Sunday, March 30, 2008

5 Billion in Sales: NO BENEFIT From Highly Advertised Drug

For so many years, at least ten, now we have been educating people to avoid cholesterol lowering drugs. The cholesterol myth is just that, and while the marketplace is gutted with a propaganda war over which cholesterol drug is better than the other, it boils down to the fact that you are really better off without them. Better off because of the lack of benefit and the very high risk of extremely serious side effects, along with higher risk of liver failure, cancer, Alzheimer's and death.

Quoted form the following article, one clearly can see that the cat is out of the bag, even a little bit more than before.

"While these corporations profited, Americans were left in the dark," Cuomo said in a written statement Sunday. "The millions who take this drug, taxpayers who subsidize its use through the Medicaid and Medicare programs, and Merck and Schering-Plough's investors deserve to know why it took so long for the results to be made public. This new information underscores our concerns and advances our investigation, which we will pursue aggressively."

Since niacin (vitamin B3), oats and other natural remedies, along with healthy fat in a healthy food plan, help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, one would ask, "Why bother?"

Cholesterol hype is just another way the masses are molded by advertising and misinformed doctors.

Doctors wary after cholesterol drug flop

Leading doctors urged a return to older, tried-and-true treatments for high cholesterol after hearing full results Sunday of a failed trial of Vytorin.

Millions of Americans already take the drug or one of its components, Zetia. But doctors were stunned to learn that Vytorin failed to improve heart disease even though it worked as intended to reduce three key risk factors.

"People need to turn back to statins," said Yale University cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz, referring to Lipitor, Crestor and other widely used brands. "We know that statins are good drugs. We know that they reduce risks."

The study was closely watched because Zetia and Vytorin have racked up $5 billion in sales despite limited proof of benefit. Two Congressional panels launched probes into why it took drugmakers nearly two years after the study's completion to release results.

Results were presented at an American College of Cardiology conference in Chicago Sunday and published on the Internet by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors have long focused on lowering LDL or bad cholesterol as a way to prevent heart disease. Statins like Merck & Co.'s Zocor, which recently came out in generic form, do this, as do niacin, fibrates and other medicines.

Vytorin, which came out in 2004, combines Zocor with Schering-Plough Corp.'s Zetia, which went on sale in 2002 and attacks cholesterol in a different way.

The study tested whether Vytorin was better than Zocor alone at limiting plaque buildup in the arteries of 720 people with super high cholesterol because of a gene disorder.

The results show the drug had "no result — zilch. In no subgroup, in no segment, was there any added benefit" for reducing plaque, said Dr. John Kastelein, the Dutch scientist who led the study.

That happened even though Vytorin dramatically lowered LDL, fats in the blood called triglycerides and a measure of artery inflammation — CRP.

Some doctors noted that hormone pills for menopausal women and torcetrapib, a promising cholesterol drug Pfizer Inc. recently abandoned, also lowered cholesterol but were found in big studies to raise heart risks, not lower them.

Another ominous sign was the decision Friday by other researchers to expand enrollment in a more pivotal study of Vytorin to 18,000 people because early results suggest it will be harder than anticipated to see if it is any better than Zocor alone.

"It will be 2012 — ten years after the drug was introduced — before we know the answer," said Dr. Steven Nissen, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist who has no role in the studies and has criticized the drugmakers over the one reported Sunday.

Dr. Robert Spiegel, chief medical officer for Schering-Plough, said the study was done "with the highest integrity" and that doctors can believe the results "because of the time we took to make sure the data are right."

"We were disappointed that it was not a very balanced panel discussion" by the heart doctors who urged their peers to focus on more established treatments.

However, Kastelein said the data were far more consistent than anticipated and ample to show that the drug simply did not work.

"A lot of us thought that there would be some glimmer of benefit," said Dr. Roger Blumenthal, a Johns Hopkins University cardiologist and spokesman for the American Heart Association.

Many doctors have prescribed Vytorin without trying older, proven medications first, as guidelines advise. The key message from the study is "don't do that," Blumenthal said.

No one should ever stop any heart drug without talking with their doctors, heart specialists stressed.

However, doctors "should be thinking twice," said Duke University cardiologist Dr. Robert Califf. He takes the drug himself because he cannot tolerate the high dose of statins he otherwise would need.

Dr. James Stein, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said many doctors prescribe Zetia and Vytorin because they seem to be safe ways to get cholesterol down quickly, without annoying side effects like flushing that some other medicines carry.

Stein, who has consulted for Schering-Plough, said that after six years on the market, it would have been good to see better results on a drug so many doctors believed would help, "but the reason we do research is so we don't have to rely on our 'beliefs' — we can rely on data."

The New England Journal also published a report showing that Vytorin and Zetia's use soared in the United States amid a $200 million advertising blitz. In Canada, where marketing drugs directly to consumers is not allowed, sales were four times lower.

Merck is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J.; Schering-Plough, in Kenilworth, N.J.

In addition to the two Congressional committee probes, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed the companies in a similar probe in January.

"While these corporations profited, Americans were left in the dark," Cuomo said in a written statement Sunday. "The millions who take this drug, taxpayers who subsidize its use through the Medicaid and Medicare programs, and Merck and Schering-Plough's investors deserve to know why it took so long for the results to be made public. This new information underscores our concerns and advances our investigation, which we will pursue aggressively."

On the Net:
New England Journal:
Cardiology conference:
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Mobile Phones More Dangerous than Smoking

Mounting evidence reported once again about the risks and hazards associated with wireless communication.

For all the doubters and complainers annoyed when you ask politely that they not wash you with their radiation, remember it is a choice. Should you choose to accept the risk of tumour, fine. Just keep a good six feet away from others and keep these darn contraptions away from children.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More Fooling the People

AVISTA Utilities, the City of Spokane, WSU and the (questionable) Lands Council want people to buy into replacing incandescent light bulbs with mercury and EMF toxic CFL bulbs.

We have been educating about the risks of these bulbs - AND YES, THEY ARE A HAZARDOUS WASTE PRODUCT - for a few years now, seemingly with little impact.

We don't suggest these bulbs, especially inside your home. We prefer turning off the light switch when you leave the room, LED and wide base PAR Halogen bulbs.

Here is a site providing recycling information as these CFL bulbs CANNOT BE PLACED IN REGULAR TRASH. Lamp Recycle

Read Article from Scientific American on Toxic Bulbs

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Fooling the people is a full time occupation

This is a very good comment in regard to the real purpose behind The "Race" and The "Walk".

The drug companies LOVE walks, races, etc. for purpose of raising money for research. They will research into infinity as long as the public doesn't demand the truth. THEY want the money and THEY will continue to dole out medication after medication -- all with serious side effects all the while encouraging the medical profession to dismiss pleas for common sense methods practiced by alternative practitioners.

RISK: Exposure to information-carrying radio waves

Off the Record
Article Launched: 03/21/2008 10:41:13 PM PDT

Ch-ch-changes. Life's full of 'em but the odd thing is that you never expect them. Even, as Buddha says, when you know "everything changes, nothing remains without change," it doesn't make any difference. Change ” good or bad ” is always disconcerting.

And while it's rarely possible to alter the winds of change, you can adjust your sails to reach your destination providing, of course, that you know where you're going in the first place and you're the captain of the ship and you know how to sail and no sudden storm blows in and the boat doesn't have any leaks and ... OK, never mind. Let's just leave it as change is tough.

I always feel as if I've undergone a molecular re-arrangement when something changes. Of course this could also be the result of frequent cell phone use.

Researchers are now able to show that molecular changes do take place in your body during exposure to information-carrying radio waves, such as those from your cell phone. (Of course sometimes it's not just the radio waves themselves as it is the actual information they are carrying that does the evil deed: "We regret to inform you that on Tuesday we had to put your dog to sleep and today we had to do the same to your horse." Instant molecular re-arrangement leading to the writing of what is sure to be a classic country-western tune. What else can you do when your horse and dog both die in the same week?)

OK, back to the science.

Apparently British scientists exposed 10 female volunteers to radiation at 900 megahertz from GSM phones to simulate an hour-long phone call. They screened 580 different proteins in their skin cells and found that the amount of two proteins were altered in all of the volunteers: one protein increased by 89 percent, the other decreased by 32 percent.
This study showed that even without heating, molecular level changes take place in response to exposure to cell phone frequency electromagnetic radiation.

So what does all this mean? Well, frankly, I haven't the foggiest idea but it doesn't sound good. Especially when combined with other resent research that indicates exposure to cell phone (or WiFi) information carrying waves can stimulate your cellular receptors causing a whole cascade of pathological consequences.

E-gads! Pathological consequences! Again, can't be good.

Some of these consequences, it's reported, include headaches, fatigue, sleep disruption and short-term memory loss.

Ahhhhhh, that explains it.

And here I thought the headaches were do to regularly clunking my noggin on the saddle rack in the tack room and the fatigue was from doing my daily exercises — what I call my "get ups, stay ups and fall downs." I get up every morning at 5:30 a.m. and stay up all day until I fall down at about 11 p.m.

And I never would have thought to blame my sleep disruption on my cell phone. I always thought it was my bladder calling to wake me up. Shows ya what I know. And short term memory loss ... uh ... What was I talking about?

Oh yeah, ch-ch-changes. It's true that they are never easy but equally as true, they are never permanent. So the best you can do with change is ... Just roll with it, baby.

Oh, and avoid hour-long conversations on your cell phone.

The Autoimmune Epidemic: Bodies Gone Haywire in a World Out

Worth reading, especially if you are one of those people who buy in to the latest mainstream media reports on corporate propaganda that EMF is something that does not effect health.

Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Health Hazards from Electromagnetic Fields

Subject: Dialogue on Electromagnetic Fields and Health

There are four educational notices on this page, which relate to electro magnetic radiation and its effects on health. I encourage you to take part in any or all. The first notice is about an open dialogue on electro magnetic fields and health which is being held at Brock University on April 9th.

The main administrative building at Brock University is a tall office building which is also the highest location in the city. On the top of this building, are many antennas providing cell phone service and other broadcasting services. The electro magnetic radiation on the campus is extremely high and there are several staff members with severe illnesses which may be caused by the high radiation levels. Some students have also reported unusual illnesses when attending the university.


April 9th 2008
Dialogue on Electromagnetic Fields and Health
Dr. Magda Havas and Dr. Tony Muc
1:10 to 2:40 in Room - Pond Inlet, Brock University, St Catherine's, Ontario

Electromagnetic Fields and how they affect humans and other organisms is addressed from two different perspectives. Dr. Greg Finn will moderate this town hall meeting - two 15 minute presentations followed by a Q&A session.

Dr. Magda Havas: We have been using electromagnetic energy in the form of electricity since the invention of the light bulb, but our growing reliance on electronic devices and wireless technology has increased our exposure to a broad range of electromagnetic frequencies especially during the past three decades. A growing scientific body of research documents biological effects and adverse health effects at levels well below the current Canadian guidelines for both power line frequency (60 Hz) magnetic fields and radio frequency radiation (kHz to GHz range). However, neither Health Canada nor Industry Canada have recognized the need to reduce existing guidelines to reflect the scientific evidence.

Studies show increased risk of various types of cancers with exposure to both magnetic field (60 Hz) and radio frequency radiation; miscarriages; increased calcium flux; increased permeability of the blood brain barrier; DNA breaks; changes in melatonin levels; increased production of stress protein; increased plasma glucose among diabetics; and symptoms of electrohypersensitivity (EHS). Those who suffer from EHS have difficulty when they are exposed to electromagnetic energy associated with computers, mobile phones, wireless routers/computers/antennas and certain types of energy efficient lighting. Their symptoms include any combination of the following: chronic fatigue, chronic pain, sleep disorders, skin disorders, neurological disorders, tinnitus, eye problems and/or digestive problems. With approximately 3% of the population severely affected and another 35% moderately affected by this energy, we have a serious environmental/health crisis emerging.

Dr. Tony Muc: Electromagnetic energy has been an integral part of nature since the
instant of creation of the universe as we know it. Indeed it may well be that the discharge of electric fields in the atmosphere and ultraviolet radiation from the sun were instrumental in the creation of life itself. At the present time humankind's knowledge of and experience with electromagnetic energy spans a range of 22 orders of magnitude. That range is only exceeded by those associated with space and time. Humans have built-in detectors of electromagnetic energy. The most important such detectors are our eyes (our skin is another). But our eyes only work over one third of an order of magnitude. That's only a tiny window on the whole spectrum of electromagnetic radiation and the fields associated with the generation, distribution and use of electromagnetic energy in all its forms.

Recent centuries, say since Newton's time, have seen a gradual growth in scientific knowledge related to electric and magnetic fields, how they are related to each other in the form of electromagnetic fields and how all three are related to humans and other organisms. Recent decades, say since Einstein's time, have seen an explosion in applications that exploit various properties and features of electromagnetism to benefit modern society in innumerable ways in medicine, in communications, in industry, in commerce and, sadly, in war (yes, waging war effectively is a benefit to a ?hawk?). And, as with all aspects of human endeavour, along with benefits have come costs. What are the benefits and to whom do they accrue? What are the costs and who pays them? The ?eternal? elements of the debates that rage over occupational and environmental health and safety issues everywhere be the agents physical, chemical or biological. And, unfortunately, the debates rage between polarized groups: union vs management, environmentalist vs industrialist, liberal vs conservative, ?conventional? medicine vs chiropractic or homeopathic or ?traditional? medicine and so on. As a consequence, in these primal societal and often personal power struggles, it is all too often the case that the baby - science - gets thrown out with the bath water. One must wonder what form of logic is operating when the foundations of society's present achievements are dismissed or ignored by those who claim a crisis? is emerging.
Item #2
Information about the forthcoming certificate-granting EMF workshop in
Vancouver next month, is attached.
Please be advised that we have also set the date for the next Toronto
EMF workshop.
There is a significant discount for early-bird registration of $100.
Registration can be made toll-free at: (888) 639-7730.
Dr. Andrew Michrowski
Item #3
Here is some information for you about courses/seminars.
General Website:
Most recent seminar and courses:
**Rob Metzinger**
*Subject:* conference on EM sensitivity

There will be a meeting to discuss electromagnetic sensitivity on March
30th 2008 between 1:00 and 2:30 pm. The speaker is Stéphane Belainsky.
Location - TEVA, 5143 Décarie Blvd, Montréal, Quebec.

Just listening to phone calls may impair driving

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Simply listening to someone over a mobile cell phone while driving may distract the brain enough to cause an accident, a new brain-imaging study suggests.

Previous studies have suggested that drivers who use cell phones run a greater risk of accidents, and that hands-free phones do not appreciably lower the odds.

The new findings, reported in the journal Brain Research, cast further doubt on the idea that hands-free cell phones are safer for drivers. Just the act of listening, researchers found, appears to divert much of the brain resources that would normally go toward navigating the road.

The study included 29 volunteers who used a driving simulator while inside an MRI brain scanner. Participants steered along a winding "virtual" road, once with no distractions and once while listening to various sentences and trying to decide whether they were true or false.

The researchers found that in the second scenario, the drivers' brain activity changed -- including a 37 percent drop in activity in the parietal lobe, a brain area involved in spatial sense and navigation.

Moreover, this shift in brain activity was accompanied by an increase in driving errors; drivers tended to drift more in their simulated lanes and were more likely to hit the virtual guardrail.

"Drivers need to keep not only their hands on the wheel; they also have to keep their brains on the road," lead researcher Dr. Marcel Just, of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said in a statement.

According to Just, conversing on a cell phone may well be more distracting than listening to music or to someone in the passenger seat, for instance.

"Talking on a cell phone has a special social demand, such that not attending to the cell conversation can be interpreted as rude, insulting behavior," he explained.

In contrast, a passenger in the car can recognize when the driver needs to focus on the road, and may stop talking. Listening to music, for its part, does not require the cognitive processing necessary for having a conversation and can be more readily tuned out.

Because driving and listening rely on different brain networks, some scientists had speculated that the brain could handle both tasks at the same time. But the current findings, according to Just, suggest that there is only so much the brain can accomplish simultaneously.

"Drivers' seats in many vehicles are becoming highly instrumented cockpits," he noted, "and during difficult driving situations, they require the undivided attention of the driver's brain."

SOURCE: Brain Research, online March 5, 2008.

Yes, Breast Cancer Rates are on the Rise

State of the Evidence 2008:
The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment

Edited by Janet Gray, Ph.D., published by the Breast Cancer Fund

State of the
Evidence 2008

Download PDF »
Order printed copies »
Read the executive summary »

Advocate's Guide to State of the Evidence

Download PDF »
Order printed copies »
Learn more about the Breast Cancer Fund's policy and research recommendations »

Breast cancer incidence rates in the United States increased by more than 40 percent between 1973 and 1998. In 2008, a woman's lifetime risk of breast cancer is one in eight.

State of the Evidence 2008 is a comprehensive report on the environmental exposures linked to increased breast cancer risk, including natural and synthetic estrogens; xenoestrogens and other endocrine-disrupting compounds; carcinogenic chemicals and radiation.

This exhaustive catalog provides a much more complex picture of breast cancer causation than traditionally accepted, one in which timing, mixtures and dose of environmental exposures interact with genes and lifestyle factors.

The scientific evidence provides the basis to move forward with research and public policy changes that will help reduce our exposure to chemicals and radiation linked to increased breast cancer risk.


While each study, chemical and exposure source alone doesn't tell the whole story, looking at them together allows us to better understand how to prevent the disease. Learn more about major emerging themes in breast cancer causation through the links below.

Complexity of breast cancer causation
Timing of exposure matters
Mixtures: Chemicals, radiation and genes

Sources of Exposure
Learn more about where and how we come into contact with chemicals and radiation linked to increased breast cancer risk. Then learn what can be done to reduce those exposures.

Air pollution
Consumer exposures
Occupational exposures

Chemicals of Concern by Type
The evidence is divided into three main sections, examining the scientific links to breast cancer within each category. Click on each category for an overview and list of chemical fact sheets.

Chemical carcinogens
Hormones and endocrine disrupting compounds

Also Available:
An Advocate's Guide to State of the Evidence 2008

Previous editions of State of the Evidence:
View State of the Evidence 2006 »
View State of the Evidence 2004 »
View State of the Evidence 2003 »
View State of the Evidence 2002 »

Yes, CFL blubs are toxic in case you did not believe our early reports

For many years I tried to explain to people that there was a hazardous risk to using CFL light bulbs, now being promoted by all those greenies that jumped on the bandwagon without doing all the necessary research.

CHI and NHN reported it first because we are way ahead of the pack of others who like you to think they are the only source for this type of information. One reason why we are often imitated, but never duplicated. We've been on the web with natural health news for more than a decade now, and we are a first in the field. Our print publications and newsletters have been on-going now for almost 20 years.

Shining a Light on Fluorescent Bulbs
By Alex Johnson MSNBC News
Thursday 20 March 2008

Energy-efficient coils booming, but disposal of mercury poses problems.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs, long touted by environmentalists as a more efficient and longer-lasting alternative to the incandescent bulbs that have lighted homes for more than a century, are running into resistance from waste industry officials and some environmental scientists, who warn that the bulbs' poisonous innards pose a bigger threat to health and the environment than previously thought.

Fluorescents - the squiggly, coiled bulbs that generate light by heating gases in a glass tube - are generally considered to use more than 50 percent less energy and to last several times longer than incandescent bulbs.

When fluorescent bulbs first hit store shelves several years ago, consumers complained about the loud noise they made, their harsh light, their bluish color, their clunky shape and the long time it took for them to warm up.

Since then, the bulbs - known as CFLs - have been revamped, and strict government guidelines have alleviated most of those problems. But while the bulbs are extremely energy-efficient, one problem hasn't gone away: All CFLs contain mercury, a neurotoxin that can cause kidney and brain damage.

The amount is tiny - about 5 milligrams, or barely enough to cover the tip of a pen - but that is enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels, extrapolated from Stanford University research on mercury. Even the latest lamps promoted as "low-mercury" can contaminate more than 1,000 gallons of water beyond safe levels.

There is no disputing that overall, fluorescent bulbs save energy and reduce pollution in general. An average incandescent bulb lasts about 800 to 1,500 hours; a spiral fluorescent bulb can last as long as 10,000 hours. In just more than a year - since the beginning of 2007 - 9 million fluorescent bulbs have been purchased in California, preventing the release of 1.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide compared with traditional bulbs, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"Using them actually reduces overall emissions to the environment, even though they contain minuscule amounts of mercury in themselves," said Mark Kohorst, senior manager for environment, health and safety for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

Public, Agencies Ill-Informed of Risks

As long as the mercury is contained in the bulb, CFLs are perfectly safe. But eventually, any bulbs - even CFLs - break or burn out, and most consumers simply throw them out in the trash, said Ellen Silbergeld, a professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins University and editor of the journal Environmental Research.

"This is an enormous amount of mercury that's going to enter the waste stream at present with no preparation for it," she said.

Manufacturers and the EPA say broken CFLs should be handled carefully and recycled to limit dangerous vapors and the spread of mercury dust. But guidelines for how to do that can be difficult to find, as Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, discovered.

"It was just a wiggly bulb that I reached up to change," Bridges said. "When the bulb hit the floor, it shattered."

When Bridges began calling around to local government agencies to find out what to do, "I was shocked to see how uninformed literally everyone I spoke to was," she said. "Even our own poison control operator didn't know what to tell me."

The state eventually referred her to a private cleanup firm, which quoted a $2,000 estimate to contain the mercury. After Bridges complained publicly about her predicament, state officials changed their recommendation: Simply throw it in the trash, they said.

Break a Bulb? Five Steps for Cleanup

That was the wrong answer, according to the EPA. It offers a detailed, 11-step procedure you should follow: Air out the room for a quarter of an hour. Wear gloves. Double-bag the refuse. Use duct tape to lift the residue from a carpet. Don't use a vacuum cleaner, as that will only spread the problem. The next time you vacuum the area, immediately dispose of the vacuum bag.

In general, however, the EPA endorses the use of fluorescent bulbs, citing their energy savings. Silbergeld also does not discourage their use because of their energy savings, but she said the EPA could be sending mixed signals to confused consumers.

"It's kind of ironic that on the one hand, the agency is saying, 'Don't worry, it's a very small amount of mercury.' Then they have a whole page of [instructions] how to handle the situation if you break one," she said.

Limited Options for Safe Recycling

The disposal problem doesn't end there. Ideally, broken bulbs and their remains should be recycled at a facility approved to handle fluorescent lamps, but such facilities are not common.

California is one of only seven states - Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin are the others - that ban disposing of fluorescent bulbs as general waste. And yet, qualified recycling facilities are limited to about one per county. In other states, collection of CFLs is conducted only at certain times of the year - twice annually in the District of Columbia, for example, and only once a year in most of Georgia.

In fact, qualified places to recycle CFLs are so few that the largest recycler of of fluorescent bulbs in America is Ikea, the furniture chain.

"I think there's going to be hundreds of millions of [CFLs] in landfills all over the country," said Leonard Worth, head of Fluorecycle Inc. of Ingleside, Ill., a certified facility.

Once in a landfill, bulbs are likely to shatter even if they're packaged properly, said the Solid Waste Association of North America. From there, mercury can leach into soil and groundwater and its vapors can spread through the air, potentially exposing workers to toxic levels of the poison.

Industry Working on Safer Bulbs

Kohorst, of the electrical manufacturers group, acknowledged that disposal was a complex problem. But he said fluorescent bulbs were so energy-efficient that it was worth the time and money needed to make them completely safe.

"These are a great product, and they're going to continue solving our energy problems, and gradually we're going to find a solution to their disposal, as well," Kohorst said.

In the meantime, manufacturers of incandescent bulbs are not going down without a fight.

General Electric Corp., the world's largest maker of traditional bulbs, said that by 2010, it hoped to have on the market a new high-efficiency incandescent bulb that will be four times as efficient as today's 125-year-old technology. It said that such bulbs would closely rival fluorescent bulbs for efficiency, with no mercury. ( is a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and NBC Universal, which is a division of General Electric.)

However, if the disposal problem is to be solved, speed would appear to be called for. Consumers bought more than 300 million CFLs last year, according to industry figures, but they may be simply trading one problem (low energy-efficiency) for another (hazardous materials by the millions of pounds going right into the earth).

"One lamp, so what? Ten lamps, so what? A million lamps, well that's something," said Worth of Fluorecycle.

"A hundred million lamps? Now, that's a whole different ballgame."

NBC affiliates KNTV of San Francisco; KPVI of Pocatello, Idaho; WBAL of Baltimore; WLBZ of Bangor, Maine; WMAQ of Chicago; WRC of Washington; and WTLV of Jacksonville, Florida, contributed to this report.

More on microwaves: an update

Dr Tony Vendryes from Jamaica provides a report on the risks of microwave cooking. He supports much of the same information we have been providing through our classes and publications for 20 years. It is always to find current support for this important issue from medical reporters.

When it comes to convenience, few devices can compare to the microwave. Over 90 per cent of homes in North America have them and their popularity in Jamaica is rising rapidly. There is evidence to suggest that millions of people may be exchanging their health for the convenience of microwave ovens. Before you use your microwave one more time, you might want to consider some facts.

Microwaves are electromagnetic waves with a wavelength shorter than that of a normal radio wave. Microwaves are used in radar, in communications, and for heating in microwave ovens. The Germans used the first microwave units during the Second World War. The Russians researched their biological effects after the war, and because of what they learned, banned microwave ovens over 30 years ago.


In 1991, a United States lawsuit involved a woman who had hip surgery and died because the blood used in her blood transfusion was warmed in a microwave. The microwave altered the blood and it killed the woman.

Microwaves heat your food by causing it to resonate at very high frequencies. This may effectively heat your food, but also causes changes in the chemical structure of the food. Ordinary heating of food can cause problems by itself, but when you heat it with microwaves, you have additional damage from the negative energy frequencies.


The most compelling evidence supporting the dangers of microwaves comes from a study done by Dr Hans Hertel, a Swiss food scientist, who concluded that microwave cooking significantly altered food. Dr Hertel's findings showed significant and disturbing changes in the blood of indivi-duals consuming microwaved milk and vegetables. Volunteers ate various combinations of these foods cooked in different ways. All foods that were cooked in microwave ovens caused changes in the blood of the volunteers. Haemoglobin levels decreased and overall white blood cell levels and cholesterol levels increased.

Microwaves do not cook food evenly. Using microwaves to heat frozen hamburgers, to cook fish or chicken, and to rewarm dishes may result in cool areas remaining in the centre of the food. This could promote the survival of disease-causing germs and lead to food poisoning.

No one knows what are safe levels of exposure to microwaves. Researchers have found that low-level exposure to microwaves can cause eye damage, resulting in cataracts. Experts also report a reduction in personnel efficiency, and even a possible link to cancer. Although the significance for humans of repeated exposure to low- levels of microwave radiation is still unclear, there is enough evidence to warrant certain commonsensical precautions:

Stay at least an arm's length from an operating microwave oven.

Do not operate an oven when it is empty.

Do not operate an oven if the door will not close properly or is damaged in any way.

Never tamper with the safety switches or the fuse.

Minimise your use of microwave ovens.


Microwave oven manufacturers insist that microwaved foods are no more damaged than broiled, baked or other conventionally cooked foods. The scientific evidence has shown that this is not so.

Many of the vitamins in food are destroyed by cooking. Microwaving destroys vitamins five times more quickly than does regular cooking. Microwave heating, for example, inactivates vitamin B12. Researchers found that after just six minutes of microwaving, nearly half of the vitamin B12 in food was destroyed. Vitamin B12 was singled out for study since it is of vital importance in preventing several chronic major diseases.

A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli 'zapped' in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97 per cent of the beneficial antioxidant chemicals it contains. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 per cent or less of its antioxidants.

Do not use a microwave to heat fatty foods in plastic containers because the combination of fat, high heat and plastics releases chemicals called dioxins into the food. Dioxins are carcinogenic (cancer-forming) and highly toxic. If you cook with microwaves, carcinogenic toxins could be leached from your plastic plates or covers right into your food.

Microwaves heat your food by causing it to resonate at very high frequencies. This may effectively heat your food but also causes changes in the chemical structure of the food.

Test your microwave (2004)
By Larry Cook

If you have ever wondered whether or not microwaved food is safe, here’s an experiment you can do at home: Plant seeds in two pots. Water one pot with water that has been microwaved, the other with regular tap water.

The seeds that received microwaved water won’t sprout. If microwaved water can stop plants from growing, think of what microwaved food can do to your health!

In 1989, Swiss biologist and food scientist Dr. Hans Hertel studied the effects of microwaved food. Eight people participated in the study. For eight weeks, they lived in a controlled environment and intermittently ate raw foods, conventionally cooked foods and microwaved foods. Blood samples were tested after each meal. They discovered that eating microwaved food, over time, causes significant changes in blood chemistry:

1. A decrease in hemoglobin and cholesterol values, in the HDL (good cholesterol) versus LDL (bad cholesterol) ratio and in white blood cells, weakening the immune system, and an increase in leukocyte levels, which tends to indicate poisoning and cell damage—conditions ripening the body for degenerative diseases and/or cancer.

2. "The measurable effects on man through the ingestion of microwaved food, unlike untreated food, are blood alterations, that can also be found at the beginning of a pathological condition, also indicative of a beginning cancerous process," wrote Dr. Bernard Blanc, who assisted in the study.

3. Microwave ovens "cook" food by forcing the atoms, molecules and cells within the food to reverse polarity billions of times per second, causing friction—the more the friction, the more the heat. This oscillation tears and deforms the molecular structure of food. New compounds, called radiolytic compounds, which are not found in nature, are formed.

Interestingly, microwaves are actually used in gene-altering technology to deliberately break cells and neutralize their "life-force" so they can be manipulated. Microwaves destroy the life force that gives food its vitality and nourishment. When this life force dissipates, microorganisms start breaking food down and it begins to rot.

In early 1991, a lawsuit was filed against an Oklahoma hospital because a patient died from receiving a microwaved blood transfusion. Hospitals routinely heat blood for transfusion, but not in a microwave.

The effects of microwaving breast milk have also been researched. John Kerner, M.D. and Richard Quin, M.D. from Stanford University said, "Microwaving human milk, even at a low setting, can destroy some of its important disease-fighting capabilities."

4. After more research, Kerner wrote in the April, 1992 edition of Pediatrics that "Microwaving itself may in fact cause some injury to the milk above and beyond the heating."

In addition, a radio announcement at the University of Minnesota said, "Microwaves are not recommended for heating a baby’s bottle Heating the bottle in a microwave can cause slight changes in the milk. In infant formulas, there may be a loss of some vitamins. In expressed milk, some protective properties may be destroyed."

5. Another study in Vienna warned that microwaving breast milk "can lead to structural, functional and immunological changes," and that microwaves transform the amino acid L-proline into D-proline, a proven toxin to the nervous system, liver and kidneys.

6. In Russia, microwave ovens were banned in 1976 because of their negative health consequences and many studies were conducted on their use. Here are some of their findings on microwaving food:

* Microwaved foods lose 60 to 90 percent of the vital-energy field and microwaving accelerates the structural disintegration of foods.

* Microwaving creates cancer-causing agents within milk and cereals.

* Microwaving alters elemental food-substances, causing digestive disorders.

* Microwaving alters food chemistry, which can lead to malfunctions in the lymphatic system and degeneration of the body’s ability to protect itself against cancerous growths.

* Microwaved foods lead to a higher percentage of cancerous cells in the bloodstream.

* Microwaving altered the breakdown of elemental substances when raw, cooked, or frozen vegetables were exposed for even a very short time and free radicals were formed.

* Microwaved foods caused stomach and intestinal cancerous growths, a general degeneration of peripheral cellular tissues, and a gradual breakdown of the digestive and excretive systems in a statistically high percentage of people.

* Microwaved foods lowered the body’s ability to utilize B-complex vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, essential minerals and lipotropics.

* The microwave field next to a microwave oven caused a slew of health problems as well.

Aside form these studies, many people find that microwaving their food doesn’t help them feel good. Stephanie Relfe, Kinesiologist, found herself feeling "gray and rather low" one day and discovered that she had inadvertently eaten microwaved food at a restaurant.

In her practice, Relfe found that all of her patients gave body signals of having allergic reactions to microwaved foods.

Another Kinesiologist, David Bridgeman, said, "Of all the people I test for allergies, 99.9% so far show severe sensitivity to any microwaved food."

Note: The London Telegraph reported Sept. 19, 2004, that microwave weapons will be fitted to U.S. military vehicles already in Iraq in an effort to disperse angry crowds. The weapons, which may be operable as early as this spring, are an attempt by the U.S. to calm growing concern regarding increasing numbers of innocent civilians being killed in Iraq.

The U.S. Department of Defense claims microwave weapons, which cause unbearable pain to the target until he moves out of the beam, cause no long-term damage. "The skin gets extremely hot, and people can’t stand the pain, so they have to move - and move in the way we want them to," said Col Wade Hall of the Office of Force Transformation.

Acetaminophen Liver Damage on the Rise

Recent research indicates that acetaminophen overuse is on the rise and can lead to acute liver failure. What should you do? Here is some advice for your consideration.

The problems with acetaminophen, and ibufrofen as well, have long been known to cause problems for your liver and kidneys.

It pays to be cautious in the use of any NSAID, OTC or Rx.

Natural remedies are, and some examples are MSM, White Willow Bark, Feverfew, several essential oils, homeopathic liquids or tablets, and natural therapy.

The fact that the average lifespan in the United States continues to inch upward suggests that most people who use medications are better off for the experience. However, it’s also obvious from the daily news that even though drugs are tested thoroughly they can have unexpected side effects.

Acetaminophen Liver Damage on the Rise

For example, a recent study reported in the journal Hepatology (Volume 42, page 1364), indicates that overuse of acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and some other pain medications, is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States. The study is based on an analysis of hospital records in people age 17–76.

In part, the problem arises because acetaminophen is present in many prescription and over-the-counter medicines. For most healthy individuals, the safe limit for acetaminophen is 4,000 mg per day.

Researchers looked at the causes of liver failure in 662 people at 22 U.S. medical centers. They concluded that acetaminophen overdose was the cause in 275, or 42% of cases. Of these, 44% were people intentionally overdosing on acetaminophen to attempt suicide. But in 48% of cases, the acetaminophen overdose was unintentional.

Most patients (178) survived, although 23 needed liver transplants and 74 (27%) died. Over the six-year study period, the incidence of liver failure caused by acetaminophen overdose grew alarmingly, from 28% to 51%.

Before the 1980s, acetaminophen rarely arose in the medical literature as a cause of liver failure, the researchers noted. Besides people with depression and substance abusers, those most likely to overdose are people who have chronic pain or who must take several medications simultaneously. Check whether your medications, combined, contain more than the daily dose limit for acetaminophen.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's in the cooking

I think there is a point here about Yak cheese. Sadly, the researcher missed the point.

Yak cheese in Tibet is made from raw Yak milk, not like the commonly stupid practice of pasteurizing and homogenizing milk in N. America before making cheese.

In practices to insure long shelf life we see a great alteration of the natural nutrients found in milk, and known to promote cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis (since the 1950s when homogenation became the standard) and raw milk started to be attacked.

The message here is perhaps not eating Yak cheese but liberating dairy cows from factory farms and making raw milk freely available.

Should you get access to many of the old naturopathic textbooks from the 30s and 40s you will find many healing treatments based on raw milk.

Heart-healthy Yak Cheese

ScienceDaily (2008-03-18) -- In a finding likely to get cheese lovers talking, researchers in Nepal and Canada report that yak cheese contains higher levels of heart-healthy fats than cheese from dairy cattle, and may be healthier. Producers make the cheese from the milk of yaks. Those long-haired humped animals are fixtures in Tibet and throughout the Himalayan region of south central Asia, Mongolia, and a few other countries. ... > read full article

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cavity Fighting Candy with a Cost

While the concept may be novel, and indeed licorice does have an antimicrobial benefit, so why the concern you say...

Acesulfame K (acesulfame potassium) is used as the "sweetener" in these lollipops, suggested by the developer to be used twice daily to prevent cavities.

In the original scientific studies it was shown that acesulfame K caused cancer, especially leukemia.

Remember too that the ADA promotes deadly fluoride even though they say not to give it to babies and small children because it is a poison.

Good nutrition and safe tooth brushing prevent cavities. Simple is better don't ya think?


* "These data do not permit an assessment that use of this compound would provide a reasonable certainty of no harm. In fact, there are indications that it might be carcinogenic. I would strongly suggest that a properly designed long term study in both mice and rats be conducted before Acesulfame K be considered for approval." --
David Rall, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service (retired). Former director, United States National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS/NIH). Former director, United States National Toxicology Program (NTP).

* "There are several serious flaws in the design and conduct of the tests.... The only conclusion one can draw from looking at the available results is that acesulfame should be tested in a proper way before an evaluation of its carcinogenicity can be made." -- Lorenzo Tomatis, M.D. Former director, International Agency for Research on
Cancer (IARC), a World Health Organization agency.

* "These studies are inadequate to assess the carcinogenic potential of the compound. In the face of inadequate study design and conduct, which would tend to obscure a carcinogenic effect if it were there, nevertheless there was at least equivocal evidence for carcinogenic activity in several studies." -- Franklin E. Mirer, Ph.D. Director, Health and Safety Department, United Automobile Workers. Member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Toxicology Program (NTP).

* "In view of the intended very wide use of acesulfame for the general population, I agree that well conducted, rigorous bioassays should be performed. Reading the reports of the tests on acesulfame brought back to me the 'flavor' of the bad testing practices that were common in those years, such as the use of poorly defined animal colonies, diffuse respiratory infections, lack of randomization in
the assignment of the animals, limited sampling for histopathology, uncertainties as to what was the appropriate dose range to be tested, high background incidences of various tumors. I believe that now -- twenty years later -- such poor quality tests should not be considered as acceptable evidence for an important public health
evaluation...." -- Umberto Saffiotti, M.D. Chief, Laboratory of Experimental Pathology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. (Personal views do not represent the National Cancer Institute.)

* "I find the actual studies and the data analysis seriously flawed. New tests, properly designed, executed, and analyzed are needed. The usual consequences of poor tests is to make it harder to find any effects. Despite the low quality of the studies reported to you, I find that there is evidence of carcinogenicity." -- Marvin
Schneiderman, Ph.D. Former Associate Director of Field Studies and Statistics at the National Cancer Institute.

* "...(T)he available data on this compound is at best incomplete.... Because of the widespread consumption of 'diet' colas in the U.S., I concur with your position that FDA should require comprehensive testing prior to granting this additional use. The data on carcinogenicity are not negative.... (T)he findings are consistent with potential carcinogenicity." -- Ellen K. Silbergeld, Ph.D. Professor of Epidemiology and Toxicology, University of Maryland at Baltimore. Former member, Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Toxicology Program (NTP).

* "We agree with your proposal to suggest more modern carcinogenicity tests on acesulfame K and acetoacetamide prior to the widespread use of this sweetener." -- J.D. Wilbourn Acting Chief, Unit of Carcinogen Identification and Evaluation, International Agency for Research on Cancer, a World Health Organization agency.

* "...(I)t is clear that questions arising in earlier -- extremely inadequate -- studies about the additive's cancer-causing properties have not been resolved.... Given the likelihood that millions of Americans would be exposed to acesulfame were the additive to be approved for beverage use, the questions about its carcinogenicity must be resolved before a scientifically supportable regulatory decision can be made." -- Sidney M. Wolfe, M.D. Director, Public Citizen's Health Research Group. Former member of the NCI Carcinogenicity Clearinghouse.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Purple People Eater

It seems as if those dark colors are a hot topic again when it comes to cyanide compounds called anthocyanidins. Scientists can't get enough of them as they think they have found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Nothing in this category is new to many of us who have worked in the natural health field for decades. I've written about these compounds frequently on this blog as well.

These compounds are clearly anti-carcinogenic. Foods like cabbage also offer many other benefits. The only warning flag is that raw cabbage is a food that may suppress the function of the thyroid gland. Otherwise enjoy!

When It Comes To Red Cabbage, More Is Better

Anthocyanins are a group of healthful compounds that fall within the flavonoid class of plant nutrients. ARS scientists have identified 36 anthocyanins in red cabbage, including eight that had never before been detected in the cabbage. (Credit: iStockphoto/Christine Balderas)ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2008) — Plant pigments called anthocyanins provide fruits and vegetables with beneficial blue, purple and red coloring. Now Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are learning more about these compounds and their absorption into the human blood stream.

Anthocyanins are a group of healthful compounds that fall within the flavonoid class of plant nutrients. ARS scientists have identified 36 anthocyanins in red cabbage, including eight that had never before been detected in the cabbage.

The study was conducted at the ARS Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC) in Beltsville, Md., where scientists have pioneered methods for identifying and measuring various phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables. Physiologist Janet Novotny, nutritionist Beverly Clevidence, plant physiologist Steven Britz and research associate Craig Charron, all with the BHNRC's Food Components and Health Laboratory, published the findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Emerging evidence suggests that anthocyanins may provide cancer protection, improve brain function and promote heart health. An earlier ARS study showed that some anthocyanins yield twice the antioxidant power of the same amount of vitamin C in test tubes, though the amount absorbed by the human body was not explored.

Twelve volunteers consumed three different amounts of cooked red cabbage along with a full diet of carefully controlled foods. Each volunteer completed three two-day meal regimens, which included 2/3 cup, 1-1/3 cups, or 2 cups of red cabbage. The volunteers were capable of absorbing the most anthocyanins when given the largest serving of cooked cabbage.

Interestingly, the anthocyanins that the researchers identified were not equally absorbed, as measured by the portion of the ingested compound that reached the blood stream. Nearly 80 percent of cabbage anthocyanins tested were "acylated," meaning attached to acyl groups, which made them more stable and less absorbable. The non-acylated anthocyanins present were at least four times more bioavailable, or absorbed, than the acylated anthocyanins.

The findings could aid plant breeders in developing varieties with key anthocyanin structures and amounts.

Adapted from materials provided by US Department of Agriculture.
US Department of Agriculture (2008, March 11). When It Comes To Red Cabbage, More Is Better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 13, 2008, from­ /releases/2008/03/080307081409.htm

Try these recipes -

Red Cabbage Slaw: Shred one small head of organic red cabbage into a bowl. Add one bunch of chopped green onions and one shredded red pepper.
Dressing: Lemon and Lime juice, Honey, Sesame oil, red chili pepper, salt, minced garlic and ginger.

Cooked Cabbage
1 large head of red cabbage, washed and coarsely sliced
2 medium onions coarsely chopped
6 tart apples, cored and quartered
2 tsp salt
2 cups hot water
3 Tbs sugar
2/3 cup cider vinegar
6 Tbs butter, olive oil, or bacon grease

Place all ingredients in the crock pot in order listed. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours (High: 3 hours). Stir well before serving.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oral Contraceptives Pose Health Risks, Even Death

The risk of suffering with clot formation has been a well established risk of contraceptive pills for women since they were introduced many decades ago.

Recently a 31 year old doctor, just beginning her career, died because of problems caused by the new highly advertised contraceptive class that suspends menstruation (Lybrel or Seasonique). Other contraceptive pills shorten periods or reduce flow.,4670,NewBirthControl,00.html

If you want to resolve issues or problems surrounding your cycle, we offer consultation and effective natural remedies tailored to your needs.

Recently this past week, Nicole Dishuk (age 31...newly graduated student with a doctoral degree about to start her new career as a Doctor...) was flown into a nearby hospital, because she passed out.

They found a blood clot in her neck, and immediately took her by helicopter to the ER to operate. by the time they removed the right half of her skull to relieve the pressure on her brain, the clot had spread to her brain causing severe damage.

Since last Wednesday night, she was battling.. they induced her into a coma to stop the blood flow, They operated 3 times.. Finally, they said there was nothing left that they could do.. they found multiple clots in the left side of her brain.. the swelling wouldn't stop, and she was on life support..

She died at 4:30 yesterday. She leaves behind a husband, and a 2 yr old Brandon and a 4 yr old Justin.. The CAUSE of DEATH - they found was a birth control she was taking that allows you to only have your period 3 times a year... They said it interrupts life's menstrual cycle, and although it is FDA approved... shouldn't be - So to the women in my address book - I ask you to boycott this product & deal with your period once a month - so you can live the rest of the months that your life has in store for you.

Women have a menstrual cycle for a reason.

The name of this new birth control pill is Lybrel. If you go to you will find at least 26 pages of information regarding this drug.

The second birth control pill is, Seasonique. If you go to the website of you will find 43 pages of information regarding this drug.

The warnings and side effects regarding both pills are horrible. Please forward this information to as many daughters AND sons, co-workers, friends and relatives. Several lives have already been changed.

Oral Contraceptives & Health Risks

ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2008) — The widely used synthetic progestin medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) decreased endothelial function in premenopausal women in a study done at the University of Oregon. The finding, researchers said, raises concerns about long-term effects of MPA and possibly other synthetic hormones on vascular health in young women.

The vascular endothelium lines the inside of blood vessels. In recent years, it has been found to be a dynamic organ that serves an important role in the prevention of atherosclerosis.

"The logical conclusion of this study is that over a long period of time it would not be good to have exposure to an agent that is reducing blood vessel flexibility, because it could be associated with the development of heart disease or related problems," said co-author Dr. Paul F. Kaplan, a long-time Eugene gynecologist and senior researcher in the UO's human physiology department. He stressed, however, that a longer, larger study is needed.

MPA is the progestin that was used in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), including a clinical study on hormone-replacement therapy halted because of health concerns in postmenopausal women. MPA is the active ingredient of Provera, which is used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding, induce menstrual cycles and relieve symptoms of the menopause.

It's also a component in Depo/Provera, an injectible long-lasting contraceptive used by many young women. Millions of women use various hormone therapies with a variety of progestin types for contraception. In the U.S. alone, 80 percent of women have used oral contraceptives.

The UO study, appearing online ahead of regular publication by the journal Heart and Circulatory Physiology, is among the first to focus on the impact of MPA in premenopausal women. Fourteen women, 19-27 years old, took part in the study after passing thorough medical exams to screen out numerous health conditions.

The five-member UO team -- led by Jessica R. Meendering, a former UO doctoral student now a professor of exercise science at the University of Nebraska in Omaha -- studied the effects of the sex hormone estradiol by itself and in combination with MPA on endothelial function of the brachial artery. The health of the endothelium in this artery has been shown to be a telling proxy for the coronary arteries and a good predictor of cardiovascular risk.

When researchers gave an oral version of MPA to determine its impact, they found that it wiped out the positive effects on endothelial function that estradiol had provided. MPA reduced the function by reducing the brachial artery's ability to dilate -- grow bigger in diameter -- in response to the stress of changing blood flow, Kaplan said.

UO researchers also found that MPA had an effect on concentrations of endothelin-1, a peptide that promotes cell division and serves as a mediator of inflammation. It also acts as a constricting factor for blood vessels. When peptide levels rise, endothelin-1 is suspected to play a key role in many diseases of the airways, pulmonary circulation, inflammatory lung diseases and vasoconstriction of blood vessels. UO researchers saw levels decline with estradiol alone, but increase substantially with the addition of MPA, negating the benefits of the estrogen.

"There is an overwhelming amount of evidence to suggest that estrogen is beneficial to arterial vascular health of women," Meendering said. "Since the WHI found either no benefit or a slight increase in adverse cardiovascular events in postmenopausal women taking combination hormone-replacement therapy containing estrogen and MPA, many have questioned the vascular effects MPA and its use in postmenopausal women. This led our group to question how MPA affects the vasculature in young women.

"We need to be taking the time to find out if different synthetic hormones have different effects on vascular health in young women," she said. "It's not a big health concern right now, because there are no obvious short-term effects raising health concerns. But we don't know how these synthetic hormones taken by young women affect their long-term cardiovascular health. Maybe effects aren't being noticed while women are young, but maybe they are adding to the fact that rates of cardiovascular disease are so high in women."

Kaplan stressed that this project was a starting point of "major basic science research, so this study does not say women should change what they are doing."

"We can say that we saw vascular changes in the arteries of the arm that have been shown in previous studies involving coronary arteries," he added. "This study does let us say that whatever changes we are seeing are important not just for the arm but probably for most of the major arteries in the body, and this is important for cardiac disease."

The research was done in the Exercise and Environmental Physiology Laboratories of co-author Christopher T. Minson, a UO professor of human physiology. The study was supported in part by grants from the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon to Minson and by a Eugene and Clarissa Evonuk Graduate Fellowship to Meendering. Additional research is planned under a grant from the National Institutes of Health, Kaplan said.

Other co-authors were doctoral student Britta N. Torgrimson and undergraduate Nicole P. Miller.

Adapted from materials provided by University of Oregon.
University of Oregon (2008, March 11). Certain Oral Contraceptives May Pose Health Risks, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 12, 2008, from­ /releases/2008/03/080310095812.htm

Friday, March 7, 2008

More about what they aren't letting you know

As the flag continues to wave for mammogram and expensive new digital mammography, I wonder how many health care professionals are aware of this study, and how many women, or men who might be at risk for breast cancer, know about this study or information. I certainly haven't heard any reports in the media.

And less frequently are you warned that these cancer tests could actually kill you!

Again as Women's Health Month continues throughout March, remember the ground breaking work of Dr. John Gofman who proved that mammogram causes cancer.

Computer-Aided Detection Hinders Mammography
Author: Allison Gandey

April 6, 2007 — A study shows that computer-aided detection reduces the accuracy of mammography by increasing false-positive results and boosting recall and biopsy rates. Published in the April 5 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, the work by Joshua J. Fenton, MD, MPH, from the University of California, Davis, in Sacramento, California, and colleagues, already is sparking reaction. In an accompanying editorial, Ferris M. Hall, MD, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, calls the findings "a substantial hit to this technology." Dr. Hall writes that the study will surprise and disappoint most mammographers.

Initially developed to assist radiologists, computer-aided detection analyzes digitized mammograms and identifies suspicious areas for review by the radiologist. Promising studies led to its approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998, and Medicare and many insurance companies now reimburse for its use. Within 3 years of FDA approval, 10% of mammography facilities in the United States adopted the technology and more have done so since. Dr. Fenton told Medscape that his colleagues estimate that number to be about 25% to 30% of facilities today.

"It's not clear just how popular computer-aided detection is," Dr. Fenton said during an interview. "It's still considered a big-ticket item and is seen as a large capital investment in mammography — a not very lucrative area."

Still, Dr. Hall points out that the work is the "most comprehensive analysis of computer-aided detection in breast screening to date." The study involved more than 429,000 mammograms and 2351 cases of cancer that were detected at 43 facilities of the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium. During 4 years of observation, 7 of 43 facilities implemented computer-aided detection allowing for a comparison of the performance at these facilities and their individual radiologists before and after the use of computer-aided detection. The facilities that did not implement the technology served as controls.

Not Only Failed to Increase Cancer Detection, but Was Harmful
The investigators found that the use of computer-aided detection not only failed to significantly increase the cancer-detection rate but also was harmful because of the increased number of false-positive results leading to significantly more call-backs and biopsies. These downstream costs, which also may include payments to surgeons and pathologists, account for perhaps one third of the total cost of breast-screening programs, the researchers propose.

"Our study suggests that this technology may not offer a benefit in the way people would have hoped," Dr. Fenton told Medscape. The investigators explain that approximately 157 women would be recalled and 15 women would undergo biopsy to detect 1 additional case of cancer, possibly a ductal carcinoma in situ. After accounting for the additional fees for the use of computer-aided detection and the costs of diagnostic evaluations after recalls resulting from the use of the technology, the group calculates that system-wide use could increase the annual national costs of screening mammography by approximately 18%.

"One possible flaw in the study was the failure to assess the time it takes to adjust to computer-aided detection," Dr. Hall writes in the editorial. "Mammographers initially exposed to computer-aided detection may be unduly influenced by the 3 to 4 marks the software places on each mammogram, with the necessity to ignore the 1000 to 2000 false positive marks for every true positive mark. The adjustment to computer-aided detection has been estimated to take weeks to years."

The researchers also found that computer-aided detection was disproportionately associated with the detection of ductal carcinoma in situ. Dr. Hall notes this is not surprising because computer-aided detection is relatively more sensitive in detecting microcalcifications than in detecting masses. "The relationship of ductal carcinoma in situ to invasive breast cancer remains unclear: all invasive breast cancers probably arise from an in situ monoclonal cancer," Dr. Hall writes, "but many of these lesions may never progress to invasive cancer during a woman's lifetime."

Dr. Hall argues that it took 2 to 3 decades of controversy before it was proved that screening mammography saves lives. "What is the future of breast imaging? I find it hard to believe that we will continue to use mammography to screen up to one quarter of the adult population of the world annually. Mammography is an inherently poor, 2-dimensional projectional method being used to diagnose small, 3-dimensional cancers."

Dr. Hall recommends larger, controlled studies of computer-aided detection that assess not only cancer diagnosis but also the gold standard of mortality. "But," the editorialist notes, "such studies will be expensive, controversial, indeterminate, or quickly passé owing to the emergence of new technology."

N Engl J Med. 2007;356:1399-1409, 1464-1466.

According to the current study by Fenton and colleagues, computer-aided detection of mammography was approved by the FDA in 1998 to improve mammogram interpretation. This method was initially shown to improve the number of diagnosed cases of breast cancer by 10% to 15%, but the false-positive rates resulting in breast biopsies and the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value for this method of interpretation have not been examined in large trials. Moreover, because this method is more sensitive for detecting microcalcifications than for detecting breast masses, the authors postulated that it may disproportionately increase detection of carcinoma in situ rather than invasive breast cancer, which may not translate to reduction in breast cancer mortality.

This is a large descriptive study performed at 43 US radiology facilities in 3 states. Sites that had adopted vs those that had not adopted computer-aided detection for mammography interpretation were compared, before and after adoption of the system, to identify sensitivities, specificities, and positive predictive values, as well as false-positive rates and resulting breast biopsies.

Study Highlights
Participating centers were Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium facilities that enrolled women older than 40 years for mammography.
Of 43 participating facilities, 7 implemented computer-aided detection during the study period.
Included were bilateral mammograms designated by radiologists as obtained for "routine screening" in women with no history of breast cancer.
Mammographic data included assessments of the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) with recommendations for further evaluation.
BI-RADS assessments were coded from 1 (negative) to 5 (abnormality highly suggestive of breast cancer).
BI-RADS scores of 0, 4, and 5 were considered positive, and scores of 1 and 2 were considered negative.
A score of 3 was considered positive only if the radiologist recommended immediate evaluation.
Sensitivity was defined as the percentage of screening mammograms that were positive among patients who received a diagnosis of breast cancer within 1 year of screening.
Specificity was defined as the percentage of screening mammograms that were negative among patients who did not receive a diagnosis of breast cancer within 1 year of screening.
Positive predictive value was defined as the probability of a breast cancer diagnosis within 1 year after a positive screening mammogram.
Overall accuracy was defined as the true-positive rate (sensitivity) against the false-positive rate (1 - specificity) using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve.
In the 43 facilities, there were 159 radiologists who interpreted mammograms of which 77% responded to the study.
Mammographic data were available for 222,135 women for a total of 429,345 mammograms.
The 7 facilities that implemented computer-aided detection were staffed by 38 radiologists and used it for a total of 124 facility-months, during which 31,186 (7% of total) mammograms were interpreted, including 156 for women who received a diagnosis of breast cancer within 1 year.
Overall, 31% of women were aged 40 to 59 years and 41% were aged 50 to 59 years, breast density was "scattered fibroglandular tissue" in 43% and "heterogeneously dense" in 39%, and time since most recent mammogram was 9 to 15 months in 45% of women.
Women at the facilities that did not implement computer-aided detection were older, had denser breasts, and were less likely to have undergone mammography within the past 9 to 20 months vs those screened at the 7 facilities with computer-aided detection.
Diagnostic specificity decreased from 90.2% before implementation to 87.2% after implementation (P < .001).
The positive predictive value decreased from 4.1% to 3.2% (P = .01) after implementation of computer-aided detection, and the rate of biopsies increased by 19.7% (P < .001).
There was a nonsignificant increase in sensitivity from 80.4% to 84.0% after implementation (P = .32).
The change in cancer detection rate was not significant (from 4.15 - 4.20 cases per 1000 screening mammograms).
Use of computer-aided detection was significantly associated with lower overall accuracy (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.871 vs 0.919; P = .005).
In this study, approximately 157 additional women would be recalled and 15 women would undergo biopsy owing to the use of computer-aided detection to detect 1 additional case of cancer, probably a ductal carcinoma in situ.

Pearls for Practice -
Use of computer-aided detection of mammography is associated with reduced specificity and positive predictive value and no improvement in sensitivity for breast cancer detection.
Use of computer-aided detection of mammography is associated with lower overall accuracy and higher false-positive rates, resulting in unnecessary breast biopsies.

Target Audience: This article is intended for primary care clinicians, gynecologists, radiologists, oncologists, and other specialists who care for women.

Goal: The goal of this activity is to provide medical news to primary care clinicians and other healthcare professionals in order to enhance patient care.

New reports tell of more cell phone risks

I guess I won't ever understand why people are so willing to give up health for convenience. There was a time not so very long ago that all of us got along very well without cell phones. This month, being Women's Health Month, I especially hope for women that they come to understand the specific risks uncovered in research linking cell phone use to an increase in the risk to develop breast cancer.

Students With Cell Phones May Take More Risks, Study Finds

Women reported feeling a greater increase in safety carrying a cell phone than did male students, probably because they felt more vulnerable in the first place. As a result, more women than men said that, if they had a cell phone they would be willing to walk somewhere after dark that they would normally not go (42 percent of women vs. 28 percent of men). (Credit: iStockphoto/Radu Razvan)ScienceDaily (Mar. 5, 2008) — Carrying a cell phone may cause some college students – especially women – to take risks with their safety, a new study suggests. A survey of 305 students at one campus found that 40 percent of cell phone users said they walked somewhere after dark that they normally wouldn’t go.

A separate survey found that about three-quarters of students said that carrying a cell phone while walking alone at night made them feel somewhat or a lot safer.

“Students seem to feel less vulnerable when they carry a cell phone, although there’s not evidence that they really are,” said Jack Nasar, co-author of the study and professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University.

“If anything, they are probably less safe because they are paying less attention to their surroundings.”

Nasar conducted the study with Peter Hecht of Temple University in Philadelphia and Richard Wener of Brooklyn Polytechnic University in New York. Their results were published in a recent issue of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

The study involved online or phone interviews with randomly selected students at Ohio State. One sample in 2001 included 317 students and a separate survey one year later included 305 students.

Women reported feeling a greater increase in safety carrying a cell phone than did male students, probably because they felt more vulnerable in the first place, Nasar said.

As a result, more women than men said that, if they had a cell phone they would be willing to walk somewhere after dark that they would normally not go (42 percent of women vs. 28 percent of men).

“Especially for women, cell phones offer a sense of security that may make them more willing to put themselves in risky situations,” Nasar said.

The biggest issue may be that when people are talking on the cell phone, they are not focusing on what is going on around them, according to Nasar. The possibility of crime is not the only problem.

In a separate study, Nasar and his colleagues found that 48 per cent of cell phone users crossed a busy road in front of approaching cars, compared to only 25 per cent of those not using phones.

“We know that cell phones pose a hazard for people when they’re driving, but pedestrians may also be at risk if they are not careful,” he said.

While these students were surveyed in 2001 and 2002, Nasar said the results still apply today, and maybe even more so. Back at that time, fewer college students had cell phones. In the 2001 sample, 38 percent reported they did not have a cell phone. One year later, that was down to 14 percent.

The researchers conducted an independent survey of 100 students at Brooklyn Polytechnic and found similar results, Nasar said, indicating that the findings could apply to a wide variety of students from across the country.

Nasar said the results suggest colleges may want to add to the safety lectures they commonly give to incoming freshmen.

“Students need to be aware of their surroundings when they’re out using their cell phone,” he said. “In some cases, walking with a cell phone might make them vulnerable, either to crime or to an accident.”

Cell phone users should also consider adding emergency numbers to the “speed dial” functions of their phone so it will be easier to summon help if needed.

Adapted from materials provided by Ohio State University. Ohio State University (2008, March 5). Students With Cell Phones May Take More Risks, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 7, 2008, from­ /releases/2008/03/080303110149.htm

Just Listening To Cell Phones Significantly Impairs Drivers

ScienceDaily (Mar. 6, 2008) — Carnegie Mellon University scientists have shown that just listening to a cell phone while driving is a significant distraction, and it causes drivers to commit some of the same types of driving errors that can occur under the influence of alcohol.

The use of cell phones, including dialing and texting, has long been a safety concern for drivers. But the Carnegie Mellon study, for the first time, used brain imaging to document that listening alone reduces by 37 percent the amount of brain activity associated with driving. This can cause drivers to weave out of their lane, based on the performance of subjects using a driving simulator.

The findings, to be reported in an upcoming issue of the journal Brain Research, show that making cell phones hands-free or voice-activated is not sufficient in eliminating distractions to drivers. "Drivers need to keep not only their hands on the wheel; they also have to keep their brains on the road," said neuroscientist Marcel Just, director of the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging.

Other distractions, such as eating, listening to the radio or talking with a passenger, also can divert a driver. Though it is not known how these activities compare to cell phone use, Just said there are reasons to believe cell phones may be especially distracting. "Talking on a cell phone has a special social demand, such that not attending to the cell conversation can be interpreted as rude, insulting behavior," he noted. A passenger, by contrast, is likely to recognize increased demands on the driver's attention and stop talking.

The 29 study volunteers used a driving simulator while inside an MRI brain scanner. They steered a car along a virtual winding road at a fixed, challenging speed, either while they were undisturbed, or while they were deciding whether a sentence they heard was true or false. Just's team used state-of-the-art functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods to measure activity in 20,000 brain locations, each about the size of a peppercorn. Measurements were made every second.

The driving-while-listening condition produced a 37 percent decrease in activity of the brain's parietal lobe, which is associated with driving. This portion of the brain integrates sensory information and is critical for spatial sense and navigation. Activity was also reduced in the occipital lobe, which processes visual information.

The other impact of driving-while-listening was a significant deterioration in the quality of driving. Subjects who were listening committed more lane maintenance errors, such as hitting a simulated guardrail, and deviating from the middle of the lane. Both kinds of influences decrease the brain's capacity to drive well, and that decrease can be costly when the margin for error is small.

"The clear implication is that engaging in a demanding conversation could jeopardize judgment and reaction time if an atypical or unusual driving situation arose," Just said. "Heavy traffic is no place for an involved personal or business discussion, let alone texting."

Because driving and listening draw on two different brain networks, scientists had previously suspected that the networks could work independently on each task. But Just said this study demonstrates that there is only so much that the brain can do at one time, no matter how different the two tasks are.

The study emerges from the new field of neuroergonomics, which combines brain science with human-computer interaction studies that measure how well a technology matches human capabilities. Neuroergonomics is beginning to be applied to the operation of vehicles like aircraft, ships and cars in which drivers now have navigation systems, iPods and even DVD players at their disposal. Every additional input to a driver consumes some of his or her brain capacity, taking away some of the resources that monitor for other vehicles, lane markers, obstacles, and sudden changes in conditions.

"Drivers' seats in many vehicles are becoming highly instrumented cockpits," Just said, "and during difficult driving situations, they require the undivided attention of the driver's brain."

The project was funded by the Office of Naval Research. Other members of the research team included post-doctoral research associate Timothy Keller and research assistant Jacquelyn Cynkar.

Adapted from materials provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Carnegie Mellon University (2008, March 6). Just Listening To Cell Phones Significantly Impairs Drivers, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 7, 2008, from­ /releases/2008/03/080305104905.htm

Monday, March 3, 2008

Don't you think it is about time you asked?

Some years ago I was honored to connect with John Gofman, PhD, MD. Dr. Gofman has done public health a tremendous service through his outstanding research identifying x-ray from mammogram as a major cause of breast cancer.

For years the government ridiculed him and this carried over to mainstream medicine. This closed mindedness continues. Even though more people are becoming aware that exposing breast tissue to radiation, causing a cumulative effect, more people do need to know and they do need to question.

Reading this excerpt from the Radioactive Times may just help you realize fact.

The University of California, as the unchallenged manager for 61 years of the nuclear weapons program at Los Alamos National Lab, Lawrence Livermore Lab, and Lawrence Berkeley Lab, has received billions of dollars to make a global radioactive environmental mess, hundreds of millions of dollars more to "study" the breast cancer clusters in Marin County, and has still failed to identify the cause. Yet, during a breast cancer conference on January 21, 2006, by the Bay Area Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Center (BABCERC), Dr. Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff from the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, who introduced herself as "the mouse lady", stated very clearly during her presentation to 600 women, that "radiation is the only known cause of breast cancer in mice". She spoke repeatedly in her talk about her experiments on mice, saying "Radiation is the only known cause of breast cancer in mice and that is why I use it to cause breast cancer in mice." She said they never identified the cause of breast cancer in women.


When it was time for questions, I held up an enlarged breast cancer map using US Government data, which identified a 100-mile radius from nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons labs as the location of 2/3 of all breast cancer deaths in the United States from 1985-89.

Fig. 3: Left ­ High-risk counties within 100 miles of nuclear reactors where 2/3 of breast cancer deaths occurred 1985-1989. Source: J. Gould, The Enemy Within: The High Cost of Living Near Nuclear Reactors, Four Walls Eight Windows, NY/London (1996), p.187.
Right - Nuclear power plant locations in the U.S. Source: "The Madness of Nuclear Energy", The Ecologist, Vol. 29 No. 7, November 1999, back cover.

I asked the speaker, Dr. Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, if BABCERC was investigating radiation as a cause of breast cancer around these sites. She quickly replied, "Oh, I'm a microbiologist!" distancing herself from exposing radiation as the obvious cause.


I believe that Dr. Moss has a very valid point. It isn't patient care that drives the FDA, it is $$$.


On Friday, Feb. 22, 2008, top administrators of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug Avastin for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. Avastin, which has already been approved for colon and lung cancer, is controversial because it has never been shown to extend overall survival (OS) in breast cancer patients. It has been shown to improve disease-free survival (DFS) by as much as 5.5 months, but disease-free survival is not by any means the same thing as overall survival. A patient receiving Avastin may have a 5.5 month improvement in disease-free survival yet still die at approximately the same time as someone who did not receive the drug.

Genentech, the manufacturer of Avastin, had sought approval for the use of Avastin in breast cancer as part of wider industry strategy called "label expansion," which essentially means squeezing new revenue out of existing drugs. With this latest FDA approval, Genentech may reap an additional $1.3 billion a year out of Avastin. The drug has been selling for off-label use in breast cancer at $100,000 per year.

In giving approval, FDA's top officials overturned the Dec., 2007 recommendation of their Oncology Drug Advisory Committee (ODAC), something that is rarely done. The FDA also acted over the objections of some prominent advocates in this field, including Barbara Brenner of Breast Cancer Action and Fran Visco of National Breast Cancer Coalition, both of whom argued forcefully against approval.

This decision was approved by FDA commissioner, Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, and Richard Pazdur, MD, director of the agency's Office of Oncology Drugs. For von Eschenbach, it is the latest in a string of decisions that strongly favor the interests of industry over those of consumers. Von Eschenbach has shown poor judgment in the past. When he was director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) he was notorious for claiming that his agency could eradicate cancer by the year 2015. In fact, no significant progress was ever made towards this goal during his tenure and, when he moved to FDA, he quietly dropped all such claims. Now, as FDA commissioner, von Eschenbach has opened the gates even wider to Big Pharma, while keeping a tight leash on treatments emerging from the field of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

According to the Pharmalot Web site, a site devoted to pharmaceutical industry news and analysis, "the FDA's decision may now open the door for other cancer meds to be approved if studies find the meds can shrink tumors, although some docs worry patients may not really benefit."

Kay Dickersin, PhD, director of the Center for Clinical Trials at Johns Hopkins University, is quoted at the site as follows:

"If FDA sets a precedent of approving a drug based on progression free survival, people are afraid they may stop looking at survival as the most important endpoint."

But perhaps the most trenchant critique came from Barbara Brenner of Breast Cancer Action. She recently wrote FDA leaders that any new drug approval for treatment should meet at least one of the following standards:

* Extend the life of the patient, i.e., improve overall survival (OS), and/or
* Improve the patient's quality of life, and/or
* Cost less than therapies already available

"Standards short of these," she said, "put the interests of drug companies before those of patients and undermine the FDA's mission." The FDA's decision on Avastin, however, reflects the fact that "the agency's standards are dangerously different from these."

Upon announcement of the news, Genentech's stock regained the $10 billion it lost in December when the ODAC recommended against approval. After this initial setback, Genentech courted doctors and advocates, and lobbied very hard to ensure that in spite of the unfavorable ODAC decision the drug would nevertheless be granted approval. A day before the FDA's decision, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal issued a statement declaring the impending Avastin decision not just a scientific pronouncement but "a moral test for the FDA." It called the ODAC's recommendation to block Avastin "incredible," and referred to the FDA's rules as "obsolete" and "anti-modern." (Feb. 21, 2008).

I would agree that much about the FDA is outmoded and in need of reform, but a determination to hold the line against unproven drugs is surely part of the solution, not the main problem.

Unlevel Playing Field

What galls me, and probably also many of my readers, is that FDA remains hyper-vigilant against a variety of CAM treatments, which usually originate from enterprising small companies both here and abroad. Most individuals with new ideas for cancer therapy eventually give up their attempts to enter the American market in the face of FDA demands for a level of proof that is simply impossible for small companies to achieve. Yet the same agency then gives a free pass to an $80.7 billion company, Genentech, Inc., for a drug that has yet to be proven to do anything significant for breast cancer patients. This creates a strong impression that FDA's approval is for sale, and that in the end it is all about money, not science.

FDA has once again significantly lowered its standards for drug approval. If it proposed doing so across the board, including taking a more even-handed approach to CAM treatment, that would be the basis for an interesting discussion. But what FDA is doing is permitting a lower standard for the expensive products of Big Pharma, while remaining wary of all non-toxic or non-patentable agents. So, whatever happened to the level playing field that a former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) promised the CAM movement back in 1992? Gone with the wind.

Arsenic Antagonist

Often one will find that arsenic levels in water supplies increases with the addition of fertilizer waste products from suppliers like Cargill. This has been a recent concern as this waste product is utilized for the fluoridation scam.

A common finding is that in these areas prostate cancer is on the rise. One of the known causes of prostate cancer is arsenic.

From India we find a report that finds help from the 'stinking rose'.

Garlic effective in treating arsenic poisoning
Garlic, known for centuries to keep vampires and bad spirits at bay, may now help Indians ward off arsenic poisoning. An animal study, involving rats, conducted by scientists from the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in Kolkata, has found evidences to prove that garlic helps fight arsenic poisoning, caused by drinking contamination groundwater.

The six-member team, headed by Dr. Keya Chaudhuri, observed rats for five days during which time they were administered daily doses of garlic and arsenic, equivalent to the levels found in groundwater in India and Bangladesh.

Scientists then found that rats who consumed garlic extracts had 40% less arsenic in their blood and liver and also passed 45% more arsenic in their urine. Chaudhuri told TOI:” Garlic proved effective because it is rich in sulphur, which scavenged arsenic from tissues and blood.”

According to the team, the 100 million people living in UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal, Manipur and Tripura besides Bangladesh that have high quantities of arsenic in the groundwater, should eat one to three cloves of garlic per day as a way to minimize aesenic’s poisonous effects.

Chaudhuri said:” When we mixed garlic extracts, rich in sulphur, with sodium arsenite in the lab, we saw that within 24 hours, the arsenic contents from the mixture precipitated completely. That's when we decided to test garlic extracts in human cell lines and in rata.”

Rajdeep Chowdhury from the team added: ”This finding should immensely help Indians and Bangladeshis who are worst affected by arsenic contamination of drinking water. It’s natural, makes food tasty when added, and has no side-effects. Those living in the arsenic-contaminated belts of India must immediately increases garlic consumption.”

The team has reported its study, ”In vitro and in vivo reduction of sodium arsenite induced toxicity by aqueous garlic extract”, in the latest issue of the journal ‘Food and Chemical Toxicology.’

The Study says more than 70 million in Bangladesh and West Bengal are exposed to in-organic arsenic compounds through drinking water and are suffering from its chronic or acute toxic effects. This has led the International Agency for Research on Cancer to classify arsenic as a group 1 human carcinogen.

“The beneficial health properties of garlic, a major component of Asian diets, its antioxidant activities, accredited to the biologically active sulphur -bearing compounds encouraged us to look into its anti-arsenic activities. Garlic was found to have an over whelming inhibitory activity over arsenic induced toxicity. The observations from lab experiments portrayed that garlic reduces arsenic induced cytotoxicity. Tests on rats also corroborate the therapeutic efficacy of garlic over arsenic.”.

“Garlic can be given as a dietary supplement to human exposed to environmental toxicants. Further studies are being initiated for the choices of appropriate dose, duration of treatment and possible effects on major organs,” the study adds.
It is estimated that 57 million people are drinking groundwater with arsenic concentrations higher than WHO’s standard of 10 parts per billion. Arsenic increases the risk of cancer of the lung, skin, bladder, liver, kidney and prostate.
Source: The Times of India