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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

US 49th in Life Expectancy but don't tell John Boehner

Coming soon to your health insurance plan, especially as the deficit commission plans to shift more costs from employers to workers.
Please Mr Obama, stop caving in on the needs of the people who are your true "boss".  Listen up and stay away from those back room deals with politcos...
Inefficiency Hurts U.S. in Longevity Rankings By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
November 29, 2010

By any measure, the United States spends more on health care than any other nation. Yet according to the World Fact Book (published by the Central Intelligence Agency), it ranks 49th in life expectancy.
Researchers writing in the November issue of the journal Health Affairs say they know the answer. After citing statistical evidence showing that American patterns of obesity, smoking, traffic accidents and homicide are not the cause of lower life expectancy, they conclude that the problem is the health care system.
Peter A. Muennig and Sherry A. Glied, researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, compared the performance of the United States and 12 other industrialized nations: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. In addition to health care expenditures in each country, they focused on two other important statistics: 15-year survival for people at 45 years and for those at 65 years.
The researchers say those numbers present an accurate picture of public health because they measure a country’s success in preventing and treating the most common causes of death — cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes — which are more likely to occur at these ages. Their data come from the World Health Organization and cover 1975 to 2005.
Life expectancy increased over those years in all 13 countries, and so did health care costs. But the United States had the lowest increase in life expectancy and the highest increase in costs.
In 1975 the United States was close to the average in health care costs, and last in 15-year survival for 45-year-old men. By 2005 its costs had more than tripled, far surpassing increases elsewhere, but the survival number was still last — a little over 90 percent, compared with more than 94 percent for Swedes, Swiss and Australians. For women, it was 94 percent in the United States, versus 97 percent in Switzerland, Australia and Japan.
The numbers for 65-year-olds in 2005 were similar: about 58 percent of American men could be expected to survive 15 years, compared with more than 65 percent of Australians, Japanese and Swiss. While more than 80 percent of 65-year-old women in France, Switzerland, and Japan would survive 15 years, only about 70 percent of American women could be expected to live that long.
In narrowing the blame to the American health care system, the researchers first eliminated several other factors. Obesity and smoking are the most important behavior-related causes of death, but obesity increased more slowly in the United States than in the other countries and smoking declined more rapidly, so neither can explain the differences in survival rates. Homicide and traffic fatality rates have remained steady over time, and social, economic and educational factors do not vary greatly among these countries.
But not all experts agree with this analysis. Samuel Preston, a demographer and a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, says the analysis is faulty.
“The basic message is correct — that measures of U.S. health, including mortality and morbidity, are very poor in comparison with other countries,” he said. But the Columbia researchers “have no direct evidence about the health care system in this article,” he continued. “Their conclusion is extremely speculative.”
That they did not find smoking at fault, Dr. Preston said, “is mysterious to me, particularly since they show high lung cancer mortality for the U.S.” Dr. Preston has published widely on mortality trends and the effects of smoking.
Dr. Muennig conceded that the study examined only life expectancy and health care spending in the 13 countries, and not the structure or economics of health care. “We did a pretty good job of showing that smoking isn’t the culprit,” he said.
“Smoking and obesity are still major risk factors for an individual’s health,” he said. “But they are sapping life expectancy in all countries. Whereas in the U.S. we have a highly inefficient health system that’s taking away financial resources from other lifesaving programs.” SOURCE
and from UPI, trends in waiting, as the health insurance reform bill waits to go full throttle -

Some insurers switch to cheaper drugs

UPPER NYACK, N.Y., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Health insurers change as much as 70 percent of medication prescriptions, resulting in adverse reactions among some patients, a U.S. survey indicates.
A survey by the Global Healthy Living Foundation, a non-profit patient advocacy group, found some patients with chronic conditions who responded well to a particular drug relapsed after being switched to a cheaper drug.
"This disturbing finding is not a simple case of switching a brand-name drug for a generic one, a common and generally accepted practice used for many illnesses, and one GHLF supports," Louis Tharp, executive director of the GHLP, says in a statement. "We found that health insurance companies throughout the U.S. switch one brand-name drug for another simply because the switched drug is cheaper -- if the drugs are identical, physicians generally have no objection, the survey found, but national medical groups have said most drugs are not identical and switching can cause adverse reactions and poor recovery rates."
Tharp says his group is working with other advocacy groups, state insurance commissioners, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state attorneys general to see what action can be taken to stop the practice.
"Switching is a practice that is starting to get a lot of attention," Tharp says.
"Legislation pending in New York, California and Missouri would outlaw this practice," and, he added, "Louisiana passed a law last year prohibiting it."
No survey details were provided.
Perhaps this abstract from says more, just like the Harvard study that found only 80% or modern medicine actually works...

Medical Errors Contribute to Hospital Deaths -
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine issued a landmark report, To Err is Human, documenting the extraordinary high rate of fatal medical errors at U.S. hospitals: medical errors caused 98,000 deaths and more than a million injuries a year, most being preventable.  

Two major recent analyses of U.S. hospital safety found NO IMPROVEMENT in patient safety.

One study, by a Harvard Medical School team analyzed medical errors at 10 North Carolina hospitals found: "harm to patients was common and the number of incidents did not decrease over time."  For every 100 patients admitted to a hospital, 25 suffered harm requiring medical intervention.

The other study, by the U.S. Inspector General of the DHHS, analyzed 1,000,000 Medicare patients' hospital records documenting that 1 in 7 suffered adverse events during hospitalization in the month of October, 2010.  The IG report calculates the cost of such errors to taxpayers to be several billion dollars a year.

An Interesting Take on How You Can Trust the FDA

Most who know me know that I have worked in mental health and psych for many years, albeit, mainly with a keen interest in natural mental health.

I believe nutrition has a very important role in health, physical and mental.  However, with the furor over S510 it does concern me that good, sound nutrition won't be part of the landscape.

And as you can see here in the following three articles, leaving it to the FDA leads us down a very slippery slope.

Looks like more and more no one in Congress or government is doing too much of a good job for the electorate these days.

And outside the issue of risky antidepressant drugs, FDA allows so many more that we have alerted our readers to their dangers for many, many years... 
The antidepressant reboxetine: A headdesk moment in science

Every so often there comes a truly "headdesk" moment in science. A moment where you sit there, stunned by a new finding, and thinking, blankly..."ok, now what?"
For psychiatry and behavioral pharmacology, one of those moments came a few weeks ago with the findings of a meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal (Eyding et al., 2010). The meta-analysis showed that an antidepressant, reboxetine (marketed by Pfizer in Europe, but not in the US, under the names Edronax, Norebox, Prolift, Solvex, Davedax or Vestra) doesn’t work. Not only does it not work, it REALLY doesn’t work, and it turns out that Pfizer hadn’t published data on the putative antidepressant from 74% of their patients. Some people have reported that the study found that reboxetine was even "possibly harmful," but that’s not quite true. What the study DID find is that reboxetine produced more side effects (noted as "adverse events") than placebo (as might be expected), but with no positive effects at all. While many antidepressants on the market today are not great, most are effective in around 60% of patients, reboxetine turns out to be even worse than that.
SOURCE and complete article
The next two reports come from the Alliance for Human Research Protection news feed,

A letter of complaint by the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) was sent to the director of the National Institutes of Health, documenting $66.8 million in NIH grants over the last five years awarded to a handful of psychiatrists who used ghostwriters for scientific publications. 

The instances in the letter involve ghostwriting by only one company--Scientific Therapeutics Information-- and involve only one drug--GlaxoSmithkline's antidepressant, Paxil.

Duff Wilson of The New York Times reports that previously sealed GlaxoSmithKline documents reveal that a textbook in psychiatry, whose listed authors are  Charles Nemeroff, MD and Alan Schatzberg, MD, was actually ghostwritten by Sally Laden of STI. GSK paid the ghostwriter and the "authors" who penned their names to the book.

The sheer audacity prompted former FDA commissioner, Dr. David Kessler to exclaim: "To ghostwrite an entire textbook is a new level of chutzpah. "I've never heard of that before. It takes your breath away."  Surely that is a
dubious distinction in academic medicine!
On November 23, 2010, Terry Vermillion, Director of FDA's Office of Criminal Investigation announced his  retirement next month amid a brewing scandal involving corrupt practices.

The announcement came after complaints by Republicans in Congress who raised concern about his misdirection of the Office's resources: instead of pursuing drug companies and researchers who commit crimes when seeking FDA approval for drugs, OCI pursued drug-abuse cases--which are the purview of the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The issue came to a head when Senator Chuck Grassley sent a complaint to the Acting Comptroller General of the General Accounting Office (GAO) about a "less than stellar" GAO investigative report which whitewashed misconduct at OCI. 

The investigation and the report were compromised by a GAO mole who tipped off someone at the Office of Criminal Investigations.   

More on Low Cholesterol Dangers

Several years ago I started a thread about the risk of having too low levels of cholesterol, following on all of the work I had been trying to do over many years to educate people about the risk of cholesterol lowering drugs.

One sad situation is that of a friend who with his MS doctor agreed to using these drugs.  He ended up in a wheel chair.

It is just all hit or miss in prescribing these days.  More " miss", and probably why incoming House leader Boehner thinks we have the best health care in the world here in the US. Consistent ranking in the high 30s and 40s tells otherwise.  But I guess we aren't on the payola train like most members of Congress these days.

I happened to see this link so I thought I'd add it in to the 30+ posts on the low cholesterol and related "health matters" -

The Overlooked Health Risks of Very Low Cholesterol

Selected posts from Natural Health News
Natural Health News: Low Cholesterol Risks
Nov 13, 2008
While most hear about how high cholesterol is so bad and how many risky drugs you need, often you don't hear that low cholesterol can impair your immune function or defer review of other more risky markers. Triglycerides included.
Feb 23, 2008
Some studies have linked low cholesterol levels to higher death rates from cancer in general, Dr. Kouichi Asano, of Kyushu University, Fukuoka, and colleagues explain in the International Journal of Cancer. "With respect to gastric ...
Dec 23, 2008
This new study, with a reasonable sample size, unlike most studies I review, raises concern over low cholesterol levels. As someone who has been a skeptic on the cholesterol drug mania for so very many years I am pleased to see this ...
Aug 21, 2008
But wait a minute, even if this were true, how about if lower levels of cholesterol actually increased our risk of other important conditions? Might an increased risk of, say, cancer, offset any apparent advantages of low cholesterol ...

Senate passes food-safety legislation -

Senate passes food-safety legislation -

Get more information here 

UPDATE: The bill, with language that is substantially different from its original version, passed the Senate on Tuesday morning by a vote of 73 to 25. 

See how  senate members voted
The legislation—the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510)—was intended to get the FDA to crack down on unsafe foods before they harm people rather than after outbreaks occur. This was especially controversial because of a number of provisions that would have created a litany of unintended regulatory consequences for small organic farms and supplement manufacturers. The bill is better now than its earlier version despite push back from anti-health-supplement proponents and the processed food industry. 

The work of a diverse and dedicated coalition and a few members of Congress helped change the bill for the better.

Here are some of the changes that grass roots ans organizational allies have made to the Food Safety bill:
  • Excluded excessive punishment.
S. 510 will not include the obscene ten-year jail sentences for food and supplement manufacturers who violate complicated FDA rules. That language was specifically designed to target supplement manufacturers while leaving pharmaceutical drug and medical device companies untouched.
  • Resisted international harmonization of food and health supplement policy.
Language in the bill was modified to prevent the US from harmonizing to  international food and supplement rules as in Europe, where attempts are being made to regulate away natural health.
  • Excluded small farmers from burdensome regulation.
Some small-farm and organic food advocates warned that the legislation would destroy their industry under a mountain of paperwork. An amendment from Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), which exempts producers with less than $500,000 a year in sales who sell most of their food locally was included in the Senate version. Many organizations fought tirelessly to protect the burgeoning local healthy food movement from unwarranted federal regulation, and from the processed food companies that are increasingly nervous about competition. Thirty processed food organizations like the American Frozen Food Institute and the Corn Refiners Association sent a letter to the Senate arguing that a local produce stand should face the same regulatory hurdles as their industrial-scale processed food operations.

The House of Representatives agreed to adopt this Senate version of the bill instead of the 2009 House version. 
The bill now continues to have a lot wrong with it. 
There will be opportunities to change more through the rule making process as the FDA adds more regulation.

Information supplied by ANH may be included in this update.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Scientific Foundation for Homeopathy Discovered

A NOBEL laureate who discovered the link between HIV and AIDS has suggested there could be a firm scientific foundation for homeopathy.

French virologist Luc Montagnier stunned his colleagues at a prestigious international conference when he presented a new method for detecting viral infections that bore close parallels to the basic tenets of homeopathy.

S 510 Status Report - Food Safety Bill

UPDATE:  This bill has now passed in both the house and senate.  Let Obama know you don't want it signed.

Nov. 29, 2010, from Weston A Price Foundation

The final vote on S.510, the Food safety Modernization Act, is scheduled for this evening (Monday, November 29). The first step will be a cloture vote to allow the Managers Package version of the bill to proceed, which will require 60 votes. Four amendments will then be debated, followed by a final vote on the bill.

As it currently stands, the Managers Package of the bill includes the Tester-Hagan amendment. For many months, we have been pushing for this amendment to be included in the bill to carve out a sphere of protection for small-scale, direct marketing producers. The version of the Tester-Hagan amendment that is included in the bill exempts producers grossing under $500,000 (adjusted for inflation) and selling more than half of their products directly to qualified end users from the HACCP-type requirements and the produce safety standards. Qualified end users means individual consumers (with no geographic limitation), or restaurants and retail food establishments that are EITHER located in the same state OR within 275 miles of the producer. While complex, this amendment effectively carves out small-scale producers who are selling in-state or to local foodsheds from two of the most burdensome provisions of the bill.

At the same time, we dont think S.510 is a good bill even with the amendment. It increases FDAs power, which will undoubtedly lead to even more battles between FDA and local food producers and consumers. FDA has abused the powers it already has, and that will almost certainly continue, with or without this bill.

We also know that Big Agribusiness is NOT happy with the inclusion of the Tester-Hagan amendment in the bill. Groups such as the Produce Marketing Association and the Western Growers Association are busy lobbying the Senate to try to have the amendment pulled back out.

As bad as the bill is now, it would be even worse without the amendment!

Different people and organizations have different views, so you may get conflicting advice. Our belief is that the bill will most likely pass the Senate, and that it is critical to ensure that the protections of the Tester-Hagan amendment are not lost in last-minute backroom deals.


If S510 passes the Senate this week, there is still more to come. First, the bill will go to the House of Representatives. Rather than try to reconcile the bill with the House version (HR 2749), the House leadership has agreed to put S510 to a vote on the floor of the House. Because time is running out for this Congress, any changes by the House would almost certainly kill the bill. If the House passes S510, it then goes to the President.

Second, next year, Congress will face the question of appropriating money to implement the new laws and regulations. S510 authorizes, but does not appropriate, monies for the FDA-expanded regulation of domestic and imported conventional food producers, distributors, and retailers, and the hiring of more FDA bureaucrats. To carry out all of the new rules and FDA authorities, Congress will have to approve $1.4 billion of new spending or cut other programs accordingly, based on the CBO estimates. This gives us a chance to affect the level of funding and how the money can be spent.

Third, FDA will start the rulemaking process. The agency will almost certainly try to marginalize the role of local foods producers and consumers in the process. We will have to take action to ensure that our concerns are on the record and that elected officials in Congress are also involved to try to rein in the agency from overstepping its bounds.


Call your Senators and ask to speak to the staffer who handles food safety issues. Urge them to, at a minimum, stand firm on including the Tester-Hagan amendment in the bill. Explain to them that local food producers and consumers already face problems because of FDA, and we are worried about what FDA will do with expanded powers. And then look beyond the bill, and ask them to take action to protect local food producers through the appropriations process and through oversight of the agency. Tell them that you will hold your Senators accountable for what FDA does, and that their job does not end with this bill.

If you get their voice mail, leave a message: My name is ____, and I am a constituent who is concerned about the expanded authority that FDA would have under S510, the food safety bill. I urge Senator _____ to, at a minimum, ensure that the Tester-Hagan amendment stays in the bill. The FDA has a track record of abusing its authority to go after small-scale producers, while turning a blind eye to the many problems caused by large industrial producers. With or without S510, I urge my Senator to take steps to rein in the FDAs abuses. I would like to talk with you more about this, please call me back at ________.


You can call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senators offices. You can also find your Senators contact information online at If their phone line is busy, you can use their web form to contact them or fax a short note.


During the last several months, we have also asked you to call on two other amendments to the bill: to support an amendment to ban BPA and to oppose an amendment to add criminal penalties. Senator Feinstein chose to withdraw her amendment to ban BPA in the face of industry opposition. Senator Leahy's amendment to add criminal penalties appears to be dead, although we will continue to watch for it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Low Dose Electromagnetic Radiation Depletes Key Nutrients

For years I have been alerting skeptics to the fact that non-ionizing radiation indeed has a negative impact, and it can take many forms.

This report is enlightening because it looks at important nutrients and the impact on health.

If you're a consumer of EMF in its many forms, you might wish to look too.

Researchers found these key nutrients to be affected -
Calcium is essential for proper bone formation and teeth, as well as certain hormones and muscle contraction. A deficiency of calcium leads to muscle cramps, eye twitching, sleep disorders, and bone disorders like osteoporosis.

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to heart arrhythmias, visual deficiency, anxiety, confusion. agitation, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep disorders, irritability, nausea and vomiting, low blood pressure, muscle spasms, and seizures.

Zinc is required for normal immune function, fertility, and protein synthesis. Insufficient zinc can lead to sleep disorders, behavioral problems, diarrhea, skin rashes, hair loss, hyperactivity, allergies, bowel disease, and reduced fertility.
Ulku R, Akdag MZ, Erdogan S, Akkus Z, Dasdag S.  Extremely Low-Frequency Magnetic Field Decreased Calcium, Zinc and Magnesium Levels in Costa of Rat. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2010 Sep 25. [Epub ahead of print]


Maybe its not really "green" afterall

I'm not referring to Kermit, and in that sense, it might not be so easy to be green if you market fragranced consumer products.

About 20 or so years ago when I was just starting to teach and write about Green Living around the Puget Sound area I made a point, as I have since then, about home care products.  One in particular, with the word 'green' in the product name, really wasn't so.

Lately, since corporate America is on the 'green' bandwagon for profit sake, it isn't so.

Not much has changed.

Learn More Here and find one original green product here.

In the abstract of an interesting 2008 project report a group of University of Washington investigators found -

Fragranced consumer products are pervasive in society. Relatively little is known about the composition of these products, due to lack of prior study, complexity of formulations, and limitations and protections on ingredient disclosure in the U.S. We investigated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from 25 common fragranced consumer products—laundry products, personal care products, cleaning supplies, and air fresheners—using headspace analysis with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Our analysis found 133 different VOCs emitted from the 25 products, with an average of 17 VOCs per product. Of these 133 VOCs, 24 are classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws, and each product emitted at least one of these compounds. For “green” products, emissions of these compounds were not significantly different from the other products. Of all VOCs identified across the products, only 1 was listed on any product label, and only 2 were listed on any material safety data sheet (MSDS). While virtually none of the chemicals identified were listed, this nonetheless accords with U.S. regulations, which do not require disclosure of all ingredients in a consumer product, or of any ingredients in a mixture called “fragrance.” Because the analysis focused on compounds emitted and listed, rather than exposures and effects, it makes no claims regarding possible risks from product use. Results of this study contribute to understanding emissions from common products, and their links with labeling and legislation.
To me, their finding about 'green' products is no surprise.

You may be interested in reading the complete article here.
Journal article
from Natural Health News

from the world's top natural health / natural living authors

This book is one of the seven I worked on with Rodale Press.  Read the excerpt in italics below.

The Doctors Book of Home Remedies II: Over 1,200 New Doctor-Tested Tips and Techniques Anyone Can Use to Heal Hundreds of Everyday Health Problems
the Editors of PREVENTION

" Increasing the amount of healthy oils you consume, such as flaxseed, which is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, has been shown to help many skin conditions, including oily skin, says Dr. Brett. Taking flaxseed oil every day helps normalize sebum production. Shop for fresh, cold-pressed, refrigerated flaxseed oil packaged in a dark, opaque bottle. The oil turns rancid quickly when exposed to light or heat, so you can't cook with it. Instead, stir it into a glass of juice in the morning or drizzle it on salad or vegetables. It should have a pleasant, nutty flavor, says Alan M. Dattner, M.D.

Mix equal parts of the following four dried herbs: nettle, for its astringent properties; horsetail, for its high silica content, thought to regenerate and strengthen connective tissue (it has traditionally been used in baths to treat eczema and other skin conditions); Johnny jump-up, also known as heart's ease, for its saponoid content, which is known to heal skin and is frequently used for eczema; and lavender, for its soothing aromatherapeutic scent as well as antiseptic, scalp-healing oils.

Certain kinds of oil, like flaxseed, that are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids have been shown to help many skin conditions, including dryness, says Alan M. Dattner, M.D., a holistic dermatologist in New Rochelle, New York. Your skin is a reflection of your diet. To keep it healthy, you need to eat the proper balance of essential fatty acids—fats that your body needs but cannot make. The typical American diet is often lacking in these crucial fats. Buy fresh, cold-pressed, refrigerated flaxseed oil packaged in an opaque dark bottle.

Traditionally, dandelion tea has been used internally to treat skin conditions, but the milky sap from the fresh root can also be directly applied to a wart, says Dr. Eversole. (Make sure that the dandelion you harvest hasn't been treated with chemical herbicides for at least 3 years.) Be patient. It may take weeks or months to erase the fleshy evidence of the virus. Of course, if you're snowed in for the winter, you may have to wait until spring to try this remedy. This same technique also works with sap from milkweed, says Dr. Eversole.

Witch hazel extract has a long history of use for skin conditions, says Dr. Snowman. It is an astringent and a mild antibiotic and gives the area a nice cooling feeling. Most extracts have an alcohol base, though, so they can sting sensitive skin. If you experience stinging, stop using it. You can do double duty with witch hazel if you dampen a wad of toilet paper and gently use it to clean yourself. Cause: Rectal itch can have many causes or none."

Friday, November 26, 2010

I Won't Play for Food

With so many articles posted on Natural Health News about food, Big AG, and disease promotion with altered and over processed food production, money mongering of Congressional members, and so much more, here's a reader who sends a little music to (en)lighten your mind....
I saw your website, and I really like what you're doing.  I thought you might appreciate this song I wrote, about the horrors of GMO foods, called, 'Smells Like Genocide...'  It is both humorous and cynical, as well as hard-hitting.  Enjoy.

Please feel absolutely free pass it along to anyone, or to use this song in any way that will help save our human race from destroying itself.  (I'm also currently trying to make a video for this tune, if you hear of anyone wishing to collaborate.)

Here's a link to where I have it posted:

Craig 'CMOR' Morrison

Flu Vaccine Ineffective

This is certainly not new news or is it any surprise. Best make every effort you can to keep your immune system healthy with good nutrition, adequate hydration, moderate exercise, enough sleep, and good hand washing.
WARNING:This review includes 15 out of 36 trials funded by industry (four had no funding declaration). An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 found industry funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size. Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favorable to the vaccines. The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding. Read More
Today's TOP POSTS from Natural Health News on flu jabs, and there are 30+ more FYI

Natural Health News: Get a Flu Shot, Get Cancer
Oct 01, 2010
Clinical trials will be short – less than three weeks – and the potential for the addition of toxic oil-in-water adjuvants to be added at the last minute to stretch the vaccine supply is disconcerting. However, the problems with flu ...
Sep 10, 2010
This upcoming 2010/11 flu vaccine contains the same elements that are implicated in the killing of these fetuses, the H1N1 viral component and the neurotoxin mercury (Thimerosal). Additionally, it contains 2 other viral strains- a 3 in ...
Sep 08, 2010
Does virus vaccine increase the risk of cancer? The swine flu vaccine has been hit by new cancer fears after a German health expert gave a shock warning about its safety. Lung specialist Wolfgang Wodarg has said that there are many . ...
Aug 06, 2010
ATLANTA – A government panel is recommending doctors steer clear of giving one brand of flu vaccine to young children this year because of convulsions and fever in kids who got the shot in Australia and New Zealand. ...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Energizer

Here's an easy exercise to use during the holidays to keep your energy level up and stress low. It's especially helpful for those of you living in urban locations.
This super effective tiredness remedy is amazingly simple and takes just a few minutes to do. It's a classic breathing exercise that floods your system with energy-enhancing oxygen, while at the same time expelling energy-depleting stale air and impurities from your lungs. Called the Cleansing Breath or Bellows Breath, it's a natural energy booster that can be done virtually anywhere well ventilated and anytime you feel tired, run down and in need of some real energy. While this breathing exercise/tiredness remedy is safe, you should check with your health professional before trying it for the first time. Keep reading...

Going Gluten Free? Watch Out for Bugs!

Victoria Yeh writes in her article about "Life After Wheat" that "Gluten-free has almost become the new “fad” diet of today, with various celebrities and fitness gurus touting its benefits. But for those of us who have a true dietary sensitivity, a gluten-free diet is more than a fad – it’s a necessity. According to the Canadian Celiac Association, approximately 1% of the population suffers from celiac disease, characterized by inflammation and damage to the intestinal wall. This can lead to a range of issues from poor nutrient absorption to unexplained neurological symptoms and even infertility. While the incidence of celiac disease is relatively low, it is estimated that yet another 10-15% of the population has some form of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Since the symptoms of food sensitivities can be so varied and easily ignored, many people go years without a proper diagnosis and simply normalize or adapt to a life of sub-optimal health."

Having had to discover that I too have the issue of gluten and gliaden sensitivity a couple of years ago I seem to wander around the internet looking for related information because so many others also live with this concern.

Just in the last week or so I learned something new.  It was timely to me because my organization just distributed a very large donation of probiotics to several groups in need of this product for those they serve.

I am fairly sure that few know that if you do move to a gluten free diet you risk losing some of the beneficial protective mechanisms found in the gut because of the higher risk of bacterial overgrowth.

So if you too are gluten free by choice or by need, then make sure you are taking your daily supplement of high quality probiotics** to keep the health flora growing.

You health will love you for it.

(**I do not consider the highly advertised and costly grocery store products to be high quality: Look for a well respected supplement brand.)

Homeopathy for Hypertension

The pharmaceutical assault on hypertension can be good or not. Longterm side effects of the drugs are often a cause for people to stop the medication.  Of course some in mainstream medicine and government controlled health programs do not want you to have access to anything not pharmaceutical to help you regain your health.  NHN hopes you take the high road and make the best choices for your good health.  And do not forget, nutrition does matter!

Excerpt from an article by Mahnaz Shahrzad Asr, a Homeopathic Doctor in Toronto
Hypertension, or abnormally high blood pressure, is often referred to as the “silent killer.” This is because it does not usually manifest any symptoms while causing damage to the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.

According to the World Health Organization, “Hypertension affects 600 million people worldwide. Yet many are unaware that they have the disease and are at risk of developing a stroke, heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. Hypertension causes five million premature deaths per year, yet there is no proper solution for curing hypertension.”

There are two types of hypertension – primary and secondary. Primary hypertension does not have any specific identifiable causes, whereas secondary hypertension results from identifiable and often correctable causes. Only about five to ten percent of hypertension cases are thought to result from secondary causes, the most common of which are kidney disease, adrenal gland disease, narrowing of the aorta, and sleep apnea, among others.

Homeopathy, a branch of alternative medicine based on the Law of Similars, is one of the most effective hypertension treatments, in my opinion. Homeopathic theory views disease as a dynamic disturbance that affects the whole, as opposed to a specific part of the body. Homeopathy believes in holistic, totality, and individualized approaches. A holistic approach means that every manifested symptom in a body relates to a mental or emotional state. In a totality approach, homeopathy does not aim to treat a specific organ, but the body in its entirety. Many factors affect an individual’s life, including the environment and inherited diseases. Consequently, every individual experiences and manifests the same disease differently, and must be treated individually as a result. 

Cause of Hypertension

Doctors are often unable to pinpoint the exact cause of hypertension. However, it is a known fact that many prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs such as corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs can cause or exacerbate hypertension. Medication taken for pain and inflammation, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors may also raise blood pressure, because their anti-prostaglandin properties affect the kidneys. As well, tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco) contain nicotine, which temporarily increases blood pressure (for about 30 min. or less). Chronic overuse of alcohol is a potentially irreversible cause of hypertension. In fact, 30 to 60% of alcoholics suffer from hypertension. Alcohol-induced hypertension is more likely to occur in women than men. Caffeine intake may also cause an acute (rapid but brief) increase in blood pressure.
Research indicates that about 62% of strokes and 49% of heart attacks are caused by hypertension. Homeopathy can help high blood pressure, determining its cause through a holistic approach that looks to cure the individual as a whole. Homeopaths simply use symptoms, and the sensation of experiencing those symptoms, to determine which homeopathic remedy will most effectively trigger the body’s healing response. 

Homeopathic treatment is recommended because it not only can lower and stabilize blood pressure, it also has a positive effect on overall health.

Here are some acute hypertension remedies, along with their symptom pictures. Please keep in mind that these remedies may be used for immediate situations in a palliative manner. They won’t necessarily cure hypertension unless the remedy appropriately matches the individual’s personality.

Arg-n: If blood pressure rises with anxiety and nervousness, this remedy may be indicated. “Stage fright” or anticipation of a stressful event can bring on dizziness, headache, diarrhea, and a pounding pulse. People who need this remedy are typically warm-blooded, imaginative, impulsive, claustrophobic, and have cravings for sweets and salt.

Calc-c: This remedy is often helpful to people with high blood pressure who easily tire and have poor stamina. They are typically responsible types who feel overwhelmed when ill and fear a breakdown. Palpitations and breathing problems can be worse from walking up a slope or stairs, and also when lying down. A general chilliness with clammy hands and feet (the feet may heat up in bed at night) and sweat on the head during sleep are other indicators. The person may have cravings for sweets and eggs, and tend toward weight problems.

Glonoinum: A flushed face with a pounding headache and visible throbbing in the blood vessels of the neck may indicate a need for this remedy. The chest can feel congested or hot, with a pounding or irregular heartbeat. The person is worse after moving around, heat and sun exposure, and drinking alcohol. A feeling of “being lost in a familiar place” is a strong indicator for this remedy.

Nat-mur: A person who needs this remedy seems reserved and responsible, but may have strong feelings (of grief, disappointment, anger, grudges, a fear of misfortune) inside. Headaches and palpitations are common, as well as a feeling of tension (even coldness) in the chest. The person feels worse after sun exposure, worse around mid-morning, and better when alone in a quiet place. A craving for salt and strong thirst can help to confirm this remedy choice.

Phos: A person who needs this remedy is usually sensitive, suggestible, and sympathetic, with a tendency toward weakness, dizziness, a “spaced-out” feeling, and fearfulness. Nosebleeds, facial flushing, palpitations, feelings of heaviness or pain in the chest, and left-sided problems are often seen. A strong desire for cold drinks and refreshing things, and a marked improvement after eating and sleeping are other indicators for Phosphorus.
More about hypertension here and here

Monday, November 22, 2010

'Climate-Ready' Crop Patents Threaten Biodiversity

'Climate-Ready' Crop Patents Threaten Biodiversity - Healthy People, Healthy Planet

By Anna Archibald
 The ETC Group has identified over 1,663 patent documents that have been filed by some of the leading seed and agrochemical corporations, claiming “climate-ready” crops as the future of the world’s food supply — what some are calling “biopiracy.”
These patents, which are in violation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Seed Treaty, have raised concern from the Convention on Biological Diversity and FAO that these corporations may be attempting to monopolize the world’s plant biomass. It also raises concern about the future of the world’s food supply.
These patents claim environmental stress tolerance in plants — which includes drought, heat, flood, cold and salt tolerance — through climate-ready crop genes. If corporations are allowed to claim ownership, not only would major crops contain engineered gene sequences owned by one major corporation, so would the processed food and feed products that come from that crop.
The group at the United Nations’ Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan, said the patents could become one of the “broadest and most dangerous patent claims in history.”
Over two-thirds of these patents have been filed by only three companies: DuPont, BASF and Monsanto. And only 10 percent of the total patents are from public sector researchers. Many of the companies involved have placed pressures on governments to facilitate the use of these untested crop genes.
In an attempt to deter a negative outlook on genetically modified crops and to convince governments of their “legitimacy,” these corporations have donated a few of these crop genes to farmers in South Africa.
“In exchange for untested technologies, South governments are being pressured to surrender national sovereignty over intellectual property, biomass, and food,” Silvia Ribeiro of ETC Group said in the report.
Photo by Tony Atkin/Creative Commons

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Again: Statins Not Effective

Statin drugs may be over-prescribed
So tell me what is new!
Not only are they over-prescribed, they have heart-risky side effects and many more problems like kidney failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis, just to highlight one (of too many). 
What, from this new report, bothers me is that when do you see mainstream media reporting on the history and a wider reference of facts, not excluding natural care to prevent and resolve the problem. 

Just who passed a law that allopathy is the last word on health and everyone must take only this brand of poison?

As an aside, the "deficit panel" could do a lot better if they got their heads out of the you know what and moved their brains out of the box.

Alas, when did you hear last that the beginning of milk homogenization was the start of atherosclerosis.  Well it was! And it was so because the fat was made so small through this process that it passed directly into the blood.
So if you switched to non-homogenized milk you could be much better off as the traditional naturopaths of the old days and old ways used to tell you.  And of course there were eggs and real butter too, but these days they;d like you to believe this is non-sense and these foods will kill you.
Lecithin any one?  Good non-soy lecithin reduces that calcium plaque that builds up in your body.  Since we can't say it prevents or cures thanks to the PhRMA controlled FDA and now the co-opted FTC, you just have to so some research to find these studies that your doctor won't read, much less know about.  Parathyroid hormone and vitamin D play a role.

Then there is magnesium that helps rebalance calcium, and then phosphorus too.  These days, thanks to Medicare you cannot get phosphorus levels on your chem panel as some one there decided you do not need that test.  But in reality you do so you can see the Ca-P ratio in your blood which should be 10-4.  Lots can happen when it isn't!
And just remember all that calcium they push on you to keep your bones strong is often cheap carbonate form that does not absorb too well and leads to calcium build up in tissues and organs.

Calcium, take it in the morning and not with magnesium.  Use a high absorption type.
Take your good magnesium at night.
Of course there is more to this equation but I think this will do for starters.
And BTW, that phosphorus level runs about $118 a test depending on where you are and what lab you use.
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Cholesterol-lowering statin medications, miracle drugs for those suffering from heart disease, may be over-prescribed as a preventative measure for healthy adults, a new study said Tuesday.
The study by cardiologists at Johns Hopkins University found that, among healthy adults, only those with measurable buildup of artery-hardening calcium would significantly benefit from the treatment.
"Our results tell us that only those with calcium buildup in their arteries have a clear benefit from statin therapy," the study's lead investigator Michael Blaha said in a statement.
"Those who are otherwise healthy and have no significant calcification should, with their physician, focus on aggressive lifestyle improvements instead of early initiation of statin medications," he added.
The statin class of pharmaceuticals, including the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs Lipitor and Crestor, lowers cholesterol by blocking an enzyme in the liver.
The six-year study found that 75 percent of all heart attacks, strokes or heart-related deaths occurred in the 25 percent of participants who had the highest calcium buildup in their blood vessels.
The 47 percent of participants who had no detectable levels of calcium buildup meanwhile suffered just five percent of heart disease-related events, meaning the statin therapy would have offered little protection.
"It certainly is not the case that all adults should be taking (statin therapy) to prevent heart attack and stroke, because half are at negligible risk of a sudden coronary event in the next five to 10 years," Blaha said.
Roger Blumenthal, another Johns Hopkins researcher who carried out the study, said the drugs "should not be approached like diet and exercise as a broadly based solution for preventing coronary heart disease."
"These are lifelong medications with potential, although rare, side effects, and physicians should only consider their use for those patients at greatest risk, especially those with high coronary calcium scores."
He added that as many as five percent of people on statins develop serious side effects, such as muscle pain, while one in 255 will develop diabetes.
The study of 950 healthy and ethnically diverse men and women was unveiled on Tuesday at an American Heart Association conference in Chicago.
The report is the latest in a series of studies questioning the widespread prescription of preventative heart medication for otherwise healthy adults.
A US meta-analysis of 11 studies published in June had already revealed that statin treatments do not reduce the death rate among patients with high cholesterol but no history of heart disease.
The two studies contrast the results of a 2008 clinical trial known as "JUPITER," which found that a daily does of 20 milligrams of Crestor, a statin treatment marketed by the British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, halved the number of potentially fatal coronary blockages in 18,000 adults.
All of the adults in the JUPITER study had high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), believed by some to predict coronary disease.
But BlahaCRP, which he said offered no predictive value.
Coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for one in five deaths among adults.
from Natural Health News, top articles on statins from 30+ on site
Jun 16, 2010
More than 6 millions adults are prescribed statins by their GPs will be told about five new 'undesirable effects' in leaflets issued with packets of the drugs. These include sleep disturbances, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, ...
Jul 07, 2010
Statins for children 10 to 17 have been FDA approved since 2002. Now Pfizer seeks EU authorization. READ IT HERE FIRST: THE IMPORTANT ISSUES FACING YOU IN HEALTH CARE AT NATURAL HEALTH NEWS DAYS, AND OFTEN WEEKS OR MONTHS, ...
Nov 14, 2008
It's been going this way for a while: even healthy people should be on the cholesterol-reducing drugs known as statins. That, in a nutshell, is the verdict of a study published over the weekend which found that even in people deemed to ...
Feb 04, 2008
UPDATE: It seems always that the statins detractors focus on the depletion of Co Enzyme Q 10 when talking about the harm inflicted by these drugs. I have always contended that, in addition to COQ10,depletion of several B vitamins ...

The Issue of Insurers: Consider the Conundrum

I was reading an LA Times article earlier this morning about insurers that failed to pay death benefits on accepted policies.
None of this surprises me because longtime a insider in insurance law tells us that these companies love collecting their premiums from you yet don't like paying out claim.
These tricks are certainly an issue of concern in the health insurance debacle.
Just wait until 2011.
Insurers Test Data Profiles to Identify Risky Clients
Life insurers are testing an intensely personal new use for the vast dossiers of data being amassed about Americans: predicting people's longevity.

Read more:
Insurers have long used blood and urine tests to assess people's health-a
costly process. Today, however, data-gathering companies have such extensive
files on most U.S. consumers-online shopping details, catalog purchases,
magazine subscriptions, leisure activities and information from
social-networking sites-that some insurers are exploring whether data can
reveal nearly as much about a person as a lab analysis of their bodily

*    Inside Deloitte's Life-Insurance Assessment Technology
Complete Coverage: What They Know

In one of the biggest tests, the U.S. arm of British insurer Aviva
<>  PLC
looked at 60,000 recent insurance applicants. It found that a new,
"predictive modeling" system, based partly on consumer-marketing data, was
"persuasive" in its ability to mimic traditional techniques.

The research heralds a remarkable expansion of the use of consumer-marketing
data, which is traditionally used for advertising purposes.

This data increasingly is gathered online, often with consumers only vaguely
aware that separate bits of information about them are being collected and
collated in ways that can be surprisingly revealing. The growing trade in
personal information is the subject of a Wall Street Journal investigation
into online privacy.

A key part of the Aviva test, run by Deloitte Consulting LLP, was estimating
a person's risk for illnesses such as high blood pressure and depression.
Deloitte's models assume that many diseases relate to lifestyle factors such
as exercise habits and fast-food diets.

This kind of analysis, proponents argue, could lower insurance costs and
eliminate an off-putting aspect of the insurance sale for some people.

"Requiring every customer to provide additional, and often unnecessary,
information" such as blood or urine samples, "simply makes the process less
efficient and less customer-friendly," says John Currier, chief actuary for
Aviva USA.

Other insurers exploring similar technology include American International
Group <>
Inc. and Prudential Financial
<>  Inc.,
executives for those firms confirm. Deloitte, a big backer of the concept,
has pitched it in recent months to numerous insurers.

Little-known chiropractic treatment saves man's life

UPDATE: 21 November 2010 -

Blood Pressure "Switch" Found on Human Body...

In minutes, a single touch lowers blood pressure back to healthy levels. Top number drops 14 points, bottom number drops 8 points. NO drug on Earth can match this instant miracle. Who knew it was this simple?
Chicago, IL: A recent study conducted by the Hypertension Center at the University of Chicago identified a small spot (the "Atlas area") on the body that appears to control blood pressure.
It's almost like a switch that allows doctors to dial down your blood pressure in minutes—without prescription drugs.
And from the BBC
Scientists have discovered a new technique which could help millions of people who struggle to keep their high blood pressure under control.
A short blast of radio waves to the kidneys can substantially reduce blood pressure according to initial tests.
Why not learn the health promoting kidney-tapping exercise used for centuries from martial arts?   Kidney tapping, anyone?

from September 28, 2009
While this article written by Brianne Sanchez didn't receive a high rating from HealthNewsReview, it caught my eye.

In my area there is a TV ad getting quite a lot of play lately about treating Trigeminal Neuralgia with radiation you can get from GammaKnife Spokane.

Knowing that I've helped may people relieve TGN nerve pain over the years with herbal remedies, I am in shock over the use of radiation for this condition. And I',m also in shock over the cost along with risk of future development of cancer, as well as radiation exposure to the thyroid gland.

You know, faulty thyroid function is often a cause of TGN, but I guess at GammaKnife Spokane that isn't even a consideration.

But maybe this chiropractic therapy will offer another way to reduce your risk of exposure to unnecessary ionizing radiation -
September 23, 2009

Little-known chiropractic treatment saves man's life

After 12 years of living with debilitating pain in his face, James Tomasi decided to kill himself.

The former pastor from Oklahoma City, Okla., never understood what compelled men to jump from windows and take their own lives until he was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia (TN), a notoriously painful nerve disorder that causes sudden shock-like facial pains, typically near the nose, lips, eyes or ears.

"It's like being Tasered in the face," Tomasi said of the condition, which, for him, started after a root canal and continued off and on for more than a decade.

Medication didn't work. Neither did having all of his teeth pulled. Prayer wasn't healing him and a $40,000 surgery that couldn't guarantee a cure was out of the question.

Tomasi lost hope. He was frightened, discouraged and debilitated by a pain that forced him to become a recluse, spending two years in a darkened room. The only relief he was certain of would come through death.

"I began to see that I could take control of my life again," Tomasi said in a phone interview from his home. "All I had to do was kill myself and the pain would be gone. When you're hurting so bad, all of a sudden those thoughts make sense."

He decided to end it all on a Tuesday evening in February of 1997, using the pistol he kept near his bedside for protection. But, unaware of her husband's suicide plan, Tomasi's wife, Rhonda, scheduled him for an appointment that Tuesday morning at a local upper cervical chiropractic clinic.

For Tomasi, the upper cervical treatment, a gentle form of chiropractic that focuses on correcting a small misalignment of the upper neck, was a life-saving solution. He walked out of the office feeling relief, and after several visits was pain-free. Since then, the Tomasis have dedicated their lives to raising awareness of upper cervical care through speaking engagements all over the country.

On Friday, at the invitation of Ames-based upper cervical chiropractors Dr. Barbara Read, of Read Health Center and Dr. Zachary Ward of Ward Chiropractic Group, Tomasi will tell his story at the Hickory's Hall Banquet and Events Center in Ames.

Although only a small selection of the population is affected by TN, advocates of upper cervical care believe the technique is beneficial for people with a wide range of chronic symptoms, from asthma to fibromyalgia. "I want to help people who ask, 'Is there a way out of this?" Tomasi said. "This perhaps will give them hope."

Seven members of the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) practice in Iowa.

"We address the entire spine from the upper cervical area (between the head and neck)," said Deb Sesker, of Balance First Chiropractic Center in West Des Moines. "We don't focus on a complaint as much as structural realignment. We know that structure relates to function and function is controlled by the nervous system."

A NUCCA correction involves an analysis to determine if the patient's head is sitting at the proper angle and if a patient's weight is distributed evenly. Doctor Sesker said that the process begins by checking the patient's "postural distortion," or how far the body is out of alignment. An X-Ray of the head and neck is also taken to determine the angle of correction. Unlike stereotypical chiropractic techniques, there is no thrusting adjustment. The patient lies down and the doctor applies a light, targeted touch behind the ear. A post-procedure X-ray shows the new, realigned position of the body.

"I want to open up the awareness of the power of upper cervical chiropractic," event co-organizerRead said.

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