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NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, Vioxx…) increases risk of first heart attack PDF Print E-mail
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Monday, 26 June 2006 00:00

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, are assumed to be well tolerated and are widely used as a therapy for common pain and conditions such as arthritis. These pharmaceuticals constitute one of the most widely used class of drugs, with more than 70 million prescriptions and more than 30 billion over-the-counter tablets sold annually in the United States alone. NSAIDs are called nonsteroidal because they are not steroids. Steroids affect inflammation by suppressing part of the immune system, which is the body’s natural healing response to trauma. Instead NSAIDs mainly inhibit the body's ability to synthesize prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are a family of hormone-like chemicals, some of which are made in response to cell injury. 

Unfortunately, prostaglandins are also involved in the healing mechanism of the digestive system and because NSAIDs affect prostaglandins they have the unwanted side effect of increasing the possibility of gastrointestinal bleeding. According to the American Journal of Medicine, “Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone. The figures of all NSAID users would be overwhelming, yet the scope of this problem is generally under-appreciated.” These conservative figures are equivalent to 293 hospitalizations and 45 deaths each day from NSAID GI complications in U.S. arthritis patients alone. 

The New England Journal of Medicine also stated “If deaths from gastrointestinal toxic effects from NSAIDs were tabulated separately in the National Vital Statistics reports, these effects would constitute the 15th most common cause of death in the United States. Yet these toxic effects remain mainly a ‘silent epidemic,’ with many physicians and most patients unaware of the magnitude of the problem. Furthermore the mortality statistics do not include deaths ascribed to the use of over-the-counter NSAIDS.”


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:09
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U.S: The Recovery That Never Was PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Martin   
Thursday, 15 June 2006 00:00

The government and “big business” want us to believe that the “Economic Recovery” since 2001 not only did exist but is alive and well today. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

The U.S. economy’s impressive growth performance during the past few years is more apparent than real. What truly matters most for people is inflation-adjusted income growth and in the United States that is and remains at its lowest in the whole postwar period. Conveniently, this is generally ignored, compared with the better-looking phony numbers about real GDP and productivity growth. 

People have been told that the soaring debts do not matter because they are outpaced by “wealth creation” through rising stock and house prices. Yes, but unfortunately, this kind of wealth creation through asset inflation in the markets, in contrast with wealth creation through capital accumulation in the economy, adds nothing to current income, from which the interest charges can be paid. Most probably, these have until recently been largely paid in the Ponzi way; that is, the lenders readily capitalize unpaid interest. But that must stop when asset prices cease to rise. 

The U.S. economy is in far worse shape today than in it was 2001. The U.S. current account deficit over the past five years has more than doubled, from $416 billion to $850 billion. Personal savings are down from $168.5 billion to negative $33.5 billion. Government finances have swung from a surplus of $239.4 billion to a deficit of $320 billion. Indebtedness by government, businesses and consumers has soared from $18.052 trillion to $26.391 trillion, or 46%. Financial institutions boosted their indebtedness from $8.104 trillion to $12.496 trillion, or 54%. And what is the basis of this borrowing mania? Inflated asset prices.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:10
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More Inconvenient Truths PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Monday, 12 June 2006 00:00

As we go through our busy lives we are usually consumed with our daily activities and rarely give pause to recognize bigger issues. For those that are interested in bigger issues, most get their information from the television, radio, and other standard news sources. Rarely do we go outside of these sanctioned outlets of information. 

While there are many valuable pieces of information that we get from these standard sources, what we do get is filtered through a large number of biases. Biases based on corporate interests, politics, preconceptions, and other factors distort what we hear and what we hear about any particular topic. 

While a new medication, vaccine, or surgical treatment will almost always get a large amount of generally favorable press, a study that shows leafy green vegetables greatly decreases the risk of skin cancer, meat and dairy greatly increase the risk of cancer, or coffee increases spontaneous abortion hardly gets any mention. The first group has a large financial and well established belief bias, whereas the later group has either no positive monetary component or worse yet may challenge an existing profitable industry and may require disruption to established beliefs or lifestyles. These truths are inconvenient. 

However, despite the bias against the acknowledgement of certain issues some eventually come forward into the public consciousness. Former Vice President Al Gore has brought up such an issue in his new documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”. The documentary attempts to raise awareness of global warming and the possible dire consequences of public inaction.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:10
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Beverly Enterprises - Poster Child Of Fraud And Neglect In Nursing Home Industry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Evelyn Pringle   
Sunday, 04 June 2006 00:00

Nowhere in the nursing home industry is the corruption, patient neglect and abuse and Medicare and Medicaid fraud more blatant than within the giant nursing home chain of Beverly Enterprises. Based in Fort Smith, it reportedly operates more than 400 nursing facilities, assisted living centers and hospices in 23 states and the District of Columbia. 

The chain was supposedly sold a few months back, but a little digging under the layers of the conglomerate would probably find Beverly in there somewhere. 

As far back as October 18, 1986, the New York Times reported a Beverly settlement with the State Department of Health Services, with an agreement to pay more than $600,000 in civil penalties as the result of an investigation of several of the company's California facilities. The agreement stated that no new licenses would be issued to Beverly for a 14-month period. 

However, this comment by Beverly CEO, Robert Van Tuyle, at the time is comforting. He told the Times, "the state allegations of deaths related to patient care had not been proved," and "that the incidents were isolated cases."


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:10
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Skin Cancer: Green leafy vegetables decreases risk; dairy increases risk PDF Print E-mail
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Sunday, 04 June 2006 00:00

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the number of skin cancer cases has increased in the United States with more than 1 million cases of basal cell or squamous cell cancer being diagnosed annually. This number has greatly increased from 400,000 in 1980 and 600,000 in 1990. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common skin cancer in white-skinned people and accounts for 20% of all deaths from skin cancer. 

Exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun is widely considered to be the most important environmental factor in developing skin cancer. UV radiation causes direct damage to the DNA and to the immune system. UV radiation also causes indirect damage through the formation of free radicals. 

There has been evidence that diet could modify the risk SCC and other cancers of the skin. Animal studies have shown that amount and type of dietary fats promote skin cancer by altering the body’s immune system response to UV radiation. Other studies have shown that intake of antioxidants such as selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and B-carotene may provide protection against oxidative damage in the skin by neutralizing free radicals formed by UV radiation. 

Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and collard greens, are known to contain a variety of vitamins and minerals and other bioactive substances that may protect against cancer. These substances include lutein, vitamins C and E, flavonoids, folic acid, and fiber. Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in folic acid, which plays a key role in DNA synthesis and repair.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:10
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Reversing acne naturally PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Friday, 02 June 2006 00:00

Melissa never had acne as a teenager, but when she turned 19 she started to break out. It started off slowly at first, but it got progressively worse. She had never before experienced anything like this in her life. At first she tried to take care of the problem, but the acne was so deep and painful she only ended up scaring herself. 

At 20 Melissa went to see a dermatologist because the problem had gotten so out of control. The doctor was shocked when he saw her saying that it was the “worst case” he had seen in his 30 years of practice and that it was quite a “shame”. The doctor explained that the condition was due to hormonal problems and that diet just didn’t matter much, but he said it would be good to “stay away from pizza and chocolate”. Tetracycline was prescribed but her condition did not improve and the side effects were unbearable. While on this medication, 5 minutes of sun exposure caused her skin to be badly burned. 

Giving up on tetracycline it was suggested that she start taking birth control pills. After going on the “pill” Melissa experienced “major mood swings”, but didn’t experience any improvement in her condition. By now she was wearing her hair very long trying to cover her face. She was working as a bartender and was smoking and drinking heavily. 

The doctor suggested that she should try another medication called Accutane. She was scared of trying that medication and at a cost of $5,000 a year it just wasn’t something she could afford.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:11
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Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in heart health PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Sunday, 14 May 2006 00:00

Over 45 years ago Dr. Sinclair proposed that heart disease might be partly due to a deficiency of fatty acids. It was observed the Coronary heart disease (CHD) deaths were reduced among Greenland Eskimos who eat large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids as part of their diet. A recent mega-analysis with over 200,000 people showed that fish consumption was related to a reduced death risk from CHD. Many other studies provide evidence to support the positive association between omega-3 fatty acids and a healthy heart. 

A recent report in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, discusses the important role omega-3 fatty acids play in maintaining a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. 

There are 2 major polyunsaturated fatty acids. Linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, is found in vegetable oils such as corn and safflower. Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acids if found in green leafy vegetables, walnuts, canola, and flaxseed oils. These fatty acids are considered essential because the human body cannot make these so they must be consumed in the diet. 

The human body can through a series of enzymatic steps convert these shorter polyunsaturated fatty acids into longer ones. Arachidonic acid (AA) is a longer omega-6 fatty acid, whereas eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are longer omega-3 fatty acids. These longer fatty acids can be obtained directly from the diet. AA is found in meat, and EPA and DHA are found in fish and fish oil supplements. DHA can also be found in algae. Increased dietary consumption of omega-3 fatty acids replaces AA in cell membranes of blood cells, artery cells, and in the various organs such as the heart, brain, and liver.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:37
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Vegetable protein lowers high blood pressure PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Monday, 01 May 2006 00:00

According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 65 million American adults — nearly 1 in 3 — have high blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a dangerous condition that is known as the “silent killer”. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, which are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. High blood pressure can also result in other problems, such as heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness. 

Epidemiological studies have shown that vegetarians have less high blood pressure compared with meat eaters. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, also know as DASH, recommends a combination diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts, low or fat free dairy products and reduces the consumption of red meats, fats, and sweets. 

A recent study in Archives of Internal Medicine, examined over 4,500 persons age 40 to 59 years to examine the effects of vegetable and animal protein on high blood pressure. 

The study’s main finding “was an inverse relationship between individuals’ vegetable protein intake and their blood pressure.” The study also found that there was a significant association between higher animal protein intake and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, after adjusting for height and weight blood pressure association was smaller and nonsignificant.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:11
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Grade for fruit and vegetable intake for girls: F minus PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Thursday, 27 April 2006 00:00

Diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables have been shown to be very important in maintaining health. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce heart disease risk, decrease the risk for certain cancers, improve life expectancy, and lower body mass index (BMI). 

A program called the Healthy People 2010 recommends at least 2 daily servings of fruits and 3 daily servings of vegetables with at least one serving being a dark green leafy or orange vegetable. 

The new USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) food pyramid now recommends more than five fruits and vegetables be eaten each day. A study in the March issue of Preventative Medicine, examined the diets of over 2,300 girls. The study authors used 3-day food diaries that were filled out over 6 annual visits beginning when the girls were ages 11 or 12. 

The study author’s found that very few girls meet these healthy food requirements. “At most visits, fewer than half of girls met the recommended daily intake of 2 or more servings of fruit on even 1 day, and fewer than 5% met the recommendation on all 3 days. Less than 10% of girls met the vegetable intake recommendations on even a single day.”


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:12
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Over 250,000 die from potentially preventable medical errors under Medicare. PDF Print E-mail
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Monday, 17 April 2006 00:00

It has been over half a decade since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its first reports on health care quality and medical errors. In that report they noted that, “serious and widespread problems occur in small and large communities alike, in all parts of the country.” 

A 1997 study in the Journal of the Medical Association (JAMA) showed that Adverse Drug Events (ADEs) were responsible for as many as “140,000 deaths annually in the United States.” A 2000 statement in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) showed that secondary infections acquired in hospitals accounted for “88,000 deaths” each year and that secondary infection problems also occur in “nursing homes, outpatient clinics, dialysis centers, and other sites of healthcare delivery.” 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the Medicare Program is the second-largest social insurance program in the U.S., with 42 million beneficiaries and total expenditures of $309 billion in 2004. An April 2006 report by HealthGrades (http://www.healthgrades.com/) examines the current state of medical errors. 

The report starts, “there are several estimates on the number of medical errors and associated deaths. Most of these estimates would rank medical errors as a leading cause of death in the U.S. However, these well-accepted figures likely represent only the tip of the medical-error iceberg.”


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:12
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