Tuesday, December 27, 2011

FDA Issues Warning on Use of Common Drugs for Osteoporosis

The FDA has issued a label change for biphosphonate drugs (Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, and Reclast). Because of upper leg fractures, jaw necrosis, and esophageal cancers that have been associated with these drugs, it is no longer appropriate to use them for more than 3-5 years for osteoporosis. However, there is no conclusive evidence that using them for such a short time is effective in the long run. Further, the warning did not address using the drugs for the lesser condition of osteopenia. My advice usually is to avoid the drugs and balance moderate doses of calcium and magnesium with high doses of vitamin D3. Transdermal natural progesterone might be added if needed. See the FDA warning label for bisphosphonate drugs (click here).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shop to Save Lots of Money in Health Care Expenditures

The Toledo Blade did a survey to compare prescription prices among area pharmacies. For one month of Lipitor, there was a $32 variance. Lisinopril varied from $25 to $4. Metformin was free at some pharmacies and $35 at another. Prices varied all over the map. Not one pharmacy was consistently cheaper than others. We did a similar survey about lab charges and found variances of hundreds of dollars. In general, hospital labs tended to be more expensive and tests drawn in doctor’s offices were less so. A few minutes on the telephone might save you lots of money if you comparison shop. See The Blade, November 6, 2011, page one.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The “Million Hearts” Initiative to Reduce Cardiovascular Disease

The Department of Health and Human Services has launched an ambitious campaign to save lives from heart attacks. The strategy is to control hypertension, to reduce high cholesterol, stop smoking and lower consumption of sodium and trans fat. I am happy to join the Initiative, but I expect to get much better effects by encouraging exercise and offering the widespread use of EDTA chelation therapy with appropriate nutrient supplementation. Curbing unnecessary catheterization testing and surgery are also near the top of my list. See the Dept.of Health and Human Services.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why We Tend to Regain the Weight We Lose When We go on a Diet

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine by Priya Sumithran and associates showed that levels of various circulating hormones, including insulin, remained low 1 year after significant very low-calorie weight loss. Such low-levels of hormones correlated with increased hunger. Thus participants tended to regain the weight they lost. This might be the mechanism by which HCG added to a 500 calorie diet for 3-6 weeks not only produces effective weight loss, but also reduces hunger so that weight loss is more likely to remain intact long-term. This should be studied further. See New England Journal of Medicine (click here-subscription needed), October 27, 2011, pp. 1597-1604.