Thursday, February 25, 2010

Drug Treatment Replaces Surgery for Asymptomatic Carotid Blockage

Aggressive drug treatment with statins, ace-inhibitors and Plavix have improved the outcomes in patients with carotid stenosis enough that surgery is rarely indicated anymore. I find that similar results on platelet aggregation can be obtained with red yeast, niacin, fish oils and nattokinase. Even better if you add EDTA chelation therapy. We measure the aggregation to be sure that it is effective enough to inhibit the microemboli that cause complications from this disease. Interestingly, the lead author for this study out of London, Ontario, David Spence, was a vocal opponent of Chelation therapy years ago. I hope he is watching the results of the TACT study.

See Family Practice News (click here), January 2010, p. 20.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

High HDL Cholesterol Can Lower the Incidence of Cancer

Haseeb Jafri of Tufts University Medical School did a meta-analysis (study of studies) and found that those with higher HDL’s not only had fewer heart attacks, but also a 24% relative reduction in the incidence of cancer. If your HDL is low, you can raise it with exercise or by taking Niasafe. Whether changing your HDL levels will reduce the cancer incidence is yet to be determined.

See Family Practice News (click here), January, 2010, p. 19.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ultra-fast CT scans for Calcium Score Proves Worthwhile

Mathew Budoff presented dramatic findings at the American Heart Association meeting. Patients who had calcium scores measured by CT scans had a 52% reduction in all-cause mortality compared to controls. This is a good screening test for coronary artery disease. Just knowing you have a problem apparently makes a big difference. Just think how much greater the impact would be if you then took Chelation to reduce your risk. The test can cost anywhere from $100-300, and insurance is starting to pay. I recommend it for most of my patients.

See Family Practice News (click here), January, 2010, p. 1,14.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Taking a Second Look at Fosamax

Fosamax and other bisphosphonate drugs have been used for a long time to treat osteoporosis. In the past I have not been excited about their use because they improve test results better than they reduce fractures. They also cause GI and musculoskeletal side effects. Recent reports indicate that they might inhibit the calcification of arteries, and the Women’s Health Initiative in Harvard reports that after several years of use, women had a 32% less incidence of breast cancer. That sounds awfully good to me. Side benefits like that are hard to find.

See Family Practice News (click here), January, 2010, p. 1,5.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

CAT Scans are Dangerous

Yes, it is true that CAT scans expose patients to far more radiation that previously thought, and this could be very dangerous to your health. The Archives of Internal Medicine estimates that the overuse of CAT scans might contribute to 29,000 new cancers and 14,500 deaths each year. Because CAT scans are now available at many community hospitals now, and they do give good information to follow patients, their use has exploded. However, there are other tests, such as ultrasounds and MRIs that are much safer because they do not use Xrays, which cause cancer. Always ask if there is an alternative test to use or if the CAT scan is really necessary at this point. It is your total lifetime exposure that is the major factor. Save it until you really need it.

See Archives of Internal Medicine (click here) and USA Today (click here), December 15, 2009,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Acne Guidelines

The Global Alliance to Improve Acne Outcomes has updated its treatment guidelines. No longer are oral antibiotics recommended for long-term use. The reason is that antibiotic resistance is emerging. A far more important reason, in my opinion, is that yeast overgrowth commonly occurs and wrecks havoc on the immune system. Topical retinoids like Retin-A, topical antibiotics, and Benzoyl peroxide at prescription strength are now recommended with the use of laser therapy if needed. Severe cases should be treated by a dermatologist. Diet supposedly plays no role, but in my experience, food allergies sometimes play a role.

See Family Practice News(click here), July 1, 2009, P.32.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Drug to Treat Fibromyalgia

Forest Pharmaceuticals introduced Savella this fall to treat fibromyalgia, and it might be helpful for a few patients with this debilitating problem. Listed side effects include life-threatening serotonin syndrome or neuroleptic malignant syndrome, severe hypertension, tachycardia, mania, seizures, tripling of liver enzymes, increased risk of bleeding, headaches, constipation, insomnia, urinary retention, and others. Why not try thyroid and adrenal support, yeast treatment, and the many natural methods to control pain and inflammation? They are many times safer and usually quite effective, albeit different combinations are needed for each patient, which eliminates success in double-blind clinical trials.

See side effects for Salvella (click here) go to bottom of page and pull up the medical information.