|Issue #47 - August 2006|
Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #47. It's my mission to help you find natural 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 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.
WHAT CAN HOMEOPATHY DO? Part 3
Many people have a limited sense of the breadth and scope of homeopathic medicine. They may be unaware of the history of homeopathic medicine and its application in the last 160+ years. From its inception by Samuel Hahnemann, homeopathy has been very successful in the treatment of epidemic diseases. Malaria, scarlet fever, yellow fever, and typhoid, are some of the scourges that have succumbed to homeopathic treatment. As the flu season approaches and 'bird flu' hysteria mounts I thought it would be useful to provide the following excerpt from an article entitled "Homeopathy In Influenza- A Chorus Of Fifty In Harmony" by W. A. Dewey, MD that appeared in the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1920.
Dean W. A. Pearson of Philadelphia collected 26,795 cases of influenza treated by homeopathic physicians with a mortality of 1.05%, while the average old school mortality is 30%.
Thirty physicians in Connecticut responded to my request for data. They reported 6,602 cases with 55 deaths, which is less than 1%. In the transport service I had 81 cases on the way over. All recovered and were landed. Every man received homeopathic treatment. One ship lost 31 on the way. H. A. Roberts, MD, Derby, Connecticut.
In a plant of 8,000 workers we had only one death. The patients were not drugged to death. We used no aspirin and no vaccines. -Frank Wieland, MD, Chicago.
I did not lose a single case of influenza; my death rate in the pneumonias was 2.1%. The salycilates, including aspirin and quinine, were almost the sole standbys of the old school and it was a common thing to hear them speaking of losing 60% of their pneumonias.-Dudley A. Williams, MD, Providence, Rhode Island.
I have treated 1,000 cases of influenza. I have the records to show my work. I have no losses. Please give all credit to homeopathy and none to me! -T. A. McCann, MD, Dayton, Ohio.
One physician in a Pittsburgh hospital asked a nurse if she knew anything better than what he was doing, because he was losing many cases. "Yes, Doctor, stop aspirin and go down to a homeopathic pharmacy, and get homeopathic remedies." The Doctor replied: "But that is homeopathy." "I know it, but the homeopathic doctors for whom I have nursed have not lost a single case." -W. F. Edmundson, MD, Pittsburgh.
There is one drug that directly or indirectly was the cause of the loss of more lives than was influenza itself. You all know that drug. It claims to be salicylic acid. Aspirin's history has been printed. Today you don't know what the sedative action of salicylic acid is. It did harm in two ways. It's indirect action came through the fact that aspirin was taken until prostration resulted and the patient developed pneumonia. -Frank L. Newton, MD, Somerville, Massachusetts
Aspirin and the other coal tar products are condemned as causing great numbers of unnecessary deaths. The omnipresent aspirin is the most pernicious drug of all. It beguiles by its quick action of relief of pain, a relief that is but meretricious. In several cases aspirin weakened the heart, depressed the vital forces, increased the mortality in mild cases and made convalescence slower. In all cases it masks the symptoms and renders immeasurably more difficult the selection of the curative remedy. Apparently aspirin bears no curative relation to any disease and it ought to be prohibited. -Guy Beckly Stearns, MD, New York
Three hundred and fifty cases and lost one, a neglected pneumonia that came to me after she had taken one hundred grains of aspirin in twenty-four hours. -Cora Smith King, MD, Washington, DC
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: The 1918 flu pandemic was a plague that exceeded the ravages of the Bubonic Plague of 1347 that killed a third of the European population. Worldwide the 1918 flu killed an estimated 40 million people. Homeopaths are singularly confident about treating viral illness, including flu. Homeopathic medicine proved extremely effective in the management of the 1918 flu epidemic, and it will prove itself in any future flu pandemic, just as it does every winter in the treatment of that year's flu cases.
HOW MANY POUNDS DOES ONE EXTRA SOFT DRINK ADD TO YOUR BODY?
A number of details about soda consumption were revealed in a new review of available research. It's intolerable how much soft drinks and other sugary beverages contribute to weight gain and obesity in the United States. One extra can of soda each day can add as much as 15 pounds to your weight over the course of a single year.
30 nutritional studies from the past four decades were reviewed and several important relationships were uncovered:
* Limiting a child's intake of soft drinks over a year lowered his or her risk of obesity.
* Soft drinks contribute about half of the additional sweeteners in the average American diet, and that amounts to a third of all carbohydrate calories consumed.
* Consuming more sugary drinks led to higher weight gains and greater obesity risks.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition August 2006; 84(2): 274-288
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: It is disheartening how much soda consumption contributes to poor health in the United States. Some estimate that the average American consumes more than 58 gallons of soda each year. How we as a nation got hoodwinked into paying money for sugar water that rots our teeth, contains no necessary nutrition, and destroys our health, I'll never fully explain. What we can explain though is just how much soda contributes to our nation's poor health. It's the "Real Thing" all right.
RESEARCH IS OUR FRIEND OR LET'S INCREASE OUR STOCK SHARE
In a recent study, researchers looked at more than 4,700 people, none with a history of coronary disease, who had suffered from strokes or TIAs (transient ischemic attacks--ministrokes caused by the temporary blockage of an artery in the brain.
Pfizer, the drug company that makes Lipitor, funded the study. Lipitor is Pfizer's big cash cow, estimated to generate over $12 billion for the company in 2006. This research promotes the use of Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering statin medication, to help prevent the recurrence of a stroke.
Patients who took Lipitor after a stroke had their risk of a second stroke reduced by 16 percent over five years. However, there was no difference in the overall death rate between those who took statins following their stroke and those who did not. There was actually a slight increase in stroke risk among patients who took statins following the kind of stroke caused by a leaking blood vessel.
New England Journal of Medicine August 10, 2006; 355(6): 549-559
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: If you look at the actual results of this study you will question how much risk reduction Lipitor actually achieved. Though your risk of dying from a second stroke may be altered if you take Lipitor, there was no difference in mortality rate between those who took the drug and those who didn't. Meaning that participants had the exact same chance of dying whether they took the drug or not. As statins have been shown to deplete Coenzyme Q10 (a necessary heart nutrient), cause neuropathy, muscle pain and weakness, cognitive decline, and pancreatic inflammation, you might decide not to play this game.
MEDITATION PREVENTS HEART DISEASE
Already found to lessen pain, lower stress, and reduce blood pressure, the practice of transcendental meditation may also help prevent heart disease. A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that people who meditate every day might lower their chance of developing certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease called insulin resistance syndrome or the metabolic syndrome.
Heart disease is the primary cause of death for men and women in the United States, and having insulin resistance syndrome greatly increases the chance of developing it. Five criteria characterize insulin resistance syndrome: high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), low levels of heart-protective HDL cholesterol, and excess fat around the abdomen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 50 million Americans have at least three of these factors.
In people with insulin resistance syndrome (also called metabolic syndrome or Syndrome X), the body's response to insulin is impaired, which is sometimes described as reduced insulin sensitivity. Meaning that the body does not respond in a proper way to the presence of insulin in the blood. The best treatment is also the best prevention: regular physical exercise, healthy weight, limited saturated fat intake, and not smoking.
Past studies have also found stress to be a partial cause. Because of its historical use as a stress-reduction technique, researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center aimed to determine the effect of transcendental meditation on insulin resistance syndrome.
Developed over 50 years ago by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, transcendental meditation is a process that helps the body relax allows the mind to enter a state of restful alertness. According to the Maharishi Vedic Education Corporation, it is in this state that "the mind transcends all mental activity to experience the simplest form of awareness, transcendental consciousness." Other reported benefits of meditation are better memory, greater creativity and focus, and less tension and stress.
This 16-week trial examined over 100 people with heart disease and compared the effects of the daily practice of transcendental meditation with that of a health education program on components of the metabolic syndrome.
At the end of the study, the people who had been practicing meditation had significantly lower systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) and their insulin sensitivity was much improved. Heart rates in the meditating group were also less variable, suggesting that the meditation had a positive effect on the stress.
The authors concluded, "Our findings suggest that interventions that target neurohumoral pathways, especially via meditation or related techniques, may be beneficial for coronary heart disease reduction."
Arch Int Med 2006;166:1218-24
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: The implication here is that any technique capable of producing a state of 'restful alertness' will have a similar positive effect. Transcendental Meditation is not the only form that helps you achieve this state. What is very positive here is the recognition that the Mental/Emotional state has such a profound effect on physical health and symptomatology.
DO YOU WANT VIRUS ON YOUR PASTRAMI?
On Aug. 18, 2006 the FDA approved a mix of viruses that can be sprayed on food. For the first time ever viruses will be used as food additives. This mix will be sprayed on cold cuts, hot dogs and sausages. This six-virus combination will be sprayed on ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, including sliced ham and turkey.
These viruses are bacteriophages--they kill bacteria. In this particular instance, they are supposed to kill the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. This is a bacterium that is killed by cooking so it would seem that there is no need to add viruses to our food supply-just cook your meats. However, Listeria can infect foods that are not cooked again before consumption, like deli meats.
Biotechnology techniques are used to grow these viral phages in a culture with Listeria, supposedly helping the viruses to recognize the bacteria. The FDA-approved cocktail contains six different viruses intended to attack this one strain of bacteria. This mix is then applied to food. The idea being that if Listeria is present the bacteria will consume the viruses. The viruses reproduce so much inside the Listeria that the bacteria burst. To defend itself the bacteria produces poisons called endotoxins. When the bacteria burst these endotoxins will be released into the food.
There is no guarantee that these viruses will be harmless to humans. What if they attack the beneficial bacteria that inhabit our gut? How much of these endotoxins will we be exposed to? Our immune system is highly reactive and sensitive to the presence of bacterial endotoxins. We know that they disrupt the function of healthy cells in the gut. We know that they can cause asthma, allergy, and autoimmune problems, even raise cholesterol. There has been some research to connect the presence of bacterial endotoxins with the development of colon cancer.
Someone who eats a lot of these vaccine-laced foods will be very likely to have an immune response to these viruses. When they develop asthma, allergies, or autoimmune problems will anyone look at what they eat? Consumers won't be aware that meat and poultry products have been treated with the vaccine spray. This sets up plausible deniability, "You can't prove it was the vaccine foods that caused your sickness".
Over time the Listeria bacteria will develop resistance to these viruses. Just as antibiotic resistant bacteria can be the cause of super-infections these vaccine-resistant Listeria may create infections we have no protection against. Then they'll have to give us more viral foods to prevent the side effects of this first group. It will be the same sad state of affairs all over again.
Do we really need these vaccine foods? Serious Listeria infection affects about 2500 people per year in the United States. There is a much cheaper, easier, and safer way to protect these people. Tell them not to eat the foods that are most susceptible to Listeria growth. Better yet, improve the production quality of these foods so that this doesn't happen in the first place. This is the primary cause of this problem.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: I don't know about you but the FDA stamp of approval does not ease my health concerns. Remember, this is the same FDA that won't tell us which foods contain genetically modified organisms. The same FDA that allows our food supply to be irradiated so that big business can get rid of radioactive waste.
What will be the effects of these viruses on the friendly bacteria in your digestive tract? The FDA doesn't know and probably doesn't care. Friendly bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus and other probiotic bacteria are a necessary and important part of our immune function. Without them we are more susceptible to disease and do not assimilate nutrients well.
Are you willing to eat these virus-contaminated foods or feed them to your family? Remember, they will be no labels on your luncheon meats or deli sandwiches to tell you they contain vaccines. Speak out now or suffer the consequences. Force the FDA to revoke their approval. Don't buy these toxic foods. Instead buy organic and support local farmers where you live. Eat meat that comes from animals raised without hormones, antibiotics, and fed on grass. Only by putting your money where your health interests lie can you prevent this travesty.
AVOID STOMACH CANCER
A recent review of available research indicates that the more processed meat you eat, the more likely you are to develop stomach cancer.
Processed meats include hot dogs, bacon, salami, ham, sausage, and cured or smoked meat. The review looked at 40 years' worth of studies on the relationship between these meats and stomach cancer. All together hundreds of thousands of people were examined.
Processed meat consumption ranged from less than 1 gram of processed meat per day to more than 56 grams. Higher processed meat intake was associated with greater stomach cancer risk, especially for bacon.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute August 2, 2006; 98(15): 1078-1087
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: If bacon is your favorite breakfast you might want to reconsider. All it takes is 1 ounce of processed meat to increase your stomach cancer risk by more then one third. Whether it's the nitrates used to preserve the meats or the chemicals produced when you cook them, it's a deadly meal either way.
Over 1/3 of all cancers are related to diet, with up to 75% of cancers being related in some way to environmental factors. We know that processed meats play a part in developing colon cancer and increasing diabetes risk. Now we can add stomach cancer to the list.
If you needed more of a reason to search out grass-fed meats that are hormone, antibiotic, and preservative free here you go.
FDA MISLEADS CONGRESS ON DECEPTIVE FOOD LABELING
A July 2006 FDA report implies that agency inspectors checked more than 28,000 food labels for inaccurate nutrition information. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the inspectors merely checked to see whether a Nutrition Facts panel was present on the label, not how accurate it was.
"The FDA's report to Congress demonstrates that the specific issues of concern to the Committee-the accuracy of Nutrition Facts labels and misleading health-related claims that make it difficult for Americans to comply with federal dietary advice--have been the casualty of not only budget cuts, but a lack of commitment on the part of the Agency to fulfill its mission," wrote CSPI legal director Bruce Silverglade to the Congressional committees responsible for FDA appropriations. "The FDA should be cracking down on claims for bogus 'whole wheat' products, deceptive '0 trans fat' claims, inaccurate 'Nutrition Facts' labels, and misleading statements like 'made with real fruit' (when the product contains only fruit flavors), not just eyeballing labels to make sure that information is printed in the required format. The FDA has been less than forthright with Congress," said CSPI senior staff attorney Ilene Ringel Heller.
CSPI urged the Congressional committees to direct the FDA to: (1) conduct supermarket sweeps to stop misleading health-related claims; (2) systematically test the accuracy of Nutrition Facts labels; (3) give labeling enforcement higher priority during inspections of manufacturing facilities and distribution facilities; (4) put a stop to marketplace fads before they get out of hand; and (5) increase funding to the FDA division responsible for food labeling.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: This is the same FDA that wants us to believe that putting genetically engineered vaccines in our food supply is safe. Rigghhttt. I think they're also selling the Brooklyn Bridge at a discount.
OMEGA-3 ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS AND CHILDHOOD DEPRESSION
Supplementing with the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil appears to be a safe and effective treatment for childhood depression, according to a July 2006 study.
In this study, 20 children between ages 6 and 12 were randomly assigned to receive daily omega-3 fatty acids-400 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 200 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-or a placebo for 16 weeks. The amounts used in this study could be obtained by consuming about 2 grams of fish oil per day. After 16 weeks of treatment, the depression had improved by more than 50% in seven of the ten children receiving omega-3 fatty acids, and resolved completely in four of them, whereas none of the ten children receiving the placebo experienced much improvement.
Depression is an increasingly common problem that affects an estimated 2 to 4% of children in the United States. Associated with an increased risk of substance abuse and suicide, childhood depression is usually treated with a class of drugs known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, more than 20% of children experience side effects such as agitation and sleep disturbances from these drugs, and their use has been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
Previous studies have found that depressed adults, including women with postpartum depression, benefit from fish oil. However, there has been little research using fish oil for depressed children. "This is the first study to demonstrate a beneficial effect of omega-3 fatty acids as a treatment for depression in young children," said Dr. R. H. Belmaker, one of the researchers involved in the study.
It is not clear how omega-3 fatty acids work to relieve depression. The beneficial effect is probably due mainly to EPA, since a study in which DHA was given by itself did not show any improvement in depression.
Alpha-linolenic acid, the omega-3 fatty acid present in flaxseed oil and certain other vegetable oils, would probably be less effective than fish oil, because it is difficult for the body to convert alpha-linolenic acid to EPA.
People who rarely eat fish are probably more likely to benefit from fish oil supplements than people who regularly eat fish. However, fish oil might be worth a try even for depressed people who frequently eat fish, because their depression could be related to an unusually high requirement for omega-3 fatty acids. "Considering the potential adverse side effects of commonly used antidepressant drugs," said Dr. Belmaker, "omega-3 fatty acids look like an attractive alternative for children with depression."
Am J Psychiatry 2006;163:1098-100
Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever.
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.
Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.
Stupidity got us into this mess ... why can't it get us out?
Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly...and for the same reason.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator, never got around to it.
In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.
My inferiority complex is not as good as yours.
I am having an out-of-money experience.
I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad I take something for it.
The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
Age doesn't always bring wisdom. Sometimes age comes alone.
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 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