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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Monday, 08 September 2008
Environmental Science & Technology Online January 24, 2007
Scientists have concluded that the longer a bottle of water sits on a shelf -In a grocery store or your refrigerator-you'll consume a greater dose of antimony, a silvery white metal commonly found in gunpowder, anti-parasite drugs, paints, batteries, ceramics, and bearings.

The amount of antimony that leeches into the water you're drinking depends on the bottler and can vary greatly. Among 63 brands of bottled water, researchers detected concentrations of more than 100 times the typical level of antimony in clean groundwater (2 parts per trillion).

What's worse, after letting bottled water samples sit for six months on a shelf at normal room temperatures, the concentration of antimony exploded by 90% among certain brands. Most products were packaged in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers-plastic bottles marked with the number 1 in the recycling triangle on the bottom of the bottle.

The researchers believe that the amount of leeching will differ, based on exposure to sunlight, higher temperatures and varying pH levels.

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Friday, 05 September 2008
Yesterday, Sept. 4, the Food and Drug Administration ordered stronger warnings on four medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

The drugs - Remicade, Enbrel, Humira, and Cimzia, - work by suppressing the immune system. According to the FDA this exposes some patients to serious, even fatal, fungal infections. As of Thursday, the FDA had received 240 reports of one such type of infection, called histoplasmosis. In at least 21 of the cases, doctors didn't initially recognize the problem, and 12 of the patients died.

The fungus that causes the infection is common in the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys. Patients should stop taking their medication and call the doctor if they develop persistent fever, cough, shortness of breath and fatigue.

Now would be a good time to consider alternatives to drugs that suppress immune function. It's not necessary to put your health at risk to address rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition and homeopathy are 2 options that can help you get better without harming you.

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Wednesday, 03 September 2008
"Efficacy of Arnica montana D4 for healing of wounds after Hallux valgus surgery compared to diclofenac," Karow JH, Abt HP, et al, J Altern Complement Med, 2008; 14(1): 17-25.
Arnica montana is probably the most well known homeopathic medicine. Many know to use it as the first choice in trauma (though it will only work if the symptoms match.) It should be in every first aid kit.

This is a randomized double-blinded, parallel-group study involving 88 patients who underwent bunion surgery (hallux valgus surgery), treatment with Arnica D4 (10 pellets taken orally, 3 times/day) was found to reduce wound irritation as effectively as Voltaren (diclofenac sodium, 50 mg taken orally, 3 times/day), with significantly fewer side effects.

Taking Arnica reduced redness, swelling, and heat. Improvements in patient mobility were greater among those who received Arnica D4, compared to diclofenac sodium. Adverse effects were found among 9 patients who were taking diclofenac (20%) and only 2 patients (4.5%) in the Arnica D4 group. The authors conclude, "After foot operations, Arnica D4 can be used instead of diclofenac to reduce wound irritation."

The authors add that Arnica D4 is also economically a superior choice, being that it is 60 % less expensive than diclofenac.

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Sunday, 31 August 2008
August 26, 2008 Canadian Medical Association Journal
Levels of LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") that are the 'health goals' promoted by the American Heart Association (AHA) may be associated with a significant increased risk of cancer and death. The AHA recommends an LDL level of 100 for prevention and 70 for high-risk patients.

In this Canadian study an LDL level of 107 was associated with a 33% increased risk of cancer and death, an LDL level of 87 was associated with a 50% increased risk. In other words, as the LDL goes lower the risk keeps getting worse. These variable AHA levels for LDL cholesterol were established by medical researchers with direct financial ties to the statin industry. Recommending these artificially low levels for LDL would require double and triple doses of statin drugs, thus dramatically increasing sales. Statin drugs have been the largest category of drug sales worldwide for quite some time.

Lowering LDL cholesterol to very low levels, which the drug Vytorin does, has been shown not to reduce cardiovascular disease. Another Vytorin study showed that doing so increased cancer risk by 64%. This new study showed that lowering LDL too low actually increases the rate of death from any cause. The data was so alarming that the researchers called for a statistical reanalysis of the data from all existing cholesterol studies, using better statistical models that actually reflect true risk. The results of this new research led the authors to conclude, "A low LDL cholesterol level is not necessarily associated with optimal clinical outcomes but is a predictor of cancer and death."

In the current study the ideal LDL cholesterol level was 126. LDL over 146 or less than 107 was associated with 33% increased risk of cancer. LDL over 164 or less than 87 was associated with a 50% increased risk. The risk keeps getting worse the higher or lower the number progresses away from the ideal of 126. LDL in the range of 108-145 had no statistically significant cancer risk, although being in the center of this range is clearly best.

You probably have not heard of this study. And the medical doctor that prescribed your statin drug probably won't mention it. Keep it in mind as you see more marketing of statin drugs to younger and younger populations. Where will it stop? When everyone says enough.

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Wednesday, 27 August 2008
Editorial "Nature Neuroscience" Vol. 11, #9, Sept. 2008
This editorial in an obscure (to me) medical journal highlights a conflict of interest affecting the health of our children. Citing a recent Senate investigation it reveals an ethics scandal involving academic psychiatrists who study the effectiveness of psychiatric drugs, while failing to disclose the millions of dollars they receive from the drug companies that make the drugs they're studying. One such incident involves a psychiatrist at Harvard-Dr. Joseph Biederman-who did not fully reveal over $1,000,000 that he got from drug companies in consulting fees. Which calls into question the impartiality and validity of the drug trials he guided. This kind of ethical deceit is all too common in the world of drug research. It's particularly unacceptable and dangerous in child psychiatry as the result of using powerful drugs in children can be severe.

One of the biggest scientific obstacles and a seemingly obvious deterrent is that psychiatric drugs aren't tested on children, they are tested on adults. We have absolutely no idea of their effects on the developing brain or how they change its function. When these drugs are used on children it's an experiment, not science. Few psychiatric drugs are approved for children. Instead, once the FDA declares them safe, practitioners can prescribe them "off label", or outside their approved use, to children. Drug companies don't want to pay to test their drugs on kids-it's too expensive and too risky. As long as "off label" use is allowed, they don't have to. The parents and the children assume all the risk. Which means that it takes kids getting hurt, or even killed, before action is taken. Witness the 2004 FDA ruling to put a 'black box' warning on anti-depressants for children after reported suicides of children taking these drugs.

There are so many other options-nutritional, herbal, and homeopathic-why not choose one? Homeopathy is the safest form of medicine I know. No homeopathic medicine has ever been associated with the suicide of a child taking it, not one. And if you think that's because drugs are used more, that's not true. Homeopathy is the #2 medicine in the world. If there were pediatric suicides from taking homeopathic medicines we'd know it. It is ethically unconscionable that these psychiatrists take money from drug companies and then promote the unproven use of these drugs on our children. It's flat out wrong.

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