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Dr. Rath Health Foundation

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Newsletter Archive

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November 14, 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

November 11, 2008

Study Shows Magnesium and Vitamin B6 Help ADHD Symptoms
As a disease that currently affects more than two million American children, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by impulsiveness, hyperactivity and inattention. While there are no figures available for the total cost that ADHD adds on our healthcare system, educational costs (sending ADHD kids to special schools) are $4 billion each year while “total treatment costs” for a child with ADHD averages $1800 per year. Due to the side effects of ADHD medications, which include decreased appetite, insomnia, and increased anxiety and irritability, more natural alternatives are constantly being sought. Now a new study has found that another way to help ADHD may be to supplement magnesium and vitamin B6 into the diet.
Read article on the Natural Health Research Institute website (USA)

November 7, 2008

Vitamin D may prevent damage from low levels of radiation
Radiation from natural sources like rocks and the sky as well as medical equipment can cause development of all types of cancer. A new study suggests that vitamin D may help counteract the harmful effect of low levels of natural radiation.
Read article at foodconsumer.org

November 7, 2008

Dietary sport supplement shows strong effects in the elderly
Beta-alanine (BA), a dietary supplement widely used by athletes and body builders, has been proven to increase the fitness levels of a group of elderly men and women. The research, published in BioMed Central's open access Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, suggests that BA supplementation improves muscle endurance in the elderly.
Read article at physorg.com

November 7, 2008

B vitamins may protect over-65s from cancer, says study
A daily supplement of B vitamins may reduce the risk of breast cancer and other invasive cancers in women over the age of 65, according to a new study from the US.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

November 6, 2008

Probiotics 'may stop pneumonia'
Probiotics could be used to protect critically ill patients from developing pneumonia, according to scientists. The friendly bacteria can block the colonisation by dangerous bugs of the airways of ventilated patients, the Swedish study concluded. The probiotic solution performed just as well as normal antiseptics used to keep pneumonia-causing bacteria at bay, the journal Critical Care reported. Being more natural it could pose fewer side effects, the authors said.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

November 5, 2008

Multivitamins and minerals help children's brain function: study
Daily supplements of multivitamins and minerals may improve the brain function of children, says a new study from British and Australian researchers. Twelve weeks of supplementation with vitamins and minerals was found to boost the attention scores of children, according to results published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Read article at nutraingredients.com
Comment: The researchers found that the childrens’ improvement in attention task performance became evident within three hours of the first dose on the first day of the study.

November 5, 2008

Study shows pine bark reduces jetlag
A new study published in the journal of Minerva Cardioangiologica reveals Pycnogenol, pine bark extract from the French maritime pine tree, reduces jetlag in passengers by nearly 50 percent. The two-part study, consisting of a brain CT scan and a scoring system, showed Pycnogenol lowered symptoms of jetlag such as fatigue, headaches, insomnia and brain edema (swelling) in both healthy individuals and hypertensive patients. Passengers also experienced minimal lower leg edema, a common condition associated with long flights.
Read article at physorg.com

For more natural health news, click here.

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

Pharma "Business with Disease" News

November 12, 2008

Dutch Vioxx drug users go to court
Drugs firm MSD in Haarlem and parent company Merck are being taken to court by a group of Dutch patients who claim their heart attacks and strokes have been caused by the anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx. The group is made up of 15 heart patients and the family of one man who has died, Trouw reports on Wednesday.
Read article at dutchnews.nl (Netherlands)

November 11, 2008

Kevin P. Miller's Film "Generation RX" Reveals Widespread Ethical Conflicts, Risks of Psychiatric Drugs to Children
International award-winning filmmaker Kevin P. Miller announced today that his new film, "Generation RX" will be released on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 through the film's website at www.GenerationRxFilm.com. "Generation RX" addresses many of the alarming issues surrounding the growing use of ADHD drugs, antidepressants, and anti-psychotic medications among children and teenagers worldwide. "For decades, scores of doctors, government officials, journalists, and others have extolled the benefits of psychiatric medicines for children," said Miller, the film's writer and producer. "Generation RX unveils 'the rest of the story' and explains how this era of unprecedented change in Western culture really occurred -- and what price has been paid by society."
Read press release at prweb.com
Comment: "Generation RX" documents how an entire era of children have been caught in the middle of an unprecedented change in Western culture: that of drugging children with psychiatric medications earlier and more often than ever before. Kevin P. Miller's dynamic film has already garnered the support of some of the most respected names in Hollywood, including writer/director Paul Haggis, who won back-to-back Academy Awards for "Million Dollar Baby" and "Crash." "Generation RX is a powerful and often chilling eye-opener. Weeks after viewing, the stories continue to haunt me," said Haggis.

November 11, 2008

Safety Of Lilly’s Prasugrel Blood Thinner Questioned
Researchers have overestimated the ability to administer the experimental drug without causing dangerous bleeding, according to a prominent cardiologist, Reuters writes.
Read article at pharmalot.com

November 11, 2008

Pain Drugs Double Risk of Second Heart Attack, Death in Study
Heart attack and heart failure patients have a higher risk of a second heart attack or death if they take painkillers including the generic drug ibuprofen and Pfizer Inc.'s Celebrex, a Danish study found. The risk doubled within the first 90 days on the painkillers Celebrex or Merck & Co.'s withdrawn Vioxx in those who had survived a heart attack or heart failure, compared with those who didn't take the medications, according to research presented today at the American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans. Other common painkillers, such as the generics diclofenac and ibuprofen, increased the risk between 2.1 and 1.3 times.
Read article at bloomberg.com

November 10, 2008

Heart drugs 'can double risk of stroke after surgery'
Doctors must stop prescribing beta-blockers to prevent heart attacks after surgery as they double the risk of a stroke, scientists say. The drugs do not cut the number of patients who suffer fatal heart attacks following an operation, according to new research.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)
Comment: Earlier this year a similar study claimed that using beta-blockers before surgery to prevent heart attacks had caused at least 800,000 deaths worldwide over the last decade.

November 10, 2008

The Chantix Suicide Watch Spreads To The UK
For the first time, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has suggested a link between the Pfizer smoking-cessation pill and psychiatric side effects, The Mail reports. On its website, the MHRA reports that 10 people committed suicide after taking the drug, which is called Champix outside the US, out of 24 deaths reported. And another 213 claimed they experienced suicidal thoughts, while 407 complained of depression.
Read article at pharmalot.com

November 8, 2008

Brand-Name Makers Liable For Generic Injuries
A ruling on Friday by a California appeals court is likely to spark a good many lawsuits against big pharma. The upshot - brand-name drugmakers were put on notice that they can be held liable not only for harm caused by their own meds, but also for injuries caused by a generic drugmaker selling a copycat version.
Read article at pharmalot.com

November 6, 2008

Study Reveals Continued Damage From Banned Obesity Drug
Fenfluramine, the appetite suppressant drug banned in the US in 1997 due to fears over its links to heart conditions, has been shown to have serious long-term effects. In a report published today in the open access journal BMC Medicine, researchers have shown that people who stopped using fenfluramine eleven years ago had damaged heart valves up to seven years later. Fenfluramine (and the closely related dexfenfluramine) were widely prescribed as half of a so-called 'fen/phen' drug combination used to combat obesity. Since its withdrawal, there have been reports that tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the drug's manufacturers over damage caused.
Read article at sciencedaily.com

November 6, 2008

Local woman seeks legal action against drug maker
A Brampton woman alleges her young son's health problems are directly related to antidepressants prescribed during pregnancy, and is now taking legal action against the drug manufacturer. Lawyers representing Shannon Cote, 29, and her 10-year-old son, say they have commenced a lawsuit against Glaxo Smith Kline, distributors of the drug Paxil.
Read article in the Brampton Guardian (Canada)

November 5, 2008

Rigged Trials: Drug Studies Favor The Manufacturer
If you have often suspected that drug studies are rigged by the pharmaceutical manufacturer, you are right. "Drug studies skewed toward study sponsors," reported The Washington Post. "Industry-funded research often favors patent-holders, study finds." Specifically, the American Journal of Psychiatry study authors said, "In 90% of the studies, the reported overall outcome was in favor of the sponsor's drug... On the basis of these contrasting findings in head-to-head trials, it appears that whichever company sponsors the trial produces the better antipsychotic drug."
Read news release from the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service at orthomolecular.org

November 5, 2008

Pharmaceutical Industry Hustlers Part I: SSRI Pushers, by Evelyn Pringle
After twenty long years, it appears that the epidemic in mental disorders in America might be coming to an end. It won’t happen because of any great medical breakthrough but rather because the perpetrators of the greatest healthcare fraud in history are finally being exposed. The demolition of the giant “psycho-pharmaceutical complex” appears to be on the horizon.
Read article at uniteforlife.wordpress.com

November 4, 2008

Secret Pharma Payments To Vermont Docs Disclosed
Payments by drugmakers to Vermont docs between July 2002 and June 2004 totaled more than $4.9 million, much more than the $2.7 million that was previously reported by Public Citizen in an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association in March 2007, the advocacy group now says. The payment details were hidden by 21 drugmakers that designated the data as trade secrets, according to Public Citizen, which says it obtained the data through litigation and released an updated analysis, including the newly obtained data. The new material was published in a letter today in JAMA, and is a follow-up to Public Citizen’s testimony last year before the Senate Committee on Aging.
Read article at pharmalot.com

November 1, 2008

Probe into anti-depressants being conducted 'in secret'
THE Therapeutic Goods Administration is investigating the adverse effects of SSRI anti-depressants, a widely prescribed group of drugs that includes the well-known brands Prozac and Zoloft. The TGA confirmed in a statement to The Weekend Australian that it had established a special expert panel of psychiatrists and epidemiologists to review a number of cases involving patients who had had adverse reactions to these drugs. It is believed hundreds of cases will be reviewed.
Read article in The Australian online newspaper

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

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

GMO News

November 10, 2008

GM Papaya Should Not be Deregulated
USDA's environmental assessment is based on obsolete opinion and ignores published findings of serious potential hazards.
Read report on the Institute for Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

For more GMO news, click here.

Other Health-related News

November 11, 2008

Vitamin K Deficiency Found to Increase Arthritis Risk
As a condition that affects more than 21 million Americans, Osteoarthritis (OA) is the #1 cause of disability in the U.S., limiting everyday activities for 16 million Americans. It results in 750,000 hospitalizations and costs our healthcare system over $51 billion each year. Now a new study has found another supplement that may help with Osteo Arthritis- vitamin K. In this trial, researchers studied patients who participated in the Framingham Offspring Study and analyzed the association of vitamin K with OA. They looked at vitamin K levels measured between 1996 and 1998 and looked at hand and knee x-rays taken between 2002 and 2004. They found that the presence of arthritis in both the hand and knee “decreased significantly” with increasing blood levels of vitamin K. These results led the researchers to conclude that “persons with higher vitamin K levels…have a significantly lower risk of [arthritis] than do persons with low vitamin K levels.”
Read article on the Natural Health Research Institute website (USA)

November 10, 2008

The "Expensive Urine" Myth
What About Those "Wasted" Vitamins?
Ever heard this one before? "Your body doesn't absorb extra vitamins. All you get from taking vitamin supplements is expensive urine." Sure you have. And you still will, at websites such as http://www.dietitian.com and http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/67769. Even the BBC has reported it http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/109881.stm. Some people will tell you that any vitamin consumption higher than the lowly RDA is simply a "waste of money." "Expensive urine." It is an old saw, and one terrific sound byte. Too bad it is also false. Urine is what is left over after your kidneys purify your blood. If your urine contains, say, extra vitamin C, that vitamin C was in your blood. If the vitamin was in your blood, you absorbed it just fine. It is the absence of water-soluble vitamins in urine that indicates vitamin deficiency. If your body excretes vitamins in your urine, that is a sign that you are well-nourished and have nutrients to spare. That is good.
Read news release from the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service at orthomolecular.org

November 9, 2008

Low potassium linked to high blood pressure
As a risk factor for high blood pressure, low levels of potassium in the diet may be as important as high levels of sodium—especially among African Americans, according to research being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 41st Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Read article at physorg.com

November 5, 2008

ANH Press Release: European Commission recognises need for amending herbals directive
Irish MEP Marian Harkin, together with a delegation from the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) and the Irish Association of Health Stores (IAHS), met with senior European Commission officials yesterday to express concerns over the threat to a diverse range of traditional medicinal cultures posed by a key European directive. The delegation claimed that the European Directive on herbal medicines (Directive 2004/24/EC), which is due to come fully into force in April 2011, will not adequately cater for many products associated with both western and non-western herbal and natural medicine traditions.
Read press release on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

October 31, 2008

Low vitamin D common in kids with cystic fibrosis
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) and current treatment recommendations for correcting the deficiency are "inadequate," conclude clinicians from The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland.
Read news report at reuters.com
Comment: The Hopkins team found that 50,000 IU per week of ergocalciferol (a form of vitamin D) for 8 weeks was effective in restoring healthy vitamin D levels in only 33 percent of the children with vitamin D deficiency, while increasing the dose to twice a week was effective in only 26 percent of children. Delivering the same dose 3 times a week corrected the deficiency in just 43 percent of children. As a result of the findings, Johns Hopkins has amended its treatment protocol and now treats both adult and pediatric CF patients who have vitamin D deficiency with 50,000 IU ergocalciferol everyday for 4 weeks.

For more health-related news, click here.

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

Political News

November 12, 2008

Bush, Out of Office, Could Oppose Inquiries
When a Congressional committee subpoenaed Harry S. Truman in 1953, nearly a year after he left office, he made a startling claim: Even though he was no longer president, the Constitution still empowered him to block subpoenas. “If the doctrine of separation of powers and the independence of the presidency is to have any validity at all, it must be equally applicable to a president after his term of office has expired,” Truman wrote to the committee. Congress backed down, establishing a precedent suggesting that former presidents wield lingering powers to keep matters from their administration secret. Now, as Congressional Democrats prepare to move forward with investigations of the Bush administration, they wonder whether that claim may be invoked again.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)

November 10, 2008

EU paid-out £4.9bn in error last year
The European Union distributed at least £4.9bn in error last year, auditors said, even as they signed off the Commission's accounts for the first time in 14 years. As much as 92 per cent of Brussels budgets, worth £93bn in 2007, continued to be tainted by "too high levels of illegality and irregularity", accounts showed. A report published by the European Court of Auditors on Monday once again identified extensive shortcomings in the administration of funds.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

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.

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