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Friday, November 11, 2011

Statins appear to harm about as many people as they help

When I was at medical school I remember being lectured on the wonders of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). I was distinctly taught, and without reservation, that women taking HRT had a lower risk of heart disease compared to women ‘going without’. This ‘fact’ turned out to be complete rubbish. Subsequent evidence revealed that HRT actually has the capacity to increase risk of heart disease.
How could we have got it so wrong?
The initial ‘evidence’ on HRT was epidemiological in nature, which meant that it looked at the relationship between HRT/non-HRT use in a population and risk of cardiovascular disease. One fundamental potential problem with these studies relates to what is known as the ‘healthy user’ effect. In short, what this means is that healthier individuals are more likely to be prescribed a drug than sicker people who may already be on multiple medications and prone to side-effects and interactions. So, any ‘benefit’ seen to be associated with a drug may have nothing to do with the drug, and everything to do with the fact that people taking it are inherently healthier.
To untangle all of this, what we need is randomised controlled trials. These trials give essentially equivalent groups the treatment or placebo to assess any potential benefits or harms of the treatment. It’s when these studies were done that we realised that HRT actually increased the risk of heart disease.
The healthy-user effect, though, has not gone away, and is still alive and well in medical research. Here’s another apparent example that concerns cholesterol-reducing drugs known as statins…
In the past, statins have said to help prevent pneumonia (infection in the lung) on the basis of epidemiological studies. However, it is generally the case that frail, elderly individuals, with perhaps complicated health histories are less likely to be prescribed or take statins than healthier individuals. Because of this, when we see lower incidence of infection in those taking statins, we have no idea if it’s the statins, or the fact that these people are generally healthier, or both, that accounts for the reduced infection risk.
One way to get clarity here is to attempt to take into account health status of individuals when performing this sort of analysis. That’s exactly what a team of doctors based in the US did when analysing the relationship between statin use and risk of pneumonia in a study published in 2009 [1]. This more careful analysis revealed that statin use was actually associated with a 26 per cent increased risk of pneumonia. For pneumonia severe enough to require hospitalisation, statin use was associated with a 61 per cent increased risk.
Now, we should not forget that these studies are epidemiological in nature, and cannot be used to prove that statins cause enhanced susceptibility to pneumonia. However, the evidence as it stands is incriminating nonetheless. Further suspicion is raised in the form of evidence which shows that statins have the ability to directly impair the immune system and its ability to resist bacteria [2].
The most comprehensive account of statin side-effects I can find was published last year in the British Medical Journal [3]. Known side-effects of statins include muscle weakness and/or pain (myopathy), liver damage , kidney failure and cataracts. Here, in summary, are the findings of this review:
For every 10,000 women at high risk of CVD [cardiovascular disease] treated with statins, we would expect approximately 271 fewer cases of cardiovascular disease, 8 fewer cases of oesophageal cancer, 23 extra patients with kidney failure, 307 extra patients with cataracts; 74 extra patients with liver dysfunction; and 39 extra patients with myopathy.
For every 10,000 men at high risk of CVD treated with statins, we would expect approximately 301 fewer cases of cardiovascular disease, 9 fewer cases of oesophageal cancer, 29 extra patients with kidney failure, 191 extra patients with cataracts; 71 extra patients with liver dysfunction; and 110 extra patients with myopathy.
This study focused specifically on data relating to individuals deemed to be at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Many individuals who take statins are actually not at high risk of cardiovascular disease. For these, benefits are likely to be significantly lower than those elucidated in this study (while risks are likely to be about the same).
But look at those figures for a moment. Two things jump out to me:
Of 10,000 high-risk individuals, only about 300 will benefit – that’s 3 per cent. That means, of course, 97 per cent will not benefit. The number of people who benefit is roughly matched by those who will get a serious adverse effect. Hands up who wants to take a statin now?
References:1. Dublin S, et al. Statin use and risk of community acquired pneumonia in older people: population based case-control study. BMJ 2009;338:b2137
2. Benati D, et al. Opposite effects of simvastatin on the bactericidal and inflammatory response of macrophages to opsonized S. aureus. J Leukoc Biol. 2010;87(3):433-42
3. Hippisley-Cox J, et al. Unintended effects of statins in men and women in England and Wales: population based cohort study using the QResearch database BMJ 2010;340:c2197
by Dr. John Briffa
Statins appear to harm about as many people as they help

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Thinking About PSA and the Latest News

I live where it is a good 90 minute drive to any city of real size.  When I moved to this area almost ten years ago I was trying to teach the communities about the fact that the PSA test was ineffective.  Of course the closed minds so common in small towns ruled and no one would even try to listen.  Now we know that even the medical profession has decided that PSA can be a real issue leading to over treatment to many who do not even need it.

One forward thinking doctor told me years ago that the acid fast bacteria lab test was much more effective in screening for real cancer cases in men when it came to prostate care.

Like the story my long time colleague tells below, I lost a friend to this dis-ease because of a doctor who always said he would use natural care but it took too much time to tell his patients.

What cost health?

PSA test DOA
by David Christopher, M.H.

You have probably read the news about prostate screening for cancer, which appeared on the front page of many newspapers across the country. On Thursday October 13, 2011 an Associated Press article by Marilynn Marchione basically blasted PSA tests. It related that this test is only a measure of inflammation which can be elevated for many reasons including bike riding, recent sex, or normal enlargement of the prostate due to age. She also debunks the claims that the screening saves lives. She makes these claims by drawing from a very large, well done American study, that\ showed that annual screening did not lower the chances of dying from prostate cancer. Many men believe the screening saved their lives because their urologist erroneously told them it did. These men and urologists become very vocal in promoting prostate cancer screening.

Less visible are the unfortunate men who test high for PSA and are then subjected to invasive testing that can harm or spread cancer. One such case as reported in the article is, "... Donald Weaver who was a healthy 74 year old Kansas farmer until doctors went looking for prostate cancer. A PSA test led to a biopsy and surgery, then a heart attack, organ failure and a coma. His grief stricken wife took him off life support. 'He died of unnecessary preventive medicine,' said his nephew, Dr. Jay Siwek, vice chairman of family medicine at Georgetown University. Blood tests can kill you ..."

The United States Preventive Task Force does not recommend the use of this test, and doctors have been warned by the AMA to leave slow-growing prostate cancer alone; that interference may spread the cancer.

What should we do to prevent prostate cancer? Well first, grow up and eat like an adult. Stop eating those sugary breakfast cereals. Stop drinking milk, it contains hormones that stimulate growth of prostate tissue. The hormones found in meat can also negatively effect prostate health. Do eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted grains and legumes, and include nuts and seeds in your diet. This program is preventive for not just prostate cancer, but all cancers. If prevention is too late, then do the extended herbal cleanse as explained in the Dr. Christopher Three Day Cleanse booklet.

Next eat the seeds highest in cancer preventing nitrilosides; which are apricot seeds. They are extremely bitter, but buck up and eat six seeds a day to start and work up to as many as 30 per day. These simple seeds are natures' chemo therapy.

Cyanide and benzaldehyde are the chemicals in the seed that destroy cancer cells. These two chemicals are bound to two glucose molecules and are inert until activated at the actual cancer site. This is accomplished enzymatically. The chemicals are released with beta-glucosidase which is found at cancer sites. Healthy cells are surrounded by the enzyme rhodanese, which in the presence of sulfur, converts the cyanide into thiocyanate, which then converts to cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12). The Benzaldehyde, in the presence of oxygen is converted to benzoic acid, an analgesic.

In conclusion, I ask "Why would anyone want to go through risky medical procedures to look for possible prostate cancer, when nature provides a safe and natural chemotherapy, specific to cancer cells and at the same time is nutritive to healthy cells?"

NOTICE: All information in this newsletter is given out as information only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For our official Disclaimer, Biological Individuality, Important Notice-Terms of Use please see:

Selections from Natural Health News

Oct 12, 2011
Specifically in regards to prostate cancer, new research published in the International Journal of Cancer has shown that gamma-tocotrienol, a cofactor found in natural vitamin E preparations, actually kills prostate ...

Feb 08, 2009
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures an enzyme produced almost exclusively by the glandular cells of the prostate. It is secreted during ejaculation into the prostatic ducts that empty into the urethra. PSA liquefies ...
Dec 10, 2009
For this study, Gerhauser's team started with hormone-dependent prostate cancer cells and stimulated them with testosterone, which led to a massive secretion of prostate specific antigen (PSA). "When we treated the cells ...
Dec 16, 2008
On the contrary, high levels of 2-hydroxy estrogens—or “good estrogens” as they're sometimes called—have quite the opposite effect, serving to lower telltale PSA levels and protect vulnerable tissue in the prostate, cervix, ...
Oct 23, 2009
Mammography and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, although having "some effect," have led to the well-documented overdiagnosis and overtreatment of breast and prostate cancers, they note. ...

Monday, November 07, 2011

Considering Homeopathy, Herbal Medicine for Problems from Prolapse

In Homeopathy selecting a remedy is based upon the individual, and determining the impact of their symptoms.  In this way recovering to a complete state of health can be achieved by relieving signs and symptoms. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat uterine prolapse but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility.
Therapeutic remedies are available that have been used successfully in cases that deal with uterine prolapse.  The remediy (ies) are selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints.
The following remedies may be helpful in the treatment of uterine prolapse: Sepia, Lilium Tig, Podophyllum, Belladonna, Nux Vom, Stannum Met, Senecio, Aloe, Staphysagria, Pulsatilla, Nux Mos, Phosphorous, Helonias, Aurum Met, Collinsonia, Conium Mac, Cimicifuga, Platina, Argentum Met, Bryonia.
For individualized remedy selection and treatment it is recommended that you consult a qualified homeopathic practitioner for a consultation in person.
A similar approach to delineating remedies made from herbs can be used.  Some may involve tissue strengthening, elimination of incontinence, eliminating pain or others depending on symptoms. One highly respected corrective formula used for over 60 years consists of golden seal root, blessed thistle, cayenne, cramp bark, false unicorn root, ginger, red raspberry leaves, squaw vine, and uva ursi.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Honey Selected for Health and Healing

Honey for Health and Healing

Organic Raw Honey - 17.6 oz. glass jar

As a highly respected and internationally renown expert in natural health I have been using, recommending and selling only the finest honey products for many decades.

I've always used raw honey and for the most part that raw honey is organic.

I've also put together a very in depth report about the medicinal uses of honey and been products built on information I have gathered since the mid 1950s. About that time my father, a skilled and highly respected physician and surgeon, began using bee stings to keep his hands and fingers limber for the complicated surgeries he performed.

I have always liked the dark honey such as that from buckwheat because of the high amounts of antioxidants it contains. I often suggest pollen if a person has no history of bee sting reactions. These busy workers are one of the main pollinators that we depend on for our food supply. They are also being decimated by the advent of cell phones, WIFI, and digital TV microwave towers. It is a reason I have written several articles about planting for bees.

In the early 1990s I came into contact with a fellow who was a magic bee keeper and honey producer. His honey was gathered in the Cascade foothills well away from pollution and EMF. He did not filter it either so it was a rich and amazing product. And highly sought after by makers of mead.

Sometime after that I found a honey product from Alaska that was also not filtered and the producer always sent me the pollen he collected when adding screens on the hives.

Then there was a raw, certified organic honey that crossed my path, that later became questionable as to source. Sometime later this honey became a product of South America, but the organic certification was now lacking.

Shortly after coming into contact with the great folks at Tropical Traditions and their Virgin Coconut Oil, I received a bottle of the certified organic raw and unfiltered honey from Canada.

In order for honey to be certified as organic the hives have to be located far from population and industrial centers where pollution will not affect the end product. Since bees have about a four mile flight area from their home hives this are has to be assured as clean too. Tropical Traditions sources its honey from hives in the wild frontier areas of Canada.

This honey is harvested during a limited six week period of time during the summer. It is not subjected to high heat in processing so it retains all of the beneficial nutrients and enzymes. The end result is an unfiltered, very smooth and creamy textured honey. You get all the benefits of the pollen too.

"This honey is GREAT! I really savor my heaping teaspoon from time to time."

The less intrusive filtering process provides for finely textured crystals in TT raw, organic honey, preserving all the natural health benefits honey offers. And as the purveyors of this fine honey say, “Truly raw honeys do not deteriorate with age, but like fine wines, continue to age and develop into more complex tastes.”

Try some, you will love the taste.

Selected from Natural Health News

Honey Adds Health Benefits

EPA Laxity Puts Bees at Risk

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Got PAIN? Let Us Help You with Natural and Custom Remedies

This isn't new news.  I've read and re-read articles on this very topic for years and I have yet to see mainstream medicine, CDC, or even Big PhRMA do anything to address this other than a move to control it by and or through legislation (which really has yet to be effective).

I have yet to see a real patient-centered approach used to focus on a person's real needs for pain treatment and a very directed and proactive appraoch to this issue.

See our Natural Pain Relief information linked below or ask us about Health Forensics or customized pain relief remedies.

Painkiller overdose 'epidemic' strikes US
Kerry Sheridan AFP
November 2, 2011

Lethal overdoses from prescription painkillers have tripled in the past decade and now account for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined, US health authorities say. The quantity of painkillers on the market is so high that it would be enough to medicate every American with a standard dose of Vicodin every four hours for one full month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "The unfortunate and in fact shocking news is that we are in the midst of an epidemic of prescription drug overdose in this country. It is an epidemic but it can be stopped," said CDC chief Thomas Frieden. "In fact, now the burden of dangerous drugs is being created more by a few irresponsible doctors than by drug pushers on street corners." The CDC Vital Signs report focused on opioid pain relievers, including oxycodone, methadone and hydrocodone, better known as Vicodin, which have quadrupled in sales to pharmacies, hospitals and doctors' offices since 1999. Last year, 12 million Americans reported taking prescription painkillers for recreational uses, not because of a medical condition. The number of deaths from overdoses of opioid pain relievers has more than tripled from 4000 people in 1999 to 14,800 people in 2008.

The epidemic is at its height among middle-aged white men and American Indians or Alaska natives, the CDC said.
Pain Relief Naturally

Rural and poor areas tend to have the highest prescription drug overdose death rates.

Deaths from prescription drugs made up almost 75 per cent of overdose deaths in which a drug was specified on the death certificate, the CDC said, noting that deaths and hospitalisations have increased in parallel with the boost in supply. The sales rate of the three opioids included in the study reached 7.1 kilograms per 10,000 population last year, or the same as 710 milligrams per person in the United States. "Enough OPR (opioid pain relievers) were prescribed last year to medicate every American adult with a standard pain treatment dose of five milligrams of hydrocodone (Vicodin and others) taken every four hours for a month," the CDC said. Even though a relatively small portion of the US population admits abusing prescription painkillers, the costs to health insurance companies are huge, $US72.5 billion per year, according to the report. States could do a better job of regulating the problem via drug monitoring records and insurance claims information that "can identify and address inappropriate prescribing and use by patients", the report said. More laws targeting so-called "pill mills", which are prescribing at higher than normal rates in particularly affected states, could also cut back on the problem, it said. "State policy can make a huge difference in either controlling or allowing this epidemic to proceed," said Frieden. "States should rigorously monitor who is prescribing and to whom."

Selections from Natural Health News
Jul 28, 2011
Hands on Healing for Pain and So Much More. Reading news early this morning I came upon a couple of article that were of interest because they involved energy healing. If you'd like a copy of our Reiki brochure please ...
Sep 30, 2011
Dr. Oz Raises Awareness of Pain in America! The Dr. Oz Show interviewed top doctors this week about a familiar subject— pain. Dr. Oz was shocked to learn what so many of us live with every day. Pain is prevalent, finding ...
Sep 29, 2008
There are many natural options for people experiencing pain that are as, if not more, effective that pharmaceuticals that may also promote addiction. The key to this, however, remains making the relief of pain tailored ...
Apr 28, 2010
To me it is interesting that news of the well known - for a very long time - benefits of cayenne as a pain remedy reports as if no one has ever heard of this benefit. But in case you've been in the dark on this wonderful ...