Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Responsibility for a healthy world Dr. Rath Research Institute 100+ Studies Published In PubMed

Newsletter Archive

If you would like to receive our newsletters regularly, please click here or send us an email to the following address: info@dr-rath-foundation.org

January 22, 2008

Latest News Updates

Keep up-to-date on the latest health and politics news with our regular updates and analysis of the key stories from around the world.

Natural Health News

January 18, 2008

Risk Of Early Baby Death 'Cut By Vitamin Cocktail'
A cocktail of vitamins and minerals rather than just folic acid, gives unborn babies the best protection according to a new study. Infant death and stillbirths were significantly reduced amongst mothers who were given a pill containing 15 key vitamins and minerals, compared to those taking only iron and folic acid, a study has shown. Early infant mortality (deaths in the first 90 days after birth) was cut by almost a fifth - 18 per cent - in women who took the multiple micronutrient supplements (MMN). The finding, published in The Lancet, could have even greater benefits for undernourished or anaemic mums, who reduced chances of early infant mortality by 25 per cent and 38 per cent respectively.
Read article at bignewsday.com

January 17, 2008

Vitamin B6 may slash colorectal cancer risk
Increased intake of vitamin B6 from dietary and supplements may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by over 20 per cent, suggests a large Scottish study. Almost 5,000 people took part in the study, which reported a dose-dependent link between intake of the vitamin and the risk of colorectal cancer, report the researchers in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. The study, by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital (Edinburgh) and the University of Aberdeen, adds to an ever growing body of science supporting the potential colorectal benefits of higher intake of the B vitamins.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

January 16, 2008

Vitamin D2 may cut risks of elderly falls
A daily vitamin D2 supplement of 1,000IU may cut the number of falls among elderly people by about 20 per cent, says a new study. Daily supplements of the vitamin were especially effective in winter, when sunlight levels are significantly reduced, according to results of the population-based, double-blind, randomised controlled trial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

January 15, 2008

Lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E combo eyed for cataract reduction
A higher intake of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamin E, could reduce the risk of developing cataracts by about 15 per cent, suggests a new study. Over 35,000 women took part in the study, which showed that a high intake of the two carotenoids reduced the risk of cataracts by 18 per cent, while vitamin E was associated with a 14 per cent reduction, reports the study in the Archives of Ophthalmology.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

January 9, 2008

More support for lycopene's prostate benefits
Lycopene may show benefits against benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), a condition said to affect more than half of all men over the age of 50, suggests a new study from Germany.
Read article at nutraingredients.com
Comment: The researchers recruited the men with BPH but no signs of prostate cancer, and randomly assigned them to receive either daily lycopene supplements (15 mg) or placebo for six months. At the end of the six month intervention period, they found that levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker of prostate health, were reduced in the lycopene group showing improvements in health of the tissue. No changes were recorded in the placebo group.

For more natural health news, click here.

See also our 2001-2008 news archive, by clicking here.

Pharma "Business with Disease" News

January 20, 2008

Drug firms 'bury' poor trial results
Drug companies are placing depressed patients at risk by not publishing negative results from clinical trials and distorting the evidence doctors use to decide which drugs to prescribe. New research published in The New England Journal of Medicine found nearly a third of the 74 industry-sponsored studies of antidepressants they examined were not published, most of which showed negative outcomes for the drug involved. Not only were positive results 12 times more likely to be published, but negative results were often written so as to convey a favourable outcome.
Read article in The Independent (UK)

January 18, 2008

Value of drugs for pre-osteoporosis exaggerated
A series of recent scientific publications have exaggerated the benefits and underplayed the harms of drugs to treat pre-osteoporosis or "osteopenia" potentially encouraging treatment in millions of low risk women, warn experts in this week's BMJ. The authors believe that this represents a classic case of disease-mongering: a risk factor being transformed into a medical disease in order to sell tests and drugs to relatively healthy people.
Read article at physorg.com

January 17, 2008

FDA: Cold Medicines Too Risky for Tots
Parents may be left with only love and lots of liquid to give their sniffling babies and toddlers now that the government is declaring over-the-counter cough and cold medicines too risky for tots. The Food and Drug Administration was issuing that warning Thursday to parents of children under 2.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year reported that more than 1,500 babies and toddlers wound up in emergency rooms over a two-year period because of these drugs.

January 17, 2008

False Promises on Alzheimer's
In a headline-grabbing study in 2000, researchers showed that Alzheimer's disease was 70% less common in those who took cholesterol-lowering statin drugs than in those not on the drugs. But hope faded after actual clinical trials showed no benefits from the drugs. Subsequent analyses came to the same conclusion. "There is good evidence that statins do not prevent Alzheimer's," says Dr. James Wright at the University of British Columbia.
Read article at businessweek.com

January 16, 2008

Drug firms raided in patent probe
Some of the world's largest drug firms have been raided as part of a European Union inquiry into the use of patents.
Read article at BBC News (UK)

January 15, 2008

Combined HRT increases risk of lobular breast cancer fourfold after just 3 years of use
Postmenopausal women who take combined estrogen/progestin hormone-replacement therapy for three years or more face a fourfold increased risk of developing various forms of lobular breast cancer, according to new findings by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Read article at physorg.com

January 15, 2008

Popular osteoporosis drugs triple risk of bone necrosis
A University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute study has found that a popular class of osteoporosis drugs nearly triples the risk of developing bone necrosis, a condition that can lead to disfigurement and incapacitating pain.
Read article at physorg.com

January 14, 2008

Drug Has No Benefit in Trial, Makers Say
A clinical trial of Zetia, a cholesterol-lowering drug prescribed to about 1 million people a week, failed to show that the drug has any medical benefits, Merck and Schering-Plough said on Monday.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)
Comment: Disturbingly, not only did Zetia fail to slow the accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries, it actually seemed to contribute to plaque formation.

January 13, 2008

Cholesterol drug link to disturbed teacher's death
A CORONER has linked a cholesterol-lowering drug prescribed to millions to the death of a senior master at a top independent school. Allan Woolley, a housemaster at University College school in Hampstead, north London, died last April when he stood in front of a train. He had had "psychic disturbances" after taking statins. Woolley had complained of blackouts and insomnia after taking a simvastatin produced by Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD).
Read article in The Sunday Times (UK)
Comment: Dr Andrew Walker, the deputy coroner for Hornsey, specifically directed the jury to cite Merck's simvastatin drug in their verdict on the inquest, saying that they "must include that the drug simvastatin was involved."

January 10, 2008

Florida undecided as states sue over costly drug program
They're powerful psychotic drugs, used to treat conditions like schizophrenia. No one knows what their effects are on children, especially infants, yet within seven years the number of children prescribed the drugs in Florida's health insurance program for the poor has nearly doubled. There's no doubting one side effect, though -- drug companies watched sales soar, aided by a Florida program they helped create. Florida is far from unique. Several states also noted the costly boom of atypical antipsychotics -- a new class of the drug that was touted to have fewer side effects. The states are suing drug makers, alleging the companies pushed newer, untested drugs that proved no more effective in treatments -- but were far more costly.
Read article at news-journalonline.com (Florida, USA)

January 9, 2008

Health Spending Rises to 15% of Economy, a Record Level
Health spending accounts for nearly 15 percent of the nation's economy, the largest share on record, the Bush administration said on Thursday. The Department of Health and Human Services said that health care spending shot up 9.3 percent in 2002, the largest increase in 11 years, to a total of $1.55 trillion. That represents an average of $5,440 for each person in the United States. Hospital care and prescription drugs accounted for much of the overall increase, which outstripped the growth in the economy for the fourth year in a row, the report said.
Read article in The New York Times (USA)
Comment: Despite the fact that most prescription drugs don't work for most people, spending on them accounted for 10.5 cents of every dollar spent on health care in the United States in 2002. Clearly, the only beneficiaries from this expenditure are the multinational pharmaceutical industry and its Investment 'Business With Disease'.

January 9, 2008

Government Estimates 83,000 Excess Heart Attacks Caused By Avandia
According to a November 2007 report by the Senate Finance Committee, an analysis by FDA scientists presented at a July 30, 2007, safety panel meeting estimates that Avandia has caused approximately 83,000 excess heart attacks since coming on the market. The report entitled, "The Intimidation of Dr. John Buse and the Diabetes Drug Avandia," summarizes the Committee's findings regarding GlaxoSmithKline's intimidation of Dr Buse, an independent scientist who first voiced concerns about Avandia back in 1999. The Committee points out that Dr Buse is an expert in diabetes with extensive research experience in the thiazolidinedione class of drugs that includes Avandia and states: "Corporate intimidation, the silencing of scientific dissent, and the suppression of scientific views threaten both the public well-being and the financial health of the federal government, which pays for health care."
Read article at opednews.com

January 8, 2008

Big Pharma And Its Presidential Bets
These are the figures as compiled by OpenSecrets. Hillary Clinton received $269,436 from the pharma/healthcare sector, while Barak Obama garnered $261,784. Right behind was Mitt Romney, with $260,535. One caveat: this is as of Oct. 29. As an aside, it's interesting to contrast the contributions with the rhetoric. Last week, Clinton said: "I've taken on the drug companies. I've taken on the health insurance companies. I've taken on the oil companies, and I intend to keep doing it." Perhaps, she meant take them on until they contribute still more.
Read article at pharmalot.com

For more pharma "business with disease" news, click here.

See also our 2001-2008 news archive, by clicking here.

GMO News

January 9, 2008

France one step closer to extending GM ban
The French government declared yesterday that it is willing to apply an EU measure to implement a long term ban on genetically modified (GM) crops if a scientific panel decides their safety is questionable.
Read article at foodnavigator.com

January 8, 2008

Monsanto wins suit over reuse of biotech seeds
Sued farmer over patented soybeans
The Supreme Court on Monday let stand, without comment, a lower court ruling that punished a Mississippi farmer for re-using Monsanto Co.'s patented, genetically modified soybeans. St. Louis-based Monsanto sued Homan McFarling in 1999 for violating its patents by planting biotech seeds that he saved from a previous year's crop. The company won $375,000 in damages, which McFarling's lawyers also challenged as excessive. Since the late 1990s, Monsanto has pursued similar lawsuits against almost 100 farmers, according to the Center for Food Safety, which opposes the suits and urged the court to take McFarling's case.
Read article at bnd.com (USA)

For more GMO news, click here.

Other Health-related News

January 17, 2008

Poor diets 'kill 3.5m children'
A third of child deaths globally are caused by poor nutrition, experts warn. Around 3.5 million children die every year because of lack of food or poor quality food, a problem which starts in the womb, studies show. Yet 25 per cent of these deaths could be prevented with simple steps such as breastfeeding and vitamin A supplements, the Lancet reports.
Read article at BBC News (UK)
Comment: Research shows that zinc and vitamin A supplements, in tandem with encouraging women to breastfeed for at least six months, would cut deaths and the loss of years through disability by a quarter.

January 15, 2008

Zimbabwe: Zinatha Seeks Assistance in Traditional Medicine Researches
GOVERNMENT should help traditional healers to conduct research on traditional medicines and herbs that can be used to treat ailments related to HIV and Aids, the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association has said.
Read article at allafrica.com

January 14, 2008

Vitamins plan 'to cut prison violence'
Prisoners will be given vitamins and mineral supplements in an attempt to improve their behaviour and cut down on violence behind bars, The Daily Telegraph has learned. The Ministry of Justice will fund pioneering research into the connection between the diet of young offenders and their behaviour. The pilot scheme comes as a cross-party group of MPs and peers prepares to publish a study showing how greater use of nutritional supplements could improve the education and criminal justice systems.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)
Comment: The research will be carried out by Natural Justice, a UK-based charity that has been studying the link between nutrition and behaviour for over 20 years. Previous research carried out by the charity found that prisoners given nutritional supplements committed on average 26% fewer disciplinary offences compared to those on placebos, while the reduction was 37% for the most serious offences. These findings have now been replicated in a study by the Dutch Ministry of Justice, who found a 47% reduction in disciplinary offending. To visit the Natural Justice website, click here.

January 8, 2008

We all need a little dose of sunshine, says scientist who sounded alert on skin cancer
Enjoying a little sunshine may not be as bad for you as people think. Research from the scientist who alerted the world to its role in skin cancer has suggested that its health benefits may outweigh the risks. The hazards of moderate sunbathing have probably been exaggerated, according to a study that shows how sunlight's effect of boosting vitamin D production may actually protect the body against cancer.
Read article in The Times (UK)
Comment: Remember the cigarette brand that "more doctors smoke"? The advice to avoid the sun that we have all been subjected to in recent years is increasingly looking to have been just as unwise.

January 7, 2008

Lack of vitamin D may increase heart disease risk
The same vitamin D deficiency that can result in weak bones now has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, Framingham Heart Study researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. "Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased cardiovascular risk, above and beyond established cardiovascular risk factors," said Thomas J. Wang, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. "The higher risk associated with vitamin D deficiency was particularly evident among individuals with high blood pressure." In a study of 1,739 offspring from Framingham Heart Study participants (average age 59, all Caucasian), researchers found that those with blood levels of vitamin D below15 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) had twice the risk of a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack, heart failure or stroke in the next five years compared to those with higher levels of vitamin D.
Read article at physorg.com

For more health-related news, click here.

See also our 2001-2008 news archive, by clicking here.

Political News

January 18, 2008

Tony Blair 'cannot be president of EU'
Tony Blair should not be president of Europe, two former French leaders have declared in response to the backing the former prime minister has been given by Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France. Valérie Giscard d'Estaing, the former French president and the father of the now defunct EU constitutional treaty, said that Europe's first president must have majority support from his home country, which should be a nation that "respects all its European commitments". Something that he claimed Britain did not do. "Tony Blair cannot be president of Europe," agreed Edouard Balladur, the former conservative French prime minister close to Mr Sarkozy, writing in yesterday's Le Monde newspaper.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

January 9, 2008

Sarkozy backs Blair for top EU post
Speculation is mounting over the likely frontrunners to become the EU's first fully-fledged president. Media reports suggest former UK prime minister Tony Blair is an early favourite for the post of president of the council of ministers. The job will carry a package worth about €266,000 and would make its occupant the most important figure in EU politics. A story in the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday says that French president Nicolas Sarkozy is actively promoting Blair for the role.
Read article at theparliament.com

January 8, 2008

Big Pharma And Its Presidential Bets
These are the figures as compiled by OpenSecrets. Hillary Clinton received $269,436 from the pharma/healthcare sector, while Barak Obama garnered $261,784. Right behind was Mitt Romney, with $260,535. One caveat: this is as of Oct. 29. As an aside, it's interesting to contrast the contributions with the rhetoric. Last week, Clinton said: "I've taken on the drug companies. I've taken on the health insurance companies. I've taken on the oil companies, and I intend to keep doing it." Perhaps, she meant take them on until they contribute still more.
Read article at pharmalot.com

For more political news, visit the news pages on the website of the International Alliance for Health, Peace and Social Justice, and the news page on the European Referendum Initiative website.

Back to the Newsletter Archive…