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 18, 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 11, 2008

Pine bark extract may help joints and hearts: Study
An extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree may reduce markers of inflammation in people with osteoarthritis, suggests a new study. According to new findings of joint German and Italian research, published in the journal Redox Reports, supplements of Pycnogenol may be able to reduce levels of a protein called C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, sufficiently to prevent a ‘spill-over’ of the inflammatory marker from the joints into the whole body.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

December 8, 2008

Vitamin B1 could reverse early-stage kidney disease in diabetes patients
Researchers at the University of Warwick have discovered high doses of thiamine – vitamin B1 – can reverse the onset of early diabetic kidney disease.
Read article at physorg.com

December 8, 2008

Selenium may prevent female bladder cancer: Study
Increased levels of selenium may reduce a woman’s risk of bladder cancer by 34 per cent, according to a new study from the US. Researchers from Dartmouth Medical School also report significant risk reductions for moderate smokers and people with a cancer related to a specific gene – p53. Other studies have already reported similar association between selenium and bladder cancer among women, but the new results, published in the December issue of Cancer Prevention Research, are said to be the first to show an association between selenium and p53 positive bladder cancer.
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 14, 2008

Schoolgirl, 12, paralysed after receiving cervical cancer jab
A 12-year-old girl has become paralysed from the waist down after being injected with the cervical cancer vaccine, raising concerns about possible side-effects of the jab. Ashleigh Cave suffered headaches and dizziness minutes after receiving the injection, and has spent the last eight weeks in hospital having lost the strength in her legs. Her mother Cheryl believes that her daughter's mystery illness is directly related to the vaccine, which is being administered to 300,000 12 and 13 year old girls in Britain in an effort to cut down on rates of the fatal disease.
Read article in the Sunday Telegraph (UK)
Comment: The vaccine at the centre of this story, Cervarix, is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and is similar to Gardasil, a cervical cancer vaccine manufactured by Merck. In the United States, Gardasil is reported to have been responsible for 3,461 adverse reactions, including eleven deaths, whilst in Australia, reports suggest that dozens of teenage girls have been sickened by it, with, in one case being investigated, a girl being left temporarily paralysed and unable to talk.

December 12, 2008

Swedish Officials Investigating Nobel Prize Board
The Nobel Prize Committee is facing criminal investigation of bribery and corruption after allegedly taking huge payments from a pharmaceutical company that directly benefits from the work of this year's Nobel Prize winner in medicine. The astonishing scandal, being reported in the European trade press and conspicuously absent from Sweden's major daily newspapers, surfaced just days before the internationally renowned awards were presented in Stockholm on Wednesday. According to Swedish trade journal Dagens Medicin, two Nobel-affiliated corporations – Nobel Media and Nobel Webb – are accused of taking "many millions" of dollars from Swedish-American pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.
Read article at newsmax.com

December 12, 2008

Drug Maker Said to Pay Ghostwriters for Journal Articles
Wyeth, the pharmaceutical company, paid ghostwriters to produce medical journal articles favorable to its female hormone replacement therapy Prempro, according to Congressional letters seeking more information about the company’s involvement in medical ghostwriting. At least one article was published even after a federal study found the drug raised the risk of breast cancer.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)

December 11, 2008

FDA puts black box warning on bowel-clearing drugs
WASHINGTON -- Federal health officials said Thursday they will add the sternest safety warnings available to drugs used before colonoscopies, following reports of kidney damage in several patients. The Food and Drug Administration said it has received more than 20 reports of a serious form of kidney failure among patients taking the bowel-cleansing drugs, known as oral phosphate products. The new boxed warning label will apply to Visicol and OsmoPrep _ both prescription tablets made by Salix Pharmaceuticals.
Read article in the Washington Post (USA)

December 11, 2008

Brussels to allow drug companies to advertise online
The European Commission on Wednesday (10 December) presented a package of proposals to reform the EU's pharmaceutical sector aiming to limit the spread of counterfeit medicine in the bloc, while letting drug companies "provide information" on medicines via websites. But Brussels' plan has already drawn some criticism from consumer rights advocates, who say that the plans open the door to US-style drug advertising.
Read article at euobserver.com
Comment: Borrowing a phrase from his colleague Arthur Higgins, CEO of Bayer HealthCare and president of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, EU industry commissioner Gunter Verheugen says that he wishes to "restore the EU's traditional role as the pharmacy of the world." It seems safe to presume therefore that the key beneficiaries from the legalizing of online drug propaganda in the EU will be drug companies and their shareholders, not consumers.

December 10, 2008

Long-term use of diabetes drugs by women significantly increases risk of fractures
A group of drugs commonly used to treat diabetes can double the risk of bone fractures in women, according to a new study by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Wake Forest University. Published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), the findings show that use of thiazolidinediones for more than one year by women with type 2 diabetes significantly reduces bone density, resulting in the risk of fractures being doubled.
Read article at physorg.com

December 5, 2008

AstraZeneca Was Aware of Seroquel Risks in 2000, Records Show
AstraZeneca Plc., facing more than 15,000 consumer claims alleging the antipsychotic drug Seroquel causes diabetes, knew about the risk as far back as 2000, according to company documents shown in federal court.
Read article at bloomberg.com

December 4, 2008

Over 500 Deaths Per Year Associated with Children's Cough and Cold Medicine
Research published in the American Academy of Pediatrics official journal, "Pediatrics," reveals that there is an estimated 500 pediatric deaths a year associated with children's cold and cough medicine. "Up until this new research, officials assumed that there were only 3 or 4 deaths a year from these medications" says Dr. Jeffery L. Chamberlain, the family doctor and co-founder of Honey Don't Cough, who performed the mathematical extrapolation.  "Deaths have been drastically underreported because when a child gets sick and dies, doctors assume that the death was solely related to the illness itself.  Typically, no one thinks to check for toxic medications that could have contributed to the death."
Read press release at mmdnewswire.com

December 4, 2008

Psychiatric drugs force queried
The practice of forcing psychiatric patients to take medication is not backed by evidence, say UK researchers. Very few rigorous investigations of the use of coerced medication have been done despite it being widespread, the Journal of Advanced Nursing reported. The dearth of evidence is "unacceptable" and more should be done to find alternatives, the team said.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

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

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

U.N. – Related Issues

December 9, 2008

Cancer to be world's top killer by 2010, WHO says
Cancer will overtake heart disease as the world's top killer by 2010, part of a trend that should more than double global cancer cases and deaths by 2030, international health experts reported Tuesday.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: Whilst these skyrocketing increases in the number of cancer cases will doubtless be welcomed by the pharmaceutical investment ‘business with disease’, the fact is that safer, effective alternatives to the use of toxic chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer are available. To learn about them, click here.

For more U.N. – related news, click here.

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

Other Health-related News

December 15, 2008

Nearly three-quarters of youths with diabetes insufficient in vitamin D
Three-quarters of youths with type 1 diabetes were found to have insufficient levels of vitamin D, according to a study by researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center – findings that suggest children with the disease may need vitamin D supplementation to prevent bone fragility later in life.
Read article at physorg.com

December 11, 2008

Doctors reveal supplement recommendation priorities
Bone, joint and heart health are some of the top reasons for doctors to recommend supplements to their patients, according to a new study. The Healthcare Professionals (HCP) Impact Study, released by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), surveyed around 1,200 orthopedic specialists, cardiologists and dermatologists. The findings reveal that the majority of doctors recommend supplements both for overall health and for areas associated with their specialties. Most doctors also believe supplement usage is mainstream, and more popular today than five years ago.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

December 10, 2008

Lack of vitamin D causes weight gain and stunts growth in girls
Insufficient vitamin D can stunt growth and foster weight gain during puberty, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Even in sun-drenched California, where scientists from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the University of Southern California conducted their study, vitamin D deficiency was found to cause higher body mass and shorter stature in girls at the peak of their growing spurt.
Read article at physorg.com

December 10, 2008

Omega-3, probiotics, plant extracts not ruled by Supplements Directive, says EC
Adding nutrients such as some herbal extracts, omega-3s, probiotics, glucosamine and more to the Food Supplements Directive (FSD is impractical and unworkable, the European Commission has stated. In a long-awaited document on the matter sent to Member States and the European Parliament last week, the EC said nutrients other than the vitamins and minerals already regulated by the FSD did not enjoy the same consistency of use throughout the bloc. They should therefore continue to be governed under varying national and EU regulations and institutions.
Read article at nutraingredients.com
Comment: Nobody living in the European Union should be fooled into thinking that substances other than vitamins and minerals are not now going to be affected by the European Commission’s ongoing anti-supplement campaign. In reality, and as the small print of this report makes very clear, the Commission believes that other existing European legislation – such as its regulations on novel foods and the addition of vitamins and minerals and certain other substances to foods – already now constitutes "a sufficient legislative framework for regulating this area." To read this European Commission document, click here.

December 8, 2008

How Victorian diseases are sweeping back
DISEASES more often associated with Victorian slums are taking hold again in Britain. Infections such as measles, mumps, tuberculosis and syphilis have spread rapidly in recent years. And the re-emergence of conditions such as gout, rickets and scurvy – disabling illnesses sparked by poor diet and social conditions – is alarming doctors.
Read article in the Daily Express (UK)

For more health-related news, click here.

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

Political News

December 12, 2008

COPE gives ANC a bloody nose
The ANC's dismal performance in this week's by-elections in the Western Cape has confirmed suspicions - and claims by the rival Congress of the People - that the governing party is haemorrhaging support in the province. While the ANC managed to sustain and in some cases improve its levels of support in by-elections elsewhere in the country, in the Western Cape it received a bloody nose as opposition parties snatched 23 of 26 council seats it previously held. Independent candidates standing under the banner of the yet-to-be registered COPE snapped up 10 of the wards lost by the ANC, while the Democratic Alliance took nine and the Independent Democrats four.
Read article on the Independent Online website (South Africa)

October 29, 2008

Australia to implement mandatory internet censorship
AUSTRALIA will join China in implementing mandatory censoring of the internet under plans put forward by the Federal Government. The revelations emerge as US tech giants Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, and a coalition of human rights and other groups unveiled a code of conduct aimed at safeguarding online freedom of speech and privacy. The government has declared it will not let internet users opt out of the proposed national internet filter.
Read article in the Herald Sun (Australia)

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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