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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April 9, 2010

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

April 6, 2010

Omega-3 may slash risk of heart failure: Study
Increased intakes of fatty fish, and the omega-3s they contain, may reduce a woman’s risk of heart failure by about 25 per cent, according to new findings from the US and Sweden.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

April 2, 2010

Vitamin D could save Germany €40 billion in health costs
Ensuring the German population gets adequate intakes of vitamin D could save the country about €37.5 billion in health care costs, according to a new review. Writing in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Professor Armin Zittermann from Ruhr University Bochum states that up to 45 per cent of the German population could be vitamin D insufficient, with an additional 15 to 30 per cent deficient, thereby putting them at risk at a variety of health problems. In addition, current recommendations are not enough and need to be doubled at least, wrote Prof Zittermann, with daily intakes of 25 micrograms required. This would represent a significant increase from current recommendations, which range from 5 to 10 micrograms per day.
Read news release at nutraingredients.com

April 2, 2010

Vitamin D may save 40,000 Canadian lives per year
Inadequate levels of vitamin D may be causing about 37,000 premature deaths in Canada and costing the country billions of dollars, according to a new review. Writing in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, researchers led by William Grant from the Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center (SUNARC) in San Francisco report that the economic burden was also decrease if vitamin D levels were improved, and would save about $14.4 billion. “The results of this study strongly suggest that the personal and economic burden of disease in Canada could be significantly reduced if the mean serum 25(OH)D level was increased from its current level of 67 nmol/L to the optimal level of 105nmol/L,” wrote the researchers.
Read news release at nutraingredients-usa.com

April 1, 2010

Study backs vitamin D and calcium supplements
New research suggests that Vitamin D and calcium supplements may be helping Americans approach adequate intake levels.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

March 30, 2010

Vitamin K may reduce cancer risk: EPIC study
Consuming foods rich in vitamin K2 may reduce the risk of cancer, says a new study supporting the potential anti-cancer benefits of this emerging nutrient.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

March 30, 2010

1,200 IU of vitamin D daily may prevent flu
The reason why flu season breaks out every winter and then vanishes every summer has been a mystery long puzzling medical researchers. Now, Japanese doctors may have found an answer to the enigma – low levels of vitamin D during the dark winter months. In the first drug-style clinical trial giving relatively large doses of the vitamin to children, researchers found it was a potent flu-fighter. Those receiving the sunshine vitamin had a 42-per-cent reduction in the most severe type of flu, known as influenza A, compared to those not receiving the nutrient. The group not getting the vitamin also had six times more asthma attacks. The experiment was conducted on about 350 otherwise healthy school-aged children, using doses of 1,200 International Units a day, six times the amount currently recommended by Health Canada.
Read article in The Globe and Mail (Canada)

March 29, 2010

Multivitamins during pregnancy may boost infant health
Daily supplements of multivitamins during pregnancy may improve the growth of the baby in the womb, says a study with African American women. Women who were taking daily multivitamins in and around the time of conception gave birth to babies who weighed on average half a kilo more than babies from women not taking the supplements, report Heather Burris from Harvard University and Allen Mitchell and Martha Werler from Boston University in the Annals of Epidemiology.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

March 24, 2010

Antioxidants show benefits for over-50 sporty-types
Supplements containing antioxidants and arginine may boost athletic performance for the over-50s, says a new study from the US.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

For more natural health news, click here.

See also our 2001-2009 news archive, by clicking here.

Pharma "Business with Disease" News

April 6, 2010

Poisoning by prescription drugs on the rise
Poisoning is now the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S. While several recent high-profile Hollywood celebrity cases have brought the problem to public attention, the rates of unintentional poisoning deaths have been on the rise for more than 15 years, and in fact, unintentional poisoning has surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of unintentional injury death among people 35-54 years of age. In a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers found that hospitalizations for poisoning by prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers in the U.S. have increased by 65% from 1999 to 2006.
Read article at physorg.com

April 5, 2010

Anti-psychotic drugs link to pneumonia warning
The use of anti-psychotic drugs in the elderly doubles the risk of potentially fatal pneumonia, say Dutch researchers.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

April 3, 2010

B.C. woman whose daughter committed suicide sues Pfizer
A Canadian woman has launched a class-action lawsuit against the Pfizer drug company, claiming her 22-year-old daughter committed suicide after taking the prescription drug Champix to help her quit smoking.
Read article in the National Post (Canada)

April 3, 2010

Scientist 'deceived' by drugs giant
A leading Australian medical researcher says the pharmaceutical giant Wyeth duped him into publishing a scientific paper that became part of the company's clandestine campaign to play down the dangers of its drugs for menopausal women. John Eden, an associate professor at the University of NSW and director of the Sydney Menopause Centre, says he has been shocked to learn that a paper he published in the prestigious American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology was one of more than 40 scientific articles Wyeth orchestrated to try to increase sales of its lucrative hormone-replacement drugs.
Read article in The Australian

April 2, 2010

Pfizer Agrees to First Neurontin Lawsuit Settlement
Pfizer Inc. agreed to pay about $400,000 to settle a lawsuit mid-trial that blamed its Neurontin epilepsy medicine for helping cause a Massachusetts man’s suicide, two people familiar with the accord said. It’s the first settlement over a Neurontin-related suicide claim. Pfizer, the world’s largest drugmaker, agreed yesterday to resolve allegations by Hartley Shearer’s family in Boston federal court that its Warner-Lambert unit knew the drug posed a suicide risk and failed to disclose it to patients and doctors.
Read article at bloomberg.com

April 1, 2010

Lilly And Sandoz Lose Preemption Argument
A federal judge late last week rejected an effort by Lilly and Sandoz to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from the August 2004 suicide of a 26-year-old California man who was taking a generic version of the Prozac antidepressant. The lawsuit was filed by Noe Carrasco’s mother, who claims the drugmakers failed to warn of the suicide risks associated with the pill.
Read article at pharmalot.com

March 31, 2010

Vietnam Fines Schering-Plough For Kickbacks
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered the Ministry of Health to impose penalties on the drugmaker and several Ho Chi Minh City docs who took kickbacks of up to $26,300 a month in exchange for promoting two drugs that treat viral hepatitis, The Saigon GP Daily reports.
Read article at pharmalot.com

March 30, 2010

Patents On Genes Are Struck Down By Judge
A federal judge struck down patents held by Myriad Genetics on two genes linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, essentially challenging the idea that anyone can hold patents on human genes. The opinion (see here) is almost certain to be appealed, but may still have significant implications for the biopharma industry. “This marks the first time a court has found patents on genes unlawful and calls into question the validity of patents now held on approximately 2,000 human genes,” according to the Public Patent Foundation, one of several parties that filed the lawsuit.
Read article at pharmalot.com

March 30, 2010

As Britons pop ever more tablets, how drugs companies are turning personality traits into ailments
Ten years ago, if you described shyness or restless legs as a bona fide illness, people would have laughed. But these conditions are just part of an epidemic of newly-invented illnesses sweeping Britain.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

March 30, 2010

Acetaminophen: the Killer Painkiller
The active ingredient in the painkillers Tylenol, Anacin and Panadol was the focus of a recent analysis of 19 studies of 425,000 children and adults treated with acetaminophen in the past year. Children given acetaminophen were 60 percent more likely to suffer from asthma, while adults who had taken the drug were 75 percent more likely to experience asthma. According to a University of British Columbia-Vancouver review published in the journal Chest, higher doses translated to a greater risk of asthma.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health USA

March 25, 2010

Psychiatrists And Pharma: Undue Influence?
Two essays published in separate periodicals this week raise troubling questions about the extent to which psychiatrists may be unduly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, and how this relationship may effect public trust in psychiatry. The upshot? The concern about corruption, or at least the appearance of corruption is palpable.
Read article at pharmalot.com

March 21, 2010

When drug makers' profits outweigh penalties
Prosecutor Michael Loucks remembers clearly when attorneys for Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, looked across the table and promised it wouldn't break the law again. It was January 2004, and the lawyers were negotiating in a conference room on the ninth floor of the federal courthouse in Boston, where Loucks was head of the health-care fraud unit of the U.S. Attorney's Office. One of Pfizer's units had been pushing doctors to prescribe an epilepsy drug called Neurontin for uses the Food and Drug Administration had never approved. In the agreement the lawyers eventually hammered out, the Pfizer unit, Warner-Lambert, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of marketing a drug for unapproved uses. New York-based Pfizer agreed to pay $430 million in criminal fines and civil penalties, and the company's lawyers assured Loucks and three other prosecutors that Pfizer and its units would stop promoting drugs for unauthorized purposes. What Loucks, who was acting U.S. attorney in Boston until November, didn't know until years later was that Pfizer managers were breaking that pledge not to practice off-label marketing even before the ink was dry on their plea.
Read article in the Washington Post (USA)

March 20, 2010

Health warning over statin taken by millions
A statin taken by millions of Britons may increase risk of a condition which can lead to fatal kidney failure at high doses, a drug watchdog has warned. Simvastatin is taken by around three million people in order to lower their cholesterol and reduce the risk of having a heart attack. However an analysis of clinical trial data in America has found that high doses can cause muscle damage and a rare condition which induces kidney problems and may be fatal.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

March 12, 2010

The Swine Flu Panic of 2009
Reconstruction of a Mass Hysteria
Swine flu kept the world in suspense for almost a year. A massive vaccination campaign was mounted to put a stop to the anticipated pandemic. But, as it turned out, it was a relatively harmless strain of the flu virus. How, and why, did the world overreact?
Read article in Der Spiegel (Germany)
Comment: To separate the facts from the fiction regarding the 2009 swine flu pandemic, click here. For our answers to frequently asked questions on influenza and swine flu, click here. To understand what the swine flu hysteria is really about, click here.

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

See also our 2001-2009 news archive, by clicking here.

GMO News

March 24, 2010

Betrayal over GM food in Brussels
European Commissioner's John Dalli's decision to approve the cultivation of genetically-modified potatoes in Europe has provoked a widespread reaction of dismay, anger and disappointment. Large trans-national corporations are money driven and owe their loyalty to their financial turnover. Any cursory knowledge of the way they operate betrays their crass disregard for social or environmental interests. To put it mildly, ethics is not their forte.
Read article in the Times of Malta

For more GMO news, click here.

See also our 2001-2009 news archive, by clicking here.

Other Health-related News

April 6, 2010

Finland proposes a doubling of Vit D dose for elderly
In recommendations published by Finland’s National Nutrition Council last week, the intake level of vitamin D for people over 60 years of age should be 20 micrograms (mcg) per day, double the current levels of 10mcg daily for this age group.
Read news release at nutraingredients.com

March 31, 2010

Does READER'S DIGEST Shill for the Pharmaceutical Industry?
Or is it Only a Really Bad April Fool's Joke?
Reader's Digest's editors cannot possibly be as ignorant as their April 2010 article "5 Vitamin Truths and Lies" seems to indicate. Or can they? Surely their silly attempt at vitamin-bashing is merely an April Fool's joke. Isn't it? Read over "5 Vitamin Truths and Lies" and decide for yourself. It is online at http://www.rd.com/living-healthy/5-vitamin-truths-and-lies/article175625.html Be sure to note readers' comments following the article. You may wish to leave a comment or two of your own. Reader's Digest's circulation, by the way, is dropping rapidly. Once, it had a circulation of 18 million. Just a few years ago, it had a circulation of 8 million. It is now 5.5 million. The magazine is also no longer published every month, but is down to 10 issues a year. Furthermore, Reader's Digest posted a loss of $653 million in only nine months of last year, and the company is in debt for a whopping $2.1 billion. Perhaps they are getting desperate for cash. At least that might explain the 15 pages of pharmaceutical advertising in their April 2010 issue.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org
Comment: Hardly surprisingly, since the publication of Reader’s Digest’s highly misleading vitamin article, a number of physicians and researchers have publicly disagreed with its absurd claims. If you wish to add your voice to theirs and demand that Reader's Digest publishes the truth about vitamins, you can write to the magazine’s editors at this email address: RDEditorial_RDW@ReadersDigest.com

March 27, 2010

Why levels of Vitamin D are lower in the north
Living in the north of the UK may lead to low Vitamin D levels, according to new research. One in four post-menopausal Caucasian women in Scotland are Vitamin D deficient in the winter, compared to none in the south. The new research also shows that 60 per cent of Asian women living in the south of England were Vitamin D deficient in winter. ‘Results show clear differences in Vitamin D status between the north and south and marked ethnic differences,’ says the study.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

March 26, 2010

New ANH study says EU vitamin laws must change track
Alliance for Natural Health study says risk-benefit approach needed for vitamin and mineral food supplements
A study just published in a leading peer reviewed journal explains how the European Commission’s proposed approach to limiting maximum doses of vitamins and minerals in food supplements across Europe is not scientifically rational. This is the second review study on the subject authored by Robert Verkerk PhD, executive and scientific director of international campaign organisation, the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH). The study has been published in the journal, Toxicology, the official journal of the British Toxicology Society and the German Toxicology Society. It is published in the same journal just two months after an in-depth review of the scientific methods being considered by European authorities, co-authored by Dr Verkerk, along with Dr Steve Hickey of Staffordshire University, UK. This latest study evaluates the relationships between the risks and benefits of two vitamins and two minerals and shows that the conversion of risk-based approaches being contemplated by European authorities into law will deny the majority of people from consuming beneficial quantities of vitamins and minerals.
Read press release on the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) website

March 25, 2010

Free vitamin pills for mothers and children in Cardiff
Vitamin pills could be free to all pregnant and breast-feeding women and young children across Wales, if a pilot scheme proves successful. Currently, low-income families across the UK get free vitamins and vouchers for milk, fruit and vegetables. Under the pilot scheme in Cardiff, vitamins will be free at health centres and given out by health visitors. First Minister Carwyn Jones said the aim was to "give children the best start in life."
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

March 24, 2010

Statscan finds widespread vitamin D deficiency in Canadians
Survey says 2 out of 3 Canadians have less of the nutrient than the latest research suggests is necessary
The most comprehensive survey ever undertaken on vitamin D in Canadians has found widespread deficiencies of the sunshine vitamin, which is being promoted for everything from the prevention of cancer to reducing heart attack risk. The survey, conducted by Statistics Canada, found that two-thirds of the population has vitamin D levels below the amounts research is associating with reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, while one in 10, or more than three million people, have such low readings that they don’t have enough for good bone health. About 4 per cent have so little that they’re at risk for rickets, a debilitating childhood bone disease.
Read article in The Globe and Mail (Canada)

March 23, 2010

New Bill Addresses Scientific Support for Supplement Sales
WASHINGTON—Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced the Free Speech About Science Act (HR 4913) on March 23, seeking to amend federal regulations to allow marketers of healthy foods and dietary supplements to cite scientific studies on the health benefits of their products in sales and marketing materials, including packaging or Web sites.
Read article at naturalproductsinsider.com (USA)

March 22, 2010

ANH set to challenge EU herb law
Alliance for Natural Health International announces its intention to initiate a legal challenge to the European directive on traditional herbal medicines
An expert’s workshop in Budapest, sponsored by the Indian government and convened by the European Ayurvedic Association, provided the venue for the Alliance for Natural Health International to announce its intention to initiate legal proceedings against the European Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products (THMPD) (EC Directive 2004/24/EC). The directive poses a major obstacle for the continued use and practice of long-standing traditions of healthcare involving herbal products in Europe, including those of Ayurveda and Unani from the Indian sub-continent and that of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Many such products, including those from Western herbal traditions, have up until now been sold in the EU as botanicals under the food supplement regime. But most Member States are anticipating narrowing the regime when the directive’s 7-year transition phase expires on 31 March 2011.
Read press release on the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) website

For more health-related news, click here.

See also our 2001-2009 news archive, by clicking here.

Political News

April 7, 2010

U.S. Court Curbs F.C.C. Authority on Web Traffic
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that regulators had limited power over Web traffic under current law. The decision will allow Internet service companies to block or slow specific sites and charge video sites like YouTube to deliver their content faster to users. The court decision was a setback to efforts by the Federal Communications Commission to require companies to give Web users equal access to all content, even if some of that content is clogging the network.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)
Comment: The world’s largest telephone and cable companies want to be the Internet’s gatekeepers and to be able to decide which Web sites load quickly, which load slowly and which won't load at all. As such, without legal requirements to prevent them from doing so, Internet service providers will eventually be able to discriminate against content and services they don't like – thus putting their own vested interests before the public good. Amongst other things, this could result in cutting-edge natural health research and the exposure of the Nazi roots of the Brussels EU effectively being censored. To learn more about the ongoing battle to prevent Internet service providers from discriminating between different kinds of content and applications online, click here.

April 4, 2010

Airline passenger conversations to be monitored under EU project
Airline passengers could have their conversations and movements monitored under a European Union project aimed at tackling terrorism.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

March 23, 2010

Journalist accuses Tony Blair of 'war crimes'
Irish journalist David Cronin has told of his decision to try to make a "citizen's arrest" on former UK prime minster Tony Blair. The 39-year-old Dubliner attempted a citizen's arrest on Blair as he arrived at parliament on Monday for a hearing on Palestine.
Read article at theparliament.com

January 12, 2010

A sign of empire pathology
Here is a shocking statistic that you won't hear in most western news media: over the past nine years, more US military personnel have taken their own lives than have died in action in either the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. These are official figures from the US Department of Defence, yet somehow they have not been deemed newsworthy to report. Last year alone, more than 330 serving members of the US armed forces committed suicide - more than the 320 killed in Afghanistan and the 150 who fell in Iraq (see wsws.org).
Read article at gulf-daily-news.com (Bahrain)

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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