How Light Deprivation Causes Depression

How Sunlight Can Improve Your Mental Health

sunlight, sun, mental healthThe association between darkness and depression is well known. Now a new study reveals the profound changes that light deprivation causes in your brain.

Neuroscientists kept rats in the dark for six weeks. The animals not only exhibited depressive behavior but also suffered damage in brain regions known to be underactive in humans during depression.

Further, neurons that produce norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, which are common neurotransmitters involved in emotion, pleasure and cognition, were observed in the process of dying. This neuronal death may be the mechanism underlying the darkness-related blues of seasonal affective disorder.

The dark-induced effects may stem from a disruption of the body’s clock. When an organism’s circadian system is not receiving normal light, that in turn might lead to changes in brain systems that regulate mood, the lead researcher said.


Is Your Organic Food Really Organic?

organic, local, labels, locavore, permaculture, USDA, organic label, china, toxins, pesticidesThe USDA has announced that they are putting 15 out of 30 federally accredited organic certifiers they audited on probation, allowing them 12 months to make corrections or lose their accreditation. At the heart of the problems were imported foods and ingredients from other countries, including China.

Chinese imports have made headlines for contaminated pet food, toxic toys, and recently, certified organic ginger contaminated with levels of a pesticide called aldicarb that can cause nausea, headaches and blurred vision. The ginger, sold under the 365 label at Whole Foods Market, contained a level of aldicarb not even permissible for conventional ginger, let alone organics.

The Chinese government does not allow foreigners to inspect Chinese farms, and even if a Chinese inspector notices illegal pesticide use, he or she might feel pressured to stay silent.

Imported foods found with unacceptable pesticide levels have drawn attention to the USDA's shoddy certification process.

When you buy food with a "USDA organic" label, do you know what you're getting? Now is a good time to ask such a question, as the USDA just announced Monday it was putting 15 out of 30 federally accredited organic certifiers they audited on probation, allowing them 12 months to make corrections or lose their accreditation. At the heart of the audit for several certifiers were imported foods and ingredients from other countries, including China.


European agency warns of possible Botox side effects

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Months after US authorities sounded the alarm, European officials are warning of dangerous possible side effects from the wrinkle-smoothing injection Botox, according to a German news report.

The London-based European Medicines Agency had by August 2007 recorded more than 600 cases of negative effects potentially linked to the popular cosmetic treatment, Focus news weekly reported in its issue to be released Monday.

In 28 cases Botox users died.

In Germany the Federal Institute for Medication and Medical Products has received 210 reports with a suspected link to Botox, which is used by millions around the world to iron out wrinkles. Five cases were lethal, Focus said.

Botulinum toxins including Botox are approved in the United States and Europe to treat a variety of conditions including spasms of the eyelids or neck, the easing of facial lines or excessive sweating. Read More

Learn what God Says about your diet.....


Clean and Unclean

God's Dietary Laws:

Abolished in the New Testament?

READERS: The purpose of this article is not to condemn or insult those who hold to the standard Christian teaching that God�s dietary laws are abolished under the New Covenant. The purpose of the article is to examine the New Testament passages which are commonly quoted in support of this teaching, and to show that these passages do not really teach what most Christians think they teach.

  The Bible tells us that there was a distinction between clean and unclean animals for at least a thousand years before the Torah was given to Moses. This distinction between clean and unclean animals is mentioned in Gen. 7:2 and 8:20, in the account of Noah�s Flood. Genesis does not tell us which animals were clean and which were unclean, but it is obvious that Noah knew the difference.

About a thousand years later, when the Torah was given to Moses, God went into great detail and listed which animals were clean (kosher; fit for human consumption) and which were unclean (non kosher; not fit for human consumption). The entire 11th chapter of Leviticus is devoted to this subject. A shorter version of the list is repeated in Deuteronomy 14.

Orthodox Jews take these commandments literally, and do not eat pork, shellfish, or any of the other forbidden meats. Christians, on the other hand, feel that there is nothing wrong with eating these things. Many Christians (and doctors and nutritionists, too) will admit that people would be a lot healthier if they followed God�s dietary laws, and a small number of Christians actually do make an effort to avoid meat from unclean animals. But the great majority of Christians do not view the dietary laws as Divine commandments which ought to be obeyed.

A number of arguments have been put forth to support the standard Christian position. Probably the oldest argument is drawn from the Second Century Epistle of Barnabas. The writer spiritualizes the dietary laws, and says that the various unclean animals represent different types of behavior in which a Christian should not engage. While there may be alegitimate analogy here (Christians shouldn�t behave like pigs, etc.), the analogy fails to prove that God does not want His people to take the commandments literally and abstain from these meats.

Of course the most common argument against the validity of the dietary laws is the claim that God abolished them in the New Testament. This claim is often coupled with the idea that God originally gave the dietary laws because people didn�t have refrigeration in Old Testament times. I�ve got news for you. People didn�t have refrigeration in New Testament times, either. If God�s dietary commandments had anything at all to do with the absence of refrigeration, He wouldn�t have "abolished" them until about a hundred years ago, when refrigeration was invented.

There are six New Testament passages which can give the impression that God did, indeed, abolish the dietary commandments which He established in the Old Testament. However, a close look at these passages reveals that they really prove no such thing. The only way a person can use any of these passages to "prove" the nullifying of the dietary laws is to: 1) ignore the context of the passage; 2) ignore the historical background of the passage; 3) ignore what the rest of the Bible says about the subject; 4) ignore the implications and logical conclusions of this theological position.

Before we look at the six New Testament passages, let us consider two important questions:

1) Were the dietary laws, as written in the Bible, man-made traditions, or were they commandments of God? Bible-believers must admit that these were commandments which God expected His people to obey;

2) Did the Son of God teach His disciples to disobey the commandments of God? Some might think this is a ridiculous question, yet this is exactly what some Christians actually believe Jesus did in Matt. 15, the first passage we will look at.More



A List of Clean Fish (Edible according to God)


Despite Frustrations, Americans Are Pretty Darned Happy

The World Values Survey (WVS) is the work of a global network of social scientists who perform periodic surveys addressing a number of issues. The latest surveys, taken in the United States and in several developing countries, showed increased happiness from 1981 to 2007 in 45 of 52 countries for which substantial time series data was available.

Researchers responsible for the analysis, from the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research (ISR) in Ann Arbor, say the overall rise in reported happiness is due to greater economic growth, democratization and social tolerance.


Just in Time for Labor Day

Steven Raichlen's 10 Grilling Commandments

1. BE ORGANIZED. Have everything you need for grilling -- the food, marinade, basting sauce, seasonings, and equipment -- on hand and at grillside before you start grilling.

2. GAUGE YOUR FUEL. There’s nothing worse than running out of charcoal or gas in the middle of grilling. When using charcoal, light enough to form a bed of glowing coals 3 inches larger on all sides than the surface area of the food you’re planning to cook. (A 22 1/2-inch grill needs one chimney’s worth of coals.) When cooking on a gas grill, make sure the tank is at least one-third full.

3. PREHEAT THE GRILL TO THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE. Remember: Grilling is a high-heat cooking method. In order to achieve the seared crust, charcoal flavor, and handsome grill marks associated with masterpiece grillmanship, you must cook over a high heat. How high? At least 500°F. Although I detail this elsewhere, it is worth repeating: When using charcoal, let it burn until it is covered with a thin coat of gray ash. Hold your hand about 6 inches above the grate. After 3 seconds, the force of the heat should force you to snatch your hand away. When using a gas grill, preheat to high (at least 500°F); this takes 10 to 15 minutes. When indirect grilling, preheat the grill to 350°F.

4. KEEP IT CLEAN. There’s nothing less appetizing than grilling on dirty old burnt bits of food stuck to the grate. Besides, the food will stick to a dirty grate. Clean the grate twice: once after you’ve preheated the grill and again when you’ve finished cooking. The first cleaning will remove any bits of food you may have missed after your last grilling session. Use the edge of a metal spatula to scrape off large bits of food, a stiff wire brush to finish scrubbing the grate.

5. KEEP IT LUBRICATED. Oil the grate just before placing the food on top, if necessary (some foods don’t require that the grates be oiled). Spray it with oil (away from the flames), use a folded paper towel soaked in oil, or rub it with a piece of fatty bacon, beef fat, or chicken skin.

6. TURN, DON’T STAB. The proper way to turn meat on a grill is with tongs or a spatula. Never stab the meat with a carving fork -- unless you want to drain the flavor-rich juices onto the coals.

7. KNOW WHEN TO BASTE. Oil-and-vinegar-, citrus-, and yogurt-based bastes and marinades can be brushed on the meat throughout the cooking time. (If you baste with a marinade that you used for raw meat or seafood, do not apply it during the last 3 minutes of cooking.) When using a sugar-based barbecue sauce, apply it toward the end of the cooking time. The sugar in these sauces burns easily and should not be exposed to prolonged heat.

8. KEEP IT COVERED. When cooking larger cuts of meat and poultry, such as a whole chicken, leg of lamb, or prime rib, use the indirect method of grilling or barbecuing. Keep the grill tightly covered and resist the temptation to peek. Every time you lift the lid, you add 5 to 10 minutes to the cooking time.

9. GIVE IT A REST. Beef, steak, chicken -- almost anything you grill-will taste better if you let it stand on the cutting board for a few minutes before serving. This allows the meat juices, which have been driven to the center of a roast or steak by the searing heat, to return to the surface. The result is a juicier, tastier piece of meat.

10. NEVER DESERT YOUR POST. Grilling is an easy cooking method, but it demands constant attention. Once you put something on the grill (especially when using the direct method), stay with it until it’s cooked. This is not the time to answer the phone, make the salad dressing, or mix up a batch of your famous mojitos. Above all, have fun. Remember that grilling isn’t brain surgery. And that’s the gospel!

Excerpted from 'The Barbecue Bible'

Read more of Steven Raichlen's tips at his Expert Grilling Guide.

Vitamin D

This is the Most important Website You will visit this week!

Understanding Vitamin D Cholecalciferol

The high rate of natural production of vitamin D3 cholecalciferol in the skin is the single most important fact every person should know about vitamin D because it has such profound implications for the natural human condition.

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone precursor that has recently been found to play a role in a wide variety of diseases. Current research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing seventeen varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, and periodontal disease.

This does not mean that vitamin D deficiency is the only cause of these diseases, or that you will not get them if you take vitamin D. What it does mean is that vitamin D, and the many ways in which it affects a person's health, can no longer be overlooked by the health care industry nor by individuals striving to achieve and maintain a greater state of health. More.........

If trends continue, we’ll all be fat in 40 years

Researchers: By 2048, every American could be at least slightly overweight

NEW YORK - If the trends of the past three decades continue, it’s possible that every American adult could be overweight 40 years from now, a government-funded study projects.

The figure might sound alarming, or impossible, but researchers say that even if the actual rate never reaches the 100-percent mark, any upward movement is worrying; two-thirds of the population is already overweight.

“Genetically and physiologically, it should be impossible” for all U.S. adults to become overweight, said Dr. Lan Liang of the federal government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, one of the researchers on the study.


Supermarket Chains Narrow Their Sights

Gordon M. Grant for The New York Times
Supermarket Chains Narrow Their Sights

LIAISON Joe Casa, left, and Phil Schmitt at the Schmitt farm in Riverhead, N.Y.


Local blueberries mix with commercial ones at a Manhattan Food Emporium.

Supermarkets are beginning to catch on that stocking corn and tomatoes grown nearby is not enough for customers. Now they are competing with farm stands and farmers’ markets for a wider variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

It’s been a boon for local farmers. Ten years ago local produce was devalued at the wholesale Hunts Point market, said Lyle Wells, whose family has been farming on Long Island since 1660. “Now youcan’t get enough of the stuff.”

Last month Wal-Mart announced that it plans to spend $400 million this year on locally grown produce, making it the largest player in that market.

“When Wal-Mart makes a major effort to reach out to local food systems, it’s a major signal,” said Gus Schumacher Jr., a consultant to the nonprofit Kellogg Foundation and a former Massachusetts commissioner of food and agriculture, who has worked to introduce farmers to restaurateurs and retailers since the 1980s.


Study Outcome Won't Sway Company on Eye Drug

WASHINGTON — What does a company do when there's anecdotal evidence that two of its drugs are equally effective in treating a leading cause of blindness in the elderly, one costing patients $60 per treatment and the other $2,000?

In the case of Genentech Inc., nothing.Read More

Cancer Vaccine Linked to Pancreatitis

Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine, which is being advised for all young women, may be causing pancreatitis, a painful, debilitating disease that can be fatal. Australian sources reported that three women developed pancreatitis shortly after receiving the vaccine.

Gardasil protects women from strains of the HPV (human papillomavirus) that cause 70 percent of all cervical cancer. But numerous cases of young women being stricken with various potentially deadly complications have arisen all over the world. Eighteen deaths have been reported as well as 8,000 adverse reactions which include paralysis and seizures. Australia alone reported over 1,000 suspected reactions to the vaccine, although most were not life-threatening and included headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

Acute pancreatitis is characterized by sudden, severe abdominal pain. Pancreatic enzymes burn and irritate the pancreas, then leak out into the abdominal cavity. Complications can include heart, respiratory or kidney failure, all of which can be fatal.

Dr. Amitabha Das, writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, said, “We suggest that pancreatitis be considered in cases of abdominal pain following HPV vaccination.

Vitamin D Deficiency May Lurk in Babies

Until she was 11 months old, Aleanie Remy-Marquez could have starred in an advertisement for breast milk. She took to nursing easily, was breast-fed exclusively for six or seven months, and ate little else even after that. She was alert and precocious and developed at astonishing speed, her mother said, sitting at four months and walking by eight months.

But once Aleanie started putting weight on her feet, her mother noticed that her legs were curving in a bow shape below the knees. Doctors diagnosed vitamin D-deficiency rickets, a softening of the bones that develops when children do not get enough vitamin D — a crucial ingredient for absorbing calcium and building bone, and the one critical hormone that breast milk often cannot provide enough of.


Mystery virus kills 160

Rural Kanpur is fighting its most frightening scourge — a mystery disease that has left a long line of bodies in its trail and doesn’t seem anywhere finished.

What started from one village two weeks ago has now spread to 350 and has so far claimed 160 lives. Thousands more are bed-ridden. On an average, 15 to 20 people have been dying every day; Saturday saw the highest toll in a day: 24.

The district’s health department is somewhat confused about the nature of the disease that has struck. At the beginning, the diagnosis was viral fever. Then doctors concluded that it was falciparum malaria. But after two weeks, they have ruled out both but still don’t have an exact answer.


Strife over shots: Should our kids play together?


Karey Williams never thought a parenting decision would come between her and a good friend. The two had known one another for a decade, supported each other through infertility treatment and had their first babies around the same time. But when she told the friend that

she had stopped vaccinating her daughter at age 1, the relationship abruptly ended.

“She said, ‘Well then, your child can’t come into my house,’” recalls Williams, 47, who lives in


Early ear infections may pack on pounds later

Damage to a crucial nerve may trigger a taste for fats, sweets in some
New research that includes studies of health records from the 1960s suggests that frequent childhood ear infections may be linked to weight gain or obesity later in life.


Will There Someday Be an Exercise Pill?

Couch Mouse to Mr. Mighty by Pills Alone
Cheryl Senter/Associated Press

Mike Batista, center, with other members of the Old School P.E. class at the recreation center in Newport, N.H.

Published: August 1, 2008

For all who have wondered if they could enjoy the benefits of exercise without the pain of exertion, the answer may one day be yes — just take a pill that tricks the muscles into thinking they have been working out furiously.


Every Bite You TakeHow Sysco came to monopolize most of what you eat

Illustration by Robert Neubecker. Click image to expand.

A hot dog from Yankee Stadium. Potato latkes from the Four Seasons in Manhattan. Sirloin steak at Applebee's. The jumbo cheeseburger at the University of Iowa Hospital. While it would seem these menu items have nothing in common, they're all from Sysco, a Houston-based food wholesaler. This top food supplier serves nearly 400,000 American eating establishments, from fast-food joints like Wendy's, to five-star eating establishments like Robert Redford's Tree Room Restaurant, to mom-and-pop diners like the Chatterbox Drive-In, to ethnic restaurants like Meskerem Ethiopian restaurant. Even Gitmo dishes out food from Sysco. Should you worry that one source dominates so much of what you eat?


The Anti-Vaccine Movement Grows.....

Vaccine-wary parents spark public health worry More opt out for fear of reactions, but do they endanger everyone else?Read More



Parents sound off on childhood vaccine divide Readers describe how their personal experiences informed their decisionsRead More

Spicy or Bland? 6 Acid Reflux Myths You Should Know

 By Jessica Ryen Doyle

There are three words an acid reflux patient never wants to hear: “Bland, restricted diet.”

You already feel miserable, with symptoms of heartburn and/or regurgitation.

The last thing you want to do is give up your favorite comfort foods.

You may not have to. It turns out if you are craving that spicy enchilada, you probably can eat it after all.

We sought the truth on six common acid reflux myths concerning diet:

1. Myth: You should cut back on protein.

Fact: “It’s not all proteins, only the meat proteins,” said Tanya Zuckerbrot, nutritionist and author of The F-Factor. “Foods like hummus, peanut butter and soy products like tofu are OK to eat.”...Read More

The Secret to Longevity: Get a Second Wife, Study Says

Some men may think one is bad enough. But a study suggests the key to a long life may be to get a second wife.

Researchers from the U.K.'s University of Sheffield looked at men older than 60 from 140 countries that practice polygamy and found that they lived an average of 12 percent longer than men from 49 monogamous nations, according to a report from the Times of India.

The study's findings were presented last week at the International Society for Behavioral Ecology’s annual meeting in Ithaca, New York, according to the report.

Researchers looked to previous research on women to answer why polygamous men live longer and chalk it up to a variation of the "grandmother effect."

Scientists believe women, who live considerably longer post-menopause than other mammals, do so because the longer they live the more grandchildren they have to dote on. Caring for grandchildren, it seems, gives women a reason to live long after they're no longer able to reproduce.

Doting on grandchildren, however, does not have the same life-lengthening benefits for men. But men are able to reproduce into their 60s, 70s and 80s. So it would seem, researchers said, that polygamous men experience a sort of father effect, meaning, the more wives they have, the more children they father. Fathering children gives them a reason to continue living longer than monogamous men who often stop fathering children at much earlier ages, researchers concluded.

source: Fox News

Are Secret Vaccinations Killing Soldiers?

Click Here to Hear the 6 minute interview



The story of marine David Fey reads like a crime novel:

  • Secret shots?
  • Incomplete, and fake, medical records?
  • Deadly illness?
But while it’s shocking, and sad, to think that the soldiers pledging their lives to defend the United States are being used as guinea pigs for unknown vaccinations, it’s nothing new.

How Many Vaccines Does the U.S. Military Require?

This information is not easy to come by, but the following table was derived from Air Force Joint Instruction 48-110, Army Regulation 40-52, BUMEDINST 6230.15, CGCOMTINST M6230.4E, dated May 12, 2004 on

Immunizing Agent


Basic Training and Officer Accession Training

Adenovirus, Types 4 and 7

Air Force recruits receive adenovirus vaccination only when there is evidence of active disease transmission. Coast Guard Recruits only receive this when specifically directed by the Coast Guard Commandant.

Influenza (Flu Shot)

Navy and Marine Corps officer and enlisted accessions receive the influenza vaccine year round in basic training. Other service recruits receive this shot in basic only during the designated flu season (October - March)


Measles Mumps and rubella (MMR) are administered toall recruits regardless of prior history.


Quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (containing A, C, Y, and W-135 polysaccharide antigens) is administered on a one-time basis to recruits. The vaccine is given as soon as practicable after in-processing or training. This vaccine is required routinely only for recruits, although its use may be indicated in other situations based on transmission potential and risk of contracting meningococcal disease.


Measles Mumps and rubella (MMR) are administered to all recruits regardless of prior history.


A single dose of trivalent OPV is administered to all enlisted accessions. Officer candidates, ROTC cadets, and other Reserve Components on initial active duty for training receive a single dose of OPV unless prior booster immunization as an adult is documented.


Measles Mumps and rubella (MMR) are administered to all recruits regardless of prior history.


A primary series of tetanus-diphtheria (Td) toxoid is initiated for all recruits lacking a reliable history of prior immunization in accordance with existing ACIP guidelines. Individuals with previous history of Td immunization receive a booster dose upon entry to active duty and subsequently in accordance with ACIP requirements.

Yellow Fever

Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard only

Routine "Booster" Shots while in the Military

Influenza (Flu Shot)

Annual, during "Flu Season" (October - March)


A primary series of tetanus-diphtheria (Td) toxoid is initiated for all recruits lacking a reliable history of prior immunization in accordance with existing ACIP guidelines. Individuals with previous history of Td immunization receive a booster dose upon entry to active duty and subsequently in accordance with ACIP requirements.

Yellow Fever

Navy and Marine Corps only.

Alert Forces

Hepatitis A

Air Force Only


Typhoid vaccine is administered to alert forces and personnel deploying to endemic areas.

Yellow Fever

Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard (Navy and Marine Corps receive all receive this, regardless of "Alert Status").

When Required by Host Country to Enter


Cholera vaccine is not administered routinely to either active or reserve component personnel. Cholera vaccine is administered to military personnel, only upon travel or deployment to countries requiring cholera vaccination as a condition for entry, or upon the direction of the appropriate Surgeon General, or Commandant (G-K), Coast Guard.

High Risk Occupational Groups

Hepatitis B







There is no requirement for routine immunization. Plague vaccine is administered to personnel who are likely to be assigned to areas where the risk of endemictransmission or other exposure is high. Vaccine may not be effective in the prevention of airborne infection. The addition of antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended for such situations.


Rabies vaccine is administered to personnel with a high risk of exposure (animal handlers; certain laboratory, field, and security personnel; and personnel frequently exposed to potentially rabid animals in a non occupational or recreational setting).



When Deployed to Area Where In-Theater Commander Accesses a Biological Threat

Small Pox

This vaccine is administered only under the authority of DoD Directive 6205.3, DoD Immunization Program for Biological Warfare Defense.


This vaccine is administered only under the authority of DoD Directive 6205.3, DoD Immunization Program for Biological Warfare Defense.

Study Questions Cost-Effectiveness

A new study suggests that giving Merck & Co.'s cervical-cancer vaccine Gardasil to women through their mid-20s may not be worth the price, despite U.S. recommendations that this age group receive the costly shot.

The study, published online Wednesday by The New England Journal of Medicine, comes as Merck already is having difficulty persuading college-age and older women to get the vaccine, which was introduced in 2006 and costs about $360 for a three-dose regimen. This has contributed to a slowdown in Gardasil sales, casting a cloud on Merck's financial outlook.Read More

Trace Arsenic in Water May Be Linked With Diabetes

CHICAGO — A new analysis of government data is the first to link low-level arsenic exposure, possibly from drinking water, with Type 2 diabetes, researchers say. The study's limitations make more research necessary. And public water systems were on their way to meeting tougher U.S. arsenic standards as the data were collected.

Still, the analysis of 788 adults' medical tests found a nearly fourfold increase in the risk of diabetes in people with low arsenic concentrations in their urine compared to people with even lower levels.

Previous research outside the United States has linked high levels of arsenic in drinking water with diabetes. It's the link at low levels that's new. The findings appear in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

"The good news is, this is preventable," said lead author Dr. Ana Navas-Acien of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

New safe drinking water standards may be needed if the findings are duplicated in future studies, Navas-Acien said. She said they've begun a new study of 4,000 people.

Arsenic can get into drinking water naturally when minerals dissolve. It is also an industrial pollutant from coal burning and copper smelting. Utilities use filtration systems to get it out of drinking water.

Seafood also contains nontoxic organic arsenic. The researchers adjusted their analysis for signs of seafood intake and found that people with Type 2 diabetes had 26 percent higher inorganic arsenic levels than people without Type 2 diabetes.

How arsenic could contribute to diabetes is unknown, but prior studies have found impaired insulin secretion in pancreas cells treated with an arsenic compound.

The policy implications of the new findings are unclear, said Molly Kile, an environmental health research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health. Kile wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal.

"Urinary arsenic reflects exposures from all routes — air, water and food — which makes it difficult to track the actual source of arsenic exposure let alone use the results from this study to establish drinking water standards," Kile said.

Also, the findings raise a chicken-and-egg problem, she said, since it's unknown whether diabetes changes the way people metabolize arsenic. It's possible that people with diabetes excrete more arsenic.

The United States lowered arsenic standards for public water systems to 10 parts per billion in 2001 because of known cancer risks. Compliance was required by 2006, years after the study data were collected in 2003 and 2004.

U.S. Food Portions: Monuments to Decadence?

food, portions, rations, food crisis, waist line, finances, healthy eating, home cooking, caloriesWith soaring food prices sparking protests in many countries, and more than 800 million people going hungry every day worldwide, U.S. food portions are under scrutiny.

Portion sizes in the United States not only exceed those in less-developed countries, but also in the developed world. Americans have the highest per capita daily consumption in the world, eating 3,770 calories a day.

One fast-food chain calls its massive burger a "monument to decadence".

"We've looked at large portion sizes almost entirely in terms of whether it's healthy for us, and now we have to consider is that sort of a demand going to be sustainable," said Paul Roberts, author of The End of Food. "It would probably be a way to take pressure off of grain markets if we somehow convinced people to take smaller portion sizes."


Nano-foods: The next consumer scare?


By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Those consumers already worried about genetically engineered or cloned food reaching their tables may soon find something else in their grocery carts to furrow their brows over -- nano-foods.

Consumer advocates taking part in a food safety conference in Orlando, Florida, this week said food produced by using nanotechnology is quietly coming onto the market, and they want U.S. authorities to force manufacturers to identify them.


MSG Linked to Obesity

People who use monosodium glutamate, or MSG, as a flavor enhancer in their food are more likely than people who don’t use it to be overweight or obese even though they have the same amount of physical activity and total calorie intake, according to a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health study published this month in the journal Obesity.

Researchers at UNC and in China studied more than 750 Chinese men and women, aged between 40 and 59, in three rural villages in north and south China. The majority of study participants prepared their meals at home without commercially processed foods. About 82 percent of the participants used MSG in their food. Those users were divided into three groups, based on the amount of MSG they used. The third who used the most MSG were nearly three times ....Read More

Popular Moisturizers May Cause Skin Cancer

Moisturizers used by millions of people induced skin cancer in experiments on mice, a study released Thursday said, as experts expressed strong doubts over any possible risk to humans from creams.

Researchers at Rutgers University, New Jersey, in the United States tested four common skin creams on gene-altered hairless mice exposed to heavy doses of cancer-causing UV light.

The scientist who led the study, however, cautioned that rodent skin is more sensitive than human skin, while other experts said they had reservations about the relevance of the study's conclusions.....Read More

One Can of Red Bull Increases Stroke Risk

Just one can of the popular stimulant energy drink Red Bull can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, even in young people, Australian medical researchers said on Friday.

The caffeine-loaded beverage, popular with university students and adrenaline sport fans to give them "wings," caused the blood to become sticky, a pre-cursor to cardiovascular problems such as stroke.

"One hour after they drank Red Bull, (their blood systems) were no longer normal. They were abnormal like we would expect in a patient with cardiovascular disease," Scott Willoughby, lead researcher from the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, told the Australian newspaper....Read More

Happiness is Key to Longer Life

Keep humming "Don't Worry Be Happy". The 1980s New Age-inspired hit got it right. New research shows being happy can add several years to life.

"Happiness does not heal, but happiness protects against falling ill," says Ruut Veenhoven of Rotterdam's Erasmus University in a study to be published next month.

After reviewing 30 studies carried out worldwide over periods ranging from one to 60 years, the Dutch professor said the effects of happiness on longevity were "comparable to that of smoking or not"... Read More

Hold off on that Broccoli!

A recent story put out by the British Broadcasting Corporation proclaimed that eating broccoli could reverse the damage to heart blood vessels caused by diabetes. BBC Gets It Wrong About Broccoli’s Curative Abilities

0 comments - 14 Aug 2008 -

Major Confusion on How to Do Breast Checks

breast exam, breast awarenessIs there a right way to check your breasts for early signs of cancer? Many women remain confused as experts now say there is no evidence that rigorous monthly "self-examination" -- widely recommended in the United States -- reduces breast cancer deaths. Plus, it can lead to unnecessary biopsies.

Two large studies looking at a total of more than 388,000 women found that death rates from breast cancer were the same among women who rigorously self-examined as those who did not, while there were almost twice the number of biopsy operations in the self-examination group.

According to some experts, the best way for a woman to check her breasts is not to follow a strict examination routine, but to get to know what is normal, and feel them regularly for signs of any changes.


California weighs sweeping farm animal law that opponents say would hurt egg industry

farm animals, pig, animal rightsThis fall, California voters will consider the most comprehensive farm animal rights law in the United States. The measure would ban cramped metal cages for egg-laying hens, metal gestation crates for pregnant sows, and veal crates for calves, all practices in which animals are kept so confined that they can barely move.

Earlier this year, the Colorado Legislature became the first in the nation to prohibit the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs and veal crates for calves. Florida and Oregon voters have banned gestation crates, and Arizona voters banned both gestation crates and veal crates.

California's egg industry, which is the fifth largest in the country, is preparing an all-out campaign to defeat the measure. The United Egg Producers and the Pacific Egg & Poultry Association are arguing that the measure would threaten the health of hens and eggs, since hens allowed to roam free might contract avian diseases from exposure to the outside.


Could your Granite Countertops Be Killing You?

SHORTLY before Lynn Sugarman of Teaneck, N.J., bought her summer home in Lake George, N.Y., two years ago, a routine inspection revealed it had elevated levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. So she called a radon measurement and mitigation technician to find the source.

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Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

TESTING Reports of granite emitting high levels of radon and radiation are increasing.


Some Carbs Turn to Fat Fast in Your Body

According to new research, people on low-carb diets lose weight in part because they get less fructose, a type of sugar that can be made into body fat quickly.

The study shows that the type of carbs someone eats can be as important as the amount. Although fructose is naturally found in high levels in fruit, it is also added to many processed foods, especially in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

For the study, six healthy people performed three different tests involving drinking various mixes of glucose and fructose. Researchers found that fructose turned into body fat much more quickly, and that having it for breakfast changed how the body handled fats at lunch.

4 Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-9052; 5 Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019-0018; and 6 Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108


Making groceries

As the economy sours, premium stores like Whole Foods are struggling to keep customers, reports the New York Times. To remain competitive, the pricey natural grocery store is offering guided tours to customers who want to cut costs but can't stand to set foot in Winn Dixie. More »

Starbucks Facts:

Caffeine A Medium Starbucks Coffee Has Over Four Times The Caffeine Of Red Bull, And Three More Caffeine Facts The New York Times has a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest on the health effects of caffeine. The study analyzes various claims made about caffeine, and it also offers a useful chart listing the caffeine content in typical drinks and foods. For instance, at 320 milligrams per 16 ounces, a Starbucks grande coffee has over four times the 80 milligrams of caffeine of a Red Bull. More »

Top Drugs' Strange Side Effects

Ever experience a sudden, strong desire to gamble, or a funny feeling that you've been driving in your sleep?

It could be nothing. Or maybe it's time to finally read the warnings that came with that bottle of over-the-counter or prescription drugs you're taking. Strange as it may sound, compulsive gambling and sleep-driving are two real side effects that have been reported by patients or drug manufacturers in recent years.

In recent months, popular new anti-smoking treatment Chantix has made headlines for its array of potential side effects, which include insomnia and nightmares. In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that Pfizer, the manufacturer of Chantix, had updated the drug's prescribing information to include additional warnings about the possibility of severe changes in mood and behavior in patients taking it.


Learn what God Says about your diet.....


Most Moms Give Up on Breast-Feeding

Three out of four new moms try breast-feeding over the bottle, but most of them have quit by the time the baby reaches six months, a new study shows.


A report from Brigham Young University shows only 36 percent of babies are breast-fed through six months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast-feeding through the first year.



Monsanto Looks to Sell Dairy Hormone Business

After struggling to gain consumer acceptance, Monsanto on Wednesday announced that it would try to sell its business of producing an artificial growth hormone for dairy cows. The company will focus instead on its thriving business of selling seeds and developing ways to improve crops.

The decision comes as more retailers, saying they are responding to consumer demand, are selling dairy products from cows not treated with the artificial hormone.

Wal-Mart, Kroger and Publix are among the retailers that now sell house-brand milk from untreated cows. Almost all of the fresh milk sold by Dean Foods, the nation’s largest milk bottler, also comes from cows that were not treated with the artificial hormone, a spokeswoman said.


Repeated By Popular Demand!

The Truth About Vaccines By World Renowned Scientist!  SHOCKING VIDEO!!   Merck Confesses

Why You Need Enzymes

by Sally Fallon with Mary G Enig, PhD

An important branch of twentieth century nutritional research, running parallel to and equal in significance to the discovery of vitamins and minerals, has been the discovery of enzymes and their function. Enzymes are complex proteins that act as catalysts in almost every biochemical process that takes place in the body. Their activity depends on the presence of adequate vitamins and minerals. Many enzymes incorporate a single molecule of a trace mineral —such as copper, iron or zinc —without which the enzyme cannot function. In the 1930's, when enzymes first came to the attention of biochemists, some 80 were identified; today over 5,000 have been discovered.

Enzymes fall into one of three major classifications. The largest is the metabolic enzymes which play a role in all bodily processes including breathing, talking, moving, thinking, behavior and maintenance of the immune system. A subset of these metabolic enzymes acts to neutralize poisons and carcinogens such as pollutants, DDT and tobacco smoke, changing them into less toxic forms that the body can eliminate. The second category is the digestive enzymes, of which there are about 22 in number. Most of these are manufactured by the pancreas. They are secreted by glands in the duodenum (a valve that separates the stomach from the small intestine) and work to break down the bulk of partially digested food leaving the stomach.

The enzymes we need to consider when planning our diets are the third category, the food enzymes. These are present in raw foods and they initiate the process of digestion in the mouth and upper stomach. Food enzymes include proteases for digesting protein, lipases for digesting fats and amylases for digesting carbohydrates. Amylases in saliva contribute to the digestion of carbohydrates while they are being chewed, and all enzymes found in food continue this process while it rests in the upper or cardiac portion of the stomach. The upper stomach secretes no digestive juices whatsoever, but acts much like the crop of a bird or the first stomach of ruminant animals. It can be described as a holding tank where the enzymes present in raw foods do their work on what we have eaten before this more or less partially digested mass passes on to the lower stomach, about 30 minutes after food is ingested. Hydrochloric acid secretion occurs only in the lower stomach and is stimulated by the passage of food from the upper to lower stomach. (This hydrochloric acid does not digest meat, as is commonly believed, but activates the enzyme pepsinogen to its active form pepsin that digests protein.)

Enzyme research has revealed the importance of raw foods in the diet. The enzymes in raw food help start the process of digestion and reduce the body's need to produce digestive enzymes. All enzymes are deactivated at a wet-heat temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and a dry-heat temperature of about 150 degrees. It is one of those happy designs of nature that foods and liquid at 117 degrees can be touched without pain, but liquids over 118 degrees will burn. Thus we have a built-in mechanism for determining whether or not the food we are eating still contains its enzyme content.

A diet composed exclusively of cooked food puts a severe strain on the pancreas, drawing down its reserves, so to speak. If the pancreas is constantly overstimulated to produce the enzymes that ought to be in foods, the result over time will be inhibited function. Humans eating an enzyme-poor diet, comprised primarily of cooked food, use up a tremendous amount of their enzyme potential in the outpouring of secretions from the pancreas and other digestive organs. The result, according to the late Dr. Edward Howell, a noted pioneer in the field of enzyme research, is a shortened life-span, illness, and lowered resistance to stress of all types. He points out that humans and animals on a diet comprised largely of cooked food have enlarged pancreas organs while other glands and organs, notably the brain, actually shrink in size. His research also uncovered the fact that the body recycles enzymes by absorbing them through the intestine and colon and transporting them in the blood back to the upper intestine to be used again. The body is thus designed to conserve its precious enzyme stores.

Dr. Howell formulated the following Enzyme Nutrition Axiom: The length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential of an organism. The increased use of food enzymes promotes a decreased rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential. Another rule can be expressed as follows: Whole foods give good health; enzyme-rich foods provide limitless energy.

Almost all traditional societies incorporate raw, enzyme-rich foods into their cuisines —not only vegetable foods but also raw animal proteins and fats in the form of raw dairy foods, raw muscle and organ meats, and raw fish. These diets also traditionally include a certain amount of cultured or fermented foods, which have an enzyme content that is actually enhanced by the fermenting and culturing process. The Eskimo diet, for example, is composed in large portion of raw fish that has been allowed to "autolate" or "predigest," that is, become putrefied or semi-rancid; to this predigested food they ascribe their stamina. The culturing of dairy products, found almost universally among pre-industrialized peoples, enhances the enzyme content of milk, cream, butter and cheese.

From Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges
Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

by Sally Fallon and Mary G Enig, Ph D.
Available from NewTrends Publishing (877) 707-1776

Enzyme Nutrion and Food Enzymes for Health and Longevity
by Edward Howell are available from
Radiant Life (888)593-8333

Raw Foods Diets

by Suzanne Havala Hobbs, DrPH, RD

It is well established that vegetarian lifestyles are associated with health advantages. The American Dietetic Association states that "… appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, are nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the treatment and prevention of certain diseases." (16)

Much of what is known about vegetarian diets and related health effects is based on research on lacto ovo vegetarian diets. Relatively little information is available about the health and nutrition aspects of vegan diets, however, as well as variants such as raw foods or living foods diets. A review of the literature was conducted to determine the extent to which there is scientific documentation of the health and nutrition aspects of raw foods diets as a first step toward further study of this dietary practice.

Worldwide, little research data is available on the subject of raw foods diets. The majority of published research has been conducted in Finland at the University of Kuopio. Of the 24 papers included in this review, 15 originated in Finland. The remainder of the research was conducted in the U.S., the Netherlands, and Germany.

Raw foods diets are variously described as uncooked vegan diets, uncooked vegetable diets, and "living foods" diets. In one case, a raw foods diet included raw liver (8). All other studies reviewed here referred to vegetarian diets, most of which excluded all animal products and derived the majority of calories from uncooked plant matter. In one study, up to 95 percent of food was consumed in raw form (7). One study group derived 55 percent of calories from uncooked fruits, carrot juice, salads and raw vegetables, and grain products, though 58 percent of subjects also consumed some animal product during the recorded week of food intake (4). In other studies, a "living foods" diet was defined as an uncooked vegan diet that included germinated seeds, sprouts, cereals, vegetables, fruits, berries, and nuts (9, 11).

The scientific literature contains relatively little information about the rationale for a raw foods or living foods diet. One paper by Kenton (1985) provides philosophical discussion examining food energy and its role in sustaining optimal health. Other papers focus on specific health effects on adult subjects following a raw foods or living foods diet for a period of time ranging from as little as one week (10) to as long as 3.7 years (14). Study groups ranged in size from as small as 13 subjects (2) to as many as 513 subjects (14). Findings include dietary effects on weight, serum lipid levels, symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, rates of dental erosion, fecal microflora, cancer treatment, vitamin B12 status, and antioxidant and other nutrient intakes.

Four studies found uncooked vegan ("living foods") diets to be associated with substantial loss of weight (5, 12, 14, 20). In one case, weight loss was associated with reduction of diastolic blood pressure (5), in one case reduction of fibromyalgia symptoms (12), and with amenorrhea in another case (14). Other studies found subjective improvement of fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms with adoption of an uncooked vegan diet (9, 11, 17).

An uncooked vegan diet was associated with decreased serum total and LDL-cholesterol levels (2). Another study found that long term uncooked vegan diets resulted in decreased levels of n-3 fatty acids due to high intakes of linoleic and oleic acids (1). Two studies found significant reductions of serum vitamin B12 concentrations in subjects following a raw foods ("living foods") diet, suggesting that long-term adherents to a raw vegan diet should include a reliable source of vitamin B12 in their diets (3, 22).

Other studies focused on favorable effects of an uncooked vegan diet on fecal microflora and other potential chemopreventive factors for cancer risk (6, 15, 18, 25). One study found overall favorable changes in biochemical and metabolic health indicators including serumprotein, urea, and total cholesterol in subjects eating a raw foods diet for one week but concluded observation over a longer period was needed (10). One study found increased risk of dental erosion in subjects following an uncooked vegan diet (7). Another study examined coumarin 7-hydroxylation in subjects consuming a raw foods vegan diet matched with omnivorous controls and concluded that plant substances had little effect on coumarin hydroxylase activity in subjects consuming a raw foods diet (23).

Finally, one study of 141 American long-term (mean time 28 months) adherents to a raw foods diet found self-reported improvements in health and quality of life after adoption of the diet (4). Measurement was based on survey results of subjects’ current health and retrospectively for health prior to dietary changes. The study found that salads, fruits, carrot juice, and cooked grain products provided 60-88 percent of most of the nutrients found in the diet. Dehydrated barley grass juice, nuts and seeds, potatoes and squash provided the remaining 12-40% of nutrients in the diet. The diet provided a mean calorie intake of 1460 kcal/day for women and 1830 kcal/day for men. Fat provided 24% of calories, and mean protein intake was 0.66g/kg body weight. Mean calcium intakes were 580 mg/day for women and 690 mg/day for men. As compared to mean nutrient intakes of people in the United States, as reported in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), intakes of several nutrients were significantly higher in subjects eating a raw foods diet, and intakes of several nutrients were lower. Intakes of fiber, vitamins A, B6, C, and E, folate, copper, and potassium were significantly higher in subjects eating a raw foods diet as compared with those reported in NHANES III, and intakes of protein, total and saturated fat, cholesterol, vitamin B12, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc were significantly lower.

Overall, the body of scientific literature describing health and nutrition aspects of raw foods or living foods diets is limited. Only one survey of American individuals consuming a raw foods diet has been reported. Little or no information is available describing the rationale for a raw foods diet, nor has the range of practices among individuals consuming raw or living foods diets been documented. The majority of available research findings related to raw foods diet is confined to studies of European populations.

1. Agren, J. J., Tormala, M. L., Nenonen, M. T., Hanninen, O. (1995). Fatty acid composition of erythrocyte, platelet, and serum lipids in strict vegans. Lipids, 30, 365-369.

2. Agren, J. J., Tvrzicka, E., Nenonen, M. T., Helve, T., Hanninen, O. (2001). Divergent changes in serum sterols during a strict uncooked vegan diet in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. British Journal of Nutrition, 85, 137-139.

3. Donaldson, M. S. (2000). Metabolic vitamin B12 status on a mostly raw vegan diet with follow-up using tablets, nutritional yeast, or probiotic supplements. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, 44, 229-234.

4. Donaldson, M. S. (in press). Food and nutrient intake of Hallelujah vegetarians. Nutrition & Food Science.

5. Douglass, J. M., Rasgon, I. M., Fleiss, P. M., Schmidt, R. D., Peters, S. N., Abelmann, E. A. (1985). Effects of a raw food diet on hypertension and obesity. Southern Medical Journal, 78(7), 841-844.

6. Gaisbauer, M., Langosch, A. (1990). Raw food and immunity (article in German). Fortschr Med, 108(17), 338-340.

7. Ganss, C., Schlechtriemen, M., Klimek, J. (1999). Dental erosions in subjects living on a raw foods diet. Caries Research, 33, 74-80.

8. Gerson, M. (1978). The cure of advanced cancer by diet therapy: a summary of 30 years of clinical experimentation. Physiol Chem Phys, 10(5), 449-464.

9. Hanninen, O., Kaartinen, K., Rauma, A. L., Nenonen, M., Torronen, R., Hakkinen, A. S., et al. (2000). Antioxidants in vegan diet and rheumatic disorders. Toxicology, 155, 45-53.

10. Hanninen, O., Nenonen, M., Ling, W. H., Li, D. S., et al. (1992). Effects of eating an uncooked vegetable diet for 1 week. Appetite, 19, 243-254.

11. Hanninen, O., Rauma, A. L., Kaartinen, K., Nenonen, M. (1999). Vegan diet in physiological health promotion. Acta Physiologica Hungarica, 86, 171-180.

12. Kaartinen, K., Lammi, K., Hypen, M., Nenonen, M., Hanninen, O., Rauma, A. L. (2000). Vegan diet alleviates fibromyalgia symptoms. Scandanavian Journal of Rheumatology, 29, 308-313.

13. Kenton, L. (1985). Raw energy – nutrition of the future? Nutrition and Health, 4, 37-50.

14. Koebnick, C., Strassner, C., Hoffmann, I., Leitzmann, C. (1999). Consequences of a long-term raw food diet on body weight and menstruation: results of a questionnaire survey. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, 43(2), 69-79.

15. Ling, W. H., Hanninen, O. (1992). Shifting from a conventional diet to an uncooked vegan diet reversibly alters fecal hydrolytic activities in humans. Journal of Nutrition, 122, 924-930.
Messina, V. and Burke, K. (1997). Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 97(11), 1317-1321.

16. Nenonen, M. T., Helve, T. A., Rauma, A. L., Hanninen, O. O. (1998). Uncooked, lactobacilli-rich, vegan food and rheumatoid arthritis. British Journal of Rheumatology, 37, 274-281.

17. Peltonen, R., Ling, W. H., Hanninen, O., Eerola, E. (1992). An uncooked vegan diet shifts the profile of human fecal microflora: computerized analysis of direct stool sample gas-liquid chromatography profiles of bacterial cellular fatty acids. Applied Environmental Microbiology, 58, 3660-3666.

18. Peltonen, R., Nenonen, M., Helve, T., Hanninen, O., Toivanen, P., Eerola, E. (1997). Faecal microbial flora and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis during a vegan diet. British Journal of Rheumatology, 36, 64-68.

19. Rauma, A. L., Nenonen, M., Helve, T., Hanninen, O. (1993). Effect of a strict vegan diet on energy and nutrient intakes by Finnish rheumatoid patients. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 47, 747-749.

20. Rauma, A. L., Torronen, R., Hanninen, O., Verhagen, H., Mykkanen, H. (1995). Antioxidant status in long-term adherents to a strict uncooked vegan diet. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 62, 1221-1227.

21. Rauma, A. L., Torronen, R., Hanninen, O., Mykkanen, H. (1995). Vitamin B-12 status of long-term adherents of a strict uncooked vegan diet ("living food diet") is compromised. Journal of Nutrition, 125, 2511-2315.

22. Rauma, A. L., Rautio, A., Pasanen, M., Pelkonen, O., Torronen, R., Mykkanen, H. (1996). Coumarin 7-hydroxylation in long-term adherents of a strict, Uncooked vegan diet. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 50, 133-137.

23. Rauma, A. L., Mykkanen, H. (2000). Antioxidant status in vegetarians versus omnivores. Nutrition, 16, 111-119.

24. Verhagen, H., Rauma, A. L., Torronen, R., de Vogel, N., Bruijntjes-Rosier, G. C., Drevo, M. A., et al. (1996). Effect of a vegan diet on biomarkers of females. Human Experimental Toxicology, 15, 821-825.

Don't Buy Brand Name Drugs with 2 letters after their name!

What do those little letters, CD, ER, SR, etc, after a brand name drug's name mean? The exact terminology varies, but they usually translate to the same thing: unnecessary ripoffs.

Whether it says CD, CR, ER, LA, SR, XL, XR, or XT, the letters really stand for a version of the drug that releases differently into the body. By coming up with different variations on old drugs, pharmaceutical companies can keep the profits rolling on drugs whose patents have expired. Best of all, if they can get the doctor to write one of these letter sequences after the drug's name, the pharmacy can't substitute a lower-priced generic (unless a generic of the extended release version is already on the market).... Read More

WARNING: FDA: Some Cholesterol and Heart Drugs Don't Mix

WASHINGTON — Patients taking some common medications for high cholesterol and irregular heart beats can suffer severe muscle damage because of a problem in the way the drugs interact, the government warned on Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said doctors should use extra care when prescribing Zocor, generic Zocor, or Vytorin to patients who are also taking amiodarone, a heart rhythm drug marketed as Cordarone or Pacerone. The danger is higher for patients taking more than 20 milligrams a day of the cholesterol drugs, the agency said...Read More

Vitamin C May Cut Diabetes Risk

Vitamin C May Cut Diabetes Risk

An abundance of vitamin C in the diet may help lower a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.

In a study of middle-aged and older men and women, those with the highest blood levels of vitamin C were significantly less likely to develop diabetes over 12 years than those with the lowest levels, researchers found.

Fruits and vegetables are the main source of vitamin C in Western diets, and blood levels of vitamin C are good markers of fruit and vegetable intake, Dr. Nita G. Forouhi, at the Institute of Metabolic Science at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, England, and colleagues note.Read More