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Posted May 1, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Should that be alarming? No more than they drink grapefruit juice with their medicines. But the news headline prompts undue alarm. And the public isn’t buying it this time.
Some herbal molecules like those found in grapefruit juice do contain molecules that inhibit the liver detoxification of drugs. There are a number of liver enzymes (known as cytochrome p450 enzymes) that normally dull the effects of drugs. But molecules like those found in grapefruit juice inhibit these enzymes and make the drugs more powerful. That might be beneficial, but in the case of blood pressure-lowering drugs, it might result in blood pressure dropping too far and the patient experiencing transient dizziness.
Posted : by Bill Sardi
Pharmaceutical companies have no promising synthetic drugs in their pipeline for mental decline due to Alzheimer’s disease and even if they did, they would be a decade away from gaining FDA approval. That doesn’t mean that nature doesn’t provide even more promising molecules that are ready for off-the-shelf use.
Researchers indicate aging changes in the brain start 15 years before symptoms of mental decline become apparent. That means the generation of adults approaching their 50th birthday need to use the best available evidence today to maintain independence in their retirement years since they don’t have time to wait for any imagined FDA-approved drugs.
Data from Japan will serve to provide information on the latest developments in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Posted : by Bill Sardi
Flaxseed is a popular health food. It is available as raw seeds, crushed seed (flax meal, since raw seeds will not yield nutritional value, however you can crush your own seeds in a coffee grinder) and pressed flaxseeds to produce flaxseed oil.
Flax provides three primary classes of nutrients: 35-45% omega-3 oils (70% alpha linolenic fatty acid, the richest source in nature); protein 20-30% and fiber 28%.
Flaxseed is also loaded with an array of vitamins and minerals and is a rich natural source of phytate (IP6) as an antioxidant mineral stabilizer. Barlean’s flaxseed meal (Forti-Flax) provides a complete list of the nutrients provided in flaxseed. Flaxseed is also the richest source of phyto-estrogens called lignans. [Voprosy Pitania 2012]
Posted April 30, 2014: by Bill Sardi
A recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology reveals the placement of patients with heart disease and accompanying diabetes on four different drugs (beta blockers to slow the heart, aspirin as a blood thinner, renin angiotensin blockers/ACE inhibitors captopril, enalapril, lisinoprilto control blood pressure; and statin cholesterol-lowering drugs) appears to be an abject failure.
In only 20% of the patients did the combination of these drugs adequately control blood pressure; in only 22% of the patients with diabetes were these drugs effective in controlling their long-term blood sugar levels (hemoglobin A1c); and in only 53% of the patients did these drugs bring down LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol to target levels. [European Journal Preventive Medicine April 1, 2014] – ©2014 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.
Posted : by Bill Sardi
Dr. Ian R Reid of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, writing in the Journal of Bone Metabolism, asks an ongoing question in medicine: should it continue to be assumed that supplemental calcium slows the loss of bone during the osteoporotic years and prevents hip fractures?
That assumption, says Dr. Reid, has prevailed since the 1960s. Dr. Reid says that recommendation “has now changed dramatically.”
Posted : by Bill Sardi
The April issue of Pharmacy & Therapeutics offers a wonderful interview with Mark Houston MD regarding nutrition and nutraceuticals to replace prescription drugs. Dr. Houston summarizes hypertension as a battle between angiotensin II and nitric oxide, the former promoting excessive constriction of blood vessels with accompanying inflammation and arterial plaque and the latter being its antithesis, dilating blood vessels, inhibiting blood clots and controlling blood pressure. [Pharmacy & Therapeutics, April 2014]
Some of this report may be better understood by physicians versed in the medical language, but the list of nutraceuticals that can potentially replace anti-hypertensive drugs is priceless.
Posted April 29, 2014: by Bill Sardi
Modern medicine has no impetus to be affordable. Pharmaceutical companies are cooking up expensive cures that are in no way cost effective and then telling Medicare, Medicaid and insurance plans they had better come up with the money. Patient clamor for the cure, and insurance companies just increase the premiums. But in the case of public-funded health insurance pools, there is limited money. Medicare is already trillions of dollars underfunded.
Strikingly, there is no requirement that patients utilize less expensive approaches to deal with hepatitis C than the ($1000/day – $80,000 pharmaceutical cure (Sovaldi). Patients will demand the expensive cure. Now what? Well, the pharma companies know what it costs for a lifetime of Hep-C treatment, so they gauge that determine the top price they can garner.
Posted April 28, 2014: by Bill Sardi
This is a topic I have written about before, but newly published science calls for it to be revisited.
The misdirection started in the 1960s with Ancel Keys’ mistaken claim that saturated fat rather than refined sugar spawns heart disease. Fat phobia reigned and many brands of health foods bragged they were entirely fat free. It took till 2010 for studies to reveal there is no significant evidence to conclude that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Bottom line, fat-phobia was indelibly inculcated into the public psyche.
Posted April 27, 2014: by Bill Sardi
New and controversial guidelines for heart health have been issued and commercial interests have prevailed in expanding the number of Americans who should be on statin cholesterol-lowering drugs by millions. Some doctors agree with the new guidelines, others don’t. Where does that leave you?
The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) recently dealt with this issue in an article entitled The Guidelines Battle On Starting Statins [New England Journal Medicine Vol. 370: page 1652, April 24, 2014]
The NEJM article posed a hypothetical case of a 52-year old jogger who smokes tobacco, has a family history of blindness (father) due to diabetes, often works under stress as a busy tax accountant, has a total cholesterol of 180 and low HDL “good” cholesterol of 35 and blood pressure of 130/85.
This man has three risk factors for heart disease: smoking, being male and low HDL cholesterol. His 10-year risk for a heart attack is 10.9%. The new guidelines suggest he start taking a statin drug. Under old guidelines statin drugs would not be recommended.
Posted April 26, 2014: by Bill Sardi
It’s the era of injectable drugs.
A new experimental drug that can protect against the AIDS virus for months at a time has just been successfully tested in animals. The drug would eliminate the need to take pills every single day and improve effectiveness since patients often forget to take their pills. [NBC News, March 4, 2014]
Two new experimental drugs, one delivered intravenously and the other by injection, are posed to help prevent migraine headache attacks for prolonged periods of time. After 5-8 weeks the intravenous drug was shown to reduce migraine attacks by 66% compared to 52% when patients were given an inactive placebo pill. [WebMD, April 22, 2014] The effect was not dramatically better than no treatment, but it did eliminate the need for daily use of medications.