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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March 27, 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

March 24, 2009

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce risk of advanced prostate cancer
Omega-3 fatty acids appear protective against advanced prostate cancer, and this effect may be modified by a genetic variant in the COX-2 gene, according to a report in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: In this study, men who consumed the highest amount of long chain omega-3 fatty acids had a 63 percent reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer compared to men with the lowest amount of long chain omega-3 fatty acids. The researchers also assessed the effect of omega-3 fatty acids among men with the variant rs4647310 in COX-2, a known inflammatory gene. Men with low long chain omega-3 fatty acid intake and this variant had a more than five-fold increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. But men with high intake of omega-3 fatty acids had a substantially reduced risk, even if they carried the COX-2 variant.

March 23, 2009

Vitamin D supplements associated with reduced fracture risk in older adults
Oral vitamin D supplements at a dose of at least 400 international units per day are associated with a reduced risk of bone fractures in older adults, according to results of a meta-analysis published in the March 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
Read article at physorg.com

March 17, 2009

Birth brain defect could be treated with vitamin supplement
Pioneering research published today suggests that a vitamin supplement taken during pregnancy could prevent hydrocephalus - one of the common forms of birth brain defect. Scientists at The University of Manchester and Lancaster University say laboratory tests have shown that administering a combination of vitamins (tetrahydrofolate and folinic acid), dramatically reduces the risk of hydrocephalus.
Read article at physorg.com

March 17, 2009

Frankincense oil 'could be alternative treatment for bladder cancer'
Frankincense could be used as an alternative treatment for bladder cancer after laboratory tests showed that it can kill diseased cells. The herb, famous as one of the presents brought by the wise men when they visited the baby Jesus, does not harm healthy cells, the study found.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)
Comment: An enriched extract of the 'Indian Frankincense' herb Boswellia serrata has been proven to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Research has shown that patients taking this herbal remedy showed significant improvement in as little as seven days.

March 16, 2009

Eating mushrooms daily 'may cut breast cancer risk by two thirds'
Eating a daily portion of mushrooms could cut the risk of breast cancer by up to two-thirds, according to new research. Scientists found that women consuming at least a third of an ounce of fresh mushrooms every day were 64 per cent less likely to develop a tumour. Dried mushrooms had a slightly less protective effect, reducing the risk by around half. The study, carried out in China, also showed women who combined a mushroom diet with regular consumption of green tea saw an even greater benefit. The risk among women in this group was reduced by almost 90 per cent.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

For more natural health news, click here.

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

Pharma "Business with Disease" News

March 23, 2009

FDA, drug maker come under fire over secret test results
AstraZeneca and the FDA are facing criticism over antipsychotic drug Seroquel which numerous lawsuits allege causes metabolic disorders. A case against the company will be heard in Delaware state court beginning June 29. It alleges that Seroquel has caused schizophrenic patients to develop diabetes, excessive weight gain and other metabolic conditions, according to Aboutlawsuits.com. Meanwhile, the Washington Post has reported that a trial known as Study 15 was conducted in late 1990s, but its results were never disclosed to practicing physicians. Instead, the drug gained an FDA approval, and has earned AstraZeneca nearly $12 billion in the past three years.
Read article at personalliberty.com
Comment: To read the Washington Post article referred to above, click here.

March 17, 2009

Nurse prescribers unaware of drug companies' marketing techniques
Nurse prescribers often do not realise the effect that drug companies' marketing techniques can have on them, according to US research. The study, in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, concluded that nurses were 'confused' about the level of influence that pharmaceutical firms can have. Although the 84 nurses in the study rejected many incentives, such as invitations to seminars in holiday resorts, the authors said they displayed a 'low awareness of how marketing… affects clinical decisions and creates conflicts of interest'.
Read article on the Nursing Times magazine website (UK)

March 7, 2009

The withdrawal of drug-company money
A crackdown on inappropriate financial ties between pharmaceutical firms and doctors is imperative.
In recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has been repeatedly (and rightly) excoriated for its shameless efforts to promote its products: Freebies handed out to doctors as inducements to prescribe particular drugs. Studies underwritten by drug companies with financial interests in the outcome published in prestigious journals. Lucrative consulting contracts given to National Institutes of Health scientists. To name just a few. You would think that in the face of all the unpleasant scrutiny -- books on the industry's "deceit" and "greed," congressional investigations, lawsuits and even some criminal convictions -- drug makers would wake up, do some serious self-analysis, retool their outrageous marketing practices and try, as Pfizer Chief Executive Jeffrey Kindler said last month, to "earn the trust of patients and the public."
Read editorial in the Los Angeles Times (USA)

March 6, 2009

Is Drug-Company Money Tainting Medical Education?
It's not often that a place like Harvard Medical School gets an F — particularly when rivals Stanford, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania are pulling A's and B's. But that's what happened recently when the members of the increasingly influential — and increasingly noisy — American Medical Student Association (AMSA) decided to grade 150 med schools on just how much money and gifts they're collecting from drug companies. The more goodies a school is vacuuming up from the industry, the worse its grade. There's always been reason to worry about the influence of Big Pharma on the practice of medicine. When doctors are being lavished with meals and speaking fees by the likes of Pfizer and Merck, can you really trust them when they later write prescriptions for those companies' drugs?
Read article in Time Magazine (USA)
Comment: In our opinion, there can only be one answer to the question posed by the title of this article: Yes.

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

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

GMO News

March 17, 2009

Experts speak out against GM food
After BT cotton, international corporations promoting genetically modified crops are trying to expand their reach to food, which may expose consumers to unknown hazards. "There is absolutely no space for this hazardous and irreversible technology in our agriculture sector," said senior activist N D Patil after releasing the CD of documentary film "Poison on the Platter", directed by noted filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, in the city on Monday. "There is no independent research to prove that genetically modified (GM) food is safe for consumption. Scientifically, it is a proven fact that genetic engineering is inherently imprecise and irreversible," said Patil.
Read article on The Times of India website

March 13, 2009

Biggest Brazil soy state loses taste for GMO seed
Farmers in Brazil's Mato Grosso, the country's top soy state, are shunning once-heralded, genetically modified soy varieties in favor of conventional seeds after the hi-tech type showed poor yields. "We're seeing less and less planting of GMO soy around here. It doesn't give consistent performance," said Jeferson Bif, who grows soy and corn on a large 1,800 hectare farm in Ipiranga do Norte, near the key Mato Grosso soy town of Sorriso. He said he obtained average yields of 58 bags (60 kg) per hectare with conventional soy last season while fields planted with GMO soy in the same year yielded 10 bags less.
Read news report at reuters.com

For more GMO news, click here.

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

Other Health-related News

March 24, 2009

Diabetics on high-fiber diets might need extra calcium
The amount of calcium your body absorbs might depend, in part, on the amount of dietary fiber you consume. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center report that patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes (type 2) excreted less calcium through their urine when they consumed 50 grams of fiber a day than when they ate 24 grams a day. Excreting less calcium indicates that they absorbed less of the mineral. "We already know that fiber helps improve your cholesterol and glucose control and improves your bowel regularity. Our new findings suggest that dietary fiber reduces the body's capacity to absorb calcium," said Dr. Abhimanyu Garg, professor of internal medicine and an investigator in the Center for Human Nutrition at UT Southwestern.
Read article at physorg.com

March 24, 2009

European Commission agree to investigate health risks of fluoridated water
The European Commission has just opened a public consultation process to investigate the health risks of adding fluoride to public water supplies. The Irish health authorities, through the local councils, have added hydrofluorosilicic acid to public water supplies since 1960. However, unlike sodium and calcium fluoride used in toothpaste, Hydrofluorosilicic acid is an industrial waste by-product and a very unstable chemical which over time, accumulates in our bones and organs. There is a large and growing body of long term epidemiological evidence that links swallowed fluoride to osteoporosis, thyroid malfunctions, cancer, lower IQ in babies and many other side effects. MEP for Munster, Kathy Sinnott, welcomed the consultation saying "In my election campaign five years ago, I promised to challenge the fluoridation of our drinking water. It has taken us several years of lobbying to get the Commission to agree to this step but I am delighted that they have finally decided to take the issue seriously."
Read press release from Kathy Sinnott, MEP, on the Fluoride Action Network website

March 23, 2009

Increasing number of Americans have insufficient levels of vitamin D
Average blood levels of vitamin D appear to have decreased in the United States between 1994 and 2004, according to a report in the March 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. Clinicians previously believed the major health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency were rickets in children and reduced bone mineral content in adults, conditions reduced by fortifying foods with vitamin D, according to background information in the article. More recently, insufficient vitamin D levels have been associated with cancer, heart disease, infection and suboptimal health overall. Evidence suggests that levels of 30 nanograms per milliliter to 40 nanograms per milliliter may be needed for optimum health.
Read article at physorg.com

March 19, 2009

Obamas to Plant Vegetable Garden at White House
WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of the South Lawn on Friday to plant a vegetable garden, the first at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets — the president does not like them — but arugula will make the cut. While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)

March 17, 2009

Help Save P5P (the Natural and Bio-available Form of Vitamin B-6)
We reported last month that the FDA has banned a natural form of the B6 vitamin called pyradoxamine (pyridoxamine dihydrochloride)—even though fish and chicken contain pyridoxamine, as does brewer’s yeast. No one can argue that pyradoxamine isn’t a natural food substance. It’s a very useful one too, with many health benefits, which is why drug companies want to monopolize it, and have succeeded thanks to the FDA. Another natural and bioidentical form of the vitamin—pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (P5P), is also at risk from FDA action. This one is arguably even more important than pyradoxamine. All forms of the B-6 vitamin must be converted into P5P in order to be used by the body. As with pyradoxamine, the Agency is considering a petition filed by a drug manufacturer which fears that the natural supplement could cut into its drug profits. While everyone needs B6 to live, some people have difficulty converting synthetic B6 to P5P, so the elimination of P5P could make them entirely dependent on drugs—and thus the drug manufacturers—for their survival. Please contact the FDA and express your opposition to the FDA banning P5P!
Read article on the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF) website (USA)
Comment: To contact the FDA and express your opposition to the drug company Medicure Pharma’s request for a ban on dietary supplements containing the natural form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal 5’-phosphate (P5P), click here.

March 17, 2009

Low Fruit, Vegetable Intake Is a Worldwide Problem
A new study that looks at the fruit and vegetable consumption of nearly 200,000 people in developing countries finds that the prevalence of inadequate diet is “remarkably high” across the globe. Overall, 77.6 percent of men and 78.4 percent of women consumed less than the suggested five daily servings of produce.
Read article at physorg.com

March 16, 2009

Lack of vitamin D could lead to fatter teens: Study
Adolescents with high intakes of vitamin D may have lower overall body fat and lower amounts of abdominal fat, says a new study from the Medical College of Georgia, US.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

For more health-related news, click here.

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

Political News

March 23, 2009

China ready to discuss new reserve currency at G20 summit
China is ready to discuss Russia's proposal of a new global reserve currency as an alternative to the U.S. dollar at the G20 summit in London, a vice governor of the country's Central Bank said on Monday. Russia earlier submitted a proposal to the G20 summit which could see the IMF examining possibilities for creating a supra-national reserve currency, and also forcing national banks and international financial institutions to diversify their foreign currency reserves.
Read article on the RIA Novosti website (Russia)

March 23, 2009

Quarter of UK's databases are 'illegal'
Little thought given to privacy, study warns
One in four of the major government databases is almost certainly illegal and should be scrapped, a report says. The national DNA database, the proposed national identity database and the ContactPoint system, which will hold records of all children in England, are among the systems singled out for fundamental reform or abolition. Researchers called for 11 systems assessed as "almost certainly illegal" under human rights or data protection law to be scrapped or substantially redesigned.
Read article in The Independent (UK)

March 18, 2009

Cost of EU membership 'ten times higher' than official figures
The 'real' cost of EU membership to member states is 'many times higher' than figures quoted by the European commission, it has been claimed. According to the Taxpayers' Alliance, EU membership costs every citizen €2400 per year, compared with the €235 quoted by the commission. The UK-based lobby group says that, annually, the total cost of membership to the 27 states is €1219bn – close to ten times the official figures.
Read article at theparliament.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.

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