Thursday, October 30, 2008

Helicobactor Pylori Treatment for Peptic Ulcers is Failing

The discovery of H. pylori as a major cause of peptic ulcers was very important. Instead of taking medications for the rest of their lives, patients could be cured with 2-3 weeks of a combination of antibiotics. If this sounds too good to be true, it is. The bacteria has developed resistance to a simple course of antibiotics. Sound familiar? This is how Methicillin-Resistent Staph (MRSA) infections have become such dangerous threats inside hospitals and out. Drs. Nimish Vakin and Dino Vaira now advocate in JAMA five different combinations of antibiotics given sequentially for 5-10 days each. Can you imagine the roaring yeast imbalance this would cause? The H. pylori might be killed off or further resistance might develop, but opportunistic and other resistant infections would be rampant. In my opinion, a much better result would come from using some of the plentiful nutritional supplements that have been shown to boost the immune system naturally and by flooding the GI tract with probiotics and anti-fungal agents.

For the good doctors’ proposed protocol look at

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Risk Factors for Heart Disease are Distorted by MRFIT

In 1986 in the Journal of the American Medical Association the MRFIT study established that a single measurement of cholesterol being higher than average correlated with a higher risk of Coronary Artery Disease. The massive study of 356,222 men aged 35-57 y.o. was looked at again with a 25-year follow-up, and the findings were essentially the same. If patients had a cholesterol below 200 and did not smoke or have diabetes or hypertension, their risk was 87% lower than the rest of the study participants. The text used unusual flowery language in describing the importance of their own study, but their results did not show that lowering cholesterol resulted in fewer deaths, it did not advocate the widespread use of statin drugs (which can have dangerous side effects), and it presented no data showing that a low fat diet is healthier than one with restricted carbohydrates, although both factors were mentioned, and they clearly favored low fat. The lead author, Dr. Jeremiah Stamler, did some good but also has done considerable damage in this country by contending that cholesterol is by far the major risk factor for CAD, along with others who have contended that we should lower it at all costs. CAD is still the number one cause of death 25 years later. Cholesterol is one risk factor among many, and we need to address them all to be successful.

See The Journal of the American Medical Association to see these two articles of historical interest.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

High Lead Levels Raising Concerns

A study of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2004 showed that increased lead levels were associated with older age, low socionomic status, being born in Mexico, smoking, poor kidney function and living in a home built before 1978 (due to lead-based paint). There were also concerns that consuming herbal products was associated with high lead levels. More recently, many products from China have been found contaminated with lead, and lead has been found in the food supply as well. This study tells us that we must be very careful about our sources of herbal products. The ones we provide to patients have been tested for purity. Despite being cautious about environmental exposures, all of us should be tested for lead with a challenge test. High levels of lead not only decrease IQ but also increase the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, arthritis and premature death. Do not overlook this extremely important, common risk factor. It can be detected easily and treated with chelation therapy.

See July 15, 2008, p. 47.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis at Risk for Heart Disease!

A group of Dutch investigators have reported that patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis and Psoriatic Arthritis have as much risk for cardiovascular disease as Diabetic patients do. This is a striking finding because diabetes is a major risk for vascular complications. There is no evidence yet that the usual preventive measures for heart attacks and strokes would be effective for RA, but there are reports that chelation therapy might be helpful for both Rheumatoid Arthritis and to prevent heart attacks. Therefore, until further data is obtained, I am now recommending chelation therapy for all rheumatoid patients, especially since the newer more powerful drugs, such as Enbrel, Humira and Remicaid are now under FDA investigation because of safety concerns.

See July 15, 2008, p.43.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Alternatives for Hot Flashes?

Dr. Charles L. Loprinzi of the Mayo Clinic was the senior author for a poster presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting this spring. The findings of a meta-analysis (study of studies) showed that Paxil, Effexor, Prosac, Zoloft and Neurontin all were between 26-38% more effective than placebo for relieving hot flashes. Synthetic estrogens are even more effective, but increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. Keep in mind that all of these drugs have been listed by the FDA as leaders in causing serious side effects and/or death. Also noteworthy is that Dr. Loprinzi and several coauthors listed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies. My experience is that bio-identical hormones, especially estriol and natural progesterone are safer and more effective for these very significant symptoms. The FDA is currently trying to ban estriol, even though they admit that no serious side effects have been reported. There are bills before both the US Senate and House of Representatives to prohibit the FDA ban.

Action Plan: Please contact your US senators and representative urging them to vote for these bills.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Here is a List of the Most Dangerous Drugs

An AMA journal, the Archives of Internal Medicine last year listed the drugs which were reported to the FDA most frequently for side effects from 1998 to 2005. The leading causes of death included Oxy-contin, Duragesic, Morphine, Tylenol, Remicade, Enbrel, Taxol, Vicodin, Vioxx and Paxil. Serous disability resulted from synthetic estrogens, insulin, Lipitor, Celebrex, Zocor and Effexor. Significant adverse events resulted from Zyprexa, Zoloft, Accutane, Dilantin, Neurontin, Viagra, Plavix, Depakote and Tegretal. New drugs most commonly named were Avandia, Humira, Fosamax, Strattera, Cymbalta and Crestor. Sometimes these drugs are really needed, and the benefit clearly outweighs the risk. But if a more natural alternative is available, it should be used. That is when an integrative approach might be very helpful.

Go to for September 10, 2007 or to the FDA web site for the complete list.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

FDA issues Warnings on the Dangers of Common Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has operated an adverse drug warning system since 1998. From 1998 to 2005, the incidence of serious adverse reactions to prescription drugs increased from 35,000 to 90,000 per year and deaths increased from 5500 to 15,000. During this period, the incidence of adverse events increased 4X more than the number of prescriptions increased. These statistics were reported in the Sept 2007 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine and are now posted on the FDA web site. Drugs are getting more and more dangerous, as well as more expensive. Natural alternatives make a lot more sense when they are effective, which is frequently.

See the FDA web site.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Maternal Depression Common at 2 Weeks After Delivery

Approximately one mother out of five has post-partum depression at 2-6 weeks after delivery in a study by Karolyn Kabir, reported in Family Practice News in the July 15 issue this summer. This can be a severe condition and must be treated promptly. My belief is that the increased levels of yeast present during pregnancy are compensated for by high levels of sex hormones. Those levels drop after delivery and the resulting yeast overgrowth releases toxins when exposed to carbohydrates. These toxins can cause depression as well as fatigue. I would certainly try a vigorous anti-fungal program before I would jump to high-dose anti-depressant drugs, which is the standard approach.

See July 15, 2008, page 25.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The US has the Highest Diabetic Amputation Rate in the World

Among industrialized countries, the US Amputation incidence is 7.0 per thousand each year. Germany is 5.5, the Netherlands 3.5, England 2.7 and Denmark 1.2, according to the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot. That is a horrible statistic, since between 50 and 85% of amputations are preventable. Control of the blood sugar, exercise and rapid treatment of foot injuries are factors. However, a simple thermogram or doppler test of the foot can detect problems before they create symptoms. I suggest annual testing of circulation to the feet of diabetics, and routine chelation therapy for all diabetics as prevention.

See July 15, 2008 issue, p. 15.