Statins' Mind-Boggling Effects
O'FALLON, Ill., May 24, 2004
Source: CBS News

Some doctors are so high on statins, they seem to think most everyone should take them, that there's no down side. Lipitor's maker even says it may help Alzheimer's patients.


(CBS) When Jim Matthews needed to slash his cholesterol and heart attack risk, he joined the millions taking the world's top-selling drug, Lipitor.

After five weeks, he was struck by cognitive chaos and confusion.

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Antibiotics may raise asthma risk
Thursday, 27 May, 2004
Source: BBC News

Antibiotics may be partly to blame for increased rates of asthma, say scientists.

A team from the University of Michigan believes the key could be the way the drugs interfere with the balance of microbes in the gut.

Killing off bacteria, while allowing fungi to flourish may damage the immune system in the lungs, they say.

The research was presented to the American Society for Microbiology.

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Drug causing GIs permanent brain damage
By Mark Benjamin and Dan Olmsted
United Press International
Published 5/26/2004 4:19 PM

WASHINGTON, May 26 (UPI) -- Six U.S. soldiers have been diagnosed by the military with permanent brain damage from an anti-malaria drug used in Iraq and Afghanistan, and health officials must reassess its safety, a U.S. senator said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, said the drug, called mefloquine, has "serious risks" that have not been adequately tracked by the Pentagon, the Peace Corps and other government agencies that distribute it.

"I ask that you work with the Food and Drug Administration to reassess the safety of mefloquine," Feinstein wrote Thompson in a letter dated May 24.

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Call for vaccine fund
By Julie Robotham
May 27, 2004
Source: The Age

Children injured permanently by routine immunisations should receive automatic compensation from the Federal Government instead of having to sue, leading doctors and medical groups say.

David Isaacs, an immunology and infectious diseases specialist at the Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, has asked the Government to set up a fund for "no fault" payments to the one or two children annually whose injuries were caused by vaccines. In rare cases, immunisation can result in seizures leading to brain damage.

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Vaccines: What Is Thimerosal?

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What Is Thimerosal?
May 19, 2004
Source: ctnow.com

Thimerosal is a mercury-based compound that has been used since the 1930s as a preservative to prevent the contamination of multi-dose vials of vaccines.

Thimerosal is controversial because high levels of mercury are known to be toxic to the nervous system and other tissue. In 1999, following a recommendation from the U.S. Public Health Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics, vaccine manufacturers began to remove thimerosal from vaccines.

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Do antibiotics make you more prone to allergies?
27 May 2004   
Source: Medical News Today

Researchers at the University of Michigan suggests that antibiotic use may help promote the development of certain respiratory allergies, a finding that could help explain the increase in certain types of allergies and asthma in the 20th century. They will present their findings at the 104th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

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Antibiotics alter GI tract microbes and increase lung sensitivity to allergens
27 May 2004   
Source: Medical News Today

Allergies making your life miserable? Tired of popping antihistamines like candy? Can't go anywhere without your inhaler? The real problem may not be your stuffed-up head. It could be the microbes in your gut.

At the American Society for Microbiology meeting held here this week, scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School will present results of experiments with laboratory mice indicating that antibiotic-induced changes in microbes in the gastrointestinal tract can affect how the immune system responds to common allergens in the lungs.

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H pylori infection raises risk of GI bleed with NSAIDs
26 May 2004   
Source: Medical News Today

New research suggests Helicobacter pylori infection increases the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

The authors of a report published in The American Journal of Medicine investigated whether infection with H. pylori, including specific cytotoxic-associated antigen (CagA)-positive strains, increased the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients using NSAIDs.

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THE HEALING POWER OF PROTEOLYTIC ENZYMES
Source: Dr. Michael T. Murray online

Introduction

Proteolytic enzymes (or proteases) refer to the various enzymes that digest (break down into smaller units) protein. These enzymes include the pancreatic proteases chymotrypsin and trypsin, bromelain (pineapple enzyme), papain (papaya enzyme), fungal proteases, and Serratia peptidase (the “silk worm” enzyme). Preparations of proteolytic enzymes have been shown to be useful in the following situations:

- Cancer
- Digestion support
- Fibrocystic breast disease
- Food allergies
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
- Hepatitis C
- Herpes zoster (shingles)
- Inflammation, sports injuries and trauma
- Pancreatic insufficiency
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders
- Sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Proteolytic enzymes in cancer therapy

Proteolytic enzymes have a long history of use in cancer treatment. In 1906, John Beard, a Scottish embryologist, reported on the successful treatment of cancer using a pancreatic extract in his book The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and its Scientific Basis. Proteolytic enzymes have been promoted by numerous alternative cancer practitioners for many years, but most recently by Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D., who is evaluating the benefit of proteolytic enzymes in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer in a large-scale study, funded by the National Institute of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, with collaboration from the National Cancer Institute. This larger trial is a follow-up to a smaller study that showed dramatic improvements in these patients.1

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Allergies May All Be in the Gut, Study Finds
Wed May 26, 2004 05:05 PM ET
Source: Reuters.com

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bugs in the gut may be causing many allergy symptoms felt in the head, from runny noses to trouble breathing, researchers said on Wednesday.

And antibiotics could be to blame, the researchers told a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

The findings could help explain the puzzling rise in asthma and allergies across the developed world in recent decades, the University of Michigan researchers said.

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