- WEBSITE SERVICES
- FOOD LABELS
- TONSILLECTOMY NOT
- NSAIDS MAY CAUSE
SEVERE INTESTINAL DAMAGE
- ASPIRIN AND
- FAST-FOOD AND DISEASE
- DRUG SAFETY AND
NOT EFFECTIVE FOR KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS
- EMERSON ECOLOGICS
Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #57. 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.
As of Friday October 6, 2006, my website www.foroptimalhealth.com, is up and running.
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: There are 161 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: http://www.foroptimalhealth.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=1&Itemid=4 Here you will find all 57 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News".
NOTE: If you haven't read the article on Dynamic Disease in May's newsletter, I highly encourage you to do so. This article talks about the nature of disease and how it should be treated.
Optimal Health Points: http://www.foroptimalhealth.com
This is my blog that I update 2-3 times per week. Check out "Poor Science and Hokum" from May 29 about the biased supplement research, and "Cancer and Vit. D" from May 23.
You are being experimented on against your will. It is estimated that up to 75% of processed foods contain ingredients coming from genetically modified crops. If you want to know more about the foods you eat, do the following. Examine produce stickers on the fruits and vegetables you buy. The PLU code for organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine, conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, and genetically modified fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.
Organic bananas: 94011
Conventional bananas: 4011
GM bananas: 84011
Remember, the longer the ingredients label, the less healthy the food.
FOOD TIDBITS--PUMPKIN SEEDS
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which is good for the prostate gland and building the immune system. They also contain essential fatty acids and are a good source of protein. To get these nutritional benefits eat raw pumpkin seeds rather than roasted or salted. Roasted seeds, like any heated fat, are to be avoided as they then contain damaged fats that are deleterious to your health.
TONSILLECTOMY NOT BENEFICIAL
For children with mild throat infections or enlarged tonsils or adenoids, surgery to remove the offending tissues offers no major clinical benefits over a watchful wait-and-see approach, according to a Dutch study.
The findings are based on a study of 300 children who were candidates for adenotonsillectomy because of recurrent throat infections -- more than seven episodes in the preceding year -- or because they had enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids. The kids were randomly assigned to undergo surgery or be followed with a watchful waiting strategy.
After an average follow-up of 22 months, the number of fever episodes in the surgery group was nearly the same as in the watchful waiting group. Subjects in the surgery and watchful waiting groups averaged 0.6 and 0.8 throat infections per person per year, respectively.
The results indicate that surgery offers little benefit to children like those in this study. British Medical Journal, September 11th online issue, 2004.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Tonsillectomy, like antibiotics for sinus or ear infections, may seldom actually be helpful. Not only that, it has long-term negative implications for the function of the immune system. The tonsils are composed of lymph tissue that is part of the initial line of body defense against incoming bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc. Those who have had their tonsils removed can suffer from more colds and upper respiratory infections, increased mucus, and repeated sore throats. Swollen or enlarged tonsils/adenoids can respond very well to the proper homeopathic medicine or naturopathic remedies like herbs or supplements.
NSAIDS MAY CAUSE SEVERE INTESTINAL DAMAGE
According to a study published in the January 3, 2005 issue of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, chronic users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have an increased risk of bleeding and visible damage to their small intestine. "We have always known that NSAIDs can cause potentially deadly stomach complications, but the extent of the impact on the small intestine was largely unknown until now," said David Graham, MD, lead study author. Now they've learned that NSAIDS can cause severe damage to the small intestine.
Everyday more than 30 million people take over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs for pain relief, headaches and arthritis. Currently, there are about 20 NSAIDs available by prescription only. Many, including naproxen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and ketoprofen are available over the counter. NSAIDs increase the risk of gastrointestinal complications ranging from stomach pain to ulcers. Moreover, these drugs are responsible for severe and potentially deadly gastrointestinal problems. Each year, the side effects of long-term NSAID use cause nearly 103,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths. More people die each year from NSAIDs-related complications than from AIDS and cervical cancer in the United States.
This study analyzed 43 generally healthy patients, including those who use NSAIDs daily for relief of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or non-specific arthritis, and a control group who did not use NSAIDs or aspirin for their arthritis symptoms. Results show that 71% of those who were exposed to NSAIDs for more than 90 days had visible injury to their small intestine. Injury in these people ranged from small erosions to severe ulcers. Symptoms of dyspepsia (indigestion) associated with NSAID use are common in those who use these drugs long-term.
"Diseases of the small intestine contribute significantly to ill-health and often go undetected or misdiagnosed," said Graham. "We hope further studies will determine the clinical significance of our findings which show that extensive NSAID-related damage to the small intestine occurs more frequently than previously reported."
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Wow. "They have always known that NSAIDS can cause possibly deadly stomach complications." Who among you were told this when you're MD recommended one of these drugs? Being that several of these drugs are available over the counter people think that this somehow makes them safer than regular drugs. Obviously not. And, just because everybody uses them, it does not make them safe.
ASPIRIN AND PANCREATIC CANCER
Women who take aspirin regularly may be at an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, a particularly deadly form of cancer. The pancreas is an organ near the stomach that is involved in the digestion of food and the regulation of blood sugar.
The finding came from more than 88,000 women in a health study of nurses. The study lasted eighteen years. During this time, 161 of the nurses developed pancreatic cancer.
Researchers found that taking two or more aspirins a week for 20 years or more increased the women's risk of pancreatic cancer by 58 percent, and women who took 14 tablets or more per week had an 86 percent greater risk. Millions of women take aspirin daily. Women in the study who took between six and 13 aspirins a week had a 41 percent higher risk than women who did not use any, compared with an 11 percent greater risk among women who took one to three aspirins a week. Although pancreatic cancer affects only 31,000 Americans a year, most patients die within three years. The cause behind pancreatic cancer remains unknown, however a previous study found that taking aspirin regularly may cause an inflammation of the pancreas known as pancreatitis, which sometimes leads to pancreatic cancer.
American Association for Cancer Research, October 27, 2003
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Again we have to look at the possible consequences of a commonly used over the counter drug. Most people were never told that there was an increased risk of pancreatic cancer if they started taking an aspirin a day. Depending on the benefit you're looking for, there are nutritional supplements without any risk of cancer that could take aspirin's place. Doesn't it make sense to try those first?
FAST-FOOD AND DISEASE
In a study released in early 2005 researchers showed a correlation between fast food, weight gain, and insulin resistance in what appears to be the first long-term study on this subject. The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study by Mark Pereira, Ph.D., assistant professor in epidemiology, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Obesity Program at Children's Hospital Boston, reported that fast food increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Participants who consumed fast food two or more times a week gained approximately 10 more pounds and had twice as great an increase in insulin resistance in the 15-year period than participants who consumed fast food less than once per week. "Fast-food consumption has increased in the United States during the past three decades," said Pereira. "While there have been many discussions about fast-food's effects on obesity, this appears to be the first scientific, comprehensive long-term study to show a strong connection between fast-food consumption, obesity, and risk for type 2 diabetes."
"The CARDIA study factored in and monitored lifestyle factors including television viewing, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and smoking, but determined that increase in body weight and insulin resistance from fast-food intake seemed to be largely independent of these other lifestyle factors," said Ludwig. Fast-food frequency was lowest for white women (about 1.3 times per week) compared with the other ethnic and gender groups (about twice a week). Frequency was higher in African-Americans than in whites and in men than in women for every examination year. Age- adjusted fast-food frequency was relatively stable over time among African-Americans but fell in those who were white.
This study of cardiovascular disease risk factor evolution included 3,031 young (age 18-30 years in 1985) African-American and white adults whose frequency of fast-food visits, changes in body weight and insulin resistance were monitored and measured for 15 years.
"Fast-food habits, weight gain, and insulin resistance (the CARDIA study): 15-year prospective analysis." Lancet 2005;365:36-42
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Can there any doubt that fast food is unhealthy? That eating it increases your risk for obesity and diabetes (and also cardiovascular disease due to trans fats). If your local health food store sold a supplement that caused diabetes, heart disease, and made people fat, how long do you think it would take for the government to shut them down? Yet, we know fast food is dangerously unhealthy and nothing is being done. A recent ray of hope was New York City's ban on trans fats in restaurants. It's yet to be seen how well this will be implemented, monitored, and regulated.
DRUG SAFETY AND REVIEW
Almost one-fifth of the Food and Drug Administration scientists surveyed five years ago as part of an official review said they had been pressured to recommend approval of a new drug despite reservations about its safety, effectiveness or quality. The survey of almost 400 scientists also found that a majority had significant doubts about the adequacy of federal programs to monitor prescription drugs once they are on the market, and that more than a third were not particularly confident of the agency's ability to assess the safety of a drug.
The results of the survey, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general, appear to support some portions of the controversial 2002 Senate testimony by FDA safety officer David J. Graham. The 20-year agency veteran told senators that the FDA was unable to keep some unsafe drugs off the market, and those scientists who dissented about drug safety and effectiveness were sometimes pressured and intimidated. Graham's testimony, at a hearing into the sudden withdrawal from the market of the arthritis drug Vioxx, put a spotlight on the FDA's safety and management record.
"I think this provides evidence that among the reviewing scientists at FDA, their experiences mirror the testimony I gave before Congress," Graham said. "It also shows the unfortunate experience of many, mirrors what happened to me when I tried to bring safety issues to my managers and the American public."
When the inspector general's report on the effectiveness of the FDA's drug review process was released in March 2003, administration officials focused on the conclusion that FDA reviewers and drug sponsors "have confidence in the decisions FDA makes. " The report also highlighted the agency's effectiveness in reducing the time it takes to review a new drug approval. The survey was conducted as part of the inspector general's inquiry, but only parts of it were included in the report.
For instance, 36 percent of scientists said they were only somewhat confident, or not confident at all, in the FDA's decisions regarding drug safety. When it came to drug effectiveness, 22 percent of scientists said they were only somewhat confident, or not confident at all, in the agency's decisions. As described in the report, drug manufacturers reported significantly greater confidence in both categories.
Some of the most dramatic Senate testimony that Graham delivered involved what he described as efforts by FDA supervisors to silence him and pressure him to limit his criticism of the safety of some drugs. In the survey, 63 of 360 respondents - 18 percent - said they had been "pressured to approve or recommend approval for a [new drug application] despite reservations about the safety, efficacy, or quality of the drug. "Similarly, 21 percent of survey respondents said the work environment at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research either allowed little dissent or stifled scientific dissent entirely.
The FDA drug reviewers were also highly skeptical of the agency's ability to monitor the safety of prescription drugs once they are on the market. In all, 6 percent said they were "completely confident," 28 percent said they were "mostly confident," 47 percent said they were "somewhat confident" and 19 percent said they were "not confident at all. More than half of respondents said they did not think there was sufficient time to conduct an in-depth, science-based review in the six months required for drugs given "priority" status.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Most people that I speak too seem well aware of the huge financial interests involved in the pharmaceutical industrial complex. Yet when stories like this one concerning safety of 'approved' prescription drugs appear, they're ignored or accepted passively. Even the fact that the statin category of drugs, used to treat elevated cholesterol, generate billions of dollars in sales each year, doesn't seem to generate more than a moment's disgust. Remember, statins became really big sellers after the cutoff point for 'high' cholesterol was lowered to its current level of 200.
PARACETAMOL NOT EFFECTIVE FOR KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS
The results of a study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases suggest that there is no symptomatic effect of paracetamol in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Known as acetaminophen in the U.S., and available over the counter, paracetamol is often recommended for symptomatic treatment of OA.
In a double blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled trial, the researchers examined the efficacy of paracetamol in OA of the knee. A total of 779 patients were randomized to 6 weeks of treatment with 4 g/day paracetamol or placebo. Inclusion criteria included symptomatic OA of the knee with global pain intensity of the knee during physical activities for the past 24 hours of at least 30 mm on a 100 mm visual scale. The main outcome measure was a 30% decrease of global pain intensity of the knee.
The percentage of responders was similar in the paracetamol and placebo groups, at 52.6% and 51.9%, respectively. The mean difference for patients' global assessment of knee OA from baseline was 22 mm and 20 mm for the paracetamol and placebo groups, respectively. Twenty-six percent of the patients in the paracetamol group and 30% of those in the placebo group withdrew from the study. In conclusion, the analgesic effect of paracetamol was not significantly different from that of placebo.
Ann Rheum Dis 2004;63:923-930.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Given the frequency of reported side effects and over dosing of Tylenol and other branded acetaminophen, does it make any sense to use it for pain in the knee? Especially when I've found nutritional factors to be prominent in the majority of patients I work with who suffer from joint pain. Nutritional prevention and treatment is always to be preferred over an OTC bandaid.
The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue!
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves
We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare, and love we can
spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made.
Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.
Franklin P. Jones
If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise.
Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul -- chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'Wow, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.
My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.
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