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Nutritional supplements key in treating people with heart disease PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Monday, 06 February 2006 00:00

According to the American Heart Association approximately 71,300,000 American adults have one or more types of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease, sometimes referred to as CVD, is a combination term for diseases of the heart and arteries. CVD includes heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, emboli, heart failure, heart enlargement, abnormal blood clotting, and other conditions. In 2003, over 910,000 Americans died of cardiovascular diseases. In 2006, cardiovascular disease is estimated to have cost over $400 billion dollars. 

A review article published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing by Barry S. Kendler, PhD, examines the importance of conditionally essential nutrients in treating cardiovascular diseases. Certain nutrients are considered conditionally essential nutrients or CENs. CENs are defined as organic compounds that are usually produced by the body in sufficient amounts. However, during certain conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, they become essential dietary ingredients because the body requires more of these nutrients. “In this respect, they are comparable to vitamins, whose deficiency in the diet has adverse health consequences.” 

The review presented by Dr. Kendler examined a large number of studies, but only included studies that were randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled. The studies were also limited to only human studies where CENs were given orally to avoid any “criticism” of using animal or other studies. All study results were statistically significant compared with placebo. 

Based on the quality and quantity of the studies CENS were classified as primary and secondary. Primary CENs are L-arginine (ARG), L-carnitine (CAR), propionyl-L-carnitine (PCAR), and conenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Taurine (TAU) is considered a secondary CEN. Other possible CENs in cardiovascular disease include alpha lipoic acid, betaine, chondroitin sulfate, glutamine, and D-ribose.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:23
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Choosing Organic PDF Print E-mail
Written by Meryl Barr   
Sunday, 29 January 2006 00:00

An article in the February 2006 issue of Consumer Reports magazine reports that nearly two thirds of consumers purchased organic products in the past year despite having to pay higher prices for organic products. New studies show that by eating organic food you can greatly reduce your exposure to chemicals found in conventionally produced food. If you are a wise shopper you can save money by comparing prices and checking out supermarkets that now carry a large selection of organic foods and produce. 

There are many critics that argue that we are wasting our money because there is no proof conventionally produced foods pose significant health risks. However, there are many reasons to buy organic. A growing body of research shows that pesticides and other contaminants are more prevalent in foods we eat, in our bodies, and in the environment than we previously thought. 

As more consumers are turning to organic products, they should also be aware that some of the country’s largest food producers are trying to chip away at what organic labels promise to deliver. While the organic label indicates that a product meets certain government standards, those standards are coming under pressure as big companies cash in on the growing demand for organic foods. 

H. Lee Scott Jr., chief executive of Wal-Mart stores, has described organic as “one of the fastest-growing categories in all off food and in Wal-Mart.” During the past decade, U.S. organic sales have grown 20 percent or more annually. Organic food and beverage sales are estimated to have toped $15 billion in 2004, up from $3.5 billion in 1997. Sales are projected to double by 2009.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:26
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Parental stress a factor in ADHD diagnosis PDF Print E-mail
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Tuesday, 24 January 2006 00:00

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is the most frequently diagnosed behavioral disorder in children. The diagnosis affects approximately 3 to 5% of school children or approximately 2 million children in the United States. A large number of children with ADHD, 40-60%, are also diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and/or Conduct Disorder (CD). 

The DSM-IV, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the handbook used most often in diagnosing mental disorders in the United States and internationally. The criteria and classification system of the DSM are based on the opinion of people who represent American mental health specialists. According to the DSM-IV the diagnosis for ADHD requires the symptoms to be pervasive and occur in two or more situations, such as home and school. 

However, the agreement between parent and teacher ratings of children’s behavior is low. In fact, recent research has shown substantial variation in the description of ADHD subtypes depending on the source – parent or teacher – of the diagnosis. A 2003 study showed that the hyperactivity ratings of parents contained a large “84%” of source variance. Unfortunately, studies examining the association between factors affecting parents and ADHD rating are scares. Key factors that are believed to have an effect on a parent’s perception of ADHD are depression and stress. 

According to previous research some have theorized that, “the depressed mood of caregivers creates a negative bias in their descriptions of the child’s functioning.” Still other researchers have theorized that, “caregiver-child interactions might alter due to the caregiver’s depressed mood, causing behavior problems that might not have existed otherwise.”


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:26
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Essential fatty acids and B vitamin supplements helps those with Schizophrenia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

According to the Website Schizophrenia.com, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disease. Approximately 1 percent of the population develops schizophrenia during their lifetime, with more than 2 million Americans suffering from the illness in a given year. Life expectancy of patients with schizophrenia is 20% shorter than normal. 

Studies have shown that patients with schizophrenia have low levels of essential fatty acids. The omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid or AA, the omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid or DHA, have shown the most consistent association. Low dietary intake of DHA and AA are associated with an increase of psychiatric symptoms. Six out of seven studies that have examined EPA supplementation found positive results in psychiatric symptoms. 

Patients with schizophrenia have also been found to have low levels of B vitamins. Low B vitamins can be noticed when there is an elevated homocysteine. Homocysteine is a toxic waste product produced during cellular metabolism. A high level of homocysteine is a risk factor for coronary artery disease. Elevated homocysteine is likely involved in degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. 

In the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, study authors examined the effects of fatty acid and B vitamin supplements over 12 weeks on 4 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. 5 of 61 patients had moderate hyperhomocysteinemia (30-100 micromol/L) and 2/61 patients had essential fatty acid deficiency (mead acid, 20:3n-9>0.46 mol%). These findings are rare in healthy adults and point to severe deficiencies or metabolic disorders. The fatty acid supplement was composed of approximately 310 mg EPA, 200 mg DHA, 1 gram ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), and 7 grams LA (linoleic acid). The B vitamin supplement was composed of 800 micrograms folic acid, 8 mg B6, and 4 micrograms B12.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:38
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Flax seed oil and vitamin C improve ADHD PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Sunday, 08 January 2006 00:00

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in children. The diagnosis affects approximately 3-5% of school-going children. Studies have established that certain long-chained fatty acids are critical for normal brain development. Additional studies have show that deficiencies or imbalances in these fatty acids contribute to ADHD. 

Fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid or DHA and eicosapentanoic acid or EPA, are key for normal brain development and found in large amounts in fish oil. Alpha linolenic acid, or ALA, is a precursor fatty acid to DHA and is found in large amounts in flax seed oil. Children can convert ALA to DHA, but the conversion is dependent on adequate amounts of ALA and a low level of linoleic acid, or LA, in the diet. LA is found in large amounts in corn, safflower, sunflower, and canola oils. 

A study in the January 2006 issue of the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, examined 30 children diagnosed with ADHD along with 30 healthy control children. They were given flax oil supplements containing 200 mg of ALA along with 25 mg of vitamin C two times a day for 3 months. A trained clinical psychologist analyzed the children’s behavior before and after the 3 months. The children's blood cells were also analyzed before and after the supplementation to determine the change in fatty acids.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:38
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Group challenges FDA’s anthrax vaccine statement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Friday, 06 January 2006 00:00

On December 15, 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement that the anthrax vaccine being given to members of the United States Military is safe and effective. Published in the Federal Register on Thursday, the FDA review on the Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed, or AVA, stated that they determined, “AVA to be safe and effective.” 

According to Fox News, FDA spokeswoman Julie Zawisza said the agency found no evidence to alter its previous determination that the vaccine was safe. Zawisza stated that, “we believe the vaccine is safe and effective for intended use, which would include the prevention of inhalation anthrax.” 

Since 1998, over 1 million troops have been vaccinated with the anthrax vaccine. Large numbers of service personnel have refused to be vaccinated and have been punished for refusing, including fines of tens of thousands of dollars, and/or jail time, ultimately being discharged from service with a felony conviction. 

A group of former and current military members and concerned citizens are appalled by the FDA's statement. The group at this time remains anonymous. According to a spokesperson for the group, “the FDA's decision is without scientific merit and stands in contrast to the anthrax vaccine’s product labels’ own warnings regarding adverse events. This is Agent Orange all over again.”


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:38
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Thimerosal relevant in contact dermatitis PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Wednesday, 04 January 2006 00:00

Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory response of the skin to an antigen or irritant. Common allergens associated with contact dermatitis include, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, nickel or other metals, antibiotics, topical anesthetics, detergents, cosmetics, perfumes, and other chemical substances. 

Thimerosal is a preservative that is used in vaccines, topical medications, oils, and cosmetics. According to various medical journals, such as the Archives of Dermatology and American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, thimerosal is considered one of the most common allergens in North America and worldwide. Recent studies have suggested that these reactions to thimerosal are of no consequence. 

A study in the medical journal Contact Dermatitis, examined 508 adult patients who were suspected to have an allergic contact dermatitis using a patch test. Dermatologists apply patch tests in patients with dermatitis, to find out whether their skin condition may be caused or aggravated by a contact allergy.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:39
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Congress gift-wraps giant present for pharmaceutical companies PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kathy Hubbell   
Friday, 23 December 2005 00:00

Today Congress passed the Department of Defense appropriations bill. The bill, which is now law, contains language protecting vaccine manufacturers from any liability whatsoever, even in the event their drugs cause illness or death. The charge to pass this legislation was lead by Senator Bill Frist. 

According to LA Weekly, Frist’s pandering to the lobbyists of the voracious health-care industry knows no bounds. “Frist isn’t the senator from Tennessee — he’s the senator from the state of Health Care Industry Influence — he’s gotten more than $2 million from the health-care sector, giving him the dubious distinction of raising more cash from health-care interests than 98 percent of his colleagues,” says Nick Nyhart, executive director of Public Campaign. 

The bill states in the section titled “Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act” that, “A covered person [The United States or countermeasure manufacturer or distributor] shall be immune from suit and liability under Federal and State law with respect to all claims for loss caused by, arising out of, or resulting from the administration to or the use by an individual of covered countermeasure” 

Anyone who suffers any “loss” will not legally be able to sue anyone for that loss. A loss is defined in the bill as “death”, “physical, mental, or emotional injury, illness, disability, or condition”, “fear of physical, mental, or emotional injury, illness, disability, or condition, including any need for medical monitoring”, and “loss of or damage to property, including business interruption loss.” 

According to the American Trial Lawyers Association, “the proposal provides that any ‘drug, biological product or device that is used to mitigate, prevent, treat, or cure a pandemic or epidemic or limit the harm such pandemic or epidemic might otherwise cause’ may be covered and given immunity. The proposal does not, in any way, limit its application only to new drugs or vaccines used in a pandemic context. The scope of the proposal is so broad that it could include drugs like Tylenol, Advil and would have applied to Vioxx.”


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:41
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Dan Olmsted - Autism's Dick Tracy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Evelyn Pringle   
Thursday, 22 December 2005 00:00

According to officials in the nation's regulatory agencies, the main obstacle to proving or disproving a link between the autism epidemic and the mercury-based preservative, thimerosal, that was contained in childhood vaccines until a few years ago, and is still in flu vaccines, has been the inability to find a large enough group of people who have never been vaccinated to compare with people who have. 

In fact, a few months ago, CDC officials claimed that such a study would be nearly impossible. On July 19, 2005, the CDC held a Media Briefing on the topic of vaccines and child health. On the issue of government research on autism, a reporter asked CDC Director, Dr Julie Gerberding: "are you putting any money into clinical studies rather than epidemiological studies, to verify or disprove the parents' claim about a particular channel, a particular mechanism by which a minority of genetically susceptible kids are supposed damaged?" 

Gerberding replied: To do the study that you're suggesting, looking for an association between thimerosal and autism in a prospective sense is just about impossible to do right now because we don't have those vaccines in use in this country so we're not in a position where we can compare the children who have received them directly to the children who don't. 

Dr Duane Alexander, of the National Institute of Health, agreed and said: It's really not possible ... in this country to do a prospective study now of thimerosal and vaccines in relationship to autism. Only a retrospective study which would be very difficult to do under the circumstances could be mounted with regard to the thimerosal question. 

However, Dan Olmsted, investigative reporter for United Press International, and author of the Age of Autism series of reports, appears to have solved this problem when he came up with the idea of checking out the nation's Amish population where parents do not ordinarily vaccinate children.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:41
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Medication use a major risk factor in falls in the elderly PDF Print E-mail
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)
Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Monday, 12 December 2005 00:00

Falls and related injuries are a serious problem in the elderly. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) more than one third of adults over 65 years of age fall each year. Among older adults falls are the leading cause of injury related deaths and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. In 2003, more than 1.8 million seniors over 65 were treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries and more that 421,000 were hospitalized.

In 2002, nearly 13,000 people over the age of 65 died from fall-related injuries. More than 60% of people who die from falls are over the age of 75. Of those who fall, 20% to 30% suffer moderate to severe injuries such as hip fractures or head traumas that reduce mobility and independence, and increase the risk of premature death. Among people ages 75 years and older, those who fall are four to five times more likely to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer. In addition, falls are a leading cause of traumatic brain injury.

A number of risk factors for falls have been previously identified including medications that cause sedation, low blood pressure, or cognitive impairment. A number of medications have been implicated as risk factors for falls including antidepressants, antipsychotics, antihypertensives, diuretics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). Anticoagulants (blood thinners) have also been implicated in fall-related injuries by increasing the risk of bleeding.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 02:45
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