Posts filed under ‘Alternative Health Care News’

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

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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

Vitamin Propaganda Continues

I am completely disgusted and seriously alarmed by the tenor of “health news” of late.    Have you noticed?  Everything is aimed at discrediting vitamins.  Never mind that the studies are seriously flawed.  Never mind that other studies show the importance of vitamins to human health. The drug companies (the entities who finance “medical” research in this country) have an agenda — creating doubt about vitamins in the mind of the average American.  Then, when the UN Codex goes into effect (yes, it’s still in the works and its implementation is being negotiated), there will be no hue and cry.

One Sunday morning in February of this year (2007) was an excellent example.  I had Fox News on and their medical specialist was reviewing the latest medical “news.”  The featured stories included the “dangers” of antioxidants, the uselessness of garlic and, oh yes, the safety of estrogen replacement therapy!  I think what made it so powerful to me was the juxtaposition of stories, combined with the news items I have seen that have been completely overlooked by the media that demonstrate just how important vitamins are to human health.  So, let me debunk this morning’s news and fill you in on some very interesting data.  This letter is quite lengthy, but I think the information too important to shortchange.

First, the “dangers” of antioxidants: One of the media outlets actually ran a headline “Vitamins Can Kill!”.  Isn’t yellow journalism wonderful? Now to the facts.   The study is a statistical analysis of previously done research.  Since the numbers in the study are so large, it is considered the ‘best’ study done.  The statisticians substitute quantity as their primary criterion, rather than the quality of the data.  And, if you read the report, you will find that the analysts massaged the statistics to get the result they were looking for. When they first did their analysis the results were neutral.  So, they threw out one-third of the studies in order to demonstrate a very small increase in mortality among people taking anti-oxidants. They didn’t even respect their own standards!

And, as if that weren’t clue enough to their bias, there was also no control for health status or for whether the anti-oxidants were being taken singly or in combination.  Or, even what form or what quality of the anti-oxidants the participants were taking.  Why are these parameters important?  First of all, many people in our culture only turn to vitamin therapy when they are very sick or dying.    Obviously, there is a higher death rate among sick people than well people of the same age!  That’s a ‘duh’!  But, it wasn’t considered important enough to be taken into account.    Secondly, several studies indicate that anti-oxidants work in concert with each other.    Taking them as single items — the medical, drug-based model — results in aberrant outcomes.  They either don’t work as well, or cause unexpected problems.  A good example was the Finnish study from the 1980’s that indicated problems with anti-oxidants.  It was then revealed that Finland has no naturally-occurring selenium in its soil.  And, selenium is crucial to the activity of vitamin E.  But, no selenium supplementation was included in the study.  (For a more detailed discussion, you can access two articles I wrote “Finnish Anti-Oxidant Study” and “Sorting Out The Anti-Oxidant Controversy” on our web site http://www.RichardsFamilyHealth.com under the Heading “Vitamins .”  Just click “Treatments” on the green navigation bar, and then click on Vitamins on the left hand side.)

However, the point of the most recent anti-oxidant study wasn’t clarity, although the study’s primary author insists that it was.  I think the conclusion of the study’s author says it all,  “The governments of the world now have the responsibility to inform people of these results. They have been too slow in the past in requesting that health supplements are properly evaluated, and allowing these products to be added to foods. People have been buying these supplements and foods advertised as having these supplements added under the impression that they
are good for them, when in actual fact they are harmful. Any potential health supplements should not be allowed to be added to foods unless they have been shown to be beneficial, or at least proven not to be harmful.” (emphasis added)  In the article on Medscape, the author commented that the study’s author said that food supplements should be regulated in the same way as medical products.  (The article can be accessed through a Google search: antioxidants + JAMA + 2007; click on Antioxidant Vitamins May Increase Mortality).

I believe the whole point is to accustom people to government regulation of their health options.  We are facing a concerted effort to make all herbs and supplements by prescription only.  (For more information on this, you can go to http://www.healthfreedomusa.org )

At the end of the Fox News segment on this anti-oxidant research, the doctor trotted out the old canard about getting everything you need from food.  Given the amount of data about the degradation of the nutrient content of our food supply, this is laughable.  Remember the recent study showing that fresh produce at the supermarket has the same nutrient content as frozen or canned produce?    And, the fact that in the 1940s, government studies indicated that freezing reduced nutrient content by 98% and canning by 99%?  Anti-oxidants are very sensitive to light, heat and oxidation.  So, they are readily destroyed by our handling and storage procedures.  So, where does that leave us?  Back to choosing the right supplements for our personal needs via a customized blood chemistry panel.

And, what about garlic? The latest study being bandied about states unequivocally that garlic does not affect cholesterol levels. http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20070226/garlic-may-not-lower-cholesterol  This study flies in the face of hundreds of other studies that demonstrate the value of garlic for a multitude of cardiovascular health factors, including:  reduction of arterial plaque formation, reduction in LDL cholesterol, reduction in age-related increases in aortic stiffness, modest reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, platelet inhibition (i.e., a reduction in clot formation), increased fibrinolytic activity (again, reduced clot formation), and reduction in rancidity of the oils in the blood.  Garlic has been called “phyto-HDL” and “herbal warfarin,” but without the side effects.  So, why the dichotomy in the results? Here’s the story.

The problem with this most recent study is that the wrong forms of garlic were used. The study used three types of garlic: raw in sandwiches, garlic powder or powdered Kyolic, an aged garlic which is marketed as odor free.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/27/health/27nost.html.  Why is this a problem?  First of all, the active ingredient in garlic is the smell!  So, obviously, the Kyolic product cannot be considered therapeutic.  It is useless for any of the health benefits of garlic — anticoagulation, cholesterol effects and antibiotic effects.

The mechanism by which garlic produces effects impacts the other two forms of garlic chosen. Once garlic is crushed (chewed or powdered) it releases two chemical precursors that combine in an alkaline environment to produce the active substance.  The alkaline environment in the digestive tract is the small intestine.  The first stop when you swallow is the stomach, which is extremely acid; and the acid destroys the chemical precursors, essentially eradicating any therapeutic effect that garlic might offer.  And, drying garlic to create powder, also damages the allicin.

What you need to know is that, in order for garlic to offer therapeutic effects, it must be in an enteric-coated tablet that dissolves in the small intestine.    Any study done on other forms of garlic is destined for failure. Which, when you think of it, is very convenient if your goal is to discredit a natural agent in favor of expensive — and toxic — drugs. Since there is plenty of information about the correct form of garlic available in the literature, I can only conclude that the study design was deliberately chosen to achieve the desired result.

Third, the Fox News segment addressed the “safety” of estrogen therapy. The doctor was highlighting a study on transdermal estrogen therapy, i.e., patches.  The point of the study was that transdermal delivery reduces the risk of strokes and blood clots. Hunh?  Does everyone in the country suffer from memory loss?  Or, do the commentators just assume we’re stupid?

The news about estrogen-replacement therapy (HRT) is that it is carcinogenic!  All of the studies demonstrate that estrogen therapy increases the risk of breast cancer.    And, this information has been available for years!  Just consult my web site under “Health Conditions,” “Women’s Health” for a series of articles dating back to the 1990s about the risk of cancer with HRT.  Yet, when I did a recent on-line research on this topic, all of the articles I found relating to estrogen therapy and cancer focussed only on endometrial cancer.  Do you remember the drop in cancer rates in this country, particularly breast cancer over the last year?    This was mostly due to women stopping HRT on their own.  Many doctors are urging women to disregard the risk of cancer and continue HRT for its supposed “benefits.”  And, the drug companies are funding many studies to find rationalizations for continued use of hormone prescriptions, because the loss of revenue is seriously affecting their bottom line.

There are many herbal, safe alternatives to menopausal symptoms.  However, the protocol is individualized for each woman.  If you want help, please call the Clinic and schedule a consultation to deal with menopause.

I would like to give you much of the more positive vitamin news that offsets this sort of propaganda; however, space is becoming a problem.  So, let me just give you one example of important news that never made American headlines. The study was conducted in Canada and published in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.  It found that children born of mothers who took a daily multivitamin containing folic acid had a much lower risk of common childhood cancers.  The statistics are as follows — a 47-per-cent lower risk for neuroblastoma (the most deadly form of childhood cancer), a 39-per-cent lower risk for leukemia (the most common form of pediatric cancer) and a 27-per-cent lower risk for other brain tumors,such as medulloblastoma and primitive neuroectodermal tumors.  These results are extremely powerful, statistically.  Why haven’t we seen them heralded in every newspaper in the land?  What’s more important than reducing the risk of childhood cancers?  But, I’m afraid positive news regarding vitamin supplementation doesn’t fit the media model.

I have first hand experience of the media bias from just last year.  Remember the West Nile Virus scare, and my recommendations concerning Medi-Herb St. John’s Wort for both prevention and treatment?  I prepared a press release, in an effort to disseminate what I considered to be vitally important information.  We contacted several media outlets, and no one would put it on the air.  Their reason?  Nothing that was not AMA approved got air time!  If that doesn’t sum it up, I don’t know what does.

Other important information about the role of vitamin E taken prenatally to reduce the incidence of asthma in children and the benefits of fish oils in pregnancy can also be found on our web site http://www.RichardsFamilyHealth.com or on my blog, http://www.DrRichardsTalksBack.com.  Space prevents me from elaborating on them  further in this letter.

So, what can you do?  Become an educated consumer.  Read every news article with a skeptic’s eye.    Use my web site or blog, and others like them for analyses of “news articles.”     And, take care of yourself and your family by obtaining a personalized, blood chemistry-based nutrition program from our clinic.

April 2, 2007 at 12:16 pm Leave a comment

Here We Go Again!!!

Have you seen the latest “health news”?  Women should limit weight gain in pregnancy, due to an increase in obesity in toddlers!  http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20070402/pregnancy-weight-linked-heavy-kids?src=RSS_PUBLIC

PLEASE!!!  In the first place, we’ve heard all of this before.  In the 1970’s, the American obstetrical community became concerned about women gaining too much weight during pregnancy.  Some pregnant women were even put on diets!  The result:  A dramatic increase in retardation in newborns.  It took only about 5 years for that recommendation to die a much-deserved death.

But now, we’re at it again.  From what I read, no one has considered that overweight mothers feed their families diets that contribute to weight gain.  Besides which, the standards for obesity are the already discredited Body Mass Index figures.  Unfortunately, the fact that they are discredited is not widely known.  (see my article  “Body Mass Index Invalid”, under the heading Blog on this site)  Instead, we have invalid standards being imposed in ways that are potentially dangerous.

My recommendation:  Worry about your weight after your baby is born.  Make sure that you eat a well-balanced diet, plenty of protein and take high-quality, mercury-free fish oil supplements, as well as a good quality pre-natal vitamin.  When your baby is born, breast-feed and continue your supplements.  This will give your baby the best start in life and will help you to lose weight naturally.  Finally, feed your family a well-balanced, whole food diet.  Avoid processed foods and soda and you will be miles ahead of the average American.

April 2, 2007 at 12:06 pm Leave a comment

Estrogen & Cancer/GERD Meds/Fish Oils & Pregnancy — At Last!!

This last couple of weeks (December 2006) have presented me with an interesting (and unusual) experience.  After 20 years in practice — validation from medical research!  And, not just on one issue — but, on multiple issues.  Usually, I feel like a lone voice, crying out in the wilderness!  So, pardon me if I crow a little.  Also, I’d like to share these important issues with you.

The first issue:  Estrogen and cancer risk.  It’s been almost a year since the initial announcement that estrogen therapy increases a woman’s risk of cancer.  This is true even of bioidentical hormones, which many doctors have turned to as an alternative to Premarin®.

A new analysis of federal cancer statistics, presented Thursday, December 13, 2006 at a scientific conference called the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, revealed a 7.2% drop in breast cancer over the last year as women stopped taking hormone replacement therapy.  www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16206352/

This most recent announcement came as no surprise to me.  I remember in the late 1980s and early 1990s doing presentations on the risk of estrogen therapy.  At one event at Whole Foods Market, an audience member challenged me by asking, “Don’t you have any more recent data?”  I explained to her that human physiology hasn’t changed in 10,000 years.  So, the age of the data was not a factor.  Now, we have hard evidence that estrogen is extremely carcinogenic.

Unfortunately, the medical profession has no alternatives to offer menopausal women.  I have studied this subject in depth and have a variety of herbal alternatives.  These herbs are not estrogenic.  More importantly, as a woman I appreciate the fact that herbal medicine treats each of us as individuals.  And, what works for one woman may not work for another.  So, at the RFHC, we customize a program for your individual metabolism.

If you have an interest in a non-hormonal approach to menopausal relief — including insomnia, hot flashes and vaginal dryness — you can schedule a consultation at the office.

The second issue:  Prilosec®, Nexium® and Zantac® (and other similar drugs used to suppress acid production in your stomach) increases osteoporosis, and the risk of hip fracture.  (JAMA, December 27, 2006) www.seniorhealthweek.org/osteoporosis.htm This finding is a “duh!”  You may have heard me carrying on about using Tums®  (an antacid) for calcium supplementation — which is a complete joke!  You cannot absorb calcium in an alkaline environment.  So, anything that decreases stomach acid inhibits calcium absorption.  Ipso facto, osteoporosis!

I will reiterate what I have said hundreds of times — actually, I feel like a broken record — supppressing stomach acid is exactly the wrong approach to gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).  For the stomach to empty, you need a pH of 1 or 2 in the stomach.  That’s a LOT of acid.  When you have inadequate stomach acid, pressure builds up in the stomach and the upper, esophageal sphincter opens because it is the weaker of the two valves — resulting in heartburn.

In some instances, problems in the lower gut — yeast overgrowth, allergies, and parasites — cause excessive peristalsis in the gut and upward pressure that causes the reflux.

The key:  finding out what is causing you to have symptoms, and then addressing them.  For some, a bowel cleanse program is the key; for others, it’s a simple matter of taking digestive aids.  At the RFHC, we can determine what you, personally, need.

And, I predict that the next problem with these drugs will be a documented increase in stomach cancer.  Low stomach acidity is a known risk factor for stomach cancer.  I just think these drugs — which have the highest sales volume in the U.S., followed closely by pain killers — are dangerous.

And, finally, the third issue:  Fish oils during pregnancy!  This is a huge win for all pregnant women and their babies.  FINALLY, it has been demonstrated that babies born to women who take fish oil supplements in the last trimester of pregnancy have better neurological development.

The study (performed in Australia) found a significant advance in hand-eye coordination among toddlers whose mothers took fish oil supplements during the second half of pregnancy compared with those who did not. http://www.oilofpisces.com/pregnancy.html

There was also improvement in brainpower and vocabulary among children exposed to fish oil supplements in the womb, says the study published on Thursday online in the medical journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.  And, as an added benefit, mother’s who took fish oil supplements had lower blood pressure and a lowered incidence of post-partum depression.

I have only been giving fish oil supplements to pregnant and nursing mothers for 20 years!  Two caveats, however:  Do not take cod liver oil for this purpose.  Cod liver oil is higher in vitamins D and A than in Omega 3 oils, which are what are needed for brain development.  And, be certain of the quality of your fish oil supplements.  The product should be certified mercury-free.  The products we carry at the RFHC meet stringent quality requirements.

Happy New Year!  I hope 2007 will be even better for you and your family than 2006!

January 21, 2007 at 9:06 am Leave a comment

Vitamin E and Asthma Risk

I have been very interested in work that is being done in Scotland by Dr Graham Devereux, of the department of environmental and occupational medicine at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Dr. Devereux and his team studied over 1,250 women who were pregnant and attending neo-natal clinics in Scotland between 1997 and 1999.

They published 2 articles, one in April of this year, and the latest, in September in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The study involved maternal diet from conception through age five, tracking the children’s risk of asthma and respiratory disease. Their findings certainly offer food for thought. They found that low intake of vitamin E during pregnancy was associated with a higher risk among offspring for developing persistent asthma, beginning during the first two years of life and continuing to at least until age five. In fact, children born to mothers rated in the bottom 20% for prenatal vitamin E intake were more than five times more prone to asthma than children born to mothers in the top 20% of intake. Youngsters born to mothers with relatively poor vitamin E intake during pregnancy were also at higher risk for developing persistent wheezing in their first 5 years of life, the Scottish researchers reported.

It makes sense, since vitamins E and A are vital to the development of the skin and mucous membranes. And, fetal airways are fully developed during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. It appears that a child’s diet at age 5 has little impact on asthma. Dietary sources of vitamin E include eggs, whole grains {not processed or refined; ie, wheat germ, not white bread}, and soybeans. Vitamin E is added to some oil products to preserve freshness; however, not in large enough quantities to be therapeutic. Refined flour has become so widespread in the American diet that many people no longer tolerate the taste of whole grains and won’t eat them. And, of course, eggs are “taboo” because of cholesterol! That restriction is particularly unwise during pregnancy when the fetus requires cholesterol to build every cell membrane. I would add my clinical experience to this finding. I find that exposure to a number of environmental chemicals, particularly pesticides, markedly increases respiratory problems in young children. There are at least two facets of this study that I find of interest:

  1. It has not received wide attention in the American press. In fact, the week it was published, the lead on all the news programs was about “obesity.” {Please refer to my blog from April 27, 2005 “Body Mass Index Invalid” for another piece of suppressed “health” news.} Yet, the information about vitamin E could actually benefit both you and your children! Trouble is: Vitamin E isn’t a drug, and no one can patent it.
  2. The article I referenced went on to say that “more study” is needed and no one should take vitamin E! Please!! Vitamin E, especially natural vitamin E containing all of the naturally occurring isomers, is essential  to red blood cell membrane integrity {vitally important when exposed to cigarette smoke, or smog!}, skin health, heart health, and is a vital anti-oxidant in eliminating free radicals.

The problem we have, especially in America, is that we have invented an entirely new category of “science.” “Food science.” This discipline — and I use the term loosely — is most concerned about taste, mouth feel, shelf life and customer acceptance. Nutritional value isn’t on the list.

So, we increasingly process and massage our “food.” Moving ever further away from the field and the tree, creating a host of unintended and unpredictable, consequences for ourselves. At my clinic {see www.RichardsFamilyHealth.com}, I routinely provide my patients with nutritional programs based upon their blood chemistry profile. And, yes, vitamin E is one of the foundation items it seems almost every person needs. {See my article “Vitamin E and Heart Health” from November 10, 2004 for the differences in the type of vitamin E}.

Remember one very important point: Human physiology hasn’t changed much over the last 10,000 years. Yet, food fads come and go. It’s very important that we provide our bodies — which are, after all, biological machines — with the essential fuel they have required for the last 100 centuries! Repeatedly, researchers discover that there are good reasons why our foods contain the vitamins and minerals that they do. And, I find that the programs I have prescribed for years are repeatedly validated as “science” catches up with common sense. If you are interested in learning what, if any, nutritional deficiencies you have, contact me through my web site and have a nutritional blood chemistry analysis prepared.

December 22, 2006 at 7:02 pm Leave a comment

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