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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Health Lobby Fights Against Progress with $$$

If you aren't aware that the health insurance reform bills aren't being bought, here's an update on how the battle is moving from Congress payoffs to the state level -
" Insurance companies, hospitals and other health care interests have been positioning themselves in statehouses around the country to influence the outcome of the proposed health care overhaul. Around the 2008 election, the groups that provide health care contributed about $102 million to state political campaigns across the country, surpassing the $89 million the same donors spent at the federal level, according to the institute. " Health Lobby Takes Fight to the States

Prevent Amputation

Recent reports indicate that the risk of amputation for people with diabetes is increasing.

Rise in diabetes limb amputations
By Emma Wilkinson, BBC News health reporter

The number of people in England having a limb amputated because of type-two diabetes has risen dramatically, a study has shown.

Between 1996 and 2005, below-ankle amputations doubled to more than 2,000, and major amputations increased by 43%.  Read complete article
Certainly there are many factors in this equation regarding food quality, food quantity, newer medications, lack of exercise, lack of access to clean water, and lack of prevention efforts.

The circulatory problems in diabetes can be prevented and along with this, reduction and/or elimination of the risk of amputation.

For decades those of us in natural health have known that several nutrients taken in therapeutic dose will forestall this problem.

Natural vitamin E, vitamin C, RK BioBlend, B vitamins, EFAs, and herbs like non-irradiated cayenne (35,000 HU), good garlic, as well as other approaches can help you extremely well.  Using a health promoting food plan can be important too.

A Massage Technique for ulcers.

Zerose, Zevia or what ever you wish to call it, it's toxic by any name

UPDATE 2/3/10 
Sorbitol and erythritol are both sugar alcohols and should be limited by people with diabetes - or anyone interested in health. 
frequent google search = does zevia cause gas and flatulence?

Sorbitol and Diabetes

Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol, is a sugar substitute used in many foods labeled as “sugar free” or “dietetic.” It can be found in chewing gum, jellies, baked products, fruit cookies and even in some medications. It is used as a sweetener, to improve stability and/or to help retard moisture. Sorbitol is thought to be appropriate for use by people who have Diabetes Mellitus because sorbitol is converted to fructose in the liver, which is not dependent on insulin for metabolism. However, single doses of 10 to 50 grams of sorbitol may produce osmotic diarrhea, along with abdominal cramps and flatulence.
Many food products containing sorbitol are actually higher in calories than products made with sucrose because of the fat that must be added to make sorbitol soluble. Sorbitol and sucrose have the same number of calories, although sorbitol is half as sweet as sucrose.
The American Dietetic Association recommends that foods containing sorbitol be limited to portions containing 20 calories or less.

Post date 12/29/09
A few days ago, a visitor to Natural Health News wanted to know if the new sugar alcohol based sweeteners might be a cause of diarrhea.

The answer to this is that the sugar alcohol based sweeteners do cause gastrointestinal disturbances and this is one reason why we do not recommend nay products containing a blend of chemically altered stevia.

Stay with the natural forms of stevia, those with no additives or those that have been chemically altered.

Get pure stevia extract from us (see right column) or look for Just Like Sugar.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

GMO Crops: None too good for health

More herbicide use reported on genetically modified crops

Soy, corn, wheat, and any other crop you might want to list - again and again - are showing the long-criticized concerns postulated by scientists who have not been under Monsanto's thumb for the last couple of decades as this expands.
A report released by the Organic Center found that the amount of herbicides used on genetically engineered crops has increased in the past 10 years, not decreased as might be expected. Since many genetically engineered crops were modified so that farmers could spray Roundup, or Glyphosate, to kill the weeds in their fields but not the crops themselves, the expectation was that less herbicide would be required. But the new report found that this is not what happened.
Learn more here, here, here, and here

Vitamins for Alzheimer's

UPDATE: 3 December 2011

Melatonin in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders


Increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been identified as common pathophysiological phenomena associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). As the age-related decline in the production of melatonin may contribute to increased levels of oxidative stress in the elderly, the role of this neuroprotective agent is attracting increasing attention. Melatonin has multiple actions as a regulator of antioxidant and prooxidant enzymes, radical scavenger and antagonist of mitochondrial radical formation. The ability of melatonin and its kynuramine metabolites to interact directly with the electron transport chain by increasing the electron flow and reducing electron leakage are unique features by which melatonin is able to increase the survival of neurons under enhanced oxidative stress. Moreover, antifibrillogenic actions have been demonstrated in vitro, also in the presence of profibrillogenic apoE4 or apoE3, and in vivo, in a transgenic mouse model. Amyloid-β toxicity is antagonized by melatonin and one of its kynuramine metabolites. Cytoskeletal disorganization and protein hyperphosphorylation, as induced in several cell-line models, have been attenuated by melatonin, effects comprising stress kinase downregulation and extending to neurotrophin expression. Various experimental models of AD, PD and HD indicate the usefulness of melatonin in antagonizing disease progression and/or mitigating some of the symptoms. Melatonin secretion has been found to be altered in AD and PD. Attempts to compensate for age- and disease-dependent melatonin deficiency have shown that administration of this compound can improve sleep efficiency in AD and PD and, to some extent, cognitive function in AD patients. Exogenous melatonin has also been reported to alleviate behavioral symptoms such as sundowning. Taken together, these findings suggest that melatonin, its analogues and kynuric metabolites may have potential value in prevention and treatment of AD and other neurodegenerative disorders. Complete article

July 2011

Rank in the TOP10 out of 3.9 M+ related articles 

Access the May 2007 issue of herbalYODA Says! that focuses on vitamin B12 with a donation to help us continue this work.

Updated from May 09
2004 ArticleDon't Overlook There ALZ Remiders, Related NHN article  This post ranks 1 of 1.23 Million about vitamins for Alzheimer's

Food and Life

for information on how to use B3 therapeutically, contact us for our fact sheet

UPDATE: 4 May, 2009
No wonder vitamin E works, it is antioxidant and carries O2 across the cell wall membrane as well as offering a myriad of other remarkable healing attributes.

Another FAT soluble vitamin to the rescue!
Use the search window to learn more about vitamin E on Natural Health News
Vitamin E may slow Alzheimer's disease By Megan Rauscher
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – An analysis of "real-world" clinical data indicates that vitamin E, and drugs that reduce generalized inflammation, may slow the decline of mental and physical abilities in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) over the long term.

"Our results are consistent for a potential benefit of vitamin E on slowing functional decline and a smaller possible benefit of anti-inflammatory medications on slowing cognitive decline in patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Alireza Atri told Reuters Health.

Atri, at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the VA Bedford Medical Center, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, led the National Institutes of Health-sponsored research. The findings, reported at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society in Chicago, stem from data on 540 patients treated at the MGH Memory Disorders Unit.

All of the patients were receiving standard-of-care treatment with a drug intended to help patients with Alzheimer's. As part of their clinical care, 208 patients also took vitamin E but no anti-inflammatory, 49 took an anti-inflammatory but no vitamin E, 177 took both vitamin E and an anti-inflammatory, and 106 took neither.

While the daily dose of vitamin E ranged from 200 to 2000 units, the majority of patients were given high doses that ranged from 800 units daily to 1000 units twice daily.

Each patient's performance on cognitive tests and their ability to carry out daily functions such as dressing and personal care were assessed every 6 months. After an average of 3 years, "there was a modest slowing of decline in function in those patients taking vitamin E," study investigator Michael R. Flaherty noted in a telephone interview with Reuters Health.

Flaherty, a second-year student at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine, presented the findings at the meeting. He added that the treatment benefit from vitamin E was "small to medium" but increased with time.

Taking an anti-inflammatory medication was associated with "very consistent but generally only small effects on slowing long-term decline in cognitive functioning," Atri told Reuters Health.

However, in patients who took both vitamin E and anti-inflammatory medications, there appeared to be an additive effect in terms of slowing overall decline.

Given that past studies have produced equivocal results, the investigators conclude that further studies are needed to assess the long-term balance of risks versus benefits for people with Alzheimer's disease from taking vitamin E and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Copyright © 2009 Reuters Limited.
UPDATE: 23 MARCH, 2009
Niacin Protects against Alzheimer's Disease and Age-related Cognitive Decline
Niacin (vitamin B3) is already known to lower cholesterol. Now, research published in the August 2004 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry indicates regular consumption of niacin-rich foods also provides protection against Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline.
Researchers from the Chicago Health and Aging Project interviewed 3,718 Chicago residents aged 65 or older about their diet, then tested their cognitive abilities over the following six years.
Those getting the most niacin from foods (22 mg per day) were 70% less likely to have developed Alzheimer's disease than those consuming the least (about 13 mg daily), and their rate of age-related cognitive decline was significantly less. In addition to eating the niacin-rich foods, another way to boost your body's niacin levels is to eat more foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan. Your body can convert tryptophan to niacin, with a little help from other B vitamins, iron and vitamin C. Foods high in tryptophan include shrimp, crimini mushrooms, yellowfin tuna, halibut, chicken breast, scallops, salmon, turkey and tofu. As you can see, several foods rich in tryptophan provide two ways to increase niacin levels as they are also rich in the B vitamin.(August 23, 2004)

UPDATE: 12 March, 2009
Another supplement to help Alzheimer's: "One of the newer drugs developed in Europe apparently 'works' by protecting brain cells from damage by over-production of glutamate, one of the well known actions of lithium.
Other research findings strongly suggest that lithium may protect against Alzheimer's disease and slow the progression of the disease. Lithium inhibits beta-amaloid secretion and protects against damage caused by beta-amyloid protein after it has formed.
Over-activation of tau protein in the brain also contributes to neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer's disease, as does the formation of neurofibrilary tangles. Lithium inhibits both of these.
People with Alzheimer's have excess aluminum accumulation in brain cells. Lithium can help protect against aluminum accumulation through chelation and easier removal from the body."
See also a related B3 article I posted in November - xref: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

While we are on this thread of natural help for dis-ease isn't it timely that I just received this article about how "High Doses of Vitamins Fight Alzheimer's Disease".

And now I am sharing it with you, for your education, and then you can ask your doctor why they aren't recommending them.

Vitamin B3 is also used successfully for schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis, reducing plaque of arteriosclerosis and cholesterol reduction. It has an excellent anti-inflammatory action.
(OMNS, December 9, 2008) The news media recently reported that "huge doses of an ordinary vitamin appeared to eliminate memory problems in mice with the rodent equivalent of Alzheimer's disease." They then quickly added that "scientists aren't ready to recommend that people try the vitamin on their own outside of normal doses." (1)

In other words, extra-large amounts of a vitamin are helpful, so don't you take them!

That does not even pass the straight-faced test. So what's the story?

Researchers at the University of California at Irvine gave the human dose equivalent of 2,000 to 3,000 mg of vitamin B3 to mice with Alzheimer's. (2) It worked. Kim Green, one of the researchers, is quoted as saying, "Cognitively, they were cured. They performed as if they'd never developed the disease."

for information on how to use B3 therapeutically, contact us for our fact sheet
Specifically, the study employed large amounts of nicotinamide, the vitamin B3 widely found in foods such as meat, poultry, fish, nuts and seeds. Nicotinamide is also the form of niacin found, in far greater quantity, in dietary supplements. It is more commonly known as niacinamide. It is inexpensive and its safety is long established. The most common side effect of niacinamide in very high doses is nausea. This can be eliminated by taking less, by using regular niacin instead, which may cause a warm flush, or choosing inositol hexaniacinate, which does not. They are all vitamin B3.
HealthDay Reporter mentioned how cheap the vitamin is; the study authors "bought a year's supply for $30" and noted that it "appears to be safe." Even so, one author said that "I wouldn't advocate people rush out and eat grams of this stuff each day." (1)
The BBC quoted Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the UK Alzheimer's Research Trust, who said, "Until the human research was completed, people should not start taking the supplement. . . . people should be wary about changing their diet or taking supplements. In high doses vitamin B3 can be toxic." (3)
The Irish Times reiterated it: "People have been cautioned about rushing out to buy high dose vitamin B3 supplements in an attempt to prevent memory loss . . . The warnings came today one day on from the announcement . . .Vitamins in high doses can be toxic." (4)
Their choice of words is quaint but hardly accurate. There is no wild "rush;" half of the population already takes food supplements. And as for "toxic," niacin isn't. Canadian psychiatrist Abram Hoffer, M.D., asserts that it is actually remarkably safe. "There have been no deaths from niacin supplements," Dr. Hoffer says. "The LD 50 (the dosage that would kill half of those taking it) for dogs is 5,000-6,000 milligrams per kilogram body weight. That is equivalent to almost a pound of niacin per day for a human. No human takes 375,000 milligrams of niacin a day. They would be nauseous long before reaching a harmful dose." Dr. Hoffer conducted the first double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials of niacin. He adds, "Niacin is not liver toxic. Niacin therapy increases liver function tests. But this elevation means that the liver is active. It does not indicate an underlying liver pathology."
The medical literature repeatedly confirms niacin's safety. Indeed, for over 50 years, nutritional (orthomolecular) physicians have used vitamin B3 in doses as high as tens of thousands of milligrams per day. Cardiologists frequently give patients thousands of milligrams of niacin daily to lower cholesterol. Niacin is preferred because its safety margin is so very large. The American Association of Poison Control Centers' Toxic Exposure Surveillance System annual reports indicates there is not even one death per year due to niacin in any of its forms. (5)
One the other hand, there are 140,000 deaths annually attributable to properly prescribed prescription drugs. (6) And this figure is just for one year, and just for the USA. Furthermore, when overdoses, incorrect prescription, and adverse drug interactions are figured in, total drug fatalities number over a quarter of a million dead. Each year.
The BBC's curious mention that we should even be "wary about changing our diets" is especially odd. More and more scientists think our much-in-need-of-improvement diets are what contribute more than anything to developing Alzheimer's. "There appears to be a statistically significant link between a low dietary intake of niacin and a high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. A study of the niacin intake of 6158 Chicago residents 65 years of age or older established that the lower the daily intake of niacin, the greater the risk of becoming an Alzheimer's disease patient." The group with the highest daily intake of niacin had a 70 percent decrease in incidence of this disease compared to the lowest group. "The most compelling evidence to date is that early memory loss can be reversed by the ascorbate (vitamin C) minerals. Greater Alzheimer's disease risk also has been linked to low dietary intake of vitamin E and of fish." (7)
Nutrient deficiency of long standing may create a nutrient dependency. A nutrient dependency is an exaggerated need for the missing nutrient, a need not met by dietary intakes or even by low-dose supplementation. Robert P. Heaney, M.D., uses the term "long latency deficiency diseases" to describe illnesses that fit this description. He writes: "Inadequate intakes of many nutrients are now recognized as contributing to several of the major chronic diseases that affect the populations of the industrialized nations. Often taking many years to manifest themselves, these disease outcomes should be thought of as long-latency deficiency diseases. . . Because the intakes required to prevent many of the long-latency disorders are higher than those required to prevent the respective index diseases, recommendations based solely on preventing the index diseases are no longer biologically defensible." (8) Where pathology already exists, unusually large quantities of vitamins may be needed to repair damaged tissue. Thirty-five years ago, in another paper, Hoffer wrote: "The borderline between vitamin deficiency and vitamin-dependency conditions is merely a quantitative one when one considers prevention and cure." (9)
As there is no recognized cure for Alzheimer's, prevention is vital. In their article, the Irish Times does admit that "Healthy mice fed the vitamins also outperformed mice on a normal diet" and quoted study co-author Frank LaFerla saying that "This suggests that not only is it good for Alzheimer's disease, but if normal people take it, some aspects of their memory might improve." (4) And study author Green added, "If we combine this with other things already out there, we'd probably see a large effect."
The US Alzheimer's Association's Dr. Ralph Nixon has said that previous research has suggested that vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin B12 may help people lower their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. At their website (although you have to search for it), the Alzheimer's Association says, "Vitamins may be helpful. There is some indication that vitamins, such as vitamin E, or vitamins E and C together, vitamin B12 and folate may be important in lowering your risk of developing Alzheimer's. . . One large federally funded study (10) showed that vitamin E slightly delayed loss of ability to carry out daily activities and placement in residential care."
But overall, at their website the Alzheimer's Association has strikingly little to say about vitamins, and they hasten to tell people that "No one should use vitamin E to treat Alzheimer's disease except under the supervision of a physician." ( ) "They write as if these safe vitamins are dangerous drugs, not be used without a doctor's consent," comments Dr. Hoffer. "I have been using them for decades."
Niacin and nerves go together. Orthomolecular physicians have found niacin and other nutrients to be an effective treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, psychotic behavior, and schizophrenia. New research confirms that niacinamide (the same form of B3 used in the Alzheimer's research) "profoundly prevents the degeneration of demyelinated axons and improves the behavioral deficits" in animals with an illness very similar to multiple sclerosis. (11)
A measure of journalistic caution is understandable, especially with ever-new promises for pharmaceutical products. Drugs routinely used to treat Alzheimer's Disease have had a disappointing, even dismal success rate. So when nutrition may be the better answer, foot-dragging is inexplicable, even inexcusable. Nutrients are vastly safer than drugs. Unjustified, needlessly negative opinionating is out of place. Over 5 million Americans now have Alzheimer's disease, and the number is estimated to reach 14 million by 2050. Potentially, 9 million people would benefit later from niacin now.
"Man is a food-dependent creature," wrote University of Alabama professor of medicine Emanuel Cheraskin, M.D.. "If you don't feed him, he will die. If you feed him improperly, part of him will die."
When that part is the brain, it is dangerous to delay the use of optimum nutrition.
(1) Vitamin Holds Promise for Alzheimer's Disease. Randy Dotinga, HealthDay Reporter, Nov 5, 2008. and also
(2) Green KN, Steffan JS, Martinez-Coria H, Sun X, Schreiber SS, Thompson LM, LaFerla FM. Nicotinamide restores cognition in Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice via a mechanism involving sirtuin inhibition and selective reduction of Thr231-phosphotau. J Neurosci. 2008 Nov 5;28(45):11500-10.
(3) BBC, 5 Nov 2008.
(4) Donnellan E. Caution urged over using vitamin B3 to treat Alzheimer's. Wed, Nov 05, 2008.
(5) Annual Reports of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poisoning and Exposure Database (formerly known as the Toxic Exposure Surveillance System). AAPCC, 3201 New Mexico Avenue, Ste. 330, Washington, DC 20016. Download any report from1983-2006 at free of charge. The "Vitamin" category is usually near the end of the report.
(6) Classen DC, Pestotnik SL, Evans RS, Lloyd JF, Burke JP. Adverse drug events in hospitalized patients. Excess length of stay, extra costs, and attributable mortality. JAMA. 1997 Jan 22-29;277(4):301-6.
(7) 21. Hoffer A and Foster HD. Feel Better, Live Longer With Vitamin B-3: Nutrient Deficiency and Dependency. CCNM Press, 2007. ISBN-10: 1897025246; ISBN-13: 978-1897025246. Also: Foster HD. What Really Causes Alzheimer's Disease. Trafford, 2004. ISBN 1-4120-4921-0.
(8) Heaney RP: Long-latency deficiency disease: insights from calcium and vitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003; Nov; 78(5):912-9.
(9) Hoffer A. Mechanism of action of nicotinic acid and nicotinamide in the treatment of schizophrenia. In: Hawkins D and Pauling L: Orthomolecular Psychiatry: Treatment of Schizophrenia. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman. 1973; p. 202-262.
(10) Sano M, Ernesto C, Thomas RG et al. A controlled trial of selegiline, alpha-tocopherol, or both as treatment for Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study. N Engl J Med. 1997 Apr 24;336(17):1216-22
(11) Kaneko S, Wang J, Kaneko M, Yiu G, Hurrell JM, Chitnis T, Khoury SJ, He Z. Protecting axonal degeneration by increasing nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide levels in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis models. J Neurosci. 2006 Sep 20;26(38):9794-804. See also: Vitamins fight multiple sclerosis. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, October 4, 2006.
For More Information:
A complete copy of Dr. Harold D. Foster's What Really Causes Alzheimer's Disease is available in PDF format, free of charge:
To access a free archive of peer-reviewed medical journal papers on the safety and efficacy of vitamin therapy:
Review of nutritional approaches to Alzheimer's Disease:
Additional Reading:
Klenner FR. Response of peripheral and central nerve pathology to mega-doses of the vitamin B-complex and other metabolites. Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1973.

Morris MC, Evans DA, Bienias JL, Tangney CC, Bennett DA, Aggarwal N, Wilson RS, and Scherr PA. Dietary intake of antioxidant nutrients and the risk of incident Alzheimer's disease in a biracial community study. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2002. 287(24), 3230-3237.

Morris MC, Evans DA, Bienias PA, Scherr A, Tangney CC, Hebert LE, Bennett DA, Wilson RS, and Aggarwal N. Dietary Niacin and the Risk of Incident Alzheimer's Disease and of Cognitive Decline. J Neurology, Psychiatry 2004; 75: 1093-1099.

Bobkova NV. The impact of mineral ascorbates on memory loss. Paper presented at the III World Congress on Vitamin C, 2001, Committee for World Health, Victoria, BC, Canada.

Galeev A, Kazakova A, Zherebker E, Dana E, and Dana R. Mineral ascorbates improve memory and cognitive functions in older individuals with pre-Alzheimer's symptoms. Copy of paper given to authors by R. Dana and E. Dana, Committee for World Health, 20331 Lake Forest Drive, Suite C-15, Lake Forest, California 92630, USA.

Bobkova NV, Nesterova IV, Dana E, Nesterov VI, Aleksandrova IIu, Medvinskaia NI, and Samokhia AN (2003). Morpho-functional changes of neurons in temporal cortex in comparison with spatial memory in bulbectomized mice after treatment with minerals and ascorbates. Morfologiia, 123(3), 27-31. [In Russian]

Engelhart MJ, Geerlings MI, Ruitenberg A, van Swieten JC, Hofman A, and Witteman JC (2002). Dietary intake of antioxidants and risk of Alzheimer's disease: Food for thought. Journal of the American Medical Association, 287(24), 3223-3229.

Grant WB. Dietary links to Alzheimer's disease: 1999 update. Journal of Alzheimer's disease, 1999, 1(4,5), 197-201.

Barberger-Gateau P, Letenneur L, Deschamps V, Pérès K, Jean-François Dartigues JF, and Renaud S (2002). Fish, meat, and risk of dementia: Cohort study. British Medical Journal, 325, 932-933.

Vogiatzoglou A, Refsum H, Johnston C, Smith SM, Bradley KM, de Jager C, Budge MM, Smith AD. Vitamin B12 status and rate of brain volume loss in community-dwelling elderly. Neurology. 2008 Sep 9;71(11):826-32.
September 2010 Good News for B Vitamins and Your Brain

Vitamin D may help prevent Alzheimer's

SENDAI, Japan, July 12 (UPI) -- Low levels of vitamin D may be involved in age-related decline in memory and cognition as well as Alzheimer's disease, researchers in Japan say.
Tetsuya Terasaki of Tohoku University in Japan found vitamin D injections improved the removal of amyloid beta -- the build-up of the peptide amyloid beta in the brain is linked to Alzheimer's disease -- from the brain of mice.
"Vitamin D appears [to] increase transport of amyloid beta across the blood brain barrier by regulating protein expression, via the vitamin D receptor and also by regulating cell signaling," Terasaki says.
These findings, published in the journal Fluids and Barriers of the CNS, lead the way toward new therapeutic targets in the search for prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Vitamin C and Healing Disease

Perhaps Linus Pauling was too far ahead of his time -

Vitamin C is key to creating stem cells
Vitamin C could be used to overcome hurdles in creating stem cells for treating human diseases, scientists believe.
Published: 24 Dec 2009

The vitamin boosts the reprogramming of adult cells to give them the properties of embryonic stem cells.

Scientists who made the discovery believe it may help them overcome long-standing problems in creating the reprogrammed cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

IPSCs offer a solution to the ethical problems involved in producing embryonic stem cells with the potential to become any kind of human tissue, from bone to brain.

Embryonic stem cells have to be extracted by cannibalising early stage embryos obtained from fertility clinics. IPSCs, on the other hand, are made in the laboratory from ordinary adult cells by altering their genes.

Many experts believe iPSCs are the future of stem cell medicine, since they behave in a similar way to embryonic stem cells and are also capable of developing into a wide range of tissues.

The conversion of ordinary cells into iPSCs is highly inefficient and difficult to achieve. Often the cells age prematurely and stop dividing or may die, a process known as senescence.

Adding vitamin C to the cell cultures was found to hold back senescence and make reprogramming much more efficient.

Experiments with both mouse and human cells showed that the vitamin accelerated genetic changes and boosted the transition to a reprogrammed state.

Dr Duanqing Pei, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou, who led the research, said: ''The low efficiency of the reprogramming process has hampered progress with this technology and is indicative of how little we understand it.

''Further, this process is most challenging in human cells, raising a significant barrier for producing iPSCs and serious concerns about the quality of the cells that are generated.

''Our results highlight a simple way to improve iPSC generation and provide additional insight into the mechanistic basis of reprogramming.

''It is also of interest that a vitamin with long-suspected anti-ageing effects has such a potent influence on reprogramming, which can be considered a reversal of the ageing process at the cellular level. It is likely that our work may stimulate further research in this area as well.''

The research is published online in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Vitamin C's powerful antioxidant properties may be the reason why it assists cell programming, the scientists believe.

The vitamin neutralises damaging molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are believed to hamper the generation of iPSCs.

But this cannot be the whole story, since other antioxidants do not appear to have the same effect.

MRSA - Alternative Cure For 'Flesh-Eating' Bacteria

UPDATE: 26 December 2009 -
A new study reports a surge in drug-resistant strains of a dangerous type of bacteria in US hospitals: Acinetobacter strikes patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and others and often causes severe pneumonias or bloodstream infection, some of which are now resistant to imipenem, an antibiotic that is reserved for last-line treatment. 
Read Complete Story - New Strain of Resistant Bacteria Reported
I'm not sure how many times we have to read similar articles over the 16 years I have been involved in this issue in me effort to get some repsonse from MS medicine and MS media, while thousands suffer or die.

Once again I'm posting my challenge, a repost originally from August 2006.  I'm expecting a response, as I usually do. 

"How many times...? "as the song goes.

Alternative Cure For 'Flesh-Eating' Bacteria
From Gayle Eversole, DHom, PhD, MH, CRNP, ND, Creating Health Institute


Reported today by Gene Emery of Reuters, flesh-eating bacteria is once again making headlines.

Emery reports, according to Loren Miller of UCLA Medical Center and Scott Fridkin of the CDC, that skin infections are now found outside hospital and include a new strain of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Emery writes that doctors need to be aware of this and "switch to different antibiotics at the first sign of trouble."

He quotes Fridkin saying that "the alarm does need to be raised to people and clinicians that if you have a staph infection and it's not getting better, you'd better go back to your doctor." Later reports on findings from Miller's team saying that "doctors must shift their attitudes toward cases of necrotizing fasciitis -- the "flesh-eating" part of such a bacterial infection -- and check to see if methicillin-resistant staph is to blame."

Almost a decade ago, when flesh-eating bacteria were beginning to be reported, I called upon my experience as an intensive care nurse and manager of a burn center. I wanted to address this serious health problem from a natural healing perspective because I knew of the decades old problem with antibiotics that were not effectively treating the condition.

Emery's article further defines the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Consulting with a colleague of mine from the herbal traditions of Korea who spent a number of years at Dana Farber Institute at Harvard, I developed a protocol using a combination of his formulas that could be used for this condition. I submitted a package to a Washington State Department of Health researcher with clinical findings on the use of the formulas.

Time has passed quickly, yet at no time did I ever receive a reply, or even a glimmer of thought from this man about the possibility of a trial.

In response to a public health problem, I believed my approach deserved consideration because people were dying.

Subsequently, during the past decade I have responded to numerous media reports of flesh-eating bacteria, asking only for consideration. The closed minds locked in the Newtonian model prevalent in mainstream medicine never once gave consideration to a different way of seeing.

In addition to the herbal protocol I developed a series of fully referenced papers using pure essential oils to attack these bacteria. One of the texts I used as a reference is a medical textbook written by two French physicians. In France physicians are educated in the use of herbs and essential oils as therapeutic modalities.

Essential oils have a very long history and several have very effective anti-bacterial and anti-fungal capacity. Herbs used throughout thousands of years have this same capacity as well.

Seriously hoping to at least have one response, I am saddened to say that not one reply has ever been received.

One would now have to ask the question: What drives these health professionals to so totally disregard non-traditional treatment possibilities?

Today, I am placing my challenge on the table.

Doctors, if you are truly interested in treating and curing this problem, my protocols await.

NB: In early 2006 I was able to connect a research physician at Georgetown Medical School who is doing invetigation 'outside the box'. He advised me that "mainstream medicine is not ready to accept this." Of course, I do understand his comment but I have to wonder about the unwillingness to change and the cost of lives!

Related posts, 2 of about 2 dozen other similar articles in Natural Health News

UPDATE: 11 January 2009 - A new product, Allicin-C, and Alli-Derm, add to your anti-MRSA arsenal. Purchase via our link in the right column.
More than 10 years ago this issue was repeatedly reported in the press. More than 30 years ago this was an issue discussed often by medical practitioners such as me. Thirty plus years ago doctors used to test anti-biotics in a test called 'C & S' (culture and sensitivity) not utilized too much today.

Mainstream medicine refuses to take my challenge, previously possted on this BLOG. I have added it in below for ease of reference. Maybe now someone might take a chance. Nothing to lose, and maybe save some lives along the way!...

Maybe intravenous high dose vitamin c might be tried. And at least you know this would not hurt you. This treatment saved a client of mine from liver and kidney transplant. Interferon treatments did not work and she developed liver and kidney failure. UW docs were baffled, yet they wouldn't ask...

Wash any suspicious area with pure soap and water and allow to dry thoroughly. Using specific pure essential oils will be very effective in treating and resolving this problem. Above all avoid the use of anti-bacterial soaps. These contain Triclosan and will kill off naturally occurring bacteria on your skin that serves to protect you from infection.

Many non-effective anti-biotics are on the market today and some of these have very serious side effects. Avoid fluoride based products for this reason.

Make sure you ask your doctor what kind of treatment is being prescribed. It is your right to know under the law.

Staph skin infections on rise in U.S.

A once-rare drug-resistant germ now appears to cause more than half of all skin infections treated in U.S. emergency rooms, say researchers who documented the superbug's startling spread in the general population.

Many victims mistakenly thought they just had spider bites that wouldn't heal, not drug-resistant staph bacteria. Only a decade ago, these germs were hardly ever seen outside of hospitals and nursing homes.

Doctors also were caught off-guard — most of them unwittingly prescribed medicines that do not work against the bacteria.

"It is time for physicians to realize just how prevalent this is," said Dr. Gregory Moran of Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, who led the study.

Another author, Dr. Rachel Gorwitz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said: "I think no one was aware of the extent of the problem."

Skin infections can be life-threatening if bacteria get into the bloodstream. Drug-resistant strains can also cause a vicious type of pneumonia and even "flesh-eating" wounds.

The CDC paid for the study, published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine. Several authors have consulted for companies that make antibiotics.

Researchers analyzed all skin infections among adults who went to hospital emergency rooms in 11 U.S. cities in August 2004. Of the 422 cases, 249, or 59 percent, were caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. Such bacteria are impervious to the penicillin family of drugs long used for treatment.

The proportion of infections due to MRSA ranged from 15 percent to as high as 74 percent in some hospitals.

"This completely matches what our experience at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital has been," said Dr. Buddy Creech, an infectious-disease specialist whose hospital was not included in the study. "Usually what we see is a mom or dad brings their child in with what they describe as a spider bite that's not getting better or a pimple that's not getting better," and it turns out to be MRSA.

The germ typically thrives in health-care settings where people have open wounds and tubes. But in recent years, outbreaks have occurred among prisoners, children and athletes, with the germ spreading through skin contact or shared items such as towels. Dozens of people in Ohio, Kentucky and Vermont recently got MRSA skin infections from tattoos.

The good news: MRSA infections contracted outside a hospital are easier to treat. The study found that several antibiotics work against them, including some sulfa drugs that have been around for decades. A separate study in the journal reports the effectiveness of Cubicin, an antibiotic recently approved to treat bloodstream infections and heart inflammation caused by MRSA.

However, doctors need to test skin infections to see what germ is causing them, and to treat each one as if it were MRSA until test results prove otherwise, researchers said.

"We have made a fundamental shift in pediatrics in our area" and now assume that every such case is the drug-resistant type, Creech said.

And, doctors need to lance the wound to get rid of bacteria rather than relying on a drug to do the job.

"The most important treatment is actually draining the pus," Gorwitz said. Many times that is a cure all by itself, she said.

The study was done in Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New Orleans; New York; Philadelphia; Phoenix; and Portland, Ore.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Health Reform? or More Death by Medicine?

As MSM bombards us with news of the horrendous Senate bill proposal for "reform" and we look forward to what may be more problems when the House and Senate try to merge the erroneous ideas these proposals contain we encourage our readers to think about what may be coming and to share their concerns with friends and colleagues, as well as the corporate lackys in Congress aka "elected representatives". 

Coming in 2010 is a new book by Gary Null, PhD, and several medical collaborators, including my colleague Carolyn Dean, MD, ND.

Also for 2010 is our year long focus on Natural Nutrition for health & healing. Look for great new information starting with the first issue of our long-running newsletter, herbalYODA Says! due out in mid January. You can sign up to receive this opt-in newsletter at  Stay tuned to Natural Health News for health and natural health information (as always) on the cutting edge.
The medical environment has become a labyrinth of interlocking corporate, hospital, and governmental interests increasingly controlled by drug companies. Drug company representatives write glowing articles about pharmaceuticals, which are then signed by physicians paid handsomely for their cooperation, though they may not fully understand the adverse side effects of the drugs they promote. The most toxic substances are often approved and used first, while milder and more natural alternatives are ignored largely for financial reasons. It’s DEATH BY MEDICINE.


· Reveals closely guarded secrets about the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry, the government, and the medical research establishment.

· Discloses through its research how drug companies are paying our legislators, television and radio stations, schools, and news outlets to keep information about dangerous medications from the public.

· Shows that more Americans are dying each year at the hands of medicine than all American casualties in WWI and the Civil War combined.

· Contains eye-opening information on why healthcare is the only business where you keep paying whether you get good results or not

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Too many Drugs, Too High Doses: Too Much for Elders

My mother was an Elder.  She was over-drugged for a number of years in a Florida Five-Star facility and the threat of forced relocation was held over her POA if she wasn't drugged.  I'm sure Medicare fraud is an issue here but needless to say, she was not alone.

I'm also wondering why doctors can't look at magnesium and B complex before drugs for hypertension, or even other natural approaches.
Old heart patients 'over-drugged'

Elderly patients are being treated too aggressively for high blood pressure, researchers claim.

They say the "oldest olds", meaning patients aged 80 plus, are being given too many drugs and in too large doses, which may do them more harm than good.

The Cochrane scientists who looked at the available data say doctors can set their targets lower for octogenarians.  This makes good economic and clinical sense given the expanding elderly population, they told

But doctors said high blood pressure is largely under-recognised and under-treated in the UK.

Growing need

Experts say the "oldest olds" are the fastest growing sector of the world's population.

According to latest estimates, the UK population of 85-year-olds will go up by a third by 2020.

And more than half of these will need treatment for high blood pressure, the British Medical Journal reports.

“ Most sensible GPs - which most GPs are - take a pretty cautious view to doling out drugs to old people. ”  Professor Peter Weissberg British Heart Foundation
But head of the Cochrane research group, Dr James Wright, says clinicians should change what they are presently doing and move towards a more conservative approach for the over 80s.

"I have done so with my patients," he said.

'Less better'

His review of existing studies, including data from two new trials which looked specifically at the effect of blood pressure drugs in this age group, found little evidence that aggressive treatment saves more lives.

Although fewer patients died of strokes, the total number of deaths from all causes was unchanged.

The only trial that found a significant reduction in overall mortality was the most conservative in terms of number of drugs and dose of drugs allowed.

Based on the findings, he suggests a target blood pressure of 150/80 mmHg is more sensible, and says doctors should not be worried if only half of their most elderly patients achieve it.

Professor Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation, said: "Most sensible GPs - which most GPs are - take a pretty cautious view to doling out drugs to old people.

"Hypertension is still largely under-treated. By and large, in the UK population, half of people with high blood pressure are not identified."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/12/23 © BBC MMIX

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Corruption at its very best

If you, like so many, beliveve that there is no conflict of interest in what the FDA does in its incestuous involvement with Big PhRMA, then all you have to do is realize the height of corruption as Julie Gerberding comes to Merck, heading up its vaccine division.

This is a very clear example of the government-corporate revolving door policy.

When we have ethics in government, this sort of thing doesn't happen for at least three years follwoing government employment.

And we all know how influential Merck has been at CDC and FDA, especially over the recent boost to its bottom line from swie flu vaccine sales, at a time when Gerberding was still with CDC.  
Dr. Julie Gerberding Named President of Merck Vaccines

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. - (Business Wire) Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) today announced that Dr. Julie Gerberding has been named president of Merck Vaccines, effective January 25, 2010.

Dr. Gerberding led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as director from 2002 to 2009. During her tenure at CDC, Dr. Gerberding led the agency during more than 40 emergency response initiatives for health crises including anthrax bioterrorism, food-borne disease outbreaks, and natural disasters, and advised governments around the world on urgent public health issues such as SARS, AIDS, and obesity.

“Vaccines are a cornerstone of Merck's commitment to health and wellness," said Richard T. Clark, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck & Co., Inc. "We are delighted to welcome an expert of Dr. Gerberding's caliber to Merck. As a preeminent authority in public health, infectious diseases and vaccines, Dr. Gerberding is the ideal choice to lead Merck's engagement with organizations around the world that share our commitment to the use of vaccines to prevent disease and save lives."

"I’ve had the privilege in my previous work in academia and in the federal government to be a passionate advocate for public health priorities such as vaccines, which are an imperative component of global health development," said Dr. Gerberding. "I am very excited to be joining Merck where I can help to expand access to vaccines around the world."

Read complete story:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Maine to consider cell phone cancer warning

Congratulations to those legislators who take an interest in the health of thier constiuents.  San Francisco is working on a similar regulation as Maine.

Cell phone and EMF links to cancer has clearly been established in research ( Carlo, Lai etc..).  It pays you to research the science to protect your health.

Recall that most industry studies have been less than 3 years.  Tumours require about 10 years to develop.

By GLENN ADAMS, Associated Press Writer
Sun Dec 20

AUGUSTA, Maine – A Maine legislator wants to make the state the first to require cell phones to carry warnings that they can cause brain cancer, although there is no consensus among scientists that they do and industry leaders dispute the claim.

The now-ubiquitous devices carry such warnings in some countries, though no U.S. states require them, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. A similar effort is afoot in San Francisco, where Mayor Gavin Newsom wants his city to be the nation's first to require the warnings.

Maine Rep. Andrea Boland, D-Sanford, said numerous studies point to the cancer risk, and she has persuaded legislative leaders to allow her proposal to come up for discussion during the 2010 session that begins in January, a session usually reserved for emergency and governors' bills.

Boland herself uses a cell phone, but with a speaker to keep the phone away from her head. She also leaves the phone off unless she's expecting a call. At issue is radiation emitted by all cell phones.

Under Boland's bill, manufacturers would have to put labels on phones and packaging warning of the potential for brain cancer associated with electromagnetic radiation. The warnings would recommend that users, especially children and pregnant women, keep the devices away from their head and body.

The Federal Communications Commission, which maintains that all cell phones sold in the U.S. are safe, has set a standard for the "specific absorption rate" of radiofrequency energy, but it doesn't require handset makers to divulge radiation levels.

The San Francisco proposal would require the display of the absorption rate level next to each phone in print at least as big as the price. Boland's bill is not specific about absorption rate levels, but would require a permanent, nonremovable advisory of risk in black type, except for the word "warning," which would be large and in red letters. It would also include a color graphic of a child's brain next to the warning.
While there's little agreement about the health hazards, Boland said Maine's roughly 950,000 cell phone users among its 1.3 million residents "do not know what the risks are."
All told, more than 270 million people subscribed to cellular telephone service last year in the United States, an increase from 110 million in 2000, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association. The industry group contends the devices are safe.

"With respect to the matter of health effects associated with wireless base stations and the use of wireless devices, CTIA and the wireless industry have always been guided by science, and the views of impartial health organizations. The peer-reviewed scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless devices do not pose a public health risk," said CTIA's John Walls.

James Keller of Lewiston, whose cell phone serves as his only phone, seemed skeptical about warning labels. He said many things may cause cancer but lack scientific evidence to support that belief. Besides, he said, people can't live without cell phones.

"It seems a little silly to me, but it's not going to hurt anyone to have a warning on there. If they're really concerned about it, go ahead and put a warning on it," he said outside a sporting good store in Topsham. "It wouldn't deter me from buying a phone."
While there's been no long-term studies on cell phones and cancer, some scientists suggest erring on the side of caution.

Last year, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, sent a memo to about 3,000 faculty and staff members warning of risks based on early, unpublished data. He said that children should use the phones only for emergencies because their brains were still developing and that adults should keep the phone away from the head and use a speakerphone or a wireless headset.

Herberman, who says scientific conclusions often take too long, is one of numerous doctors and researchers who have endorsed an August report by retired electronics engineer L. Lloyd Morgan. The report highlights a study that found significantly increased risk of brain tumors from 10 or more years of cell phone or cordless phone use.
Also, the BioInitiative Working Group, an international group of scientists, notes that many countries have issued warnings and that the European Parliament has passed a resolution calling for governmental action to address concerns over health risks from mobile phone use.
But the National Cancer Institute said studies thus far have turned up mixed and inconsistent results, noting that cell phones did not come into widespread use in the United States until the 1990s.

"Although research has not consistently demonstrated a link between cellular telephone use and cancer, scientists still caution that further surveillance is needed before conclusions can be drawn," according to the Cancer Institute's Web site.
Motorola Inc., one of the nation's major wireless phone makers, says on its Web site that all of its products comply with international safety guidelines for radiofrequency energy exposure.

A Motorola official referred questions to CTIA.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Now its new, but its really old

Yes, it is really old.

Nowadays its called "wellness" care and a whole new industry is growing up around it, along with third party insurance reimbursement.

What jogged my memory was a local TV program on the NBC affiliate called "Taking it to Heart".

Gee, do you recall years ago when Herbert Benson wrote about other approaches to heart health.  Benson is considered to be the grandfather of Mind-Body Medicine.

Think back to the 60s when Benson was doing this work at Harvard, or more correctly to ancient health care thousands of years old, then fast forward to today.

We don't have anything that is new, we just have met up with the ghost of things past in terms of a new taxonomy.

The good thing is that some in mainstream medicine are catching on.  A downside to this is that skilled people in this art are passed over for some one who just took a course or might have a license, perhaps even only writing a book or self-claiming to be a health expert with only a background in software.

All of this is right up my alley as an experienced and well educated health and natural health advocate and expert.

Affordable Health Care

As we listen to the progaganda on health reform today remember that a worker in New Hampshire pays $8000 more than their Member of Congress for health insurance.  They also have to pay a tax on it.

If you don't inderstand that this so-called "health reform" activity is more about payoffs to Big PhRMA and Big Insurance then you aren't on track with what is actually happening.

There is no change and there is no health reform.

Make sure you let your representatives know what you think!

Happier Holidays

Happier Holidays

Friday, December 18, 2009

Microwave Cooking, Microwave Convenience Food: Risk to Your Health

Microwave Plastics May Not Be As Safe As You Think

Bottom Line/Personal,February 1, 2009

Q: I read in Bottom Line that it is not safe to microwave plastic. Should I remove the plastic package from frozen meals and vegetables before microwaving?

A: For maximum safety, yes -- take the food out of the plastic before you microwave it. Even when plastics are labeled "microwave-safe," very small amounts of chemicals, such as Bisphenol-A (BPA), can leach out of them into food. Heat accelerates the process -- which means plastics heated in a microwave or washed in a dishwasher are more likely to transfer BPA to foods. More than 90% of people tested have very low but measurable amounts of BPA in their bodies. The effects of such low levels on humans are unknown -- but lab animals exposed to BPA have neurological and developmental damage.

Some plastics are considered safer than others, such as those with the number 1, 2 or 5 in the recycling symbol on the container -- but even these can transfer tiny amounts of chemicals to foods.

Source: Patricia Hunt, PhD, reproductive biologist and geneticist and Meyer Distinguished Professor in the School of Molecular BioSciences, Washington State University, Pullman.
UPDATE 30 Jan, 2010  The dangers of microwaves
From Post, Dec 18, 2009

Recently reported in Breaking News on Supplements & Nutrition there seems to be a trend in ethnic and natural foods for conveience over health benefit.
Convenience and healthy eating trends are driving demand for microwave packaging in the US, which is forecast to climb seven per cent annually to $2.4bn in 2013, according to a report from US analysts, the Freedonia Group.

Read Complete Article: Health and convenience boosting microwave packaging, report
What I believe is important is to first understand more about the impact a microwave cooking and your health.

William Kopp who has written extensively on the impact of microwaving food and how this can effect health notes that

* Microwaved meats contain d-nitrosodiethanolamine, a well-known carcinogen.

* Cancer-causing agents are created in the protein-hydrolysate compounds in milk and grains.

* The molecular composition of proteins and natural sugars is unnaturally altered.

* Even brief exposures of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables to microwaves enhance the production of alkaloids (such as caffeine, morphine and strychnine) that are harmful to the human body. (MY NOTE/ x-ref: "Steamers")

* The availability of vitamin complexes A, B, C and E, and essential minerals is vastly reduced.

* The microwaves in the food bind with atmospheric radioactivity, creating additional harmful radiation.

People who consistently rely on microwaved food can suffer from:

1.) hormone imbalance

2.) damage to the electrical functioning of the nervous system

3.) a disruption in the cellular membrane electrical potentials

4.) significant loss of vital energy

5.) a higher-than-normal percentage of cancerous cells in their blood serum

6.) Researchers have even detected significant levels of disruption in alpha, delta, and theta brain waves. "Because of the disarranged brain waves," Kopp points out,

7.) "negative psychological effects also result. These include loss of memory and the ability to concentrate, suppressed emotional threshold, deceleration of intellective processes and interrupt[ed] sleep episodes."

Kopp concludes that in the short term, "microwave oven radiation disrupts the electrical field of the body, which in turn affects functioning on biological, chemical and physiological levels. Being within just a three foot range of a microwave oven will expose you to these dangers."

(MY NOTE/ N.B.: Applies also to cell phone, wi-fi et al)

Other health impact may include elevated cholesterol, obesity, increased whie blood cell count, decreased numbers of red blood cells, and creation of foreign compounds.
While you may think you need these convenience foods, studies showed that the difference in prepared meals v. microwave meals is about 5 minutes.
Isn't your health worth an extra five minutes?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Disgusted, Frustrated or both?

Every day I spend quite a good amount of time reading journals and health news.  I am sure there are others who skim along the news stories and collect a armoire of artilces to post on their various aggregator sites.  I think this has become the so-called current standard but it leads little to real understanding of health and the deep issues and problems we have in today's health arena.

Personally I don't get much enjoyment from just surfing the web and doing a cut & paste exercise.  To me the focus is improving your health and putting some thought into the outcome a reader may receive as a result of this work.  I've been on-line now 18 years and my work has been in print media for even longer.  All of this too has been on top of the myriad of public programs I have presented for going on 30 years.

During all of this time I also worked inside the medical industry.  I learned a lot and was to a great extent considered an expert in innovative nursing and utilizing natural approaches in health care even then (from the early 60s).

Walking on two paths leaves me often scratching my head in wonderment as to how far things have gone downhill since I was a youngster in the 40s.

I've mentioned before that a young D.O. colleague of mine once said to me in a conversation that no one knows how to interpret lab tests.  This is the conundrum because in that same conversation she said "everything is based on labs".

It isn't just the issue of lab tests, it is many other things.  One of those as you can see from this article, is that obviously diagnosis is a real concern as well.  Maybe if doctors can't diagnose you can guess why they can't interpret lab tests.

I could also mentions too that perhaps because this person happened to be female just might add to the puzzle.  Research shows clearly that there is discrimination in health care delivery for women and also people of color.  I'm sure it carries over to people with various life situations that are out of the norm (what ever that is).

This quandary over how bad things have become led me to develop the system I use called Health Forensics©, and our 'ASK' and Health Detective©  levels of service.

The same quandary led me to a decision for 2010.  I'm calling it "Natural Nutrition for health & healing".

During the coming year all of my articles, newsletters, BTR programs, and website work will be all about nutrition, health and healing.

And if you aren't signed up for herbalYODA Says! you might wish to know that the next issue will be published in January.

Perhaps, I'll just be able to help you make more sense of things and how you can take charge of your health and become a better advocate for yourself, friends and family.
Doctors Misdiagnose Woman's Tumour Three Times
By Jordan Lite

Strangers asked when her baby was due, and doctors said she was bloated from a digestive problem, but Janet Delaney was carrying neither a baby nor an irritable bowel. Instead, she was suffering from a giant, 17-pound ovarian cyst that had been misdiagnosed three times.

Only when Delaney, of Manchester, England, insisted on an ultrasound did she learn the truth, The Daily Mail reports. Doctors removed the cyst in March and are now monitoring her with blood tests that can detect ovarian cancer.
"I am disgusted that I was told so many times that this was irritable bowel syndrome. I looked nine months pregnant -- strangers were giving up their seat for me on the bus, asking me when my baby was due," Delaney said. "I'm lucky that I eventually insisted on having a scan -- and the cyst was eventually found before it was too late."

Ovarian cysts are fluid- or tissue-filled sacs on the ovaries. They're typically small and don't hurt, though they may cause a dull or sharp ache in the abdomen. In Delaney's case, the cyst was "rock hard," painful and protruding over her waistband. Each time she complained to doctors, she was told she had irritable bowel syndrome, a condition that can cause bloating, pain, constipation and diarrhea. An ultrasound in January 2009 revealed the cyst.

While ovarian cysts aren't unusual -- most women develop them at some point, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- the most common types usually don't grow to be larger than five centimeters, and even rarer kinds don't often approach the size of Delaney's. "I've heard of them larger, but that's pretty large," said Linda Bradley, M.D., vice chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Among women under 50, most ovarian cysts are not cancerous and disappear without treatment, the NIH says. Those that bleed or burst need to be removed, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Post-menopausal women whose cysts look cancerous may be given a blood test that measures CA-125, a protein associated with ovarian tumors. The test isn't as reliable as an ovarian cancer marker in younger women, whose CA-125 levels can be high because of menstruation, pregnancy and endometriosis, among other conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic.

It took doctors five hours to remove Delaney's cyst, and it was so heavy that it took two people to lift it out, according to the Daily Mail. While the cyst was slightly malignant, blood tests have not yet shown that Delaney has cancer.

Still, Delaney is angry about her delayed diagnosis. "How could anyone have missed a cyst in my stomach of that size? It could have cost me my life."
Delaney isn't the only woman to suffer from a giant ovarian cyst. Indian doctors reported earlier this year on a woman who couldn't walk and had become anorexic because of a 51-pound ovarian cyst. And in Greece, doctors had trouble diagnosing a woman with a 9-gallon ovarian cyst.

While a physical exam can often detect an ovarian cyst, sometimes doctors need to use ultrasound, CT or MRI scans to find them, Bradley said.

"This is a one in a million case where it's dramatic and raises a lot of eyebrows," she said. "Women should pay attention to symptoms that are persistent or new and be seen annually by their OBGYN for pelvic and breast exams. If something doesn't feel right and you're not certain about that doctor's management, a second opinion is always important."
Related to very issue is an article regarding the interference with ASA (aspirin) casued by pain medication.  This is an example of not only the nutritional deficiencies cased by ASA, but prescriber ignorance of important issues in drug interaction.

Those who use our full services receive a drug interaction profile.  And you can learn about nutrient depletion as well, such as for ASA causing loss of B9(Folic Acid), Iron, Potassium, Sodium, and Vitamin C.  Loss of Iron reduces the amount of oxygen carried to your cells leading to an increase in pain.  You can also learn about other supplements that can "thin blood" but cause less damage than ASA. Ultimately ASA, like warfarin, can lead to a physiological state that cause a break down of the cell wall membrane which can lead to silent bleeding.

Painkiller undermines aspirin's anti-clotting action
ScienceDaily (2009-12-17) -- Millions of Americans take Celebrex  for arthritis or other pain. Many, if they are middle-aged or older, also take a low-dose aspirin tablet daily to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Yet they may be getting little protection, because Celebrex keeps the aspirin from doing its job effectively, a new study suggests. ... > read full article

MY NOTE: Celebrex also depletes B9.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Proper Drug Disposal

New Jersey American Water Encourages Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Dec. 16 -- New Jersey American Water is advising its customers to properly dispose of unneeded prescription drugs, so that unused medication does not enter the public water supply.

The company is joining the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and other state agencies to raise awareness of the potential impact that improperly discarded pharmaceutical products could have on drinking water. Customers should not dispose of drug patches (birth control, nicotine, etc.) or other medical products in the toilet or down the drain. A list of approved disposal sites can be found by visiting

"The importance of properly disposing of medical and pharmaceutical products is something that all of our customers may not be aware of," said John Bigelow, president of New Jersey American Water. "We can all help prevent potentially harmful substances from being placed in our water supply."

Currently, there are no EPA approved methods for testing for pharmaceuticals in water and there are no federally-certified laboratories to do the testing. American Water has conducted research since the late 1990s and has participated in four research studies to examine the presence in source water and drinking water. The research has determined that low levels identified in drinking water are not harmful to public health based on available data and EPA guidelines. American Water supports the development and standardization of EPA-approved analytical tests for pharmaceuticals in water.

New Jersey American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada.

SOURCE New Jersey American Water

Bacteria keeps us healthy

This article looks at some of the basic reasons why antibacterial products, antibiotics, anti-acid drugs and more might undermine your health -
What Happens When the Microbes That Keep Us Healthy Disappear?

Bacteria, viruses and fungi have been primarily cast as the villains in the battle for better human health. But a growing community of researchers is sounding the warning that many of these microscopic guests are really ancient allies.

Having evolved along with the human species, most of the miniscule beasties that live in and on us are actually helping to keep us healthy, just as our well-being promotes theirs. In fact, some researchers think of our bodies as superorganisms, rather than one organism teeming with hordes of subordinate invertebrates.

The human body has some 10 trillion human cells—but 10 times that number of microbial cells. So what happens when such an important part of our bodies goes missing?

Read complete article:

Inflammation and Chronic Disease: An old idea and diabetes

The issue of inflammation is one reason why vitamin C is so helpful to people with diabetes.  The suggested dose is approximatwely 10, 000 mg in divided doses each day.
Does Inflammation Trigger Insulin Resistance and Diabetes?

Nearly 21 million Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes, and every year 800,000 more are diagnosed. Considering the growing numbers, scientists are trying to fit together the disease’s disparate puzzle pieces. People who acquire it are typically obese, suffer from chronic inflammation and are resistant to insulin, the hormone that removes sugar from the blood and stores it as energy. For years no one has known exactly how the three characteristics are related, if at all. But a handful of recent studies suggest that they are inextricably linked through the actions of specific inflammatory immune cells and a master genetic switch—and the hope is that an understanding of the relations could open the door to new therapeutic opportunities.

Complete article:

More to consider surrounding flu and new antibiotics

Natural Health News has 9 other articles that reference peppermint -

Peppermint, a very helpful herb for flu and many health promoting applications

Peppermint is classed as a stimulant herb, the most pungent of all the mints. Dr. Christopher also recommended it as a marvelous antispasmodic, which can give tone to the entire body as well. It is a soothing sedative for nervous and restless people of all ages, promoting relaxation and sleep--a wonderful combination of characteristics. On top of all that, it is a very delicious and welcome tea.


Peppermint is used for most of the minor ailments that plague people. It is a prime remedy for colds and flu. The classic formula for these ailments, which is said to break a fever quickly, is a combination of equal parts of peppermint and elder flowers. This is made in a tea and given hot to the sick person, who goes to bed and keeps warm until he begins to sweat. Sweating always breaks the fever (and that is why we hurry to make the patient sweat; dry fever kills, but a moist, sweating fever kills germs and brings the patient to better health than he was before the illness). You can also make hot cups of tea, as strong as you like, for the same purpose, without the elder flowers. The formula is soothing for restlessness and nervousness that often accompany the onset of illness; it can be used to calm people of any age no matter what reason their nervousness.

In place of aspirin or other inorganic, harmful painkilling drugs, take a cup of strong peppermint tea, lying down for a little while. It should relive the pain quickly; if need be, take two or three cups. This strengthens the nerves instead of weakening them as so many of the drugs do. Furthermore, it has been shown that aspirin destroys some of the bacteria-resistant protection in man; peppermint tea, on the other hand, only strengthens the person against disease.

For severe pain, Shook recommended a strong decoction of peppermint. This was made by mixing 3 ounces of peppermint leaves, cut, in 1 quart of hot distilled water. This was covered and let stand for two hours. Bring to a boil, then simmer slowly for five minutes. Add 4 ounces glycerine and again simmer for five minutes. Strain, cool, and bottle. This is given when a person suffers pains and feelings of discomfort in the stomach and abdominal region without knowing the cause.

This brings us to the other most common use of peppermint, the relief of gas in the system. Many people, because they lack sufficient enzymes, or do not chew their food properly, or eat improper combinations of foods or improper foods, suffer from flatulence. Some foods, such as the legumes, contain chemicals which cause gas formation in the system (although certain methods of cooking them can reduce the gas considerably). However, many people take a cup of Peppermint tea after meals as insurance against flatulence. Taken with meals, it will assist digestion generally and is much a preferable beverage for everyday use instead of coffee or tea, which hinder proper digestion and cause health problems generally. The mint will get rid of a queasy stomach and nausea; for this purpose it is often mixed with chamomile, which has pain reducing and relaxing properties as well. Many of us have experienced sudden, sharp pains in the abdomen, which are often caused by pockets of gas cramping in the system. Peppermint relieves these almost immediately; it is therefore a good remedy for colic in infants. The leaves can be slightly warmed and bound on the infant's abdomen, which is a good method especially in cases of small infants who cannot tolerate the proper amount of tea.

Peppermint is a powerful stimulant, and will bring the body to its natural warmth, helping in cases of sudden dizzy or fainting spells, with extreme coldness and a pale countenance.

It is given in cases of diarrhea, and some doctors consider that it is one of the surest, as well as the simplest, remedies for this complaint. As soon as the diarrhea appears, drop 15 drops of essence of Peppermint in a cup of hot water, and sip with a spoon as hot as can be borne. Repeat every three hours until cured. The essence of Peppermint is also valuable in a nervous sick headache, such as a migraine. To a cupful of water add one teaspoonful of the essence; saturate a cloth with it and apply to the head and temples. For many persons this gives quick relief. As soon as the cloth becomes dry, wet the cloth again. This is one of the few herbs that the oil and essence are used without danger of overdosing, although they should always be mixed with water for internal use.

The oil of Peppermint can be applied, straight, to an aching tooth while awaiting a trip to the dentist. It works, like oil of Cloves, to relieve the pain.

To make an excellent liniment for reducing the pains of rheumatism, sciatica, lumbago, stiff and swollen joints, congestion of the chest, sore throat, and so on, including sores, even purulent sores and gangrene, Dr. Shook recommended making Liniment of Peppermint. To do so, heat 1 pint of pure olive oil, and add to it 1 dram (teaspoonful) of oil of Peppermint, 1 dram, menthol crystals, and 1 dram of flowers of camphor. Mix in a warm jar or bottle, shaking until dissolved. Let stand until cool, then keep in a cool place. This can also be used to reduce varicose veins, clear up acne, boils, abscesses, eczema, etc.

Of course, one of the nicest uses of Peppermint is culinary. Euell Gibbons pointed out that to him Peppermint wasn't a medicine, but a delightful food. He had samples of wild mint analyzed for vitamins A and C and found that the freshly picked plant, had, on the average, approximately as much vitamin C as the same weight of oranges, and more carotene, or provitamin A, than do carrots, making this herb an excellent source of both vitamins (Gibbons:74). Instead of just an occasional garnish or flavoring you can use mint freely in your diet. In the near East, it is the main ingredient of salads, some of the best Gibbons has ever eaten, he said. Add a quantity of finely-chopped mint to almost any tossed salad, for it seemed (to him) to combine well with all salad materials. It must be chopped very fine, and the salad must be thoroughly tossed, but don't be afraid to add enough mint. When it is tempered by oil and vinegar and mingled with the flavors of other greens, it takes at least a half-cupful of chopped mint to properly flavor a big bowl of salad.

Peppermint vinegar is made by filling a bottle with clean, freshly picked peppermint. Cover with apple cider vinegar and let steep for two weeks; strain off the vinegar. A small fresh sprig of mint can be added to the final bottles for beauty and quick identification. In small, decorative bottles, this is a lovely Christmas gift.

A good beverage is made by mixing cold Peppermint tea with apple juice and chilling. Mint ice cubes, frozen with a small sprig of mint in the center, make this a party drink.

Some people add cold Peppermint tea to their pie crusts instead of using Ice water. It makes a good flavor, subtle but pleasant.

Finely-chopped mint is wonderful added to fresh-fruit salads. You can garnish the combination with a few mint leaves.
I am a health care professional and I am not in favor of flu shots. Consistently I see that people who get them are the ones that get sick and when they do they are just plain more sick that others not having had the jabs.

If so few health care workers defer on the shots, perhaps the frustrated Dr. Schaffner might try thinking about just why that is rather than blindly following a CDC directive.

It is sort of the same in terms of the high percentage of health care workers who would not choose standard chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

The key point is to keep your immune system strong and healthy so you do not contract the flu. There are many effective ways to do this and starting with sound nutrition and proper hydration is the ground floor to your success.

Related to flu is not to get antibiotics if you think you are sick. Let you health care provider help you make this decision but remember that viruses do not respond to anti-biotics and it opens the door to your reduced immune function.

Discovering new anti-biotics in the lab is of course the standard approach, and while this may be effective, we are not addressing the core issue that's been around as long as I can remember since I join the health professionals in the 1960s.

The core issue is how do you change the culture of over exposure to anti-biotics and leading to resistance, one more time.

Think about what you can do for your health. Maybe you should ask why it is that that want you to keep getting additional shots when years ago only one was sufficient for life.

Consider too that the inhaled vaccines, especially flu, make you contagious for about 10-14 days so you really have to quarantine yourself as not to expose others to the risk of contracting flu.

There is a lot you aren't told.

But thank goodness some one other than me decided Airborne was not beneficial. Things that are really helpful include vitamin C, vitamin A, echinacea, peppermint, ginger, garlic, oregon grape root, high quality nutritional yeast, Millenium CF, and other natural remedies. Sound nutrition and more than average hydration count too.
Flu shots a tough sell to health care workers
By Associated Press Writer Melanie S. Welte, Thu Oct 16, 2008
DES MOINES, Iowa – Operating room nurse Pauline Taylor knows her refusal to get a flu shot is based on faulty logic.

But ever since she got sick after getting a shot a few years ago, she's sworn off the vaccine.

"I rarely get sick. The only thing I could narrow it down to is that I had gotten this shot," said Taylor, who works at University Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. "I know that it's not a live virus. It just seemed pretty coincidental."

Such stories frustrate Dr. William Schaffner.

As chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University, he hears that kind of talk frequently and knows it's in part to blame for a surprising statistic — nearly 60 percent of health care workers fail to get a flu shot.

That's despite recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that all health care workers get vaccinated, from hospital volunteers to doctors.

"It is a professional obligation on the part of health care workers to make sure that they are as protected against influenza as possible," Schaffner said.

Schaffner argues that getting vaccinated for the flu should be standard for doctors and nurses, just like washing their hands. That's because the flu virus can be spread so easily.

"Being in close proximity to patients, having conversations with them, bending over their bed, seeing them in the clinic while you're doing procedures, you would be breathing out viruses and spreading influenza into your patients," said Schaffner, who is also president-elect of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

The nonprofit group educates the public and health care industry about the causes, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. It gets about 75 percent of its budget from major vaccine makers, but executive director Len Novick said the money comes with no strings attached.

Despite the attention given to the problem, there are few well documented cases of flu outbreaks caused by health care workers.

Schaffner said that's because it's tough to prove sick health care workers are to blame for hospital outbreak.

According to the foundation, likely cases of flu outbreaks between health care workers and patients include:

• 19 babies in a neonatal intensive care unit in Ontario, Canada, infected in 2000; one died. Health care workers, only 15 percent of whom were immunized, were the likely source.

• 65 residents of a nursing home in New York got the flu during the 1991-1992 flu season, and two died. Only 10 percent of health care workers had been vaccinated before the outbreak, according to a report by the CDC.

Schaffner said health care workers opt not to get vaccinated for the same reasons others are hesitant. Some also don't realize how easily they can spread the disease, sometimes before they know they're infected or even if they have only a mild case.

And, he said, there's the "myth" that you can get flu from the vaccine.

The CDC recommends that health care facilities offer free flu vaccines to employees annually at work, and that hospitals obtain signed statements from workers who refuse.

The CDC also recommends a flu shot for people age 50 and over, the chronically ill, and women who will be pregnant during the flu season. This year virtually all children from 6 months to 18 years were added to the list.

Several states have laws requiring hospitals to make the vaccines available.

In Iowa, University Hospitals requires documentation that all health care workers were offered the vaccine, but workers are free to decline, as Taylor, the ER nurse, did. Dr. Patrick Hartley, who heads the hospital's employee health clinic, said in the last flu season, 84 percent of employees got their flu shots.

At Allen Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa, the flu shot is mandatory for those with direct patient contact and recommended for everyone else. Those with allergies to the vaccine or other conditions can take a pass, but they must supply a note from their doctor. The hospital says the vaccination rate is 93 percent.

Some hospitals take a tougher stand on vaccinations.

In Seattle, at Virginia Mason Medical Center, even sales reps, vendors and volunteers must be vaccinated unless they seek exceptions for religious or medical reasons. Even then, those who don't get a shot must wear a mask whenever they are in the hospital during the flu season.

About 99 percent of the hospital's more than 5,000 employees were vaccinated.

Dr. Joyce Lammert, the hospital's chief of medicine, said they lost around seven employees when the policy took effect four years ago.

"A lot of reasons we heard about people not wanting flu shots was all about them — it's my freedom, I don't want to get it, I get sick when I get it," Lammert said. "Now, the culture has really changed to thinking about patients. This is what we do to protect our patients."

Lammert said patients should ask their doctors if they've gotten their flu shot.

"I wouldn't go to anybody who didn't," she said.
On the net: CDC flu information:
U.S. study points to strong new class of antibioticsThu Oct 16, 2008
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Three naturally occurring antibacterial compounds hold promise for a new class of antibiotics, offering hope for fresh weapons against infection at a time when older drugs are losing their punch, researchers said on Thursday.

The new agents, reported in the journal Cell, may even provide a quicker cure for tuberculosis, which could help people stick to the prescribed therapy better and reduce the development of resistant strains.

"The three antibiotics are attractive candidates for development as broad spectrum antibacterial agents," said Richard Ebright of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Ebright and colleagues showed how the three antibiotic compounds -- myxopyronin, corallopyronin and ripostatin -- block the action of bacterial RNA polymerase, an enzyme needed by bacteria to unlock genetic information from DNA needed to make proteins.

Blocking this enzyme kills the bacteria, they said.

All three compounds are naturally produced by some bacteria for use in a kind of chemical warfare against other bacteria. The agents work by taking advantage of a design flaw in bacterial RNA polymerase.

"RNA polymerase has a shape reminiscent of a crab claw, with two prominent pincer-like projections," Ebright said in a statement.

"Just as with a real crab claw, one pincer stays fixed and one pincer moves -- opening and closing to keep DNA in place."

All three antibiotics work by jamming the pincer hinge, keeping the bacteria from letting DNA into the enzyme. Without the needed genetic code, the bacteria cannot make proteins.

This understanding has allowed the researchers to find ways to tinker with the chemical structure of the antibiotic targets to make them even more potent.

The compounds appear to work against a broad range of bacteria, including the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, which infects about a third of the world's population.

Current TB drugs known as rifamycins also act on RNA polymerase, but they do it in a different way.

"As a result, these antibiotics can function simultaneously with rifamycins and can be co-administered with rifamycins for more rapid clearance of infection," Ebright said.

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen, editing by Will Dunham)
Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited