Posts Tagged ‘Alternative Health’

Drugs Are the New Blankets

July 13, 2009

Science Daily today posted a study summary that concludes “that simply warming the skin [with a blanket] can decrease shivering in many patients, without the need for drugs.

What does this say about the state of our treatment regimens when before a shivering person is given a blanket she is given drugs?

It tells me that hospitals have a knee jerk reaction to giving drugs and give them for anything immediately. I think it’s safe to say that most people at home taking care of a sick family member who is shivering would get him or her a blanket.

Apparently this has to be proven to the healthcare industry and the article goes on to quote a clinician who actually has to explain the benefits of using a blanket over medication:

“[the blanket’s] simplicity, low cost, widespread availability, lack of adverse effects, and the potential to avoid sedation … make it an attractive treatment option.”

It looks like instead of studies that focus on developing new treatments, we are having to backtrack to correct treatment mistakes of several years. Of course there have got to be treatment manuals with guidelines for helping patients, but who could blame the writers of these manuals for assuming doctors and nurses would have the basic human decency to get someone a blanket if she is cold?

Advertisements

Cheerios’ Cholesterol Claims Under Fire by FDA

May 19, 2009

Think Cheerios lowers your cholesterol? You’ve had good reason to think so. You’ve seen it on the Cheerios boxes, the commercials, the website (if you’ve looked), and apparently, you could have heard it blasted to you over your “supermarket public address systems.

Well, according to CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest), the FDA has demanded “that General Mills halt its grossly exaggerated and misleading health claims for Cheerios cereal.

What are the claims?

  • Cheerios can reduce “bad” cholesterol levels by 4 percent in just 6 weeks
  • Cheerios can ward off heart disease and cancers of the colon and stomach

These are pretty serious claims and General Mills doesn’t provide any evidence to back them up (the actor on the commercial definitely doesn’t count).

According to CSPI, the FDA does support a general claim that “eating diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in fiber-containing fruit, vegetable, and grain products may reduce the risk of heart disease. But the claims for Cheerios portrayed the mentioned diseases not included in the FDA-authorized claim and failed to mention the importance of eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.” So General Mills ran with this just because Cheerios has some processed wheat in it.

This is a very strong move by the FDA, and if General Mills does not comply, Cheerios will be taken off the shelf and possibly taken to court. What products could be next? The CSPI legal director Bruce Silverglade explains, “the FDA is signaling the entire food industry that the Bush era policy of lax enforcement has come to an end. The FDA should also stop misleading claims for so-called ‘whole grain’ products that are mostly made with white flour and foods claimed to be made with fruit when they only contain trivial amounts of juice.” That is probably half of most grocery stores!

If you were looking to lower your cholesterol with Cheerios, don’t fret. There are several alternative treatments that have been proven to do the trick, including garlic, artichoke, and good ole vitamin B3. Check About.com: Alternative Medicine for more.

Children With ADHD Use Movement to Focus, Of Course

March 12, 2009

A study recently outlined by ScienceDaily.com describes how ADHD children need to move around more than their non-ADHD peers to help themselves complete challenging tasks like manipulating numbers. The article advises teachers not to severely limit this activity.

Is this really such a surprise and actually a problem?

Just 6 days previous to announcing this study, ScienceDaily discussed a study that showed that doodling while listening to a tape allowed members of the research panel of the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge to remember information more clearly.

Looks like it’s actually beneficial for everyone to have something going on on the side to help with concentration. The folks studying the kids found this was true for all of the young students as well: both ADHD kids and non-ADHD kids were still and calm when they were painting on a computer program while watching Star Wars.

A few schools in Wisconsin and Minnesota seem to get it. The New York Times has a piece about schools that have switched over to using desks that allow children to sit or stand. Most of them stand most of the time. And fidget as much as they want to.

“At a stand-up desk,” Ms. Seekel said, “I’ve never seen students with their heads down, ever. It helps with being awake, if they can stand, it seems. And for me as a teacher, I can stand at their level to help them. I’m not bent over. I can’t think of one reason why a classroom teacher wouldn’t want these.”

Researchers are currently studying these children to see if it does significantly change their performance and even how much it might accelerate their calorie-burning.

Whatever the long term benefits may be, Sarah Langer, 12, sees the advantage of a stand up desk pretty simply:

“At least you can wiggle when you want to.”

Urgent Action Needed: FDA Might Pull B6

June 26, 2008

Please follow this link and urge the FDA not to pull vitamin B6. Add your comment. If you do not currently take the vitamin, consider this research to understand how beneficial this vitamin is, and how it should continue to be available over the counter to the countless Americans already supplementing with it :

It has been proven to help protect heart disease, reduce the risk of cancer, reduce contraceptive pill side effects, help correct anemia, control blood pressure, and many others. See this research and more here.

It is not just an important vitamin to increase health, but having a B6 deficiency can actually reverse health and cause nerve damage.

The pharmaceutical company medicure is petitioning the FDA to ban the vitamin so it can release its own drug made from it. The same thing happened with red yeast rice. According to NaturalNews.com:

Drug companies ripped off the lovastatin molecules from red yeast rice, then patented them. Once they achieved FDA approval for their “statin drugs,” it was easy to file a petition requesting the outlawing of red yeast rice, claiming the supplement was “adulterated” with drugs! Which drugs? Statin drugs, of course — the very same drugs that were isolated from red yeast rice in the first place!

What the FDA has done and might do in this case seems inherently flawed. They are trying to make a natural component of some foods only available by a prescription. They could still make their own higher potency vitamin B6 drug WITHOUT pulling lower potency products from the shelves, and because of the benefits, many Americans would choose to go to their doctors. But not all. That’s competition, and unfortunately because modern medicine has been slow to catch on to the benefits of natural health products, this is the consequence it must face.

Pharmaceuticals do still have a monopoly, and as a result, we pay the highest amounts for drugs in the world! And unfortunately it seems that the FDA would like to ensure the future of pharmaceutical companies more than the American citizens, many of which pay outrageous amounts for health care, and may rely on vitamins and minerals they can buy at their local stores. The FDA, who receives major funding from pharmaceutical companies, and the pharmaceutical companies themselves, need to suck it up and face this loss.

If this goes through, we might soon have to get all of our vitamins from doctors, as it will continue to carve out the precedent that any vitamin can be pulled if a pharmaceutical company wants to market it. And why wouldn’t they? Americans spend $7.5 billion a year on vitamins.

Add your comment to the FDA:
http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&o=090000648051908f

Mercury & Autism: Definitely Linked

May 1, 2008

Suspicions have finally been confirmed: mercury has been linked to autism by the University of Texas Health Science Center. The researchers found that the distance a child lived from a mercury emitting coal power plant or other industrial facility influenced the his or her likelihood of autism. You may have even seen ads lately advocating the use of coal as a clean energy source. CARE Energy says on their website that coal is becoming cleaner by reducing “the emissions of electricity generation.” They do not even mention mercury! Where do you think the elevated levels in fish come from? Researcher Vincent St. Louis said: “We can say conclusively that if you reduce mercury emissions it will result in less mercury in fish.”

Although the study only focused on one aspect of mercury exposure (as a study must do in order to be considered valid), how can we not conclude mercury is dangerous in every context? Pollution by mercury is “…is a problem of global magnitude,” says James Hurley, assistant director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Aquatic Sciences Center. We have yet to find how much destruction is being caused by mercury. But we know that it has already had negative impacts on humans, wildlife, and the environment. It is safe to say it has impacted our future, too.

Unfortunately mercury is extremely prevalent. Mercury has been found in California rainwater from industrial waste in China. For energy conservation, we are advised to switch to fluorescent light bulbs. They do save energy, but they are filled with mercury. “According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 800 million fluorescent lamps are disposed of every year.” Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com figures that amounts “to 30,000 pounds of mercury waste. Astonishingly, that’s almost half the amount of mercury emitted into the atmosphere by coal-fired power plants each year. It only takes 4mg of mercury to contaminate up to 7,000 gallons of freshwater, meaning that the 30,000 pounds of mercury thrown away in compact fluorescent light bulbs each year is enough to pollute nearly every lake, pond, river and stream in North America (not to mention the oceans).” LEDs are a great alternative to fluorescents.

Some children may develop autism as a result of mercury exposure, but just because someone is not affected in this particular way, it is not safe to believe it is not affecting them AT ALL. It seems more dramatic to believe that an individual is somehow IMMUNE to mercury than that he or she is being affected in less quantifiable and identifiable ways. Just because a person does not exhibit enough similar symptoms as those corresponding to a disease or disorder label with a disorder does not mean their quality of life is unaltered. Parents of children with autism seek answers. The general population seems less motivated about finding out why they are sick or obese or tired, though mercury has also been linked with damaging the nervous systems of unborn children, heart attack, and stroke.

Several disorders and diseases have been linked to pollutants and chemicals and toxins in our environment and our food. Asthma is now linked to several household cleaning products and air fresheners. High fructose corn syrup is linked to diabetes. Pesticides are linked to hormone complications and premature births.

It might not be possible to be completely isolated from mercury overexposure, but there are some precautions to take:

-avoid fluorescent lighting
-avoid living near coal power plants (for every 10 miles, the rate of autism dropped 1-2%)
-support alternative energy sources
-be cautious of fish intake, replace with omega-3 supplement like OmegaBrite

There are better options to all of our toxic products and energy sources; we just have to start choosing them!