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Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Real Life Experience, Damaged by Gardasil

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Insurance Rates Soar 15 Percent and More

Certainly this report makes a strong case for single payer to cover all citizens in the US, including members of congress.

And please make a point to understand that it is the insurance companies that drive up the costs, as they control all the licensed providers engaged in third party billing.
Individual insurance rates soar in 4 states
By LINDA A. JOHNSON, AP Business Writer
Fri Feb 12, 2010

TRENTON, N.J. – Consumers in at least four states who buy their own health insurance are getting hit with premium increases of 15 percent or more — and people in other states could see the same thing.

Anthem Blue Cross, a subsidiary of WellPoint Inc., has been under fire for a week from regulators and politicians for notifying some of its 800,000 individual policyholders in California that it plans to raise rates by up to 39 percent March 1.

The Anthem Blue Cross plan in Maine is asking for increases of about 23 percent this year for some individual policyholders. Last year, they raised rates up to 32 percent.

Kansas had one recent case where one insurer wanting to raise most individual rates 20 percent to 30 percent was persuaded by state insurance officials to reduce the increases to 10 percent to 20 percent. The insurance department would not identify the company but said it was not Anthem.

And in Oregon, multiple insurers were granted rate hikes of 15 percent or more this year after increases of around 25 percent last year for customers who purchase individual health insurance, rather than getting it through their employer.

Premiums are far more volatile for individual policies than for those bought by employers and other large groups, which have bargaining clout and a sizable pool of people among which to spread risk. As more people have lost jobs, many who are healthy have decided to go without health insurance or get a bare-bones, high-deductible policy, reducing the amount of premiums insurers receive.

Steep rate hikes in this sliver of the insurance market — about 13 million Americans, as of 2008 — have popped up sporadically for years. Experts see them becoming increasingly common.

"You're going to see rate increases of 20, 25, 30 percent" for individual health policies in the near term, Sandy Praeger, chairwoman of the health insurance and managed care committee for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, predicted Friday.

Most states don't have the legal authority to block or reduce health insurance rate increases, Praeger noted.

"When you see stories like (Anthem's), you can almost guarantee there's going to be increased consumer protection activity" in state legislatures, she said.

Her group doesn't track rates state by state, but Praeger said it likely will start doing so, "if we don't get any kind of meaningful reform at the federal level."

Politicians and even some health insurers, including Anthem, are urging a revival of the stalled effort in Congress to overhaul the health care system, arguing everyone needs to be covered by health insurance in order to prevent such premium spikes.

In Maine, where Anthem dominates the market, its proposal has several consumer groups planning big rallies at two public hearings on the rates, on Feb. 22 and 24.

Under Anthem's proposal, a family of four could be charged up to $1,876 per month if the proposed rates are allowed to take effect in July.

"The rate request should be denied on its face. It's outrageous," said Greg Howard, spokesman for Maine Change That Works. "We are in the middle of ... this record-breaking type of recession, and they're doing what they need to guarantee profit margin."

On Friday, Maine House Speaker Hannah Pingree and Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell wrote to two congressmen who have scheduled a Feb. 24 hearing on Anthem's pending rate hikes in California, asking them to also look into the proposed hike in Maine.

"We frankly have been very frustrated by the size of these increases," Pingree told The Associated Press. "Obviously, they are attempting to price certain people out of the market."

Last year, Maine's Superintendent of Insurance Mila Kofman rejected Anthem's initial requests, which would have increased individual rates an average of 18.5 percent. She allowed an average increase of 10.9 percent, with the highest increase at 32.4 percent.

Anthem sued the state. Oral arguments in the case are to be scheduled before the Maine Superior Court for mid-March.

Anthem spokesman Chris Dugan said Friday evening the company wants the court to review Kofman's decision because it didn't allow the company an operating profit. He said the rates requested for 2010 are needed "to make sure that we have adequate resources to cover the remaining members" in the insurance plans.

WellPoint, based in Indianapolis, has said it needs to raise rates so much because the weak economy has resulted in fewer people remaining in the individual market in California, and many who do have serious health problems. It says costs of caring for them have been rising due to higher provider prices and more use of diagnostic tests.

In Oregon, state insurance officials have concluded that rising costs justify the higher individual premiums, particularly because most insurers cut rates too much in 2006 and then got hit with significant losses. So double-digit increases, some 25 percent or higher, have been approved, or reduced a bit from 2007 to 2010.

Insurance Division spokeswoman Cheryl Martinis said the agency has started posting details of all proposed increases on its Webspace site and e-mailing customers want a proposal comes in so they can comment.

"People are extraordinarily upset in Oregon, as they are nationwide, about health care costs," she said.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Natural Cures for Clinton's Maladies

Now that we have been bombarded with Bill Clinton's health status for the last two days, I wonder just how many people won't get the kind of health care he has had during this time. It is something to think about as AP's Marilynn Marchione, AP Medical Writer, writes that he "...has a new lease on life, but there's no cure for the heart disease that has twice forced the former president to get blocked arteries fixed."

Clinton's taking anti-clotting medication which has long term problems of its own and he was admonished for stopping cholesterol medication. Of course it wasn't considered that cholesterol medication doesn't do too much for atherosclerosis, and nutritional depletion from the drugs was not even mentioned.

There may be no medical cure, but certainly we know that nature cures.

In case Bill reads this while he's recovering in Chappaqua, he'd do well to research the benefits of garlic, cayenne, vitamins B-C-E, and lecithin and how these natural supplements would actually lead to better prevention and cure.

We'd like his doctors to do the same.

FMI:Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage.

Lecithin from HEALTH MATTERS

Bruce Ames

Vascular cognitive impairment linked to B vitamin deficiency

In the August 26, 2008 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at Tufts University's Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) report that a deficiency of three B vitamins is associated with cognitive dysfunction in mice, as well as adverse effects on the brain's capillaries.

Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy assistant professor Aron Troen, PhD and colleagues fed mice one of two diets designed to result in high homocysteine levels over a ten week period. Elevated plasma homocysteine has been linked with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. The first diet contained a high amount of the amino acid methionine, which metabolizes to homocysteine, and the second diet was deficient in folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, which help convert homocysteine back to methionine. A third group received normal diets.

"Mice fed a diet deficient in folate and vitamins B12 and B6 demonstrated significant deficits in spatial learning and memory compared with normal mice." Dr Troen reported. "The B vitamin-deficient mice also developed plasma homocysteine concentrations that were seven-fold higher than the concentrations observed in mice fed a normal diet."

Dr Troen's team additionally observed reductions in capillary length and density in the brains of mice that received B vitamin deficient diets. Mice that were given high methionine diets experienced similar effects, but to a lesser degree.

"The elevated levels of homocysteine that were associated with vascular cognitive impairment in the mice in our study are comparable to the levels that are associated in older adults with an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular disease, the latter of which manifests with conditions such as stroke and atherosclerosis," stated Irwin Rosenberg, MD, who is the director of the Nutrition and Neurocognition Laboratory at the HNRCA. "These findings may indicate that microvascular changes mediate the association between high homocysteine levels and human age-related cognitive decline."
Reported 9/08 LEF.ORG

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Best Breast Cancer Site

Taking a prevention perspective allows group to point out the problems with the current model in the breast cancer industry
A cancer-industry view of its future
Authors of a report predicting a continuing rise in cancer rates expect cancer will increasingly be managed with lifelong drug treatment and lifelong monitoring, as in diabetes and asthma. The direct cost for managing the medical care of one cancer patient was approximately £20,000 in 2004. If we are heading into a 'positive chemotherapy future' then, 'by 2025 this figure could easily rise to £100,000 per patient per year – a total of perhaps £1 million over a lifetime. We are starting to spend vast amounts of UK tax on the National Health Service (NHS) taking the total healthcare budget up to £80 billion per year. We could consume a lot more than this in the future just on treating cancer. The explosion of new therapies in cancer care is going to continue and pricing of these drugs will remain high. If effective drugs emerge from the research and development pipeline, the cancer drug market will be worth US$300 billion globally by 2025.'
(Sikora 'Cancer 2025: the future of cancer care' 2004)

A thriving enterprise with a guaranteed future, 'cancer' is a growth industry in every sense of the word. It would be extremely unlikely that this particular industry would champion a case which has the potential to undermine its very existence.

The Better Benefits of Nutrition

As the new DSM manual, used to establish insurance billing guidelines for the most part, is under development it seems likely that nutritional care for mental health and addiction disorder will most likely continue to be ignored. 

It is unfortunate that this researcher did not continue research utilizing nutritional therapy to see how improved nutrition supports mood and health.

Usually sweet cravings are indicative of deficiency in B vitamins and in many cases, protein as well.

At CHI we think it is better to treat nutritionally than rely on carcinogenic-benzene-fluoride containing antidepressants.
Sweet tooth 'hints at depression'
While most children like sweets, those with an extra-sweet tooth may be depressed or at higher risk of future alcohol problems, researchers say.
The US team report in the journal Addiction that certain children are especially drawn to very sweet tastes.
These were children who had a close relative with an alcohol problem or who themselves had symptoms of depression.
But it is unclear if the preference for the very sweet is down to genuine chemical differences or upbringing.
The researchers say sweet taste and alcohol trigger many of the same reward circuits in the brain.
It may be that even higher levels of sweetness are needed to make depressed children feel better
Lead researcher Julie Mennella
Lead author Julie Mennella said: "We know that sweet taste is rewarding to all kids and makes them feel good.
"In addition, certain groups of children may be especially attracted to the intense sweetness due to their underlying biology."
Experts say alcoholics tend to have a sweet tooth.
But the link is less clear in children. Other US researchers have shown that a preference for the sweetest drinks was found in the ones undergoing growth spurts.
In the latest study, the scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center asked 300 children aged five to 12, of whom half had a family member with alcohol dependency, to taste five sweet water drinks containing different amounts of sugar.
The children were asked to say which tasted the best and were also asked questions to check for depressive symptoms.
A quarter had symptoms that the researchers believed suggested they might be depressed.
Sweet tooth
Liking for intense sweetness was greatest in the 37 children who had both a family history of alcoholism and reported depressive symptoms.
The taste difference may be explained by differences like parental control over sweet consumption
Taste expert Professor Tim Jacob
These children preferred the drink containing the most sugar - 24% sucrose, which is equivalent to about 14 teaspoons of sugar in a cup of water and more than twice the level of sweetness in a typical cola.
This was a third more intense than the sweetness level preferred by the other children.
The researchers then decided to test whether the children's taste difference had any impact on their reaction to pain or discomfort - past studies have suggested sweets may help act as analgesics as well as mood lifters.
They found non-depressed children were able to tolerate keeping their hands in very cold water for longer if they had a sugar hit.
However, the extra sugar did nothing to the depressed children's pain threshold.
Cardiff University's Professor Tim Jacob, an expert in smell and taste, said the findings were interesting, but that it was hard to make firm conclusions or generalisations from one study alone.
He said the findings could be down to brain chemistry, but might also be explained by behaviour and upbringing.
"While it is true that sweet things activate reward circuits in the brain, the problem is that sweets and sugar are addictive, because the activation of these reward circuits causes opioid release, and with time more is needed to achieve the same effect.
"But the taste difference may be explained by differences like parental control over sweet consumption."

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

ALERT: Splenda to be Senomyx-ed

UPDATE: August 2010 - Now you can have something new to fool your tastebuds, and alter theri ability to properly sense tatse.  Its a product called 'Nevella' that aims to clean up on the probiotic band wagon.  This packet contains dextrose, maltodextrin, sucralose, and baccillus coagulans.  It's also labelled gluten-free to grab profits from unsupecting consumers, and "suitable for people with diabetes".

While high quality probiotics help everyone, sucralose (Splenda) does not.

"Nevella is a brand name for the artificial sweetener sucralose, which is also sold under the name Splenda. Sucralose is produced by treating sugar with chlorine chemicals, resulting in a substance 600 times sweeter than sugar. The official Nevella website states there are no known side effects. Alternative health care providers as well as consumers have expressed concern about possible risks associated with consuming chlorinated sugar, and people have made anecdotal reports of side effects.

"Animal Studies - Many side effects were reported in rats that were fed sucralose during clinical trials.

Much is already known about sucralose.  You can more about it here

Feb 2010 - Senomyx is a flavor enhancer used for salt, sweet and other tastes.  Campbell Soup uses Senomyx.  Often you do not have to be told it is in food you are buying.

S2383 is intended to enhance the taste of sucralose
If you haven't heard about Senomyx think of a flavor enhancer like MSG.  The bad news doesn't stop there, but the FDA says they don't have to label it.  It comes under artificial flavors.  Of course, we've told all consumers never use processed foods, and especially anything that says artificial and/or natural flavors which is where they hid aspartame and MSG.  What is Senomyx made of?  This is so disturbing I would say to boycott all companies that use it like Nestles and Coke.

We are familiar with sucralose, a chlorocarbon poison.  Here is Dr. James Bowen's paper, The Lethal Science of Splenda:

So now they are adding Senomyx to Sucralose.  Remember that Dr. Bowen also said when he wrote the above paper that if you go from aspartame to Splenda you will maintain the reactions to aspartame and pick up those from Splenda.  With regard to reports on reactions from Splenda that is just what is happening.  Poison plus poison equal poison and now this disgusting Senomyx is being added which according to the above report starts out with aborted fetus cells.  Be warned.

Read on below:

Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum, Founder
Mission Possible International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
770 242-2599,,
Aspartame Toxicity Center,

Senomyx Receives GRAS Determination For S2383 Sucralose Enhancer

Senomyx, Inc., a leading company focused on using proprietary technologies to discover and develop novel flavor ingredients for the food, beverage and ingredient supply industries, announced today that it has been notified by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) that its sucralose enhancer, S2383, has been determined to be Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) under the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, administered by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). S2383, which was discovered and developed by Senomyx, is an extremely effective enhancer of the high-intensity sweetener sucralose. The GRAS determination by FEMA allows S2383 to be incorporated into products in the U.S. and in numerous other countries.

"Receiving GRAS determination for our S2383 sucralose enhancer is an important milestone for Senomyx," stated Kent Snyder, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "Senomyx previously received GRAS status for our savory flavor ingredients, which are currently incorporated into products being marketed by Nestle. In addition to enabling commercialization of our flavor ingredients, these regulatory determinations substantiate Senomyx's discovery, development, and regulatory expertise."

S2383 is intended to enhance the taste of sucralose, a high-intensity sweetener used in a wide variety of beverages and foods such as confectionaries, baked goods, desserts, and dairy products, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare products and dietary supplements. In taste tests, S2383 allowed the amount of sucralose in product prototypes to be reduced by up to 75% while maintaining the desired sweet taste. By enabling the reduction of sucralose, S2383 may allow manufacturers to decrease their costs of goods and potentially improve the taste characteristics of certain products.

 "The rapid progress made with S2383 is indicative of Senomyx's leadership in the science of taste," noted Mark Zoller, Ph.D., Senomyx's Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Discovery and Development. Senomyx scientists have made several key discoveries relating to the human sweet taste receptor and developed patented methods for utilizing the receptor in assays designed to identify new sweet taste enhancers. "S2383 was identified in 2007, and the same methodology resulted in the 2008 discovery of S6973, an exceptionally effective enhancer of sucrose (table sugar). S6973 enables up to 50% reduction of table sugar in numerous food and beverage product prototypes without compromising taste. We are currently conducting development activities needed to support regulatory filings for S6973, and we believe that our experience with S2383 will be helpful as we move forward," Dr. Zoller added.
About Senomyx, Inc. (> Senomyx is a leading company using proprietary taste receptor technologies to discover and develop novel flavor ingredients in the savory, sweet, salt, bitter, and cooling areas. Senomyx has entered into product discovery and development collaborations with seven of the world's leading food, beverage, and ingredient supply companies: Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Cadbury plc, Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Firmenich SA, Nestle SA, and Solae. Nestle is currently marketing products that contain one of Senomyx's flavor ingredients. For more information, please visit <>

Forward-Looking Statements - Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: the capabilities and potential for Senomyx's new flavor ingredients, including S2383 and S6973; Senomyx's plans and ability to commercialize S2383 and to complete the development of S6973; the ability of S2383 and S6973 to reduce the amount of sucralose and sucrose, respectively, in food and beverage products; and the extent to which the company's collaborators or other packaged food and beverage manufacturers will incorporate the company's new flavor ingredients into packaged food and beverage products. Risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include: Senomyx is dependent on its product discovery and development collaborators for all of Senomyx's revenue; Senomyx is dependent on its current and any future product discovery and development collaborators to develop and commercialize any flavor ingredients Senomyx may discover; Senomyx may be unable to develop flavor ingredients useful for formulation into products; new flavor ingredients must undergo safety review and not all new flavor ingredients may be safe for their intended uses; Senomyx or its collaborators may be unable to obtain and maintain the regulatory approval required for flavor ingredients to be incorporated into products that are sold; even if Senomyx or its collaborators receive a regulatory approval and incorporate Senomyx flavor ingredients into products, those products may never be commercially successful; and Senomyx's ability to compete in the flavor ingredients market may decline if Senomyx does not adequately protect its proprietary technologies. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully in Senomyx's most recently filed SEC documents, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, under the headings "Risks Related to Our Business" and "Risks Related to Our Industry." All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Senomyx undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.


Founder(s)Lubert Stryer
HeadquartersSan Diego, California, USA
Senomyx (Ticker symbol: SNMX) is an American biotechnology company working towards developing additives to make foods taste and smell better. Their website claims that it has essentially reverse engineered the receptors in humans that react for taste and aroma, and they are capitalizing on how these work to make chemicals that will make food appear to taste better.
Senomyx was founded by prominent biochemist Lubert Stryer in 1999. In May 2001 Stryer returned to his professorship at Stanford University and resigned from Senomyx, but continues to be the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board.
The company developed Substance 951, a "potentiator" used to amplify the sweetness of sugar in food products, thereby allowing the consumer to reduce the amount of sugar used.
The chemistry of Senomyx has drawn criticism from certain people even after it passed FDA regulations. It's ratio in testing was low enough to fall through a certain FDA loophole. Any items containing Senomyx are not required to mention it. They can merely throw it in under active ingredients as "natural flavors".
Using information from the human genome sequence, Senomyx has identified hundreds of taste receptors and currently owns 113 patents on their discoveries. Senomyx collaborates with seven of the world’s largest food companies to further their research and to fund development of their technology. Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Kraft Foods, Cadbury Schweppes, Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Firmenich SA, NestlĂ© SA, and Solae all collaborate with Senomyx, but decline to specify where its additives may be found in their many food categories.
Senomyx’s products work by amplifying the intensity of other flavors, such as the salt in Campbell’s soups. The soup maker can reduce the amount of sodium in each can by about one third with the addition of Senomyx’s chemical, and then proudly label the soup “low sodium.” Because very small amounts of the additive are used (reportedly less than 1 part per million) Senomyx’s chemical compounds will not appear on labels, but will fall under the broad category of “artificial flavors.” For the same reason, the company’s chemicals have sped past the FDA’s safety approval process usually required for food additives. Senomyx’s MSG-enhancer earned the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status from the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association, an industry-funded organization, in less than 18 months, which included three months of tests on rats. With public health officials calling for consumers to limit salt and sugar in foods, food manufacturers are scrambling to find ways to reformulate their concoctions with less of the two ingredients they depend upon most for mass taste appeal. Collaboration with Senomyx seems to be the magic bullet: a sodium- and sugar-reduced product with no taste change, and a politically correct “cleaned up” label.
With questions of future safety of the additives now left largely up to chance, Senomyx’s concoctions are quietly finding their way into the global packaged food stream. In fact, according to Senomyx’s website, it “received a positive review by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, which determined that there were no safety concerns with the use of the Company’s savory flavor ingredients in foods. The positive assessment by JECFA is expected to expedite regulatory approvals in a number of countries, particularly those that do not have independent regulatory approval systems.”
Two of Senomyx’s newest innovations include a Cool Flavor Program, which enhances cooling, menthol sensations, and a Bitter Blocker Program. According to Senomyx’s website, the company is collaborating with Solae, the international soy ingredients supplier, “to develop new bitter blockers that better modulate and control bitterness in certain soy-based products.” Senomyx has identified the receptors in the mouth responsible for sensing bitter taste (nature’s way of warning us against ingesting poison) and developed a chemical additive to knock out these receptors when eaten with hydrolyzed soy protein and other soy derivatives. Senomyx’s revenues for the last quarter of 2007 were up 87 percent from the same period in 2006, stock prices are rising and the corporate outlook for 2008 is glowing. CEO Kent Snyder reports that corporate goals include “continuing to achieve significant progress in all of our discovery and development programs such as regulatory approval for our S2383 sucralose enhancer and selection of a sucrose enhancer for regulatory development. We also expect expanded commercialization of food products containing our savory flavor ingredients and additional new business development accomplishments.”[1]
  1. ^ Jack Samuels, Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2008.

Soft Drinks and Pancreatic Cancer

Most soda today is made with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and it seems as if this, along with the very toxic artificial sweeteners used in soda, causes many health problems often not discussed in the media.  It comes as no surprise that soda consumption can lead to this serious disease.  However, don't overlook the use of green tea and risk of pancreatic cancer.

Most HFCS is made from GMO corn and this genetic modification may also be a contributing factor.

The better news is that there are things you can do for pancreatic health, and also for pancreatic cancer naturally.

See also:
Monday Feb 8,2010 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – People who drink two or more sweetened soft drinks a week have a much higher risk of pancreatic cancer, an unusual but deadly cancer, researchers reported on Monday.
People who drank mostly fruit juice instead of sodas did not have the same risk, the study of 60,000 people in Singapore found.
Sugar may be to blame but people who drink sweetened sodas regularly often have other poor health habits, said Mark Pereira of the University of Minnesota, who led the study.
"The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth," Pereira said in a statement.
Insulin, which helps the body metabolize sugar, is made in the pancreas.
Writing in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, Pereira and colleagues said they followed 60,524 men and women in the Singapore Chinese Health Study for 14 years.
Over that time, 140 of the volunteers developed pancreatic cancer. Those who drank two or more soft drinks a week had an 87 percent higher risk of being among those who got pancreatic cancer.
Pereira said he believed the findings would apply elsewhere.
"Singapore is a wealthy country with excellent healthcare. Favorite pastimes are eating and shopping, so the findings should apply to other western countries," he said.
But Susan Mayne of the Yale Cancer Center at Yale University in Connecticut was cautious.
"Although this study found a risk, the finding was based on a relatively small number of cases and it remains unclear whether it is a causal association or not," said Mayne, who serves on the board of the journal, which is published by the American Association for Cancer Research.
"Soft drink consumption in Singapore was associated with several other adverse health behaviors such as smoking and red meat intake, which we can't accurately control for."
Other studies have linked pancreatic cancer to red meat, especially burned or charred meat.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with 230,000 cases globally. In the United States, 37,680 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in a year and 34,290 die of it.
The American Cancer Society says the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients is about 5 percent.
Some researchers believe high sugar intake may fuel some forms of cancer, although the evidence has been contradictory. Tumor cells use more glucose than other cells.
One 12-ounce (355 ml) can of non-diet soda contains about 130 calories, almost all of them from sugar.
(Editing by John O'Callaghan)

India Says NO to GMO

UPDATE: 2/12/10 Monsanto 'faked' data for approvals claims its ex-chief
UPDATE: 2/10/10
Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use:The First Thirteen Years
Compared to pesticide use in the absence of GE crops, farmers applied 318 million more pounds of pesticides over the last 13 years as a result of planting GE seeds.
Monsanto's GMO perversion of food
In the 2010 growing season Monsanto plans to unleash its latest Frankenfood experiment on the American and Canadian public, a new version of genetically mutated corn with eight abnormal gene traits called Genuity SmartStax corn. It is the culmination of an astonishing scandal that has been steadily building over the past decade.
2/9/10 Many people do not like eggplant, however I am not one of them.  I am much more in support of doing away with all GMO crops because of the inherent danger they pose to health.

India has deferred the commercial cultivation of what would have been its first genetically modified (GM) vegetable crop due to safety concerns.  
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said more studies were needed to ensure genetically modified aubergines were safe for consumers and the environment.
The GM vegetable has undergone field trials since 2008 and received approval from government scientists in 2009.
But there has been a heated public row over the cultivation of the GM crop.
The BBC's Geeta Pandey, who was at the news conference in Delhi, says Mr Ramesh's decision has put any cultivation of GM vegetables in India on hold indefinitely.
'Difficult decision'
"Public sentiment is negative. It is my duty to adopt a cautious, precautionary, principle-based approach," Mr Ramesh said.
The decision is responsible to science and responsive to society
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh
He said the moratorium on growing BT brinjal - as the variety of aubergine is known in India - would remain in place until tests were carried out "to the satisfaction of both the public and professionals".
The minister said "independent scientific studies" were needed to establish "the safety of the product from the point of view of its long-term impact on human health and environment".
Mr Ramesh said it was "a difficult decision to make" since he had to "balance science and society".
"The decision is responsible to science and responsive to society," he said.
India is the largest producer of aubergines in the world and grows more than 4,000 varieties.
Indian seed company Mahyco - partner of US multinational corporation Monsanto - which has developed BT brinjal, says the GM vegetable is more resistant to natural pests.
But anti-GM groups say there are serious health concerns and they allege that consumption of GM crops can even cause cancer.
The government-controlled Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) approved BT brinjal for commercial cultivation in October 2009.
Following an uproar from farmers and anti-GM activists, the environment minister held a series of national consultation meetings across India.
Several of the aubergine-growing Indian states have already said they were opposed to BT brinjal.
India allowed the use of genetically modified seeds for cotton in 2002.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Drugs Still Ending up in Water

It is not only prescription drug and over the counter (OTC) products that are polluting our water, but aspartame and sucralose too.

Water treatment is unable to remove metabolites of prescription drugs and many chemical including the poisons, aspartame and sucralose.

Certainly this creates a risk for everyone, and a topic I discussed many years ago while serving as a Health & Environment Commissioner.

Make sure when disposing of drugs and related substances that you take them to an approved location for incineration.  Do not throw them in the trash or flush down a toilet.

By CLARKE CANFIELD, Associated Press Writer 
Sun Feb 7, 2010

PORTLAND, Maine – The federal government advises throwing most unused or expired medications into the trash instead of down the drain, but they can end up in the water anyway, a study from Maine suggests.
Tiny amounts of discarded drugs have been found in water at three landfills in the state, confirming suspicions that pharmaceuticals thrown into household trash are ending up in water that drains through waste, according to a survey by the state's environmental agency that's one of only a handful to have looked at the presence of drugs in landfills.
That landfill water — known as leachate — eventually ends up in rivers. Most of Maine doesn't draw its drinking water from rivers where the leachate ends up, but in other states that do, water supplies that come from rivers could potentially be contaminated.
The results of the survey are being made known as lawmakers in Maine consider a bill, among the first of its kind in the nation, that would require drug manufacturers to develop and pay for a program to collect unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs from residents and dispose of them.
Scientists and environmentalists have long known of the common presence of minute concentrations of pharmaceuticals in drinking water, either through human excretion flushed into sewers or leftover medicine thrown down the drain. Research shows that pharmaceuticals sometimes harm fish and other aquatic species, and that human cells can fail to grow normally in the laboratory when exposed to trace concentrations of certain drugs.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection found tiny amounts — measured in parts per trillion — of medications ranging from antidepressants and birth control pills to blood pressure and cholesterol prescriptions. The most prevalent drugs were over-the-counter pain relievers, including ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
"People need a way to properly dispose of their drugs, and they're not getting it right now," said Mark Hyland, director of the state Department of Environmental Quality's Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management.
The bill is one of many "take-back" programs under consideration in more than half a dozen states and would be the first of its kind if enacted; it has won committee support and awaits further action.
The bill is opposed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a Washington-based organization that represents pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and has partnered with other groups to pay for advertising against the proposal.
The lobby acknowledges that previous testing shows trace levels of pharmaceuticals can be found in water supplies and landfills, but says the levels are so small that they pose little risk.
"The amounts of pharmaceuticals (in the environment) are infinitesimally small," said Marjorie Powell, senior assistant general counsel. "We're talking about two drops in an Olympic-size swimming pool. Those two drops are much lower than any doses that would have an effect on humans."
The state last October tested leachate at landfills in Augusta, Brunswick and Bath. Hyland ordered up the study after members of the pharmaceutical industry expressed skepticism about the presence of pharmaceuticals in landfill water.
Leachate at Maine landfills typically is piped or trucked to municipal wastewater treatment plants. Those plants are not equipped to remove drugs from the water before it is discharged into rivers and the ocean.
The pharmaceuticals found in the landfills don't pose a direct threat to drinking water, Hyland said. The landfills are lined to protect groundwater supplies, and in Maine there aren't any wastewater plants that treat leachate and discharge into rivers that ultimately supply drinking water.
But the leachate — in high enough concentrations — can pose a threat to fish and shellfish. Research suggests that hormonal drugs, such as birth control pills, tend to feminize fish. If the trend continues, Hyland said, there could be too few male fish to continue reproduction.
"What you find are greater concentrations of females downstream from where they've seen a dose of hormones, so you find a feminization of the fish population where there are fewer males around," he said.
Hyland said he has questions about the effect on commercial seafood — one of Maine's biggest industries — in ocean waters downstream from the rivers, particularly bivalves such as clams or mussels, which filter water constantly and live near the shore.
"But obviously we need to know a lot more before we can draw a lot of conclusions," Hyland said.
Although landfill leachate doesn't get into drinking water supplies in Maine, it probably does elsewhere, said Andy Tolman, a geologist with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. And some scientists urge caution about the dangers of drinking such water over several decades.
"Many larger states have big rivers that are used for both waste disposal and drinking water supplies, places like Ohio and Pennsylvania," Tolman said. "The same river gets used a number of times, and they're very concerned about treatment of sewage and leachate."
Powell, from the pharmaceutical lobby, argued that people can properly dispose of their drugs in their household trash. In Maine, much of the trash is burned, she said, and pollution control experts agree that incinerating unwanted drugs is the safest solution.
She argued that if the bill does pass, it will only make drugs more expensive, she said.
Concerns have grown in recent years over pharmaceuticals reaching drinking water supplies. An Associated Press investigation in 2008 reported that the drinking water of at least 51 million Americans contains minute concentrations of a multitude of drugs.
It's commonly believed that the vast majority of drugs that get into water supplies come from human and animal excretion and that smaller amounts come from flushing them down the toilet or drain, a practice the Food and Drug Administration says is not recommended for most medications.
Federal guidelines recommend using community drug take-back programs to dispose of medications. If those aren't available, people should mix their unwanted drugs with cat litter or some other undesirable substance, put them into a sealed container and put it in the trash, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Security Gaps in Electronic Patient Data

 Obviously as the push for electronic health records is on the radar, other considerations aren't being considered

In 2009, hospitals and insurance companies were plagued by high-profile losses of sensitive patient data. In November, the insurer Health Net announced that a portable hard drive containing medical claims of as many as 1.5 million members in Arizona, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York had been lost or stolen. In October, a laptop containing social security numbers and other personal information of patients at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was stolen from a car parked at a hospital employee’s home. Complete article  

See other related articles on Natural Health News and listen to our interview with Dr Katherine Albrecht.

Health Tip: Taking Supplements with Rx

The most general approach to taking supplements when you are also using prescription medicines is to separate the time you take them by an hour.
If you take an Rx drug at 8 am, wait until 9 am to take your supplements.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Another OPRAH marketing monster

I am not opposed to not taking a seriously looking at the serious problems with diabetes we face in the US today.  It is a serious problem and it deserves a serious discussion and serious action.

There are many factors in the diabetes 1 and 2 equations that were not discussed on the program today and these deserve as much attention as do exercise, nutrition, and proper testing of your blood sugar.

Vaccines are implicated in the rising number of children developing Type 1 diabetes.

The poor quality of food today is a factor in the development of Type 2 diabetes as is the use of artificial sweeteners, over processed food, and high fructose corn syrup.

Other problems are the nutritional deficiencies caused by the diabetes drugs and problems with insulin (the cancer / Lantus connection for example).

A major concern I've had for years is the lack of information provided to people with diabetes about the need to have proper and thorough thyroid and adrenal testing, as well as being provided with information on how Vitamin E prevents neuropathy and how vitamin C prevents retinopathy.  Dr. Oz made not comment on this important information.

Bob Green is again promoting his chemically filled, soy oil artificial spread.  How about half a cup of high quality olive oil sold in glass bottls and 1 stick of unsalted butter.  Butter just isn't as bad as they'd like you to believe.

Greene also is giving out advice on blood sugar testing that isn't even close to what should be done.  Once a day testing isn't adequate!

He's still pushing SOY in the form of Silk  for meals, but take a look at some of the concerns I raised about his endorsments -

There isn't inclusion of the natural things that you can do to prevent and reverse diabetes, and no discussion about why some people just cannot follow a vegan diet to get healthy.

So, yes, do exercise, use a better selection of food, watch how much you eat, but get more facts before following this Oprah-hyped plan.  It probably is a good as Heidi Klum and the Diet Coke approach to increasing the risk of heart disease.

And if you'd like to start a food buying club if you are in a poor area with little access to healthy whole food let me know and I'll tell you how.

And please, the next time you have a program on diabetes make sure you note that the highest proportion of people who have diabetes are those who are Native American or of Native American descent.

NOTE: Our parent organization, CHI, offers two nutritional programs, one is informational which you can receive with a donation.  The second is $40 which includes a lengthy questionaire you complete at home which will tell you your metabolic type (1 of 12) based on your autonomic nervous system function.  We also offer nutritional counseling and health coaching.

An Issue in the Health Care Debate

Has anyone had an update on this story?

Democrats vow to ban domestic violence as 'pre-existing condition'
  • 42 states have prohibited practice of denying coverage to battered women
  • Ban would be part of tougher stance on pre-existing conditions 
  • Health insurance association backs proposed change 
updated 4:15 p.m. EDT, Tue October 6, 2009

Health Costs on Steroids

UPDATE: 2/10/10
At the same time McCain and Dorgan are hacking away at your fright of choice and your right of access to health of your choice in their insane effort to play in to the hands of uninformed sports corporate execs, studies show that the use of supplement can reduce cost of care by $2000 per incident.

I just wonder how much lobby money is ending up in the hands of McCain and Dorgan for this one.

And then there is Senator Mikulski who is supporting a move to allow some "CAM" care in a health bill, but only through licensed providers. This ties in directly with Big Insurance because there is no 3rd Party Reimbursement without a license.

So once again those making policy have little understanding of the issues, and this is another stab at the heart of health freedom.

Anytime there is a licensing and insurance control added it means simply that cost increase, and access is limited.

ORIGINAL post 2/4-2/4/10
It is very difficult to have been watching the stupid antics of White House insiders, members of Congress, lobbyists and even POTUS.   No one seems to be listening to the voice of the people.

What is so amazing is the ideas put forward that show absolutely no connection to the issues in health care and sound ways to reduce costs while improving care.

What irritates me even more is the latest form John McCain of Arizona who has decided to propose a bill in the senate to obviate your right of access to choice and your right to use supplements.

I still say all these elected (so-called) representatives need remedial Constitution 101 beginning now.  I think probably it is a good idea to require any elected representative to take remedial Constitution before the take office.

Fact is, supplements do reduce health cost and improve health, but PhRMA doesn't want that to happen because it would cut in to their profit package.  (If you'd like to learn about how much money these politicians get from the corporatocracy, go here
and here

If you are interested in supporting health care for all, go here:

Now as this discussion remains on the merry-go-round, Senator McCain is proposing a bill to limit DSHEA and supplements.  John receives a big handout from insurance and PhRMA, BTW.
February 4th: Senator McCain Files New Bill That Attacks Your Access to Supplements and Repeals Key Sections of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act

Senator McCain has filed a new bill that attacks your access to supplements and would repeal key sections of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. Please contact your senators now. Tell them not to co-sponsor this exceptionally bad bill and instead help to defeat it!
UPDATE from Citizens for Health 2/5/10

Soaring cost of health care sets a record
Spending was 17.3% of the economy last year. The share paid by the U.S. will soon exceed 50%, a study says.
By Noam N. Levey, February 4, 2010, Reporting from Washington
In a stark reminder of growing costs, the government has released a new estimate that healthcare spending grew to a record 17.3% of the U.S. economy last year, marking the largest one-year jump in its share of the economy since the government started keeping such records half a century ago.
Read Complete Article:,0,1362585.story
STOP THE TRAIN I WANT TO GET OFF!  And while all this is going on cardiologists attack herbs, which will do you more good, along with supplements that the present lot of pharmaceuticals.

And think about this, they now only want you to get less vitamin C than a guinea pig!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

40 percent of cancers are preventable

While this AP article gives us good news I have to ask why there is so little effort placed on prevention.  After all we have known for a very long time that cancer - for the most part - is caused by nutritional deficiency and  now environmental exposures, not discounting EMF and X-Ray (mammogram) exposure. 
Columbia University School of Public Health reports that 95% of cancer is caused by diet and environmental toxicity.
LONDON – About 40 percent of cancers could be prevented if people stopped smoking and overeating, limited their alcohol, exercised regularly and got vaccines targeting cancer-causing infections, experts say.
To mark World Cancer day on Thursday, officials at the International Union Against Cancer released a report focused on steps that governments and the public can take to avoid the disease.
According to the World Health Organization, cancer is responsible for one out of every eight deaths worldwide — more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. WHO warned that without major changes, global cancer deaths will jump from about 7.6 million this year to 17 million by 2030.
In the report from the International Union Against Cancer, experts said about 21 percent of all cancers are due to infections like the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer, and hepatitis infections that cause stomach and liver cancer.
While the vaccines to prevent these cancers are widely available in western countries, they are almost nonexistent in the developing world. Nearly 80 percent of the world's cervical cancer deaths are in poor countries, according to the agency.
"Policymakers around the world have the opportunity and obligation to use these vaccines to save people's lives and educate their communities towards lifestyle choices and control measures that reduce their risk of cancer," Cary Adams, chief executive of the International Union Against Cancer, said in a statement.
In Western nations, experts said many of the top cancers — like those in the lungs, breasts and colon — might be avoided if people changed their lifestyle habits. To reduce their risk, the agency recommended that people stop smoking, limit their alcohol consumption, avoid too much sun, and maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
On the Net:

Bone Drugs Cancer Protective?

UPDATE: 2/3/10  Fosamax and breast cancer  A Caution to women to not take headlines so seriously

Original Post 12/10/09
It seems very strange to me that any woman would want to take a potentially cancer creating drug under the guise that it might help prevent breast cancer.  Most of these drugs also are fluoride based; fluoride is a known carcinogen as well as destructive to bone.

Here are a few of the numerous related NHN articles:
Bone drugs may help prevent breast cancer

New results from a landmark women's health study raise the exciting possibility that bone-building drugs such as Fosamax and Actonel may help prevent breast cancer.

Women who already were using these medicines when the study began were about one-third less likely to develop invasive breast cancer over the next seven years than women not taking such pills, doctors reported Thursday.

The study is not enough to prove that these drugs, called bisphosphonates, prevent cancer. Read Complete Article
Become a more knowledgeable consumer and patient, question authority.  Remember the drug and insurance giants are controlling medical care in the US today.

Heart Month Hype

This morning I was checking email as usual and came across a most amazing advertising scheme being promoted by Diet Coke.  Fashionable Diet Coke.

Yikes! let's all get cardiovascular disease because an AOL Style Writer and Coca-Cola are telling us aspartame is good for us. Did they also forget that phosphoric acid in aluminum cans promotes osteoporosis?

I just hope the the sake of your heart, and your health, you pass on this dangerous advertising scheme.

Limited-Edition Diet Coke Can for the Heart Truth Revealed!

by Rachel Felder Mon, Feb 1st 2010

Diet soda lovers rejoice! Drinking your favorite Coca-Cola beverage has never been so fashionable!

As part of Diet Coke's annual partnership with The Heart Truth campaign, the company has just introduced limited-edition "heart graphic" cans, each of which feature a large -- and just plain cute -- sketch of a big red heart.

Like our daily Heart Truth factoids that we started rolling out last week, the goal of the new design is to increase awareness about heart disease - the number one killer of women in America. It also is intended to inspire people to incorporate healthy activities into their lives and encourage others to do the same.

In addition to StyleList, there are plenty of tips on how to maintain a healthy heart on a designated area of Diet Coke's website. (The site also includes highlights from last year's Red Dress Collection fashion show to tide you over until this year's show on February 11, which we'll be covering here on StyleList.)

There's nothing like the present to start a new, healthier heart routine! Find out how you can participate with our heart-loving factoids. 

But following on this I have to refer to some experts on the sweet poison who are colleagues of mine and have done the research, a few excerpts follow below -

Additional infromation from Betty Martini ( and Dr Russell Blaylock

Aspartame triggers an irregular heart rhythm, interacts with all cardiac medication, damages the cardiac conduction system and causes sudden death. Here is neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, MD., athlete alert on the subject: Also, here is Dr. H. J. Roberts paper on it: Here is a study that proved it:

H. J. Roberts, M.D. authored the medical text, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic and there is a chapter on what aspartame does to the heart.

ASPARTAME, a sweetening substance that is generally touted as innocuous by our health authorities, is implicated in the epidemic of unusual sudden deaths. Often this happens to outwardly healthy people with no known heart problems; high school, college and professional athletes and thousands of children.
Sudden Cardiac Death is not a "heart attack" or myocardial infarction, caused by clogged arteries. Its an electrical problem in which the cardiac conduction system that generates the impulses regulating the heart suddenly output rapid or chaotic electrical impulses, or both. The heart ceases its rhythmic contractions, the brain is starved of oxygen and the victim loses consciousness in seconds.

Aspartame consists of the amino acids phenylalanine (50%), aspartic acid (40%), and a methyl ester (10%) that promptly becomes free methanol after entering the stomach. 3 The breakdown of phenylalanine to highly vasoactive substances—such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine—is clearly relevant to pulmonary hypertension, systemic hypertension, and the frequent cardiac arrhythmias experienced by persons with aspartame disease.

Aspartame triggers an irregular heart rhythm, and interacts with cardiac medication. It damages the cardiac conduction system and causes sudden death. What my colleague James Bowen MD is saying, of course, is that its not just hitting their hearts but hypothalamus and neuroendocrine system. It exacerbates damage to the cardiac conduction system - it exacerbates the arrhythmia because of the cardiac conduction system damage, and its synergistic.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Call to end exclusion of elderly from drug trials

This news story caught my eye because I have become concerned about this very issue over the past six or seven years. In my way of thinking it is important to set up specific drug trials not just for Elders but for children and women too.

In 2003 my mother suffered a closed head injury, and as a result of her fall and the TBI she developed expressive aphasia.

Expressive aphasia is condition  and an acquired disorder of language due to brain damage. Most aphasias and related disorders are due to stroke, head injury, cerebral tumors, or degenerative diseases.  People may lose the ability to produce speech, to comprehend speech, to repeat, and to hear and read words in many nuanced ways. Language difficulties can also be affected by pharmaceutical drugs often over used in faculties that care for Elders.

Speech and language therapy is the mainstay of care for people with with aphasia. The timing and nature of the interventions for aphasia vary widely. Blinded studies are limited, and recovery of many degrees is expected.  Studies also indicate that speech and language therapy does improve clinical outcomes in aphasia, but individualized programs are important. 

The potential for functional recovery from primarily expressive aphasia after stroke is excellent. A neurologist should be key in evaluation and care, as well as speech therapy.

After her injury, my mother was placed in a 5 Star facility in Naples, Florida.  She was loaded up with an over abundance of psychotropic drugs, including  Zyprexa, yet did not have a neurologist or speech therapy prescribed.

Zyprexa is questionable for the elderly, especially for use in elderly women, and it can precipitate diabetes.  The case in point is that regardless of the number of drugs prescribed, and failure of the center to evaluate the drugs for interaction, no one except me questioned the use of this drug in my mother's care.  Zyprexa has an unusually difficult time being excreted by older women and as a result has a longer half-life.

Another drug being given to my mother, not prescribed by a neurologist, was Neurontin, and it is implicated in the development of impaired speech. And yet another one of the several SSRIs perscribed has a known side effect of suicidal thinking.  My mother tried to jump out of a window.  The outcome: more drugs to sedate her further.

The house psychiatrist diagnosed my mother as depressed.  Yet when I asked how he diagnosed her with the aphasia, he could not answer.  He just prescribed more drugs.

I contacted a colleague in the pharmaceutical research section dealing with psychotropic durgs at the FDA for an opinion on the list of drugs prescribed to my mother.  He was shocked, and especially noted the severe issues indicated by the drug interaction profile.

The care center supplying pharmacy never conducted a thorough interaction profile. 
The attending GP, a whining DO from a near by town, most likely interested in the Medicare reimbursement more than my mother's condition, whined to my brother after I talked with him, saying he did not like the questions I was asking.

The director of nursing threatened forced relocation if my mother was taken off any of the drugs.  Since the bill went to Medicare I am sure reimbursement was more the concern than my mother's well being.  And of course there is the issue of staff convenience.

Well, my mother died last summer.  She won't be forced now to take any more drugs, but for six years which must have been agonizing for her, she was over drugged and could not communicate.

My little brother, who held POA, a player in the insurance/finance business, made absolutely no effort to see that my mother was taken to a nationally recognized neurologist in Naples.  Nor would acknowledge my concerns over the drugs and her treatment.  He failed to get her even the most clearly established care for  the aphasia, but was concerned over the cost of the drugs.

He also failed to tell the care center that my mother had a daughter, and didn't make any effort to contact me about this incident until three months after it happened.
Read the complete areticle here -

Matters of the Heart

Yes, it is heart month and with that comes the latest attack on herbal remedies at the behest of Big PhRMA, CNN, and Time-Warner's medical mainstream
While the ABC was contacted and interviewed for the article, nothing was given to provide the risks of the anticoagulant warfarin or statin drugs used as examples in the article. lists 20 herbs in their article and I will follow up with my comments on the drugs and the benefits of their 20 selected herbs.
Included in the list is garlic.  And of course you know that CNN's own Larry King uses a garlic supplement for his heart condition, and has advertised it for years.Garlic is one of the best herbs for blood thinning as well as being an excellent source of magnesium to help keep blood pressure levels down.
Stay tuned...
And now - here's that retort to CNN and
Natural Health News: Continuing the Attack on Natural Health Care
By Gayle Eversole, Dhom, PhD, MH, NP, ND, and

Today, CNN and Time-Warner's published articles warning you to avoid 30 herbs if you are taking drugs like the allegedly cholesterol lowering statins and “blood-thinning” Coumadin (warfarin).,,20340370_20,00.html

As an inveterate and intrepid nurse practitioner (over 30 years), medical herbalist and otherwise expert and advocate in natural health (50+ years), I am staking my claim to equal time and offering a second opinion.

Statin drugs by and large are a class of very expensive drugs with a range of mixed results. The very serious effects of these drugs include liver failure, sudden cardiac death, increased risk of cancer, kidney failure, destruction of CO-Enzyme Q 10 and specific B vitamins needed by the heart, muscle pain and destruction, as well as being questionable over all because they appear not to serve the purpose described in the advertising according to many recent studies.

There are many natural approaches to lowering cholesterol including changes in diet and exercise, as well as making sure your thyroid is functioning properly.

One common supplement to help lower cholesterol is lecithin.' s expert Bill Benda MD says he has no knowledge of the benefit of lecithin yet suggests using red rice yeast. Red Rice Yeast is LOVASTATIN and has the same risk of rhabdomyolysis leading to kidney failure as do the Rx strength drugs.

Each tablespoon (7.5 grams) of lecithin granules contains about 1700 mg of phosphatidyl choline, 1000 mg of phosphatidyl inositol, and about 2,200 mg of essential fatty acids as linoleic acid. It also contains the valuable omega-3 linolenic acid. These constituents should be supllied daily.
Rinse, Jacobus (1975) Atherosclerosis: prevention and cure (parts 1 and 2). Prevention. November and December. Very important reading. Ask your librarian to get you these specific issues (or photocopies) through inter-library loan.
Rinse, Jacobus (1978) Cholesterol and phospholipids in relation to atherosclerosis. American Laboratory Magazine, April.
Glabridin shows a significant 10 percent drop in LDL cholesterol levels. These studies show a 20 percent reduction in oxidized LDL cholesterol and measures of oxidative stress, well-known risks for development of atherosclerosis. No change in these predictive markers, was seen in the placebo group.1
Glabridin is a powerful polyphenol flavonoid derived from Glycyrrhiza glabra L root (licorice). Animal studies have revealed that daily doses of glabridin can suppress abdominal fat accumulation and blood sugar elevation in diabetic mice, while human trials show that it can reduce weight gain and body fat—especially visceral or belly fat. And according to another recently published clinical trial, this botanical extract packs the same punch against LDL cholesterol, too.
1 Carmeli E, Fogelman Y. Antioxidant effect of polyphenolic glabridin on LDL oxidation. Toxicol Ind Health. 2009 May-Jun;25(4-5):321-4.
Herbs and foods included in the report that help thin the blood naturally include: Garlic, saw palmetto, ginkgo, green tea, alfalfa, ginger, bilberry, fenugreek, ginseng, Butcher's Broom and capsicum (cayenne).

The report did not explain that long term use of aspirin or warfarin increases the risk of silent bleeding, ulcers and the severe risk of destruction of the cell wall membrane and clotting disorders.

Statins, beta-blockers, and calcium-channel blockers can be effected by St. John's wort, Echinacea, grapefruit juice, and Black Cohosh. But remember that statins come with the risk of liver damage. Calcium channel blockers can cause sudden death at one point were almost taken off the market because of the risk. Beta blockers have come into question for safety and efficacy in recent years.

Hawthorn has been shown to strengthen the contractions of heart muscle, which may interact negatively with prescription heart-failure medications. Hawthorn has always been a first line of defense for heart health in herbal medicine. I have worked with many people who lived with heart health issues. I've always found Hawthorn to be a key factor in their improved quality of life.

Night blooming cereus and Lily of the Valley may also be an experienced herbalist' s choice for cardiovascular care.

Yohimbe can elevate blood pressure and at times and for some people this would be helpful, but in general it is not one I often suggest.

Aloe vera can effect potassium levels. Licorice can interfere with digoxin and it can raise blood pressure. Like aloe vera, it can also cause a dangerous drop in blood potassium levels.

Other herbs in the study mentioned in this report include Butcher's broom, angelica, capsicum (cayenne), fumitory, gossypol, Irish moss, kelp, khella, lily of the valley, ephedra, night-blooming cereus (cactus flower), oleander, and strophanthus can all interact negatively with heart medications.

Health care is your choice. Natural remedies like herbs and supplements can do an effective job helping you heal when you do not wish to choose or cannot tolerate prescription drugs.

Because doctor's work for you, the question must be asked: When will today's medicine and today's doctors meet you half way and support natural choice?

Always stay in communication with your health provider and contact an experienced herbalist or naturally oriented doctor for additional resources.
Reinforcements from the field

ABC Responds to Article on Herb-Drug Interactions in Journal of the American College of Cardiology
2010/02/03 - American Botanical Council

Article should be retracted and corrected says herbal science group

(Austin, TX) February 2, 2010. At least several times per year an article is published in a medical journal that purports to provide health professionals and the public with useful information on the safety of herbs and herbal dietary supplements. Instead, what sometimes occurs is an article written by people with apparently little to no expertise in the subject area of herbal medicine and medicinal plant research and likewise apparently peer reviewed—if peer reviewed at all—by reviewers with little botanical knowledge or expertise. Yesterday, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology published such an article.1
This particular article has so many flaws and errors that it is difficult to know where to begin to critically review it.

First, Latin names for the herbs discussed are missing, a disservice to any readers who may not be familiar with common names used in the United States.

Second, some of the tables in the article contain entries for “commonly used herbs,” which include the toxic plant oleander (Nerium oleander, a toxic herb with cardioactive glycosides not sold to consumers in the US dietary supplement market); chan su (presumably dried Chinese toad venom—not an herb nor generally available as a dietary supplement!); and Uzara root (Xysmalobium undulatum, an anti-diarrhea herbal drug approved in Germany.) None of these are “commonly” found in the US herbal dietary supplement market.

Grapefruit juice, which is well known for increasing serum levels of many pharmaceutical drugs, is referred to as an herb.

The authors refer to “ginseng” without clarifying to which species of the genus Panax they are referring, many of which cause varying pharmacological effects. Also, with respect to ginseng, the authors unfortunately repeat the highly erroneous adverse effect information from the widely discredited 1979 uncontrolled study by RK Siegel on the “Ginseng Abuse Syndrome,” stating that “ginseng” can cause “hypertension, behavioral changes and diarrhea.”

Capsicum is listed in a table as being used for shingles, trigeminal, and diabetic neuralgia, when it is actually the US Food and Drug Administration-approved over-the-counter and prescription drug capsaicin, the vanillanoid compound derived from chili peppers (Capsicum spp.), which is used for such purposes.

There are more; the errors and problems in this paper are too numerous to list completely at this time.

While there are potential and actual interactions that various herbs can have with drugs used by patients with cardiovascular diseases, this paper will do little to improve professional awareness and skill in this area. However, the resulting media coverage will undoubtedly increase public confusion over what is an already confused subject. This paper should not have been published in its present form without serious additional edits, revisions, and deletions, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology would be advised to retract it.


Tachjian A, Maria V, Jahangir A. Use of herbal products and potential interactions in patients with cardiovascular diseases. J Amer Coll Cardiol. 2010;55(6). [DOI:10.1016/j.jacc.2009.07.074].

About the American Botanical Council

Founded in 1988, the American Botanical Council is a leading international nonprofit organization addressing research and educational issues regarding herbs and medicinal plants. ABC’s members include academic researchers and educators; libraries; health professionals and medical institutions; government agencies; members of the herb, dietary supplement, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries; journalists; consumers; and others within over 70 countries. The organization occupies a historic 2.5-acre site in Austin, Texas where it publishes the quarterly journalHerbalGram, the monthly e-publication HerbalEGram, HerbClips (summaries of scientific and clinical publications), reference books, and other educational materials. ABC also hosts HerbMedPro, a powerful herbal database, covering scientific and clinical publications on more than 220 herbs. ABC also co-produces the “Herbal Insights” segment for Healing Quest, a television series on PBS.

ABC is tax-exempt under section 501(c) (3) of the IRS Code. Information: Contact ABC at P.O. Box 144345, Austin, TX 78714-4345, Phone: 512-926-4900. Website: