Tag Archives: FDA

The Label All Milk Drinkers Should Look Out For Information on rBGH or rBST (Unless You Like CANCER)

A few years ago, a number of U.S. states tried to ban “rbGH-free” claims on dairy. Monsanto, which owned rbGH at the time, helped found a group called AFACT, which supported the bans. AFACT was unsuccessful in most states, but it looked like they might win in Ohio, where the fight went to the courts.

Recently, however, the Ohio court came to its decision. First, they ruled that milk in Ohio can still bear an “rbGH-free” label as long as it also bears the disclaimer stating that, “[t]he FDA has determined that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-supplemented and non-rbST-supplemented cows.”

But there’s more important news out of Ohio — the court also challenged the FDA’s finding that there is “no measurable compositional difference” between milk from rbGH-treated cows and milk from untreated cows. This FDA finding has been the major roadblock to rbGH regulation, and the court struck it down.

According to La Vida Locavore:
“The court … [cited] three reasons why the milk differs: 1. Increased levels of the hormone IGF-1, 2. A period of milk with lower nutritional quality during each lactation, and 3. Increased somatic cell counts (i.e. more pus in the milk).”

You may click to see:

Information on rBGH or rBST – aka Posilac – Eli Lilly’s Genetically Engineered Bovine Growth Hormone

‘Hormone-free’ milk spurs labeling debate

Miller on the Milk Wars

Monsanto news, articles and information

ACT NOW: Email Kansas Gov. Sebelius — No Growth Hormones in Milk!

Source: La Vida Locavore September 30, 2010

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

10 Organic Foods That Are Worth the Money

1.Apples


The FDA states that more pesticides are found on apples than are found on any other fruit or vegetable — a grand total of 36. One test found seven chemicals on a single apple. Sounds like a good reason to switch to pesticide-free organic produce to me.

Of course, if you do eat apples or any other fruit, use them sparingly and never consume them in the form of fruit juice, which is basically just a glass full of fructose.

No organic? Peel your apples

2.Baby Foods..


An infant’s immune system is less developed than an adult’s, and more vulnerable. Nonorganic baby foods tend to use fruits and vegetables that have been treated with chemicals.

No organic? Make your own purees by tossing organic fruits and vegetables into the blender.

3.Butter and Milk..


Dairy cows eat grains that are heavily treated with chemicals, which show up in the milk. Non-organic milk can also contain bovine growth hormone and antibiotics.

However, RAW milk is nearly always better than organic milk if it is purchased from a conscious farmer. In that case, it may not be certified organic, but it will essentially be organic anyway, and drinking your milk raw is KEY. The linked article should have written loads about this difference, but failed entirely to do so.

4.Cantaloupe


Cantaloupes often are contaminated by five of the longest-lasting chemicals. Dieldrin, a very toxic and carcinogenic insecticide, still gets taken up through the cantaloupe’s roots even though it was banned in 1974.

No organic? Thoroughly wash the outside of the melon, since a knife can drag exterior residues through the flesh as you slice it.

5.Cucumbers


Cucumbers were ranked the 12th most contaminated food and the second in cancer risk due to their pesticide content.

No organic? Peel the cucumbers, since the waxes used to make the skin shiny also tend to hold chemicals.

6.Grapes….


Grapes get treated with numerous chemicals, especially Chilean grapes, which can be sprayed with as many as 17 of them. Grapes are also, whether organic or not, especially high in fructose — you might want to consider eating the grape skins and leaving the grape itself alone.
No organic? Search out grapes grown domestically; they are treated with fewer chemicals.
7.Green Beans ..
There are over 60 pesticides that are registered for use on green beans in the U.S.

No organic? Choose fresh beans over canned or frozen. Wash them well.

8.Spinach …..


The chemicals used to treat spinach may cause cancer or interfere with hormone production.

No organic? Vigilantly wash each leaf separately under running water.

9.Strawberries..


Strawberries are among the most contaminated of all produce. Once again, be wary of overdoing it with fructose when you eat fruit.

No organic? Choose local berries over long-distance ones (which generally involve more spraying). The package should say where they’re from, or the supermarket’s produce manager should know.

10.Winter Squash..


Winter squash, like cantaloupe, can absorb dieldrin from the soil.

No organic? Buy Mexican. The soil in Mexico is largely uncontaminated by dieldrin.

Source: Real Simple November 2010

 

Heartburn Meds Can Increase Your Fracture Risk

The FDA has mandated that proton pump inhibitor heartburn medications must carry a label warning of increased fracture risk.  This group of drugs include Prevacid, Prilosec, and Nexium.

…………....….CLICK & SEE

The FDA suggests those taking these drugs should consult with their doctors, and those using such drugs over-the-counter limit their use to no more than three 14-day periods a year.

According to the FDA website:

“… [The decision is] based on the Agency’s review of several epidemiological studies that reported an increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist and spine in patients using proton pump inhibitors.”

Sources:        :FDA May 25, 2010

Enhanced by Zemanta

Alternative Treatments Used for the Common Cold

An ancient belief still common today claims that a cold can be “caught” by prolonged exposure to cold weather such as rain or winter conditions, which is where the disease got its name. Although common colds are seasonal, with more occurring during winter, experiments so far have failed to produce evidence that short-term exposure to cold weather or direct chilling increases susceptibility to infection, implying that the seasonal variation is instead due to a change in behaviors such as increased time spent indoors at close proximity to others. Nevertheless, some studies suggest that lower temperatures of the body of a person can make one more susceptible or prone to infection.

Many herbal and otherwise alternative remedies have been suggested to treat the common cold. However, none of these claims are supported by scientific evidence.

While a number of Chinese herbs and plants have been purported to ease cold symptoms, including ginger, garlic, hyssop, mullein, and others, scientific studies have either not been done or have been found inconclusive.

Echinacea…..
Echinacea flowerEchinacea, also known as coneflowers, is a plant commonly used in herbal preparations for the treatment of the common cold.

A review of sixteen trials of echinacea was done by the Cochrane Collaboration in 2006 and found mixed results. All three trials that looked at prevention were negative. Comparisons of echinacea as treatment found a significant effect in nine trials, a trend in one, and no difference in six trials. The authors state in their conclusion: “Echinacea preparations tested in clinical trials differ greatly. There is some evidence that preparations based on the aerial parts of Echinacea purpurea might be effective for the early treatment of colds in adults but results are not fully consistent. Beneficial effects of other Echinacea preparations, and for preventative purposes might exist but have not been shown in independently replicated, rigorous randomized trials.” A review in 2007 found an overall benefit from echinacea for the common cold.

Although there have been scientific studies evaluating echinacea, its effectiveness has not been convincingly demonstrated. For example, a peer-reviewed clinical study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that “…extracts of E. angustifolia root, either alone or in combination, do not have clinically significant effects on rhinovirus infection or on the clinical illness that results from it.” Recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in adults have not shown a beneficial effect of echinacea on symptom severity or duration of the cold. A structured review of 9 placebo controlled studies suggested that the effectiveness of echinacea in the treatment of colds has not been established. Conversely, two recent meta-analyses of published medical articles concluded that there is some evidence that echinacea may reduce either the duration or severity of the common cold, but results are not fully consistent. However, there have been no large, randomized placebo-controlled clinical studies that definitively demonstrate either prophylaxis or therapeutic effects in adults.[9][10] A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 407 children of ages ranging from 2 to 11 years showed that echinacea did not reduce the duration of the cold, nor reduce the severity of the symptoms. Most authoritative sources consider the effect of echinacea on the cold unsupported by evidence.

Vitamin C……Blackcurrants are a good source of vitamin C->
While vitamin C has not been shown to be beneficial in a normal population for the prevention or treatment of the common cold, it might be beneficial in people exposed to periods of severe physical exercise or cold environments.

A well-known supporter of the theory that Vitamin C megadosage prevented infection was physical chemist Linus Pauling, who wrote the bestseller Vitamin C and the Common Cold. A meta-analysis published in 2005 found that “the lack of effect of prophylactic vitamin C supplementation on the incidence of common cold in normal populations throws doubt on the utility of this wide practice”.

A follow-up meta-analysis supported these conclusions:

[Prophylactic use] of vitamin C has no effect on common cold incidence … [but] reduces the duration and severity of common cold symptoms slightly, although the magnitude of the effect was so small its clinical usefulness is doubtful. Therapeutic trials of high doses of vitamin C … starting after the onset of symptoms, showed no consistent effect on either duration or severity of symptoms. … More therapeutic trials are necessary to settle the question, especially in children who have not entered these trials.

Most of the studies showing little or no effect employ doses of ascorbate such as 100 mg to 500 mg per day, considered “small” by vitamin C advocates.[who?] Equally important, the plasma half life of high dose ascorbate above the baseline, controlled by renal resorption, is approximately 30 minutes, which implies that most high dose studies have been methodologically defective and would be expected to show a minimum benefit. Clinical studies of divided dose supplementation, predicted on pharmacological grounds to be effective, have only rarely been reported in the literature.

Zinc preparations…..
A 1999 Cochrane review found the evidence of benefit from zinc in the common cold is inconclusive. A 2003 review however concluded supported the value of zinc in reducing the duration and severity of symptoms of the common cold when administered within 24 hours of the onset of common cold symptoms. Nasally applied zinc gels may lead to loss of smell. The FDA therefore discourages their use.

Zinc acetate and zinc gluconate have been tested as potential treatments for the common cold, in various dosage form including nasal sprays, nasal gels, and lozenges. Some studies have shown some effect of zinc preparations on the duration of the common cold, but conclusions are diverse. About half of studies demonstrate efficacy. Even studies that show clinical effect have not demonstrated the mechanism of action. The studies differ in the salt used, concentration of the salt, dosage form, and formulation, and some suffer from defects in design or methods. For example, there is evidence that the potential efficacy of zinc gluconate lozenges may be affected by other food acids (citric acid, ascorbic acid and glycine) present in the lozenge. Furthermore, interpretation of the results depends on whether concentration of total zinc or ionic zinc is considered.

A recent study showed that zinc acetate lozenges (13.3 mg zinc) shortened the duration and reduced the severity of common colds compared to placebo in a placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trial. Intracellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (ICAM-1) was inhibited by the ionic zinc present in the active lozenges, and the difference was statistically significant between the groups.

There are concerns regarding the safety of long-term use of cold preparations in an estimated 25 million persons who are haemochromatosis heterozygotes. Use of high doses of zinc for more than two weeks may cause copper depletion, which leads to anemia. Other adverse events of high doses of zinc include nausea, vomiting gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, drowsiness, unpleasant taste, taste distortion, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. Some users of nasal spray applicators containing zinc have reported temporary or permanent loss of sense of smell.

Although widely available and advertised in the United States as dietary supplements or homeopathic treatments, the safety and efficacy of zinc preparations have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Authoritative sources consider the effect of zinc preparations on the cold unproven.

Steam inhalation

Many people believe that steam inhalation reduces symptoms of the cold. However, one double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study found no effect of steam inhalation on cold symptoms. A scientific review of medical literature concluded that “there is insufficient evidence to support the use of steam inhalation as a treatment.” There have been reports of children being badly burned when using steam inhalation to alleviate cold symptoms leading to the recommendation to “…start discouraging patients from using this form of home remedy, as there appears to be no significant benefit from steam inhalation.”

Chicken soup…..
In the twelfth century, Moses Maimonides wrote, “Chicken soup…is recommended as an excellent food as well as medication.” Since then, there have been numerous reports in the United States that chicken soup alleviates the symptoms of the common cold. Even usually staid medical journals have published tongue-in-cheek humorous articles on the alleged medicinal properties of chicken soup.

PREVENTION  :
It might seem overwhelming to try to prevent colds, but you can do it. Children average three to eight colds per year.

Here are five proven ways to reduce exposure to germs:-

*Always wash your hands: Children and adults should wash hands at key moments — after nose-wiping, after diapering or toileting, before eating, and before preparing food.

*Disinfect: Clean commonly touched surfaces (sink handles, sleeping mats) with an EPA-approved disinfectant.

*Switch day care: Using a day care where there are six or fewer children dramatically reduces germ contact.

*Use instant hand sanitizers: A little dab will kill 99.99% of germs without any water or towels. The products use alcohol to destroy germs. They are an antiseptic, not an antibiotic, so resistance can’t develop.

*Use paper towels instead of shared cloth towels.

Here are six ways to support the immune system:-

*Avoid secondhand smoke: Keep as far away from secondhand smoke as possible It is responsible for many health problems, including millions of colds.

*Avoid unnecessary antibiotics: The more people use antibiotics, the more likely they are to get sick with longer, more stubborn infections caused by more resistant organisms in the future.

*Breastfeed: Breast milk is known to protect against respiratory tract infections, even years after breastfeeding is done. Kids who don’t breastfeed average five times more ear infections.

*Drink water: Your body needs fluids for the immune system to function properly.

*Eat yogurt: The beneficial bacteria in some active yogurt cultures help prevent colds.

*Get enough sleep: Late bedtimes and poor sleep leave people vulnerable.

Research
Biota Holdings are developing a drug, currently known as BTA798, which targets rhinovirus. The drug has recently completed Phase IIa clinical trials.

ViroPharma and Schering-Plough are developing an antiviral drug, pleconaril, that targets picornaviruses, the viruses that cause the majority of common colds. Pleconaril has been shown to be effective in an oral form. Schering-Plough is developing an intra-nasal formulation that may have fewer adverse effects.

Researchers from University of Maryland, College Park and University of Wisconsin–Madison have mapped the genome for all known virus strains that cause the common cold.

Common Cold Unit
In the United Kingdom, the Common Cold Unit was set up by the Medical Research Council in 1946. The unit worked with volunteers who were infected with various viruses. The rhinovirus was discovered there.  In the late 1950s, researchers were able to grow one of these cold viruses in a tissue culture, as it would not grow in fertilized chicken eggs, the method used for many other viruses. In the 1970s, the CCU demonstrated that treatment with interferon during the incubation phase of rhinovirus infection protects somewhat against the disease, but no practical treatment could be developed. The unit was closed in 1989, two years after it completed research of zinc gluconate lozenges in the prophylaxis and treatment of rhinovirus colds, the only successful treatment in the history of the unit.

Resources :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_treatments_used_for_the_common_cold#Zinc_preparations
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000678.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_cold

Enhanced by Zemanta

Guide to Natural Menopause Survival

“Men-o-pause” may be a funny play on words but it’s no laughing matter to millions of women. When hot flashes, mood swings and memory changes are affecting your life, you want help fast. But where can you find it when the “newest” science says the old science is wrong — or even harmful?
menopause
An understanding of how and why science went astray, plus a simple, strategic plan can get your life back in balance.

What Happens During Midlife’s Pause?

Menopause is nature’s way of signaling the end of child-bearing years. When you stop having your periods naturally — usually when you’re around 50 years old — the slow-down tends to be gradual.

But menopause can occur before or after age 50, and it can also be surgically induced.

For instance, if you have your ovaries or uterus removed, you’ll skip the “peri” part and advance straight to full-blown menopause. When that happens, symptoms often intensify because there’s no gradual downshift: estrogen and progesterone production simply stops.

When menopause occurs, the primary symptoms you’re likely to experience are:

•Hot Flashes

•Vaginal Dryness

•Menstrual Irregularities (natural)

•Depression, Mood Swings

•Weight Gain (natural or surgically induced)

Short and long-term strategies can help you control these symptoms. The best approaches are preventive and involve diet and exercise. That’s not surprising because the most obvious manifestations of menopause have emerged in the last 75 years.

With a return to what’s been natural for centuries, it’s possible to minimize even the most frustrating night sweats and weight gain.

Menopause is NOT a Disease

As it is  mentioned, menopause occurs when you stop producing estrogen and progesterone, and your periods cease. So, it seemed sensible to scientists that replacing those hormones would alleviate menopausal symptoms.

One of the problems with this approach was that it looked at menopause as a disease to be treated with medication, as opposed to another life stage. The other: it turned out that synthetic hormones don’t act like the real thing.

The problems will be detailed with hormone replacement later, along with information on the “new” science of bioidentical hormones.

For affordable symptom-relief right now, here are the simplest, heart-healthy ideas, followed by longer-term solutions.

Heart-Healthy, Symptom-Ease

We all hope for a quick fix. That’s not what healthy lifestyle changes are all about, but for those who want the short-list, here’s an easy way to determine if you’re in menopause, along with the “to-dos” that put you on the right track fast.

First, ask your physician for a blood test called an FSH test. It determines if your pituitary gland thinks your ovaries aren’t fully functioning, and as a result, is secreting “follicular stimulating hormone” or FSH. There is no need to do this if you have had a surgically induced menopause, as you are menopausal by definition and your FSH will be elevated.

The higher your FSH level, the more likely you’re in menopause. Peri-menopause begins the process a few years in advance; once you haven’t had a period for a year, you’re considered post-menopausal.

Just a few diet and lifestyle changes can have a dramatic effect on how you experience menopause — especially if you start making them at the “peri” stage.

Three Surefire Strategies to Start

1.Phytoestrogens. Taking Phytoestreogens or plant-estrogens before menopause can moderate day-to-day estrogen levels, so that when menopause comes, the drop won’t be so dramatic. Weak estrogens that block stronger forms, phtyoestrogens are found in licorice and alfalfa.

Royal Maca also seems to be an amazing adaptogenic herbal solution for menopause that has helped many women. Be sure to avoid the inexpensive ones, as they typically don’t work. Get the real deal from Peru.

2.Omega-3. Take high quality, animal-based omega-3 fats. A high quality animal-based omega-3 supplement, such as krill oil, can be far more effective and beneficial than fish oil. Balance omega-3 and omega-6 by eating foods rich in these oils.

3.Green tea. Polyphenols are associated with a lowered risk of heart disease, and green tea like Royal Matcha has polyphenols that can be more effective than those in red wine — plus 17 times the antioxidants of wild blueberries.

One study shows green tea can also reduce the risk of breast cancer in younger women under 50, and now, certain polyphenols have been shown to have some HRT-like benefits, without the drawbacks.
If you noticed soy isn’t on the list, it’s because non-fermented soy can damage your health.

There are also musts-to-avoid, some of which you may be aware of already. They include refined carbohydrates, sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

What to Follow Up With

Once you’ve covered the three musts to start with, add the following to your lifestage regimen:-

•Black Cohosh. It may help regulate body temperature and hot flashes.

•Locally grown, organic food

•Exercise! Start a program that you know you’ll do at least 3 times a week, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day to start.

•Vitamin D. Please review my one-hour video lecture for the latest on this essential vitamin.

The Smartest Long-Term Solutions

If you’ve developed healthy habits that support your lifestage and invested a little time exploring the web links highlighted here, work on these long-term adjustments next:

•Add low-to-moderate intensity and variety to your exercise plan

•Optimize your health with my easy Nutrition Plan

Avoid These DANGEROUS Solutions
:-

It has been overwhelmingly proven that conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which science once touted, is in fact, dangerous. The following prescriptions now have black box warnings and need to be avoided:

1.Premarin. Premarin is an estrogen extracted from Pregnant Mare’s Urine. We now know it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

2.Estrogen Therapy. Estrogen, which is extracted from Premarin, was effective in combating some menopausal symptoms but proved to have serious, negative side effects, such as the increased risk of breast cancer and an increase in insulin levels.

3.Provera. This drug is a progestin or a synthetic form of progesterone, which probably makes it even more toxic than Premarin. Its well-documented, negative side effects include blood clotting.

In addition, long-term usage studies revealed many other negative side effects of HRT, including high blood pressure and vaginal bleeding. A year after millions of women quit taking hormone replacement therapy, incidents of breast cancer fell dramatically — by 7 percent!

No wonder women now know to avoid dangerous, conventional estrogen replacement.

The “New” Science: Bioidenticals

Recently, there’s been tremendous excitement about Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), which was even discussed on the Oprah show in a television breakthrough.

When diet and lifestyle changes are not enough, bioidentical hormones may be able to help.

However, the FDA has recently attacked BHRT, specifically estriol, effectively banning it. Ironically, the FDA is simultaneously attempting to create natural-substance knock-offs. Here’s what’s happening:

Bioidenticals, unlike synthetic hormones or natural ones from animals, are natural hormones that are bioidentical to your own.

The bioidentical that is prescribed 80 percent of the time is estriol. It’s natural, not a drug, and you get it at compounding pharmacies. The FDA is trying to require physicians who write prescriptions for it to fill out an Investigational New Drug (IND) application. It’s no simple form; it’s 40-pages long and expensive to file. And, the FDA admits it’s unaware of any adverse effects of bioidentical hormones.

The inside scoop: Estriol has been used safely for decades, and it is  believed that  it  is particularly useful when your ovaries have been removed or you’ve had a hysterectomy. Dr. Johathan Wright, who was interviewed many times for  Expert Inner Circle program, is a pioneer in bioidenticals, and you can see what he has to say about their value in this short video.

The attack on bioidenticals comes just as the FDA is advancing drugs that are synthetic knock-offs of natural estriol. Talk about an upside down world!

Note on Bioidentical Delivery Methods

As for administering bioidentical hormones, you need to know that some delivery methods are clearly superior to others.

Oral supplementation is perhaps your worst option, as your liver processes everything in your digestive tract first, before it enters your blood stream. Any method that bypasses your liver will therefore be more effective.

Hormone creams are one common alternative that achieves this. However, since progesterone is fat soluble, it can build up in your fatty tissues and lead to having too much progesterone in your body. This in turn can disrupt other hormones. It’s also near impossible to accurately determine the dose when using a cream.

Sublingual drops offer the best of both worlds, as it enters your blood stream directly and will not build up in your tissues like the cream can. It’s also much easier to determine the dose you’re taking, as each drop is about one milligram.

So you know exactly how much you’re taking. The direct delivery system also means you can oftentimes take a lower dose than you would need if you were taking it in pill form.

Knock-Off Naturals: Don’t Be Fooled

Natural estriol can’t be patented, so there are no huge profits to be made on it.

I’m not surprised its availability is being threatened. In fact fake, profit-generating versions of the real thing are mushrooming.

Omacor (an FDA-approved, Omega-3 fat fish oil), Trimesta (a knock-off of natural estriol, now Lovaza) and already FDA-approved Prestara, a pharma version of the natural hormone DHEA, will all soon be competing against what you can get cheaper. Some believe these natural knock-offs could even be dangerous.

For instance, Trimesta is taken orally, even though this is known to be a greater risk factor for endometrial cancer than taking hormones transdermally (through the skin). Prestara is taken in doses of 200 mg daily, which is too high for women — even 50 mg daily may cause women to experience undesirable side effects, including facial hair.

To support physicians’ rights to freely prescribe bioidenticals and your right to have access to them, go to the Health Freedom Foundation’s website. You’ll find updated information and a letter you can send to Congress and the President.

One Small Step Toward Lifelong Serenity

Menopause is one of those instances where what’s easiest and natural is also best. Because prevention is always the smartest medicine, start making changes in your diet and lifestyle during peri-menopause.

Sticking to the perimeter supermarket aisles, where vegetables and fruits dominate, puts you on the right path.

By the time menopause comes, you’ll have developed healthy nutritional habits that you can build on for every life stage.

Written By Dr. Mercola

References:
[1] The Mao Clinic Staff, “Menopause Symptoms,” The Mao Clinic
[2] American Physiological Society (2007, August 14). Grapes, Soy And Kudzu Blunt Some Menopausal Side Effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2009

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]