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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May 8, 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

May 5, 2009

B6 may slash colorectal cancer risk: Harvard study
Increased intake of vitamin B6 from diet and supplements may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by over 50 per cent, suggests a new study. Almost 15,000 people took part in the study, which reported that increased blood levels of the vitamin’s active form, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), were significantly associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, according to findings published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. The study follows similar findings from Scotland-based researchers published in the same journal last year.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

April 30, 2009

Folic acid may help treat allergies, asthma
Folic acid, or vitamin B9, essential for red blood cell health and long known to reduce the risk of spinal birth defects, may also suppress allergic reactions and lessen the severity of allergy and asthma symptoms, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. In what is believed to be the first study in humans examining the link between blood levels of folate - the naturally occurring form of folic acid — and allergies, the Hopkins scientists say results add to mounting evidence that folate can help regulate inflammation.
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

May 4, 2009

Ministers dropped Vioxx protest after lobbying from US drug firm
Private lobbying by an American pharmaceutical company saw government ministers back down from supporting British people who claim one of its failed drugs caused them heart attacks and strokes. A minister promised in parliament that the government would back their campaign against Merck, one of the world's largest drugs firms. But Whitehall documents obtained by the Guardian reveal Merck immediately put pressure on the minister and helped persuade the government to withdraw its support.
Read article in the Guardian (UK)

April 30, 2009

Leukemia Risk Seen With MS Drug Mitoxantrone
An Italian study confirms that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who are treated with the drug mitoxantrone have an increased risk of developing acute leukemia. Furthermore, it seems that the risk is significantly higher than previously reported.
Read article on the Post Chronicle website (USA)

April 29, 2009

After 7-year-old's suicide, officials order look at drug use of other Florida foster children
In the aftermath of 7-year-old Gabriel Myers' suicide, state child welfare officials will review the case files of every foster child in Florida to see how many are on mind-altering drugs. The head of the Department of Children & Families also took the rare step Wednesday of appointing a panel to examine the circumstances surrounding Gabriel's death. The child hanged himself April 16 with a shower hose in the bathroom of his Margate foster home. "It is difficult for any of us to comprehend how a child so young could have deliberately and consciously made the decision to end his life," DCF Secretary George Sheldon said. "But in order to help prevent this type of tragedy from happening again, it is critical we review all available information to determine the factors that led to Gabriel's death." Four weeks before his suicide, Gabriel was prescribed Symbyax, which is a combination of the generic forms of the anti-depressant Prozac and the anti-psychosis drug Zyprexa. He already had been taking Vyvanse, a drug to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Read article on the South Florida Sun-Sentinel website (USA)

April 29, 2009

Swine flu? A panic stoked in order to posture and spend
Despite the hysteria, the risk to Britons' health is tiny - but that news won't sell papers or drugs, or justify the WHO's budget.
Read article by Simon Jenkins in the Guardian (UK)
Comment: As we have pointed out many times previously on these pages, the drug industry is an investment industry driven by the profits of its shareholders. Significantly, therefore, as the swine flu hysteria began to mount, the share price of Australia's Biota Holdings Ltd, which licensed the flu drug Relenza to GlaxoSmithKline, jumped by 82 percent. Almost simultaneously, investment analysts began talking up the share price of Roche, manufacturer of the flu drug Tamiflu, saying that the outbreak represents “up to $388 million” of sales. To read more about the principles governing the pharmaceutical “business with disease”, click here. To learn the facts about swine flu and human influenza, click here.

April 23, 2009

New Merck Allegations: A Fake Journal; Ghostwritten Studies; Vioxx Pop Songs; PR Execs Harass Reporters
Federal prosecutors in the U.S. will be reading with amusement the Australian press’s coverage of a class action trial down under for patients who took Merck’s now-withdrawn painkiller Vioxx. Details emerging in Oz make some of the antics that Merck’s American counterparts got up to look tame by comparison.
Read article on the BNET Pharma website

April 23, 2009

Merck target of Vioxx federal grand jury probe
Merck & Co said on Monday that it has been advised it is a target of a U.S. grand jury investigation involving its withdrawn pain drug Vioxx. The company had previously disclosed the government probe, which has been ongoing since 2004. But it only last week received a letter from the U.S. Attorney's office for the District of Massachusetts informing the drugmaker it is a target of the grand jury investigation, Merck said.
Read news report at reuters.com

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

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

Other Health-related News

May 4, 2009

Iron deficiency in womb may delay brain maturation in preemies
Iron plays a large role in brain development in the womb, and new University of Rochester Medical Center research shows an iron deficiency may delay the development of auditory nervous system in preemies. This delay could affect babies ability to process sound which is critical for later language development in early childhood.
Read article at physorg.com

May 4, 2009

Lack of Vitamin D in kids linked to risks later in life
The first Canadian study to investigate vitamin D levels in toddlers has found that more than 80 per cent of the children tested didn't have enough of the sunshine vitamin and nearly a third had such low amounts that doctors classified them as deficient. The finding, based on blood tests of two-year olds from the Toronto area, suggests that shortfalls in vitamin D may be widespread in young children across the country, potentially placing them at an elevated risk of developing a wide range of diseases later in life, including multiple sclerosis, cancer and juvenile diabetes.
Read article on the website of the Globe and Mail (Canada)

May 4, 2009

Mushrooms may yield vitamin D bonanza
A burst of ultraviolet light can make mushrooms a major source of vitamin D, Australian researchers report. Dr Gerald Pang and colleagues from the University of Western Sydney report their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Mushrooms naturally contain a high level of ergosterol, the precursor for vitamin D. But the standard practice of producing mushrooms indoors means they are not exposed to sunlight and so the ergosterol is not converted to vitamin D. North American researchers have developed technology that uses UV light to increase the amount of vitamin D in mushrooms, which have been available in the US since last year, says Pang. Now, research by Pang and colleagues, funded by the Australian Mushroom Growers' Association and Horticulture Australia Ltd, has confirmed Australian mushrooms also respond to UV light.
Read article on the website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Australia)

May 1, 2009

Organic apples higher in antioxidants
A new study by scientists in Germany shows that organically grown apples have a 15% higher antioxidant capacity than conventionally produced apples, reports FoodNavigator.com. The findings of the new survey are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and build on evidence from a number of studies showing significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic food.
Read article on the Natural Products online website (UK)

April 30, 2009

Low vitamin D causes problems for acutely ill patients
A group of endocrinologists in Sydney have observed that very sick patients tend to have very low levels of Vitamin D. The sicker they are, the lower the levels. Dr Paul Lee, Professor John Eisman and Associate Professor Jackie Center, researchers at Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, examined a cohort of 42 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients. Forty-five percent turned out to be Vitamin D deficient.
Read article at physorg.com

April 30, 2009

Insufficient vitamin D may boost asthma risk
Children with insufficient vitamin D levels may be at higher risk of developing asthma, suggests a new study from equatorial Costa Rica. Vitamin D levels were also associated with increased frequency of hospitalization, according to a study with 616 Costa Rican children with asthma published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

April 29, 2009

Low vitamin D linked to female infections: Study
Low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis, a common vaginal infection linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes, suggests a new study from the US. In a study with 469 women participating in a pregnancy cohort study, vitamin D levels below 20 nmol/L were associated with a 34 per cent increase in the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis compared to women with vitamin D levels over 80 nmol/L.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

April 27, 2009

Together, two common pesticides may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease
The risk of Parkinson's disease increases in people who live near farm fields sprayed with a combination of pesticides. A recent study conducted in California’s Central Valley found that people who lived near fields sprayed with a combination of pesticides used on crops such as potatoes, dry beans and tomatoes had an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. This is the first study to evaluate associations between exposure to a combination of pesticides and the risk of Parkinson’s disease. These results add to the growing literature suggesting that exposure to multiple chemicals may be more harmful than exposure to individual chemicals and contribute to the debate of evaluating chemical safety one at a time rather than in combination.
Read article at environmentalhealthnews.org (USA)

For more health-related news, click here.

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

Political News

May 6, 2009

Bush Officials Try to Alter Ethics Report
Focus Is Approval of Harsh Interrogations
Former Bush administration officials have launched a behind-the-scenes campaign to urge Justice Department leaders to soften an ethics report criticizing lawyers who blessed harsh detainee interrogation tactics, according to two sources familiar with the efforts.
Read article in the Washington Post (USA)

May 3, 2009

Jacqui Smith's secret plan to carry on snooping
Spy chiefs are pressing ahead with secret plans to monitor all internet use and telephone calls in Britain despite an announcement by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, of a ministerial climbdown over public surveillance. GCHQ, the government’s eavesdropping centre, is developing classified technology to intercept and monitor all e-mails, website visits and social networking sessions in Britain. The agency will also be able to track telephone calls made over the internet, as well as all phone calls to land lines and mobiles. The £1 billion snooping project — called Mastering the Internet (MTI) — will rely on thousands of “black box” probes being covertly inserted across online infrastructure.
Read article in the Sunday Times (UK)
Comment: Whilst GCHQ has denied it will track all UK internet and online phone use, it admits that it is developing tracking technology but claims that it "only acts when it is necessary." However, given that British citizens are already the most spied-upon people in the world, it seems unlikely that they will be reassured by either Smith’s secret plans or GCHQ’s denial of them.

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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