All to the Good
In yesterday’s e-Alert I told you about the top six outrages of the past year. Today, we’ll turn off the Rant-O-Meter and focus strictly on healthy benefits with the top six health tips of 2006, gleaned from the thousands of studies reported over the past 12 months.
Finally getting it right
In the 1970s, two studies showed that vitamin C was ineffective in treating cancer. Three decades later, we know why those studies failed: The researchers used oral vitamin C instead of intravenous ascorbic acid (IAA). Nevertheless, mainstream medicine still regards this issue as “Case Closed,” even though laboratory studies and many recent case studies suggest that IAA may be one of the most effective and least harmful ways to treat some cancers.
“Diamonds in the Rough”
Twenty million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis (OA), a chronic form of arthritis that causes painful inflammation of joints and loss of cartilage. A simple vitamin deficiency may be at the root of many of these OA cases. A new study reveals that low levels of this vitamin may also worsen OA symptoms and promote the formation of osteophytes – bony growths that intensify joint pain for many OA patients.
“Fire in the Joint”
Ear to the ground
Pancreatic cancer is known as a “silent disease” because early symptoms are subtle and easily missed. Unfortunately, this cancer is difficult to treat beyond the initial stages, so the vast majority of patients rarely survive more than five years. But according to an analysis of two long-term studies, risk of pancreatic cancer might be lowered by more than 40 percent with an intake of a single vitamin supplement.
“Sounds of Silence”
Magnesium is a remarkable nutrient. Magnesium has been shown to help heart muscles relax, reduce blood pressure, reduce frequency and severity of migraine headaches, and increase bone density in postmenopausal women. Deficiencies of magnesium have been linked to depression, anxiety, and reduced cognitive function. In this e-Alert I look at two studies in which the highest intake of magnesium is linked with a significantly lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome – a set of symptoms that creates a high risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
“Play it Again, Sam”
Soaking it all in
An HSI member named Mary writes, “I read your article on chlorine and have a concern. I do water aerobics 3x a week for an hour. If a 10 minute shower is bad, what can that be doing?” The short answer: It may be doing harm. While Americans spend millions on drugs that lower cholesterol, evidence reveals that the real atherosclerosis threat is the pervasiveness of chlorine in our water, paper, clothing, insecticides, paints, and cleaning products.
Check the index
The glycemic index (GI) is an excellent guide for those who want to avoid foods that generate rapid blood sugar spikes and promote insensitivity to insulin – the precursor of type 2 diabetes. This e-Alert examines two studies that show how the GI provides an easy and reliable resource for making dietary choices that help support proper body weight and heart health, while avoiding foods that set the stage for a wide range of interrelated health problems.
“Real World Rules”
In yesterday’s e-Alert I finished with an item that qualified as both a rant and a health tip, and I’ll do the same today.
Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in more than 200 over-the-counter painkillers, fever-reducers, and cold medicines, including Tylenol. But acetaminophen has a little secret that’s only recently began coming to light in the mainstream media: Taken in excess, acetaminophen causes serious liver damage. The FDA estimates that there are more than 14,000 unintentional overdoses of acetaminophen each year, with about 100 of those cases resulting in death.
Early this year, a colleague mentioned in passing that she’d seen a write up about a product that combined acetaminophen and an antidote to prevent acetaminophen overdose. When she e-mailed the article, I was in for a surprise. It stated that a British company had spent five years unsuccessfully trying to bring the new drug combo to market. But I was in for an even bigger surprise when I checked the date of the article: 1990.
Over the past 21 years, how many hundreds of people have died by inadvertently taking too many acetaminophen products concurrently? How many of them might have survived?