|Issue #66 - March 2008|
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: There are 206 products from Emerson listed on this page. If yours isn't one of them please let me know and I will add it so you can order online. This is particularly convenient after hours or on the weekend. Of course, you can always order by phone from Emerson at 800-654-4432.
Newsletter: Here you will find all 66 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News".
Optimal Health Points: This is my blog that I update every week. Check out the entry for March 12 to read how antidepressant drugs are no more effective than placebo.
TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION MAY 3,4 2008
This Spring marks my 10th year in practice in Williamsport. Mark your calendars now for this first weekend of May. Saturday May 3rd will be an Open House with mini lectures, question and answer sessions, food, music, and door prizes. Sunday May 4 will be a half-day class on creating health and preventing disease. Joining me for both days will Dr. Susan Beal, DVM. For details and registration look for more information in upcoming emails.
I often find that people have a limited idea of what good homeopathic care can accomplish. Here's a case from an Indian homeopath, P. Sankaran:
Mr. A.D.C., aged 38 years, consulted me for loss of vision in August 1973. One morning on waking he found that he had lost his vision in the left eye. He consulted an eye specialist. It was diagnosed as due to vitreous hemorrhage. He took some vitamin injections and became well. The condition, however, relapsed after sometime and this time vitamins did not help.
Now he had very little vision in the left eye. He could see vaguely the lateral part of the visual field. His blood sugar curve was normal. He gave a history that his left eye had been hurt by a stone in childhood. I asked him to consult an eye specialist. The eye specialist's opinion was "Vitreous hemorrhage in the left eye. The fundus could not be seen. Vision is reduced to perception of projection of light only for the left eye. Right eye is normal."
Because of the old history of injury and the hemorrhage, I put him on Arnica 30, three times a day. After one month he told me that he was suddenly finding 2 or 3 big spots of clear vision through which he was able to see. And these spots of vision gradually enlarged. The same medicine was continued and later, on June 15 1974 he was put on Arnica 200, daily one dose, which was continued up to July 7 1974.
He was then able to read big letters like the headlines in the newspapers. Arnica 200 was continued and on November 11 1975 he was put on Arnica 1M, weekly one dose.
In January 1976, his office people offered to buy for him a scooter, if his vision was normal. He wanted from me a certificate that his vision was normal. As I felt that I was incompetent to give such a certificate, I sent him back to the eye specialist. The eye specialist examined him and certified that his vision was completely normal. So he was given the scooter by his office and this made him extremely happy."
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: It's not unusual to see an etiology from the past that makes a difference in the present. In this case homeopathic Arnica helped this patient see normally again after a traumatic injury to his eye several years before.
WHAT'S THE BEEF?
In February 2008 we had the largest meat recall in U.S. history. Over 143 million pounds of beef were recalled by the U .S. Department of Agriculture. This amount of beef represents the past two years of production for California-based Hallmark/Westland Meat. It was taken off the market because the company did not prevent sick animals-'downers'- from entering the U.S. food supply.
The most "egregious violations" of federal animal care regulations concerned Hallmark consistently not bringing in federal veterinarians to examine cattle that were too weak or sick to stand on their own-'downers'. These downer animals were sent to be slaughtered anyway. Government regulations prohibit slaughtering cattle that cannot stand or walk on their own for food.
About 37 million pounds of the meat went to school lunch programs and other public nutrition programs.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: This recall came about after the US Humane Society showed sick animals being treated cruelly and inhumanely by Hallmark/Westland Meat Company employees. It was not until then that federal officials acknowledged that this company has been routinely putting sick animals into the U.S. food supply (including school lunch programs). According to a participant at the recent North Central PA PASA potluck, Muncy school district is one local district that used Hallmark beef.
If you've read "Diet for A New America" by John Robbins you know the horrible health conditions that factory animals live in. In these places animals are raised in filthy overcrowded conditions, and are pumped full of antibiotics, hormones, while being fed pesticide-laden grains and animal byproducts. Remember, the beef from these animals is rated "Grade A" by USDA inspectors.
If this kind of news worries you, take action. Read as much as you can about where your food comes from and how it is produced. Educate yourself about the environmental and health benefits that come from eating grass fed organic meats. Go to your school boards and get the candy and soda machines removed from the cafeteria. Find out what you can do to stop this kind of food from being served to your children.
NIGHT LIGHTS LINKED TO BREAST CANCER
Women who live in neighborhoods with large amounts of nighttime illumination are more likely to get breast cancer than those who live in areas where nighttime darkness prevails, according to a study that overlaid satellite images of Earth onto cancer registries.
The finding adds support to the hypothesis that exposure to too much light at night can raise the risk of breast cancer. "By no means are we saying that light at night is the only or the major risk factor for breast cancer," said Itai Kloog, of the University of Haifa in Israel, who led the new work. "But we found a clear and strong correlation that should be taken into consideration."
Epidemiological studies of nurses, flight attendants and others who work at night have found breast cancer rates 60% above normal, even when other factors such as differences in diet are accounted for.
On the basis of such studies, a branch of the World Health Organization announced in December 2007 its decision to classify shift work as a "probable carcinogen." That put the night shift in the same health-risk category as exposure to such toxic chemicals as trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
The mechanism of such a link, many scientists suspect, is melatonin. Secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, the hormone helps prevent tumor formation. The body produces melatonin primarily at night, and levels drop swiftly in the presence of light, especially light in the blue part of the spectrum produced in quantity by computer screens and fluorescent bulbs.
After using neighborhood data to correct for other factors that can affect cancer rates, including wealth, ethnicity and the average number of children in families living in those localities, the researchers found the breast cancer rate in localities with average night lighting to be 37% higher than in communities with the lowest amount of light; and they noted that the rate was higher by an additional 27% in areas with the highest amount of light.
February 20 2008 online issue of the journal Chronobiology International
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: I am an avid energy conservationist and have been since my solar energy days in the late 1970s. However this is another reason to avoid the more common energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs. Now we know that they suppress melatonin production more than conventional incandescent bulbs. Added to the fact that they contain small amounts of mercury it does not make sense to use these bulbs. This could be a disaster in another 20 years as all the breast cancer caused by using these lights comes into existence.
HORMONE REPLACEMENT CAN CAUSE CANCER
Six years ago millions of women quit taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as it was shown to increase risk for heart disease and breast cancer. Now other cancers-especially lung cancer-have been found in women who took estrogen-progestin pills for about five years. The first follow-up of a landmark study of hormone use after menopause shows heart problems linked with the pills seem to fade after women stop taking them, while surprising new cancer risks appear.
This new follow-up analysis focused on participants' health in the first two to three years after the 2002 study's end. During that time, those who'd taken hormones but stopped were 24% more likely to develop any kind of cancer than women who'd taken placebo pills during the study. The cancers included breast tumors, which also occurred more frequently in hormone users during the study.
The initial study of 16,608 postmenopausal women was designed to examine pros and cons of taking pills long thought to benefit women's health. It was halted in 2002 when more breast cancers, heart attacks and related problems were found in hormone users versus nonusers.
The authors said the new results send the same message that health risks from estrogen-progestin pills outweigh their benefits.
The follow-up involved 15,730 participants tracked through March 2005.
The new analysis appears in March 5 2008 Journal of the American Medical Association.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: If the results weren't so serious it would almost be laughable to see how much medical practitioners and researchers bob and weave to get out of admitting that these drugs should not be used. They look for every possible reason to approve the prescription of these drugs-the women were too old, it was only a few cancers, getting rid of hot flashes is worth the risk, etc. It's ludicrous.
For the past 2 decades there have been all sorts of reasons proposed to give these drugs-prevent heart disease, prevent Alzheimer's, make you younger, etc. None of which have been true. Yet millions of women have been given these drugs with an increase in heart disease and cancer.
Can you imagine the splashy 4-inch headline that would result if even 1 person were shown to get breast cancer from taking an herb? How much hand wringing there would be about lack of 'scientific' research or governmental control over such 'dangerous' substances? The practitioner would be jailed and the herb company forced out of business.
If you needed any further proof of the control that drug companies have over healthcare in this country this is it. HRT is big money. It doesn't matter that lifestyle changes, nutrition, herbs, and homeopathy can do the same job without causing 1 case of heart disease or cancer.
SOFT DRINKS INCREASE GOUT RISK
"Soft drinks, fructose consumption, and the risk of gout in men: prospective cohort study," Choi HK, Curhan G, et al, BMJ, 2008; 336(7639): 309-12.
This study involved 46,393 men with no history of gout at baseline. The consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and consumption of fructose were independently and strongly associated with an increased risk of gout.
Over the course of a 12-year follow-up, 755 subjects were found to develop gout. The relative risk of gout was 1.85 in men consuming 2 or more servings/day of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, 1.45 for men consuming 1 serving/day, and 1.29 for men consuming 5-6 servings/week. All compared to men consuming less than one serving of sugar-sweetened soft drinks a month.
In terms of fructose intake, men were divided into five groups, from lowest to highest intake. The relative risk of gout progressively increased as fructose intake increased, with the risks being 1.00 for men in the lowest fifth of fructose intake, 1.29 for men in the second fifth, 1.41 for men in the third fifth, 1.84 for men in the fourth fifth, and 2.02 for men in the highest fifth.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Gout is a highly painful inflammatory disease that often affects small joints like the big toe. Once limited to the aristocracy as they were the only ones to consume sugar and other processed foods it's now indiscriminate of class. Everyone is 'free' to drink soda and consume fructose if they desire. The results of this study provide further evidence to support recommendations to avoid consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fructose.
RED MEAT CAUSES METABOLIC SYNDROME
A new study found that just eating two or more servings a day of red meat increases your risk of metabolic syndrome by 25%, compared to those who have only two servings of red meat per week.
The researchers examined the diets of over 9,500 people between the ages of 45-64. They were categorized into two groups: a "western-pattern diet" that included processed meat, fried foods and red meat, or a "prudent-pattern diet" that included more fruits and vegetables. They concluded that lots of meat, fried foods and diet soda increase your risk of heart disease.
Circulation February 2008;117:754-761
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that includes high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and excessive fat around your waist. All of which have been shown to raise your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
In other words, don't eat at fast food restaurants unless you want heart disease and diabetes. And if you think diet soda is some sort of healthy alternative, think again.
I am often asked what supplements I recommend. Many of you have been surprised to discover that I favor food over pills; lifestyle changes over fads. I have been working with nutrition for over 30 years, herbs for over 20 years. Where and when appropriate I recommend them to my patients. I strive to act from knowledge, experience, and research.
Emerson Ecologics (800-654-4432) carries almost all of the nutritional supplements and botanical extracts that I think are useful. Their customer service is excellent and their delivery is reliable (often only 2-3 days to this region). It's a great way to get physician quality products at reasonable prices.
To offset the cost of shipping, reference my name when you establish your account and receive a 10% discount on every order. If you have any questions about these items feel free to email me.
That's it for this issue of Naturopathic News. If you've thought a bit extra or learned something new, then I achieved my goal. As usual, if you have questions or concerns brought up by these subjects, let me know.
Gregory Pais, ND, DHANP