Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Dr. Rath Health Foundation

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

Newsletter Archive

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December 9, 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

December 4, 2008

Fruit and veg may boost bone health: study
Increasing the alkali content of the diet by eating food such as fruit and vegetables may reduce calcium excretion and boost bone health, says a new study.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

December 1, 2008

Vitamin D found to fight placental infection
In a paper available at the online site of the journal Biology of Reproduction, a team of UCLA researchers reports for the first time that vitamin D induces immune responses in placental tissues by stimulating production of the antimicrobial protein cathelicidin. The study involved exposing cultured human trophoblast cells to the active form of vitamin D, leading to production of cathelicidin and an increased antibacterial response in the trophoblast cells. The team, headed by Dr. Martin Hewison, suspects that the ability of the placenta to synthesize cathelicidin varies widely among women. Their discovery suggests that placental innate immunity can be enhanced if pregnant women supplement their diets with vitamin D.
Read article at physorg.com

November 28, 2008

Selenium supplements may boost heart health: Study
Supplements of selenium may increase levels of an antioxidant enzyme with a reported role in cardiovascular prevention, according to a new study. The sodium selenite supplements were found to increase levels of GPx-1, a selenium-dependent protein, according to in vitro and in vivo findings published in the December issue of the American Heart Journal.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

November 27, 2008

Vitamin K may have anti-diabetes benefits: Study
Supplements of vitamin K1 may reduce the development of insulin resistance in older men, and thereby offer protection against diabetes, suggests a new study. Insulin resistance, whereby insufficient insulin is released to produce a normal glucose response from fat, muscle and liver cells, was significantly lower in men following a daily vitamin K1 supplement, according to results of a 36-month, randomised, double-blind, controlled trial.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

For more natural health news, click here.

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

Pharma "Business with Disease" News

December 3, 2008

4000 kids under 10 on mood drugs
UNPUBLISHED figures show that nearly 4000 children under the age of 10 were prescribed anti-depressants last financial year, including 553 children under five and 48 babies. The commonwealth Department of Health statistics give an alarming, although most likely conservative, age-by-age breakdown of the national use of anti-depressants. Leading pediatricians and psychiatrists can offer no reason why infants would be given the drugs. Depression expert Gordon Parker said the numbers were "beyond comprehension" and urged the federal Government to ask doctors responsible for supplying scripts for young children to justify their actions.
Read article in The Australian online newspaper

December 1, 2008

Research links epilepsy drug to autism
Pregnant women taking the Sanofi-Aventis epilepsy pill Epilim may raise their child's risk of developing autism, British researchers said on Monday. Their study published in the journal Neurology showed children whose mothers took Epilim during pregnancy were seven times more likely to develop the condition compared with babies whose mothers did not take an epilepsy drug. The preliminary findings on the drug, known generically as valproate and sold as Depakine in the United States by Abbott Laboratories, bolster previous research linking the drug to problems during pregnancy.
Read article at reuters.com

November 29, 2008

Expert or Shill?
More evidence has emerged of appalling conflicts of interest that throw into doubt the advice rendered and the research performed by two prominent psychiatrists who have received substantial funding from the pharmaceutical industry. The revelations prove, once again, the need for universities and professional societies to crack down on conflicts of interest, and for Congress to pass legislation that will bring hidden conflicts into the open.
Read editorial in the New York Times (USA)
Comment: The evidence relates to Dr. Joseph Biederman, a child psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, who had failed to report to Harvard at least $1.4 million in income from drug companies. Internal drug company e-mail and documents that surfaced in a lawsuit have sketched out what looks like an unsavory collaboration between Dr. Biederman and the drug company Johnson & Johnson to generate and disseminate data that would support use of an antipsychotic drug, Risperdal, in children.

November 26, 2008

Clinical Trial Disclosure Is Incomplete: Study
In an observational study published in PLoS Medicine, researchers tested the hypothesis that not all trial results in New Drug Applications for new drugs submitted to the FDA are published in medical journals. They examined efficacy trials between 2001 and 2002, and searched for discrepancies between trial data included in NDAs and in published articles between July 2006 and June 2007. What did they find? They reported that “only three-quarters of the efficacy trials in the NDAs were published; trials with favorable outcomes were nearly five times as likely to be published as those without favorable outcomes.
Read article at pharmalot.com

November 21, 2008

Radio Host Has Drug Company Ties
An influential psychiatrist who was the host of the popular public radio program “The Infinite Mind,” produced by Lichtenstein Creative Media, earned at least $1.3 million from 2000 to 2007 giving marketing lectures for drugmakers, income not mentioned on the program. The psychiatrist and radio host, Dr. Frederick K. Goodwin, is the latest in a series of doctors and researchers whose ties to drugmakers have been uncovered by Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa. Dr. Goodwin, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, is the first news media figure to be investigated.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)

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

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

GMO News

November 30, 2008

Britain tries to block vital GM safeguard
Britain is this week single-handedly setting out to sabotage a vital safeguard against farmers unwittingly growing GM crops, a secret document seen by The Independent on Sunday reveals. The document – the final version of a negotiating text to be finalised by ministers from across Europe on Thursday – shows that the UK government is alone in opposing a provision that would keep GM contamination of seed to the "lowest possible" levels. Without the safeguard, European farmers could sow billions of GM seeds every year without realising it, causing the modified crops to spread throughout the continent, which is at present almost entirely free of them.
Read article in the Independent on Sunday (UK)

For more GMO news, click here.

Other Health-related News

December 3, 2008

IOM to review vitamin D and calcium DRIs
The US and Canadian governments are sponsoring a review of vitamin D and calcium that may lead to the establishment of higher recommended daily intakes. The review, which is to be conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), will involve an examination of all available science to date.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

December 2, 2008

Exercise builds small blood vessels in brain, study says
Exercise is known to help prevent cognitive decline and maintain the brain as people age, and now researchers think they know one reason why. People who engaged in long-term, regular exercise had substantially more small blood vessels in their brains and more blood flow than people who performed little exercise over the years, according to a study presented Monday. "Exercise increases the number of blood vessels in other parts of the body," said lead researcher Feraz Rahman of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. "What we didn't know is that it also affects the brain."
Read article at physorg.com

December 1, 2008

Lack of vitamin D could spell heart trouble
Vitamin D deficiency—which is traditionally associated with bone and muscle weakness—may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). A growing body of evidence links low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels to common CVD risk factors such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes, as well as major cardiovascular events including stroke and congestive heart failure. In their review article, published in the December, 9, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), the authors issue practical recommendations to screen for and treat low vitamin D levels, especially in patients with risk factors for heart disease or diabetes.
Read article at physorg.com

November 25, 2008

Some cancers disappear untreated, study finds
Cancer researchers have known for years that it was possible in rare cases for some cancers to go away on their own. There were occasional instances of melanomas and kidney cancers that just vanished. And neuroblastoma, a very rare childhood tumor, can go away without treatment. But these were mostly seen as oddities - an unusual pediatric cancer that might not bear on common cancers of adults, a smattering of case reports of spontaneous cures. And because almost every cancer that is detected is treated, it seemed impossible even to ask what would happen if cancers were left alone. Now, though, researchers say they have found a situation in Norway that has let them ask that question about breast cancer. And their new study, to be published Tuesday in The Archives of Internal Medicine, suggests that even invasive cancers may sometimes go away without treatment and in larger numbers than anyone ever believed.
Read article in the International Herald Tribune

November 25, 2008

New Cases of Cancer Decline in the U.S.
The incidence of new cancer cases has been falling in recent years in the United States, the first time such an extended decline has been documented, researchers reported Tuesday. Cancer diagnosis rates decreased by an average of 0.8 percent each year from 1999 to 2005, the last year for which data are available, according to an annual report by the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and other scientific organizations. Death rates from cancer continued to decline as well, a trend that began some 15 years ago, the report also noted.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)
Comment: The vast bulk of the decline in the death rate from cancer has taken place since the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1994. DSHEA classifies supplements as foods and places the burden of proof on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to show that any particular dietary supplement is unsafe. The text of DSHEA makes specific reference to Congress having found that there is a link between the ingestion of dietary supplements and the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. It also states that preventive health measures, including appropriate use of safe nutritional supplements, will limit the incidence of chronic diseases, and reduce long-term health care expenditures. Significantly therefore, 52 percent of Americans now identify themselves as regular users of dietary supplements.

For more health-related news, click here.

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

Political News

December 4, 2008

Town indictment accuses Bush of war crimes
Leaders of Brattleboro, Vt., say they're serious about enforcing a measure calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush. The measure calls for the town's police to ""arrest and detain George Bush and (Vice President) Richard Cheney in Brattleboro if they are not duly impeached, and prosecute or extradite them," The Washington Times reported Thursday. Rich Garant, a member of the Brattleboro's governing body who voted for the measure in January, said "a very factual case" could be made for the indictments. Citing the detention of prisoners of war at the military penal facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the treatment of captives and wiretapping of U.S. citizens, Garant said, "No one should be above the law."
Read news report at upi.com

November 28, 2008

Iraqis OK 3-year troop withdrawal pact
Lawmakers' approval hailed and criticized
Iraq's Parliament approved a three-year timetable yesterday for the withdrawal of US troops, a pact supporters call a path to sovereignty and opponents say could be used to keep Americans on Iraqi soil indefinitely. The pact is the first step taken by Iraqi legislators toward ending the US presence in their country since the American-led invasion in March 2003. It is expected to be ratified by Iraq's three-person presidency council.
Read article in the Boston Globe (USA)

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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