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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Naturopathic News arrow Issue #82 - July 2009
Issue #82 - July 2009
  1. WELCOME
  2. WEBSITE SERVICES
  3. OPTIMAL HEALTH LECTURE SERIES
  4. HEALTH CARE REFORM

  5. VITAMIN D TEST
  6. WILLIAMSPORT FARMER’S MARKET
  7. ITHACA OPTIMAL HEALTH

  8. NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS

  9. CANCER PATIENTS OVERTREATED
  10. PTHALATES LINKED TO LOW BIRTH

  11. ANTIDEPRESSANTS USE MAY RISK BREAST CANCER RETURN

  12. EMERSON ECOLOGICS

Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #82. It's my mission to help you find optimal solutions to health problems. This newsletter is one way to do that. The more educated you are about your health options the better able you will be to take control of your health. If you would like to stop receiving my newsletter please send me an email and let me know. If you have a friend or family member who you think would appreciate the information provided, send me their email address.


WEBSITE SERVICES
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:

Store : There are 246 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 82 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News”.

Optimal Health Points : This is my blog that I update every week. Check out the entry for June 29 concerning mad cow disease and farmed fish.


GET YOUR HEALTH QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Are you confused by the health claims you read on the internet or hear in the store? Do you think that you’re taking too many supplements but not the ‘right’ supplement for you? Do you never have the time to ask the important questions regarding yours or your family’s health?

Then the 2009 OPTIMAL HEALTH LECTURE SERIES is for you!

I am presenting an ongoing series of free health lectures at my Williamsport office on 3rd St., as well as other locations. The topic of these lectures is determined by the interests of you, my community of patients, families, and interested individuals. Each lecture will focus on a health issue that is important to you.

Below is a list of topics that you can pick from. If there is another subject that you’d like to have me speak on, let me know. I’ll announce the schedule each month in this newsletter and in the calendar on my website. Just send me an email and let me know the health questions you want answered.

PROSPECTIVE LECTURE TOPICS
How Does Homeopathy Work?

How To Stay Healthy With The Season

Healing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Preventing Breast Cancer

If you’d like to organize a lecture for your work, your place of worship, or have an interested group of 5 or more, I’ll come to you. All you have to do is choose a health topic that is most important to your group and we’ll make it happen.

If you can’t make it to a scheduled lecture each will be recorded and available for later purchase.

I’m looking forward to seeing you in 2009!



HEALTH CARE REFORM
One area that I am involving myself in as we go into the new year is health care reform.
You’ve probably heard a variety of ideas mentioned regarding the reform of the US Health Care system—universal coverage, single payer, etc. Most of you pay out of pocket to utilize health care you need and value. This is the time to make your voice heard. I highly encourage you to contact your congressional representative, make an appointment to speak to him or her, and express your concerns regarding health care and coverage of traditional medicine (what is euphemistically called alternative medicine). Here is one resource to find your representative’s contact information:
http:www.//writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

Public Option
In terms of what’s being discussed these days, the ‘public option’ is the best of the current crop (though single payer is still the overall champ). Basically, including this in health care reform would allow you to make a choice between a private insurance plan and a public option.

If you listen to right wing talk radio or the public statements of politicians who owe their position to insurance industry money, you’ll hear some flat out lies about the dangers of the public option. First is that it’s too expensive. But the opposite is true. The public option is cheaper because administrative overhead is 1-2% of total costs. The average overhead for a private insurance company is 6-7% of costs—a much more expensive proposal to the tune of millions of dollars.

Another lie is that you’ll have to give up the doctor you like for an imposed doctor. The reality is that you’ll have a choice. A choice to stick with your current practitioner or a choice to go with the public plan. If you like the cost profile and other aspects of the public option you can choose it. If private insurance is better for you, you can choose it.

If the public option is so good why do the American Medical Association, the insurance industry, and the Drug companies oppose it? Because they would lose money and have to change the way they do business. Of course, they don't want it. They would have to provide better service, and lower drug prices. Can you imagine choosing to have your preexisting condition refused? Can you imagine choosing to pay thousands of dollars a month for the drugs that make you sicker? It wouldn’t take much to be better than what there is.

One major gap in all of the health care reforms is there is no allowance for traditional medicine—nutrition, homeopathy, herbs, acupuncture, etc.



GET YOUR VITAMIN D TEST WITH ZRT LABORATORY
It just happened again the other day. A patient sent me a copy of the Vitamin D test she just had done. With frustrating results. The wrong test was done. After all these years, and all the information available, MDs and laboratories still order the wrong test. What a waste of money and time.

For the last 6 months I’ve been looking for a home Vitamin D test. One that would be simple, easy, and accurate to do on your own. I finally found one. ZRT Laboratory in Beaverton OR. ZRT emphasizes research and technological innovation.

Until now, venipuncture blood serum has been the standard medium for testing Vitamin D. ZRT has developed and refined Vitamin D testing in blood spots. A few drops of blood from a quick and nearly painless nick of the finger, placed on a filter paper to dry are all that is needed. The total 25 (OH) Vitamin D is then determined by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). This method has been shown to be as accurate as the assay standard.

Ordering A Vitamin D Test
ZRT allows anyone to order a Vitamin D test kit for $95 plus shipping and have it sent to their home. ZRT will let me prepay for kits and send them to my office for $55 each. I am charging $65 per kit for patients to cover my overhead and analysis of results.

If you are interested in getting a Vitamin D test done through my office please prepay so I can order you a kit. Then you can either pick it up at my office or have it shipped to your home. Once you’ve taken the sample and sent it back to ZRT it’s only a matter of time before your results are sent back to me. I can even look at them online before the mail arrives.

If your doctor has refused to order a Vitamin D test or worse, ordered the wrong one, this is the fastest, least expensive, most accurate way to do it ourselves. Once we know what your Vitamin D levels are, the next step is making sure that you achieve optimum levels for prevention of disease and maintenance of health.


WILLIAMSPORT FARMER’S MARKET
Buy Local!    Buy Fresh!    Buy Organic!
Every Saturday 9-, until
Corner of Hepburn St. and Little League Boulevard
The Farmer’s Market is happening every weekend throughout the summer. Find the best organic and local fruit, vegetables, meat, and eggs. There are even local craftspeople. Yes, Steam Valley Fiber Farm is back at the market. With it’s great selection of mohair, yarn, on display.


ITHACA OPTIMAL HEALTH
I’m excited to announce that I have opened a new office in Ithaca, New York. Why Ithaca? We feel very drawn to the area—socially, culturally, and politically. Now with the help of some friends we’re practicing there. Joy Weber, a massage therapist, has graciously opened her massage space to me, every 2nd Saturday of the month. I’ll be seeing patients there starting August 8. If you have any friends or family in the area let them know.
My Ithaca office address is 329 South Geneva St., Ithaca NY 14850.



NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS
This year, Secretary Vilsack will make the Obama Administration's first appointments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), a non-governmental advisory and supervisory board comprised of representatives of the organic community who make formal recommendations on organic standards and allowed ingredients in organic production to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP).

Several important topics are now under deliberation by the NOSB and the NOP, including:
Blatant violations of national organic standards in the organic dairy sector, where leading brands (including Horizon and Aurora) continue to unfairly undercut ethical brands by utilizing cheaper, but inhumane and less nutritious, intensive confinement feedlots where cows have limited or no access to required pasture.

Misbranding in the personal care products sector where increasing numbers of products that are laced with synthetic chemicals and not certified as organic are nonetheless being labeled or advertised as "organic".

Standards for organic aquaculture (fish farms) that pose environmental and food safety concerns

The continuing controversy over which minor ingredients may be synthetic or sourced in non-organic form.

The appointment of strong organic advocates to the NOSB will help to safeguard organic integrity, allow the organic movement to speak with one voice, and reassure consumers that "USDA Organic" is the "gold standard" for nutrition, safety, humane treatment of animals and environmental sustainability.
From the Organic Consumer’s Association .



33% OF BREAST CANCER PATIENTS OVERTREATED
One in three breast cancer patients identified in public screening programs may be treated unnecessarily, a new study says. Karsten Jorgensen and Peter Gotzsche of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen analyzed breast cancer trends at least seven years before and after government-run screening programs for breast cancer started in parts of Australia, Britain, Canada, Norway and Sweden.

Once screening programs began, more cases of breast cancer were inevitably picked up, the study showed. If a screening program is working, there should also be a drop in the number of advanced cancer cases detected in older women, since their cancers should theoretically have been caught earlier when they were screened.

However, Jorgensen and Gotzsche found the national breast cancer screening systems, which usually test women aged between 50 and 69, simply reported thousands more cases than previously identified.

Overall, Jorgensen and Gotzsche found that one third of the women identified as having breast cancer didn't actually need to be treated.

Some cancers never cause symptoms or death, and can grow too slowly to ever affect patients. Yet any identified cancer is treated. But the treatments can have harmful side-effects and be psychologically scarring. "This information needs to get to women so they can make an informed choice," Jorgensen said. "There is a significant harm in making women cancer patients without good reason."

Jorgensen said that for years, women were urged to undergo breast cancer screening without them being informed of the risks involved, such as having to endure unnecessary treatment if a cancer was identified, even if it might never threaten their health.

Doctors and patients have long debated the merits of prostate cancer screening out of similar concerns that it overdiagnoses patients. A study in the Netherlands found that as many as two out of every five men whose prostate cancer was caught through a screening test had tumors too slow-growing to ever be a threat.

"Mammography is one of medicine's 'close calls,' ... where different people in the same situation might reasonably make different choices," wrote H. Gilbert Welch of VA Outcomes Group and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Research, in an accompanying editorial in the BMJ. "Mammography undoubtedly helps some women but hurts others."

Experts said overtreatment occurs wherever there is widespread cancer screening, including the U.S.
July 10 2009 BMJ

DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: It’s rare to see such an honest statement regarding breast cancer screening. I applaud the honesty and integrity of the people involved. At the same time they missed the big one. They should be talking about the 1000 pound pink elephant in the room—death and cancer from diagnostic radiation. My bible for this data is “Radiation and Human Health”, by Dr. John Gofman.


PTHALATES LINKED TO LOW BIRTH
Prenatal exposure to chemicals found in many common plastic products may be associated with low birth weight, researchers found.

Among babies born in a Shanghai hospital, those with low birth weight had significantly higher levels of phthalates in their cord blood and meconium. Babies with the highest levels of a particular phthalate, di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), in their cord blood were 3.5 times more likely to have low birth weight than those with lower levels, the researchers reported online in the Journal of Pediatrics.

"The results showed that phthalate exposure was ubiquitous in these newborns, and that prenatal phthalate exposure might be an environmental risk factor for low birth weight in infants," Dr. Ge said.

Phthalates are used as plasticizers, providing flexibility and durability in a wide range of personal care products, children's toys, and medical devices. Exposure can occur through ingestion, inhalation, skin contact, and medical treatment. Previous studies have suggested that exposure to phthalates can begin in the womb and can affect male reproductive development.

Dr. Ge and colleagues conducted a case-control study on 201 newborn-mother pairs. All babies were born at term at the Shanghai Medical Center for Maternal and Child Health -- 88 were born with a birth weight of less than 2,500 grams and 113 were born with normal weight. Pregnancy complications, including pregnancy-induced hypertension, diabetes, infection, and intrahepatic cholestasis syndrome, were more common in the low birth weight group.

The researchers analyzed samples of the infants' meconium and cord blood and found that more than 70% had quantifiable levels of phthalates or their metabolites. Infants with low birth weight had higher levels of the chemicals than the controls. Specifically, low birth weight infants had significantly higher levels of DBP and mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP) in cord blood samples and higher levels of monobutyl phthalate
(MBP) and mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP) in meconium samples.

"When phthalate exposure levels were calculated as a function of body weight, newborn infants had five- to 10-fold higher levels of DBP and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) (260 mg/kg/day) compared with the reference doses established by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency" the researchers said. DBP exposure was associated with low birth weight and DEHP exposure was associated with shorter birth length.

After adjusting for gestational age, smoking at home, socioeconomic level, and prepregnancy BMI, the highest quartile of DBP in cord blood was associated with low birth weight.
Journal of Pediatrics  Zhang Y, et al "Phthalate levels and low birth weight: a nested case-control study of Chinese newborns".
J Pediatr 2009

DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Here is more reason to stop using these plastics. Get rid of those plastic water bottles and other sources. Make your consumption plastic free—help your family and the environment.


ANTIDEPRESSANTS USE MAY RISK BREAST CANCER RETURN
Breast cancer survivors risk having their disease come back if they use certain antidepressants while also taking the cancer prevention drug tamoxifen, new research shows.

About 500,000 women in the United States take tamoxifen. Many of them also take antidepressants for hot flashes, because hormone pills aren't considered safe after breast cancer. This new study is the largest to look at the issue. It found that using these interfering drugs — including Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft — can virtually wipe out the effects of tamoxifen.

Researchers used members' medical records to identify 353 women taking tamoxifen plus other drugs that might interfere with it, and 945 women taking tamoxifen alone. Those taking a drug combo did so for about a year on average.

Next, researchers checked to see how many were treated for second cancers in the following two years. Breast cancer recurred in about 7 percent of women on tamoxifen alone, and in 14 percent of women also taking other drugs that could interfere — mainly the antidepressants Paxil and Prozac, and Zoloft. If women want to take an antidepressant, "you probably want to stay away from those three," said Medco's chief medical officer, Dr. Robert Epstein.
May 30 2009 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: One of the interesting aspects of this discussion is the blinders worn by the participants. It’s assumed that there are no issues with Tamoxifen. It’s assumed that there are no alternatives to antidepressants. My patients would disagree.


EMERSON ECOLOGICS
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
580 E. 3rd. St.
Williamsport  PA  17701
570-320-0747
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www.foroptimalhealth.com