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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Perspective on Vitamin D

I have written a number of articles about vitamin D and health. I have some concerns that for the most part have probably not been considered, but then I am not one that works off of linear thinking models.

There are a variety of opinions on vitamin D, including one that is fairly negative. However, in good science, the best outcomes are achieved if we are open minded enough to look at all possible vectors.

I agree that vitamin D is an important nutrient. I agree that it appears clear that we are experiencing a problem with low levels of vitamin D in most people.

People of color require more. People who do not go out in the sun need more. And people who exclude healthy fats from their diet, such as the philosophy of no fat promulgated on the public over the past several decades, really do need more.

Just look at the rates of osteoporosis and other calcium related health problems for starters.

Look at the history of health as it relates to sun exposure that was established as long ago as 2500 BC.

There must be something to the practice of exposing your skin to the sun, free of sunscreens that contain endocrine disruptors. Sunlight entering your eyes for a short periods of time each day also is known to be part of the vitamin D-calcium-parathyroid interplay.

If I relied on food for vitamin D I would have to look to
Concentrated food sources of vitamin D include salmon, sardines, shrimp, milk, cod, and eggs.

Sockeye salmon are an exceptionally rich source of vitamin D: a 4-ounce serving of baked or broiled sockeye salmon provides 739.37 IU of vitamin D. The same 4-ounce serving of chinook salmon, another excellent source of vitamin D, supplies 411 IU.

Why are sockeye salmon even more richly endowed with vitamin D than other salmon species? Because zooplankton constitute so much of their diet, and zooplankton-along with phytoplankton-are the key sources of vitamin D in the marine food chain. The zooplankton eaten by salmon are tiny marine animals, such as larval-stage crustaceans, while the phytoplankton eaten by salmon are small, plant-like marine organisms.

Both types of minuscule sea life create lots of vitamin D from sunlight, and zooplankton feed on phytoplankton, building up their vitamin D content to even higher levels. Unlike most other fish and salmon species (except chum), sockeye feed largely on zooplankton through all stages of life. Chinook, on the other hand, feast on insects and sideswimmers when young, then consume a variety of fish, especially smelt and ciscoes, a type of lake herring, as they mature. from WH Foods

This might be boring, and if I selected milk I would more likely begetting the synthetic form of vitamin D.

There just is much more to this than relying on supplements and staying out of the sun for fear you will get skin cancer. For my money I'll support Holick.

Also remember that vitamin B1 and a spray of vitamin C make good sunscreens without all the chemicals that might be more harmful in the long run that 15 or 20 minutes of exposure to sunlight, outside of the hottest hours of the day.

Michael Holick's experience also sheds some light on just how lineal and intellectually limiting most ivory towered institutions of "higher learning" really happen to be.
Five years after being fired from one post, sun exposure proponent keeps up the fight

If the name Michael Holick means anything to you, you will recall that he was asked to resign from a post in Boston University’s dermatology department in February 2004 for promoting “sensible sun exposure” in his book The UV Advantage.

Holick’s thesis – which was apparently anathema to Boston University derm department chair Barbara Gilchrest – is that most people who live in the US north of Atlanta are vitamin D deficient because one of the key sources of that vitamin is the sun. (Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and thus strong, healthy bones.) And even when the sun shines brightest, and for the longest, during the summer, we’re told to shun the sun and slather our bodies in high SPF sunscreens to defend against skin cancer.

But in doing so we might be hiking our risk for a variety of health problems including heart disease, breast cancer, and colon cancer, says Holick. "You have about a 30 to 50 percent decreased risk of developing colon, prostate, and breast cancer if you maintain adequate vitamin D levels throughout your life," Holick said in a 2007 interview with a Canadian television station.

In case you were wondering what happened to him, Holick was unbowed by his firing. (He is still at BU, holding down a professorship in medicine, physiology and biophysics). He has kept up his advocacy of sunlight exposure, so perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised to see a report of rickets – a disease in which the bones become softened or weakened due to vitamin D deficiency -- he diagnosed in last week’s New England Journal Medicine, almost exactly five years after he left BU’s dermatology department.

The report is of a mysterious case: A nine-month-old baby boy admitted to Mass General with violent seizures. A battery of tests revealed that the boy had abnormally low levels of calcium in his blood, which is known to cause seizures. A blood test then revealed Holick’s specialty: Vitamin D deficiency, which causes rickets.

The vitamin D and calcium deficiencies are related, Holick told us this week. Without enough vitamin D, the body can't absorb calcium properly. Holick says that vitamin D deficiency is very common in American babies and mothers. One of his studies looking at vitamin D levels in 40 mother-baby pairs found that 76 percent of moms and 81 percent of babies are deficient, meaning they had less than 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood. (A nanogram is one billionth of a gram).

To prevent such deficiency, Holick says pregnant women, and all adults for that matter, should be taking at least 1000 units of the sunshine vitamin a day. That means taking vitamin supplements in addition to a normal multivitamin, which typically contains only 400 units. But be advised, you can overdose on vitamin D: Taking 50,000 units per day for a long period of time can be toxic. (Holick wrote a case report about it.)

The American Academy of Dermatology, however, only recommends that kids and adults get at least 200 units of vitamin D per day either from the food or the sun. Holick says the academy's recommendations pretty much ignore research that suggests that these levels put a person at risk for heart disease, infections and various types of cancer. "They continue to have blinders on," Holick says.

A cynic might say those blinders are because the Academy fears the sun. The Academy says that people should get vitamin D from a healthy diet incorporating foods naturally rich in or fortified with it, such as milk and orange juice, and/or vitamin D supplements—but not through unprotected sun exposure, which is linked to skin cancer.

"The recommendation that you should never be exposed to the sun is putting many people at risk for vitamin D deficiency," Holick says. While in the sun, it's important to cover the face but okay to expose the arms and legs for 10 minutes or so without sunscreen, he adds. "If you're going to be out in the sun for five, ten or 15 minutes, don't be paranoid."

Other opinions:
Major Lab Discloses Problem With Vitamin D Testing

Friday, January 30, 2009

Not in the business of saving lives

Following on Pfizer's record another Big Pharma member admits its the DO RE MI
Roche: “Saving Lives Is Not Our Business”

The Swiss company Roche makes a range of HIV-related drugs. One of them is enfuvirtide, sold under the brandname Fuzeon. Fuzeon brought in $266 million to Roche in 2007, though sales are declining.

Roche charges $25,000 a year for Fuzeon. It does not offer a discount price for developing countries.

Like most industrialized countries, South Korea maintains a form of price controls. The national health insurance program sets prices for medicines, and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs listed Fuzeon at $18,000 a year. South Korea’s per capita income is roughly half that of the United States. Instead of providing Fuzeon at South Korea’s listed level—and still turning a profit—Roche refuses to make the drug available in South Korea.

South Korean activists report that the head of Roche Korea told them, “We are not in business to save lives, but to make money. Saving lives is not our business.”

Read complete article -
and you might enjoy this article as well -

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reader Comments

From time to time I like to add reader comments to posts rather than to the comments section.

Several people have taken the time to send their comments and these few seem to have read Dr. Dean's 2006 article I have posted below.

I'd also like to add that because of this effort on my part, having been on the net as a health care professional, health educator and health freedom advocate since 1991, some frivolous attacks have also been submitted.

Ad hominem attacks are like those that go with elective office, something I was involved in for about seven years, so my skin is pretty thick. The difference for me is that I do very in depth fact checking before I comment on another person, and I don't make a lot of noise that would limit that person's right of free speech.

Christine said
"Thanks so much publishing this fascinating article by Dr. Dean. The situation reminds me of Dr. Benjamin Rush's comments that we needed an amendment to the Bill of Rights guaranteeing medical freedom. Dr. Rush said his colleagues would form an undercover dictatorship if we didn't have this amendment. How right he was."
Someone stating his name to be Jason thought I read another web site that throws a lot of stuff at visitors, however he was incorrect. He did say he was somewhat suspicious of that site. He also wanted to know about a product called peri-gum.

I'll add a new post on natural dental care to respond to his query.

This reader sent an anonymous comment that included some commercial links. Here is his comment without the commercial links, which are a violation of our policy.
Being in health insurance. This article is right on target. People's health insurance claims are usually denied if the claim is not coded properly. They blame the insurance company when it's usually the negligence of the doctor's office. Another pet peeve of mine, Dr's are charging insurance companies anywhere from $50 to $150 dollars to make photocopies of a patients medical records. LOL, photocopies that take a few minutes to produce and cost a few cents to make. And people wonder why health insurance premiums are so high.

The next anonymous reader said "The AMA is comprised of thieves who should be banned from practicing medicine in the USA."

And the next said "god bless amerika--lol", as another anonymous commenter.

So you can see we get several varieties of comments, but the insurance comment is quite relevant.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One Thing You Need to Know About How Health Care Works

There are, and always have been, people who seem to have a knack, like folks selling things at the fair, of getting you to believe they know just about everything there is to know about a subject. It is more of a concern when the people involved have no background in health care or related fields.

Recently I was provided with a promo piece pushing a spendy program alleging to be the one source you need to purchase at $125 - after your $70 discount - that includes a 243 page digital publish-on-demand book and a set of CDs.

Having been in the health care industry for too long of a time there is not much that has really changed over the decades and not much I don't know about what's happening now.

If you are gullible enough to buy in to this website promotion, along with their other very superficial material, then I feel sad for you.

While I am a staunch supporter of health care freedom and have been for the majority of my life, I'm not for the Barnum & Bailey approach to educating people about it.

I'll openly recommend that you skip the fluff and forget to buy the $125 deal after your $70 discount.

I'll also openly recommend that you start here with an article written by a medical professional who knows a lot more about the facts. Certainly much more than a self-proclaimed "expert" who claims to have a 1200 digital book library.

Posted with permission of the author -
The Healthcare Codes Monopoly
Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND
Originally Published in Total Health for Longevity, June 2006

Most people have no idea that there is a healthcare codes monopoly and don’t even know what it means. It’s time we did.

Billing Codes
The billing system of American healthcare is based on a complex coding system called Current Procedural Terminology (CPT codes). Established in 1966 by the American Medical Association (AMA), the codes garner the AMA hefty annual licensing fees. Each time a CPT code is used, the AMA gets paid.

There has never been a law against including codes to cover all healthcare practitioners but the AMA has developed very few codes for non-medical practitioners. This keeps other practitioners from becoming equal business partners in the world of insurance reimbursement for services rendered.

CPT codes are designed to document what a medical doctor does for a patient. Think of a department or grocery store where every item has a bar code, and if it doesn’t, the item can’t be sold without a clerk running back to the aisle to find the price. Swiping a bar code across the cashier’s scanner not only calculates the price, but also automates inventory control and financial management. It’s the same for healthcare, without a code there is no way to calculate appropriate payment and no itemization of what has transpired. It’s that simple.

The current coding systems cover only a fraction of what is happening in healthcare—coded interventions are the only transactions that are tracked, marketed, and reimbursed. This is why so little is known about what transpires in the marketplace with regard to healthcare practitioners who are paid cash.

Without codes for all types of healthcare practitioners we can’t document the effectiveness of their care or the potential money that is saved by including them in insurance reimbursement. It’s a lose-lose situation. Patients lose, practitioners lose, and the nation keeps losing millions of dollars paid out to ineffective and costly drug-based medicine. For example, healthcare trends are tracked by data obtained from insurance companies. Since insurance companies can’t measure data they don’t have, they have no way of knowing, for example, that patients who see midwives have a much lower rate of cesarean section, about 10-15%, compared to patients who are delivered by obstetricians with over twice the rate –of about 30%.

Lack of relevant data is also why we can only depend on small samples and surveys to tell us what forms of natural healing arts people are using because we have no other way of gathering the data.

It’s Getting Worse, Not Better
There used to be state codes (HCPCS III) that individual states created to meet their needs. The state codes were abolished in 2003, costing many states’ Medicaid programs millions of dollars.

Square Pegs in Round Holes
Being required to fit everything a practitioner does into an allopathic/medical code leads to a high degree of inexactness. Because CPT codes include very few non-medical modalities, many doctors must limit their practice to allopathic medicine—so they can get paid by insurance, which, in turn, limits the type of care available to the public. Practitioners who use non-allopathic modalities have to fit their care into a CPT code—square pegs into round holes. For example, all states allow nurse practitioners to bill directly for their care, but they lack appropriate codes. So, while insurance companies may direct them to bill using CPT codes, the American Nurses Association has determined that CPT codes do not describe or document that the care is from a nurse. ABC codes solve this problem, for all practitioners by giving each practitioner their own set of codes.

State of Exclusion
Due to discrepancies in state “scope of practice laws”, insurance companies don’t know the scope of practice for each type of practitioner in each state, and because of potential legal liabilities, they just don’t pay for these services. To be fair, they don’t want to pay a claim illegally, but it suits them just as well to not pay –it saves them the hassle of processing claims without codes.

This graph shows practitioners left out by the medical monopoly in coding:

ABC Codes
Knowing the limitations of the CPT codes, a unique company called ABC Coding Solutions developed “ABC Codes” that describe services, remedies, and equipment items used by all healthcare practitioners, not just medical doctors. And, they include codes for most aspects of alternative medicine as well including homeopathic remedies.

Ms. Giannini, the CEO of ABC Coding Solutions knew the healthcare system was unhealthy. But it wasn’t until she experienced a chronic illness that she became a victim of it herself. She struggled with her illness for two years, going to medical doctors who billed her insurance company a total of $15,000 -all legally coded and absolutely ineffective. After none of the medical treatments worked, it only took a few visits and with a doctor who provided care that was not in the CPT codes, and $500 in out of pocket expenses, to get her well.

Ms. Giannini found it incredible that an insurance company would gladly pay $15,000 for treatments that didn’t work and refuse to pay $500 for treatments that did. The doctor that helped her get well is one of millions of practitioners forced to operate outside the “system”, which also forces millions of patients like Ms. Giannini outside as well.

Playing Monopoly
The AMA was told by the federal government in 1993 to create codes for non-MDs, but they haven’t complied. It’s like asking Ford to create service and supply codes for Chrysler! Nobody is going to willingly stop something that works in their favor. Nurses have tried for decades to get nursing codes by participating on a coding panel with the AMA without much luck. And, as of 2006, out of over 8,000 CPT codes for medical care, there are only four CPT codes for chiropractors and acupuncturists, and massage therapists have one code.

Cut the Bureaucracy
ABC Coding Solutions keeps current on the legal scope of practice of all practitioners in all 50 states and ABC codes legally reflect the practices of more than 3 million underserved healthcare practitioners. But they are not meant to supercede the current codes; when used together with CPT and government codes, ABC codes support a complete, accurate, and precise documentation of patient encounters and a common language for comparing the economic and health outcomes of competing approaches to care. The fact that ABC Coding Solutions can determine if a code is legal or not saves billions in administrative costs spent haggling over inappropriate codes.

ABC Coding Solutions estimates that using ABC codes will save more than $51 billion per year in U.S. healthcare costs when implemented across the healthcare industry.

Using the example of the Medicaid Behavioral Health Department in Alaska, by using ABC codes in place of state codes that were retired in 2003, this department saved $2 million in one year. This department has thus far used ABC codes to process more than 500,000 health claim and payment transactions. A Medicare Advantage plan in New Mexico has paid claims on ABC codes for over five years with similar outstanding results.

Having ABC codes will not change healthcare overnight—but ABC codes are a big step in the right direction. Unlike technologies that cost millions and take years to return a profit, ABC codes are a turn-key operation and begin saving everyone money immediately.

With ABC codes, insurance companies, government and the public will have information to make informed decisions on healthcare spending and reimbursement.

Consumer Directed Healthcare (CDHC)
CDHC and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are an attempt to “solve” the problem of rising healthcare costs. They raise consumer awareness about the real costs of healthcare and help people make better decisions about how to spend their healthcare dollars. However, they are currently set up using only the medical model of care and AMA CPT codes. They do not currently address the demands of millions of people who want alternate options to prescription drugs and surgery.

ABC codes, however, allow all practitioners to effectively document their care and thereby potentially participate in insurance reimbursement and HSAs. Thus ABC codes will help maximize the benefits of HSAs by providing consumer access to a wider variety of caregivers.

What You Can Do
ABC codes have been in use since 2003. However, ABC codes need to leap over one more hurdle. They need to be named a permanent government standard so that insurance reimbursement will be also become standard for all types of health care.

ABC codes are authorized for use through October of 2006. We have until then to lobby our elected officials to have ABC codes made a government standard. Please visit for information on how you can urge your elected officials to break the healthcare codes monopoly. From there you can send your elected officials an email urging them to support naming ABC codes a permanent government code-set. You may also contact ABC Coding Solutions at 1-877-621-5465.

We don’t need more caregivers in America, instead we need to rethink coding. Coding is creating an artificial bottleneck for direct consumer access to quality healthcare. Consumers are demanding choice in healthcare. You can help create choice by demanding that ABC codes are available to document the care that consumers are already using.

Carolyn Dean M.D., N.D. is a medical doctor, naturopathic physician, researcher, educator, and wellness consultant. She has written eleven highly-acclaimed books, the most widely read is The Miracle of Magnesium along with her most recent, The Yeast Connection and Women’s Health, IBS for DUMMIES, and Hormone Balance: A Woman’s Guide to Restoring Health and Vitality. Dr. Dean disseminates the message of health and self-responsibility in both private Wellness Telephone Consultations and at public seminars. You can find her at

Monday, January 26, 2009

What money buys

Perhaps Pfizer growth is not best for your health -

US drug maker Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical firm, is to buy rival Wyeth in a deal worth $68bn (£50bn), the two companies have announced.

At the same time it announces at least 240 layoffs.

Its third quarter earnings show total revenues of 12 billion.

Pfizer manufactures Lipitor and Viagra. One-fourth of its profits come from Lipitor, but patent protection will be disappearing soon.

Legal settlements have shown that the firm needs to protect itself from downturn and losses.

However, Pfizer has infiltrated the natural health market place (and supplement companies) through many subsidiaries, placing key corporate personnel in these related venues.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Focus on Bone Health Naturally

UPDATE and REPOST: 24 Jan., 2009
There are many articles I've posted here at Natural Health News in the past five years. Bone health is not a lineal process as mainstream medicine pundits would have you believe. It isn't even properly evaluated with the bone density testing offered around the country; the ones that allegedly do the testing by using your heel in a machine (DEXA) that emits radiation. Ultrasound isn't completely revealing either.

You might want to know of a test approved in 2000 at the FDA called the Access Ostase blood test. This test determines bone metabolism by measuring the level of a certain enzyme in the blood called bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP). If a particular osteoporosis therapy is not working, physicians may be able to tell within a matter of months.

Information on lab tests for bone health concerns

"Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease affecting roughly 25 million Americans, mostly post-menopausal women. Osteoporosis is currently one of the most under-diagnosed and under-treated disorders in medicine. It is estimated that one-third of women over age 50 have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is characterized by a decrease in normal bone density due to the loss of calcium and collagen. ***A loss of bone density causes bones to become brittle, and in turn, leads to frequent fractures and other serious effects. Osteoporosis accounts for more than 2.3 million fractures per year in the United States and Europe."

***Just remember that as bone density leads to brittle bones and fracture, so do the prescription osteoporosis drugs.

It isn't as simple as taking a very risky drug your doctor tells you you need to take. Bone health, just like all health is a complex process involving numerous factors, and especially many nutrients.

Nutrient Supports Bone Health Over Time
By Rosalie Marion Bliss, January 14, 2009

Findings from a new study suggest that natural pigments found in plants may help protect against bone loss in older men and women. Researchers funded by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) reported the findings in a paper published online by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study was led by epidemiologist Katherine Tucker with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University in Boston, Mass. Tucker directs the HNRCA's Dietary Assessment and Epidemiology Research Program.

Other studies have consistently shown that fruit and vegetable intake is good for bones. Biological antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, such as carotenoids, protect cells and tissues from damage caused by naturally occurring oxygen free radicals in the body. Such plant nutrients may help protect the skeleton by reducing oxidative stress and thereby inhibiting bone breakdown or resorption.

The researchers examined potential effects on bone mineral density of overall and individual intake of several carotenoid compounds, including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene and lutein+zeaxanthin.

For the observational study, the researchers tracked changes in bone mineral density at two areas of the hip and lumbar spine of male and female volunteers, aged 75 years on average, participating in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Among these volunteers, 213 men and 390 women were measured at the beginning of the study and four years later.

Over the course of the four years of the study, carotenoids were associated with some level of protection against losses in bone mineral density at the hip in men and at the lumbar spine in women. No significant associations were observed at the other bone sites.

The results suggest there is a protective effect of carotenoids, particularly of lycopene, against bone loss in older adults. The researchers concluded that carotenoids may explain, in part, the previously observed protective effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on bone mineral density.

To look up the levels of individual carotenoids in selected foods, go to "Reports By Single Nutrients," provided by the ARS Nutrient Data Laboratory at:

ARS is a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The above report is heartening however much of the information in the report was made known well over a decade ago in the work of Susan Brown, PhD., and many researchers before her.

Other information you may not know. Part of this missing link is the bone-damaging impact from many non-osteoporosis drugs. Another is that there are very effective natural approaches to insure and improve bone health that are not based on bone destroying fluoride drugs.

Please contact us for more information.

While Dr. Karsenty's research may lead to a shift in mainstream medicine I would call for a totally different approach.

We do not need another new drug and we certainly do not need the current fluoride and bisphosphonate type drugs that are replete with a plethora of side effects that can cause cancer and fracture.

I'd like to see a totally different approach like the one I developed for clients that is showing positive benefits of healthy new bone growth and strengthening. Or as an option you might find help with an herbal formula proven at Harvard's Dana Farber I have used with others as their choice.

Not only do we need new health care, we need new ideas and new approaches with out fear of going outside the controlling and repressive "standards of care" controls to keep providers in line with Big Insurance and Big Pharma dictates.

And we need to move from the "study" model to the application model.

It Takes Guts To Build Bone, Scientists Discover

ScienceDaily (2008-12-01) -- Bone growth is controlled in the gut through serotonin, the same naturally present chemical used by the brain to influence mood, appetite and sleep, according to a new discovery. Until now, the skeleton was thought to control bone growth and serotonin was known as a neurotransmitter acting in the brain. This insight could transform how osteoporosis is treated by giving doctors a way to increase bone mass, not just slow its loss. ... > read full article

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is losing your hearing worth the price?

This is an old problem, just in a new form.

In the 60s when we were all at the Avalon Ballroom or the Fillmore West it was those guys holding on for dear life to the man sized speakers and rockin' out to the Airplane or Country Joe that have paid a big price as far as hearing loss goes.

It is tough though to tell a teenager to keep the handy dandy little player on low to save hearing.
Turn it down: German doctors warn on MP3 players Tue Jan 20, 2009
BERLIN (AFP) – MP3 players are leading to more and more hearing problems in young people, with damage to the inner ear now registered in one in five 16 to 20-year-olds, German doctors warned on Tuesday.

Hearing problems usually associated with old age are now being noticed in people as young as 20, the German association of ear, nose and throat specialists (HNO) said.

Under European Union rules, the maximum volume for portable audio devices is 100 decibels, but the HNO warned this is too loud. In workplaces, employees are required to wear ear protectors when noise levels are 85 decibels, they said.

The association called on makers of the devices to behave more "responsibly" and clearly inform their customers of the health dangers of listening to music too loudly.

Copyright © 2009 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved

Down home cookin?

UPDATE: 24 January, 2009
Top chefs push Obama to improve food policy
Well, one chef has her job as administrations change, and that may be good because of how "Comerford cooks with the best organic and local produce available".

Of course now that Vilsack is in at AG, and he's one of Monsanto's henchmen, we hope there'll be some research at the Obama household.

Start here to learn how organic is the only form of sustainable agriculture, then move to the next square. This one tells you that all those Monsanto herbicides and pesticides create health problems for all, and even seep into the water table.

Turn the next corner to wonder how this health promoting organic food is going to be affordable in poor neighborhoods around the country.

And - not the least to be considered - understanding exactly how health care costs are saved when Big Pharma, Big Insurance and industrial medicine are driving the car, while very few know the first thing about food plans and nutrition, dietitians included.

And don't forget - we already know that when genetically modified into a Franken-food, potatoes promote cancer. I guess I forgot the military industrial complex needs us to keep creating patients for their Franken-medicine that Daschle will slip into the trough...

Time for CHANGE you say?
Who's cookin' in the White House?
Does it matter who serves as chef to the Obamas?
By Maria C. Hunt | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor
from the January 21, 2009 edition

Amid the excitement leading up to Barack Obama's inauguration as the 44th US president, foodies had been dishing about who they thought might be the chef the Obamas would bring to the White House.

But that pot-stirring speculation ended earlier this month when Michelle Obama issued a statement saying that the Obamas would retain the current White House Executive Chef, Cristeta Comerford.

Ms. Comerford became the first woman and the first minority to hold the post when she was appointed by Laura Bush in 2005. She has worked in the White House kitchen since 1995, including serving as sous-chef under the previous executive chef, Walter Scheib III. She was born in the Philippines and worked in hotels in Austria and Washington, after receiving a degree in Food Technology from the University of the Philippines.

"Cristeta Comerford brings such incredible talent to the White House operation and came very highly regarded from the Bush family. Also the mom of a young daughter, I appreciate our shared perspective on the importance of healthy eating and healthy families," said Mrs. Obama in a statement issued by the transition team. "I look forward to working with her in the years to come."

Two chefs who were thought to be under consideration for the post were Art Smith, owner of the upscale Southern comfort food restaurant Table Fifty-Two in Chicago and the new Art and Soul in Washington, and Rick Bayless, who creates inventive regional Mexican cuisine at Topolobampo in Chicago.

Perhaps Comerford will ask Mr. Smith to share his recipe for the macaroni and cheese Michelle Obama likes so much or Mr. Bayless for tips on making his Sopa Azteca (tortilla soup) and guacamole, which are popular with the first couple.

The choice of a chief cook may seem frivolous compared to challenges such as reversing the recession, creating jobs, and extricating US troops from Iraq. But with pressing food-related issues such as obesity and the pollution created by conventional farming, an influential group of foodies including Gourmet Magazine editor Ruth Reichl had hoped that the Obamas and their chef would seize this opportunity to get the nation thinking about eating local, seasonal, and organic fare and sustainably raised meat and seafood.

"Probably the fastest way you could get people in America to change the way they eat is to have the president eating consciously and eating with not only his mouth but his mind," Ms. Reichl says. "Everybody is looking to the Obamas as an example in so many things and this could be really powerful."

People seem to be interested in what the new first family does: A small Iowa bakery found itself swamped with orders for its chocolate chunk cookies after word got out the Obama girls liked them.

Before the announcement to retain Comerford was made, Reichl dreamed of a "first chef" who could help be a culinary thought leader for the nation, issuing weekly menus detailing what the first family ate, offering tips on cooking with turnips or pole beans in season or ideas for creating meatless meals.

Reichl – along with influential Chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., and New York restaurateur Danny Meyer – had penned a letter to the Obamas offering to help head a committee to select a chef who would champion organic, sustainable, and seasonal cuisine.

Attempts to lobby for a change in chefs annoyed Mr. Scheib – the White House chef for 11 years before Comerford – who said all along that he thought the Obamas would retain her.

"She is an extremely high-level cuisinier, very flexible, and she knows how it works at the White House, which is how you work with the family and take the right attitude and strike the right pose," Mr. Scheib says. "The ... only thing important to the chef in the White House is serving the first family. If that means macaroni and cheese 10 days in a row, that's what you cook."

Scheib says that, just as he did, Comerford cooks with the best organic and local produce available.

The Bushes have praised Comerford's skills in creating American cuisine. An official press release on the White House website says that Comerford has collaborated with Chef John Ash and others showcasing American regional styles of cooking.

In the next four years, observers hope that Comerford's skill in creating organic and health-conscious fare that highlights American gastronomy will be put to greater use in diplomatic settings.

"I was shocked to see the paltry number of state dinners held over the past eight years in the White House," Mr. Meyer says. "It's clear to me the Bush White House had very little interest in gastronomy or the pleasure of the table or using the table as a way to bring people together."

Meyer, whose New York restaurant empire includes such institutions as Gramercy Tavern and Eleven Madison Park, says that he sees the Obamas as a cultured couple who, he hopes, will recognize the power and pleasure of conviviality and entertaining in the same way the Kennedys did.

"Food is one of the most potent ways I know to bring people together from different cultures," Meyer says. "And to make a statement for the rest of the country on how to enjoy food in a way that is both pleasurable and responsible."

Find this article at:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Resolve Acid Reflux with Care, Naturally

UPDATE: May 09
I've posted a number of articles about the conventional treatments for acid reflux here on several occasions, including problems with the Rx.
better-than-rx-for-gerd, Nexium, Why Acid and others.

I haven't said too much about what I think of the surgical treatments but that's for another day.

Now here's an article about two "non-surgical" surgical treatments that seem to have a requirement for anesthesia of some sort or another.

I am not a fan of the "reflux drugs" because of the interference they cause with protein metabolism and detoxification in the liver as well as bone lose and reduced immunity.

I am more in favor of natural care which might include the use of digestive enzymes, raw honey, water, apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water, Taoist salt, cayenne, several other natural therapies as well as just learning to properly chew your food and eating much more slowly.
How to apply Active Manuka Honey to the following Internal Ailments:

Acid Reflux
Take 1 teaspoon of Active Manuka Honey 3-4 times per day on a small square inch size piece of bread, toast or bagel, 20 minutes before meals, to coat out the esophagus.

Take 1 teaspoon of Active Manuka Honey 3-4 times per day on a small square inch size piece of bread, toast or bagel, 20 minutes before meals, to coat out the esophagus.

Esophagus Ulcer
Take 1 teaspoon of Active Manuka Honey 3-4 times per day on a small square inch size piece of bread, toast or bagel, 20 minutes before meals, to coat out the esophagus.

Up-set Stomach
Take 1 teaspoon of Active Manuka Honey 3-4 times per day on a small square inch size piece of bread, toast or bagel, 20 minutes before meals, to coat out an up-set stomach. Taking Active Manuka Honey is soothing after an episode of restaurant food poisoning. Due to the large and quick loss of liquids when experiencing diarrhea and vomiting after a food poisoning episode, you must consult your doctor quickly.

Stomach Ulcer / Peptic Ulcer
Take 1 teaspoon of Active Manuka Honey 3-4 times per day on a small square inch size piece of bread, toast or bagel, 20 minutes before meals, to coat out the stomach.

Helicobacter Pylori / h. pylori
Take 1 teaspoon of Active Manuka Honey 3-4 times per day on a small square inch size piece of bread, toast or bagel, 20 minutes before meals, to coat out the stomach and naturally help destroy the h. pylori bacteria typically associated stomach ulcers.

Take 1 teaspoon of Active Manuka Honey 3-4 times per day on a small square inch size piece of bread, toast or bagel, 20 minutes before meals, to coat out the stomach.

Duodenal Ulcer
Take 1 teaspoon of Active Manuka Honey 3-4 times per day on a small square inch size piece of bread, toast or bagel, 20 minutes before meals, to coat out the duodenum.

Ulcerative Colitis
Take 1 teaspoon of Active Manuka Honey 3-4 times per day on a small square inch size piece of bread, toast or bagel, 20 minutes before meals, to coat out the stomach and help sooth the ulcerative colitis.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Take 1 teaspoon of Active Manuka Honey 3-4 times per day on a small square inch size piece of bread, toast or bagel, 20 minutes before meals, to coat out the irritable bowel lining.
Nonsurgical acid reflux therapies work By Will Dunham, Mon Jan 19, 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two nonsurgical procedures relieve many symptoms of acid reflux disease including heartburn in people who are not helped by the medications typically used to treat it, U.S. researchers said on Friday.

In this chronic condition, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, irritating its lining and causing inflammation. Persistent, often-severe heartburn is the most common symptom.

Most people are helped if they take a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors such as AstraZeneca Plc's Nexium and Prilosec, Wyeth's Protonix, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co's Prevacid and Eisai Inc's Aciphex.

For those who are not helped by medications, there are few options short of surgery.

The new study, published in the journal Archives of Surgery, found two rarely performed so-called endoluminal therapies reduced heartburn, swallowing difficulties and voice hoarseness in many patients who underwent them.

Both are done using an endoscope, a long flexible instrument inserted through the mouth and down the esophagus.

One procedure called full-thickness plication uses the endoscope to tighten the junction between the esophagus and the stomach with sutures. The other, called radiofrequency therapy, uses heat to improve the function of the valve between the esophagus and stomach.

In this study, 68 patients underwent radiofrequency treatment and 58 had full-thickness plication.

"I think medication is still the first thing that people should try for reflux," Dr. Louis Jeansonne IV of Ochsner Medical Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, one of the researchers, said in a telephone interview.

"Surgery is still the most effective treatment in people who don't have relief with medications. But this study shows that this therapy without surgery is a viable option in patients who either can't have surgery or don't want surgery," Jeansonne added.

Surgery used to treat acid reflux is called laparoscopic fundoplication, in which doctors take the top of the stomach and wrap it around the lower part of the esophagus to create a barrier for acid reflux.

Acid reflux returns more than 80 percent of the time when people stop taking the medications.

"It's nice to be able to offer something less invasive," said Dr. Edward Lin of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, another of the researchers.

Lin noted the two nonsurgical treatments are uncommon in part because health insurance companies typically do not pay for them. Lin added that these nonsurgical treatments do not preclude a patient from getting surgery later if they do not provide relief.

(Editing by Julie Steenhuysen and Todd Eastham)
Copyright © 2009 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

You can learn more from our articles found at

MRSA infections rapidly increasing in children

I have a number of articles at and 13 related articles about MRSA here at Natural Health News. I have been investigating this issue since 1993 and have developed an approach that would be effective without relying on drugs that are currently not effective for this bacteria.

My basic protocol involves the use of pure essential oils (a common therapy in conventional medicine in France)and an herbal formula that was tested at Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard. It was this herbal formula that led to the FDA attacking my organization several years ago.

I now have a new weapon in my arsenal (Alli-C, ref=Dr.Eversole). This product is tested for effectiveness against MRSA and it passes each and every time.

I also have a resource for cleaning that goes beyond the standard chemical approach used in most health facility housekeeping departments.

I surely wish all the medical types would get out of their "box" and forget trying to come up with a new drug that may or may not work.
Serious infections rising in U.S. children
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Children in the United States increasingly are developing serious head and neck infections with a drug-resistant type of "superbug" bacteria called MRSA, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

They said rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, are rising in children, and called on doctors to be more judicious in prescribing antibiotics.

"There is a nationwide increase in the prevalence of MRSA in children with head and neck infections that is alarming," said Dr. Steven Sobol of Emory University, whose study appears in the Archives of Otalaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

MRSA previously had been a major concern only in hospitals, attacking patients who are already weakened by disease. But recent outbreaks in the community in otherwise healthy children have raised new concerns.

Sobol noted that other studies have shown increases in community-acquired infections of the skin and soft tissue, but some institutions have observed MRSA infections among children with head and neck infections, such as those involving the ear, nose, throat or sinuses.

To get a sense of the scope of the outbreak, the researchers studied 21,009 children ages 1 to 18 with head and neck infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus from 300 hospitals across the nation between 2001 and 2006.

While only 12 percent of the staph infections in 2001 showed signs of antibiotic resistance, that number more than doubled to 28 percent in just five years.

Nearly 60 percent of all MRSA infections of the head and neck among children in the study were acquired outside hospitals. Most were in children's ears.

The researchers suggest that doctors conduct careful testing of head and neck infections, and prescribe antibiotics only when they will do some good.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 94,000 Americans get serious, invasive MRSA infections each year and 19,000 die.

Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen, editing by Will Dunham and David Wiessler.
Copyright © 2009 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

See also: A New Weapon in the Battle Against Drug-Tolerant Bacteria

Herbal remedies compete with mainstream medicine

If Dr. WES, a medical blogger had his way there would be no room for natural health care, anywhere any how.

He is just another one of those arrogant mainstream medical folks who can't fathom that there is real science behind natural remedies and it has existed for a very long time.

And of course if we all get savvy and work to keep our health in top shape or re-build it with a healthy food plan and natural supplements or related treatments, his income will be impacted.

I suppose my wish is that enlightenment hits Dr. WES square up the side of his closed mind.
from Essen, Germany -
Mon, 19 Jan 2009. Author: DPA: Herbal remedies compete with traditional medicine

Essen, Germany - From a chamomile infusion for a cold or some fennel tea for an upset stomach, herbal remedies are becoming increasingly popular and are believed to strengthen the body's immune system. Though often self-prescribed, these treatments are gaining acceptance among practitioners of traditional medicine.

"Patients want to avoid the side effects of traditional therapies by turning to natural remedies," says Gustav Dobos, professor of internal medicine and Chairholder of Complementary and Integrative Medicine at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

The Central Association of Doctors for Natural Medicine (ZAEN) also believes herbal and natural remedies are gaining acceptance, especially among people with allergies and chronic health problems.

"We don't want to condemn traditional medicine. Natural medicine is no substitute. But you can be more successful if you work on two tracks," says ZAEN spokeswoman and general practitioner Christel Papendick.

Traditionally, herbal remedies are used to combat minor ailments that can be treated without a doctor. Cloisters and monasteries were the original groundbreakers for herbal medicine, helping to spread them across Europe during the Middle Ages and into the 15th century, says Dobos.

Hildegard, a Benedictine nun from Bingen, who lived from 1089 to 1179, was one of the best-known practitioners. Today, some monasteries still have gardens focused on herbal medicine.

"There's something that reduces the problems and speeds up the healing for almost every illness," says Johannes Gottfried Mayer of the University of Wuerzburg. He runs a research group that focuses on the medical discoveries of monasteries.

Research shows that willow bark was used to combat fever and pain as early as the 13th century. In the 19th century, researchers discovered that the plant's active ingredient was acetyl salicylic acid (ASS), a substance used in modern pain relievers.

Mayer says people are beginning to turn to natural remedies amid growing scepticism about the ability of high-tech solutions to solve all health problems. In addition, most of these herbal remedies are easier for the body to process.

"The mildness of plant remedies is the most interesting part, especially when it comes to treating children," he says.

The only irony is that some plants that can be used medicinally present huge problems for people who could benefit from herbal remedies: the allergic. Plants from the daisy family such as leopard's bane or marigolds can cause allergic reactions and should be used with caution.

Copyright, respective author DHA or news agency, Essen, Germany

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Radiation of any kind increases cancer risk

UPDATE: 19 January, 2009 -More mammography madness, women's health really not a priority - Thermography needs to become the treatment of choice and women should not be subjected to high risk of harm or breast cancer (along with heart and thyroid damage from the screening). This is why for more than a decade we have been saying THINK Before You Pink! Women's Health Month is March, and that is not too far away.
FDA Warns of Potential of Serious Side Effects with Topical Numbing Agents
By Todd Neale, Staff Writer, MedPage Today, Published: January 16, 2009

ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 16 -- The FDA has issued a second warning about the potential dangers of using topical anesthetics for relieving pain from medical tests and conditions.

The latest advisory was prompted by a report last summer on the results of a randomized trial evaluating the use of lidocaine for the pain and discomfort of mammography. (See: Pre-Mammography Painkiller May Ease the Pinch)

The researchers found that women using lidocaine -- which was spread over the breasts and chest wall and covered with plastic wrap for a total absorption time of about 45 minutes -- reported significantly less discomfort than those using acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or placebo.

"Although no serious side effects were reported in this study," the FDA warning read, "it was not large enough to evaluate whether uncommon but serious reactions could occur with this use.

"FDA remains concerned about the potential for topical anesthetics to cause serious and life-threatening adverse effects when applied to a large area of skin or when the area of application is covered," the advisory read.

The agency said that some of the topical medication can pass into the blood stream upon application.

Under certain circumstances -- if a large area of skin is covered, the drug is applied to broken skin, or skin temperature increases -- the amount of medication entering the blood stream may be toxic, causing irregular heartbeat, seizures, breathing difficulties, coma, and death, the agency said.

This latest warning repeats the concerns of an advisory issued in February 2007 following the deaths of two women, ages 22 and 25, who applied topical anesthetics to their legs and covered them in plastic wrap to numb the anticipated pain of laser hair removal.

Both women had seizures, fell into a coma, and subsequently died because of the drugs' toxic effects.

The drugs involved were lidocaine and tetracaine.

The FDA advised physicians to determine whether a topical anesthetic would create the necessary pain relief when considering its use for any purpose and whether an alternate treatment would be as effective.

If a topical anesthetic is determined to be the best choice, the agency recommended using the lowest amounts possible, applying the medications as sparingly as possible, avoiding broken or irritated skin, and being aware that wrapping or applying heat to the areas treated with the medications can increase the risk of serious side effects.
Breast Imaging Premedication to Reduce Discomfort during Screening Mammography1
Colleen K. Lambertz, MSN, MBA, FNP, Christopher J. Johnson, MPH, Paul G. Montgomery, MD, and James R. Maxwell, MD

1 From the St Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute (C.K.L., P.G.M.), 100 E Idaho St, Boise, ID 83712; Cancer Data Registry of Idaho, Boise, Idaho (C.J.J.); and St Luke's Regional Medical Center, Boise, Idaho (J.R.M.). Received August 27, 2007; revision requested November 1; final revision received November 29; accepted January 24, 2008; final revision accepted March 4. Supported by the Mountain States Tumor Medical Research Institute grant. Address correspondence to C.K.L. (e-mail: lambertc{at}

Purpose: To test the hypothesis that premedication with acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and/or 4% lidocaine gel would decrease discomfort and improve satisfaction with screening mammography in women who expect a higher level of discomfort.

Materials and Methods: In this HIPAA-compliant, institutional review board–approved, prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 418 women aged 32–89 years who expected substantial discomfort with screening mammography were randomly divided to receive premedication with acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and/or 4% lidocaine gel. Subjects provided informed written consent. The primary outcome was discomfort. Secondary outcomes were satisfaction and plans for future mammography on the basis of discomfort. Subjects completed structured questionnaires with visual analog scales to measure discomfort and satisfaction. A generalized linear mixed-models framework was used to assess the effect of medications on discomfort during mammography, and satisfaction with technologist and machine combinations was included as a random effect. The "plans for mammography next year" outcome was modeled by using a binary distribution and logit link function.

Results: Discomfort was significantly lower in the lidocaine gel group (P = .01). Satisfaction was significantly negatively correlated with discomfort (P < .001). Satisfaction and whether or not the subject had delayed her mammography because of fear of discomfort had significant effects on plans to undergo mammography next year (P < .001 for both). There were significant differences in discomfort between different combinations of technologists and machines.

Conclusion: Premedication with 4% lidocaine gel significantly reduced discomfort during screening mammography, and reduced discomfort may improve the likelihood of future mammographic screening and early detection of breast cancer.
(Radiology 2008;248:765-772.)© RSNA, 2008

Originally posted 9/5/08, Our new paper is linked with facts you do want to know.
Each year, about 800,000 women around the world are diagnosed with early breast cancer.

It amazes me that there is so much closed minded "research" aiming at co-opting women to believe that mammogram or other radiation exposure is good for them to detect cancer earlier and better.

The fact is that tumours picked up on mammogram are at least 8-10 years old. If you are 40 and get a mammogram (x-ray) every year, the risk of your getting cancer rises exponentially. Why aren't you being told this?

Other less intrusive and decidedly less risky diagnostic techniques have been around for a long time. Ultrasound is one, but that still relies on EMF or radio waves, but it is a far sight safer than X-RAY.

Another health impact that seems to be overlooked in this allegedly novel approach is that radioactive "tracers" or dyes are in use. Often there is no pre-test screening to determine if you have an allergy to the substance. These allergies may elicit anaphylactic reactions and death. Other considerations is the impact of radioactive substances on your endocrine system, especially your thyroid gland.

Mammography does not save or extend lives and is not a justifiable practice. So how much money do insurance companies and consumers pay out for radiation treatment of breast cancer? This practice results in only a less than 1% chance of improving survival. Is this worth such a large investment when so many medical claims are denied and there is virtually zero coverage of preventive practices? from the Lancet 2000; 355: 129-134.

and versus MBI
One drawback of MBI: It uses about 8 to 10 times the radiation of mammograms, a dose that engineers like Hruska are trying to lower with newer technology. Other medical centers also are testing MBI.

and they are again experimenting with an unproven technology that may be exciting to the researchers, but harmful to your health as there are no long term studies. Once again the lab rats are lining up to be experimented on, and paying to do so.

And by the way, don't overlook the fact that it is you that become the lab rat in this an in many other mainstream medical situations.

Thermography is really your better bet. Stand up for your health and demand this test.
Study: New way to spot breast cancer shows promise
Wed Sep 3, 2008

A radioactive tracer that "lights up" cancer hiding inside dense breasts showed promise in its first big test against mammograms, revealing more tumors and giving fewer false alarms, doctors reported Wednesday.

The experimental method — molecular breast imaging, or MBI — would not replace mammograms for women at average risk of the disease.

But it might become an additional tool for higher risk women with a lot of dense tissue that makes tumors hard to spot on mammograms, and it could be done at less cost than an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging. About one-fourth of women 40 and older have dense breasts.

"MBI is a promising technology" that is already in advanced testing, said Carrie Hruska, a biomedical engineer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., which has been working on it for six years.

She gave results in a telephone news briefing Wednesday and will present them later this week at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Washington, D.C.

Mammograms — a type of X-ray — are the chief way now to check for breast cancer. MBI uses radiation, too, but in a different way. Women are given an intravenous dose of a short-acting tracer that is absorbed more by abnormal cells than healthy ones. Special cameras collect the "glow" these cells give off, and doctors look at the picture to spot tumors.

Researchers tried both methods, on 940 women who had dense breasts and a high risk of cancer because of family history, bad genes or other reasons.

Thirteen tumors were found in 12 women — eight by MBI alone, one by mammography alone, two by both methods and two by neither. (The two missed cancers were found on subsequent annual mammograms, physical exams or other imaging tests.)

Looked at another way, MBI found 10 out of 13 tumors, missing three; mammograms detected three out of 13 tumors and missed 10. Using both methods, 11 out of 13 tumors would have been detected.

"These images are quite striking. You can see how the cancers would be hidden on the mammograms," Hruska said.

Mammograms gave false alarms — led doctors to conclude that cancer was present when it was not — in about 9 percent of patients, compared to only 7 percent for MBI. The MBI tests led to more biopsies than mammograms did, but they more often revealed cancer.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation and Bristol-Myers Squibb, which makes the imaging agent used in the study, paid for the work.

The next test will be to see how MBI stacks up against MRI. The federal government is paying for a new study Mayo is leading that compares the two in 120 high-risk women with dense breasts.

MRI is often used now for women with dense breasts, but it gives many false alarms that lead to unnecessary biopsies. Doctors hope MBI will prove more accurate and cost less — under $500 versus more than $1,000 for an MRI.

"We all know that mammography is, in and of itself, an imperfect tool, and we clearly need to do better in the future," said Dr. Eric Winer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston, a spokesman for the oncology group. "It is fair to say that MRI will not solve all problems either."

One drawback of MBI: It uses about 8 to 10 times the radiation of mammograms, a dose that engineers like Hruska are trying to lower with newer technology. Other medical centers also are testing MBI.

"We're just beginning to see what this technology can do," she said.

On the Net:
Cancer conference: and
Mayo Clinic:
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.

Related articles

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Risk with CFL light bulbs

UPDATE: 20 September 
Your Right to Life, Liberty, and Inefficient Lighting

August 2010: CFL Risky

Low Energy CFL bulbs causing a rash of problems, Jan 2008

UPDATE: 3 April, 2010Study warns of green light bulb electrosmog
A study has measured the electric fields emitted from these lamps and concluded that a certain distance is needed to keep well under international limits. ...
UPDATE 9 June, 2009

CFL bulbs emit UV light and are used for this purpose in commercial hydroponic food growers.

UPDATE: 25 April, 2009
Natural Health News has been covering the CFL light bulb issue for at least three years. We have 10 articles posted here discussing these light bulbs.

The basic concern is that they are not safe on many levels and we do not suggest you convert to them, surely not inside your home.
The Dark Side of CFL

UPDATE: 30 January, 2009
New LED research will lead to more affordable LED lighting.

UPDATE: 24 January, 2009
Over the past two years on this blog (Natural Health News) we have posted about a dozen articles regarding the risks of CFL light bulbs to your health. Many other warnings were sent in our newsletter, taught in our classes, written about in our many print and on-line articles and our main web site.

Our organization in a recognized non-profit and tax-exempt education and natural public health focused group, established in 1988(501c3 since January 1989).

Ethics is important to our organization. We are not part of a secret SEO (search-engine optimization) group based in a foreign country that refuses to list its owners and managers or how the more than 400 web sites in their organization are funded.

We do not lift material from other web sites then claim it as our own, nor do we fail to give credit to authors and sources of material we use in our research or what we might quote on Natural Health News or in our other work.

We have had many experiences with an SEO web site in the past 4-5 years taking our material and using it without credit to the source.

We are recognized as a credible source internationally and we refrain from sensationalizing information or our work. We do not report on a superficial level, we try to give you credible, sound information that can lead you to do more research on your own and apply what is relevant to your life and health.

While we do offer products for sale, profits are used to continue our work because of the volunteer nature of our organization. We thoroughly evaluate products and try them ourselves before we post them here. We do develop and manufacture several products and we will customize product for you. We raise funds from classes we teach, articles we write, services and our "ASK PROGRAM" that allows you to ask health questions and receive a valid response in either 24 or 72 hours, based on either of two fees, both under $30, selected. On occasion we provide "second opinions, naturally" to you or other health professionals and accept a very limited number of clients.

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I was rather incensed recently when reading an article in the UK press about a rather well to do official who is set to make a lot of profit from his investment in a new company set up to deal with the hazardous waste of CFL light bulbs.

It amazes me that now with a great amount of information available on the hazards of CFL bulbs that the ads and campaigns continue to mount, especially from so-called environmental groups. There's even a racing car driver that has her own campaign to get you to buy in to CFL.

We have had a number of posts on this topic -
April 2007
December 2007 - Convenience may be causing people to get sick
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a growing health concernBy MARIA TZAVARAS
May 21, 2008
Modern technology makes our lives convenient and efficient, but is it also making us sick?
Electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, are all around us, emitted from items in our home, work and outside environments. Whether it's outside power lines, home electrical wiring or appliances big and small, if it uses electricity, it's giving off EMFs.

That being said, it's inevitable we are all going to be exposed to EMFs so the question becomes what exactly does that mean for our health?

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a growing health concern and, according to Dr. Howard Fisher, a Toronto chiropractor and author of The Invisible Threat, The Risks Associated with EMFs, it can be attributed to several health disorders.

Studies have confirmed these disorders include fatigue, sleep disturbances, loss of mental attention, headaches, depression, heart palpitations, memory problems and burning and tingling sensations in the head and extremities.

Fisher also said EMFs have been proven to have effects on neurological tissues, contributing to nerve degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

Whether it causes or simply exacerbates symptoms, Fisher said he can't say, but if this is true, why hasn't the public heard more about it?

Health Canada, while recognizing EMFs exist, said it does not feel they negatively impact the health of Canadians.

"Health Canada has no scientific reason to consider the use of wireless communications devices, such as cellphones, BlackBerries, wireless laptop computers and their supporting infrastructure, (are) dangerous to the health of the Canadian public," said the official statement from the health organization. "The World Health Organization has recently confirmed this as well."

Renee Bergeron, media relations officer for Health Canada, said she gets calls on a weekly basis from concerned citizens regarding electromagnetic sensitivities, mainly regarding cellphones.

Currently Bergeron said there's no concrete scientific evidence to back up those concerns.

"We have a whole team of people working in the radiation protection program area; that's what they do," she said.

However, Fisher said he strongly believes in the negative health effects attributed to EMFs and has known about it since the early '80s.

Kevin Byrne, a former sufferer, also said the effects are real.

Three years ago, Byrne moved into a house and did renovations, including installing new lighting complete with 15 compact fluorescent lights and three dimmer switches. Over the next few months, Byrne noticed he was feeling overall unwellness.

"I developed arthritic-like pain. I was very sore and my joints hurt, especially my hips, and I wasn't sleeping well," he said.

He went to the doctor for a checkup, but everything was normal. It wasn't until he was visiting a neighbour, an environmental engineer, that there was some light shed on his situation.

The neighbour was using a Stetzer meter, developed to measure dirty electricity.

Dirty electricity is caused by energy-saving devices such as power bars and compact fluorescent light bulbs. To achieve the lower voltage, electricity is chopped up, allowing it to move slower and achieve energy efficiency. As a result, electricity spews outward and goes back through the wiring in your home, contaminating everything that is plugged in.

After Byrne took to the meter home to his house, he found high levels of dirty electricity.

"Your electricity, when it's clean, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with it, but when it's contaminated ... it's got radiation spewing off of it," Byrne said.

Historically, Fisher said people have been aware of the effects of EMFs since the 1950s. However, it remains a controversial topic with many unknowns.

"What the medical world isn't aware of we don't know how much of the symptoms that they see in practice on a regular basis is due to electromagnetic field effects or actual pathologies," Fisher said.

That being said, other countries such as Sweden and Australia recognize this; so why not Canada?

"When you test anything, like drugs, products or whatever, sometimes you have to look at how big the studies are, how long did they test them for, what are the variables, so we have to accumulate a lot of studies and we have to see a pattern before we can verify it," Bergeron said.

Visit to learn more about how you can avoid EMF exposure.

March 2008
October 2008

Basically for those who do not understand the issue, it is that these bulbs contain mercury, they are hazardous and considered hazardous waste, and they contain EMF emitting units at the base of the bulb.

And there is a health risk, especially in the mounting number of people affected, because of environmental assault, by MCS.

Here is a very interesting paper on CFL bulbs, I encourage you to read it.

And this paper as well -Electromagnetic Fields and Health - Executive Report

Friday, January 16, 2009

Postnatal depression prevented with counselling

I suppose that Brooke Shields found it much easier to take a pill that may have deleterious effects on her health rather than look at her nutritional status and food plan, when she has had to face depression after child birth.

I suppose Tom Cruise might find this article enlightening in light of his more natural approach to health in pregnancy.

Tom has an edge when he sides for nutritional supplements, but coupled with counselling, things might have just gotten a lot easier for mothers-in-waiting.

Maybe US obstetricians need to update their thinking too.
Postnatal depression can be treated, prevented
Thu Jan 15, 2009
PARIS (AFP) – Many women struggling with the post-baby blues may expect only a hug or a couple of pills, but in new studies published on Friday, doctors say counselling can not only treat this risky condition but prevent it, too.

Professional counsellors can reduce rates of postnatal depression by 40 percent, while support from fellow mothers can reduce the risk of developing this dangerous disorder by half, they say.

In one paper, a team led by Jane Morrell of the University of Sheffield, northern England, divided more than 4,000 new mothers into three groups.

In the first two groups, the volunteers each received a weekly session of psychological counselling over eight weeks, using either of two techniques.

The so-called "cognitive behaviour approach" focuses on unhelpful behaviour patterns and thoughts in the mother, and helps overcome them by pointing out that these reflexes are a common part of the post-natal experience.

The "person-centered approach" emphasizes empathy and unconditional support for the mother's feelings.

The third group was a "control" group of women who received standard health care treatment.

Women who were diagnosed with depression six weeks after giving birth were 40 percent less likely to have the same symptoms six months later if they had either form of counselling, the investigators found.

The second trial, likewise published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), identified 701 pregnant women in Ontario, Canada, who were estimated to be at risk of developing postnatal depression.

Half of the group were given standard post-natal care while the other half were given telephone support by a peer volunteer -- a woman with first-hand knowledge of post-baby blues.

Getting this peer support halved the risk of depression at 12 weeks after birth, the report said.

"These trials add to the growing evidence that postnatal depression can be effectively treated and possibly prevented," said lead researcher Cindy-Lee Dennis of the University of Toronto.

The barriers to treatment, however, remain high, she said.

Women are often unaware of the syndrome and are apt to deny or minimise its symptoms. And even when they do feel they need help, they may be unaware of treatment options or unwilling to reveal emotional distress.

"They fear being labelled mentally ill, having their children taken away, or being perceived as not fulfilling their maternal role," she said.

Postnatal depression affects one in eight women in diverse cultures around the world, and is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality, usually through suicide.

The generally short-term but devastating mental disorder can also have a serious impact on infants and children, affecting cognitive, emotional and social development.

Copyright © 2009 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

Sleep Rx Use Rises in Young Adults

There are several excellent studies that indicate sleep problems associated with use of EMF generating devices such as cell phones and WIFI.

The use of these devices are very prevalent in this age group. Most seem to believe that there is no impact to health from these devices.

It is interesting that no educational or other preventive approaches are being recommended.

Our blu-light therapy units may be of help, especially if you have irregular work or study hours.

Other more natural help may come from magnesium, B vitamins, Valerian root or other well selected high quality liquid herbal extracts, melatonin, l-tryptophan or 5HTP, herbal teas, raw honey, and baths.

Unfortunately - in the long term - Rx drugs alter REM sleep and other problems may develop with habituation and rebound insomnia that may cause greater drug use.

A word to the wise...
Use of sleep aids by young U.S. adults soars
By Julie Steenhuysen
Thu Jan 15, 2009

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Use of prescription sleep aids nearly tripled among young adults between 1998 and 2006, according to a study released on Thursday by the healthcare business arm of Thomson Reuters.

"Insomnia, a condition traditionally associated with older adults, appears to be causing larger numbers of young adults to turn to prescription sleep aids, and to depend on them for longer periods of time," said William Marder, senior vice president and general manager for the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters, parent company of Reuters News.

A study of medical and drug claims data found a 50-percent increase in use of the drugs among all adults under 45, who also appear to be using the drugs for a longer period of time to help them fall asleep.

During the study period, the average length of time sleep aids were used by adults under 45 jumped by more than 40 percent -- rising to 93 days in 2006 from 64 days in 1998.

But perhaps the most startling finding was the increase in use of sleep aids among college-age adults 18 to 24.

Use in this age group rose to 1,524 users per 100,000 in 2006, up from 599 users per 100,000 in 1998.

"I find it very worrisome that young people who should have a very strong and healthy sleep system are now finding they are turning to medication to help them get to sleep," Donna Arand, a sleep specialist at Kettering Hospital Sleep Disorder Center in Dayton, Ohio, said in a telephone interview.

Arand said she has seen a number of students seeking sleep aids because their normal sleep patterns have been disrupted in college, and she fears these adults may have trouble adjusting to a normal sleep pattern as their schedules normalize.


Two-thirds of those in this study population were taking non-benzodiazepine hypnotics -- such as Sanofi-Aventis' Ambien CR and Sepracor Inc's Lunesta.

These newer sleep aids generally have fewer side effects, but in rare cases they can cause sleep walking.

That may have led to the demise of a 51-year-old Wisconsin man who froze to death while sleep-walking barefoot in his underwear this week in below-zero cold.

The Sawyer County Sheriff's Office in Hayward, Wisconsin, said Timothy Brueggeman had Ambien at his house, and family members told the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis that he had a history of sleep walking.

Chief Deputy Tim Ziegel said there was no proof that Brueggeman had taken the drug before his death but toxicology tests had been ordered.

"We do not know all the facts about what transpired," said Sanofi spokeswoman Susan Brook, noting that the circumstances of the man's death are still being investigated.

In general, she said sleep walking is a rare side effect of the drug and she cautioned that Ambien or Ambien CR should not be taken by people with a history of sleep walking, nor should they be taken with alcohol.

(Additional reporting by Mike Conlon; Editing by Xavier Briand)
Copyright © 2009 Reuters Limited

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Risks Potentially Outweigh Benefits with Avandia®

Risks Potentially Outweigh Benefits with Diabetes Drug Avandia®

Avandia®, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), was first approved by the FDA in 1999 for marketing on the basis of its ability to lower blood glucose and reduce insulin resistance. By 2006 the drug had become the top selling oral diabetes drug in the United States (13 million prescriptions, approximately 10, 000 daily, for Avandia(R) were filled in the U.S. in 2006).

Avandia®, or rosiglitazone, and a related drug Actos® (pioglitazone), belong to the drug class thiazolidinediones (TZDs). The first drug in this class, Rezulin® (troglitazone), was removed from the market in 2000 for causing liver failure and death.

TZDs have been prescribed alone or used with other hypoglycemic drugs to improve glycemic control in diabetic patients. Initially the long term effects of the drug, such as cardiovascular events, were unknown.

According to a story published in The New York Times, Dr. John B. Buse, a diabetes expert and early critic of Avandia®, was “intimidated” by the GSK. As early as 2000, Dr. Buse, closely associated with the American Diabetes Association, charged in a letter to the FDA that Glaxo had used “blatant selective manipulation of data” to overstate the benefits of Avandia® and understate its risks. GSK has denied Dr. Buse’s allegations.

In 2003 several groups and health professionals made an effort to alert the public to the dangerous link between Avandia® and an increased risk of congestive heart failure. In late 2006 the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a study that illustrated how serious this danger is.

In 2007 Drs. Bruce Psaty of the University of Washington and Curt Furberg of Wake Forest University, in the New England Journal of Medicine, said that “to the extent that the new analysis shows valid risks”, the drug "represents a major failure of the drug-use and drug-approval processes in the United States".

When the drug was approved, "evidence was at best mixed" on its benefit, wrote the two doctors. Both have criticized the FDA's failure to spot dangers in the general drug approval process. Other experts have expressed concern that Avandia® is another example of the FDA failing to detect safety problems early enough.

Because TZDs can cause fluid retention, Avandia® is not recommended for patients with symptomatic heart failure. So, in 2007 the FDA did request that both Avandia® and Actos® carry a stronger “black box” warning against use for people with heart failure.

Finally in late 2008, a working group composed of Public Citizen, the American Diabetes association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, unanimously advised against using Avandia® because of concerns about the drug's risks. They further support immediate action by the FDA to ban the drug because of risks that outweigh benefits along with death from liver failure and life-threatening cardiovascular events.

The FDA’s own Adverse Event Reporting System lists 14 cases of liver failure and 12 deaths associated with Avandia®.

Liver toxicity is a recently identified risk associated with Avandia®. It also increases the risk of Avandia heart attacks by almost 40 percent, doubles the risk of heart failure and bone fractures, and increases the risk of anemia. Visual problems and loss from macular edema, a swelling of the retina caused by fluids accumulating in the eye were increasingly reported with Avandia® (39 times more reports of macular edema per million prescriptions filled).

Dr. Robert Misbin, the FDA official who examined the data on Avandia® at the time of the drug’s approval, found a noticeable increase in the rate of a condition known as congestive heart failure (CHF) in the study participants. And the FDA reports that the drug may have a 30-40 percent greater risk of heart attack and other heart-related adverse events than patients treated with placebo or other anti-diabetic therapy.

Dr. Stephen Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine, that Avandia® showed a disturbing trend toward increasing not only CHF, but heart attack and stroke. The data reviewed in 2007 by Nissen showed the increased risk of CHF to be about 700 percent, and about 50 percent for heart attack and stroke. Death rates increased by 64 percent.

Following on Congressional hearings into the drug’s safety in 2007, when officials asked both the FDA and GSK why Dr. Nissen’s findings were not reported sooner. As a result of these hearings and Nissen’s study, the FDA did begin its own studies, the findings of which are scheduled to be released in 2009. At the same time the agency ordered GSK to issue a public warning about the potential heart-related risks associated with Avandia®.

Associated side effects of Avandia® (rosiglitazone)

Increased weight gain
Cause or worsen anemia
Increase cholesterol
Deplete chromium, a necessary nutrient for blood sugar regulation and carbohydrate metabolism
Cause water retention
Cause Congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, pleural effusion, angina, heart attack and stroke
Cause headache and Upper respiratory infection
Cause an increase of injury, especially related with contact sports
Increase risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and metabolic acidosis when used in combination with other diabetes drugs
Decrease white blood cells
Increase the risk of anemia associated with reduced red blood cells, hemoglobin and hematocrit
Increased levels of total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and reduced free fatty acids
Increased risk of fracture especially in women using the drug
May increase ovulation in pre-menopausal women (Avandia ® is not to be used by women who are nursing or plan to nurse their infants)
Increased risk of macular edema
May cause nutrient depletion especially when used in combination with other diabetes drugs

Since liver function problems may arise while using this drug for blood sugar control the following information should be considered: Liver enzymes should be measured prior to initiating treatment with AVANDIA®. Therapy with this drug should not be initiated if the patient exhibits clinical evidence of active liver disease or increased levels of ALT (serum transaminase greater than 2.5X the upper limit of normal at start of therapy). After initiation of AVANDIA®, liver enzymes should be monitored periodically by your healthcare professional.

Rosiglitazone is predominantly metabolized by Cytochrome P450 (CYP) detox pathway in the liver (Phase 1). The half-life of the drug may be as long as 153 hours and women show a lower ability to clear the drug.

If, while using this drug you have developed any symptom of liver (hepatic) problems, which may include unexplained nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, anorexia (loss of or no appetite) or dark colored urine, contact your health care provider immediately.

It is notable that GSK suggests that if adverse effects occur, when used in combination with other drugs, to cease competing drugs.

A number of Avandia lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of Avandia over failure to warn consumers of Avandia side effects .

Should you have questions about using Avandia®, or related medical concerns, contact your health care provider. If you have suffered an injury from taking Avandia and would like to learn about your legal rights, you can find information at .

This article is part of a consumer health education series written by Gayle Eversole, DHom, PhD, MH, NP, ND, of Creating Health Institute, in collaboration with Bernstein Liebhard, LLP.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author, Gayle Eversole.

Splenda Potentially Harmful to Humans

1/2/10: This article is ranked 4 of 433,000

UPDATE: 12/23/09  Natural Health News has about 35 articles regarding artificial sweeteners like Splenda.  The newest is here

You can sign a petition to the FDA at CFH
Chairman of Citizens for Health Declares FDA Should Review Approval of Splenda

New Study of Splenda and Sucralose Reveals

Shocking New Information About Potential Harmful Effect on Humans !!!

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 22, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- James Turner, chairman of the national consumer education group Citizens for Health expressed shock and outrage after reading a new report from scientists at Duke University. "The report makes it clear that the artificial sweetener Splenda and its key component sucralose pose a threat to the people who consume the product. Hundreds of consumers have complained to us about side effects from using Splenda and this study, published this past week in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A, confirms that the chemicals in the little yellow package should carry a big red warning label," said Turner.

Among the results in the study by Drs. Mohamed B. Abou-Donia, Eman M. El-Masry, Ali A. Abdel-Rahman, Roger E. McLendon and Susan S. Schiffman is evidence that, in the animals studied, Splenda reduces the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by 50%, increases the pH level in the intestines, contributes to increases in body weight and affects the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in the body in such a way that crucial health-related drugs could be rejected. Turner noted that the P-gp effect "could result in crucial medications used in chemotherapy for cancer patients, AIDS treatment and drugs for heart conditions being shunted back into the intestines rather than being absorbed by the body as intended."

The study was conducted using male rats over a period of twelve weeks. The manufacturers of Splenda also used a rat study when they applied for and received approval to market the product from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At the time, the findings from their rat studies were extrapolated as to possible effects on humans. This is standard FDA practice and this study is consistent with that practice.

Turner said, "This report followed accepted policies and procedures and the results make clear the potential for disturbing side effects from the ingestion of Splenda. It is like putting a pesticide in your body. And this is at levels of intake erroneously approved by the Food and Drug Administration. A person eating two slices of cake and drinking two cups of coffee containing Splenda would ingest enough sucralose to affect the P-glycoprotein, while consuming just seven little Splenda packages reduces good bacteria." Although the effect of consuming Splenda does not result from a onetime use, the side effects do occur after accumulated use. Turner also noted unmistakable evidence that Splenda is absorbed by fat, contrary to the claims of Johnson & Johnson.

Turner announced, "We are calling today on the FDA to immediately accept our petition filed over a year ago and initiate a review of its approval of sucralose and to require a warning label on Splenda packaging cautioning that people who take medications and/or have gastrointestinal problems avoid using Splenda. The new study makes it clear that Splenda can cause you to gain weight and lose the benefits of medications designed to improve and protect your health. The FDA should not continue to turn a blind eye to this health threat."

Citizens for Health will testify in Sacramento, CA, on October 3, 2008, before the California Assembly Committee on Health which is examining the use of deceptive advertising to promote sales of potentially unhealthy food additives, particularly artificial sweeteners.

About Citizens for Health - Citizens for Health ( ) is an international non-profit consumer advocacy group working to broaden healthcare options, create an integrative health system based on wellness, and advance the freedom to make health choices. The group promotes the fundamental policies needed to improve health choices and information in the U.S. and internationally. The group works with grassroots and education organizations and partners to ensure consumer access to dietary supplements, safe foods, a healthy environment and a wide range of healing therapies. Citizens for Health fosters active citizen leadership and organizes natural health consumers to create political and legislative solutions that support those rights.