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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January 14, 2009

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 5, 2009

Antioxidants may be pain relievers in pancreatitis patients: Study
Supplements containing selenium, beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol may alleviate pain in people suffering from pancreatitis, suggests a study from India . One hundred and twenty-seven people took part in the randomised, placebo-controlled study, published in the January issue of Gastroenterology, which found that at the end of the intervention period 32 per cent of pancreatitis patients became pain-free, compared to only 13 per cent in the placebo group.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

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

Pharma "Business with Disease" News

January 5, 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine does not appear to protect against pneumonia
Commonly used pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines do not appear to be effective for preventing pneumonia, found a study by a team of researchers from Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Read article at physorg.com

January 4, 2009

No Mugs, but What About Those Fees?
New pharmaceutical industry guidelines should stop most drug companies from distributing a wide range of trinkets and office supplies designed to keep their brand names before doctors as a subliminal inducement to prescribe high-priced drugs. The new code, which kicked in on New Year’s Day, bars the free distribution of everything from pens to coffee mugs and staplers by some 40 drug companies that have agreed to the restrictions. That may seem like small potatoes, but in the aggregate the promotional products probably cost about $1 billion a year, as Natasha Singer reported in The Times. The updated rules are the industry’s latest attempt to restore public confidence that doctors are prescribing medicines in the patient’s interest. The code still has too many loopholes.
Read editorial in the New York Times (USA)

January 1, 2009

Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
The proportion of people taking widely prescribed oral osteoporosis drugs who develop a nasty jaw condition may be much higher than previously thought, a new study suggests. Previous reports had indicated that the risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) from bisphosphonates in pill form were "negligible," although there was a noted risk in people taking the higher-dose intravenous form of the drug. But Dr. Parish Sedghizadeh, an assistant professor of clinical dentistry at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in Los Angeles, said his clinic is seeing one to four new cases a week, compared to one a year in the past. This led him to investigate the phenomenon and publish the findings in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association. "This is more frequent than everybody would like to think it is," said Sedghizadeh, lead author of the study.
Read article in the Washington Post (USA)

December 31, 2008

Report Links Osteoporosis Drug to Esophagus Cancer
Fosamax May Be Tied to 23 Cases of Esophageal Cancer, Report Says
There could be some worrying news for the tens of millions of Americans currently taking Fosamax. A brief report published today in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests a possible link between the osteoporosis drug and the development of esophageal cancer.
Read article on the ABC News website (USA)

December 23, 2008

Senators investigate Merced groundwater pollution
The state's two U.S. senators want to know whether groundwater pollution in Merced caused by pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. is connected to illnesses suffered by some local residents. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has sent a staff member to Merced to investigate. Sen. Barbara Boxer's office is making local inquiries. An attorney for Merck says a subsidiary of the company polluted the site with Chromium 6, the carcinogen Erin Brockovich campaigned against when it was found in Hinkley's drinking water.
Read article in the Modesto Bee (California/USA)

December 20, 2008

Publisher opens inquiry into article on Wyeth drug
The medical publisher Elsevier said Friday that it would investigate a U.S. senator's recent allegation that one of its journals published an article on hormone replacement therapy that was improperly ghostwritten by a drug company promoting the product. The senator, Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa, had raised questions about the May 2003 "Editors' Choice" article in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, published by Elsevier, which is part of the Dutch-British publishing giant Reed Elsevier.
Read article in the International Herald Tribune

December 19, 2008

Tysabri causes third death
A multiple sclerosis patient died from a severe brain infection after taking Tysabri, the fourth such infection reported in five months since the drug was re-introduced to the U.S. market in 2006.
Read article in the Boston Business Journal (USA)

December 18, 2008

Common treatment for chronic prostatitis fails to reduce symptoms
Alfuzosin, a drug commonly prescribed for men with chronic prostatitis, a painful disorder of the prostate and surrounding pelvic area, failed to significantly reduce symptoms in recently diagnosed men who had not been previously treated with this drug, according to a clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The study is to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Read article at physorg.com

December 16, 2008

FDA adds suicide warning to epilepsy drugs
Drugs used by millions of patients to control epileptic seizures must carry warnings about heightened risks of suicide, federal regulators said Tuesday.
Read article at physorg.com

December 15, 2008

Biogen’s Tysabri Causes Another Brain Infection
Yet again, the multiple-sclerosis medication has caused a serious brain infection, the same malady that prompted the drug to be withdrawn in 2005 for about a year. A German MS patient contracted PML, or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopthy, and remains hospitalized, according to a filing by Biogen with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Read article at pharmalot.com

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

GMO News

January 5, 2009

Killing the seed?
Amidst a widely split opinion, Greenpeace has urged Chief Minister Karunanidhi to ban genetically modified (GM) crops in the state as it claims that the crops will have wide ranging side effects that include infertility. With many of those in the science fraternity up in arms against genetically modified food being introduced into the market, eminent fertility experts in the city assert that GM crops should be banned as it could affect the immune system and cause liver failure and infertility.
Read article in The Times of India

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

Other Health-related News

January 5, 2009

Folic acid survey of Spanish-speaking women finds most are missing benefits
Only 17 percent of Spanish-speaking women of childbearing age in the United States are taking a multivitamin containing folic acid daily, according to the first- nationally representative folic acid awareness survey to focus on this population.
Read article at physorg.com

January 2, 2009

Government 'fixing health consultations' with taxpayer-funded groups
The Government has been accused of fixing the outcome of public consultations on health policy after it emerged that reviews were flooded with block votes from groups funded entirely by the taxpayer.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)
Comment: In one UK consultation, only a handful of the 96,000 respondents came from individuals submitting their personal views whilst almost 70,000 came from those collected by pressure groups entirely funded by the UK ’s Department for Health.

December 22, 2008

EC shifting against high-dose vitamins and minerals: HFMA
The UK-based Health Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) has warned the European Commission may severely restrict maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements, after an industry meeting with the European Commission.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

December 22, 2008

Vitamin D Deficit in Pregnancy Tied to Caesarean Risk
Vitamin D deficiency greatly increases a pregnant woman's likelihood of having a Caesarean delivery, U.S. researchers report.
Read article in the Washington Post (USA)

December 22, 2008

Tree man 'who grew roots' may be cured
An Indonesian fisherman who feared that he would be killed by tree-like growths covering his body has been given hope of recovery by an American doctor - and Vitamin A.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

December 21, 2008

Massive crackdown on the use of scores of toxic pesticides
New EU rules, opposed by Gordon Brown, will phase out use of cancer-causing compounds in Britain
Britain is to get its toughest crackdown on toxic substances in food and the environment, despite determined resistance to the safety measures from Gordon Brown. Scores of pesticides suspected of causing cancer, DNA damage and "gender-bender" effects are to be phased out under new EU rules, which are being hailed as a revolution in the way the public is protected against poisonous chemicals. The use of all pesticides in public places is to be dramatically reduced, with aerial spraying banned anywhere in the country.
Read article in The Independent (UK)
Comment: Given that almost half of all food eaten throughout Europe has been discovered to be contaminated by pesticides, this development is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

December 20, 2008

ANH Feature: Focus on Ayurveda – part 1
Two members of ANH’s core team, Dr Robert Verkerk and Meleni Aldridge, have almost finished a 10-day information gathering, network strengthening tour of India , as part of ANH’s ongoing campaign to protect traditional medicinal cultures. Their tour took in the historic city of Varanasi , Uttar Pradesh, which many argue is the birth place of modern civilisation itself, as well as being the origin of India ’s overriding philosophical and health care system, Ayurveda.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

December 18, 2008

New anti-cancer components of extra-virgin olive oil revealed
Good quality extra-virgin olive oil contains health-relevant chemicals, 'phytochemicals', that can trigger cancer cell death. New research published in the open access journal BMC Cancer sheds more light on the suspected association between olive oil-rich Mediterranean diets and reductions in breast cancer risk. Javier Menendez from the Catalan Institute of Oncology and Antonio Segura-Carretero from the University of Granada in Spain led a team of researchers who set out to investigate which parts of olive oil were most active against cancer. Menendez said, "Our findings reveal for the first time that all the major complex phenols present in extra-virgin olive oil drastically suppress overexpression of the cancer gene HER2 in human breast cancer cells".
Read article at physorg.com

December 18, 2008

ANH Review: EFSA—are you trying to poison us?
Europe ’s supreme authority on food safety— and fluoride: Bad science, twisted rules or corporate manipulation?
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

December 16, 2008

Vitamin D deficiency in infants and nursing mothers carries long-term disease risks
Once believed to be important only for bone health, vitamin D is now seen as having a critical function in maintaining the immune system throughout life. The newly recognized disease risks associated with vitamin D deficiency are clearly documented in a report in the December issue (Volume 3, Number 4) of Breastfeeding Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., and the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
Read article at physorg.com

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

Political News

January 6, 2009

The ANC's Secret COPE Sympathisers
The ANC is no longer sure of who is friend or foe. Some of its traditional members and ardent supporters are quietly vying for the Congress of the People (COPE) while pretending to be all for the ANC in public. Come the day of the secret ballot, they will have already turned. Some have already made the leap. Others are waiting for when the time is right to join COPE more openly. And, yet others simply have a genuine concern about South African democracy and its future and will vote for COPE to weaken the dominance of the ANC.
Read article at allafrica.com

January 3, 2009

Exit, Stonewalling
True to its mania for secrecy, the Bush administration is leaving behind vast gaps in the most sensitive White House e-mail records, and with lawyers and public interest groups in hot pursuit of information that deserves to be part of the permanent historical record. E-mail messages that have gone suspiciously missing are estimated to number in the millions. These could illuminate some of the administration’s darker moments, including the lead-up to the Iraq war, when intelligence was distorted, the destruction of videotapes of C.I.A. torture interrogations, and the vindictive outing of the C.I.A. operative Valerie Plame Wilson. The deep-sixed history also includes improper business conducted by more than 50 White House appointees via e-mail at the Republican Party headquarters. Historians and archivists are suing the administration.
Read editorial in the New York Times (USA)

December 22, 2008

The World According to Cheney
Vice President Dick Cheney has a parting message for Americans: They should quit whining about all the things he and President Bush did to undermine the rule of law, erode the balance of powers between the White House and Congress, abuse prisoners and spy illegally on Americans. After all, he said, Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln did worse than that. So Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush managed to stop short of repeating two of the most outrageous abuses of power in American history — Roosevelt’s decision to force Japanese-Americans into camps and Lincoln’s declaration of martial law to silence his critics? That’s not exactly a lofty standard of behavior.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)
Comment: Cheney may be attempting to rewrite history, but he won’t get away with it.

December 22, 2008

Brussels Invents Trick to Get Irish to Vote Again
Brussels has come up with a new trick aimed at getting Ireland to hold a second referendum on a failed EU treaty. It would like to make concessions to Dublin guaranteeing it the right to determine its own taxation, abortion laws and neutrality -- and to codify those rights as part of Croatia's membership deal.
Read article in Der Spiegel (Germany)

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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