Thursday, February 26, 2009

Acne Linked to Milk Consumption

For many years dermatologists have insisted that acne has no connection to diet. Researchers at Harvard are finally siding with mothers who insist that this is simply not true. Too much milk consumption is now proven to increase acne. One source speculates that this is because most milk comes from pregnant cows, whose hormone levels are high. In addition hormones are frequently added to cows to increase production. Too much sugar and undetected food allergies are also important, according to my experience.

Family Practice News (click here) June 15, 2008 issue, page 15.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Too Much Caffeine Causes Miscarriages

Small amounts of caffeine during pregnancy are probably okay, but more than 200mg per day will increase the chances of losing your fetus. That is about 12 ounces of coffee, but you have to add in the caffeine in soda pop, chocolate, tea and most energy bars and drinks. Be careful if you are pregnant, especially in the first trimester.

Link to Prescriber’s Letter (subscription required)March 2008

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Too Much Calcium Can Cause Heart Attacks!

The Prescriber’s Letter, March, 2008 issue, affirms what has been suspected for many years. You should not take the usually recommended high doses of calcium to treat or prevent osteoporosis and fractures without balancing with Magnesium. Some of that calcium goes into the plaque in the coronary arteries. If you take 1000mg of calcium a day, you should take at least 500mg of Magnesium. Don’t forget your high-dose vitamin D3 (5000units) as well.

Prescriber's Letter (subscription required), March 2008.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Most Doctors Think They are Prescribing Placebos

A report from the British Medical Journal states that more than half of internal medicine specialists report using a placebo treatment, and they believe this to be ethical.

What they do not realize is that the nutritional supplements that they offer and believe to be placebos really work. Most of these therapies have simply not been studied with appropriate clinical trials to prove their effectiveness. This is not a placebo effect but a real clinical effect that they are producing without their awareness. Either way, the treatment is often effective. Dr. Joseph Scherger, MD’s blog

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It Does Not Matter How Blood Pressure is Controlled

Dr. Aram Chobanian in the December, 4, 2008 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine addressed the debate in medicine that certain blood pressure drugs are better to use in certain situations. It turns out the evidence is “overwhelming” that the most important aspect is to reduce the blood pressure to goals, no matter what medication or modality is used. Two thirds of patients treated for blood pressure are not adequately controlled and many more “borderline cases” are not treated at all. We have found that a simple herbal product called Blood Pressure Natural Relief rarely has any side effects and is clinically very effective in reducing blood pressure, either alone or in conjunction with other meds and lifestyle changes. If it were used more frequently, many lives would be saved.

See New England Journal of Medicine (subscription required) volume 359:2485-2488.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Use Glucosamine Sulfate, not Hydrochloride

A large NIH study hit the headlines this fall because of the disappointing effect of Glucosamine on knee pain. The Prescriber’s Letter pointed out that that study used the hydrochloride form of Glucosamine. Several other studies using the sulfate form showed significant benefit in osteoarthritis. This is another example of how special interests (drug manufacturers) get to the media to put their twist on scientific evidence to distort it and maintain their profits.

See Prescriber’s Letter (subscription required) 11/08, p. 63.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fish Oils Beat Statins for Heart Failure

Adding 1 gram of high quality fish oils per day to will help prevent deaths and hospitalizations in patients with congestive heart failure, according to the Prescriber’s Letter. Statin drugs did not prevent complications from heart failure. Fish oils work by preventing arrhythmias, reducing inflammation and lowering triglycerides.

See Prescriber’s Letter (subscription required) 11/08 issue, p. 62.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back to the Basics for Diabetes

The American Diabetic Association has dropped its previous recommendations about the newer and much more expensive diabetic meds. Most patients should be managed by lifestyle changes, metformin, sulfonylureas (like Glucotrol) and insulin if needed. The newer drugs like Avandia, Actose and Byetta are not as effective and the former increases the risk of heart disease. Precose, Prandin, Januvia, and Sumlin are usually not recommended because of their cost and they are no more effective than the standard drugs.

See Prescriber’s Letter (subscription required) 12/08, p. 68.