THE WYSONG e-HEALTH LETTER
~Thoughts for Thinking People~
Table of Contents:
> Pharmaceutical Drugs Find Way To Wildlife
> Antibacterial Soaps Do Little More Than Create Toxic Waste
> Menopause Treated As A Disease
> Why Doesn't Your Doctor Recommend Fish Oil?
> Childhood Ear Infections
> More Deceit From Drug Companies
> New Vaccine Grossly Overpriced
> Probiotics – a MUST While Traveling!
> Onions and Garlic Protect You From Cancer
Pharmaceutical Drugs Find Way To Wildlife
Traces of common pharmaceuticals are making their way into rivers and streams. Every day millions of people take these common drugs and they are excreted into the wastewater treatments plants, eventually finding their way into natural water sources. Jim Gelsleichter, a biologist from the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, is looking at how contamination impacts marine wildlife, specifically bull sharks. His team catches juvenile bull sharks, takes a small sample of blood from each, and tags them with a nylon dart and a pair of dime-sized silicon-rubber discs to absorb chemicals from the water. Since this project began in 2006, they have detected the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) Zoloft in 9 out of 10 sharks tested. The 10th shark tested positive for all 6 SSRI's. Concentrations in the sharks were low, but Gelsleichter warns that this could have a negative impact on the entire ecosystem in the future.
Other researchers from the US Geological Survey sampled 139 streams in 30 states and found 80% of them contained traces of organic wastewater contaminants, including hormones and pharmaceuticals. Other studies have already seen the effects of these chemicals on wildlife populations. For example, a researcher from The University Of New Brunswick studied a lake for seven consecutive years, which had chronic low-level exposure of estradiol, a hormone found in contraceptive patches and pills. By the end of the study, the Flathead Minnow population in the lake was almost extinct, due to damaged reproductive development from the exposure to estradiol. Other potential problematic pharmaceuticals are cholesterol-lowering medications such as Lipitor, since cholesterol is the precurser for many sex hormones, which could greatly inhibit reproduction in wild populations. The Scientist
Antibacterial Soaps Do Little More Than Create Toxic Waste
About 1,500 new antibiotic products have entered the U.S. market since 2000. Recent studies have shown that there is no additional benefit from using antibacterial products as opposed to plain soap and water, and in fact, they can be harmful. Triclocarban (TCC), a common antimicrobial, resists water treatments and it ends up in the surface water and municipal sludge used as fertilizer. TCC is known to cause cancer and other reproductive problems. Releasing antimicrobials into the environment also has the potential to promote antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Mother Earth News (See Nature Cleanse and Safe-T-Suds™ in Resources below)
Menopause Treated As A Disease
A common myth, believed by American women since the 1930's, is that menopause is a disease that requires treatment with synthetic estrogen. Diethlystilbestrol (DES) was founded from a flawed study to be the “cure” for menopause. The study overlooked the fact that 20% of the 132 women tested with DES had serious side effects, while 5 had died. It is now known, through later studies, that taking DES raises the risk of endometrial cancer 5 to 14 times the normal incidence. Hormone replacement therapies have since added synthetic progesterone to reduce these risks, but there was still a 40% to 70% higher risk with those women taking DES. Other side effects of DES can include osteoporosis, blood clots, high blood pressure, vaginal bleeding, rash and acne, and weight gain. The sales of synthetic estrogen drugs is such a large market that prescriptions for them will likely continue. Money drives our world, not reason.
The Doctor Within (See Estrolog™ in Resources below)
Why Doesn't Your Doctor Recommend Fish Oil?
In Europe , patients who survive heart attacks are typically given a prescription for purified fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fats. Prescription fish oils have significantly improved the survival rate of heart patients. One study of 11,000 patients showed a 20% reduction in deaths and a 40% reduction in sudden deaths for those who took fish oil. Unfortunately in the United States, heart attack victims are not usually given omega-3 fatty acids. Instead patients are routinely given more expensive and invasive treatments. Prescription fish oil is not even approved by the FDA for use by heart patients. Due to the lack of approval it is not legal to advertise fish oil as a heart disease preventative. Only 17 percent of United States family doctors prescribe fish oil to patients who have suffered a heart attack.
Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (See Marine Lipids™ and E.F.A.™ in Resources below)
Childhood Ear Infections
Wait and See Approach The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that mild childhood ear infections should be allowed to clear up on their own. Otitis media with effusion is commonly diagnosed each year and is likely to afflict every youngster at some point in their lives. Since treatment with routine management drugs is usually ineffective, ‘watchful waiting' is recommended for a three-month period unless the child is at risk of speech, language, or learning problems. Pediatrics
More Deceit From Drug Companies
GlaxoSmithKline, the drug company, which manufactures Paxil (paroxetine, an antidepressant) advised its staff not to release results from a clinical trial, in which the drug was found to have no benefit to adolescents. The report was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and at the end it recommends that staff “effectively manage the dissemination of these data in order to minimize any potential negative commercial impact.” It further stated that “It would be commercially unacceptable to include a statement that efficacy had not been demonstrated, as this would undermine the profile of paroxetine.” This drug was banned in several countries in 2003 after findings showed that it could increase the risk of suicide in children. British Medical Journal
New Vaccine Grossly Overpriced
Cervical cancer is quickly becoming the most common type of cancer in women, especially in low-income countries. The new drug Gardasil, manufactured by Merck, targets HPV (human papillomavirus) in hopes of preventing cervical cancer in women. Currently the vaccine is priced at $360.00 for a three-dose regimen, not including administration costs. Most insurance companies do not cover the vaccine, or will only pay as little as $2.00 a dose. Many of the women who might benefit from this vaccine, especially those in lower-income areas, cannot afford it. In 1998, it was estimated that companies spend $250 million on developing a vaccine therefore justifying high vaccine charges. But Merck sold $365 million worth of the vaccine the first year, even before some states mandated it for young girls.
In 2006 Merck estimated its net income at $4.5 billion. If they sold the vaccine for one tenth of the current cost, they would still make $146 million a year on the vaccine, and would easily be able to recoup development costs. We make note of this not to suggest that cheap vaccines are important so that more people can receive them, only to point out that modern medicine is money, not benefit driven. The Scientist
Probiotics – a MUST While Traveling!
Probiotics appear to be effective in treating acute diarrhea according to researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They conducted 34 randomized trials that showed that probiotics reduced anti-biotic associated diarrhea by 52%, traveler's diarrhea by 8%, and acute diarrhea of diverse causes by 34%. The risk of acute diarrhea in children and adults reduced by 57% and 26% respectively when probiotics were used. The Lancet Infectious Diseases (See Probiosyn™ in Resources below)
Onions and Garlic Protect You From Cancer
A new study has analyzed the odds of developing cancer based on the frequency of ingesting onions and garlic. Comparing patients to controls, the study indicated that those people with the highest intake of onions and garlic had the most protection from assorted cancers. These cancers were:
· Esophageal cancer
· Colon cancer
· Breast cancer
· Ovarian cancer
· Prostate cancer
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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