DailyMail
By FIONA MCRAE
February 26, 2008

Anti-depressant tablets taken by millions of Britons may be a waste of time and money, research shows.

An analysis of dozens of studies involving thousands of patients revealed that some of the most widely-prescribed anti-depressants work little better than dummy pills.

The drugs studied - including Prozac, Seroxat and Efexor - were little more effective than placebos in improving the mental health in the majority of cases, the University of Hull research showed.

Research which showed the most widely prescribed anti-depressant pills are ineffective was gathered by combining the results of 35 clinical trials involving 5,000 patients

Only in the most extreme depression did the tablets, which are taken by around two million Britons and have been linked to a host of sideeffects including suicide, prove substantially superior in improving mental health.

Dr Tim Kendall, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, described the results as "fantastically important".

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AHRP

By Vera Hassner Sharav
February 25, 2008

CBS-60 Minutes expose (Feb. 17) of the marketing of a lethal drug (Trasylol) underscored the need for Congressional action. The evidence presented clearly showed that the FDA fails to protect the public health: "A renowned researcher estimates that 22,000 patients could have been saved if the Food and Drug Administration removed the heart surgery drug Trasylol two years
ago."

That number includes only the preventable casualties since 2006. The drug has been marketed for 14 years--over four and a half million patients were exposed- one third Americans.

What conflicts of interest prevent Congress from taking action to protect the American public from being exposed to dozens of lethal drugs bearing the U.S Government seal of approval?

60 Minutes revealed something the Supreme Court clearly did not consider in its deliberations: FDA approval standards have drastically veered away from the agency's legal mandate. The FDA is approving drugs whose safety has NOT been proven.

CBS Reporter asked Dr. Dennis Mangano, an eminent medical researcher: "Doesn't a drug have to be proven safe before the FDA allows it on the market?"

"No. The trials that are constructed before a drug is marketed and given approval to be marketed generally address effectiveness of the studies."

Reporter: "Make sure I understand. If the FDA is not certifying a drug as safe, before it goes on the market, what is it doing?"

Dr. Mangano: "It's certifying that the drug is effective and that within the small numbers studied, relatively small, it doesn't appear to be unsafe."

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DailyMail
February 23, 2008

Motorists will be targeted by a new generation of road cameras which work out how many people are in a car by measuring the amount of bodily fluid it contains.

The latest snooping device on the nation's roads aims to penalise lone drivers who abuse car-sharing lanes, and is part of a Government effort to combat congestion at busy times.

The cameras work by sending an infrared beam through the windscreen of vehicles which detects the unique make-up of blood and water content in human skin.

The system's inventors believe it will catch out motorists who try to fool existing CCTV road cameras by placing mannequins in passenger seats or fixing photographs to windscreens.

It will at first be used to police car-sharing lanes in Leeds, but councils across the country have already expressed an interest in using them.

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PhysOrg.com
February 24, 2008

Tears streak Rita's cheek as she recalls what it was like trying to figure out what was wrong with her son more than a decade ago, but she breaks into a smile when she explains how changing his diet made all the difference.

"I could tell something was wrong with him as soon as he began eating solids as a baby. It was if the food was draining him," says Rita, 50, describing how her son Christoffer had yoyoed between passive and hyperactive behaviour until she had removed several staples from his diet including milk and grains.

Christoffer, today a normally developed 14-year-old, is one of 23 children suffering from hyperactive disorders who were put on milk-free diets in 1996-1997 and whose development has been tracked ever since by a small group of educators and researchers in the southwestern Norwegian town of Stavanger.

The group set out to prove a theory by Oslo-based scientist Karl Ludvig Reichelt that a metabolic disorder making it difficult to break down certain proteins, including casein (the protein in milk that makes it possible to make cheese), could cause mental problems like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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Steve Lendman
February 22, 2008

This article discusses the potential health risks of genetically engineered foods (GMOs). It draws on some previously used material because its importance bears repeating. It also cites three notable books and highlights one in particular - Jeffrey Smith's "Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods." Detailed information from the book is featured below.

Genetically engineered foods saturate our diet today. In the US alone, over 80% of all processed foods contain them. Others include grains like rice, corn and wheat; legumes like soybeans and soy products; vegetable oils, soft drinks; salad dressings; vegetables and fruits; dairy products including eggs; meat, chicken, pork and other animal products; and even infant formula plus a vast array of hidden additives and ingredients in processed foods (like in tomato sauce, ice cream, margarine and peanut butter). Consumers don't know what they're eating because labeling is prohibited, yet the danger is clear. Independently conducted studies show the more of these foods we eat, the greater the potential harm to our health.

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Amy Philo
Founder, www.uniteforlife.org
Co-Founder, www.chaada.org

For years, the March of Dimes has warned not to use meds while pregnant. Why now encourage mothers to take drugs?

Please register this extreme objection to the proposed MOTHERS Act (S. 1375) which is now before you in committee. It is my earnest hope that you will immediately defeat this bill in committee. The bill has been brought to you under the guise of ensuring safety or support for new mothers - however, nothing could be further from the truth.

The bill was originally proposed in response to the death by suicide of Melanie Stokes, a pharmaceutical rep. who took her own life by leaping from a balcony several stories off of the ground. Contrary to popular understanding it was not post-partum depression that killed Melanie, but the numerous antidepressant drugs she was taking, which the FDA confirmed double the suicide risk.

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AlterNet
By Colin Meyn, In These Times
February 19, 2008

In New York City, the Department of Homeland Security is training New York City firefighters to assist in gathering intelligence information during routine inspections and emergencies.

In November, the Associated Press reported that in New York, Homeland Security was testing a program called the Fire Service Intelligence Enterprise (FSIE) to help identify "material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities."

The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and Homeland Security hosted a September 2007 conference in New York City to discuss plans for the new intelligence program. There, chief officers from fire departments in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and 12 other U.S. cities met with NYC fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and officials from the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Surveillance. "Real-time intelligence and information leads to a heightened state of situational awareness," Scoppetta said at the conference. "And situational awareness is key to saving lives."

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Healthy bodies are no good to Big Pharma

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HEALTHY BODIES ARE NO GOOD TO BIG PHARMA
by Beldeu Singh*


Can your politician save you from the agenda and designs of Big Pharma? Will your health authorities bother to understand their designs and stand for your health interests?

I do not think so.

They have too much money to throw around and they have in some cases conspired to create organizations to front for them. They have been very successful in getting more and more toxic chemicals into human bodies in the name of treatment. Some of these chemicals are only marginally more effective than placebos, giving rise to the very good prospect of placebo therapy. No one has bothered to consider this, even though a placebo costs a tiny fraction compared to the drug and it comes with a bonus – no side effects.

Preventive medicine based on nutrition and high antioxidant intake from food sources does not seem to interest anyone except the science-literate consumer because healthy bodies do not contribute to the bottom-line of Big Pharma. On the other hand, toxic drugs, once they are legally categorized as medications, can create side-effects to be treated by more drugs that impact their bottom-lines positively. It is a gravely vicious cycle nurtured through a “cosy” relationship between Big Pharma and the regulatory authorities.

Officials have become so adversarial to ensuring health benefits that they have issued statements to the effect that doctors must only give pharmaceutical benefits to their patients and not health benefits. And, quite naturally, the number of deaths and hospitalizations from adverse drug reactions is increasing every year. But banning toxic drugs for therapy is out of the question. The system has many supporters and these people are in a position to ask for bans on clinical nutrition and to press for those in order to promote their business interests through legislation. Those ridiculous laws and legal definitions will help to stifle the application of nutrition and edible herbs to promote health and for use in therapy unless they are sold by Big Pharma!

The FDA would also like to harmonize our dietary supplement laws with the evolving international standards set by Codex, thus branding therapeutic nutrition as dangerous and risky and needing to be sold by Big Pharma or removed from the market altogether (if it competes with a blockbuster category of drugs). Codex is planning to use the same proteomics and biomarker technology that will be used by the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative to remove therapeutic dietary supplements from the international market and force their policies on America, thereby superseding the sovereignty of American law on threat of trade sanctions. The FDA fully supports draconian Codex guidelines to regulate dietary supplements and is working with the Germans to concoct technology to brand nutrients as drugs. (Life Extension Foundation as quoted in: Health Supreme, Oct 15, 2007, Codex Alimentarius: Will EU Laws Become World Standard).

The law can define animals as traffic as in the Road Traffic Acts in commonwealth countries. It can be used to distort and warp the natural order of things and a definition can be introduced to even say that vitamin C from fruits is a drug. Where will it all stop? If selling fruits is lucrative, the business can be put in the hands of Big Pharma, by changing the legal definitions. Anything that can be consumed that benefits health, whether it is a supplement or food or anything edible can be redefined in such a way as to make it a business solely of Big Pharma. If it makes money, it can be turned into a monopoly or controlled by changing the legal definitions.

Pharma has embarked on a dirty game because their drugs are not getting any better; they are getting more toxic. And more and more research is showing that these drugs do not work within the natural and healthy biochemistry to provide a health benefit. Hence, the Big Pharma producers are working hard to press for laws and regulations to ensure pharmaceutical benefits instead of health benefits. Let’s examine the issue of competition from natural medicine, clinical nutrition, ayurveda and their therapeutic and health benefits that improve quality of life or help to slow down the progression of degenerative conditions. This competition can be killed by legally defining nutrients as drugs so that only pharmaceutical companies can sell them. This becomes all the more critical for them to do as more and more people realize that drugs are D-form chemicals that cause harm in the mammalian L-form biochemistry. Many of these drugs disrupt healthy biochemical pathways by blocking the formation of the ATP molecule or the formation of antioxidant enzymes in the body. They deplete mitochondrial DNA in cells and stores of minerals in the body especially copper, manganese, zinc and iron. Those minerals work catalytically with the glutathione-catalase system to convert hydrogen peroxide produced by the cells’ metabolism into water and oxygen, a critical function for maintaining and restoring health. They also deplete magnesium or otherwise suppress your immune system. Some drugs that aim to deliver a pharmaceutical benefit, for example to reduce blood glucose levels by blocking the conversion of lipids into glucose, may end up altering the blood lipid profile, thereby creating a new risk for the patient especially if the patient’s antioxidant intake and consumption of soluble fiber through foods is low.

Many drugs generate free radicals in the body. Sometimes these dangers can be easily seen in diabetic patients with diabetic wounds who are given antibiotics resulting in blood sugar levels rising to double the original readings (eg from a reading of 7-9 going up to 16-18). On the other hand, Big Pharma companies are working to rebrand their toxic drugs and poisons into “well-tolerated” medications that somehow over time become “non-poisonous” or “cures” or are advertised to sound like supplements.

Would medical science prescribe a cancer causing drug to cancer patients? Last March, the U.S. federal government issued an unusually detailed alert to the nation’s 5.5 million health care workers: The powerful drugs used in chemotherapy can themselves cause cancer and pose a risk to nurses, pharmacists and others who handle them (The Washington Post, Tuesday, February 15, 2005; Page HE01, Jim Morris). Chemotherapy drugs in human and animal studies have shown they have the potential to cause cancer or reproductive problems, said Thomas Connor, a research biologist with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Chemo-drugs, like radiation, generate huge amounts of the highly reactive hydroxyl radical that damages cell membranes and disrupts the electron transport system in cells as well as protein synthesis. Natural enzyme and micronutrient levels drop rapidly and that accelerates cell death. Such a new surge of free radicals is generated by chemo-drugs which are cytotoxic to cancer cells as well as normal cells. Thus many young normal cells die due to the treatment. Most of the known carcinogens, including benzene and at least 40 other toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke and pesticides generate free radicals that create oxidative stress in cells, impairing their aerobic respiration or damaging DNA and mitochondrial DNA, turning them into cancer cells. It is this very same toxicity that is common to carcinogens and chemotherapy-drugs. Hence the NOISH alert really comes as no surprise (see: Dangerous Philosophy of treatment in Medical Science).

How much control do they want? That depends on what and how the substance will impact the bottom-line.

"Britain is reviewing the laws on the regulation of tailored herbal treatments, but Dr Canter wants them banned, even at the risk of a backlash from Chinese or Indian communities. In some countries doctors practice phytotherapy, which uses extracts from a single plant and closely follows the principles of pharmacology" (see: Health Supreme, Oct 15, 2007, Codex Alimentarius: Will EU Laws Become World Standard).

So phytotherapy, using "extracts from a single plant" that "closely follow the principles of pharmacology" is all right, while individual attention from a herbalist is outright dangerous. If you recommend a glass juice made of orange plus carrot plus red spinach with a spoon of coconut oil and if the health of the person improves and they also lose some fat, well there you go…it is a drug! Can you see how Codex is slowly taking control of your kitchen?

There is another grave danger. While allopathic medicine is moving towards individual customization, they want to take that principle away from nutritional interventions. Developments and research in therapeutic approaches that improve or restore health will be stifled, if the principles of pharmacology are adopted as the only way to treat diseases and degenerative conditions in the human body. The mammalian biological system does not use pharmacological principles in generating an immune response or to activate cells that target pathogens or cancer cells, or in the production of antibodies or anti-pathogenic proteins such perforin, and neither in the repair of genetic material. When you legally only provide for pharmacological principles, you only create more drugs to be put into the human body. Such a law goes against the natural health processes of the human biological system. It only works towards the bottom-line of pharmaceutical companies at the expense of health. Society and its productivity is dependent on health, not on the number of drugs or the amount of pharmaceutical benefit one gets. When a system of law is put in place that makes pharmacological principles the only system of treatment, we can say good bye to the use of an orange or a lemon to cure scurvy. By then, it will be too good to own a pharmaceutical company but too late for mankind.

By then codex would have given full control of all home remedies and your kitchen and orchard to Big Pharma. Can we change the course of the engines that are steaming in this direction? Big Pharma can bank roll what they choose and all you have is a deaf or illiterate congressman or parliamentarian. Bear in mind that lobbies against health have been very successful. Take for instance, coconut oil – your doctor or even your consultant dietician may tell you that it is bad for your heart because it contains cholesterol!

The point is that governments are no longer in control of health as the pharmaceutical agenda to promote pharmaceutical benefits is spreading like a bad cancer. Greed has become their god.

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Music speeds recovery from stroke

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Sott.net
from news.yahoo.com
By Marlowe Hood
February 20, 2008

A daily dose of one's favourite pop melodies, classical music or jazz can speed recovery from debilitating strokes, according to a study published Wednesday.

When stroke patients in Finland listened to music for a couple of hours each day, verbal memory and attention span improved significantly compared to patients who received no musical stimulation, or who listened only to stories read aloud,the study reported.

Those exposed to music also experienced less depression than the other two control groups.

Three months after a stroke, verbal memory was boosted by 60 percent in music listeners, by 18 percent in audio book listeners, and by 29 percent in non-listeners, the lead author Teppo Sarkamo, a neuroscientist at Helsinki University, told AFP.

The differences held true after six months as well, said the study, published in the Oxford University Press journal Brain.

Sarkamo's findings bolster a growing body of research pointing to the benefits of music and music therapy for conditions including autism, schizophrenia and dementia.

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Scoop
Independent News
December 22, 2007
Press Release: Phoenix Organics

Phoenix Organics Says: 'Think Before You Drink' Aspartame

Phoenix Organics has launched a campaign urging people to find out more about aspartame, the controversial artificial sweetener contained in many 'diet' drinks and foods and beverages marketed as containing zero calories.

The company has turned 20,000 bottles of Phoenix Organic Cola into mini-billboards carrying its 'Think Before You Drink' message, and highlighting the concerns that have been raised about aspartame. The bottles will be given away to consumers over the summer.

Company Directors Stefan Lepionka and Marc Ellis said that the Phoenix team had become aware of the controversy that has swirled around aspartame since it was approved for use in beverages in 1983, when they started doing research for a Phoenix Organics brand campaign.

"Having read the Bressler Report of the FDA and other reports on the effects of aspartame, we had the living daylights scared out of all of us," said the Directors.

Internationally the evidence is overwhelming; There are thousands of people who claim that aspartame made them sick.

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