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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October 30, 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

October 27, 2009

Vitamin D supplements show anti-diabetes potential
Supplements of the sunshine vitamin may improve insulin resistance and sensitivity, both of which are risk factors for diabetes, says a new study from New Zealand. Insulin resistance, whereby insufficient insulin is released to produce a normal glucose response from fat, muscle and liver cells, was significantly lower in women following high-dose vitamin D supplementation, according to results of a randomised, controlled, double-blind trial published in the British Journal of Nutrition. The optimal effects were observed when blood vitamin D levels were in the range 80 to 119 nanomoles per litre, said the researchers, “providing further evidence for an increase in the recommended adequate levels”.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

October 27, 2009

Pomegranate’s prostate protection potential grows
The anti-prostate cancer effects of pomegranate and its extracts may be related to stopping an enzyme in the liver which processes environmental carcinogens, says a new study. Pomegranate, a rich source of antioxidants, has been linked to improved heart health, but a growing body of science indicates the fruit protect against prostate cancer. Studies have also reported a role in joint health by slowing cartilage loss in arthritis.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

October 22, 2009

Red grape skin extract could be new treatment for sickle cell disease patients
An extract in red grape skin may be a new treatment for sickle cell disease, Medical College of Georgia researchers say. The extract, resveratrol, a natural chemical typically found in red wine and various plants and fruits, has been found to induce production of fetal hemoglobin, which decreases the sickling of red blood cells and reduces the painful vascular episodes associated with the disease.
Read article at physorg.com

October 19, 2009

Med diet cuts breast cancer risk in older women, says study
Adherence to a Mediterranean diet along with avoidance of Western-type foods may contribute to a reduction in postmenopausal breast cancer risk, claims new French study. According to findings published in this month’s American Journal of Epidemiology, the incidence of breast cancer may be lowered in postmenopausal women by a diet comprising mostly fruits, vegetables, fish and olive/sunflower oil.
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

October 27, 2009

Boy rushed to hospital after swine flu jab
The safety of Northern Ireland’s swine flu vaccination programme was called into question today by the parent of a young special needs pupil who ended up in hospital just hours after getting the jab. Anne Marie Fletcher said she feared her 15-year-old son Rhys was going to die as she rushed him to hospital less than 24 hours after receiving the swine flu vaccine. The teenager fell seriously ill after receiving the injection, along with thousands of other pupils across Northern Ireland last Friday. He was later diagnosed with swine flu.
Read article in the Belfast Telegraph (Northern Ireland/UK)

October 26, 2009

GAO: FDA fails to follow up on unproven drugs
WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration has allowed drugs for cancer and other diseases to stay on the market even when follow-up studies showed they didn't extend patients' lives, say congressional investigators. A report due out Monday from the Government Accountability Office also shows that the FDA has never pulled a drug off the market due to a lack of required follow-up about its actual benefits - even when such information is more than a decade overdue.
Read article in the Washington Post (USA)
Comment: One of the key strategies of the pharmaceutical industry is the development of drugs that merely mask symptoms but avoid the curing or elimination of diseases. In other words, the bottom line regarding the drug industry is that it exists not to extend patients lives but to make money.

October 26, 2009

Europe Reviews Tysabri Over Brain Infections
European regulators said in a report published late last week that the number of cases of a rare brain infection linked to Biogen’s Tysabri multiple sclerosis drug are much higher than previously disclosed.
Read article at pharmalot.com

October 26, 2009

Pa. jury returns verdict in Prempro-cancer case
A Philadelphia jury returned a sealed punitive-damages verdict Monday against drugmaker Wyeth Pharmaceuticals after finding a link between a woman's breast cancer and the hormone-replacement drug she took. Connie Barton's case is one of a handful of Prempro lawsuits to go to trial out of several thousand filed across the country. About 1,500 are pending in Philadelphia. At Wyeth's request, the amount of Barton's punitive award was sealed pending the verdict in a second Prempro case underway in the same courthouse. The jury had awarded Barton $3.75 million in compensatory damages on Friday and found the company willfully hid evidence of a cancer link, prompting the deliberations Monday on punitive damages.
Read story at abcnews.go.com

October 22, 2009

Study reveals an increase in long-term antidepressant drug use
A dramatic rise in antidepressant prescriptions issued by GPs has been caused by a year on year increase in the number of people taking antidepressant drugs on a long-term basis, according to researchers from the University of Southampton. In a paper, published in the printed edition of British Medical Journal (BMJ) tomorrow, scientists found that despite a drop in the number of new patients diagnosed with depression over 11 years, the number of prescriptions doubled.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: Antidepressant drugs may damage sperm quality and harm fertility; increase the risk of being admitted to the hospital for abnormal bleeding; impair driving ability; cause suicidal tendencies and have an adverse effect on bone growth in children and adolescents; and, if taken while pregnant, increase the risk of premature birth and the likelihood of the child suffering a heart defect. Significantly, therefore, a major review has shown that Prozac, an antidepressant taken by 40 million people worldwide, does not work and that nor do similar drugs in the same class. As such, with major risks to health, and no apparent benefits, it is nothing but criminal that these drugs are still being prescribed.

October 22, 2009

FDA Takes Too Long To Ban Researchers After Fraud
How do we know? The Government Accountability Office says so. In a new report, the GAO found that more than half of the debarment proceedings in its review took 4 or more years, and factors contributing to these time frames included internal control weaknesses in the debarment process and competing priorities among responsible staff (read the report). As the GAO notes, the FDA has statutory authority to debar individuals who have been convicted of felonies or certain misdemeanors related to the development, approval, or regulation of a drug or biologic. For the 18 proceedings reviewed, the length of time from a conviction through debarment (or as of Nov. 5, 2008, for pending proceedings) ranged from about 1 year to nearly 11 years.
Read article at pharmalot.com

October 21, 2009

The Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex: A Deadly Fairy Tale
It has been a particularly bad month for the pharmaceutical industrial complex in its ongoing litigations in American courts. Among the main pharmaceutical headlines, Merck’s Gardasil vaccine for HPV, now being widely administered to pre-teens, was found to be linked to amyltrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease; following a $1.4 billion fine in promoting one of its blockbuster drugs Zyprexa off-label, deceptive correspondence was uncovered by Eli Lilly gaming the system again by promoting another one of its drugs, Cymbalta, off-label for fibromyalgia; AstraZeneca was fined $160 million for scamming the Medicaid system in Kentucky after being fined $215 million for ripping off Alabama; Glaxo lost a Pennsylvania trial for failing to warn doctors and pregnant women of the dangers of its antidepressant drug Paxil related to birth defects; and Pfizer scored a record-breaking fine of $2.3 billion for illegally marketing several drugs over the years: Bextra, Zyvox, Geodon and Lyrica. These kinds of charges, among the many others, have become a habit for drug makers for the past dozen years.
Read article on the Centre for Research on Globalization website (Canada)

October 21, 2009

Drug Makers Are Advocacy Group’s Biggest Donors
WASHINGTON — A majority of the donations made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one of the nation’s most influential disease advocacy groups, have come from drug makers in recent years, according to Congressional investigators. The alliance, known as NAMI, has long been criticized for coordinating some of its lobbying efforts with drug makers and for pushing legislation that also benefits industry.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)

October 21, 2009

Montana Woman Awarded $3.2M In Drugmaker Trial
A Missoula jury on Wednesday awarded $3.2 million to a woman suing the maker of a bone-strengthening drug in a decision that could have a bearing on hundreds of cases against the company nationwide. Peggy L. Stevens, 57, of Missoula filed suit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., alleging the company should have disclosed health risks associated with the bone-strengthening drug called Zometa. Stevens developed dental and jaw-related problems after taking the drug for several years. Stevens' attorneys said the company knew patients taking Zometa were vulnerable to a degenerative jaw disorder called osteonecrosis, particularly those patients who undergo invasive dental procedures.
Read article at cbs3.com (USA)

October 6, 2009

Antidepressants linked to premature birth risk
Mothers-to-be risk having a premature birth if they take commonly used antidepressants during pregnancy, a new study has found. Antidepressants called SSRIs (the group of drugs that includes Prozac) were also linked to a higher risk of babies needing treatment in intensive care soon after birth.
Read article in the Guardian (UK)

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

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

Other Health-related News

October 27, 2009

Truehope Challenges Health Canada in Federal Courts Claiming Constitutional Breach
A small Alberta vitamin and mineral company called Truehope will finally have its day in court beginning Monday, November 2 when the Federal Court in Calgary will determine the legality and constitutionality of Health Canada's 2003 seizure of a vitamin and mineral combination (EMPowerplus) being used by thousands of Canadians for the prevention of bipolar symptoms. Years of court battles over the seizure that left hundreds of desperate Canadians caught in the middle of a regulatory battle have, thus far, amounted to nothing but a huge waste of tax payer dollars. In 2004 Health Canada charged Truehope owners with the illegal sale of a drug, but the courts found them innocent of all wrong doing and demanded the Truehope vitamin and mineral supplements continue to be made available to Canadians. Furthermore, in his final judgment, Judge G.M. Meagher concluded that even as Health Canada agents were denying access to the supplement they were fully aware that their actions would result in harm or danger to those who depended on the product for their health.
Read press release at earthtimes.org

October 26, 2009

Latest analysis confirms suboptimal vitamin D levels in millions of US children
Millions of children in the United States between the ages of 1 and 11 may suffer from suboptimal levels of vitamin D, according to a large nationally representative study published in the November issue of Pediatrics, accompanied by an editorial.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: Previous research has shown that fully 70 percent of American kids aren't getting enough vitamin D, and that such youngsters tend to have higher blood pressure and lower levels of good cholesterol than their peers. In Canada, meanwhile, researchers have found that more than 80 per cent of the children tested didn't have enough of the vitamin and that nearly a third had such low amounts that doctors classified them as deficient.

October 26, 2009

Weekly and biweekly vitamin D2 prevents vitamin D deficiency
Boston University School of Medicine researchers (BUSM) have found that 50,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D2, given weekly for eight weeks, effectively treats vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D2 is a mainstay for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency in children and adults. Continued treatment with the same dose of vitamin D2 every other week for up to six years after the initial eight-week period prevents vitamin D deficiency from recurring with no toxicity. The BUSM study appears online in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
Read article at physorg.com

October 26, 2009

EU doctors deciding on elderly vitamin D levels
A group of European doctors is moving toward a vitamin D recommended level for the elderly, something that, if implemented, may influence vitamin D levels across the European Union for all age groups. The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) met recently at a vitamin D conference that drew several hundred scientists in Bruges in Belgium, and constructed a vitamin D recommended statement for the over75s at 600-800IU per day.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

October 23, 2009

Supplements find converts in the recessionary gloom
Fresh data suggests that use of dietary supplements is on an even keel despite the wobbly economy. The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) reached this conclusion following the publication of an annual survey it commissions to gauge the health of the supplements market. According to the results of the 2,043-strong poll, 65 percent of Americans take dietary supplements.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

For more health-related news, click here.

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

Political News

October 27, 2009

Brother of Afghan Leader Is Said to Be on C.I.A. Payroll
Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials. The agency pays Mr. Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar, Mr. Karzai’s home. The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America’s war strategy, which is currently under review at the White House.
Read article in the New York Times (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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