Posts filed under ‘Alternative Health Care News’

Natural Alternative to Opioid Use

I firmly believe there is something to be gained from all of life’s experiences — even the difficult ones. What I’d like to share with you certainly illustrates that truth.

As I’m sure you are aware, there has been an enormous amount of news regarding the “opioid crisis” in America. Too many people are getting addicted and even dying from the use of these drugs. Unfortunately, the medical world is limited in what they have to offer for pain relief. Therefore, I think this information is invaluable.

First a bit of background: You may know that I had a severe fall back in September. I tripped and fell forward onto cement and hit a big rock with my chin. My sister said I was practicing flying. Unfortunately, I flunked! As a result, I had pretty terrible pain in my neck, shoulders and low back. Despite regular adjustments, I was having trouble sleeping. For a while, I took 400 mg ibuprofen a couple times a week, but that soon threw me into heart failure. {I do not tolerate pharmaceuticals well.)

The experience prompted me to remember the options available to me. Karuna Corporation manufacturers a product called P.T.I. (aka Post Traumatic Injury, duh! I had forgotten.) It replaces non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS), which is the class of drugs ibuprofen falls into. Not only do NSAIDS inhibit the healing process, they also mildly inhibit the Cox 2 enzymes. You may remember Vioxx and Celebrex, which were briefly taken off the market because they were killing people. (Yes, Celebrex is back, with a warning label.) Well NSAIDS do much the same thing, and in susceptible people can also cause heart failure.

I also have available from Medi-Herb a product called Nervagesic. It is the strongest herbal pain reliever available, designed to combat the kind of pain cancer patients get in the night – with no side effects! My pain was severe enough that I took both for a while.

However, the really amazing part of this is that my friend had her foot reconstructed surgically, and the doctors gave her oxycontin for pain. She had the whole array of negative side effects, nausea, severe constipation, headaches, insomnia. Although it helped her pain, the side effects were unbearable. Based on my recent experience, I sent her a bottle each of P.T.I. and Nervagesic, with instructions to take 4 P.T.I. and 3 Nervagesic at bed time. After seven days, she was able to substitute this protocol for the opioid with excellent results; and, there is no danger of addiction.

Her experience made me realize I needed to share this information for those of you who suffer from chronic pain. It is truly an excellent alternative to dangerous and addictive opioid drugs.

So, for those of us who struggle with pain, I can highly recommend this combination. During the day, if you need the relief, the dose is 2 P.T.I. and 2 Nervagesic every 4 to 6 hours, as needed. If you get too sleepy, you can adjust the dose to a lower level. If you wish to order a supply, simply email me at frontoffice@richardsfamilyhealth.com.

January 6, 2019 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Flu Vaccine

If you’ve been listening to the news, I am sure you have seen the PR campaign promoting flu vaccine. The message is: “You owe it to friends and family to get the vaccine. You need to protect them.” “Thousands of people die every year from being unvaccinated.”

The newest push is for the “senior vaccine.” It’s supposedly “better” for seniors.

There are major problems with all of this and I would like to share the unreported truths with you and give you much safer options than the vaccines.

First of all, let’s address the issue of the number of people who die due to influenza.  In 2005, Peter Doshi, a Harvard graduate student, published an analysis in the British Medical Journal entitled “Are US flu death figures more PR than science?” In this article, he points out that the quoted statistics conflate flu deaths with flu-related deaths, which are quite different. Most of what are called “flu-related deaths” are actually from pneumonia. And, it isn’t viral pneumonia either. It’s a secondary bacterial pneumonia not directly caused by the flu. { BMJ 2005;331:1412}

To quote his article: “[The CDC claims that] influenza and pneumonia took 62,034 lives in 2001; 61,777 of which were attributable to pneumonia and 257 to flu; and in only 18 cases was the flu virus positively identified.” (emphasis added)

Please note: This article was published in the British Medical Journal, not in America. His follow-up article in 2013 was also published in the BMJ. Apparently, the American medical journals simply weren’t interested.

In his second article, he points out that in 2013, 130 million doses of vaccine were sold in the U.S. (up from 90 million in 1990). Of course, there are 315 American residents. If vaccination were so vital, this shortage could be called “medical malpractice.” In that same article he points out that mandatory vaccination laws are popping up all over the U.S. because so many people don’t want the shot.

So, now, let’s examine just how effective the vaccine is; then, I’ll talk about side effects. Finally, I’ll share natural alternatives to protect your immune system. [By the way, I haven’t had the flu in more than a decade, despite treating many patients with influenza, so I am confident the protocol works!]

In the face of aggressive PR campaigns to “get your flu shot,” you may think the flu vaccine is the ultimate solution. “What’s not advertised, however, is just how lackluster the vaccine is. The most commonly used flu shots protect no more than 60% of people who receive them; some years, effectiveness plunges to as low as 1%.” {Science Mag}

So, what is going on? Seasonally, manufacturers produce a vaccine against the strains of flu they expect to circulate that year. This is an “educated guess;” actually, it’s a crapshoot. No one can accurately predict what strains may pop up. An additional problem has been uncovered by more modern genetic testing.

For decades, tests suggested the flu vaccine worked extremely well. However, a better genetic test polymerase chain reaction (PCR), revealed many infections in vaccinated people who would have previously been deemed protected. {Med J Aust} The actual efficacy proved to be between 60% (high) and 10% (low).

Another study conducted in British Columbia suggested that the problems with the vaccine arise in the production process. For years, it was assumed that mutations in the virus caused the vaccine to be ineffective. However, Danuta Skowronski, an epidemiologist at he BC Center for Disease Control in Vancouver, Canada  blames mutations during the culture of the vaccine. The most common vaccine contains an “inactivated” virus, which manufacturers grow in chicken eggs. As Skowronski’s team first reported in 2014, the virus can mutate while it is growing in chicken eggs, resulting in a vaccine that is unable to block circulating strains.

Again, please note that ALL of this information is being researched and published in foreign countries. Access to information in the U.S. is controlled by the pharmaceutical companies.

So, in an effort to boost efficacy, Big Pharma has come up with a “senior” vaccine, which is a “high dose” vaccine that contains four times the antigens of the regular vaccine. The theory is that the extra antigens will boost your immune response and provide extra protection. {source)

However, this increased potency is not without cost. Very common side effects include: myalgia; headaches; tenderness, redness, itching and swelling at the injection site; abnormal crying, malaise and fever; runny nose and nasal congestion; upper respiratory infection; vomiting, nausea and diarrhea; loss of appetite; and irritability. Some of these occur at the rate of 78%!

Merely common side effects include: hemorrhage, chest tightness, chills, shivering, back pain, migraine, sore throat, cough, oropharyngeal pain, rhinorrhea, wheezing, nasopharyngitis, infection and flu-like illness. {source: www.drugs.com re Fluzone} Please tell me how this is different from actually having the flu?!?

Recently, one of my long-time clients had the senior vaccine. She wanted to see her newborn niece. (You are probably aware of the new tactic; family members must receive vaccines in order to visit newborns.) She had a severe reaction, including the central nervous system effects. I recommended she return to her primary care doctor and inform the doctor of the reaction, so it could be noted in her medical records. The M.D. took swift action and specified that my patient should never have any flu vaccine again.

Standard flu vaccine is also a problem. It comes with unrevealed side effects, including: soreness, redness and/or swelling from the shot; headache; fever, nausea and muscle aches. There are also severe allergic reactions, which include: difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, paleness, weakness, fast heart rate and dizziness.  More seriously, is Guillain-Barre´ Syndrome (GBS), which results in progressive paralysis of the motor nerves, including the nerves that control the muscles of respiration. This information comes from the CDC.

What I found shocking was the extent to which the impact of this life-threatening condition is being minimized. I clearly remember 1976, when the swine flu virus paralyzed 565 infants with GBS; hundreds more suffered major side effects. Eventually the U.S. government paid out $400 million in damages to victims’ families when it was proven that the government had foreknowledge of the risks. {Source: Coulter H, Fisher B, A Shot in the Dark, Avery 1991}

The facts of the case are as follows: The federal agency, the Division of Biologic Standards, is in charge of vaccine safety. Just before the vaccine was released, one of their top research scientists, J. Anthony Morris, was fired by the agency for warning the public that there was no evidence that a swine flu “epidemic” was coming and also that the vaccine had serious side effects. {Ibid}

However, there is an even more serious effect — one that is being not only ignored, but ridiculed by the CDC. The gentleman who revealed this adverse effect, Dr. Hugh Fudenburg, has impeccable credentials in immunology. He published some 850 peer-reviewed papers (the gold standard in medicine). He was a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and an associate professor of immunology at the University of California, Berkeley. He also was the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology for 15 years, as well as serving on the World Health Organization’s expert committee on immunology for 20 years. Now, however, he is being demonized for making the following public at the first National Vaccine Information Center International Conference on Vaccination and Vaccine Risks. “If an individual had 5 consecutive flu shots between 1970 and 1980, the chance of Alzheimer’s Disease was 10 times greater than for those . . . getting no shots.” If you Google his name, you will immediately see the attacks against him. Such is the cost of opposing established medical dogma.

So, what is a person to do? Since Medi-Herb’s St. John’s Wort (SJW) is the specific for all encapsulated viruses, it is effective against the influenza virus. For more information, you can read my prior article on St. John’s Wort.

For prevention, the dose is 2 tablets, twice a day, of SJW. They are best taken approximately 12 hours apart. At the first sign of a symptom, increase to 2 tablets, 3 times per day.

To improve your resistance to bacterial pneumonia, you have 2 choices; either Echinacea Premium or Thymunose. (Thymunose is slightly less expensive.) The dose is 1 tablet, morning and evening, of either. Increase the dose to 2 tablets each time if you start feeling ill.

Side effects of this protocol include: alleviation of mild to moderate depression; alleviation of symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder); protection against other encapsulated viruses, including the entire herpes family – oral and genital herpes, shingles, Epstein Barr and cytomegalovirus; also West Nile Virus. Thymunose and/or Echinacea Premium provide protection against secondary bacterial infections by boosting the efficiency of your immune system.

So, it’s really your choice: Take the risk of the toxic pharmaceutical approach; or choose botanicals that provide a host of additional benefits unavailable from the vaccine.

I have stocked up on both SJW and Thymunose, so feel free to place an order if you want to be protected from influenza. You can reach me at frontoffice@RichardsFamilyHealth.com.

November 16, 2018 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

Zika Virus is Spreading – Are You Concerned?

The recent information about information about zika virus is very alarming. I would like to bring you up to date about the dangers and a natural solution.

First of all, here in California, we are susceptible, because the vector, the tiger mosquito is endemic here. The map below indicates reported cases. (data from Scientific American) The darker the color, the greater the number of cases. Specifically, here in California 6 cases have been reported (2 from 2015 and the rest from 2013 and 2014). The problem is that, with the prevalence of the mosquito in this area, an infected person can be bitten and pass the virus to others.

author: Amanda Montanez@unamandita

In addition to birth defects in pregnant women, the CDC lists the following symptoms in adults from the zika virus:

  • No symptoms at all
  • Fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes) are the most common symptoms in people who have any symptoms at all
  • Other common symptoms: muscle pain and headache
  • Rare, but serious, symptoms include Guillain-Barre syndrome, a paralyzing neurological disorder which it is possible to recover from

The following information is also from the CDC. The incubation period is unknown, but is probably a few days to a week. The danger is that during the first week of the infection, if you get bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito can then pass the virus to the next people it bites.

The CDC reports the distribution of zika in the U.S. on the following map. There have been a total of 354 cases reported in the U.S. currently, primarily travel related.

Map of the United States showing Travel-associated and Locally acquired cases of the Zika virus.  The locations and number of cases can be found in the table below.

This is, of course, an epidemiologist’s nightmare. I remember when I was attending USC in the late 1960’s. Our bacteriology professor had worked for the World Health Organization and was very concerned about Vietnamese malaria coming to the U.S. with returning servicemen. The problem with the Vietnamese strain was that it did not respond to synthetic quinine products; only the natural extract would do. And, the U.S. had just sold off all of its natural stores, now that a synthesized pharmaceutical was available! Fortunately, that scenario never developed, but we are now in the midst of a similar, and far worse, one.

However, there is good news! It turns out that zika is an encapsulated, RNA virus, much like West Nile Virus. Therefore, it too is susceptible to medical grade St. John’s Wort from Medi-Herb. Read my prior article here on my blog regarding the efficacy of St. John’s Wort for a variety of viral diseases. Please remember: the over the counter preparations don’t work, because they aren’t extracted properly and don’t preserve the anti-viral compound.

The dose is 2 tablets, 3 times per day, for a week to 10 days. Prophylaxis (prevention) is 2, 2 times per day. I take it regularly due to my susceptibility to shingles. I always have some on hand, so don’t hesitate to call if you need it.

April 12, 2016 at 6:54 pm Leave a comment

Important Information on Prop 37

I am attaching to this email information I received from a concerned client regarding Prop 37, the food labeling initiative. I was unaware of the import of this legislation until I received a political ad dissing Dr. Mercola for supporting it. I immediately sat up and took notice, since I respect Dr. Mercola.

Continue Reading October 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm Leave a comment

Alarming Developments in Healthcare – What They Mean to You

Get ready for a health care police state. There are many trends that you need to know about, and that I find alarming. A recent article (The Bakersfield Californian, Wednesday, December 7, 2011) highlights a few of the more alarming developments.

Continue Reading December 16, 2011 at 11:56 pm Leave a comment

FDA Encroacing on Your Freedom of Choice in Health Care

ByLine:  May 14, 2010

Some alarming news came across my desk yesterday.  Everyone who is interested in natural health care should take note:

Both the FDA and the FTC have threatened Dr. Andrew Weil, the famous alternative M.D., with criminal prosecution.  Natural News Article The specific incident involved Dr. Weil recommending an herbal formula containing astragalus for its immune-boosting properties.  The actual text of the FDA letter read, “If your firm fails to take corrective action immediately, FDA may take enforcement action, such as seizure or injunction for violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act without further notice.”

In essence, the FDA is protecting the drug industry by muzzling information about safe and effective, natural alternatives to vaccines.  You may have noticed that TV commercials are still being aired, encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against H1N1 “before it’s too late.”  Too late for what?  The hyped pandemic has never materialized, and many people have decided the risks of the vaccine far outweigh the dangers of the flu.  And, as a result, the drug companies have taken a big hit to their bottom line.

Here’s the problem:  Everything Dr. Weil said is true and is validated by research that has been conducted outside the U.S.  However, the FDA continues to agitate for more control over nutritional supplements, including incredibly expensive drug trials for natural substances. These products can never be patented – thereby, severely limiting the potential for any company to ever recoup their R & D costs.  In fact, only large drug companies can afford the expense of these mandated U.S. drug trials. Clinical research done overseas into the activity of herbs and vitamins is inadequate, according to the FDA.

All of this is imposed under the guise of “public interest,” but here’s the dirty little secret:  Natural remedies are not dangerous!  There wasn’t a single death caused by dietary supplements in 2008.  And, the FDA is well aware of this since the statistic comes from a peer-reviewed journal in their own field – Clinical Toxicology.1 Not even the so-called “dangerous” vitamins A, B, C, D and E (or the herbs we have heard so many cautions about) have caused any harm.  As a side note, this year we discovered that the much-maligned vitamin D is actually critical to prevention of both a variety of cancers and, most recently, heart disease. Vitamin D and Heart Disease

Not one person died from nutritional supplements.  Yet, every year over 100,000 people die from FDA-approved prescription drugs. Drug Reactions In addition, prescription drugs cause as many as 2.2 million adverse reactions every year.2 The only person I know who has publicized this is Dr. Gary Null on his Life Extension web site. Dr. Null’s article

Yet, the FDA would have you believe that what the public needs protection from is the natural health industry!

The behind-the-scenes story is that the FDA has a very telling conflict of interest.  The law establishing the FDA, the Prescription Drug User Fee Act passed in 1992, authorized fees to be paid to the FDA by the drug companies, making the FDA dependent upon the very industry it is supposed to regulate.  In fact, more than half of the FDA’s staff are drug industry-paid employees who are “approving” drugs.

And, since that law was passed in 1992, 13 prescription drugs, which have caused hundreds of deaths, have had to be withdrawn from the market.3 Contrast this to the safety record of vitamins, herbs and homeopathy.

What’s worse is that the FDA, in collusion with corporate America, has established a history of suppressing natural, safe and effective alternatives.  If you have been reading my newsletters, you are aware of the fact that statins (aka cholesterol-lowering drugs) cause congestive heart failure.  Merck, the company that brought these drugs to market, has known about this side effect from the beginning, but they have never educated practicing physicians about the importance of supplementing with CoQ10 to prevent this life-threatening condition.

But, it’s even worse than that.  Merck patented a combination drug that includes CoQ10 with the statin, but they never brought it to market. They patented the combination and just let it sit in limbo, simply to keep it out of the prescription market.  By patenting the combination, they protected their bottom line by preventing other drug companies from introducing a product that could save thousands of lives.

And, to this day, the average practicing M.D. doesn’t know about the need for CoQ10 when prescribing these dangerous drugs.

So, from whom does the public need to be protected?

I strongly urge you to contact your Senators and Congressperson whenever you hear of a further attempt to regulate the natural health industry.

And, please do not believe the misleading propaganda (call it what you will: “spin” or “outright lies”) that regularly appears on the news. The drug companies are engaging in an all out disinformation campaign to undermine support for the natural health community and, eventually, eliminate your access to alternative medicine completely.

References:

1 Bronstein AC, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, Green JL, Rumack BH, Giffin SL, 2008 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 26th Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology (2009).  47, 911-1084.

2 Schardt, David.  “Are Your Supplements Safe?” Nutrition Action Healthletter 2003; 30(9): 3-7.

3 The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It by Marcia Angell M.D., published by Random House, 304 pp.

May 20, 2010 at 9:54 pm 1 comment

Suppressing Information About the Swine Flu

Dateline:  October 25, 2009:

Today on the news I heard an announcement that stunned me.  Welcome to Brave New World.  The FDA is pursuing and shutting down anyone on the Internet that offers “cures” for the swine flu – other than the FDA endorsed vaccine, Tamiflu or Relenza.

What’s wrong with this picture?  First of all, there is no proof that Tamiflu or Relenza “cure” the flu.  In the first 24 hours, there is some beneficial effect; however, side effects include:  skin reactions, bizarre behavior, nausea and vomiting.  (And, this is from the official  Tamiflu web site)

The effects in children are even more severe.  As reported in the UK Guardian in July of 2009 over half the school children given Tamiflu had adverse effects, including nearly 1/3rd who felt “sick”, nearly ¼ who reported headaches and more than 1/5th who reported stomach aches.

An article published in the London Times on-line edition in August 2009 went so far as to say children with the flu not be given Tamiflu due to the fact that side effects outweigh the benefits. One of the authorities quoted stated that “the only benefit found in the study was that children who took Tamiflu or Relenza were back to normal between half a day and a day earlier. His advice to GPs was ’not to rely on Tamiflu as a treatment to reduce complications’ or to think of it as a ‘magic bullet’. The antivirals had little or no effect on asthma flare-ups, ear infections or the likelihood of a child needing antibiotics.”

Another web site reports on even more alarming symptoms, although it tries to minimize them:  “More serious side effects have also sometimes been reported. According to the FDA, ‘there have been reports (mostly from Japan) since Tamiflu became available of patients causing self-injury or experiencing delirium (confusion, hallucinations, speech problems) while using Tamiflu.’ While these ‘reports were mostly in children,’ it is still not known if they were actually caused by taking Tamiflu”.

And then there is all of the adverse effects associated with vaccines.  You will have to decide for yourself whether or not you want to expose your children and yourself to those. (See my article “Swine Flu Vaccine Alert” for more.)

To me, the most frightening piece of this picture is that those of us who prefer to provide natural, alternative therapies are now being targeted by the government as “scammers” and “quacks.”  Apparently, free speech does not apply to health care.  Where will it end?

There is plenty of documented, scientific evidence that St. John’s Wort is effective against encapsulated viruses – like the influenza viruses. (see my article “West Nile Virus & St. John’s Wort”) And, I have clinical evidence that Thymunose (an immune stimulant) shortens the course of the illness, without any of the serious side effects of the prescription drugs.

I find it frightening that the FDA can step in and limit our health care choices.  And, there is no recourse from the government. However, I feel it is my responsibility to tell my clients what I know about strategies to keep themselves and their families healthy.

October 25, 2009 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment

Medical Fascism Hidden in Stimulus Bill fm Natural Soln’s Foundation

I just received this information on February 11, 2009 from Natural Solutions Foundation (http//www.HealthFreedomUSA.org http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?page_id=2060). I wanted to share it as soon as possible, since time is of the essence. Please read the article below in its entirety.

The information is very disturbing. The stimulus plan contains provisions regarding national health care that will mean the end of medical services as we now know them. Care for the elderly will be established based upon life expectancy, rather than benefit. In addition, the requirement that all doctors and hospitals “go electronic” so that their actions can be monitored imposes an enormous cost on doctors and hospitals. Outfitting an office with an electronic network and laptops is just the beginning. Specialized programs costing upwards of $25,000 also have to be purchased.

I don’t have enough information as yet. My hope is that there will at least be an option for private payment for services. The bill first introduced by Hillary Clinton in the 1990s made it a criminal offense for doctors to accept private payments. If that happens, I will not be able to continue in practice, since the work that I perform will not be covered by any national health care program. Let your Congressperson and Senators know how you feel about this attempt to hoodwink the American public.

I urge you to take action now – before it is too late.

Here’s a copyrighted Opinion Piece Bloomberg published on it, offered here to further educate the public.
(http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_mccaughey&sid=aLzfDxfbwhzs)

Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan
Commentary by Betsy McCaughey

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) — Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.

Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion. These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.

Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.

New Penalties

Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)

What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

Elderly Hardest Hit

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.

Hidden Provisions

If the Obama administration’s economic stimulus bill passes the Senate in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face similar rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later.

The stimulus bill will affect every part of health care, from medical and nursing education, to how patients are treated and how much hospitals get paid. The bill allocates more funding for this bureaucracy than for the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined (90-92, 174-177, 181).

Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”

More Scrutiny Needed

On Friday, President Obama called it “inexcusable and irresponsible” for senators to delay passing the stimulus bill. In truth, this bill needs more scrutiny.

The health-care industry is the largest employer in the U.S. It produces almost 17 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Yet the bill treats health care the way European governments do: as a cost problem instead of a growth industry. Imagine limiting growth and innovation in the electronics or auto industry during this downturn. This stimulus is dangerous to your health and the economy.

(Betsy McCaughey is former lieutenant governor of New York and is an adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. The opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the writer of this column: Betsy McCaughey at Betsymross@aol.com
Last Updated: February 9, 2009 00:01 ES

February 17, 2009 at 10:16 pm Leave a comment

Hydrogenated (trans) Fats Being Whitewashed

Have you heard the latest?  The medical community is attempting to change public perception of trans fat!  After all the bad publicity about how dangerous hydrogenated fats are to the health of your heart, the latest article on WebMD [dated March 7, 2008] attempts to cloud the issue by asserting that “Not All Trans Fats are Equally Risky.” {www.webmd.cm/cholesterol-management/news/20080307/not-all-trans-fats-are-equally-risky}

If you read this article, you might think that trans fats are something natural, and therefore, OK.  The article actually states “Trans fats, or ‘trans fatty acids,’ come in two forms:

Industrial trans fats are artificially created by manufacturers by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils; these are called ‘partially hydrogenated oils.’ This makes the oils more solid to give foods like cookies, pies and french fries a rich, crispy texture.

Natural trans fats are found in meat (cow, sheep and goat) and dairy products.  These trans fats are made naturally in the stomach of these animals.”

Now, with just a cursory reading, doesn’t that make it sound like hydrogenated oils are simply an offshoot of a naturally occurring substance?

Well, the truth is something quite different.  There are minute amounts of  trans fats in dairy and meat products, specifically those made from C18 monounsaturated fatty acids, almost half of which are a substance called vaccenic acid.  This trans fat is metabolized by humans into conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has protective influences on the heart and blood fats.

However, that is a far cry from the “industrial” trans fats that now comprise such a large part of the American diet.  The problem is that this information is being used to desensitize people to the harm trans fats can cause.  One example comes from the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency, which wrote in a letter dated September 21, 2004 that “The main issue with hydrogenated fats relates to their content of trans unsaturated fatty acids (trans fats).  These trans fats occur in nature in dairy produce and the flesh of ruminants, e.g. beef, lamb.”

This is downright misleading.  Unfortunately for the margarine industry, the latest studies demonstrate that artificial (or industrial) trans fats reduced HDL (or good) cholesterol and raised LDL (or bad) cholesterol.  The naturally occurring compounds, which the body can actually metabolize had no such effect.

Therefore, you shouldn’t be concerned about the tiny amount of trans fats in dairy products.  However, you need to be vigilant about hydrogenated oils or shortening added to prepared foods that you consume.  And, above all, read every news release carefully so as not to be fooled by the food industry!

March 14, 2008 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

B Vitamins & Cardiovascular Disease — Fact From Fiction

I want to comment on the continuing barrage of “news” stories, claiming vitamins are dangerous – and may even cause cancer!!  Believe me, if that were the case, I would be the first to tell you about it.  It’s the reason that I don’t utilize either human growth hormone or melatonin in my practice.  Both have been demonstrated to have tumorogenic activity.  In a word, they cause tumors to grow. 

What you need to understand concerning the studies being reported in the media is that these are not actual experiments.  They are “meta-analyses.”  What does that mean?  It means essentially that someone did a literature search and then did a statistical analysis.  No parameters are established over the quality of the supplements used, the dosages prescribed, or the condition of the people taking the products.    It is very reminiscent of the “study” that announced that vitamin C was useless in treating cancer, because the dying patients given the vitamin C only extended their lifespan a few days to weeks – they all still died.  This is the caliber of the “research” that is going on, because the drug companies, who are the primary funders of such studies are desperate to regain the market they see as being lost to nutritional supplements.

I would like to highlight two studies that received a lot of press in March of this year.  The reports appeared in the March 16th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, and their conclusions were touted far and wide.  B vitamins, especially B vitamins designed to lower homocysteine levels, do not help cardiovascular disease.  However, one of the two studies did determine that there was a “marginally significant” decrease in stroke risk after supplementation.

The first study, called the Norwegian Vitamin (NORVIT) trial, randomly assigned almost 4,000 men and women who had already had a heart attack to receive folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, or a placebo.  There was a 27% decline in homocysteine in 3 years, but the researchers found no significant effect on whether people had another heart attack.  The second study, called the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) 2 study had similar results, but did find a slight reduction in stroke among the group taking the supplements.

The conclusion stated, however, is misleading.    There was a blanket condemnation of vitamin supplementation with the statement, “B vitamins do not prevent heart disease.”

However, when you read further, there are a few problems with these findings.  For one thing, these studies were not preventative.  The test subjects were individuals who already had cardiovascular disease and damage to their arterial system. The study populations included individuals with medical histories that included heart attacks, heart disease, diabetes and other problems.  The fact that there was a reduction in strokes suggests that the reduction in homocysteine actually did reduce inflammation and subsequent clot formation. 

And, since the individuals were already ill, the studies provide no data concerning the efficacy of B vitamins in preventing the development of heart disease in healthy individuals.  The researchers were using a medical model; they were trying to treat or reverse heart disease in sick people. 

The study design was also flawed.  In the NORVIT study, there were 4 groups:  one received folic acid; another received vitamin B6; a third group received both; and the fourth was given placebo.  Yet, in our complex metabolism, these vitamins work together to achieve a metabolic result.  They are co-factors in the pathway that metabolizes homocysteine.  And, in the NORVIT study, it appears that B12 was not included.  Yet, it is an important co-factor in this pathway.

The other issue I have is that the dosages used were quite low, and were not adjusted for body weight.    In the HOPE study, the subjects were given 2.5 mg of folic acid, 50 mg of vitamin B6 and 1 mg of vitamin B12.  There is no indication that they were given the complete B complex, as well.  You cannot give isolated Bs, without creating a deficiency in other factors in the B complex.  And, we already know that vitamin B1 deficiency can cause heart attacks.

In addition, these individuals were already under medical care for a variety of health conditions and were also taking pharmaceuticals for their heart condition.  And, the little known fact is that many cardiovascular and diabetic medications deplete folic acid, as well as other nutrients.

When you consult unbiased sources, the results are quite different.  Statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Center for Health Statistics reveal the following.  With the advent of the refining of wheat (essentially removing ALL B vitamins from flour) in the early 1900s, deaths from heart disease began to skyrocket.  The statistic went from essentially zero in 1920 to a high of 300 per 100,000 population in 1970 (the year vitamin sales in the U.S. began to take off).  From 1970 through 1990 deaths from heart disease dropped in direct relationship to the increase in vitamin sales.  Vitamin sales in 1970 were barely $10 million, but by 1990, they had increased exponentially to $1.5 billion. 

This sort of data makes the drug companies squirm.  It suggests that there are safe, non-drug alternatives to their products.  Which, of course, translates to lost profits.

Please be vigilant and skeptical of these studies.  Remember, all of them are funded by chemical companies who have a large ax to grind.  In chiropractic research, we have a huge problem with funding because there is no commercial interest in finding safe, non-invasive alternatives to drugs and surgery. I also believe that the American public is being conditioned to accept major restrictions on access to herbs and vitamins – a kind of behind the scenes approach to the Codex Alimentarius.  Keep informed and make your voice heard to legislators who may want to limit your rights.

August 30, 2007 at 2:32 am Leave a comment

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