10 minutes.

The research also suggested that other cravings were unaffected, as the rats' desire for their supply of sugary water continued unabated.

In addition, once treated with GDNF, rats seemed to be less likely to "relapse" to alcoholism after a "rehab" situation, in which the alcohol supply was cut off for a period of time, then reintroduced.

"Our findings open the door to a promising new strategy to combat alcohol abuse, addiction and especially relapse," said lead author Dr Dorit Ron.

Dr Chick said that there had been various attempts to interfere directly with the brain systems controlling alcohol cravings, although these had only achieved "mixed success" when transferred from experimental animals to humans.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/06/09 23:13:40 GMT

Topamax is also known to be used as a chemotherapy treatment in psychiatry.

The adverse events in the controlled trial that occurred most commonly in adults in the 400 mg/day group and at a rate higher than the 50 mg/day group were: paresthesia, weight decrease, somnolence, anorexia, dizziness, and difficulty with memory NOS. Other reports include weight decrease, upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea and mood problems.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Why to Avoid Genetically Modified Food

and if you do not understand the issue please read more here.

The most widely grown GE crops, accounting for nearly 99% of the GE crop acreage in North America, are corn, soy, canola and cotton.

You will find, if you read the label, that Promise margarine ( other brands too) and Promise 'shots', CardioWise vitamins, Dannon products, and even products sold in health stores contain soy and canola. Many other products contain this duo. Some companies admit that their soy-canola combo (usually called CoroWise)is genetically modified. Promise pleads ignorance.

You choice!

Indirect health benefits while getting better mileage

A while back, as gasoline prices were on the rise, I decide to return to past concepts promoted to reduce fuel costs and lengthen thue useful life of my vehicle.

Since I live out in the sticks I rely on my vehicle for utilitarian reasons, making planned trips to town, or longer ones to do major purchasing or visit friends out of town.

I am amazed that so few drivers to day seem to understand that thier style of driving has a lot to do with wear and tear on theri cars, reducing fuel consumption and reducing air pollution that does harm our health.

You still get there driving 55 as opposed to 75, more safely too and with savings on what's in your tank.

I also use a fuel additive, buy regular gas, add an oil conditioner to reduce friction. I get about 26 mpg now in my rig that is pushing 15 years of use. And I don't worry about the guy that passes on a double yellow.

I came across this article from Money and thought it was worth posting here, sort of a traverse from the regular topics I post here with my thoughts.
1. Racing away from green lights

When the light turns green, you don't have to take off as quickly as possible. That pedal under your right foot is called the "gas pedal" for a good reason. The more you press down on it, the more gas you're pumping into the engine.

Press lightly on the gas pedal, and you'll still accelerate, and you'll still get where you're going. You might be surprised at how little pressure it takes to get your car up to speed in a reasonable time.

2. Racing up to red lights

When you're driving down the street, and you see a light red light or stop sign up ahead, you should lay off the gas sooner rather than later.

There's no point in keeping your foot on the gas until just before you reach the intersection. Let off the pedal sooner and give your engine a rest as you coast to the stop while braking gently. As an added benefit, your brake pads will last longer, too.

By themselves, these first two tips can improve your fuel economy around town by as much as 35 percent, according to tests conducted by automotive information Web site

3. Confusing the highway with a speedway

Even if it doesn't involve hard acceleration, speeding wastes gas. The faster you go, the more air your vehicle has to push out of the way. It's like moving your hand through water. The faster you try to move your hand, the harder the water pushes back.

In tests by Consumer Reports, driving at 75 miles per hour instead of 65 miles per hour reduced fuel economy by between 3 and 5 miles per gallon, depending on the vehicle.

4. Bumper-buzzing

Tailgating is a bad move for many reasons. First of all, it's unsafe. You reduce your ability to react if the car in front of you slows or stops. It also means you have to pay ultra-close attention to that car which reduces your ability to scan for other hazards ahead of you and to the sides.

And tailgating wastes gas. Every time the driver ahead taps his brakes, you have to slow down even more than he did. (That's because you can't react immediately so you have to slow even more because you're slowing down later.) Then you accelerate again to get back up to speed and resume your bumper-buzzing routine.

Hang back and you'll be safer - plus you'll be able to drive more smoothly and use less fuel. A good rule of thumb is to allow two seconds of space between your car and the one ahead. You can figure that out by counting off two seconds after the car in front of you passes an obvious landmark like an overpass.

5. Driving standing still

You've probably heard that it takes more gas to restart a car than to let it run. Maybe that used to be true, but it isn't anymore. With modern fuel-injection engines, it takes very little extra gas to restart a car once it's warmed up.

Idling, meanwhile, burns about a half-mile worth of gas every minute, according to the California Energy Commission. That's why hybrid cars shut down their gasoline engines whenever they stop, even for a moment.

Now you don't want to shut your engine down for every little stop in your regular, non-hybrid car - it's not designed for that - but if you're waiting for someone to run in and out of a convenience store, turn off the engine.

And don't go through the drive-through at fast food restaurants. You're already paying enough for the oil in those chicken nuggets.

Bonus tip: Don't idle your engine to let it warm up before driving. It does your engine no good and it wastes gas. Instead, start driving right away, but drive gently until the engine is warm.

6. Short hops

For really short trips, take advantage of the opportunity to get some exercise. Try walking to the store instead of driving. You can save gas and burn a few calories instead.

If you can't hoof it, save up your errands. A lot of short hops that let the engine cool down at home between trips can use twice as much gas as starting the car once and making a big sweep to all your stops, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Go to your farthest destination first so your engine has a chance to reach its optimal operating temperature. Then make your other stops on the way back. With the engine warmed up, the car will restart easily and run efficiently all the way home.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Parkinson's and Drugs, Pesticides

Sharing some little known facts about things that contribute to the development of Parkinson's Disease.

The herbicides most documented to cause Parkinson's Disease are the phenothiazines which are dopamine agonists. This is well documented in the 'British National Formulary' medical reference book, as these chemicals are also sold as antidepressant drugs. The organochlorine and OP pesticides can also no doubt have similar effects but it is the phenothiazines which are best documented to cause Parkinson's. Perhaps it is the fact that they are also sold as medical drugs is the reason no one wants to admit this. 'Oxford Textbook on Adverse Drug Reactions' lists 15 commonly prescribed drugs which are documented to cause Parkinson's, mostly the phenothiazines but also some anti-sickness drugs.

This has been known for decades but no one wants to publish the truth. It is also documented that if Parkinson's symptoms are manifest with the drugs/pesticides that if the exposure is stopped the disease often resolves. Exposure to ultra violet light and chemicals can make the Parkinson's symptoms irreversible.

Ref. 'Oxford University Design of Enzyme Inhibitors as Drugs' 1989.
See also articles in 'The Pharmaceutical Journal of the UK' in 1996 on drugs.

From Edward Priestley.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Why Free Grazing is Best

When shopping you might opt for Horizon brand dairy products unwittingly because you aren't aware that this company relies on factory farming.

Factory farming does not yield wholesome milk.

In fact, Horizon is again under attack because of their addition of a DHA supplement to their product in order to raise the level of this health promoting substance.

In free grazing cows you will find that the DHA (an essential fatty acid) is in more than slim supply.

You'll also find in free grazing cows that a the company (unlike Dean Foods, producer of the Horizon brand) isn't adding a DHA supplement that is processed with the toxic chemical, hexane.

Organic Free Grazing Cows Are Cream Of The Crop

ScienceDaily (2008-05-30) -- Organic farmers who let their cows graze as nature intended are producing better quality milk. Milk from grazing cows on organic farms in the UK contains significantly higher beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins than its conventional 'high input' counterparts. During the summer, one of the beneficial fats in particular -- conjugated linoleic acid -- was found to be 60 percent higher. ... > read full article

Didn't Luise Light's Pyramid Come First?

Here is a good resource, but not new if you have been studying nutrition for over forty years, then you might defer to Adele Davis and Luise Light or FMI

University Of Michigan Integrative Medicine Clinical Services Unveils Healing Foods Pyramid

ScienceDaily (2005-03-21) -- The University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Clinical Services (UMIMCS) has unveiled its Healing Foods Pyramid, which emphasizes foods known to have healing benefits, plant-based choices, variety and balance, support of a healthful environment, and mindful eating. ... > read full article

And since fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants helpful to prevent inflammation and preserve muscle mass it might be much more worth your while to sign on to such a plan.

Barley and Health

Barley is a well known survival food. Fermented foods promote health and in this case may be effective in making this new style of tempeh agreeable with gluten intolerant people.

I have eaten tempeh for a long time, am partial to the rice variety, and always recommend this as a safe soy food (again it is the fermentation). I have one of the very best recipes for "meat" loaf made from tempeh, and no one would ever guess it is a vegan delight.

Barley, again, being one of the key ingredients in our new product, RK BioDrops.

New Vegetarian Food With Several Health Benefits

ScienceDaily (2008-05-30) -- A new vegetarian food that boosts the uptake of iron and offers a good set of proteins. The food, called tempe, is moreover a whole-grain product with high folate content. It is generally accepted in medicine that whole-grains reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and it is also believed that it protects against age-related diabetes and certain forms of cancer. The B vitamin folate is the natural form of folic acid and, among other things, is necessary for normal fetal development. ... > read full article