Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lead in unlikely places

I really don't have too much to say other than it pays to know your products. The article speaks for itself.

Remember too that Flinstones and TwinLab have been known to use toxic aspartame in their chewable vitamins aimed at young children.

Everything we select for our clients meets or exceeds our exceptionally high professional standards.
FDA Finds Lead in Vitamins
See Which Vitamins for Women and Children Have the Most and Least Lead
The FDA has identified 320 vitamins with trace amounts of lead. Though none has been labeled unsafe, some have greater potential to expose pregnant women children and babies to toxic lead than others.

The Food and Drug Administration has wrapped up testing of vitamins for women and babies, and found that almost all contain trace amounts of lead.

Lead is of particular concern to pregnant women, fetuses and young children — particularly those under the age of six. Lead, a naturally occurring metal, is know to cause permanent brain damage, limiting IQ, causing behavioral and learning problems and affecting other aspects of development. Some studies have linked exposure to violent spates across the country, and the government has worked to limit exposure by banning or limiting the lead content in paints, gasoline and, most recently, lead in many toys and children's products.

The FDA vitamin research covered 324 multivitamin-mineral products available over the Internet. The FDA failed to detect lead in only four.

However, the FDA does not consider any of these vitamins unsafe, based on lead content.

Remembering that the FDA has not labeled any of these products as unsafe, here is a summary of the 10 vitamins tested by the FDA that would result in the greatest and least exposure to lead, by age group. (complete list.)
Greatest Exposure, Ages 0-6

1. Nature's Plus Animal Parade Shake (Powder)
2. Superior Multi Age (Powder)
3. Nutraceutical Pedia Power (Tablet/Capsule)
4. Physio Kids Multilogics Chewable (Tablet/Capsule)
5. Ola Loa Kids (Powder)
6. Nature's Plus Animal Parade (Tablet/Capsule)
7. Vita-Big-Kids (Tablet/Capsule)
8. Wonder Laboratories Formula Nineteen (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Clinicians Choice Chewable Daily Multivitamins (Tablet/Capsule)
10. Dynamic Health Multi for Children (Liquid)

Least Exposure, Ages 0-6

1. Twinlab Infant Care (Liquid) *
2. Natrol Liquid Kids Companion (Liquid)*
3. NF Formulas Liquid Pediatric (Liquid)*
4. Windmill Bite-A-Mins (Tablet/Capsule)
5. Kids Liquid Dolphin Pals (Liquid)
6. My First Flintstones (Tablet/Capsule)
7. Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins Plus Extra C (Tablet/Capsule)
8. Uno Diario Ninos (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Flintstones Plus Immunity Support (Tablet/Capsule)
10. Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins (Tablet/Capsule)

* denotes vitamins that contained no lead, in FDA testing.
Greatest Exposure, Ages 7+

1. Kal Enhanced Energy Teen Complete (Tablet/Capsule)
2. Clinical Nutrients for Female Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
3. Clinical Nutrients For Male Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
4. Doctor's Choice For Male Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
5. Maxi Teen Supreme (Tablet/Capsule)
6. Rainbow Light Active Health TEEN (Tablet/Capsule)
7. Nature's Plus Source of Life Power Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
8. FoodScience Teen's Superior (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Esteem Total Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
10. Vitanica Women's Symetry (Tablet/Capsule)

Least Exposure, Ages 7+

1. Lil Critters Drop Zone for Teens (Candy-like)
2. Nutrition Now Zow for Teens (Candy-like)
3. Michael's For Pre-Teen Boys (Tablet/Capsule)
4. Michael's For Teen Boys (Tablet/Capsule)
5. Puritan's Pride Mega Vita Min For Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
6. Michael's Pre-Teen Girls (Tablet/Capsule)
7. Michael's Teen Girls (Tablet/Capsule)
8. Good 'N Natural Ultra Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Futurebiotics Derma Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
10. GNC Mega Teen (Tablet/Capsule)

Greatest Exposure, Pregnant and Lactating Women

1. After Baby Boost 1 (Tablet/Capsule)
2. A to Z Naturals Wow! PreNatal (Tablet/Capsule)
3. Vitamin Source Prenatal Complete (Tablet/Capsule)
4. Prenatal Superior (Tablet/Capsule)
5. Rainbow Light Complete Prenatal System (Tablet/Capsule)
6. Buried Treasure Prenatal Plus DHA Complete (Liquid)
7. DaVinci Laboratories Ultimate Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)
8. Life Time Professional Pre-Natal Formula (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Daily Foods Baby & Me (Tablet/Capsule)
10. Carol Bond Women's Choice Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)

Least Exposure, Pregnant and Lactating Women

1. After Baby Boost 2 (Tablet/Capsule) *
2. Nature's Sunshine Nature's Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)
3. Nature's Plus Prenatal Liquid (Liquid)
4. Natrol PreNatal Care (ablet/Capsule)
5. Pregnancy Plus (Tablet/Capsule)
6. Pure Encapsulations PreNatal Nutrients (Tablet/Capsule)
7. Maxi Health One Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)
8. Nature's Bounty Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Stuart Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)
10. Natural Wealth Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)

* denotes vitamins that contained no lead, in FDA testing.
Greatest Exposure, Adult Women

1. NutriBiotic Ultimate Matrix (Tablet/Capsule)
2. Super Nutrition Women's Blend (Tablet/Capsule)
3. Esteem Total Woman (Tablet/Capsule)
4. Garden of Life Living Multi Optimal (Tablet/Capsule)
5. GenSpec VF-1 for African American Females (Tablet/Capsule)
6. For Women Only (Tablet/Capsule)
7. Garden of Life Living Multi (Tablet/Capsule)
8. DaVinci Laboratories Spectra Woman (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Women's Superior (Tablet/Capsule)
10. GenSpec VF-3 para Mujeres Hispanas (Tablet/Capsule)

Least Exposure, Adult Women

1. FemOne (Tablet/Capsule)
2. Viactiv Multivitamin Milk Chocolate (Candy-like)
3. Family Value Multivitamin/Multimineral for Woman (Tablet/Capsule)
4. Women's Basic Multi (Tablet/Capsule)
5. Kirkman EveryDay (Tablet/Capsule)
6. Vitabase Woman's Multi (Liquid)
7. Food Force Women's Force (Tablet/Capsule)
8. 21st Century One Daily Women's (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Viactiv Flavor Glides (Tablet/Capsule)
10. NewChapter Organics Every Woman's One Daily (Tablet/Capsule)

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Birth Control Pills and Disease Mongering

There is no such dis-ease as PMDD. This was designed specifically for a marketing campaign linked with Lilly's Prozac.

Please consider that birth control pills are hormonal chemotherapy and contribute to severe nutritional deficiencies and other related side effects, including but not limited to infertility.

Oral Contraceptives May Ease Suffering Of Women With Severe PMS

ScienceDaily (2008-08-19) -- A new clinical trial using a popular low-dose contraceptive could uncover a more effective treatment for the 5 to 10 percent of women who suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder. ... > read full article

Lettuce and Spinach subject to more tainting

Obviously the FDA in this move want you to have food with absolutely NO nutritional value.

This next informational piece has been on my main website for at least 10 years.

If you want to avoid destruction of your food, order a copy of our Food Cleansing Healthy Handout with your donation. This is delivered electronically in a pdf file.


Irradiation damages the quality of food.

Foods that have been exposed to ionizing radiation have second-rate nutrition and "counterfeit freshness." Irradiated fats tend to become rancid. Even at low doses, some irradiated foods lose 20% of vitamins such as C, E, K, and B complex. Because irradiation breaks down the food's cell walls, accelerated vitamin losses occur during storage--up to 80%. Ironically, irradiation both creates harmful free radicals and destroys the antioxidant vitamins necessary to fight them! When
electron beams are used, trace amounts of radioactivity may be created. In Europe, food irradiation has been used to camouflage spoiled seafood. Consumers should ask, "Why is the food suddenly so dirty that it has to be irradiated?"

Irradiation produces toxic byproducts in the food.
Ionizing radiation knocks electrons out of atoms and creates free radicals. These free radicals react with food components, creating new radiolytic products, some of which are toxic (benzene, formaldehyde, lipid peroxides) and some of which may be unique to irradiated foods. No one knows the long term impact of eating unknown quantities of these damaged foods. Studies on animals fed irradiated foods have shown increased tumors, reproductive failures and kidney damage. Chromosomal abnormalities occurred in children from India who were fed freshly irradiated wheat.

Irradiation using radioactive materials is an environmental hazard.
In Georgia, radioactive water escaped from an irradiation facility; the taxpayers were stuck with $47 million in cleanup costs. In New Jersey, radioactive water was poured into drains that emptied into the public sewer system. Few communities want the increased risks of hosting irradiation facilities and the periodic transport of radioactive materials to and from irradiators. Numerous worker exposures have occurred worldwide.

Irradiation is a quick fix with long-term consequences.
Irradiation doesn't kill all bacteria; those that survive are radiation-resistant. Eventually these bacteria will require higher doses of radiation. Irradiation doesn't kill the bacterium that causes botulism, or viruses. It can't be used on dairy products, a major source of food poisoning. If the labels are removed, irradiation will be used very widely because producers will 'follow the leader' and irradiate to prevent themselves from liability for food poisoning, no matter how remote the possibility. The costs, as always, will be passed on to the consumer.

Irradiation doesn't solve the problem, it just covers it up.
In a 1997 CBS nationwide poll, 77% of US consumers did not want irradiated food. This public resistance is why food trade associations have been plotting to eliminate all requirements for labeling irradiated food. Irradiation is not the only option for providing clean and sustainable food. Cleaning up filthy slaughter houses, slowing down processing lines, increasing the number of federal meat inspectors, and encouraging local and organic agriculture instead of factory farming are just a few proposals that can lead to long-term food safety solutions without the risks of irradiation.

FDA: Irradiating spinach, lettuce OK to kill germs
21 AUG 2008

Consumers worried about salad safety may soon be able to buy fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce zapped with just enough radiation to kill E. coli and a few other germs.

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday will issue a regulation allowing spinach and lettuce sellers to take that extra step, a long-awaited move amid increasing outbreaks from raw produce.

It doesn't excuse dirty produce, warned Dr. Laura Tarantino, FDA's chief of food additive safety. Farms and processors still must follow standard rules to keep the greens as clean as possible — and consumers, too, should wash the leaves before eating.

"What this does is give producers and processors one more tool in the toolbox to make these commodities safer and protect public health," Tarantino said.

Irradiated meat has been around for years, particularly ground beef that is a favorite hiding spot for E. coli. Spices also can be irradiated.

But the Grocery Manufacturers Association had petitioned the FDA to allow irradiation of fresh produce, too, starting with leafy greens that have sparked numerous recent outbreaks, including E. coli in spinach that in 2006 killed three people and sickened nearly 200.

The industry group wouldn't name salad suppliers ready to start irradiating. But it expects niche marketing to trickle out first — bags of spinach and lettuce targeted to high-risk populations such as people with weak immune systems "who right now may be afraid to eat uncooked produce," said GMA's chief science officer Robert Brackett.

"It's one big step forward in improving the safety of fresh produce," he added.

California-based produce giant Dole Food Company confirmed it is considering irradiated lettuce. "We are currently doing extensive testing with irradiation and it looks to be very promising," said spokesman William Goldfield.

A leading food safety expert said irradiation indeed can kill certain bacteria safely — but it doesn't kill viruses that also increasingly contaminate produce, and it isn't as effective as tightening steps to prevent contamination starting at the farm.

"It won't control all hazards on these products," cautioned Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

She questioned why the FDA hasn't addressed her agency's 2006 call to require growers to document such things as how they use manure and ensure the safety of irrigation water. Irrigation is one suspect in this summer's nationwide salmonella outbreak attributed first to tomatoes and then to Mexican hot peppers.

"We are not opposed to the use of irradiation," DeWaal said. But, "it's expensive and it doesn't really address the problem at the source."

Won't zapping leafy greens with X-rays or other means of radiation leave them limp? Not with today's modern techniques and the right dose, the FDA decided.

The FDA determined that irradiation can kill E. coli, salmonella and listeria, as well as lengthen shelf life, without compromising the safety, texture or nutrient value of raw spinach lettuce — the first greens studied.

E. coli actually is fairly sensitive to radiation, while salmonella and listeria require more energy. While irradiation doesn't sterilize, the FDA ruled that food companies could use a dose proven to dramatically reduce levels of those germs, a dose somewhat lower than meat requires.

But consumers shouldn't consider irradiation a panacea, either. While E. coli and salmonella tend to affect more people and make bigger headlines, consumer advocate DeWaal has found that norovirus contamination is a leading cause of produce outbreaks.

The irradiation rule goes into effect Friday. The FDA still is considering industry's petition to allow irradiation of additional produce. The grocery manufacturers group will push for other greens, such as Romaine lettuce, to be next, so that producers could irradiate bags of salad mixes.

While irradiated foods initially caused some consumer concern, FDA's Tarantino stressed that the food itself harbors no radiation.

"There is no residue, there's nothing left and certainly no radioactivity left," she said.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Cholesterol lowering drugs already known to be linked with cancer

At the FDA one wonders exactly how out of touch they can be. The cancer link to this class of drug is well established. Maybe more effort should be placed on getting them off the market once and for all.

Cholesterol drugs don't protect against cancer Statins do not reduce the risk of cancer, finds a review of several long-term studies published today.

The findings contradict previous studies, which suggested that the cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce cancer risk. They are based on 26 randomized controlled trials of statins and cancer incidence, or cancer death, including a total of 86,936 participants.

Dr C. Michael White and colleagues at the University of Connecticut and Hartford Hospital, Hartford, USA, report the findings in today's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

They write: "In the trials, statins reduced the risk of a first myocardial infarction [heart attack] and overall mortality. With long-term follow-up and collection of cancer data in a majority of studies, insight into the risk of cancer among statin-naive persons and statin users can be derived.*

"In our current meta-analysis, statins did not reduce the incidence of cancer or cancer death." JAMA. 2006; 295: 74-80.

And now another MD concurs...
Low cholesterol levels linked with increased risk of cancer, so is cholesterol reduction safe?
Dr John Briffa, August 22, 2008

When in comes to cholesterol levels, the mantra is usually ‘the lower the better’. The idea here is that the lower the level of cholesterol in our bloodstreams, the lower our risk of cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart attack and stroke) and therefore, we hope, death from these conditions. But wait a minute, even if this were true, how about if lower levels of cholesterol actually increased our risk of other important conditions? Might an increased risk of, say, cancer, offset any apparent advantages of low cholesterol with regard to cardiovascular disease.

This is not just theory: evidence shows that the lower cholesterol levels are, generally speaking, the higher the risk of cancer. The most recent study to show this association was published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiologists (JACC). The study was designed to assess the risk of cancer in individuals taking statin (cholesterol-lowering drugs). In this study, the results of 15 statin studies were assessed.

The researchers found, as had been noted before, that in individuals in these studies taking placebo, the lower their cholesterol levels, the higher their risk of cancer. They also found the same thing in individuals taking statins in these studies. But, for a given cholesterol level, statin takers were, overall, not found to be at an increased risk of cancer compared to those taking placebo.

This study led to proclamations in the press that statins do not cause cancer. And that might be true. But it might not be true too.

Let’s imagine for a moment that low cholesterol levels are not just associated with cancer but actually cause cancer. And let’s imagine that through their cholesterol-reducing capacity statins can therefore enhance cancer risk. Well, it likely takes some time for statins to reduce cholesterol and almost certain even longer for that to manifest as full-blown, diagnosable cancer. In other words, the statin trials may simply not have gone on long enough for the long-terms effects on cancer to be properly assessed.

Looking at individual studies within the review we find that some studies show no statistically significant increased risk of cancer in statin takers. Some studies even showed a reduced risk of cancer. But, and this is important I think, some individuals studies did show an increased risk of cancer in those taking statins. The results of these studies can of course be diluted by the other studies, but they are still there, and some would argue that their presence casts a pretty ominous shadow over statin and perhaps cholesterol-reducing therapy generally. The authors of an accompanying editorial in the same edition of JACC point out that the results of the review are not definitive, and don’t prove that reducing cholesterol levels down to low levels is safe as far as cancer is concerned.

Not so long ago I reported on a study (the so-called [1] SEAS study) which found that treatment with two cholesterol reducing drugs led to an increased risk of cancer compared to placebo. As even the authors of the JACC review conclude, further studies of longer duration are needed to assess the risk of cholesterol reducing medicine with regard to cancer risk.

Alawi A, et al. Statins, Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol, and Risk of Cancer. Journal of the American College of Cardiologists. Published on-line 20th August 2008.

FDA investigates possible Vytorin link to cancer
Aug 21, 2008

Federal drug safety regulators said Thursday they are investigating whether the cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin can increase patients' risk of developing cancer.

However, the Food and Drug Administration said patients should not stop taking Vytorin because the evidence of a cancer link is unclear. While one recent clinical trial indicated higher rates of cancer for patients taking the medication, two studies currently under way have shown no increased risk.

Vytorin, a combination of Merck's Zocor and Schering-Plough's Zetia, has been heavily promoted as a novel way to reduce cholesterol. Zocor, a statin drug, reduces the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. Zetia limits the amount of cholesterol absorbed through the digestive system. But the combination became a focus of controversy after a study earlier this year showed it was no better at reducing the buildup of plaque in the arteries than the much cheaper generic Zocor.

Statins lower the levels of LDL-cholesterol, also called 'bad' cholesterol because of its role in heart disease. Some previous studies of statins have suggested a link between low LDL levels and a higher risk of cancer. But again, others have not.

Just this week, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a new analysis of 15 statin studies including more than 90,000 patients that found statin users were no more likely to get cancer than people given dummy drugs.

"Nobody should avoid taking a statin because of concerns about cancer," said American Cancer Society epidemiologist Eric Jacobs.

Ironically, statins a few years ago were being studied as a possible prevention for certain cancers; those studies ultimately found no effect on cancer, good or bad.

The FDA anticipates its investigation will take about 9 months.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Doctors: Follow the Rules, a safe and simple thing to do

And not only is it the ethical thing to do, it is the legally required thing to do!

Informed consent was something drilled in to my brain while studying pharmacology during five years of my education.

It seems as if prescribers generally skip this section these days, even pharmacists do.

I know a day does not go by when I encounter a person on Rx that has no idea what the risks, benefits or side effects, warnings, etc. might be.

Through one of the services offered for decades through my non-profit organization, we offer reports that are fairly well detailed on this topic, as well as several closely related topics.

The outcome we seek in this work is a person who is then able to understand how to go about doing their own research and gaining the courage to demand this from their health care provider.

See where this has traveled along the yellow brick road. I am behind the effort of these editors,physicians and researchers. You should be too.

Don't forget that Big Pharma is one of the largest contributors to Members of Congress and the current administration.

If the court rules for the FDA, then all of humanity is at risk!

Then we'll know whose money is buying control, not only at the FDA but in the Supreme Court.
In Supreme Court Brief, Journal Editors Fault FDA Safety Record
By Peggy Peck, Executive Editor, MedPage Today
Published: August 18, 2008

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 -- Some leading journal editors along with influential physicians and researchers have urged the Supreme Court to reject the idea that FDA approval of a drug indemnifies the maker against liability suits for failing to warn adequately against an agent's risks.

They filed a series of amicus curiae briefs with the Supreme Court in support of Diana Levine, a musician who lost her right arm to gangrene that developed after receiving promethazine (Phenergan) by IV push.

Levine was awarded $6.8 million by Vermont Courts. Wyeth is now appealing that judgment in the Supreme Court, arguing that federal law-in this case FDA approval of the drug with risks and benefits spelled out on the label and package insert-preempts failure-to-warn claims brought in state courts.

The amicus briefs were filed by Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D., editor-in-chief, of the New England Journal of Medicine, Gregory D. Curfman, M.D., the NEJM executive editor, and Stephen Morrissey, Ph.D., the journal's managing editor, along with former editors Marcia Angell, M.D., Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D., and Arnold Relman, M.D. They asserted that the issue before the court was "one of immense importance from the perspective of public health and safety."

The NEJM brief, which was joined by Paul D. Stolley, M.D., formerly of the University of Maryland, Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D., S.M., of Yale, Stuart Rich, M.D., of the University of Chicago, and Eric J. Topol, M.D., of Scripps School of Medicine-all researchers who have multiple publications in NEJM-stated that contrary to Wyeth's premise, "the FDA is in no position to ensure the safety of prescription drugs."

The agency, the NEJM brief said, is not only "seriously hampered in its ability to determine the risks of drugs before they are approved for sale, but it has proven inadequate to the task of addressing hazards that only become apparent after a drug has been widely marketed to an unsuspecting public."

Those dangers, the NEJM petitioners continued "are unfortunately quite common."

Levine's cause was also supported in a brief from 47 states' attorneys general, as well as a brief from the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Medical Liability Trust, and the North Carolina Medical Association. Two former FDA commissioners, David Kessler, M.D., and Donald Kennedy, Ph.D., also backed her.

In addition, there were briefs supporting Levine filed by Curt Furberg, M.D., Ph.D., of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Arthur Levin, M.P.H., of the Center for Medical Consumers, Rahul Sharma, M.D. M.B.A. of New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, and a handful of third party payers, including the Health and Welfare Fund and Retiree Health and Welfare Fund of the Detectives Endowment Association, Police Department, City of New York, Canton Electrical Welfare Fund of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 540, and the Ohio Carpenters Health Fund.

By contrast the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Washington Legal Foundation filed a brief supporting Wyeth's argument that the FDA approval preempts state tort claims.

In its brief, ACEP argued, "the consequences of striking the wrong balance on the side of excessive caution and overwarning can be as injurious to the public health as those on the side of underwarning."

Additional Public Health Coverage
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Unwarranted variations in health care by geographical location

Across the United States, there are large and often puzzling variations in medical expenses, treatment patterns, and quality. Much of this geographic variation has proven to be unwarranted; that is, it cannot be adequately explained by differences in illness rates, patient preferences or the dictates of evidence-based medicine. The premise for the Foundation is rooted in the belief that medical decisions made by informed patients offer great potential to reduce this problem.

Full Article: Medical Practice Variation

Dire Warning on Diabetes Drug

There are several pieces of legislation that prohibt the FDA from approving any substance known to cause death.

Using a drug that is known to cause pancreatitis is also something that would make me extrmemely suspicous.

This latest tactic, under the guise of "strengthening the product warning" would also make me wonder.
FDA reports deaths with diabetes drug Byetta By MATTHEW PERRONE, AP Business Writer
18 August, 2008

Federal regulators are working on a stronger label for a widely used diabetes drug marketed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co. after deaths were reported with the medication despite earlier government warnings.

The Food and Drug Administration said Monday it has received six new reports of patients developing a dangerous form of pancreatitis while taking Byetta. Two of the patients died and four were recovering.

Regulators stressed that patients should stop taking Byetta immediately if they develop signs of acute pancreatitis, a swelling of the pancreas that can cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. The FDA warned that it is very difficult to distinguish acute pancreatitis from less dangerous forms of the condition.

The FDA announcement updated an October alert about 30 reports of Byetta patients developing pancreas problems. None of those cases were fatal, but Byetta's makers agreed to add information about the reports to the drug's label.

However, the FDA made clear Monday that it is seeking a stronger, more prominent warning about the risks.

Amylin and Eli Lilly said in a statement that patients taking Byetta have shown "very rare case reports of pancreatitis with complications or with a fatal outcome." The companies added that diabetes patients are already at increased risk of pancreatitis compared with healthy patients. The pancreas produces several important biological fluids, including insulin — the sugar-regulating hormone that most diabetics lack.

The FDA said doctors should consider prescribing other medications to patients with a history of pancreas problems.

Byetta competes against blockbuster drugs from GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the $24 billion global market for diabetes medications, according to health care research firm IMS Health.

More than 700,000 patients with type 2 diabetes have used the injectable drug since it was launched in June 2005. It is jointly developed and manufactured by San Diego-based Amylin and Eli Lilly.

Byetta's $636 million in sales made up about 80 percent of Amylin's total revenue last year. The drug accounted for just 3 percent of Eli Lilly's sales. The companies are developing a long-lasting version of Byetta that could be injected once weekly, instead of twice daily.

Robert Baird & Co. analyst Thomas Russo cautioned investors that concerns about pancreatitis could affect the FDA's review and requirements for the new version. Russo rates Amylin "outperform," but said in a note to investors he could revise that rating as more information becomes available.

Shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals fell $4.45, or 13 percent, to $29.76 Monday, while Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly dipped 73 cents to $48.05.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

And in other comments on the pharmaceutical industry, UK experts share similar concerns.

Health chief attacks drug giants over huge profits
· Watchdog slams high medicine prices
· Share value driving industry priorities

* Gaby Hinsliff, political editor
* The Observer,
* Sunday August 17 2008
* Article history

The drugs industry is overpricing vital new medicines to boost its profits, the chair of the health watchdog Nice warns today in an explosive intervention into the debate over NHS rationing.

Professor Sir Michael Rawlins spoke out after critics last week accused the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) of 'barbarism' for refusing to approve expensive new kidney drugs for NHS use, on the grounds that they were not cost-effective.

In an outspoken interview with The Observer, he warned of 'perverse incentives' to hike the prices of new drugs - including linking the pay of pharmaceutical company executives to their firm's share price, which in turn relied on keeping profits healthy. Traditionally some companies charged what they thought they could get away with, he said. 'We are told we are being mean all the time, but what nobody mentions is why the drugs are so expensive.'

Kidney cancer drugs could be produced for about a tenth of their current cost, Rawlins said. While developing such medicines from scratch added to these costs, as did some 'unnecessary' bureaucracy around clinical trials which should be scrapped, he said that was not the whole story. 'Part of the problem is that the pharmaceutical industry is looking at a very bad period in the future because a lot of their big earners are going off patent [allowing rivals to make cheaper versions], and many companies are looking at a 30 or 40 per cent reduction in the next five years unless they come up with new drugs,' he said. 'And so part of the cost is cushioning against that. The other thing, of course, is that the share price is very important to a pharmaceutical company.'

Share prices were driven by profits, he said. 'Pharmaceutical companies have enjoyed double-digit growth year on year and they are out to sustain that, not least because their senior management's earnings are related to the share price. It's not in their interests to take less profit, personally as well as from the point of view of the business. All these perverse incentives drive the price up.

'The other thing we have to pay for is the costs of marketing. Marketing costs generally are about twice the spend on research and development.' Advertising to patients was forbidden in Britain, but widespread in the US, and some of that marketing cost was built into European drug prices, Rawlins said.

He said halting such perverse incentives could bring a 'significant' reduction in prices. 'Traditionally the pharmaceutical industry will admit that they actually charged what they think the market will bear. The wiser ones are recognising that that model is no longer available.'

His claims will infuriate the industry, which argues that prices have fallen 21 per cent in real terms in 10 years. A spokesman for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry said companies were committed to reducing prices, adding that one company had offered to make kidney drugs rejected by Nice available initially for free.

'Of course, pharmaceutical companies make a huge investment into public health when they develop a new medicine: it costs on average £550m, and takes more than 10 years, to bring each new treatment to patients,' she said. 'Naturally companies will look to recoup such costs through the final price.'

However, the Office of Fair Trading found in a report last year that drug prices did not reflect benefits to patients, arguing that they should be directly linked to therapeutic value - with a pill delivering significantly better health to many people becoming more expensive than a drug giving only marginal benefits to a limited number of patients.

Nice is discussing these proposals with the Department of Health, but Rawlins said some companies were already exploring possible deals, including making new drugs that will have limited applications available cheaply in return for being allowed to raise the price if wider uses for them emerge later.

The kidney drugs assessed by Nice were rejected because they gave patients only a few months more to live at high cost, infuriating sufferers who said extra time with their families was priceless. But Rawlins said other patients would have lost out. 'We have a finite amount of money for healthcare, and if you spend money one way you can't spend it in another,' he said. Next year, however, Nice will review whether the criteria it uses to judge cost-effectiveness - linked to calculations about how many extra years a patient could expect, at what quality of life, for what price - are right.

In his wide-ranging interview, Rawlins admitted he was 'disappointed' for personal reasons that Nice's advice to offer all infertile couples three free cycles of IVF had not been implemented. 'I have a little grandson who was the result of IVF. The sadness of people who want to have children and can't is very real and so I wish it was more widely available.'

Rawlins, who is also the outgoing chair of the Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs, also backed up suggestions last week by a senior government drugs adviser that drug crackdowns were misdirected. 'Parliamentarians think there's a legislative way out of it and there isn't,' he said, adding that it was 'absurd' to suggest teenagers could be locked up for possessing a few cannabis joints. 'There are criminal justice elements to the solution, but it's primarily a public health problem,' he added.

Health chief attacks drug giants over huge profits
It was last updated August 17 2008. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008

Mainstream Media and Health Reporting

Health News Review is a service I subscribe to. The article referred to here is about an ABC story on Vitamin D.

Looking at critical journalistic issues is as important as facts when considering health news: what you hear or what you read.

Gary Schwitzer, publisher of this site is very helpful to me in improving the critical skills I use in reviewing the news and in deciding what is important to post on Natural Health News.

Remember, this site, Natural Health News, is about education, not sensationalism that seems to be found elsewhere.
Conflicts of interest among sources of health/medical news and information represent an enormous – and growing – problem.
Created 7/22/08

Health care consumers, and news consumers, are often not told of the biases that may exist in medical research, in clinical care, or in health care professionals’ continuing medical education because of financial ties to drug companies and medical device manufacturers.

Journalists, broadcasters, editors, and producers too often rely – wittingly or unwittingly – on drug industry sources. The result: medical news often helps sell drugs to the public, accentuating the positive and minimizing risks, rather than giving readers a balanced, accurate view.

To counter claims that it is impossible to find experts who are not on the payroll of industry, independent journalists Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee have compiled a list of more than 100 experts from several nations with expertise across a wide range of disciplines. There are two parts to the list. One part includes experts who have no financial conflicts of interest, or conflicts that are irrelevant to most stories. The second part includes experts with a variety of potential conflicts. Some of these experts have ended their pharma ties – but only within the past five years. Others may have current financial conflicts of interest. These experts, despite their commercial ties, are included in the list because they have provided important insights into the inner workings of industry – effectively biting the hand that fed them in some instances --and/or because their conflicts did not limit their ability to comment in areas unrelated to the conflicts.

The experts include: two former editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, the former editor of the western journal of medicine, current editors of American Family Physician and Public Library of Science-Medicine; former FDA advisors; physician educators; researchers; bioethicists; epidemiologists, methodologists, geneticists, and clinicians from a various specialties; medical whistleblowers; and several medical journalists.

Information about the list appears in the “Journalist Toolkit” section of the site at: If you’re a journalist, you’ll be given instructions about how to acquire the list, complete with experts’ contact information. The general public will be able to see the list of names without any contact information.

It’s our hope that this list helps journalists find and use sources who do not have financial conflicts of interest. We hope that the general public understands the gravity of these issues and their impact on the integrity of medical science.

For further information on the list see: Naming Names: Is There an (Unbiased) Doctor in the House? BMJ July 23, 2008.

Gary Schwitzer

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Not a moment too soon

In the later 70s I was Health Director at a large urban Indian Health program operated by a Puget Sound tribe. We had a multi-disciplinary team, and it was the first funded by the Indian Self-Determination Act, PL 93-638.
We received a grant for our mental health program for a traditional healer. I still have the press clipping. We were first in the nation to receive a grant for this purpose.

Thirty years later we see it coming round again.

My thanks go to Don Matherson, then Chief, who supportetd us in this process and the joint and cooperative relationship with a near-by hospital based mental health center.
University opening new integrative medicine center
By SUE MAJOR HOLMES, Associated Press Writer
Sat Aug 16, 2008

Many academic health centers offer programs that include traditional Chinese treatments or Ayurvedic medicine from India. The University of New Mexico goes beyond that, says management of its new Center for Life.

"The uniqueness of our program is that we not only embrace Eastern and Western philosophies, but we try to integrate the traditions of New Mexico," said Dr. Arti Prasad, the center's director. Thus, Native American healers and Hispanic curanderas are invited to work with patients at the clinic.

The Center for Life, which opened Friday, offers what Prasad prefers to call "complementary medicine" — augmenting modern medicine with practices and treatments that may go back thousands of years in other cultures.

The philosophy has its basis in preventing disease, what Prasad describes as "keeping the body in balance, staying healthy, exercising, eating healthy and doing good things in your life."

Western medicine works to find disease early with such tests as mammograms, while Eastern medicine steps in earlier to try to prevent disease, she said. If there's an imbalance in the body and a person becomes ill, Eastern medicine tries to get the body back in balance, she said.

The center's physicians work with yoga instructors, doctors of Oriental medicine or hypnotherapists "to achieve one goal of health and wellness in our patients," said Prasad, a native of India who graduated from conventional Western medical schools but grew up with traditional folk medicine as part of the Indian lifestyle.

The clinic is located miles from the university's hospital. That tends to reduce the anxiety many patients feel in a hospital setting, Prasad said.

"That's different from a place where you can sense healing right from the beginning," she said.

People enter through a reception area with a water fountain. "The sound of water is very soothing and healing," she explains.

Vibrant, sherbet-tone colors were chosen specifically for healing, giving a sense of joy and liveliness. Music plays throughout the clinic and in the rooms — which are called treatment rooms, not examination rooms. Instead of numbers, the rooms have names: Heal, Hope, Calm, Relax, Pleasure, Longevity. Instead of examination tables and fluorescent lights, they have small water fountains, massage tables and cushy furniture.

The building is new, but the center began last year when the Health Sciences Center expanded the integrated medicine section it started in 2001.

Prasad acknowledges that some doctors don't support the idea of integrative medicine, but said more patients are demanding options.

"It's here because our consumers are wanting it, our consumers are asking these questions so we have to go out and find the answers for them," she said.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Drug for Huntington's disease wins approval

Alice's Restaurant. Arlo Guthrie's song, and a movie by the same name, was becoming popular before I moved out to California in the 60s. Ramblin' Jack gave me one of those blue-turquoise buttns advertising the song. I'd always given lollipops to Arlo, even after I moved from the east to the west.

At a much younger age I wish I had known that Huntington's disease is an example of a double dependency on niacin and on vitamin E.

I'd have sent vitamins to Woody.

Now there's a drug. But don't you think vitamins are going to reach many more people because of lower cost, and fewer risks of side effects that might not be known at this time?
1st US drug for Huntington's disease wins approval
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Writer
Fri Aug 15, 2008

Federal regulators on Friday cleared the first treatment approved in the United States for Huntington's, a rare inherited disease that causes uncontrolled movements, deterioration of mental abilities and, ultimately, death.

The medication, called Xenazine, will not cure the condition_and it has some potentially serious side effects, such as raising the risk of suicidal behavior. However, it does provide relief for a major disabling symptom of Huntington's: the jerky, involuntary movements known by the medical term chorea and force many patients to live as shut-ins.

"A lot of patients won't go out because they are embarrassed by those movements," said Dr. Frederick J. Marshall, a University of Rochester Medical Center neurologist who led the clinical study that provided evidence of the drug's effectiveness. "Suppressing those movements means a lot to people with Huntington's disease."

The disease affects only about 30,000 patients in the United States. Developing and testing medications for such a small population is a difficult process, with uncertain financial rewards. So the Food and Drug Administration granted Xenazine a special "orphan drug" designation that provides additional years of patent protection and allows the manufacturer, Prestwick Pharmaceuticals, to write off some development costs. The medication had already been approved in Canada, Europe and Australia.

"For the first time, there is a treatment that can help patients with this disease gain some quality of life," said Dr. Timothy Cote, head of the FDA's orphan drugs office. Huntington's usually strikes between early adulthood and middle age, and patients can expect to live for 15 to 20 years after they first begin to experience symptoms.

The drug works by reducing the amount of a chemical, dopamine, available at key junction sites in the brain. Dopamine is essential in communicating signals between nerve cells, but in people with Huntington's this system is overactive. By reducing the amount of dopamine available at certain sites in the brain, the drug decreases the involuntary movements associated with Huntington's.

But Xenazine also has some serious side effects, which include depression and suicidal thoughts and actions. The FDA said the drug should not be taken by patients who are suicidal or who have untreated depression. People with Huntington's disease often struggle with depression to begin with, because of the severity of the disease. The agency is requiring a special risk management program to monitor patients for worsening psychiatric symptoms.

Until now, many patients with Huntington's have gone untreated, Marshall said, while others have experimented with anti-psychotic drugs or imported Xenazine from abroad, in technical violation of U.S. law. Approval of the drug means U.S. patients will have access to a medication that should be covered by Medicare and other government and private insurance plans.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Soothing the beast: Music can boost your immune system

I am a follower of Vibrational Medicine. One of the certifications I hold is as a VoiceBio pratitioner. This is a very interesting health screening tool that bases its analysis and interpretation on the frequency of the vibrations in your voice.

Its just physics you know.
Listening to music can give your immune system a boost and may help fight off disease, researchers have discovered.

By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent 16 Aug 2008

Scientists found that after listening to just 50 minutes of uplifting dance music, the levels of antibodies in volunteers' bodies increased.

They also found that stress hormone levels, which can weaken the immune system, decreased after being exposed to the music.

Volunteers who played a percussion instrument along with the music also benefited from the immune boost.

The researchers, from Sussex University and the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, say their findings demonstrate how music could be used to help aid patients' recovery while in hospital.

In a separate, unpublished, study they also found that playing music while a patient was under anaesthetic during an operation also helped to lower the levels of harmful stress hormones.

Dr Ronny Enk, a neurocognition expert at the Max Planck Institute, who led the research, said: "We think the pleasant state that can be induced by music leads to special physiological changes which eventually lead to stress reduction or direct immune enhancement.

"Stress reduction probably plays an important role, but the stress reducing effect seems to be different for various types of music."

The researchers tested 300 people, asking them to listen to 50 minutes of happy, joyful dance music or to a random collection of tones.

They found that levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, decreased significantly in those listening to the dance music compared to the control group. After listening, the levels of the antibody immunoglobin A, the immune system's first line of defence, were heightened.

The researchers did not test whether different types of music would have different affects, but other studies have shown that personal preference for music can also influence the stress reducing impact it can have.

Dr Enk added: "We'd expect that different kinds of music might show different physiological and immunological effects. Not only the music itself is important but probably the personal appraisal of the listener will also be important. We did not use relaxing music, but rather exciting music that were joyful dance tunes from different centuries.

"Listening to music in hospitals might show benefits for patients and may for example lead to shorter recovery times, but we are still to test this ourselves."

Friday, August 15, 2008

1984 is Now

I received this article from Hospice Patient's Alliance.
If people contemplate and really see the sanctity of life, their
"quality of life" arguments fall away and they will understand that we
are here to care for each other, not to kill each other. Caring, and not
convenience, is the sign of a civilized and just society!
Ron Panzer
for Hospice Patients Alliance

It was timely because of a very similar and recent case that came to my attention in North Idaho. The patient in Idaho died, but not by his choice.

Because I have worked with many very ill people over the years, many who were terminally ill, I clearly believe in a person's right to choose.

I don't believe the state, a hospice, or a doctor has the right to make the decision for me.
Oregon Offers Terminal Patients Doctor-Assisted Suicide Instead of Medical Care
Monday , July 28, 2008
By Dan Springer

This is part of the America's Future series airing on FOX News Channel, looking at the challenges facing the country in the 21st century.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Some terminally ill patients in Oregon who turned to their state for health care were denied treatment and offered doctor-assisted suicide instead, a proposal some experts have called a "chilling" corruption of medical ethics.

Since the spread of his prostate cancer, 53-year-old Randy Stroup of Dexter, Ore., has been in a fight for his life. Uninsured and unable to pay for expensive chemotherapy, he applied to Oregon's state-run health plan for help.

Lane Individual Practice Association (LIPA), which administers the Oregon Health Plan in Lane County, responded to Stroup's request with a letter saying the state would not cover Stroup's pricey treatment, but would pay for the cost of physician-assisted suicide.

"It dropped my chin to the floor," Stroup told FOX News. "[How could they] not pay for medication that would help my life, and yet offer to pay to end my life?"

The letter, which has been sent to other terminal patients throughout Oregon, follows guidelines established by the state legislature.

Oregon doesn't cover life-prolonging treatment unless there is better than a 5 percent chance it will help the patients live for five more years — but it covers doctor-assisted suicide, defining it as a means of providing comfort, no different from hospice care or pain medication.

"It's chilling when you think about it," said Dr. William Toffler, a professor of family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. "It absolutely conveys to the patient that continued living isn't worthwhile."

In issuing their latest Prioritized List of Health Services, state officials reported a new emphasis on preventive care and cost effectiveness. Dr. John Sattenspiel, LIPA's senior medical director, defended the measures.

"I have had patients who would consider knowing that this is part of that range of comfort care or palliative care services that are still available to them, they would be comforted by that," Sattenspiel said. "It really depends on the individual patient."

Toffler called it a callous practice that went against medical convention. "It corrupts the consistent medical ethic that has been in place for 2,000 years," he said. "It's absolutely breathtaking."

Oregon is the only state to legalize doctor-assisted suicide, which came into effect in 1997. Since that time, there have been 341 reported cases where doctors provided lethal doses of medicine to patients to end their lives.

Oregon voters have upheld the "Death with Dignity" law three times, and Sattenspiel says it is the state's duty to inform patients of all their legal options.

For Stroup, however, suicide was never an option. He fought back, and the Oregon Health Plan eventually reversed its decision and is now paying for his chemotherapy, giving him hope he'll be around a little longer for his 80-year-old mother and five grandchildren.

There may be something wrong with this picture

I've been education about the long term side effects of alleged blood thinning agents like ASA (aspirin)for a very long time. I think I've already written here that the use of ASA can lead to the break down of the mechanism that protects clotting, just link coumadin, and the relationship to "silent bleeding".

I've also written about proton pump inhibitors and other acid blocking agents and how their use leads to osteoporosis, blocking of the P450 cytochrome pathway, and the possibility of stomach cancer.

Now some one in the medical industry decided that putting these drugs in combination will help you ward off GI bleeding caused by the ASA.

I'm not sure I follow the logic, but I do follow the GI bleeding issue.

I'd go for vitamin E, cayenne, or omega3 and nattokinase if I was going to thin my blood. Bioprin is a professional choice if you have to stick with aspirin type products, and this one kills H. pylori as a bonus. No stomach acid, increased risk of H. pylori...if you think through the equation to its ultimate conclusion.

I'd also skip the acid blockers because they do interfere with protein metabolism and has some risks of their own.

Glucosamine can protect the mucous membrane lining of the stomach. That might be a safer fix.

And can you tell me who left the thinking cap off when they thought this one up?

Aspirin, Acid Blocker A Day Keeps GI Bleeding At Bay

ScienceDaily (2008-08-14) -- Over-the-counter acid-blockers are worth the price for coronary heart disease patients taking low-dose aspirin as a preventative measure, according to new research. ... > read full article

Is it a wheat allergy ?

A couple of years ago a friend contacted me about one of his colleagues diagnosed with esphageal cancer.

I did a little research and found some information for him to share with his friend.

One of the last citations I located was quite an old one, but specific to the case. Wheat allergy is one of the most common causes of this type of disorder.

Is it all the additives in the wheat nowdays, all the processing that casues it to be totally deficient of the naturally occurring nutrients that have helped people survive around the world for centureis. Or is it the herbicides and pesticides used in growing the crop.

Perhaps we should look in different directions to locate the cause.

Finger stick food allergy testing is very sophisticated today, and an effective tool to help educate people about what might be bothering their health.

More doctors should use it as a first line of defense.

Adenocarcinoma Of The Esophagus Increasing In White Men And Women

ScienceDaily (2008-08-14) -- The incidence of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus in the United States increased among both white men and women between 1975 and 2004. ... > read full article

New medical trials explore benefits of hallucinogenic drugs

Clinical trials test potential of hallucinogenic drugs to help patients with terminal illnesses
· First test of 'psychedelic psychotherapy' since 70s
· Researchers hope effects will improve quality of life

* James Randerson
* The Guardian, Tuesday August 12 2008
* Article history:James Randerson discusses the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD to treat ailments from depression to cluster headaches

Scientists are exploring the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD to treat a range of ailments from depression to cluster headaches and obsessive compulsive disorder.

The first clinical trial using LSD since the 1970s began in Switzerland in June. It aims to use "psychedelic psychotherapy" to help patients with terminal illnesses come to terms with their imminent mortality and so improve their quality of life.

Another psychedelic substance, psilocybin - the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has shown promising results in trials for treating symptoms of terminal cancer patients. And researchers are using MDMA (ecstasy) as an experimental treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the Swiss trial eight subjects will receive a dose of 200 microgrammes of LSD. This is enough to induce a powerful psychedelic experience and is comparable to what would be found in an "acid tab" bought from a street drug dealer. A further four subjects will receive a dose of 20 microgrammes. Every participant will know they have received some LSD, but neither the subjects nor the researchers observing them will know for certain who received the full dose. During the course of therapy researchers will assess the patients' anxiety levels, quality of life and pain levels.

Before hallucinogenic drugs became popular with the counter culture, they were at the forefront of brain science. They were used to help scientists understand the nature of consciousness and how the brain works and as treatments for a range of conditions including alcohol dependence.

Charles Grob, a professor of psychiatry at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Centre, is in the vanguard of the resurgence of scientific interest in psychedelics, having recently completed a trial that used psilocybin to help patients with terminal cancer come to terms with their illness. "I think there's a perception these compounds hold untapped potential to help us understand the human mind," he said.

The way hallucinogens such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), psilocybin and mescaline (the active ingredient in the peyote cactus) act on the brain is reasonably well understood by scientists. The drugs stick to chemical receptors on nerve cells that normally bind the neurotransmitter serotonin, which affects a broad range of brain activities. But how this leads to the profoundly altered states of consciousness, perception and mood that typically accompany a "trip" is not known.

Prof Roland Griffiths at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore Maryland recently published a study of 36 healthy volunteers who were given psilocybin and then observed in the lab. The participants' ages ranged from 24 to 64 and none had taken hallucinogens before. When the group were interviewed again 14 months later 58% said they rated the experience as being among the five most personally meaningful of their lives, 67% said it was in their top five spiritual experiences, and 64% said it had increased their well-being or life satisfaction.

"The working hypothesis is that if psilocybin or LSD can occasion these experiences of great personal meaning and spiritual significance ... then it would allow [patients with terminal illnesses] hopefully to face their own demise completely differently - to restructure some of the psychological angst that so often occurs concurrently with severe disease," said Griffiths. So by expanding their consciousness during a session on the drug, the patient is able to comprehend their thoughts and feelings from a new perspective. This can lead to a release of negative emotions that leaves them in a much more positive state of mind.

Twelve patients with terminal cancer have already helped Grob to test this idea and, although the research is not yet published, anecdotal reports from some subjects are encouraging. Pamela Sakuda (see below) was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer in December 2002. Her husband, Norbert Litzinger, said the psilocybin treatment transformed her outlook.

"Pamela had lost hope. She wasn't able to make plans for the future. She wasn't able to engage the day as if she had a future left," he said. Her "epiphany" during the treatment was the realisation that her fear about the disease was destroying the remaining time she had left, he said.

Despite fears that psychedelic drugs can induce psychosis, they are comparatively safe when administered with the proper precautions and with trained medical professionals present, according to a manual for studying their effects, which was recently published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

They do have a powerful effect on a person's perception and consciousness and cannot be considered "safe", but they are almost entirely nontoxic, they virtually never lead to addiction and they only rarely lead to long-lasting psychosis (usually in people with a family history of mental illness). The main danger is that the person taking the drug injures him or herself while in a mind-altered state, for example because they think they can fly. The manual states, for example, that, "investigators need to be confident that the volunteer could not exit the window if in a delusional state". Griffiths does not advocate recreational use.

Since the 1970s, scientific research into the effects hallucinogenic drugs have on the brain and their potential benefits has become a pariah field for any scientist who wanted to keep their reputation - and funding - intact. The psychologist Timothy Leary was the most famous advocate of the scientific and recreational use of psychedelic drugs. He conducted experiments at Harvard that were widely criticised and he was accused of faking data.

"The way I view it is we experienced some kind of broad cultural trauma back in the 60s and these drugs became demonised in that context," said Griffiths. "As a culture we just decided clinical research shouldn't be done with this class of compounds," he said. "This was partly the federal regulatory authorities, it was partly the funding agencies and it was partly the academics themselves ... Leary had so discredited a scientific approach to studying these compounds that anyone who expressed an interest in doing so was automatically discredited."

Dr Rick Doblin is president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in California, a nonprofit organisation which funds clinical studies into psychedelic drugs, including the Swiss LSD trial. "These drugs, these experiences are not for the mystic who wants to sit on the mountain top and meditate. They are not for the counter-culture rebel. They are for everybody," he said.

Case study: Edited extract from an interview Pamela Sakuda did for researchers on the psilocybin experience

"As the session began, and as it built up, I felt this lump of emotions welling up and firming up almost like an entity. I started to cry a little. Then it started to dissipate and I started to look at it differently and I think that is the beauty of being able to expand your consciousness. I don't think the drug is the cause of these things. I think it is a catalyst that allows you to release your own thoughts and feelings from some place that you have bound them to very tightly. I began to realise that all of this negative fear and the guilt was such a hindrance to making the most of and enjoying the healthy time that I'm having - however long it may be. I was not utilising it to the best and enjoying my life because I was so afraid of what wasn't there yet. These substances occur in our natural world and people have been using them for thousands of years to treat physical illness, to treat social and behavioural problems."

This article appeared in the Guardian on Tuesday August 12 2008 on p13 of the UK news section. It was last updated at 14:08 on August 12 2008.

Cannabis may help prevent Alzheimer's memory loss
Sep 11 2004

Medical trials of cannabis show positive results
Nov 11 2002

* Contact the Science editor:

Sometimes there are things you just can't escape

This morning's news announced that on this day in 1969, the amazing event known as "Woodstock" began.

I'd just returned from several years in Haight Ashbury, and living at Lou Gottlieb's Morningstar Ranch, via the '68 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

I'm a 'folkie' from childhood (a few decades ago), so it's been many years since I was baptised in the faith of this music.

My children's father was a folkie I met in college. We shared this interest and for a few years he managed the Main Point. From my folk ties, volunteer work and activism in the Haight I came to know many of the Woodstock performers. Others I met as an adolescent, during my coffee house days, including one of my favorites, (before Hugh became) Wavy Gravy.

For those of us from my era can remember, this was an amazing event. It also reminds me of friends that were in the same place at the same time that I would come to meet.

There was that one crazy friend who wanted to be a pop star, was a year behind me in college studying nursing, who later became a doctor, Oh, Kim, where art thou?

Then there is another friend who stood up to Disney when they bought Discover magazine, and lost his position as Executive Editor. I typed his senior paper when he was at a Main Line Philadelphia college. Now he write biographies. He loves the Woodstock area to this day.

Some of those friends and acquaintances live in the Woodstock area still. One special friend, no longer there in body, remains in spirit - John Herald.

Another shares the kindred spirit of herbs.

It is always nice to think about friends along the way, just as Rosalie Sorrels sings.

I've lived in Idaho. In ways it led me to meeting wonderful new friends, yet it taught me that there are places in this country much like the third world. It is the existence there of pervasive and extreme closed-mindedness and the very limited ability to use abstract thinking. Politically speaking, it's a closed shop!

But you do have to admit Idaho has some great and beautiful scenery.

Yes, nostalgia has benefits; for the most part.

Sometimes maybe not.

One of those 'nots' is the fact that I am the daughter of a proctologist. I have a website where more than 50 percent of the visitors on any given day are looking up information about psyllium, constipation, itchy butt and colon cancer.

It seems funny and to me I guess it is because these are the things I grew up around and it was common dinner table conversation.

My fathers would bring home tissue that was bound for the lab and show me what cancer and what was not. This part of his brainwashing master plan for my career as the next surgeon in the family. Something that did not exactly come to fruition, to my delight...

I do however ponder why it is that so many people, from many different places around the world, keep looking up these words.

Since I'm in the process of rebuilding my original website, I am going to make sure that all of these pages are transformed into one focus area, just to make it easier for people to locate.

And in the interim, I'm going to drink my 64 ounces of water my proctologist father told me was necessary for my health. It just might help those seekers of wisdom ending at on my URL.

I'll also continue to meet friends along the way, and remember them all much more fondly than the work of proctology.

And here are some Water Facts for your enlightenment -

#1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and may apply to half the world population.

#2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.

#3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as 3%.

#4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

#5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

#6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

#7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

#8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?

Check to see if your tongue feels rough or like sandpaper, has a furry or thick coating, or your mouth feels like cotton. In any of these situations, you'll best be served by taking a water break.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Science & Health Care still out of touch with facts

It never ceases to amaze me that ignorance still runs as deep as high tide during a full moon when it comes to these 'researchers'.

Maybe it would help them to know that mineral oil is a petrolem based product and that sodium laurel sulfate is a known carcinogen.

It might help to as that MEA, TEA, and other similar compounds found in commercially available creams are carcinogneic.

What a longtime friend unearthed in the 1980s about the fact that most of these products contain suspect ingredients, and that the FDA has never required that they be tested in combination.

Her erudite research led to an eye opening book about the cosmetic industry and her life was threatened because of it.

Several campaigns have come about in recent years to stop the use of these ingredients without FDA testing in combination.

I would think that any 'researcher' worth their salt might at least have the Chemical Index, a pretty standard resource manual in the field.
Skin creams cause tumors on mice, study shows
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
Thu Aug 14, 2008

Certain commonly available skin creams may cause skin tumors, at least in mice, and experts should be checking to see if they might cause growths in people as well, researchers reported on Thursday.

They found several creams caused skin cancer in the specially bred mice, which had been pre-treated with ultraviolet radiation.

The cancers are not melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, they stressed in their report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, but another type called squamous cell carcinoma. Such tumors are slow growing, highly treatable and only fatal if patients fail to have them removed.

Allan Conney and colleagues at Rutgers University in New Jersey said they discovered the risk while testing a theory that caffeine could prevent skin cancer.

"We sort of got into this by accident," Conney said in a telephone interview. "We wanted a safe cream that we could put the caffeine into."

They were testing specially bred albino mice, which are prone to develop skin cancer. The mice are pre-treated with ultraviolet radiation to simulate the effects of a human who has had heavy sun exposure in the past but then stopped -- something that may be happening in the population as people realize the risks of getting a tan.

Conney's team decided to test the creams first and found that all four they tested caused tumors to grow on the mice.

He said he does not know why, but suspects two ingredients -- mineral oil and sodium laurel sulfate.

"We'd like to understand the mechanism. What is most important is to see whether these moisturizing creams are tumorigenic in people," Conney said.

He said his lab is not equipped to do this but someone should. But he added, "I don't think that people should be scared because this is a mouse study and we don't know whether or not it applies to humans."

Other experts were skeptical about the study.

"This is a pretty artificial situation with the mouse skin primed by a lot of UV light to develop cancer," Karol Sikora, Medical Director of Cancer Partners U.K. in Britain, said in a statement.

Dr. Jonathan Rees, an expert in dermatology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, said squamous cell carcinoma was not a big health worry.

"Non-melanoma skin cancer in man is very, very common and is almost 100 percent curable with an operation usually simpler than a tooth filling," Rees said in a statement.

Conney said the mouse was a commonly used model in skin cancer but said he agreed that it does not perfectly replicate human skin and human behavior.

He said his team approached Johnson & Johnson to create a cream without the suspect products and they developed one using other readily available ingredients. "They are things that are commonly used in many moisturizing creams," he said.

This cream did not cause the tumors in the mice, they said.

He said Rutgers and Johnson & Johnson had patented the new cream jointly but did not know whether it would be commercially developed. A spokesman at the company was not immediately available for comment.

(Editing by Will Dunham and Vicki Allen)
Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited.

Drug prohibition – an untenable hypocrisy

One can only wonder why marijuana isn't legal after the many decades since we began the fight in the 60s.

From the Oliver North affair we know that drugs are a major commodity for financing war.

Perhaps we will - someday - be enlightened and stop the war on drugs (unless that shifts to Big Pharma), changing it to the war on thugs (you know those polticians that clearly do not understand the drug issue).

Today I heard a brief news report of a change in the drugs and jail industry. Maybe ther is hope, but I won't hold my breath.
Julian Critchley has come out and said what those in charge of UK drug policy won't admit: prohibition doesn't work

The former head of the government's UK anti-drug co-ordination unit (UKADCU), Julian Critchley, posted to BBC Home Affairs correspondent Mark Easton's blog last week, The War on Drugs, calling for the legalisation of drugs. In his post he also reports how those he met during his time at the unit knew that criminalisation was causing more harm than the drugs themselves. (This comes as no surprise to anyone who has read the damning report from the prime minister's strategy unit from 2003.)

Critchley says:

I think what was truly depressing about my time in UKADCU was that the overwhelming majority of professionals I met, including those from the police, the health service, government and voluntary sectors held the same view: the illegality of drugs causes far more problems for society and the individual than it solves. Yet publicly, all those intelligent, knowledgeable people were forced to repeat the nonsensical mantra that the Government would be 'tough on drugs', even though they all knew that the Government's policy was actually causing harm.

Critchley is to be congratulated for speaking out with such candour on the issue. I have met many former and current civil servants who are of the same opinion, but haven't gone public. What Critchley makes absolutely clear is that many, if not most of those working in the drugs field are knowingly colluding with a regime that actively causes harm. Their silence is not based on ignorance but is tacit support for one of the great social policy disasters of the last 100 years.

Critchley, having retrained as a teacher, concludes with the following:

I find that when presented with the facts, the students I teach are quite capable of considering issues such as this, and reaching rational conclusions even if they started with a blind Daily Mail-esque approach. I find it a shame that no mainstream political party accords the electorate the same respect.

His final comment ought to send a shiver down the spine of every UK voter. If you voted in the last election, you probably voted for prohibition. You voted to gift hundreds of billions of pounds to organised crime each year, to undermine the social and economic development of producer countries such as Colombia, Afghanistan as well as transit countries such as Guinea Bissau and Jamaica. You voted to double the amount of acquisitive crime in the UK and to double the prison population with it. Your "X" contributed to misery and degradation for millions of the most marginalised people on earth. Unless we all do something to change it, you will probably vote for prohibition next time too.

In 2003 at a press conference, I asked the then drugs spokesperson at the Home Office, Bob Ainsworth MP, whether the government would support a cost benefit analysis of drug law enforcement. Quick as a flash his reply came back: "Why would we want to do that unless we were going to legalise drugs?" Does that sound like a man ignorant of where that audit trail would lead?

It is the candour of the likes of Critchley and others that exposes the hypocrisy of those failing to speak out and makes prohibition untenable in the long term. As Joseph McNamara, former police chief of Kansas City and San Jose put it: "The drug war cannot stand the light of day. It will collapse as quickly as the Vietnam war, as soon as people find out what's really going on." Tragically and despicably, the government's commitment to populist posturing means that the collapse will come far too late for many.
About this article

Danny Kushlick: Drug prohibition – an untenable hypocrisy
This article was first published on on Wednesday August 13 2008.

Food Risks, more than just GMO

Not only do GMO crops interfere with the food supply, loss of bees do as well.

Honeybee deaths reaching crisis point
• 1 in 3 of UK's honeybees did not survive winter and spring
• Pollination of fruit and vegetables at risk
Alison Benjamin, Tuesday August 12 2008 15:59

Bees gather around a honeycomb. Photograph: Reso/Rex Features

Britain's honeybees have suffered catastrophic losses this year, according to a survey of the nation's beekeepers, contributing to a shortage of honey and putting at risk the pollination of fruits and vegetables.

The survey by the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA) revealed that nearly one in three of the UK's 240,000 honeybee hives did not survive this winter and spring.

The losses are higher than the one in five colonies reported dead earlier this year by the government after 10% of hives had been inspected.

The BBKA president, Tim Lovett, said he was very concerned about the findings: "Average winter bee losses due to poor weather and disease vary from between 5% and 10%, so a 30% loss is deeply worrying. This spells serious trouble for pollination services and honey producers."

Alison Benjamin reports on why honeybee deaths are reaching crisis point
The National Bee Unit has attributed high bee mortality to the wet summer in 2007 and in the early part of this spring that confined bees to their hives. This meant they were unable to forage for nectar and pollen and this stress provided the opportunity for pathogens to build up and spread.

But the BBKA says the causes are unclear. Its initial survey of 600 members revealed a marked north-south divide, with 37% bee losses in the north, compared to 26% in the south. "We don't know why there is a difference and what is behind the high mortality," said Lovett.

The government recognises that the UK's honeybee hives - run by 44,000 mostly amateur beekeepers - contribute around £165m a year to the economy by pollinating many fruits and vegetables. "30% fewer honeybee colonies could therefore cost the economy some £50m and put at risk the government's crusade for the public to eat five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day," Lovett warned.

The Honey Association warned last month that English honey will run out by Christmas and no more will be available until summer 2009. It blames the shortage on fewer honeybees and farmers devoting more fields to wheat, which has soared in price but does not produce nectar.

The UK's leading honey company is so concerned by the crisis that it has pledged to donate money to honeybee research. From next month, for each jar of Rowse English honey sold in supermarkets 10p will be donated to a fund dedicated to improving the health of the nation's honeybees.

Stuart Bailey, chairman of Rowse Honey said: "We are working with the UK Bee Farmers' Association and are sponsoring research to the minimum value of £25,000 over the next 12 months to selectively breed a hardier bee that can better withstand parasites and diseases."

Rowse's clear English honey comes mainly from the borage plant, also known as starflower, which has been grown increasingly as a source of a fatty acid rich in omega-6 for pharmaceutical products. But farmers have planted much less borage this year as ready-processed borage oil is being imported and wheat is more profitable to grow due to the increase in demand for biofuels.

Bailey added that the shortage had been exacerbated by an 11% rise in demand for English honey over the last year.

Although British honey only accounts for 10% of the 30,000 tonnes of honey consumed in the UK, other major honey producing countries have also been severely hit by poor weather and bee diseases. Argentina is the world's honey pot, producing up to 75,000 tonnes a year - three times that of its nearest rival Mexico. But Argentina has suffered a 27% drop in yield due to droughts and the planting of huge swathes of land with soya beans for biofuel. As a result, there has been a 60% rise in the price of raw honey.

In the US, honey yields have been decimated by honeybee loses of 36%, many due to colony collapse disorder (CCD), a mysterious disappearance linked to the blood-sucking varroa mite, lethal viruses, malnutrition, pesticides, and a lack of genetic diversity. CCD has spread to Canada, France, Germany and Italy but has not yet been confirmed by government in the Britain.

The BBKA is calling on the the UK government to put £8m over five years into researching honeybee losses and improving bee health.

Farming minister, Lord Rooker, has predicted the demise of the honeybee within a decade. Last November, he told parliament: "We do not deny that honeybee health is at risk. Frankly, if nothing is done about it, the honeybee population could be wiped out in 10 years."

Yet the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) spends just £1.3m on bee health each year- less than one per cent of the bees' value to the economy - with an additional £200,000 for research.

The National Farmer's Union said it was essential for government to increase its funding of honeybee research. "Research is vital into varroa, bee breeding and the Nosema parasite," said Chris Hartfield, NFU horticultural adviser. "We are talking about food security and world food supplies being put at risk."

Defra said a further £90,000 had been allocated to the NBU this year to expand investigations into colony losses. It is currently consulting on a honeybee health strategy, with responses required by the end of this month.

A Defra spokesman said: "Significant public funds are already provided to support this area of work but to ensure this intervention is effective, it it vital that work is driven by a well thought out strategy agreed by all relevant parties."

Honeybee deaths reaching crisis point threatening fruit and vegetable pollination
This article was first published on on Tuesday August 12 2008.

Rhus Tox

This morning my local public radio station ran a story about Poison Ivy. I listened to it two or three times because the program is re-un each hour. Since I'm up and at work before dawn, you can understand why I tire of it after I've heard it one.

On about the third time the story played I listened again with more intent because I wanted to know if there was mention of homeopathic treatment for this nasty stuff.

To me its nasty because I react to it and it is not fun.

Of course, no homeopathic suggestions from NPR, now that it hasn't been as independent as it had been years ago.

So if in case you'd like to know what you can do that may help prent and treat the nasty stuff, here's some information.

From one of my very favorite magazines - Countryside & Small Stock Journal:
January 1, 2005
By Becky Rupert
COPYRIGHT 2005 Countryside Publications Ltd.

As with any medication, do your homework and ask around for other opinions before embarking on a medication course you are not familiar with.--Ed.

Whenever we go out to cut up wood, my husband (like many others) has to deal with poison ivy. Now, luckily we have homeopathy to care for the itchy rash. We find that we can prevent poison ivy by using a remedy before we go out, or if he forgets, it can be quickly dispatched by the proper remedy. Thankfully, I am not allergic to the plant, it seems that most of the ladies in the family are immune, but the guys suffer horribly!

I've been using these methods for years, with great success, and I hope you find them useful.

And from a good homeopathy resource - the #1 single remedy for Poison Ivy

Rhus tox - Poison ivy for poison ivy? That's it. With a dose of this absolutely safe, non-toxic, homeopathic dilution of poison oak, your body gets just the stimulus it needs to fight off the effects of contact with poison ivy, oak or sumac. For all the itching frustration poison ivy inflicts, its remedy cures a lot more- especially stiff achy joints and rheumatic pains. For skin irritation,

Rhus tox works best for red blistering rashes that feel better the hotter the water you wash them in.

And a bit about case taking for poison ivy, oak, sumac
Treating poison oak homeopathically is much the same as treating anything with homeopathic remedies. The goal is to match the symptoms of the rash with the symptoms of the remedies. Aside from having a well developed materia medica, understanding the case clearly and correctly is the most important part of the process.

To facilitate this process of understanding the materia medica, I have organized the relevant remedies into a hierarchy. The first five remedies--Anacardium, Croton tiglium, Graphites, Rhus tox, and Sulphur--are essentially "rhus polycrests."

Taking the case involves considering appearance, severity of the rash, severity of the itching, discharge, sensations, the affects of scratching, ameliorations or aggravations, general affects on the person, previous history and previous intervention that may have changed the appearance or course of the case.

Potency: the most appropriate prescribing requires matching the potency to the case. The main considerations for potency are: clarity of symptoms for a remedy, and the severity of symptoms. A clear severe case will greatly benefit from a 1M potency, or 200C at least once a day. On the other hand, a mild case can take 12C every 2 hours or 30C a few times a day.

After giving the remedy, if there is improvement, the most useful instruction for the patient is to wait until it seems necessary to repeat. In other words, see how long the remedy works, then repeat. With a lower potency, repetition will be necessary more often. If the remedy makes the rash worse, stop taking it.

And yes, wash the exposed area, as the public radio report suggests, before the blisters appear.

But plan ahead and be prepared with you homeopathic remedy friend, Rhus tx.

Scientists stop the ageing process

Notice that there are scientists proving what we in natural healing had known for decades: A healthy liver is the key to extending life. Our liver cleansing information can be found here. If you want more information about this process, contact us please.
Monday, 11 August 2008
Clean bill of health: Scientists have shown that clearing damaged protein from the liver helps stop age decline in the organ (Source: iStockphoto)

Scientists have stopped the ageing process in an entire organ for the first time, a study released today says.

Published in today's online edition of Nature Medicine, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York City also say the older organs function as well as they did when the host animal was younger.

The researchers, led by Associate Professor Ana Maria Cuervo, blocked the ageing process in mice livers by stopping the build-up of harmful proteins inside the organ's cells.

As people age their cells become less efficient at getting rid of damaged protein resulting in a build-up of toxic material that is especially pronounced in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative disorders.

The researchers say the findings suggest that therapies for boosting protein clearance might help stave off some of the declines in function that accompanies old age.

In experiments, livers in genetically modified mice 22 to 26 months old, the equivalent of octogenarians in human years, cleaned blood as efficiently as those in animals a quarter their age.

By contrast, the livers of normal mice in a control group began to fail.

The benefits of restoring the cleaning mechanisms found inside all cells could extend far beyond a single organ, says Cuervo.

"Our findings are particularly relevant for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's," she says.

'Misbehaving proteins'
"Many of these diseases are due to 'misbehaving' or damaged proteins that accumulate in neurons. By preventing this decline in protein clearance, we may be able to keep these people free of symptoms for a longer time."

If the body's ability to dispose of cell debris within the cell were enhanced across a wider range of tissues, she says, it could extend life as well.

In healthy organisms, a surveillance system inside cells called chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) locates, digests and destroys damaged proteins.

Specialised molecules, the "chaperones", ferry the harmful material to membrane-bound sacs of enzymes within the cells known as lysosomes.

Once the cargo has been "docked", a receptor molecule transfers the protein into the sac, where it is rapidly digested.

With age, these receptors stop working as well, resulting in a dangerous build-up of faulty proteins that has been linked, in the liver, to insulin resistance as well as the inability to metabolise sugar, fats or alcohol.

The same breakdown of the cell's cleaning machinery can also impair the liver's ability to remove the toxic build-up of drugs at a stage in life when medication is often part of daily diet.

In genetically modified mice, Cuervo compensated for the loss of the receptors in the animals by adding extra copies.

"That was enough to maintain a clean liver and to prove that if you keep your cells clean they work better," she says.

Settles debate
The study goes a long way towards settling a sharp debate in the field of ageing research.

Leading Australian ageing researcher David le Couteur, Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Sydney, says the paper is a major breakthrough.

"She has single-handedly shown that lysosome function is a crucial part of the ageing process," he says.

Cuervo has also shown, he says, the critical role the lysosomal receptor molecules play in keeping the liver clean of damaged proteins.

While her paper does not show increased survival rates among the mice, le Couteur, who has advised her recently on the research, says Cuervo does have data on improved survival rates which she intends to publish.

He also says she is now working with pharmaceutical companies to identify drugs that will turn the receptors on, or make them more active.

Cuervo believes maintaining efficient protein clearance may improve longevity and function in all the body's tissues.

It is also possible that the same kind of "cellular clearance" can be achieved through diet, she says.

Research over the past decade has shown that restricted calorie intake in animals, including mammals, significantly enhances longevity.

"My ideal intervention in the future would be a better diet rather than a pill," she says.

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Excessive Exposure to Cumulative EMF

16 August UPDATE: Double Standard for Radiation Protection in the Wireless Workplace

For a number of years I have worked with Dr. Albrecht on the issue of loyalty cards and RFID issues. A number of people in the pro-RFID arena would like her to be otherwise focused, including Mark Roberti, a write on the pro-RFID side.

For my money, I'll stick with CASPIAN!


Consumers need to realize that as products accumulate in your living space, armed with RFID, you will be surrounded with non-stop low level radiation that is harmful while not in the ionizing form like x-ray.

Add this to your cell phone and wi-fi wireless contraptions leaves you in need of much more than an aluminum foil cap.
RFID In Your Clothing And Shoes By Katherine Albrecht 8-13-8


You'd better look at your shoes, socks and underwear!

Protesters will gather today in Manhattan to greet attendees of the third annual "RFID in Fashion" conference, an event organized to promote the use of RFID in clothing and footwear. Dr. Katherine Albrecht, the Harvard-educated privacy campaigner featured in the film "Freedom to Fascism" and co-author of the bestselling book "Spychips," will be on-hand to speak to attendees arriving for the opening keynote this afternoon at NYC's Fashion Institute of Technology.

The conference features two days of speeches and events to advance apparel-industry uses for controversial Radio Frequency Identification or RFID technology. Past attendees include New Balance Athletic Shoes, Reebok, Levi Strauss, American Apparel, Liz Claiborne, and Jockey, along with retail outlets The Limited, Timberland, and Dillard's.

Albrecht planned today's protest after discovering the conference would promote the use of RFID in individual clothing items. Known as "item-level tagging," the practice of placing RFID tags on consumer items (rather than on crates or pallets in a warehouse) has been widely condemned by privacy and security experts.

Experts caution that such tags pose huge privacy and safety risks to the public. Used to track inventory in warehouses, RFID tags can easily be used to track people as well ­ a fact that can be exploited by marketers, government agencies, and criminals. IBM, for example, has patented RFID "person tracking units" for placement in walls and floors to allow marketers and government agents to secretly monitor people's movements. They suggest using the devices in public spaces like shopping malls, theaters, elevators, and restrooms once RFID is implemented at the item level.

"Consumers shouldn't have to worry about tracking devices being sewn into the seams of their clothing or pressed into the soles of their shoes," said Albrecht. "We are putting apparel and RFID companies on notice that consumers will protest any item-level use of RFID on apparel."

In 2003, Albrecht's consumer group CASPIAN led a successful boycott against Italian clothing manufacturer Benetton. The resulting worldwide opposition forced the company to cancel plans to sew millions of RFID tags into women's garments.

"Consumer awareness and opposition to RFID has grown exponentially since 2003," Albrecht said. "Any U.S. company foolish enough to use RFID on apparel will face stiff repercussions."

The RFID in Fashion 2008 conference website can be found at:


CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) is a grass-roots consumer group fighting retail surveillance schemes since 1999 and irresponsible RFID use since 2002. With thousands of members in all 50 U.S. states and over 30 countries worldwide, CASPIAN seeks to educate consumers about marketing strategies that invade their privacy and encourage privacy-conscious shopping habits across the retail spectrum.

Human Chipping: RFID Tagging: Shopper Cards: Boycott Gillette: Boycott Tesco: Boycott Benetton (2003):


Dr. Katherine Albrecht is widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts on consumer privacy, retail issues, and RFID, or "Radio Identification Technology." She holds a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University, was appointed by NH Governor John Lynch to serve on that state's two-year RFID study commission, and is the director of CASPIAN, a 20,000 member consumer privacy organization she founded in 1999.

Since 2003, Katherine has led the fight against unethical RFID use in products and in people. She regularly testifies before lawmakers around the globe and has given over two thousand television, radio and print interviews to news outlets like CNN, NPR, Good Morning America, Business Week and the London Times, to name just a few. Executive Technology Magazine calls Katherine "perhaps the country's single most vocal privacy advocate" and Wired magazine calls her the "Erin Brockovich" of RFID."


Dr. Katherine Albrecht Founder and Director, CASPIAN Consumer Privacy (877) 287-5854,


CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) is a grass-roots consumer group fighting retail surveillance schemes since 1999 and irresponsible RFID use since 2002. With thousands of members in all 50 U.S. states and over 30 countries worldwide, CASPIAN seeks to educate consumers about marketing strategies that invade their privacy and encourage privacy-conscious shopping habits across the retail spectrum.