Zyprexa, Chantix, Zetia: Bad news gets worse - NewsGrabs 3 February 2008
Health Supreme's NewsGrabs - a selection of contrary and underprivileged news in health and related sectors. Find what you may have missed - watch out for NewsGrabs.
Here is this week's selection:
Campaign for a EUROPEAN REFERENDUM - Sign Petition
Every citizen should have the right to: participate in the democratic life of the European Union, make known and publicly exchange their views on all areas of European Union activity and policy and be directly involved in political decision-making.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are widespread in Europe
Given the widespread nature of nutrient deficiencies in Europe, naturopathic doctors, natural health experts and millions of consumers are currently up in arms over the fact that the European Commission is preparing to propose restrictions on the maximum permitted levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements. When the maximum levels are eventually announced, European citizens will finally discover whether [Commissioner] Byrne and the Commission were telling the truth, or whether – as some have alleged – their real aim was to ban supplements and they were lying all along.This article by Paul Taylor was written some months ago, but becomes very relevant as the expected publication of the EU dosage limits on vitamins and minerals approaches...
Vitamins, Minerals 'to cut prison violence'
Prisoners will be given vitamins and mineral supplements in an attempt to improve their behaviour and cut down on violence behind bars. The Ministry of Justice will fund pioneering research into the connection between the diet of young offenders and their behaviour.
Study finds widespread vitamin and mineral use among cancer survivors
In reviewing 32 studies conducted between 1999 and 2006, Ulrich and co-author Christine Velicer, Ph.D., formerly a postdoctoral fellow at the Hutchinson Center (now an epidemiologist at Merck Research Laboratory in North Wales, Pa.), found that many of the nation’s 10 million adult cancer survivors use nutritional supplements. They found 64 percent to 81 percent of cancer survivors overall reported using vitamins or minerals (excluding multivitamins), whereas in the general population only 50 percent of adults reported taking dietary supplements.
Magnesium cuts Cerebral Palsy in premature births
Premature babies are at high risk for cerebral palsy, an often devastating movement disorder caused by brain damage before, during or after birth, says study co-author John Thorp, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. About one-third of cerebral palsy cases are caused by early preterm birth, he says.
Giving magnesium sulfate, or Epsom salt, could save many children from the condition, Thorp says. Doctors regularly use the drug to halt contractions when women go into labor very early. The drug is found in virtually every labor and delivery department and costs just pennies a dose, he says.
Folic acid cuts risk of premature birth
The report, presented Thursday at the annual Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine meeting, said taking folate supplements for at least one year before becoming pregnant reduced premature delivery by 50 percent to 70 percent. Babies who are born very premature are at the greatest risk of complications such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, chronic lung disease and blindness.
Ultrasound May Help Regrow Teeth
Using low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS), Dr. Tarak El-Bialy from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and Drs. Jie Chen and Ying Tsui from the Faculty of Engineering have created a miniaturized system-on-a-chip that offers a non-invasive and novel way to stimulate jaw growth and dental tissue healing.
Dental Mercury Use Banned in Norway, Sweden and Denmark
Norway recently announced a ban on the use of mercury, including dental amalgam, that took effect on January 1, 2008. Sweden announced a similar ban and dentists in Denmark will no longer be allowed to use mercury in fillings after April 1, 2008.
"These bans clearly indicate that amalgam is no longer needed. There are viable non-mercury filling substitutes that are used everyday in the US," said Michael Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project. "By eliminating amalgam use, which is 50% mercury, we can reduce mercury pollution much more efficiently than end-of-the-pipeline solutions."
BT Allergy in North India
I am really afraid for the future of India and our farmers. Sooner or later, the effects of transgenic pollution will be more pronounced and will affect people who do not live in cotton fields or villages next to cotton fields. Why do we still allow Bt cotton to be grown in India? Isn’t the death of thousands of sheep enough for us to wake up and speak and support the truth?
Diet soda might be bad for you
In May 1992, the official U.S. Air Force Magazine, Flying Safety explained: “In pregnancy the effects of aspartame can be passed directly to the fetus, even in very small doses. People have suffered aspartame-related disorders with doses as small as that carried in a single stick of chewing gum. This could mean a pilot who drinks diet sodas is more susceptible to flicker vertigo or to flicker-induced epileptic activity. It also means that all pilots are potential victims of sudden memory loss, dizziness during instrument flight and gradual loss of vision.”
Meat, diet soda linked to heart disease
The study also found that diet soda consumption was linked to these elevated risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, echoing the findings of a study published in July. "When we found that diet soda promoted risk we were surprised," said Dr. Lyn Steffen, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota.Betty Martini notes: The reason diet soda is linked to heart disease is that aspartame causes an irregular heart rhythm and interacts with all cardiac medication. It damages the cardiac conduction system and causes sudden death. Here are the medical reports: Aspartame Induced Arrhythmias and Sudden Death by H. J. Roberts, M.D. - Athlete Alert: Sudden Cardiac Death by Russell Blaylock, M.D. - Sudden Cardiac Death and Aspartame (Martini) - Report by Dr. H. J. Roberts: Aspartame and Cardiac Symptoms and Interaction with Other Drugs
FDA warns of anti-smoking Chantix' psychiatric risk
Doctors have written 5 million Chantix prescriptions in U.S. since the drug to help smokers quit came on the market in 2006. Reports of psychiatric side effects have grown in recent months. A total of 39 patients have committed suicide while taking the medicine. In addition to the suicides, the FDA said there have been 491 incidents of suicidal thoughts and behavior. The agency said it has also received reports of agitation, depression and other mood changes.
Swedish Medical Agency: HPV vaccine may create new health risks, add costs
A Swedish governmental Medical Evaluation Agency (SBU) has recommended in a recent report that the National Board of Health and Welfare review its strategy of prevention of cervical cancer. The widespread use of human papilloma virus vaccines, promoted by the manufacturers in a public advertising campaign, is about to add costs to an already strained cancer prevention budget while the effectiveness of vaccinations cannot be evaluated for two or three decades, the daily paper Dagens Nyheter reports.
Lilly Negotiating $1B Fine Over Zyprexa Marketing
Zyprexa has serious side effects and is approved only to treat people with schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder. But documents from Lilly show that between 2000 and 2003, Lilly encouraged docs to prescribe Zyprexa to people with age-related dementia, as well as people with mild bipolar disorder who had previously been diagnosed only as depressed, the Times writes.
The drugmaker is talking to federal prosecutors about settling civil and criminal investigations into its marketing of the antipsychotic. If a deal is reached, the fine would be the largest ever paid by a drugmaker for breaking the federal laws that govern how pharma can promote medicines.
Florida Medicaid To Review Antipsychotics & ADHD
The taxpayer bill for these meds jumped from $9 million seven years ago to nearly $30 million in 2006. Florida Medicaid records reportedly show the number of children - some just months old - who were prescribed the drugs went from 9,364 seven years ago to 18,137 in 2006. And even as drugmakers were being told to issue warnings about risks, a Florida Legislature-directed program partly funded by drugmakers was recommending the meds as treatment for ADHD, although FDA approval is lacking. As a result, the Florida attorney general is considering whether to file a lawsuit.
How Teenage Rebellion Has Become a Mental Illness
Disruptive young people who are medicated with Ritalin, Adderall and other amphetamines routinely report that these drugs make them "care less" about their boredom, resentments and other negative emotions, thus making them more compliant and manageable. And so-called atypical antipsychotics such as Risperdal and Zyprexa -- powerful tranquilizing drugs -- are increasingly prescribed to disruptive young Americans, even though in most cases they are not displaying any psychotic symptoms.
Sweden: Antidepressants behind 52 percent of all suicides among women
Among a total number of 377 women who committed suicide, 197 (52%) had filled a prescription for antidepressants within 180 days before their death. Another 29 women (8%) had filled a prescription for neuroleptics ("antipsychotics") ONLY within 180 days before the suicide. This means that 60% of the women who committed suicide in Sweden in 2006 had filled a prescription for an antidepressant drugs or neuroleptics within 180 days before committing suicide.So much for psychiatric drugs "preventing suicide". Anyone with emotional trouble is better off staying as far away as possible from psychiatrists and their drugs.
Mental Health Campaign: Families demand full inquests for deaths in secure hospitals
Hundreds of people with mental health problems are dying while detained in hospital but their deaths are not being fully investigated. Legal experts and campaigners claim coroners are failing to investigate thoroughly many of these deaths because of a legal loophole, with the result that suspected failures in care and even abuse are going undetected.
Ireland: Inspector 'ashamed' of mental hospitals
A former inspector of mental hospitals last night admitted he "cringed and shivered" at the thought of colleagues from abroad seeing the living conditions of some our psychiatric patients...
What’s Cholesterol Got to Do With It?
(New York Times - you may need to register to see the article but it's free)
The truth is, we’ve always had reason to question the idea that cholesterol is an agent of disease. Indeed, what the Framingham researchers meant in 1977 when they described LDL cholesterol as a “marginal risk factor” is that a large proportion of people who suffer heart attacks have relatively low LDL cholesterol.
So how did we come to believe strongly that LDL cholesterol is so bad for us?
Video: Eye To Eye: Zetia Concerns
Katie Couric of CBS News speaks to Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic about a study that questions the benefits of the anti-cholesterol drug Zetia and indeed throws in doubt the wisdom of cholesterol lowering medication as a preventive intervention against cardiovascular disease.
Statin Drugs: Bad News Gets Worse
The fact that 50 percent of all strokes and heart attacks have absolutely nothing to do with elevated cholesterol levels is a guarded secret. And in addition, these drugs are associated with major complications and side effects like depletion of the body’s essential energy molecule coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which can lead to congestive heart failure, extreme muscle weakness, neurological disorders and even death.
And all statin drugs have been associated with causing or promoting cancer in experimental animals. This is especially important since millions of Americans have been advised to take these drugs for the rest of their lives. The results of one study were especially frightening: Statin drugs produced significant suppression of vital immune cells called helper T-cells.
There is none so blind as the double blind !
We live in an age of evidence based medicine. What does it mean? It means that we medics can not make one little step to the right, to the left, forward or backwards until we have a stackful of double blind placebo controlled studies to justify that step. The truth may be staring us in the face, our clinical knowledge and instincts may be telling us what to do, but we have to resist all that and say the famous phrase ”There is no evidence!“. No evidence until Her Majesty Science will provide us with that evidence. Let us have a look at her majesty and how much we can rely on her evidence.
Half of Finnish children diagnosed with ADHD don't have cognitive deficits
A study of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in Finnish children found half with the disorder showed cognitive deficits. The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, also found children with cognitive deficits don't show increased levels of inattention or hyperactivity when compared with children diagnosed with ADHD.
Experts Call for New Approach to ADHD
New studies of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are causing experts to question current diagnosis and treatment protocols. The challenge comes from a recent long-term study of Finnish adolescents by UCLA researchers. The study showed that only about half of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, exhibit the cognitive defects commonly associated with the condition. The study also found that in populations where medication is rarely prescribed to treat ADHD, the prevalence and symptoms of the disorder are roughly equivalent to populations in which medication is widely used.
Homeopathy for Psychological Problems (PDF) - by Louise Zeus
Psychiatry is not the only field to deal with problems of the psyche. One of the alternatives is homeopathy, with its similar-cures-similar remedies. A substance that could provoke the symptoms of distress is diluted several times, turning the extract into a potent antidote...
IS IT AIDS OR IS IT TUBERCULOSIS?
“Health experts assert that effectively treating tuberculosis will not solve the worldwide HIV/AIDS crisis, but it will significantly reduce its burden. This is the strategy of a local body as it battles these twin agents of death through its health centres scattered throughout Nigeria. Godwin Haruna writes . . . Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS epidemics fuel one another and health experts say they are inextricably linked."
“HIV has always been the big kid on the block, with TB being the little brother. HIV programmes and organisations seem to be afraid that TB takes away attention and funding.”As Bauer argues in this post and as the news items he cites demonstrate, people who have TB in Africa have TB, not "HIV disease" or Aids, but indeed their illness must be called Aids, otherwise there will be no funding. Evidently, our charity only extends to those who can be "treated" with expensive and highly toxic retrovirals. Simple TB isn't worth our attention, even in Africa, where it makes up one third of all cases described as "HIV disease".
Aids: If clean drinking water became a celebrity cause...
As celebrity spokespeople with the best intentions glamorized AIDS funding, less sexy problems like clean water projects, sanitation systems, and food for the billions of our brothers and sisters around the world took backstage.
Dr. Kevin De Cock, director of the AIDS department at WHO sheepishly remarks on his work in Kenya. "It did feel a bit peculiar to be investing so much money into anti-retrovirals while the people there were dealing with huge problems like water and sanitation."
Video: What is AIDS? - Open up a dialog
The video is "Deconstructing The Myth Of AIDS" by Gary Null. It has been put on Brasscheck.tv with the following caveat:
What's real and what's not - Since I am not a doctor and I'm not engaged in medical research, I am reluctant to put forward medical information. On the other hand, when I see the propaganda machine selling a story so hard - especially when it involves pharmaceutical industry profits - I am skeptical. Use your own judgment. Accept nothing.My suggestion: Start treating opportunistic infections with standard protocols of pre-Aids times. In the absence of such infections, ONLY take action to strengthen the individual’s overall health and defense system.
In other words, our campaign should swing towards being FOR proper treatment instead of AGAINST whatever the flaws in the current view are. Only a positive campaign will - in short order - show tangible results. It is the only thing that will overcome the mistaken HIV/Aids paradigm that has kept the problem alive and has gradually worsened it for over two decades.
We could call it the “Evidence Based Treatments for HIV/Aids” Campaign or some such name. It would bypass all the emotional issues and get medicine back to where it should be: helping people get well, including those suffering from “HIV disease”.
Selenium for AIDS - CBC Interview
(Video taken off YouTube)
CBC interview with Norman Sartor, HIV positive, who takes Selenium and amino acid supplements in accordance with discoveries by Dr Harold Foster, author of "What really causes Aids", a freely downloadable book.
French beekeepers abuzz with worry over dying bees
The banning in 2005 of two potent pesticides used on sunflower and corn crops, suspected of killing off the bees, appeared to have stemmed the massive die offs and reversed nearly a decade of declining honey harvests. But end-of-winter mortality rates have shot up once again, with up to 60 percent of some hives missing in action. "We don't know what is going on, and we are calling everything into question," said beekeeper and honey producer Franck Aletru, whose 2200 hives are in the Vendee region in western France.
Biofuels a Lose-Lose Strategy, Critics Say
“The U.S. has led the fight to stem global hunger, now we are creating hunger,” said Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, an environmental think tank in Washington. The booming U.S. ethanol industry is diverting enormous amounts food into fuel: 81 million tonnes of grain in 2007 and 114 million tonnes this year, equaling 28 percent of the entire U.S. grain harvest, Brown told IPS. Previous eras of high grain prices were mainly the result of bad weather, but these price hikes are the result of government policy, he said.
NYC MAY OUTLAW ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING BY CITIZENS
The New York City Council is considering a bill that would make it illegal for a citizen to test — without police permission — the environment for toxic or pathogenic conditions. The Big Apple, of course, is the tourist-pumped city where EPA's post-9/11 assertions that the air and water were safe proved so tragically and knowingly false.
Mitigating Climate Change through Organic Agriculture and Localized Food Systems
There is no doubt that organic, sustainable agricultural practices can provide synergistic benefits that include mitigating climate change. As stated in the 2002 report of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), organic agriculture enables ecosystems to better adjust to the effects of climate change and has major potential for reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. The FAO report found that, “Organic agriculture performs better than conventional agriculture on a per hectare scale, both with respect to direct energy consumption (fuel and oil) and indirect consumption (synthetic fertilizers and pesticides)”, with high efficiency of energy use.
China and India Exploit Icy Energy Reserves
China and India have reported massive finds of frozen methane gas off their coasts, which they hope will satisfy their energy needs. But environmentalists fear that tapping these resources could have adverse effects on the world climate.
Russian scientist says Earth could soon face new Ice Age
According to the scientist, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere has risen more than 4% in the past decade, but global warming has practically stopped. It confirms the theory of “solar” impact on changes in the Earth’s climate, because the amount of solar energy reaching the planet has drastically decreased during the same period, the scientist said. Had global temperatures directly responded to concentrations of “greenhouse” gases in the atmosphere, they would have risen by at least 0.1 Celsius in the past ten years, however, it never happened, he said.
The worst market crisis in 60 years
by George Soros
Globalisation allowed the US to suck up the savings of the rest of the world and consume more than it produced. The US current account deficit reached 6.2 per cent of gross national product in 2006. The financial markets encouraged consumers to borrow by introducing ever more sophisticated instruments and more generous terms. The authorities aided and abetted the process by intervening whenever the global financial system was at risk. Since 1980, regulations have been progressively relaxed until they have practically disappeared.
The super-boom got out of hand when the new products became so complicated that the authorities could no longer calculate the risks and started relying on the risk management methods of the banks themselves...
Shell's 'obscene' £13.9billion profit is biggest ever by British company
Shell smashed all-time British company profit records today, posting 2007 earnings of $27.5 billion. Shell's profit surge - it is now making a staggering $75 million a day - on the back of a booming oil price that touched $100 a barrel this winter, were labelled as "obscene" by Tony Woodley of Unite, the UK's largest trade union, as Britons struggle with soaring energy costs. "Shell shareholders are doing very nicely while the rest of us are paying the price and struggling," said Woodley.Shell is not the only oil major to rake in record profits. Exxon and Chevron have soaring profits, according to the LA Times. As the rest of the economy and the financial system go to pieces, oil is doing obscenely well. Prices are up thanks to global warming hype, peak oil scare and lower output in the Middle East as a direct consequence of Bush's war in Iraq.
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More information out there...
There is much I cannot cover but other sources for this kind of information exist and are active.
The Alternative Medicine Yahoo Group is another great place to get information on what is happening in the world of nutrition and other natural health options.
For the influence of electromagnetic waves from radio, mobile phones and other radio emitting devices, check out the emfrefugee group on Yahoo.
If you are interested in a different take on the news that isn't health centered but is certainly fun, check out Robin Good TV News.
Some more sites to keep up to date with the other side of world affairs, the stuff you won't find on tv:
"The individual is supreme and finds its way through intuition."
posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Sunday February 3 2008
updated on Wednesday August 15 2012
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