Thursday, July 31, 2008

Clorox really isn't going green

The Sierra Club just lost a lot more points with me because of the pay offs they are taking from Clorox in their 'partnering' for a percentage of sales from Clorox's new so-called "green" products. Moeny is the issue of course.

As a person who directs a 501c3 organization I know how important it is to get donations, however the mega-corps always have a reason why the little organizations like CHI (the sponsor of Natural Health News) fails to meet criteria for grants and other donations.

These Clorox products still leave out a lot of definition of ingredients such as çolorant' and 'preservative'. Adding alkalinity builders is a must when you read the highly acid pH of things they use such as alkyl glycoside, lauramide oxide, sodium lauryl sulfate (a known carcinogen), fragrance, ethanol, soda ash (similar to lye), and some others.

Some of the ingredients are found to be manufactured with benzene (carcinogenic) and from synthetic base products as well as petroleum.

For my money, and not in support of the $10 B earned from corporate cleaning products annually, I use simple items. When I have to purchase something I support only those really green companies that have been in the busisness for years, like Bio-Kleen, Dr. Bronner's, Country Save, and others.

I am hoping you will do the same and skip the Clorox effort to be ( sort of) green!
The Green Works™ Ingredient List

Green Works Natural All-Purpose Cleaner (99.93 percent natural): Filtered water, coconut-based cleaning agent (alkyl polyglucoside), corn-based ethanol, glycerine, essential lemon oil, biodegradable preservative, colorant

Green Works Natural Dilutable Cleaner (99.20 percent natural): Filtered water, coconut-based cleaning agents (alkyl polyglucoside, lauramine oxide, sodium lauryl sulfate), corn-based ethanol, natural alkalinity builders for enhanced performance (potassium citrate, potassium carbonate), fragrance with essential lemon oil, colorant

Green Works Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner (99.99 percent natural): Filtered water, coconut-based cleaning agent (alkyl polyglucoside), citric acid, lactic acid, essential lemon oil, natural thickener (xanthan gum), colorant

Green Works Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner (99.84 percent natural): Filtered water, coconut-based cleaning agent (alkyl polyglucoside), soda ash, corn-based ethanol, glycerine, and fragrance with essential lemon oil

Green Works Natural Bathroom Cleaner (99.00 percent natural): Filtered water, coconut-based cleaning agent (alkyl polyglucoside), glycolic acid (hydroxyacetic acid), and essential lemon oil

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cell Phones and Larry King

I viewed Larry King's show on cell phones yesterday and was appalled at the lack of research information spouted by his guests.

I applaud Devra Davis for her previous stand on how poorly we treat cancer and her comments on Larry King last evening during his show, again addressing the cell phone issue.

I don't applaud Larry King because his selection of guests provided little factual information on the known risks, and even embarrassed them selves, especially Ted Schwartz MD, with their ignorance of the science, research and understanding of the issues.

I do have to give one kudo to Sanjay Gupta on the graphic he used to show the penetration of the radio frequency into a child's brain. Little else he said was of value.

I have been researching the research on cell phones and EMF for more than a decade. I know that digital phones are considered as or more dangerous as the old analog style. The danger is from the constant pulsing of EMF from the phone unless you remove the battery.

I know much more but that you can find by searching the articles on the issue on this blog or reading more here.

And Larry, have Dr. Henry Lai on your program next time, maybe he can educate Ted and Sanjay.

Prenatal cell phone exposure tied to behavior
By Anne Harding
Tue Jul 29, 2008

Children whose mothers used cell phones frequently during pregnancy and who are themselves cell phone users are more likely to have behavior problems, new research shows.

The finding "certainly shouldn't be over interpreted, but nevertheless points in a direction where further research is needed," Dr. Leeka Kheifets of the UCLA School of Public Health, who helped conduct the study, told Reuters Health. "It's a wonderful technology and people are certainly going to be using it more and more," she added. "We need to be looking into what are the potential health effects and what are ways to reduce risks should there be any."

Kheifets and her team looked at a group of 13,159 children whose mothers had been recruited to participate in the Danish National Birth Cohort study early in their pregnancies. When the children reached age 7, mothers were asked to complete a questionnaire about their children's behavior and health, as well as the mother's own cell phone use in pregnancy and the child's use of cell phones.

After the researchers adjusted for factors that could influence the results, such as a mother's psychiatric problems and socioeconomic factors, children with both prenatal and postnatal cell phone exposure were 80 percent more likely to have abnormal or borderline scores on tests evaluating emotional problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity, or problems with peers.

Risks were higher for children exposed prenatally only, compared with those exposed only postnatally, but were lower than for children exposed at both time points.

Kheifets and her colleagues note that a fetus's exposure to radiofrequency fields by a mother's cell phone use is likely very small. However, they add, research has shown that children using cell phones are exposed to more radiofrequency energy than adults, because their ears and brains are smaller.

Because cell phone use was so infrequent among children in the study - 30 percent of kids were using a cell phone, but just 1 percent used a cell phone for more than an hour a week - radiofrequency exposure seems unlikely to have caused any behavior problems, they say.

"Another possible explanation for the observed association might be the lack of attention given to a child by mothers who are frequent users of cell phones," the researchers suggest. They note that mothers who used cell phones frequently were of lower socio-occupational status, more likely to have mental health and psychiatric problems, and more likely to have smoked while they were pregnant.

No matter what the factors behind the association are - if there indeed is a real relationship between cell phone use and behavior problems--one simple way to reduce exposure to cell phones would be to use hands-free technology, Kheifets said in an interview.

Editorialists writing in the journal raise the question of whether the publication of these findings may scare people for no reason.

Kheifets and her team believe that while their findings are preliminary, they should be reported. "We felt that the public is quite capable of dealing with proper information," the researcher said. "One shouldn't really try to be paternalistic about it."

SOURCE: Epidemiology, July 2008.
Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gardasil Reactions Grab CNNs Attention

The interconnections of the internet are always amazing to me, and this one today is of course a benefit when you find your BLOG visited by a CNN link.

This connection came because of the several Gardasil related posts found on Natural Health News, which can be located via the BLOG SEARCH.

Consider that since the vast majority of incidents of HPV are self limiting, or may be treated naturally with herbs and homeopathy, or supplements to help boost immunity, why would you want to inject a substance into your child that is known to cause such reactions.

Reading the CNN story, however, made me think how consistent the arrogance of Bi Pharma corporations always seems to be, especially when their products are questioned surrounding adverse effects and health problems that are inflicted on the recipient or user.

I've highlight my favorites -
Should parents worry about HPV vaccine?

7,802 "adverse event" reports to CDC since Gardasil was approved
Reports claim drug caused nausea and paralysis -- even death

Vaccine manufacturer: Reports don't mean illnesses were caused by drug
Two girls allege in court that the vaccine made them sick

(CNN) -- A vaccine designed to prevent cervical cancer is coming under fresh scrutiny amid thousands of complaints linking it to a range of health problems.

Gardasil has been the subject of 7,802 "adverse event" reports from the time the Food and Drug Administration approved its use two years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Girls and women have blamed the vaccine for causing ailments from nausea to paralysis -- even death. Fifteen deaths were reported to the FDA, and 10 were confirmed, but the CDC says none of the 10 were linked to the vaccine. The CDC says it continues to study the reports of illness.

Gardasil prevents the spread of human papillomavirus, known as HPV -- a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer in a relatively small number of girls and women.

The vaccine's manufacturer, Merck & Co. Inc., says it has distributed more than 26 million Gardasil vaccines worldwide, including nearly 16 million in the United States. It estimates that 8 million girls and women have received the vaccine in the United States since June 2006.

Two girls allege in court that the vaccine made them sick.

One -- Jesalee Parsons of Broken Bow, Oklahoma -- got the shot at age 13.

Jesalee's lawyer, Michael McLaren, said she got the shot on February 27, 2007 and soon developed a fever and felt pain. The next day, he said, Jesalee felt pain in her chest and abdomen.

Her mother, Laura Parsons, said Jesalee spent weeks in the hospital and underwent two surgeries after developing pancreatitis. She says the federal government should have studied the drug more before approving its use.

"I just feel let down by the government," Parsons said.

Merck says it could be a coincidence that the girls got sick after receiving the vaccine.

The company said in a statement that an adverse event report "does not mean that a causal relationship between an event and vaccination has been established -- just that the event occurred after vaccination."

Merck said it would continue to evaluate reports of adverse reactions. It said it "updates product labels with new safety information as appropriate."

Monday, July 28, 2008

HPV Vaccine Adverse Events Worrisome Says Key Investigator

Now the scientists are starting to wonder. I hope you are as well, and you get the facts before you force this unknown into the bodies of your daughters and sons.
By Allison Gandey, Medscape Medical News

July 26, 2008 — Serious neurologic, thromboembolic, and autoimmune complications have been reported in patients who received human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. Although not the norm, experts suggest that the events are grave enough to encourage caution. "The side effects that have been reported are real and they cannot be brushed aside," Diane Harper, MD, from the Dartmouth Medical School, in Hanover, New Hampshire, told Medscape Oncology. Dr. Harper was a principal investigator of clinical HPV vaccine trials for both Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.

News reports of adverse events, teen paralysis, and death have fueled public concern. Back-to-school immunization clinics are stocking up on Merck's Gardasil and more than16 million doses have reportedly already been distributed in the United States alone. But many parents are questioning whether their children should be vaccinated. And many women are wondering whether they should be vaccinated too.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as of June 30, 2008, more than 9700 adverse events have been reported since the vaccine was approved 2 years ago. Of these, 94% were classified as nonserious events and 6% as severe.

Serious Adverse Events

Nervous system disorders, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and headache
Thromboembolic events
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue problems
Lymphatic system disorders
Gastrointestinal problems
General disorders and administration site conditions
Immune system problems, including hypersensitivity reactions, bronchospasm, and urticaria

Most Commonly Reported Events

Pain at the injection site

To prevent fainting, which can sometimes cause serious harm and lead to head injuries, Dr. Harper recommends that patients receive vaccines on a full stomach and be seated when the shots are administered. The FDA recommends that patients remain seated for up to 15 minutes after vaccination.

Dr. Harper also suggests that physicians not vaccinate patients with personal or family histories of the more serious conditions outlined in recent adverse-event reports. "Physicians have a responsibility to communicate risks to patients and if patients and families are concerned, it is reasonable to hold off on vaccinating," Dr. Harper said.

It is a sentiment that is echoed by others, such as Abby Lippman, PhD, from McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec, who is chair of the policy committee at the Canadian Women's Health Network. In this month's issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, she expresses concern about public policies that have seemingly rushed to embrace HPV vaccination. "Why the hurry," Dr. Lippman asks. Especially in developed countries where there is no epidemic of infection and mortality rates from cervical cancer have been in decline.

What is Causing Adverse Events?

The cause of recent complications remains a mystery and it is difficult to know whether they are linked to vaccines. "Nobody knows why we are seeing adverse events," Dr. Harper said.

Members of the antivaccine movement point to a number of potential perils, including the presence of aluminum in injections. Like many vaccines, Gardasil contains aluminum salts. Each 0.5-mL dose contains approximately 225 μg of aluminum, 9.56 mg of sodium chloride, 0.78 mg of L-histidine, 50 μcg of polysorbate 80, 35 μg of sodium borate, and water.

"The scientific work to date seems to suggest that aluminum salts in vaccines are safe," Dr. Harper said. But she told Medscape Oncology that she heard that 1 lot of Gardasil might have had an accidentally high yeast concentration, and this might be why there are problems. "No one knows for sure," Dr. Harper said.

The manufacturer was not available to comment about product yeast concentrations, but directed Medscape Oncology to an online statement responding to questions about recent adverse effects. "Merck has analyzed the adverse events reported for Gardasil relating to the recent reports of death and paralysis, and based on the data available to Merck, believes that no safety issue related to the vaccine has been identified. These types of events are events that could also be seen in the general population."

Richard Haupt, MD, executive director of clinical research at Merck's research laboratories added: "We remain confident in the safety profile of Gardasil."

FDA and CDC Issue Joint Statement Reassuring Clinicians and Patients

Responding to public concern, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint statement on Tuesday reassuring clinicians and patients about the safety of Gardasil. A second vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix, is already available in some countries, but is still being assessed by the FDA.

Despite company and regulatory assurances, some clinicians, who are also parents, say they are less confident about the safety of the vaccines. After reviewing the information, Scott Ratner, MD, a cardiologist with a practice in Franklin Square, New York, and his wife, a rheumatologist, opted to have their 17-year-old daughter vaccinated. It is a decision they say they now regret.

Following vaccination, their teenage daughter began showing signs and symptoms of autoimmune disease. "She went from being a healthy, active teen running, playing lacrosse, and participating on swim team to becoming a chronically ill patient," Dr. Ratner said.

"I worry about the kids who may be having problems, are perhaps struggling with immune damage, and are feeling generally achy and unwell, but are probably going unreported and undiagnosed," he said. Dr. Ratner has 2 younger daughters and he says he definitely won't be encouraging either of them to be vaccinated.

Gynecologist Christiane Northrup, MD, told Medscape Oncology that she won't be advocating that her daughters be vaccinated either. Dr. Northrup appeared on a recent episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show, which has an estimated 20 million viewers per week, most of them women. She told viewers that healthcare dollars would be better invested elsewhere.

Questioning the Safety

Dr. Northrup recommended that the money going toward vaccines and related programs be allocated to general health and wellness initiatives and proper nutrition. This harkens back to the age-old debate between Louis Pasteur and Antoine Beauchamp, Dr. Northrup suggests.

For most of his career, Pasteur subscribed to germ theory, while Beauchamp backed the more unpopular theory of biological terrain. The question: Is it the germs themselves that make people sick or a weakened state of immunity that allows germs to take root? "Pasteur was widely supported, but on his death bed conceded that Beauchamp was right," Dr. Northrup said during an interview. She suggests that this is what experts should be concentrating on now.

Instead of focusing on germ theory by pouring efforts into HPV vaccines, she says more resources should be dedicated to fostering the overall health of the host.

Dr. Lippman makes a similar argument and points to the capacity of healthy, immunocompetent women to spontaneously clear up to 90% of HPV infections — infections, she says, almost everyone will one day acquire — within 1 to 2 years.

When Gardasil was approved in the United States in June 2006, it was hailed as an important day for public health and for women's health. Dr. Harper was quoted as saying that the vaccine is the biggest advance since the Pap smear. Dr. Harper told Medscape Oncology that she still thinks this is the case, but enthusiasm must be tempered with caution.

Dr. Harper noted that we shouldn't be calling the new immunizations cervical cancer vaccines. "Even if everyone was vaccinated, we would still have cervical cancer," she said. "I don't want people to be lulled into thinking this will prevent cancer. If Pap screening rates decline, cervical cancer rates will rise," she emphasized.

If Pap Screening Rates Decline, Cervical Cancer Rates Will Rise

The decline in cervical cancer in developed countries has been largely attributed to regular Pap screening — something Dr. Harper believes has done a superb job. Women who haven't received an HPV vaccine, and even those who have, are still encouraged to undergo regular screening.

At the 2006 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, delegates were enthusiastic. One presenter showed a series of cervical cancer photos and told observers that "these types of pictures will soon disappear in clinical oncology."

Unfortunately, that utopian prediction is unlikely. "Cervical cancer is not a vaccine-preventable disease," Dr. Lippman said during an interview. And in her recent editorial, she points out that surrogate end points — not cervical cancer — were used to measure the efficacy in the clinical trials.

"No one would want to wait to see cervical cancer develop in participants," she writes. "But the general failure to mention that the precancerous lesions chosen for study are not only potentially removable, most (those that are CIN 2) would probably have resolved on their own without any intervention, is arguable."

Many Questions Remain

As previously reported by Medscape Oncology, Sharmila Makhija, MD, from the University of Alabama School of Medicine, in Birmingham, pointed to other limitations of HPV vaccines. Dr. Makhija is the principal investigator on Merck's FUTURE III trial, looking at the vaccine's efficacy in women 24 to 45 years old, and is a coinvestigator on GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine trials.

Dr. Makhija noted that the bulk of the work to date has focused on just 2 types of HPV — 16 and 18. She added that, going forward, more virulent cancer-causing strains could emerge, making it difficult to eliminate disease. And other important questions remain:

How long does the vaccine last?
Will it require a booster?
Who should be vaccinated and at what age?

"While vaccine proponents emphasize the many thousands of women who participated in clinical trials of the product, they gloss over how few young girls in the 9 to 13 year age range, targeted specifically for school-based immunizations, were included," Dr. Lippman argues. She said that only the very short-term immunogenicity and safety, and not the efficacy, of Gardasil was studied.

"It is a good vaccine," Dr. Harper said. "We are simply still in the early stages of investigation."

The World Health Organization (WHO) has weighed in on the vaccines and is recommending that they be considered only 1 component of any successful strategy. Immunization will have to be added to the other aspects of cervical cancer control, Andreas Ullrich, MD, medical officer at WHO's department of chronic diseases and health promotion, said in a news release. "There is no question that early detection will continue to be a key element."

Merck is encouraging healthcare providers and consumers to report any adverse events associated with Gardasil to the company and to the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at 1-800-822-7967.

J Epidemiol Community Health. 2008;62:570-571. Abstract

No Cell Phone for Children

Last Saturday a car pulled up to my driveway during our town's annual yard sale. A young woman got out of the care with a cell phone planted square against her ear and tucked toward her shoulder for support. Her young child was in a car seat beside her. Two others were also in the car.

I mentioned to her that their is clear eveidence of an increase in breast and thyroid cancer from cell phone use. She turned and walked back to the car and sat directly bside the child, continuing her conversation.

Another woman carries a cell phone clipped to her belt, directly pulsing arenal glands, ovaries, and the hip area where red blood cells are manufactured in bone marrow; several young children were in her care. I saw her at a fundraiser for a woman with bone cancer just last week.

This information should be an eye-opener for parents as it was for Richard Branson's mobile company, when he issued a policy several years back, not to sell the phones or service for children 16 and under.

This article bumps it up another two years, to 18.

Maybe it should be 21, or not at all.

They teach us the skeleton takes about 21 years or so to fully develop, and why this might be the target age.

Tha problem for small children, including those is strollers directly under the mom's chatting on her cell phone, is that since the skull is much finer and thinner in structure than as an adult, radiation has no real barrier to passing through into fragile brain tissue.

Many also do not understand that it takes about ten (10) years for tumours to develop in the pepole expsoed to EMF from cell phones. It may be less for children because their high growth process incicates faster metabolism. Couple this with the more than 30 vaccines pumped into their bodies by the time they are 11, who knows what this game of Russian Roulette will yeild.
Cancer warning adds wrinkle to parenting debate
By JOCELYN NOVECK, AP National Writer
Jul 27, 2008

When Amy Morris' twin boys, then 11, went on an academic trip to Washington last year, she agreed to give them cell phones at the program's request. But this summer she was dismayed to learn that girls at her 8-year-old daughter's day camp were using cell phones they'd taken along in their backpacks.

"We were outraged," says the Connecticut mother, who adds that the camp didn't know. "These girls think it's a cute game. But it's inappropriate, and it's unnecessary."

It's a signature parenting dilemma of the wireless age: Should kids have cell phones? And how old is old enough? It pits our understandable desire to keep tabs on our offspring — not to mention make them happy — against the instinctive feeling that it's simply, well, wrong for youngsters to spend their time chatting and texting over the airwaves.

Now, there's further ammunition for Morris and other reluctant parents like her to stand firm: The warning last week by the head of a prominent cancer research institute to his faculty and staff. Limit cell phone use, he said, because of the possible cancer risk — especially when it comes to children, whose brains are still developing.

The warning from Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, was based on early, unpublished data and came despite numerous studies that haven't found a link between increased tumors and cell phone use. But it's struck a nerve among parents who already have other reasons to resist their children's entreaties.

"Now we hear about this possible medical risk," says Marybeth Hicks, an author, columnist and mother of four. "I couldn't possibly know if it's real or not. But I know that it's probably not necessary for most children to have a cell phone."

To her, "it's part of this whole rush to adulthood — Hello Kitty backpacks for third-graders have cell phone pockets in them! Marketers have skillfully created a groundswell of begging among kids — and we all know that begging can work."

Hicks, whose book "Bringing Up Geeks: How to Protect Your Kid's Childhood in a Grow-Up-Too-Fast World," is about just such problems, has her own personal experience with persistent children.

"My 10-year-old daughter thinks she's deprived," says Hicks. "She's been saying she's the only one at school without a phone, and it's actually getting to be true." And her son, she says, was the only kid in his 8th-grade class without a phone. (He just got one, right before freshman year in high school.)

Hicks, who lives in East Lansing, Mich., is aware that some parents feel cell phones are an essential security tool for their kids. But, she says, "I always know where my kids are. A cell phone is a tool to negotiate the world once you have the responsibility to be out in the world on your own."

Morris, of Weston, Conn., has decided that for her own kids, middle school is about the right time. "My boys are starting to walk home alone sometimes," she says. "I want them to have a phone." Being boys, though, they tend to forget the darned things all the time — especially in situations when they actually need them.

So far, Morris has avoided giving one to her younger child, she says, not an easy thing in a society where kids, especially girls, are so sensitive to social pressures. "I think a lot of parents in this country just give in," she says. She's especially concerned about the rampant text messaging among the younger set.

Statistics from the Pew Research Center show just how deeply ingrained in our daily lives cell phones have become: Fully 78 percent of all adults own them, including 86 percent of 18-29 year-olds and 55 percent of Americans 65 and older. Pew doesn't compile statistics on those under 18.

Text messaging, on the other hand, is the province of the young: 74 percent of 18-29 year-olds do it but only 6 percent of the 65-plus crowd.

It's harder to gauge the tween set (usually defined as between 9 and 13) but it's telling that in 2004, 21 percent of those aged 8 to 10 and 36 percent of the 11 to 14 group had phones, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation — a number sure to have ballooned since then.

Should the latest medical news cause huge concern among parents who HAVE given in? "If you've got good reasons for them to have it, I'd go ahead," says Frank Barnes, a professor who chaired a recent report on the subject. However, he added, "they've probably got other things they should be doing."

As for whether it's a health hazard, Barnes, who teaches electrical and computer engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said it's more a question of "How do you deal with the unknown? We just don't have the data."

Ultimately, parents have to make their own rules — but that's difficult when the social pressure is so strong, notes Lisa Bain, executive editor of Parenting magazine. "The age is creeping down," she says. "Girls tend to get them younger. It's become a status symbol — it makes them feel grown up."

Bain can see both sides of the argument. Parents really need to set limits, she says, especially because so many phones these days are also cameras and have Web access. On the other hand, she said, the first time she dropped her middle-school aged daughter off at the mall, "I thought, thank God she has a cell phone."

Of the recent medical warning, Bain says: "So many scary studies come out. This will give some parents second thoughts, and other parents ammunition. But for the vast majority, it's not going to mean a lot."

After all, says Bain, "It's like standing up against a tidal wave."

AP Science Writer Malcom Ritter contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Effective Cancer Therapy dates back to the 1800s

"Have you ever wondered why cancer treatment has not changed much in over 70 years? Why is chemotherapy still the mainstay of conventional cancer treatment after all these years of disappointing results for the majority of cancer cell types."

It is very pleasing to read a recent report on the history of an effective natural and nutritional cancer treatment.

With the recent death of Randy Pausch at age 47 from pancreatic cancer, it might well be worth more people and more health care professionals becoming educated on this process.

This method saved the life of Dr. William D. Kelley, a dentist who was diagnosed in the 1960s with pancreatic and liver cancer. Dr. Kelley left us in 2005, more than 40 years after mainstream medicine gave him the "go home, there is nothing we can really do for you" response.

Some years ago I was educated in this method and have seen it be very helpful to those who chose this approach.

This is a method that is provided by health care professionals only, including Nicholas Gonzalez, MD, of New York.

The full article can be read here.

FDA faulted over unapproved uses of medications

Eleven months is a long time for the wheels of government to grind along while many people's health may be at risk of harm.

It might be the double standard at FDA, or a drive to more profit at Big Pharma.

It could also be that detail reps are practicing medicine without a license.

Your role in this is to understand that you do have a right to question any provider writing a prescription, and you should exercise that right.
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Writer
Sun Jul 27, 2008

When federal regulators catch a drug company peddling prescription medications for an unapproved use, it takes them an average of seven months to issue a warning, according to a draft report by congressional investigators.

It typically takes four more months for the company to fix the problem. During that time, a lot prescriptions can be written.

The report from the Government Accountability Office delves into a gray area of medical practice and federal oversight: the use of medications to treat conditions other than the ones the drugs were approved for, a practice known as "off-label" prescribing.

Although widely accepted, off-label prescribing can amount to an uncontrolled experiment. While some patients benefit, others get drugs that do not do them much good and end up wasting their money. Some people have been harmed by unexpected side effects.

What makes the practice so difficult to get a handle on is a web of seemingly contradictory laws and regulations.

Drug companies are forbidden to promote medications for uses that have not been validated by the Food and Drug Administration on evidence from clinical trials. Doctors, however, can use their own independent judgment in prescribing medicines. Also, under guidance proposed by the FDA this year, drug companies could distribute to doctors scientific articles that suggest new and unapproved uses for medications.

The situation has raised concerns for Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who fears that federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are paying billions for medications used for questionable purposes.

The review that Grassley requested found the FDA is ill-equipped to catch even blatant marketing abuses by drug companies. The agency does not have any staff exclusively assigned to monitor whether companies are following the rule against marketing drugs for unapproved uses.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Red Rice Yeast Depletes Co Q 10

I have been attacked by "researchers" because of my awareness of the fact that Red Rice Yeast is a statin and carries the same risks as the pharmaceutical products.

As I have reported previously, for a decade or more, the statins have very serious side effects and RRY carries the same risks.

One of the most overlooked side effects with the statin drugs is the depletion of CO Q 10. This article supports that loss in RRY as well.

While the effect may be less intense, the loss of Co Q 10 is a very serious nutritional depletion that may lead to sudden cardiac death and other health problems such as the cancer link.

This - IMHO - says that statins do not protect your heart.

So if you are using RRY to stave off the high priced Rx, do not fail to take CO Q 10 - minimally 100mg daily or more. This product may be order from us, just send a note and we'll be ahpy to provide the information.
Red Yeast Rice Depletes Coenzyme Q10 Levels in Mice - Safety Update
Author: Donald Brown, ND

Reference: Yang H-T, Lin S-H, Huang S-Y, et al. Acute administration of red yeast rice (Monascus purpureus) depletes tissue coenzyme Q10 levels in ICR mice. Br J Nutr 2005;93:131-5.

Summary: Eighty-eight adult ICR mice (a commonly used experimental breed of mice) were gavaged with a single dose of an average of 0.3 ml of red yeast rice (Monascus purpureus; China Chemical and Pharmaceuticals, Taipei, Taiwan), in a soybean oil emulsion, at concentrations of 1 g/kg body weight (low dose group) or 5 g/kg body weight (high dose group). A third group of mice, that did not receive red yeast rice, acted as the control.

After treatment, researchers observed the mice for 24 hours for mortality and signs of toxicity. The mice were then sacrificed and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels were analyzed in the heart, liver and kidney. Concentration of monacolin K (lovastatin) was analyzed in the liver only.
No deaths or toxicity were noted in either treatment group. Liver CoQ10 concentrations significantly decreased in the low- and high-dose groups 30 minutes after treatment (p < 0.01), was maximally depleted between 30 and 60 minutes (p < 0.05), and returned to baseline after 240 minutes. Heart CoQ10 levels were maximally reduced between 90 and 240 minutes in both groups; however, CoQ10 concentration in the high-dose group were 47% lower than in the low-dose group at 90 minutes (exact values not reported, p < 0.05). Heart CoQ10 levels did not return to normal during the study period in either group. Thirty minutes after treatment the hepatic monacolin K concentrations were 0.61 mg/g liver in the low-dose group compared to 1.62 mg/g liver in the high-dose group. At 30, 60, 90, 240 and 1440 minutes (24 hours), hepatic monacolin K levels were significantly higher in the high-dose group compared to the low-dose group (p < 0.05). Kidney CoQ10 levels did not change during the experiment. Furthermore, no histological or skin damage was detected.

Comments: Although this was an animal study testing high doses of red yeast rice, these results suggest that health care practitioners should advise patients taking red yeast rice products to routinely supplement CoQ10. Due to the presence of monacolins (especially monacolin K), the mechanism of action of red yeast rice has been attributed to the inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase. However, there has been debate about how aggressively red yeast rice inhibits the enzyme, especially when comparing the rather modest lipid-lowering results in humans compared to prescription statin drugs. These results suggest that the addition of CoQ10 may serve as an insurance policy against lowered production of CoQ10 in the body while taking red yeast rice. Hopefully, human trials will be completed to attempt to quantify the CoQ10-lowering effect of red yeast rice in humans.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pushing Pills for Profit at Pfizer

That little blue pill that cased quite a number of deaths and caused blindness in men is now being pushed on women.

Initially, when this drug was approved for erectile dysfunction in men it came with a warning that women should not touch the pill because there was a concern about a negative effect on hormones.

Now, in a very small trial funded by Pfizer, it seems to be OK if you are a woman taking the risky SSRI anti-depressants and you lose your libido.

The warnings are there to tell you that this is an off label use NOT approved by the FDA. And only a few few women are helped.

SSRI drugs have a major impact on thyroid function. Low thyroid function may have been the cause of the "depression" but your doctor might not have considered this, or the evaluation may not have been complete or thorough.

A well known symptom of low thyroid is lack of libido.

There are safe and effective natural products to help with loss of libido. Two are examples of products I have used for decades in my work. These options are effective for men and women, without the risk of the drug: Vital Nature/Enhance Romance and products from our selection of pharmaceutical grade Taoist herbal formulas.

Another consideration is the money spent by the drug industry, growing year by year. Pfizer spent a paltry $13.8 billion in 2007.
TUESDAY, July 22, 2008
— Viagra is used by millions of aging men for erectile dysfunction, but most research suggests it doesn’t do much for women’s sex lives.

However, a new study suggests that the “little blue pill” could benefit some women. The small, Pfizer-funded trial found that it improved orgasm in premenopausal women who had sexual difficulties due to antidepressant use.

About 1 in 10 women in the U.S. take an antidepressant drug, according to a 2004 survey. And those drugs, particularly selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), are known to be sex-drive killers for men and women.

Study suggests drug works in select women
In the study, H. George Nurnberg, MD, of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque, and colleagues randomly assigned 98 women, with an average age of 36, to take sildenafil (Viagra) or a placebo.

All of the women were taking antidepressants (mostly fluoxetine or sertraline), and they took a Viagra or a placebo pill about one to two hours before they had sex during an eight-week period, according to the report in Journal of the American Medical Association. (Both researchers and the women were blinded as to who received the placebo and who did not.)

Almost three-quarters of the women who received the placebo reported no improvement in their sex lives compared with only 28% of those who took Viagra. On average, the Viagra users were more likely to reach orgasm (and were more satisfied with them) than placebo-takers.

That sounds promising. However, you have to keep in mind that it’s a manufacturer-funded study, a type of trial that is generally not considered as reliable as research that is conducted independently. And, as the report discloses, Dr. Nurnberg and other co-authors have received research funds and acted as paid consultants to Pfizer and other drug companies in the past.

Needs to be confirmed in larger group of women
About 22% of the women dropped out of the trial, so only 39 Viagra users completed the study, notes Marjorie Green, MD, director of the Mount Auburn Menopause and Female Sexual Medicine Center in Cambridge, Mass., and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School.

“All of the other studies on sildenafil [in women] have not been positive,” says Dr. Green. And the patient group is so small in this study, “I think it would be hard to use the results without further study.”

In addition, Viagra is not FDA-approved for use in women, so the risks to women are not completely clear. (Pfizer dropped its effort to get FDA-approval for women after disappointing trials in pre- and postmenopausal women with sexual arousal disorder, according to the study.)

In the recent research, Viagra users suffered from more headaches, nasal congestion, flushing, and visual problems than those who took the placebo.

Viagra and similar drugs inhibit an enzyme (phosphodiesterase type 5) found in eye tissue, male genitals, and other parts of the body. Blocking the enzyme causes smooth muscle to relax and increases arterial blood flow to the penis. This is beneficial to men with erectile dysfunction because it allows more blood to fill the vessels and increases their ability to sustain an erection.

Female sexual dysfunction is more complicated, but similar enzyme signaling is thought to take place in female genital tissue. So it’s possible that phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors may help some women.

Select group of women may benefit
Andrew T. Goldstein, MD, cautions that the findings should not be extrapolated to patients outside the range of the trial. However, he said that sexual medicine experts do think Viagra is worth trying in some female patients.

“This would not be a drug to be used for a 55-year-old woman who complains of decreased desire who is not on SSRIs,” says Dr. Goldstein, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and an associate professor at George Washington University, who specializes in treating women’s sexual dysfunction. “If it’s used for that, you’re not going to get results, and you’re going to have a frustrated patient.”

However, for patients who are having sexual side effects of antidepressants, Dr. Goldstein says, “It’s worth trying.”

According to Dr. Green, many women start taking antidepressants without even being told that they can cause sexual side effects.

An ongoing Internet survey being conducted by the Women’s Sexual Health Foundation (Dr. Green is on the advisory board) suggests that more than half (54%) of women taking antidepressants were never informed of the potential side effect. In all, 75% of those surveyed said they’ve had a decrease in sexual desire since starting the drugs.

Antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction is “a big problem,” says Dr. Goldstein. “Premenopausal women 18 to 50 often will discontinue their antidepressants because of sexual side effects. So they are focusing on a very important group of women with a very important problem.”

New 'NO' for SOY

Consider that most of the soy products consumed in Asian culture are fermented and mixed with other foods such as meats, fish, or vergetables.
Soy foods 'reduce sperm numbers'
A regular diet of even modest amounts of food containing soy may halve sperm concentrations, suggest scientists.

The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, found 41 million fewer sperm per millilitre of semen after just one portion every two days.

The authors said plant oestrogens in foods such as tofu, soy mince or milk may interfere with hormonal signals.

However, a UK expert stressed that most men in Asia eat more soy-based products with no fertility problems.

"Oestrogenic compounds in food or the environment have been of concern for a number of years, but we have mostly thought that it was boys exposed in the uterus before birth who were most at risk" Dr Allan Pacey, Sheffield University

Animal studies have suggested that large quantities of soy chemicals in food could affect fertility, but other studies looking at consumption in humans have had contradictory findings.

The Harvard School of Public Health study looked at the diets of 99 men who had attended a fertility clinic with their partners and provided a semen sample.

The men were divided into four groups depending on how much soy they ate, and when the sperm concentration of men eating the most soy was compared with those eating the least, there was a significant difference.

The "normal" sperm concentration for a man is between 80 and 120 million per millilitre, and the average of men who ate on average a portion of soy-based food every other day was 41 million fewer.

Dr Jorge Chavarro, who led the study, said that chemicals called isoflavones in the soy might be affecting sperm production.

These chemicals can have similar effects to the human hormone oestrogen.

Dr Chavarro noticed that overweight or obese men seemed even more prone to this effect, which may reflect the fact that higher levels of body fat can also lead to increased oestrogen production in men.

Worried men

However, the study pointed out that soy consumption in many parts of Asia was significantly higher than even the maximum found in these volunteers.

Dr Allan Pacey, a senior lecturer in andrology from the University of Sheffield, said that if soy genuinely had a detrimental effect on sperm production, fertility might well be affected in those regions, and there was no evidence that this was the case.

"Many men are obviously worried about whether their lifestyle or diet could affect their fertility by lowering their sperm count.

"Oestrogenic compounds in food or the environment have been of concern for a number of years, but we have mostly thought that it was boys exposed in the uterus before birth who were most at risk.

"We will have to look at adult diet more closely, although the fact that such large parts of the world have soy food as a major part of their diet and don't appear to suffer any greater infertility rates than those on western diets suggests that any effect is quite small."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/07/23 23:07:34 GMT

Fresh scents may hide toxic secret

For more than twenty years I have included the information in this article in my 'Green Living' classes taught around the Puget Sound, Washington State and through other venues.

This is like the cosmetic information and gardening issues included in my 'Green Living'series as well.

No one else was doing this.

Now, at long last, the media is providing some clues.
Innocuous-sounding 'perfume' in detergents, air fresheners made with
dangerous chemicals
By LISA STIFFLER, July 23, 2008
The scented fabric sheet makes your shirts and socks smell flowery fresh
and clean. That plug-in air freshener fills your home with inviting fragrances
of apple and cinnamon or a country garden. But those common household items are
potentially exposing your family and friends to dangerous chemicals, a
University of Washington study has found.

Trouble is, you have no way of knowing it. Manufacturers of detergents,
laundry sheets and air fresheners aren't required to list all of their
ingredients on their labels -- or anywhere else. Laws protecting people from
indoor air pollution from consumer products are limited.

When UW engineering professor Anne Steinemann analyzed of some of these
popular items, she found 100 different volatile organic compounds measuring 300
parts per billion or more -- some of which can be cancerous or cause harm to
respiratory, reproductive, neurological and other organ systems.

Some of the chemicals are categorized as hazardous or toxic by federal
regulatory agencies. But the labels tell a different story, naming only
innocuous-sounding "perfume" or "biodegradable" contents.

"Consumers are breathing these chemicals," she said. "No one is doing
anything about it."
Industry representatives say that isn't so.

"Dr. Steinemann's statement is misleading and disingenuous," said Chris
Cathcart, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Consumer Specialty Products
Association, in a statement.
"Air fresheners, laundry products and other
consumer specialty products are regulated under the Federal Hazardous Substances
Act and subsequently have strict labeling requirements," he said. "Companies
producing products that are regulated under FHSA must name on the product label
each component that contributes to the hazard."

Millions are spent annually to ensure that fragrances in the products
are safe, according to a joint statement from the Fragrance Materials
Association, which represents fragrance manufacturers, and the Research
Institute for Fragrance Materials, which works closely with the association.
Ingredients are routinely tested, and chemicals that are considered
dangerous are present at levels much too low to cause harm, according to the

But there are numerous reports of people -- particularly those with
asthma, chemical sensitivities and allergies -- having strong adverse reactions,
researchers said.

That's a problem when public restrooms in restaurants or airplanes use
air fresheners, or when hotels wash towels and sheets in scented laundry
supplies. And even when the concentrations are low in individual products,
people are exposed to multiple sources on a daily basis.

Aileen Gagney, Asthma and Environmental Health Program manager with the
American Lung Association in Seattle, herself an asthma sufferer, has a rule of
thumb to help avoid exposure: "If it smells bad, it's bad; if it smells good,
it's bad."

But even that won't always work.

According to Steinemann, even products labeled "unscented" sometimes
contain a fragrance and a "masking" fragrance to make them odor-free.

People, Puget Sound at risk?

For Steinemann's research, published Wednesday in Environmental Impact
Assessment Review, she selected a top-selling item from six categories of
products: dryer sheets, fabric softeners, detergents, and solid, spray and
plug-in air fresheners.

Then she contracted with a lab to test the air around the items to
identify the chemicals people could be breathing.

Ten of the 100 volatile organic compounds identified qualified under
federal rules as toxic or hazardous, and three of those -- 1,4-dioxane,
acetaldehyde and chloromethane -- are "hazardous air pollutants" considered
unsafe to breathe at any concentration, according to the study.

The labels gave no indication that the irritating and potentially
dangerous chemicals were present, so Steinemann checked the product's Material
Safety Data Sheets. These technical documents provide ingredient information for
the safety of workers and emergency responders.

They, too, disclosed little detail, mostly citing ingredients such as
"essential oils" and "organic perfume."

"It's a reasonable expectation to think that laundry products and air
fresheners would be free of chemicals that can cause cancer," said Erika
Schreder, a staff scientist with the Washington Toxics Coalition.

"But as this UW study shows, it's disturbingly easy to find toxic
chemicals in everyday products like these because companies don't have to say
what's in their products."

Cathcart, of the Consumer Specialty Products Association, said the
information's not on the package because the "chemicals are not present in the
products at levels deemed hazardous under the law. Given the limited space on
product labels, it is important to include the relevant information consumers
need to make intelligent use, storage and disposal decisions."

The threat isn't limited to people. Steinemann and others worry that the
chemicals in consumer products flow from homes to the outdoors.
"These chemicals get into our water systems and into Puget Sound," she
said. They are "extraordinarily hard to get out of the environment."

Steinemann's research was paid for using discretionary money awarded to
her as a UW professor; she wanted to avoid any appearance of a conflict of
interest. She has also submitted for publication a study that goes further to
examine ingredients in cleaning and personal-care products.

Regulatory gaps

With fears growing over chemicals in consumer products -- lead in toys,
bisphenol A in plastic baby bottles, phthalates in shower curtains and cosmetics
-- environmentalists and health advocates are calling for stricter regulations
of chemicals in everyday goods. They also want shoppers to have more readily
accessible information.

Manufacturers and trade groups representing consumer products routinely
counter that there's plenty of testing and oversight from within the industries
and from government regulations to ensure safety.

In the fragranced-products arena, they point to industry Web sites with
information on product ingredients and suggest contacting companies with
specific questions.

Critics maintain that's not enough.

"There's obviously a loophole," said Michael Robinson-Dorn, a UW law
professor who aided Steinemann's research. "We regulate many of these chemicals
in other circumstances, yet when they're in products that we're in contact with
daily, in some cases, we don't wind up finding out about them."

He said the items can slip between regulatory cracks by falling into the
jurisdiction of multiple government agencies, none taking ownership.

"Any time you have a product that is regulated by many different agencies,
it's easy for them not to react," he said.

In the absence of strong laws, the marketplace is starting to regulate

After the Natural Resources Defense Council last fall found troubling
levels of phthalates -- plasticizing chemicals that can potentially harm
developing babies -- in air fresheners, Walgreens pulled the products from its

Last month, NRDC and other environmental groups sued the Environmental
Protection Agency to force manufacturers to test air freshener safety and label
products with a full ingredient list.
Steinemann's study could push the
process along.

"Consumer demand for less-toxic products will encourage companies to
reformulate their products," she said. "This is a case where a little
information could have a great public benefit."

P-I reporter Lisa Stiffler can be reached at 206-448-8042 or Read her blog on the environment at
© 1998-2008 Seattle

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pittsburgh cancer center warns of cell phone risks

Cell Phone EMF Shields

The head of a prominent cancer research institute issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff Wednesday: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer.

The warning from Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is contrary to numerous studies that don't find a link between cancer and cell phone use, and a public lack of worry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Herberman is basing his alarm on early unpublished data. He says it takes too long to get answers from science and he believes people should take action now — especially when it comes to children.

"Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn't wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later," Herberman said.

No other major academic cancer research institutions have sounded such an alarm about cell phone use. But Herberman's advice is sure to raise concern among many cell phone users and especially parents.

In the memo he sent to about 3,000 faculty and staff Wednesday, he says children should use cell phones only for emergencies because their brains are still developing.

Adults should keep the phone away from the head and use the speakerphone or a wireless headset, he says. He even warns against using cell phones in public places like a bus because it exposes others to the phone's electromagnetic fields.

The issue that concerns some scientists — though nowhere near a consensus — is electromagnetic radiation, especially its possible effects on children. It is not a major topic in conferences of brain specialists.

A 2008 University of Utah analysis looked at nine studies — including some Herberman cites — with thousands of brain tumor patients and concludes "we found no overall increased risk of brain tumors among cellular phone users. The potential elevated risk of brain tumors after long-term cellular phone use awaits confirmation by future studies."

Studies last year in France and Norway concluded the same thing.

"If there is a risk from these products — and at this point we do not know that there is — it is probably very small," the Food and Drug Administration says on an agency Web site.

Still, Herberman cites a "growing body of literature linking long-term cell phone use to possible adverse health effects including cancer."

"Although the evidence is still controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use," he wrote in his memo.

A driving force behind the memo was Devra Lee Davis, the director of the university's center for environmental oncology.

"The question is do you want to play Russian roulette with your brain," she said in an interview from her cell phone while using the hands-free speaker phone as recommended. "I don't know that cell phones are dangerous. But I don't know that they are safe."

Of concern are the still unknown effects of more than a decade of cell phone use, with some studies raising alarms, said Davis, a former health adviser in the Clinton Administration.

She said 20 different groups have endorsed the advice the Pittsburgh cancer institute gave, and authorities in England, France and India have cautioned children's use of cell phones.

Herberman and Davis point to a massive ongoing research project known as Interphone, involving scientists in 13 nations, mostly in Europe. Results already published in peer-reviewed journals from this project aren't so alarming, but Herberman is citing work not yet published.

The published research focuses on more than 5,000 cases of brain tumors. The National Research Council in the U.S., which isn't participating in the Interphone project, reported in January that the brain tumor research had "selection bias." That means it relied on people with cancer to remember how often they used cell phones. It is not considered the most accurate research approach.

The largest published study, which appeared in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2006, tracked 420,000 Danish cell phone users, including thousands that had used the phones for more than 10 years. It found no increased risk of cancer among those using cell phones.

A French study based on Interphone research and published in 2007 concluded that regular cell phone users had "no significant increased risk" for three major types of nervous system tumors. It did note, however, that there was "the possibility of an increased risk among the heaviest users" for one type of brain tumor, but that needs to be verified in future research.

Earlier research also has found no connection.

Joshua E. Muscat of Penn State University, who has studied cancer and cell phones in other research projects partly funded by the cell phone industry, said there are at least a dozen studies that have found no cancer-cell phone link. He said a Swedish study cited by Herberman as support for his warning was biased and flawed.

"We certainly don't know of any mechanism by which radiofrequency exposure would cause a cancerous effect in cells. We just don't know this might possibly occur," Muscat said.

Cell phones emit radiofrequency energy, a type of radiation that is a form of electromagnetic radiation, according to the National Cancer Institute. Though studies are being done to see if there is a link between it and tumors of the brain and central nervous system, there is no definitive link between the two, the institute says on its Web site.

"By all means, if a person feels compelled that they should take precautions in reducing the amount of electromagnetic radio waves through their bodies, by all means they should do so," said Dan Catena, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society. "But at the same time, we have to remember there's no conclusive evidence that links cell phones to cancer, whether it's brain tumors or other forms of cancer."

Joe Farren, a spokesman for the CTIA-The Wireless Association, a trade group for the wireless industry, said the group believes there is a risk of misinforming the public if science isn't used as the ultimate guide on the issue.

"When you look at the overwhelming majority of studies that have been peer reviewed and published in scientific journals around the world, you'll find no relationship between wireless usage and adverse health affects," Farren said.

Frank Barnes, who chaired the January report from the National Research Council, said Wednesday that "the jury is out" on how hazardous long-term cell phone use might be.

Speaking from his cell phone, the professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder said he takes no special precautions in his own phone use. And he offered no specific advice to people worried about the matter.

It's up to each individual to decide what if anything to do. If people use a cell phone instead of having a land line, "that may very well be reasonable for them," he said.

Susan Juffe, a 58-year-old Pittsburgh special education teacher, heard about Herberman's cell phone advice on the radio earlier in the day.

"Now, I'm worried. It's scary," she said.

She says she'll think twice about allowing her 10-year-old daughter Jayne to use the cell phone.

"I don't want to get it (brain cancer) and I certainly don't want you to get it," she explained to her daughter.

Sara Loughran, a 24-year-old doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh, sat in a bus stop Wednesday chatting on her cell phone with her mother. She also had heard the news earlier in the day, but was not as concerned.

"I think if they gave me specific numbers and specific information and it was scary enough, I would be concerned," Loughran said, planning to call her mother again in a matter of minutes. "Without specific numbers, it's too vague to get me worked up."

Jennifer Yates reported from Pittsburgh. Science Writer Seth Borenstein reported from Washington. Reporter Ramit Plushnick-Masti contributed from Pittsburgh and Science Writer Malcolm Ritter contributed from New York.

On the Net:
Advice from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute:
Food and Drug Administration on cell phones:
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.

Health Risks and Fluoride

Recently I was contacted by some friends I have because of my work with the Silver Valley Community Resource Center about the ruptured tendon side effect when using Cipro and Levaquin.

I sent them this information.

Further reading in regard to health effects of fluoride can be found here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Organochlorine Exposure Alters Thyroid Function

Organochlorine compounds, also called chlorinated hydrocarbons, include DDT. This same group of chemicals includes sucralose, otherwise known as Splenda.

Chemically speaking sucralose is made from sucrose by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups to yield 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-BETA-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-alpha-D-galactopyranoside. It was originally developed as an insecticide.

Especially risky to people with diabetes, an endocrine disorder linked to thyroid and other endoctine imbalances. Few human studies of safety have been published on sucralose. One study of diabetic patients using the sweetener showed a statistically significant increase in glycosylated hemoglobin (Hba1C), which is a marker of long-term blood glucose levels and is used to assess glycemic control in diabetic patients. According to the FDA, "increases in glycosolation in hemoglobin imply lessening of control of diabetes.

Research in animals has shown that sucralose can cause many problems in rats, mice, and rabbits, such as:

Shrunken thymus glands (up to 40% shrinkage)
Enlarged liver and kidneys.
Atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus
Increased cecal weight
Reduced growth rate
Decreased red blood cell count
Hyperplasia of the pelvis
Extension of the pregnancy period
Aborted pregnancy
Decreased fetal body weights and placental weights
Presence of mutagenic cells related to lymphoma

The FDA acknowledges contaminants are present and that sucralose "is produced at an approximate purity of 98%". While that may sound pure, it turns out that the final sucralose product contains small amounts of potentially dangerous substances such as:

Heavy Metals (e.g., Lead and Arsenic )
Triphenilphosphine Oxide
Chlorinated Disaccharides
Chlorinated Monosaccharide

Some reasons to avoid sucralose:

Pre-approval tests indicated potential toxicity of sucralose.
There are no *independent* controlled human studies on sucralose (similar to 15 years ago for aspartame).

There are no long-term (12-24 months) human studies of sucralose's effects.

There is no monitoring of health effects. It took government agencies decades to agree that there were countless thousands of deaths from tobacco. Why? Simply because there had been no monitoring or epidemiological studies. Without such monitoring and studies, huge effects can easily go unnoticed.

Eventually the metabolites of these compounds enter the waste water and the water supply. The environmental impact is unknown.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jul 21 - Environmental exposure to organochlorine compounds affects thyroid function in preschool children, according to a report from Spain in the July issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

In 259 four-year-olds from a general population birth cohort, Dr. Mar Alvarez-Pedrerol from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology-IMIM in Barcelona and colleagues measured blood levels of thyroid hormones and organochlorines, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane, the pesticide commonly known as DDT.

In multivariate models, most organochlorine compounds were negatively associated with free T3 levels, the authors report.

Continuous exposures to PCB-118 and beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) were associated with lower free T4 levels, the report indicates, although the association with beta-HCH was not statistically significant.

There was no association between continuous organochlorine exposure and TSH levels, the investigators say.

The effects were generally greater among boys than among girls, the researchers note.

"The mechanisms involved in the alteration of thyroid hormone homeostasis are still not fully understood," the authors write. "Because of the structural similarity between some organochlorines and thyroid hormones, organochlorines are suspected to either decrease or mimic the biological action of thyroid hormones."

In a related editorial, Dr. Leda Chatzi from University of Crete, Greece points out, "As neurological development occurs in discrete developmental windows, even transient disorders in thyroid hormone availability can have profound effects on brain development."

Dr. Chatzi adds that most studies of organochlorine effects on children have focused on prenatal exposure. "There is increasing need for longitudinal studies measuring the effect of postnatal exposure...and possible causal relationships between organochlorines, thyroid function, and neurodevelopment during childhood," Dr. Chatzi concludes.

Occup Environ Med 2008;65:437,452-457.
Reuters Health Information 2008.

Seizure Medications Linked with Aspartame

The Pacific Epilepsy Society in affiliation with the Epileptic Foundation of Maui has completed a seven year study on Epilepsy and Seizures, finding that epilepsy is at an all time high in Hawaii and the western states and Pacific Ocean Territories. There has been a100% increase over the two previous years. See EFM Survey, Freedom of Info Act 2000-2008 & EFM Survey 1999-03

The most profound reason for the spectacular increase in seizures is the inclusion of the drug ASPARTAME in with the new larger sized anti-seizure drugs: DILANTIN, DEPACOTE, TEGRETOL and several others produced by major pharmaceutical corporations. In 2007 the manufacture of Dilantin changed the description of the 100 mg.

Dilantin changed the 100 mg white capsule with red stripe to a much larger white capsule, orange on one end, which contains 100 mg of the drug, plus aspartame. 150 people who took the new Dilantin capsule found the seizure rate increased in every case. The Chemical Pharmaceutical Engineer employee, in fear of his job would not reveal his name, but said they were adding aspartame. He said the new larger orange & white Dilantin is also labeled 100 mg,

Dr. Allen Stein, Neurosurgeon, President of the Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii (a separate organization from the above) is sympathetic to the makers of ASPARTAME and routinely prescribes these drugs. I believe this contributes to the increase of epilepsy in these areas.

Glenn Mabson, PhD., CEO
Epileptic Foundation of Maui (dba Pacific Epilepsy Society)
808 879 8999


One simpler and safer way to reduce plaque

Most cholesterol lowering drugs cause a higher risk of developing cancer to those taking it, as well as not making a better way to protect the heart.

All of the propaganda (marketing) bandied about by the drug companies for this class of drugs is really proving all the critics hace said for years.

I am an early member of one of those efforts to educate people about the dangers of the statin clss of drugs. The group I most closely align myself with is THINCS or The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics.

I the case of this class of drug it pays to be a skeptic because as the years flow by more reports emerge identifying the health risks of these drugs, the excessive profit margin associated with low cost of the active ingredient and very high cost of each prescription, and the associated health problems that can develop.

There are quite a view posts here on cholesterol lowering drugs here, including suggestions for more natural treatments. Of course we can't forget to reiterate that lowering cholesterol does not really protect you from heart attack.

Along with a healthy food plan, exercise, reduced stress, a properly functioning thyroid gland (especially for women), raw vinegar and some vitamin and mineral support you'll be able to accomplish a rebalancing of cholesterol and gain much in the way of health improvement.

And now there is another option for you, and for your doctor as well because this is a professional product.

I've worked with this line of Taoist herbal products since 1993. These are unique in their class, and perhaps do more that you may see on the surface.

Consideration for what is now named Cirrin includes:

USES: poor circulation, helps remove toxins and build up in arteries, veins and cappillaries due to aging, improper diet, or illness, helps decrease pain and swelling due to poor circulation.

OTHER USES: improve the health of hair, skin, and nails because of poor circulation. Also anti-tumor.

HOW TO USE: CIRRIN may be taken on an empty stomach or before, during or after meals. 2 to 6 capsules are taken 3 to 4 times per day. If improvement of overall condition is not attained within 2 days of use, increase by 1 capsule each serving, up to 6 capsules 4 times per day.

SIDE EFFECTS: None known.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: CIRRIN has no known drug interaction.

Happily you may expect your cholesterol levels to rebalance without worry.

The nice part about these products is that they are herbal formulas and they have been tested at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Contact us for more information.

Vytorin fails to meet main goal of heart study
By Bill Berkrot and Ransdell Pierson Mon Jul 21, 2008

The cholesterol fighter Vytorin sold by Merck & Co Inc and Schering-Plough Corp failed to meet the main goal of improving outcomes in a closely-watched heart study, according to data presented on Monday.

Slightly higher incidents of cancer deaths were also seen in those taking the drug -- 39 versus 23 on placebo -- although the lead researcher said those could have occurred as a result of chance.

The shares of both companies fell after the data were released, with Schering off more than 15 percent and Merck down by 7 percent.

No significant difference in the study's composite heart goals was seen between the patients who received Vytorin and those who received a placebo, according to data presented in London by its primary researcher, Dr. Terje Pedersen of Ulleval University Hospital in Oslo, Norway.

Researchers played down the cancer data, saying much larger studies of Vytorin have not showed increased cancer risk.

"There is no overall credible evidence of an increase in cancer," said Sir Richard Peto, professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at the University of Oxford, who reviewed the data. "We should not be diverted (from using Vytorin) by fears of cancer."

Merck and Schering-Plough delayed reporting quarterly financial results, which were expected on Monday morning, so investors could first learn about the outcome of the study.

The primary composite goals of the study of patients with irregular thickening of the main valve to the aorta were broken into two sets of secondary goals and Vytorin was superior on one of those sets, researchers said.

Vytorin was significantly better than placebo in reducing atherosclerotic events, defined as nonfatal heart attacks, need for coronary artery bypass surgery or artery-clearing procedures, hospitalization due to chest pain and strokes.

"The study has given a clear-cut answer whether lipid lowering will influence the cause of aortic stenosis and we can conclude it does not," Pedersen said.

But he noted that Vytorin did offer some benefits in reducing risk of coronary artery disease in the study.

The drug was no better than placebo on the other secondary measure of reducing aortic valve disease events -- the need for surgical valve replacement, hospitalization because of heart failure and cardiovascular death.

"Overall it looks positive. They did decrease atherosclerotic events, which is sort of what everyone expected," said Jon LeCroy, an analyst for Natixis Bleichroeder.

He said cancer fears should be allayed by results of larger, previous studies.

"But we've seen with drugs in the past any time cancer gets tagged on them sometimes the prescriptions can come off a little bit," he added.

Vytorin did lower bad LDL cholesterol by 61 percent throughout the study.

"The bottom line is there was a trade-off in this trial -- in a reduction in some cardiovascular events and an excess of cancer deaths. It's obviously not a favorable result," said Dr Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at Cleveland Clinic, who has been critical of Vytorin use in the past.

The trial was designed to determine whether aggressive cholesterol lowering can lessen the need for surgical replacement of aortic valves, reduce cardiac death and reduce cardiovascular events, including heart attacks.

The 1,873-patient study, meant to follow subjects for a minimum of four years, is the largest formal trial ever conducted in patients with the condition, known as aortic stenosis. An estimated 2 percent of people over age 65 have the condition, which can lead to heart failure.

Sales of the pill have suffered this year and Merck and Schering-Plough stock has fallen sharply, following Vytorin's failure to cut plaque in neck arteries in a separate trial called Enhance.

Widespread unfavorable publicity followed release of the Enhance results in mid-January and subsequent recommendations by researchers that patients first try other cholesterol fighters before opting for Vytorin.

Linda Bannister, an analyst for Edward Jones, said it would have been a positive surprise had Vytorin met the main goal of the latest study, called SEAS.

"The concern is how this is going to be portrayed and perceived and is it just going to be another issue where there is a lot of negative publicity surrounding the drug," Bannister said.

Merck shares were down $2.80, or 7.4 percent, at $34.28, while Schering-Plough shares were down $3.36, or 15.6 percent, at $18.08 in afternoon trading.

(Additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, Deepa Seetharaman, Michael Kahn and Kim Dixon; Editing by Andre Grenon)Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Follow the dots, discover toxic effects of sucralose

"One program within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified the chemical as a cancer hazard and notes that it caused reproductive problems, developmental defects, anemia, liver failure and eye and skin irritation in laboratory animals."

This chemical is called chlorinated TRIS. The key word is "chlorinated".

From a Material Data Safety Sheet - TRIS
This compound may cause irritation of the skin and respiratory tract [058]. When heated to decomposition it emits toxic fumes of chlorine, phosphorus oxides and hydrogen chloride gas [043,058]. This compound is a CHOLINESTERASE INHIBITOR.

Just as sucralose is "chlorinated sugar", and a chlorinated hydrocarbon, you might be able to deduce that the insecticide sold in those little yellow packets is very similar to the toxic and carcinogenic flame retardant, 'chlorinated' TRIS or chemically speaking, TRIS(1,3-DICHLORO-2-PROPYL)PHOSPHATE.
From 'The Daily Green'
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is performing the role of your government, trying its best to protect you from hazardous chemicals that industry wants to foist on unsuspecting people at a profit.

The newspaper's latest revelation is that a toxic flame retardant banned from children's pajamas 30 years ago is still found in a range of household items, including many baby products.

Established and respected international and national scientific bodies have labeled the substance, chlorinated Tris, as harmful, even carcinogenic.

What's worse, the studies government relied on to approve its use were decades-old, unpublished industry studies that with one exception were never peer-reviewed by knowledgeable scientists. The Environmental Protection Agency ignored independent and government studies, including its own, that highlighted the risks.

As a result, the flame retardant is commonly found in paints, furniture, mattresses and a variety of other common household products, including many baby products, like car carriers and bassinets, according to the Journal Sentinel. If the product has foam, there's a good chance it has the toxic flame retardant.

Slowing and stopping the spread of fire is no joke, and some amount of risk might be warranted to increase fire safety. But the pattern of ignorance at the EPA detailed in a series of Journal Sentinel reports shows that toxicity is of least concern to the very agency that is charged with protecting the American public from environmental poisons.

Until the EPA starts doing its job, we can thank the Journal Sentinel for bringing this to light. Do not pass go.
Read this story.

Monday, July 14, 2008


If readers take the time to read about me they should notice I am a health care professional.

Recently a post I have on this blog about the negative impact of cooking with microwave ovens was criticised because it is only from a blog. I guess the person on the recipe forum - a blog of sorts - thinks blogs are places where inaccurate information is posted, just for the sake of posting it.

I am not so interested in posting pages of references on every article I post for comment. Since my goal is to encourage readers to do more research on a topic I comment about, I guess I'd like it if that was the outcome.

I am just trying to get readers to think about their health and what affects it.

And yes, the report I posted about the end result of eating microwaved food is based on scientific studies. Even pre food and post food blood levels were taken and analyzed, finding serious alterations. Probably not too different than what was shown in the movie about fast food (very often heated in microwaves), Super Size Me.

If you'd like higher cholesterol levels so your succumb to an Rx for a statin drug that could give you kidney failure, keep chowing down on your quick convenience meals.

And if you'd like more science, then look at the Russian research on the harm of microwave that dates back to the 1940s.

I have.

Canola and Soy oil not worth the risk

UPDATE: 1 September 2010: Vegetable oils can lead to cataract and macular degeneration -
Professor Paul Beaumont explained: “The oils that you eat become part of your eye, but normally they’re used and flushed out. Researchers believe the eye finds it particularly difficult to biodegrade vegetable oils. They end up blocking the eye’s cells and causing macular degeneration”. Complete article

Original post: The following article is from a series I receive related to my requirement for continuing legal education, written for healthcare professionals.

The issue of necessary omega 3 in the diet is one I beleive in.

What I do not support is the following excerpt from this report.ALA intake has increased during the past several decades, however, mainly through the consumption of vegetable oils such as soybean, canola, and flaxseed oil.

Soy, and the oil, is a very unhealthy substance. Soy is more likely than not to be genetically modified (GMO), as it is in the supplement and food additvie CoroWise found in Centrum Cardio vitamins and some of the cholesterol lowering supermarket products and margarines. Soy is a highly allergenic food. Commercially prepared soy oil is usually processed with hexane and/or benzene, both toxic solvents. Plastic bottles that leach xenoestrogens into the oil when exposed to bright light as on supermarket shelves lead to more toxins in the oil.

Canola is in the same GMO category and is effected by the same type processing and packaging. Canola oil is toxic to the liver, which I have pointed out in other articles in this blog. Canola, by the processing, becomes a trans fat.

I suppose I wish more doctors would read my comments. Getting some dieticians to read them too would be progress. The same holds for readers. There is always more research you can do to learn what the facts are in deference to some proclamation from a double blind study, often funded by the product manufacturer.

If you want to find out more about soy and canola oil, look for information from Mary Enig. She probably knows more about oils than anyone in a scientific field today.

I am in support of flax oil, especially the high lignan kind. Of course this oil should be properly processed, stored only in refrigerated black, light resistant bottles, and used 4-6 weeks of opening the bottle. This oil is very fragile and becomes rancid quickly. Our office sells only a single source of flax oil, perhaps the finest in the market place. We are also very fond of hemp seed oil and use it almost exclusively now because of the high protein content.
From Heartwire — a professional news service of WebMD

July 11, 2008 — The consumption of a diet containing vegetable oils rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is associated with significant reductions in the risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), a new study has shown [1]. Investigators say the protective effect of ALA is evident among individuals with low intakes, suggesting the greatest benefit might be in developing countries, where fatty-acid consumption is limited.

"The potential for benefit is great when the baseline intake is low," said lead investigator Dr Hannia Campos (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA). "In countries where people eat very little fish — and some of these countries have almost no sources of omega-3 fatty acids because they cook with corn or sunflower oils — the consumption of vegetable oils with ALA could have a major impact on heart disease."

In an editorial accompanying the published study [2], Dr William Harris (University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls) said that the data are suggestive and would be good news for individuals who will not or cannot eat fish, but more studies are still needed. "If ALA were able to do the same 'heavy lifting' that [eicosapentaenoic acid] EPA and [docosahexaenoic acid] DHA do, this would be welcomed news, because the capacity to produce ALA is essentially limitless, whereas there are only so many fish in the sea," he writes.

The results of the study and editorial are published online July 8, 2008 in Circulation.

Benefit is great when the baseline levels are low

ALA is an intermediate-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is often overshadowed by the more famous long-chain members of the n-3 family, namely EPA and DHA acids that are found in fish oils. ALA intake has increased during the past several decades, however, mainly through the consumption of vegetable oils such as soybean, canola, and flaxseed oil. Speaking with heartwire, Campos said some studies have shown that low ALA intake was associated with a risk of coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death, and others, although not all, have suggested an inverse association between ALA consumption and risk of MI.

In this study, 1819 patients who survived an MI provided samples of adipose tissue for analysis of fatty-acid stores and completed a validated food questionnaire, with 1817 matching controls doing the same. ALA in the adipose tissues ranged from 0.36% in the lowest decile to 1.04% in the highest decile. The corresponding median levels for ALA intake were 1.11 g/day to 2.35 g/day.

In a multivariate model that included smoking, physical activity, history of diabetes, hypertension, fat intake, and waist-to-hip ratio, among others, there was an observed inverse relationship between adipose tissue ALA and dietary ALA intake and risk of nonfatal MI.

Deciles of adipose tissue, ALA intake, and risk of MI Decile 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ALA intake, g/day 1.11 1.25 1.38 1.38 1.52 1.62 1.79 1.83 2.08 2.35
Median, % ALA in adipose tissue 0.36 0.45 0.5 0.55 0.6 0.64 0.7 0.77 0.88 1.04
Relative risk of MI (95% CI) - 0.94 (0.66 - 1.34) 0.85 (0.59 - 1.24) 0.59 (0.40 - 0.87) 0.52 (0.34 - 0.78) 0.51 (0.34 - 0.79) 0.43 (0.30 - 0.67) 0.45 (0.28 - 0.71) 0.37 (0.23 - 0.59) 0.41 (0.25 - 0.67)

"The relationship between ALA and myocardial infarction was nonlinear," said Campos. "We see a dose effect, but only up to about 0.7% of adipose tissue, which corresponds to about 1.8 g/day. Increasing intake further was not associated with increased protection. This is why we hypothesized that if we were to conduct a study in a population already within this range, you're not likely to see an effect."

Campos said modest intakes of ALA appear to convey benefit, with small amounts of flaxseed oil, even just half a teaspoon, or one to two teaspoons of soybean oil, sufficient to increase ALA intake to 1.8 g/day. More commonly, salad dressings using canola or soybean oil would be enough to increase intakes to cardioprotective levels.

Mechanisms at work

In terms of underlying mechanisms, some have speculated that the protective benefit is mediated by converting ALA to EPA, but Campos said the data from this study do not support that hypothesis, as ALA correlated poorly with adipose and erythrocyte EPA. There are data supporting ALA in reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but ALA is thought to reduce the expression of inflammatory markers, although the data at this point are still inconclusive, she said.

In an unrelated study published online July 7, 2008 in Hypertension, Japanese investigators, led by Dr Katsuyuki Miura (Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu, Japan), observed an independent inverse correlation between dietary linoleic acid and systolic and diastolic blood pressure [3]. Among individuals with higher linoleic acid consumption — in this study, as high as 9 g/day — the effect on systolic and diastolic blood pressure was a reduction of approximately 1.4 mm Hg and 0.9 mm Hg, respectively.

In his editorial, Harris notes that the findings by Campos and colleagues are at odds with other studies, particularly a recent meta-analysis of six studies showing no significant difference between coronary heart disease patients and controls in adipose linoleic acid. The best bet for discovering the true effect of linoleic acid on coronary heart disease risk is the Alpha-Omega Study, a 4800-patient study in which subjects are randomized to 400 mg of EPA plus DHA, 2 g of linoleic acid, both, or neither. The primary end point is cardiac mortality, and results are expected in 2009.

The study by Campos and colleagues was supported by the National Institutes of Health. The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

The study by Miura and colleagues is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the National Institutes of Health Office on Dietary Supplements (Bethesda, Maryland); the Chicago Health Research Foundation; and by national agencies in China, Japan (the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research), and the United Kingdom. The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.


Campos H, Baylin A, Willett WC. Alpha-linolenic acid and risk of nonfatal acute myocardial infarction. Circulation. 2008;DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.762419. Available at:
Harris WS. Cardiovascular risk and alpha-linolenic acid. Circulation. 2008;DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.791467. Available at:
Miura K, Stamler J, Nakagawa H, et al. Relationship of dietary linoleic acid to blood pressure. Hypertension. 2008;52:DOI:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.108.112383. Available at:

The complete contents of Heartwire, a professional news service of WebMD, can be found at, a Web site for cardiovascular healthcare professionals.

Describe the association between linoleic acid intake and blood pressure in the International Study of Macro-Micronutrients and Blood Pressure.
Clinical Context
In many countries worldwide, there is low intake of long-chain n-3 fatty acids found in fish, namely EPA and DHA, which have been linked to a lower risk for all-cause mortality, cardiac and sudden death, and stroke. ALA could be a viable cardioprotective alternative to these fatty acids in these countries. The hypothesis of this case-control study conducted in a Costa Rican population by Campos and colleagues was that ALA is associated with lower risk for MI, that the maximal benefit of ALA is obtained within a specific range of intake, and that the association between ALA and MI is independent of fish intake.

Observational and interventional studies of the association of dietary linoleic acid with blood pressure have been inconsistent. The population-based International Study of Macro-Micronutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP) conducted by Miura and colleagues attempted to resolve these inconsistencies by collecting standardized, high-quality data on large samples of diverse populations. The hypothesis of INTERMAP was that dietary linoleic acid intake of individuals is inversely related to their blood pressure.

Study Highlights
Campos and Colleagues
The first study evaluated the association of ALA and the risk for nonfatal acute MI in 1819 participants living in Costa Rica with a first nonfatal acute MI and in 1819 population-based control subjects matched for age, sex, and area of residence.
Fatty acids were evaluated with gas chromatography of adipose tissue samples and with a validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) specifically designed for this population.
Multivariate conditional logistic regression models calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
In adipose tissue, ALA ranged from 0.36% in the lowest decile (0.42% of energy intake) to 1.04% in the highest decile (0.86% of energy intake).
Whether evaluated in adipose tissue or by FFQ, greater ALA was associated with a lower risk for MI.
For the highest vs the lowest decile, ORs for nonfatal MI were 0.41 (95% CI, 0.25 - 0.67) for ALA in adipose tissue and 0.61 (95% CI, 0.42 - 0.88) for dietary ALA.
There was a nonlinear relationship between ALA and MI in that risk did not decrease further with intakes of more than approximately 0.65% energy (1.79 g/day).
At the levels found in this population, intake of fish, EPA, and DHA did not modify the observed association.
The investigators concluded that intake of vegetable oils rich in ALA could provide important cardiovascular protection and that the apparent protective effect is strongest among subjects with low intakes.
The main limitation of this study is the retrospective case-control design.
Miura and colleagues
INTERMAP is a cross-sectional epidemiologic study in which investigators looked at associations of linoleic acid intake in individuals with their blood pressure.
The study cohort consisted of 4680 men and women, aged 40 to 59 years, from 17 population samples in China, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States.
For each participant, nutrient intake data were based on 4 in-depth, multipass 24-hour dietary recalls and 2 timed 24-hour urine collections.
At 4 visits, systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured a total of 8 times per participant.
Several models controlled for possible dietary or other confounders.
For all of the participants, there was a nonsignificant inverse relationship of linoleic acid intake (percent kilocalories) to systolic and diastolic blood pressures according to linear regression analyses.
In a subgroup of 2238 individuals not following a special diet or consuming nutritional supplements, without diagnosed cardiovascular disease or diabetes, and not taking antihypertensive medication, the relationship was stronger.
For this "nonintervened" subgroup, estimated systolic and diastolic blood pressure differences with 2 SD higher linoleic acid intake (3.77% kcal) were –1.42/–0.91 mm Hg (P < .05 for both), after adjustment for 14 variables. With 2 SD higher intake (4.04% kcal) of total polyunsaturated fatty acid intake, blood pressure differences were –1.42/–0.98 mm Hg (P < .05 for both). The investigators concluded that dietary linoleic acid intake may help prevent and control adverse blood pressure levels in general populations. Limitations of this study include cross-sectional design, underestimation of effect size because of limited reliability in nutrient measurement, and limited ability to fully control for higher-order collinearity. Pearls for Practice In the case-control study by Campos and colleagues, greater ALA was associated with a lower risk for MI, whether evaluated in adipose tissue or by FFQ. There was a nonlinear relationship between ALA and MI in that the risk did not decrease further with intakes of more than approximately 0.65% energy (1.79 g/day). In the INTERMAP study conducted by Miura and colleagues, there was a nonsignificant inverse relationship of linoleic acid intake to systolic and diastolic blood pressures. In a subgroup of individuals not following a special diet or consuming nutritional supplements, without diagnosed cardiovascular disease or diabetes, and not taking antihypertensive medication, the relationship was stronger. According to the Costa Rican case-control study by Campos and colleagues, which of the following statements about the association of ALA with the risk for MI is not correct? Greater ALA in adipose tissue or by FFQ was associated with a lower risk for MI The apparent cardiovascular protective effect is strongest among subjects with low ALA intakes The relationship between ALA and MI was linear Intake of fish, EPA, and DHA did not modify the observed association According to the INTERMAP study conducted by Miura and colleagues, which of the following statements about the relationship of linoleic acid intake to blood pressure is correct? For all of the participants, linoleic acid intake was significantly inversely related to systolic blood pressure For all of the participants, linoleic acid intake was significantly inversely related to diastolic blood pressure For the "nonintervened" subgroup, estimated systolic/diastolic blood pressure differences with 2 SD higher linoleic acid intake were –1.42/–0.91 mm Hg after adjustment The investigators concluded that dietary linoleic acid intake does not affect blood pressure. Target Audience - This article is intended for primary care clinicians, cardiovascular specialists, nutritionists, and other specialists offering dietary advice to patients who may be at risk for cardiovascular disease.